THIS LETTER WAS SENT TO EVERY MP IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS ON TUESDAY 15 MAY 2018 IN RESPONSE TO EMILY THORNBERRY’S STATEMENT ON GAZA
Yesterday the Shadow Foreign Secretary of State, Emily Thornberry MP, made a statement that the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) had engaged in the deliberate killing of unarmed civilians on the Israel/Gaza border.
Her statement can be found here.
Her comments represent a grave and irresponsible slander that is too serious to ignore.
The Shadow Secretary of State’s claims are contradicted by an authorative, independent report from the High Level Military Group (HLMG) authored by Colonel Richard Kemp.
Colonel Kemp was a Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, and has seen service in Iraq, the Balkans, South Asia and Northern Ireland.
He has led the international terrorism team at the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee and served as chairman of the strategic intelligence group for COBRA, the UK national crisis management committee.
His military credentials are impeccable.
Colonel Kemp has spent weeks on the ground assessing the situation in Gaza.
His report makes clear that the events of recent weeks are the result of a systematic campaign choreographed by the terrorist group Hamas that seeks to compel the IDF to take actions that can subsequently be vilified in the court of public opinion.
The HLMG report can be found here.
On repeated occasions, Hamas has deliberately moved to attack the Israeli border using protests and demonstrations as a smokescreen.
Palestinians, often women and children, have been deliberately placed in harm’s way as human shields.
Emily Thornberry’s statement is fundamentally flawed because it fails to acknowledge that yesterday’s events were part of a deliberate and premeditated six-week campaign by the terror group Hamas to recklessly place civilians in danger.
There is no recognition or condemnation that Hamas terrorists are using civilians as cover for their nefarious activities.
There is no recognition or condemnation that Hamas has encouraged the destruction of vital infrastructure that serves their civilian population.
There is no recognition that Israel, like the United Kingdom, has a right to defend its borders and its people from attack.
There is no recognition that Israeli officials have taken every step possible to avoid casualties.
They have airdropped thousands of leaflets and used SMS, social media, phone calls, and radio broadcasts to warn the people of Gaza not to gather at the border or approach the fence.
In addition, bus companies in Gaza have been asked not to transport people to the border.
When challenged, Israeli soldiers have used tear gas to disperse crowds, and fired warning shots to dissuade armed individuals from approaching the Israeli border.
Only as a last resort, and acting in full compliance with the rules of self-defence that govern military operations, has force been used.
Most importantly, Emily Thornberry’s statement fails to acknowledge that not one Palestinian would have been killed or injured had Hamas not stage-managed this whole event.
Instead, Emily Thornberry chose to attack the only democracy in the Middle East with wild accusations that the IDF engaged in the deliberate killing of unarmed civilians.
That statement was made without any supporting evidence, but in addition to that the Shadow Foreign Secretary also, rather bizarrely, made a call for the IDF to mutiny.
One wonders how she would feel if a foreign government made a similar request to British soldiers?
On the wider issues of the Israel/Palestinian conflict Ms. Thornberry calls for the Gaza blockade to be lifted and makes other general statements without, it appears, recognising the complexity of the issues that have been in dispute for decades.
Crucially, Ms. Thornberry fails to mention the inconvenient truth that Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel.
However, the real tragedy of the Shadow Foreign Secretary’s statement is that it guarantees that Palestinians will continue to face a bleak future because Hamas will continue to deploy these despicable tactics.
The Hamas leadership is willing to sacrifice any number of its people to secure a public relations victory and with media outlets, politicians and apparatchiks willing to wittingly (or unwittingly) support their agenda they will continue to deploy these barbaric tactics.
While the IDF was protecting Israeli children lying in their beds, Palestinian children, who should have been in their beds, were being forced to the barricades.
People who aspire to hold one of the great political offices of state should be aware of all the facts before they rush to condemn an army, controlled by a democratic country, performing its duties in complicated circumstances.
If these matters are discussed in the House of Commons I trust you will find the contents of this email helpful.