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Backbench Business — Palestine and Israel

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 8:48 pm on 13th October 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Conservative, Burton 8:48 pm, 13th October 2014

That is exactly right, and that is why we have this debate today. It is impossible not to want to speak out and act when we see such suffering .

Some of the acts committed by Israel were clearly unacceptable. Why was it necessary to blow up Gaza’s only power station, leaving already stretched hospitals to rely on generators? Why was it necessary to bomb hospitals and schools, when, as we saw, the threat of loss of life to Israeli civilians was small in comparison? By adding to the suffering of the Gazan people, the Israeli Government have lost the support of the House, and it should cause them great concern.

It is important that moderates in the debate such as me should speak out if we are turning against support for Israel. It is right that we should express our concerns. I recognise the concerns that have been raised by some in the House about Palestine’s ability to govern as a state, and its ability to have the mechanisms and the government in place to accept statehood, but it is a challenge to us to help them achieve it. We must redouble our efforts to help the moderate, peaceful Palestinian people in their desire and efforts to achieve statehood. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to take part in this debate.