A significant number of my constituents have contacted me about last week’s vote on the King’s Speech, specifically the SNP’s amendment that would have called on the Government to push for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
On 7 October, the proscribed terrorist organisation Hamas committed the most horrific atrocities against innocent Jewish civilians since the Second World War. Their acts of horror were designed as part of their strategy to build up to their ultimate aim, a second Jewish holocaust. Those acts should have warranted the most stern and unwavering condemnation from all sides of the House.
However, what we have seen from some individuals is a disappointing and unacceptable form of conditional condemnation, which whilst acknowledging the horror of the attack, swiftly moved on to denounce the reaction from Israel, who have a fundamental right under international law to defend itself and its citizens from external terrorist threats.
The SNP’s amendment would have effectively called on the UK Government to pressure Israel into not defending itself against terrorists, despite Hamas explicitly stating that they will continue its campaign of murder and horror against the state of Israel until it no longer exists. That cannot be allowed to happen.
I am deeply regretful about the loss of innocent Palestinian lives, and it is right to urge Israel to do everything possible to avoid them. However, it is Hamas who is putting those Palestinian lives at risk, and we should be condemning their actions in the strongest possible terms.
That is why, in good conscience, I could not put my name to that amendment.