I have taken a stand for peace in Gaza

Monday February 19th 2024

Owen Thompson Midlothian MP

Midlothian MP, Owen Thompson, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

I have taken a stand for peace in Gaza. I am one of the principal architects of a critical motion in the UK Parliament urgently demanding an immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza.

MPs will this week vote on a second SNP-led motion on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. As the harrowing scenes of violence continue to grip Gaza, a resounding call for peace reverberates from the heart of UK Parliament. In the face of escalating brutality, Stephen Flynn, the SNP Westminster leader, has issued a clarion call, declaring “enough is enough.”

The toll of this conflict is staggering, with 30,000 Palestinian lives lost since the offensive began, according to reports from the Hamas-controlled health ministry. Amidst the devastation, Flynn stands firm, advocating for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

The SNP’s condemnation of terrorism is unwavering, with a strong stance against Hamas’s reprehensible acts. While recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself, Flynn emphasizes the need for actions to adhere to international law, ensuring innocent civilians are not punished for crimes they did not commit.

First Minister’s rebuke of the UK Government’s inaction echoes across Westminster, highlighting the urgent need for a ceasefire. The SNP’s call is echoed by Alyn Smith, SNP’s EU spokesperson, and Brendan O’Hara, SNP’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, emphasizing the imperative of upholding International Humanitarian Law.

In a gesture of solidarity, the Scottish Government has pledged substantial aid to establish a humanitarian corridor in Gaza. Scotland stands ready to lead by example, offering refuge and sanctuary to those most vulnerable amidst the conflict.

My SNP colleagues and I remain steadfast in our pursuit of these objectives. We adamantly affirm that there is no place for antisemitism, Islamophobia, or any manifestation of hatred within Scotland.

While the UK Government and the Labour Party have wasted time arguing over the semantics of language, the SNP are the only party which has consistently been calling for a ceasefire since the 7th of October 2023. Language such as a “humanitarian truce” and “sustainable” ceasefire are being recited by the Conservatives and Labour yet both parties remain evasive about their short and long term solutions.

They have made it clear throughout that they are unwilling and unable to take any meaningful action. As the call for peace grows louder, let us heed Flynn’s words and work towards an immediate ceasefire. The time for action is now.

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