On Wednesday 15th November I was proud to vote with my 39 SNP MP colleagues for the SNP ceasefire amendment, and bitterly disappointed to see it fall. No SNP members voted against this call for a ceasefire.
SNP Westminster leader, Stephen Flynn, said “Tonight, the SNP voted in line with our values for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel. SNP MPs will be able to look themselves in the mirror knowing they did the right thing. It’s shameful that a majority of Tory and Labour MPs blocked calls for a ceasefire – and have condoned the continued bombardment of Gaza, which has killed thousands of children and civilians, in breach of international law”.
The urgency of a ceasefire and the continued deliverance of humanitarian aid to Gaza goes beyond politics and is fundamentally about the lives of innocent Palestinian and Israeli civilians. The SNP remain steadfast in the opinion that a ceasefire by all parties is the only way to gain safety and security for Palestinian and Israeli citizens, that a military operation merely results in innocent men, women and children paying the price for a crime that they did not commit.
I unequivocally condemn the abhorrent terrorist attacks of Hamas and join with the international community in calling for hostages taken by Hamas to be released immediately. The release of the hostages is an essential step in what must be a diplomatic and peaceful resolution to the conflict. Israel, like every other country in the world, has a right to protect herself from terror, however that must be done within the boundaries of international humanitarian law. The action taken by the Israeli Government since 7th October 2023 has extended beyond the scope of legal and proportionate.
My heartfelt sympathies are with the victims of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The conflict between Hamas and the Israeli Government is not a conflict between Muslims and Jews, and in a time of unprecedented violence, when the leaders of both religions have called for a ceasefire, I will continue to stand in solidarity with members of both in our community.