Correspondence with Brendan O’Hara MP
From: Marian Pallister
<firstname.lastname@example.org class=””>Sent: 2 June 2021 16:48
To: O’HARA, Brendan
<email@example.com class=””>Subject: Parliamentary briefing on Palestine – please attend
Dear Brendan O’Hara MP,
I’m writing as a constituent to ask you to attend a parliamentary briefing about Palestine on Thursday 10th June from 3pm – 4.15pm.
Register here for the Parliamentary Briefing with: (https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqcOioqTkrHNK3qXMYhJC6uqbtLZpovgT8http://bit.ly/Palestinebriefing)http://bit.ly/Palestinebriefing
– Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
– Ryvka Barnard, Head of Civic Space at War on Want
– Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Please also sign Early Day Motion 138https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/58577 ‘Arms export licences for sales to the Israeli Military’.
Parliament will on the 14th June debate a government petition that has collected over 380,000 signatures calling for immediate sanctions against Israel, and a ban on the sale of UK weapons used against Palestinians.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign, War on Want, and Campaign Against Arms Trade are jointly hosting a zoom briefing session for MPs and Parliamentary staff ahead of this debate on Thursday 10th June at 3pm. Please registerhttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqcOioqTkrHNK3qXMYhJC6uqbtLZpovgT8 for this using a Parliamentary email address to receive a zoom link. Speakers will discuss the current realities on the ground, the UK’s role and influence in the region, and what tools we have for upholding international law and ensuring accountability when that law is violated.
Over 230 Palestinians were killed – a quarter of them children – during Israel’s latest bombing campaign against civilian areas of Gaza. Thousands more have been injured, and over 90,000 people displaced. The ceasefire in Gaza is welcomed, but does not address the core issues of Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinian rights. Nor does it address the issue of UK complicity in these violations of international law.
Since 2015 the UK government has approved over £400 million worth of military technology and arms exports to Israel. Israel uses this in Gaza, the West Bank, and inside Israel to maintain a system of oppression against Palestinians that leading analysts – including Human Rights Watchhttps://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution and distinguished Israeli organisation B’Tselemhttps://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid – have declared to meet the legal criteria of apartheid. Over the last few weeks hundreds of thousands of people have protested across the UK about Israel’s ongoing flouting of international law. The UK must play a leading role in upholding international law and ensuring accountability.
Further information can be found in this new reporthttps://www.palestinecampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/UK-Israel-arms-trade-briefing-May-2021.pdf published by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, War on Want, and Campaign Against Arms Trade.
From: Brendan O <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Parliamentary briefing on Palestine – please attend (Case Ref: BO12454)
Date: 10 June 2021 at 09:42:12 BST
Thank you for contacting me about this very important issue, I hope you are well.
There has been compelling evidence that UK-made weapons were complicit in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza last month. The SNP strongly condemns all breaches of international law and violence and supports the imposition of an arms embargo on Israel until a two-state solution has been agreed.
I spoke with the Palestinian ambassador Dr Husam Zolot earlier this week to get an update on the situation and to give him my support.
I, alongside several of my SNP colleagues, have added my name to EDM 138 calling for an investigation into whether UK made weapons or components were used by Israel – contrary to the UK Government’s consolidated criteria on arms exports.
I wrote to the Foreign Secretary last month calling for an immediate halt on arms sales to Israel – in light of the continued human rights violations that they have committed against the Palestinian people. You can find my letter to the Foreign Secretary as well as my statement for the SNP Friends of Palestine Group here: https://brendanoharamp.scot/2021/05/18/uk-government-must-do-more-to-stop-violence-in-middle-east/
My SNP colleagues have also taken an active role in calling on the UK Government to impose a trade embargo on Israeli businesses that operate out of illegally occupied settlements.
The immorality and contradictory nature of these arms sales decisions are particularly glaring. The UK should do as other countries have done and stop facilitating the crimes of oppressive regimes. We will continue to press the Government to live up to its obligations as we have done in the past and call on them to move the annexation of Palestinian land further up its agenda.
As SNP spokesperson for International Human Rights and Conflict resolution, I will be participating in the Parliamentary Debate on this matter on Monday 14th June and look forward to hearing from experts at the briefing today as well.
I hope this makes clear my outright condemnation of the ongoing sale of arms to Israel and other regimes, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions.
If you would like to keep up to date with my work in Parliament or see how I have voted on similar human rights issues, please sign up to https://www.theyworkforyou.com/