Sat 02 Mar 2024 4:42 pm - Jerusalem Time

Dozens of politicians in 12 Western countries are challenging their governments over Gaza

More than 200 MPs from 12 countries pledged in a letter to try to convince their governments to impose a ban on arms sales to Israel, so that they are not complicit in Israel's "dangerous violation of international law" in its war against Gaza, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.

The speech, organized by the International Progressive Network, a network of socialist MPs and activists focused on international justice, is seen as the best possible practical measure to take popular anger over the killing of 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza to the heart of parliaments; demands for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire have so far not been heeded or met with rejection by governments.

A pressure campaign to ban the supply of weapons to Israel

The organizers of this measure believe that governments that supply the occupation with weapons can be prosecuted given the scale of destruction in Gaza, which they say exceeds any definition of self-defense or equivalent response.

The signatories are all representatives in parliaments whose governments allow arms sales to Israel.

Nine of them are current or former leaders of political parties; Like former British Labor Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn; Leader of the Green Party in the Australian Senate, Larissa Waters; Coordinator of the Proud France Party, Manuel Bombard; National Secretary of the Belgian Labor Party, Peter Mertens; Canadian MP and Board Member of the International Progress Network Nikki Ashton; Brazilian federal representative Nilto Tato; former leader of the German Die Linke party, Bernd Rexinger; The leader of the Spanish Podemos party, Yoni Bellara; Dutch Socialist Party leader Jimmy Dijk; Irish Member of Parliament Thomas Pringle, and Democratic Congresswomen Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib.

This measure taken by parliamentarians is supported by the founder of the Proud France party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the minister in the Spanish government, Pablo Postenduy, and the prominent Indian politician Jignesh Mevani.

In the United Kingdom, 39 parliamentarians signed the letter; they include MPs from the Labor Party, the Scottish National Party, independent MPs and MPs from the Socialist Labor Party.

The politicians say in their speech that after the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel would guarantee that its forces would refrain from committing acts of genocide in Gaza, the arms embargo became a legal necessity.

This week, UN experts issued a similar statement, saying that “any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel for use in Gaza violates international humanitarian law and must stop immediately.”

“We know that lethal weapons and their components, manufactured or shipped through our countries, are currently assisting in the Israeli attack on Palestine that has claimed the lives of more than 30,000 people in Gaza and the West Bank,” the letter said, adding: “We cannot wait. In the wake of the interim rule that... Issued by the International Court of Justice regarding the Genocide Convention against the State of Israel, the arms embargo has transcended moral necessity into legal necessity.”

Since October 7, 2023, the Israeli occupation has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip that has left tens of thousands of civilian victims, most of them children and women, in addition to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and massive destruction of infrastructure, which led to Tel Aviv appearing before the International Court of Justice on charges of "Genocide".


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Dozens of politicians in 12 Western countries are challenging their governments over Gaza