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DEBATE: IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE IN GAZA CONFLICT

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Martin spoke in the SNP-led debate on the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Here is an extract of Martin’s speech in the Commons transcribed via Hansard:

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP (SNP, West Dunbartonshire): That is sooner than I expected, Mr Deputy Speaker, but thank you. Interestingly enough, I rose in the House on Monday and quoted a former Member of the House—indeed, a former Member for Dundee and a former Prime Minister—and I would lay the same proposition before the Prime Minister and the leader of the British Labour party, if they were here, regarding their delayed response to the cataclysmic genocide being rained on the Palestinian people: their British policy to Palestine has indeed been weighed in the balance and found wanting. How else can our constituents, and indeed the people of Scotland, view the British Parliament, when its political class has, since November—the last time we dragged it to debate this subject—deflected the reality on the ground in Gaza?

I would like to hear from the Minister, when they sum up at the end of this debate, what assurances the Prime Minister, and indeed any other Ministers, or shadow Ministers from the loyal Opposition, has received since November from the Government of Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the systematic targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure? Have their seemingly pious interventions in any way restrained the Government of Israel from their policy of genocide, all the while enabling Hamas—I have to agree with the right hon. Member for Chipping Barnet (Theresa Villiers) on Hamas being a death cult—making them a partner in death, hate and crime? How does this British political class find itself in this devilish and ominous situation?

One hundred and fifty-three nations have concluded that an immediate ceasefire is necessary to bring an end to the utter devastation in Gaza and to seek a way forward to deal with the death cult of Hamas, who, as we know, are supported by the theocrats of Iran—a regime to which, I remind the House, the British Government have pledged to pay £400 million in regards to an outstanding debt.

It is complicated, but the Chamber needs to discuss this, while the Government are, as I see it, pirouetting on the head of a pin. How is it that the French Republic has called for an immediate ceasefire? How is it that NATO allies such as the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have not only called for a ceasefire, but stopped sending arms to Israel? How have they come to conclude that which this Parliament and its political class cannot? One hundred and fifty-three nations disagree with this British political class, led by the British Prime Minister and the Leader of His Majesty’s loyal Opposition. One asks: opposition to what?

The way the State of Israel has been acting must be challenged. We cannot sidestep the issues faced by the Palestinian nation—as spoken to, I think, by one of the Members from the Liberal Democrats. Palestine’s survival, and indeed that of the state of Israel, depends on it. This is a generational injustice that the Palestinian people have endured. What is the answer? It is an immediate ceasefire. The Prime Minister of Israel’s strategy is to isolate the Palestinians in Gaza from the Palestinians in the west bank. Let us remind ourselves: he is a Prime Minister who is already not only tarnished with a wicked policy in Gaza, but mired in allegations of corruption. In his Cabinet is one Minister who is a convicted terrorist and another who is a confessed fascist.

We must be mindful that in seeking peace, we require justice. That peace, as others have said, must be founded in truth, built according to justice, vivified and integrated by charity and put into practice in freedom—freedom, I am sure, that is desired by Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Watch the debate in full here.

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