Dear Lady Warsi,
I have read of your decision to resign from the UK Government in protest at Britain’s policy on Gaza. You say that Britain’s policy on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is “morally indefensible”.
Seeing the destruction in Gaza, the dead being paraded through the streets and the injured being rushed to hospital, I can empathize with your distress.
I too am appalled by the loss of life in Gaza and particularly by the death of hundreds of innocent children. I share the pain of their families, perhaps even more so than you, because my son, Jonathan, was killed by Islamic, Hezbollah terrorists. I know what it is to lose a son.
There are some who argue that the number of Palestinian deaths is “un-proportional” to the number of Israelis who have been killed in the present round of fighting. I agree. As rockets rained down on our cities and kibbutzim, we huddled in our concrete bomb shelters, which our government demands that we build as a condition for receiving building permits.
I cannot help but wonder how many Palestinian lives could have been saved if Hamas had used its steel and concrete to build bomb shelters rather than using these precious materials to construct underground tunnels for the purpose of infiltrating Israel and killing and kidnapping our civilians.
Our detractors argue: “Gaza is a prison. Gaza is under siege.” They are right. (Incidentally, not only Israel strictly controls the import of goods to Gaza. Egypt adopts a similar policy. I wonder why.) I would love the people of Gaza to have a seaport and an airport of their own. However, I have the right to know that they will not be used to import sophisticated weapons to destroy my country.
If the people of Gaza are really interested in peace, why would they possibly object to a demilitarized Gaza as a condition for lifting the blockade and opening their borders?
There is something I don’t understand. Why did Hamas intimidate journalists to the extent that they did not dare file reports showing “activists” firing rockets on Israel’s civilian population? We saw plenty of heart-rending pictures of dead Palestinian children, but why did we never see any wounded or dead Hamas fighters even though we know that close to 1,000 of them were killed over the past month?
It is as if there was a deliberate intention to paint a picture of innocent Palestinians being killed without cause by brutal Israelis. Where there is no context, there is no truth.
I understand that, as a Muslim, it is particularly painful for you to see your fellow religionists being killed. Perhaps you can use your influence to persuade their leaders to make peace with Israel rather than seeking to destroy her. Then we shall not have to suffer the loss of innocent lives.
Rabbi Michael Boyden