British MPs condemn Israeli brutality

Israel is subjecting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to the same suffering endured by Jews in the Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi era, two British MPs said on Thursday after returning from a fact-finding tour.

    Israel's brutal treatment of
    Palestinians has shamed Jewish MPs

    British Labour MP Oona King, a member of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality said the actions made her ashamed to be a Jew. 

    "As a Jewish person I hoped I would never live to see the day I was ashamed of the actions of the Jewish state," she told a press conference, adding no government should be acting like Israel.

    King contrasted the poverty of Palestinians with the 5,000 Israeli settlers in Gaza who occupy one-third of the land and enjoy watered gardens, first world housing and protection by the Israeli army.

    More than one million Palestinians live in the tiny 360 square-kilometre Gaza Strip, with more than three quarters living on less than two dollars a day, according to the international charity Christian Aid.

    “This protection means Palestinians wait for hours - sometimes days - at Israeli checkpoints, trying to find work or get access to essential services such as medical care,” she said.

    The British MP said the comparison of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto is valid as both involved the seizing of land, the confiscation of property, torture and even demeaning  bureaucracy over the smallest task.

    "On top of that building a wall around them and that is precisely what the Israeli government is doing. In doing so it is building a political ghetto. I don't think it can escape that conclusion.”

    In 1940, several months after invading Poland in September 1939, the Nazis forced some 500,000 Jews into the Warsaw ghetto, surrounding it with a high wall in which thousands died.

    After stating her disappointment at what she found in Gaza, King also stated what she planned to do about the Palestinian situation.

    Palestinians penned into Gaza and
    punished for daring to resist

    “I have sadly come to the conclusion that, given the scale of the atrocities and collective punishment waged by the Israelis against the Palestinians, I have no choice but to boycott Israeli products.”

    An Apartheid system

    Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Tonge also compared the situation to the Warsaw ghetto saying the people in the Gaza Strip could not move in and out.

    "They can't work, they can't sell anything. There is this gradual squeeze. ... I feel it was an Apartheid system and it is certainly getting worse - the area where the Palestinians live is getting smaller."

    Tonge also highlighted her observation that any visitor to the Palestinian ghetto can see residents sealed off, living under curfew and undergoing collective punishment as a means of control.

    The Liberal member of parliament also criticised the Israeli army’s frequent evictions of families from their homes and demolishing of neighbourhoods.

    “Unemployment runs in places at 80 percent, and utilities such as water are withheld; the economy has "client" status, and is subservient to the occupiers in every way," she added.


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