Friday 6 February 2009

Are some of our MPs shy?

I ask this question as I have found it difficult to get a reply from three MPs. I watched the recent debate on 15th January in Parliament on Gaza and was quite pleased that in general there was a lot of support for the Palestinians. However three MPs spoke in support of the Israeli aggression and tried to justify the Israeli action. I found their arguments very unconvincing as all three relied on Israeli propaganda and assertion rather than fact. I therefore wrote to all three challenging the key points in their respective speeches. In each case I included at least one question that I wanted them to answer. To date, two have not bothered to reply at all, while one responded with an out of office reply which included the following: It is a parliamentary rule that I can only correspond with my own constituents.

Perhaps the others are hiding behind this convention. In my emails I purposely included the following in the hope of avoiding such a refusal: Though I am not a constituent of yours I feel I am entitled to write to you and to ask for your position as this is clearly not a constituency issue but an international issue in which the UK has played a key role and could still play an important role.

It should also be noted that none of the three MPs mentioned their constituency in their speeches not did they make any reference to any of their constituents. For the record the questions that I posed are:

I would be grateful to know your personal position regarding the demand for Israel to return to the pre June 1967 borders – do you accept this?

Do you share this Israeli policy of assassinating all Hamas leaders?

The Israeli occupation includes the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem. Do you approve of this annexation, carried out without the consent of its inhabitants?

The Israeli occupation includes the hundreds of thousand of illegal Israeli settlers who have confiscated Palestinian land and have criss-crossed the West Bank with a series of Jewish only roads. Do you approve of these illegal settlements, carried out without the consent of the Palestinians who lived there?

I need to contact these MPs again and perhaps follow up with a letter to Mr Speaker.

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