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What Rishi Sunak Should Say

Gaza explosion

Israel suffered a terrorist outrage. No country, no people deserve such suffering, so to express sympathy and say that Israel has a right to defend itself is right. HOWEVER after Rishi Sunak expressed sympathy and conditional support for Israel it very quickly became obvious that Israel’s idea of self-defence was to commit terrorist atrocities far far greater than anything Hamas did or could ever do.

Rishi Sunak, weeks ago, should have stated that the British people do not support Israeli atrocities, that we condemn them completely and that Israel should halt them immediately.

The lives of over two million people in Gaza are ruined, traumatized, put in doubt. 

I find it offensive that a British Prime Minister is not able to speak out against the barbarism of Israel at the present time. And worse still has left the impression that we, the British, still stand shoulder to shoulder with the Israelis in their continuing  destruction and carnage.

The concept of winning is impossible at the moment. I suspect that Israel sees winning as the complete destruction/ethnic cleansing of Gaza and its people. Israel will only win when it learns to live in peace with Palestinians. Then Israel will have security. It is clear that this is not what Israel is aiming for.

Rishi Sunak should also demand that Hamas hands over the hostages. Hamas has made offers to hand hostages over but these offers have been rejected by Netenyahu so far.

Gaza explosion
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Israel Palestine – What will happen?

Loading unidentified dead for burial in mass grave
many dead being prepared for mass grave Oct 2023
Unidentified dead children prepared for mass grave
Loading unidentified dead for burial in mass grave

Preparing for mass burial

“Everyone who arrived at the hospital that night had been dismembered,” Maarouf said. “We buried six children together because their bodies were all cut into pieces. We gathered their remains and put them in one shroud.”
Maarouf said cutting off internet and communications allows Israel to “hide its atrocities”, and described its air raids and accompanying actions against Palestinians as a “brutal holocaust”.
A quick prayer was said over the bodies before they were loaded on the open beds of pick-up trucks to be buried in the emergency cemetery.
“History will judge those who have allowed this to happen to us and did nothing to help or stop this aggression,” Maarouf said.
Al Jazeera, 31 October 2023

Israel Palestine – What will happen?

Israel’s thinking
Israel is a country that believes that security is achieved by armed might/military spending. It is second in the world on the amount spent on arms and armies as an amount per head of population, ahead of the USA. (1) Yet its population lives in fear and has been shocked and enraged by the action of the military wing of Hamas. Previously Israel believed it had the Palestinians under control and could keep them subdued.
Israeli anger is understandable, but the failure of its policy hasn’t changed its thinking. It is acting as if it thinks that more violence will bring it peace. Israel does not understand that at least part of its insecurity is caused by its violence. It has demonstrated that security is not achieved through military might.
Israel defies international law.
I have learned that Hamas provides civilian administration in Gaza, running hospitals, schools waste disposal etc. Israel’s true enemy is the military wing of Gaza yet it is targetting the entire population, whilst maintaining that it is doing everything possible to protect civilians.
Israel does not know what victory on their terms would look like, unless the entire destruction of the people of Gaza is their aim. That appears to be their aim.

Hamas’s thinking
My minimal research today – references below – show an organisation that has conflicting factions and many conflicting ideas. However it is evident there is a desperation for freedom from Israeli control and a desire to live securely in freedom. Violence by the military wing of Hamas seems to be aimed at indicating that Palestinians will not continue to tolerate Israeli control. Militarily Hamas is insignificant. It is unimaginable that Hamas could “conquer Israel” or destroy Israel. No-one believes that is a possibility. In recent years Hamas has said it would accept various proposals for peaceful coexistence with Israel. (2)

What will happen?
From the Israeli point of view they are traumatising the population of an entire region and daily increase the suffering. They seem unaware that this creates anger, and hatred against them which may be long lasting and which provokes violence. Their daily massacres etc make prospects for peace recede and bring shame on the people of Israel and those who support them.

Condemnation of Israeli action is growing around the world.

Israelis, like the rest of the world, can only live in peace and security by living in cooperative friendship with other people. That is outside the thinking of the present leadership.

Will Hamas negotiate?
Of course they will. That is one reason they have taken hostages. They want change. They want independence, freedom, respect, dignity. They are desperate for change. The Israelis need change too.

I can understand the extreme anger on both sides but I repeat that I am against the terrorist actions of both sides.
The British Government
The British government should state that it does not support Israel in its ongoing murderous assault on the people of Gaza. We should not be part of the escalating problem. We may have some influence, but at the moment it is in the wrong direction.


(2) From Encyclopedia Britanicca – A Hamas negotiating position

“In the years after the Aqṣā intifada, Hamas began to moderate its views toward the peace process. After more than a decade of rejecting the foundational principles of the PA, Hamas ran in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections and subsequently participated in the PA, with indications that it would accept agreements between Israel and the PA. Since then, senior Hamas leaders have stated their willingness to support a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders. In A Document of General Principles and Policies issued in 2017, the organization acknowledged “the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled” as a “formula of national consensus.” But Hamas continued to reject the legitimacy of Israel, and hard-liners within the organization remained strident in their rhetoric.”

“In May 2021 tensions in Jerusalem boiled over and led to the greatest escalation of violence since 2014. After clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters left hundreds injured, Hamas launched rockets into Jerusalem and southern and central Israel, prompting air strikes from Israel in response. After 11 days of fighting, Hamas and Israel reached a cease-fire.
In 2022, as Israel conducted incursions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to target militants, Hamas refrained from escalating confrontations in and around the Gaza Strip.”

There is more of this article, telling the complex story, at

The road to peace and security – the European solution

We have had wars and deadly enemies and great suffering in the past. How do we defend ourselves against these enemies today? We have treated each other as human beings, become friends and trading partners and both sides feel safe. Think of our wars with Spain, the Netherlands, France, Germany.

Our conflict with Russia? We were heading in the right direction for a number of years, trading with Russia, buying Russian gas, but unfortunately the leaders of NATO have systematically eroded Russian confidence in our friendship and we are all paying for their incompetence.

30 October 2023

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Comparative Terrorism

pic Gaza street bombed 2023
pic Gaza street bombed 2023

Israeli bombs seek terrorists in Gaza. When the war is over the displaced Palestinians will be able to return to their homes.

30 October 2023

Terrorism – dictionary definition “Systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.” – Collins English Dictionary.

I condemn all terrorism  –  that means terrorist groups and terrorist states.

Tribe One

Brutally killed 1400 people

Holds 220 hostages captive.  

Tribe Two

Brutally killed over 8000 people

Holds 2.2 million hostages captive, tormenting and killing large numbers daily. Very few of these hostages will ever be released

Holds 6000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons (1)

Since 7 October has arrested thousands of licensed workers from Gaza who were working in Israel (2)

Has cut off supplies of food, water and fuel to these people in the besieged territory

Has ordered a million people out of their homes.

Daily bombs homes and infrastructure.

International Committee of the Red Cross
Shocked by the intolerable level of human suffering’: ICRC

Mirjana Spoljaric, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, says the “tragic loss of so many civilian lives is deplorable”.
It is unacceptable that civilians have no safe place to go in Gaza amid the massive bombardments, and with a military siege in place there is also no adequate humanitarian response currently possible,” Spoljaric said in a statement.
This is a catastrophic failing that the world must not tolerate.”  –  Al Jazeera.

My personal view  –  The British government should not support barbaric behaviour

I am shocked and amazed that the British government can’t even bring itself to call for a ceasefire. And more than that, I think it is disgraceful that the British government should state its full support for the perpetrators of inhuman behaviour which defies description. It should condemn the action and state that it cannot support such action, however it may be described.

Photo Al Jazeera.

(1) BBC Radio 4 Six O’clock news 30 October 2023
(2) From Al-Jazeera
Thousands of Gaza workers go ‘missing’ in Israel amid wartime mass arrests
Palestinians whose permits to work in Israel were revoked are believed to be held in detention camps, but Israel has so far refused to release information about them, human rights groups say.
Human rights groups are concerned about further arrests amid continuing raids in the occupied West Bank [File: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP]
By Federica Marsi and Ylenia Gostoli
Published On 28 Oct 2023

Thousands of workers from Gaza, who were employed in Israel when the war started, have gone missing since then amid a campaign of mass arrests.
Human rights groups and trade unions believe some of the workers have been illegally detained in military facilities in the occupied West Bank, following the revocation of their permits to work in Israel. Authorities in Israel have so far refused to release the names of those they are holding.
end of list
When the Palestinian armed group, Hamas, launched an unprecedented assault on the south of Israel on October 7, about 18,500 residents of Gaza held permits to work outside the besieged strip. The exact number of workers present in Israel as hostilities began remains unknown, but thousands are thought to have been rounded up by the Israeli army and transferred to undisclosed locations.

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The line Joe Biden is taking towards Israel shames America

The line Joe Biden is taking towards Israel shames America

Joe Biden repeatedly states that Israel has the right to self defence, a statement which is literally true but designed to be misleading and is therefore dishonest.

In fact the opposite is true. Biden suggests that the aggressor, Israel, is the victim in this Israel/Palestine dispute. Israel has overwhelming fire-power, an endless supply of sophisticated weapons, jet planes, tanks, drones, guided missiles, high explosives much of it supplied by and even funded by the United States and is using this fire-power against two million defenceless civilians in Gaza. America is on Israel’s side.

Two million civilians live in the Gaza coastal strip

Israel’s bombardment is almost exclusively of civilians, their homes, their means of living. Today (17 May 2021) the BBC reported that Israeli attacks in Gaza had destroyed roads and power lines. Yesterday they destroyed an apartment block that housed, amongst families, international reporters. On 12 May Offices of Gaza’s Interior Ministry were hit and all police stations were destroyed.

The Israelis didn’t blow out just a few windows of the apartment block and international media centre. The whole building went down in just a few seconds

What is the message of all this targeted destruction by Israel?

The message is, “We will destroy you. We will make Gaza ungovernable. We will make your lives impossible and we are taking steps to stop the world from knowing what we are doing to you.” I think the word for this is “genocide”.

Hamas and its rockets

True that Hamas who govern Gaza continue with determination but not effectively to fire their simple rockets at Israel, and that 10 Israelis have been killed as a result of hundreds of rockets fired. The rockets land in civilian areas (the few that get through) and this is wrong.

What can Hamas gain from firing rockets? – World attention.

They can expect more violence from Israel. BUT ALSO their cause may be kept before the attention of world leaders who are the only ones who can release Palestinians from their suffering. Their cause is their claim to have a right to freedom, respect, and life itself, free from Israeli control and abuses.

Was Hamas in the tower block destroyed by Israel?

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken 17 May 2021

Blinken, speaking at a news conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, said he has not seen any Israeli evidence of Hamas operating in the Gaza building that housed residences, offices and media organisations – including Al Jazeera – that Israel hit on Saturday. Blinken says he has asked Israel for justification for the attack.

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Quakers call for end to violence in Palestine

Quakers call for end to violence in Palestine

11 May 2021

Paul Parker describes some of the things done by Israelis over 7 decades which are against international law.

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain said:

“Our Quaker testimonies to peace and equality compel us, once again, to speak out on this issue. At this time, (11 May) over 850 people (840 Palestinians and at least 21 Israeli police officers and 7 Israeli civilians) have been wounded. In Gaza, 24 Palestinians including 9 children, were killed overnight.

“The latest round of this 73-year cycle of violence has taken place amid provocative and discriminatory actions by the Israeli government. There are threats to forcibly remove more Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem in favour of Israeli settlers, which the UN has warned may constitute a war crime, and tear gas and stun grenades have been fired by Israeli soldiers into the Al Aqsa Mosque as Muslims meet in worship for the end of Ramadan. We have seen violent crackdowns on peaceful protestors, retaliatory rockets fired indiscriminately from Gaza into Israel and airstrikes from Israel kill civilians in Gaza.

“All of these actions are grave violations of international law and must end immediately.

“As Quakers we place equal value on every human life and believe the structural violence of occupation damages all people of the region. We have said before that the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis will only be resolved when Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory is ended, and the inherent equality, dignity and worth of all is realised. We still believe this to be so. We urge our faith and political leaders to speak out with us. For as long as we remain silent, and choose to step back from uncomfortable words and actions, we are all complicit in the ongoing violence.”

We urge our faith and political leaders to speak out with us.

– Paul Parker, Recording Clerk [Quakers in Britain]

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My MPs unsatisfactory reply about Palestinian/Israeli conflict – my response

My MPs unsatisfactory reply about Palestinian/Israeli conflict - my response

My email
13 May
Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs
Dear Andrew
I am very disappointed by your response to my email about the eruption of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
What about the Palestinians?
What stands out is the fact that you didn’t mention the Palestinians once. This suggests that you don’t know what is going on in Israel and I can understand that you can’t be well informed about every issue in the world.
Of course Israelis have a right to self defence, but this is not what the violence is about. “Self defence”  is a routine Israeli story (supported by the Americans) with which they seek to justify atrocities, and I’m sorry you think this might convince me or anyone else to take the Israeli side in this dispute.
Pro Palestinian demonstrations
You may be aware that there are demonstrations going on around the world now, and these  are in support of the Palestinians, not the Israelis. What do the demonstrators know or believe that you do not? See pictures below.
An independent voice
What has been going on in Israel and Palestine over the decades is described by the Christian Aid website. Please see small quote below.
No defence for sending more arms to Israel
To suggest that all is well with arms sales to Israel because there is a procedure for testing whether arms sales are justified or not doesn’t answer the current problem. Selling any military equipment to Israel, however defensively and humanely it may be used, sends the clear message that we support Israel’s use of force against Palestinians, the continuing seizures of Palestinian land and properties contrary to international law.
Pathetic attempt to retaliate
I regret the firing of primitive missiles by Palestinians into Israel. It is wrong, but I think it has to be understood as the action of desperate people who feel they have to make some physical response to the suffering they are enduring.
What needs to be done
I really hope you will look further  into this issue and condemn, and encourage Boris Johnson to condemn, the murderous precision attacks on Gaza by Israeli jets  which everyone can see is not defending Israel.
  • Forget the fig leaf of arms sales’ vetting. There is no excuse. Britain should stop selling arms to Israel.
  • The Conservative Party can be honest about Israel’s behaviour, and show its humanity. The Conservative Party can do better.

From the Christian Aid website

Today, as Palestinians continue to experience exile, blockade, relentless spikes in violence and huge increases in land dispossession, we work with Palestinian and Israeli partners to protect human rights and promote resilience for Palestinian communities and civil society.

All our work aims to support the foundations for a just, lasting peace for all.  We work on protecting human rights. Our partners work to challenge discriminatory laws, practices and decisions affecting Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, and Palestinian citizens of Israel.


London-protest-11-5-2021-B-.jpgBest wishes

David Roberts

Thousands demonstrate in London - unreported by the BBC, but reported on France 24.

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Protests around the world condemn Israeli action

Protests around the world condemn Israeli action

Protests in cities around the world condemn Israeli action as the outrages escalate. The demonstration in New York  is shown here.

What is Israel hoping to achieve?

Israel appears to be trying to destroy social control in Gaza. Hamas today, 12 May 2021, claimed that Israeli airstrikes had destroyed all police stations in Gaza. Israel’s message is clear, We will destroy you.

I hope that governments around the world will condemn the Israeli action and not fudge the issues by “calling on both sides” to stop the violence as if there is an equality in what each side is doing. Please see my quote from the Christian Aid website in my blog post, “Palestinians suffer once again”.

David Roberts

Protests in London,11 May 2021, against Israeli action

Protests in Karachi, 11 May 2021, against Israeli action

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Email to MP: Stop arms sales to Israel. Condemn Israeli aggression

12 May 2021
Andrew Griffith MP, Arundel and South Downs
Dear Andrew Griffith
On Monday night Israel carried out airstrikes that are reported to have killed 24 people including at least 9 children. The air strikes follow several days of attacks by Israeli police and settlers on Palestinians in Jerusalem, injuring over 300 people.
This morning I heard on the radio that a 13 storey apartment block in Gaza had been destroyed by Israeli air attacks  – all evidence of the continuing abuse of Palestinians and grossly disproportionate use of force by Israel against Palestinians. I trust you are aware of what Israel has been doing to Palestinians over the decades. Let’s not fudge the issue of who the abusers are in this conflict.



Why I support the Palestinians

Ever since I read a Christian Aid report about twenty years ago on the treatment of Palestinians I have realised that we get a distorted view of the conflict in Israel and Palestine (the latter literally wiped off the map although the people are still there). I trusted the report especially as it came from a Christian organisation writing on behalf of a predominantly muslim people. Since then I have taken a bit more interest in what Israel does to Palestinians and I find it shocking that Britain supports Israel in its appalling policies towards Palestinians. 
More on my blog.
Best wishes
David Roberts,
Protests around the world
Protest have erupted in cities around the world condemning Israeli action.
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Palestinians suffer once again at the hands of one of the most militarised states in the world

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Britain should halt the sale of our British arms to Israel and unequivocally condemn Israeli abuses and provocations.

I have written to my MP today and urge readers to write to their MPs. See my separate post to read what I said to him.

Last night’s airstrikes

Air strikes by Israeli jets on Gaza last night are reported to have killed 24 people including at least 9 children. The air strikes follow several days of attacks by Israeli police and settlers on Palestinians in Jerusalem, injuring over 300 people. Israeli forces stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Palestinian homes fired on by Israeli jets

Regrettably Palestinians have retaliated with a barrage of their primitive rockets fired into Israel, killing 5 people.

From the Christian Aid website

Today, as Palestinians continue to experience exile, blockade, relentless spikes in violence and huge increases in land dispossession, we work with Palestinian and Israeli partners to protect human rights and promote resilience for Palestinian communities and civil society.

All our work aims to support the foundations for a just, lasting peace for all.  We work on protecting human rights. Our partners work to challenge discriminatory laws, practices and decisions affecting Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

From Al Jazeera website 11 May 2021

Arab League chief, Ahmed Aboul Gheit  condemned deadly Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip as “indiscriminate and irresponsible” and said Israel had provoked an earlier increase in violence by its actions in Jerusalem.

The violence began after Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday for a third consecutive day, firing rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinian worshippers inside Islam’s third holiest site in the final days of the holy month of Ramadan.

David Roberts

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