MSP Scott: Stop arms trade with Israel

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has prompted Shetland MSP Tavish Scott to call for an end to UK arms exports to Israel.
Referring to figures that show £42 million of arms have been exported to Israel since 2010 Mr Scott urged the Westminster government to take immediate action.

In the most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza an estimated 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians and including hundreds of children, have been killed. A 72-hour humnitarian truce started on Tuesday.

Mr Scott has signed cross-party Scottish Parliamentary motions calling for an end to the armed conflict between the Israeli government and Hamas in Gaza. Tomorrow he will join a lobby of the Scottish Parliament organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign which is expected to see MSPs standing behind a banner, which reads: “End the siege in Gaza”.

“I want to make clear my opposition to the actions of the Israeli government and end the massacre of people in Gaza,” said Mr Scott. “The UK government must immediately stop weapons being exported from Britain to Israel and I firmly support the actions of the UK Deputy Prime Minister [Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg] to achieve this.

“The resignation of a senior Conservative minister in the UK government [Baroness Sayeeda Warsi] shows too that politicians across the parties oppose the actions of the Israeli government.

“The UN, EU and individual national governments must move on from simply condemning the slaughter and calling for a ceasefire. We need concrete action and I ask the UK government to immediately bring arms exports to an end.

“The UN estimates that 485,000 people have lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the month long war. Since the Israeli offensive began there have been 4,760 air strikes on Gaza. The UN estimates that at least 85 per cent of Palestinian deaths are civilians. We cannot stand by and let this continue any longer.”

11 comments

  1. Brian Smith

    Well done.

    Reply
  2. Jonathan Wills

    Congratulations to Tavish Scott on his principled stand, in line with Amnesty International’s policy – and, indeed, to Baroness Warsi who resigned from the Government in protest. The UK should never have been selling arms to either side in this dreadful conflict. All the ordinary citizen here can do is boycott Israeli goods, express support for the admirable organisation Jews For Justice For Palestinians and, of course, join the local branch of Amnesty International.

    Reply
    • Harry Dent

      Actually there are a few more things people can do, but I’ll limit myself to one: join the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

      Reply
  3. john ridland

    Wonder what all the “do gooders ” would do if one of our neighbours fired rockets at us …….?????? Once again scott and the libs/labour/greens etc etc cant see the wood for the trees .!

    Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      This argument just does not stand up to scrutiny. Look at the number of fatalities – civilian fatalities. How can you consider Israel’s actions a proportionate response? They are bombing UN crisis centres! It is verging on attempted genocide.

      Reply
    • Harry Dent

      If we’d stolen that neighbour’s entire country; driven its people off their farms and out of their homes; herderd two miilion of them into a prison camp a quarter the size of Shetland*; prevented people leaving; prevented people visiting; limited food supplies to the bare minimum; denied them sufficient water; denied them vital medical supplies; kidnapped them at will; and if we had the sixth-mightiest military force on the planet, with which we periodically launched murderous mass assaults upon them; you might be forgiven for understanding why they were firing their (largely ineffective) missiles at us.

      *According to Wikipedia, Shetalnd’s population density is 15 per square kilometre; Gaza’s is 5,061 per square kilometre.

      Reply
      • Andrew Hunter

        Harry, regarding your assertion that Israel has “limited food supplies to the bare minimum; denied them sufficient water; denied them vital medical supplies”, here is Israel’s complete list of items restricted from import into Gaza: http://www.cogat.idf.il/Sip_Storage/FILES/4/4014.pdf That’s it, there are no other import restrictions.

        I’m not going to get drawn into a protracted debate or address any of your other assertions,
        I only demonstrate the fallacy of these three, widely believed, points in the hope that, if you are interested in pursuing facts over the baseless assertions and emotional attacks which generally constitute ‘debate’ on this issue, you will carefully investigate your other claims for yourself.

      • Harry Dent

        Andrew, I’ve seen it for myself.

  4. John Tulloch

    Following the twin implosions of the SIC’s rural school closure arguments and the ‘Yes’ campaign’s post-independence currency policy, I realise this is a welcome distraction for Jonathan Wills and Brian Smith, respectively. However, Israel’s brutal, callous treatment of her tiny neighbour’s civilian population is a shocking embarrassment to western countries who feel politically and culturally .closer to democratic Israel than to Arab countries in the Middle East.

    It’s hard to see how we can continue to sell weapons to Israel while this type of thing continues.

    Israel’s disproportionate action is allegedly “in self defence”; so how do the relative casualty figures stand, currently?

    Reply
  5. David Spence

    I hope this gets put on ?

    John T, you know as long as Israel is supported by the USA, then, more than likely, the west will do nothing, and Israel will continued its bombing of Gaza, killing many more innocent people. I believe the figures are around 1,840 Palestinians Killed (304 Children under the age of 11) and 91 Israeli’s killed.

    This vile Tory Government, since coming into power, has sold £12 billion worth of military weapons to the Israeli Government, and stands by its support of what this brutal regime is doing to Palestine (Gaza) and killing innocent people, All because the vile Tories support anything the USA does, and would most definitely prefer to run the economy of Britain like the USA and privatise all State run services……..whilst getting rich themselves at the cost to the Tax Payer (they are a bunch of complete B********)

    In short, the vile Tories only support what the terrible regime of Israel is doing to the Palestinians because the USA is supporting such a regime………….USA says ‘ Jump ‘, vile Tories ask ‘ How High ‘. They do not give a damn about the people of this country……….the sooner we are rid of them, the better.

    Reply
    • Laurence Paton

      Please remind us what of what the previous labour government did differently when dealing with the USA , selling military wepons and getting involved in conflict in other lands ?

      Reply

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