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140803milibandongaza

Today we are all very disappointed in young David – or at least we should be.

As a ceasefire in Gaza collapsed with both sides blaming the other, Mr Cameron seemed to think the main issue was an entirely justified attack on him by Ed Miliband.

Mr Miliband, commenting on the UK’s abstention from a United Nations resolution that establishes a Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and demands that Israel ceases its military assaults and lifts the blockade of Gaza, said Cameron was “wrong” not to oppose Israel’s attacks.

The Labour leader made his position perfectly clear in a statement condemning all military and terrorist violence in the disputed area. He said Cameron had been “right to say that Hamas is an appalling terrorist organisation.

“Its wholly unjustified rocket attacks on Israeli citizens, as well as building of tunnels for terrorist purposes, show the organisation’s murderous intent and practice towards Israel and its citizens,” he said.

“But the prime minister is wrong not to have opposed Israel’s incursion into Gaza and his silence on the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel’s military action will be inexplicable to people across Britain and internationally.”

A Downing Street spokesman responded: “The PM has been clear that both sides in the Gaza conflict need to observe a ceasefire. We are shocked that Ed Miliband would seek to misrepresent that position and play politics with such a serious issue.”

This is – of course – a misrepresentation of the government’s position. It is an attempt to whitewash the UK’s refusal to vote in the UN resolution out of the public consciousness. And it is an attempt to trivialise a serious conflict causing appalling loss of life – 1,700 in Gaza during the last three weeks.

The situation in Gaza is terribly complicated. Palestinian political organisation Hamas has governed the Gaza strip since 2007 after it won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament, but is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, the UK and the USA, amongst others.

States including Russia and China do not consider it to be terrorist but actions such as the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and the organisation’s creation of a tunnel network in order to carry out attacks on Israel mitigate against that belief.

That being said, Israel is a nation of vastly superior military might whose response appears wholly disproportionate – especially in the light of the Jewish people’s own history.

Persecuted for centuries until a decision was made for them to create a nation of their own in the land formerly known as Palestine, it seems clear that the new nation of Israel then set about the persecution of the Palestinian people who had formerly owned the land they had taken over.

It seems that Israeli politicians have learned nothing from their own history.

The matter is complicated by the fact that Palestine was a Muslim state, and Israel is surrounded by other Muslim states that vowed to drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea rather than tolerate a Hebrew state on their doorstep, so it would be accurate to say that there has never been any attempt at tolerance between these unwilling neighbours.

And the above is an extremely oversimplified attempt to explain the situation!

For David Cameron, though, it seems none of this is important. What’s important to him is that Ed Miliband showed him up for speaking against both Hamas and Israel, and failing to support this with action.

One final point: In the light of Mr Miliband’s condemnation of Israel, are there any silly people out there who still want to claim he is a Zionist?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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