Apartheid-denier Wes Streeting has been caught in a cleft stick.
He’s currently in Israel on a paid junket, enjoying the hospitality of the right-wing government there that has been inflicting apartheid on the persecuted people of Palestine for many years.
Of course, there’s not a single word of criticism against this cruelty by Labour Friends of Israel member Streeting.
And then a Palestinian reporter was shot in the head by Israeli troops and died – and Streeting had nothing to say about it.
Condemnation has been widespread (where people have been made aware of what happened and of Streeting’s decision to ignore it). Here‘s Skwawkbox‘s take on it:
As the world reeled at horrific footage after [Shireen] Abu Akleh was shot in the head with what appeared to an exploding ‘butterfly’ bullet of the type used by Israeli soldiers, Streeting and LFI posted a string of images of him smiling with Israeli government officials – each of which prompted disgusted responses by Twitter users challenging the appropriateness of the visit and the apparent lack of interest on the part of either Streeting or LFI in condemning the country’s murder of journalists – over fifty in recent years – or reporting on any challenge to the government officials about the actions of their troops.
Visit that site’s story for tweets that are critical of Streeting’s – and Labour’s – response.
But worse was to follow.
At the journalist’s funeral, Israeli forces took it upon themselves to invade the procession and beat the casket-bearers:
— Rushdi Abualouf (@Rushdibbc) May 13, 2022
This time, Streeting took it upon himself to tweet the sickeningly on-the-fence comment, “Absolutely awful and distressing.”
He didn’t say what was awful and distressing; his comment was carefully-worded to avoid any criticism of the Israeli authorities. Some may say this is because they are his hosts at the moment. Some may say it is because he tacitly supports the violence here. His equivocation lays him open to that.
And that means that Streeting and the Labour Party may now be slammed for failing to condemn this double atrocity – and they have been, as follows:
So was her murder 2 days ago and you've said f**k all until today. Still enjoying their hospitality though aren't you.
— Damien Willey #BigPowerOff (@KernowDamo) May 13, 2022
awful indeed, and especially distressing – because you don't seem able to issue a word of challenge to your hosts about it. Your comments are (deliberately) ambiguous. It won't do. Leaders-in-waiting have to do better than this.
— Hi to Assaf Kaplan! Sir Rab Nesbitt #Κύριε_ἐλέησον (@blepharon) May 13, 2022
Say who's at fault, Wes. To their faces whilst you're there 😉
— Scouse Socialista 💖 (@ScouseSocialis2) May 13, 2022
You're one massive hypocrite… you've helped create an environment where criticising such appalling actions (by the Israeli govt) gets you called an anti-Semite.
Yourself, Nandy, Reeves & Keir are taking Labour to a horrible place with zero honesty and integrity.
— Michael BURN☮🌹 #SocialistSunday (@MICHAEL37656467) May 13, 2022
You're in Israel right now. A state that disenfranchises people under its control & denies them civil/political rights because of their ethnicity is an apartheid state. This week they murdered a Palestinian journalist & today they attacked her funeral. What are you doing there?
— Saul Staniforth (@SaulStaniforth) May 13, 2022
Are you tweeting this from on top of Palestinian land stolen in 1948 on an all expenses paid state propaganda tour?
— ashok kumar 🇵🇸 (@broseph_stalin) May 13, 2022
no comments about the ethnic cleansing Israel has practiced since 1947, and which continues to this day?https://t.co/nzETpRZPzo
— The Failed Anarchist Revival, Esq #ItWasAScam (@failedanarchist) May 13, 2022
Labour leader Keir Starmer has had nothing to say for himself about the shocking events – although in fairness he did sum up the courage to retweet a comment by David Lammy:
There must be accountability for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. These scenes of mourners being beaten are indefensible and only heighten demands for justice and add to her family’s pain. https://t.co/70BK8ub93Y
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) May 13, 2022
But it doesn’t add up to the condemnation of Israeli government and armed brutality that the situation requires. Starmer can’t even muster up the courage to admit that Israel is an apartheid state.
The message for people in the UK should be clear.
If Labour can’t take a stand against persecution and brutality in a foreign country, there’s absolutely no way a Labour government will stand against persecution and brutality here in the UK.
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