A Green Response to the Israel/Palestine crisis

Carla Denyer walking across Lendal Bridge with other York Green Party members
Carla Denyer on a visit to York in 2022

The co-leaders of the Green Party have written to the UK government and the official opposition urging them to “listen to the people” and join international calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict. (In a YouGov poll 76% of UK public definitely or probably support a ceasefire) 

In a letter to both the Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, and a similar letter to his Labour counterpart, Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy, Green co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay, deputy leader Zack Polanski set out how the only way to protect civilians is for the fighting to stop.

In addition, they call on both the Conservatives and Labour to throw their weight behind an “internationally arbitrated once-and-for-all settlement” so that “Israeli and Palestinian citizens can live in safety and security with their rights, at last, fully protected.”

Co-leader Carla Denyer said:

“The mass civilian suffering we have seen in Israel and Gaza has shocked the world. Over 700 civilians are being killed every day, one child every ten minutes. The dire humanitarian situation is clearly intolerable and must end.

“We cannot hear arguments about violence now somehow preventing further violence in future without shuddering. The lives of children cannot be bartered in this way.

“We are deeply concerned that neither the UK government nor the official opposition has joined international calls for a ceasefire. It is with deep regret that the Green Party feels the need to point out that at times like these, silence is complicity.

“We urge both the government and the Labour Party to listen to the British people, three-quarters of whom want an immediate ceasefire ”

In the letters, the Green Party sets out how war crimes have been committed by both sides since Hamas’s horrific attacks on 7 October.

Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said:

“The awful attacks committed by Hamas on 7 October were brutal violence, and the hostages must be released unconditionally, but the horrific attacks we saw on that day cannot justify military actions that break international law.

“There is no military route to long-term safety and security for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. Instead, there must be a political settlement, based on the requirements of international law and beginning with an end to the occupation.

“The UK government should push for an internationally arbitrated once-and-for-all settlement that fully ends the occupation of Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem, in accordance with the requirements of international law.

“It used to be the case that international law was the basis of UK government policy, and the positions of both Conservatives and Labour.  It is deeply troubling that this seems to have been forgotten by both government and opposition.  Such an abandonment will do long-term harm to Britain’s already-questionable reputation as a defender of the international rules-based order.”

Local Green Party chair, Tom Franklin, adds “The humanitarian situation in Gaza is desperate with many children dying every day. We can all feel powerless in the face of this horror but everyone can make a difference by writing to York’s two MPs and putting pressure on the Government and the Labour opposition to use their influence to call for a ceasefire. Everyone who speak out helps to increase the pressure.”

Please write to your local MP:

The email addresses are rachael.maskell.mp@parliament.uk (York Central) and julian.sturdy.mp@parliament.uk (York Outer)

You can also stand up for a ceasefire by attending the march in York on Saturday 4th November. Assemble at 2pm at St Helen’s Square.

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