Look at arms sales and the name-calling MPs
04 October, 2018
• AMANDA Sebestyen supports Jeremy Corbyn’s call for an ethical foreign policy noting that, in addition to the support from many of us for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, we have also opposed arms to Saudi Arabia, supported the Rohingya, and many others facing state oppression and murder, (Let’s all work for an ethical foreign policy – under Labour, September 20).
In last year’s conference speech Corbyn said, “…we cannot be silent at the cruel Saudi war in Yemen while continuing to supply arms to Saudi Arabia…” and “…let’s give real support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the 50-year occupation and illegal settlement expansion…”
He has been hounded, cursed and called anti-Semitic for supporting Palestinian self-determination against Israeli occupation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
Some of the worst name-callers have been MPs: Frank Field (now out of the Labour Party after a no-confidence vote), Joan Ryan (chair of Labour Friends of Israel who also lost a no-confidence vote), Wes Streeting (“We don’t deserve to win.”), Margaret Hodge (who accused Corbyn of being an anti-Semite and a racist), Luciana Berger (chair of the Jewish Labour Movement) and Ruth Smeeth (member of Labour Friends of Israel).
These staunch defenders of Israeli crimes against Palestinians don’t object to Saudi slaughter in Yemen either. On October 26 2016 Labour called for a UN investigation into the Saudi Arabian war crimes in the Yemen. The Tory government said Saudi Arabia was best placed to investigate its own war crimes. The motion fell by 90 votes.
More than 100 Labour MPs refused to support their own front bench. Among those 100+ MPs who protected the £4.7billion UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the war were Field, Ryan, Streeting, Hodge, Berger and Smeeth.