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Tory MPs jet off to Israel on lobby-funded ‘solidarity trips’ during Gaza bloodshed

NINE Tory MPs have jetted off on “solidarity trips” to Israel since the country began its war on Gaza in October, Declassified UK revealed today.

The MPs received £19,857 in donations from Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and the European Leadership Network (Elnet), according to the investigative site.

MPs eagerly accepted Israel’s handouts, using the donations to fund “solidarity visits” — while Gaza’s death toll soars past 26,000.

In November, Elnet organised a trip attended by MPs Matthew Offord and Andrew Percy, and another in January with Tom Hunt.

Six other visits, paid for by the CFI, were made by MPs Stephen Crabb, Michael Ellis, Nicola Richards, Greg Smith, Theresa Villiers and former immigration minister Robert Jenrick. 

The group was hosted by Israeli president Isaac Herzog — the man who said that the “entire nation” of Gaza was responsible for Hamas’s attack on Israel. His statement was cited by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as plausible evidence of incitement to genocide.

Mike Cushman from Jewish Voice for Labour said the main purpose of the trips was to “try to bolster support for Israeli genocide.”

He pointed out that if genocide is proven, “then the UK government, whether it’s Tory now or Labour in a few months time, will have to abide by that [ruling].

“They’ve been put on notice that action to support Israel now puts them in danger of being tried at the ICJ for complicity. The CFI trips are obviously part of that complicity.”

This month, several Labour MPs and peers made a “solidarity trip” to Israel with Labour Friends of Israel and had a photo opportunity with Mr Herzog.

Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said that the peace campaign group condemns MPs from across parties for taking the trips while Israel carries out “a brutal war and genocide on the people of Palestine.”

And a Greater Manchester Friends of Palestine spokesperson said: “The disconnect now between almost all the UK parliamentarians and almost all the public upsurge of support for Palestine is immense. 

“The idea that Israel can be free to lobby MPs in this country — and that these MPs can be free to accept money in this way — would be preposterous if it wasn’t such an extensive response on the part of those who govern us.

“Meanwhile, the response on the streets from Manchester to Maidenhead is thousands and thousands of ordinary people saying: ‘We stand with Palestine’ — and the days of these parliamentarians are numbered.”

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