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‘Vote to end this genocide,’ campaigners tell MPs ahead of Wednesday's vote

Labour's Wes Streeting finally admits that Israel’s actions in Gaza have gone ‘beyond reasonable self-defence’

SHADOW health secretary Wes Streeting finally admitted today that Israel’s actions in Gaza have gone “beyond reasonable self-defence” and may have breached international law.

Mr Streeting said that the Labour Party is now “considering” its options on whether to back an SNP-led ceasefire vote in Parliament on Wednesday. 

In November, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told his colleagues not to vote for an amendment to the King’s Speech calling for a ceasefire, warning that any frontbencher doing so would be sacked for backing the amendment. Some 56 Labour MPs rebelled, and eight frontbenchers resigned or were sacked.

Mr Streeting, who has visited Israel with Labour Friends of Israel, admitted there had been a “disproportionate loss of civilian life” in Gaza and that Israel has gone “too far.”

SNP’s Westminster chief Stephen Flynn said he has offered to meet Mr Starmer to discuss Wednesday’s vote.

On Sunday, Mr Starmer faced renewed pressure after the Scottish Labour Party's conference passed a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Campaign against Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson said: “What other horrors need to happen before the Labour leadership finally calls for an end to this war and backs it up in Parliament? 

“Ahead of Wednesday’s vote, all MPs should be aware that the eyes of the electorate are upon them, that they will be expected to stand on the right side of history — and to vote to end this genocide.”

Jewish Voice for Labour co-chairwoman Leah Levane: “Wes Streeting has been disturbingly imprecise in his statements, as has Keir Starmer.

“If the Labour front bench is at last considering backing a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire, we very much hope that they do.

“They've been under massive pressure from party members and supporters horrified at their pro-Israel position. 

“But the question must be asked, why has it taken nearly five months of horrendous pulverisation, murders of over 30,000 people including over 11,000 children, for this reluctant shift to occur, when the majority of people in the UK wanted a ceasefire from the very early days? 

“And why has Labour suppressed its members from even discussing the issue or proposing motions?

“Of course, a change of heart is to be welcomed but clear support for the SNP motion on Wednesday is not yet assured, and for the Palestinian people it is already far too little and far too late.”

Vaseem Ahmed, spokesperson for Redbridge Community Action Group, said that Mr Streeting’s statements “are sadly too little too late for the tens of thousands of innocent civilians who have been brutally massacred by Israel's actions in Gaza.”

“Its clear that the message from ordinary people is, 'Until Palestine is free, no Labour vote for me’.”

Momentum has launched a mass email campaign to pressure MPs to back the vote.

Co-chairwoman Hilary Schan said: “With the government continuing to give cover to Israel, it’s vital that every Labour MP votes for an immediate end to the bloodshed when given a choice on Wednesday.

“We must use every avenue to exert pressure for peace.”

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