The statement by the UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, on the ongoing violence in Gaza is shameful. In the statement, Miliband, says, "I condemn the rocket attacks against Israel. These are terrorist acts. They should be seen for what they are – an attempt to break the political process by breaking the will of those committed to peace. That cannot be allowed to happen. All sides in the conflict, and the international community, need to judge their actions by the need to keep the political process alive." He goes on to say, "The leadership of the Palestinian Authority need support in their search for peace. I support their work to re-establish control of the Gaza crossings. But I am deeply concerned by the news they have decided to call a halt to negotiations with the Israeli government. These discussions, and swift progress in them, represent the only way of disarming the arguments of the extremists and bringing peace to the region."
Miliband’s comments come after the death of over 100 Palestinian civilians in Gaza as a direct result of the Israeli offensive. These civilian deaths followed the threat from the Israeli Deputy Defense Minister, that the people of Gaza faced a ‘holocaust’. While Miliband condemns rocket attacks against Israel as ‘terrorist acts’ he says nothing about the brutality of Israel. He also quite remarkably seeks to compare the deaths of 112 Palestinian civilians at the hands of the Israeli army with the deaths of 3 Israelis. The strongest words are reserved for those who have killed Israelis, while Palestinians are urged to come back to the negotiating table with those who have butchered over 100 civilians in Gaza.
It is rather ironic, but not surprising, that such a stance is taken by Miliband who in a blaze of spin at last year’s Labour Party conference suggested that he would take a fresh path from his predecessors, who had promised an ‘ethical’ foreign policy. Much was made of Miliband’s alleged sparring with Blair over his refusal to call for an immediate Israeli cease-fire during attacks on Lebanon in 2006.
Since 1997, Britain has exported over £110 million worth of military equipment to Israel. Supplies have included combat aircraft technology, components for surface-to-surface missiles, armoured cars, machine guns, components for tanks and helicopters, leg irons, tear gas and categories covering mortars, rocket launchers and explosives.
Miliband is merely following in the tradition of former British foreign secretaries who have supported Israel, turned a blind eye to its brutality and surrounded themselves with Arab tyrants who now do not even speak against Israel, let alone dream of reversing its illegal occupation. After all, as a former British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, designed the scheme to establish the Israeli entity on the land of Palestine, who better then the current British foreign secretary to defend its brutality?