Open Letter to Rt Hon Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party

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Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP
House of Commons

30 October 2014

Dear Mr Miliband

We take extreme exception to your decision to address a fundraising dinner as guest of honour for the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East (LFPME).

This organisation, supported by a number of Labour MPs, propagates lies and libellous tropes against Israel and your attendance implies your personal support.

The LFPME publication, Peace and Security in the Middle East – What should Labour Party policy be?, in one of its key messages states that: ‘The one-state proposal is not so much unfeasible as implausible. It is a solution maybe to a different problem, but not to this one. Or at least not now’.

Clearly this organisation does not support current Labour Party policy of a negotiated two-state solution. Or is its policy to accept a two-state solution today and advocate for the destruction of the State of Israel at some point in the future?

At the very least this statement lends credence to those who advocate for the eradication of the only true democracy in the Middle East and perpetuates the belief that Israel does not deserve the right to exist.

Perhaps as Prime Minister you will be telling Mr Netanyahu directly that you’ve changed your mind about Israel and its right to exist.

In addition, the LFPME website home page includes a link to an article entitled ‘How many more Palestinians must die before Israel is brought to justice for war crimes against innocent Gazan civilians?’

In it, the authors Charlotte Proudmand and Mark McDonald state: “The Israeli military has targeted schools, hospitals and civilian homes in Gaza”.

You know this is simply not true. There is no evidence that Israel has ever targeted civilians. In fact, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed this canard at the United Nations recently: “Hamas cynically used Palestinian civilians as human shields,” he said. “It used schools, not just schools, UN schools, private homes, mosques, even hospitals to store and fire rockets at Israel.

“As Israel surgically struck at the rocket launchers and at the tunnels, Palestinian civilians were tragically, but unintentionally killed. There are heart-wrenching images that resulted, and these fuelled libellous charges that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians”.

Finally, the organisation you are intending to support also openly advocates the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israeli products:

Yet your statement on the same website states that you are opposed to boycotts:
Which is it, then?

Your participation at LFPME’s gala fundraiser raises serious questions about your personal ethics and those of your party. We strongly suggest you reconsider accepting this invitation and support Israel and the Palestinian people through a negotiated two-state solution.

Yours sincerely

Simon Cobbs
Sussex Friends of Israel