Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Expertise on breaches of international law

There was an interesting interchange in the Lords yesterday about the Netanyahu government's disregard for international norms. One section of Jenny Tonge's extensive questioning and Baroness Warsi's reply stood out for me:

Baroness Tonge (Ind LD): Will [the minister] say why it is that we are prepared to impose sanctions on Russia for breaking international law but not upon Israel, which has been breaking international law for decades?

Baroness Warsi: I thank my noble friend for that question. She comes to these matters with great expertise. She has asked a number of questions—not only Oral Questions but Written Questions—on a regular basis. I can assure her that we take these matters incredibly seriously. There has been a worrying increase in violence in the West Bank. In 2012, nine civilians were killed; in 2013, 27 civilians were killed; and the number of civilians who have been injured is also on the increase. Last week I raised these matters with our officials and only yesterday—Sunday— our ambassador spoke with the national security adviser and again put our concerns before him.

I am grateful to Guido Fawkes, who appeared to deprecate the Baroness's commendation. I would point out that Baroness Tonge has first-hand experience of the conditions of Palestinian women and families, which I would guess is rather more than most of her critics.

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