UK Labour leader Ed Miliband has expressed horror at Israel’s bombing of a UN-run school in Gaza in which civilians were seeking shelter from the war. We ‘simply cannot justify what we are seeing unfolding in Gaza’, he said. Labour MP Sadiq Khan is also shocked by Israel’s bombing of civilians in what those civilians thought was a safe place, describing it as an ‘horrific example’ of what ‘Labour feared’ would happen if the ante was upped in Gaza. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is disturbed, too, describing as ‘heartbreaking’ Israel’s attack on a civilian sanctuary and expressing disgust with Israel’s policy of ‘collective punishment’ of Palestinians.
In 2011, Miliband, Khan and Clegg – along with 554 other members of parliament – voted in favour of a UN-backed military assault on Libya. During that assault, our Western planes bombed a building in which ‘civilians [trying to] escape the shelling and streetfighting’ had sought ‘sanctuary’. Thirty-four of these civilians were killed, many others were injured. Are these politicians as horrified and heartbroken over that atrocity, which was authored by them, as they are over what Israel did to that UN-run school in Gaza? If so, they’ve never expressed it. Ladies and gentlemen, British politics 2014, where our leaders rage against Israel for bombing civilians seeking shelter a mere three years after they sent their planes to do the very same in Libya.
Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked.