I have been contacted by thousands of constituents concerned regarding the Israel Gaza conflict. I have and continue to respond to every constituent who has got in touch with me regarding this issue.
Please find below my latest letter I have sent regarding the ongoing conflict:
(Last Update December 2023)
Many concerned constituents and others have been asking me about the war in Israel and Gaza and the actions I am taking in Parliament.
For many weeks now I have been calling for an immediate negotiated ceasefire on both sides and the release of all hostages.
I believe this is the humanitarian position and I therefore recently voted in favour of a ceasefire on both sides in the House of Commons.
I also signed Early Day Motion 1685, to call on the Government to do everything it can to press for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.
I welcomed the recent agreement to release some of Hamas’ hostages, and Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails. And I welcomed the temporary stop to the fighting.
I hope there will be further negotiations, so that hostages can urgently return home to safety and more humanitarian aid can get into Gaza.
I also hope there is a move towards a full negotiated ceasefire on both sides, further agreements to release hostages and lasting peace in the region.
Like you, I have been watching with mounting horror the images and reports emerging from Israel and Gaza. At the time of writing, there are currently 1,200 Israeli deaths and over 18,600 Palestinian deaths.
There can be no justification for the barbarity and terror Hamas inflicted on innocent Israelis on October 7th. The inhumane and sickening attack on civilians is a war crime.
I had been dealing with a case that has caused me many sleepless nights and tears – a constituent’s 75-year-old Mum was kidnapped by the terrorists Hamas, taken from her home in Israel. Thankfully, she has since been released to safety and I am so relieved for the family.
Hamas’ barbaric actions do not serve the just cause of Palestinian freedom and statehood.
Israel, of course, has the right to defend herself – but the right to self-defence is not a blank cheque.
I am clear: Israel does not have the right to breach international law and does not have the right to inflict collective punishment on Palestinian civilians. The actions of Israel in Gaza have been inhumane.
How many more thousands of innocent civilians need to be killed on both sides before our political leaders say enough is enough? We must always think about humanity first and use the language of peace. I am therefore appalled by the recent decision of the UK Government to abstain on the UN vote for a ceasefire.
Meanwhile, in Brent I continue to hold interfaith meetings and meetings with local Jewish, Muslim and civic community leaders, who have been a beacon of hope and bravery here in Brent and beyond.
We must preserve peace on the streets of Brent and schools must be able to remain open and Jewish people must be able to continue with their way of life safely in the UK. We must all stand together in the pursuit of peace. Extend an arm of friendship to neighbours across all faiths and none.
I categorically condemn any instances of Antisemitism and Islamophobia. We must not allow hatred to flourish. Our Borough of Brent is a beacon of hope.
I remain clear that a negotiated ceasefire on both sides is the only way to protect civilians, release the hostages and the only way towards achieving peace in the region. I will keep pushing for this in Parliament.
Dawn Butler MP
Member of Parliament for Brent Central