Aug 16 2014

Guest Post: Blackman Plays Both Sides in Israel-Palestine Conflict


It is fair to say that all of us have been shocked and saddened by the events that have occurred in recent weeks in the Middle East. The tragic loss of life on both sides of the conflict has highlighted just how important it is that Israel and Palestine are both encouraged back to the negotiating table.

There is one person, however, who has seen the conflict as an opportunity for personal gain. Bob Blackman MP has recently returned from a visit to Israel, having enjoyed an entirely expensed trip courtesy of the Conservative Friends of Israel. The holiday was punctuated by Blackman’s seemingly indiscriminate tweeting of ‘pro-Israeli’ rhetoric – “Hamas responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza” while UN schools and hospitals are shelled daily.

Firstly, I don’t remember Bob standing to represent Israel, or to represent the views of a single group in his constituency. Harrow East is statistically one of the most diverse seats in the UK, but also has one of the most narrow-minded, divisory politicians of his generation (and that is no easy feat). Blackman should be representing the views of his residents; one of shock, sadness and a desire for a peaceful resolution.

Secondly, Mr Blackman seems happy enough to benefit from both sides of the conflict, having previously taken money from a body that seeks the restoration of Palestinian rights. In 2011, Bob declared more than £1,000 in travel and donation in kind from the Council for European Palestinian Relations. The CEPR is banned from Israel, so I can only assume Mr Blackman decided not to share his connection to them on his arrival in Tel Aviv.

There is a consensus that this most recent flare in violence in Israel has been a tragedy for people on both sides of the divide. So instead of benefiting from this division, our so-called ‘representative’ should be encouraging both sides to find a peaceful settlement.

Peymana Assad

Stanmore Resident

[warning]Editorial note: Ms Assad stood as a Labour Party candidate in the 2014 elections for Harrow Weald, where she came sixth with 9% of the vote. She can be found on Twitter as @Peymasad.[/warning]

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  1. promissor

    Trying to score her own political points, Ms Assad talks about “both sides” here. Her Tweeter feed (linked above in the Editorial Note) only covers one side and widely at that.

  2. James P. Langley

    Great to see that the MP for Harrow East is being exposed for perpetuating the out of touch Tory persona. Don’t the taxpayers give enough money to pay his MP salary? I really don’t know being a Tory means being Heartless!

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