I was horrified to discover that, while Gaza burns under Israeli bombing, Harrow East MP Bob Blackman was one of several MPs enjoying a free relationship-building trip to Israel, including tours of its military facilities.

Israeli forces have killed 1,363 Palestinians to date — 70 per cent of whom are thought to be civilians, including whole families — using the flimsy excuse of being fired on by Hamas forces “nearby” (this from an army that employs drones and “battle-tested” precision weaponry).

Hamas rockets are largely kept out of Israel and away from smug Tory politicos by the US-funded “Iron Dome defence system” which Blackman was shown as part of his tour.

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Palestinians have nothing. No navy, no army, no air defence, and no international support. Meanwhile Israel targets Palestinians using, in part, weaponry sold to Israel by the UK.

A corresponding visit to Palestine was cancelled amid “safety concerns” reflecting the grossly disproportionate weaponry resource, and corresponding casualty numbers, on both sides of the “conflict”.

Media coverage of the fighting has not reflected the fact the Israel has illegally occupied Palestine since 1967 and has applied a restrictive blockade of Gaza since its military “withdrawal” in 2005.

I was distressed to learn that my father, a religious man, voted for Mr Blackman due to his pro-life credentials.

In legitimising Israeli tourism, even as it pummels the “open-air prison”of the Gaza strip, I venture Mr Blackman is more pro-death.

Meanwhile, anyone horrified by the bloodshed in Gaza in recent weeks may like to remember this trip, and Mr Blackman’s status as a “Conservative friend of Israel”, come election time.

Charlotte Kelly


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