Op-Ed video: Sunak and Starmer's response to the Israel-Palestine war is horrifying
The UK's response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been woefully lacking, with the government and the opposition Labour Party inflaming, rather than resolving problems, says Middle East Eye columnist Peter Oborne.
After Palestinian fighters breached the separation barrier on 7 October, and killed at least 1,400 people and took another 199 hostage, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak took to TV and said his support of Israel was "unequivocal."
Sunak's remarks, which failed to mention Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories, gave Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu a blank cheque to conduct his reponse in any way he chooses.
Labour leader Keir Starmer also fared no better.
Instead of issuing humane and responsible remarks, when Starmer was asked whether cutting off water and electricity supplies was a proportionate response to the Hamas attacks, he said: "I think that Israel does have that right. It is an ongoing situation, obviously everything should be done within international law."
"Starmer of all people, with his distinguished legal background, should have known that depriving a population of food, power and electricity amounts to collective punishment, which is illegal under international law," said Oborne.
"There is a terrible risk here that these remarks, from a man seen as the British prime minister in waiting, have given a green light for war crimes," he added.
"I pray that I am wrong, but I fear western leaders are now establishing the political foundation that would leave us complicit in massacres, indiscriminate bombing, and ethnic cleansing."