Prime Minister David Cameron is making a habit every few months of accusing Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn of being a “terrorist sympathiser” for having (unwisely in my view) referred to some Hamas and Hezbollah representatives as “our friends in Hamas and Hezbollah” (1) – (2).
This is pretty rich stuff, especially considering what David Cameron himself has done in continuing to actually arm people who are killing civilians.
Even Efraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad, has been calling for the Israeli government to accept Hamas’ offers of talks on a long-term peace deal for some 8 years now (3) – (4).
So suggesting talks with Hamas is not an endorsement of everything Hamas has done, nor beyond the pale.
Corbyn is similarly trying to bring about peace between the entire elected Israeli and Palestinian governments – which includes Hamas, who won the last Palestinian legislative elections in 2006. You don’t do that by disowning your contacts (5).
David Cameron meanwhile is approving arms sales to governments and militaries involved in killing civilians, including children, in war crimes, on a large scale. These include the governments of Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain among others.
While Hamas’ armed wing have certainly been involved in terrorist attacks targeting civilians in some cases and making no attempt to avoid killing them in others, Israel’s military have done the same over and over again to Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, and, since they are much better armed, killed far more.
Cameron has been not only approving arms sales to the dictatorships of Egypt, Saudi and Bahrain but actively promoting them .
At the height of the Arab Spring protests when Mubarak’s forces, the Saudis’ and those of the Bahrain monarchy were jailing, torturing and killing democracy protesters, Cameron brought a delegation of arms salesmen with him on his tour of this countries (6).
Months after Amnesty’s report on this, Cameron was still describing the latest arms deal he had negotiated with the Saudi monarchy as “brilliant” (8).
This is the man with the gall to criticise Jeremy Corbyn for refusing to torpedo the chances of peace between Israelis and Palestinians by disowning Hamas.
David Cameron, a man happy to not only call war criminals and murdering dictators his friends, but not only approve, but actively promote and negotiate arms deals with them.
Jeremy Corbyn meanwhile only tries to get Hamas and Hezbollah involved in peace talks to end the killing.
(1) = www.guardian.co.uk 07 Oct 2015 ‘Cameron on Corbyn: were the PM's attacks on Labour's leader justified?’, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/07/david-cameron-attacks-jeremy-corbyn-conservative-conference
(2) = Independent 04 May 2016 ‘David Cameron attacks Jeremy Corbyn over Hamas and Hezbollah 'friends' comments’, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-jeremy-corbyn-hamas-hezbollah-friends-pmqs-labour-antisemitism-row-a7012821.html
(3) = Independent 10 Jun 2015 ‘It's time for Israel to talk to Hamas, says former Mossad head’, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/its-time-for-israel-to-talk-to-hamas-says-former-mossad-head-10311651.html
(4) = Mother Jones 19 Feb 2008 ‘Israel's Mossad, Out of the Shadows’,
(5) = BBC News 26 Jan 2006 ‘Hamas sweeps to election victory’, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4650788.stm
(6) = guardian.co.uk 21 Feb 2011 ‘David Cameron's Cairo visit overshadowed by defence tour’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/feb/21/cameron-cairo-visit-defence-trade
(7) = Independent 12 Dec 2015 ‘Saudi Arabia bombing Yemen's schools, Amnesty International claims’, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-bombing-yemens-schools-amnesty-international-claims-a6770551.html
(8) = www.guardian.co.uk 25 Feb 2016 ‘David Cameron boasts of 'brilliant' UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia’, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/25/david-cameron-brilliant-uk-arms-exports-saudi-arabia-bae