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Stop supporting Israeli War Crimes, British pacifists tell UK government

Stop supporting Israeli War Crimes, British pacifists tell UK government

The PPU joins other voices from the peace movement in condemning the horrific attacks on civilians by Hamas on Saturday in Southern Israel, including hostage-taking and the killing of more than 1200 people. They also condemn the brutal response of the Israeli government to kill over 1200 Palestinian civilians and suspend food and water supplies to the Gaza Strip. 

The PPU denounces all forms of war and acts of violence, regardless of who is enacting them. They also recognise that the recent escalation of violence is rooted in the decades long, asymmetrical, violent conflict that characterises the Israeli government’s apartheid against Palestinians. 

The repeated cycles of violence in the region can only be addressed by ending Israel’s occupation of Palestine, including its 16-year-long illegal military blockade on Gaza, in which Palestinians have been subject to relentless human rights abuses, including violent evictions and home demolitions, intentional impoverishment, military raids and mass killings. 

PPU members have decried the hypocrisy of the Western response, including that of the UK government, who have condemned the actions of Hamas yet have awarded the Israeli government with enthusiastic support. 

The PPU’s Campaigns Intern, Ellen Martin, said: 

“Whilst Hamas’ attacks have been rightly condemned, the double standards of the West in pledging unconditional support for Israel only paves the way for further violence. We must be braver in denouncing the UK government’s complicity in Israeli war crimes and in promoting nonviolent resistance to the occupation.” 

Rishi Sunak has vowed ‘unequivocal’ support for Israel, whilst the foreign secretary James Cleverly has explicitly backed the Israeli siege, which is a clear example of collective punishment and thus constitutes a war crime. The UK government has continually ignored the Israeli government’s enduring oppression of Palestinians, including by directly supporting the bloodshed by selling arms to Israel. The government have also already committed further military support in response to the Hamas attacks. 

On top of diplomatic and military support, the government has demonstrated its pro-Israeli stance by projecting the Israeli flag on Downing Street and encouraging government officials to fly the Israeli flag on departmental buildings. Pacifists have denounced this flag waving as an instance of everyday militarism and one which condones a state committing war crimes. 

The PPU stands with other groups and individuals calling for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages and political prisoners, the commencement of peace negotiations, and the permanent cessation of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. This includes conscientious objectors and peacemakers on both sides exercising nonviolent resistance to the ongoing acts of violence and the Israeli occupation. 

A national demonstration – March For Palestine – End The Violence – End Apartheid – is being held at 12 noon on Saturday 14th October at BBC, Portland Place, W1A, London. Details can be found at:

The Peace Pledge Union is a group of people who have pledged to reject war and to tackle its causes. We are the British section of War Resisters' International.