Government’s One-Sided Support in Defence: A Clear Display of Double Standards
By Shofi Ahmed
The 10th largest march in British history on any issue according to the police took place when over 300,000 people marched in solidarity with Palestinians in central London on 21 October. ‘But we can’t stop now – Israel is still raining bombs on Gazans and preventing water, food and medical aid from reaching survivors,’ said the organisers.
Meanwhile Rishi Sunak, and James Cleverly travelled to the Middle East with the same statement they were telling at home that Israel has the right to defend itself. Indeed, everyone has the right to self-defence, including Palestine and Gaza. So, why are their perspectives not on the table? Why is that not being considered?
Acknowledging the right of one side while disregarding the other goes against the principles of impartiality. What message are our Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary trying to convey to the world at the expense of taxpayers, other than a clear display of double standards?
This viewpoint is not limited to Muslims alone. Scholars and humanitarian activists from various faiths and walks of life are deeply troubled by the recent double standards exhibited by Western governments.
It is a glaring contradiction to acknowledge and advocate for one side’s right to self-defence while disregarding the same right for others. Impartiality and fairness demand that all parties involved in a conflict have their rights and perspectives acknowledged and respected. By selectively recognizing and empathising with the Israeli victims of Hamas without addressing the plight of Palestinian civilians, the message being conveyed by our prime minister and foreign secretary is one of biased and unbalanced approach.
This issue is not limited to a particular group but resonates with individuals from all walks of life, including scholars and humanitarian activists across different faiths. They too express deep concern over the double standards exhibited by Western governments, symbolised by the illumination of the British parliament and the Eiffel Tower with the Israeli flag. This gesture, while intending to pay homage to Hamas’ victims, erases the very real suffering experienced by innocent Palestinian civilians.
“The Eiffel Tower’s illumination serves as a poignant symbol of the ‘country of human rights’, and yet, its one-sided recognition of Israeli victims stands in stark contrast to the lack of acknowledgement for the countless Palestinian lives affected by the ongoing conflict. This bias only perpetuates an unfair and unbalanced narrative that overlooks the basic rights and humanity of the Palestinian people,” wrote a Guardian columnist.
The actions of our political leaders, which disregard the suffering of Palestinians, undermine the principles of impartiality and impartial decision-making. It sends a message that the rights and humanity of Palestinians are not as worthy of recognition and protection as those of others. This approach not only perpetuates a sense of marginalisation and injustice among the Palestinian people but also undermines the credibility and legitimacy of our leaders’ stance on human rights.
It is essential that we challenge and expose these double standards, and demand a more balanced and inclusive approach to conflicts such as the one between Israel and Palestine. True peace and justice can only be achieved when all parties are treated impartially and their rights are equally acknowledged and respected. As taxpayers, we deserve a foreign policy that reflects fairness, justice, and genuine concern for the well-being of all individuals affected by such conflicts.