As a tenuous ceasefire holds in Gaza, a British politician is stepping down over the conflict. The British Foreign Minister, Baroness Sayeeta Warsi, has resigned in protest of the government’s policy on Gaza.
The cabinet minister announcement her resignation on Tuesday, via Twitter:
With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza
— Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) August 5, 2014
The former lawyer followed up by tweeting a picture of her resignation letter. In a copy re-published by The Independent, Baroness Warsi said:
“My view has been that our policy in relation to the Middle East Peace Process… and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically”.
Baroness Warsi explained how she made the difficult decision, citing fears that current British policy could lead to a “fallout of the current conflict and the potential for the crisis in Gaza and our response to it becoming a basis for radicalisation”.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Baroness Warsi said that her reservations about British policy go back to 2012:
“[Britain’s] decison not to recognize Palestinian statehood at the UN in November 2012 placed us on the wrong side of history and is something I deeply regret not speaking out against at the time”.
As the BBC points out, Baroness Warsi position as a Muslim cabinet minister likely put her at odds with the Conservatives’ allegiance to Israel. Analyst Robin Brant wrote:
“[Baroness Warsi] clearly believes… that she can no longer stand by a prime minister and a government that she feels is using a ‘morally indefensible’ policy when it comes to Israel and the ongoing conflict in Gaza”.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has responded to Baroness Warsi’s resignation; expressing his regret about her decision, while re-affirming the Conservative’s policy on the Middle East. He wrote:
“We support a negotiated two state solution as the only way to resolve this conflict once and for all… Of course, we believe that Israel has the right to defend itself. But we have consistently made clear our grave concerns about the heavy toll of civilian casualties and have called on Israel to exercise restraint”.
According to Palestinian and Israeli officials cited in the Wall Street Journal, 1,875 Palestians and 67 Israelis have died since fighting began on July 8. On Wednesday, a 72-hour ceasefire agreement held into its second day, allowing Gazans to bury their dead and collect supplies.
As reported by the Inquisitr, on Sunday the UN warned of an impending “widespread health disaster” due to damage to Palestinian health facilities.
After more than three weeks of intense conflict, #Gaza‘s medical services and facilities are on the verge of collapse.
— UNICEFpalestine (@UNICEFpalestine) August 3, 2014
[Image source: Twitter]