MPs to boycott UK prime minister’s Eid celebration in protest against his support to Israel

LONDON: Eid celebrations of Downing Street, the British prime minister’s office, have been threatened with a boycott over the government’s support of Israel, committing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

Conservative politicians as well as business and charity leaders have threatened to snub the annual event hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday. Sources in Downing Street privately expressed concern at the number of people who may refuse to turn up to the reception.

According to the BBC, some of the invitees are refusing to go to protest Israel’s military action in Gaza.

Businessman and charity fundraiser Asif Ansari said: ‘As a Muslim, I think it’s very important for the Muslim community to have good relations with the British government. However, I feel very, very strongly this year with the position that the British government is taking.

‘They are supporting Israel who stand accused of genocide, they stand accused of war crimes, the deprivation of water and food to women and children has left many starving and lastly, the killing of three British aid workers – after which Lord Cameron has said the UK would continue to supply arms to Israel – was an absolute red line.’

Baroness Warsi is planning to boycott the event along with at least two Tory MPs.

The Baroness quit as Foreign Office Minister in 2014, claiming the government’s policy over Gaza was ‘morally indefensible’.

A similar event during Ramadan hosted by US President Biden at the White House was also boycotted by those protesting support for Israel.

There have been repeated calls for the UK government to halt its arms sales to Israel.

A spokesperson for Downing Street said: ‘The prime minister looks forward to welcoming members of the Muslim community to the Eid reception in Downing Street later this week and celebrating their contribution to public life.

‘But we share the deep concern that many British Muslims have over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and our priority has always been to prevent further escalation in the region.

‘That’s why we have long called for an immediate humanitarian pause with progress towards a sustainable ceasefire, and consistently urged Israel and all parties to the conflict to abide by International Humanitarian Law.’

 

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