Further to our prior correspondence, another exchange with Tom Harris, MP.
24 February 2010
Dear Mr Hilley
Please forgive my failure to previously to give you [sic] an unambiguous response to your request that I sign Early Day Motion 502: I will not.
As for Ivan Lewis's membership of Labour Friends of Israel, I am absolutely confident that membership of Labour Friends of Israel, as indeed a pro-Palestinian grouping, would have no bearing on his ability to carry out his ministerial duties.
Tom Harris MP
Member of Parliament for Glasgow South
26 February 2010
Dear Mr Harris
Thanks for your unqualified statement on Early Day Motion 502. Your rejection of a parliamentary initiative to bring known state murderers to justice is duly noted. The main point was to have your dismissal of 502 on record.
Yes, Ivan Lewis is most able to dispense his ministerial duties, foremost among which is his government's selective resolve to protect and advance Israeli interests at all costs. Lewis's Labour Friends of Israel membership and his ministerial duties for the Middle East are an obvious conflict of interest and should invalidate him from holding such office.
I'm sure you can also see how that close affiliation influences Lewis's and other LFI members' view of the issues, including Goldstone, but choose to deny the obvious with your "confident" 'assurance' about his ministerial 'objectivity'. It's all part of the same political closure reserved for Israel.
The Foreign Office's soft treatment of Israel and its ambassador over the recent assassination in Dubai is the latest example of that selective protection. Imagine the government's reaction if such a plot, with covert use of UK passports, had been carried out by Iranian agents.
Actually, I'd prefer an 'I support Israel unreservedly' response rather than the tortured circumventions noted in this correspondence. The former, at least, is true. Readers of these exchanges will form their own view, but I don't think they're so gullible and naive as to believe that people like Lewis and yourself hold neutral, disinterested positions.
It's that coupling of bland official-speak and coy evasion which so diminishes politicians in the public's eye.
I'm a great believer in clarity of one's beliefs, loyalties and subjective feelings. Better being straightforward and open about the causes we endorse. I support the Palestinian people, the illegally occupied and oppressed in this case. You and Lewis support the Israeli state, the illegal occupier and oppressor. Our personal words and actions demonstrate the choices we make in helping to end or maintain that oppression. No more need be said.