SNP accused of treating ‘atrocious situation’ in Gaza like a ‘party political football’ game

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

SNP accused of treating ‘atrocious situation’ in Gaza like a ‘party political football’ game

MPs have strongly condemned a 'one-sided' attempt by the SNP to back a Gaza ceasefire call that failed to condemn Hamas atrocities

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

MPs have accused the Scottish National Party of treating the “atrocious situation” in Gaza like a “party political football” game during an tense Commons ceasefire debate.

Conservative and Labour politicians led the criticism of the SNP’s tactics as the party’s leader in Westminster Stephen Flynn led calls for MPs to vote in favour of an Opposition Day amendment that called for an “immediate ceasefire”  to hostilities in Gaza, while accusing Israel of engaging in the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

The SNP motion also failed to offer any condemnation of the terror group Hamas, nor call for a two-state solution, as it suggested “the only way to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians is to press for a ceasefire now.”

During the debate SNP MP Brendan O’Hara said Israel have “completely abandon[ed] international humanitarian law by imposing collective punishment on a defenceless civilian population.”

While SNP’ deputy leader Mhairi Black openly accused Israel of committing “war crimes” in Gaza.

Responding the shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy told the House the SNP motion was “one-sided” and said it was “crystal clear”  that “you could not ask Israel to lay down its arms without also asking Hamas.”

Sir Michael Elis, the former attorney general, said the SNP “woefully” failed to recognise the reality of the situation in Gaza. He added:”I am sorry to say the SNP are not interested in a solution that would safeguard Gaza and allow an Israeli victory over Hamas.”

He accused the SNP of “political grandstanding” and added the SNP leader was guilty of making “incendiary charges” against Israel.
In another intervention Labour’s Andrew Gwynne spoke of the 1200 “innocent Israelis brutally raped and murdered on October 7th” which had led to the “brutal conflict” in Gaza.

He said he wanted an immediate ceasefire in Gaza but “words matter” and “if Hamas do not lay down their arms it is not a ceasefire.”Interupted by an SNP MP, Gwynne then accused the party of “playing party political football with the most atrocious situation in the Middle East.”

Stephen Crabb, a leading figure with Conservative Friends of Israel added:” “My problem with the SNP motion – there is no mention of the sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war against Israeli women. These crimes were recorded on mobile phones and body cams. Hamas fighters committing the most barbaric acts.”

Sir Michael Ellis

Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh, addressing the House said  nothing could justify the “genocide” on 7 October.

He added:”There is no point in having a unilateral ceasefire if you’re faced with a death cult who will go on bombing and killing innocent Israelis.”

Ian Paisley, the DUP MP, said the SNP motion  doesn’t contain any word about the “rape of women, the murder of children” or the “unjustifiable” attack on Israel.

Labour Friends of Israel director Michael Rubin added:”It’s a disgrace the SNP are nakedly playing cheap political games with an important issue.

“At a time of unprecedented intimidation of elected officials, it is not just contemptible politics, but deeply irresponsible. If the SNP was serious about making a mature and constructive contrition to the debate they wouldn’t have tabled a one-sided motion that lets Hamas off the hook.”

In fiery scenes in the Commons on Wednesday, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle infuriated the SNP when he said he would allow a separate Labour amendment calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” to be debated, but which also stressed “Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting   if Hamas continues with violence” and that Israelis “have the right to assurance October 7th cannot happen again.”

Andrew Gwynne (Labour Party via Jewish News)

The SNP had been hoping to lure left-wing Labour MPs into supporting their amendment, in order to heap political pressure on Keir Starmer, but Hoyle’s decision to allow the Labour amendment to be heard scuppered any chance of a rebellion.

The government also took the unusual decision of tabling their own motion in an opposition day debate. The Speaker was therefore duty bound to allow a government motion to be debated.  In a decision that led some SNP and Tory MPs to call for hm to be replaced Hoyle allowed all three amendements.

There were claims the Speaker made the decision partly because of threats and intimidation made to MPs from pro-Palestine campaigners. Had he not allowed the Labour motion, many of its MPs would have been targeted for not supporting the SNP motion.

MPs were set to vote on the amendments on Wednesday evening. The SNP eventually  said it would back the Labour amendment, in an attempt to make Labour MP back heir motion.


Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: