LFI parliamentarians push for accurate reporting on Israel/Gaza conflict

LFI vice-chair Sharon Hodgson MP

At today’s urgent question on the situation in Israel and Gaza, several LFI parliamentarians asked questions of the Foreign Secretary on matters relating to the need for accuracy in reporting on the conflict, the threat posed by Hezbollah from Lebanon, and the deeply concerning rise in antisemitism

On the need for accuracy in reporting on the conflict:

LFI chair Steve McCabe MP asked: “I deplore the loss of all civilian life, Israeli and Palestinian, and I commend the Foreign Secretary for his caution over attributing blame for last night’s attack. Does he think that we should also be cautious about the figures for casualties coming from Gaza? They do not describe all as civilian casualties; there is reason to believe that there is a very high volume of Hamas combatants among those figures.”

LFI vice-chair Diana Johnson MP asked: “The Foreign Secretary has talked about accountability and accuracy in broadcasts and social media. Does he share my bafflement at why the BBC, our national broadcaster, has repeatedly refused to describe Hamas as a terrorist organisation when they are a proscribed terrorist group?”

LFI parliamentary supporter Christian Wakeford MP asked: “The level of conflicting information and indeed disinformation coming from Gaza, and the irresponsible reporting of this as fact, including that coming from the BBC yesterday, is surely something that we should be condemning. What are the Foreign Secretary and his Department doing to correct this approach from broadcasters? Will he join me in saying the blame should not be cast until all the facts are known, especially to avoid inflaming tensions both here and in the middle east?”

On the threat posed by Hezbollah to Israel on its northern border with Lebanon:

LFI vice-chair Sharon Hodgson MP asked: “We have already seen one Iranian terror proxy, Hamas, launch attacks against Israel in the past 11 days, but we know that another Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, is waiting in the wings to attack Israel from the north—indeed, this may have already started. What steps are the Government taking to deter Hezbollah from seeking to attack or otherwise undermine Israel at this most difficult time?”

On the rise in antisemitic incidents in the UK since the start of the conflict:

LFI parliamentary supporter Margaret Hodge MP asked: “Last night’s absolute tragedy of the explosion at the Al-Ahli Hospital will simply intensify passions and polarise the debate even more. Many children and young people here in the UK will have seen the images on our televisions and screens and on social media platforms, and I think they will be influenced by that. While I thank the Government for the money and support they are giving to the organisations protecting faith schools, mosques and synagogues, can the Minister tell us what he is doing to provide advice and support to ordinary schools and our universities, where there is an intensification of hatred emerging and where I am hearing of both antisemitic and Islamophobic views being expressed and attacks being wrought on individuals?”

LFI parliamentary supporter Andrew Gwynne MP asked: “The terror attack on Israeli citizens and the subsequent abduction was brutal and evil. The scenes from Al-Ahli hospital last night on the television were beyond comprehension and upsetting, and it goes without saying that we have to do everything we can to stop the impending humanitarian crisis in Gaza from happening. But I am really concerned—I am sure the Foreign Secretary is—that the conflict between Israel and Hamas does not spill over into the streets of any community in the United Kingdom. My home city, Manchester, is welcoming of Muslim and Jew alike. What more are the Government doing to ensure that the catastrophe in the middle east does not end up on the streets of Britain?”

You can read the full session here.