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  • Rushanara Ali raises questions about Gaza

    by Sunny
    19th January, 2009 at 5:15 pm    

    Press release I was sent today.

    Rushanara Ali, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow, has met with a senior Cabinet Minister to underline her calls for a lasting and meaningful ceasefire in Gaza.

    Following a meeting with Douglas Alexander MP, Secretary of State for International Development on 17 January, Ms Ali said:

    My meeting with Mr Alexander offered me an important opportunity to underline the feelings not only of the people of Bethnal Green and Bow, but also of others around the country of all faiths and backgrounds. I underlined the deep revulsion that is felt at the continuing violence and urged the British government to maintain its support of international efforts aimed at bringing about a lasting ceasefire in Gaza.

    Hundreds of people have died in Gaza, many of them are children and civilians. News of the deaths of civilians in a UN school was particularly shocking. There must be a proper investigation into the serious allegations of violations of human rights and international law.

    The British government has done a great deal both in terms of humanitarian relief and through diplomatic channels to bring an end to the violence. I emphasised the importance of maintaining these efforts to Mr Alexander.

    Looking ahead, military action will not resolve the longstanding conflict in the Middle East — that can only come with a political settlement. The imperative is to build a sustainable settlement so that the people of two independent states, Palestine and Israel, can live in peace and security alongside each other.

    Speaking after the meeting, Mr Alexander said:

    Rushanara told me of her deep concern over the situation in Gaza. She is a powerful advocate for the community in Bethnal Green and Bow. I assured Rushanara that the UK Government is doing everything we can to secure an enduring ceasefire and to end the violence. We are also fully committed to providing humanitarian assistance of medical supplies, food, water and shelter. I urge all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations to ensure safe and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid to vulnerable civilians.


    A bit of politicking there - not long after Sayeeda Warsi met “Muslim community leaders” and then accused Labour of not doing enough to stop the violence in Gaza (wtf?). Rushanara should have issued this earlier. At least she’s asked for an enquiry into the bombing of the UN school.

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    Filed in: London Politics,Middle East,Party politics

    13 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. A-H S. Mohamood — on 19th January, 2009 at 6:56 pm  

      No need to tip-toe and say she is Labour candidate, she became the MP, in all but name, when Labour selected her.

      On the substance, do people really think these nominally Muslim politicians care one iota about Muslims in far-flung places? Why do they so often engage in this charade when one can see the word “career” etched onto their eyeballs? Does anyone think that constituents in places like B G & Bow or Dewsbury, Bradford, Southall, etc. need a different type of MP?

      Please be gentle with me, this is my first ‘post’ on any blog.

    2. fug — on 19th January, 2009 at 6:58 pm  

      was she at the saturday demo focussing on the solidarity of british women and children with palestinian women and children like diane abbot?

    3. Leon — on 19th January, 2009 at 7:09 pm  

      She’s one of the most personally likeable political candidates I’ve ever met.

      She is fighting what will be George Galloway’s (formerly Oona Kings) old seat so it makes sense she identifies and articulates the concerns of her potential constituents.

    4. Leon — on 19th January, 2009 at 7:11 pm  

      Does anyone think that constituents in places like B G & Bow or Dewsbury, Bradford, Southall, etc. need a different type of MP?

      First off, welcome to the blog!

      Now to your point, let me ask a question. What do you mean by a different type of MP?

    5. Ashik — on 19th January, 2009 at 11:18 pm  

      I think it’s dangerous for BG&B Labour group to play the ‘Respect card’ and feign concern about Palestine. BG&B has plenty of problems closer to home to deal with. Anyway Rushnara is almost certain to take the seat now that Respect’s star is waning. She is Sylheti and many of our lot are likely to vote for her simply because of this, Palestine or no Palestine.

    6. A-H S. Mohamood — on 19th January, 2009 at 11:22 pm  

      Thanks Leon.

      I just find it frustrating that candidates in those constituencies have to promise ‘action’ or ‘involvement’ with diaspora concerns when their sincerity is highly dubious. Also, why are they described as ‘Muslim’ MP’s? Malik, Sarwar, Mahmood, etc? Why should we believe that they care more about Muslims than Crispin Blunt or Jeremy Corbyn? Many people were/have been frustrated with the self-appointed leadership of the Muslim community (MCB et al) and I’m just as frustrated with the state-sanction officially ‘moderate’ crowd.

    7. Sunny — on 19th January, 2009 at 11:27 pm  

      Yeah Rushanara is cool. She’s not saying anything too controversial but I’m sure she was at one of the demos. Also, it does have an impact on what the ministers are doing.
      DA looks at foreign aid. If Israel’s not going to pay for Gaza’s reconstruction, I don’t see why we can’t help them a bit.

    8. douglas clark — on 19th January, 2009 at 11:42 pm  


      She is Sylheti and many of our lot are likely to vote for her simply because of this, Palestine or no Palestine.

      I really don’t know what to make of that. It sounds like communalism, it tastes of communalism, it bloody well is communalism.

      A lot of folk in Govan - home to Rab C Nisbet - voted for a guy called Mohammed Sarwar. There are less that 4% ethnics, of any description in that constituency.

      So, should I only vote for someone who has the same background as me? Or should I listen to what they have to say? The folk in Govan did. And before you try to state the obvious, the constituency has been SNP, twice. McDonald and Sillars. Sarwar is Labour to his toes.

      If you vote on the basis of ethnicity, you are likely to be very disappointed with the quality of the candidate. Although, given what Leon says, you might get off the hook in Bethnal, Green and Bow.

      The point still stands. Vote for policies, not people, and certainly not background or ethnicity.

    9. sonia — on 20th January, 2009 at 3:21 pm  

      this is turning into tribal sectarian politics. only when politicians ask for a ceasefire everywhere, will i believe them.

      i got a letter addressed to me in Person - from Simon Hughes. very nice, expressing his concern for Palestine, and that’s good.

      But when i’ve had letters about his concern over Potters field park - its not been addressed to me personally i.e. by NAME>

      it doesn’t take an idiot to work out - muslim surname, (not addressed to my husband with his anglicised Jewish surname who lives in the same house!) oh let’s write a letter to her. she’ll be pro-palestine for sure and will carry on voting for me.

      bloody politicians.

      and as ashik says…(dear douglas, you may not like it, but the reality is most people are communalist, which is why Simon Hughes, thinks, target the muslim surnames…they’re a ‘community’ aren’t they!) of course the reality about ashik’s point is there are communities, and communities, i bet he’s right about people who will vote for Rushanara - her Sylhetiness prob. is significant.

    10. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:03 am  

      you people really dont know anything about local politics do you?

    11. Leon — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:42 am  

      you people really dont know anything about local politics do you?

      Who do you mean ‘you people’?

    12. Jai — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:03 pm  

      Who do you mean ‘you people’?

      What do YOU mean ‘you people’ ?

      Sorry — blame Tropic Thunder. Carry on…..

    13. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:17 pm  

      You, I mean You.

      i find PPers, apart from perhaps the jewish quarter really quite atomised.

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