Ahmed J Versi
Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, condemned killing of innocent civilians in Gaza by Israel at the Eid celebrations on July 31. “I have said very clearly that the Israeli incursion into Gaza is both wrong and unjustifiable. It is wrong because despite the history of provocation from Hamas, it has led to the killing of so many innocent men, women and children,” Miliband said to over 900 guests at the Eid dinner.
Miliband added that, “As a husband and a father, my heart bleeds for the images that I have seen on our television screens and for the plight of the horrific deaths of civilians, women and children in Gaza.”
However, earlier during meeting with a selected ethnic media, he rejected suggestions that UK should have arms embargo against Israel. “I have never been in favour boycotts especially at this sensitive time. What we need to concentrate now is to break cycle of violence,” he told The Muslim News. Miliband added that he “understood” the “incredible distress and anger there is about on what is occurring.”
The Labour Leader said when Palestinians see “loos of innocent lives, the risk is that becomes a recruiting ground for Hamas, a terrible terrorist organisation.”
Miliband told the guests at the Eid event that this year was “a particularly difficult year for fasting, with the long and unusually warm summer days, I am sure Eid must be all the more enjoyable as a result!”
Miliband praised the British Muslims’ contribution to the economy of the country. Muslims, he said “play an essential part in the economic and cultural life of this great country. You are an amazingly entrepreneurial community. You contribute an astonishing £31 billion to our economy.”
He added that the community is major contributors to charities. “You are incredibly charitable community too. British Muslims gave more to charity here at home than any other community in Britain last year.”
Miliband said Islamic values and that of the Labour party are the same. “Islamic values of service to the poor, loving our neighbours and being upstanding members of our society are absolutely part of British values. They are One Nation values too. They are our Labour Party values too.”
Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan, said the Eid event was “historic” as “never before has a political party in the UK hosted an Eid reception like this, with over one thousand British Muslims and friends of all faiths and none in attendance to celebrate.”
He condemned Government’s position on Israeli indiscriminate bombing of Gaza. “The British Government’s lack of leadership on the catastrophe in Gaza has been appalling. David Cameron and Nick Clegg have been silent while the Israeli Government’s actions in Gaza continue to lead to death, injury and hardship. Their failure to criticise Israel is shocking.”
Members of the Shadow Cabinet, ministers, MPs, MEPs, council leaders, Parliamentary candidates, Councillors, Lord Mayors, Ambassadors, Labour Party members, supporters, trade unions and members of the wider community coming together to celebrate Eid.