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As the festive season unfolds and communities around the world come together to celebrate, it is essential that Israel’s struggle is not forgotten and that, as a nation, we continue to stand in unwavering solidarity with the only inherently Jewish nation.

In recent days, it has been deeply disturbing to witness the softening of the UK’s stance on Israel —  particularly from the members of my own Conservative party. This week, ten senior Conservative MPs signed a joint letter to the Foreign Secretary accusing Israel of carrying out the “brutalisation of the civilian Palestinian population.” The MPs, including ex-cabinet ministers, wrote that the case for an immediate ceasefire was now “unanswerable.” 

On a similar note, on Sunday, the Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, called for a “sustainable ceasefire,” saying that “too many civilians have been killed” and urged Israel to do more to “discriminate sufficiently between terrorists and civilians.”

Recent calls from British MPs urging a ceasefire in Israel — despite ongoing attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah — may seem well intentioned on the surface. We all long for peace and prosperity in the region. Peaceful relations are the foundation for the security of both Palestinians and Israelis. However, it is crucial to recognize the pitfalls of such appeals.

Calls for a ceasefire completely overlook the root causes of the conflict, such as the ongoing threat posed by terrorist organisations like Hamas. With its explicit goal of destroying Israel, Hamas has consistently employed violence, including suicide bombings, rocket attacks and other forms of terrorism, posing a direct threat to the lives of Israeli civilians. Supporting Israel in its fight against terrorism requires a nuanced approach that addresses the fundamental issues fuelling the violence. 

Hamas will exploit calls for a “sustainable ceasefire” as an opportunity to regroup, rearm and plan future attacks. A ceasefire now will only empower Israel’s enemies, such as the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the ayatollahs in Iran, by suggesting that the international community is willing to pressure Israel into concessions before fully addressing the underlying security threats to Israel’s security. This will embolden extremists driven only by violent ideology and hinder efforts to dismantle terrorist networks globally. 

Most importantly, Israel — like any sovereign nation — has an inherent right to defend itself against terrorist attacks. Encouraging a ceasefire undermines Israel’s ability to protect its citizens and sends the wrong message to violent despots and tyrants everywhere who seek to use violence as a means of achieving their goals. 

Robert Jenrick MP, formerly the Government’s Immigration Minister, was right to proclaim in the House of Commons this week that talk of a “sustainable ceasefire” is unhelpful. Jenrick commented that “all it does is give succour to Israel’s enemies at the time of its greatest need. This is a country that fell to its knees just a few weeks ago and suffered the worst tragedy since the Holocaust.” 

Sadly, many are now failing to acknowledge the trauma Israel has experienced when discussing the war. The scale of loss will leave an indelible mark on Israeli society, influencing its collective psyche and reinforcing the importance of resilience in the face of adversity. 

While the grief may be overwhelming, the resilience of the Israeli people has been a defining characteristic throughout their history. The nation’s ability to come together, support one another and find a path forward is a testament to the enduring spirit that has seen Israel through its darkest days. Britain must be right beside Israel as she begins to recover her strength. 

Britain and Israel share a deep-rooted commitment to democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law. Both nations stand as beacons of freedom in their respective regions, promoting values that underpin a just and equitable society. In times of adversity, it is crucial for like-minded nations to unite and uphold these shared values, sending a clear message that terrorism will not succeed in eroding the foundations of democracy.

Calls for a ceasefire overlook the historical context of violence and the persistent threats posed by terrorist groups like Hamas. The complex reality demands a nuanced approach that addresses the root causes of the conflict, ensures the security of Israeli civilians and advocates for the elimination of organisations that reject peaceful coexistence. I hope our political leaders will reflect on this over Christmas, whilst the Jewish nation continues to fight for the values we hold dearest.


Isabella Wallersteiner is an Associate Fellow at Bright Blue.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Bright Blue.