Layla Moran tells of her extended family’s plight in Gaza

Our Layla Moran, the first British MP of Palestinian descent, has been talking about how members of her extended family in Gaza have had to flee their home and seek refuge in a Church.

She talked about this in the Commons yesterday when she questioned Rishi Sunak:

As you are aware, Mr Speaker, my immediate family are from the west bank, but I have extended family in Gaza city. Their house was bombed by the IDF, so they went to seek sanctuary in a church—we are Christian Palestinians—and I am afraid to say that they are still there, because they are too old to leave. They say to me that they have nowhere to go.

Because of this, not despite it, I attended a vigil in Oxford organised by the Jewish community. Between our communities, we now share profound emotions, loss and grief. When the Prime Minister says never again, I agree with him. Will he give his assurance that it will be never again and that, whenever we get through whatever happens in the next few days, he will keep the promise he made to my great-grandfather that there will be a Palestinian state to call our own at the end of it?

The Prime Minister:

I start by expressing my sympathies to the hon. Lady and her family for what they are going through. I know this will have been an incredibly difficult time for them. I also pay tribute to her, because her presence at the vigil, in spite of everything, will have meant an enormous amount to many people, and the courage she shows in talking about that experience here today is admirable. She looks forward to a more positive future, which is an ambition I share.

This is an unspeakably difficult situation, a tragedy, but we must find a way to move forward to secure a more stable, peaceful settlement for those living in the middle east, because this tragedy has reminded us all of the horrors of war and the horrors of terrorism. We must find a way to bring peace and stability to the region, and that is what I will strive very hard to help bring about.

Today, she was interviewed on Good Morning Britain and spoke in more detail about the lack of food and fuel and her worries of this turning into a humanitarian disaster:

In a display of ignorance not worthy of a respectable interviewer, Richard Madeley had the nerve to ask her whether she or her family had any idea of what Hamas had planned. It was such a disgraceful thing to say, equating a hideous terrorist organisation with ordinary Palestinian people. That one has to be worth a complaint to OfCOM.Madeley has since made one of those non apology apologies, but that is simply not good enough.

Layla spoke later to the BBC

She called for the UK Government to be more vociferous about humanitarian issues:

I would like to see Rishi Sunak take a more strident stance when it comes to humanitarian aid, in particular when it comes to letting it in,” said Ms Moran.

“I want to see them stress the importance of international humanitarian law, which very clearly puts innocent civilians first.

My heart goes out to everyone whose family members have been affected by the horrendous events of the past 10 days. Last week Ruvi Ziegler described how his family survived the attack on a kibbutz in Southern Israel. This week, we’ve seen Scotland’s First Minister and his wife talk about how her parents are trapped in Gaza after going to visit a sick relative. The human cost is already too much and it looks like things are going to get much worse. It’s up to the international community to try and minimise the violence and loss of life.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Nick Collins 18th Oct '23 - 8:22am

    Richard Madeley is not a respectable interviewer; I would compare him to Alan Partridge, except that he is not funny. It is amazing that any self respecting broadcaster should employ him as such.

  • Such a story is one in amongst many nightmare scenarios which we all wish were not happening. I wish the fighting to would end, aid would be allowed in and the talking would begin to bring an end to this catastrophe.
    I wish Layla’s family well.

  • Peter Martin 19th Oct '23 - 11:57am

    ” It’s up to the international community to try and minimise the violence and loss of life.”

    Yes. It’s also up to the international community to do something about the underlying causes or the violence will resume again. The Oslo “agreement” needs to be revived and the West needs to apply pressure on both sides to make sure it isn’t a pseudo agreement this time.

    If there isn’t a viable two state solution to be found, the alternative is to have a single state with all residents within the pre 1947 Palestine borders having equal rights under a new non racial and non religious constitution.

  • Jenny Barnes 19th Oct '23 - 1:37pm

    “all residents within the pre 1947 Palestine borders having equal rights under a new non racial and non religious constitution.”

    Somehow I don’t think the current Israeli government would think that was a good idea.

  • George Thomas 19th Oct '23 - 9:31pm

    “Because of this, not despite it, I attended a vigil in Oxford organised by the Jewish community. Between our communities, we now share profound emotions, loss and grief.”

    I know it means nothing to her given the context but Layla Moran is coming out this as someone ready to act with highest level of decency in the most difficult of circumstances.

    Even Joe Biden was able to reference mistakes America made after 9/11. Rishi Sunak meanwhile wants Israel to win, like it’s a sports event.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Oct '23 - 5:21pm

    Very good piece from Caron, about issues that need sensitivity and intelligence.

    Of course Layla Moran provides these in abundance. Richard Madely provides in this, lack of both!!

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