The Young Fabians’ debate on the legacy of Gaza saw a range of arguments put forward and thanks must go to our excellent speakers, Richard Stanforth from Oxfam, Louise Ellman MP from Labour Friends of Israel and Richard Burden MP from the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, all of whom made powerful arguments.
However, whilst recent events have filled countless newspaper columns and dominated the political agenda, already they are being displaced, a plane crash in America and a teenage dad are deemed meatier topics of conversation. It seems that yet again we have had our fill of debate over what should become of the Middle East and moved on to other, clearer cut issues. Perhaps that is why groups like the ones Richard Burden and Louise Ellman represent are so important, they help keep the issue alive even once it disappears from newspapers and TV screens. In order to avoid accusations of political voyeurism, taking an interest only when tensions spill over into open conflict, then this debate must continue.
Each speaker was asked to conclude with what they felt was the one thing that, in the short-term, needed to be done to enable both sides to move forward. Richard Stanforth argued for the depoliticisation of aid, Richard Burden called for immediate action to tackle the humanitarian crisis and Louise Ellman’s top priority was an end to arms’ smuggling. I doubt anyone reading this does not have their own thoughts on the way forward, in which case, get typing, join the debate and be a political voyeur no more…..