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MS2: Embassy Bombers Captured
Mr. Speaker, 

I come before the House this evening to provide Parliament with a critical update on the investigation into the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in London. 

As we all know, earlier this month a terrorist attack was made against the Israeli Embassy in London, injuring 14 people and directly targeting our ally Israel and the Jewish community here in The United Kingdom. In response to this act of evil, the Government quickly mobilized all necessary resources to both ensure the safety of the British people and bring this domestic crisis to a swift end. With that goal in mind, the Prime Minister immediately convened a COBRA meeting. The result of this meeting was that the domestic threat level here in Britain was raised, the Foreign Secretary began working directly with domestic and foreign intelligence servers to garner critical information on the suspects and any potential future attacks, and I ordered the Metropolitan Police Service to increase security checkpoints at airports, train stations, and ports across the country. 

The Government's response was immediate, it was deliberate, and it utilized the full force of our nation's might. Tonight, I am proud to confirm that all five suspects have been captured and are currently in police custody. 

Of the 5 five suspects captured, three were captured as a result of raids conducted on homes in which they were hiding, and the remaining two suspects were captured as a result of the police check points commissioned at major ports. The suspects remain in custody, and will be questioned in order to acquire any actionable intelligence that will further our domestic security capabilities. I can also confirm that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and their fate will serve as a vital reminder that The United Kingdom will never end our eternal crusade against terrorism and the violence they perpetuate. 

I ask the whole House in joining me in expressing our deepest gratitude and appreciation for the incredible British police officers, soldiers, and intelligence personnel involved in this operation; men and women who risked their lives in order to neutralize this threat and keep our country safe. They are the heroes of this story - without their unmatched service we would not have been able to end the threat these terrorist posed to our country as quickly and effectively as we did. 

While the manhunt for the suspects has concluded, the investigation into this attack and the organization that perpetuated it has not. In the coming weeks we will compile a comprehensive report detailing the events leading up to the attack and what, if anything, could have been done to preempt the bombing. Based on the findings of the report, the Home Office will work alongside other Government departments to implement any recommended policies to enhance our domestic counter terrorism operations in order to better prevent attacks like this from occurring in the future. The 1994 Criminal Justice Act, which is to be introduced to the House in the coming months, will also include provisions to increase police power with the express intent of strengthening the police's ability to prevent and combat terrorism. 

Mrs. Thatcher put it best when she said that terrorism is a scourge of the modern age. This month's attack on the Israeli Embassy provides a painful reminder of how critical it is that we keep up the fight against terrorism, and that we win that fight. For it is now simply the people of London, or even just of Britain, who rely on our ability to deter and destroy terrorism wherever it exists. All free people, wherever they live, are united by the common enemy that is terrorism. For terrorism, the ideology that believes change can and must be brought about through violence, exists in fundamental contradiction to the values of a free and democratic society. In capturing these terrorists, the Government has taken a pivotal step in the fight against global terror. We must, however, remain absolutely vigilant in our commitment to root out terrorism wherever it festers. The British people, and the people of the world, depend on us to act. 

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I would be more than happy to take questions at this time.
Madam Speaker,

I rise to join the Home Secretary in his congratulations to our first responders, the police, military and intelligence personnel, who have apprehended suspects behind this terrorist attack on our country and on our ally, Israel. There is no division in this House on this matter.
Max Power, Labour
MP for Oxford East (1987-present)
Shadow Foreign Secretary (1994-present)
Madam Speaker,

I too applaud the work of first responders and emergency workers in providing a resolution to this tragic event. I encourage the government to take a stronger stand however on Israel and encourage them to make a more honest effort in becoming the kind of stable partner in the region that will encourage future peace rather than continuing a cycle of violence. We must be honest with our partners and stand forwards when bad behaviour takes place for we are guilty of a disservice to those allies if we remain in complicit silence.

But today our focus must be in congratulating the heroic work in finding the perpetrators of this attack and bringing them to justice. Violence can never be encouraged as a way of resolving differences no matter the issue or the circumstance in question. By investing in our communities and increasing our commitment to country perhaps we can see a reduction in threat and violence overall.
Defence, Energy, Trade Secretary 1994-
 Westminster North
Madam Speaker,

I thank the Shadow Chancellor for joining me in thanking our emergency personnel, and fully second his sentiments.

Sadly, Mr. Speaker, I do not believe the Chancellor is correct in his assessment that the House is united on this matter. We of course should be united in our commitment to both keep our country safe and do right by one of our longest standing allies, there is no question in my mind about that. The position of the Member of Parliament for Western Isles, however, makes reaching unanimity on this issue impossible.

Of course it is right that we hold our foreign allies accountable, Mr. Speaker, but what the Member for Western Isles is doing is something entirely different. Mere days after the bombing at the Israeli Embassy took place, when our ally Israel was vulnerable and in need of assistance, the Member launched into a vicious crusade against the country. While the Government was quick to offer our full support and assistance in ensuring embassy workers were protected and those injured received the care they needed, the Member for Western Isles was advocating we distance ourselves from Israel and apply crippling sanctions on the country.

Now, before Parliament, as we come together on all sides of the political spectrum to celebrate the capture of five terrorists, the Member of Parliament for Western Isles can't help himself but to take yet another opportunity to slander and insult one of Great Britain's closest allies. I really did not want to have to discuss this, Mr. Speaker, but I simply will not sit by as he attacks Israel and Israeli people. As instability grows across the Middle East, Israel remains one of the few consistent allies upon which we can rely. They share our values, our belief in democracy and the rule of law, and they are our partner in the war on terrorism. When we face challenges I have no doubt that we can rely upon Israel to support us, and they should have that same sense of confidence in us. It is my intention to make it very clear that, despite the baseless attacks made by the Member for Western Isles, Britain stands with our friends in Israel. 

I hope Members on both sides of the House will join me in rejecting this narrow minded, counterproductive view expressed by the Member for Western Isles. Today is a moment to celebrate the achievements of armed forces and police officers, and to recommitment ourselves to the fight against radical terrorist movements. Let that be our focus, and let us drown out all the other nonsense.
Madam Speaker,

It is unfortunate that this statement has been hijacked by a desire to see the world idealized through a rose coloured filter. The world we live in is a volatile world that can be exacerbated by the decisions nations make. I take umbrage with the mischaracterizations that have taken place in this chamber by a singular member of the Conservative front bench because they are either made in bad faith or they are made without a desire to have a complete understanding.

So perhaps I can further educate the members of this august body with my comments. The member for Chipping Barnett leveled the accusation that my words before this assembly are slander. According to the oxford dictionary slander is a Middle English word originating from the Latin Scandalum meaning a false and damaging statement about someone. Excuse for a moment the incorrect grammatical usage of the word slander in that I was speaking of a nation rather than a someone we can quickly see the folly of such reckless words by the Member for Chipping Barnett. At what point did I speak falsely? At what point did I lie to this chamber in the words I used?

Let the record reflect and affirm what I am about to tell you here today. Since it’s founding in May of 1948 by David Ben Gurion the state of Israel has engaged in the willful taking of land from the Palestinian people and reappropriating it for Israelis. Moreover the international community recognized that this behaviour of confiscating land from Palestinians to be illegal by the passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 446 on March 22, 1979. Because the honourable member for chipping Barnett prefers to view the world through his rose tinted lenses I will share this resolution with the chamber in part.

1. [i]Determines[/i] that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
2. [i]Strongly deplores[/i] the failure of Israel to abide by Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967, 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968 and 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971 and the consensus statement by the President of the Security Council on 11 November 1976 2/ and General Assembly resolutions 2253 (ES-V) and 2254 (ES-V) of 4 and 14 July 1967, 32/5 of 28 October 1977 and 33/113 of 18 December 1978;
3. [i]Calls once more upon[/i] Israel, as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories;

So if the United Nations Security Council deems the actions of the State of Israel to be contrary to the peace process and this government deems Israel to not only be legal in their actions but considers them our best ally it must mean that this Tory government opposite is in the dire throes of denial. It is a very real question to ask ourselves why we continue to advance so zealously a relationship with a nation that our international partners in the security council consider to be a danger to the peace process. Perhaps it is worth the time of the government in consulting the civil service and listening to their recommendations before allowing their cabinet ministers to come before us prattling about matters they clearly are not properly briefed on.

My friends and colleagues of this parliamentary body I will reiterate what I stated in my prior remarks so they should not be lost in the din of minds rattled by the stark voice of truth and reason. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our first responders and emergency workers for their efforts in apprehending those who committed the egregious acts of terrorism. Violence can never be encouraged as a way of resolving differences no matter the issue or the circumstance in question. By investing in our communities and increasing our commitment to country perhaps we can see a reduction in threat and violence overall.
Defence, Energy, Trade Secretary 1994-
 Westminster North
Madam Speaker, 

My business before the House today is to provide an update on the ongoing investigation into the Israeli Embassy bombing, not to listen to the Member for Western Isles' lecture on his preferred version of world history. Israel was, is, and will continued to be a critical ally of The United Kingdom. Our relationship is good for Britain, it enhances our ability to keep our people safe, and it promotes stability in the Middle East. Our continued partnership enables us to negotiate with the Israelis when we believe the course of action they have taken is wrong; a possibility that would no longer exist if we were to turn out backs to them as the Member opposite advocates. 

The Member for Western Isles can point to UNSC Resolutions passed some 15 years ago if he would like, but I find it more appropriate to look at developments  that have taken place just some months ago. Last September, the Israeli Government and the Palestine Liberation Organization met in Washington to sign the Oslo Accords. This critical step towards peace was made by two parties that are actively seeking to bring this bloodshed to an end, and to secure a future in which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in harmony. It is this sort of progress that strengthens my confidence in Israel, and that makes me proud to call them a friend of Britain. 

The point is this: when an ally of our country comes under attack, they should know that Britain will be prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them. In the case before us today, the Government made it an immediate priority to ensure the Israeli people knew Britain was prepared to support them. In the hours following the attack we established contact with the Israeli Government, engaged in mutual intelligence cooperation, and made public our continued support for Israel.

In those same hours, what did the Member for Western Isles do? He labeled them oppressors, demanded we reevaluate our relationship with them, and advocated that sanctions be placed on the country. This isn't about holding a foreign ally accountable, it's about opportunism. In the hours after their embassy was bombed, in the hours after members of their staff were rushed to the hospital, the Member opposite launched his anti-Israel crusade. It's indecent, it's wrong, and it's not how The United Kingdom treats its allies.

 I read this morning in the papers that the Member for Western Isles has suggested we ruminate on the reasons why these terrorists chose to bomb the Israeli Embassy. Well if he's curious, I'll tell him why - because they are terrorists who believe they have the right to utilize violence in order to force their world view upon free people regardless of their will. There is no reason to think about their motives, or to consider if their actions may have even a shred of justification.Any individual who seeks to bring about change through violence must be stopped, and The United Kingdom remains absolutely dedicate to working with our friends in Israel to ensure just that.

I am happy to continue to debate the Member for Western Isles on the issue if he would like, but I'm not going to waste the House's time any longer on matters irrelevant to the statement I have presented. His views are so inconsistent with those held in this House that even his own party leadership no longer supports him, with the Leader of the Opposition having withdrawn the whip from the Member. Israel is a critical ally in the fight against terror, and a valuable partner in the effort to bring about peace to the Arab World. The Member can rail on all he wants, but those facts will not change.
Madam Speaker,

I thank the member for Chipping Barnett for his quick and witty response at the dispatch box specifically in providing a update to the house on the investigation. The member is correct to point to the recently signed Oslo accords as a measure of progress being made towards peace and I am incredibly hopeful that Israel will maintain good faith in working with the Palestinian Authority to achieve lasting peace but in looking to the future we must look at the past. Both focuses are important in plotting an equitable path forward that can see peace not only thrive but be given a lasting success in the region.

I can restate my points endlessly before this chamber but it would accomplish seemingly very little to change minds in this body. Allies must hold each other accountable in both good times and bad and be cogniscent of when actions lead to unintended consequences. It is not an acceptance or promotion of violence but a recognition of the volatility of the world in which we live. As we look outwards at the actions of others we must be willing to take a painful look inward at the actions our own nation has done in the past that in doing so has led to division and instability. 

I grew up in Derry, Northern Ireland under the scepter of oppression and it was in my 40s that tragic events took place in Derry that to this very day serve as a lightning rod for division and strife. How do we find peace? We take responsibility for the past and we encourage our allies to do the same. And of course we provide protection to diplomats and diplomatic buildings, this is the absolute requirement expected of us by every nation that does business with our United Kingdom. But we also should be frank with allies and friends alike working to secure a better peace never settling never stopping our desire to see peace secured for multiple generations. When we grow complacent we run the risk of allowing the mistakes of the past to rise up again and create future problems.

Yes the bombings were tragic and I have spent considerable time in both the press and before this body expressing my sympathy and my support for those who valiantly responded within emergency services that day. The members opposite even from my own party can spend their time becoming offended by truth spoken in this chamber or we can work together to pave a new chapter one that seeks accountability from our allies so that we can work towards a lasting peace. Accountability comes from investment into the future of Palestinians and working to restore land that was illegally seized. The same could be said in a future debate of working towards reconciliation in my home of Northern Ireland.
Defence, Energy, Trade Secretary 1994-
 Westminster North
I thank the Minister for his statement, the House shall now consider other business.

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