Siôn Simon MP looks to Israel...

From: House of Commons
Published: Wed Jul 20 2005

Birmingham Erdington MP Siôn Simon (Labour) has contributed a chapter to a new book looking at the Middle East conflict entitled "Labour Looks to Israel, Essays on Politics, Society and Peace", which is particularly topical in light in the UK suffering its first suicide bombings.

Treasury Minister Ivan Lewis MP emphasised the domestic significance of Mr Simon’s essay by writing in the introduction:

"A thread that runs through many of these contributions is that Israel’s challenges are not far removed from our own. When Siôn Simon MP remarks on Israel’s difficulties in balancing the need for national security with the strict demands of human rights, it brings to mind our own dilemmas in legislating to protect ourselves from terrorism".

Mr Simon was part of a Labour delegation which visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories earlier in the year to view conditions on ground and to speak to decision makers on either side of the conflict.

Mr Simon said:

"When I chose to write about the commonalities between the UK and Israel in our search to find the appropriate balance between national security and human rights I did not realise that such awful events would make this balance so topical in the UK. I argue that we need to ground this balance in realities on the ground, not in abstract theorising, and I hope that this is kept in mind the UK in coming months".

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