News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Palestinian Protests Police London-banner.jpg
Palestinian Protests Police London.jpg

Gaza needs our prayers not our protests says Christian former Labour Shadow minister

by Ros Mayfield

The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is facing further pressure to support calls for a ceaserfire in Gaza, after one of his frontbench MPs resigned over the issue on Tuesday.

Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East and Labour's Shadow minister for Levelling Up, said that with a heavy heart he'd decided he could no longer support his party's position.

But another Labour former frontbencher, Stephen Pound, who's a Christian, tells Premier no political party in a democracy has absolute unity on every issue:  "There are those people who would like to see the Labour Party dissolve and fall into little pieces of competing groups and factions - all I can say is, you show me a single political party with more than two members that doesn't have powerfully differing views."

Mr Pound was Labour's Shadow minister for Northern Ireland and supports Sir Keir, who he worked with as Director of Public Prosecutions.

A pro-Palestinian protest march, planned in London this weekend has sparked tension in relations between Downing Street and the Metropolitan Police. 

Rishi Sunak held meetings with London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner, who's refusing to ban the march, scheduled to take place in the capital, shortly after Armistice Day commemorations are over.  Sir Mark Rowley says he's held meetings with the organisers, and their plans don't meet the threshold for being blocked.

Leroy Logan, a former Superintendent in the Met, tells Premier an independent justice system is a central pillar of British democracy, and says he's concerned by any government attempt to interfere with a police chief's decision-making.

Stephen Pound says a march won't make any practical difference in any case, and people in Israel and Gaza need our prayers not protests.

"A ceasefire or timeout wherever you want to call it, which simply allow Hamas to regroup and then re-attack, you know that, and I know that. 

"You cannot have a ceasefire, unless both parties agree to a ceasefire.  A one-sided ceasefire is simply a surrender.

"There cannot be a ceasefire, as there was with the IRA ceasefire, so that you can then enter into negotiations and discussions. If Hamas had any remote chance of having a ceasefire, they wouldn't have as their founding statement, their first point of principle, we believe in the destruction of the State of Israel. So negotiation is out.

"People have this dreadful feeling they want to do something.  Everybody is horrified by what's happening [for example] to the Christian churches.

Mr Pound, who's been to the Israel-Palestine region many times, and has witnessed the persecution against Christians there said: "I've seen the difficulties that you have, just to keep the Christian flame alive in that area."

"The answer is not to call for a ceasefire. You've got to provide humanitarian aid, and you've got to pray. You've got to do what you can to help."

But he says protesting on the streets of London won't achieve as much as some might hope.

"The idea that 100,000 people on Armistice Day parading through the streets of our capital city, with all the potential for the problems that could arise, and that is going to make one whit of difference to either somebody sheltering in a bomb shelter in southern Gaza, or somebody in Tel Aviv, mourning, the loss of a loved one... it's going to make no difference."

He's urging people to pray for those directly affected: "We pray for Palestine. We pray for all people. And we must also show that on these occasions, we don't fall into name calling and stone throwing."

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email