Warsi's resignation - also 'disproportionate'

by - 7th August 2014

I am still trying to make sense of why it is that Baroness Warsi felt so emotionally compelled to submit her resignation. She would like us to believe that it was the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli government on the residents of Gaza. If that were the case then she should have resigned when the Bashar Al-Assad govt in Syria started to murder its own citizens en masse. Or maybe even when the military junta started to brutally crack down on the followers of the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.

Baroness Warsi would like us to take a 'morally defensible stance'; call the Israeli government's punitive action 'disproportionate', and cancel arms export licenses. In the event Baroness Warsi has not noticed there have been very few protests on the Arab street. Governments of neighbouring countries are only too glad at the Israeli reaction. And what is 'proportionate force' according to Baroness Warsi? How is the Israeli government supposed to calibrate it? - would it be our primary preoccupation if we were subjected to a barrage of indiscriminate rocket fire?

Cancelling arms export licenses to Israel only to satisfy certain sections of public opinion does not a good policy make. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and its government is not only accountable but it also has a transparent decision making process. Why is it that Baroness Warsi is not upset when we sell arms to autocratic regimes in the Middle East who have no accountability to their people? These are regimes whose sole ambition is to preserve their grip on power and are willing to acheive this through patronage and coercion.

I get the feeling that Baroness Warsi is trying to use scare tactics when she points to Foreign Office studies on the radicalisation of Muslim youth as a result of the Israel/Palestine conflict. The imperative question here is - are we going to allow bigoted obscurantist fringe groups to hold our foreign policy to ransom? Our foreign policy is designed to protect our security and commercial interests and must not be dictated to by the narrow political ambitions of Baroness Warsi.

Husein Moloobhoy is a British Muslim who blogs at http://furqanblog.com and at Criterion Quarterly.