British-Pakistani councilor resigns over Conservative Party’s stance on Gaza ceasefire

Jamal Chauhan threatened with suspension for signing an open letter calling for Gaza ceasefire

British-Pakistani Conservative councilor Jamal Chauhan.  - Author
British-Pakistani Conservative councilor Jamal Chauhan. – Author

London: British-Pakistani Conservative councilor Jamal Chauhan has quit the party over its stance on Israel’s war on Palestine and the killing of more than 13,000 Palestinians.

Chauhan, a lawyer, was threatened with suspension by the Conservative Party for signing an open letter to councilors in England and Wales calling for a ceasefire.

He did not send the letter he co-wrote with Kingston Council independent councilor James Giles, but the party called on him to apologize or face suspension.

Giles emailed all 19,102 councilors in England and Wales on Sunday asking them to sign a public letter calling for a Gaza ceasefire. He threatened to publish the names of anyone opposing the ceasefire in Gaza, and the Green Party and others have already done so. The letter said that anti-Semitism had been “weaponized” by Hamas to silence those who protested Israel’s actions in the wake of the October 7 attacks and that anyone who criticized the State of Israel was branded as an “anti-Semite.” “It was said.

The original letter from a group of elected representatives calls on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labor leader Keir Starmer to “call for an immediate ceasefire and focus their efforts towards bringing lasting peace to the region through meaningful impartial mediation leading to a two-state solution.” There has been a call to concentrate.” ,

It says: “To put it clearly and unequivocally, anti-Semitism is completely unacceptable. However, this term cannot continue to be used as a weapon to absolve Israel of any accountability for how it has contributed to current tensions and its failure to comply with international law. Many respected international organizations, including the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, are concerned that these events amount to war crimes, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.

Following the above original letter, the Conservative Party threatened Chouhan with suspension and asked him to apologise, which he refused.

In his resignation letter, councilor Chauhan termed the party as a “sinking ship” which is trying to “silence those advocating peace”.

Chauhan wrote, “I cannot continue to be associated with this type of politics and I feel that I have to apologize frequently for representing the Conservative Party.”

Councilor Chauhan said he feels he is afraid to speak on the issue and that his party colleagues have ignored his views.

Both the Conservative and Labor parties have shown unwavering support for Israel and have refused to call for a ceasefire. Those calling for a ceasefire have either been suspended or isolated and several Labor front benchers and dozens of councilors have resigned over the issue.

He further said in his scathing resignation letter: “I am not prepared to represent the Conservative Party under the current administration. Therefore, please accept my resignation with immediate effect.

“The Conservative Party claims to have always stood for individual liberty, democracy and the rule of law. I’m sorry that won’t happen in 2023. I am not given the personal freedom to advocate for peace while being a Conservative, and neither are the general public, when their democratic right to protest is undermined and dismissed as a ‘hate march’.

“The party has adopted policies that extend to the far right. Be it aggressive anti-immigration rhetoric that has since been deemed illegal, suppressing free speech by condemning legitimate protest, and plans to rewrite human rights laws to continue a deportation strategy that lacks compassion . The party looks exactly like a sinking ship which is losing its dignity in the process. The party should know everything about this, given that it leaves refugees in the same condition.

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