Disgraced ex-PM Boris Johnson says banning arms sales to Israel would be ‘shameful’

Disgraced ex-PM Boris Johnson says banning arms sales to Israel would be ‘shameful’

Related video: ‘We are showing solidarity’ - Boris Johnson attends march against antisemitism in London

GB News

Boris Johnson, the former prime minister whose political career ended with the Partygate scandal into rule-breaking parties during a deadly public health crisis (for which he received a Metropolitan Police fine and became the first PM found to have broken the law while in office) has this week penned a new column commenting on something he considers “shameful” - sparking ridicule from social media users.

In his latest piece for the Mail, the ex-Mayor of London and Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP shared his thoughts on growing calls for the UK to suspend arms sales to Israel after an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) air strike killed seven aid workers – including three Britons – in Gaza.

The IDF announced it had concluded its internal investigation on Friday, admitting that a “grave mistake” was made and confirming that two military officers had been dismissed, but continuing to claim innocence over the attack by insisting the workers from World Central Kitchen (WCK) were “misidentified” as Hamas militants.

In statements issued on Friday, foreign secretary Lord David Cameron called for Israel to undergo “a major change in the conduct of hostilities to protect civilians” and “reform [its] deconfliction mechanism to ensure the safety of aid workers”.

Commenting on the IDF’s investigation into the killing of aid workers, he wrote on Twitter/X: “We are carefully reviewing the initial findings of Israel’s investigations … and welcome the suspension of two officers as a first step.

“These findings must be published in full and followed up with a wholly independent review to ensure the utmost transparency and accountability.

“Lessons must be learned from today’s initial findings from the IDF. It’s clear major reform of Israel’s deconfliction mechanism is badly needed to ensure the safety of aid workers.

“The deaths of these brave heroes are a tragedy, and this must never happen again.”

Tory grandees, hundreds of lawyers, MPs and peers of different political colours and top military commanders have all called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to halt arms exports to Israel, though one dissenting voice is that of Johnson.

Writing under the headline “It would be insane for Britain to ban arms sales to Israel. The sooner we denounce the idea, the better”, the conservative commentator opens the piece by saying: “If you want an example of the death wish of Western civilisation, I give you the proposal from members of the British establishment that this country should ban arms sales to Israel”.

The ex-PM says in a Daily Mail column that banning arms sales to Israel would be ‘shameful’.Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

He goes on to write: “If we ban the sale of arms ourselves, it surely follows that we do not think any self-respecting country should be arming the Israelis. And if we are willing everyone, including the US, to end their military support, be in no doubt what that means. There is only one logical conclusion.

“We are willing the military defeat of Israel and the victory of Hamas.”

Turning his attention to the drone strike on the WCK aid workers, he added: “It was shattering to see the recent killing, by the Israelis, of three British and other Western aid workers. There must be an inquiry. The Israelis must explain what happened, and bring to justice those responsible for what must surely have been a hideous mistake.

“But in all our grief and rage about what is happening on the ground in Gaza, we should not forget the essential moral difference between Hamas and Israel.”

Concluding the piece, Johnson brands the stance of ending arms sales to Israel as “absurdly hypocritical”, claiming he doesn’t remember “many qualms about loss of civilian life during the Nato strikes on Libya”.

Except, back in 2012, a report from the US non-profit Human Rights Watch concluded the military alliance “failed to acknowledge dozens of civilian casualties” from the 2011 air strikes, and Amnesty International called for a proper investigation into the killing of civilians.

He also claims the UK has “very sensibly” sustained arms deals with Saudi Arabia amid the war in Yemen – despite the UN reporting in 2021 that 18,000 Yemeni civilians had been killed in airstrikes since 2015.

Johnson then writes: “It’s the implication: that good, clever, kindly people in this country are actually willing to take away, from Israel, its means of defending its citizens against Hamas.

“That is insane. That is shameful – and the sooner the government formally denounces the idea, the better.”

However, someone like Boris Johnson ruling on what is or isn’t shameful hasn’t gone done too well online:

Alongside writing for the Mail, Johnson is understood to join GB News as a “presenter, programme maker and commentator” at some point this year.

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