FOREIGN AFFAIRS – MIDDLE EAST – 5 December 2001

Dr Julian Lewis: I congratulate the Foreign Secretary [Jack Straw] on the fairness and consistency of his statement and answers today. I remind him and the hon. Member for Erith and Thamesmead (John Austin) that when a United Nations force was ordered out in 1967, a chain of events began with threats to Israel and culminated in the occupation of what are today the occupied territories.

The Foreign Secretary correctly distinguishes between the actions of bin Laden and Arafat. However, perhaps a better parallel is between the actions of bin Laden's suicide bombers and those of Hamas's suicide bombers. When we consider the measures that we have taken against bin Laden, is not it correct that similarly tough measures against Hamas and its suicide bombers should be undertaken by the one democratic state in the area: Israel?