Foreign AffairsSpeeches

Peter Bottomley – 2023 Speech on Israel and Gaza

The speech made by Peter Bottomley, the Father of the House, in the House of Commons on 16 October 2023.

The House will be grateful to both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition for the lead that they have given in today’s statement. This is not the time to point out the faults of Benjamin Netanyahu. What we have to say is that the inexcusable terror attack on Israelis was intended to bring awful harm to the Palestinians.

Rather than quote international leaders, I want to quote a senior constituent, who said: “This is a very harrowing time for Jews all over the world. There are about 16 million of us worldwide. Why can’t they leave us alone?”

If we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we want to try to bring security, both to the people of Israel and to the Palestinians in Gaza. Does the Prime Minister know that he will have our support as he tries to do that?

The Prime Minister

I thank the Father of the House for what he has said, and I simply agree with his constituent in saying that all of us will pray for peace in the region, but especially for peace for those families who have been so tragically affected by what has happened over the past week.