Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Apologies demanded after Israel is accused of killing innocents

APOLOGIES were demanded yesterday as politicians and Jewish leaders falsely accused Israel of killing “innocent protesters” in Gaza.

Hundreds of MPs and political commentators faced a backlash after Palestinian leaders admitted that 53 of the 60 dead in this week’s Gaza riots were Hamas terrorists.

Calls for apologies came from many leading Israel advocates and groups, including North West Friends of Israel, Sussex Friends of Israel, Arsen Ostrovsky and David Collier.

But only Conservative MP Nick Boles could find it within himself to say sorry.

On Tuesday, he tweeted: “It is because I am a true friend of Israel that I hold them to a higher standard than the murderous thugs of Hamas.

“The Israeli government must show far greater restraint than in recent days.”

But he backtracked just 24 hours later, tweeting: “Yesterday I criticised Israel’s handling of the protests at the Gaza border.

“I should not have been so quick to judge.

“We now learn that the 50 of those killed were Hamas terrorists.

“Israel had an absolute right to defend itself against such attacks.”

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who tweeted that the killing of “dozens of unarmed protesters and wounding of many more by Israeli forces in Gaza” warranted “not just international condemnation but action”, has yet to apologise — despite the Jewish Telegraph asking his office if he would do so.

And Labour MPs Wes Streeting, Stephen Kinnock and Chuka Umunna echoed their leader’s sentiments, while shadow secretary of state Emily Thornberry accused Israel of killing and maiming “unarmed protesters”.

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas added her accusations to the party, when she accused Israel of meeting “stones and burning rags” with bullets.

And vehemently vocal anti-Israel Labour supporter and Guardian columnist Owen Jones called for “military sanctions” against Israel’s government.

Anti-Israel organisation Yachad had gone as far as writing an open letter to the Board of Deputies, saying that Israel’s actions are “not considered legal under international law”.

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