Sarah Champion, Labour candidate for Rotherham and member of the shadow cabinet, has written to us, offering a heartfelt message of support. Please see this below.
I’ve been to Palestine twice now. The differences between reading about Palestine and visiting it are stark – more so than any other country I’ve experienced.
The reality of the occupation to the Palestinian people is chilling. The wall frequently cuts through the centre of villages, separating families from each other, children from their schools and farmers from their land. It can take hours to make the convoluted trek to the nearest security barrier to queue up (often getting rejected) to then go about your daily business. On my last visit in January, it felt like Palestine has become an open prison and I can’t imagine what that must do to you psychologically.
I haven’t visited Gaza as MPs are not allowed to enter, therefore I don’t feel able to reliably comment on the rights and wrongs of the complex relationships between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. However, there is no doubt that the residents of Gaza are trying to survive in the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis.
I am therefore very grateful that women and children from Gaza will benefit from the kindness of people from South Yorkshire. There is no debate that everyone deserves the right to reach their potential and the causes being supported will help that to happen.”
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Rotherham & member of the Labour Shadow Cabinet