Liberal Democrat Reply to Our Open Letter to Reading’s PPCs

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From Gareth Epps, Liberal Democrat Party candidate for Reading East:

Date: 29 April 2010 10:24

Thank you for getting in touch with me on a subject that is close to my heart, and one on which I want to speak out in public if elected.

I am a founder member of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine, and have worked closely with them to promote the Palestinian cause that is articulated more frequently by ourselves than by the other main parties.

I was privileged to be asked to speak at the Pakistan Community Centre in January 2009 during the Gaza crisis, I condemned without equivocation Israel’s murderous actions in Gaza at that time, as well as the blockade and the wider repression of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.  I attended local Gaza vigils.  I strongly supported Nick Clegg when he called for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement – the only political party leader to do so.  I am a Patron of the Friends of Wadi Fuqeen (http://wadifuqeenfriends.com/) and support their fundraising activities locally.

In Reading Borough Council last year, I successfully moved an amendment to a motion on Gaza that makes explicit Reading’s support for the Palestinian cause, and condemns Israeli brutality and collective punishment towards the Occupied Territories.  A report can be read at: http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2043883_strong_emotions_on_gaza_conflict

I feel passionately that it is high time the Israeli Government was brought to book for its repeated breaches of international law.  As Reading East’s MP I would stand up to the hysteria of sections of the pro-Israel lobby and point out that it is in the interests of friends of Israel, as well as friends of Palestine, to see peace and justice in the Occupied Territories.  I want to see an international lead taken by a British Government that has been shamefully weak to end the illegal building of settlements, end the siege and end the occupation.

Sometimes issues are too important to be left to others, especially when it is necessary to stand up to bullies.  This is one of them.

I wholeheartedly agree with all pledge commitments the and sign up to them.

I hope this helps – if you’re in any doubt about anything I have said or want to raise anything else with me, then please let me know.

Yours sincerely
Gareth Epps
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Reading East
Printed by Parkglobe Consultants Limited, Avenue House, Chichester, West Sussex,
PO19 1ES.  Published and promoted by Coling Lawley, 26 Farriers Close, Woodley RG5 3DD.

Best wishes

Gareth Epps
Liberal Democrat councillor for Katesgrove ward

Please note that my phone number has changed – it is now 0118 327 8582.



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