Homes for Hamas? UK Lawmakers Push for Ukraine-Style Refugee Scheme for Palestinians

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Hundreds of people join the pro-Palestine Stop Arming Israel p
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British lawmakers have called on the government to open up a bespoke visa programme that could potentially allow hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to come into the UK in a similar manner to the scheme for Ukrainian refugees.

Following a petition demanding the government “create a Palestinian Family Visa Scheme for Palestinian people affected by war,” the House of Commons debated the motion, with left-wing and even some Tory MPs backing the notion of opening up a specific scheme for Palestinians to come to Britain amid the military conflict between Israel and Islamist Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The debate, held by the Petitions Committee in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, saw lawmakers argue that Britain has a historical obligation to the Palestinian people over the UK’s involvement in the creation of the state of Israel following the Holocaust.

Scottish National Party MP Joanna Cherry said that the UK government should take in refugees from Gaza given “Britain’s historic role in shaping 20th and 21st century Palestine and Israel, particularly in the light of the Balfour Declaration and the policies of the British Mandate.”

“We have to acknowledge that it was long-standing British policy to displace Palestinians from their homes this shared Colonial history means that we have a unique responsibility towards Palestinian refugees and a particular responsibility to push for peace in the region,” Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy added in support of the measure.

Labour MP and member of the Socialist Campaign Group, Sam Tarry agreed that the UK should adopt a ‘Homes for Ukraine’ style scheme for Palestinians, to enable “those people to leave and leave quickly and to arrive on our shores and to safe haven as quickly as possible”.

The Labour MP went on to call for the government to allow Palestinian refugees the right to immediately work in Britain “because many of those people are doctors, they are academics, the Gazan people are highly, highly skilled and incredibly intelligent and well-educated workforce, and many of them would absolutely love to do that and give their contribution in return to safety from the barbarity they are facing.”

The leftist lawmakers were not alone in backing the scheme during the debate, with Tory MP Mark Logan even going so far as to say that he would “be very happy” to put up Palestinian refugees in his home were a scheme similar to the Homes for Ukraine be put in place for people from Gaza.

“I think that action does need to be taken I think that as as a country and a people that we can do more for the people of Gaza and for the people of Palestine in this this time of need,” he said.

The push to accept refugees from Gaza comes as the UK has taken in historic levels of refugees in recent years, having taken in at least 197,000 from Ukraine following the Russian invasion in 2022, which alone was equivalent to the number of people granted refugee status in the country from all countries combined between 2014 and 2021.

Additionally, the government granted 176,407 British National (Overseas) visas to people from Hong Kong fleeing the former UK colony following the effective takeover of the local government by the Communist Party in Beijing.

The UK has also been facing historic levels of both illegal and legal immigration, with over 120,000 aliens illegally breaking into the country after crossing the English Channel from France since 2018 and net legal migration hitting a record 745,000 in 2022, alone.

While many of the parliamentarians claimed broad support in Britain for taking in Palestinians, a survey from YouGov in October found that just 31 per cent of the public felt that the UK had a moral obligation to give refuge to people fleeing from Gaza, compared to 45 per cent who said that the country had no such moral duty. Removing the question of morality, the question was essentially evenly split, with 39 per cent supporting an introduction of a scheme to settle Palestinians in Britain compared to 38 per cent opposed.

The government has so far rejected the notion of creating a Palestine-specific refugee scheme, however, with the governing Conservative Party widely predicted to fall to the opposition Labour Party in the upcoming general election, some have warned that this may change.

Lee Anderson MP — who defected to the Nigel Farage-founded Reform UK party from the Conservatives earlier this year — suggested that it is the Labour Party’s “plan” to create a “Homes for Hamas” scheme.

Reform UK leader Richard Tice added: “Why do other Arab nations refuse to take Gazan refugees? Because [the] vast majority support Hamas [and] are deeply antisemitic. We have enough immigration problems, we don’t need any more antisemites in [the] UK, nor people who do not share our values.

“Under no circumstances should [the] UK take any Gazan refugees.”

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