U.S. lawmakers want Cameron to clarify Gaza statement

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Five U.S. Congress members are asking British Prime Minister David Cameron to clarify his statement comparing Gaza to a prison camp.

A letter, circulated by Rep. Steven Rothman (D-N.J.) and signed Tuesday by Reps. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and Dan Burton (R-Ind.) wanted to know if the statement reflected Cameron’s personal view or the official position of the United Kingdom. The letter also reiterated U.S. and British support for Israel.

In a July 27 speech in the Turkish capital Ankara, Cameron said that humanitarian goods must be allowed in and out of Gaza, and it could not remain "a prison camp."

The letter blamed the problems in Gaza entirely on Hamas and stated Israel’s willingness to talk to the Palestinians.

“A central foreign policy goal for both of our nations is the achievement of a peace agreement in the Middle East that allows the Jewish State of Israel to live in peace and prosperity alongside a viable Palestinian State,” the letter said. “In this regard, we believe that your recent comment in Turkey equating Gaza with a ‘prison camp’ is detrimental to the peace process and ignores the history and reality of the situation in Gaza.”

McCarthy and Burton were the only non-Jewish representatives to sign the letter.

 

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