1,000+ top UK lawyers tell Rishi : “No legal obligation to sanction Israel”

PM receives new letter to counter the one from pro-Palestinian UK lawyers and others

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2024

Facts4EU.Org summarises the important fightback against the anti-Israel lobby

Yesterday we very sadly commemorated the six-month anniversary of the barbaric horrors of the Hamas terrorist attack on innocent men, women, children and babies in Israel on 07 October 2023.

Two days earlier, a letter had been sent to Rishi Sunak by hundreds of apparently pro-Palestinian lawyers and others, calling on the government to sanction Israel and to stop all support to that country.

This must be called out now for what it is

Today we rebut the allegations and claims of the previous letter and summarise the views contained in a new letter to the PM signed by more than 1,000 UK lawyers, explaining that there is no legal obligation for the Government to take actions against Israel.

We are grateful to UK Lawyers for Israel for the information they have provided.

Credit: Twitter 2024

Here are just some of the errors in the original letter calling for sanctions against Israel

The letter from the other side wrongly stated that a decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had concluded there was a “plausible risk of genocide in Gaza”. The new letter says that the Court merely held that it was plausible that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have rights to be protected from acts of genocide, which is surely what all would expect.

Contrary to the claim brought by South Africa against Israel, the Court did not demand that Israel cease its military operation in Gaza.

Moreover, the letter from the other side wrongly claimed that legal obligations on the UK flow from the wording of the ICJ’s orders, even though these are legally binding only on the parties to the proceedings, i.e. Israel and South Africa.

This earlier letter even suggested that the UK has an obligation to seek the imposition of a permanent ceasefire to prevent the commission of genocide. But such an obligation cannot flow from ICJ Orders that are not binding on the UK and which do not impose a ceasefire. Nor can it flow from the Convention itself in the absence of any breach by Israel.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron, statement, 07 Apr 2024

"Calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire are easy to make but, alongside US and other allies, we are clear that unless you deal with the cause of the conflict — the rule of Hamas over Gaza and the presence of those responsible for October 7 — no ceasefire would last. Israel cannot be expected to live next to an organisation that carried out such brutal attacks and has declared that, if possible, it would do the same all over again."

- Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron, statement, 07 Apr 2024

HAMAS propaganda

The earlier letter relies heavily on casualty figures provided by the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health. These figures do not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, do not specify casualties caused by Palestinian fire (including errant rockets and direct fire on Palestinian civilians), and appear to have been fabricated, both in the overall totals and in the breakdown of men, women and children, according to several recent statistical analyses.

Israel says that 13,000 combatants have been killed during the war so far, out of around 33,000 that the Gaza Health Ministry claims have been killed in total.

Civilian casualties in war are inevitable – Israel’s attacks on Hamas fall well below the average

Naturally every civilian death in any war is a tragedy. However a report by the UN Secretary General found that in conflicts in urban areas in 2021 there were eight civilian casualties for every combatant. In Gaza the ratio is 80% less than this – and that is if one accepts Hamas’s inflated claims of civilian casualties, which we don’t. This completely contradicts the allegation of genocide.

The rebuttal of the claims made by pro-Palestinian lawyers and others

© UKLRI 2024

The new letter from 1,000+ UK lawyers to the Prime Minister explains why the UK is not obliged to take - and should not take - any of the five specific measures recommended in the earlier letter. Here is what was demanded, together with the measured response from UK Lawyers for Israel.

A Facts4EU.Org summary of the original claims versus the facts

[Source : UK Lawyers for Israel, 07 Apr 2024.]

Immediate and permanent ceasefire

Demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire at this time would undermine current negotiations to secure the release of hostages and a temporary ceasefire. Disrupting this precarious negotiation would be liable to increase the suffering of civilians and prolong the war.

Resuming funding to UNRWA with immediate effect

The pro-Palestinian letter does not mention the current investigations into UNRWA’s alleged complicity in terrorism in Gaza, which is the reason for suspending this funding. The UK should await the outcome of these investigations before deciding on future funding.

Imposing sanctions on individuals and entities in Israel

There is no justification for imposing sanctions on individuals or entities without any findings or evidence of serious misconduct by them.

Suspending sales of weapons to Israel

There is no justification for suspending the sale of weapons to Israel without evidence of systematic violation by Israel of international law.

Suspending the 2030 Roadmap for bilateral relations with Israel

There is no reason to suspend the 2030 Roadmap for bilateral relations with Israel. Continuing the 2030 Roadmap would not constitute a breach of the UK’s obligations under the Genocide Convention in the absence of any breach of that Convention.

A link to the new letter to Rishi Sunak from 1,000+ UK lawyers is here and the link to the original letter from pro-Palestinian UK lawyers and others is here.


As we remarked in yesterday’s piece on the commemoration of the Hamas atrocities on 07 October, none of the Facts4EU.Org or CIBUK.Org teams are Jewish. This is about humanity and the right to self-defence, not race or religion.

Israel is facing not only a rogue state seeking its destruction, but one which has been openly boastful of the appalling war crimes of the gravest magnitude it has committed against Israel’s civilian population.

Now that more than 1,000 UK lawyers have signed the new letter to the Prime Minister, with more doing so all the time, we trust that Rishi Sunak will treat the preceding letter accordingly.

Finally, if you have not already signed The October Declaration, we hope you will help us to get the tally to more than 100,000. It only takes a minute to read and add your name online.

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[ Sources: UK Lawyers for Israel | British Friends of Israel ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Mon 08 Apr 2024

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