Mike Gapes (Labour)
NILL, Anti Muslim
Mike Gapes has been the Labour Party MP for Ilford South since 1992. He has a consistent pro-Israeli stance in a constituency with a high Muslim population and is also the Vice chair of Labour Friends of Israel. Gapes has made a number of disgraceful remarks in the House of Commons about Muslims and Muslim countries. In addition, he is a strong supporter of the Terrorism Act, which is designed to curb the activities of Islamic resistance movements. This new Act is also strongly supported by the governments of Israel, Russia and the USA. See comments section for a selection of some of his anti-Muslim comments made during his 8 years in the House of Commons, together with some of our responses to him.
Amendment to government Iraq motion - 18.3.2003
MPs debating the Iraq crisis voted on an anti-war amendment. Rebels voted in favour. The motion was defeated. Against
Anti-war amendment in the Iraq debate - 26.2.2003
MPs voted on an amendment tabled by Chris Smith and Douglas Hogg. The amendment was not carried. Rebels voted in favour. Against
UN resolution 1441 - 25.11.2002
Liberal Democrat amendment limiting justification for war with Iraq without further UN sanction. Rebels voted for the amendment. Against
Home Office anti-terrorism legislation - 21.11.2001
Vote on the controversial bill giving the government the right to detain foreign terrorists without trial. Rebels voted against. The motion was passed. For International action against terrorism - 1.11.2001
Rebel vote against government's backing for air strikes on Afghanistan. Rebels voted for. Motion was lost. Against
No response to the MPAC questionnaire
Defends the Zionist lobby
[4.2.98] Mr Mike Gapes: The hon. Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Soames) referred to the baleful influence of the Zionist lobby. Perhaps we should also point out the baleful influence of what might be called an Arab lobby among those who do not comment on those issues and simply dismiss them.
Surely Mr Gapes is not trying to compare the well-organised and insidious influence of the Zionist lobby with the hitherto pathetic response of the Muslims at organising a counter pro-Islamic lobby? Note that there are 300,000 Jews in Britain but there are over two million Muslims in Britain. The Jewish community has over twenty declared MPs while the Muslims have only one MP! Yet, Mr Gapes appears to think there is some sort of equivalence between the Zionist lobby and the pro-Arab lobby. How odd!
Criticises the Arab Economic Boycott of Israel
[19.11.93] Mr Mike Gapes: I must take issue with my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Ross) in that I do not believe that we should make any excuses for continuing the Arab economic boycott of Israel. The time to lift that boycott is now.
This was said by Mr Gapes in 1993 when Israel was still in occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and Southern Lebanon. It is noteworthy that Mr Gapes has never called for the lifting of the sanctions against Iraq, which are slowly decimating the Muslim population of Iraq.
Attacks Iraq, Defends Israel
[3.11.98] Mr. Mike Gapes (Ilford, South): Will my right hon. Friend utterly reject the propaganda by Radio Baghdad, and any little echo of it in the House or elsewhere, and make it clear that there can be no suggestion of equivalence between Israel and Iraq?
Far from just being 'propaganda', the Iraqis have correctly pointed out that the USA and Britain have insisted on every single UN resolution being scrupulously applied to Iraq - but they have hypocritically ignored the repeated UN resolutions calling on Israel to unconditionally withdraw from the occupied territories and the Syrian Golan Heights. Indeed, Britain and the USA have often exercised their veto power to prevent any criticism of Israel in the United Nations.
Opposes Lifting Arms Embargo on Bosnia
[13.7.94] Mr. Gapes: Will the Government be trying to work with the Chinese to veto any move by the United States to lift the arms embargo? In view of the remarks of the right hon. and learned Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg) and of the Prime Minister yesterday, when he said that he was against the unilateral lifting of the arms embargo--may we have a categorical assurance that our Government will not give way to misguided pressure from the American Congress and President Clinton but will work with others to stop the lifting of the arms embargo?
It is important to remember here that the Bosnian Serbs continued to receive plentiful supplies of arms from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the Bosnian Croats continued to receive plentiful supplies of arms from Croatia. So while the UN imposed an air embargo on all sides (Bosnian Muslim, Croat and Serbian) it was only the Bosnian Muslims who really suffered because they had no access to heavy arms. This was the deceit which Muslims all over the world condemned - yet Mr Gapes supported this deceit.
[17.11.94] Mr. Mike Gapes (Ilford, South): Has the Foreign Secretary seen reports in today's The European to the effect that United States military and intelligence personnel are giving assistance to the Bosnian Muslim side in the conflict, at the same time as the Americans are withdrawing intelligence co-operation from Britain and France in the enforcement of the arms embargo in the Adriatic? Will the right hon. Gentleman take this opportunity to condemn that intervention and to make it clear to the American Government that we do not take kindly to the fact that they are making the task of our troops in Bosnia much more dangerous?
Mr. Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire, South): Will my right hon. Friend repudiate what the hon. Gentleman has just said? He talked about the Bosnian Muslim side. Will my right hon. Friend make it quite plain that we are talking about the legitimately recognised Government of Bosnia, which is not purely Muslim, and that there would be no fighting now had the Serbs accepted, as the Bosnian Government reluctantly did, the contact group proposals?
Mr Gapes is here quite rightly criticised by Sir Patrick Cormack MP. It seems that Mr Gapes wanted the Muslims of Bosnia to receive no support from any source. Why did Mr Gapes not condemn the unjust UN arms embargo against the legitimate Bosnian Muslim government?
[18.1.2000] Mr. Gapes: I would like to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on Iran's ability to produce missiles with a range of more than 500 miles.
Why was this question asked? Iran is a sovereign state and has the right to equip itself with whatever weapons it deems necessary for its defence. Why was no question asked about Israel's NUCLEAR missiles? Israel is the only nuclear power in the Middle East. Israel has repeatedly invaded Lebanon and has massacred tens of thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian Muslims, young and old. Surely Israel's possession of nuclear weapons should elicit a question or two from Mr Gapes?
[20.7.99] Mr. Mike Gapes (Ilford, South): Will he assure the House that as well as taking up the issue of minorities--including the Jewish minority--in Iran, we will not tolerate any reversion to the dreadful reactionary policies that were adopted under Khomeini?
The Jews of Iran (as well as Armenians and Greek Orthodox) are guaranteed representatives in the Iranian Majlis (parliament). Why does Mr Gapes not describe the Jewish treatment of the Palestinians as second-class citizens of Israel as 'dreadfully reactionary'?
[10.3.98] Mr. Gapes: When my right hon. Friend [Mr Robin Cook] goes to Syria, will he emphasise to the Syrian Government the importance of Syria's being engaged in the process? Does he agree that if there is to be a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East it is not just a question of the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians? All the states neighbouring Israel must also recognise Israel and come to a peace settlement with Israel if there is to be lasting peace in the region.
Why should Syria recognise Israel? Israel was created by dispossessing the Palestinian people. Israel has occupied the Syrian Golan Heights since 1967. Why did Mr Gapes not stress that Israel should unconditionally withdraw from the Golan Heights?
MIKE GAPES: VICE-CHAIRMAN OF THE FRIENDS OF ISRAEL AND A STAUNCH PRO WAR MP. VOTED IN BY A MAJORITY MUSLIM CONSTITUENCY!
The Muslim constituents of Ilford South have called for the resignation of Mike Gapes, vice-chairman of 'Labour Friends of Israel' and MP for Ilford South, following his vote in favour of the Iraqi invasion.
LFI leader survives de-selection threat from Muslims in Ilford