Tommy contributes to the debate on Israel and Palestinian Talks (5th July 2017).
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Tommy contributes to the debate on Illegal Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (8th February 2017).
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Tommy Sheppard, the SNP MP for Edinburgh East, is among those who have written to the chief executive of the Californian-based online company. He’s pointed out that the Israeli settlements where the homes are situated are illegal under international law.
“It is of deep concern that a company such as yours that prides itself as being a community, is showing such disregard for the communities in the Occupied Territories who are seeing their homes demolished for Israeli settlements to be built,” he wrote to Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky.
MP Tommy Sheppard has backed a targeted consumer boycott campaign to oppose the occupation of Palestine by Israel and to push for a fresh peace settlement.
Sheppard, the MP for Edinburgh East, said he “generally supports the BDS campaign” with a boycott focus on arms used in human rights abuses alongside goods produced from illegal settlements.
Early Day Motion raises awareness of unfair treatment of non-Jewish refugees in Israel
Tommy Sheppard MP has sponsored an EDM calling on the Israeli Government to improve its treatment of non-Jewish, African asylum seekers. Less than one percent of applications by African refugees are successful, while Israel’s closest neighbours, Jordan and Lebanon, have each accepted millions of refugees fleeing Syria.
These are motions that any MP can submit to the house for debate. In reality very few are actually debated, but the process allows MPs to officially register their stance on a particular subject. MPs from across all parties have registered 269 EDMs already, and parliament has only been recalled for about six weeks at the time of writing. It is a way that MPs can publically register their objections to, or support, for various causes, laws or events whilst avoiding some of the more bureaucratic parliamentary protocols, and without having to be approved or chosen – as they often are for things like oral questions or making speeches in a debate.
Subjects vary wildly, from the very specific such as 159 which welcomed the unveiling of the sculpture ‘Steel Man’ at Ravenscraig, paying tribute to steelworkers and trade unionists, to the far reaching such as 98 on the disproportionate cost of prepayment meters which are incurred mainly by poorer households. Tommy has signed 28 so far, including these two. You can see which ones he, and any other member, has signed here:
We arrived on day one thinking we would be getting our desks and computers sorted, at a push we thought we'd be carefully positioning out pencil holders on our own desks by the Friday. Four weeks later our desks have just arrived - and we are very grateful - but we are still waiting on our computers. We are learning the pace of the Westminster administrative machine.
We have all had to undergo extensive security checks. I have never in my life been asked on a form about where my partner lived three years ago, or the date of birth of my mum and dad. At least we know they are thorough. Once this has all been cleared we will get access to the intranet and our own email addresses, which will be a joy. Currently we are all using Tommy's parliament one which I think may be confusing for the recipients. Tommy is getting upwards of 100 emails a day which is incredible. A huge part of our day is just managing them all and making sure the important ones like those from constituents, charities and local groups get responded to.
Four weeks ago I was worried about writing this column on the eve of the last major parliamentary debate on Brexit. Anything could have happened, rendering my speculation obsolete by the time you read it. I shouldn’t have fretted. Anything could have happened but nothing did.
Here I am again. Groundhog day. It’s Tuesday. There’s a big debate tomorrow.
Tuesday. Another day spent discussing Brexit. Another day of my life I’m not getting back.
We are no further forward. As the clock ticks down to exit it’s only fair to ask: What the hell is Theresa May playing at?