Scottish MP says Israel ‘lies’ over sexual abuse of hostages

The comments from Angus MacNeil were attacked as ‘shameful and disgusting’


Angus MacNeil (UK Parliament official portraits, 2017)

A Scottish independent MP told the House of Commons that Israel was lying when it claimed hostages captured by Hamas on October 7 have been subjected to sexual violence and abuse.

Angus MacNeil, the MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, which covers the outer Hebrides, made his comment during a debate on Wednesday about supplying aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

Following a statement by overseas aid minister Andrew Mitchell, Jewish Conservative MP Andrew Percy rose to ask him whether he believed Israel had the right to try to enter the southern Gazan city of Rafah to try to rescue the remaining 130 hostages, given that “the Israeli government have been very clear that hostages are being held there and that some of them have been subjected to sexual violence and other abuse”.

Mitchell replied that Israel did have that right, but before he could speak MacNeil – whose voice is clearly audible on the recording of the debate - interjected: “They are liars.”

He repeated this claim later in the debate.

MacNeil’s strident views on Israel’s war with Hamas are no secret. On 10 March, he posted a statement on X (formerly Twitter) that implied the “perpetrators” of Israel’s supposed “genocide” in Gaza should be compared to the Nazis, writing that he hoped that “as long as they live, and whether in Israel or Argentina, [they] can be as uneasy as previous war criminals until justice catches them”.

Dozens of wanted Nazi war criminals took refuge in Argentina after World War Two, including Adolf Eichmann, one of the principal architects of the Holocaust, who was eventually captured by the Mossad, tried for his crimes and put to death in Jerusalem.

Percy told the JC he was appalled by MacNeil’s intervention, saying: “I was astonished after my question to be told by other colleagues that these words had been said. In fact, I consider them to be sick, coming as they appear to do so after I referenced the gender-based violence female hostages are being subjected to.

“It is staggering that so many who would normally demand women be believed when subjected to such abuse, do not extend that to Jewish Israeli women. It is shameful and disgusting behaviour that I am sad to say we see too much of at the moment."

When approached for comment MacNeil told the JC: “To say that the current Israeli government have been liars, should surprise no one, the lies are multiple and documented… There are better bodies, such as the UN, to quote when making a case about a serious matter in Parliament, rather than the discredited current Israeli government.

“Sexual violence, rape, murder, genocide are all very serious matters and no right-thinking person on any side of the political spectrum, that I know, thinks otherwise. The UN reports of rape and sexual violence by both, Hamas and Israel, are both shocking and deplorable.”

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