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Singapore’s Leader of Opposition stresses humanitarian approach in resolving Israel-Palestine conflict

Pritam Singh, Singapore’s Opposition Leader, urged a humanitarian approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict, emphasizing the need for peaceful coexistence.

He reiterated Singapore’s advocacy for ending civilian casualties and supporting a lasting settlement between the two sides.



SINGAPORE: Addressing the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Pritam Singh, the Leader of the Opposition, emphasized the need for Singaporeans to approach the issue from a humanitarian perspective rather than a religious one.

He stressed that both Israel and the Palestinians should have the opportunity to live in peace and harmony.

Singh further reiterated Singapore’s call to advocate for an end to the killing, particularly of innocent civilians and children, and to support the international community in achieving a lasting settlement between the two parties.

Additionally, the Workers’ Party voiced its support for Singapore’s significant decision at the UN General Assembly, as highlighted in the amended motion, which urged an immediate and sustained humanitarian truce leading to the cessation of hostilities.

On Monday (6 Nov), a vigorous parliamentary debate in Singapore centered around a motion filed by PAP MP Vikram Nair, reiterating the nation’s longstanding commitment to a negotiated two-state solution and calling for urgent humanitarian aid to be delivered to civilians in Gaza. The motion garnered support from fellow PAP MPs Alex Yam and Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim.

During the debate, Mr Singh, who serves as the Workers’ Party’s MP for Aljunied GRC, referenced Singapore’s founding father late Lee Kuan Yew’s 2013 speech on the Israel-Palestine conflict, in which Mr Lee underscored the importance of a two-state solution that ensures the economic and political viability of both Israelis and Palestinians, fostering the prospect of enduring peace.

Late Mr Lee believed that the pro-Israel policy of the Jewish Lobby has allowed a hard-line stance to prevail in the Israeli leadership, which can have adverse and irreversible effects on the peace process.

Mr Singh quotes Mr Lee, who said that  “with every passing day, a permanent resolution to the conflict becomes less likely. The United Nations has declared the Israeli settlements a violation of international law, describing them as a “creeping annexation”.

Mr. Lee also emphasized the reliance of Israelis on American endorsements, stating that a cessation of financial aid and other support from the US could prompt Israel to take action. Absent American pressure, the conflict’s resolution remains uncertain.

Mr Lee warned, “the conflict also serves as an evergreen cause which jihadists can exploit as part of their propaganda efforts to attract young recruits. The cause is kept alive across the Middle East, as well as in other parts of Asia, through television images that play up Palestinian sufferings.”

Mr Singh reiterated the WP’s stance, calling for immediate cessation of military operations and unimpeded humanitarian aid access

Mr Singh, reiterated the Workers’ Party stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict in an 18 October statement, in which the party called on Israel to reject the collective punishment of innocent civilians, cease all military operations in the Gaza Strip and allow for the transit of humanitarian aid into Gaza forthwith.

At the same time, the party called for the immediate return of all Israeli hostages captured in Hamas’ military operation in Southern Israel on 7 Oct 2023.

Mr. Singh highlighted the repeated cycle of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, highlighting the devastating impact on Palestinian civilians, especially children, and the importance of serious negotiations for a two-state solution to prevent further loss of life and foster peace in the region.

Mr. Singh also discussed the impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on Singapore’s peace and harmony. He highlighted the risk of radicalization and senseless attacks against Jews and Muslims, emphasizing that the conflict’s repercussions can extend to global security.

“The same history always repeats itself. In the end, the story on the Palestinian side is always far more gruesome in scale – overwhelming casualties, with a large number of children among the dead. Only the ill-informed could have thought that the latest installment was going to be any different.”

“If history is a guide, we will very soon see the number of dead Palestinians in Gaza cross the 10,000 mark, with many of the dead being women and children.”

Mr. Singh underscored the potential consequences of a disproportionate response in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting the emergence of a new generation of Palestinians seeking retribution. He expressed concerns that this cycle perpetuates instability, hindering the establishment of a viable Palestinian state and jeopardizing Israel’s security and peaceful coexistence.

Implications of Israel-Palestine conflict on multi-racial Singapore

In his speech, Mr Pritam Singh highlighted the potential impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on multi-racial and multi-cultural societies like Singapore.

He underscored the threat of radicalization and the dangers of unwarranted attacks on communities, emphasizing the need for Singaporeans to remain vigilant against divisive rhetoric.

Mr Singh also shed light on the complexities within Israeli society, highlighting the internal political divisions and dissenting voices challenging the right-wing government’s policies.

“It would be incorrect to think that all Jews and Israelis are monolithic in their views, even as their desire for a homeland where they can live in peace without being subjected to terrorist attacks, is shared by all Israelis, and friends of Israel including Singapore.”

“While the Israel-Hamas confrontation and broader conflict looks set to continue for some time, Singaporeans should be aware that in view of our multi-racial and multi-religious society, this conflict will test us.”

“But it should not be allowed to compromise our multi-racial and multi-religious peace and harmony. As Singaporeans, we should not analyse a political issue through religious lenses.”

Mr. Pritam Singh also emphasized the significance of Singapore’s stance on international law and its commitment to upholding the principles outlined in the Geneva Conventions, additional protocols, the United Nations Charter, and other international agreements.

Singapore’s firm position on the Israel-Palestine Conflict and its commitment to international law and humanitarian values

He stressed the essential role of international law in safeguarding the interests and survival of small states like Singapore.

“It is important for Singapore to put its position on record. Both the parties directly involved in the conflict as well as the rest of the international community must know Singapore’s position our firm belief in international law and our desire for the protection of human life.”

“The Workers’ Party supports the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols that prescribe international humanitarian law. We endorse the United Nations Charter and other international agreements. We support them because our survival depends on them.”

Illustrating this, he referenced Singapore’s clear position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, highlighting the importance of opposing any form of aggression that deviates from international legal frameworks.

Mr. Singh also mentioned Singapore’s stance on the Israel-Palestinian dispute, particularly its vote against recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, citing the country’s adherence to international law in matters of territorial disputes and conflicts.

“If some religious group, militant organisation or country justified its aggression on something other than international law, we would have to aggressively stand against such perspectives. ”

“For example, some group or organisation in a neighbouring country may argue that Singapore has been part of the Malay archipelago for centuries and therefore should expect to be occupied and annexed. International law is clear that this cannot be so.”

Mr Pritam Singh referred to the stance of the Middle East Quartet, comprising the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations, which advocates for the establishment of two separate states, Israel and Palestine, as the only viable path towards achieving lasting peace in the region. He emphasized the Workers’ Party’s support for this approach, aligning with the position of the Government of Singapore.

In concluding his speech, Mr Singh underscored the importance of advocating for the safety and security of innocent civilians and children affected by the long-standing conflict.

He urged both Israeli and Palestinian leadership to make compromises for peace, preventing future generations from bearing the consequences of their predecessors’ actions, thereby emphasizing the global implications of the conflict.

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Dear oppies and pappies,

We were told not to interfere with foreign politics.

Our high food prices and cost of living are terrorizing us.

Please do something.

We need actions and NOT DEBATES !!!

What can we do next to escalate the stopping of the genocide in GAZA. Should n’t we give notice to the Israeli Ambassador that if there is no ceasing of the bombing, he or she will be expelled. It is also safer not to have Israeli citizens here until the war is ended. We are risking ourselves by allowing them to remain. Decades ago there was a bomb that was placed in Faber House which housed the Israeli Embassy. Today, the population is almost 6million. Why is there a need to continue to risk the lives of the resident population?… Read more »

All the sudden, SC 4got on how many import mindset in tix island. It may take 2gen for those import to understand harmony in future, Its diff fm those family tat born n raise here. ROOTS is not important history is grand.father story, new gen buy who sell better&cheap. Rojak is popular in SG….