The Iona Community is an ecumenical Christian community, seeking new ways of living the gospel in today’s world, especially through working for peace and social justice and rebuilding community. In the light of our clear purpose, we join with many others today in firmly opposing the decision of the United Kingdom parliament to support the American government in going to war, yet again, in the Middle East. While Parliament has been persuaded that air strikes may be legal, we believe that the strategy behind them is, at best, extremely vague, and the moral and political rational entirely misguided. Any idea, however appalling, can never be bombed out of existence; only sustained and cautious diplomacy, together with nuanced personal support, can ever hope to make any real difference in the long run. By choosing to bomb, we are once again in danger of reinforcing the perception among Arab countries and their allies that “the West” still thinks it can act unilaterally, and selectively, as the world’s policeman; a sense entrenched by the unwillingness of “the West” to effectively address the long-running sore that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the same region.

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