Question Time chaos as SNP chief is accused of ‘crocodile tears’ over Gaza row | Politics | News

Question Time witnessed some of its most angry scenes in weeks this evening, after Times columnist Melanie Phillips tore into SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn over Israel and Gaza.

Ms Phillips, who lives part-time in Israel, blasted Mr Flynn’s demand for a ceasefire without Hamas releasing hostages, accusing him of crying “crocodile tears”.

The pro-Israeli columnist said what is happening in Gaza is “tragic”, but said Mr Flynn’s argument is “so distorted, so untrue”.

She claimed that hundreds of aid deliveries are being stopped from going through Gaza “because the food is being stolen by Hamas”, sparking light applause but angry laughter in the audience.

She blasted this reaction, saying: “you laugh because you don’t know! I am telling you”

Host Fiona Bruce intervened to cite the UN, which says not enough trucks are being let in and children are dying of starvation, however Ms Philips accused the UN of being “compromised” by links to Hamas.

When the Times columnist said there are pictures and videos proving her point, Stephen Flynn intervened to accuse the Times columnist of being “outrageous” and fumed: “If you want to talk about pictures Melanie I’m quite happy to send you some videos of civilians being bombed and slaughtered”.

She hit back that Mr Flynn accuses Israel of collective punishment, and condemned his comments on the events of October 7.

In an extraordinary personal attack, she accused the SNP Westminster chief of having “crocodile tears” adding: “Your hypocrisy is epic!”

Amid him trying to shout her down she demanded: “Let me finish! Let me finish!”

“That was merely the start. Hamas and Hezbollah have said they intend to kill every Jew and wipe out the state of Israel. If you had your way and there was a ceasefire now, there would be more pogroms and more slaughters of Israelis.

“The Israelis do not want to kill Palestinians in Gaza it’s the last thing they want. Hamas has made the Gazans into not just human shields but canon fodder!”

She sparked anger from some audience members including shocked gasps when claiming Israel is trying to prevent “a second Holocaust from happening”.

Ms Phillips added: “I don’t think people here understand!”

Turning to the audience she demanded to know: “What do you think Hamas mean when they say we wish to kill every Jew? What do you think they did when they slaughtered 1,200 Israelis and took others hostage with a terrible fate we don’t yet know”.

“Not only that they say they will do it again and again and they mean it.

Turning to Mr Flynn again she ranted: “Why do you swear at this? Why do you dismiss it? Why do you call the defence of mass murder ‘collective punishment’? Would you have called it ‘collective punishment’ when the Allies bombed Germany? You would have said it was a defence against Fascism and Nazism!”

Responding, Mr Flynn accused her of “outrageous, disgusting slurs”.

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