I’M not going to beat about the bush. I believe the horrific actions being carried out in Gaza are inhumane and unforgivable, and that there should be an immediate ceasefire to stop the killings.

Furthermore, I will not vote for any political party which, given the chance to vote for a ceasefire, rejects such an option.

This week the SNP tabled a motion in the Commons urging all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

It was very soon accused by its opponents of playing politics with people’s lives.

It was accused of acting out of a desire for electoral advantage rather than from any real humanitarian concern.

The evidence wheeled out to support that claim was a quote tweeted by journalist Beth Rigby who said: “SNP sources told me this amendment [calling for a ceasefire] is not a one-off and will keep tabling ceasefire amendments as SNP looks to keep pressure on Labour and draw a clear dividing line between the two parties in the run-up to the General Election.”

You do not need a degree in media literacy to realise that tweet did not deliver the knock-out punch SNP opponents claimed.

For a start, the claim is not within quotes and so is not directly what the source actually said.

Secondly, while it is a media tradition to quote unnamed sources it is hardly inconclusive proof. Thirdly, was this a reply to a specific question, and if so, what was the question? Who introduced the notion of electoral advantage?

In any case, the whole notion that there is something suspicious about the whole concept of tabling a motion on Gaza in the Commons is in itself baffling.

How else to deliver Britain’s verdict on the killing of innocent Palestinians? When we take to the streets to do so we’re labelled a “hate mob”.

Withdrawing our vote is one of the few avenues open to us to express our dismay and anger at the actions of our elected representatives.

Hundreds of thousands of us disagreed with Tony Blair’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The National:

I have never voted Labour since and I am very far from the only one. That is how democracy works.

The ballot box is where we express our opinion on the issues that matter to us.

History will judge those who refused to call for a ceasefire in Gaza just as it judges those who allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by groundless claims of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer insists Labour 'united' despite massive Gaza ceasefire rebellion

We learned this week what can happen when our political leaders whip up blind support for gung-ho military action. In 2011, members of the British SAS were reported to have executed handcuffed prisoners in Afghanistan.

But rather than report that evidence to military police, General Gwyn Jenkins buried it in a classified dossier and locked it in a safe.

Is it a coincidence that Jenkins is now the second most senior officer in the British armed forces?

Interrogating the 'evidence'

These are the atrocities war encourages, hidden from sight by authorities determined to stop inconvenient facts emerging into the public domain.

And now, of course, comes the “evidence” to justify what were inevitable and obvious consequences of that military action.

Now we are told Hamas had a base underneath the hospital and its fighters “regularly cluster around the hospital”, according to an unnamed American source.

This week the BBC was proudly boasting it and one other television crew were the first journalists invited by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) to see what it claims to have found at the site.

And they dutifully broadcast images of Kalashnikovs, ammunition and bullet-proof vests and grenades.

Just in case the public found that unconvincing, they threw in military booklets and a map the journalists were told showed “potential” entry and exit routes from the hospital.

Access to the hospital was not the result of courageous journalistic endeavour. The BBC team was invited in by Israeli forces.

Invited because of the Israeli military’s fierce commitment to dragging the truth into the light, or as part of a propaganda exercise to justify unimaginable slaughter

Who can really be sure? What is certain is that the IDF was in control of the BBC journalists.

A caption on the BBC website said its access to the hospital was “limited by the Israel Defence Forces and they were not able to speak to doctors or patients”.

The procedure of “embedding” journalists with one side in a conflict or the other is well established.

It is recognised as an imperfect way of reporting from the front line but it is justified by the argument that even a limited inside view of warzone is better than no view at all.

But in a conflict like Gaza – most recently inflamed by a brutal Hamas attack but in which the Israeli response is widely regarded as disproportionate – what can we really learn?

Can we know for sure if Hamas fighters are operating under Al-Shifa?

And if we can’t be sure of that is there any point in broadcasting images which we do know for sure will be used to encourage public support for the killings?

Uncle Joe says so

US president Joe Biden seems convinced that, in his own words, Hamas has committed a “war crime” by having a headquarters underneath the hospital, but once again we are given no proof.

Surely by now we are familiar with the dangers of an American president coming down in favour of a military action on the basis of no solid facts. And familiar with the problems of a Labour leader standing side by side with him.

The National: Joe Biden

It’s not cynical point-scoring to point out that the Labour Party complaining of SNP politicking has a leader politicising the whole debate to the extent that he would sack any member of his front bench team who voted for the SNP amendment.

It’s obvious which party is putting tribalism ahead of humanity and it’s sure as hell isn’t the SNP. That’s not a party political message – it’s the only conclusion to reach.

So far, Keir Starmer’s opposition to the ceasefire motion has lost him two parliamentary private secretaries and eight shadow ministers, including MP Jess Phillips, all of whom have resigned or been sacked over the issue.

READ MORE: Communications down across Gaza due to lack of fuel

A total of 56 Labour MPs voted for the ceasefire motion, although a majority of Labour MPs bowed to Starmer’s wishes and did not support it.

The issue has also split Labour in Scotland. Its two Scottish MPs – Ian Murray and Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election winner Michael Shanks – toe the Starmer line while the leader of the party in Scotland Anas Sarwar supports a ceasefire.

Are all these Labour representatives out to wrest some party political advantage from their support for a ceasefire?

Are the 76% of UK adults who took part in a YouGov poll and supported a ceasefire? Are the heads of those United Nations bodies who united earlier this month to call for a humanitarian ceasefire? Are the governments of France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland? Is the Pope?

Or are they, like most decent humans, looking to stop the terrible loss of life which will continue and in all likelihood mount ever higher in this area for as long as we stand by and allow it to do so?

If Starmer was motivated by anything other than a tribal hatred of the SNP, why would he not remove the whip and allow his party members to vote according to their own conscience?

I’m not suggesting that those who oppose a ceasefire and support other actions are motivated by a desire to see more bloodshed and death.

But I believe they are misguided and wrong. And I believe their actions will result in more bloodshed and death.

I will continue to make that case and apply whatever pressure I can in whatever way I can to change their minds and make a ceasefire more likely.

And I certainly won’t be persuaded to stop by tribal attacks on the one party which has both the moral fibre to support a ceasefire and the ability to rally Scottish Government support for it.