I WAS proud to be among those who voted for the Plaid Cymru motion in the Senedd last week calling for a ceasefire.

The motion would not have carried without cross-party support so I want to pay tribute to the Labour MSs and the sole Liberal Democrat in the Siambr that supported our calls to end the bloodshed in Gaza.

Some people have questioned the point in the Parliament of a small country taking a stand against a foreign conflict.

The fact is there are people living in Wales with family and friends that have been caught up in the violence.

It is often missed that people living in Wales are grieving for family members killed or suspected of being dead because they are still missing.

This is also about Wales taking its place on the international stage and be a part of the international community calling for peace.

Plaid Cymru’s primary intention is peace.

A ceasefire is a precursor to peace talks. A ceasefire would mean an immediate and lasting end to the violence and death of civilians in Israel and Palestine.

A ceasefire comes from a global effort to ease the humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

As I write this, more than 11,300 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7. More than 1,200 Israeli citizens have been killed from the October 7 attack by Hamas.

Without a ceasefire, this horrific figure will only increase, particularly as hospitals in Gaza run out of essential supplies, food becomes increasingly scarce and the power fails.

Nothing can justify an attack on innocent civilians. Nothing can justify collective punishment of an entire population and the forced displacement of millions.

The best chance of the safe return of hostages, of the end to civilian deaths, and lasting peace between the people of Palestine and the people of Israel is a ceasefire.

Millions of people living in the UK recognise this fact which is why they have taken to the streets.

The last time we saw people mobilise on this scale in the UK was prior to the Iraq war.

Then, millions of people marched to stop conflict but their calls were ignored by the Labour government. While Labour won one more election after the Iraq war, their majority was reduced significantly. Many commentators argue it was the beginning of the end for Blair and New Labour.

The question is whether Starmer will change course over his unstinting and increasingly untenable support of the Israel government?

Or will this become his own Iraq war crisis and shatter unity in his party from the top to the bottom before he has had chance to form a government?

He would do well to take heed of history and be on the right side of it.