Wednesday, 8 January 2020

If You Care About Palestine, Stay In And Fight!

Photo credit: Stop the War Campaign
Given the unseemly rush to the right among most of the current Labour leadership candidates, I suspect I'm not the only Party member who's had doubts in recent days. Even the best of the candidates, from the point of view of the left/right split, have dubious credentials when it comes to their record on cosying up to the Israel lobby and on the witch hunts.

That said, I'm heartened by reading through the decision taken on an 'ethical foreign policy' at last year's conference. Although it doesn't go as far I would like, it's light years ahead of pre-Corbyn positions on the issue of Israel-Palestine. If this is one of the main legacies of the Corbyn leadership, it seems to me that the work comrades have put in so far won't have been wasted.

There are likely to be many struggles in the coming year, both inside and outside the Party. But we have a solid policy position on the Middle East that is worth defending, worth fighting for. For that reason alone it's clear to me that if we care about the Palestinians we must stay in the Party and do our utmost to defend Jeremy's legacy.

Note: Below is the composite passed at Conference, as outlined in the reports on the Labour Party website.

Labour Conference 2019 – Ethical Foreign Policy
Composite 12 - Ethical Foreign Policy
Recent actions by US and Israeli administrations are destroying prospects for peace in Palestine - by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, stopping funding to UNRWA for Palestinian refugees, the continuing siege of Gaza, expanding illegal settlements and announcing plans to annex illegally large areas of land occupied in 1967.
Proposals in Trump’s “deal of the century” are a one-sided attempt to impose an unjust outcome destroying Palestinian rights.
Conference believes:
Labour’s ethical foreign policy must prioritise Palestinians’ rights to freedom, justice and equality, including by applying these principles based on international law to all UK trade with Israel. An internationalist Labour Party has a special responsibility to redress the ongoing injustices against the Palestinian people, denied their right to self-determination during the British Mandate, because of the role Britain played as a colonial power during the 1948 Nakba when Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes.
Conference resolves:
1.To oppose any proposed solution for Palestinians, including Trump’s ‘deal’, not based on international law and UN resolutions recognising their collective rights to self-determination and to return to their homes.
2.To adhere to an ethical policy on all UK's trade with Israel, in particular by applying international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and stopping any arms trade with Israel that is used in violation of the human rights of Palestinians.
3.To work globally for an alliance with progressive sister parties rejecting trade agreements with Israel that fail to recognise the rights of the Palestinians.
Hove & Portslade CLP
Birkenhead CLP
A vote was taken on Composite Motion 12 –Ethical Foreign Policy.
The vote was carried.