“Today’s victory is a resounding message that the Labour membership remains firmly committed to the cause of Palestinian liberation.”
By Sam Browse, Streatham CLP.
At Labour Party conference, Labour members today recommitted the party to supporting the Palestinian people in their struggle for self determination.
The motion – which received the overwhelming backing of CLP and Trade Union delegates – describes the situation in Palestine as apartheid and calls for strong sanctions against Israel. It builds on the party’s historic 2019 conference motion which committed the party to support for Palestinian human rights.
The conference victory comes after a Human Rights Watch report published earlier this year, entitled “A Threshold Crossed”, said that the treatment of Palestinians met the definition of apartheid and persecution, as defined by the International Criminal Court. Both are classified as crimes against humanity by the ICC.
A Labour & Palestine spokesperson stated that “this is a big victory. Now is the time to keep building this support, and keep the pressure up to Speak up for Palestine.”
Activists had feared that the Labour front bench had drifted from the 2019 policy. Today’s victory is a resounding message that the Labour membership remains firmly committed to the cause of Palestinian liberation. Once again, Labour members are leading the way on standing for international peace and justice because – as one delegate said in the debate – ‘an injustice to anyone anywhere is an injustice to everyone everywhere’.
Read the full motion below:
Conference condemns the ongoing Nakba in Palestine, Israel’s militarised violence attacking the Al Aqsa mosque, the forced displacements from Sheikh Jarrah and the deadly assault on Gaza.
Together with the de facto annexation of Palestinian land by accelerated settlement building and statements of Israel’s intention to proceed with annexation, it is ever clearer that Israel is intent on eliminating any prospects of Palestinian self-determination.
Conference notes the TUC 2020 Congress motion describing such settlement building and annexation as ‘another significant step’ towards the UN Crime of Apartheid, and calling on the European and international trade union movement to join the international campaign to stop annexation and end apartheid.
Conference also notes the unequivocal 2021 reports by B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch that conclude Israel is practising the crime of apartheid as defined by the UN.
Conference welcomes the International Criminal Court decision to hold an inquiry into abuses committed in the occupied Palestinian Territory since 2014.
Conference resolves that action is needed now due to Israel’s continuing illegal actions and that Labour should adhere to an ethical policy on all UK trade with Israel, including stopping any arms trade used to violate Palestinian human rights and trade with illegal Israeli settlements.
Conference resolves to support “effective measures” including sanctions, as called for by Palestinian civil society, against actions by the Israeli government that are illegal according to international law; in particular to ensure that Israel stops the building of settlements, reverses any annexation, ends the occupation of the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza, brings down the Wall and respects the right of the Palestinian people, as enshrined in international law, to return to their homes.
Conference resolves to renew the pledge to recognise the State of Palestine immediately on being elected to government.
Conference resolves that the Labour Party must stand on the right side of history and abide by these resolutions in its policy, communications and political strategy.