The British Labour Party Annual Conference held in Brighton, England, from 25 to 29 September passed a comprehensive resolution condemning Israel as an apartheid state and supporting calls for sanctions as requested by Palestinian civil society organisations.
The resolution was a stunning blow to Labour Leader Keir Starmer who has run a witch-hunt using false allegations of anti-semitism to purge Labour of the bold left-wing policies introduced under former leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour leader Keir Starmer hoped he would hammer the final nails into the coffin of support for his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn and his left-wing policies at the party’s annual conference in Brighton this week.
But delegates had other ideas.
With a resounding slap to Starmer’s face, the conference voted in favour of a motion declaring Israel an apartheid state, echoing the findings of Israeli and international human rights organisations. It also called for sanctions against Israel’s illegal settlements that usurp Palestinian land as well as a halt to the UK’s sales of arms to Israel.
Delegates demanded an end to Israel’s belligerent occupation of the West Bank and 15-year siege of Gaza, and upheld “the right of Palestinians to return to their homes” – a right of return for Palestinians expelled by Israel since 1948 that is enshrined in international law but increasingly ignored by western states.
Having tried out numerous attack lines against Corbyn’s lefty-wing policies the right-wing British media and pro-Israel lobby settled on relentlessly attacked Corbyn with allegations of anti-semitism over the poor handling of complaints of anti-semitism within the Labour party.
After Labour lost the last British election Starmer, a carbon copy of Tony Blair, took over the leadership and began the with-hunt, purging the party of left-wing activists – including renowned filmmaker Ken Loach – and many left-wing Jewish activists.
The issue was never about anti-semitism in Labour – it was about ridding the party of left-wing activists and progressive policies. False claims of anti-semitism were merely the vehicle to achieve this.
This background is what makes the resolution passed at the Labour conference so important.
I invite readers to read through the resolution and ask why we should not expect a similar resolution to be passed by New Zealand political parties.
As things stand the National Party has a better track record here than the New Zealand Labour Party. Under a National-led government New Zealand co-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 which condemned illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land as a “flagrant violation of international law” which had “no legal validity”. It demanded Israel stop illegal settlement building and fulfil its obligations as a occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The current Labour-led government hasn’t come close – in fact it hasn’t uttered a word.