2021 British Labour Party Conference passes historic motion labeling Israel an apartheid state and calls for sanctions

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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.

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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.

40 COMMENTS

  1. Aaaaand there goes the chances of the British Labour party for the next 20 years. Under their FFP system this is never going to connect with electorates north of the Watford Gap most of whom will think Palestine is their local Kabab shop.

  2. It is such a relief to see this happening within the Labour Party in Britain, the rank and file of the party. Not the tosser who got the top job and who got rid of the likes of the wonderful Ken Loach.

    The NZ Labour Party must do this. It must start to get on the side of the oppressed and if anybody is oppressed it is the Palestinians. The fear of being called anti-semitic and of course of upsetting the bully of the world, the U.S.A. still holds sway here.

    Of course there is West Papua and numerous other peoples being oppressed in other parts of the world, but do one and we might have a little more belief in the NZ Labour party.

  3. The UK Labour Party have done the right thing.
    Unfortunately by doing the right thing they have probably kissed the next two elections (at least) goodbye.
    Boris the Spider, despite his breathtaking incompetence, will be seen as the messiah saving Britain against those rabid left-wing supporters of Middle East terrorism.
    Britain is in a mess at the moment, largely due to the government’s nonchalance in combatting COVID and terrible economic mismanagement after the euphoria of Brexit.
    Fuel shortages, supermarket shelves empty, crops rotting in the field is some of the things I have seen written about the situation.
    It appears that British agriculture is even more dependant on cheap migrant labour than in NZ.
    But this will count for little in the eye of most Brits.
    They will believe the right-wing garbage spouting out from the newspapers that rival the NZ Herald in their pathological support for the tories.
    Most Brits see the Israelis as noble white freedom fighters and the Palestinians as little brown arab terrorists.
    They are not going to welcome anyone telling them different.
    The UK Labour Party may well be heading for a split here, which further decreases their electoral chances.
    And as you imply, it will be a convenient smokescreen for a Conservative government that has no plan after COVID and Brexit.

  4. The headline of this article should have been “UK Labour eats itself”

    This is a party that cannot admit that only women have cervixes, so tied up are they in their own ludicrous dogmas. LOL

    • Y’know for every pound a UK vendor sells into Europe, UK venders get £0.80 in return. You need to have a look around the UK to see what’s going on to get closer to the truth.

    • With a firmly entrenched aggressively Zionist supporting leader who is aggressively expelling socialist Jews and ‘anti-semites? Think you need to learn how to distinguish the difference between anti-semitism and anti-Zionism. Hint: there is a difference between religious and political beliefs.

      • Except there is quite the array of anti-Israel antisemites for whom the religious is the political. IRGC General Mohammad-Hossein Sepehr for example: “Iran Has Built Islamic Resistance Bases From Tehran to Baghdad, to Beirut, to Syria, to Yemen, and all the way to the Horn Of Africa in order to fight the cancerous and pustular growth that is Israel…..We have a religious duty to defend the world of Islam. We have a religious duty to act against Israel and annihilate it.” From his public address aired on Iran’s Dena TV May 6, 2021. You’ll read much the same in the Hamas Charter.

  5. Not many have the balls to stand up to Israeli propaganda and aggression, and it’s relentless genocide against the Palestinians. ANY dissent is labelled anti-semitic. Our govt is too gutless to stand up and speak up for the oppressed. Good work John…keep at it.

  6. Well if that’s done and dusted could the party that pretends it’s not antisemitic, that pretends it stands for the oppressed, the working class and vulnerable people fleeing war-torn countries, now turn its attention to the oppression of Gaza women, gays and apostates who live and suffer hardship under the ruling Hamas patriarchy.

  7. The UK Labour Youth Wing’s motion was very firmly carried in the face of the avowed Zionist supporting leader. This provides further evidence of a young generation having an idealist streak and a strong sense of morality. It must be a worry for Israeli leaders since it aligns with the trend of young US Jews taking a similar line while firmly announcing that they are American – not Israeli.

    John Minto has highlighted the obvious, in that the NZ Labour Party don’t have the fortitude that was shown by National when New Zealand co-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 . However, the snivelling rat that followed McCully as Minister of Foreign Affairs beat a hasty retreat when Netanyahu and threatened NZ with war. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/28/netanyahu-told-new-zealand-backing-un-vote-would-be-declaration-of-war.

    • Leigh – please use the ‘Reply’ button, and make it clear who you are replying to.
      This looks like it was aimed at the author, John Minto, who made no mention of ‘relentless genocide’.

  8. This happening after the purging of the left in the party, and after the campaign to associate Corbyn with anti-semitism means this is about more than a policy on Israel.

  9. Some good news at last. I have so much respect and even admiration for Jeremy Corbyn. He always speaks on the side of the oppressed, including the Palestinian people. So many Western politicians prefer to play safe and look the other way.

  10. The National led government of 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 ” because it was asked to by the governments of the United Kingdom and United States of America . It was one of the last acts of Barack Obama.

  11. Now watch as Israel starts (another) relentless smear campaign on Labour UK whilst also working to sabotage them from within.

    Don’t believe me? There’s a good doco on Al Jazeera detailing this sort of behaviour by Israel as they attempt to discredit, take down and destroy anyone who stands in the way of their zionist dream state

  12. Thanks John Minto for passing on this info – perhaps UK Labour will now decide on their ethical policies and stick to them while they can be seen to be fair.

  13. Brilliant summary.

    ‘Keir’ after the fella who founded the British Labour Party, who, according to my family indeed did hang his cap in my great grandfather’s house (who can know?). Atlee’s son lead the conservatives in the House of Lords and Tony Benn’s son was ‘moderate’ unlike his fa’ from the upper class.

    I think ye and me love the Jews as the most human of the humans, with their individuality and multiple Nobel prizes. Israel, however …

    Of the great peoples only the Irish don’t have great sins on their hands.

  14. Well I’m thrilled to see the UK LINO party is focused on issues that really make a difference to the everyday lives of ordinary Britons, like the trans pledge and the Palestinians.

    A bit like our LINO party.

    • When did ‘our LINO’ party or Government ever raise a word against Israel’s apartheid policies? Please provide evidence if you respond.

      • I don’t recall this govt saying anything about Israel, but that’s neither here nor there – my point was that both LINO parties are focused on issues of little relevance to most of their respective electorates. I’d love to see the same zeal for rolling back user-pays, and re-nationalizing privatized assets.

  15. Pitiful to see Minto pinning his hopes on a moribund UK Labour Party long ago consigned to the political wilderness. Their embarrassed leader has already distanced himself from their fatuous motion. And is Israel worried? Let’s see: Israel raised over $2.2 billion from start ups on September alone. Israel opened a new embassy in Bahrain and now has full diplomatic relations with that country as well as UAE Sudan and Morocco. The Squad in Congress were soundly trounced over funding for Iron Dome which Cyprus now also wants to purchase from Israel. Durban IV flopped Biden snubbed Abbas at the UN Qatar pulled funding for Hamas and Bristol U sacked the venemous Prof and antisemite David Miller. Pretty positive for Israel all round.

    • I’m totally against military operations against the population. The over over over overwhelming evidence is that military operations reduces the usefulness of an economy as shown by every empire that has fallen in all of history.

      • Criticism of Israel is not antisemitism criticism of any governments policy is not bigotry and anyone who claims it is is debating in bad faith.

        However there is anti semitism on the left and where it’s seen it should be condemned, Even in the new Zealand left and it’s quite ugly. The ammount of left wing protest I’ve been to where there are antisemitic signs, chants and screams “it’s the Jews mossad is behind it” and when you call it out you get labeled a Zionist.

        The ukLP has been overzealous but there has been many antisemitic incidents that disgraced the party and to downplay it vindicates a lot of bigots who have no place in a left wing movement.

        Israel deserves criticism. Strong criticism.

        It’s embarrassing to go on left wing media and just constantly hear “ZIONISTS ZIONISTS ZIONISTS” when in our backyard we have West Paupa, an imperialist china bankrupting our neighborhood with borrowed cash and an imperialist USA, our largest trading partner has concentration camps is disappearing it’s people, stealing patents, banning music and abusing and terrorizing it’s own people and our own country does nothing because we’re worried about cash.

        Our people are locked out of housing, low paid, depressed suicidal, hungry, bad teeth, lowering life quality and life expectancies and so many on the left focus on Israel/Palestine above all this ….

        Again Israel deserves criticism, but the level of focus it gets and the level it gets compared to our own problems, our neighbours and the disgusting concentration camps, human rights abuses and expansionism and authoritarianism in Hong Kong and soon to be Taiwan by our greatest trading partner whose arse we kiss and sell our morals and values to for quick cash deserves just as much.

        And bigotry should be challenged no matter where it comes from the right or the left and not downplayed when it fits our political agenda.

  16. Pretty good indication of just how irrelevant the UK Labour party is, is that they clearly don’t even know the meaning of ‘apartheid’.

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