MP Catherine West ‘suspends’ LFI membership over Gaza stance

Labour MP Catherine West from her Facebook profile

Labour Friends of Israel provoked outrage by its ‘victim-blaming’ statement in the aftermath of the massacre of around sixty unarmed protesters and the wounding – in many cases maiming – of thousands more earlier this week.

LFI later deleted its original tweeted statement, replacing it with one barely less offensive.

Around a hundred MPs and peers are members of LFI – and Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West has decided to take a stand over the statement by suspending her membership:

west lfi.png

There have been widespread calls for Labour personnel to end their association with LFI. Ms West has at least suspended hers – will other MPs or peers follow suit?

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  1. Our CLP will be presenting a motion to call on the severing of all links by the Labour Party and our MP from LFI.

    If our MP does not comply they will not be standing as the Labour candidate for our constituency at the next election.

    1. I think the influence of the LFI needs to be dramatically reduced, its almost like Labour requires the approval of the Israelis at times

  2. ‘Self-inflicted suspension’ pfft!

    I’ll give it a few weeks until she’s furtively wheedled her way back amongst them, using any feeble or frivolous excuse to have a dig at the left.

    Nothing less than total proscription of LFI should be the requirement.

  3. This suspension is to be applauded but in my opinion far more substantive action must be taken… time to ‘draw a line in the sand’ regarding apologia and de facto enabling of Israeli regime and it’s forces’ ongoing atrocities and denial of fundamental human rights of Palestinians and flagrant contempt for international laws and resolutions.

    What action is the governing May regime taking?… tumbleweed blows across Tory land, only Johnson is acting, running from parliamentary questions and accountability.

  4. Are there really 100 Labour MPs who are that naive that they don’t know the real purpose and aims of the LFI and the JLM inserting themselves into the Labour Party?

    These groups are there for one reason and one reason only, which if any proof is needed, has been amply provided in the last few days, TO PROTECT THE APARTHEID STATE OF ISRAEL FROM ALL CRITICISM.

    Would Barry Gardiner and some of the others who are well respected by members of the Party please take note and get the hell out of groups whose current campaign is, on behalf of Israel, to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the Leadership.

    If you think they want you to be ‘Friends of Israel’ for any other reason than to turn your friendship back on you and use it against you to boost their campaign, then putting it mildly, you are either complicit or stupid.

    1. “Would Barry Gardiner and some of the others who are well respected by members of the Party please take note and get the hell out of groups whose current campaign is, on behalf of Israel, to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the Leadership.”


    2. Even without the Palestinian issue most would still be on the right and attacking Corbyn anyway wouldn’t they?

  5. I was rather surprised to see her name shown as a supporter in the first place. Similarly, Fabian Hamilton MP as a supporter of the Henry Jackson Society.

    It is not too encouraging though that she has only ‘suspended’ her membership.

  6. Has Emily Thornberry backed out from LFI yet? Sometimes it is better to be ‘in’ to influence than ‘out’ but Catherine’s move was principled at least….as she made a comment about it and shows criticism. Left demonstrators in Israel itself were remarked upon as ‘a rare’ phenomenon. Indeed. How is the Change.Org petition going on LFI?

  7. When you climb out of a cess pit you head straight for the shower and stay there ’til the smell goes away, you don’t sit on the edge dabbling your feet.

    1. I think Emily Thornberry is being tactically correct despite my views that the LFI tweets were BOTH sickeningly abhorrent, callous, nasty and vile. As to West, yes she has kept her options open. Ideological purity when you want to change policies, hearts and minds, is sometimes a luxury. It is a balancing act. In West’s case it was a principled publicised move that would not please Israel’s Government.

      1. Tactical horse berries. Nobody with the slightest political wit could believe that LFI has the slightest influence on Israel. They exist solely to act as a fig leaf for Zionist activity against the Labour leadership. I cannot understand why Thornberry entertained them for a second.

  8. Swawkbox, good probing of Thornberry and labour ‘official’ relationship with LFI in your piece “Exclusive: Thornberry on LFI – “not the only avenue” for dialogue with Israel”.

    A major problem is the Israel – Palestinian relationship is not one of diplomatically equal parties. Israel has the backing of global powers and wealthy vested interests in the western imperialist structures and uses its hasbara, influence, financial, military support and shared imperialist interests to ensure that no action is taken to curb or sanction its illegal colonisation of Palestinian territories and grotesque, brutal repression of Palestinian rights. Israel is de facto a geo-strategic and military asset of western imperialist capital in the Middle East and increasingly around the world.

    LFI is a powerful and ‘persuasive’ lobby group working for the interests of colonial Israel against the interests of Palestinian rights while LFPME is a lobby group working for justice, freedom, equal rights and self determination for Palestinians.

    I suggest people watch this series of reports especially 5. “Israeli Army Vet’s Exposé – “I Was the Terrorist”: and 7 “Everyday Israelis Express Support for Genocide” to gain a small insight to the pressures on and the mind set of what is said to now be the vast majority of Israeli society.

    In my personal view Israelis, as well as Palestinians, need powerful pressures brought to bear to end this ongoing tragedy for both societies. There is little evidence Israel has any genuine interest in or incentive to change and uses repeated so called ‘peace’ negotiations as cover to entrench the colonisation project and they are the ones in absolute control on the ground.

    1. A follow up to my comment above. A view from inside Israel. Gideon Levy, who writes for Hareetz, via John Pilger.com

      “Sixty dead in Gaza and the end of Israeli conscience”

      We are all complicit because we cannot force our political class and government to act to stop the horror.
      UK is no a democracy anyway, it is a constitutional monarchy and a cog in the US led western modern barbaric empire. UK is certainly not humanitarian, that word is abused, like democracy, to further the goals of the modern Capitalist empire.

      1. All complicit? Not the case. Politicians are complicit when they fail to protest or act. But not people who have no power. Throwing around epithets like that against the rest of us who are trying to get resolutions to Conference from CLPs (see above) might make you feel better, but it does not help me thank you very much.
        By the way, the UK is a democracy without a written constitution, while its politicians often act in undemocratic ways.

      2. “But not people who have no power. ”

        Why have people in a democracy no power? We elect our politicians, so like it or not ‘we’, as a society, are complicit if we insist we live in a true democracy. I don’t believe we do because the political narrative is tightly controlled and dissent is silenced or side lined. Democracies require a well informed electorate able to discuss freely and openly.

        It is reassuring to know there are some in the Labour party that are working hard to get resolutions to conference and I fully support your efforts.

        I am sad you think I write such stuff to make myself feel better. I don’t, I feel frustrated, disgusted and deeply depressed that humanity, morality, ethics, justice and international law has so little agency in a so called democratic society and political system.

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