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Breaking: ‘historic’ Labour motion passes for sanctions vs ‘apartheid’ Israel

Labour’s conference in 2018 was a sea of solidarity with Palestinians

At Labour’s conference today – a day after many delegates were browbeaten and intimidated into passing support for the party’s ‘dangerous’ new disciplinary rules designed to prevent free speech on the conduct of Israel – delegates have passed a motion condemning Israel’s ‘apartheid’ and violence toward Palestinians. The motion passed on a ‘show of hands’, so overwhelmingly that its opponents didn’t even bother asking for a recount or card vote.

And calling for sanctions – a slap in the face to the Labour right, which likes to claim that the ‘Boycott, divestment and sanctions’ (BDS) movement against the import of or investment in goods and services from illegally-occupied territories is intrinsically antisemitic.

The full motion (emphases added) reads:

Conference condemns the ongoing Nakba [catastrophe] 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 & international trade union movement to join the international campaign to stop annexation and end apartheid.

Conference also notes the unequivocal 2021 reports by by B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch that conclude unequivocally that 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 Territories 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 Palestinian people, as enshrined in international law, to return to their homes.

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.

While Labour’s leadership will, of course, ignore this policy as shamelessly as Keir Starmer contradicted conference policy (and his own campaign promises) on nationalising energy, the importance of the motion is clear in the histrionics of right-wing Labour First this morning in its email to supporters:

• VOTE AGAINST THE ISRAEL/PALESTINE MOTION: the motion goes against longstanding party policy in support of a two-state solution with a state of Palestine alongside Israel. Boycotts against Israel only serve to demonise the world’s only Jewish state as a prelude to its destruction. They are opposed by the vast majority of Britain’s Jews.

The result was welcomed by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) – which Labour tried to block from its conference this week – as ‘historic’:

Labour’s conference so far has been marked by a series of rigged votes, aided by betrayals by right-wing unions of their own members and policies – but the strength of feeling on this issue clearly runs so deep that all of the dirty tricks and shameless abuse of democracy by the Labour right was unable to prevent the result.

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58 comments

    1. Toffee, yesterday I cancelled my DD to the LP after 30 years as member. What we need is:
      1- for the progressive Trade Unions to stop financing Starmer’s Labour Party and we willing to finance a new Democratic Socialist Party.
      2- For PLP members that are also members of the SCG to stand as the already elected MPs for the new Party.
      3- For incumbent Labour Cllrs that are members of the SCG to join the new Party too,
      4- For all the members of the LP that have been expelled or are suspended/auto excluded to join the new Party too.
      5- For the majority of Labour members that support progressive policies to leave Starmer’s Labour Party and join the new one.
      Predicted result: 1922 deja vue. Labour despite the popularity of Lloyd George defeated the Liberal Party fighting a General Election under FPTP. In fact I will argue that FPTP accelerated the obliteration of the Liberal Party.
      The crucial element in ensuring the Liberal Party’s electoral defeat in 1922 was the financial support from the Trade Union movement to the Labour Party.
      With Starmer’s Labour Party living from hand to mouth a well finance Democratic Socialist Party will dispose of Starmer’s Labour Party without much of a problem within two General Election cycles. The new Party will not win the next General Election but can be in a good position to win the one after. Thus a socialist government in N10 before 2030.

      1. There is no evidence they are living hand to mouth, the last set of accounts show them holding £11 million in reserves
        Methinks
        They want you to resign

      1. Diogenes, I have not doubts that they will be scanning the recordings in order to identify us and have us suspended from the LP.
        I don’t believe they would expelled us on mass because LOTO needs our levies: mass suspensions by far better.

    2. All names of those voting for this have been recorded, barred from the rest of Conference and and will be receiving suspension letters in the next few days.

      1. Well done Maria Vazquez…The pressure on delegates must be enormous and its great to see the bravery of comrades like yourself fight the good fight in solidarity with the vulnerable everywhere and especially the Palestinian people.

    3. Breaking news! Headroom calls out Palestinian children as being AS. Reason, for taking cover during bombing raids on Gaza.

      1. Jack T, I didn’t defy the ban as it was very clear to me after what happened to Leah Levane yesterday, that was I dare to raise a Palestinian flag I would be expelled from Conference.
        The important thing is that we pass the motion; we can always raise the Palestinian flag during Starmer’s speech or leave the hall so that when Starmer’s speak the almost empty hall speaks volumes.

      2. Maria, I would have flown the Palestinian flag after the motion was decided.

      3. Just been informed that a North West delegate defied the ban, flew a Palestinian flag and shouted ‘equal rights for Palestinians’

      4. Just been told that a North West delegate flew a Palestinian flag and shouted ‘Equal rights for Palestinians”.

      5. Jack T, I take your point about waiving the Palestinian flag after the motion was passed but they are other motions that still need my vote for example voting in favour of restoring the Labour whip to Corbyn.
        Hence, on balance I decided better no to poke and leave it for the last day.

      6. Thanks Maria, I didn’t realise there was going to be a vote on whether or not to allow Jeremy Corbyn back.

        I see Louise Ellman has just rejoined☹️

      7. Jack T apart from motions it is the election of 4 reps to the NCC. So the need not to call undue attention to ourselves yet.

  1. My hope is that 90% of Unions, members and supporters are appalled by the cheap and nasty toerags running the party
    Need to disrupt them, undermine them and teach them a few facts of life
    Where employees are ignoring the rules then discipline and dismissal procedures should be implemented and enforced, Unison, over to you
    Where MP’s are part of the abuse, then withdraw support, threaten to resign en masse from the CLP, Unions can threaten to withdraw sponsorship if they don’t support LW challenger
    What is more important is we get control at every level
    If socialist MP’s are not planning a challenge then they want shot with shit
    Question
    Nationalisation and BDS, who gets final say on what goes into manifesto
    Ken Loach sums it up very well, we need to fight them day and night inside and outside the party
    What say you

    1. Doug it is clear in my mind that Starmer and Evans will ignore Conference motions when it suit them. They are a couple of fascists and will ignore the motions they don’t like.
      My inkling is that they will carry on with the whichunt of left members and Palestinian supporters within the LP in earnest. Ken Loach is spot on.

    2. Completely agree with Ken Loach. No other indication is required to show how objectionable Starmer and his Israel apologists are than the expulsion of Ken from the Party.

  2. If Israel is apartheid, then what does that make Labour Friends of Israel & the JLM?
    Or the JVL for that matter?

    1. Mark, why link the JVL with the other two? The JVL do not support the racist Israeli State.

    2. reply to Mark Francis
      Conference has determined that Israel is an Apartheid state and this makes Labour Friends of Israel friends of an Apartheid state. In light of this Conference resolution I think LFI affiliation to the party must be ended and membership of LFI deemed to be incompatible with Labour policy and principles.
      JLM is in a slightly different position but is also very supportive of an Apartheid state so I think it needs to reconsider its position within Labour and so do we.
      JVL is an organisation consisting solely of Jewish members who have frequently spoken out against Apartheid in Israel and for this many have been expelled from the party. In light of the Conferences resolution I fail to see how these expulsions can stand. These members should receive an apology and an invitation to resume membership though after the way they have been vilified and mistreated by Labour it would be very understandable if they told the Party where to go.

      1. Smartboy, I agree with you it is the logical conclusion that in view of the passing of this motion at Conference that the PLP group of Friends of Israel needs to disband with immediate effect and those who persist in their membership have the Labour whip withdraw.
        Further more the JLM in view of this motion should become a proscribed organisation within the Labour Party too, since they are openly supporters of the Apartheid Israel State.
        Do I believe that the logical conclusion will happen? I am afraid I don’t and I believe it and that you and I share the same level of scepticism.
        Most likely the NEC will pass a ruling against the implementation of this motion and add JVL as another proscribed organisation within Labour.

      2. Maria
        The NEC does not have the authority to overrule a Conference resolution – this is now our policy determined by Annual Conference which is our supreme body. That does not mean that I disagree with you that the NEC will try to disregard it and probably try to proscribe JVL – they will of course do everything possible to prevent the implementation of this resolution but any move in that direction could hopefully be legally challenged. The resolution could also form the basis of a legal action by Leah Levane and the other Jewish people vilified and expelled / suspended from the party which I would be happy to help crowd fund.

      3. I completely agree that those members who have been expelled/excluded from the Labour party should have their memberships reinstated, if that’s what they want.

        Having been on the shitty end of this and trying to fight it since 2017, I would tell them where they could shove their apology and their invitation. But somehow, I think there will be more chance of hell freezing over.

        I would however accept a full refund for the solicitors fees I had to incur just to receive what I was entitled to under GDPR and which indicate the levels of skullduggery by the GLU, North West Regional Office and the CLP secretary were prepared to go to. I have written to David Evens and asked for a full refund in July 2020 and I am still waiting for a reply (recorded delivery, with proof of receipt).

        I think I can see the pigs on the runway awaiting clearance.

      4. Smartboy, I agree the NEC doesn’t have the remit to oppose a Conference motion according to Labour Party Rules. Evans didn’t have the remit according to the Rule Book to suspend Corbyn’s from Labour Party’s membership but he did it, didn’t he?
        Hence, expect a vote of condemnation to be passed at the next NEC declaring this motion antisemitic and in breach of the IHRA definition of antisemitism that was passed at Labour Conference in 2018.
        Therefore, LOTO will declare this motion out of order, proceed to ignore it and witchhunt vocal supporters of the motion.

      5. This shower and their degenerate henchmen do not deserve to have the brilliant minds of JVL in their sordid cult.

      6. There is something I don’t understand about the jlm. You don’t have to be Jewish or labour. Can anyone educate me?

      7. Richard – We don’t need to, you’ve managed to work it out for yourself. Whether any religious organisation (there are only 2 of them) should be affiliated to the Labour party is debatable.

  3. Mark Francis, please don’t include the JVL in the same sentence as the JLM or Labour Friends of Israel. I am a witness to the JVL enthusiastically supported this motion.
    It is the principle stand of the JVL on Palestinian’s rights that has made its members the favoured target for expulsions from the Labour Party.
    Solidarity with the JVL, all democrats within the LP and beyond are owning a debt of gratitude to the JVL, their principle stand in favour of the Palestinian cause as Socialist Jews is a slap in the faces of Starmer and Evans and the right within the LP.
    YES TO JVL, NO TO JLM this could be a slogan to sing.

    1. In fact proscription of JVL was mooted – by an ex-Labour MP
      I think? He was warned that this could be deemed as antisemitic
      by some ..

      Instead they have started the equivalent of a series of Show Trials
      against the Committee of JVL.

      “pour encourager les autres”

      I assume.

  4. I think our Conference decision to support BDS which has been portrayed as antisemitic in some quarters is the proper way to deal with Apartheid. Those of us old enough to remember South Africa’s sickening Apartheid know that the boycott of South African goods was successful. Admittedly Israel does not depend on exports in the same way that the South African regime did but at least it sends a strong message to them that human rights abusers and pro Apartheid states are looked at askance by civilised countries.

  5. Full support for all of the comments by Maria Vasquez above, and most especially with regards to the JVL.

  6. Spot on Maria! JVL are the principled and articulate opposition
    to JLM., CAR and LFI .

    If you read their comments they are polite to those who disagree
    too.

    What is more they have interesting articles on Judaism and
    its role in World History

  7. The floor also voted to bring the six big energy firms back into public ownership……..Starmer will ibnire both. According to the gnasherjew troll account that’s close to Akehurst, there are “hundreds if not thousands of anti-Semites still in the party.”
    Starmer’s shift to the right and the weaponisation of antisemitism are not over by a long chalk.

    1. Lundiel It would appear that gnasherjew is the one with the racism problem- he clearly hates Arabs/Palestinians if he thinks Israel’s treatment of them is OK.
      Regarding the resolutions which are now formally Labour policy Starmer is bound by them and in my opinion any refusal to abide by them would be a disciplinary matter.

      1. Smartboy, what you and I and many others think doesn’t matter. I hope to be wrong and for you to be right; only time will tell.

      2. Maria there is more chance of Israel respecting the Human Rights of Palestinians than there is of Starmer facing any sort of disciplinary action- we both know that. I was just pointing out that to ignore Conference policy is a disciplinary offence.
        It says so much about Labour under Starmer that within hours of a resolution that he would not support being passed most of us on this site believe he will say up yours to Conference and try to circumvent the Conference decision. He and those he has surrounded himself with are dictators and I would genuinely fear for democracy in this country if he were ever to be elected PM.

      3. ‘He’ is comprised of several right wing ex/current Labour members with close links to the Starmer administration. They all put alligience to Israel before their fake nationalist alligience to the UK and should all be banned from membership of any political party in this country.

    2. Could Starmer boost the party’s finances by privatising “accusations of antisemitism” and by aiming for FTSE100 status? Hater Imran Ahmed could also be slotted in via a revolving door as the founding CEO.

      1. Starmer will be supplying computerised records of Racist \As and Socialists to any of the foreign governments requesting them.Foriegn travel especially to the USA Australia and Canada and many other will be off the agenda for many expelled members.You need to understand and get real about just whos in control of the Labour party and don’t be nieve enough to quote rules and regulations to these people who are laughing at you even before they toss you out….Dont get mad,get even.and that can only be done from outside the walls.

  8. Talking of JVL the following was on the LBC website
    “LBC’s Political Editor Theo Usherwood explains how he was forcibly removed from the Jewish Voice for Labour fringe event by Tony Greenstein – a man expelled from the Labour Party for “virulent anti-Semitism”.
    After all, this is a group that has spent years trying to gaslight the nation that the problem of anti-Semitism is not endemic within the Labour Party.
    …. I was being kicked out of a fringe event just for doing my job. Perhaps, the clearest sign yet – to me at least – that the dark days of anti-Jewish racism in the Labour Party aren’t yet behind it.”
    So the truth is a lie and a lie is the truth and they gaslight with accusations of gaslighting.

  9. Lundiel, I expect the wichthunt to intensify. I have cancelled my Direct Debit already. I have six months to decide as to whatever to pay the arrears or no.
    This could be another tactic worth exploring, don’t resign your membership yet but cancel your Direct Debit no elections internally or externally are in the horizon.
    Hence, if your AGM isn’t due in the next 6 months is worth cancelling our Direct Debits. It could actually protect us from the wichthunt if a lot of us cancel our payments without giving notice of resignation from the Party.
    Let us starve Starmer’s Labour from funds and then depending on how LOTO behaves we will catch up with our arrears or leave for good.

  10. I recall how I rejoiced at B’Tselem’s report – proof if proof were needed, and it’s not, that there is strong support for the Palestinian cause within Israel too. It seemed like a glimmer of positivity hidden within the UK’s shameless MSM barrage of misrepresentation. Then came the Human Rights Watch report, another tiny spark! I think that this is a massive highlight, the best news by far to come out of this pitiful Conference.

  11. 🙂 From what I’ve heard, yer man Akehurst was lying in the middle of the Conference floor, having a tantrum.

    Bawling, banging his fists and feet on the floor.

    No one went to help him.

  12. Way off subject but here is Andy McDonald’s resignation letter in full

    It is with deep sadness that I am tendering my resignation from the Shadow Cabinet.
    My role as Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights and Protections has become untenable.
    When you became leader, I accepted the role because I wanted to fight for the working people of this country. It has become clear to me that I cannot do this as a member of the Shadow Cabinet.
    Yesterday, your office instructed me to go into a meeting to argue against a National Minimum Wage of £15 an hour and against Statutory Sick Pay at the living wage. This is something I could not do.
    After many months of a pandemic when we made commitments to stand by key workers, I cannot now look those same workers in the eye and tell them they are not worth a wage that is enough to live on, or that they don’t deserve security when they are ill.
    We live in a time when the people of this country have a renewed awareness of how important the work done by millions of low-paid workers truly is. To have the Labour Party, the party of working people, fail to realise that is a bitter blow.
    I joined your frontbench team on the basis of the pledges that you made in the leadership campaign to bring about unity within the parry and maintain our commitment to socialist policies.
    After eighteen months of your leadership, our movement is more divided than ever and the pledges that you made to the membership are not being honoured. This is just the latest of many.
    I am immensely proud of the work my team has done to produce Labour’s Employment Rights Green Paper, which was unveiled earlier this week. I will continue working with comrades across the movement to ensure that this agenda is delivered.
    I look forward to being free to fight for the working people of this country from the backbenches.
    Yours, Andy McDonald MP
    https://order-order.com/2021/09/27/andy-macdonald-resigns-from-starmers-shadow-cabinet-minister/

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