Analysis Breaking comment

Labour’s war on its youth set to escalate after Young Labour shares Amnesty’s ‘apartheid Israel’ report

Starmer and co ignored conference resolution on Israeli sanctions and have attacked Labour’s youth section for months, but Amnesty International’s conclusion that Israel is an apartheid state is likely to be flashpoint for all-out internal war

Keir Starmer’s regime and his right-wing allies have waged factional war on the party’s youth section – almost the only part of the party that still functions as an actual Labour group – for months, after frank comments by the group and its chair about the state of the party and about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

YL chair Jess Barnard was sent a notice of investigation in the middle of the night for standing up to transphobia – a sinister move that Labour rapidly u-turned on under threat of legal action and in the face of a mass show of support for the targeted woman. Young Labour’s.

The party functionaries cancelled YL’s scheduled event at its annual conference because of the planned involvement of Palestine solidarity activists, but the group went ahead with it as a fringe event to huge success.

And when Labour’s supposedly sovereign conference overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for sanctions against Israel for its treatment of Palestinians, Starmer and his then-shadow foreign affairs spokeswoman Lisa Nandy said the motion was unacceptable and simply ignored it – ludicrously claiming conference is only sovereign while it’s actually in session.

And when right-wing, pro-Israel journalists launched a coordinated attack on Barnard – one that sinisterly included complaints to the workplaces of people who supported her against it – Keir Starmer said not a single public word against the attack or in support of the elected youth chair of his party.

But now the findings of an Amnesty International report – and Young Labour’s response to it – look set to trigger open warfare against the party’s young socialists.

The human rights group’s damning report highlights Israel’s gross abuses against the Palestinian people and concludes that it is an apartheid state whose rulers must be ‘held accountable’ for the ‘crime of apartheid’ against Palestinians – calling on the International Criminal Court to coordinate internationally to ‘bring perpetrators of apartheid crimes to justice’:

And Young Labour’s tweeted quote of the report, along with a link to it, will have triggered panic among Starmer’s supporters, who have treated almost any comment on Israel’s actions or acknowledgement of its crimes as a disciplinary – and usually expulsion – offence:

It seems highly unlikely, given the right’s track record so far, that Starmer and co will be given pause because of the ‘optics’ of taking action against the youth wing for an expression of solidarity with a human rights group and with the victims of apartheid. Instead they will mount an all-out attack – their allies have long been calling for Labour to disband YL completely because of its outspokenness and courage – and trust their friends in the so-called ‘mainstream’ media to either spin it for them or ignore it altogether.

Solidarity with Young Labour and with oppressed peoples everywhere.

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