British Labour calls for sanctions against Israel

Labor Party resolutions (Queensland & Britain) on Israel and Palestine

It is interesting that the strong condemnation of Israel by the British Labour Party has occurred after Jeremy Corbyn left the leadership. It appears that this motion is a truly rank & file motion within the Party given the bumbling, pro-Murdoch attitude of the leadership.

Sadly, it does not appear likely that Labour in Britain will be on the treasury benches to test its rejection of Israeli apartheid or to bring down ethical sanctions against the rogue state. Without the Scottish vote Labour in Britain is struggling against Boris Johnson who is now claiming that he is raising wages and reducing unemployment since the Brexit decision.

British firms were relying on cheap European labour to drive down wages. The same is happening here in Australia with local and transnational firms employing cheap labour on TPVs, the 457 visa program and similar instruments to drive down wages. But there we have it a strong motion passed by British Labour preceded by a ground breaking motion from the Queensland Labor Party. We are indeed a long way from “our rights at work worth fighting for campaign” started by the ACTU in 2007 against the Workplace Relations Act.

It is a remarkable achievement that in the state that was the birthplace of the Australian Workers Union (AWU) which has spent much of its time discriminating against Asian workers especially people from Syria and Lebanon should now produce the document contained below in the Queensland Labor Party motion.

It is time the Australian Labor Party took a leaf out of the book of both the British and Queensland Parties and adopted a more truthful and progressive attitude towards Palestine rather than trotting out a two state solution that was originally the cause of the problem.

Ian Curr
6 October 2021

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UK
Here is the text of the British Labour Party resolution passed this month (September 2021) on Israeli apartheid, violation of human rights and war crimes in Palestine.

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

Conference also notes the unequivocal 2021 reports by B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch that conclude 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 Territory 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 the 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.”

Queensland

And here is the text of the historic motion passed earlier this year at the Queensland Labor Party 2021 annual conference. 

ALP Queensland 2021 State Conference          

LABOR FRIENDS OF PALESTINE  

Israel/Palestine                                                             

Background

        In view of the following:

  • This year will mark 104 years since the British Lord Balfour declaration on the partition of Palestine when the British granted a national home for the Jewish people. It was declared on the proviso that…

‘It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.’

  • The 1947 The United Nations Partition Plan was followed in 1948 by the unilateral declaration of the State of Israel and it has now been…
  • 73 years since Al Nakba (catastrophe) the ethnic cleansing of over 720,000 Palestinians – with 418 villages destroyed;
  • 54 years since Israel occupied Palestine following the 1967 war;
  • 14 years since the blockade and imprisonment of the people of Gaza.
  • In 2018 the discriminatory Nation State Law was legislated declaring

Israel a ‘Jewish only State’, despite 20% of the population of Israel being Arab.

  • The continuous building of illegal Israeli settlements since the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334.
  • The current horrendous loss of civilian lives, including women and high numbers of children.

MOTION

This state conference notes and congratulates the Federal ALP for re-affirming the 2018 National Conference resolution towards the recognition of Palestine,

condemns; the current violence and incitement in Jerusalem  which was sparked by

  • the forced evictions in Sheik Jarrah to remove Palestinians from their homes and replace them with Israeli settlers,
  • the shooting and tear gassing of worshippers in the Al Aqsa mosque.

condemns: the ongoing Israeli annexation by stealth of Palestinian land, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians through the expansion of illegal settlements, home demolitions, evictions, burning of land, crops and olive groves in the  Occupied Palestinian Territories in contravention of international humanitarian law, 

recognises; the routine oppression and dehumanisation of Palestinian people denying their dignity and rights to self-determination condemning them to live under perpetual Israeli occupation,

urges the Federal Parliamentary Caucus and Party as a whole to continue to  speak out about the systematic injustices meted out to the Palestinian people,

calls on the Australian government to strongly advocate for the cessation of hostilities and the  end to all violence, and

calls on a future Labor Government to assist with the peacemaking efforts.

Moved: Wendy Turner                                  
Seconded: Hamish Greenop-Roberts

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