Labour Party Passes Motion To Freeze Arms Sales To Israeli

Labour Party on Tuesday passed a motion condemning Israeli policies, calling for a freeze on arms sales to Israel and recognizing the Palestinian state.

In a historic move during an annual conference in Liverpool, the party called for the UK to end arms exports to Israel until further notice. Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists in the conference waved Palestinian flags and chanted “Free Palestine.”

Delegates hold up placards in support of Palestine at the Labour Party's conference in Liverpool, Britain, September 25, 2018

Delegates of the party called for an “independent international investigation” into the Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF) use of force against protesters on the Gaza border, asked for “immediate and unconditional” end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza and urged more funding for the UN agency for Palestinians.

Delegates hold up placards in support of Palestine at the Labour Party's conference in Liverpool, Britain, September 25, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The new resolution says the majority of Palestinian people were “forcibly displaced from their homes” during the Nakba and it condemns the “aggressive attempt to rewrite history and erase the victims of the 1948 war.”

“We have witnessed extraordinary scenes of solidarity today and the Labour Party has done the right thing by recognising the longstanding injustice of Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights,” Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Chair Hugh Lanning said.

“This is an important step forward in building solidarity with Palestinians within Labour and we hope the leadership will listen to the will of the party on this issue.” He added.

Speaking at the conference, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry reaffirmed Labour’s commitment to stamping out anti-Semitism, saying they must kick out “sickening individuals who use our legitimate support for Palestine as a cloak and a cover for their despicable hatred of Jewish people.”

Labour party has repeatedly insisted it does not possess an anti-Jewish agenda, stressing it has a zero-tolerance policy on anti-Semitism.

Campaign director Ben Jamal said Labour members want to show “real solidarity with Palestinians,”

“Given Israel’s continuing use of live fire to kill unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, it is no surprise that there’s clear support for an immediate freeze of arms sales to Israel,” Jamal added.

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