Motion adopted at our Branch Committee 18 May 2021
This branch deplores the violence currently taking place in the Middle East, including the bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli Defence Force.
The context within which this violence is taking place is that of the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestine.
We echo the view expressed by Labour Party Conference 2019 that an internationalist Labour Party has a special responsibility to redress the ongoing injustices against the Palestinian people, denied their right to self-determination during the British Mandate, because of the role Britain played as a colonial power during the 1948 Nakba when Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes.
We support the call from Labour Party Conference 2018 for a freeze of UK Government arms sales to Israel; and an immediate unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza.
We endorse the following demands supported by the Trades Union Congress in 2020;
- respect for all Palestinian rights, including the right to collective self-determination and the right to return
- an end to the illegal occupation and a halt to further annexation.
- support for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace that is consistent with international law and based on a two-state solution, which must promote equality and respect for human and labour rights.
We call on the UK government to publicly support the same goals and to recognise the State of Palestine.
‘In addition, we welcome the recognition in the TUC Congress resolution that the Israeli government’s declared intention to annex great swathes of the West Bank would be “another significant step in the creation of a system of apartheid”
In February, Israel’s largest human rights group, B’Tselem, published its report A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid.
Human Rights Watch, one of the two most important global human rights monitoring bodies, released a report at the end of April that unequivocally declares Israel is guilty of the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.
Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah are facing imminent forced evictions, which is part of the Israeli’s government’s ongoing plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem
UK trade policy and business should ensure Palestinian labour and human rights are protected and respected, and support an end to the occupation.
We further support Keir Starmer’s pledge, made in the Labour leadership election last year to put human rights at the heart of foreign policy and to review all UK arms sales and make us a force for international peace and justice.
- To support, and encourage our members to attend, local and national protests in support of a just peace in the Middle East;
- Reaffirm our branch’s continuing support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and circulate information to members encouraging them to support BDS
- To send this motion, appropriately reworded, to the Regional Council;
- To refer this motion to UNISON Labour Link.