The British Labor Party conference passed a motion to support an embargo on arms sales to Israel, a first in the country’s history.
As the proposal was put forward, hundreds of pro-Palestinian Labor delegates stood and waved their flags inside the conference hall in Liverpool, chanting “Free Palestine!” and turning the hall into a sea of Palestinian flags.
#LabourPartyConference#UK #Labour Party has voted to freeze arms sales to #Israel#Israel’s #SouthAfrican #Apartheid moment is getting closer#Palestinians urged #Labour to end #UK complicity in #Israel's crimes against #Palestinians, most critically by adopting an arms embargo pic.twitter.com/ad9wAKuTtt
— Saif Bitar (@BitarSaif) September 26, 2018
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Ben Jamal, which has been a key force behind the proposal, said:
“This incredible show of support and this historic motion demonstrate the strength of feeling at the grassroots of the party.”
— Paletiks (@Paletiks1) September 26, 2018
“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.”
The motion – moved by Harlow Constituency Labour Party (CLP) and seconded by Wolverhampton South West CLP – is the first on Palestine to be heard at the party’s conference in many years.
UK Labour Party to Debate Palestine and Arms Embargo on Israel https://t.co/WBArFRaWbr
— Moe (@Moedrubi) September 26, 2018
Palestine was put forward as the fourth-most important issue by CLPs in the priorities ballot, after housing, the school system and “justice for the Windrush generation” – and above Brexit, the NHS, climate change and social care.
The motion comes amid ongoing protests along Gaza’s border with Israel dubbed the Great March of Return.
Labour Party Considers Israel Arms Embargo https://t.co/0BzDEpX5W9
— Damascus?️Dove??ISUSisUS?? (@DovePresents) September 26, 2018
Despite the largely peaceful nature of the protests, Israeli snipers have killed more than 170 Palestinians since they began on March 30, with more than 17,500 injured.
More than 68 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces have required amputations of either lower or upper limbs since the protests began.
Delegates to UK Labour Party's conference in Liverpool waved hundreds of Palestinian flags during a rare debate on Palestine which called for an immediate suspension of arms sales to Israel. https://t.co/YdRIsMUlmq pic.twitter.com/7dLb5CqLm8
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) September 26, 2018
Palestinians have been calling to return to the homes their families were forced from in 1948, during the military campaign surrounding the creation of Israel.
They are also calling for an end to the decade-long Israel-Egypt blockade that the UN says will make Gaza “unlivable” by 2020.
— SNPFoP (@SNPFoP) September 26, 2018
Tuesday’s motion at the Labour Party conference called for an “independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators”, an “immediate and unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza” and “a freeze of UK government arms sales to Israel”.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)