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Bedford Labour Party support for Palestine

At its May meeting, Bedford and Kempston Constituency Labour Party (CLP) passed the following resolution expressing support for Palestinian Rights and equality:

This CLP Notes:

• That despite the welcome defeat of Donald Trump in the US Election and the subsequent statement by Kamala Harris, the Democrat Vice President, the threat of annexation remains not only as the Israeli Government has made statements that it intends to proceed with its plans but also its recent announcement to build more homes in illegal settlements thereby accelerating the de facto annexation of Palestinian lands;

• The inequality of treatment and human rights already faced by Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and within Israel and that settlement building and, in particular, annexation would be not only illegal but also, as described by the TUC, would be ‘another significant step’ – being based on legislative measures that discriminate and divide the population along racial lines – towards the UN Crime of Apartheid.

This is further evidenced by the recent report by leading Israeli Human Rights Group – B’Tselem, which concludes that Israel is practising the crime of apartheid ‘through laws, practices and organized violence”.

• The unanimous adoption by the Trade Union Congress 2020 of a motion which states firm opposition to annexation and that “decisive action is now urgently needed in relation to Israel’s illegal actions against the Palestinians”.

• The Shadow Foreign Secretary’s welcome statement that, if Israel proceeds with its threatened annexation, “concrete action will follow, including a ban on goods entering Britain from the illegal settlements in the West Bank” and that “such a blatant breach of international law must have consequences;”

This CLP endorses the policy passed by Labour Party conference 2019 for Labour:

• To oppose any proposed solution for Palestinians not based on international law and UN resolutions recognising their collective rights to self-determination and to return to their homes.

• To adhere to an ethical policy on all UK’s trade with Israel, in particular by applying international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and stopping any arms trade with Israel that is used in violation of the human rights of Palestinians.

This CLP believes:

• Labour must stand in full opposition to the Israeli government’s declared intention to annex great swathes of the West Bank and to build many more settlements, moves that are completely illegal according to international law; and support actions to build a broad coalition against the proposed Israeli annexation and settlement building.

This CLP resolves to:

• Write to the Labour leader and NEC urging them to put pressure on the government to take “effective measures” as called for by Palestinian civil society, including sanctions, to ensure that Israel stops or reverses the illegal annexation, the building of settlements and to stop Israel’s other breaches of international law, including ending the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, and respects the right of refugees to return to their homes under international law.

• Urge Labour’s leadership to renew the pledge to recognise the State of Palestine immediately on being elected to government.

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