Labour Conference Policy 2018 and 2019

Please find below the composite motions passed by Labour Party Conferences 2018 and 2019 on Palestine.

1. Palestine Motion, Labour Party Conference 2019

Conference notes:

  • Recent actions by US and Israeli administrations are destroying prospects for peace in Palestine – by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, stopping funding UNRWA for Palestinian refugees, the continuing siege of Gaza, expanding illegal settlements and announcing plans to annex illegally large areas of land occupied in 1967.
  • The proposals in Trump’s “deal of the century” are a one-sided attempt to impose an unjust outcome destroying core Palestinian rights.

Conference believes:

  • Labour’s ethical foreign policy must prioritise Palestinians’ rights to freedom, justice and equality, including by applying these principles based on international law to all UK trade with Israel.
  • 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.

Conference resolves:

  • To oppose any proposed solution for Palestinians, including Trump’s ‘deal’, 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.
  • To work globally for an alliance with progressive sister parties rejecting trade agreements with Israel that fail to recognise the rights of the Palestinians.

2. Palestine Motion, Labour Party Conference 2018

Conference notes

  • ‘The Guardian’ of (31 August) reporting the Trump administration’s confirmation of funding cuts to UNRWA, which provides emergency assistance and basic provisions to Palestinian victims of the Nakba of 1948, when the majority of Palestinian people were forcibly displaced from their homes.
  • As UNRWA’s largest donor, this US decision is widely understood (Guardian 31 August) as the means to “unilaterally sweep aside” one party to the conflict, get rid of the “main sticking point”: the international rights of the Palestinian people who are now refugees.
  • Britain’s direct role in the terrible fate of the Palestinian people, who still seek their internationally protected rights to self-determination, and to return.
  • That UNRWA, established by UN General Assembly resolution 304 of 1949, derives its mandate directly from UN member states to serve Palestinian refugees until their rights are addressed, in a peace process underpinned by the principles of international law.
  • For several months, thousands of Palestinians have engaged in mass and overwhelmingly non-violent protests in the Gaza Strip.
  • On Friday the 10th August a volunteer medic Abdallah al-Qatati was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper while on duty during Great March of Return.
  • On Friday 17th August another medic Karim Ahmad Ali Fatayer, 28, was fatally shot in the head when Israeli soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters near the boundary fence. More than 100 others were shot with live ammunition that day on Friday.
  • The Government of Israel has responded to the protesters with heavy repression.165 Palestinians have been killed. Of these, 122 were killed in protests, including 21 children, two journalists, four paramedics, and three people with disability. Another 8,875 people were injured, including 1,611 children, 399 women, 90 paramedics, and 82 journalists; those injured, 4,952 people were hit by live fire.

Conference condemns

  • This aggressive attempt to rewrite history, and erase the victims of the 1948 war, who were expelled or fled from their homes in Palestine.

Conference supports

  • Developing solidarity with Palestinian refugees, especially young refugees, and to explore developing links with UNRWA schools, its training centres, and its local staff serving across the Middle East

Conference urges

  • The British government to increase its level of annual assessed contributions to UNRWA, providing much needed reassurance and stability to Palestinian refugees, and to encourage other member states to do the same.

This conference resolves to call for

  • an independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators; a freeze of UK Government arms sales to Israel; and an immediate unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza.

 Submitted by Harlow CLP and Wolverhampton South West CLP.