Labour should step up the pressure to end UK support for Israel’s war crimes

By KD Tait

This year marks 70 years since the foundation of Israel and the Nakba, in which more than 700,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes.

Over the last month, refugees and their descendants in Gaza have been holding peaceful protests in support of the right to return.

These demonstrations have faced savage repression by the Israeli army which has fired live ammunition, killing over 100, and wounding more than 9,000 civilians.

On Monday, while Benjamin Netanyahu and Ivanka Trump were opening the new US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israeli troops killed at least 60 Palestinians, including eight children, during protests at the Gaza border.

US President Donald Trump blamed the victims of this terror, describing it as “a gruesome propaganda event”. He was backed up by the UK government, which said Hamas had to accept responsibility for the deaths.

Disgracefully, this cynical Israeli government propaganda was parroted by Labour Friends of Israel.

But for the first time, there is a major voice of opposition to our government’s support for Israel’s war crimes.

Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry condemned the lethal attacks on civilians and called for an end to the killings.

Labour MPs Richard Burgon and Chris Williamson spoke at a solidarity demonstration in Whitehall on Tuesday evening.

We need to keep up the pressure and go beyond calls for an “independent inquiry” – which Israel’s allies will never allow.

The best way we can support the legitimate struggle of the Palestinians for justice, equality, and the right of return, is to campaign to end our government’s diplomatic and military support for the Zionist state.

That means action to back up Corbyn’s words. In Labour supporters of the Palestinians are being silenced by a witch-hunt making false claims of antisemitism against anti-Zionists – many of them Jewish.

After the anniversary, Palestine may fall out of the headlines – but the killing and the occupation will go on.

That’s why we are campaigning in Labour and the trade unions for practical solidarity:

  • End UK arms sales to Israel
  • Support refugees’ right to return
  • Support the BDS Campaign
  • End the siege of Gaza
  • For one, secular state for Arabs and Jews