We welcome the overwhelming vote by delegates at the UK Labour Party Annual Conference supporting the call for sanctions against Israel (a key demand of the Palestinian-led BDS campaign), citing reports identifying Israel as a state practising the crime of apartheid, and condemning the ongoing Nakba, attacks on Al Aqsa, forced evictions in East Jerusalem and the deadly assault on Gaza. Importantly, the resolution also recognises the right of Palestinians to return to their homes, a right enshrined in international law.
This vote should be seen in the context of long-term popular suspicion and disapproval of the policies of the State of Israel. The displays of solidarity in May this year are one illustration of the widespread hostility to the crimes of the state of Israel which exists across Britain and all of Europe.
Governments are at variance with their citizens on this issue. As long ago as 2003, the pattern was made clear when an EU foreign affairs spokesman apologised to Israel for the results of an opinion poll the EU itself commissioned and promised Israel that this public opinion would not be allowed to influence EU policy.
We await the Labour leadership’s response to the landmark Conference resolution.
Public opinion must be channelled into collective action, by raising the BDS campaign to yet higher levels and by holding Israel, and its para-statal arms, such as the racist JNF-KKL, the Jewish National Fund, to account under international law.
The KKL-JNF is a key pillar of Israeli apartheid. It is complicit in the historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Despite this, it continues to fundraise openly while holding charitable status in the UK and scores of other countries around the world. Stop the JNF UK calls on civil society bodies to demand this charitable status be stripped immediately, as a step towards holding it accountable for its complicity in the violation of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights.