Sanctions against Israel for practising “apartheid” against Palestinians were called on in a motion passed by Britain’s main opposition party.
Adopted at its annual party conference in Brighton, the Labour Party passed a motion demanding the halt of the UK-Israeli arms trade in areas violating Palestinian rights and cease trade with illegal Israeli settlements.
Although the vote is not binding on the Labour leadership as it was brought forth by the Labour Party’s youth wing, it is still significant as it reflects the mood of the party.
The motion adopted by the party read: “The conference condemns the ongoing Nakba in Palestine, Israel’s militarized violence attacking the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, the forced displacements from Sheikh Jarrah and the deadly assault on Gaza.”
The motion also underscored the need for action “due to Israel’s continuing illegal actions,” urging the Labour Party to “adhere to an ethical policy on all UK trade with Israel, including stopping any arms trade used to violate Palestinian human rights, trade with illegal Israeli settlements.”
Furthermore, it agreed to support “effective measures” including sanctions against the Israeli government actions which are illegal under international law.
“Ensuring that Israel stops the building of settlements, reverses any annexations committed, ends the occupation of the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza, brings down the Wall and respects the right of the Palestinian people, as enshrined in international law, to return to their homes,” was underlined in the motion.
Among those that praised the passing of the motion was the UK-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which defined it as a “historic motion on Palestine passed at the Labour Party Conference 2021 acknowledging that Israel is practising apartheid and calling for strong sanctions.”
Reports published by Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem earlier this year said that Israel was practising apartheid against Palestinians, as defined by the UN.