Labour Party can promote two-state solution, says pro-Israel group


Michael Rubin, director of Labour Friends of Israel, said the Netanyahu government’s actions “imperil both democratic norms and the rule of law.”…reports Asian Lite News

A Labour government can promote a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and end the building of illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories, a pamphlet from the party’s largest pro-Israel group has said.

Labour Friends of Israel described the UK’s main opposition party as “freed of the stain of antisemitism” and capable of confronting democratic backsliding in both Israel and within the Palestinian Authority, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

The pamphlet aims to end years of debate in the party over the conflict and promote a unified response in preparation for a potential Labour government.

“Free of the stain of antisemitism and anti-Zionism,” the party can confront Israeli Prime Minister “Benjamin Netanyahu’s self-serving efforts to emasculate the independence of the judiciary,” the pamphlet says.

It describes his “repellent actions and rhetoric of his far-right allies” as going beyond “routine policy disagreements.”

Michael Rubin, director of Labour Friends of Israel, said the Netanyahu government’s actions “imperil both democratic norms and the rule of law.”

Labour, if it wins the next general election, must immediately restore the position of Middle East minister, a post that was abolished by the ruling Conservative Party, which has shown a “stunning disinterest” in the region, the pamphlet says.

A key strategy for Britain’s foreign policy under Labour must be to promote a freeze on settlement-building, it adds, saying the move will “narrow the parameters of the conflict and foster confidence.”

Renewed investment in the PA must also take place, with a potential British-led international fund offering a path to peace through economic incentives and anti-corruption drives. Though the UK would lack the clout to resolve the conflict alone, it could work with Europe and the US, the pamphlet says.

However, Toby Greene, a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, said it would be difficult to maintain a unified front within the Labour Party due to “the extremism of the current Israeli government, the diplomatic vacuum, and the propensity for violent escalations.”

Labour this week was also accused of censorship after it requested the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to remove the phrase “end apartheid” from its side event at the party’s annual conference next week. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign urged the party to “confront the reality of Israel’s practice of the crime of apartheid rather than avoid naming it.”

Major NGOs and rights groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem have all warned that Israel is practicing apartheid. Labour leader Keir Starmer, when asked to justify the move, described the use of the phrase as “detrimental.”

PSC warned that instead of holding Israel to account “for its serial violations,” the Labour leadership is “seeking to avoid engaging with the reality lived by Palestinians for decades.”

Ben Jamal, PSC director, said: “You cannot tackle an injustice unless you are prepared to name it. As B’Tselem, Israel’s leading human rights monitoring body, said in their report affirming Israel’s practice of apartheid, ‘As painful as it may be to look reality in the eye, it is more painful to live under a boot’.”

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