Labour manifesto says future Palestinian state ‘essential’ to ‘long-term security of Israel’

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Labour manifesto says future Palestinian state ‘essential’ to ‘long-term security of Israel’

Starmer election manifesto says his party will push for 'a Palestinian state as a contribution to a renewed peace process which results in a two-state solution with a safe and secure Israel'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Labour manifesto front page
Labour manifesto front page

Keir Starmer has launched the Labour manifesto for the next month’s general election, which includes a claim that the creation of a future Palestinian state is “essential to the long-term security of Israel.”

Speaking in Manchester, Starmer described the party’s manifesto as” a credible long-term plan, with clear, long-term steps”, which was dominated by promises of a plan for economic growth, a new industrial strategy, and a claim that there would be no rise in income tax, VAT or national insurance.

But on page 124, the manifesto committed Labour to placing an “immediate focus” on a push for long-term peace and security in the Middle East.

It said: “Labour will continue to push for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, the upholding of international law, and a rapid increase of aid into Gaza.”

The manifesto then added: “Palestinian statehood is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people. It is not in the gift of any neighbour and is also essential to the long-term security of Israel.

“We are committed to recognising a Palestinian state as a contribution to a renewed peace process which results in a two-state solution with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.”

Responding to the pledge Michael Rubin, director of Labour Friends of Israel said: “LFI has long supported the establishment of a viable, democratic and independent Palestinian state alongside Israel safe, secure and recognised within its borders.

“Labour’s position of Palestinian recognition as part of a renewed peace process resulting in a safe and secure Israel reflects the serious and grown-up approach taken under Keir’s leadership.

“The Corbyn-era stance of unilateral recognition untethered to any wider process wouldn’t have brought a Palestinian state a day closer. It’s welcome that Labour has moved on from this unserious gesture politics.

“Keir Starmer’s statements that Hamas can have no further role in the governance of Palestine and David Lammy’s repeated pledges to ban the IRGC also underline that a changed Labour party knows that terrorism and extremism represent the most serious threat to long-term peace and stability in the region.”

Mike Katz, national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement said the text was a “principled and pragmatic approach.”

The manifesto also committed Labour to “update the rules around counter-extremism, including online, to stop people being radicalised and drawn towards hateful ideologies.”

It also states that the party will reverse a move by ex Home Secretary Suella Braverman to ban the police from recording “non-crime hate incidents” including antisemitism.

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