A future Labour government under the leadership of Keir Starmer would “lead diplomatic efforts” to bring about a lasting peace for both Israelis and Palestinians as “a matter of priority”, a new policy document published by the party has suggested.
And in a move away from the Jeremy Corbyn-era, in which Labour promised “immediate” recognition of a Palestinian state if elected to government, the just published National Policy Forum document now states:”The Labour Party will work alongside international partners to recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, as part of efforts to contribute to securing a negotiated two state solution. ”
The dropping of the “immediate” recognition pledge, as previously predicted by Jewish News, Labour draft policy document avoids ‘immediate’ state of Palestine pledge will please many in the community who were concerned that previous Labour policy only served to offer encouragement to the ruling Islamist Hamas government in Gaza.
Under Starmer’s leadership Labour now appears to be planning, if winning the next election, to take a more active diplomatic role with international partners in attempting to reignite talks between Israel and the Palestinians in what the NPF document states has become a “deteriorating security situation” over the past year.
But in language that will offer some hope to those who accuse the current Conservative government of failing to speak out loudly enough on Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories, the policy document, which needs to be rubber stamped at next month’s Labour annual conference in Liverpool states:”There will not be a just, lasting peace until the occupation is brought to a permanent end, and both Palestinians and Israelis enjoy security, dignity and human rights.”
The 112-page document contains the policies on environmental, employment, crime, public services and international matters that Labour hopes will convince voters that it is ready for government at the general election next year.
It is notable, that in the Britain In The World section of the document, where the Palestinian cause was given priority above most other issues under Corbyn, policy around securing a peaceful resolution to the long-running conflict in the Middle East is now expanded upon after sections on China, and Kashmir.
The full text on Israel and Palestine reads:”There must also be a negotiated, diplomatic agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on two states: a safe and secure Israel, alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.
“There will not be a just, lasting peace until the occupation is brought to a permanent end, and both Palestinians and Israelis enjoy security, dignity and human rights. Labour condemns the use of violence against civilians in this conflict.
“The Labour Party will work alongside international partners to recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, as part of efforts to contribute to securing a negotiated two state solution.
“With a deteriorating security situation and the lack of a meaningful peace process between Israel and Palestine, a future Labour government will lead diplomatic efforts with international partners to support a just and lasting peace and uphold international law as a matter of priority.”
Chair of Labour’s NPF Anneliese Dodds MP writes in the foreword to the document:”With Keir Starmer’s leadership, I know we can give our country its future back, with a mission-led government that will deliver a better Britain for everyone.”
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