By Matei Clej
Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn has called on Muslims and Jews to work together to diffuse tensions between the two communities arising from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Addressing an election meeting at the Pakistan Community Centre in Willesden on Monday, Tulip Siddiq said, “Growing up in my constituency, which has big Muslim and Jewish populations, it is noticeable that tensions on both sides can be very high when something happens internationally.”
Siddiq warned in her speech before the assembly, organised by Brent Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Stop the War Coalition, that communities need to work together to prevent violence: “There is a role for us to play on the ground so it does not play out on the streets,” she said.
The Labour candidate, running to replace the incumbent Glenda Jackson, made the comments in response to a question about whether candidates supported a ban of imports from illegal Israeli settlements into the UK.
Siddiq echoed Ed Millband’s position on the Conflict, the Labour leader having condemned Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank as detrimental to hopes of a two-state solution. Siddiq also raised concerns about the 20,000 Palestinians forced by the poor state of the Palestinian economy to take up jobs in Israeli settlements.
The meeting was held to discuss the war on terror, Iraq, Syria, the bombing of ISIS, Islamaphobia and the arms trade and was attended by prospective candidates from the Greens, Lib Dems and the newly-formed Trades Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) party.
Green Party Deputy Leader Sharar Ali called Palestine a “horrendous situation” and set out the Greens’ unequival support for BDS measures.