Concern over motion on settlements put forward for Labour conference
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Concern over motion on settlements put forward for Labour conference

'If passed, this motion represents another radicalisation of Labour's policy towards Israel,' We Believe In Israel director said

Delegates hold up Palestinian flags during a debate on the third day of the Labour party conference in Liverpool, September 2018  (Photo creditOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Delegates hold up Palestinian flags during a debate on the third day of the Labour party conference in Liverpool, September 2018 (Photo creditOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Several Labour groups have proposed a motion for conference that if passed in its current form could pave the way for action against settlement goods.

It calls on Labour to adopt an “ethical policy” in all UK-Israeli trade “in particular by applying international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The language also refers to Palestinian “right of return,” urging the party to oppose any solution “not based on international law and UN resolutions recognising their collective rights to self-determination and to return to their homes.”

But the motion has not been selected for debate at present and it must go through a complicated process before it can go to the floor.

If the subject area it falls into is one of the policy issues that gets debated at conference, there will be “compositing” meetings in which delegates will discuss, merge and edit different motions into one compromise resolution.

The motion’s current language has sparked concerns from campaigners who fear the party could be shifting towards “radicalising” its stance on Israel.

Luke Akehurst, director of We Believe in Israel, told Jewish News: “If passed, this motion represents another radicalisation of Labour’s policy towards Israel, a step away from the balanced policy the party previously had and from cross-party consensus on Israel.

“It’s alarming but not surprising that of all the foreign policy issues Labour could have been taking a stance on, their negative obsession with Israel is likely to be the priority for the second year running.”

Labour has been approached for comment.

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