Will Starmer attack Young Labour (again) over conference motion on Palestine?

Keir Starmer is probably seething about this.

But he has already shot his bolt with attempts to shut down Young Labour’s conference (the group shifted its events to The World Transformed instead) and to intimidate YL chair Jess Barnard.

All because the group wanted to host speakers who support the cause of Palestinians who face continuing persecution from the Israeli government.

Now YL has announced it is bringing a pro-Palestine motion to the conference that will require Starmer and his cronies to support Palestinian liberation – or face questions on their reasons not to:

The motion states: “Conference condemns the ongoing Nakba in Palestine, Israel’s militarised attack on Al Aqsa mosque, the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and the deadly bombardment of Gaza.

“Through the dispossession of Palestinian land, labour and property, the accelerating illegal settlements, and economic exploitation, Israel is working to undermine the viability of Palestinian statehood on anything other than a neo-colonial ‘bantustan’ basis.

“Conference notes the TUC 2020 Congress motion calling this ‘another significant step’ towards the UN Crime of Apartheid. The recent work of B’Tselem and the report by Human Rights Watch, ‘A Threshold Crossed’, details how Palestinians are ‘born unequal’. This is demonstrated by the recent exclusion of Palestinians from Israel’s vaccination programme.

“Conference recognises the settle-colonial character of the oppression of the Palestinian people, condemns any attempts to obfuscate this reality, and that with Israel being the world-leading exporter of weapons per capita, Palestinian liberation is the cause of all oppressed people.

“Conference resolves to be led by and support Palestinian civil society and the trade union movement in their campaign for the boycott, divestment and sanctioning of Israel, and defends the right of the Palestinian people to struggle for liberation from colonial domination under UN resolution 37/43.

“Conference resolves to support the right of the Palestinian people under international law to return to their homes in a free, equal and democratic state.

“Conference resolves that the Labour Party must stand on the right side of history and abide by these resolutions in its policy, communications and political strategy.”

It is a direct challenge to some of Starmer’s most repressive (yet perhaps unwritten) policies.

Being such a great pal of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which is itself an arm of the Israeli Embassy, he’ll be strongly against the BDS movement in particular.

His attitude appears to be that Israel does not harm Palestinians in any way and only ever responds in self-defence to violence initiated by Palestinians.

So factual evidence that Israelis are inflicting harm on Palestinians habitually is likely to drive him up the wall. Here’s some:

It seems Starmer wants us to think these things aren’t happening.

But you’ve just seen that they are.

This Writer is curious to see whether – and how – Starmer will try to sabotage this motion and ostracise the people responsible for it.

We already know that Jess Barnard has been subjected to terrible stress.

What next?

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