Yesterday the Labour Conference debated an anti-Israel motion. The motion was passed though not unanimously. It isn’t necessarily binding on a future Labour government (though beware, Corbyn says he will be bound by Conference motions). Of course it’s an ignorant nonsense:
1. It seeks an arms embargo on Israel. Israel has always acted in self-defence and within the law.
2. It seeks an end to the ‘illegal blockade and closure’ of Gaza. There is no ‘blockade’ or ‘closure’, truckfuls of goods arrive every day, see the COGAT website.
The only goods not allowed in are those used in making weapons – which is not an ‘illegal’ blockade, Israel has the right to defend its population.
3. It seeks an ‘independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators’. We have information that at least on one day, 80% of the ‘demonstrators’ were members of terrorist organisations attempting to infiltrate into Israel and kill. There is no reason to believe that the composition of the ‘demonstrators’ on any other day was any different. Anyone with peaceful intentions would have known this and – if they valued life – should not have put themselves in danger.
4. It seeks higher UK contributions to UNWRA. UNRWA regards the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the 1948 refugees as refugees also: The only refugee category in the world whose status is perpetuated in this way. My great grandparents were refugees from Russia. I would not dream of claiming taxpayer-funded assistance from the UN.
But this blog is not about this absurd Israel-demonising motion. It is about the PSC’s manipulation of the delegates who voted for it and their willingness to be manipulated. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has hijacked the Labour Party and the TUC. Its Chair, Hugh Lanning, was Deputy General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), one of the largest trade unions. With many Jewish members having quit Labour and many who remain choosing to stay away from Conference, there was no-one to speak yesterday to expose the lies. Israel hate has become the glue that keeps the Corbynite left together, the totem pole around which it rallies, orchestrated by 50+ year olds who remember the campaign against apartheid and make entirely false comparisons with it.
If you want to see this manipulation illustrated, look no further than the two photos below.
The first one shows the Israel lynching sessions yesterday (well done to Paul Wilkinson who pointed out from the podium that it was against the rules to bring the flags into the hall, especially when he wasn’t allowed to unfurl an EU flag earlier in the day). Contrast it with the second one, which shows the attendance at the International Briefing on Monday morning, with at least two Shadow Cabinet members on the podium to answer questions (Emily Thornberry and Kate Osamor – does anyone know who the other two are? Nia Griffith?). The hall is virtually empty.
If delegates were really interested in the Middle East, would they not have gone to the International Briefing to increase their knowledge and ask relevant questions of the Shadow Ministers responsible? They could for example have asked Ms Thornberry about Labour’s policy towards Christians in the Middle East who are persecuted by Islamists, or about the genocide of the Yazidi on Mount Sinjar, or about the persecution of the Druze in Iraq and Syria, or about the demonisation of the Kurds by President Erdogan of Turkey. They could have enquired about Labour’s policy towards all these persecuted minorities in the Middle East. She might even have responded that the safest place for minorities in the region is …………….. Israel (I hear you laughing cynically – but miracles do sometimes happen, even for Labour Shadow Ministers). If those who waved Palestinian flags yesterday were genuinely interested in the Middle East, that is what they might have done, isn’t it?
But no. The plain fact is that the delegates who voted for the anti-Israel motion yesterday were a lynch-mob, a flock of sheep cynically manipulated by the PSC, waving the £6000 worth of flags they were given and voting to lynch Israel because either (a) they lacked the guts not to follow the herd or (b) they could not be bothered to learn the facts.
More photos here……..