PSC urges UK Labour to confront ‘reality of Israel's practice of apartheid’
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has called on the Labour Party to "confront the reality of Israel's practice of the crime of apartheid" following an alleged decision by Labour to stop the PSC from using the word apartheid on its stall at the upcoming Labour conference.
The restrictions by Labour also extend to the PSC's fringe meeting on 10 October titled "Justice for Palestine: End Apartheid." As a result, the title currently appears as "Justice for Palestine" on the Labour Party Conference app.
According to PSC director Ben Jamal, when the PSC challenged the decision a senior party official stated that the party would "not publish a description of Israel as an apartheid state" whilst also reaffirming that the party would not publish content "we believe to be detrimental to the party."
However, Jamal said that the meeting would "go ahead regardless of how it is advertised in Labour's conference brochure."
In addition to criticising the policy at the conference, the PSC has also accused the Labour leadership of "seeking to avoid engaging with the reality lived by Palestinians for decades," and that the party had "watered down a clear commitment to recognise a Palestinian state."
Jamal further added that Israeli apartheid was "a reality that the Labour party leadership not only refuses to accept, but is willing to take active steps to suppress," noting that the party "simply prefers not to face a reality which it finds politically inexpedient."
Jamal called on any future Labour government to be "fully committed to the upholding of international law" and that "such a commitment would mean holding Israel to account for its practice of what amounts to a crime against humanity."
A growing number of organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have labelled Israel's policies in the occupied territories as amounting to apartheid. A small but growing number of prominent Israelis, including former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, have taken a similar view.
The Labour Party spokesperson has told The New Arab that "Keir Starmer has been clear that this is not the position of the Labour Party."
The annual Labour party conference is due to be held in Liverpool from 8-11 October.