Labour branded ‘cowards’ for its ‘unconditional’ support of Israel’s war with Hamas

Oct 8, 2023

PRO-PALESTINE activists branded Labour “cowards” today as they condemned Sir Keir Starmer’s “unconditional” support for Israel’s war with Hamas at a protest outside the party’s conference in Liverpool.

They blasted the Labour leader for saying there was “no justification” for the militant group’s surprise attack on Israel, which has killed hundreds on both sides after Israel responded with air strikes on Gaza.

The group from Palestine Action and Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism were supported by pedestrians and tooting motorists as they marched on the conference hall today morning from Liverpool’s Queen Victoria Monument.

At the site, they gagged their mouths in protest against Labour “censoring” the words “end apartheid” from the description of a fringe meeting about Palestine in the conference’s events guide and shouted: “Labour are cowards.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was “at war” on Saturday and vowed that Hamas, which rules Gaza, would “pay an unprecedented price.”

Sir Keir said on social media platform X : “I utterly condemn the ongoing attacks on Israel and her citizens.

“There is no justification for this act of terror which is being perpetrated by those who seek to undermine any chance for future peace in the region.

“Israel has a right to defend herself.”

Speaking outside the conference, Sean Middlebrough, of Palestine Action Liverpool, which campaigns to end Britain selling arms to Israel, said: “Because they refuse to talk about it doesn’t mean that it’s not ongoing.

“We are here to make it politically unviable to exterminate the Palestinian population.”

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Fellow activist Drew Robson said: “We initially planned this because the Labour Party had censored the words ‘end apartheid’ from the listing at the conference.

“We got a big end apartheid banner as we want to make sure as much as we can help it that the words aren’t censored out.

“Because we feel once again it’s the Labour Friends of Israel trying to normalise the occupation.”

Ellie Oates, 18, who said she joined The Revolutionary Communist Group and Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism because her “family are from the occupied north of Ireland,” added: “Thousands of people are going to be killed in the next few days and it’s important to recognise that.”

Aidan Kelly, 21, said: “We should really be concerned with Keir Starmer’s response to all this.

“Usually you get a nuanced response … but now he has shown how he unconditionally supports the state of Israel and its occupation.”

A spokesman for Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “The offensive launched from Gaza can only be understood in the context of Israel’s ongoing, decades long, colonisation and military occupation of Palestinian land and imposition of a system of oppression that meets the legal definition of apartheid.

“If violence is to end, both that of the oppressor and the oppressed, then action must be taken to end the root cause — Israel’s continuing violent imposition of a system of oppression.”

Amnesty International secretary general Agnes Callamard said: “We are deeply alarmed by the mounting civilian death tolls in Gaza, Israel and the occupied West Bank and urgently call on all parties to the conflict to abide by international law and make every effort to avoid further civilian bloodshed.

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“Under international humanitarian law all sides in a conflict have a clear obligation to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the hostilities.

“Deliberately targeting civilians, carrying out disproportionate attacks, and indiscriminate attacks which kill or injure civilians are war crimes.

“Israel has a horrific track record of committing war crimes with impunity in previous wars on Gaza.

“Palestinian armed groups from Gaza must refrain from targeting civilians and using indiscriminate weapons, as they have done in the past, and most intensively in this event, acts amounting to war crimes.”

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