A motion on Israel and Palestine at Cambridge CLP

JVL Introduction

Despite the attempts made by David Evans Acting General Secretary of the Labour Party, to ban people raising a whole range of important political issues, Cambridge CLP has passed a strong motion of solidarity with Palestine.

Fearful of suspension by the apparachniks of Eastern Region if they put a foot wrong – and being totally unclear as to what you are now authorised to debate – CLP Officers simply refused to circulate a detailed background statement in support of the proposed motion. The reason given – there was no precedent for doing so – was simply untrue.

The ground for refusal shifted: the document contained contentious material from a body not affiliated to the Labour Party (the Palestine Solidarity Campaign) which the Party couldn’t be expected to check!

So a supporting statement with links only to the “offending” material was produced, consisting largely of extracts from a report by the UN Human Rights Rapporteur, extracts from the 4th Geneva Convention, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, and the like.

Even that statement was not circulated!

The mover had just two minutes – “only two minutes for Palestine” – to introduce the motion with no help from background materials circulated in advance to those who might wish to read them.

In that incredibly abridged period of time, the proposer was unable to advance the arguments presented so cogently (see below) at his Trumpington branch earlier where the motion originated.

In the end the motion was taken and passed by the GC.

As was another important motion deploring the growing censorship in the Party…

Relevant materials are posted below:

  1. The resolution on Israel and Palestine, adopted by the Cambridge CLP, 20 November 2020
  2. The emergency Resolution – on growing censorship in the Party
  3. An account as to why there was an abridged statement which, even so, was not circulated…
  4. The proposer’s speech at the Trumpington branch where the motion to the GC originated
  5. The full supporting statement

1. The resolution on Israel and Palestine, adopted by the Cambridge CLP, 20 November 2020

This CLP

  • Confirms that criticism of Israel’s internationally unlawful conduct and standing up for the human rights of the dispossessed and oppressed Palestinian people are entirely consistent with the Labour Party’s values;
  • Notes with great concern the failure of the United Kingdom and other United Nations members since 1967 to impose stringent sanctions on Israel until it ceases –
    • its illegal occupation of the independent state of Palestine including East Jerusalem,
    • its discriminatory treatment of the Palestinian people which, according to the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur, “appear(s) to constitute apartheid and segregation”[i],
    • the similar treatment of 1.7 million Palestinian descendants within its own boundaries,
    • the creeping annexation of Palestinian land through illegal settlements including in East Jerusalem,
    • its application of deeply discriminatory planning laws, and bulldozing of Palestinian houses,
    • its unacceptable treatment of Palestinian children including trial in military courts, imprisonment in Israeli jails, the systematic ill treatment of them therein and denial of rights afforded to them under international law, and
    • its unlawful siege of Gaza since 2007, depriving its residents of water, electricity, adequate health care and other essentials, and exposing them to bombing and invasion;
  • Urges the Party nationally to commit us when in government, while maintaining essential diplomatic relations, to –
    • impose stringent sanctions on Israel unless and until Israel takes the action demanded of it above, including full restoration of the independent state of Palestine including East Jerusalem, guaranteeing its full independence, and enabling a humane right of return for the 7 million Palestinian refugees, 1.5 million of whom live in recognized refugee camps in neighbouring countries, having been dispossessed and displaced by Israeli action from the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe) onwards;
    • ban all sales of arms to Israel until this action is complete; and
    • seek the exclusion of Israel from all forms of international recognition including cultural and sporting events.

Fn: Final Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, United Nations General Assembly, 13 January 2014, A/HRC/25/67:

“Through prolonged occupation, with practices and policies which appear to constitute apartheid and segregation, ongoing expansion of settlements, and continual construction of the wall arguably amounting to de facto annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, the denial by Israel of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is evident. The Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts provide guidance as to the consequences of serious breaches of peremptory norms under international law. In this respect there is authority to suggest that the following prohibitions have attained the status of peremptory norms: aggression through military occupation and imposition of military blockades on ports and coasts, racial discrimination and apartheid, and torture. In addition, the right to self-determination itself has been recognized as a peremptory norm which applies erga omnes.”

20 November 2020

2. The emergency Resolution – on growing censorship in the Party

This CLP deplores growing censorship in the Party arising from directions by the General Secretary. These interfere with members’ right to freedom of expression under the Human Rights Act and European Convention on Human Rights and the democratic rights of Party membership as stated in the NEC Statement on the Importance of our Members, demands that these directions are withdrawn for scrutiny by the NEC, and urges the General Secretary not to issue such directions in the future without the specific and explicit authority of the NEC or Annual Conference.

20 November 2020

3. An account as to why there was an abridged statement which, even so, was not circulated…

After a struggle, the following text was included in the CLP Secretary’s report to the General Committee at the insistence of the mover of the motion:

“The supporting statement was considered by the Branch together with the motion and was referred to by the proposer. This was made clear when the motion and statement were sent to the CLP Secretary.

When the statement was not circulated, the Branch asked that it should be. Eventually after two reminders, the CLP Secretary said he had forgotten, and it would not be circulated as there was not precedent for this.

When four previous examples were given to show that this was not valid and supporting statements were established practice, the ground for refusal changed to contentious material from a body not affiliated to the Labour Party and cannot check the validity of other information. Two pages of basic facts on the history from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign were removed and replaced by links only to those facts and an Israeli historian’s account of the history.

The remaining text was from and in the words of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteurs, its International Commission on the siege of Gaza, other United Nations International Conventions, Israeli Prime Ministers, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and the Israeli “Jewish Nation State Law”.

There was then just a blank refusal to circulate the statement.

The CLP Secretary then said the matter would be referred to in his report to the GC. I made clear on behalf of the Branch that this would not be satisfactory unless it included text from the Branch shown distinctly and unedited to give both sides of the story. It would also mean that the statement would not be circulated before the motion was debated. I asked that our text to be included.

No reply was received, and a reminder sent, to which there was no reply.

Exclusion of the statement is discriminatory against the people of Palestine. No other supporting statement has been excluded, why this one? Length is beside the point as rules should not be made up to exclude a document prepared on basis of previous practice – and we are dealing with 104 years of bitter history since the Balfour Declaration about which low information levels are widespread. There being no other reasonable explanation, the reason seems transparently clear. The subject is politically uncomfortable. Is that not what we are about as a Labour Party? As a social democratic Party, we deal with the difficult and contentious for the many not the few. This episode does not live up to the Party’s standard. Current practice should prevail until it is replaced. The supporting statement to the motion should be circulated for consideration at the GC meeting alongside the motion of which it is part.”

4. The proposer’s speech at the Trumpington branch where the motion to the GC originated

Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has sought to remove the internationally recognized independent state of Palestine including East Jerusalem from the map – through unlawful invasion, occupation, and continual erosion.

It has occupied that state unlawfully since 1967, imposing a harsh military regime upon its segregated people which the UN’s Human Rights Commission and other agencies recognize as segregation and apartheid.

The UN also regards Israel’s actions such as the killing and maiming of thousands Palestinian protestors in Gaza and deaths caused by the invasion and bombing of that devastated area, as meeting the definition of war crimes.

Yet the international community stands by and watches rather than taking the incisive action it must take if it is to be the true representative of a values and rules based international world order.

The main responsibility for this rest with the United States of America, but the United Kingdom also has a special responsibility to act given its part in the dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people following the British Mandate in Palestine and the Balfour declaration. As Palestinian Ambassador Zomlot said last month, “Britain has an historic moral role to play – Israel must not be above the law – we are seeking our rights not instead of but as well as”. We, the United Kingdom, have failed miserably to live up to our responsibilities – to stand up for the rights of a people who do not have the power to see off the powerful forces, military and civilian, of the United States backed Israel.

The United Nations has passed a plethora of resolutions demanding that action be taken, starting with Resolution 194 of December 1948, which reads:

“(The United Nations) Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to do so and for loss or damage to property …”

This resolution remains in force and applies also to the descendants of the refugees. Like nearly all the other resolutions, it has been ignored by Israel – with impunity. As Michael Lynk, the Human Rights Special Rapporteur, says:

“Yet it’s allowed to defy the world on the plethora of UN resolutions, as few counties do. Israel has learned to endure the perennial toothache of having UN resolutions passed against it, and it’s willing to accept that toothache as long as nothing flows as a consequence.” [Amnesty, Autumn 2017]

As the words of successive Israeli Prime Ministers and the current Israeli Ambassador to the UK show, Israel’s consistent aim from its inception and before, is to remove Palestine from the map in order to establish Eretz Israel in its place. This is what the Palestinians refer to as their “erasure”. With the connivance of the USA and the acquiescence of the United Kingdom and others, and now Palestine’s abandonment by its Arab partners the UAE and Bahrain, Israel is succeeding.

I share the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur’s impatience with the international community’s abject failure over 70 years to take the strong action its words demand – saying up with this we will not put – and until you do what you must do as a signatory to the UN Convention on Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Convention of All Forms of racial Discrimination and other international treaties – until you recognize Palestine and Palestinians right to self-determination equally with the right you assert for yourselves – and until you work to enable and ensure Palestine’s true independence – until then we will regard you as beyond the pale of nations and you must take the consequences.

Our Party needs to stand up and be counted on this existential matter in a way we have not done to date when in government. We may be tough in words on annexation – but that is not the true end game. Israel must be called out and called to account for its internationally unlawful conduct. We must tell Israel to change its destructive and inhumane conduct towards Palestine and the Palestinians to meet the standards we and the international community expect of it. And that until such time as it does it will suffer the consequences through withdrawal of recognition as a member of the community of nations together with stringent sanctions and other action – all with the purpose of securing Palestinians human right to self-determination and to the enjoyment of their own independent state. Hence this motion, which I move.

David Plank, 7 October 2020

 5. The full supporting statement

History

The history is important. The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe’s account is at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ethnic_Cleansing_of_Palestine

A Palestinian account is at: https://www.palestinecampaign.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/basic-facts-sheet-WEB.pdf

United Nations reporting

The findings of the “United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967”, are summarized below in some of the Rapporteur’s own words. [Title shortened to UN Special Rapporteur in what follows]

Fourth Geneva Convention

Essential context to the United Nation’s reports on Israel’s occupation of Palestine since 1967 are the international duties of occupying powers laid down in the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Geneva_Convention

Article 4 defines “protected persons”:

“Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.”

The human rights of those persons are in prescribed in various articles which define the “Status and Treatment of Protected Persons:

  • Article 32: Prohibition of corporal punishment, torture, etc
  • Article 33: Individual responsibility, collective penalties, pillage and reprisals
  • Article 49: Deportation, transfers, evacuation
  • Article 50: Children
  • Article 53: Prohibited destruction
  • Article 56: Hygiene and public health
  • Article 78: Security measures. Internment and assigned residence. Right of appeal.

Final Report of the Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk, United Nations General Assembly, 13 January 2014, A/HRC/25/67:

“Through prolonged occupation, with practices and policies which appear to constitute apartheid and segregation, ongoing expansion of settlements, and continual construction of the wall arguably amounting to de facto annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, the denial by Israel of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is evident. The Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts provide guidance as to the consequences of serious breaches of peremptory norms under international law. In this respect there is authority to suggest that the following prohibitions have attained the status of peremptory norms: aggression through military occupation and imposition of military blockades on ports and coasts, racial discrimination and apartheid, and torture. In addition, the right to self-determination itself has been recognized as a peremptory norm which applies erga omnes.”

50 Years of Occupation. Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur, Amnesty, Autumn 2017 (Richard Falk’s successor):

“Since Israel occupied the West Bank of the River Jordan 50 years ago in the “Six Days War”, more than 100,000 hectares of Palestinian land have been appropriated for illegal and ever-expanding Israeli settlements – condemned by the United Nations in 2016 as “a flagrant violation of international law”

To make way for the 600,000-plus settlers now living in occupied land, 50,000 Palestinian homes and structures were demolished.

While the settlers prosper, Palestinians deprived of land, water, natural resources and infrastructure struggle to survive…

Israel’s military rule disrupts every aspect of daily life. It affects whether, when and how Palestinians can travel to work or school’, go abroad, visit relatives, earn a living, attend a protest, till their farmland, switch on an electric light or drink clean water. It means daily humiliation, fear and oppression: destruction of homes, forced evictions, unlawful killings, arbitrary detentions, restrictions on movement and collective punishment.

Israel also has a complex web of military laws to crush dissent, and senior government officials brand Israelis who advocate for Palestinian rights as “traitors”.

Israeli armed forces have long used excessive and often lethal force against Palestinian men, women, and children, to punish and stifle protest and dissent. Since 1987, more than 10,200 Palestinians have been killed, often in circumstances suggesting that the killings were unlawful and may amount to war crimes. In the same period, more than 1,400 Israelis were killed by Palestinians. Of these hundreds were civilians killed by armed groups in attacks that constitute crimes under international law…

The situation in Gaza: Before 2007, Israel had various forms of enclosures and restrictions on the movement of people into or out of Gaza, and on trade. But the real hammerlock came down 10 years ago – and reduced a faltering and fragile economy to a humanitarian basket case. The blockade means that almost all the basics, turning on a power switch or a tap, opening a refrigerator – none of these can be taken for granted in Gaza…

Before the most recent power crisis, Gaza was without power for 16-18 hours a day. The water supply was limited to six-eight hours daily for virtually all households. The major water aquifer underneath Gaza has been so heavily pumped, it’s now flooded with salt water. In 2015 only about 5-10 per cent of the water aquifer was usable for drinking water. And 80 per cent of the population of Gaza either lived entirely of for part of the year on humanitarian food. The World Bank, not known as a radical organisation, reported in May 2015 that “the quality of life for the large majority of Gaza citizens is hardly bearable” … Gaza’s healthcare system hangs by a thread: they have trouble getting pharmaceuticals, replacements for X-ray machines, and training for medical staff. Many, particularly cancer patients, have to leave to get treatment in Egypt, Israel, the West Bank or Jordan, but virtually all those outside facilities are now being closed off for them…

At one level the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is made to be very complex, but on another level, it is very straightforward. One country is occupying another that wants freedom and self-determination, and self-determination is the norm in the 21st century. Israel punches well above its weight in the international sphere, but few countries are as vulnerable and need as much international support. Israel could not do what it does, could not be the wealthy, prosperous country that it is, or continue an occupation for 50 years, without either international support or international connivance. Yet it’s allowed to defy the world on the plethora of UN resolutions, as few countries do.

Israel has learned to endure the perennial toothache of having UN resolutions passed against it, and it’s willing to accept that toothache as long as nothing flows as a consequence.”

Report of the Special Rapporteur on Health in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Michael Lynk, 15 March 2018

“An occupying power has the duty, under international law, to ensure that the right to health – the enjoyment by the protected population of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health – is fulfilled during the temporary period of occupation, consistent with its security needs.

Measured against these obligations Israel has been in profound breach of the right to health with respect to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Its avaricious occupation – measured by the expanding settlement enterprise, the annexation of territory, the confiscation of private and public lands, the pillaging of resources, the publicly stated ambitions for permanent control over all or part of the Territory, and the fragmentation of the lands left for the Palestinians – has had a highly disruptive impact upon health care and the broader determinants of health for the Palestinians…

Israel’s conduct of the occupation bears the ultimate responsibility. At the heart of this chasm between the right to health and the harrowing conditions on the ground is what Dr Paul Farmer has called the pathologies of power: the enormous gap in situations of structure inequality between those who control power and those without power who must bear the consequences of these rapacious decisions … Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organisations have persuasively demonstrated both the inequities in the health and social conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and their substantive relationship to Israel’s occupation. That leaves to the rest of us the obligation to act decisively and effectively.”

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“No justification for Israel to Shoot Protestors with Live Ammunition”, Report of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the protests in the Palestinian Territory, 25 February 2019 – UN Media Release

“The report focuses on the demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, referred to as the “Great March of Return and the Breaking of the Siege”

The Commission investigated every killing at the designated demonstration sites by the Gaza separation fence on official protest days … covered the period from the start of the protests until 31 December 2018. 189 Palestinians were killed during the demonstrations inside this period. The Commission found that Israeli security forces killed 183 of these protestors with live ammunition. Thirty-five of these fatalities were children, while three were clearly marked paramedics, and two were clearly marked journalists.

According to the Commission’s data analysis, the Israeli Security Forces injured 6,106 Palestinians with live ammunition at the protest sites during this period. Another 3,098 Palestinians were injured by bullet fragmentation, rubber coated metal bullets or by hits from tear gas canisters. Four Israeli soldiers were injured at the demonstrations. One Israeli soldier was killed on a protest day but outside the protest sites…

The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognisable as such… that individual members of the Israeli security Forces, in the course of their response to demonstrations, killed and injured civilians who were neither directly participating in hostilities, nor posing an immediate threat. These serious human rights and humanitarian law violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.”

Santiago Canton of Argentina, Chair of the Commission said, “The Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that during the Great March of Return, Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of these violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity… The Commission finds that these protests were a call for help from a population in despair.”

Sara Hossein of Bangladesh, Commission Member, said “Many young persons’ lives have been altered forever. 122 people have had a limb amputated since 30 March last year. Twenty of these amputees are children.”

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Fourth Report of the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur, Michael Lynk, 21 October 2019 (the most recent report)

“Since the previous report of the Special Rapporteur to the General Assembly (A/73/447), the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular in Gaza, has continued to be dire. The key issues raised during the mission included the continued shrinking of civic space, the pervasive lack of accountability, especially in relation to the investigation and prosecution of hostilities in Gaza in 2014, home demolitions in the West Bank, in particular in East Jerusalem, the ongoing use of administrative detention and the detention of children, and the impact of various practices on the environment.

The land, sea and air blockade imposed on Gaza has now entered its twelfth year, severely restricting imports and exports, the movement of people into and out of Gaza and access to adequate health care, education and livelihoods, including agricultural land and fishing. Israel has considerably tightened restrictions on the movement of humanitarian staff since 2018, citing security concerns. The blockade of Gaza is a denial of basic human rights and amounts to collective punishment. The economy of Gaza continues to be close to collapse… The uncertain financial situation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and cuts to its programmes have contributed to this situation…

Despite the concerning overall humanitarian situation, there has been some noteworthy improvement in the availability of electricity supply to Gaza. The provision of $60 million by the Government of Qatar in October 2018 helped to provide additional fuel to Gaza, resulting in an immediate improvement in the electricity supply. This has enabled electricity to be supplied for between 14 and 15 hours per day, as opposed to fewer than 7 hours previously. Despite this improvement, the current electricity supply met less than half of the electricity demands of Gaza for the first six months of 2019, and interruptions in the power supply still pose a significant obstacle to the functioning of hospitals and medical facilities.

The Great March of Return and related protests have resulted to date in 207 Palestinians killed and 33,828 injured. The commission of inquiry set up in the aftermath found that, in all but two cases, the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces against demonstrators was unlawful (A/HRC/40/74, para. 94). The commission also found that demonstrators were shot in violation of their right to life or of the principle of distinction under international humanitarian law (ibid., para. 97). Indeed, in the vast majority of cases, the victims were situated far from the fence, and Israeli forces were situated behind earth mounds with sufficient protection. Israel has demonstrated virtually no accountability for these actions despite calls by the international community and civil society for independent and transparent investigations into the incidents.

The health sector in Gaza still struggles to cope with the massive number of injuries, a majority of them from gunshot wounds. The health system in Gaza was already suffering from restrictions on people and materials, a lack of electricity and shortages of certain equipment and supplies, and is severely overwhelmed, to the point of collapse, by the need to treat the additional massive volume of injuries. The overstretched health-care system of Gaza, compounded by the growing numbers of injuries from protests and demonstrations requiring urgent specialist attention, have contributed to a rise in requests for permits to leave Gaza for hospital referrals, most of which have been denied…

Against the backdrop of increased calls by the Prime Minister of Israel and senior members of his Government for the annexation of parts or all of the West Bank, levels of settler violence have increased there. Incidents of such violence were recorded in a number of towns in the West Bank, including Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs documented seven Palestinian deaths owing to settler violence in 2019… Many Palestinian inhabitants have been forced to leave these areas as a result of the violence, while Israeli settlements continue to expand, effectively surrounding and reducing the living space for Palestinian communities.

In parallel, the rate of home demolitions and seizures of Palestinian-owned structures has increased markedly in 2019 in comparison with previous years. As at July 2019, a total of 362 structures had been destroyed by the Israeli authorities, causing the displacement of more than 481 Palestinians. This marks an increase of 64 per cent compared with the equivalent period in 2018. The locations most affected by demolitions were Hebron, Tubas and Nablus…

Israeli security forces have also intensified their incursions and raids into various parts of the West Bank, targeting specific Palestinian civil society organizations and Palestinian homes, resulting in arrests and arbitrary detentions… The increase in such raids underlines attempts to further silence civil society organizations and human rights defenders, in particular those working on accountability issues.

Since 2018, several measures have been taken by the Government of Israel to strengthen and promote its claim of sovereignty over East Jerusalem. They include legislation, increased demolition and eviction orders for Palestinian residents, increased construction of settlements and the announced plan for the extension of the Jerusalem municipality into East Jerusalem.

Recent figures indicate an increased rate of demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, as well as settlement construction and expansion. As at 30 April 2019, 111 Palestinian-owned structures had been destroyed in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year, either directly by the Israeli authorities or by their owners to avoid fines, following the issuance of demolition orders for the lack of building permits… The increase in both demolitions of Palestinian homes and construction of settlements, spearheaded by the perceived consent of the United States of America, cannot be understood in any way other than being for the purpose of changing the demographic balance – reducing the Palestinian presence and strengthening the Jewish majority in East Jerusalem.

On 4 October 2018, the municipality of Jerusalem announced a plan to extend its control to all of Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem, and to replace UNRWA services with local municipal services…

Against the backdrop of the municipality’s increased demonstration of control, the Israeli police intensified its incursions into the Palestinian neighbourhood of Isawiyah in June and July 2019, carrying out approximately 340 arrests… The enhanced police operations and presence included the use of roadblocks on roads leading to the village, the close inspection of cars, nightly checkpoints inside the village and late-night house searches and arrests. Clashes broke out in the village as a result of the heightened police presence and the anger of residents. Many residents were reportedly injured in the clashes, most by rubber bullets, and at least one Palestinian man was killed by the police in late June.

Children constitute almost 48 per cent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza; 1.3 million children live in the West Bank and 1 million in the Gaza Strip. Children in both places continue to suffer adverse physical and psychological affects stemming from their exposure to continuous violence, including in the context of the Great March of Return and other demonstrations. In 2018, according to the report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, the United Nations verified the highest number of Palestinian children killed (59) and injured (2,756) since 2014 (A/73/907-S/2019/509, para. 84).

Palestinian children also suffer along with their families the anxiety associated with living under the threat of demolition of their homes. Accordingly, they have been subjected to growing levels of stress as the number of evictions and demolition orders has risen, in particular in East Jerusalem. In 2019, there have been many examples of Palestinian homes demolished by Israeli forces that resulted, among other things, in the displacement of entire families and adverse effects on children’s well-being.”

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Other United Nations International Conventions

Israel has also been found to be in breach of the following United Nations International Conventions: Civil and Political Rights; Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and the Convention against Torture. For example:

  1. Recalling its previous concluding observations (CERD/C/ISR/CO/14-16, para. 11), the Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general recommendation 19 (1995) on article 3 of the Convention, concerning the prevention, prohibition and eradication of all policies and practices of racial segregation and apartheid, and urges the State party to give full effect to article 3 of the Convention to eradicate all forms of segregation between Jewish and non-Jewish communities and any such policies or practices that severely and disproportionately affect the Palestinian population in Israel proper and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

[United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 27 January 2020. CERD/C/ISR/CO/17-19. Page 5]

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The Government of Israel:

(1) “The debate has not been for or against the indivisibility of Eretz Israel. No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of Eretz Israel. The Debate was over which of two routes would lead quicker to the common goal.” At the time of the United Nations partition of Palestine. [Eretz Israel = Land of Israel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Israel]

(2) “A partial Jewish State is not the end, but only the beginning. … I am certain that we will not be prevented from settling in the other parts of the country, either by mutual agreements with our Arab neighbors or by some other means. . . [If the Arabs refuse] we shall have to speak to them in another language. But we shall only have another language if we have a state.” At the time of the UN partition of Palestine.

[David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel, born in Plonsk in Congress Poland – then part of the Russian Empire; emigrated to the Ottoman Mutassarifate of Jerusalem in 1906. According to Wikipedia, “… the preeminent leader of the Jewish community in British Mandate Palestine from 1935 until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

[Both quotes from: Chomsky, Noam, Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians (Updated Edition) (South End Press Classics Series]

“There is no Palestinian people. There are Palestinian refugees… It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.”

[Golda Meir, fourth Prime Minister of Israel, Sunday Times and Washington Post, June 1969. Born in Kiev – emigrated to the United States as a child with her family in 1906. After marrying, she and her husband emigrated to then Palestine in 1921, settling on a kibbutz.]

“We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country… This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that… We expect as a matter of principle of the international community to recognise Israel’s right to build homes for Jews in their homeland, everywhere.”

[Tipi Hotovely, at the time of her appointment as Deputy Foreign Minister, now Israel’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Associated Press, The Guardian, 22 May 2015]

“There is no change to my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States,” Netanyahu said in Jerusalem, using the biblical name for the occupied West Bank.

[Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, Al Jazeera, 13 August 2020]

The Israeli “Jewish Nation State Law” passed by The Knesset in July 2018 (extracts):

“The State of Israel
a) Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people in which the State of Israel was established.
b) The state of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, religious, and historic right to self-determination.
c) The fulfillment of the right of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people…

The state will be open to Jewish immigration and to the gathering of the exiled…

The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.”

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END of Supporting Statement

Prepared by David Plank, 3 October 2020 (amended 07.10.2020]

 

 

 

Comments (4)

  • RC says:

    The Gaza demonstrators cruelly and antisemitically assaulted Jewish bullets, kindly offered them by the Jewish Israeli Defence. (case proven!) Force.
    Is there no limit to the provocation by these Arabs of the long-suffering IDF? If you don’t believe me, read Luke Akehurst’s reaction to the first news of these assaults.

  • Willie Mckenna says:

    Another great news from JVL to which I, as a recent former Labour party member, would never be able to access. Once again, thank you for all your efforts to fight for democracy and truth in the current leader Labour party, both of which are presently absent.

  • Susan Greaves says:

    Thank you for this information. I feel ashamed that due to the absurd and disgusting internal “anti-semitism” issue within the Labour Party, I like many others, I suspect, have not been keeping up with all this. I will now make amends.

  • Stephen Richards says:

    Most impressive.
    In my ‘Sefton’ CLP ‘Zoom’meeting no debate was allowed, not even ‘chat’ between members; every thing was ‘muted’. Fear reigns supreme in the British Labour Party…..most welcoming.

Comments are now closed.