Emergency motion on the Gaza massacre – 2018. Why repost now?

We repost below a resolution adopted overwhelmingly by the Hampstead & Kilburn Labour party General Committee on 16 May 2018.

No one spoke against the motion. It was moved by Moshe Machover, recently suspended from the Labour Party.

Surely no one would get suspended for saying this – or would they? Emily Thornberry and Tulip Siddiq look out!


The 2018–2019 Gaza border protests, by the organiser called the Great March of Return  were a series of demonstrations held in the Gaza Strip near the border with Israel from 30 March 2018 and onwards.

Thirty thousand Palestinians participated in the first demonstration on 30 March.

They were met by deadly force, that day and in subsequent demonstrations.

At least 110 Palestinians were killed between 30 March to 15 May 2018, the overwhelming majority unarmed civilians.

As of 19 June 2018 more than 13,000 Palestinians were wounded, the majority severely, with some 1,400 struck by three to five bullets.

No Israelis were physically harmed from 30 March to 12 May, until one Israeli soldier was reported as slightly wounded on 14 May

Israel’s use of deadly force was finally condemned on 13 June 2018 in a United Nations General Assembly resolution, ES-10/L.23. The UK, to its shame, abstained.

Emergency motion on the Gaza massacre

The following resolution was adopted overwhelmingly by the Hampstead & Kilburn Labour party General Committee on 16 May 2018. No one spoke against the motion.

This CLP condemns Monday’s massacre of dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza, and the wounding of thousands by Israeli snipers using live fire and expanding bullets. The numbers of unarmed people killed during six weeks of protest, including children and journalists, is now close over 100.

Palestinians have been protesting with the Great March of Return leading up the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel and the Nakba – the uprooting of the Palestinian people as a result of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. This coincided with the provocative decision by the US government to move its embassy to illegally-occupied Jerusalem.

We believe that these protesters – many of them refugees from areas inside the state of Israel – have the right to return to their homes and lands, as enshrined in UN General Assembly Resolution 194. We call for an immediate end to the slaughter, for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories, for an end to all discrimination inside Israel, and for progress towards a just and peaceful future for Palestinians and Israelis.

We welcome the statement from Tulip, and Jeremy Corbyn’s call for an end of arms sales to and from Israel and urge the widest possible support for vigils and demonstrations called around the UK to demand an end to violent suppression of legitimate Palestinian protests.

We also condemn the attempts of Trump, Israel and its apologists to place the blame on Hamas and away from the Israeli soldiers and their commanders who carried out the massacre. It compounds murder with insult by denial of the agency of Gazans driven to risk death by the vicious nature of the Israeli siege and wrecking of their lives. In particular, we note the statement by Labour Friends of Israel “Tragic events on the Gazan border; all civilian deaths are regrettable. Hamas must accept responsibility for these events. Their successful attempt to hijack peaceful protest as cover to attack Israeli border communities must be condemned by all who seek peace in the Middle East.” We urge the Party to make clear that it totally rejects such sentiments.

Speech by Moshe Machover, in moving the motion


At the very end of Shakespear’s King Lear, the duke of Albany says the lines:

“The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.”

I feel very strongly, and personally, about these events in Gaza.

I am Palestinian by birth, I was born in Palestine, under the British Mandate. So the victims are my compatriots. We were born in the same tormented land, they are my fellow countrymen and women, my brothers and sisters.

I am also Israeli by nationality. So I belong to the same Hebrew settler nation as the killers. About these killers – those who pulled the trigger and those who gave the orders – allow me to quote from the Old Testament, from the prophet Micah:

“They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with  iniquity.” (Micah 3:10)

These events can be described as a huge prision uprising, what repressive authorities call a prison “riot”.

Gaza 2018 will be added to one of the darkest grimmest pages of history, along with

Wounded Knee,  1890
Amritsar, 1919
Sharpeville, 1960

– All massacres of indigenous people by settlers or colonisers.

The arguments in favour of the motion need not be rehearsed. Please find in the Appendix the statements by: Jeremy Corbyn, LP leader; Emily Thornberry shadow Foreign Secretary; and our MP Tulip Siddiq.

I move the motion.


Statement of the Labour leader: 

“Today’s killing of dozens of unarmed protesters and the wounding of many more by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage that demands not just international condemnation, but action to hold those responsible to account.

This slaughter follows weeks of killings of Palestinian civilians demonstrating for their right to return, most of whom are refugees or the families of refugees. Coming on the day President Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, it underlines the threat to peace posed by the continuing and intolerable injustices faced by the Palestinian people.

“The response from many western governments to this flagrant illegality, including our own – which bears a particular responsibility for a peaceful and just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict – has been wholly inadequate. They should take a lead from Israeli peace and justice campaigners: to demand an end to the multiple abuses of human and political rights Palestinians face on a daily basis, the 11-year siege of Gaza, the continuing 50-year occupation of Palestinian territory and the ongoing expansion of illegal settlements.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to such wanton disregard for international law. That is why Labour is committed to reviewing UK arms sales to Israel while these violations continue.

“The international community must at last put its collective authority and weight behind achieving a lasting settlement that delivers peace, justice and security for both Israelis and Palestinians, who have waited so long to achieve their rights.”


Statement by Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary

“We condemn unreservedly the Israeli government for their brutal, lethal and utterly unjustified actions on the Gaza border, and our thoughts are with all those Palestinians in Gaza whose loved ones have been killed or injured as a result.

“These actions are made all the worse because they come not as the result of a disproportionate over-reaction to one day’s protests, but as the culmination of six weeks of an apparently systemic and deliberate policy of killing and maiming unarmed protestors and bystanders who pose no threat to the forces at the Gaza border, many of them shot in the back, many of them shot hundreds of metres from the border, and many of them children.

“Throughout that six-week period, the UN’s Secretary General has been calling for an independent investigation into these incidents, one that should urgently determine whether international law has been broken, and hold the Netanyahu government to account for their actions. The UK should lead calls for the UN Security Council to order such an investigation today.

“These incidents must also be the catalyst for urgent and concerted international pressure on the Netanyahu government to lift the blockade on Gaza, and end Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. No longer can Netanyahu act as a law unto himself, under the protection of the Trump administration, whose decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem today has further inflamed the situation.

“In the meantime, we urge the Israeli forces serving on the Gaza border to show some long-overdue responsibility to their fellow human beings, and stop this vicious and utterly avoidable slaughter of peaceful protesters demanding the right to return to their homes.”


Statement from Tulip Siddiq [MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Constituency]

“The reaction by Israeli soldiers to protests on the Gaza border over the past week has been as unjustified as it is inhumane. I condemn without reservation these violations of international law and human rights by Israel. The international community should immediately act together to demand an end to the senseless killing, the bullets and the tear gas, and to urge a halt to the bloodshed.

“The protest has been twofold – to highlight the shocking conditions which Palestinians are forced to live in and to demand their right to return to their homes. These issues should not be forgotten in the carnage which is now unfolding.

“I dearly hope that this violence does not continue over the coming days, and I will be monitoring the situation closely.

“I have written to the Foreign Secretary to raise the plight of the killed protesters and will share your thoughts when I have an opportunity. I have also signed EDM 1163 ‘Violence against protesters in Gaza’. I will also apply for a debate in Parliament to discuss this shameful situation, but it will depend on the parliamentary lottery system whether I am chosen for it. If another MP does manage to secure a debate on this topic then I will also raise the issue there.”


Comments (8)

  • Paul Smith says:

    ‘The UK, to its shame, abstained.’

    Would a Labour government ‘under new management’ also abstain? That the question can be even asked is indicative of our times

  • g says:

    Paul – I suspect that the question can’t be asked, at least not in a Labour Party meeting nor in public by a member of the Labour Party

  • Sabine Ebert-Forbes says:

    In reply to g: it is a question worth asking. But if we look at the voting record of the ‘new management’ I think we can take it as a given that it will carry on abstaining anything that needs to be voted one and that is important to us ordinary folk, things like equality, peace, human rights, living in dignity, not being discriminated against to name but a few. Sorry if I sound somewhat negative………

  • Anti-fascist says:

    Allies verboten by the Starmertroops!

  • Ikhlaq Hussain says:

    I like to thank all those involved in upholding law and protecting human life. Regardless of their beliefs or colour.

  • Stephen Richards says:

    I’m trying to think of a word that exactly describes the activities of David Evans & Sir Keir Starmer………….it’s F……!

  • Ian Kemp says:

    It is incredibly sad that the LP has allowed itself under Starmer to be pushed into a corner regarding Palestine for fear of offending the BoD CAA LFI and others who influence Starmer has to agree with.

  • Bernard Grant says:

    I will be sharing this and asking the question, as a Senior Lawyer, what was Keir Starmer’s reaction to this slaughter of Palestinians and what would he have done if he had been leader of the Labour Party?

Comments are now closed.