17th May: 10.20 updated 18 May

News comes in about responses to the massacre in Gaza. Here are some resolutions that have been adopted – you can adapt them as needed:

1. Emergency motion on the Gaza massacre passed by Hampstead & Kilburn Labour party General Committee on 16 May 2016

2. END THE GAZA KILLINGS (Highams Park branch of Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party)

3. Sherwood branch

4. Brent Central CLP – Emergency motion on the Gaza massacre


1. Emergency motion on the Gaza massacre passed by Hampstead & Kilburn Labour party General Committee on 16 May 2016

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.

Appendix: 

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.”


2. END THE GAZA KILLINGS

The motion below was passed unopposed at the Highams Park branch of Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party on 16th May

For sending to the CLP GC, to Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry, and to NEC members

This Labour Party branch condemns the massacre of dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza, and the wounding of thousands by Israeli snipers using live fire and expanding bullets. We also condemn the provocative decision by the US government to mark the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian catastrophe – the Nakba – by moving its embassy to illegally occupied Jerusalem.

The numbers of unarmed people killed during six weeks of protest, including children and journalists, has now exceeded 100. This is more than the numbers killed and wounded in the notorious Sharpeville massacre of unarmed protesters in 1960, which started South Africa’s slide into pariah status.

We support Jeremy Corbyn’s statement

a) demanding that Theresa May support the United Nation’s call for an independent international inquiry
b) calling on the British government to consider stopping the sale of arms to Israel that “could be used in violation of international law”.

We also welcome the statement by Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry who noted that the killings were the “culmination of six weeks of an apparently systemic and deliberate policy of killing and maiming unarmed protestors and bystanders.” 

We support her call for 

a) urgent and concerted international pressure on the Netanyahu government to lift the blockade on Gaza, and 
b) an end Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Background

Palestinians were protesting the provocative decision by the US government to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba – the uprooting of the Palestinian people as a result of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 – by moving its embassy to illegally-occupied Jerusalem. These protesters – many of them refugees from areas inside the state of Israel – were calling for enforcement of their right under international law to return to their homes and lands.

Corbyn’s statement: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-israel-killings-palestine-gaza-border-violence-a8293881.html

Thornberry’s statement: https://labour.org.uk/press/emily-thornberry-responds-killing-palestinians-gaza-today/


3. Sherwood branch


4. Brent Central CLP – Emergency motion on the Gaza massacre

This CLP condemns Monday’s massacre of more than 50 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 over 100.

Palestinians have been protesting as part of the Great March of Return leading up to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel and the Nakba – the uprooting of the Palestinian in 1948. The protests have coincided with the provocative decision by the US government to move its embassy to illegally-occupied Jerusalem, and Monday’s massacre took place as the Embassy was opened with much pomp and ceremony.

We believe that the protesters – many of them refugees from areas inside the present day 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 Emily Thornberry condemning the massacre, and Jeremy Corbyn’s call for an end of arms sales to and from Israel. We urge the widest possible support for vigils and demonstrations around the UK to demand an end to violent suppression of legitimate Palestinian protests.

We also condemn the attempts of Trump, Netanyahu and their apologists to place the blame on Hamas, rather than 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. We are shocked that Labour Friends of Israel sent out a tweet placing all responsibility for the deaths on Hamas, and none on the Israeli government. That tweet was deleted but the subsequent statement from Labour Friends of Israel was hardly better. At least one Labour MP, Catherine West, has suspended her membership of LFI for this reason. We urge the Party to make it clear that it totally rejects such sentiments.

Appendix:

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.”