JVL Introduction

The Socialist International, to which the British Labour Party has observer status, has just adopted a strongly worded Declaration on the Palestinian Question.

It calls among other things for “all governments and civil society organizations to activate boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli occupation”.

Hasten the day that the British Labour Party endorses this declaration.


Meeting of the SI Council at the United Nations in Geneva

26-27 June 2018


The Socialist International is the worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties. It currently brings together 140 political parties and organisations from all continents. (List of members in full). *

The Council of the Socialist International met at the United Nations in Geneva (UNOG) on 26-27 June 2018 in order to discuss social democratic responses to issues of the utmost global significance. The agenda included three main themes: ‘The contribution of social democracy to the resolution of conflicts and to international peace and security’, ‘Overcoming challenges to democracy around the world to secure freedoms and rights for all’, and ‘Responding with our values and principles to migration globally and to the current plight of refugees’…

Under the first main theme, contributions were heard from a number of members of the SI Presidium, and delegates directly involved in on-going processes of conflict resolution. These exchanges underlined the need for a rules-based international order, and for efforts to build confidence between countries where a risk of conflict existed. A number of the declarations later adopted at the close of the meeting reflected these discussions on international peace and security. These included a declaration on conflict resolution in Africa, a declaration on the Palestinian Question, a declaration on the Kurdish people, and a declaration on the Korean Peninsula.

The declaration on the Palestinian Question, is of considerable interest. We reproduce it in full below.

Meeting of the Council of the Socialist International United Nations, Geneva, 26-27 June 2018

DECLARATION ON THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION

The Council of the Socialist International, meeting in United Nations, in Geneva, on 26-27 June 2018, held discussions on the theme of international peace and security and reflected on the prospects for peace in the Middle East, – Recalling its previous declarations of the SI, in particular the SI Councils in New York in June 2010, in Istanbul in November 2013, in Geneva in December 2014, in New York in July 2015, and in Geneva in July 2016:

The Council:

Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine on the June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and reaffirms its commitment, in accordance with international law, to bringing a complete end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian state that started in 1967 in order to achieve the two- state solution, as two sovereign and democratic states for all their citizens and a just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees on the basis of the UN resolution 194;

After more than 25 years of failing to achieve peace through the bilateral peace process, we believe that the time has come for the international community to (collectively) meet its responsibility under international law to bring an end to the occupation of the Palestinian State and all impediments to the exercise by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination;

Recalling our 2011 Athens Council declaration on the Middle East, whereby we called for the recognition of the State of Palestine, the SI members reaffirm their commitment to:

1. Support the immediate unconditional recognition of the State of Palestine on the borders of the 4th of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.

2. Support a greater international role through an international conference that will include various international actors from different regions in order to push for a just and lasting peace based on international law for Israel and Palestine, including complete ending the occupation that began in 1967;

3. Support a total end of all settlement activities including in East Jerusalem, the immediate end of destruction of homes and the deportation of Palestinians and to end all forms of racial discrimination and apartheid;

4. Encourage the non-violent approach at all levels and by all parties and demand the immediate cessation of all forms of violence by the Israeli occupying power and settlers against the Palestinian non-violent resistance;

5. Demand the immediate release of all the Palestinian prisoners especially the elected members of the Palestinian legislative council, minors and administrative detainees;

6. Since the SI’s last statement on April 2018, the number of Palestinian civilians attacked by Israeli Occupation Forces has risen sharply with the killing of over 130 unarmed Palestinians and injuring of over 6,000 including children, journalists, first aid paramedics, women and men. The Council strongly condemns the illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel, as well as the use of lethal weapons by Israeli military forces against peaceful non-violent protesters, and call the Israeli Government to immediately lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and allow free the movement of the people. The SI affirms its support to the United Nations General Assembly resolution (A/ES-10/L.23) that calls for “guaranteeing the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in the Gaza Strip”.

7. Calls all governments and civil society organizations to activate Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli occupation, all the occupation institutions, and the illegal Israeli settlements including the total embargo on all forms of military trade and cooperation with Israel as long as it continues its policies of occupation and Apartheid against the Palestinian people.

8. The SI Council further calls on the US administration to reconsider its positions that are favouring Israel, including moving their embassy to Jerusalem. We regret the US decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council, as it did previously from the Paris Agreement on climate change and UNESCO.

9. The SI Council would like to reiterate its solidarity with the progressive forces in Israel and Palestine, including human rights defenders and civil society organizations that have been victims of a vicious campaign by the Israeli government. At the same time, the Council express its solidarity with the Palestinian citizens in Israel that continues to live under a system of institutionalized discrimination and strongly condemn the approval of racist laws, including the Citizenship Law.

 

  • Its members include the British Labour Party and, from Israel-Palestine, The Israel Labour Party, Meretz and Fatah; as Consultative Parties the Palestinian National Initiative, PNI and Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, PPSF; and, as an Associated Organisation, the World Labour Zionist Movement, WLZM