Lisa Nandy backs Palestine Solidarity Campaign's pledges, including right of return

Labour leadership hopeful says: 'I have and always will support Palestinian rights'


Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy has endorsed a series of pledges issued by the Palestine Soldarity Campaign on the Israel/Palestine conflict, including refugees' "right of return".

A day after the Jewish Labour Movement nominated her to be party leader, Ms Nandy tweeted on Saturday she backed the pledges which include recognise Palestinians' "collective right to self-determination and to return to their homes".

The pledges also suggest a commitment to repealing the anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation the Government is pursuing, saying candidates should oppose "restrictive legislation regarding procurement and investment".

"I have and always will support Palestinian rights," she wrote. "That's why I oppose Trump's plan, have campaigned against British business profiting from the OPTs [Occupied Palestinian Territories] and support any embargo on arms deals which violates human rights."

The "right of return" refers to the right of people to return to the places which they left during the 1948 war of independence or the Six-Day War in 1967.

But critics say it undermines the two-state solution.

Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister and co-leader of the leftwing Zionist Union, has previously written: "As a true supporter of peace based on the principle of two-states-for-two-peoples, the demand that Palestinian refugees 'return' to Israel is not only at odds with the very rationale of a two-nation-states solution, but if accepted, would lead to a continuation of the conflict long after the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"Such a scenario should be rejected by anyone who truly seeks peace in our lifetime."

She was writing after now-outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a solution to the conflict that "makes the Palestinian right to return a reality".

The PSC, which backs the anti-Israel BDS movement, has been accused of "fermenting antagonism through local authorities towards the Jews" by encouraging councils to adopt BDS. 

Mr Corbyn is a patron of the organisation.

Ms Nandy, who chairs the Labour Friends of Palestine group, won applause from the audience at JLM's hustings with an impassioned speech that said antisemitism was "different from other forms of racism, it punches up not down".

She also said: "I believe Jewish people have a right to national self-determination. That makes me a Zionist.”

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