Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

‘Success’ as Labour plans to drop hostility to Israel

Draft text to be put before the party’s national policy forum in Brighton reiterates support for a two-state solution in the region but avoids any direct criticism of Israel.

    Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry
    Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry

    The Labour party is set to ditch demands for the “immediate” recognition of a Palestinian state along with any criticism of “illegal” Israeli settlements in policies due to be debated at its annual conference next month.

    Draft text to be put before the party’s national policy forum in Brighton reiterates support for a two-state solution in the region but avoids any direct criticism of Israel.

    One senior Jewish Labour source told the JC the wording was “better than the election manifesto and a bit of a success”.

    The policy, which is expected to be heavily criticised by anti-Zionist groups within the party, reads: “In Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Labour is committed to a comprehensive peace based on a two-state solution: a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine.”

    The source added: “The draft text seems to mark the return of what can be described as the classic Labour Zionist position. There is a commitment to a ‘secure’ Israel, which is crucial.”

    Despite attempts by supporters of the hard-left Momentum group to establish explicit anti-Israel policies in Labour branches across the country, party leaders have largely devoted their attention to domestic issues.

    Emily Thornberry, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, delivered a carefully worded speech during a Commons debate on Israel and the Palestinians last month, which seemed to suggest a new desire for the party to take a more balanced position.

    Ahead of the general election, Labour faced criticism from pro-Israel groups over its “biased” leaked draft manifesto stance on Israel and the Palestinians.

    The initial version, focusing on Israeli actions and making no mention of Palestinian terrorism, led to a row in the Shadow Cabinet and the final manifesto made clear the party would call for “an end to rocket and terror attacks”.

    But it also pledged a Labour government would “immediately recognise the state of Palestine”.

News Features

Special report: Trump's first 12 months

JC Reporter

Yesterday, 15:37

Special report: Trump's first 12 months
World

Israel set to reopen embassy in Jordan

JC Reporter

Yesterday, 09:36

Israel set to reopen embassy in Jordan
News Features

Mental illness? Here’s 
how we can cope

Lee Harpin

Rosa Doherty

Thu, 12:21

Mental illness? Here’s 
how we can cope
UK News

Board calls for Hassell to be dismissed from coroner post

Daniel Sugarman

Yesterday, 12:56

Board calls for Hassell to be dismissed from coroner post
Israel

Ryanair scraps Israel luggage charge

Simon Griver

Thu, 16:03

Ryanair scraps Israel luggage charge
Israel

Lahav Shani named as Zubin Mehta's successor at Israel Philharmonic

Daniel Sugarman

Thu, 11:23

Lahav Shani named as Zubin Mehta's successor at Israel Philharmonic
UK News

Labour criticised in Commons HMD debate

Marcus Dysch

Yesterday, 11:30

Labour criticised in Commons HMD debate
UK News

Hard-left power grab sparks new Labour fear

Marcus Dysch

Thu, 13:41

Hard-left power grab sparks new Labour fear
Israel

Israeli air force appoints first female squadron commander

JC Reporter

Thu, 10:08

Israeli air force appoints first female squadron commander