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Labour leadership candidate makes pro-Palestine pledge

February 18, 2020 at 1:40 pm

Lisa Nandy speaking at a hustings event for Labour Leader and Deputy Leader, hosted by the Co-operative Party, at the Business Design Centre on February 16, 2020 [Hollie Adams/Getty Images]

Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy has endorsed a series of pledges in support of the Palestinian cause amid growing concerns that the party has been making too many concessions to British pro-Israeli groups in a bid to mend ties with sections of the Jewish community critical of Jeremy Corbyn.

“I have and always will support Palestinian rights. 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,” said Nandy in a tweet in response to a letter by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), calling on all the leadership candidates to commit to “ensuring that the Labour Party’s policy towards Palestine is rooted in respecting international law and UN resolutions.”

The letter also called for the protection of “the core collective rights of the Palestinian people including their right to self-determination and the right to return to the homes from which they were forced to flee.”

READ: Labour is rigged against Palestine solidarity

Furthermore, it called for a commitment to “ethical trade policy including in relation to Israel, and including a commitment to stop any arms trade with Israel used in the violation of human rights of Palestinians.”

Prior to Nandy’s endorsement of PSC’s letter, a pro-Israel group the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) nominated her to be party leader, having withdrawn their support for Labour during the last general election in protest against Corbyn.

Nandy, who chairs the Labour Friends of Palestine group, is reported by the Jewish Chronicle of having won the applause from the audience at JLM’s hustings with an impassioned speech that said anti-Semitism was “different from other forms of racism, it punches up not down.”

She also described herself as a Zionist saying: “I believe Jewish people have a right to national self-determination. That makes me a Zionist.”

All four candidates in the leadership contest have also committed to upholding the 10 pledges issued by the British Board of Deputies. One of the pledges demands the adoption of a controversial definition of anti-Semitism “without qualification.”

The author of the controversial definition who drafted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “working definition of anti-Semitism,” has warned that the anti-Semitism code was being “weaponised” by pro-Israel groups, to supress criticism of Israel.

     READ: Jewish teacher fired over anti-Israel comments in US, as concern grows over ‘weaponizing anti-Semitism’