UK Labour Party officials block debate on Israel sanctions
A regional official in the UK's Labour party has prevented local party members from debating a motion on Thursday calling for sanctions on Israel over human rights violations against Palestinians, saying it would trigger "anti-Semitic behaviour".
Kim Bolton – chair of Hove and Portslade Consituency Labour Party in southern England – ordered that members are prohibited from discussing the motion calling for Israel to "end its violations of the human rights of Palestinians".
The motion had urged the UK to "impose legal sanctions on Israel", such a ban of arms sales and trade with illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Bolton reportedly acted on advice from Scott Horner, the south east regional officer for Labour. Horner is said to have cautioned her that the discussions "would undermine the party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all members, in particular Jewish members".
Bolton said she supported that view and believed that a debate on sanctions against Israel, key demand of the non-violent BDS movement backed by larges swathes of Labour members, could "stir up internal conflict".
She claimed that this could lead to "further anti-Semitic behaviour" but did not clarify what previous anti-Semitic behaviour had been.
Hove and Portslade Labour Party were not immediately available for comment when contacted by The New Arab.
The alleged cancellation comes as many in the party feel deeply disillusioned by its increasingly pro-Israel stance under the leadership of Keir Starmer, who has been accused of purging voices supportive of Palestinians and their right to self-determination.