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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Solidarity with Palestine

MILLIONS of people all over the world took to the streets last weekend in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to demand an end to Israeli aggression. In Britain, a 150,000-strong crowd marched through the heart of the capital in support of the Palestinian Arabs. Over 80 other demonstrations took place across the country on the same day.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is urging a total military embargo on Israel, a boycott of firms ‘complicit’ in Israel’s occupation, and the cancelling of academic, cultural and sporting events in the Zionist state that is trying to terror bomb the Palestinians into abject surrender.

Outside the gates of the Israeli embassy the former leader of the Labour Party stood shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinian ambassador, other left Labour MPs and the rapper Lowkey, to call for an end to the bombing and an end to the Israeli occupation.

“Think what it’s like being a mother or father and seeing a building bombed in front of you, knowing your family is in there, and you can do nothing,” Jeremy Corbyn said. “It’s our global voices that will give succour, comfort and support in those settlements alongside Gaza, and all over the West Bank and East Jerusalem who are suffering at this time. End the occupation now. End all the settlements now and withdraw. End the siege of Gaza now.”

Celebrities and sporting stars have now joined the legions of support for the Palestinian people. They include Hollywood stars such as Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, Mark Ruffalo and Viola Davis, and Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters. Top footballers in Britain, Turkey, Chile and the Arab world have also taken the principled stand in support of the Palestinian people. Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny posted his support for the Palestinians on social media. Leicester City stars Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana held up the Palestinian flag as they celebrated their team’s victory in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

This week key unions, including Unite, Unison and the postal workers’ union, pledged their support for the Palestinian general strike that shut down the occupied West Bank and the Arab regions of Israel on Tuesday. But where is Sir Keir Starmer?

The new Labour leader has, to his credit, hit out at the “violence against worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque”, but as Jeremy Corbyn told ITV, Starmer needs to be “stronger and clearer” over his policy towards Israel and the Palestinians.

In the British Palestinian community, Labour supporters say Starmer is ignoring their concerns. They say that the straight-jacket imposed by the central party on any discussion of the issue of Palestine at Constituency Labour Party level is “disturbing and inimical to party democracy”, and they talk about the “hostile environment” that they say has engulfed the party since Starmer took over. They’ve sent five letters to Starmer asking him to intervene. They’re still waiting for a reply.

Starmer thinks he can do what he likes. He thinks he can dismiss the slump in Labour’s fortunes as a mere blip on the road to recovery. He believes he can ignore the peace movement, the unions and the ethnic minorities with impunity. We must prove him wrong.

He’s utterly useless. The sooner he goes the better.