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PSC says it is time to talk about Palestine

PSC regrets the Labour Party National Executive Committee’s (NEC) decision to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism despite many calls to reject it, most importantly from a coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations, the Joint List of Palestinian members of the Knesset and representatives of the British Palestinian community. All provided evidence of how the IHRA document has been used to attempt to prevent Palestinians bringing into the public domain facts about their ongoing dispossession and the denial of their rights.

PSC believes that public attention should now be on the reality facing Palestinian lives: the US decision to stop funding UNRWA in order to undermine the rights of refugees; Israel’s Nation-State Law entrenching the inequality under which millions live; the killings and the ongoing siege of Gaza.

The PSC calls on the Labour Party and all public bodies to make an unequivocal commitment to the principles of freedom of expression as outlined in Article 10 of the Human Rights Act and to be specific about protecting the rights of the Palestinian people and the legitimacy of advocating for Palestinian rights.

This includes being able to discuss the apartheid and racism they face, describing their expulsion in 1948 as the catastrophe of the Nakba, describing the violence and injustice they suffer daily and calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) until Israel complies with international law.

The Labour Party has committed to further additions to its code. In a submission already made to the Labour Party, the PSC has outlined the need to ensure that there should be nothing in the Labour Party’s – or any other public code – that prevents all those in solidarity with an oppressed people talking about Palestinians’ reality. We will be taking this message to the TUC and the Labour Party conferences.

The PSC calls on all supporters of Palestinians – inside and outside of the Labour Party – to respond to the specific call from Palestinian civil society to:

Unambiguously condemn all forms of racism and bigotry, including Israel’s more than 60 racist laws;

Unequivocally uphold the UN-stipulated rights of the people of Palestine;

Officially endorse a military embargo on Israel.

The PSC will continue to work with all supporters of Palestine who want to build solidarity, to allow Palestinian voices to accurately describe the racist structures of power which oppress them, and to demonstrate their continuing support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.