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There should be no room for Labour Friends of Israel within the Labour Party

15 24 17

“Callous disregard for human lives” and putting the interests of a foreign state — a state which is in violation of countless UN Resolutions — ahead of the interests of the progressive values of the Labour Party are just some of the reasons why Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) has faced condemnation this week. The organisation stoked controversy on Tuesday with a tweet that was denounced widely on social media. The pro-Israel lobby group affiliated to Britain’s main opposition party appeared to take a position on Israel’s killing of Palestinians in Gaza that was identical to that of the ruling right-wing Likud, which was also to the same degree in conflict with the values and polices of the Labour Party.

Reacting to the clashes in Gaza, the LFI said: “Tragic events on the Gazan border; all civilian deaths are regrettable. Hamas must accept responsibility for these events. Their successful attempts to hijack peaceful protest as a cover to attack Israeli border communities must be condemned by all who seek peace in the Middle East.”

The statement by the pro-Israel lobbyists was the LFI’s first on what Amnesty International has called a “bloodbath” and “outrageous human rights violations” committed by Israeli forces that “must be held to account.” The response to its tweet seemed to wrong-foot the group. It went on to adopt a line that looked as if it had been scripted by members of the right-wing Israeli coalition, which includes parties that oppose the two state solution and endorse the annexation of the occupied West Bank.

Indeed, it was hard to distinguish the LFI statement from the comments made by one minister within the Israeli Likud who justified the massacre in Gaza by describing Palestinians as “Nazis”. He too blamed the victims before saying that the number of dead Palestinians “did not indicate anything” because Palestinian protestors were “terrorists” following the orders of a “Nazi” like........

© Middle East Monitor