British Labour Party will only recognize Palestinian state after Israel gives permission
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer. | Yui Mok / PA via AP

LONDON—The British Labour Party will recognize a Palestinian state when it gets permission from Israel to do so, party leader Sir Keir Starmer has announced in his latest abandonment of progressive international commitments.

Ditching a policy dating back a decade to Ed Miliband’s leadership, the Labour leader has announced that if it wins elections and forms government again, it will no longer join nearly 140 other countries around the world in recognizing the state of Palestine.

According to a report in the Jewish Chronicle, Starmer said this past weekend that “recognition has to be part of a process, and an appropriate part of the process.”

What that meant was spelled out by shadow foreign office minister Wayne David, who said Labour would “recognize the state of Palestine at a point which will help the peace process once negotiations between Israel and Palestine and the others are taking place.”

Calling Labour’s previous position of recognizing Palestine independently of any supposed peace process “T-shirt politics,” David elaborated that recognition had to come to “fruition in a way which is acceptable to the State of Israel.

“That is the way to bring about peace—a mutually agreed two-state solution,” he said, indicating that no one should hold their breath in anticipation.

“It will require negotiations of great detail over a long period of time. There are many complex issues to be sorted out,” David explained.

The decision is of a piece with Starmer’s unstinting support for Israel in its murderous assault on the Palestinians of Gaza, although Labour MPs are increasingly finding their voices to speak against it.

As well as abandoning Palestinian recognition, Starmer also U-turned at the weekend over stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia—now merely to be reviewed—and giving MPs a vote before embarking on military action.

Labour MP Zarah Sultana has slammed Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and back-bench Tory MP Andrew Percy for using “Islamophobic tropes” against her after she called for de-escalation in the Middle East in the Commons.

The Prime Minister responded by telling her to “call on Hamas and the Houthis to de-escalate the situation,” as if Sultana was a representative of the two movements, while Percy accused her of giving “a free pass to terrorists.”

Sultana tweeted that this was “just another day as a Muslim MP.”

Morning Star

We hope you appreciated this article. At People’s World, we believe news and information should be free and accessible to all, but we need your help. Our journalism is free of corporate influence and paywalls because we are totally reader-supported. Only you, our readers and supporters, make this possible. If you enjoy reading People’s World and the stories we bring you, please support our work by donating or becoming a monthly sustainer today. Thank you!


Morning Star
Morning Star

Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. Morning Star es el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña.