Having succeeded in getting a motion passed at Party Conference calling for the recognition of the State of Palestine, we should continue to campaign vigorously on issues of justice and human rights and not succumb to self-censorship. Far from damaging the Party’s reputation, such campaigning will strengthen its brand and encourage new people to join, as happened over the Iraq issue in the early 2000s.
LDFP will therefore concentrate on a few key areas of activity:
1) AT PARLIAMENTARY LEVEL: We will continue to liaise with the Foreign Affairs spokespersons in the Commons and the Lords, while lobbying as appropriate other MPs and Peers.
2) PARTY MEMBERS: We should build up LDFP membership and develop our educational role among party members. We should concentrate on a really high profile presence at Autumn conference, including a fringe meeting with speakers who will attract a large attendance. We should reach out to Muslims and to Liberal Jewish members who are sympathetic to Palestinian rights.
3) CROSS-PARTY COLLABORATION: We shall proactively strengthen our links with pro-Palestinian groups in other political parties and encourage collaboration both inside and outside Parliament. We should not be afraid to express solidarity with members of other parties (as well as of our own) who face unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism or experience other forms of harassment from the Israel lobby.
4) CAMPAIGNING: We shall campaign actively and publicly on key issues such as banning the import of settlement goods, UK policy to Israel-Palestine and (as appropriate) the wider Middle East, and the relationship between the lack of justice for Palestinians to fomentation of jihadi sentiments and violence among Britain’s Muslim youth.
At the next AGM it would be useful to have a discussion about whether we wish to retain our current name or change it to something that is more inclusive of other issues pertaining to peace and justice in the Middle East.