CONSTITUTION OF THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT FRIENDS OF PALESTINE
1. The Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine is an unincorporated, not-for –profit organisation staffed entirely by volunteers. It has the aims and objectives listed in 2. and 3. below.
2.1 We hold that human rights are universal and indivisible and should be upheld without exception. This is as applicable in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory which consists of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (the ‘OPT’) as it is elsewhere.
2.2 We advocate the establishment of a democratic state of Palestine living in peace and security alongside Israel in the OPT in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions. We recognise and accept the democratic decisions of the Palestinian People and call on all parties to recognise such elections.
2.3 We oppose all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, anti-Arab racism or Islamophobia in any circumstance and we categorically and unequivocally condemn all violence and use of force against civilians no matter who the victims or the perpetrators may be.
2.4 We reject, and will challenge, accusations of anti-Semitism levelled against party members, organisations or other individuals within and outside the Liberal Democrat Party merely because they express concern at Israeli government policies to its own non-Jewish citizens and its programmes and methods in the OPT.
2.5 We call for an end to the Israeli occupation and the evacuation of all Israeli settlements, save for equitable arrangements mutually agreed by the negotiating parties and which are not influenced by the duress inherent in occupation.
2.6 We support a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with international law and the relevant UN resolutions.
2.7 We call for a shared Jerusalem open to all faiths, serving as the capital of two States, providing for the fulfilment of the political aspirations of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.
2.8 We support full acceptance of Israel by all Arab and Muslim States and normalised diplomatic and economic relations throughout the region as an integral part of an overall peace settlement.
3.1 To inform, educate and positively influence party members and the Party leadership so that together we ensure the Party’s Middle East policy places a priority on the right of the Palestinian people to achieve a life of peace, well-being and security with its neighbours.
3.2 To assist the party in strengthening its links with UK-based Arab businesses and NGOs by entering dialogue with them and engaging with Arab communities across the UK.
3.3 To provide briefings to MPs and MEPs on developments in the Middle East including lines to take, Q&A briefs and other material.
3.4 To develop, broaden interest and expand membership of the LDFP throughout the Party by, although not exclusively, organising fringe events at Party Conferences.
3.5 To defend the cause of human rights and achievement of sovereignty for the Palestinian People in the media, Parliament and Party, where the achievement of this core principle is undermined.
3.6 To liaise with Palestinian politicians and other national representatives and delegations and to inform Party leadership and members of the outcome of such contacts.
3.7 To maintain a positive and professional dialogue and exchange with other Party and parliamentary groups working for peace in the Middle East.
4.1 Membership is open to all members of the Party who subscribe to the Association’s Aims and Objectives upon payment of the annual subscription in respect of the current calendar year. All members are entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting and other membership meetings of the LDFP.
4.2 A member who acts in a way which in the opinion of a majority of the members of the Committee brings the Association into disrepute may be suspended from the membership by the Chair either for a specified period or permanently. Any member so suspended will have a right of appeal to a meeting of the membership of the Association convened in accordance with 5.2 below. An Associate Member shall be a person who, while in sympathy with the aims of the Liberal Democrat Party as set out in the Party’s constitution, is not currently a member of the party but wishes to be associated with the aims and objectives of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine and is not a member of any other political party. Associate members shall pay the same annual subscription as members of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine and are entitled to attend its meetings but shall not have the right to vote at the AGM or other membership meetings.
5.1 The Annual General Meeting of the LDFP will be held at or as close in time to the Party’s annual Autumn conference as possible. The functions of the AGM will be:
5.1.1 to receive an annual report on the activities of the LDFP and reports by individual officer s of the LDFP;
5.1.2 to elect the officers of the LDFP;
5.1.3 to approve the accounts of the LDFP for the past twelve month period;
5.1.4 to fix the annual subscription;
5.1.5 to deal with any other business.
5.2 All members who have paid their subscription are entitled to attend and vote at the AGM. Other membership meetings may be held at other times of the year at the request of the chair of the LDFP or by notice to the Secretary given by not less than ten members or ten percent of the actual current membership (whichever is greater) by twenty-eight days notice in writing to the address of the Chair and specifying the item or items to be discussed at the meeting. The notice must contain an undertaking by each member giving such notice to attend the meeting in question and the meeting will be deemed to be inquorate unless all such members attend it. With the exception of the AGM, all such meetings must be in Westminster or its vicinity unless otherwise agreed by the Chair. If the Chair is reluctant to approve any decision taken at a meeting of the membership (save at the AGM), he or she may request the secretary to ballot the actual current membership by email within twenty eight days of the decision taken at the meeting. If the membership fails to ratify the decision of the meeting by an absolute majority of votes then the decision shall not stand, save that a decision by a meeting to change the name, aims or objectives of the LDFP or to wind up or merge the LDFP must be by a majority of three quarters of votes cast both at the meeting and in any email ballot of members.
6.1 The officers of the LDFP (hereafter referred to collectively as ‘the Committee) shall be the chair, the secretary, the membership secretary, the treasurer, the web- officer, the press officer and any other officers nominated by the AGM or co-opted by Committee. The AGM or the Committee may also elect an honorary president of the LDFP.
6.2 The officers of the LDFP shall perform their duties towards the LDFP with the utmost good faith.
All notices to the officers of the Association or to members of the Association shall be by email and the expression ‘written notice’ shall be construed accordingly save in the case of a member who has previously informed the membership secretary that he or she does not have an email address, in which case notice must be given to or by such person by post at the address provided to the membership secretary.
8. Dissolution or merger of the LDFP
Dissolution or merger of the LDFP shall be by a decision of the Membership in accordance with 5 above and must be by a majority of three quarters of votes cast. In the event of dissolution, all assets of the Association shall be donated to the Party unless otherwise agreed in the decision to dissolve or merge.