British Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer on Sunday called for a ceasefire “now” between Israel and the Islamist Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Appearing before a Scottish Labour conference in Glasgow on Sunday, Sir Keir Starmer once again tried to thread the needle on the Israel issue, calling for a ceasefire to the conflict, while not going so far as the far-left and Muslim factions within his base would likely wish.
Sir Keir said according to the BBC that there needs to be an end to the fighting “not just for now, not just for a pause, but permanently… A ceasefire that lasts. This is what must happen now. The fighting must stop now.”
However, the Labour leader appeared to be making a distinction between “now” and calls for an “immediate” ceasefire, as the Scottish Labour conference had called for in a motion on Saturday.
The issue will be further pressed by the leftist-separatist Scottish National Party (SNP) next week when the SNP will put forward a vote calling for an immediate ceasefire in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
Although Starmer urged his party to reject a previous motion calling for an immediate ceasefire, 56 of his own MPs defected and multiple members of his shadow government resigned in protest. It is unclear if the Labour leader will give similar marching orders to his parliamentarians this week.
Starmer has been attempting to distance Labour from its history of antisemitism scandals that plagued his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to convince the centre-right electorate in the UK that his left-wing party is worthy of governing.
However, despite Starmer’s “zero tolerance” stance, the party has once again been embroiled in antisemitism scandals over the past month.
Labour Schism? 23 Leftist Councillors Quit Party over Starmer’s Support of Israelhttps://t.co/9GeMl8ayzp
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 23, 2023
On Monday, Labour announced that it would be withdrawing its support from Azhar Ali, its candidate in this month’s by-election in Rochdale, over leaked comments in which he claimed that Israel had intentionally given the “green light” for Islamist Hamas terrorists to kill over 1,200 people and take over 250 more captive during the October 7th attacks in southern Israel.
The following day, the party also suspended Graham Jones, the former Labour MP for Hyndburn who is attempting to reclaim his old seat in the parliament. Jones was suspended from the party after it was revealed that in talks with Ali, he had referred to the Jewish states as “fucking Israel” and had called for British people who volunteered to fight for the Israel Defense Forces against Hamas terrorists should be “locked up”.
The pair of scandals came just two weeks after the party suspended Kate Osamor for arguing that International Holocaust Memorial Day should also honour Palestinians who died in the conflict between Hamas and Israel, which she described as being a “genocide”.
Starmer’s relatively quick decisions to distance the party from the three politicians comes in contrast to Labour under socialist Jeremy Corbyn, who was accused of covering up antisemitism within the party.
While Starmer’s zero tolerance towards antisemitism looks to win over the centre in the general election, it risks further alienating the Muslim community, which has been one of the party’s most reliable voters. However, with Starmer’s previous support of Israel’s efforts to root out Hamas terrorists in Gaza, support for the Labour Party fell among UK Muslims by over 40 points compared to the last election.
Let’s check in on leftists in the U.K… https://t.co/bbk2Q9kIEy
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 14, 2024