British Labour Party puts ban on selling arms to Israel on elections policy manifesto


(JTA) — Britain’s Labour Party reiterated in an elections policy manifesto its intention to stop selling weapons to Israel if it comes to power.

The reference to Israel was in a document published Thursday detailing the party’s foreign and defense policies.

“We will immediately suspend the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen and to Israel for arms used in violation of the human rights of Palestinian civilians, and conduct a root-and-branch reform of our arms exports regime so ministers can never again turn a blind eye to British-made weapons being used to target innocent civilians,” the document stated.

Israel insists it works to reduce to a minimum any loss of life or injury to non-militants in its actions against Palestinian and other terrorist and hostile entities.

Last year, Labour passed a motion strongly criticizing Israel and pledging to halt all U.K. weapon sales to the Jewish state if it rises to power. Earlier this year, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called to “review” weapons sales to Israel.

Corbyn in the past has supported a blanket boycott of Israel, and has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends.” Since being elected Labour’s leader, he said he has changed his mind about boycotting all Israeli products and now supports boycotting only settlement goods.

Under Corbyn, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic has proliferated in Labour ranks, placing the party under scrutiny in the Parliament, the media and in a probe by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a government watchdog.

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