The Scottish Labour Party has backed a motion by the Scottish Greens that calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the UK Government to support a ceasefire in Gaza and condemn the violence and human rights violations by Israel. The motion, which will be debated on Wednesday, also calls for an end to the blockade of Gaza, the recognition of Palestine as a state, and the suspension of arms sales to Israel.
Scottish Labour leader supports the motion
The Scottish Labour leader, Anas Sarwar, said that he supported the motion and that his party stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people. He said that the Labour Party has always been a friend of peace and justice in the Middle East, and that the current situation is unacceptable and unsustainable. He added that the UK Government has a moral and diplomatic responsibility to use its influence to end the violence and support a peaceful resolution.
Sarwar also said that he was proud of the Scottish Labour MSPs who have spoken out against the Israeli aggression and the human rights abuses in Gaza and the West Bank. He said that the Labour Party will continue to campaign for a two-state solution that respects the rights and aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis.
Scottish Greens welcome Labour’s support
The Scottish Greens welcomed the support of the Labour Party for their motion, and said that they hoped that other parties would join them in calling for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation. The motion was lodged by the Scottish Greens co-leader, Lorna Slater, and the party’s external affairs spokesperson, Ross Greer.
Slater said that the motion was a response to the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where more than 200 people, including 61 children, have been killed by Israeli airstrikes since May 10. She said that the motion also reflects the widespread public support for the Palestinian cause in Scotland, as shown by the recent protests and demonstrations across the country.
Greer said that the motion was not only about condemning the violence, but also about addressing the root causes of the conflict, such as the illegal settlements, the blockade, the evictions, and the apartheid policies of the Israeli government. He said that the motion calls for concrete actions, such as the recognition of Palestine as a state, the suspension of arms sales to Israel, and the implementation of international law and human rights standards.
Other parties’ positions
The Scottish National Party (SNP), which forms the Scottish Government, has not yet indicated whether it will support the motion or not. However, the SNP has previously expressed its support for a two-state solution and the recognition of Palestine as a state. The SNP leader and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has also condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza and called for an immediate ceasefire.
The Scottish Conservatives, the main opposition party, have not commented on the motion either. However, the party has previously criticised the SNP for its stance on Israel and Palestine, and accused it of being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. The Scottish Conservatives leader, Douglas Ross, has also defended the right of Israel to defend itself from Hamas rockets.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats, the fourth largest party, have also not stated their position on the motion. However, the party has previously supported a two-state solution and the recognition of Palestine as a state. The Scottish Liberal Democrats leader, Willie Rennie, has also called for a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the conflict.