Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornbery on Tuesday demanded that the “sickening individuals” who “use our legitimate support for Palestine as a cloak and a cover for their despicable hatred of Jewish people,” be kicked out of the party. She spoke at the party’s conference, which passed a strongly anti-Israel motion, the Daily Mail reported.
Scottish Labour’s candidate for Livingston Rhea Wolfson, who chaired the debate, warned speakers: “Please think carefully about the language you use and how you express yourself, and please ensure that every speaker is made to feel welcome and nobody is booed and heckled for having a view you may disagree with.”
Last July, Wolfson wrote in The Scotsman: “I have been a victim of anti-Semitism, both in its most traditional and obvious forms through to being singled out as a Jewish woman and held to a different standard.”
The delegates at Labour’s conference voted to condemn Israel’s use of force against Gaza rioters, increase UK funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and freeze UK arms sales to Israel. A forest of hundreds of Palestinian flags were waved in the conference hall throughout the debate.
Reacting to the flag waving, which made the entire assembly appear like it was being held in Ramallah, Thornberry said: “We all support the Palestinian cause, we are all committed to recognize the Palestinian State, and I stand here with no hesitation when I condemn the Netanyahu government for its racist policies and its criminal actions against the Palestinian people.
“But I know as well, and we must all acknowledge, that there are sickening individuals on the fringes of our movement, who use our legitimate support for Palestine as a cloak and a cover for their despicable hatred of Jewish people, and their desire to see Israel destroyed. Those people stand for everything that we have always stood against and they must be kicked out of our party the same way Oswald Mosley was kicked out of Liverpool.”
Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats, rose to fame in the 1920s and ’30s as leader of the British Union of Fascists (BUF). He won a seat in parliament in 1926 as member of the Labour party and served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Labour Government of 1929–31. He was considered a potential Labour candidate for Prime Minister, but resigned over the Government’s unemployment policies. He then founded his fascist party and lost his seat at the 1931 general election. Mosley was imprisoned in May 1940 and the BUF was banned.