New UK Labour manifesto calls to ban arms sales to Israel
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New UK Labour manifesto calls to ban arms sales to Israel

Corbyn’s party also promises to ‘immediately’ recognize a Palestinian state if it wins next month’s general elections

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn holds up a copy of the party's manifesto, as he speaks during the launch of the Labour party election manifesto in Birmingham, northwest England, November 21, 2019. (Oli Scarff/AFP)
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn holds up a copy of the party's manifesto, as he speaks during the launch of the Labour party election manifesto in Birmingham, northwest England, November 21, 2019. (Oli Scarff/AFP)

The Labour Party has vowed to suspend at least some arms sales to Israel if it wins next month’s general elections in the United Kingdom.

The pledge was included in a section on human rights in the party’s election manifesto, which it released Thursday.

Labour 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,” the manifesto stated. It was not immediately clear which weapons this pledge would affect.

The party also promised to “immediately” recognize a Palestinian state if it forms a government after the December 12 vote and said it supports a two-state solution that would see “a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine.”

Labour has called for halting arms sales to Israel at its annual conferences and party leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously vowed to swiftly recognize a Palestinian state if he becomes the British prime minister.

Delegates at the Labour Party’s conference in Liverpool hold up Palestinian flags during a debate on September 25, 2018, as leader Jeremy Corbyn looks on from the podium. (AFP Photo/Oli Scarff)

The manifesto was seen as a hard-left document, promising a radical agenda for social change, including nationalizing key industries and a controversial second referendum on Brexit.

Corbyn called it “the most radical and ambitious plan to transform our country in decades” and a “once-in-a-generation chance of real change.”

Key pledges included the nationalization of the rail, water, energy and broadband networks, in addition to huge investment in public services, corporate reforms and the introduction of a 32-hour working week.

A survey published earlier this week by pollster YouGov had support for Labour at 30 percent, trailing the ruling Conservative Party at 42%.

Corbyn, a far-left backbencher until becoming Labour chief in 2015, has long been a harsh critic of Israel. He infamously called the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups “friends” when inviting members for a parliamentary meeting in 2009 and once attended a ceremony that honored the Palestinian terrorists behind the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre.

He has also been dogged by accusations of allowing anti-Semitism to spread unchecked within the party.

Corbyn has pushed back on the anti-Semitism accusations and earlier this month said British Jews have nothing to fear if his party wins the upcoming election, amid reports that many members of the Jewish community would consider leaving the country if he comes to power.

According to a recent poll, just 7% of British Jews said they would even consider supporting Corbyn’s party.

Last September it was reported that nearly 40% of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Corbyn became prime minister.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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