Speaking in support of a motion on the rights of the Palestinian people on Tuesday (September 25), Unite delegate Claire Lees slammed the “racist nature of the new Israeli nation state law”.
She likewise criticised Trump’s action in attacking the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) which she called a “flagrant attack on Palestinian rights and must be seen as part of his wider campaign against the Palestinians and their aspirations for self-determination.
“Trump’s decision to move the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem simultaneously moves to deny Palestinians the right to have Jerusalem as a capital of the Palestinian state,” Claire added.
She said the move also “endorses the massive expansion of settlements which are encircling the city and cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank”.
Trump’s decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars of US funding to UNRWA, Claire highlighted, “threatens the wellbeing of the 5.6 million Palestinian refugees and the education of 560,000 children and the jobs of 22,000 teachers.
“This is a direct attack against the refugees of 1948 and 1967 and an attack on their right of return,” she noted.
Claire reminded conference of the horrific scenes this summer when Palestinians in Gaza demonstrated about their right to return.
“They were met with overwhelming force, Israel soldiers firing live rounds indiscriminately on unarmed protesters,” she said. “Israeli snipers taking out Palestinian health workers tending to the wounded.
“We must back calls for an independent investigation into the shootings on the border with Gaza,” Claire added.
She pointed out that Britain has a responsibility for creating the plight of the Palestinians in the first place and so now “has a duty today to give support to ensure justice for all Palestinians.”
Claire urged conference to support the motion as she called on delegates to wave their flags in solidarity with the Palestinian people.