(Credit: www.thehill.com)

Jewish organisations have criticised news that Labour Party leader Keir Starmer is expected to commit to Palestinian statehood in the party’s election manifesto.

The final version of the manifesto is launched officially on Thursday.

While Ireland, Spain, and Norway has recognised a Palestinian state, Starmer will follow Foreign Secretary Cameron that statehood comes at an ‘appropriate time’ in peace talks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the decision of Ireland, Spain and Norway was a “reward for terrorism”.

The US has referred to recognition as an element to peace with two states.

Bicom has stated Israel will be concerned due to the UK-Israel bilateral relationship.

‘A Labour government will want to be seen to support pro-peace partners in the region, both Israeli and Arab, including Starmer building relations with the newly elected leader of the Israeli Labour Party Yair Golan,” noted Bicom.

Keith Rowe, NJA, said: “If the Labour Party chooses to include the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state in its manifesto, it would not only be a reckless departure from diplomatic norms but also a grave disservice to the cause of peace in the region. Such a move undermines the fundamental principle of negotiated solutions and disregards Israel’s legitimate security concerns. The NJA staunchly opposes any attempt to bypass the peace process through unilateral actions, which only serve to escalate tensions and hinder prospects for a lasting resolution. Labour must not succumb to political expediency at the expense of genuine peace and stability in the Middle East.”

Jonathan Metliss, Action Against Discrimination, described the mover as “another slap in the face for the UK Jewish Community”.

“It certainly reads like a Hamas victory and a reward for bad and violent behaviour,” he said. “It beggars belief! This no more than plain, undiluted and dirty electioneering pandering to the Muslim vote, more especially after the debacle in the recent Rochdale by election which sent George Galloway back into the House of Commons. This is a surrender to the loutish behaviour of the anti-Israel and antisemitic demonstrators on our streets and on University campuses.

“Starmer should look at the questions that remain. Where will this state be located and what will its borders be, who will administer it and where will its capital be? The manifesto promise is made in a complete vacuum and is unsound, unsupportable and without foundation. Former Israeli leaders such as Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians states but they turned it down on every occasion. As the late Abba Eban famously said, ‘The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.’

“Yet again, the Labour Party and Starmer have failed the Jewish community on antisemitism and Israel and will no doubt continue to do so. Is Starmer the new, committed friend of the UK Jewish community? He may appear at Jewish charity functions, but it hardly looks like it. A message to the Jewish community, please beware and do not be taken in by this man!”