U.K.'s Labour Backs Ban on Arms Sales to Israel

Amid anti-Semitism storm, delegates also voted Tuesday to criticize Israel's use of force against Gaza protesters

Delegates hold up placards in support of Palestine at the Labour Party's conference in Liverpool, Britain, September 25, 2018
\ HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS

Britain's main opposition Labour Party has passed a motion strongly criticizing Israel, as a senior lawmaker warned the party must root out anti-Semitism.

Delegates at the party's conference voted Tuesday to criticize Israel's use of force against Gaza protests, urge more U.K. funding for the UN agency for Palestinians and back a freeze on British arms sales to Israel.

Delegates hold up placards in support of Palestine at the Labour Party's conference in Liverpool, Britain, September 25, 2018
\ HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS

The vote came after a heated debate that saw Palestinian flags waved in the convention hall. Labour has been riven by allegations that the party has become hostile to Jews under leader Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime supporter of Palestinians.

Foreign-affairs spokeswoman Emily Thornberry said Labour must kick out "sickening individuals ... who use our legitimate support for Palestine as a cloak and a cover for their despicable hatred of Jewish people."