I’m a councillor in Bristol and I resigned from Labour over its shameful response to Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

In late October, Bristol Labour councillors were asked by our Group Leader to agree to a statement that had already been vetted by the national Labour Party.

It contained the usual language used by Labour: repeated condemnation of Hamas’s actions, with phrases such as “murder of Israeli citizens”, when, in contrast, deaths of Palestinians weren’t even mentioned directly.

There was only passive reference to “loss of innocent lives” of both Israelis and Palestinians, with no mention that Israel was bombing and killing Palestinians.

The statement said “We fully support Israel’s right to rescue hostages and defend itself in line with international law” – when by that stage Israel had already killed 8,000 Palestinians, over 3,000 of them children.

Anyone not blinded by Zionism could see that Israel was clearly not obeying international law – it was flattening Gaza and committing genocide.

There was of course no call for a ceasefire.

When I and some other Labour Councillors refused to agree this dreadful statement, it was dropped.

Following this, I set up a petition to the council calling for a ceasefire, which rapidly got thousands of signatures through the support of the brilliant activists in Bristol.

By the time I was able to present the petition at a council meeting in December, nearly 20,000 Palestinians had been bombed to death by Israel, 8,000 of them children.

Labour were still refusing to call for a ceasefire, so at the end of my speech, I resigned from the Party.

Dr Munther Isaac, the Bethlehem pastor, used his Christmas sermon to point out that:

“Leaders of the so-called free lined up one after the other to give the green light for this genocide against a captive population. They veiled the truth and context, providing the political cover.”

We demand our political leaders be better than this.

Take note of what your councillors, MPs and candidates are doing while Gaza is subjected to genocide.

Demand of them an unequivocal call for an immediate ceasefire and the ending of this genocide. Tell them: No ceasefire, no vote!

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