We in the Hackney Green Party stand in support of all those who have lost loved ones, have been injured, or are searching for missing family and friends as a result of the attacks in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank over the past two weeks. This violence represents a total failure of politics, in the region and internationally, to do the difficult work of building a lasting peace that recognises the rights of all people to live in safety and dignity. The actions of Hamas on the 7th of October were unjustifiable, a war crime of the most grievous kind. We demand that the UK government work to bring about an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and an end to all war crimes (including the targeting of civilians, civilian infrastructure and collective punishment). Our government’s unwavering support for the government of Israel at this time is not only a betrayal of the right to life and freedom of Palestinians; it also makes the UK complicit in the war crimes committed by the Israeli army, and therefore culpable under international law.
As a local party, we acknowledge that many communities in Hackney are concerned about possible tensions inspired by the conflict. We call for everyone to stand with our neighbours and friends in the community against hatred and fear. No group should be the subject of intimidation or violence because of their identity or beliefs. We are horrified to hear of attacks on Palestinian and Jewish people in the borough, and we condemn these unreservedly. We are also clear that expressing the desire for Palestine to be free is not in itself antisemitic, and should not be characterised as such by Hackney Council.
Zoë Garbett, Green Councillor and candidate for Mayor of Hackney, has said:
“Now the international community must come together and take immediate steps to protect civilian life and infrastructure from attack and launch immediate humanitarian relief efforts. The only resolution to this decades-long conflict and illegal occupation is meaningful political talks, the absence of which has allowed resentment and bad actors to grow and gain the support of the desperate and misguided. I echo the words of The Green Party’s spokesperson for Global Solidarity and former UK diplomat Carne Ross, who was head of the Arab/Israel desk at the Foreign Office and former head of Middle East policy at the UK Mission to the UN:
“There is only one way to secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians. That is for a just political settlement based on the end of occupation of the Palestinian territories. There should not be a return to a never-ending ‘peace process’ that risks disruption by extremists, but an urgent and vigorous international effort to bring about the creation of a Palestinian state, allowing Israel and Palestine to exist safely within their own borders.””
Zoë continued: “The people of Hackney want to be allies in building a lasting peace, not complicit in continued oppression and tragic conflict.”