AhlulBayt News Agency

source : Al-Waght News

10 July 2024

7:26:36 AM

Analysis: How’s Gaza war brought victory to Labor and loss to conservatives?

Although the British people were dissatisfied with the economic policies of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government, and this played a major role in fall of the votes of the Conservative Party, the position of Sunak's government towards the Gaza war was decisive in breaking up of the British voters with the conservatives.

AhlulBayt News Agency: Though Gaza war is happening in a small region, its aspects have swept the international borders and have played a key role in directing the policy of the great powers. The massive street protests in the Western countries in support of Gaza people, which had become the main obsession of the Western officials, left their initial impacts on the British parliamentary elections.

In the British election on Thursday, Labor Party after 14 years returned to power and secured a historic majority by winning 412 seats, passing the 326 seat threshold for absolute majority.

Although the British people were dissatisfied with the economic policies of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government, and this played a major role in fall of the votes of the Conservative Party, the position of Sunak's government towards the Gaza war was decisive in breaking up of the British voters with the conservatives. 

Since the Gaza war in October, Sunak's government stood by the Israeli regime with all its might and supported the Israeli genocide in Gaza . The Sunak's government, together with the US, assisted the Israeli army in the complete destruction of Gaza's infrastructure, fighting the resistance groups, and massacring the civilians by providing large-scale arms and logistical and intelligence support to the Israeli occupation.

Negative approach to the UN Security Council’s resolutions regarding Gaza and opposition to referring the Israeli genocide to the International Criminal Court (ICC) have made London an accomplice to the Israeli war crimes.

This unreserved support of the British government to the Israelis provoked the anger of the people of this country, and in recent months, thousands of people have expressed their opposition to Gaza genocide by taking to the streets and demanding the cessation of London's aid to Tel Aviv. The wave of opposition was so widespread that in Thursday's elections, people voted for the Labor Party and other pro-Palestinian parties, expressing their breaking with the conservative policies. 

It is true that the Labor leadership aligned itself with the Conservative government's policy of supporting genocide and supported the actions of the Israeli regime, and Labor leader Keir Starmer made hate and appalling statements in this regard, but after a lot of pressure, the leaders of this party reviewed their positions and supported the cessation of the conflict in Gaza and the sending of humanitarian aid to the residents of this besieged coastal strip, and this procedure is clearly announced in the Labor program. 

Even some Labor lawmakers played an active role in pro-Palestinian protests in the country. Andy McDonald, a member of the House of Commons, was one of these people who was suspended by his party for his joining the "Palestine, from the river to the sea" protests in Britain. The presence of the figures from the Labor Party in the protests in support of Palestine showed that the opposition to Israel's crimes in Gaza is not limited only to the Muslims of this country, but Christians were also on the side of the oppressed people of Gaza.

Given the supportive views of some Labor members to the Palestinians, people demand them to continue their policies regarding Gaza in the new government.

Victory of Palestine supporters 

Despite winning the majority, some pro-Israeli Labor MPs lost to their independent rivals in some areas. The victory of a number of pro-Palestinian independent candidates in the British parliamentary elections speaks to the fact that the Gaza war was a defining event that created an active dynamism within British politics and among Muslims.

Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn retained his old seat of Islington North, as an independent, beating his Labor rival by more than 7,000 votes. Corbyn has been pro-Palestinian for a long time, and his position includes calling for an end to the occupation of Palestinian lands, and one of the main reasons for his dismissal from the Labor Party was his anti-Israeli positions. The victory of these people in the recent elections with high votes shows that their support for Palestine has played an important role in increasing their vote base in England. Shockat Adam, one of the independent candidates who owes his victory to the support of the Palestinian people, said after his victory: "Yes, this is for Gaza."

The "voice of Muslims" campaign before the parliamentary vote had asked the British citizens to vote for pro-Palestinian candidates from the Labor or the independents. The result of the campaign showed itself clearly in the polling stations, something new London leaders well aware of. New Foreign Secretary David Lammy in his first comments after appointment to his post said that now it is time to work for immediate ceasefire and freedom of prisoners. 

Many Britons want an end to the killing and justice in Palestine. They want their representatives to speak out against genocide and other flagrant violations of international law, even when those violations are committed by London's strategic ally Tel Aviv. In addition, many British citizens acknowledge the historical complicity of this country in dispossessing the Palestinians of their land and ask the government to take a principal position on this conflict in order to compensate for past mistakes. This is why the Labor leader's initial stance on Gaza caused many voters to turn their backs on the party. 

A party with a long-standing base among Muslims and other minorities, the Labor lost nearly 20 percent of the Muslim vote in recent elections. A poll last month found that 44 percent of Muslim voters ranked the Gaza war as one of their top five issues, and 85 percent said they would consider supporting an independent candidate who would support the Palestinian cause. 

Public expectations from Labor Party 

There is no doubt that the Britons with their voting to the pro-Palestinian Labor and independent candidates have some expectations from the new government. Though the Labor supports Israel, it backs two-state solution, a stance meant to satisfy two sides of the conflict. 

Dale Vince, one of the Labor's megadonors and one of the biggest supporters of the Palestinian cause, in an X post said Starmer's announcement of a commitment to recognition of a Palestinian state is a "step in the right direction". There is growing pressure to end this horrific war as well as end more than 50 years of illegal colonization and make a two-state solution the only realistic solution, he added. 

Many British Muslims and other voters have called on Labor leaders to be more vocal in their condemnation of the rising death toll and worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and are calling on the new government to press Israel for an immediate ceasefire with Hamas. 

British Muslims have said that Labor's view of the Gaza war is clearly at odds with the party's historic commitment to anti-colonialism. What has happened now is that sympathy with the Palestinians has increased and party members have to change their views on Israel.

Even some experts have gone beyond and called for Sunak to be convicted in the international courts for his complicity in the Gaza war crimes. 

The Middle East Eye in a report wrote that the Labor should follow the stance taken by David Lammy who said that the Labor government would implement the arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant once the court issued the verdict. 

Despite the pressing public demand for decrease of the British support to Tel Aviv, some observers believe that Labor is unlikely to review its pro-Israeli stance. Still, the party will push to end the war and reach truce. But the drop in the Muslim support to the Labor and voting to the independents bears a message to the new 10 Downing Street dwellers that they need to ms e changes to their approach to the Palestinian conflict in order to win support of British Muslims.