Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Friday 14 June 2024

My Pledge as a workers' MP for Chorley - Palestine Solidarity and Antisemitism

Chorley voters have been writing to me to ask that I pledge support for issues that are of particular concern to them. So that they are on the record for all voters, I am posting my response on some of the key issues here, on my blog:

Like many others, I have been attending protests and demonstrations, opposing Israeli state terror and demanding a permanent ceasefire, for many months now. 


The Chorley election is of course particularly in the spotlight because of the actions of the Speaker over the SNP's ceasefire motion. The local campaigners who nominated me to stand in this election include members of Chorley for Palestine, and I hope that I can repay their support by becoming an MP who will be clear in their support for a permanent ceasefire and for an end to war and occupation.


I have pledged support for all six of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign demands :
  • To publicly demand and actively work to ensure an immediate, complete, and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
  • To stand up for the rights and dignity of Palestinian refugees by supporting the immediate and full restoration of UK funding to UNRWA and ensuring it can fulfil its mandate
  • To support a comprehensive two-way embargo on the trade in weapons, components, and military technology with Israel to ensure that Britain and its citizens are not complicit in aiding and abetting crimes including genocide.
  • To support moves by the ICJ and ICC to hold Israel to account for breaches of International Humanitarian Law and the outcomes of those processes including by insisting that Britain must uphold any arrest warrants issued by the ICC.
  • To support the suspension of the 2030 Road Map for UK-Israel bilateral relations and negotiations towards an enhanced trade agreement in response to grave violations on international law, and the immediate imposition of a ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements.
  • To uphold the freedom to advocate for Palestinian rights through the democratic process and in academic, cultural and educational spaces including by defending the right to protest and opposing any attempt to prevent public bodies from divesting or choosing not to procure from companies shown to be complicit in Israel’s violations of international law.
As requested, I have also added a short personal statement as follows:

"Unlike the Speaker, the current MP for Chorley, I would use my position to speak out in favour of your statement, and against genocide, Israel’s war on Palestine, and its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

As a trade unionist, I would call on unions to do more to mobilise members to attend the mass Palestine demos, and to apply workers’ sanctions to block supplies from Britain to the Israeli military. Those war industries should be repurposed into alternative production so that workers’ skilled jobs are protected but instead employed on socially useful production.

As a socialist, unlike establishment politicians like Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak, who back the interests of the wealthy both in Britain and globally, I stand for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, and for united workers’ struggle across the region to secure a permanent end to national conflict and oppression with guaranteed rights for all".

Martin Powell-Davies,
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Candidate for Chorley.

Campaign Against Antisemitism

Dear Campaign Against Antisemitism,

I can confirm that I have always fought against antisemitism, as well as against fascism and all forms of racism and discrimination - and will continue to do so.

However, I see no contradiction between my antisemitism and also being highly critical of the current actions of the present right-wing Israeli government.

As a member of the Socialist Party, one of the constituent parts of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, I can point you to the consistent position we have taken in calling for the building of independent workers’ parties in Palestine and Israel, and links between them, and for an independent, socialist Palestinian state, alongside a socialist Israel, with guaranteed rights for all minorities, as part of the struggle for a socialist Middle East.

Let me particularly refer you to the following two articles:

A) https://socialismtoday.org/introducing-marxism-understanding-israel-palestine

which analyses the origin of political Zionism in response to endemic antisemitism and our socialist analysis of the roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

B) https://socialismtoday.org/archive/222/antisemitism.html

which discusses different definitions of antisemitism but also critiques the IHRA definition, criticisms which I agree with.

As the second article warns, quoting Gideon Levy: "The labelling of any criticism as antisemitism … increases antisemitism".  

I hope that helps to explain my position.

Yours 

Martin Powell-Davies,
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Candidate for Chorley.

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