MK Hilik Bar and a pro-BDS protestor.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM + WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The Labor Party sent a sternly worded letter to the Socialist International organization Tuesday after it adopted a resolution joining the Boycott Divest and Sanction Israel campaign, saying that the party would immediately leave the organization.
The Socialist International resolution that passed “calls all governments and civil society organizations to activate boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli occupation, all the occupation institutions, and the illegal Israeli settlements including the total embargo on all forms of military trade and cooperation with Israel as long as it continues its policies of occupation and Apartheid against the Palestinian people.”
Labor’s international secretary, MK Hilik Bar, called the decision hypocritical and said Labor’s decision to suspend its membership was immediate and would become permanent if the decision is not canceled. He asked the organization to stop including any reference to Labor or its party members in any of its membership information, publications, speeches, or events.
“Needless to say, the Declaration on the Palestinian Question is biased, blind to facts or reality, and partially antisemitic,” Bar wrote. “The Declaration further weakens the alleged legitimacy of the organization you lead. The language and arguments of the Declaration makes it clear that until its cancellation - there is no real dialogue to have with you, or with your organization on this issue.”
Bar, who heads the Knesset’s two-state lobby, said the declaration would distance rather than encourage a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
“In the declaration, you reiterate your ‘solidarity with the progressive forces in Israel,’” Bar wrote. “As the international secretary of the Israeli Labor party, as a leader in the party, and on behalf of the Labor Party leadership, the largest progressive party in the Israeli parliament, let me assure you that until the full and formal cancellation of this poor one-sided and miserable declaration, your ‘solidarity’ is not desirable by us.”
The Socialist International is the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties.
It currently brings together 140 political parties and organizations from all continents.