Keir Starmer speaks at a Labour Friends of Israel event at the party’s conference (Picture: Keir Starmer/Flickr)

The Labour Party is utterly committed to ­supporting Israel and the atrocities it commits, and to attacking any resistance by Palestinians.

It has even gone as far as threatening to expel members for supporting pro-Palestine protests, a threat that ­members must defy, not capitulate to.

Labour’s leadership last week refused to condemn Israel cutting off water and food supplies to Gaza and forcing people from their homes.

Keir Starmer disgracefully said Israel has a “right and duty” to defend itself, including by starving Palestinians. He followed with an empty line that “everything should be done within international law”.

“Responsibility for what has happened sits with the terrorists of Hamas,” he added. Starmer is happily ignoring any notion of ­apartheid, colonialism or ­violence that has been inflicted on Palestinians. And Labour banned its members from attending ­protests last weekend.

This followed shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves saying earlier last week that “Israel has a right to exist”, adding she has “no time” for people cheering for Palestine. London mayor Sadiq Khan also said Israel “has a right to defend itself”.

These are the convictions of warmongers, and many members of the Labour Party will likely be disgusted by the words of its leaders. There have only been cautious words from the Labour left MPs, who stayed away from last Saturday’s Palestine demo.

They put avoiding Starmer’s disciplinary regime above standing up against the Israeli destruction of Gaza. It’s a disgrace that Labour leaders are attacking those who back the Palestinians.

But now is not the time for meek statements or to cower in the corner. The same goes for trade union leaders as well.

Union banners were virtually non-existent on demonstrations last weekend. There were far too few attempts by the union ­leaders to call on their ­members to join the protests.

This needs to change. There will be many Labour members who will be furious that their party is lining up with Israel.

But Labour is no home for those who identify with the Palestinian struggle anymore. They should take the lead of Labour members who rightly resigned from the party in protest.

This includes former MP Lynne Jones, two Oxford councillors and Lubaba Khalid, Young Labour’s National Executive Black and Minority Ethnic officer.

Labour is a party committed to war and imperialism. That’s why, under Tony Blair, Labour didn’t just support Tory wars in the Middle East. It actively headed, alongside US president George Bush, an invasion that set off the slaughter of a million people in Iraq.

It was also under a Labour government in 1948 that Palestine was carved up to create Israel, with Palestinians violently removed from their land.

It should be clear to any who stand with Palestinians and against Zionism, colonialism and imperialism that the Labour Party isn’t the place for them. Labour’s commitment to Israel and refusal to acknowledge the extent of Palestinian suffering means it has the blood of Palestinians on its hands.

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