An abortive attempt to produce a combined LDFP/LDFI motion for the York Conference

Like LDFP, Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI) is one of our party’s associate organisations, but it enjoys a close relationship with the Israeli Embassy. It recently hosted a meeting for peers and the Israeli Ambassador, Mark Regev, a well-known opponent of the two-state solution, and then circulated the Ambassador’s defence of settlements. At its 2015 AGM, LDFI invited as a guest speaker the same Shai Masot whom Al-Jazeera has exposed for gross interference in British politics.

Our Party leaders often express a wish to maintain balance and remain equidistant between LDFP and LDFI, or as one put it “to be in the pocket of neither”. At the same time, they have been at pains to avoid conflict between the two organisations, and in November 2016 they asked LDFP and LDFI to submit a joint motion to conference. This proved totally infeasible, because the two organisations’ positions are irreconcilable; while LDFI accepts the two-state solution at a rhetorical level, it will not contemplate any external pressure to ensure that the powerful party, i.e. Israel, negotiates in good faith. As in the case of Labour Friends of Israel, LDFI seems to be using the two-state solution as a fig leaf for the status quo whereby Israel seizes land and moves in more settlers.

In a spirit of openness we allowed our motion to be shown to LDFI which whereupon submitted a much blander motion that did nothing to move forward Party policy or effect change on the ground. The Federal Conference Committee then decided to reject both motions.