A Labour councillor from Manchester has resigned from the party in protest of comments made by Sir Keir Starmer about the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Amna Abdullatif, a councillor in Ardwick, publicly resigned from Labour after 10 years. She the first Arab Muslim woman to be elected to Manchester City Council.
Abdullatif was straight to the point when asked about her decision to leave the Labour Party: “I made it very clear the comments made by Keir Starmer were the reasons for my leaving”.
Comments from Starmer about the withholding of water and power from Palestinian civilians drove her decision to leave, she said: “It goes against international law and humanitarian law and it is not acceptable that as a party that is the line our leader is taking”.
Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer has made it clear he believes all action against Palestine should be “done within international war” in an interview with Nick Ferrari on LBC last week but that “Israel has the right to defend herself.”
According to international law the use of starvation as a warfare method is not allowed. Abdullatif believes Keir Starmer’s comments on LBC condoned the use of prohibited warfare: “It felt like this was the party line that we were supposedly endorsing that wasn’t something I could endorse as a local politician in Manchester”.
So far three other members of the Labour party have also resigned in protest of Starmer’s alleged pro-Israeli stance.
Abdullatif said: “I felt it was the only way forward to make a statement about how much it had deeply affected myself and my community and many people across the country.”
Abdullatif will continue as an independent councillor as her relationship with Manchester’s Labour Party and her community in Ardwick is still very important to her. She said: “I will be continuing to the end of my term as an independent councillor.
“I’ve made it very clear I have no issues with the Labour party in Manchester, I feel very well supported and I will continue to work closely with the two Labour councillors in Ardwick and do what is best for the community.”
The actions taken by Israel were prompted by Hamas fighters who attacked Israeli civilians and killed over 1,200 people and took dozens of people hostage.
In response to the attack Israel launched a bombing campaign killing at least 1,055 Palestinians so far and have cut off electricity and water supplies in Palestine.
“The Jewish community is hurting just as much as the Muslim community is, the atrocities that were perpetuated against Israeli civilians is not acceptable and cannot ever be condoned,” Abdullatif said.
She continued: “I can’t imagine the level of hurt for those who are still waiting on news of their loved ones who’ve been taken as hostages, it’s horrific and I stand in solidarity with the Jewish community in the UK and elsewhere during this really difficult time.”