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Editorial: Turn a change of government into a change in policy - on Palestine above all

BRITAIN will wake up to a new government tomorrow.

The Morning Star goes to print before the polls close and before the exit poll gives the first clear indication of the result.

But it would be the most dramatic shock in election history if tomorrow brings anything other than a Labour government. Only the size of the Commons majority is in doubt.

The country also wakes up to familiar problems.

On its own, the election result solves nothing. Keir Starmer’s government will represent continuity with the discredited Tories on many issues.

Above all, he offers no change on the Gaza crisis.  At every stage over the last nine months, Labour has taken an identical position to the Tories as the genocide against the Palestinians has unfolded.

It refused to call for a ceasefire for months, until Washington gave the green light to do so; it refuses to end arms sales to Israel.

It defers recognition of a Palestinian state to the indefinite future and opposes any campaign of boycott or sanctions against Israel.

Indeed, Starmer went even further than Tory ministers in the early days of the crisis, declaring Israel had the right to deny more than two million civilians access to food, water and power.

That is why so many strong independent candidates campaigned against Labour in the just concluded election campaign.

Now we have to take to the streets once more. The enormous mass movement of solidarity with the Palestinian people is not going to be demobilised by a change of government.

Instead, we must redouble our pressure on the British government to halt its complicity in Israel’s genocide.

That genocide is continuing. Well over 35,000 Palestinians are dead, most of them women and children. Uncounted thousands are maimed.

Still more are starving as a result of Israel blocking aid shipments.  Gaza is becoming a wasteland, with every health facility, university, cultural centre or place of worship destroyed, along with tens of thousands of homes.

And in the West Bank the Israeli state combines with far-right settlers to murder and dispossess Palestinians and seize their land.

Taken together, this is a clear attempt to destroy the Palestinians as a people, denying them not just statehood but any form of national existence.

And it is a project that British politicians are fully complicit in. The Tories have shielded Israel diplomatically, backed it politically, kept it supplied with arms and deployed the navy in the Gulf to protect it.

From tomorrow, Keir Starmer owns that policy. And he must be forced to change, to align with the worldwide majority that demands justice for Palestine now and an end to Israeli crimes.

On Saturday, the six organisations which have come together to build the solidarity campaign are once again calling on all supporters of peace and justice to march through London.

The demonstration assembles in Russell Square at 12pm to march to Embankment to rally in the shadow of the House of Commons.

The slogans — End the Genocide and Stop Arming Israel — speak for millions across the country.

Keir Starmer must understand that the movement which defeated Suella Braverman and brought hundreds of thousands to protest time and time again is now demanding that he change policy.

On one issue after another, only mass pressure of the kind this movement represents can force Labour in office to act on the people’s demands.

The uninspiring, and frequently plain dull, election campaign does not reflect the will of masses to change society and the world.

Millions of people, the young in particular, are up for fighting for a different future. In a united front, they can and will make Labour go far further in a progressive direction than it says it wants to.

That starts with a new British policy on Gaza. It starts with fighting for justice for the undefeated Palestinian people. And it starts tomorrow.

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