Leader of the Green Group on Sheffield City Council, Cllr Douglas Johnson has expressed sadness and disappointment after Labour and LibDem councillors blocked the Council from joining the Sheffield Coalition against Israeli Apartheid.

The vote came in a meeting of the Strategy & Resources Committee after Full Council had been asked to consider joining the Coalition in a successful Green Party motion on Gaza in November 2023. The Sheffield Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid is an umbrella group and includes the Sheffield Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Sheffield Trades Council, Kairos Sheffield, and Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine. Sheffield Green Party members voted to join the Coalition in March 2023

Official advice to councillors was that the Council would be “at risk of” acting unlawfully. Councillor Johnson addressed this, prior to the meeting, by saying,

“For the council to join the Sheffield Coalition against Israeli Apartheid, it would be a powerful symbolic statement that we stand against division and for human rights.

“Just as in the days of apartheid in South Africa in 1981, it is right for this council to make a stand, just as the full council voted for in November 2023. I fully accept we have to comply with democratic laws – even the ones we disagree with. However, in this instance, I do not believe the legal restrictions prevent us from joining the Sheffield Coalition.

“I believe the duty is on all of us to stand up and say that the awful death-toll in Gaza and the total displacement of an entire population is wrong. If we don’t stand up and say this now, who will and when?”

Lib Dem and Labour Councillors voted against joining the coalition at the Strategy and Resources Committee, with only the Green councillors supporting it.


1 – The Council resolution in November 2023 noted that “Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’tselem and the South African government recognise that the Israeli Government is enacting a system of apartheid” and requested that the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee consider whether the Council should join the Sheffield Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid. The resolution can be found at


2 – https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2023/03/12/sheffield-greens-support-israeli-apartheid-free-zone/
3 – Link to S&R agenda – https://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=641&MId=8786#AI33382
4 – Link to Coalition Pledge – https://pledge.sheffieldpsc.org.uk/