UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Sheffield’s Palestinian Flag

Sheffield City Council’s leader participated in a Palestinian flag raising ceremony in front of City Hall a few hours after the Sheffield City solicitor said there was no plan to raise a Palestinian flag.

On 4 September 2019, Sheffield City Council voted on a motion, entitled “Recognising Palestine as a Full State”. Immediately prior to this a Palestinian flag was raised in front of Sheffield Town Hall, following a ceremony attended by Council Leader Julie Dore, who had proposed the motion.


 UKLFI objected to the Council trying to conduct national foreign policy and to the raising of a Palestinian flag at the City Hall.

 Raising a Palestinian flag, without making arrangements to raise an Israeli flag, is one-sided and appears to be contrary to the Public Sector Equality Duty laid down in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, which places a duty on public authorities to consider how the exercise of their functions might affect relations between different religious and ethnic groups. Publicly favouring one party in the proposed manner, with no equal demonstration of support for the other party to whom this action is plainly relevant, appears to show no consideration for Israelis or Jewish people or people of other faiths who support Israel and have an ethnic and/or religious connection to Israel.

 No substantive response has been received to our objections. It is of particular concern that we were informed by the Solicitor to Sheffield City Council that there were no plans, nor had there been, to raise a flag over the City Hall, yet just a matter of hours later, a flag raising ceremony took place in front of the City Hall, attended by the Council Leader. We are seeking an explanation ….  We also intend to report Sheffield City Council to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.