Category: jeremy corbyn

politicalsci 2018-07-19 20:20:26

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It would be wrong, in drawing up guidelines ab…

It would be wrong, in drawing up guidelines about one form of racism,
to prevent other forms of racism from being called out or to limit the
rights of other oppressed groups to speak about their own oppression.

I was born in what is now west Jerusalem. During the war to establish the state of Israel, my family and I were forced from our home, when I was a young child. To this day, I have been prevented from returning to my home,
simply because I am a Palestinian Arab – whereas any Jewish person from
anywhere in the world could and can automatically become a citizen of
the state.

The reference in the IHRA document to banning the identification of
the state of Israel as a racist endeavour would prohibit me and many
other Palestinians from speaking out about our first-hand experiences of
that racism. To prevent us from speaking about the oppression we have
faced would be both discriminatory and directly undermine our rights.

This point seems to have been entirely absent from the debate around the code of conduct.

Of course if, when highlighting that racism, someone were to use an
anti-Semitic trope or blame Jewish people or Judaism for the actions of
the Israeli state, that would be unacceptable. We simply demand the
right to speak about our experiences and make legitimate, evidence-based
criticism of Israel, its foundation, its laws and practices. And we want
everyone to have that right, not just us, as part of an open, free
debate on a major international conflict, for which Britain bears
significant historical responsibility. As a Labour member, I at least
expect to have this right respected within my own party.

Many of
those who are insisting upon a word for word repetition of the IHRA
working examples are staunch advocates of Israeli government policies.
What is driving this campaign is clearly an attempt to protect and
improve Israel’s tarnished image, silence Palestinians and discredit
those who support our rights.

It’s
right that Labour, as a political party, has clarified and
contextualised this, making sure that the incredibly short, often
vaguely worded IHRA document, cannot be misinterpreted or misused in a
way that would stifle legitimate debate. The code you have
introduced ensures that anti-Semitism is not tolerated within the party,
while also ensuring that the rights of Palestinians are not infringed
and that free and fair speech about Israel is not silenced.

I
hope that the party will maintain its code of conduct. If replaced with
a word-for-word copy of the IHRA document, then I, as a member, would
be prevented from speaking about what happened to me and my family – our
dispossession, forced removal and permanent ban from our home purely
because we were Arab.

This was conducted by the new Israeli state;
a state that was founded on discrimination towards Arab people on the
basis of religion and ethnicity. If that’s not a racist endeavour, I
don’t know what is. And I should have the freedom, as the victim of that
racism, to say so.

Yours, Ghada

-Ghada Karmi is a Palestinian doctor, academic and author.

[LINK TO FULL LETTER]

In summary: the new Labour NEC guidelines on a…

In summary: the new Labour NEC guidelines on antisemitism are the result of careful consideration by a
working party set up for the purpose and including among its number two
Jewish NEC members, Jon Lansman and Rhea Wolfson.

The IHRA definition has never had unanimous support from British
Jews. Its adoption by the Conservative Government in December 2016 was
swiftly followed by the publication of a Legal Opinion,
commissioned by a Jewish-led consortium, warning that the IHRA document
was badly drafted and confusing and that it risked “unlawfully
restricting legitimate expressions of political opinion”. The Opinion
said: “…pro-Palestinian campaigners who, for example, describe Israel
as a settler-colonialist state enacting a policy of apartheid, or call
for policies of boycott, divestment or sanctions against Israel, cannot
properly be characterised as antisemitic.”

On June 15, 27 prominent British Jews concerned about the dangers of conflation issued a statement calling for clarity in identifying what antisemitism is and what it is not. They said: “criticism of Israel is not
antisemitic unless motivated by anti-Jewish prejudice” and “criticising
laws and policies of the state of Israel as racist and as falling under
the definition of apartheid is not antisemitic.”
Two weeks later this
statement was endorsed by leading public figures across a range of professions and political affiliations.

On July 17, 30 Jewish organisations in a dozen countries issued a Global Jewish Statement saying that the IHRA
definition is intentionally worded so that
legitimate criticisms of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights can
be equated with antisemitism “as a means to suppress the former.” This
conflation, it says, “undermines both the Palestinian struggle for
freedom, justice and equality and the global struggle against
antisemitism”.

Against this background, the NEC code should be welcomed as a
principled and useful contribution towards providing much needed clarity
both about what is truly antisemitic, and what constitutes legitimate
political discourse about Israel and Palestine. As explained by a Labour
source in response to a critical article in the New Statesman: “These
guidelines cover all the same ground as the IHRA examples, but they go
further, providing more examples and details so they can actually be
applied.” [x]

In November 2017, the Zionist Organization of …

In November 2017, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) hosted a
gala dinner in New York City honouring Stephen Bannon, US President Donald Trump’s then-chief strategist.

That Bannon and his media outlet Breitbart News were, and still are, seen by many as anti-Semitic was of no consequence to Zionist leaders from the US and Israel, who were in attendance. Just recently, the Israeli government endorsed the Nation-State Bill,
which among many racist provisions, calls for the establishment of
Jewish-only towns.

But relations between Israel and its lobby groups and racist,
neo-Nazi and fascist organisations go way deeper than a one-off gala
dinner with Steve Bannon. In fact, in Europe, Israel is actively pursuing alliances with far-right groups and parties as a state policy.

Netanyahu needs new ways to pressure Europe because pro-Palestinian
policies and attitudes are slowly but steadily entering mainstream
politics, as grassroots groups are becoming increasingly outraged by
Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

In America, Evangelical Christian Zionists have long sought international
recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, the largest
evangelical pro-Israel organization in the world, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, was founded in part to show Christian solidarity with Israel after Israel adopted a deeply controversial 1980 law that proclaimed Jerusalem
“complete and united” to be its capital. Many American Christian Zionists also believe Israel to be an essential ally
in a Judeo-Christian civilizational struggle — or even holy war —
against Islam.

The reason defeating the Tories isn’t the top …

The reason defeating the Tories isn’t the top priority for neoliberal centrists, blairites, and right-wingers is because their primary aim has always been
to
undermine Jeremy Corbyn and any future leftist Labour government. The Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn is not sufficiently right-wing enough for them now, which is why they
would rather have the Conservative Party remain in government (or form a “centrist” coalition with the Tories) than for Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister.

politicalsci 2018-07-18 10:29:45

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politicalsci 2018-07-18 09:44:28

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politicalsci 2018-07-18 09:35:15

Corbyn receives a huge boost from 36 Jewish gr…

Corbyn receives a huge boost from 36 Jewish groups worldwide, embarrassing the media | The Canary: undefined

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