Category: labour party

As migrant and BAME groups in Britain, we reaf…

As migrant and BAME groups in Britain, we reaffirm our fundamental right
to the freedom of expression, and publicly to express our anxieties
about the suppression of information on the history and lived experience
of our communities.

“We are deeply worried about current attempts to silence a public
discussion of what happened in Palestine and to the Palestinians in
1948, when the majority of its people were forcibly expelled. These
facts are well established and accessible, are part of the British
historical record, as well as the direct experience of the Palestinian
people themselves. The Palestinian community in the UK has raised the
disturbing absence of key information about these past and current
injustices, and highlighted the racism it exposes then and now.

Public discussion of these facts, and a description of these injustices,
would be prohibited under the IHRA’s guidelines, and therefore
withholds vital knowledge from the public. This silencing has already
begun. Today we can freely describe the racist policies experienced in
the era of British and European colonialism in our countries of origin
(indeed it is taught in British schools), but the colonial history of
the Palestinians is continually erased. This is a dangerous breach of
our own rights, and of the wider British public: we must all hear the
full story of the Palestinians in order to make sense of the current
discussions about racism and Israel.

We also know of the efforts by organisations – including UK-based
fundamentalist groups aligned with the far-right in the US – to deny
Palestinians’ basic humanity by suppressing their entire history and
current plight. At the same time, hard-line conservative groups in the
US, such as the Middle East Forum, are providing funding and support to
anti-Muslim extremist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson),
deliberately increasing hatred, fear, and confusion. These coordinated
efforts by right-wing extremists are being actively encouraged by
President Trump’s racism and fear-mongering, which is now aimed at
dismantling UNRWA, the UN agency that protects Palestinian refugees.

We urgently remind politicians and public bodies of their
responsibilities to uphold the principles of the Human Rights Act for
every British citizen and resident in the UK equally, especially the
direct victims of colonialism, racism, and discrimination. As migrant
and BAME communities we stand as one, united against all attempts to
suppress our voices and our calls for justice, freedom and equality.”

[FULL LETTER AND SIGNATORIES]

politicalsci 2018-08-14 12:28:41

politicalsci 2018-08-12 20:54:45

More than 100 seats that backed Brexit now wan…

More than 100 seats that backed Brexit now want to remain in EU:

If this holds true the logic for rigorously sticking to Brexit as some kind of vital democratic necessity is increasingly shallow which is impressive given at it’s deepest it could maybe be slightly comparable to a child’s paddling pool.

Also if so many constituencies in England are flipping to majority Remain, would this then solve the problem Labour has with Brexit where it’s membership is largely pro-Remain but a lot of it’s MPs were representing pro-Leave constituencies?

Because I keep hearing that that’s the reason Labour isn’t backing either scrapping Brexit or a final say on the terms of the deal. “Well they just can’t because their constituencies are so strongly pro-Brexit.”

If this change is happening surely that becomes less and less of a problem as time goes on?

politicalsci 2018-08-02 22:44:38

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In 2016 Jeremy Corbyn spoke emotionally of his…

Jeremy Corbyn – Remembering Cable Street

In 2016 Jeremy Corbyn spoke emotionally of his mother’s role in an
anti-fascist street fight as hundreds of people marched through the
streets of east London to mark its 80th anniversary.

The Labour leader told how he had learned all about the 1936
Battle of Cable Street from Naomi Corbyn, who had been present when
left-wing demonstrators fought police guarding a planned march by
British fascists through a heavily Jewish neighbourhood.

He said: “One woman stood there along with many others and she told me all about it. That woman was my mother. She stood here with so many others because
she wanted to live in a world, as we all do, that is free from
xenophobia and free from hate.”

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politicalsci 2018-08-02 11:42:23

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politicalsci 2018-07-28 20:18:28

A worldwide coalition of Jewish groups has iss…

A worldwide coalition of Jewish groups has issued a joint statement condemning attempts to stifle criticism of Israel with false accusations of antisemitism.

The statement, which 40 Jewish groups from 15 different
countries have signed, could not have been more timely. In the UK, the
Labour Party is currently under pressure to adopt the full guidelines accompanying a definition of antisemitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Labour adopted the 38-word definition long ago. But the
guidelines with it include examples of antisemitism, two of which – both
connected to criticism of Israel – are highly controversial.

Since being adopted by the UK government in December 2016, these
guidelines have already been used to target organisations campaigning
for Palestinian rights. Supporters of Israel have called on government to stop the annual “Israeli Apartheid Week” on university campuses on the grounds that it breaches the IHRA.

But genuine anti-racist principles surely lead us to criticise Israel for its many discriminatory policies, whether its segregated road network, its dual justice system, or the “Jewish nation state” bill passed on Wednesday, which entrenches ethnic inequality in law.

Perversely labelling critics of this racism “antisemitic” also
silences Palestinians who object to Israel’s historic and ongoing
takeover of their land.  

What is happening in the UK is but one example of attempts to
redefine antisemitism to include criticism of Israel. In the US, the Antisemitism Awareness Act does the same.

As Jews who support the BDS movement, which is based on universal human rights principles and opposition to all racisms, we find it distressing that some imply Jewish communities are unanimous in their support of the IHRA.

On the contrary, we believe that by dangerously conflating
opposition to Israel’s discriminatory policies with anti-Jewish racism,
IHRA politicises and harms the fight against antisemitism as well as the
struggle for justice for Palestinians.

We take the threat of antisemitism seriously. Indeed, from our own
histories we are all too aware of the dangers of increasingly racist
governments and political parties. The rise in antisemitic discourse and
attacks worldwide is part of that broader trend.

It is profoundly wrong to label the Labour party
“antisemitic” for refraining to adopt IHRA guidelines in their entirety.
Criticising Israeli policies – or indeed the tenets of Zionism – must
be allowed to be part of political debate. That’s why Labour’s national
executive committee has found aspects of the IHRA guidelines wanting.

Last weekend, two Palestinian teenagers in Gaza were killed
by an Israeli air strike. Since the beginning of the Great Return March
protests on 30 March, more than 130 people have been killed – including 25 children.
These are just the most recent examples of why we call for a
non-violent boycott of Israel until it complies with international law.

With Jewish and Israeli organisations across the globe
that have varying approaches to the BDS movement, we stand united
against harmful definitions of antisemitism and together for human
rights and the freedom to protest.

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