Israel’s Arab MPs back Corbyn in antisemitism row

A political alliance of four Arab-dominated parties in Israel’s parliament have spoken out in support of Jeremy Corbyn. In a letter to the Guardian on behalf of all 13 members of the Knesset who are part of the Joint List, the Knesset members said they commended the Labour leader for

“his long-standing solidarity with all oppressed peoples around the world, including his unflinching support for the Palestinian people”.

“We stand in solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn and we recognise him as a principled leftist leader who aspires for peace and justice and is opposed to all forms of racism, whether directed at Jews, Palestinians, or any other group.”

The letter is hugely contrasting to opinions expressed by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and stands as the first wave of support from inside Israel during Labour’s antisemitism scandal. The Israeli Labor Party cut ties with Corbyn over the handling of antisemitism.

The MPs attacked opponents of Corbyn and claimed they ignored the struggles of Palestinians:

Incredibly, instead of taking that government to task for its unadulterated racism, the British political class ignores the Palestinian historical plight, and attacks and abuses the British and European leader who vocally supports the Palestinian cause of peace and equality.

They also voiced their opposition to many who want to push Labour to use the IRHA’s definition for antisemitism

When some try to force the Labour party into using as its litmus test a definition of antisemitism that goes far beyond anti-Jewish animus to include anti-Zionism, we must raise our voices and decry these efforts.

The letter continued to say that attacks on Corbyn’s stance were attacks on Palestinian rights

With the Netanyahu government ramping up the racism, our struggle for survival is more precarious than ever. But while we focus locally, defending what’s left of our ever-diminishing rights, we feel that we must speak out now and register our repugnance at these recent attempts to complete our erasure, by forbidding within the UK Labour party any mention by name of the forces allayed against the Palestinian cause.

The letter states every reason that the Labour grassroots, historic supporters of Palestinian rights, have stated when resisting the criticism of Corbyn. Many members say the criticism is a smear designed to weaken Labour electorally and silence activists who criticise the Israeli government.

The way the media reports these comments in contrast to how they reported on the comments of Lord Jonathan Sacks, who criticised Corbyn’s comments about Zionists.

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Iwan Doherty

Editor in Chief and Founder of The People’s News. Democratic Socialist

Iwan Doherty has 45 posts and counting. See all posts by Iwan Doherty

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