Socialist Worker

Hamas support ban is a threat to Palestine solidarity

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2782

The rights attacks will impact Muslims

The right's attacks will impact Muslims (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The Tories are set to outlaw support for Palestinian resistance group Hamas. 

A banning order proposed by Tory home secretary Priti Patel would make it a crime to be a member of—or encourage support for—Hamas.

This could include supporting Hamas against Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip.

Anyone found guilty could face up to 14 years in prison.

180,000 demand freedom for Palestine on streets of London
180,000 demand freedom for Palestine on streets of London
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The move is an attempt to further criminalise support for Palestinian resistance—and the main target is Muslims.

In a speech last week, Patel described Hamas as “fundamentally and rabidly antisemitic.” This is based on the fact that Hamas formally refuses to recognise the state of Israel—built on stolen Palestinian land.

Threat

Hamas demands the right of Palestinians to return to their homes. Israel rejects this because its racist laws say too many Arabs threatens its existence.

In its charter, Hamas says its enemy is the Israeli state, not Jews. It has widespread support among Palestinians because of its resistance to Israel.

But supporters of Israel want to paint opposition to Israel as motivated by antisemitism—not anger at its oppression of Palestinians.

Now they hope the law will allow cops to “crack down” on Muslims who join Palestine solidarity demonstrations.

Muslims in Britain can already be referred to the government’s Prevent “anti-extremism” programme simply for supporting Palestine.

Now the Tories want to silence them further—with the threat of prison.


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