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We must fight racism with solidarity

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Issue 413

As we go to press the Labour left is coming under attack from a coalition of the Tories and the Labour right throwing accusations of anti-Semitism. Jeremy Corbyn has come under increasing pressure to suspend members, including ex London mayor Ken Livingstone. While it is crucial that the Labour Party takes any claim of anti-Semitism or any form of racism seriously, there is clearly a concerted effort to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

This follows the racist campaign the Tories have been running against Labour in the run-up to the May local elections. Labour’s London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan has faced outrageous claims from the Tories, including prime minister David Cameron, that he “consorts with ISIS supporters”.

Similarly in the student world, newly elected NUS president Malia Bouattia — the first black student to win the position — was instantly attacked for her views on Israel. The president of Birmingham University Jewish Society spelled it out: “When someone attacks Zionism they’re indirectly attacking Judaism as a religion, because the two go hand in hand.”

Our ruling class, and their friends on the right, will always attempt to use racism to divide us — and to muddy the waters. We have to combat them with solidarity and myth-busting. The next big date in the anti-racist calendar is 18 June, when a huge convoy will be setting off for Calais. Activists will be collecting at work and college, putting on meetings and rallies, and taking delegations. Get involved.

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