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UK black and minority ethnic groups blast Labour Party antisemitism debate for seeking to defend Israel by erasing Palestinian history

Last week an unprecedented intervention occurred into the debate in the UK over the definition of antisemitism. Over 80 community, professional and rights-based organisations representing black, minority ethnic and diaspora peoples decried what they say is the framing of antisemitism in a way to ‘silence’ Palestinians, and other migrant groups, from speaking about their history. Mohamed Elmaazi, Mondoweiss; 23 August 2018

The statement was first published in The Independent but now has its own website and 102 signatories at the time of publication. It says: “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.”

They single out Palestinians for special mention: “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”.

Immense pressure is being pushed, by pro-Zionists and right-wing figures, for the Labour Party to accept completely the guidelines of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) – as they relate to the definition of antisemitism.

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