Hot on the heels of letters signed by thirty-four leading Orthodox rabbis and other Charedim in support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, almost 300 Israeli citizens have signed a letter in support of Corbyn and the Labour Party.
Prominent signatories include:
- academics Bashir Abu-Manneh, Avraham Oz and Shlomo Sand
- artists such as singer Amal Murkus, playwright Einat Weizman
- filmmaker Maysaloun Hamoud
- figures from left-wing political parties such as
– MK Aida Touma-Suleiman, Dr Afo Agbariah, Chair of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash/al-Jabha)
- Uri Ansenberg, head of Meretz’s Tel Aviv branch
- Secretary General of the National Democratic Union (Balad/Tajama’u) Shihadeh Mtanes
The letter states:
We are Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel, committed to civil equality within Israel, to an end to the occupation and the blockade of Gaza, to a just peace and justice for the Palestinian refugees. The solidarity of progressive forces abroad is vital to our struggle, and we therefore welcomed the election of Jeremy Corbyn, a committed campaigner for peace, as leader of the British Labour Party.
Since his election, Corbyn has been subjected to sustained attacks for his supposed friendliness to antisemitism. We reject the substance of these accusations completely, and we note that some of Corbyn’s accusers, such as Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu, are themselves notorious racists and allies of known antisemites, such as Viktor Orbán and the Polish nationalists. We also note that, even as many of Corbyn’s critics claim to respect the right to criticize Israel in theory, in practice their attacks seem designed to shut down debate on Israel-Palestine and prevent a future Labour government from applying any real pressure on Israel to change its policies.
At the same time, we recognize the reality of antisemitism, including on the left, and we applaud Labour’s sustained efforts to fight it within its ranks. These efforts are free from the hypocrisy of the right, which decries antisemitism, real and imagined, while openly encouraging racism of other kinds. In a global climate of rising fascism, this hypocrisy is extremely dangerous. In order to combat it, it is absolutely necessary to repudiate antisemitism while also standing up for Palestinian rights and for socialism.
We call upon all friends of Israeli-Palestinian peace to join the Labour Party’s leadership in its unequivocal commitment to creating a politics free of hate and prejudice, and to support us in working together toward a future without oppression and discrimination in Israel and Palestine. Labour friends, we wish you success in your upcoming National Conference and in the struggles ahead.
A full list of signatories is below.
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Dr. Bashir Abu-Manneh, Reader, University of Kent
Raida Adon, Actor and artist
Dr. Afo Agbaria, Chair, Democratic Front for Peace and Equality
Uri Ansenberg, Chair, Tel Aviv Branch, Meretz Party
Ron Gerlitz, Co-Executive Director, Sikkuy – Association for Advancement of Civil Equality
Maysaloun Hamoud, Filmmaker, Bar Bahar
Dr. Ruchama Marton, Founding President, Physicians for Human Rights
Amal Murkus, Singer and actor
Avraham Oz, Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Haifa
Shlomo Sand, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University
MK Aida Touma-Suleiman, Member of Knesset, Democratic Front for Peace and Equality / Joint List
Ami Vatury, Co-General Secretary, Koach La’ovdim – Democratic Workers’ Federation
Einat Weizman, Actor and playwright
Jawad Abu Elhaija
Rotem Avneri Meir
Outi Bat-El Foux
Ofra Ben Artzi
Itamar Ben Yair
Omri Ben Yehuda
Shai Carmeli Pollak
Zohar Chamberlain Regev
Aim Deuelle Luski
Tamar Miriam Gomel
Barakat Haj Hussein
Ilana Hammerman Nieraad
Liad Hussein Kantorowicz
Nisreen Khoury Assily
David L. Mandel
Adi Medini Shosberger
Ghassan (Jessy) Monayer
Ben Tzion Munitz
May Omar Omary
Nurit Peled Elhanan
Anat Rimon Or
Bilha Sündermann Golan