The Conway Hall was packed to the rafters this week to condemn the vicious efforts of the Blairites and Zionists to undermine Jeremy Corbyn. Hundreds faced a barrage of abuse from a Zionist gang as they piled into the meeting in central London on Tuesday while a hundred more late-comers were turned away on safety grounds.
Inside, the 400-strong audience heard speaker after speaker uphold the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and slam the smears that brand Corbyn and the Labour left as “anti-semitic”. Called by the Corbyn, Antisemitism & Justice for Palestine campaign, the meeting was chaired by Christine Blower, a former teaching union leader and the panel included a number of well-known Palestinian and Jewish socialists as well as the author Tariq Ali.
Campaigners, including Lindsey German of the Stop the War coalition and Tariq Ali, called on the left to close ranks around Corbyn and defeat attempts to define any criticism of Israel as “anti-semitic”.
Richard Kuper of Jewish Voice for Labour said: “That the Corbyn project is under attack is in no doubt — from a large proportion of Labour’s MPS and a large proportion still of Labour’s bureaucracy…Labour is also under assault from the pro-Israel lobby which has been alarmed for some time about the prospect of a leader who is in favour of Palestinian rights”.
Huda Elmi, who is running on the Corbyn slate in this year’s Labour NEC elections, said the mainstream media focus on ‘anti-semitism’ deliberately ignores the Palestinians. “The problem is Palestinians have been completely erased from it. They’re trying to subvert our ability to be loud and unapologetic about being anti-colonial”.
“Talk about the human rights abuses against the Palestinians. We have to turn it back to that. We have stood consistently shoulder to shoulder with Palestinian people. We can’t take steps back from that.”