The 'antisemitism' smear campaign against Malia Bouattia

April 25, 2016

In Uncategorized

I have an article at openDemocracy pushing back against the thuggish smear campaign against Malia Bouattia, the newly-elected president of the UK’s National Union of Students.

The attacks on Bouattia are part of a broader offensive against the elected leadership of the Labour Party and the Palestine solidarity movement, waged under the guise of fighting antisemitism.  The offensive is being prosecuted by two distinct, but overlapping, groups: pro-Israel activists, who hope to unseat a prominent critic of Israel and to discredit Palestine solidarity activism; and the Labour Right, which hopes to weaken a popular movement that has, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, wrested from it control of the party.

The article concludes:

One of the most inspiring aspects of Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the Democratic Party nomination has been the level of support he has attracted from Arab and Muslim Americans. The New York primary may have ended his bid for the White House, but even in defeat, who could fail to be moved by the sight of Arabs and Muslims uniting overwhelmingly behind a man who would be the first Jewish president of the United States? The way to combat antisemitism is by coming together in a common struggle for a fairer world. By contrast, if the authors of the unscrupulous letter attacking Bouattia had set out to poison Muslim-Jewish relations and ensure that charges of ‘antisemitism’ become synonymous with cynical attacks against individuals and movements struggling for justice, they could scarcely have done a better job.

You can read the full thing here.