London (QNN)- The UK branch of the Black Lives Matter movement has declared its support for Palestine and the rights of the Palestinian people but it faced outrage by pro-Israel activists for saying British politics has been gagged.
In a tweet from its official account on Sunday which has been liked and retweeted thousands of times the movement pledged to “stand beside our Palestinian comrades”.
As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades.
— #BlackLivesMatterUK (@ukblm) June 28, 2020
A thread from the @ukblm account began: “As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades.
Quoting a statement by Jewish Voice for race, the movement added that more than 40 Jewish groups around the world in 2018 opposed “cynical and false accusations of antisemitism that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid”.
It also noted that dozens of British organizations criticized the denaial of Palestinians’ rights and repressing the culture and history of the Palestinian people.
The movement called out Zionism, quoting a statement by Jewish Voice for Peace that describes it as an ideology that “has meant profound trauma for generations, systematically separating Palestinians from their homes, land, and each other.”
After mentioning dozens of reports by human rights organizations, public figures, Jewish scholars, and civil society organisations, and after referring to the Israeli annexation plans of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, the thread ended declaring that the movement “stand[s] with Palestinians at this most urgent time, and against the accelerated attacks on their rights laid out above and in many other sources.”
“Ours is a united fight against colonialism in all its forms. Justice is indivisible”, the movement stated.
The movement’s announcement comes after Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey was sacked from her post as shadow education secretary after refusing to take down a tweet on an article containing an allegedly “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”, as pro-Israel leaders in the party described it.
On the other hand, the BLM’s support for the Palestinians’ rights angered the Israeli lobby in the UK. The ‘Campaign Against Antisemitism’ branded part of the tweet a “lie” and called for the anti-racist movement to be one that unites people and not one that “spreads hatred and achieves lasting division”.
The President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, also expressed her anger, claiming that the anti-racist organization “has leaned into the antisemitic trope”. She added claiming that “Israel is one of the most-discussed foreign policy issues in this country.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to extend Israeli sovereignty over illegal settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, which make over 30% of the Palestinian territories, a step that was inspired by Trump’s ‘Peace’ plan.
The United Nations Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov on Thursday reiterated the United Nation’s position that annexing parts of the West Bank would be “against international law”. Several EU countries ecoed the same position.
Last year, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) issued a new definition of antisemitism, that considered the criticism of ‘Israel’ or Zionism a form of antisemitism.
Although several human rights organizations and activists rejected the definition as they deemed it a violation of the freedom of expression, France adopted it triggering debate about the extent of the Israeli intervention in the EU countries, which narrows down the rights of opinion and speech.