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THANK YOU to the Morning Star for your thoughtful editorial and the prescient thoughts within it.
The 1936 demonstration at Cable Street was a seminal moment in my parents’ generation. It was a unity of Irish, Jewish and other communities against the fascists in the East End. It was also a positive assertion of the need to protect the harmonious collaboration and coexistence between the different communities of that area, which Oswald Mosley was trying to pit against each other.
Those who attended that demonstration saw the dangers of the rise of anti-semitism — and we honour their bravery by continuing to stand with Jewish people against hatred and division today.
That means, as the editorial rightly says, rejecting any conflation of the actions of the state of Israel with that of the Jewish people, and confronting those who perpetuate prejudicial tropes about the supposed financial or political influence of Jews.
I am utterly disgusted by the recent increases in anti-semitic offences. I am also disgusted by the recent rise in Islamophobia. These expressions of hatred do nothing to bring about a more peaceful world.
It is absolutely right that we confront anti-semitism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism in the strongest possible terms. We must strengthen a mass, inclusive anti-racist movement — one that rejects a hierarchy of racism and brings together all communities with histories of oppression.
We stand up against hatred at home for the same reason we stand up against injustice abroad. Holding an entire group or faith responsible for horrors committed by others is the dictionary definition of prejudice.
That is why we stand up to racism against Jewish and Muslim communities. And that is why we are demanding an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
We have witnessed unconscionable horror, untold destruction and unimaginable trauma. Dreams, hopes and laughter have been buried under the rubble, along with the shared foundations of our common humanity. We are desperate to see this appalling cycle of violence come to an end.
We are every community, every faith and every language, united in our solidarity with occupied peoples. We must continue to demand a permanent ceasefire, for the release of all hostages, and for an end to the siege of Gaza. And we must continue to push for the only path to a just and lasting peace: the end to the occupation of Palestine.
I want to take this opportunity to thank faith leaders in my own constituency of Islington North for bringing people of different creeds and backgrounds together.
They continue to teach us the meaning of community: to be there for each other in times of grief, anger and helplessness. Jews, Muslims, Christians, and those without faith all feel the pain of a conflict happening thousands of miles away. We live side by side as neighbours — and so often it is the quiet and unremarkable acts of neighbourliness that sustain us all.
Let us hold out the hand of friendship to each other, as we strive to build a world of peace. It has never been more important to renew our shared opposition to hatred in all its forms. Now more than ever, we cannot lose our common humanity. In times of despair, it’s all we have left.
Jeremy Corbyn is MP for Islington North.
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