It would be wrong, in drawing up guidelines about one form of racism,
to prevent other forms of racism from being called out or to limit the
rights of other oppressed groups to speak about their own oppression.
I was born in what is now west Jerusalem. During the war to establish the state of Israel, my family and I were forced from our home, when I was a young child. To this day, I have been prevented from returning to my home,
simply because I am a Palestinian Arab…
[As Palestinians] we simply demand the
right to speak about our experiences and make legitimate, evidence-based
criticism of Israel, its foundation, its laws and practices. And we want
everyone to have that right, not just us, as part of an open, free
debate on a major international conflict, for which Britain bears
significant historical responsibility. As a Labour member, I at least
expect to have this right respected within my own party.
those who are insisting upon a word for word repetition of the IHRA
working examples are staunch advocates of Israeli government policies.
What is driving this campaign is clearly an attempt to protect and
improve Israel’s tarnished image, silence Palestinians and discredit
those who support our rights.
[The State of Israel] was founded on discrimination towards Arab people on the
basis of religion and ethnicity. If that’s not a racist endeavour, I
don’t know what is. And I should have the freedom, as the victim of that
racism, to say so.
-Ghada Karmi is a Palestinian doctor, academic and author.