‘Corbyn as much a racist as Nelson Mandela,’ former ANC MP Andrew Feinstein tells online rally
JEREMY CORBYN “is as much a racist or anti-semite as my former boss Nelson Mandela” and must be restored to membership of the Labour Party, former South African MP Andrew Feinstein told a rally in defence of the ex-Labour leader on Sunday night.
Mr Feinstein, the son of a Holocaust survivor who lost 39 relatives in the Nazi camps of Auschwitz and Theresienstadt, stressed that the Labour left must have “zero tolerance” for anti-semitism.
But he denounced “an attempt by the mainstream media and the Labour Party leadership to wish away left-wing Jews” who supported Mr Corbyn, “to behave as if we do not exist … an attempt to do away with an extraordinary tradition of Jewish socialism and support for liberation movements from Pretoria to Palestine.”
The former MP spoke at a Defend Jeremy Corbyn, Fight Racism, Build Socialism rally called by the Radical Alliance, a group of Labour and non-Labour socialists, alongside MPs including John McDonnell and Ian Lavery, trade unionists and socialist and anti-racist campaigners and activists.
Unison assistant general secretary Roger McKenzie, speaking in a personal capacity, said that he would not walk away from his friend Mr Corbyn, having “stood side by side with him on picket lines and at anti-racist demonstrations. This is someone who hasn’t flinched from the anti-racist struggle in the 30-plus years I’ve known him.”
Unite’s Howard Beckett said that Britain could have a Labour government now, potentially avoiding the Tories’ disastrous mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, had Mr Corbyn not been undermined by Labour MPs and staff and by “a shadow cabinet, Keir Starmer foremost among them, who betrayed our class over Brexit and allowed it to divide us to the extent that we failed to win an election.”
Julia Bard of the Jewish Socialists Group warned that the entanglement of anti-semitism in Labour’s left-right struggle in recent years had “made anti-semitism on the left much more difficult to challenge.”
But when minorities including Jews are under attack around the world, “who should we go to for support — institutions that have declared support for Trump like the Board of Deputies, that refuse to criticise the Tories for their close links to fascists across Europe, or to people like Jeremy, who has anti-racism woven through his political being?”
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