Copy
View this email in your browser

Sheffield Labour Left  - For Socialism

A bulletin for Labour Party Members who supported the direction the party moved towards under Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell.
Opposing racism, antisemitism and political Zionism.
Opposing all expulsions/exclusions targeting the left.

SLL E-Bulletin #71 - 27 January 2022

Speaking up for Palestine 

In a classic case of “target the messenger” if you cannot win the argument, a Palestinian lecturer has been dropped by Sheffield Hallam University after an onslaught by pro-Israeli groups accusing her of antisemitism. 

Shahd Abusalama, who was born and raised in Jabalia refugee camp on the Gaza Strip, has been an active voice in the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign and so came to the attention of the pro-Israeli lobby. 

In typical fashion, Shahd was targeted online and, in an increasingly sinister move, her employer, Sheffield Hallam University received complaints about her views. 

Shahd chronicled the attacks on her which started with articles in the Jewish Chronicle and comments from the UK Zionist Federation: 

“Those attacks were routed through my university, Sheffield Hallam, as part of an organized attack on the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel, especially in England and Germany. Its purpose is to silence the rights-based movement that has succeeded in threatening Israel’s culture of impunity. It aims to undermine BDS activists’ credibility and in my case, smear my academic reputation.” 

To its eternal shame, Sheffield Hallam has presently cancelled her Associate Lecturer contract – part of the increasingly tenuous employment contracts for those working in higher education. 

For a university, supposedly there to provide students with the opportunity to consider all sides of a debate as part of their studies, to drop Shahd is further evidence of the one-sided nature of any narrative on Israel. 

The basis for the university action against her? She explains: 

“The Jewish Chronicle published two articles, one online and a shorter print version two days later, accusing me of anti-Semitism over a tweet I made in 2012 when I was barely twenty years old. The irrational wave of hate and racism kept flooding my way, despite deleting the tweet, recognizing its unintended offensive content, and clarifying that in my whole life in Gaza's prison until September 2013, I had never interacted with any Israeli Jew outside the framework of the ongoing wars which cost us horrific human and material loss.” 

But she is not the only activist being targeted by the pro-Israeli lobby with countless Labour Party members suspended or expelled simply for expressing concerns about Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians. 

Shahd has made her opposition to antisemitism clear, but this cuts little ice with those willing to be complicit with the Israeli Government and its apartheid policies towards the Palestinian people. 

Shahd commented: “I may be vulnerable due to my Palestinian identity, my history of trauma, my UK refugee residency, and being far from my family who are locked in Gaza. I belong, however, to a much bigger family of solidarity, for whose dedication to our struggle for justice I am forever grateful.” 

SLL sends its full solidarity to Shahd and any other activists targeted by the Israeli Government simply because they oppose that Government’s inhumane and illegal war on the Palestinian people.

Sheffield Labour Left


Sheffield Labour Left (SLL) is a network to help co-ordinate the genuine Labour Party left across the six CLPs covered by Sheffield.
We have a page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SheffieldLabourLeft) and our own website (http://www.sheffieldlabourleft.org), where you can find an archive of our first 70 or so bulletins.
We are connected to no other group, but work alongside others whose aims we share to see elected a socialist-led government.

Want to get involved with SLL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.

Resignation from the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party

Following the meeting of the Labour Party NEC on Tuesday 25th January Laura Pidcock resigned from the NEC the next day and issued a statement giving her reasons why.  Her full statement can be found here:
https://medium.com/@laura.pidcock/resignation-from-the-national-executive-committee-of-the-labour-party-79f59929e7c

Laura was elected as an MP in the 2017 General Election.  Unfortunately the seat was lost in the 2019 General Election.  During her time as an MP Laura was a solidly left wing member of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs.

Losing Laura as an MP was a huge loss for the left of the party.  Only a small number of others have come forward to pick up the mantle, Zarah Sultana elected as an MP in 2019 for example.

Laura was subsequently elected to the NEC on the 'left' slate in November 2020.  Her resignation came as a surprise to most people in the party, including those on the left.

In her statement of resignation Laura writes:

'We weren’t to know exactly how Keir Starmer would handle matters within the party. At that stage, it was hypothetical. What has ensued is a barrage of top-down changes which is making it hostile territory for socialists, from those of us on the NEC, to those in CLPs across the country.'

'I think we also need to be honest about some of our mistakes on the left. I know circumstances have been really difficult and many people have endured personal attacks, so saying that mistakes have been made is not about blaming the membership — far from it. I have always believed that the only really effective response to these attacks, on people’s values and reputations, is from the mass membership, where we fight transparently and collectively, where we demonstrate our power.
This is also true for the position over the reinstatement of the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. Perhaps with the best of intentions, some people seem to think that we can negotiate our way to justice by appealing to the right of the party to do the right thing. That has never worked and certainly will not work in the current circumstances.'

We in Sheffield Labour Left stand in solidarity with Laura, and very much welcome the fact that she seems to have belatedly learnt the lessons that the soft-left approach of pleading for unity with the right is a hopeless strategy.  A strategy that not only fails to recognise the scale of the civil war for the last six years in the Labour Party, but more importantly disarms many of those who might otherwise have fought back.

Labour movement events and meetings in February

Wednesday 2nd February:  South Yorkshire Unite Community Branch AGM.  6.30pm until 8.00pm, via zoom.

Wednesday 16th February:  Sheffield Labour Left AGM.

Tuesday 22nd February:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC) AGM & monthly meeting.  Starts at 7pm.  All trade union members welcome, only delegates can vote.


Labour Party Meetings:

LCF monthly meeting held 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Brightside & Hillsborough CLP monthly meetings held 1st Thursday of the month.

South East CLP monthly meetings held 3rd Friday of the month.

Central CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month.

Hallam CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month.

Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month

Heeley CLP monthly meetings held last Thursday of the month.
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
 






This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Sheffield Campaigning · 38 Headland Road · Sheffield, South Yorkshie S10 · United Kingdom

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp