Right-wing Labour MPs use Trump’s racism for their own advantage

Jess phillips, Wes streeting and Margaret Hodge
Fréa Lockley

Donald Trump and his supporters have sunk even further into vile racism. On 14 July, Trump issued a series of racist tweets. He told four progressive congresswomen of colour to “go back and help fix” their “broken and crime infested” countries.

Since then, his supporters have pushed the racist attacks against congresswoman Ilhan Omar further, chanting “send her back” at a rally. In response, thousands of people have spoken out to support Omar, including some right-wing Labour MPs. Yet in the face of ongoing accusations of antisemitism in Labour and attacks against Jeremy Corbyn, their words of ‘support’ ring hollow. Because if Omar were a Labour MP, those same MPs would probably have opposed her political stances and attacked her for them too.

I Stand With Ilhan Omar

Following the chants at the Trump rally, #IStandWithIlhan trended worldwide on Twitter.

Start your day with The Canary News Digest

Fresh and fearless; get excellent independent journalism from The Canary, delivered straight to your inbox every morning.




Labour’s Jess Phillips and Wes Streeting criticised Trump, seemingly offering solidarity to Omar:

 

Margaret Hodge also shared a petition of support for Omar and the other women Trump attacked. But no one was buying her faux solidarity:

Former Labour MP Luciana Berger also chimed in:

Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first ever Muslim women elected to congress. Since her election, Omar has stood firm to challenge the ongoing human-rights abuses in occupied Palestine. Indeed, as Haaretz reported, Tlaib and Omar plan to visit Israel and the West Bank. Yet to do this, they need permission from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Reportedly, he will “have to decide whether they would be let in” to Israel. This is because of the support they’ve given to the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. In doing so, and by refusing to pledge allegiance to Israel, Omar has faced vicious smears calling her ‘antisemitic’ (including from Trump).

So it didn’t take long for people to question the ‘support’ from these right-wing Labour politicians. As hip-hop artist Lowkey pointed out, if Omar were a Labour MP, Phillips, Streeting and Hodge (and Berger) would very likely have accused her of antisemitism too:

If Omar was a Labour MP…

As journalist Owen Jones noted, as long as charges of antisemitism against the pro-Palestinian left continue from so-called ‘centrists’, those on the right will continue to ‘appropriate’ and weaponise this further:

Although as others pointed out, some allegedly left-wing journalists who’ve jumped up to support Omar may also have called for her expulsion if she was a Labour MP:

Others, meanwhile, pointed out the sheer hypocrisy of this so-called support:

In April, Trump’s tweets led to a rise in death threats against Omar. So as some pointed out, there’s an even more chilling aspect to Trump’s latest attack. It should lead Streeting, Phillips & co to reconsider the overt harm and damage they have caused for many on the left in their ongoing accusations of antisemitism, in particular towards left-wing Jewish Labour members. While this is unlikely to happen, the severity of Trump’s latest attack on Omar can’t be underestimated:

Antisemitism exists throughout society. We must all firmly oppose it whenever it rears its disgusting head. But in the current climate, too many Labour MPs have used accusations of antisemitism to lead an attack designed to weaken the Corbyn’s democratic socialist leadership of their party.

Trump’s latest attack is sickeningly racist – and it draws strength from dodgy centrist attacks on the left. So Omar and the other progressive US politicians truly do need our support and solidarity. But we also need to call out these right-wing Labour MPs, because it’s so unlikely they’d support truly progressive politicians like Omar, Tlaib, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez if they were UK MPs. This is hypocrisy at it’s worst.

Featured images via Chris McAndrew/Wikimedia, Chris McAndrew/Wikimedia, Chris McAndrew/Wikimedia

Since you're here ...

We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.

The Canary Support
  • Show Comments
      1. Your such a dick if you cannot see or do not want to see the hypocrisy in this situation. Trump uses “antisemitism” to attack socialists, right wing Labour and MSM use the same “antisemitism” to attack UK socialists.

    1. Having demonised Trump personally to the extent that they have, the faux left, here and in the Democratic Party, have made a rod for their own back, since they support most of his policies – there’s no objection to Jerusalem being declared the capital of Israel, no objection to overthrowing the elected government of Venezuela, no objection to a war with Iran. But as the real left begins to emerge in the Democratic Party, and starts to focus on all those policies where the real left dissents from the politics of Donald Trump, the faux left are going to find themselves looking increasingly as though they’re actually on Trump’s side, which is what is happening in this case; and of course, they are.

      1. Agreed which is why we have Corbyn here to move the Party form Blairite Tories and hopefully the likes of Bernie Saunders over the Pond , to move the so called Democrats in a similar direction , with the help of ” the Squad” good on em .

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.