Anti-racism campaigners have called on Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group, to disassociate itself from the UK Labour Party to avoid ‘lasting reputational damage’. 
In a statement posted on its website the Anti-Racism Alliance (ARA) noted that Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously described members of Hamas as his ‘friends’. The statement went on to urge Hamas to ‘immediately disavow and condemn Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’ in order to ‘avoid being tainted by accusations of bigotry’. 
 
This follows controversy around the Labour Party’s attitude to anti-Semitism, with accusations that Jeremy Corbyn has previously associated with anti-Semites and that the Party has covered up internal anti-Semitic incidents. 
 
In response to the criticism Hamas released a statement asserting that the group is ‘deeply concerned’ by the allegations and is going to ‘reassess its relationship with Jeremy Corbyn and the UK Labour Party with immediate effect’. The statement also apologised to any Hamas supporters concerned about the organisations links to the Labour Party, and made it clear that ‘Hamas does not share or condone the opinions of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’. 
 
Senior figures from Hamas, an organisation which gained prominence by organising suicide bombings against civilians, have privately indicated to The Spark that they are ‘horrified’ to be described as ‘friends’ by Corbyn. They told us that in their view Corbyn is a ‘dangerous extremist’, who ‘should not be allowed to moderate himself by association with the Hamas brand’. 
 
If Hamas does publically disassociate itself from the Labour Party other terrorist groups which have previously been praised or defended by people now in Corbyn’s inner circle are likely to come under pressure to follow suit. This could include Lebanese militant group Hezbullah and the Provisional IRA. 
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