10/04/2018 by socialistfight
This Mural is not Antisemitic
The US artist who painted the mural, Kalen Ockerman, has identified the early 20th century men, left to right as, “Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, Warburg and Aleister Crowley”. Two, Rothschild and Warburg, were Jewish. Three were bankers and leading US capitalists. Aleister Crowley was an English occultist and magician, who founded a cultist religion called Thelema, still with followers. He was a vile racist and anti-Semite denouncing Jews for their “avarice, servility, falseness, cunning and the rest”. Portraying him as an oppressor, thus condemning antisemitism, is now antisemitic!
The placard on the left reads: “The new world order is the enemy of humanity” – the rebel clenched fist is arguably a condemnation of the ‘end of history’ triumphalism of George Bush senior after the first Gulf War and the fall of the Berlin Wall and of the USSR. The machine cogs and furnace fires are capitalist oppression, the all-seeing eye is on all US dollars and indicates US world domination via a ridiculous Illuminati conspiracy theory, not antisemitism.
Clearly it is a condemnation of the entire capitalist establishment. If Zionists are offended it is because they empathise with that establishment and thus contribute to the old prejudices of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion antisemitic charge against all Jews. They seek to remove Corbyn because they fear that the leftward surge in the mass base of the Labour party threatens capitalism itself as seen in the left surge in the general election result. It is also inspirational; the oppressed masses have only to listen to the man on the left and rise up and the game is over for the masters of life!
The Labour Left has been plunged into something of a crisis in the last few weeks. Instead of just going after individual members of the Labour Party, the ruling class and its overt political servants in the Labour Party have gone for Jeremy Corbyn himself. The context is Labour’s campaign for the May 3rd Council elections, where the government fears a major political blow: a possible wipe-out of Tory Councils in London and huge Tory losses across the country.
So the Tories, their Blairite friends in the Labour Party and bourgeois elements of the Jewish population, who see Corbyn as a long-time supporter of the Palestinians and therefore an enemy of Israel, have gone for the jugular.
Blairite MP Luciana Berger’s attack on him by for having, in 2012, queried the removal of a mural in Brick Lane depicting Wall Street banker-capitalists playing Monopoly on the backs of the world’s poor – as supposedly defending ‘anti-semitism’ — was the trigger for a tidal–wave of smears from the reactionary media, Blairites and Zionists.
As on all these things, you give an inch to the reactionaries and they take a mile. There were no Jewish symbols or caricatures in the mural, but Corbyn bowed to the outcry and apologised anyway, confessing that he had not looked at the mural and seen the (non-existent) anti-Semitism in it.
Then the American artist, who is nothing to do with the Labour Party, named the six figures depicted, two of them were Jews (Rothschild and Warburg); the remaining four were not Jewish and one was quite notoriously anti-Semitic. It was just a classic piece of anarcho-type agitprop that was quite common in the days of Occupy Wall Street and its imitators in London.
Corbyn capitulated and apologised, and a whole swathe of the left went along with that. Then the Board of Deputies of British Jews, dominated by Tory and Blairite Zionists, together with the Zionist provocateur so-called ‘Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’ (CAA) – a fake charity tolerated by the venal Charity Commission that does not campaign against racism at all but systematically concocts lies against anti-racists who campaign against the racist Israeli state – organised a demonstration in Parliament Square on 26 March, denouncing Corbyn as being supportive of anti-Semites and Holocaust-deniers.
A smaller counter-demonstration was called at very short notice by Jewish Voice for Labour, and some other left groups such as Labour Against the Witchhunt participated, but Momentum itself was notable by its absence. They have mooted another anti-Corbyn demo for 8 April, at an unknown London location.
Corbyn, McDonnell, the Momentum leadership under Jon Lansman, the Morning Star’s Mary Davis etc., have capitulated and made great concessions to this attack. Mary Davis objected to Livingstone’s column in the Morning Star in May 2016: “It is thus hugely embarrassing on our paper’s part to offer Livingstone this lifeline at the present moment and serves to muddy the waters among our allies while at the same time detracting from our own stated opposition to anti-semitism.” Corbyn will meet the BOD and circulars have gone out by email and social media from both Corbyn and Momentum expressing regret at a supposed problem of anti-Semitism in Labour.
Meanwhile, in the real world, on Good Friday Palestinians in the Gaza strip, who were ethnically cleansed from what is now Israel decades ago and have lived in a nightmarish, impoverished and brutal exile ever since, began a civil rights march, the Great March of Return, to claim the right to return to their homes that even the UN says they are entitled to.
Such things mean little in the face of racist brutality; the Israelis used 100 snipers to strafe the marchers with live ammunition; deliberately using explosive bullets to maim as many as possible by blowing big holes in arms, legs etc, they shot over 1000 people. But they also shot to kill; and unarmed youth running across fields, and even women in full-length Islamic dress, were killed by snipers in material that was quickly made available online. 18 are known to have died over the Easter weekend, 21 in all now.
While the Labour Party was consumed with a fake angst about non-existent ‘left’ anti-Semitism, real murderous racism went unremarked for the most part.
Of course, the Zionist groups in Labour had nothing to say about the shooting and killing; Labour Friends of Israel, Jewish Labour Movement and Progress, all kept quiet. They had to; as they all defend the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, so could hardly condemn the shooting of Palestinians trying by a civil rights march to exercise their right to return.
Corbyn himself was so taken up with justifying himself to the Zionists that he was distinctly slow in saying anything about the killing that was rampant over Easter weekend. Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams, for instance, went public to denounce Israel fifteen hours before Corbyn.
In a world of real-time news, that is significant. Meanwhile the BOD, whom Corbyn is trying to appease to the extent that he forced his close ally, Christine Shawcroft, to resign both as head of the National Constitutional Committee and from the NEC, for defending yet another falsely accused victim of the witchhunt, put out its own statement blaming Hamas for the killing, supposedly using the victims as ‘human shields’, which disgusted many.
This capitulation is characteristic of the ideological formlessness of the Labour left, its pacifism, its failure to understand that imperialist capitalism is an implacable enemy of the working class movement which will resort to every method that comes to hand to defeat Labour even as a resurgent social democratic party.
The long history of Zionism in Labour is crucially important in that respect; for instance, Labour in 1941, during WWII but seven years before the Naqba, voted a policy at its conference in favour of the ‘transfer’ (expulsion) of Arabs from Palestine to make way for the Jewish state.
Obviously, on the question of Zionism, we need a new left. False allegations of anti-Semitism are a potent weapon against the Labour left because of this history, and because, while the Nazi holocaust discredited anti-Semitism and most other forms of racism, one paradoxical outcome was also that political Zionism, whose very foundation is the ethnic cleansing of Arabs and therefore obviously itself a racist ideology, remained as the only socially and intellectually acceptable form of racism. This has enabled it to become ideologically hegemonic, and the historic Zionism of Labour, including the Labour left, means that this racist ideology has considerable influence even on the Labour left.
We must form a new Labour left that, as an immediate minimum, totally breaks from this form of racism. In the past, it would have been unthinkable that overt supporters of past racist states such as Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa could exist within Labour. It simply would not have happened. But Israel has a different history vis-à-vis Labour and a real hold, thanks to Israel’s pseudo-left history, the long-established role of Poale Zion in Labour, and Blairism. Tony Benn and Eric Heffer were members of the LFI until the 1982 Lebanon war.
We must grasp this nettle if the Labour left is to advance, we must form a bloc around a simple point; to defend real Labour democracy. To enable the left to go forward Labour must proscribe Zionist racism. Labour must declare support for the genocidal acts of Israel against the Palestinians to be incompatible with Labour membership. Proscribe LFI, JLM and Progress and any other trend that justifies the ethnic cleansing of Palestine!
Socialist Fight supports PSC BDS Campaign
Socialist Fight supports the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and all other political initiatives aimed at delivering solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle against dispossession and the racist regime of Israel, which is built entirely on land stolen by force by European Jewish settlers with the backing of various imperialist powers.
Firstly, with the Balfour Declaration of 1917, where British and US imperialism sought to solidify the support of wealthy American Jews in particular for the war against the Kaiser’s Germany by offering Palestine, a land inhabited for many centuries by Palestinian Arabs: Muslims, Christians and some Jews, to Jews internationally as a ‘homeland’. This was a historic crime, as Palestine legitimately only belonged to its people. British imperialism had no right to give its land to anyone.
This led to gradual colonisation, and finally, a reactionary rebellion by Jewish settlers against the British after World War II, with refugees from the Nazi Genocide used as a battering ram to deprive the Palestinian people of their homeland.
Two-thirds of the Arab population of Palestine were expelled in the 1947-49 Naqba, as the new state of Israel was created. In democratic terms, since it expelled a clear majority of the indigenous population by force, this state has no legitimacy, whatever the ideologues of capitalist ‘democracy’ in the West say.
We in Socialist Fight are Leninist-Trotskyists and the firmest opponents of US imperialism and its Israeli allies, and the firmest defender of the peoples of the semi-colonial world against imperialism and Zionism. Thus we defended Iraq against the wars of imperialism culminating in 2003. We defend all armed resistance to imperialism and its various proxies in the various wars since, including those in Libya and Syria that flowed from imperialist exploitation of the Arab Spring revolts against despotism. We defend Iran against the threat of attack from Israel and the USA
We consider even Arab bourgeois despots like Gaddafi and Assad to be a lesser evil to conquest by US imperialism, Zionism and their proxies, which have even included ISIS at least partially. Thus we denounced the imperialist overthrow of Gaddafi, and strongly backed the liberation of Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies against the US/Israeli backed Islamist forces that at one time held this strategic city.
We are also the most consistent opponents of Zionism. We denounce what is specific about this reactionary movement; while it has always sought Great Power sponsorship for its objectives of a Jewish state in the Middle East, it is an independent force whose real programme was the creation of a state for the Jewish bourgeoisie of the imperialist countries to possess as their second homeland, from the point of view of their ideology, in case of some disaster at the hand of supposedly inevitable anti-Jewish movements in the countries where Jews live.
We must expose the racism of this Zionist layer and its ethnic nationalist core in the Western ruling classes. Their racism, in the aftermath of the Nazi genocide, is the only form of racism that it still intellectually and socially acceptable.
We denounce the notion that is hegemonic in bourgeois politics, that the crimes of the Nazis against the Jewish people somehow justify what has been done to the Palestinians. That idea, which amounts to Jewish supremacism, is just as pernicious today, with the unremitting suffering of the Palestinians for 70 years and more, as that of white supremacy and the pre-war anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust.
- For a Palestinian Workers State, From the River To the Sea!
- For a Socialist Middle East!
- All ‘Israel’ is occupied territory!
- Fight all imperialist racism – including Jewish racism!
- Stop right-wing witchhunt in Labour!
- Fight Zionist Interference in Working-Class Politics!