Corbynism, Zionism and the Political Lynching of Marc Wadsworth: What is to be Done2
08/05/2018 by socialistfight
Socialist Fight 8 May 2018
Marc Wadsworth has shamefully been expelled from the party after launching a verbal attack on MP Ruth Smeeth (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
Those who capitulate before social pressure and compromise with political Zionism are compromising with the only politically respectable form of racism today. And those who compromise with such organised racism, as epitomised by Labour’s Zionists and the Blairites who support them, cannot avoid becoming complicit in racism themselves no matter how pure their intentions. And that means real acts of discrimination and oppression, unlike the fake news scare about ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party, which has no victims. The victims of Labour’s real racist wing, the Israel lobby within Labour, are many and the racist nature of their bourgeois crusade is becoming more and more obvious. Jeremy Corbyn has become complicit in this and is now, by commission and omission, echoing its tropes and demands.
The white Lynch Mob: Labour MPs Ruth Smeeth (second left), Luciana Berger (centre) and Jess Philllips (second right) at a demonstration outside the Labour party disciplinary hearing for Marc Wadsworth in London (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
The expulsion of Marc Wadsworth from the Labour Party on 27 April was a racist act, pure and simple. Formally it was for ‘bringing the Labour Party into disrepute’. Marc challenged the activities of Ruth Smeeth – a notorious Blairite MP – for openly working with reporters from the Tory Daily Telegraph at the June 2016 Press Conference launching the Chakrabarti report into supposed ‘anti-Semitism’ in Labour. Marc was distributing to the media a press release from the grouping then called Momentum Black Connections (Now Grassroots Black Left), a grouping of black anti-racist Momentum activists. He then saw it being passed from the Daily Telegraph reporter Kate McCann to Labour MP Ruth Smeeth, presumably to help her with her own intervention in the meeting.
Marc criticised Smeeth for this collaboration when his turn came to speak, as well as deploring the lack of non-white representation at the event which was supposed to be dealing with racism in general. It is well known what happened next; Smeeth shrieked ‘How dare you’, stormed out of the meeting with other press cohorts and started accusing Marc of having used an anti-Semitic ‘trope’, ‘media conspiracy’, against her (she is of Jewish origin), simply for criticising what he witnessed her do personally with his own eyes and ears. The YouTube video of the whole incident shows that the there was no racist content whatsoever in Marc Wadsworth’s remarks and that the allegation is a complete pack of lies from start to finish.
But although it was a pack of lies, it was endorsed by the Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee and Marc was duly expelled. The body is still Blairite dominated, but actually Jeremy Corbyn, as with all the recent travesties of justice and racist expulsions by this body, could have destroyed politically its ability to victimise left-wing activists by publicly denouncing the lies, solidarising with the victims, and mobilising the mass membership of the party to besiege the fraudulent proceedings in solidarity with the victims. Something like this could have been done ages ago and stopped the fraudulent ‘anti-Semitism’ witchhunt dead; the reason that it has not is because Jeremy Corbyn has capitulated politically to the pro-Zionist trends within the Labour Party, and is now, albeit shamefacedly, dancing to their tune.
Strategy of capitulation
The whole defensive strategy, not tactic, adopted by Corbyn in dealing with the continual series of lies about ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party and labour movement since it became clear that a supporter of Palestinian rights had won the Labour leadership, has pointed to capitulation. Creating the Chakrabarti enquiry itself two years ago was a capitulation to the idea that there is a ‘problem’ of anti-Semitism in Labour. There isn’t. There is, however, a problem of organised Zionist racism in Labour.
The report itself contained capitulatory recommendations, including discouraging the use of the term ‘Zionist’ when discussing Israel (!), whose state doctrine is Zionism (!) and a whole load of nonsense about the need to be ‘sensitive’ in debate with people who support the Israeli state, which is not in the least bit sensitive in bombing Palestinians with white phosphorus and latterly shooting unarmed civil rights marchers in Gaza with explosive bullets, that have killed 41 to date and inflicted deliberate, crippling injuries to thousands.
Apparently, we have to be ‘sensitive’ to Jewish Israel supporters within the Labour Party, because they are Jews and are supposedly subject to discrimination. But when other Jews criticise them sharply for their support for Israeli crimes, these Jews are expelled and suspended and accused of anti-Semitism, an absurd allegation that in effect means racism against your own ethnic group, in effect self-hatred. In almost every prominent case so far when an individual has been accused of ‘anti-Semitism’, the actual charge has been removed from the final justification for the actual expulsion or suspension.
The charge has usually been something else – ‘bringing the Labour Party into disrepute’ or on occasion (as happened to our comrade Gerry Downing in March 2016), ‘giving support to an organisation other than the Labour Party’ (which can mean any organised trend within the Labour Party itself). The reasons for this are quite cynical and transparent – the Labour Party fears being sued for defamation by people who have decades-long records in fighting racism, or even having its actions on such a basis overturned in court. Thus Tony Greenstein was expelled for ‘abusive behaviour’ in criticising Zionist racism, not for ‘anti-Semitism’ as the apparatus originally claimed.
Another case was a Jewish man named Cyril Chilson in Oxford, whose parents survived the Nazi holocaust. He is an Israeli expatriate who was once a captain in the Israeli Army. He tweeted extensively in defence of the Palestinians but was otherwise relatively unknown to the cowardly bullies in the Compliance Unit and the NCC. The absurdity of expelling someone with that sort of background with the innuendo of ‘anti-Semitism’ eludes these cynical, corrupt racists who deserve nothing other than complete and utter contempt from any opponent of racism.
Wadsworth expulsion: a racist political lynching
All this should be elementary for any socialist-minded anti-racist. But the Wadsworth case is the most flagrant and discrediting to Labour of all these cases. It is worth asking: who is Marc Wadsworth? He was one of the founders of the Anti-Racist Alliance in the early 1990s; he was one of the most prominent campaigners for the family of Stephen Lawrence in bringing to public attention the racism of the cops and their collusion with racist killers. He is one of the most prominent black activists against racism in the whole of the UK over the past 30 years or so.
And yet Corbyn did not dare to speak out in his defence. This is an utter betrayal of the struggle against racism in the Labour Party, and undercuts the creditable work that Labour has been doing in highlighting the racism of Theresa May’s government over the Windrush generation and the ‘hostile environment’, which claimed the scalp of Amber Rudd. Why was there not a major mobilisation of the left to defend Marc Wadsworth? There was virtually no mobilisation at all. Only a few lay and expelled members were able to mobilise for the hearing.
Yet incredibly, there was a racist mobilisation against them, from within the Labour Party! 50 Blairite and Zionist MPs, all white, turned out to ‘escort’ Ruth Smeeth to the hearing, supposedly to protect her from intimidation. In reality, they were there to intimidate any opposition to this political lynching, and to make clear that in the Labour Party, uppity blacks and anti-racists had better stay in their place. Racist white neocons and racist Zionist Jews rule the roost.
That is the racial hierarchy in this society and that will remain the racial hierarchy in the Labour Party if they have anything to do with it. Only three MPs: Chris Wiliamson, Clive Lewis and Keith Vaz, turned out as character witnesses to defend Marc Wadsworth. Powerful figures on the left, Corbyn, Abbot, McDonnell, and others simply turned their backs. The upcoming case of Jackie Walker is almost certain to be a repeat performance.
And well he might!
Corbyn’s capitulationist screed
Why is this? A major capitulation to Zionist racism is the reason why. Jeremy Corbyn’s dreadful article in the Evening Standard (25 April) after meeting with the Board of Deputies of British Jews shows quite clearly why he has betrayed Marc Wadsworth and other anti-racists in Labour. He met with the BOD, and the Jewish Leadership Council, despite the fact that both are led by Tories.
The BOD, by means of its Twitter account, has made it quite clear that it approves of the Israeli attempts to crush the Palestinian “Great March of Return”, raving on about Hamas and ‘human shields” even as unarmed Palestinian civil rights marchers were being shot dead by the dozens and deliberately maimed by the thousands with explosive ‘dum dum’ bullets deliberately targeted at legs with the aim of maiming marchers for life. That is what the BOD stands for, along with those politicians and media types who defend them as well, in reality.
As the upshot of playing along with these racists, Corbyn barely managed to get out a tweet condemning the killing of Palestinians at the outset of the ‘Great March of Return’ – it is notable that Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams managed to condemn this killing 15 hours ahead of Corbyn, and Corbyn did so only after being challenged on Twitter by people on the left, including Socialist Fight, as to why he was not speaking out.
He also failed to appear in person at the rally to defend the Gazan marchers and protest against their killing outside Downing Street, though he did send a statement condemning the killings, while at the same time solidarising with a ‘two state solution’, which is counterposed to the aims of the marchers, who as victims of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Israel itself, are claiming the right to return to places their families were forcibly driven out of decades ago.
So Corbyn claims, in defence of his statement that ‘bigotry’ against Jews exists in the Labour Party, that:
“Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.”
“Anti-Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitic and many Jews themselves are not Zionists. But there are also a very few who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a “respectable” setting. Our movement must not be a home for such individuals.”
In fact, there has been one case of denial of the Nazi holocaust confirmed in Labour, from a right-wing councillor who was not too fond of non-whites either, by the sound of it.
MORE FAKE ANTISEMITISM Alan Bull, Labour candidate in Peterborough suspended as a result of malicious allegations of anti-Semitism
Apart from that, one council candidate, Alan Bull in Peterborough was suspended when it ‘emerged’ (as a result of hacking) that among many items of varying provenance that he circulated for discussion in a Facebook group he frequented two years before he became active in the Labour Party, was a fake ‘Red Cross’ report questioning the demographics of the holocaust. It was circulated for education and discussion, i.e. in order to debunk it. This case led to the resignation of NEC member Christine Shawcroft, who was bullied into resigning from the NEC and NCC positions that she was elected to by Corbyn, under threat of being suspended herself, simply for having defended Alan Bull against this Zionist smear campaign.
Corbyn’s allegation that some (who? in the Labour Party?) only take up the Palestinian Question as a cover for their hidden desire to abuse and denigrate Jews is an incredible allegation. It would have to be proven beyond doubt against each individual so accused, otherwise it is as extreme as accusing someone of being a child abuser. While it cannot be theoretically excluded that such people exist (as opposed to being ‘deduced’ from someone’s philo-Semitic and anti-Arab prejudices), it ought to take serious and irrefutable proof to brand any individual in this way. Otherwise, we are down to the sort of vile smears and political gangsterism that characterised the Moscow trials and Stalin’s purges.
Conspiracies and racist hypocrisy
The ‘crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers’ that Corbyn is referring to were supposedly in the mural painted by ‘Mear One’, a left-wing American graffiti artist, in Brick Lane in 2012, which Jeremy Corbyn himself rightly defended against being erased, ironically on the orders of the independent Muslim then-mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman. Corbyn never noticed these ‘crude stereotypes’ at the time, simply because there weren’t any! The mural was of six ‘bankers’ playing Monopoly on the backs of the poor, but only two of the six were actually Jewish and you would not have known which was which if the artist had not identified them, as they were non-descript, nothing like Nazi Jewish caricatures as alleged. It’s a farce, that when Corbyn was libelled for his defence of this, in fear of political ramifications, he decided to ‘confess’ and capitulate to the witchhunters.
As part of his attempt to atone for this, absurdly Corbyn says that:
“ there are people who have come to see capitalism and imperialism as the product of conspiracy by a small shadowy elite rather than a political, economic, legal and social system.”
It is certainly true that capitalism is an economic system and that it is the product of class relationships, not secret conspiracies. Quite how the Mear One mural fits into that is not clear, as it depicts banker capitalists sitting on the poor of the world, which certainly evokes a class relationship in classic agitprop form, as befits the period of Occupy Wall St and Occupy London when it was conceived. In a way Occupy predated Corbyn, and Sanders, in bringing some albeit simplistic anti-capitalist ideas to broad public attention after the credit crunch, before they found greater traction in the Labour movement. But Corbyn using these arguments about a conspiratorial view of capitalism to appease Tories like Arkush and their smears is a sad spectacle. They hate any critique of capitalism.
It is striking how Corbyn seems to be repenting of people and ideas he has been involved in defending in the past. His point on “Conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel” is a reference to his defence a few years ago of the Rev Stephen Sizer, a COE Evangelical who is an active opponent of Christian Zionism, and indeed Zionism itself. In social media, Sizer linked to a whole lot of Middle Eastern material to back up his opposition, including material endorsing the widely-held theory in the region of Israeli involvement in 9/11.
These theories are in our view mistaken; apart from Sizer, who is a Conservative Christian and hence not remotely interested in Labour, they have mainly been the provenance of a minority of angry Muslim people in and outside the Labour Party, and are based on the undeniable fact that the most bloodthirsty Israeli militarists such as Sharon and Netanyahu benefitted immensely from 9/11 and the Bush/Blair ‘war on terror’. The motto of Mossad is “By Way of Deception, We go to War”; it is a fact that the Israeli state has been involved in false flag operations in the past, in order to procure Western military intervention on Israel’s behalf. One proven example of this is the Lavon affair of 1954, recognised as such by the pro-Israel Wikipedia, where US and British owned targets in Egypt were bombed by Mossad in an attempt to implicate the Muslim Brotherhood and Communists. This is not the only example of this.
However it is also a fact that the most reactionary fringe of political Islam, which has often been manipulated by the imperialists, has at times carried out indefensible actions that have made things much worse for Muslims. Some Muslims, who are aware that the situation of very oppressed Muslim people has been made very much worse by 9/11, find this hard to take. The sheer scale of 9/11 and the enormous consequences for those involved if a ‘false flag’ on that scale were to come out make the idea virtually impossible, but those who have often been on the receiving end of Mossad trickery before are entitled to a degree of paranoia.
It is highly insensitive to the oppression of many Arabs and Muslims by Zionism and imperialism to simply equate this understandable but mistaken sentiment with “the worst crimes of the 20th Century”, i.e Nazism. This equation is deeply Islamophobic and also exposes the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn, with a degree of justification, to charges of racist hypocrisy, as we will show. And it is hardly surprising that in trying to appease right-wing Zionists and parroting their 99.99% false allegations of anti-Semitism (there’s always one somewhere!) Jeremy Corbyn should have slipped into Islamophobia. After all, the people he is appeasing give vent to such Islamophobic sentiments when they evoke Hamas to excuse Israel shooting Palestinian civil rights marchers.
And as for ‘a member’ who believed that ‘Hitler had been misunderstood’: it’s not even clear who was involved in this or what they were referring to. It’s totally nebulous. Was this person just ignorant or what? And how is their ignorance as an individual significant?
Nazi Allegations and Racism: An Inversion of the Truth
The core of Corbyn’s argument contains a clear racist double standard, and is an apology for Zionist racism. He states:
“The struggle for justice for the Palestinian people and an end to their dispossession is a noble one — just as a genuine two-state solution is essential to lasting peace in the Middle East. But when criticism of or opposition to the Israeli government uses anti-Semitic ideas — attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis — then a line must be drawn.” (https://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/jeremy-corbyn-what-i-m-doing-to-banish-antisemitism-from-the-labour-party-a3821961.html)
Apparently, it is forbidden to compare Israel to the Nazis. But by talking of “the worst crimes of the 20th century” with reference to supporters of the Palestinians, he is comparing them, or some of them, to the Nazis. By his insistence on a “two-state solution” as essential and implicitly linking support to that to opposing ‘anti-Semitism’, he is throwing the enormous number of Palestinian refugees who were forcibly and violently thrown out of Israel proper, under the bus, despite his words about ending their “dispossession”.
A two-state solution means accepting no-go areas for Palestinian refugees, those no-go area being the places where the bulk of the refugees were expelled from. The only democratic solution to this is a single state encompassing both Jews and Arabs as equals, with the expropriation of capital to secure real, not fictional equality, as part of a wider socialist Middle East.
It is entirely comprehensible why some elements of the Palestinians, including Fatah and even at times Hamas, have felt it appropriate to try to negotiate a two-state solution with Israel. The Israeli state has shown itself utterly ruthless and the line of reasoning goes, “at least if we negotiate a two-state solution, we will have something; at the moment we have nothing”. But the reasoning is spurious. Israel does not draw any distinction between the territories it seized in 1947-49 and those it seized in 1967. The only difference for them is practicalities; how difficult is it to hang on the latter and to settle them?
In that there is no real difference between Israeli Labour, whose leader welcomed Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and Likud, even if Israeli Labour do pay more lip service to the two-state solution. Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, Israeli Labour’s arm inside the British Labour Party, distanced themselves a bit more from Trump’s November announcement knowing how sensitive this is in the Labour Party, though of course not in any fundamental sense.
Jonathan Arkush didn’t let his opposition to ‘antisemitism’ prevent him from welcoming the antisemitic Donald Trump as the new President of the USA
And even so, yet we have all these Zionist organisations acting as a coalition with the Board of Deputies, led by a Tory, Jonathan Arkush who welcomed Trump’s election as US President and welcomed Trump’s open support for the annexation of Jerusalem! And as a result of meeting with him, and the equally racist Jewish Leadership Council led by Jonathan Goldstein, another Tory, Corbyn came up with the Evening Standard article quoted above, which was fulsomely welcomed in an editorial of that same paper.
Which means of course by George Osborne, the architect of Tory austerity and partner in crime of Cameron and May in real racist crimes against immigrants and the oppressed in this country. If the likes of Osborne welcome Corbyn’s attack on ‘bigotry’ then that is a sure sign that he is not attacking bigotry at all, but capitulating to it. After all, Osborne supported Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ measures as did all the Tories.
It is clearly discriminatory for Corbyn to say that “a line must be drawn” against “comparing Israel to the Nazis”. He says nothing to condemn comparisons of the Palestinians to the Nazis, or other Arab and Muslim leaders to the Nazis, which Zionists do all the time, not as an expression of anger at any crime, but to justify bombing Arabs, oppressing them and stealing their land.
Every Arab or Muslim leader who has stood up to Israel in any way has been equated with Hitler: Gamal Abdul Nasser, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeni, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Hafez al-Assad, the leaders of Hamas and Hizbullah, and no doubt more, all have been portrayed as Nazis and akin to Hitler in Israeli propaganda. The latest being Mahmoud Abbas. There is not a word in Corbyn’s article about these blood libels against Arab and Muslim leaders and Arabs and Muslims in general.
The neo-fascist Israeli Minister for Justice (!) Ayelet Shaked advocating genocide of the Palestinians
Yet the fact is that any act of genocide is as inhuman and monstrous as any other. And there are people in the current Israeli government who are advocating genocide against the Palestinians. The current Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, is a prime example. In July 2014 she approvingly shared on her Facebook page a genocidal rant by an extremist Jewish settler who wrote:
“Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
A week earlier, she wrote herself:
“This is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. The reality is that this is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started it.”
Presumably ‘they started it’ by daring to live on land which the Zionists justify seizing with the false epigram “A land without a people for a people without a land”. But Palestine did have people, Palestinian people, and no-one today seriously believes that Palestinian was a ‘land without a people’.
Ayelet Shaked is young, photogenic, and genocidal in her politics, to the point that the expatriate Israeli journalist Mira Bar-Hillel dubbed her ‘The Angel of Death’ (https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/why-im-on-the-brink-of-burning-my-israeli-passport-9600165.html). The pro-Zionist Wikipedia, which tries to sanitise her words, tips her as a future Prime Minister of Israel. This is a very frightening prospect. As she shows clear approval of calls for killing Palestinian men, women and children, and explicitly states that ‘we’ (ie. Israel) are at war with the entire Palestinian people. This is as explicitly genocidal, particularly regarding children, as Hitler’s Mein Kampf was about the Jews, and possibly more so.
Shaked is probably the best known Israeli génocidaire at this time, but she is far from the first. It is not unusual for racist Israeli-Jewish demonstrations, or mobs, to erupt with the chant ‘death to the Arabs’. In Hebron, where a vanguard of extremist settlers dug in quite early in the occupation against a mainly Arab population, and an atrocious massacre by a Jewish settler-fascist took place in 1994 in the celebrated ‘Tomb of the Partriarchs’ Mosque, Arab homes, under persistent curfew and martial law, have been daubed with the slogan ‘Arabs to the Gas Chambers’. There is much more of this to be dug out, ad nauseum, you could say.
There are some conclusions that can be drawn from this which even have legal implications. The idea that it is ‘anti-Semitic’ to compare Israeli behaviour with Nazism is discriminatory against Arabs. It implies that Arab life matters less than Jewish life. This idea has been implanted in the Labour Party by supporters of Israel, a state that really does treat Arab life as worth far less than Jewish life. Forbidding comparisons between this state formation and Nazi Germany is an act of discrimination against Arabs. If a Palestinian, for example, or arguably any other Arab person, were expelled from the Labour Party, or disciplined for expressing such views, they could take the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn to court for racial discrimination. They would have a strong case.
If someone else, not a Palestinian or an Arab, were so expelled, they would also have a very strong case on grounds of what is called ‘associative discrimination’. It is not only illegal to discriminate against members of a particular ethnic or ‘racial’ group; it is also illegal to discriminate against someone for associating with, or defending, such a group. A classic case of this in the past was a white manager of an amusement arcade who was sacked by the owners for refusing to deny admittance to young black people. He sued the owner for ‘associative’ discrimination and won. He was not dismissed for his own ethnicity, but for refusing to discriminate against others. This happened in 1984 and was an important legal precedent. (https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/employment-law/associative-discrimination-and-equality-act-employment-law-essay.php) Given the facts above, anyone expelled from Labour for comparing genocidal Israeli behaviour and ethnic cleansing with that of the Nazis would have grounds for a complaint of racist discrimination, either direct or ‘associative’.
Racism and Responsibility
Likewise there is Corbyn’s threat that anyone “demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for [Israel’s] conduct” should be regarded as anti-Semitic. This is quite astonishing as a number of people accused of anti-Semitism and suspended or expelled from Labour have been Jewish themselves. Tony Greenstein was accused of anti-Semitism, though his accusers were legally canny and morally cowardly enough to shuffle away the charge of anti-Semitism before expelling him for supposed ‘abuse’. Cyril Chilsom, who is also Jewish, likewise. That may well come back and haunt his accusers in due course. Jackie Walker, who is also part-Jewish, is still suspended on grounds of supposed ‘anti-Semitism’. In terms of holding Jewish people responsible for the crimes of Israel, evidently, it is not these Jewish people who Jeremy Corbyn has in mind.
Corbyn has a problem with this line of reasoning again. No one holds these Jewish people ‘responsible’ for the conduct of Israel. Obviously, since they are vocal critics and opponents of this ‘conduct’, which they consider to be criminal. But what about Jewish people who do defend Israel vocally, or who support organisations that lobby for Western governments to support Israel, to supply arms to it, to give it enormous amounts of economic support? Are they responsible for the conduct of Israel? Obviously yes, and that includes the ‘mainstream’ Jewish organisations that Corbyn has met with and which he is attempting – not very successfully it should be said – to appease by writing his dreadful article. Even despite his conciliation, they expressed ‘disappointment’ with the meeting; because Corbyn could not undertake to summarily expel Ken Livingstone and dissident Jewish people like Jackie Walker. But of course, that underlines that it is not all Jews that bear ‘responsibility’ for Israel’s ‘conduct’ – only those who defend that state and its ‘conduct’, to some degree or other.
The same criteria apply here, in other words, which applied to the racist white supremacist state of apartheid South Africa, or to Jim Crow in the United States, or even to Nazi Germany. Those who defend those states do bear moral and political responsibility for their conduct. Those who vocally oppose them, do not. It’s a very simple logic. If comrade Corbyn wishes to argue that white supporters of Apartheid in South Africa did not bear any responsibility for that state, or that overseas supporters of Nazi Germany likewise should be absolved, then he should do so.
Applying a different standard to Israel, with its own documented mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and its genocidal threats is a huge double standard. This applies to both Jewish and non-Jewish supporters and defenders of Israel, by the way. But it would be foolish to deny that there is a specific element of ethnic solidarity involved in the solidarity of mainstream Jewish organisations with Israel, and to say that this cannot be criticised is yet another example of violating the basic tenets of racial equality, in that all should be held accountable for the actions they carry out or support, irrespective of their ethnic origin. Which brings us on to the question of Jewish identity and Corbyn’s point about how it is impermissible to “attributing [Israel’s] injustices to Jewish identity” in any shape or form.
Zionist racism and Jewish Identity
It should be noted that the Jewish Labour Movement, formerly Poale Zion, an affiliated part of the Labour Party and a major participant in the recent re-drawing of Labour’s rules regarding what views individuals are allowed to hold within the Labour Party, states that in its view Zionism is “the basic expression of the national identity of the Jewish people.” (This can be seen in archived form at: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/jewishlabour/pages/1/attachments/original/1460532332/ProposedRuleChange-ConstitutionalAmendment.pdf).
Indeed, this formulation found its way into one of the proposed rule changes put forward by the JLM for the 2017 Labour Party conference, though it was not adopted into the Labour Party’s rules. The Jewish Labour Movement do not consider that there are any fundamental injustices involved in Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians, but this is an index of their anti-Arab chauvinism and their belief that the territory of Israel, as they define it, belongs to Jews by virtue of a particular interpretation of history that ultimately derives from religious texts, not considerations of the rights of peoples who actually lived in that territory when the Zionist movement was working to create the Israeli state.
So it can be taken as a basic fact that the Zionist wing of the Labour Party, the JLM, the Labour Friends of Israel and others who follow their ideological lead, believe that Zionism and Jewish identity are effectively synonymous. It can also be taken as read that they attribute Israel’s conduct (we will not say ‘injustices’ here for a moment, for argument’s sake) to Jewish identity. What then of Jeremy Corbyn’s statement that “a line must be drawn” against people who “attribute [Israel’s] injustices to Jewish identity”? Surely, though he evidently does not agree with them that Israel is not responsible for fundamental injustices, they must fall into the category of those who “attribute” Israel’s conduct to “Jewish identity”? If they do not make this attribution, how can Zionism and therefore Israel be for them synonymous with Jewish identity?
This point by the JLM renders Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt to ‘draw a line’ against those who “attribute” Israel’s “injustices” to “Jewish identity” incoherent, and make any attempt to enforce this in reality, again, an example of racist discrimination, either direct or by association. For if avowedly Jewish (by name) and Zionist organised trends are allowed to equate Jewish identity and support for Israel in a positive sense, but others are not allowed to criticise this, then this stipulation involves granting a special privilege to a particular kind of ethnic politics within the Labour Party. If someone who supports Israel attributes Israel’s behaviour to Jewish identity by simply stating that support for Israel is a ‘basic’ part of that identity, then if anyone is disciplined for stating the same thing negatively, i.e. for denigrating that ‘basic’ part of ‘Jewish national identity’ as unjust and racist against Arabs, then again, if such a person is an Arab, they are a victim of direct discrimination, and if they are non-Arab, they are a victim of associative discrimination.
It’s as simple as that. On our part, we do not directly equate Zionism and Jewish identity, though nor do we consider them to be completely separate things either. Obviously Zionism embodies one form of Jewish identity, and today it seems to be the dominant form. That does not make it right. At times in the past, white racist supremacism has been the dominant form of ethnic consciousness, or in a sense ‘identity’ in the imperialist countries, though the mere fact that such supremacism is dominant at a given time does not make it right – very much the opposite. So it is with Zionism.
Since WWII, that specific form of white identity politics has become intellectually and socially discredited, though it still exists as a far right subcurrent and shows its face from time to time. When it does it tends to try to camouflage itself behind more respectable forms of bigotry, as with the white supremacist types who infested Trump’s election and still hang around his administration, who dub themselves ‘white Zionists’.
We consider political Zionism to be a racial supremacist current, dedicated above all to supremacy of Jews over Arabs in the Middle East. Zionist currents in the diaspora act to preserve that supremacy in the Middle East, including by the use of supremacist tactics against supporters of the Palestinian Arabs in the wider world, and in this context in the Labour Party. While they are not attempting to dominate the world, as Jewish supremacists, unlike white supremacists, do not remotely have the numbers and social weight to do this, they are trying to dominate the Middle East and also to dominate political discourse around the Middle East in Europe and North America.
We do not consider Zionism to be ‘inherent’ in Jewish identity for the simple, obvious reason that both Judaism, and the existence of Jewish communities in a number of countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa, long predate the existence of Zionism. Obviously other forms of Jewish identity have existed in the past that were not Zionist. Also, on the fringes of the Jewish communities today, including prominently in the Labour Party expressed in Jewish Voice for Labour, there are avowedly anti-Zionist Jewish trends and in some cases sects that differ vehemently with the idea that Jewish identity and Zionism are synonymous, many of whom are sincere defenders of the Palestinians.
However, Zionism today is not just another form of Jewish identity in the abstract, but the central ideological totem of an important part of the imperialist bourgeoisie, not only in Israel, but also of an identifiable caste of Jewish bourgeois centred in the imperialist countries who regard Israel as just as much ‘their’ state as the states where they live. They are entitled to citizenship of Israel by birth, a great many exercise that right, and, as Jewish bourgeois, Israel is their bourgeois state. Zionism is a bourgeois ideology par-excellence, and it is the ideology today of the bulk of the actually existing Jewish bourgeoisie. Therefore support for Israel and Zionism is support for an imperialist ideology, just as much as British, French or American nationalism and patriotism are irremediably support for those imperialisms.
Imperialism is a material force that pulls all political currents that reject consistent internationalism and universalism in its wake. There can be contradictory consciousness involved in this; there are some Jews who abhor what is done to the Palestinians but still have some identification with Israel because of the Nazi holocaust. Others go further. It is very difficult for Jews who maintain a Jewish political identity to consistently fight and oppose Zionism. There are radical currents in Jewish history that can be evoked, but they existed when Jews were oppressed as a people and before a specifically Jewish imperialist state came into existence. In the same way, some very radical and revolutionary trends existed in French history before France became imperialist, but any tendency today that evokes them would have to totally reject particularism and identity politics in order to escape from being simply an unwitting tool of French imperialism.
Fight capitulation: left renewal through Marxism
Jeremy Corbyn’s conciliation of and capitulation to the Zionist forces which are attacking the Labour left are a reflection of the historical political weaknesses of the Labour left. As Leon Trotsky wrote in the context of the General Strike of 1926, about the Labour Left of that day:
“‘The left faction on the General Council is distinguished by a total ideological formlessness and for this very reason it is incapable of consolidating around itself organizationally the leadership of the trade union movement … The rights win despite the fact that the lefts are more numerous. The weakness of the lefts arises from their disorder and their disorder from their ideological formlessness’”
This sums up the dangerous ideological weakness of Corbynism today. Even though Corbyn has the support of the overwhelming majority of Labour Party members, and is probably secure for the foreseeable future against a repeat of the 2016 Chicken Coup attempt by the right, still the right exercise power over him and the Labour left. This is not because of the mass support of the right; it is rather because of their support from the ruling class. The Israel lobby today is both an agency and a faction within the ruling class, but it is playing a vanguard role for that class in disrupting Corbyn and the left-dominated Labour Party.
For this reason, while continuing to give unconditional but critical support to the Corbynities against the neoliberal right wing and the Zionists, it is necessary for a new, genuinely Marxist broad left to crystallise; to fight to overcome Corbyn’s servile position towards the Blairites and the Zionists, to openly proclaim that supporters of Israel are agents of the class enemy and should be driven out of the Labour Party, and the need for the left and Labour itself to adopt a revolutionary, not a social-pacifist, anti-imperialism and anti-Zionism. Such a left must include all revolutionary-minded elements in Labour, including those expelled and suspended and work on the basis that where the left is concerned, an injury to one is an injury to all. That is the only way forward politically in this situation.
The above article states at the end: “For this reason, while continuing to give unconditional but critical support to the Corbynities against the neoliberal right wing and the Zionists, it is necessary for a new, genuinely Marxist broad left to crystallise; to fight to overcome Corbyn’s servile position towards the Blairites and the Zionists, to openly proclaim that supporters of Israel are agents of the class enemy and should be driven out of the Labour Party, and the need for the left and Labour itself to adopt a revolutionary, not a social-pacifist, anti-imperialism and anti-Zionism.Such a left must include all revolutionary-minded elements in Labour, including those expelled and suspended and work on the basis that where the left is concerned, an injury to one is an injury to all. That is the only way forward politically in this situation.”
As I have said many times, NOT putting the word “Israel” in quote marks implies an acceptance that this is a legitimate country or state. It is not. It is the armed colonial occupation of Palestinian land, so terming this fascist monstrosity a state, a country, a nation, a semi-nation or a semi-state or any implication in the wording that this NAZI excresence is accepted appears to be a cowardly capitulation to imperialism, and its “United Nations” fascist-colonial legalities of what is a country and what is not.
Why can’t you see what I’m saying on this? What is hamstringing your hearts and minds?
As for “unconditional but critical support for the Corbynites etc….That is the only way forward politically in this situation.” – no, no – a thousand times NO.
This is not revolutionary politics, this is capitulation to reformist defeatism.
Instead of “defending” one anti-communist parliamentary reptile – Corbyn – and his cohorts, the strategy has to be working to DESTROY the influence of bourgeois social-democracy on the working class. Then you WIN, because the more Corbyn & Co capitulate to the Zionist lobby, warmongering imperialism and the needs of the capitalist ruling class, the more they can be scorned and derided in front of workers to help the student-entrants to Labour and the die-hard “left” Labourite trade unionists BREAK from Labour.
The notion that the 100-year old bourgeois Labour party machine can be captured for revolutionary politics is a complete delusion.
It could however BREAK UP, and leave a Tory-type rump and a centrist “left” mass of activists that might be a useful vehicle, but only if it allowed a full-blooded discussion inside it of Leninist revolutionary politics (like the SLP did, for about 2 months!).
However, that possibility is NOT as important as the need to fight openly in front of the working class for revolutionary communist politics, where all the old anti-Soviet nonsense is dissected, and all the dunderheaded “peaceful road to socialism” of the CPs and Stalinist Moscow demolished too.
Comrades should study the EPSR leaflet issued on 4 April for a far stronger approach to combating the fraud of “left-wing anti-Semitism” than showing solidarity with the stinking pro-imperialist and slippery bourgeois Labour Party. See epsr.org.uk for many articles on this topic.
Stop wasting your time and agonising over being in or out of Labour; instead battle with revolutionary politics and deepen understanding about REVOLUTION.
Be even louder in support for the Palestinians’ FIGHT to drive out the Jewish occupiers from their land, and be even more scornful of all the Zionist supporters by explaining that in today’s world the Jewish diaspora is to all intents and purposes politically identical to Zionism; and that any Jews who don’t want to be seen this way need to totally remove themselves from any support for “Israel” holding one centimetre of Palestinian land.
Rather than spending acres of website space “defending” opportunist Labour politicians (including the totally slippery Ken Livingstone), promulgate the correct Leninist view that Trump, May, Macron and the inter-imperialist trade war and “over-production” crisis are on their way to total financial meltdown (renewed from the 2008 crash) and that, as Marx explained, world capitalism has created its own gravediggers – an international proletariat that, like the Palestinians, will never give up and die; but will only fight to end their oppression.
Several Socialist Fight comrades took their anti-Zionist leaflet to the pro-Palestine demonstration outside Downing Street last Tuesday, and two comrades were also handing out the EPSR leaflet, which I have placed below. Both leaflets stressed the bogusness of the “left anti-Semitism” fraud, and I know that recipients were very pleased to see these arguments taken up. Some excellent conversations were had, and many people were dismayed by the cowardly retreats of Corbyn on this issue.
Interestingly, the Jewish religious sect that disdains “Israel” also had a presence, carrying placards to that effect and little Palestinian flags and – admitting that I do not know their religious politics at all well – that in a way makes the EPSR point: that the tiny number of Jews who do not support any part of “Israel” can make that clear, and have to make that clear to avoid being tarred with the same brush as the 95% rest of the Jewish diaspora who know they have a vested interest in the Jewish occupation of Palestine and support it, whatever little pangs of guilt they have about its monstrous fascist slaughtering of the native population.
Conversely, one guy I talked to hated what I said about the “left-wing anti-Semitism fraud” and when I said “Calling this the Jewish occupation of Palestine is correct, and the same as describing the German occupation of France in WW2” he said that was “anti-Semitic” and said “Israel had a right to exist”. Look at how the two stinking arguments go hand in hand!
I highlighted to the crowd that this guy supported “Israel” and shouldn’t be on the demo, and he beat a hasty retreat.
Any Jews who support “Israel” in any shape or form need chasing out of the workers movement, as the Socialist Fight leaflet said.
Anyway, here’s the EPSR leaflet:
(EPSR leaflet of 4th April 2018 against the fraud of there being “left-wing anti-semitism”)
Headline: “Left anti-semitism” hype by the Jewish lobby is a sick topsy-turvy Goebbels campaign to divert attention from the worldwide hatred for “Israel”, caused by its endless fascist suppression and genocidal butchery of the Palestinian people. Hostility to Jewish land grab occupation of their land is part of rising anti-imperialism accelerated by capitalism’s deepening unsolvable crisis and nothing to do with vile “racism” allegations. Jewish freemasonry implicated because it supports the false colonialist “state” and participation in this foul stunt confirms its reactionariness. Revolution is the solution
Text: The sickest part of the coordinated “anti-semitism” bourgeois media and political deluge against the “left” is the almost total silence on the latest butchery inflicted by the Zionists on hundreds of Gaza strip residents.
In a week of demented McCarthyite witchhunting and reactionary hysteria, led by the Tories and a BBC obviously tied to a Zionist lobby agenda, the latest monstrous atrocity has been barely mentioned; as a typical, (and by no means worst) example the hour long Broadcasting House news review on Sunday ran a huge item on the ludicrous made-up notion of “left-wing anti-semitism” without once saying anything about the horrific Palestinian slaughter two days previously.
Yet this cold-blooded killing by heavily armed Zionist “border” soldiery deliberately shooting down a score of unarmed Palestinian protesters, and inflicting injuries on nearly 2000 (!!) more would, all on its own, justify every description of the stinking “Israeli” Jewish occupation as fascist – let alone the 70 years of non-stop, virtually daily violence and intimidation inflicted on this 7 million strong dispossessed people and the regular all-out military onslaughts, killing hundreds or thousands of men, women and children every two or three years (including by the most depraved and illegal methods such as bone-burning white-phosphorus, modern high explosive 1t megabombs, deadly cluster bombs and deliberate anti-personnel weaponry like flechêtte bombs, filled with deadly steel arrows spraying out in all directions).
So too would the conditions in which nearly two million of these people are forced to live, under constant brutal Zionist enforced siege in their tiny concrete enclave, restricted, humiliated, exploited and starved of even such basics as electricity and clean water, leaving even the sewage system unable to cope – (the sea off Gaza, their only recreation, is like a cess pool), – the hospitals desperate (when they can get any equipment or medicine at all), supplies limited and education and other opportunity suppressed and restricted.
It is a de facto concentration camp and especially for the last ten years of total Zionist blockade (reinforced by the reactionary Egyptian Sisi dictatorship next door).
Conditions for the remainder are little better; for the constantly harassed, intimidated and persecuted West Bank residents, their wells poisoned, trees destroyed, and land (which has never been the best anyway) still being stolen square kilometre by square kilometre by outright fascist settler seizure, killings and violence; for the residents of Jerusalem steadily forced out of their houses by intimidation, draconian and deliberately oppressive restrictions, demolition orders, planning refusals and wilfully obstructive bureaucracy; for the traditional Bedouin of desert areas, their villages repeatedly destroyed and pastures ethnically cleansed; for the second-class Arab and Palestinian residents of “Israel” itself, suffering an apartheid existence worse than South Africa’s within this living embodiment of a racist “state”; and even for parts of Syria, invaded and still occupied for decades since the 1970s war.
And all that not to mention the permanent, degrading, refugee camp existence for many more in Jordan and the forced diaspora existence of many others abroad.
The hypocrisy is breathtaking. This latest barbaric slaughter would be all over the front pages for days on end, with non-stop denunciations from the “international community”, Western politicians etc, were it to have been an alleged Russian incident near the Crimea, or on the Myanmar border, or within Syria.
But the masses of the world understand very well.
The Palestinians, the whole 406-million-strong humiliated Arab world of which they are part, the even wider Middle East and much of the tyrannised Third World, are in uproar against this gross oppression by the artificially imposed land-theft “state” of “Israel” which can never stop smiting and repressing them if its false existence is to continue.
And they equally hate the entire Jewish freemasonry around the world which supports this barbaric and endless seizure and colonial dispossession of an entire people, driven out by British diktat, Stern gang terror, horrifying massacres and ethnic cleansing, continuing to the present day.
Calling this modern anti-Jewish feeling “anti-semitism” as if it is some new wave of arbitrary “racism” bent on a repetition of the capitalist World War Holocaust (which was not exclusively anti-Jewish anyway but was imposed on Roma, homosexuals, mentality restricted people, trade unionists and communists) is to turn truth on its head.
It is anti-imperialism and expresses resistance to one of the sharpest expressions of international imperialist brute force domination and exploitation anywhere, which uses the throwback mysticism of the Jewish religion and its specious antique claims to “own the land” as the completely nonsensical basis for keeping this belligerent cuckoo squatting in the Middle East, to smite and destroy any hints of resistance or rebellion against its interests or imperialism’s.
This hatred and resistance is only added to by this grotesque pretence and self-righteous posturing lie of “anti-semitic persecution”, dreamed up by a ruling order which has tyrannised them for centuries and has now blitzkrieged the Middle East for three decades, killing millions and destroying entire countries.
It is an even more twisted propaganda campaign than anything the German Nazis ever did, using actual past victimhood to impose modern tyranny (Goebbels would have been lost in admiration).
Small wonder the much hyped, exaggerated and stunted-up demonstration by the Jewish lobby in London this week was attended by just about every vile reactionary going from Tory rottweiler Norman Tebbit and the bigoted Ulster unionist Ian Paisley Junior, to an assortment of Blairite reactionaries, leading Tories and other scum.
Of course the world hates the “Israeli”/imperialist monstrosity imposing this inhumanity and degradation and with good cause.
It has nothing to do with “2,000 years of anti-semitism” as the stinking opportunist Labourite Owen Jones was declaring yet again in the Guardian this week.
Nor does it have anything to do with early 20th-century racist scapegoating by the German Nazis.
Both are phenomena of their time, and different historic conditions, the first a primitive medieval response to the rapacity of usury, which for multiple reasons was dominated by the then Jewish network (often denied access to other living), and the second a part of the international scapegoating and demonisation generated solely by capitalist imperialism itself as part of its crisis repression and the drive into World War Two.
But this (inverted) campaign is driven by the same underlying cause; supporting the Zionists as an aggressive spearhead useful to a capitalist system facing total Catastrophe, as its economic and political order descends relentlessly into the greatest and most intractable crisis failure in all history, and as it looks for a world war escape.
Just as sickening as reactionary Zionist propaganda is its echo by the equally reactionary pretence of Jewish Labourite and Momentum sections, plus grovelling “apologies” by the Corbynites, around a completely false picture of some new “left anti-semitism”, either with outright accusations or dressed up as a humble pretence of “recognising that we have a problem”. Zionist “leftism” and the complete opportunism and falsity of Corbynism as well as its “left entryist” supporters are all implicated.
What monstrous dissembling and craven capitulation all of this is to a filthy witch-hunt already destroying people’s lives and livelihoods!
Political hostility to “Israel” spills over onto the entire Western Jewish freemasonry because in the modern world (ie since the 1948 stooge UN imposition of the land-grabbing Israeli colony on Palestine) virtually the entire “Jewish community” is bound up with this false “country”, politically, physically and financially, identifies with it and benefits from it, and accepts the universal land-theft “right of return” for all Jews.
Pre-WW2 days of a huge, and often poorer, small petty bourgeois and working-class Jewish diaspora are long gone; virtually all the modern Jewish freemasonry is part of the world bourgeoisie, bound into it and with disproportionate influence upon it.
If some of these modern hatreds and feelings occasionally have unfortunate echoes of the past then blame the ignorance in which the masses have been kept by decades of anti-communism, philistine consumerism and fake “left” theoretical retreats.
But even turning to such old “tropes” is only a superficial borrowing of old clothes, to express a modern and sound anti-imperialist sentiment, not a revival of “racist Nazism” (and is different to imperialism’s attempts to muddy the water by actually reviving backward Nazism).
It is not solved by joining the bourgeois demonisation; it is solved by Marxist explanation of the objective world and the need for revolution.
Protests that some Jews “are anti-Zionist” and “criticise” the Netanyahu government do not change anything either; all those who do not confront the basic truth that “Israel” is a modern colonialist implant, created by imperialist violence and thieving occupation of Palestine (dispossessing a people living there for 1,500 years – longer than the “British” in Britain) are themselves inseparable from Zionism in its most basic content – the declaration that this is a real country with a “right to exist”.
Not at the expense of the Palestinians and not until every Palestinian can come home with every single house, field, well and square metre of land, fully restored.
It is not going to happen by fatuous demands for a “one-state solution”, just another reformist posture, a fake “left” unachievable, meaningless “demand”.
Only revolution, bound in with the world revolution, will do it.
Build Leninism. See epsr.org.uk