Reply to Tony Greenstein


20/04/2019 by socialistfight

It was the CPGB’s Jack Conrad who really lost this argument over the significance of the Russian Revolution. Tony Greenstein was a useful idiot for him.

Well, Gerry is not personally antisemitic but is politically antisemitic, Tony assures us. Of course, Tony is no Marxist but even to the reasonably well-educated person, this is nonsense. And when, to the horror of the CPGB’s Jack Conrad, Norman Finkelstein came to their Communist University in 2016 and defended the right of Socialist Fight to hold our opinions about the social weight of Jewish-Zionists in the ruling class in the USA and UK, etc. Tony vociferously howled his outrage. And Finkelstein more recently elaborated on these details in almost exactly the same way as the SF Tony declined to label him an anti-semite, either personally or politically.

Of course, the delight of our political opponents at our expulsion from LAW was not constrained by this subtle distinction. For the likes of Lee Rock, we had been expelled as Jew-hating antisemites and they have not been slow to say so since then. Tony has complained of abuse and death threats he has got after his expulsion for Labour. He is unconcerned about the same treatment Gerry Downing got, with his assistance.

However the Labour Party Marxists did defend Gerry Downing in May 24, 2016, in a Model Motion:

“Rejects the recent ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign prompted by the Israeli establishment and carried out by the mass media, the Tory Party and the Labour right. The claim that anti-Semitism – i.e., anti-Jewish racism – is rife in the Labour Party, particularly in the left wing of the Labour Party, is simply untrue.

Calls for the immediate lifting of all of the suspensions and expulsions from Labour Party membership in any way connected to the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign. That includes Ken Livingstone, Tony Greenstein, Gerry Downing and numerous other supporters of the Palestinian cause.”

But Tony’s wobbly-knees on anti-imperialism saw him write an article for the Morning Star on 13 April 2016 (less than a week after my second expulsion from the Labour party) where he referred to me in the following way, to the delight of the Stalinists, “an idiot Trotskyist, Gerry Downing, who believes that there is a cabal of zionist capitalists who run the foreign policy of Britain and the US.”

On the 24 April Tony wrote an article for the Weekly Worker claiming that. “Jonathan Freedland, a senior Guardian journalist, set the tone with an article which used the idiocy of one Labour Party member, Vicky Kirby, and the stupidity of Gerry Downing to tar the left in the party as anti-Semitic.” How very respectful Tony is here to this rascist, Zionist bigot, who only mentioned me in passing in the references given but who did provide the link to the Guido Fawkes website who had gone to great lengths to demonstrate to David Cameron what a complete anti-semite Gerry Downing was. Cameron asked Corbyn during PMQs on 9 March 2016:

“I have to say that I was completely appalled to see yesterday that the Labour party has readmitted someone to the party who says that the 9/11 suicide bombers “must never be ‘condemned’” and who belongs to an organisation that says: “We defend the ‘Islamic State’ in Syria and Iraq”. Those are appalling views and I hope the Leader of the Opposition will throw this person out of the party, rather than welcoming him in.”

Of course, this is a completely distorted picture of the Socialist Fight position on these issues, extracted out of context, which we would expect from rightists like Fawkes and Cameron, but we would expect better treatment from leftists.  These are the context we made those statements and we will defend these political positions to the last:

“The opposite mindset to the imperialist ideology and its ‘peace, democracy and justice’ bullshit whilst they are raining death and destruction from the skies on hundreds of thousands of the world’s poorest. Only it is the justified outrage of the oppressed as opposed to the outrage of the oppressor, one violence is that of the slave and the other is that of the slave-owner. One is progressive, no matter how distorted its actions are, and must never be ‘condemned’, imperialism is the violence that holds the whole planet, or almost the whole planet, in thrall, and that violence can never be supported by serious Marxists in any circumstances. That is the dilemma the conspiracy theorists seek to avoid.”

17. We defend the ‘Islamic State’ in Syria and Iraq against the bombing of US imperialism but do not ally with them against the Kurdish defenders of Kobane and Rojava (Western Kurdistan). [1]

“The greatest Jewish political philosopher of the 20th century”,
Hannah Arendt and the Nazi Martin Heidegger. Lifelong lovers.

In conclusion, I note that Tony refers to Hannah Arendt as, “the greatest Jewish political philosopher of the 20th century”, is equally guilty because this is exactly what she said in her book “Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Banality of Evil.” Arendt too was capable of both double think and double standards like Tony. She struck up a sexual relationship with Martin Heidegger as a student of his before Hitler came to power in January 1933. As a Jew, she was obliged to flee for her life, and Heidegger made no defence of his lover; he had joined the Nazi party and remained a member until it was abolished by the Allies 1945. This from one of his better speeches:

“This will … must be our innermost certainty and never-faltering faith. For in what this will wills, we are only following the towering will of our Führer. To be his loyal followers means: to will that the German people shall find again, as a people of labour, its organic unity, its simple dignity, and its true strength; and that, as a state of labour, it shall secure for itself permanence and greatness. To the man of this unprecedented will, to our Führer Adolf Hitler-a three-fold ‘Sieg Heil!” [2]

He never condemned the Holocaust, but this did not prevent Arendt returning to his bed post-war. But the “greatest Jewish political philosopher of the 20th century” knew, like Tony, how to defend the indefensible, Wikipedia tells us:

“During this time, (post-WWII) Arendt defended him (Heidegger) against critics who noted his enthusiastic membership in the Nazi Party. She portrayed Heidegger as a naïve man swept up by forces beyond his control and pointed out that Heidegger’s philosophy had nothing to do with National Socialism.”

Really, the Arendt/Greenstein theory of political and philosophical bifurcation? So maybe we should look for philosophical guidance in the ranks of the fascists? Alexander Dugin is a VERY serious philosopher, despite his national bolshevism, is he not?  But never mind all that. Wiki assures us that, “Her work was recognized by many awards, including the Danish Sonning Prize in 1975 for Contributions to European Civilization.”


Hansard: 9.3.16.

James Berry (Kingston and Surbiton) (Con): 

Many of my constituents get the train into central London every morning for work and they are concerned about the terrorist threats posed by Daesh here in the capital. Will my right hon. Friend update the House on the progress being made in tackling the source of that threat in Iraq and in Syria?

The Prime Minister (David Cameron): 

I totally understand what my hon. Friend has said, and it was very striking what assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said last week about the dangers we face. What I would say is that domestically we are protecting counter-terrorism policing, and investing in our intelligence and security services, as we did in the last Parliament. On Iraq and Syria, we are making good progress at pushing Daesh back. So this is something we need to do both domestically and overseas. I have to say that I was completely appalled to see yesterday that the Labour party has readmitted someone to the party who says that the 9/11 suicide bombers “must never be ‘condemned’” and who belongs to an organisation that says:

“We defend the ‘Islamic State’ in Syria and Iraq”.

Those are appalling views and I hope the Leader of the Opposition will throw this person out of the party, rather than welcoming him in.

David Cameron attacking Gerry Downing from the dispatch box



[2] Heidegger the Nazi: Reply to John Minahane,

The Facebook exchange that elicited the reply from Gerry Downing

Tony Greenstein David Avery do I really need to? Gerry Joseph Downing is wrong. I’m not afraid of ‘the truth of revolutionary socialism’ quite the contrary. What I am afraid of is that if Gerry joined LAW he would give ammunition to Labour’s ‘antisemitism’ witchhunters. Gerry’s thesis that the ‘over representation’ of Jews amongst the rich in the USA is responsible for its foreign policy towards Israel is anything but Marxist.

I don’t accept that on a personal level Gerry is antisemitic. He isn’t. But his politics unfortunately tend in that direction.

However, the main fight is against the witchhunters in the Labour Party who conflate antisemitism and anti-Zionism by saying that criticism of Israel or Zionism is criticism of Jews. The JLM do that openly and for the AWL to give them cover is a complete betrayal of the Left.

Matgamna’s article attacking Corbyn and supporting the witchhunt was an act of scabbing. He joined hands with the Labour Right which negates the whole purpose of the AWL. No amount of sophistry will get around the fact that Matgamna is a scab.

Steve Cooke unfortunately doesn’t understand that most Labour ‘antisemitism’ is a consequence of Zionist claims that everything Israel does is i the name of the Jews. He therefore focuses on the symptoms and not the cause. Zionism represents the real and atavistic racism of imperialism. Steve concentrates on the reactions to that racism.

Antisemitism in Britain is a marginal prejudice unlike racism against Black people. Those who fail to understand this simple fact end up in the camp of the Labour Right as the AWL and Steve Cooke have done

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