Open letter to the left regarding the anti-Semitism smear in Labour4
20/06/2019 by socialistfight
Dear comrades of the Labour Left,
The suspension of Peter Willsman, for saying something that is provenly true and on film (In Al Jazeera’s documentary The Lobby), that the Israeli Embassy is actively sponsoring activities within the Labour Party aiming at undermining and destroying the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, is so brazen that there has to be a response from the left. If this is allowed to pass without some kind of serious resistance, then anything can be done to Corbyn and his supporters with impunity by the Zionist witchhunters.
Proof is no defence. Even if you can prove that your accusers are corrupt liars, you will still be suspended and marked for later expulsion for Labour if you speak the truth in any way. The attacks on Lisa Forbes, the victorious Labour candidate in the Peterborough by-election, are of the same brazen ilk. She was denounced as an anti-Semite by corrupt racists like Margaret Hodge and Jess Phillips simply for ‘liking’ a FB item expressing outrage at the massacre of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Even more brazenly and outrageously, the Jewish Labour Movement called for Lisa Forbes to be suspended and the whip withdrawn for having signed a statement opposing the adoption of the IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’, whose movers aim to ban anti-racist criticism of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people as ‘anti-Semitic’. So not only is the IHRA to be used to ban such criticism as ‘anti-Semitic’, but opposition to the adoption of the fake definition itself is also to be deemed ‘anti-Semitic’.
This is a perfect totalitarian formula, which brooks no opposition or criticism whatsoever. In our view the response of the Labour left to this should be to state openly that the Jewish Labour Movement is a totalitarian racist organisation that needs to be smashed.
But more needs to be said, and done, than mere pronouncements. The expulsions and purges of long time leftists put capable people into prolonged limbo, a kind of purgatory, indefinitely. We need to counter this and force the reactionary role of Labour’s Zionist Fifth Column to the attention of the whole labour movement, and indeed the public as a whole. The expulsions are meant to immobilise our people semi-permanently.
We need a new left body to deal with this. We propose that expelled members of Labour should organise themselves in a Labour Anti-Zionist External Tendency, whose purpose is not to build a separate party from Labour, but to fight to get the party on the straight and narrow through the purging of Zionist racists, the supporters of the JLM, the Labour Friends of Israel, and Progress, and the reinstatement and re-integration of those anti-Zionists expelled, suspended and driven out.
Until this is done, the expelled members in particular, who have nothing to lose, should target Labour’s Zionist traitors, the likes of Watson, Hodge, Ellman, Philipps, Smeeth, the Eagles, Creasey etc for prominent public attacks. One way of amplifying that would be for the putative Labour Anti-Zionist External Tendency (LAZET?) to stand Independent Anti-Zionist Labour candidates against the traitorous Zionists.
So would it not be good if Tony Greenstein were able to stand against Louise Ellman? Tony was expelled and smeared as ‘anti-Semitic’ for denouncing her defence of Israeli abuse of Palestinian children. Would it not be good if Marc Wadsworth were to stand against Ruth Smeeth, the racist whose allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ can be seen to be lies by anyone with an ounce of integrity who watched the video of his challenging her collaboration with the racist Tory Daily Telegraph at the Chakrabarti report press conference in 2016.
Would it not be great if Ken Livingstone were to challenge Hodge over her disgusting attack on Corbyn as a ‘fucking racist anti-Semite’ which ought to have not only led to her expulsion from the party but also a party-funded libel suit against her on Corbyn’s behalf? Or for Jackie Walker to challenge Stella Creasey? Or Gerry Downing of Socialist Fight to challenge Tom Watson? These are all possibilities.
The point is that the purged left needs to stand up and fight back against the creeping purge of Corbyn supporters, critical and less so, that is underway. These challenges should be carefully targeted to cause the maximum public challenge to these political figures not least because if Labour does win the General Election, they will be plotting with the likes of Pompeo and the Israeli Embassy to destroy Corbyn in office and replace him with a Blairite/Zionist. At the same time these very few candidates, no more than say half-a-dozen, must be very clear in our call for a Labour vote in every other constituency, and for a Labour victory in the general election.
We cannot go quietly in this attempt to sabotage what was originally the most promising left-wing development in the Labour Party for a century. The left needs to show some aggression back to the Zionists to prepare for the battles to come.
There is not a hope in hell of the whole Labour party turning against Zionism, because Zionism is the spearhead of Western imperialist domination of the Arab world and the oppressed neo-colonial countries, and the Labour party is for class collaboration with monopoly-capitalism, not its overthrow.
The more SF and the fake “left” defend Labour as a “workers party”, the more you put off the complete exposure, defeat and destruction of Labour as social-democratic treachery to the working class.
There is no need to support Labour in order to put the boot into the Blairite right-wingers and open Zionists. Instead, urging workers to see that the fascist warmongering of the US Empire has to be defeated, that its “war on terror” is a foul lying fraud and that the entire Jewish diaspora supporting “Israel” are all on the wrong side in this class war along with the entire politics of Labour class collaboration is the correct Leninist line.
Of course, Leninism looks to splits in Labour and the potential formation of a centrist “left” Labour grouping (revolutionary in words, but reformist in action), and might possibly get involved if real revolutionary politics could get a hearing, even if that had to be discreet. But what Leninism does not want to do is buttress illusions that Labourism is really left-wing and really anti-capitalist, when its ideology is class collaboration, anti-communism and anti-Sovietism.
If “left, anti-Zionist” candidates are stood against the Zionist Labour MPs and candidates you will immediately face barracking from other “lefts” who will accuse you of “splitting the anti-Tory vote”, so why not be hung for a sheep rather than a lamb and forge a new party? I appreciate that this is usually like pissing into the wind.
And this is where Scargill’s SLP, the Socialist Alliance and Respect etc all go wrong: by shelving all the necessary discussions about what went right and what went wrong in the Soviet Union and by not seeing that politics has to break from anti-communism towards Marxism and Leninism, and break from reformism to revolution, these groups are condemned to fatuousness. I understand that SF has technical problems with making a proper leading article that sticks around for a while as a perspective on the week’s (day’s) events; but it is vital to give such perspectives for cadre development. What is happening in the world today? What should be said about the deepening economic crisis and Trump’s warmongering against Iran? What about this Tory leadership contest and the Brexit chaos?
Isn’t it insane that both Trot opportunists like the SWP and museum-Stalinists like the Proletarian/Lalkar group CPGB-ML support Brexit??? (Even though supporting Remain is pure middle-class complacency. The correct Leninist position is NO SUPPORT for either side in the global trade war; neither EU nor the USA. In fact, DEFEAT for all monopoly-capitalism in trade war).
As a matter of interest, Harpal Brar’s CPGB-ML has launched a “British Worker” sheet with red, white and blue masthead, suggestive of thinking more akin to Oswald Mosley’s Black Shirts than of anything to do with communism. What is eating the brains out of their heads?
The politics of class collaboration.
I should also have said of course that SF’s feeling of aggressiveness against the Blairites and Labour Zionists is entirely warranted. Good spirit, go much further!!
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The problem with this is the sectarian illusion that all you have to do is declare the correctness of your version of ‘Leninism’, declare the formation of a new ‘party’ and lo and behold, the ‘party’ exists and the workers will sooner or later flock to it. History has not been kind to those who act on that misunderstanding.
To lay the basis for the emergence of revolutionary consciousness among a broader layer of working class people, Marxists have to attempt to formulate practical demands that can be carried out by layers that do not yet have a revolutionary consciousness, that orovide in a sense a bridge for them to cross through learning through their own experience the need for a revolutionary approach to political struggles.
This is the transitional method. Its a difficult thing to do because the moment you put your toe in the water of real activity, the danger of serious errors and capitulation, immediately arises. But not to try to give such leadership and to proclaim your ‘purity’, is itself a form of capitulation dressed up with ferocious words.
Words are easy. But striking that difficult balance and giving real revolutionary leadership is not so easy. We make no apology for trying to do this as it is what the transitional method is about.
I went to an SWP meeting recently and told the 22 people there the SWP leaders were entirely wrong about China and were wrong to support the violent anti-communist Hong Kong “protest movement” which waves British imperialist union jacks. I wonder how the audience will be feeling about what the SWP was telling them now that the vicious disruptive violence has got worse and the “protesters” all went to the US Embassy in Hong Kong to ask for the US Empire’s intervention?
SF should say where it stands on this to show it is capable of “not making mistakes”. SF has made some pretty useful commentaries about the “colour revolutions” but for some reason isn’t able to say anything positive about China’s defence of its (workers) state power against whipped-up pro-Western mobs in Hong Kong. Why not?
Similarly, some time ago, I pointed out that SF published information which showed that the Catalan independence movement was horribly petty-bourgeois, but SF still backed the independence movement in its headlines (like all British “left” groups, as if backing rotten selfish right-wing nationalism was a good idea). Was that a mistake by SF that it regrets putting in front of workers and activists?
Right now, the UK is being nastily split by the dirty pro-US imperialist politics of Brexit and the nastily complacent pro-EU politics of Remain. Both are pro-capitalist TRADE WAR sides and represent a SPLIT in the British bourgeoisie about whether to stay with Germany (the major EU power) or become even more of an American sidekick. Here, the SF (from the LO report) seems to be for Remain. But this isn’t Marxism, which wants to warn workers to break with all class collaboration and fight for socialism. Workers of all countries unite, remember – not “side with EU bosses” or “side with US bosses”.
Ian, I could not agree more that getting a hearing from workers so they can see your politics in action and make an experience of your intervention is important.
But surely the most important thing is GETTING THE POLITICS RIGHT???
Look what I said above about the CPGB-ML group – they have a lot of influence with British-Asian workers and youth. But their rotten revisionism is now leading them to back Brexit and put out “British Worker”, fanning the flames of ghastly British imperialist nationalism. They have a lot more physical followers than me, but their interventions are now hugely damaging in this area.
Your Trotskyist tradition of politics is totally different. But what are you really getting RIGHT about world politics, which to me is always the fight to break workers from pro-Labour class collaboration and move them towards Leninist revolutionary struggle for workers states?