On the Crisis in Socialist Fight and my own responsibility for it

13

17/02/2020 by socialistfight

By Gerry Downing 17 February 2020

Gerry Downing took the only principled stance a revolutionary Trotskyist could take in that interview.

I accept the central line of the document below by Alonso from France that sets out my responsibility for the crisis in SF.  I also accept his judgment on Ian Donovan’s lurch to the right since 2015:

As I can see from afar, when you got an agreement with him in 2015 to fight within SF, you put your foot forward enough to make a solid platform for your anti Jew programme and Gerry, who needed militants, did not take enough precautions to avoid that this foot doesn’t signify another and another step into a field no communist could take, your reactionary “Jew-Zionist” extreme right amalgam.”

When the fusion in 2015 only took place, I did not examine too closely the politics of Ian’s Draft Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialism in 2014, which I now repudiate. [1] The second mistake was to accept too easily, again without serious examination, the assurances Ian gave me that Gilad Atzmon was not antisemitic and was indeed only a left wing Jew who defended the Palestinians by denouncing his own ethnicity. I made no political concessions in the interview with Atzmon in January 2018 and I was entirely correct in the first paragraph but no longer agree fully with the ending of the introductory statement to the article:

“I do not agree with Gilad on the question of Jewish identity. it is entirely wrong to equate Jewishness or Jewish cultural identity with Zionism. Zionism is a modern, right wing, racist political construct, that takes some aspects of Jewish history and oppression and uses this to distort and falsify the whole historical materialist basis of that history, as explained so well by Abram Leon in On the Jewish Question.

I do not agree with ostracising him and his co-thinkers from the struggle against Zionism, despite these disagreements. I do not agree he is either racist or anti-Semitic. Gerry Downing.” [2]

After a far closer examination of his politics I now think he has no place in the struggle against Zionism and can only do damage to the cause of the Palestinians by painting opponents of Zionism as fascists. I now believe he is not only racist and antisemitic but also a left fascist ideologically.

I made the ill-considered concession because I had lost two Trotskyist militants from SF who were politically educated in the history of Marxism but who capitulated to the right wing pressures. I desperate needed someone who understood the history of the Marxism-Leninism-Trotskyism, at least to a certain level and so made that alliance with Ian, which I now recognise as opportunist. It is in general impossible for Marxist theoreticians to encounter another that agrees with him or her on every detail; Marx and Engels had differences and so had Lenin and Trotsky, nonetheless the former had close enough agreement to found the science of Marxism and the latter enough to lead the Russian Revolution to victory.

A shock that forced reassessment

In September 2019 I encountered a post forwarded by one Devon Nola which contained the following sentence:

 “One of the first new laws created by the Jewish Bolsheviks when they took over Russia was to make “antisemitism” punishable by jail or death. Despite its freedoms, the United States is now following in Russia’s footsteps, with Jews like Chuck Schumer leading the charge.” [3]

The subsequent defence of this outrageous fascistic post, the notion that the Russian Revolution was a Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy and other far rightist positions, many that repeat the propaganda of the White Armies and the Nazis against the Russian Revolution, by Devon Nola and Gilad Atzmon demonstrated to me that they were enemies of Trotskyism and socialism in general. [4] This shock and subsequent acrimonious debates with Ian and his Trotskyist Faction convinced me that this political current was, in fact, left Strasserite-Mussolini fascists. Ian Donovan and his Trotskyist Faction made it an absolute principle to defend this fascistic current.

Subsequent arguments saw Ian defend Atzmon’s admiration for Ku Klux Klan man David Duke. He wrote to me on Facebook:

“If you understood why Political Zionism is worse than Apartheid and Jim Crow you might gain some insight. Clue: read Moshe Machover on different types of settler colonialism. If you understand that, you might understand why (Alan) Dershowitz (arch Zionist) is worse than David Duke. Some forms of colonialism are genocidal. Some are not.”

This really is beyond the bounds. South African Apartheid leaders and the Ku Klux Klan are not as bad as the Zionists, so it is ok to ally with them against the Zionists ideologically as Atzmon does in pursuit of his antisemitic and fascistic ideas???

Gilad Atzmon writes on p. 26 et seq. of Being in Time:

“Fascism, I believe, more than any other ideology, deserves our attention, as it was an attempt to integrate Left and Right: the dream and the concrete into a unified political system. … It was “overwhelmingly popular and productive for a while because it managed to bridge the abyss between the ‘fantasy’ and the ‘actual.’” And it is to our detriment that, in the “post-WWII ‘liberal’ intellectual climate, it is politically impossible to examine fascism and ‘National Socialism’ from an impartial theoretical or philosophical perspective… stifling honest examination of National Socialism has left open the question of whether the problems of global capitalism may be alleviated by combining socialism with nationalism (my emphasis).”

Here he declared himself a fascist. As these arguments developed it became clear Ian had developed a full blown ideological outlook in lockstep with Atzmon. And this sprung from his unprincipled and opportunist relationship with George Galloway and his party Respect in the early 2000s. George fought an open Muslim communalist campaign to maintain an unprincipled alliance with the Muslim Association of Britain and the Socialist Workers Party in the Euro elections of 2004. The Respect flyer for the 2004 European and local government elections said “George Galloway – a fighter for Muslims … married to a Palestinian doctor … teetotal… strong religious principles”. What would we say to a political group who described itself as “fighters for Protestants, or for Catholics, of even …  for Jews”? That it was reactionary communalist, of course. Ian’s relationship with Galloway lasted even after the SWP was forced to depart following a revolt in the membership against the sexist, anti-abortion anti-women reactionary politics they had to endure in this unprincipled lash up.  This caused Ian to turn not only on the Zionists but also on the anti-Zionists left wing Jews who criticised these communalists and condemn them as racists. He revealed in a recent Facebook thread:

 “It wasn’t just ‘the Zionists’ who abused RESPECT in Britain. It was a lot of (not all) Jewish leftists who claim to be opposed to Zionism. You omit that from your (Sam Trachtenberg) glib dismissal of RESPECT’s experience of racist Jewish behaviour and hence expose your own similarity to those chauvinists, and even at times racist, leftist Jews.”

From this amalgam as we can see he now began to lump all Jews together as racists in the conspiracy identity politics theories he developed. We further say this when he attacked a new SF comrade as “a little white colonial boy” [5] because he was of South African origins, said he must therefore be a racist and a supporter of Zionism because of his cultural heritage, and this was the same as SWP leader Alex Callinicos, who was born in the then Rhodesia. Likewise, another new member was a ‘Zionist infiltrator’ because she grew up with Jewish children as neighbours and with no attempt at justification accused her of supporting Hilary Clinton (she says she was with Gadhafi from day one) and Jess Philips.

Draft Theses on the Jews rejected

I now repudiate the use of the term “the world ‘Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie’” and the whole notion of a Jewish-Zionist imperialist vanguard as antisemitic tropes. Gilad Atzmon explicitly said:

“We must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously…American Jewry makes any debate on whether the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy.”  “Israel’s behaviour throws some light on the persecution of Jews throughout history.” [6]

This is vulgar, reactionary, fascistic communalist politics. I will in future use the term “Zionism” alone in describing the political tendency within the Jewish ethnicity that commits such dreadful crimes under international law against the Palestinian citizens of Israel and those expelled Palestinians primarily in 1948, ‘67 and ‘73, all of whom have the right of return.

This in order to distinguish the right wing Israeli government under Netanyahu and its international supporters from all anti-Zionist Jews and Jews who strongly defend the right of the Palestinians under international law. Nor do we now agree that it is appropriate to continually refer to Jews such as Henry Kissinger and Milton Friedman as “overrepresented among the most strident spokespeople for capitalist reaction” without openly recognising that they are doing so primarily as representative of the interests of imperialist capitalism as in the Pinochet coup in Chile against Allende in 1973 and not as any separate Jewish influence or conspiracy.

Although The Jewish Chronicle and The Times of Israel frequently boasts of the wealth and influence of Jewish billionaires and right wing Zionist academics internationally it is completely wrong to conclude from this that these are acting in pursuit of a separate Jewish/Zionist communal conspiracy agenda and not primarily in their own interests and that of global capitalism and imperialism.

A final point. Ian condemned the 9/11 bombers and accused me of refusing to condemn them on the Daily Politics show with Andrew Neil in March 2016. [7] As Socialist Fight wrote on our blog:

He (Gerry) is proud of the fact that he refused to grovel to Andrew Neil, the Tory man from Paisley, in that interview. The chickens came home to roost for the US over ISIS and the 9/11 bombers. he didn’t advocate military aid to ISIS against any force other than imperialism itself. He never did, or would, support them against the Syrian Arab Army or oppressed minorities like the Kurds, Yazidis, Christians or Alawites. He refused to endorse US bombing them and refused to condemn the 9/11 bombers because Socialist Fight will always identify the USA as the global hegemonic imperialist power and the main enemy of the working class and all oppressed everywhere. They caused the problems in the Middle East that led directly to the rise of ISIS and the 9/11 bombers.

The implicit stance of the two ‘leftists’ and many other pro-imperialist lefts and third campists and ‘civilisation mongerers’, is that the US was doing humanity a favour by bombing ISIS and we should all be in favour of that. He took the only principled stance a revolutionary Trotskyist could take in that interview. [8]

In conclusion Ian Donovan and his so-called Trotskyist faction no longer belong in a revolutionary socialist Trotskyism group and the task facing Socialist Fight now is how to split our forces in the least damaging way possible, having established we are no completely politically incompatible.

Alonso’s comment from France

I don’t think that Gerry went “off the rails” but he has tried to prevent the whole SF going “off the rails” into the antisemitic extreme right direction which the extension of your Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialism would inevitable lead the SF.

The problem is that he has not a majority enough to throw you out. Sometimes there is no other way out of a totally divergent contradiction between two positions.

If things continue to go in the same direction and you keep advancing your own arguments, as you are doing,  then he could only expect that you take the lead and bring the whole work of some years in constructing an organization to nothing, or to a position he could not agree with, and of which he holds the direct opposite political positions.

As I can see from afar, when you got an agreement with him in 2015 to fight within SF, you put your foot forward enough to make a solid platform for your anti Jew programme and Gerry, who needed militants, did not take enough precautions to avoid that this foot doesn’t signify another and another step into a field no communist could take, your reactionary “Jew-Zionist” extreme right amalgam

He made a semi-rotten compromise not fully discussing the extent of your ideology and time has passed him the invoice. Then you put the other foot forward and of course, one could only expect further inroads of your J-Z stuff becoming more and more and J stuff.

Formally, he is wrong, but politically he is correct. Well, in that case I take the grain and throw the straw. Is a pity that what I think at least a political orientation went bust. Here in France, there is nothing of the like and almost always I am forced to go to English online sites to find information and political orientation.

All the recent experiences of the French working class point to the urgent need of an own and correct political party but there is none around that could fulfil the need. We are going then directly to a catastrophe here with very much likely a Marine Le Pen government after Macron passed all his counter-reforms even if he has, as he will have, a resounding defeat in the next month’s Municipal election.

I have looked all around (POI, COREP) and sorry, but I cannot agree with them. The only one which I politically agree was SF, but what rest now from SF? Is everything to be re-build from ruins? I know Gerry will continue, but he is old, perhaps not in good health and he should fight now against the background of this split and all what goes with. That means years to a man who is near 70…

We are faced with the strange situation that problems accumulate and the need of a party is so clear but, there is no party. Sometimes I feel that we are at the times of Marx and Engels, two leaders with a rare insight but alone and far from the masses and totally out of touch or influence with the class struggle. Well, of course, I am not speaking of me, also old and sick, but of the rare persons that think still.

What is to be done? Go along with fools and sectarians, with “left”-reformists, give some help to very tiny groups always threatened by “intellectuals”? The problem of humanity it is not only the political direction of the working class but also the incapacity of the real working class to developpe inside it their own working class leaders with a full insight and vision (the complete science of Marxism-Leninism-Trotskyism) and get rid of those “intellectual”, lawyers, teachers and all that rabble that has so many times broken their momentum.

The future is gloomy. I am not in the mood of cheating myself with “brilliant perspectives” when all over fascists and nationalists are taking the lead and the “forces” of Marxism are so weak. Gerry and you have not the slightest avenue and, as many, will be carried away by the maelstrom that is so near us.

Well see but a naive “optimism” is absurd. We will continue but it will be more of Don Quixote than otherwise.

AQ

Notes


[1] https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/socialistfight.com/2722

[2] Witch Hunters United: Gerry Downing interviewed by Gilad Atzmon 5 January 2018, https://gilad.online/writings/2018/1/5/witch-hunters-united-gerry-downing-speaks-with-gilad-atzmon

[3] In Plain Sight, November 5, 2018 Jewish Senator Introduces Law To Imprison Americans For Criticizing Israel

https://ronabbass.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/jewish-senator-introduces-law-to-imprison-americans-for-criticizing-israel/ This post correctly points out the reactionary character of the bill before writing the vile antisemitic paragraph.

[4]Socialist Fight statement on Gilad Atzmon, Devon Nola, Ian Greenhalgh of Veterans Today, anti-communism, racism and antisemitism 25-1-2020,  https://tinyurl.com/wffbecb

[5] Perhaps he got confused by this: The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Mackem: The Wild Colonial Boy:

“There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Duggan was his name

He was born and raised in Ireland in a place called Castlemaine

“Surrender now Jack Duggan for you see we’re three to one”

“Surrender in the Queen’s high name for you are a plundering son”

Jack drew two pistols from his belt and proudly waved them high

“I’ll fight but not surrender!” said the wild colonial boy.”

[6] Gilad Atzmon, On Anti-Semitism, originally at his personal web site, December 20, 2003.

[7] Socialist Fight’s Gerry Downing on the Labour Party, A revolutionary socialist, who has been expelled from the Labour Party, explains his past comments about the Middle East and the 9/11 attacks. Speaking to Andrew Neil, Gerry Downing said he did not support ISIS “militarily or politically” but believed in providing “tactical” support, and was against US bombing. At PMQs, David Cameron condemned Mr Downing’s re-admittance to Labour, and he was expelled a few hours later by the party’s NEC. But the Socialist Fight member told the Daily Politics, he would be appealing against that decision. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-35776331/socialist-fight-s-gerry-downing-on-the-labour-party

[8] In defence of Gerry Downing in Andrew Neil’s The Daily Politics of 10 March 2016, https://tinyurl.com/wbxcupx

On the philosophical origins of Nazism

One of the absolutely amazing puzzles of this crisis in Socialist Fight was
the, at first, inexplicable defence of Nietzsche, Mussolini’s and Hitler’s
favourite philosopher and the excuses made for the Nazi antisemitic philosopher Martin Heidegger and his relationship with the Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt. 

Ian charged that I was Nazi-baiting everyone I conflicted with on this. I ‘Nazi-baited’ Sabastian Burgen of Historical Materialism because I criticised his softness of Nietzsche, I ‘Nazi-baited’ Tony Greenstein because I criticised his softness on Heidegger and Hannah Arendt and Toby Abse ‘Nazi-baited’ Jack Conrad over his disagreement on Norman Finkelstein.

The light dawned when you realised that the reason these political positions
had to be defended by Ian Donovan, Gilad Atzmon and others was because many Zionists attacked these people as Nazis ideologues and whatever the Zionists attacked must be ok, relatively speaking. Ian saw the whole world in terms of for or against Zionism. If you were against you could be any kind of a Nazi and that was ok. If you agreed with what a Zionist said on any subject whatsoever you were a capitulator to Zionism. I will leave the reader to conclude where lies antisemitism in this.

These are my thoughts on this imporant matter:

There is a traceable line of the development of thought lodged in the philosophical idealist as opposed to the dialectical materialist view of history. The idealist tradition came from God, as the origin of all though, then to Nietzsche, “God is dead” and only the Übermensch can rule and the Untermensch must serve them. And that does ultimately lead to a justification of Nazism, even if that was not the original intention. Elements of the thought of ancient Greece, Plato and Rome, Kant and Hegel which led to the mystical Schopenhauer and thence to the elitist Nietzsche and individualist Wittgenstein and the Nazi Heidegger, the uber Nazi who never abandoned his Nazism and never apologised for his part in promoting and defending the Holocaust.

Of course, elements of ancient Greece, Heraclitus, the 18th century Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, also led to Feuerbach and thence to Marx and Engels and from them to Lenin and Trotsky.

So modern philosophy must explain Heidegger, why this Nazi is regarded as the greatest philosopher of the 20th century by so many liberal intellectuals? Why Jean Paul Sartre and so many other were so strongly influenced by this philosophy of the Übermensch? Why wasn’t Heidegger executed in Nuremburg post war? Why the Jewish liberal Hannah Arendt became his lover after 1923 and post war from 1950. Her piece, Heidegger at 80 is a shocking defence of his philosophy in general. And if it is possible totally to separate his politics, Nazi supremacism, from his philosophy, which is supposedly progressive.

Can human though be bifurcated in this manner? Of course not. The truth is that his philosophy is a defence of capitalism in general against the appalling vista of the socialist revolution as it appeared in Russia in October 1917. In the 1930s Nazism was necessary to prevent socialist revolution in Germany, so it served that purpose. In the 1960s post war it served Sartre, Stalinism and the French philosophers to defend against revolution in France in 1968.

And it served Hannah Arendt to defend Israel ultimately against the Palestinians, albeit now adopted to a liberal democratic form. Still counterrevolutionary but no longer bearing the stigma of Hitler. So ponder the contradictions of liberal men and women forced to rely, like Hannah Arendt, on a Nazi philosopher to defend their privileges against the dreaded socialist revolution.

13 thoughts on “On the Crisis in Socialist Fight and my own responsibility for it

  1. Ian says:

    This has to be the most pathetic, humiliating document I have read in many years in politics. A full reply will come later. But regarding Gerry’s grasping at the feeble straw of Alonso, here is my reply to his extremely dishonest and self-incriminating comments:

    [My replies in bold]

    “I don’t think that Gerry went “off the rails” but he has tried to prevent that the whole SF went “off the rails” into the antisemitic extreme right slope the extension of your thesis would inevitable conduct SF.
    The problem is that he has not a majority enough to throw you out. Sometimes there is no other way out of a totally divergent contradiction between two positions.”

    There is no extension of my theses. Its the same one you translated in 2016, It has not changed one iota. I have copies of emails between you and with him requesting you to translate it. So you must have agreed substantially with it then. You also translated my article “Political Zionism: the hegemonic racism of the early 21st Century” from IDOT 17. I cannot concieve you would have put all that effort into translating these materials if you considered them “far right”. Of course you did not.

    This whole stuff you are pushing about an ‘extension’ of my thesis is completely dishonest. There is no extension. The political line is the same. Its your political line that has changed.

    If things continuous to go in the same direction and you went advancing your own arguments, as you are doing, then he could only expect that you take the lead and put the whole work of some years in constructing an organization to earth, or to a position he could not agree with, he was aux antipodes off.

    He did agree with it. He encouraged you to translate this material into French. Would he have done that if he did not agree with it? Dont be absurd! And the organisation was built on the basis of these positions. Which is why he is in such a mess.

    As I can see from afar, when you got an agreement with him in 2015 to militate in SF, you put your foot forward enough to make a solid platform for your anti Jew programm and Gerry who needed militants take not enough precautions to avoid that this foot doesn’t signify another and another step into a field no communist could take, your reactionary “Jéw-Zionist” extreme right amalgam.

    So you are accusing Gerry of gross negligence and allowing a ‘far right’ trend to join SF for opportunist reasons. That’s pretty damning. But its also untrue. You are abusing the old Gerry. He agreed with my positions. And so did you. If you had believed those positions were ‘far right’ you would not have agreed to translate them.

    The only agreement was political agreement based on shared views. I dont do dodgy deals and would never have agreed to one. No one political will believe a word of this.

    What you are saying is that Gerry was lying then. So how come you believe that he is not lying now?

    He made a semi-rotten compromise not fully discussing the extend of your ideology and time has passed him the invoice.

    No, he agreed with me. I have all the incriminating correspondence. And so did you. It will be published as and when necessary.

    Then you put the other foot forward and of course, one could only expect further inroads of your J-Z stuff becoming more and more and J stuff.

    There is no ‘other foot forward’. The political line is the same. Gerry and you have changed your line, I have not. Others can see that: for instance Sam Trachtenburg and Nicky Jameson from the British RCG have publicly said this.

    Formally, he is wrong, but politically he is correct.

    Well, in that case I take the grain and throw the straw.

    So you justify blatant organisational abuses even while admitting they are wrong. On the basis of a lie about your and Gerry’s past positions. You wont get away with it. All the relevant correspondence will be published as and when necessary.

    There is nothing new about this behaviour. All revisionists and betrayers of Marxist politics always behave like this. You will be exposed just the same way as previous betrayers.

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  2. Viriato says:

    To this I have answered:

    “First of all my opinions concern myself and only myself. I have been, in some way a symphatiser of SF because I have agreed with it’s political line but not be a member, as you know.

    Now this situation has changed in your respect.

    Your original thesis have not changed perhaps but, in the polemics that I can grasp from here, there is a lurch or a “soap slope” that is conducting to a new definition as the “J-Z” amalgam and the exagerated importance of the zionists lobbies in some of the imperialists countries to the point of taking that influence for the most important or the most influent tendancy of those imperialists powers.

    I have already written about this many times.

    I have agreed with your first draft and translated but as it can be seen they should be very carefully taken because quite easely they can become material exactly or very near to the extreme right thesis against the “Jews” as a whole.

    The Chris Barret answer on the question that amalgamate all Jews with zionism is just what can result of just a little exageration of yours thesis. Every far right people can sign with both hands such prose as C.B. has written following your thesis a little bit further but in the line of that “soap slope” that permits your extention of your original thesis.

    Even if I approuved and translated them I was also quite aware of the limits and dangers of such thesis.
    My concern begins when you put “a foot” or advanced and defended the “J-Z” and then the “tail that wages the dog” absurdities.

    “C’est parti en couille” as frenchs say and I cold not accept those “addendums” of that thesis in its first draft (and readed perhaps a little bit caresly on my part) as I have said it. “Cassus Belli” if I remember well.

    On the other article I have translated perhaps, I do not remember I am 72 and I have no copy, I do not keep everything, but I trust you. Hopefully I do not translate something on the line of the J-Z far right absurdity, but who knows? I can commit mistakes.

    This question is a hard one and even the Israel question is very much discussed here because the ones who said themselves “trotskists” are divided on the matter. I have heard many of them (I don’t know of there are official positions) saying that after 70 years you just cannot denied the existance of Israel and of their people even if they defend a common socialist country for both palestinians and jews. Others just say that the Zionist Entity (but not the Jewish entity or the J-Z entity) should be erased as it is the original position of the left.

    If Gerry has come back from those thesis, perhaps realizing how dangerous could be because they can easely conducted to what I have discused above, that’s his auto-critical view which I respect. Auto-criticism is a very good proof in a comrade that finds he has been mistaken for a time or that the developements of a thsis could jeopardize a whole work or, worse, conduct by lurching or given the way to wrong interpretation, to a pro-fascist point of view.

    He has written that SF do not agree now with those thesis. I have not the same point of view but I think that when you abandone the class fight that relates to the working class of a country and at the same time push forward a partial thesis, with another one that also retreats from the real class fight as the absurdity of adressing mainly the immigrant working class there is a tendancy more of the whims and dreams of an “intellectual” than of a comunist militant.

    In fact, if this “polemics” had not envenoumed, there is not a reason for a split but for a thorough discussion of the matter. But if everyone put forward his own vision and begins calling names as shopkeepers battling for clients, then things go bust, the work goes down and the political prestige that has been gained so painstakenly went to the devil.

    Here in France I could never put forward a Jewish-zionist thesis, because for all zionist the only thing they want is to make the political amalgam of “jewish-zionism” (or antizionism is antisemitism) wich I am convinced it is a right wing slander and it is a help both to zionists and fascists.

    Sorry, but I cannot agree with that and it is impossible to construct whatsoever on thoses basis.

    One thing is to say that the ones who are persecuted today are the arabs and the palestinians and to denounce zionism and its growing influence in imperialists countries, another is to pass to the extreme right spectre of the political life.

    The one who will follow that line will find themselves very quickly denying the Holocoust or diminish it’s importance or putting all their efforts promoting the J-Z “idea” first, to slide very easely to denouce “the Jews” as C. Barrat do following the soap slope you have fabricated.”

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  3. The West’s fraudulent campaign about “left-wing anti-Semitism” is determined to paint the opponents of Zionism as “racist anti-semites” but it is as doomed as painting all the Third World millions fighting the US Empire and its neo-colonial stooges as “racist anti-Americans”.
    The vast majority of Jews around the world support the existence of the “state of Israel” which means they support the Nazi-colonial conquest of the land of Palestine and the genocide/eviction/enslavement of its native population – all in the post-war epoch of decolonisation! It is the greatest Nazi crime possible. Plenty of Jews are embarrassed by all of “Israel”s mass murder and torture of the Arabs, but they all support holding on to the land as if they had “rights” to it, which they do not. So in the modern world the terms “Jewish” and “Zionist” are indeed interchangeable.
    But this Nazi-colonial invasion is doomed. World monopoly-capitalist “over-production” crisis is daily degenerating into worse and worse fascist warmongering chaos and driving out rebellion from the Third World millions, not least in the humiliated Arab world. “Arab Springs” keep busting out, and they won’t forever fall for useless half-way houses that easily get knocked down by CIA/Arab bourgeois counter-revolution.
    The latest Saudi military onslaught on a Yemeni town (news today) has just been beaten back, and the stinking feudal Saudi reactionaries have just had a Western-supplied jet fighter shot down by the Houthis.
    The socialist revolution and Arab national liberation struggle will strengthen and the Zionists’ screaming and special pleading for sympathy for their sick fascist cause will be howling in everyone’s ears. The capitalist media references and documentaries about the Holocaust will be so numerous and unbalanced by any sympathy for Arabs suffering Western blitzkrieg, killed in their millions, that the penny will drop all over the world about what a disgusting propaganda onslaught has been inflicted.
    What’s to be done about all the Arabs and Iranians who start to believe that the entire WW2 Holocaust story was invented?? The answer from reactionaries is that huge concessions to the Zionist propaganda should be made, and the disbelieving Arabs should be victimised even more. The correct revolutionary answer is to patiently explain the real treacherous story of Zionist collusion with the Nazis to betray the mass of ordinary Jews to the Nazi death camps, while highlighting what a bogus propaganda industry that the Holocaust has become but most of all to help the world revolution triumph so that “Israel” can be wiped off the map, and replaced by Palestine.
    Defeat for imperialism is the crucial perspective, which is the only way to resolve all “race” and national self-determination difficulties.

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  4. […] of Ian’s Draft Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialismin 2014, which I now repudiate. [1] The second mistake was to accept too easily, again without serious examination, the assurances Ian […]

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  5. […]  “One of the first new laws created by the Jewish Bolsheviks when they took over Russia was to make “antisemitism” punishable by jail or death. Despite its freedoms, the United States is now following in Russia’s footsteps, with Jews like Chuck Schumer leading the charge.” [3] […]

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  6. Ghost of Sven Gøllÿ says:

    Gerry here demonstrates that, to truly be a thinker, you must be willing to also be a rethinker.

    And Ian demonstrates, quite dramatically, the catastrophic price of the inability to rethink. He embraced the charlatan Gilad Atzmon fifteen years ago, when Atzmon was still pretending to be a figure of the left but by 2005 had already started his infamous pas-de-deux with far-right Holocaust deniers. By 2008 Atzmon was rightly on the ropes — and Donovan did not rethink. By 2012 nearly the entire left had repudiated him — and Donovan did not rethink. By now Atzmon is an alt-right figure, ready to be seen regularly on David Icke’s “Richie Allen” show and Henrik Palmgren’s “Red Ice Radio” — and Donovan does not rethink.

    In fact, Donovan fears even *engaging* the question of Atzmon’s antisemitism. He is cornered. How many alt-right podcasts do you have to do before Donovan rethinks his support of you? The Atzmon examples shows the answer is, knock yourself out, do them all, Donovan will never rethink his support of you if in the process of your alt-right podcasting and talks to Holocaust denial organisations you supply verbal formulae allowing Donovan to excuse his own antisemitism to himself.

    This is why it’s so instructive that Ian Donovan refuses, again and again, over and over, to actually publicly discuss Atzmon’s many links with the Holocaust denial movement. He knows he can’t defend Atzmon — the facts are all laid out — but refuses to rethink his attachment to Atzmon, and that forces him into a position where he can literally say nothing. It’s the silence that shouts.

    Donovan’s inability to rethink Atzmon has led him, gradually but indisputably, to a very public position of outright antisemitism.

    Entirely preventable. Entirely on him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ian says:

    As I said Gerry has an obviously willing recruit here. Being congratulated by a rabid Zionist looks really good on your CV, doesn’t it?

    Like

  8. Viriato says:

    Hi Chris,

    How could you write this zionist prose, you a marxist-léninist? Have you lost all sense of proportions or of an historical or a process developpement of a question?

    “The vast majority of Jews around the world support the existence of the “state of Israel” which means they support the Nazi-colonial conquest of the land of Palestine and the genocide/eviction/enslavement of its native population – all in the post-war epoch of decolonisation! It is the greatest Nazi crime possible. Plenty of Jews are embarrassed by all of “Israel”s mass murder and torture of the Arabs, but they all support holding on to the land as if they had “rights” to it, which they do not. So in the modern world the terms “Jewish” and “Zionist” are indeed interchangeable.”

    The first phrase could be correct, but can be applied to all movements that gained some influence in whatever country or social class. Not that all support Israel but that a vast majority of a nation support the politics of a party or a government (someones totally criminal as the Nazi germans or the zionist Entity).

    For the Jews, who have a long history of persecutions and were just out of the Holocoust, the idea of a land where they could live in peace was absolutely natural.

    That tihs aspiration to peace has been misguided by the combined policy of british and americain imperilism and the zionists bourgeoisie and make of Israel a battle horse of imperialists and the oppresor of Palestinians and Arabs in the region is another thing.

    This is the first thing taught in a M-L organization and firmly defended. But never that the “plenty of embarrased Jews” could all support the crimes againsts Palestinians and make “Jewish” (Jews I suppose) and “zionists” concepts “interchageable”.

    This is outright non-sens because if they are “against the crimes against the Palestinians” how could they be “interchangables” with the zionists, responsibles of the crimes against the Palestinians?

    We have had many exemples of “Jews” against this and militating against these crimes. Perhaps they are a minority but Thomas Mann and Stefan Zweig with the ones that make “The Red Orchestra” spion ring, the german composed batallions in the Red Army were not important contributors to the defeat of the Nazis even if the absolute majority of the German people support the Nazi regime?

    And the germans haven’t not change theirs minds as quickly as the horrendous crimes of Hitlerism were known as will occur when the horrendous crimes of Zionism went fully at day light?

    How can you help so blatantly the zionist propaganda that has orchestrated an international campaign to amalgamate the two concepts “Jews” and “Zionism” as a whole to hide the zionists crimes back the Holocoust against the Jews?

    This “Jews-Zionists” amalgame is a divided line that separates the right wing rable from the rest of humanity and specifically, mainly, from communists. For communists there are the reactionary zionists, agents of imperialism in the region and the “Jews” or the people that feels themselves jews or follow that religion which can be workers or others and are divided in social classes in the countries they live (and in a process of integration as happened and is happening in most countries) .

    This is the ABC for a marxist-leninist and the recent events in GB could not change a iota to them. Here in France, every time the zionists (with the opposition of some `Jewish movements) has advanced the “jews-zionists” amalgame, they have been defetead by the whole left and by the secular spirit, inspired in french history, mainly the Great French Revolution, of broaders layers of the people.

    Manuel Vals, ancient Prime Minister has tried to pass a law amalgaming “antizionism to antisemitism” but he failed miserably. Prominents zionsits have tried to promote that absurdity to no avail, the last one was Finkelraut when a Gilet Jaune cried to this “philosopher” “zioniste de merde!”. A demo was called to “wash the affront” with the help of the government and some press but it was a resounding “flop”, no one attend and from that time on we don’t hear this zionist that was regularly on TV.

    I have attend meetings against the crimes on Palestinians that were attended and with a “prise de parole” (speech from the tribune) of the “Union Juive de France pour la Paix” who denounce the crimes of zionism and separate from them saying that jews were not the same as zionists even thar zionists because of their crimes were in the long run, a threat also to jews.

    Ad you want that marxists-leninists support such absurdity as the one you have written, the rotten right wing amalgam “J-Z”?

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  9. Viriato – you are making a mess of this. You need to be a lot clearer. Do you think Jews have rights to live in Palestine as colonial settlers?
    Isn’t it the case that all the so-called “anti-Zionist” Jews still claim to have “rights” to land in Palestine? So they are not anti-Zionist at all. They just are upset at all the mass murder and fear it will provoke an Arab uprising. Which it will.
    All those French “lefts” who capitulate to the Zionist lobbying in this way are a million miles from Marxism; they are petty-bourgeois anti-communists and counter-revolutionaries.

    Like

    • Viriato says:

      I think that “jews”, as anyone, have the right to live everywhere.

      I am against colonial settlers of whatever nationality or creed.

      How do you know that ALL the so-called antizionists jews think they have the right to land in Palestina? There are many who do not want to live there and others than after a short sejourn have gone in other countries, didn’t they?

      You say just because you believe with no prove whatever that “So they are not anti-Zionist at all. They just are upset at all the mass murder and fear it will provoke an Arab uprising.” Well thet are then “anrizionists jews” that are “not at al antizionists”… Is there any logic in this?

      Shlomo Dan and others say they are not “Jews” and opose the zionist crimes and policy. Are they “colonial settlers” and afraid of the reaction of palestinans?
      Of course, there is a part of true in this exagerated absurdity in the conciousness that the zionist policy i threatening the israelian people with a backlash, but is this the only reason? There are nor class concious workers in Israel or between the jewish intelligentia?

      Those absurd amalgams “Jew=Zionist” plays directly into the hands of zionists and far right, extreme right fascists. The last madman that attack in Germany the Kurds has a plan also to destroy Israel because all jews were the same. Here, every zionist is crying “antisionsm is antisemitism” but no one fall in that trap… albeit the ones, very few, that believe wht you have written.

      This amalgame is insane, absurd and try to fabricate a scapegoat to the wrath contained and still repressed in the working class. As people say here “the wise man shows the moon and the dummy see the finger”
      Zionism, which is a bourgeois, nationalist pro imperiasit and capitalist political movement should be fighted; jews workers are our brothers in the fight against capitalism.

      This bogus “theory” match the same ancient one that stated that in the advanced capitalists countries, the working class had embourgeoised irself and was useless for revolution. Well no they are empoverishing rapidly and the ones who advanced such an absurdity shut their mouthes because they have “studied” a fixed phenomenon not seen his history, dialectical contradictory development, nor have any idea of marxism.

      But things change with time (it is not a fixed reality as you see it) and for communists we must stick to an historical and principled view. The same for Israelian workers and jew workers around the world (not diferent from other workers as it is my own experience). They will change their views because there have very much common interest with the whole working class of the world, including palestinian workers (but not bourgeois palestinans) and much less or none with the zionists.

      Like

  10. You get ex-soldiers in “Israel” who demonstrate against the Zionist wars on the Arabs etc. But they still need to be argued with: are they expressing their own fears for the survival of “Israel” or do they genuinely accept that “Israel” has to cease to exist and that Palestinian national liberation must triumph?
    There are now a host of Trot and “left” groups who say that the land of Palestine must be “shared” or that it ought to be a “workers state with Jews and Arabs SHARING THE LAND and living in peace” but these are just dirty obstacles put in the way of demanding an END to “Israel” and the victory of Arab national liberation.
    It is up to the Palestinian revolutionary state that will be formed to decide who lives in Palestine (and the history of many liberation struggles shows that, typically, many former privileged colonial settlers are permitted to stay to make a useful contribution. But land and space will have to be found first for the compressed populations of Gaza and the West Bank and several MILLIONS of returning refugee Palestinians from Jordan and the rest of the world.).

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