The graphics below are self-explanatory. For years Twitter allowed Donald Trump to incite racial hatred, misogyny and and all kinds of bigotry on its platforms. It allowed him to applaud naked police brutality against Black Lives Matter protesters, to promote hatred against Palestinians and applaud Israeli terrorism and genocidal policies against them. It allowed him to advocate and boast about torturing people. It even allowed him to openly threaten nuclear war, against Iran and North Korea, on its platforms.
So Twitter has not and never had any problem with extreme forms of violence and state criminality. It only developed a ‘problem’ with this very recently, when it began to suspect that its prize Presidential attraction was a loser. Only after his November electoral defeat did it start regularly putting warnings on his posts about the flagrant lies within them.
Twitter’s corporate owners made billions of dollars from Trumpism. Indeed they helped bring him, undoubtedly the vilest and most dangerous political figure in the politics of advanced countries since Adolf Hitler, to power. They, along with Facebook, through the simple method of lucrative paid advertising, also helped bring extreme right wing forces around Boris Johnson to power in Britain via Brexit, promoting racism and bigotry on an industrial scale.
The result is to be seen in the terrible death toll of the Covid-19 pandemic, where Britain and the US are among the deadliest Covid-ridden places to live in the world thanks to the far right thugs and killers the corporate social media giants helped bring to power.
That is why they allowed him to rampage unrestricted for many years. But Twitter also repeatedly banned and suspended anti-racists and socialists, whose right to free speech was never upheld on Twitter. Big money allows scum like Trump to turn the democratic potential of IT technology and social media into a tool for the mass incitement of racist murder and genocide. Which is why it is an imperative demand of the labour movement for social media such as Twitter and Facebook to be placed under democratic workers control, so fascists and anti-democratic, genocidal forces can be excluded while working-class, anti-racist forces can freely debate.
Twitter are stumped as the graphics below relate. A comrade from the Trotskyist Faction, while Trump’s forces were preparing, and then carrying out, the assault on the Capitol, pointed out repeatedly that Trump’s forces were fascist terrorists and tweeted to prominent opponents of Trump, including President-Elect Joe Biden, that these fascist terrorists should be shot. He also made the obvious comparison between Trump’s putsch and Hitler/Ludendorff’s 1923 Beer-Hall putsch in Munich, and demanded that Trump should be executed for this, noting that Hitler and Lundendorff should have been executed after Munich. It is obvious, to say the least, that if Hitler had been killed then it is likely that many millions of victims of his subsequent genocide would never have died.
Our comrade’s account was suspended on the grounds of ‘hateful conduct’. According to these imbeciles, by callling Trump’s people ‘fascist terrorists’ he had offended against the rule that : “You may not promote violence against, threaten or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious illness”.
The comrade appealed and challenged the Twitter liars to “Explain what ‘protected characteristic’ I attacked. Trump is a fascist terrorist. That is not a protected characteristic.”
They cannot reply, as it is laughable and criminally insulting to in any way equate hostility to fascist terrorism with racism, national hatred, homophobia, transphobic, ageism or anti-disabled bigotry.
In fact in censoring the demand for fascist terrorists to be treated as fascist terrorists, Twitter are defending the perpetrators of such vile bigotry in spades.
Twitter’s corporate leaders are Trump supporters, who have made a mint from Trump’s rantings. They have belatedly backed off from Trump now he is shown up to be a loser.
Our comrade’s appeal against suspension and the deletion of these Tweets is stuck, as Twitter cannot deal with the appeal. Because Twitter’s corporate executives, including its CEO Jack Dorsey, supported Trump for years. If they uphold our comrade’s appeal, they are upholding the right of left-wing militants to call for fascist terrorists to be shot. In fact the implication of the suspension is that calling Trump’s supporters ‘terrorists’ is in some way ‘hateful conduct’. But they have a big problem with this, as Joe Biden himself rightly called them terrorists.
And if they are terrorists, the question of whether they should or should not be shot is obviously a legitimate question of debate. They are hoist on their own petard, as Trump himself, on their platform, Tweeted about killing people he considered to be ‘terrorists’ without any objection from Twitter.
On the other hand, if they reject the appeal, they are clearly defending the perpetrators of the attack on the Capitol, who murdered people including a Capitol policeman, from pungent attack.
So Trump-promoting, Trump-supporting Twitter are sitting on this appeal like pathetic cowards. Normally such appeals are dismissed with the blink of an eye. Four days now since Trump’s fascist putsch and counting…
IHRA fake definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is a modern-day Nuremburg Law
The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party, and removal of the Parliamentary whip, by the grovelling Tory-Zionist stooge Starmer, is an outrage that all socialists and class -conscious workers must condemn. The pretext for this is the publication of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHCR) report into so-called ‘anti-Semitism’ under Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party over the last five years. Of course, we must demand its reversal, and Corbyn’s immediate reinstatement. But it is a predictable outrage, and we would advise the left not to hold its breath waiting for the neoliberal Labour Party bureaucracy to relent. There are several possibilities: from Corbyn’s expulsion, to his capitulation, to a major conflict in Labour that destroys Starmer’s leadership, to a split of part of the left from Labour and the emergence of a new party.
The prolonged smear campaign is simply a stratagem by the enemies of independent working-class politics to hobble the working-class movement. In this regard, given the odious politics of the right-wing of the Labour Party on virtually every question you can name, from Blair’s crimes in Iraq, to anti-immigrant chauvinism, to support for Tory austerity, and reactionary anti-union laws, they hardly have the political authority to pull off something like this by themselves. They are too discredited. So, Zionists had to step in and play the vanguard role as a bourgeois fifth column within the labour movement, providing a threadbare, barely plausible justification for bringing down Corbyn.
The smears lack coherence; the only reason that they have achieved currency is because every media organ from the BBC to the Sun to the Guardian repeats them ad nauseum and any voice that condemns them is excluded from being broadcast or published on the grounds that even to demur from, let alone full-throatedly condemn, the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign, is itself ‘anti-Semitic’ and of course, ‘anti-Semitism’ needs to be banned. So, dissenting voices are banned from the mainstream media.
This is totalitarian politics, similar to the mentality of the worst Stalinists in the late 1930s Moscow Trials, who smeared the leading cadre of the Bolshevik Party as terrorists and collaborators with fascism, and banned all dissent on the grounds that to dissent from the lie was prima facie evidence of fascist and terrorist sympathy in itself. The Nazis lied just as profusely, indeed the technique used by Nazis, Stalinists and Zionists was pioneered by the Nazi Propaganda chief Goebbels in the notorious technique of the Big Lie – it has to be big; it must be repeated incessantly and it will either come to be believed, or people will be so terrified to contradict it that it will be accepted through its power of intimidation alone.
This needs to be challenged, both in terms of labour movement democracy, and ideologically. Zionist totalitarian politics are poisonous to labour movement democracy, and to democratic rights generally. Starting with the aftermath of Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War of conquest and the rise of neo-liberalism in the 1970s, and even more so since the collapse of the USSR as a perceived alternative to capitalist hegemony, and the renewed outbreak of predatory imperialist wars and conquests in the Middle East, Political Zionism has played a vanguard role for imperialist reaction.
This can be defined as the international bourgeois faction in the United States and several allied imperialist countries whose core is a disproportionately powerful layer (relative to the proportion of Jews in the general population) of racist Jewish bourgeois who have citizenship rights under the racist Israeli ‘Law of Return’, and adhere to the Zionist ideology of exile and homecoming, claiming ‘Israel’ from the Palestinian Arabs as their homeland, even as a ‘reserve’ if they don’t actually reside there.
Racist Zionist McCarthyism
Notwithstanding Corbyn’s chronic weakness when confronted with their lying offensive, his numerous retreats and concessions to them, they were never going to be enough as long as he did not declare his support for Zionism ‘without qualification’ as Starmer did before becoming leader. Any Labour leader that professes any support for Palestinian rights in principle will be subjected to the same treatment. Indeed, the Zionist campaign over this began before Corbyn became leader, against Ed Miliband, though it was constrained by the fact that Miliband was even weaker on this than Corbyn, and because the former is Jewish himself.
It is highly likely that Corbyn will win in court if the suspension is challenged there. But as Chris Williamson found in 2019 when his suspension was overturned by a court, the tactic of the neoliberals when such legal setbacks happen is usually simply to manufacture another suspension on another pretext. Williamson’s double suspension was the doing of the Corbyn-supporting former General Secretary Jenny Formby, who was supposed to be part of the left. Whereas Corbyn’s suspension was formally the work of David Evans, Starmer’s appointee, an anti-working-class Blairite thug who has openly said that there is too much democracy in the Labour Party as it is.
In Britain today, the ousting of Corbyn from the leadership of the Labour Party and then his suspension is symbolic of the rise of a form of anti-working class politics just as sinister as the era of McCarthyism in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. While McCarthyism was not actually fascism, as it did not seek outright to crush the mass trade unions in the US that had grown out of the pre-war Great Depression, it sought to emasculate them by destroying their class-conscious elements through sackings and inquisitions organised from above, designed to deprive left-wing working class militants of the possibility even of earning a living through organised blacklists of socialists and communists.
The US working class, relatively quiescent at that point because of the considerable economic boom that was developing, was separated from its most class-conscious militants by this method. The neoliberal bourgeoisie and their vanguard, Zionist right, are trying to achieve something like this in Britain today. However social and economic conditions are considerably different here today from the McCarthy era and if the Labour left and the many tens, even hundreds of thousands of militants who have either been hounded out of the Labour Party, or left it in disgust, were to organise themselves politically to defy this, it could backfire in a big way.
Though it is a forlorn hope for the left to look to Corbyn himself to lead resistance to the new Zionist McCarthyism. This is shown by his response to his own suspension:
“I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me. I’ve made absolutely clear that those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.
It’s also undeniable that a false impression has been created of the number of members accused of antisemitism, as polling shows: that is what has been overstated, not the seriousness of the problem.
I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism. And I urge all members to stay calm and focused – while this problem is resolved amicably, as I believe it will be – to defeat this awful government, which is further impoverishing the poorest in our society.”
This is pathetic. One again, there is not one word in defence of any of the many lifelong anti-racist and socialist militants who have been smeared in the Goebbelsian manner by organised Zionist racists in the Labour Party, while he witters on about how he “believes” that this “problem” will be resolved “amicably”. Corbyn is not so “amicable” towards the anti-racist, anti-Zionist left. Throughout his leadership, when leftists came under attack, he threw them under the bus. This reached its nadir at the 2019 Labour Conference. When an excellent cartoon, depicting the Zionist campaign to destroy him, by the acclaimed pro-Palestinian illustrator Carlos Latuff, was displayed outside, on a banner by Labour Party members, he bizarrely and libellously denounced it as ‘anti-Semitic’ and supported its removal by the police. But he wants to “resolve” things “amicably” with Starmer, who supports Zionism “without qualification” including the mass expulsion and massacres of the Palestinian people.
It is right to condemn the suspension, but this should not translate into any call for the left to seek to rectify the situation in the Labour Party. Corbyn’s capitulation and grovelling to organised Zionist racists in Labour above should illustrate why. That is a forlorn hope, a labour of Sisyphus. The hold of Blairite neoliberals over Labour, its bureaucratic machine, the Parliamentary Labour Party, its forces in local government, and much of the local apparatus around the country, is overwhelming and that was not overcome or really dented much by Corbyn’s five-year spell as leader, or even the hundreds of thousands of members who joined to support Corbyn. The rise of Corbyn to the leadership was the result of a tactical miscalculation by the right wing that is very unlikely to be repeated, and it is pointless to bank on anything like this happening again.
IHRA Pseudo-Definition: A Totalitarian Set of Amalgams
The EHRC of course was fully on side with the right-wing and Zionist campaign to enforce the fake, Zionist-inspired and racist, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ on the Labour Party. This definition, especially its accompanying ‘examples’, sanctions the dispossession of the Palestinian people in the 1948 Nakba by defining the view that Israel is a ‘racist endeavour’ as ‘anti-Semitic’.
There is a degree of sophistry in this ‘example’ that implicitly recognises how appalling that is, by using the formulation that defining “a state of Israel”, not “the state of Israel” as a “racist endeavour” is “anti-Semitic, leading some to disingenuously try to argue that it is the idea of Israel that is being protected from criticism, not the existing state. But that is absurd deception: no one believes for a single moment that this example is talking about some other state of Israel in a parallel universe where its foundation did not dispossess another people. In practice the Zionists in Labour treat criticism of Israel as a racist state as ‘anti-Semitism”, and thus it is that to speak out against the racism of Israel and its supporters is to court expulsion from the Labour Party. Since gaining the Labour leadership, Starmer has massively accelerated expulsions of supporters of the Palestinians.
The IHRA definition is thus an anti-Arab rule, that defines the Palestinian Arab victims of Zionism as inferior people with inferior rights. Various other ‘examples’ of ‘anti-Semitism’ accompanying the definition make the same point, e.g. “Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” This is really a joke, since Israel is not a ‘democratic country” even formally, as three quarters of its indigenous Arab population were violently expelled from the country within living memory; they and their descendants are the legitimate majority in that territory. If Israel adhered to basic democratic norms it would not be ‘Israel’ at all, but Palestine, an Arab country with an Arab majority.
Then there is “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” But Israel has a racist law, the Law of Return, that gives every person born Jewish anywhere in the world, the right to Israeli citizenship, while denying that right to non-Jews, i.e. Palestinian Arabs, who were born there, and those born to these victims since the crime.
Israeli law says that all Jews have an interest in Israel, on a racist basis. Thus, it is not unreasonable to question Jews, who have what the Zionists themselves call ‘birthright’ in Israel, whether they support this racist privilege, or not. Of course, it is also reasonable to suppose that a great many anti-racist Jewish people would regard such racist laws with abhorrence. But then comes the example of “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel”. It would obviously be unreasonable to hold anti-racist Jewish people who reject this atrocity responsible for Israel’s actions. But what of those who do not reject it? They do bear responsibility for it, just as white people who supported white supremacist South Africa on racist grounds bore responsibility for the actions of that state.
And then there is “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”. But one policy of the Nazis that was notorious was the Nuremburg laws, which deprived Jews born and raised in Germany of Germany citizenship on grounds that they were Jewish. Israel has deprived millions of those expelled in 1948, and their descendants, of citizenship of the land it now occupies, because they are not Jewish. This is equally racist.
The set of ‘examples’ that accompany the IHRA ‘definition’, and is really essential to it, is a series of amalgams, that attempt, not particularly subtly, to equate criticism of Zionist racism with the politics of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Its main target is the pro-Palestinian left. But in passing, before it gets on to the main meal, so to speak, it has an obvious swipe at Muslims: “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion“ is a sign of ‘anti-Semitism’ it seems.
But of course, this does not mention the ethnic cleansing and forcible taking away of a people’s home country, justified by a claim of ownership based on the idea of “the Bible as a title deed”: a claim to land based on largely mythologised stories in a holy book much of which supposedly refers to events several thousands of years ago. It would be singularly appropriate to describe political Zionism as “calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Arabs in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.“ Some might observe such behaviour tends to create its own complement or nemesis. But the IHRA definition amalgamates that nemesis with the Nazis, in passing.
And there is the crowning point of the amalgam. Attacking the Zionist project as a “racist endeavour” is placed alongside “Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” and “Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.”
So, to say that Zionism is a racist endeavour is to put yourself alongside “National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II”. That is the real message that comes across from this list of putative “examples”.
In fact, the example of “Accusing … Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust” treads on very dangerous territory for the Zionists. For while it is difficult to exaggerate something of the magnitude of the Nazi holocaust, the deliberate genocide of several million Jewish people by the devotees of a paranoid, inhuman and racist ideology generated by capitalist imperialism at a particular phase of its evolution, nevertheless the fact is that the Zionist movement has exploited the genocide for political gain in its own racist campaign against supporters of the Palestinians.
Zionism and Anti-Semitism: Twin Brethren
That is a key part of the totalitarian structure of the IHRA definition, and it is a prime specimen of the genre. In the first few decades after the Second World War, only neo-Nazis denied the Nazi genocide occurred, and their reasons for doing so were transparent and odious. That is no longer true today, because for decades the Zionists have exploited it to justify their own crimes. Because of that, a considerable number of those disgusted by these ongoing crimes, quite comprehensibly, at the very least are open to the suspicion that the obvious use of the genocide to justify todays crimes means that the event itself is questionable.
This is an example of the self-incriminating slander, a variation of the self-fulfilling prophesy. For if anything is responsible for the growth of suspicions about the truth of the Shoah it is the Zionist exploitation of it to justify their own crimes. The IHRA pseudo-definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is a prime example of this. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that the IHRA pseudo-definition is itself an incitement to anti-Semitism.
We hope it does not succeed in that incitement, but it would fit in perfectly with the history of Zionism, in collaborating with genuine anti-Semites from the Tsarist minister Vyachelav Von Phleve, one of the key figures who inspired the anti-Semitic forgery and propaganda caricature of Zionism, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, whose purpose was a hate campaign against Jews in general. In August 1903 the founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl, met with Von Phleve in St Petersburg, to discuss “the establishment of Zionist societies in Russia” and to propose “a Russian government request to the Turks to obtain a charter for Jewish colonisation of Palestine.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyacheslav_von_Plehve)
This was 30 years or so before the Zionists sought a similar deal with the Nazis, titled the Haavara Agreement, in August 1933 when in a financial deal to hand over emigrant property to the Nazi regime, the Zionists secured the emigration of around 60,000 German Jews to Palestine between 1933 and 1939. This agreement broke the boycott by leftist and (at that time) non-Zionist bourgeois Jewish organisations against the Third Reich.
This Zionist campaign, and the IHRA pseudo-definition, are not directed against anti-Semitism at all. It is purely and simply a campaign against socialism using Goebbels’ Big Lie. If the left really were anti-Semitic, the Zionists would embrace them, as anti-Semitism is useful to the Zionist project. As the founder of Zionism, Theordore Herzl, stated in his Diaries:
“In Paris, as I have said, I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognized the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism.”
And in their scheming of the founder of Zionism anti-Semitism is seen to be positively helpful:
“It would be an excellent idea to call in respectable, accredited anti-Semites as liquidators of property. To the people they would vouch for the fact that we do not wish to bring about the impoverishment of the countries that we leave. At first they must not be given large fees for this; otherwise we shall spoil our instruments and make them despicable as ‘stooges of the Jews.’ Later their fees will increase, and in the end we shall have only Gentile officials in the countries from which we have emigrated. The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.”
The whole point of this Zionist affinity for anti-Semites is that the latter are seen as useful tools to coerce and stampede Jews into taking part in the Zionist project. The founder of Israel, David Ben Gurion, made it very clear that in his view saving Jews from anti-Semitic persecution, and even murder, where it was an immediate threat as in the Third Reich, was not their particular concern. Sending colonists to Israel was the main objective even if many Jews died, who might otherwise have been saved, to achieve this:
“if the Jews are faced with a choice between the refugee problem and rescuing Jews from concentration camps on the one hand, and aid for the national museum in Palestine on the other, the Jewish sense of pity will prevail and our people’s entire strength will be directed at aid for the refugees in the various countries. Zionism will vanish from the agenda and indeed not only world public opinion in England and America but also from Jewish public opinion. We are risking Zionism’s very existence if we allow the refugee problem to be separated from the Palestine problem.”
The Other Israel,op cit
And Ben Gurion drew the conclusion from this that:
“If I knew it was possible to save all the children in Germany by taking them to England, and only half of the children by taking them to Eretz Israel, I would choose the second solution. For we must take into account not only the lives of these children but also the history of the people of Israel.”
Biography of Ben-Gurion by Shabtai Teveth, pp. 855-56, cited at https://www.truetorahjews.org/bengurion
So, in the face of real anti-Semitic persecution, Zionists not only ‘pardoned’ anti-Semitism and thought it ‘empty’ and ‘futile’ to combat it but considered anti-Semites their “most dependable friends”. In that vein they actively sought out deals and collaboration with Tsarist anti-Semitic persecutors and genocidal Nazis alike. The then-future founding Prime Minister of Israel actually said that he would prefer half of the children of his own people to die in an imminent genocide, than for all of them to escape to somewhere other than the Palestine he planned to seize by force from the Palestinian Arab people!
The “Anti-Semitism” Canard and Bourgeois Class Interest
Today, unlike in the circumstances before WWII, anti-Semitism is a rightly discredited and foul creed, discredited above all by the crimes of the Nazis. Real anti-Semitism is a fringe belief and hardly much of a threat to most Jews. The status of Jews in Western society was massively transformed after WWII from the pre-war situation where Jews were regarded as a semi-pariah population, where even the proportionately large layer of bourgeois Jews were excluded from the social circles of the bourgeoisie, or ‘country club discrimination’, to the situation described by Norman Finkelstein in his 2018 essay Corbyn Mania:
“Were popular stereotypes plotted along a spectrum from benign to malignant, most anti-Semitic ones would fall near the benign end whereas those of truly oppressed minorities would cluster at the opposite end. Yes, Jews must endure the reputation of being stingy, pushy, and clannish—but Muslims are profiled as terrorists and misogynists, Blacks are despised as chronically lazy and genetically stupid, and Roma/Sinti are loathed as dirty beggars and thieves. Nor do Jews suffer the losses attending actual victimhood. How many Jews qua Jews have been refused a job or flat? How many Jews have been shot dead by police or railroaded into jail? Whereas being Black or Muslim closes doors, being Jewish opens them. If whites occupying seats of power discriminate in favor of other whites, and men occupying seats of power discriminate in favor of other men, it would be surprising if largely successful Jews didn’t discriminate in favor of other Jews. Not only is it no longer a social liability to be Jewish, it even carries social cachet. Whereas it once was a step up for a Jew to marry into a ruling elite family, it now appears to be a step up for the ruling elite to marry into a Jewish family. Isn’t it a straw in the wind that both President Bill Clinton’s pride and joy Chelsea and President Donald Trump’s pride and joy Ivanka married Jews?”
But though anti-Semitism is today a marginal and obsolete form of racist ideology, the Zionists pretend it is still rampant, as it is very useful for their own racist project. If they can somehow convince Jewish people that they are in some way at risk from slavering Jew-hating leftists, then that suits their agenda. Never mind that the idea of left-wing anti-Semitism, or any other kind of ‘left-wing’ racism, is an oxymoron. Anyone who harbours racist animosity towards any people, no matter how left-wing they flatter themselves to be, on that question is politically on the right.
However, the creation, by smoke and mirrors, of the belief that there is an ‘anti-Semitic’ threat from the left to Jewish people is an essential lie to Zionists. For two reasons: to try to find some kind of justification to themselves and others for the non-stop atrocities Israel commits against the Palestinians with their support. And two, to create a ‘circle the wagons’ mentality among those Jews they do influence, a fear of criticism and engagement, again to cement their domination over Jews because of fear of a supposedly anti-Semitic ‘other’.
What needs explaining is why this effort in deception gets such widespread bourgeois support. Why the entire bourgeois media, from the right wing Tory media such as the Sun and Daily Telegraph, to the Guardian and Independent, to the BBC and other publicly owned media who are formally under some kind of legal obligation to be impartial, join in promoting the fairy-tale that left-wing support for Palestinian rights and opposition to the racism of Zionist Jews against them is driven by racial antagonism to Jewish people.
There is only one explanation that is logically coherent. It is to be found in our Draft Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialism from 2014, which explains the extraordinary influence of Zionist politics in Western countries, to the point that representatives of virtually every single bourgeois party pay tribute to Israeli ‘democracy’, in the following way:
“There is a common ethnocentric project between the ruling class of Israel and the various hegemonic pro-Israel bourgeois Jewish organisations in a number of imperialist countries, centrally the United States. This pan-imperialist Zionist bloc within the bourgeoisie plays an active role in the oppression of the Palestinians. This bourgeois current, which extends from the ruling class of Israel to penetrate deeply into the US ruling class (and to a lesser extent the ruling classes of several European imperialist countries also) has some of the attributes of a national bourgeois formation without a single territory exclusive to itself.
“It is therefore both a powerful imperialist formation, and deeply unstable. In this epoch of declining capitalism, it plays the role of a kind of ‘vanguard of the bourgeoisie’ – not quite the mirror-image of Marxism but with aspirations along those lines. It has been instrumental in pushing the nationally limited imperialist bourgeoisies to partially transcend their own national particularisms. Hence the ‘traditional’ imperialist bourgeoisie, based on the nation-state, having overcome their previous fear of the supposedly proletarian-internationalist role of the Jews as a result of the outcome of WWII, now regards Jewish ‘cosmopolitanism’ and bourgeois semi-internationalism as a good thing, and to a considerable degree defers and follows the leadership of the Jewish/Zionist bourgeoisie.
“But this is unstable, and depends for its coherence on the maintenance of Israel as a Jewish state. Without that ethnocentric entity in the Middle East, the Jewish layers in the ruling classes in the imperialist countries would have no focus to unite them; their ‘internationalism’ (in reality tribalism) would collapse, and the Jewish bourgeoisie would simply over time disappear through assimilation into the national ruling classes of the imperialist countries. This bourgeois caricature of internationalism would collapse.
“Hence the rabid support of Israel by the bourgeois Jewish-ethnocentric fractions in the imperialist countries, their ability to maintain broader bourgeois support, and the failure of more seemingly rational voices in the ruling class to prevail over them. This represents a kind of bourgeois class instinct as to its interests against the proletariat, giving it additional political weapons against the genuinely internationalist aspirations of the working class movement. Unfortunately, due to inadequate political leadership, the left has until now failed to correctly deal with this problem.”
Therefore, the wider bourgeois support for the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear against the left for criticising Zionist racism is not arbitrary, it is driven by class instinct and class interest. Hence the phenomenon of attacks on the democratic rights of critics of Israel which is becoming a serious danger in all the advanced Western capitalist countries. It seems incredible that laws, legal judgements and political pronouncements are now commonplace forbidding a fairly distant, racist state from being criticised for its racism, equating such anti-racist criticism itself with racism, and demanding punishments from fines, sackings or even possibly imprisonment for such critics, in the West that frequently trumpets its supposed respect for ‘human rights’. But that is the reality of ruling class policy today. And the EHCR report on the Labour Party reflects that ruling class policy.
EHRC Report: Bourgeois Smears and Threats to the Right To Criticise Racism
In the detail of the EHRC report, there lie the germs of serious attacks on democratic rights that have implications beyond the Labour Party, serious sophistry that itself amounts to a rationale for attacks on the democratic rights of critics of Zionist racism. These are manifested in the two cases that the report does provide some commentary on, the cases of Ken Livingstone, who requires no introduction, and Pam Bromley, a councillor from Rossendale in Lancashire.
What is particularly egregious and dangerous to democratic rights is that the EHCR says that comments made by Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley, that they were disciplined for in the Labour Party, are not protected by the article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression. They say this in the context of condemning the Labour Party since, supposedly, as a member of the Labour Party NEC (in the case of Ken Livingstone at the time) and a Labour Councillor (as was Pam Bromley at the time) they acted as ‘agents’ of the Labour Party. That of course is the Labour Party’s business.
But the attacks on these individuals, who are no longer members of the Labour Party, having resigned (in the case of Ken Livingstone) and been expelled (in the case of Pam Bromley) are a threat to democratic rights outside the framework of the Labour Party. Regarding Ken Livingstone, the report states that:
“The comments made by Naz Shah [which Ken Livingstone defended in TV interviews after she too was accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ and confessed, showing political weakness] went beyond legitimate criticism of the Israeli government, and are not protected by Article 10. Neither is Ken Livingstone’s support for those comments, or his suggestion that scrutiny of them was part of a smear campaign by the ‘Israel lobby’.”
Regarding Pam Bromley, the EHRC report says:
“Some of Pam Bromley’s posts suggested that complaints about antisemitism in the Labour Party had been fabricated. We recognise Pam Bromley’s right, under Article 10 of the ECHR, to express opinions about her own experience of the presence or scale of antisemitism in the Labour Party, within the bounds of the law, as we explain in Chapter 3. However, her posts go beyond this by repeatedly saying that allegations of antisemitism were fabricated.
“Some of Pam Bromley’s social media posts suggested that Jewish people were engaged in a conspiracy for control of the Labour Party, which we consider to be an antisemitic trope (for example, the reference to a ‘fifth column’).”
“The Labour Party received a number of complaints about Pam Bromley’s conduct on social media. Labour Party members told us that her conduct, including the Facebook posts above, contributed to a hostile environment in the Labour Party for Jewish and non-Jewish members.”
“We therefore consider that the posts had the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for members, and prospective members, of the Labour Party, particularly those who were Jewish.”
Again, the report says that Pam Bromley had ‘gone beyond’ what is permitted in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. This again has implications beyond the Labour Party. Because if these views are not protected by Human Rights law inside the Labour Party, then logically they are not protected by Human Rights law in British society as a whole. This is clearly an abuse of Human Rights law by the EHCR itself; if nailed down it is a license for state or public authorities to violate the democratic rights of anyone who holds similar views in wider society.
Let us look at the wording of article 10. It reads:
“1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
“2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”
This is a bourgeois document, obviously, and a number of the qualifications of it are in reality protection of the ruling class against the masses, for instance “national security” or “territorial integrity” which can be used to justify crimes and violations committed by the state, such as the persecution of Julian Assange for revealing state crimes (‘national security’), or the elected government of Catalonia, which tried to lead that nation to democratically secede from Spain after a referendum (that is ‘territorial integrity’).
But notwithstanding the anti-democratic nature of those qualifications, none of them apply here. Other qualifications, such as “the prevention of disorder or crime” are clearly irrelevant, as is “the protection of health or morals” which might relate to the enforcement of quarantine measures in the current pandemic, or the prosecution of those producing child sex videos. “The protection of the reputation or rights of others” refers to defamation of character, or laws against those advocating racial discrimination or inciting racial hatred. This is not involved here, or at least the report does not allege that the criminal laws on this are breached by these views – if it did this would be grounds for criminal prosecution. Nor is this covered by “preventing the disclosure of information disclosed in confidence” (data protection law, basically) or “maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary” (which is about contempt of court and similar things).
So despite the EHCR’s statement that these political views, publicly stated at the time, are not covered by Article 10 of the European Convention, none of the caveats or exceptions in Article 10 bear any resemblance to the views of Ken Livingstone or Pam Bromley, stated at the time.
The EHCR report, which claims these views are beyond the pale in terms of Article 10, does not quote from Article 10 and concretely demonstrate which of these caveats the views of Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley, as expressed at the time, run afoul of. Because any literate person can see that they do not conflict with any of them. Indeed, nowhere in the report, neither in the text itself or in the footnotes, is the full wording of Article 10 reproduced. The reasons are obvious: sleight of hand. Article 10 is partially reproduced in footnote 6 on page 26, which elaborates on the statement that “speech that is within the scope of the right to freedom of expression in Article 10 may still be restricted, or sanctioned, where it is proportionate to do”:
“6. It may be proportionate to do so pursuant to Article 10(2), which provides that the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 may ‘since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, … for the protection of the … rights of others’.”
The list of derogations is conspicuously missing here since none of the views they are trying to proscribe even remotely fit them.
The report seeks to elide around this by roping in Article 17, which states the following:
“Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the Convention.”
The EHRC attempts to enlist this to justify the following:
“However, the ECHR does not protect racist speech that negates its fundamental values. The European Court of Human Rights has held that speech that is incompatible with the values guaranteed by the ECHR, notably tolerance, social peace and non-discrimination, is removed from the protection of Article 10 because of Article 17.4. This may include antisemitic speech and Holocaust denial.”
They go on to quote various cases in Europe where individuals have been prosecuted under laws prohibiting ‘Holocaust Denial’ which the European Court of Human Rights have failed to overturn, and then claim that these have some relevance to the views of comrades Livingstone and Bromley:
“Furthermore, speech that is within the scope of the right to freedom of expression in Article 10 may still be restricted, or sanctioned, where it is proportionate to do so. In the case of harassment, conduct may be regarded as unlawful, and action taken on it, where this is proportionate to protect the rights of others not to have their dignity violated or to be exposed to an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.”
And this is the basis of the EHRC’s claim that the views of Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley were in some way unlawful, that their expression constituted ‘harassment’ supposedly of Jews on the grounds of ethnic origin in and around the Labour Party, and that the Labour Party was responsible for the alleged consequences of their views being expressed as they were its ‘agents’.
These views are laid out as follows regarding Ken Livingstone:
“In April 2016, while he was a member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), Ken Livingstone made statements about antisemitic social media posts by Naz Shah MP, which we explain below.
“Naz Shah’s social media posts included an image suggesting that Israel should be relocated to the United States, with the comment ‘problem solved’, and a post in which she appeared to liken Israeli policies to those of Hitler. Naz Shah apologised for her comments in Parliament on 27 April 2016.
“In media interviews between 28 and 30 April 2016, Ken Livingstone denied that these posts were antisemitic. He sought to minimise their offensive nature by stating that they were merely criticism of Israeli policy at a time of conflict with the Palestinians. He also alleged that scrutiny of Naz Shah’s conduct was part of an apparent smear campaign by ‘the Israel lobby’ to stigmatise critics of Israel as antisemitic, as well as being aimed at undermining and disrupting the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn MP.”
And that’s it! What the report mysteriously does not mention is that Livingstone was also denounced, rabidly, as ‘anti-Semitic’, for talking extensively about the issue of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. This was one of the charges against him when he was initially suspended in 2016 and in his re-suspension when he reiterated his views shortly before the end of his initial suspension and it was effectively extended for another year. So, this is a rather odd ‘blank space’ in the report. The reason for this may be that the authors of the report were afraid of overreaching themselves if they characterised references to this historical event, as in some way unlawful. They would be treading into the same territory as Nazi genocide deniers, as the Zionists’ dealings with the Nazis are very well documented.
Regarding Pam Bromley, we have the following litany of supposedly ‘anti-Semitic’ utterances on social media:
“‘Some time back I got hammered for posting an anti-Rothschild meme. However here they are again. We must remember that the Rothschilds are a powerful financial family (like the Medicis) and represent capitalism and big business – even if the Nazis DID use the activities of the Rothschilds in their anti semitic [sic] propaganda. We must not obscure the truth with the need to be tactful’ (post, 8 April 2018).
• ‘A huge sigh of relief echoes around Facebook’ (comment accompanying a shared BBC News story with the headline ‘Israeli spacecraft crashes on Moon’, 12 April 2019).
‘This is what’s behind all the false accusations of antisemitism. This is what, despite international condemnation, Israel does to its neighbour Palestine … All hidden behind a fog of fake accusations of antisemitism’ (comment alongside a post about injuries in Gaza, 12 April 2019).
• ‘Looks like fake accusations of AS [antisemitism] to undermine Labour just aren’t working, so let’s have Chris Williamson reinstated’ (post, 20 April 2019).
• ‘Are you losing the argument? Or is it that you have nothing of value to add? Why not call your opponent an… anti-semite! This will make you feel like you have won the argument and you wont [sic] need to provide any evidence’ (post, 15 May 2019).
• ‘My major criticism of him – his failure to repel the fake accusations of antisemitism in the LP [Labour Party] – may not be repeated as the accusations may probably now magically disappear, now capitalism has got what it wanted’ (post, 15 December 2019).
• ‘Had Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party pulled up the drawbridge and nipped the bogus AS accusations in the bud in the first place we would not be where we are now and the fifth column in the LP would not have managed to get such a foothold … the Lobby has miscalculated … The witch hunt has created brand new fightback networks … The Lobby will then melt back into its own cesspit’ (post, date unknown).
The problem with this is that none of the above can be demonstrated to involve hostility, or any advocacy of discrimination, against Jewish people, at all. Proof exists, in The Lobby, an 2017 undercover journalistic investigation by Al Jazeera Television, that pro-Israel elements in the Labour Party conspired with an Israeli state agent, Shia Masot, to undermine Corbyn’s leadership by making false allegations of anti-Semitism against party members. They were filmed doing it. Masot and leading figures in Labour’s pro-Israel factions were filmed laughing and joking about £1 million of funding made available to them by the Israeli state for that purpose.
In this context, the allegation that Pam Bromley’s remark about a ‘fifth column’ in Labour “suggested that Jewish people were engaged in a conspiracy for control of the Labour Party” is simply a smear, as they referred to specific political trends composed of both Jews and others involved in undermining Corbyn, not Jews in general. All the remarks above about fake accusations of anti-Semitism are fully justified against those people, a mixture of Jews and non-Jews. None of them are directed against Jews in general. There is nothing anti-Semitic about a joke about a failure in Israel’s space programme, self-evidently, since the writer considers that state persecutes Palestinians. Even the link to the article she shared, which does contain material from a dubious, conspiratorial source about the Rothschilds, is qualified by her own commentary where she compares the Rothschilds to another example in history of a powerful banking dynasty, the Medicis, who were not Jewish. She is not therefore attacking them for being Jewish, whatever she may or may not think of their behaviour, either historically or contemporarily.
This statement therefore also contains a smear:
“One of the social media posts used an obviously antisemitic trope, namely that Jewish people control the world’s financial system. In her response to this investigation, Pam Bromley said that she was making general criticisms about capitalism and a legitimate political argument. In our view, this post goes beyond legitimate comment, referring to antisemitic Nazi propaganda.
Mentioning ‘anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda’ while making an argument cannot by any normal logic be said to equate with agreeing with it. Pam Bromley’s argument was clearly that despite the Nazis making use of their activities for propaganda purposes to condemn all Jews, It is still legitimate to criticise this dynasty for what she evidently believes are their activities in support of capitalism and the racist state of Israel. To imply therefore that she was supportive of ‘Nazi propaganda’ is another deliberate smear.
The icing on the cake of this is when the EHRC says of Ken Livingstone “Furthermore, the Labour Party accepts, in its representations to the investigation, that he was acting as its agent in the specific circumstances identified”. In Pam Bromley’s case, since she is not a nationally known figure, they could not reasonably even say that.
But given the smears, self-serving omissions, and dishonesty about the above from the EHRC, its allegation that the sum total of these views, expressed legitimately by these two Labour Party leftists, constituted ‘harassment’, is also a smear. It contradicts itself blatantly when it writes first of all that “We find that Pam Bromley’s comments were unwanted conduct related to Jewish ethnicity, which, whether viewed individually or together with other relevant acts of Labour Party agents, had the effect of harassing Labour Party members” (p110) and then follows that up with “ Labour Party members told us that her conduct, including the Facebook posts above, contributed to a hostile environment in the Labour Party for Jewish and non-Jewish members” (p111).
So what was this ‘hostile environment’ Pam Bromley is alleged to have contributed to, “together with other relevant acts of Labour Party agents” (i.e. Ken Livingstone, the only other named) “related to Jewish ethnicity”, or did it contribute “to a hostile environment in the Labour Party for Jewish and non-Jewish members”? Was it based on ethnic discrimination, or not?
This contradiction in the text is simply explained by the fact that the hostility they expressed was to supporters of the racist state of Israel, both Jews and non-Jews. It was hostility to Zionist racism, not hostility to Jews. That the Labour Party ‘concedes’ this in the case of nationally known figure Ken Livingstone simply reflects the views of its leader, Keir Starmer, who has publicly stated that he supports Zionism ‘without qualification’. Its of a piece with his conduct over the libel case by Zionist so-called ‘whistleblowers’, including those directly involved with smearing Corbyn in the notorious BBC Panorama programme fronted by Muslim-baiting ‘journalist’ John Ware, where Starmer conceded and paid damages in a case that Corbyn had earlier had solid legal advice advice that Labour would win, for reasons that Corbyn himself said were politically motivated.
Fight and Deconstruct the Smears, Don’t Grovel Before the Smearers!
There have been some unfortunate and misguided attempts to defend Jeremy Corbyn against Starmer’s suspension by evoking passages in the EHCR report that appear to chime in with what he says, such as where it says:
“Article 10 will protect Labour Party members who, for example, make legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government, or express their opinions on internal Party matters, such as the scale of antisemitism within the Party, based on their own experience and within the law. It does not protect criticism of Israel that is anti-semitic.
And about Pam Bromley it says:
“We recognise Pam Bromley’s right, under Article 10 of the ECHR, to express opinions about her own experience of the presence or scale of antisemitism in the Labour Party, within the bounds of the law, as we explain in Chapter 3. However, her posts go beyond this by repeatedly saying that allegations of antisemitism were fabricated.”
But as pointed out earlier, accusations of anti-Semitism were fabricated by pro-Israel elements in the Labour Party in concert with an Israeli state agent, Shia Masot. When his activities were exposed, Masot was recalled to Israel because of the diplomatic storm the affair provoked. This is proof that accusations were fabricated in the Labour Party in a systematic manner.
So when Corbynites plead that Corbyn was only speaking from his experience about the scale of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party being inflated, and accuse Starmer of ignoring that even the EHCR report sanctioned the kind of difference Corbyn raised, they are legitimising this fraudulent report and allowing themselves to be gaslighted by the smear merchants who authored the report, who claim the right to say what is allowed and what is not allowed on the basis of … no objective criteria or proof whatsoever.
The statement by the EHCR that Article 10 “does not protect criticism of Israel that is anti-semitic” is totally dishonest, since they claim that saying things that can be proven to be true, on film, is ‘anti-Semitic’. For the EHCR, proven facts can be anti-Semitic. So presumably, in order not to be ‘anti-Semitic’, it is necessary to tell lies. This is another example of the totalitarian aspect of Zionist politics intruding into the politics of the labour movement. If facts are ‘anti-Semitic’, and citing those facts is also ‘anti-Semitic’ then we are getting into the realm of Newspeak from George Orwell’s 1984: ‘Truth is lies, war is peace’, etc.
The EHRC says that ‘criticism of Israel that is anti-Semitic’ is forbidden. But they do not define anti-Semitism. They do say of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism:
“The IHRA definition is not legally binding. To identify any unlawful acts by the Labour Party we need to apply the definitions contained in the Equality Act 2010. This is the approach that we have taken throughout this investigation. We do not comment on the IHRA definition for other purposes.”
The problem that they have is that the Equality Act 2010 contains nothing to determine whether any kind of criticism of Israel, a foreign state, is ‘anti-Semitic’ or not. How could it? It is not about criticism of foreign states. It is about matters connected with equality and discrimination affecting people who live in the United Kingdom, where the legislation applies.
So, in aiming to determine that criticism of Israel is ‘anti-Semitic’ or not, the EHRC are in practice working with the kind of material in the IHRA’s examples, which have already been analysed earlier.
Instead they say “We note the approach of the Home Affairs Select Committee, namely that it is not antisemitic to hold the Israeli government to the same standards as other liberal democracies, to criticise the Israeli government, or to take a particular interest in the Israeli government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent.” (p116)
Well we also note the statement that Israel is a ‘liberal democracy’ which is not the experience of the Palestinian people that are its indigenous population. It is an ethnocracy that suppresses them. This is part of the IHRA definition. It is to be noted that there is no definition of anti-Semitism in the Equality Act 2010, which however defines ‘race’ as including “(a) colour, (b) nationality, (c) ethnic or national origins.”. Which is totally useless in deciding whether criticism of Israel is ‘anti-Semitic’ or not.
However, the Oxford Dictionary defines anti-Semitism as “Hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people.” Mirriam Webster defines it as “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.” These definitions, unlike the IHRA Definition which explicitly says it is not legally binding, do have force of law. There is nothing in refusing to lie that Israel is a ‘liberal democracy’ or any of the other lies, amalgams and smears that litter both the IHRA pseudo-definition, and the EHRC report, that remotely fit those definitions. Which is evidently why they are not even mentioned in the report.
So, when the EHRC conclude that
“We are satisfied that the unwanted conduct we identify … meets the definition of harassment without reference to the IHRA definition and examples. But we are also satisfied that it would meet the IHRA definition and its examples of antisemitism.”
they are in fact engaging in sophistry and in practice using at least elements of the IHRA examples as the basis for their smear. They do not mention the definitions in authoritative dictionaries, they point to a putative definition in the Equality Act that does not exist. What they are actually doing is subliminally, by stealth, smuggling in the same approach as in the IHRA pseudo-definition, to brand critics of Zionism and its racism as ant-Semitic, and again by stealth, seeking to put those critics and their views outside the protection of Freedom of Expression protections as codified in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. This is an attack on the labour movement, on the anti-racist movement for Palestinian rights, and on democratic rights more generally.
Threats to Democratic Rights
This is serious, because the EHCR is a state body that purports to define what is permissible for the whole of society, not just about the Labour Party. It is possible that sophistry of this kind could be used to build the basis for anti-democratic state repression against the left, for instance against a left-wing party that rejected the capitulations of Labour, including under Jeremy Corbyn, to Zionist racism, and which campaigned openly as a militant anti-racist and therefore anti-Zionist Party.
This is not at all far-fetched, as is shown by a variety of repressive measures against left-wing critics of Zionist racism passed, or proposed, by a variety Western bourgeois legislative bodies. For instance, even the ‘respectable’ bourgeois Human Rights Watch reports that in the United States:
“Twenty-seven states have adopted laws or policies that penalize businesses, organizations, or individuals that engage in or call for boycotts against Israel. The laws or policies in 17 of those states explicitly target not only companies that refuse to do business in or with Israel, but also those that refuse to do business in Israeli settlements. Some states whose laws do not explicitly apply to settlements have also penalized companies that cut settlement ties.”
Then you have the US State Department, led by Mike Pompeo, who are proposing to label such tame NGOs as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Oxfam as ‘anti-Semitic’ simply for criticizing Israeli abuses.
Similar things have happened in France, with Macron’s sponsorship of a motion passed by the French parliament last year that says that:
“Criticising the very existence of Israel as a collective composed of Jewish citizens is tantamount to hatred towards the Jewish community as a whole; just like collectively holding Jews accountable for the policies of the Israeli authorities is an expression of antisemitism”
Another manifestation of this in Britain today is the very difficult legal action being undertaken by the expelled Labour Party Jewish socialist Tony Greenstein, who was smeared as a ‘notorious anti-Semite’ by the so-called ‘Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’ (CAA), a virulent Zionist body that aggressively targets opponents of Israeli racism with smears. The CAA is a registered charity that blatantly breaks the rules and extensively campaigned to smear Labour Party members during the entire period of Corbyn’s leadership and since. Rather than campaigning against anti-Semitism, in reality its political activity is a continual hate campaign against those who support the Palestinian Arab struggle against ethnic cleansing, to the extent that a correct name for the CAA would be ‘Campaign Against Arabs’. In In the recent hearing of Greenstein’s case, the CAA successfully applied to have Greenstein’s case struck out not on the grounds that their statement that Greenstein is a ‘notorious anti-Semite’ is true, but rather that it is their ‘honest opinion’. The judge agreed; it was struck out, and Greenstein has been landed with exorbitant legal costs.
This is how state racism and racism in the legal system has evolved. Israel is a state created though the expulsion of three quarters of the indigenous Arab population of ‘its’ territory, a monstrous act of racism that renders its claim to be any kind of ‘democracy’ a sick joke. Yet a ‘definition’ of ‘anti-Semitism’ is propagated throughout Western society that states that it is obligatory to treat Israel no differently from any other ‘liberal democracy’. And yet those who oppose this racism can be smeared as ‘anti-Semites’, even though the authors of these smears do not even dare to claim that these abusive insults are actually true, with the blessing of racist judges and the ruling class as a whole
This is grotesque racist abuse against the victims of Zionism, it is similar to the ‘Dredd Scott’ judgement in a court in the United States shortly before the mid-19th Century US Civil War, when a judge ruled that black people had “No rights that the white man is bound to respect”. That is state racism, and all this paraphernalia: the IHRA pseudo-definition, the EHCR report smearing Labour Party members, the corrupt judiciary that brazenly allows racist fake charities like the CAA to lie about anti-racists with the audacity of Goebbels, without even pretending that their statements are true, all this amounts to treating the Arab victims of Zionism as effectively sub-human, to justify Israel’s genocidal crimes, criticism of which the Zionists and their supporters among the wider bourgeoisie aim to criminalise throughout the West.
Zionism: A Far Right Trend That Instrumentalises the Old Far Right
Yet another example of this concerns the role of far right, overtly racist forces in Western societies. As long as they are pro-Zionist, they are allowed to run riot, or at least treated with kid gloves. There is scarcely a far-right party in the West that does not pay obeisance to Israel. In Britain you saw the odd spectacle of the Labour Party being upbraided for so-called ‘anti-Semitism’ by the likes of Nigel Farage, whose entire political career has been built on inciting racism and xenophobia. In the print media we saw similar denunciations of ‘anti-Semitism’ from racist human garbage like Richard Littlejohn, who has long raved hatred at immigrants and rejoiced at every sadistic abuse of asylum-seekers from New Labour and Tory governments alike.
This kind of thing parallels Trump’s denunciation of the left-wing layer of minority and Muslim/Palestinian Congressional ‘Squad’ Democrats, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, as ‘anti-Semitic’, for vocally opposing some Israeli crimes. Some of Trump’s cohorts, like Stephen Miller, are Jewish and overtly pro-Zionist, both Jewish supremacist and white supremacist. Steve Bannon, who was the publisher of the alt-right portal Breitbart, which played a major role in Trump’s rise to the Presidency in 2016, described himself as a ‘proud Zionist’. Indeed the founder of Breitbart, Andrew Breitbart, was himself both Jewish and a fervent Zionist. Richard Spencer, another white supremacist and basically neo-Nazi, who is also part of the alt-right and was close to the Trump regime particularly at the beginning, describes himself as a ‘white Zionist’, and while he displays some classic old-style anti-Semitic views about Jews supposedly undermining white America, he was reported by Haaretz in 2017 as saying:
“In an August 2010 article called ‘An Alliance with the Jews,’ published on his Radix Journal website, Spencer argued that Israel could become an ally of white nationalists in the United States. He wrote that in the face of the threat of nuclear weapons in countries hostile to Israel, there would be ‘hard-liners’ in Israel who would prefer to see the extreme right in the White House.
Thus far right trends that were historically anti-Semitic, or even ones that still echo this kind of verbiage, are tolerated as long as they are pro-Zionist. You can see this in Hungary, where the far right populist regime of Victor Orban is one of the few such governments that still indulges in hostile rhetoric against a Jewish bourgeois, George Soros, who for all his sins is not exactly a fervent Zionist. In 2019, at the European Elections Orban was supported by Yair Netanyahu, son of the Israeli PM, who wished him ‘good luck’, calling his party “true friends of Israel and the Jewish people”. Meanwhile in the Ukraine, Ukrainian state forces, who include open Neo-Nazis such as the Azov Batallion, are armed and funded by Israel. These forces look to Stepan Bandera, whose forces were overtly anti-Semitic nationalists, and committed atrocities against Jews, Poles and Gypsies while fighting alongside the Nazi invaders of the USSR during WWII. But they are just fine for the Israelis to arm, as they are fighting against Russia, and no doubt their historical dislike of Jews does not preclude them from admiring Israel’s single minded, overt racism.
In Greece, however, the overtly anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi Golden Dawn movement has been violently suppressed by the bourgeoisie, eight of its leaders jailed for in excess of 13 years for involvement in murders. Similar murders have happened in Ukraine, indeed the Nazi forces there carried out a massacre of trade unionists in Odessa in 2014, which never deterred NATO powers from supporting them or the Israelis from funding them. The difference is that Golden Dawn eschewed relations with Israel. Indeed, its propaganda at one point involved broadcasting film of the burning of Israeli and US flags. So, they were stamped out with the utmost ruthlessness, not for being Nazis or similar to Nazis, or even for being killers, but for being overtly hostile to Zionism.
We shed no tears for Golden Dawn, though such suppression by a bourgeois state does set a precedent that the left should be wary of. A genuine working-class government would treat the likes of Golden Dawn even more harshly – putting them in front of a firing squad would be a fine remedy! But the same is true of the Zionists’ many far right friends and supporters. More to the point is that the Zionists attitude to far-right groups, even overtly Nazi ones that are politically very similar to the movement that massacred millions of Jews in Europe during WWII, is purely instrumental. If they play ball and collaborate with Israel, they are indulged, helped, funded, even armed to the teeth, by Zionists with full support from the wider bourgeoisie. If they are mavericks who take their adherence to Nazism to the point of contempt for the Zionists, then, and only then, are they crushed in blood. This is because in essence, political Zionism is itself a far right, racist movement that makes use of a wide variety of collaborators but will not brook competition.
The statement in the IHRA pseudo-definition that its amalgams and anathemas are ‘legally non-binding’ is a temporary tactic. Already various social media platforms are either volunteering themselves, or being coerced, to remove ‘anti-Semitic’ ‘hate speech’ based on the IHRA pseudo-definition. The direction of motion is toward the gradual whittling away of the ‘legally non-binding’ caveat in favour of more and more blatant criminalization of anti-racist criticism of Israel’s crimes. The end product of this that the Zionists have in mind is a new version of Hitler’s Nuremburg Laws, this time directed against Palestinian Arabs and anyone who dares to defend them and condemn their ongoing persecution and ethnic cleansing; the ongoing Nakba that began in 1948 and still continues.
So, the labour movement needs to learn to see political Zionism from all angles, as a movement as dangerous to us, in its own way, as neo-Nazis are. We need to prepare a counter-offensive, to defend our democratic rights, to ensure that supporters of this racist movement are excluded rigorously from new working-class formations set up to regroup after their wrecking activities, and to drive them out of the traditional organisations of the labour movement.
In the last couple of years there has been a retreat on the question of the rights of transsexuals in the labour movement in Britain, and mockery and contempt for trans people has become a real problem even among a layer of putative left activists. Somewhat strangely, a key inspirer of this has been Joanne (“JK”) Rowling, the celebrity author of Harry Potter children’s books and sometime novelist, and an ideologue of the Labour right. Rowling, a long time Blairite, was an outspoken opponent of the left in the recent witchhunts and Blairite/Zionist destabilisation campaign that brought down Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, yet remarkably she has gained kudos among some of the left for a campaign against transsexuals that bears considerable resemblance to her pro-Zionist activities. She tends to fictionalise her obsessions: during the Corbyn period she wrote a novel called Lethal White about an imaginary anti-Semitic anti-Zionist. Her latest rendering, Troubled Blood, is about a transvestite serial killer, again crudely serving a political agenda.
She has been particularly outspoken in her attacks on the policy the Labour Party adopted under Corbyn, for extending anti-discrimination protections under Equalities legislation to change the ‘protected characteristic’ of ‘gender reassignment’ in the current legislation to ‘gender identity’. Where previously a medical ‘diagnosis’ of ‘gender dysphoria’, if not actual surgery, was required for such recognition (implying that transsexuality is some kind of sickness) now ‘self-identification’ would be all that is required. This change would remove the legal justification, which exists in current law, for the exclusion of transsexuals from some ‘single sex services’, for instance in refuges and prisons.
In the past two years there had been a ‘consultation’ on the table from the Tory government, as part of their previous efforts, begun under David Cameron, to show that they are ‘enlightened’ and ‘modern’, to amend Equalities and Gender Recognition laws in a similar way, that would allow transsexuals who have not yet gone through the protracted and often painful process of gender-reassignment, including that involving surgery, to be recognised legally as being of their changed gender/sex on the basis of self-identification. However, under Johnson the Tories have predictably retreated from these promises and Johnson’s government now echoes the transphobes in all parties who demand the exclusion of trans women from ‘women’s spaces’ in the name of supposedly protecting women against predatory male sex offenders who decide to ‘identify’ as women.
What is more odd is that her arguments have been accepted by quite a few on the left and have become a source of significant divisions among those who are otherwise opponents of the Labour right, its pro-NATO militarism, pro-Zionism and neoliberalism. In Labour there are groups like Women’s Place, and the LGB Alliance (with the ‘T’ – for ‘Trans’ – conspicuously missing) which contain left-wing people who have historically fought hard against Blairism. It is a tragic regression that such people find common cause with the likes of Rowling.
The origins of Rowling’s school of thought are in one of the most egregious and bigoted strands of the neoliberal politics that dominated Labour during the Blair period, epitomised by Julie Bindel. Whose tirades against transsexuals accompanied her campaign, along with Harriet Harman, and the crooked neocon Denis MacShane, for the hypocritically-disguised ‘feminist’ ‘Swedish’ position on sex work. This put a ‘feminist’ gloss on the project of Moral Majority religious bigots, defining sex work as ‘violence against women’ and trying to deprive sex workers of income by criminalising their clients, pretending to be acting for the benefit of the sex workers (by trying to starve them). Bindel saw her campaigns against sex workers, and transsexuals, as complementary.
This is one of many strands of what Blair’s government stood for that has long been in deep disrepute, but this transphobic trend seems to have revived as a result of the adaptation of part of the left to right-wing populism and its ‘working class’ pretentions – to Trump and Brexit. Though the positions of individuals may vary considerably on such things, there does seem to be considerable overlap between those on the left who backed Brexit and showed softness on Trump, and those echoing JK Rowling’s bigotry today.
Popular Fronts with Trump and Farage
Thus, George Galloway and his new Workers Party of Britain boast about their backwardness on this: not only did Galloway notoriously ally himself with Nigel Farage and call for votes to the Brexit Party in the 2019 General Election. His bloc partners in founding the new ‘Workers Party’, the Mao-Stalinist Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), led now by Joti Brar, with its roots in the ‘radical’ fringe of Maoism in India via the Indian Workers Association (GB), proclaimed at the time Donald Trump was elected president in 2016:
“Coming as it does on the heels of the Brexit vote in June, Trump’s victory is another blow at the imperialist system and the so-called liberal order. As such, it should be greeted with enthusiasm by the revolutionary proletariat and progressive humanity everywhere.”
This bizarre variant of Stalinist Popular-Front politics should cause the left to rub their eyes in disbelief. Instead of a Popular Front seeking a bloc with the liberal bourgeoisie against fascism, as was the norm in the 1930s (except for the period of the Stalin-Hitler pact, to which this bears some resemblance), we now see a Popular Front with part of the ‘radical’ neoliberal right against the liberal bourgeoisie in the name of opposing neoliberalism. This phantasm has its own roots, which are not the subject of this article, but it does have relevance, as Trump’s position on transsexuals is finding an echo among some on the left. And the kind of adaptation Galloway is now known for has a broader influence also including on some who were involved with the Corbyn movement.
On August 17, a US Federal Judge temporarily stayed the Trump administration’s overturn of the Obama administration’s definition of sex/gender. Forbes (17 Aug) reported:
“The Trump administration policy rescinds the Obama administration’s 2016 gender discrimination rule which redefined sex discrimination to include termination of pregnancy and gender identity, which it defined as ‘one’s internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.’
Trump’s policy returns to the government’s previous interpretation of sex discrimination according to ‘the plain meaning of the word ,<<sex>> as male or female and as determined by biology.’”
We hear similar things on some of the left, including from Galloway:
“I stand with JK Rowling. People can wear what they like – even their dead mother’s clothes – and identify as Moon-landing astronauts if they like, and I will do my best to accommodate them. But not to the extent of signing in my blood that they actually ARE what they identify as. … the ‘self-identifying woman’s’ freedoms are impinging on the freedoms of girls and women to their own spaces, privacy and self-expression.”
So here we see a rather strange confluence between the “socially conservative, but economically radical”, Galloway, and a brand of feminism in the left and labour movement, that for all the rhetoric against ‘identity politics’ that we see from some of those denouncing the ‘delusion’ of transsexuals about having changed their gender/sex, exhibit a prime characteristic of identity politics – smears that anyone who does not share their particular form of chauvinist hostility to another group, is hostile to the group they identify with.
Transphobic Identity Politics: A Threat to Gays Also
Thus Trans-Exclusionist Feminists frequently accuse those who do not share their exclusionism, whether male or female, of ‘misogyny’ (hatred of women). It only takes a moment’s thought to deduce that there is no logical reason to believe that those who defend the rights of transsexuals should have any reason whatsoever to hate women. It is just as intellectually lazy and insulting as the canard that those who are critical of the oppressive behaviour and activities of Zionist Jews towards Palestinians, hate Jewish people in general.
A classic manifestation of identity politics, apart from clear cases of outright separatism by an oppressed stratum under capitalism (which is generally mistaken and counterproductive), is when strata that are not oppressed, accuse members of a stratum that does suffer oppression, of bigotry simply for demanding basic rights. So it is when Zionist Jews smear their Palestinian victims (and their sympathisers) as ‘anti-Semites’ for demanding their rights. So it is when the small, vulnerable minority of transsexuals (and their sympathisers), demanding equal treatment to members of the sex they have transitioned to, are smeared as sexual predators and misogynists.
The counter-argument from transphobes is that transsexuality is itself a form of ‘identity politics’, that the very idea that anyone’s psyche can be at odds with their original biology is a ‘delusion’ which should not be ‘indulged’, that such people are in effect mentally ill, and should be treated as such, or as in some other way as deviant. Such people can never be fully accepted as female, or male, no matter what they do, is the logic of this argument which is heard regularly from those on the left who have capitulated in this way.
This argument is bigoted and inhuman, and in its logic threatens homosexuals as well as transsexuals. For if biology is paramount, if the psyche counts for nothing and no one can ever have a sex-related psychological makeup that is at odds with their strict biology, then how can homosexuality be a sexual orientation at all? The biological function of sex, by the same logic (applied consistently) as the transphobes use, is reproduction, and therefore ‘sexual’ activities between those of the same sex are not really sexual. By this reasoning they can only be acts that signify a mental delusion, as with the ‘delusions’ of transsexuals, that need ‘treatment’, that even should be ‘cured’. Medical orthodoxy used to say this about gays, as recently as the 1980s. When this is said about transsexuals it can just as easily be said about homosexuals. And it will: if the left retreats on trans rights in this manner it will open the way for further retreats on gay rights.
The current anti-trans regression on the left needs to be rejected, on the grounds Lenin laid out in What Is To Be Done, as early as 1903, that the job of would-be socialists and communists is to act as the “tribune of the oppressed, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression … no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects”. That unifying of the oppressed behind the banner of the working class as the universal emancipator, is the real negation of identity politics.
Break with the Democrats! No Political Support to Biden!
The upcoming US Presidential Election is going to be the most dangerous and incendiary in many years, as US ‘democracy’ and its aspirations for social and political stability are acutely threatened by the prospect that even if defeated, Donald Trump will not accept that and will fight to hang onto power come what may. Trump’s infection with Covid-19 may have thrown a spanner in the works of his aspirations to be an US reprise of someone like Louis Bonaparte, able to subvert and manipulate a highly undemocratic ‘democratic’ system to obtain and maintain power without obtaining a majority, or even a plurality, of the popular vote.
Many of Trump’s supporters regarded it as a badge of honour to sneer at the pandemic and to refuse to carry out basic public health measures such as wearing masks: now a considerable and growing list of White House staff, Republican officials and even senior military officers have been infected, which promises to play havoc with his election effort and other Republican projects like packing the Supreme Court with anti-abortion fanatics.
But it is still possible that there could be a major confrontation between different bourgeois factions in the election aftermath, and given the different social and electoral bases of these factions, this could produce major polarisations and even conflict between different layers of the working class population in the US, as well as posing a major threat to democratic rights and social gains.
From the point of view of a rational policy for US imperialism, Trump’s administration is dysfunctional. But then again, even from the standpoint of formal democracy, the US Constitution itself is dysfunctional. This is not something to celebrate for the working class, however, whose interests are fundamentally at odds with those of US capitalism. For the irrationalities of the US constitution and political setup do not in any way benefit the working class and the overlapping doubly oppressed sections of our class that are particular targets of some of the political system’s worst features.
The United States is not a ‘normal’ bourgeois national state as can be seen most classically in Europe and Japan. It is a colonial settler state, founded through genocide of the native peoples of the various ‘Indian’ nations, which marks it as a society founded on racist barbarism at its very roots. The other foundation of US ‘democracy’ is the abduction and enslavement of its black population from Africa. Its entire history has been particularly marked by the struggles of the black population for basic rights and equality.
Initially against slavery in the 19th Century, then against the Jim Crow forcible segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror that succeeded it, a struggle that culminated with the achievement of formal legal equality as a result of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The Civil Rights movement stopped at that point, failing to go further and touch the huge economic inequality and impoverishment of the black population that centuries of racial oppression under capitalism have given rise to.
The end of the Civil Rights movement saw the black population of Northern ghettos rise up and fight racist cops alongside their brethren in the South, partly under the banner of Black Power, and the Rev. Martin Luther King’s liberal-pacifism challenged by the rise of Malcolm X, the Black Panthers and other quasi-revolutionary movements such as SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), DRUM (Detroit Revolutionary Union Movement) and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, to mention only a few. But this radicalisation failed to crystallise an authoritative, working class and revolutionary party and over time, this led to these movements falling prey to repression from the state, disillusionment, and demoralisation.
Neoliberal attacks and racist offensive hand-in-hand
The failure of the Civil Rights movement and its semi-nationalist ‘radical’ sequel to lead to a struggle against the capitalist double exploitation and oppression of the black masses led from the late 1970s to neo-liberalism taking the offensive against the black population through cuts in poverty programmes, crackdowns on so-called ‘law and order’, restoration of the death penalty in 1976, which particularly targeted blacks who were disproportionately driven into a life of poverty and degradation. Such intensified oppression breeds a degree of crime that can then be exploited by racists to further impoverish the black masses, while at the same time promoting a middle-class black layer of collaborators with the system.
This carried on through the Reagan and elder Bush administrations with the ‘War on Drugs’ which was actually a war on the black masses, then intensified under Clinton with the passage of various ‘omnibus’ anti-crime bills and ‘effective death penalty’ acts, continuing under the succeeding GW Bush administration. This gave rise to the situation today, where the United States has 2.3 million people in jail, around 40 per cent of whom are black. The imprisonment rate of blacks to whites in the US in 2018 was 1501 per 100,000, as opposed to 268 per 100,000 for whites – a rate nearly 6 times greater.
Over the period mainly covered by the Obama administration, and the conditions that gave rise to it, it appears that there was a certain decline in the degree of disproportionality of Black imprisonment, from over ninefold in 2006 to ‘only’ close to sixfold in 2018 (see https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/05/06/share-of-black-white-hispanic-americans-in-prison-2018-vs-2006/). But the response to such a relative lessening of the worst outrages under the first black President was determined effort by the neoliberal right to raise up Trump, an overt racist, to succeed Obama.
The campaign of gerrymandering and voter suppression that drove the white supremacist backlash against the Obama presidency was considerable, and led to Trump being able to win the Electoral College in 2016 despite in the national popular vote losing to the Democratic Party candidate, Hillary Clinton, by nearly three million votes. Even though Hillary Clinton was an integral part of the Bill Clinton administration responsible for earlier appalling legal attacks, she paid the price for her party bringing forth a black President. This underlines why the obviously undemocratic Electoral College system, the legacy of incremental white settler expansion and many racist wars, has been preserved – as a firebreak against the multi-racial big city populations where the working class can be most potent and political.
This is the nature of the class struggle in the United States. The struggle against the double oppression of the black working class and poor suffuses the entire class struggle of the US working class and gives it a special character, in which race and class are closely linked and class questions are modified by considerations of racial oppression. It also is at the root of the ‘gun culture’ in the US: the Second Amendment – the Right to Bear Arms – always was about arming the white settler population to massacre the native nations of this part of North America, and to keep the Black population enslaved and segregated.
The epidemic of ‘mass shootings’ in the US is linked to the pathology of a society poisoned by lynch law and the suppression of social issues by violence. It is not the mere presence of arms that determines the killings: in other societies where arms are widespread, from rich countries like Switzerland to poor ones like the Philippines, such mass shootings are rare, as the deeply embedded racist pathology that pollutes this racist settler society is absent.
There are other questions that modify the US class struggle. The question of immigration is of considerable significance in US racism, as the entire white Anglo-derived population stands on the shoulders of violent white settlers who slaughtered the native tribes to the brink of non-existence; hence the complaints of white ‘nativists’ about Spanish-speaking immigrants from poorer semi-colonial countries to the South have an overtly racist and hypocritical character. This also overlaps with the US imperialist brutalisation of the peoples of the entire territory of the Americas.
The United States is the most dangerous imperialist power in history, with a truly global reach and the weaponry to destroy humanity many times over. Therefore, its defeat and disintegration are in the interests of the world proletariat and that of the great mass of humanity.
Trumpian Reaction and Imperialist Decline
The Trump administration and its irrationalities are a product of US imperialism’s decline and the ebbing of its power, getting involved in numerous wars that it has struggled with, most notably in the Middle East: Iraq, Afghanistan, and more covertly Syria. Two issues brought Trump to power: one being domestic racism, anti-immigration sentiment and support for white supremacy among parts of the former industrial, mainly white working class of the ‘rust belt’ states in the US interior, whose jobs have often been exported to lower wage developing countries by the US bourgeoisie, desperately seeking additional profits to offset the continuing decline of profit rates that are a crippling, fundamental contradiction of capitalism and endemic in this period of advanced capitalist decline and decay.
The other, linked element of Trumpism is a degree of reactionary, right-wing isolationism. This sentiment among ultra-reactionary sections of American business is not against imperialist militarism as such, but rather about their desire to ‘sort out’ uppity blacks, women and other oppressed groups who need to be ‘put in their place’ to re-establish unquestioned white, male supremacy at home. ‘Make America Great Again’ is about reimposing white supremacy as a path to a future imperialist offensive.
The abstract model of capitalism is that anyone’s money is as good as anyone else’s, the ethnic origin of those being exploited by capital being theoretically irrelevant. ‘Actually existing’ capitalism, however, does not work like that, and the United States is a particularly extreme example. Its very foundation was bound up with racial supremacism, slavery, and genocide, whereas in Europe these things are often seen as external products of ‘empire’. So much of its ruling class, and much of the majority Anglo-European population, are deeply embedded in supremacism. But demographic change, the decline of the industrial ‘aristocratic’ industrial working class in the rustbelt, and the continued expansion of the coastal cities through immigration have changed the demographic balance so that US residents of white European settler origin will cease to be a majority in the next two or three decades.
So you see major social tensions between different sections of the ruling class, one of which is ‘rolling with’ the demographic shifts and even basing itself to a degree on the black population and other oppressed populations, the other of which is either fighting against it, or at least seeking to exploit discontent among ‘left behind’ sections of the rust-belt lumpen semi-proletariat to promote a thinly-veiled white-male supremacist agenda.
The widespread involvement of Republicans in voter suppression is an indication of this, as is the overt support of Trump for paramilitary fascist/white supremacist groups like the ‘Proud Boys’, and the drive to appoint an ultra-reactionary anti-abortion Catholic fanatic, Amy Coney Barrett, to the Supreme Court, obviously aiming at overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade judgement that prevented states from banning abortion, as well as possibly intervening on the side of Trump in any legal battle over a contested election defeat. Trump’s support for armed militia racist terrorists against the Black Lives Matter movement that has emerged over the past several years as a result of the unremitting terrorisation and promiscuous murdering of black people by the cops, is particularly ominous and indicates that he is quite prepared to support and incite fascist massacres to try to hold onto power. As indeed is his use of federal forces for similar purposes, particularly in Portland, Oregon over the last months.
No Political Support to Democrats!
The political conclusions that we draw from this analysis is that we can politically support neither side in this election. Both wings in terms of their programme and leadership are thoroughly bourgeois. Both parties, the Democrats and Republicans, are in no sense creations of the working class. They are ruling class parties that it is a matter of principle for those who stand for the class independence of the workers to refuse to advocate votes for or politically support in any way.
However, that is not the end of it. The social bases of the two parties are different even if the class nature of them are both bourgeois. The social base of the Democrats is in the big city, genuinely multi-racial elements of the working class where there is an element of anti-racist, working class radicalisation that ought to be the seedbed of a genuine workers movement. This was illustrated in the last presidential election campaign, as well as this one, by the two bids for the Democratic Party presidential nomination by the social democrat Bernie Sanders, who ran on a programme particularly focussed on the demand for free healthcare, or ‘Medicare for All’.
Sanders was bidding for the nomination for President on the ticket of a bourgeois party. Yet in a sense he was propelled toward that by a class-conscious element within the base of that party. To say that is not to politically support the Democratic Party or anyone within it, including Sanders. It would be unprincipled to support Sanders’ battle for the nomination of the ‘liberal’ magnates’ party but it would be correct to demand that his supporters break from the Democrats and fight openly for the creation of an independent working class party in the US. If they could have been pushed into that, then revolutionaries could have given Sanders, or someone like him, very critical support.
Counterposed to that is Trump’s base in the rust belt ex-working class, who were won to his right-wing populist programme of banning Muslims from the US, bashing ‘foreigners’ and oppressed groups, protectionism against China, and supposedly keeping the US out of aggressive wars in the Middle East particularly, partly out of impotent disillusion with the 40 years of neoliberal attacks, givebacks to the bosses, and the prolonged decline of living standards since the days of Ronald Reagan.
Class-based disillusionment with Obama drove some parts of the working class towards Trump in 2016. It was mainly a reactionary vote but not exclusively so. Sanders might have won over a layer, though not the bulk, of Trump’s support if he had been able to run, some Trumpers who had previously supported Obama. Obama won a landslide victory in 2008 driven by sentiment particularly regarding his promises regarding healthcare and to get the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan, to close Guantanamo, etc. But while he delivered a healthcare reform that falls a long way short of universal free public healthcare, and while he signed a Deal with Iran that made a US attack on Iran less likely in the short term, he also launched new wars in Libya and Syria, that Trump was able to gain some support by criticising.
So while a section of Trump’s base were driven to support him by his isolationist attacks on some recent US wars including Obama’s, and Trump has not been able to launch much in the way of any new wars in this presidency, the view of Trump as some sort of peacemaker are absurd. In recent decades more traditional US militarism has interlaced with the projects of the neoconservatives, a political trend in ruling class politics who regard support for Israel and Zionism as a sacred cause.
There has been a faction based on Jewish ethnic politics within the US ruling class for over a century, but it has become qualitatively more powerful with the rises of the neoliberal offensive and this kind of reaction has increasingly interlaced with more traditional US right wing racism. It has devoted a great deal of effort to promoting its agenda in both parties, but its affinity for Trump has been particularly marked – for good reason. So we see leading ideologues around the Trump administration, alt-right figures like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller – who is both Jewish and a white supremacist – and Richard Spencer proclaim their loud support for the most outrageous Israeli atrocities, and even calling themselves ‘white Zionists’.
Trump destroyed Obama’s Iran Deal, which originally had bipartisan support in the US, at the behest of Israel. He made the Israel lobby rapture by implementing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, (which Clinton, Bush and Obama had paid lip service to but never implemented), moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and promoted his ‘deal of the Century’ which openly repudiates the very idea of a Palestinian state and tells Palestinians to accept and live with Israeli overlordship in perpetuity, encouraging Israeli plans to annex the West Bank.
Apart from that he has blown hot and cold in variety of conflicts, using his Twitter account to threaten North Korea and Iran with what sounded very much like nuclear war. And then not doing much else. But he is also ratcheting up agitation against China, with threats, expansion of the military, trade war measures such as tariffs and abuse of China as supposedly responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. He has launched coups in Latin America, attempting to overthrow Chavez’ successor Maduro in Venezuela by overtly backing a stooge ‘President’ Guaido, inspiring and assisting the coup against the Workers Party in Brazil and rise of power of the Nazi Bolsonaro, and more recently the coup in Bolivia that overthrew Evo Morales.
However, in many of these theatres the US is no longer in quite such a strong position, and Trump’s bluster, and often his excessive preoccupation with far right agitation and causes at home, have meant that he has been a somewhat dysfunctional and ineffective President abroad. Theodore Roosevelt’s motto was that US imperialism should ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’. You could say that Trump’s practice has sometimes been ‘shout loudly and be seen as a bag of wind’. It may well be that a Democratic party president such as Biden or Kamala Harris, repudiating Trump’s overtly racist and misogynistic preoccupations at home, could be more effective at defending the interests of US imperialism in the wider world.
Fight Fascist Dangers through Independent Workers’ Actions!
But this is not clear: though at this point it appears remote, if Trump were to consolidate his position as Bush did by winning a clear second term on his overtly white supremacist programme, flirting with fascism as he does, it is quite conceivable that in his second term he could become a very dangerous militarist, particularly in an overtly racist war drive against China. The fictional events in the 2019 BBC/HBO drama Years and Years, set in the near future, that had a second-term Donald Trump launching a nuclear attack against an offshore Chinese island, are not at all far-fetched.
Though the twin bourgeois parties in US politics are both bourgeois, and in no sense politically or electorally supportable, there is a real difference in their social base at this point that does raise the question of which side the left should take in the event that Trump loses the election, but refuses to cede power and tries to hold onto it by force. With his overt support and incitement of white supremacist militias to attack anti-fascists, black militants and the left, such an event would constitute a fascistic danger to the black population and other minorities, and to the American working class movement in general. Trump’s armed supporters do not have the organisation and bourgeois support that was ranged behind Hitler and Mussolini, but they are not harmless either.
If Trump attempts to hold power against his election defeat the left and labour movement should demand the seating of the legitimately election winner, likely Biden, as President. They should take part in the front ranks of any struggle to defeat such a Trumpian coup, up to and including the use of large-scale armed actions and civil war, though a full-scale civil war seems unlikely. In immediate terms that would signify the tactical defeat of a reactionary, anti-democratic coup by a bourgeois figure whose views and actions are fascistic and pose a serious threat to our class. Participation by the left and organised labour in such a battle, while refusing any political support to the Democrats, has the potential to strengthen us considerably.
This will not solve the problem of the decline of US imperialism and the rise of barbaric forces out of that decline. Trump is not the cause, but a symptom of that and there will be worse to come if the US working class does not politically arm itself to struggle. The left needs to find ways to approach the large part of the US working class and oppressed populations that still look to the Democrats, to expose that bourgeois party to the vanguard, in order to make headway in rooting a revolutionary programme and party in the working class in the United States, in which black working class people, male and female, must play a crucial, leading role.
A series of seemingly mysterious explosions and ‘accidents’ have rocked Iran in the last few weeks, including attacks on power supplies in Tehran. As Russia Today reported:
“Friday morning’s explosions are the latest in a string of mysterious incidents at industrial facilities, research laboratories, ammunition depots and even the Natanz nuclear research facility. While there has been rampant speculation that these might have resulted from Israeli sabotage or cyberattacks, Tehran has not openly assigned blame, while Tel Aviv has issued carefully worded statements neither confirming nor denying involvement.”
The attack on the Natanz nuclear plant, in Isfahan Province, appears to have done significant damage to Iran’s nuclear programme. The Financial Times commented on its significance that:
“In recent days, speculation has flourished about what exactly happened at Natanz, an assembly plant for centrifuges used to enrich uranium, and other facilities around Iran.
“Satellite images of Natanz show a 10-metre crater and destroyed roofing material, according to the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington DC. The explosion delivered ‘a major setback to Iran’s abilities to deploy advanced centrifuges on a mass scale for years to come,’ the institute said.
“Iran’s atomic energy organisation has confirmed that the level of damage was ‘considerable’.”
The FT themselves then speculate about the likely authorship of the attacks:
“The explosion definitely seems like an attack by the US or Israel or both like a warning that ‘we are too close to you,’ said an analyst close to reformist circles. ‘The act was big and caused significant [ financial] damage, making Iran’s tensions with the US even more complicated than before.’
“A group called the ‘Cheetahs of the Homeland’ has claimed responsibility. The group’s statement, sent by the Telegram messaging app, said they were former Iranian intelligence and security agents who want to overthrow the Islamic republic. It said more attacks similar to the one at Natanz were planned.”
“A Middle Eastern intelligence official with knowledge of the incident told The New York Times that contrary to the Iranian government’s initial statement that it was an accident, a ‘powerful bomb’ caused Thursday’s fire.”
And Russia Today, again, has Israel not exactly straining to deny all involvement, undoubtedly as part of the psychological component of the Zionists’ ongoing war drive against Iran:
“’Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us,’ Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Sunday. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi went even further, saying that in seeking to block Iran from developing nuclear capability, ‘we take actions that are better left unsaid.’”
So it looks highly likely that this is a terrorist campaign waged by Israel, which has not so far managed, despite its frequent threats to attack Iran, to get the US support, green light and likely military assistance it needs to wage an all-out attack on Iran. A joint US/Israeli military attack on Iran, which Netanyahu has long touted for in Washington, would be considerably more dangerous than the Iraq War of 2003, since Iran is much more powerful nation, more than twice as populous as Iraq, with armed forces undefeated in any recent conflict, and it seems, at the very least, the backing of Russia and China against attempts by Israel’s quartermasters and bloc partners in the United States to extend UN sanctions. As the Eurasian Times reported (4 July):
“The US’s demand to extend the arms embargo against Iran, due to expire in four months, has been rejected by the members of the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) including China and Russia.
“China and Russia are the permanent members of the UNSC who rejected the motion. The other permanent members of the UNSC – the UK and France – also failed to support the extension of the embargo against Iran.
“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that lifting the ban on the trade of conventional weapons would turn Iran into a ‘rogue weapons dealer,’ supplying advanced weapons to groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and fueling conflicts in Venezuela, Syria and Afghanistan.”
In this context, the seeming instigation of a terrorist campaign in Iran, probably by Mossad with the likely help of some element of US intelligence, seems a bit like desperation. Although Netanyahu appears to be trying to use the international distraction occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic as a cover to try to push through the annexation of most of the West Bank, getting US support for his longed-for joint attack on Iran seems to be proving rather difficult. Not only that, but Israel seems to be being plunged back into its own crisis with a second wave of Covid-19 building.
Any US intelligence involvement in this is likely to be particularly covert and factional; the CIA is probably not keen to get directly involved with what could be very risky indeed and potentially disastrous. Many remember Carter’s humiliating debacle in April 1980 when helicopters sent to rescue US prisoners held by student Islamic ‘radicals’ from the US Embassy in Tehran, instead collided with each other in the Iranian desert, collapsing the entire mission. That is an experience they have not been keen to repeat since. Indeed since then, the US has sponsored ‘home grown’ stooge movements like the Mujahedin-e-Khalq as its preferred method of seeking ‘regime change’ in Iran; there may well be an element of this with this ‘cheetahs’ movement, assuming it is not simply a Mossad pseudonym.
US covert activities carried our against Iran with Israel today are more likely to be on the model of the Iran-Contra affair in the late-1980s, when a separate, covert operation was run out of the White House, bypassing the normal channels of Congress and the CIA, who can then deny all knowledge.
In any case, as Marxists and anti-imperialists, we condemn this terror campaign against Iran by Zionist imperialism and likely its US ally. UK complicity is undoubtedly not far behind. We call for the defence of Iran, an oppressed semi-colonial nation, and the defeat of imperialism and all its proxies.
The sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey (left) as Shadow Education Secretary by Keir Starmer, on the most transparent and absurd pretext about ‘anti-Semitism’, is driven by domestic politics, not by any even feeble opposition to Zionism by Long-Bailey. RLB not only signed up for the ’10 Commandments’ of the Zionist Board of Deputies of British Jews during the leadership election in the spring, but she also declared herself a ‘Zionist’ at the Jewish Labour Movement’s hustings; even Starmer did not do that.
The reference in Maxine Peake’s article, which RLB shared, to Israel training US cops in methods of brutalising people, is simply true. There is much evidence of Israel using the knee-on-neck hold that was used to murder George Floyd. The Jewish Virtual Library has published a detailed account of collaboration between Israeli and US police since 9/11, including in the occupied territories. For example:
“A diverse group of 52 law enforcement officers from 12 U.S. states visited Israel and participated in joint training sessions with their Israeli counterparts during September 2017. This program, known as the Police Unity Tour, has been held periodically since 1997.”
The idea that this is a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ trope is risible. A similar knee-on-neck technique is used by Israel, part of Krav Maga, an arsenal of physical techniques that are made for policing a subjugated population (photo).
Krav Maga is a salient issue: the 2017 Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby, which exposed Zionist activities in the witchhunt, showed Ella Rose, director of the Jewish Labour Movement, fantasising about using Krav Maga against Jackie Walker. George Floyd’s murder highlights her sociopathic fantasy of a murderous act against a black grandmother.
This is really about the Covid-19 Pandemic, with credible reports of a conflict between Long-Bailey, close to the teachers’ unions who have campaigned to defend health and safety by opposing the premature re-opening of schools, and Starmer, competing with Johnson for the favour of the Tory media and backing the reckless reopening of schools to ‘get the economy moving again’.
Starmer is waging war on the left: threats and reprimands against left-wing Black MP’s Diane Abbott and Bell Ribiero-Addy for attending a Zoom event at which purged Labour Party members, such as Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker, spoke ‘from the floor’. Its clear from the protests of numerous leading trade unionists that RLB’s sacking is seen as an attack on trade unions.
Long-Bailey cravenly capitulated, but she was still seen as the ‘continuity Corbynite’ candidate by some. She got 135,218 votes for the leadership, slightly less than half of Starmer. But more did not vote than voted for Starmer; many correctly refused to support Long-Bailey as she had joined the witchhunt. Only a minority of left-wing members could bring themselves to vote for her.
A genuine left candidate could have defeated Starmer. But the process was rigged by the PLP who still largely control nominations. The one left-of-Corbyn MP, Chris Williamson, was hounded out, which made certain that there would be no genuine left candidate. Starmer wants to consolidate his position by driving out that membership.
There is talk of a leadership challenge from people like Ian Lavery who failed to challenge Starmer in the spring. Others are talking about running Richard Burgon, who ran for deputy leader previously. He did not dare challenge for leader which is itself telling. Quite why they would succeed in getting the parliamentary support to do this now is not clear, particularly as the thresholds are more difficult to meet than where there is a vacancy for leader.
If the unions were to seriously back a challenge Starmer might be under threat. But it is not wise to hold your breath since it was the trade union bureaucracy that played the decisive role in ramming the IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ though the Labour Party’s structures. At this point, to overturn Starmer, it would be necessary to overturn the bureaucracy that put him there.
Realising the unlikelihood of a challenge, left wing members have been tearing up their cards and looking to found a new left-wing party. Chris Williamson’s Festival of Resistance does appear the most viable initiative in train to do this, though it has been projected cautiously as an attempt to build a grassroots socialist movement, leaving open becoming a party. A party is needed, to rally the disillusioned, angry forces that originally rallied behind Corbyn, build a genuine socialist movement that can really challenge capital, and not least to exert the kind of pressure on Labour from outside that could stop the right-wing running riot and bring about a decisive split of Labour’s working class base from the influence of the pro-capitalist bureaucracy.
Last season, Bangladesh set a record for the second highest production in the 175-year history of tea production. The target for tea production in the just-concluded season was 6 crore 23 lakh kg. And 6 crore 20 lakh kg has been produced which is 96 lakh kg more than the target. Although the tea industry has improved, the lives of tea workers have not changed.
After working all day, the income of a tea worker is 102 Taka, there is no own ethnic identity, no opportunity for education, no sanitation. There is a lack of treatment. Even if you are educated, you have to do 102 taka a day or you have to lose a place to keep your head. There is no help even if there is disability while going to work. In order not to be vocal about their rights, the workers are kept intoxicated with the help of the owners. There are liquor stores in each tea garden as planned.
One such unfortunate group is the tea workers. During the British rule, they were brought to different places including Bangladesh by showing greed for a better life, but from the very beginning, only negligence and torture have been inflicted on their foreheads. They are like today’s modern slaves.
Menka Santal, a tea worker at Zulekha Tea Garden, said that even after so many years of independence, the fate of tea garden workers has not changed. Development has not touched their lives. They are not even getting the opportunity to enjoy basic rights. This tea garden community has yet to break the shackles of British feudalism and local babu-sahebs.
According to the Tea Workers Union, the tea population in the country is about 6 lakh. Of these, about 94,000 are registered workers and another 40,000 are irregular workers. The weekly salary of a tea worker is 614 tk. 3 kg 280 gms of rice or flour is given per week (the price of the product is lower than the market price).
British Ghatual, a tea worker at Deorachhara Tea Garden, said there are many families of 5-6 members where one person gets a job for tk. 102 and the rest depend on this money to make ends meet. You have to stay in a small broken house with your children and cattle. Although the garden authorities were supposed to repair the house, it did not happen year after year. They have no place of their own. If you don’t work in the garden, you will lose your place of residence.
Sujit Baraik, general secretary of the Sylhet Tea Community Student Youth Welfare Council, said that according to the 2016 agreement, a worker should be given a pension as an average of one and a half months’ salary for the total number of years he has worked. But it’s just a pen on paper. In old age, they have to starve to death due to starvation and without treatment. Although only a few gardens provide nominal medical care, most gardens do not.
Debashish Yadav, vice-president of the Tea Students’ Union, said, “Even in the midst of so much suffering, we suffer the most when a large section of society considers us’ Indians’. When our ancestors came to Bengal, India was not divided. They just came from one place to another. ”
“Everyone has their own ethnic identity, but tea workers don’t,” he said. “Even though we have our own language and culture, we haven’t been able to get any recognition yet.”
Why can’t they be protesters even after so much deprivation? – Dhana Baury, president of Manu Dhalai Valley of the Tea Workers Union, said, “We can’t end up talking about our hardships. The workers are being kept intoxicated by ensuring easy availability of liquor with the indirect cooperation of the employers so that they cannot unite by understanding their own good and bad”.
Vijay Pal, Founder President of a Social Welfare Organization, said that a tea worker is not allowed to stay in the garden if he does not work in the garden, while almost every garden has low quality liquor shops which are being given all kinds of opportunities by the garden owners. President of Bangladesh Tea Union, Sylhet Valley, said work was underway to improve the living standards of tea workers. Primary schools are being set up in every garden.
History of Tea Labor Day
In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, tea was not introduced anywhere else in the world except China. In 1854, the East India Company started tea cultivation in the Malinichhara tea garden in Sylhet on an experimental basis. At that time workers from different parts of India including Assam, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh were shifted to this land to make tea gardens. It did not take long for them to understand the temptation that had been shown to them, even though they were tempted to say, “The tree will move, the rupee will move.”
There is no accounting for how many workers lost their lives prematurely after falling into the clutches of wild animals while clearing huge hills and cultivating tea. Besides, there was the oppression of the British. In protest of their continued persecution, the then tea workers leader Pandit Gangacharan Dixit and Pandit Deosaran called for a ‘Mulluke Chal’ (return to motherland) movement. On May 20, 1921, about 30,000 tea workers from the Sylhet region reached the Meghna Steamer Ghat at Chandpur on foot from Sylhet.
When they tried to return to their homeland by ship, the British Gurkha soldiers indiscriminately shot and killed the tea worker and dumped his body in the Meghna River. Those who fled also had to be brutally tortured for the crime of protesting. They did not get the right to land. Since then, May 20 has been observed as Tea Workers’ Day every year.
Sunil Biswas, a drama personality in the tea garden, said, “We are still neglecting the recognition of the celebration of Tea Workers’ Day by the state.”
For the overall liberation of all other working classes, including tea workers There is no alternative for establishing a new society and an independent socialist society by abolishing the existing capitalist social system to protect the health of all people, including the working class, eliminating unemployment, poverty, social unrest. To end the plunder of capitalism, the state system, imperialism, we have to build a society where there is no human dominance over human beings. People will not exploit people. They will manage themselves. Non-state, non-capitalist socialist self-managed social system. All production systems will be owned by people of the society, including mills, factories and agricultural farms. There will be no volatility of personal ownership. The word employment will disappear forever. People will be completely free.
BASF- working with and for preparing people for changing existing society by organizing, educating and providing training. The society is working to establish a system where no unjust working period, no hierarchy, will be able to manage the entire production system, under mutual Aid.
The recent Black Lives Matter protests in London, inspired by the struggles in the United States against racist police killers, have mobilised ordinary people and activists from a wide variety of political backgrounds and generations, and have played a unifying role in bringing such diverse people together in what promises a renewed struggle against racism and reaction. But this promising, spontaneous anti-racist movement has enemies, racist and far right elements including in the media who are looking for ways to derail it, to engage in provocation against it, and to divide it.
One manifestation, both of the inspiring character of the movement, and the attempts by racists to sabotage and divide it, is the affair of the widely-circulated photograph of two anti-racist activists: Rosie Grace Smith, a young black single mother who was attending her first demonstration in early June, and Jim Curran, veteran labour movement and Irish activist who is one of the most affable, well known figures who left-wing people invariably run into on a huge variety of anti-racist, anti-war political events.
Once posted on social media, particularly Twitter the photograph ‘went viral’ rapidly and became almost an iconic symbol of the new anti-racist movement. But it soon drew the sinister attention of Zionist racists.
Another Zionist Witchhunt
Apparently Jim Curran was logged by Zionists as attending meetings of a group called ‘Keep Talking’, which organises events at which some left wing activists have hosted events with conspiracy theorists about such things as 9/11, questioning the truth of the Nazi holocaust of Jews, and similar topics. Apparently Gilad Atzmon has spoken at an event of this body; he spoke about the Balfour Declaration, not the Nazi genocide or 9/11 Trutherism so from that point of view his material might even be viewed as quite innocuous by comparison. Vanessa Beeley has also spoken to them about Syria, as well as other fringe elements, some from the more eccentric and fossilised elements of the old far right.
Jim Curran was denounced by the Jewish Chronicle as an ‘anti-Semite’ for having attended meetings of this group. This is the same Jewish Chronicle that has written articles defending one Michal Kaminski, a Polish right-wing extremist who happens to be an ally of the Conservative Party. In 2001, on the 60th Anniversary of a notorious 1941 massacre of Jews in the town of Jedwabne by Polish collaborators with the Nazis, where 300 men, women and children were deliberately burned alive in a barn, the then-president of Poland, Alexander Kwasniewski, organised a special commemoration to make a ‘national apology’ for this vile crime. The Guardian then narratied Kaminski’s response:
“Beneath all the controversy, it is not difficult to establish basic truths about Kaminski’s past. The accounts of Polish journalists, historians and local people leave no doubt he was instrumental in urging Jedwabne residents to oppose the president’s apology and boycott the ceremonial event in 2001. He pressed his case at numerous meetings in Jedwabne during the first half of that year.
“’As a local MP, Kaminski played a key role in the campaign questioning the Polish responsibility for the Jedwabne massacre. The campaign had strongly antisemitic overtones,’ said Dr Rafal Pankowski, a member of the Never Again Association and author of The Populist Radical Right in Poland.
But the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, revealed very clearly why despite Kaminsky’s very clear genuine anti-Semitism, the JC defended him anyway:
“As Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, and founding chairman of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, I am more alive than most to the dangers of the newly resurgent antisemitism. But there is simply no evidence that Mr Kaminski is an antisemite, only a series of politically motivated assertions. It is not Kaminski who is odious; it is those using antisemitism as a tool for their own political ends who deserve contempt.
“I have no axe to grind on Mr Kaminski’s behalf. But I do have an axe to grind against false labels of antisemitism. Far from being an antisemite, Mr Kaminski is about as pro-Israel an MEP as exists.”
And that is the bottom line. Kaminsky, the old-style anti-Semite, is given a clean bill of health because he is “about as pro-Israel an MP as exists”. For these Zionists, accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ are purely instrumental, being turned on and off like a tap according to whether the alleged ‘anti-Semite’ supports Israel and Zionism or not.
Then we see the Daily Mail chiming in. This is now Britain’s biggest selling tabloid newspaper, having only recently overtaken Rupert Murdoch’s Sun. It also has a long history of real racism against Jews, in the period when Jews were an oppressed group in Western countries. It is most well-known for its notorious headline ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’ in January 1934, hailing Mosley’s pro-Hitler fascist party that tried to terrorise Jews in the East End of London. In 1938, in the middle of Hitler’s rising persecution of Jews in Germany, the Daily Mail headlined “German Jews pouring into this country” and highlighted a quote from a magistrate:
“The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage..,”
It is very clear that this rag historically supported fascism and again, genuine anti-Semitism. Today its apologists claim it has changed, its long-lasting Rothemere owning dynasty no longer hate Jews. No, they have changed their hatred to Black people and other immigrants and asylum seekers, you name it. Its modern rantings against migrants, so universally known as to not require quoting, are very similar to the quoted rant against Jews. But it no longer usually targets Jews as Zionism and Israel has led to a situation where Jews in general are regarded as part of the ‘civilised’ Western camp, and in fact Israel is regarded by the racist right as the very model of an ethnic state in much the same way as Nazi Germany was in the 1930s. And unlike Nazi Germany, Israel has so far not been defeated, which makes it even more attractive to the far right.
Thus instead of publishing the earlier Viscount Rothemere’s pro-Hitler material, today the Daily Mail publishes material by the ex-liberal, anti-Muslim racist Jewish-Zionist ideologue Melanie Philipps, author of Londonistan, which portrays London as a nest of Muslim terrorists the way pre-WWII anti-Semites in the US used to talk of Jew York: New York as the centre of supposed plots for ‘Jewish world domination’. The pro-Zionism of the Daily Mail is as central to what it stands for today as was the anti-Semitism and pro-Hitler politics of the Rothemeres in the 1930s.
Zionism today: A far right racist movement
In fact, Zionism is now so popular on the far right that where at least covertly Nazi symbolism was often seen in the past, now Israelis flags are commonly seen at far-right events. It is this reversal and paradox that is at the core of some aspects of ideological confusion on parts of the left, often the part that is angriest and subjectively closest to revolutionary politics. The soft left has much less trouble reconciling themselves to Zionism and are less bothered by such things.
The Zionist ‘Community Security Trust’ and their fake ‘anti-racist’ allied group, Hope not Hate (HnH) also denounced Jim Curran. These fake anti-fascist, fake anti-racist groups both exist to defend Zionist racism, not to campaign against racism of any kind. HnH often target the Labour left, not the far right, as shown by their recent campaign against Chris Williamson, who was the only MP in the entire PLP who defied the Zionist/Blairite campaign to destroy Corbyn’s leadership.
The CST, which is closely allied to HnH and the other gaggle of forces that howled about this, are indicative. They are not an anti-racist group at all. A key struggle that drives anti-racist militants today is the cause of the Palestinians, who have faced ethnic cleansing, pogroms, massacres and racial persecution by Israel for more than 70 years, and who now face a new round of atrocities and slow genocide as Israel plans to annex the West Bank and either expel, or subjugate the bulk of its population. Their leader, Dave Rich, made very clear in his 2016 book The Left’s Jewish Problem that he defends the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, and considers it to be morally justified because of the crimes of the Nazis in Europe:
“Comparing the plight of the Palestinians with the Holocaust performs several functions. Its political goal is to undermine the idea that the Holocaust provided a moral justification and a practical need for the creation of a Jewish state.”
(The Left’s Jewish Problem, Biteback 2016, Kindle Edition, location 2875)
The Jewish state that Rich extols the virtue of was created by the Nakba (Catastrophe) of 1947-8, , that drove out around three quarters of the Arab population of Palestine, an overwhelmingly Arab territory when the British occupied it in 1917, almost simultaneously with the Balfour Declaration where the British Foreign Secretary wrote to the chief Zionist representative, Lord Rothschild, promising a ‘national home’ for the Jews. The Nakba was the eventual outcome of the handing over of Palestine to a third-party: a massive pogrom accompanied by massacres such as Deir Yassin and Tantura, and even the use of germ warfare against the Arab population at Acre. According to the CST, this was morally justified.
This ‘moral justification’ is at the core of the IHRA psuedo-definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ that has been imposed on the Labour Party by the Zionists, which says that denying Jews’ alleged “right to self-determination” at the expense of the Palestinians, and saying that Israeli is a “racist endeavour” are both ‘anti-Semitic’ positions. Adhering to this vile, racist concept, which was conceived long before anyone had heard of Hitler, shows clearly that the CST and HnH are anti-Arab racist organisations, that are in principle no better than neo-Nazis. There is no difference in principle between ‘morally’ defending Zionism’s ongoing racist crime against the Palestinians and defending the gassing of Jews. And the Labour Party, which has not only adopted the racist, anti-Arab IHRA into its rules, but also elected a leader that says he supports Zionism ‘without qualification’ should also be regarded as an anti-Arab, racist party.
In response to the vilification of Jim Curran by the Zionists, Rosie Smith defended him, tweeting that “I spoke with Jim and judge him on our convo and from his vibe and work”, and concluded that “The Jews are not innocent, #israelisnotinnocent they deal with mad racism”. This was itself slammed as ‘anti-Semitic’ by various Zionist racist bullies, and Rosie felt compelled to apologise for her remarks, and made her Twitter account private. So the outcome of this is that this black, anti-racist young female activist has been bullied off Twitter by as vile a bunch of pogromists and racists as you will find anywhere, allied with the Nazi-loving, Arab-hating criminal hate-rag the Daily Mail, which even Microsoft’s Newsguard flags as an unreliable source that presents its own views as ‘news’.
Tarnishing the memory of Nazi crimes
We do not have to agree with everything Jim Curran does to defend him and denounce the witchhunt against him. The fact that the Nazi genocide has been instrumentalised to justify crimes against Arabs, for many decades, far longer than the 12 years that Hitler’s regime has lasted, has led to a certain shift in the appreciation of that historical event by some sincere opponents of racism. The Zionist instrumentalisation and abuse of the Nazi holocaust has led to it becoming tarnished to a degree among those whose gut impulse is to oppose racism in all its forms. Therefore leftists, anti-racists like Jim Curran, can at least give a hearing to conspiracy theorists about the Nazi genocide, like Nick Kollerstrom, even if they do not necessarily agree with them. Zionism is responsible for this paradox and Zionism alone.
Rosie Smith could better have said “The Jews are not collectively innocent”; rather than “the Jews are not innocent”. But then she has very little political experience, so slight misformulations are hardly surprising. And in fact, most of the left either does not understand the paradoxes involved in the Jewish question today, or are too cowardly politically to try to address them.
It is grossly hypocritical for Zionists to condemn Rosie Smith for verbally treating ‘the Jews’ as a collective when Zionists do the same thing. They treat “the Jews” collectively, promote that as an unambiguously good thing, and deny that Jewish people who dissent from Zionism are really Jews at all.
There is a tawdry assumption here, that anyone who says anything about ‘the Jews’ that is critical, is talking about every single Jewish person. Today, when most Jews support a racist movement and there are real questions of oppression carried out against ethnic groups who are oppressed by (mainstream) Jews, that assumption is malicious, and racist.
When Diane Abbot made her remarks several years ago about how “white people love to divide and rule” she was talking about the mainstream, not every single white person irrespective of their views. Only racists, only people completely unaware or uncaring of the enormous historical and current oppression that bears down upon Black people, could make such an assumption. The same is true today when someone talks about ‘the Jews”. This is not 1942. This is 2020, when the world’s only Jewish state is also the most openly racist state in the world.
The cowardly British left have taken a dive over the defence of Rosie Smith and Jim Curran from this witchhunt. No left organisation that we know of, apart from ourselves, has published anything in defence of comrade Curran, who has been a fixture at anti-racist, anti-war, labour movement and Irish events for many years. decades in fact. The only prominent figure that has any kind of left-wing reputation, albeit a contradictory one, who has denounced this witch-hunt, is Gilad Atzmon. This is to his credit, though he has himself been vilified, partly because he himself has long been caught up in the same paradoxes as comrade Cullen. He too is motivated by fervent anti-racism but has been driven by this into a similar situation. What is also important is that this phenomenon is deeply embedded in this historical period; it is not going to go away anytime soon, and addressing it properly is one of the left’s most crucial responsibilities today.
Lugansk People’s Republic Celebrates Six Years of Independence
We send solidarity greetings to the working people of the People’s Republic of Lugansk for their heroically achieved independence on May 12, 2014. A victory over the illegitimate and fascist-infested regime imposed by US, NATO and EU agents in Ukraine six years ago.
The People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donbass are today an example for the struggle of all the oppressed in the world against neo-fascism and the far-right bourgeois governments, such as Trump, Boris Johnson, Órban, Bolsonaro. We know that fighters from the popular militias in Donbas and Lugansk are making daily sacrifices against fascist brigades.
We have no illusions about the capitalist and oligarch nature of the Russian Federation, we defend the return of the revolutionary and anti-capitalist struggle in Lenin’s homeland. But we reject the anti-Russian hysteria, the provocations, sanctions and demonizations that imperialism imposes on Russia, our ally in the anti-imperialist front in struggle in Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba.
All of our support for Lugansk and solidarity with its organizations, which will continue until neo-Nazism is crushed and communists, socialists, anti-fascists and all workers regain their rights again.
Frente Comunista dos Trabalhadores (Brazil)
Socialist Party (Bangladesh)
Socialist Workers League (USA)
Tendência Militante Bolchevique (Argentina)
Trotskyist Faction of Socialist Fight (Great Britain)
Defeated incursion of imperialist terrorism in Macuto
At dawn on Sunday, May 3, a pro-imperialist mercenary attempt to besiege Venezuela from the maritime border with Colombia failed. The Pentagon repeated, as a farce, the Bay of Pigs defeat before the Cuban workers’ state was created in 1961. Now, against the Bolivarian government of Maduro. Imperialism and the CIA attempt an armed mercenary maneuver to besiege a regime that bothers it.
The current mercenary incursion armed by imperialism from the border from Colombia was thwarted by Venezuelan forces, including by fishermen who were armed. The exact function of the provocation is not yet known, a skirmish to demoralize the Venezuelan government, create a justification for some future campaign to ’rescue’ the captives. The invasion of 30 imperialist mercenaries was in Macuto, on the coasts of the Caribbean state, of Venezuela, of La Guaira, about 20 kilometres north of Caracas. It is reported from Venezuela that some members of the terrorists were killed and others captured. Venezuelan security forces say that among the fallen was Robert Colina, alias “Pantera”, who was said to be in charge of a paramilitary camp in Colombia.
This incursion of mercenary forces armed by imperialism points to a qualitative leap in imperialism’s terrorist aggression against Venezuela. This confirms the tendency towards increasing imperialist terrorism in Latin America. We had already warned of this trend in “Imperialist terrorism is growing”.
For imperialism, economic sabotage and sanctions are no longer sufficient. With these means, it has not been able to displace the regime that most created contradictions with imperialism, in the regions, indeed in the continent today, after Cuba. Increasingly, imperialism will use terrorist methods against those same regimes. To which must be added the siege from decidedly pro-imperialist governments today like those of Duque Márquez, in Colombia, and Bolsonaro, in Brazil.
Right now with the claim that it is fighting drug trafficking, with its naval and air deployment, and the call to double the number of military ships and soldiers in the region made by Trump on April 1 (the pro-imperialist regimes being the main protectors of the drug trafficking), imperialism in the Caribbean and Latin America is preparing for a leap in the interventionist maneuvers of terrorism against nations that represent some obstacle.
The imperialist defeat of the Bay of Pigs invasion fuelled the Cuban revolution. The farce in Macuto may not be strong enough to break the limitations of Maduro’s bourgeois government, but it is a small imperialist defeat that must be defended and celebrated by communists across the planet. It is the task of revolutionary workers of the continent to prepare for the growing offensives of imperialism in the region, organizing the workers independently while resorting to theanti-imperialist united front with all those forces that today in any way represent a challenge to imperialism.
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