Against left-wing antisemitism! Workers' Liberty 3/57

A mirror for anti-Zionists

Published on: Sun, 24/09/2017 - 11:24

Sean Matgaman

Walking from Westminster to Trafalgar Square one afternoon in May or June 2002, I came upon a small picket-demonstration — a dozen people perhaps — waving Palestinian flags and placards on the pavement across the road from the entrance to the Prime Minister’s residence in Downing Street.

I saw from a distance, and wondered at it, that half the demonstrators were dressed in the black hats and clothes and the beards that identified them as some sort of especially religious Jews.

I had known, of course, that some devout Jews believe that the creation of the state of Israel is a monstrous act of

Appendix: Jew or Zionist? Learn how to do it smoothly, Tammy

Published on: Sun, 24/09/2017 - 10:39

Sean Matgamna

A small outcry greeted the assertion by the veteran Labour MP Tam Dalyell * that there are too many Jews in Tony Blair’s and George Bush’s entourages, and that those Jews make Britain’s and the USA’s policy on the Middle East. I found the responses to Dalyell encouraging, but also seriously off the point. The important and effective antisemites now are not those who talk like Hitlerites about Jewish influence and Jewish “cabals”. Such people can usually expect the response Dalyell got.

Their talk is too close to what the Nazis said to justify genocide. It begs too-obvious questions and implies

What is "left-wing antisemitism"?

Published on: Sat, 23/09/2017 - 09:54

Sean Matgamna

What is “left-wing antisemitism”? Where is it manifested? What is to be done about it? There are three difficulties, three confusions and obfuscations, that stand in the way of rational discussion of what we mean by “left-wing antisemitism”.

The first is that left-wing antisemitism knows itself by another and more self-righteous name, “anti-Zionism”. Often, your left-wing antisemite sincerely believes that he or she is only an anti-Zionist, only a just if severe critic of Israel.

The second is that talk of left-wing antisemitism to a left-wing antisemite normally evokes indignant, sincere, and

Against left-wing antisemitism!

Published on: Sat, 26/08/2017 - 10:20

Sean Matgamna

Opposition by socialists and consistent democrats to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories is proper, just, necessary and good. Many thousands of the new members of the Labour Party will naturally support the weaker side in this conflict, the Palestinians, and see them as the oppressed people that they are. Many who have never before given much thought to the Israel-Palestine conflict will begin to seek explanations, solutions, proposals and slogans to express their gut solidarity with the Palestinians.

Many will be won to what appear to be pro-Palestinian

How Israel came to be the world’s hyperimperialism

Published on: Sat, 26/08/2017 - 10:14

Sean Matgamna

“For the... Arab-chauvinist logic, we need look no further than the [second] main ‘world Trotskyist’ group, the International Workers’ League. They want a ‘democratic, secular and non-racist Palestine’ — but with no rights for Jews!

“An article by... Nahuel Moreno argues against the slogan of a constituent assembly even after the destruction of Israel. ‘[This] is precisely the shameful manner to support the Zionists and justify their presence, giving a ‘democratic’ veneer to their fascist usurpation. If you want to insinuate that this assembly would be made with non-Zionist Jews... these

Episodes in history

Published on: Sat, 26/08/2017 - 09:23

Sean Matgamna

The Israeli-Arab war of 1948

In November 1947 the United Nations proposed that Palestine, where, under British rule, Jews and Arabs were engaged in simmering guerrilla warfare against each other, be partitioned into a Jewish and an Arab state. Previously, in 1937, the British Peel Commission had also proposed a partition: the Palestinian Jews accepted the idea, but Britain abandoned it because of Arab opposition.

The British formally relinquished control of Palestine in May 1948. The Jews proclaimed the independent state of Israel in the UN-allocated territory. The surrounding Arab states,

How to fight left antisemitism

Published on: Sat, 26/08/2017 - 09:06

Sean Matgamna

We need to specify what left anti-semitism consists of, in order to debate, educate, and clarify. These, I think, are its main features.

1. The belief that Israel has no right to exist. That is the core of left anti-semitism, though it comes in more than one version and from more than one root, ranging from the skewed anti-imperialism of the Orthodox Trotskyists through Arab nationalism to Islamic chauvinism. Advocacy of the destruction of Israel, which is what separates left-wing and Islamist antisemites from honest critics of Israeli policy, should not be tolerated in the labour movement

Against Left Antisemitism

Published on: Sat, 26/08/2017 - 07:04

This issue of Workers’ Liberty consists of parts of the new book The Left in Disarray, and some older pieces on left antisemitism. Read online or download pdf.

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