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Submitted by Daniel_Randall on Tue, 20/01/2009 - 19:49

Stuart, if I tried to explain away increasing hostility to Muslim people around the world by pointing to the actions of, say, the Iranian government (the "Islamic Republic", after all) you would undoubtedly and pretty legitimately attack me for giving cover for racism.

And yet here you are explaining that the increase in anti-Jewish racism around the world is in fact the fault of Israel. A friend of mine was once mugged at knife-point by a man who happened to be black; it may surprise you to know that my friend did not react by saying "it's not wonder racism on the rise when black people are going round doing that sort of thing."

Neturei Karta, the "ultra-Orthodox Jews" referred to in the article, are without a doubt clerical-fascist as far as I'm concerned - not just because of their politics on the Middle East but because of their Medievalist hostility to women, LGBT people and modern bourgeois society as a whole (which personally I prefer to the forms of social organisation common in the 17th century Poland. Don't know about you). Their "anti-Zionism" is not motivated by solidarity with the Palestinians but by hostility to the role the Zionist movement played in the Jewish community - i.e. providing a rival, predominantly secular, pole to that of their own religious obscurantism.

Would you defend these people too, Stuart, as you defend Hamas?

It is utterly, utterly baffling to me that people like Stuart with years of experience in the Trotskyist movement cannot seem to get their heads around the idea that you might attend a demonstration even if you don't agree with the politics that hegemonise it. You might even attend a demo because you don't agree with the politics that hegemonise it, and because you think the struggle around which it is organised cannot be fought on the basis of those politics, and to provide alternatives.

Apparently PR members only go to demos to chime in with whatever happens to already be in the heads of most of the other demonstrators. Good luck with that, but as far as I'm concerned swimming with the stream has never been something Trotskyists have made a habit of.

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