Left antisemitism

Suspend "thousands and thousands"?

“If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that", declared Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner on 29 November, following a new message from Labour Party general secretary David Evans that local Labour Party officials can be suspended for allowing debate on restoring the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn. Local Labour Party discussions on suspensions or expulsions from the party were already barred by a March 2019 instruction from the previous, "Corbynite", general secretary Jennie Formby. Officials of at least one local Labour Party (Islington South) had been told in mid...

After Corbyn reinstatement: now, a political offensive against antisemitism

Above: The "Mear One" mural: Jeremy Corbyn supported it when the local council led by Lutfur Rahman removed it, but then apologised A panel of the Labour Party National Executive has (17 November 2020) reinstated Jeremy Corbyn after: • he responded to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's legally-enforceable report (29 October 2020) finding the Labour Party culpable for antisemitism by saying that "the problem was dramatically overstated for political reasons" and conceding only that he could not claim "no antisemitism" in the Labour Party because of course there would be some "as there...

Morning Star still dismisses antisemitism complaints as right-wing invention

Back in 2018, a writer in Solidarity described Corbyn’s response to allegations of antisemitism in Labour under his leadership: “Corbyn agrees there is a problem. He responds under pressure, moves in the direction his critics are pointing to, but it is as if he cannot understand what the fuss is about ... everything is low-energy, insufficient, ineffectual, can be seen or portrayed as evasive, as lacking conviction ...” That description sprang to mind when reading Corbyn’s response to the EHRC report: instead of an apology for what happened (and didn’t happen) on his watch, there was the claim...

Skewed from the start

The quarterly journal Historical Materialism has put out a call for articles for a special issue motivated by the “rise of a new wave of antisemitism”. Good: except that the call is written so as to define this “new wave of antisemitism” as solely a matter of the European and American far right, i.e. as scarcely “new” at all compared to the 1930s. It dismisses in advance all discussion of strands of antisemitism within the left as just “machinations” “to attack Palestinian liberation, Muslim populations in the West… Jeremy Corbyn… the left in the Labour Party... silencing critics of Zionism”...

TUSC embraces Chris Williamson

Earlier this year the Socialist Party confirmed they would be preparing their electoral front, TUSC, operating since 2010 but mostly dormant since 2015, to stand once again in elections. For the Socialist Party the drift of the Labour party to the right under Starmer confirms the view they’ve taken ever since quitting Labour in the years after the Liverpool council fiasco in 1985-6 that Labour is a dead end. For Chris Williamson, Labour wasn’t a dead end. It got him a lucrative career as leader of Derby City Council where he governed in coalition with the Tories, cut services and was pro-PFI...

How myths of "Jewish domination" have infected the left

Labour Herald, a newspaper produced by the WRP and Labour left figures including Ken Livingstone and Ted Knight, published this antisemitic cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1982 Left antisemitism is a phenomenon that has, in my view, two principal historic strands, which now overlap and intertwine. One, the primitive form, is the so-called “socialism of fools”, originating in the 19th century, that railed against Jewish bankers and conflated Jews with capital and finance. The second, more contemporary, strand developed over the second half of the 20th century, manifested in...

Letters: Right to stick in Labour; Langston Hughes set to music

Eric Lee (Solidarity 570) reports that he quit the Labour Party when he saw antisemitism there in recent years, and has only now rejoined. He identifies the argument against Jewish members quitting Labour as one that, despite mistakes, Labour “has consistently fought against all forms of racism” and for “genuine equality and respect”. That argument would make it naive to join Labour in the first place. In the very first years of the Labour Party, high-profile Labour figures, including on the left, denounced the Boer war as generated by “Jewish financiers”. They supported the anti-Jewish...

Against antisemitism: politics, not gags

Jeremy Corbyn initially defended this antisemitic mural The March 2019 advice from Jennie Formby that local Labour Parties and other Labour Party bodies cannot discuss individual suspensions is being severely tested in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension. Some CLPs pressed on with those discussions under Formby as General Secretary, but the combination of the new General Secretary (who has reiterated Formby’s instruction), the Starmer leadership, and the high-profile Corbyn suspension has changed all this into a different gear. Solidarity agrees that Corbyn’s suspension should be rescinded...

Why I rejoined the Labour Party

I have just re-joined the Labour Party. Some people will say that one should never leave the Labour Party. Whatever it did, whatever bothered you and made it difficult to remain a member, you should stay inside and fight from within. Sure, you disagreed with this or that policy, but that’s no reason to abandon Labour, which has consistently fought against all forms of racism. Whatever you disagreed with, Labour is the party that unites working people of all races and religions, and campaigns consistently for genuine equality and respect. And to those who said such things, I can only reply...

Antisemitism in Labour: as we saw it in 2018

For sure, his opponents in the party and the Tory press are out to get Jeremy Corbyn. One of two things then: either they’re telling the truth on this matter or they aren’t. Either there is a problem of antisemitism in the party or there isn’t. Either his critics are lying or exaggerating, and should then be stood up to and faced down. Or they are telling the truth; in which case Corbyn should energetically set about digging out Labour Party antisemitism by the roots. Corbyn agrees there is a problem. He responds under pressure, moves in the direction his critics are pointing to, but it is as...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.