Morning Star at odds over antisemitism

Submitted by SJW on 4 July, 2018 - 12:04 Author: Jim Denham

We publish extracts from an article by two leading members of the Communist Party of Britain, Mary Davis and Phil Katz, which appeared in the Morning Star of 20 June.

It makes a refreshing change from the absolute anti-Zionism and denial of antisemitism as a serious problem on the left that generally characterises that paper’s coverage of the subject.

It is also good to see the paper carrying such sharp criticism of an earlier article published in the Star that clearly crossed the line into outright antisemitism. However, the fact that the offending article (now removed from the Star’s website but webcached at was published in the first place should be a lesson to all those who deny that antisemitism is a problem on the left.

“The shambling article by John Elder ‘Rising anti-semitism cannot be tackled without addressing Israel’s crimes’ (June 18) betrays no understanding of the relationship of class to culture, religion and anti-racism and really cannot be left to go unchallenged...

“Its rationale, that Jews everywhere are responsible for the actions of the Israeli government, is by reverse exactly the argument put forward by the Israeli government and right-wing zionists....

“But that cannot be acceptable in a daily paper of the left, which has anti-imperialism at its heart and should be challenging all forms of racism, including anti-semitism.”

“Elder says: ‘Mainstream Jewish communities everywhere … appear unwilling to accept the connection between developing international anti-semitism (or anti-Israel sentiment) and Israel’s decades long … acts of barbarism.’...

“Elder says this is true for the Jewish ‘diaspora’. So Jews worldwide are to be considered collectively responsible. Therefore the billionaire’s interest is no different from that of an Israeli dockworker. Israel’s actions cast a pale of guilt over this ‘Jewish diaspora’ and all Jews have to denounce it before their concerns about what Elder calls ‘apparent’ anti-semitism are dealt with.

“This is collective guilt whatever way one comes at it. We argue forcefully as a paper, that British Muslims should not be stigmatised for the actions of Saudi rulers, or Isis. But when it comes to Jews, other standards apply...
“As if anti-semitism didn’t exist across the world, before Israel was formed — when in fact, it was common before capitalism appeared...

“What is alarming about current day anti-semitism is that it continues to use the same themes that have been used to stigmatise and justify genocide of the Jews for centuries. And where the Labour Party is forced to confront hundreds of cases and act on them, it can hardly be ‘apparent’.

“Many of these instances are not linked to Israel and include conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial. The Labour Party should be applauded for taking anti-semitism seriously and dealing with it robustly.”

“To say anti-semitism isn’t an issue, is a conspiracy to bring down Jeremy Corbyn or that no British Jew can challenge anti-semitism without being called an apologist for genocide is a dangerous path. It is certain to drive those genuinely concerned with anti-semitism into the hands of Israeli propagandists, who can simply say: ‘We told you so’.”

A statement subsequently appeared on the Morning Star website saying that the original article “crossed a line in attributing anti-semitism to the policies of the Israeli government and made demands on the ‘Jewish diaspora’ and ‘Jewish community’ as if these were responsible for Israeli policy or obliged to account for it”.

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