The Stalinist roots of left "anti-Zionism" 2

Submitted by AWL on 24 February, 2004 - 2:36

Part 1 of this article

Thus, the rise of Zionism and of Israel had nothing to do with reflex responses to Nazi or more general anti-semitic persecution. It was a gratuitous act of evil.

Immediately upon the creation of the state of Israel, "Zionism, a dangerous, fascistic force reminiscent of the Black Hundreds, a doctrine which is reactionary and expansionist by its very nature, became the ideology of its ruling circles."45 "Such is the irony of history: the Zionist rulers of Israel carry out the very same policies of genocide in relation to the Arabs as those which were carried out by the Hitlerites in relation to the Jews."46

The factors which official USSR 'anti-Zionism' had discovered behind the emergence of Zionism - the devilish cunning of the Jewish bourgeoisie in its efforts to maintain control over the Jewish working class, and the enormous secret and concentrated power of Jewish bourgeoisie, which enabled it to take part as an independent force in the scramble by European empires to divide up the world, or somehow to act as the vanguard of imperialism in general - likewise lay behind the creation of the state of Israel: "The monopoly Jewish bourgeoisie established control over Jewish workers in different countries of the world, strengthened its positions in the major capitalist countries, and achieved an extension of colonial expansion in Asia and Africa. The most important instrument in the realisation of these tasks of the Jewish monopoly bourgeoisie in contemporary conditions is the state of Israel, which is ruled by Zionists - an inseparable part of international Zionism."47

"In a situation where the colonial system was collapsing, imperialism began feverishly to search after and work out new forms and methods for the achievement of expansionist policies. The state of Israel was created just at the time when the waves of the rising national liberation movement in Asia and Africa began to destroy the colonial empire"48. The creation of Israel was thus "the creation of a strategic 'buffer' between Europe and Asia, an advance outpost of the struggle against communism and the national liberation movement."49

In fact Israel got its weapons for the 1948 war in which it was established by smuggling and from USSR-controlled Czechoslovakia. The USSR, then keen to seize what seemed to be a chance to strike a blow at the British Empire, was the first state to recognise Israel. The left-Zionist group Mapam, very influential in the Zionist armed forces in 1948, ardently supported the Soviet Union. The CIA was extremely worried about what it saw as the leftish and pro-USSR tinge of Israeli politics after 1948. And the British Empire, through Arab armies largely controlled by Britain, made war on Israel in 1948.

But for the USSR's hack writers: "Israel was and remains so today an important tool in the hands of imperialism in the struggle against the national liberation movement of the Arab countries, in the struggle for control over the oil of the Arab East."50 It is "an advance outpost of the imperialism of the United States in the Near East... To this state has been allotted the role of being a co-participant in carrying out the neo-colonial policies of the imperialist powers in the countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America."51 It has the job of "acting as a gendarme in armed conflict against the Arab peoples".

Where and how Israel had been of any practical assistance to the USA or any other big capitalist power in securing their oil or other interests in the Middle East, the Stalinists did not specify. They pressed on with their picture of 'Zionism' as the spearhead of imperialism, especially US imperialism: "The financial-economic support of Israel on the part of internationalist Zionist circles transforms it into a parasite-state."52 This economic backing also means that "the economy of Israel is in reality controlled by the internationalist Zionist corporation, by Zionist capital of the USA, England, France, and a series of other countries."53 Thus, "the nationalistic ruling stratum of Israel is in fact part of the international Zionist concern, based in New York and controlled from the United States."54

V

For the Stalinist writers, Israel was not only a sort of offshoot or outpost of the USA. It was, with fiendish cunning, simultaneously an offshoot or outpost of South Africa as it was before 1994, under the system of apartheid.

"Israel has a special relationship of the closest kind with South Africa. Israel and South Africa are linked to one another by economic, political, military, and ideological ties... Israel and South Africa are linked by a common racist ideology and practice, and by reactionary domestic and foreign policies... The union of the racists of Israel and South Africa is a massive threat to the African peoples and to the whole of humanity."55

Facile analogies, now prevalent on the British left, featured constantly in the Soviet campaign. Zionism and apartheid possessed 'common ideological roots'.56 "In the South of Africa, in the Republic of South Africa, and in Palestine, close to the Suez Canal, there arose two platforms of world imperialism, summoned... to put a check to the national-liberation movement of the peoples".57

In both Israel and South Africa, "racial-biological doctrines have been raised to the level of an official ideology and of state policies, in accordance with which people are divided into the 'elect' and the banished".58

The Soviet 'anti-Zionist' campaign did differ from the contemporary British leftists' frequent equating of Israel and apartheid South Africa in that it was rather more imaginative in discovering supposed parallels. It was, after all, no coincidence that "the entire history of South Africa and Palestine reveals very many identical events and common traits," the most notable ones being59:

  • In 1880, in the Cape Colony, the first South African nationalist party had been founded; in the same year the first Zionist organisation was set up in Russia; the former advocated separate development for Blacks; the latter opposed assimilation.
  • The turn of the 19th/20th century was a period of conflict between the Boers and the British, resulting in the Boer War; at the same time inter-imperialist rivalries for colonies became more acute, "above all between British imperial capital and international Jewish capital."
  • In the opening years of the century both Zionism and South African nationalism used social demagogy to attract support: "all possible variants of petty-bourgeois socialism became common in Zionism, just as in South Africa there was national socialism and labourite reformist socialism."
  • Both the Zionists and the Afrikaner nationalists exploited the 1914-18 war, the former obtaining the Balfour Declaration (in which Britain promised to support a 'Jewish homeland' in Palestine), and the latter being prepared to organised armed revolt against Britain in order to obtain concessions.
  • After the war, "both Afrikaner nationalism and Zionists ever more overtly became the right flank of imperialism, together with fascism."
  • In the inter-war years "the Afrikaner bourgeoisie and international Jewish capital created a series of secret organisations, in their own way centralised Mafias."
  • In the 1939-45 war both the Zionists and the South African nationalists were "close in spirit to Hitler'. While "English soldiers died on the battlefields, fighting against the Nazis who had set themselves the goal of exterminating the Jews, Zionist extremists did not stop even at. the use of terror against the English authorities'; the South African nationalists "attempted in an analogous manner to use the war situation to pursue anti-English goals, in order to strengthen their position in the country."
  • Immediately after the close of the war Zionism allied itself with American imperialism, and so too did the South African nationalists, in order to "break free of dependence on the British Empire. The Empire lost control over the Palestine problem, and its influence over South Africa fell sharply."
  • The state of Israel was proclaimed on 14 May 1948; on 26 May 1948, the Nationalist Party came to power in South Africa. In South Africa, however, the leading role belonged as ever to the Zionist conspiracy. "By 1945... Jewish immigrants (to South Africa), with the support of international Zionist capital, had rapidly occupied the key positions in the economy and trade, and had begun to extract profits from the system of racial inequality dominant in the country."

Within a matter of years "the racists (of South Africa) in reality collapsed into economic dependence on the Zionists."60

One last piece of evidence adduced by the Soviet campaign as proof of the evils of Zionism was its alleged record of collaboration with Trotskyism. In the late 1920s, "the Zionists looked for support amongst the defeated anti-Leninist factional groupings amongst the Trotskyite oppositionists."61 It was therefore "far from being a coincidence that the Zionist newspaper Tayit addressed itself to Trotsky in 1927, calling him "our brother', and inviting the Trotskyites to 'unity of action'."62 In "the attempts to undermine socialism in Czechoslovakia' (i.e. the 1968 reform movement, eventually crushed by a Russian invasion) Zionists worked hand-in-glove with the Trotskyites: "... with the remnants of bourgeois parties which emerged from the underground, with right-wing social democracy, with 'national-communists', with Trotskyites."63 Contemporary Zionism continues to co-operate with "extremists and openly fascist forces, and to maintain at the same time contacts and close links with Trotskyites and revisionists of all shades."64 Today, "Zionism closely co-operates with many other battalions of anti-communism - neo-fascists, Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists, Horthyite, Ustashi, South African racists, Trotskyites, and Maoists."65

Even this kind of cant finds an echo on the British far left. It was, after all, the Workers' Revolutionary Party, backed up by some sympathetic Labour Party members, which declared with editorial authority: "The Zionist connection between these so-called 'lefts' in the Labour Party [i.e. Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Workers' Liberty] right through to Thatcher and Reagan's White House is there for all to see in its unprincipled nakedness.'66

VI

Tsarism, British imperialism, Hitlerism, Afrikaner nationalism, Trotskyism... according to the Stalinists, "the Zionists' were also the shock-troops of US imperialism. Either Israel was an outpost of the USA, or "the Zionists' controlled the USA, or both.

The Kremlin argued: "The real masters of international Zionism who finance and inspire the aggression of Israel against Arab countries and the anti-communist, anti-Soviet activity of Zionist organisations, are the most powerful monopolies and banks of the USA and other countries, that is, the driving forces of contemporary imperialism.'67 But this begs the question of who exerts the major influence and control over "the most powerful monopolies and banks of the USA".

"The existence in the United States of the most numerous grouping in the world of capitalists of Jewish origin... is the most important factor determining the specific nature of American Zionism... About 20% of American millionaires are Jews, although, as is well known, the proportion of Americans of Jewish origin does not exceed 3% of the entire population of the USA."68 American Zionism, therefore, constitutes "a mighty and powerful detachment of international Zionism, by virtue of both its numbers and also its financial-political possibilities.'69 In the American political arena it thus performs a dual function: "as spokesperson of the interests of one of the groupings of the bourgeoisie of the USA, playing no small role in circles which determine the policies of Washington, and as part of international Zionism, closely connected with its other groupings."70

"The powerful Jewish bourgeoisie is far from occupying the lowest position in the financial oligarchy of the USA."71 "The position of the middle-man in relation to the organisation of major long-term loans is in reality monopolised by seventeen of the most powerful Wall Street firms. The majority of them belong either partially or entirely to the powerful Jewish bourgeoisie".72 "A series of monopolies which have contracts with the Pentagon are controlled by the Zionists. The Lazard brothers, for example, who are members of the American Jewish Committee, control the aviation company Lockheed, 90% of the work of which is for the Pentagon. Zionists have an entrenched position in the General Dynamics corporation as well... It is necessary to say that these and other firms with contracts with the Pentagon are the main suppliers of weapons to Israel."73

"American Zionists dispose of massive financial resources and a far-reaching network of organisations. They possess a powerful propaganda apparatus and control a significant share of the means of mass communication in the country.'74

Other spheres of influence of Zionism in America include the CIA ("The interests of the powerful Jewish bourgeoisie and other groupings of finance capital are interlaced in the secret service just as in other spheres of politics, economics and ideology"75), primaries for the selection of Presidential candidates ("The participation of Zionist capital in the financing of the primary campaigns and in working out the platforms in the primaries of the candidates for President - this phenomenon is characteristic of political life in the USA"76), and the Mafia ("The leadership of the Mafia was [at the time of Al Capone] closely linked with Zionists and international Zionism, and some Zionists... became its leaders."77

It is therefore far from clear who is the tail and who is the dog. Zionism is simultaneously an agency of American imperialism, and at the same time the driving force behind it: "Zionism has now become one of the most influential forces in the American political arena... The union of the Zionists with different political forces in the USA, expressing the interests of the entire American ruling class, significantly strengthens the possibilities of Zionism exerting an influence on the policies of Washington."78

VII

The Stalinist account sought to mobilise every sort of sentiment it could plausibly appeal to under "Marxist' colours - anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, anti-Nazism, and even opposition to anti-semitism - against 'the Zionists', by way of portraying 'the Zionists' as in cahoots with, or as pulling the strings of, those responsible for all the evils appealed against.

It was in fact tantamount to an updated and Marxist version of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery concocted by the Tsarist secret police in order to portray Jews as secretly working for, and near achieving, world domination.

The original version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was published in Russia in 1903 by Pavel Krushevan. Supposedly the record of a meeting held in Basle in 1897 at the time of the first Zionist Congress in which the participants plotted to achieve world domination, this piece of fiction quickly became a warrant for anti-semitic pogroms, often organised directly by the Tsarist secret police.

The major themes of the forgery were: Jews controlled and manipulated the media in order to gain in power; Jews used cunning and guile to strengthen their position in society; international finance and banking were under Jewish control; Jews aspired to world domination, using these methods of control of the media, cunning and deceit, and control over international finance; this aim was to be achieved in partnership with the Freemasons.

According to the Stalinists, the Tsarist secret police were quite right to think that Jews were establishing a sinister grip on the media. "In many bourgeois countries, Zionist organisations have implanted their 'cadres' and 'sympathisers' into the central press agencies, the editorial offices of radio and television, into the cinema, the sciences, arts, and literature. Using these powerful levers, the Zionists influence public opinion, overtly or covertly preaching their ideas, skirting round in silence or distorting anything which contradicts their ideology in the slightest."79

Zionism exerts "major, sometimes overwhelming, influence on means of mass communication, culture, and the state-administrative apparatus of the major capitalist states." It focuses its attention "in particular on the cinema, television, radio and daily newspapers."80 As a result of this control over "means of mass communication, the 'intellectual industries' and cultural institutions... "Zionism is an indispensable part of the capitalist world, in which 'mass culture' fulfils precisely expressed functions of the ideological armoury of the bourgeoisie."81

The earnest researcher should not be bamboozled by the superficial facts of Jews being a small minority in all major countries, politically divided among themselves, and often not keen to be stridently "Zionist'. "Analysing the organisational labyrinth of international Zionism is very complicated. This is to be explained by several factors. Firstly, the secret of the organisational structure is carefully concealed from the uninitiated.'82 Another factor lies in the fact that "many Zionist organisations... prefer to appear in the guise of 'Jewish', 'religious', 'socialist', 'benevolent', 'cultural', 'educational', 'scientific' leagues, funds, unions, groups, and parties"83. That they do not call themselves 'Zionist' is merely a matter of "tactics, of the means whereby to realise the policies of the Jewish nationalist bourgeoisie."84

Synagogues are one example of institutions used as a cover for Zionist activities: "Where Zionist political organisations are unable to exist legally, such as in the countries of socialism, they (the Zionists) come running to the services of the synagogues and the rabbis for the purpose of pursuing their subversive activities and recruiting supporters from amongst the believers."85 Cultural activities can also be another cover for Zionist subversion: "The events in Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1967-8 and also the trials in Leningrad, Riga and Kishinev in 1970 and 1971 bear witness to the fact that the 'cultural' activity of Zionists is far from being the harmless affair that they would like to present it as."86 Literature is likewise used for the propagation of Zionism: "Zionist and pro-Zionist writers attempt to impose upon people false, anti-scientific and anti-historical conceptions which are of benefit to Zionism. As fairly typical examples it is possible to name such writers as Kingsley Amis, Bernard Malamud, Eugene Ionesco, and many others."87

Zionism, in short, is prepared to resort to any form of duplicity in pursuit of its goals: "Zionism uses particularly dirty and provocative methods in this struggle for people's minds. Deception, diversions, espionage, terror, blackmail, bribery, intimidation, falsification, playing on family and national sentiments, unbridled chauvinism - this is a far from complete list of the methods of Zionist propaganda and practice."88

Also: "Over the years, Zionism changed into a powerful international concern. The international Zionist corporation... its countless branches and subsidiaries... is one of the most powerful units of finance capital.'89 The economic basis of Zionism is "the most powerful financial industrial-monopolies of the West... Economic conferences of Jewish millionaires are capital united on a world scale, used to exert pressure on states and governments in a series of capitalist countries in pursuit of political goals"90. The Zionist organisations are controlled by the powerful Jewish bourgeoisie: "in the leadership of the Zionist organisations there has never been, nor is there now, a single worker or peasant; instead, at all levels of the Zionist hierarchy are rabbis, millionaires, bankers, stock-brokers, speculators representatives of monopolies, etc."91

The same principle also applies to Judaism, from which according to the 'anti-Zionist' campaign, the racist Zionist concept of 'the chosen people' is derived92: "Wherever the rabbis rule together with the Zionists, everything is subordinate to one goal - serving the interests of capital. Therefore, as a rule, the leading roles in religious communities not only in Israel but also in the USA and other capitalist countries are played by wealthy people: businessmen, directors of companies, financial bosses."93

Zionism, which was "called into life at the will of the Jewish bourgeoisie"94, knows of "ways in and out of the corridors of power of which the uninitiated are ignorant."95 Apart from its influential position in the politics and economies of the United States and Western Europe, and its subversive activities in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, "the powerful Jewish bourgeoisie is firmly entrenched in Spain and Portugal, in the economies of a series of Latin American countries, in Australia and New Zealand. Its sphere of influence extends to the countries of Asia as well, including Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, and Malaysia. As a rule, this involves representatives of families which are involved in a series of countries and also in several continents."96 In Latin America, for example, where "the Jewish bourgeoisie is encouraged by foreign capital, which has transformed it into its base in line with not only its economic but also its political plan"97, "banks and also securities in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Venezuela, and also other countries as well belong to pro-Zionist capital... The powerful Zionist bourgeoisie of the USA plays the role in Latin America of the most aggressive detachment of North American imperialism."98

The organisational structure of international Zionism is based on "subsidies of Zionist bankers and other capitalists, (through which) was created an extensive extra-state and even supra-state system of organisations entangling, like a cobweb, many capitalist states which spread out their tentacles into the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. To this system belongs first and foremost the World Zionist Organisation and the World Jewish Congress."99

It is therefore "no exaggeration to say that the system of organisations of international Zionism (which extends throughout the entire world and, at the same time, is strongly centralised) united with a powerful financial-economic base in the shape of the monopoly bourgeoisie of Jewish origin... is the main source of strength and activity of Zionist influence on the politics of a series of leading capitalist states. At present, international Zionism... given the depth of its penetration into the most variegated spheres of political, economic, and social life of the capitalist countries, has no equal amongst the other bourgeois-nationalist and anticommunist currents and detachments of world reaction."100

International Zionism is not satisfied with merely having no equal in the imperialist world. It strives for world power, in the traditions of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion: "The representatives of international Zionist capital openly aspire to world domination, although they mask their ambitions of world conquest by way of vague phrases about 'ethical socialism'."101 Going beyond the original version of the Protocols however, the 1970s USSR version suggested that that goal had already been achieved, at least outside the borders of the vigilantly 'anti-Zionist' Stalinist states: "Too much bears witness to the fact that in the sum of various factors - economic, political, ideological, social, religious, societal, etc. - which determine the course of action of the ruling circles of the leading capitalist states, the cosmopolitan Jewish bourgeoisie. and Zionist capital (closely linked with Judaic clericalism) emerge as significantly more organised, more ambitious, and more powerful them any other influential monopoly (family, banking, regional) groups and groupings of the financial oligarchy."102

None of this, of course was anti-semitism. It was simply 'anti-Zionism'.

FOOTNOTES

V. Bolshakov (1972): Zionism in the Service of Anti-Communism.

M. Davydov et al. (1973): We Pass Judgement on Zionism.

I. Mints et al. (19731: Zionism: Theory and Practice.

V. Skurlatov (1975): Zionism and Apartheid.

R. Brodsky/ Y. Shulmeister (1976): Zionism - A Tool of Reaction.

V. Kiselev et al. (1977): International Zionism: History and Politics.

1. Prisonnier Politique à Prague, Mordekhai Oren

2. Soifer, p.5

3. Bolshakov, p.8

4. Bolshakov, p.8

5. Skurlatov, p.39

6. Soifer, p.5

7. Mitin, p.54

8. Mitin, p.58, footnote

9. Soifer, p.21

10. Mitin, p.58

11. Mitin, p.19

12. Mitin, p.59

13. Mitin, p 59

14. Davydov, p.12

15. Davydov p.13

16. Mitin, p.218

17. Davydov, p.4

18. Mitin, p.62

19. Mints, p.169

20. Mints, p.169

21. Mitin, p.62

22. Mitin, p.224

23. Soifer, p.42

24. Brodsky, p.75

25. Brodsky, p.82

26. Mitin, p.224

27. Soifer, p.38

28. Bolshakov, p.27

29. Brodsky, p.33

30. Davydov, p.7

31. Skurlatov, p.4

32. Soifer, p.43

33. Soifer, p.49

34. Bolshakov p.39

35. Soifer, p.42

36. Bolshakov, p.25

37. Brodsky, p.78

38. Brodsky, p. 84

39. Soifer, p.42

40. Bolshakov p.43

41. Brodsky, p.89

42. Brodsky, p.90

43. Soifer, p.46

44. Brodsky, p.117

45. Mitin, p.83

46. Soifer, p.22

47. Kiselev. p.12

48. Mints, p.180

49. Soifer, p.34

50. Soifer, p.123

50. Mitin, p.83

51. Mitin, p.83

52. Mints, p.95

53. Bolshakov, p.96

54. Kiselev, p.75

55. Soifer, p.127

56. Skurlatov, p.43

57, Skurlatov, p.47

58. Skurlatov, p.4

59. Skurlatov pp.21, 46, 51, 55, 55, 58, 57, 58, 59, 84

60. Skurlatov p.112

61. Mitin, p.218

62. Mitin, p.223

63. Mitin, p.115

64. Mitin, p.266

65. Soifer, p.50

66. Newsline, 9.4.1983

67. Bolshakov, p.58

68. Kiselev, p.113

69. Kiselev p.113

70. Kiselev p.114

71. Bolshakov p.48

72. Bolshakov p.51

73. Soifer, p.65

74. Kiselev, p.148

75. Bolshakov, p.173

76. Bolshakov p.80

77. Bolshakov p.162

78. Kiselev, p.130

79. Mitin, p.98

80. Kiselev, p.15

81. Mitin, p.95

82. Bolshakov, p.90

83. Bolshakov p.90

84. Kiselev, p.123

85. Mitin, p.128

86. Mitin, p.85

87. Mitin, p.93

88. Soifer, p.183

89. Bolshakov, p.5

90. Soifer, p.59

91. Mitin, p.245, footnote

92. See Mitin, chapter 3, 'Judaism and Zionism'

93. Mitin, p.31

94. Bolshakov p.5

95. Bolshakov, p.5

96. Bolshakov p.72

97. Kiselev, p.i63

98. Kiselev, p.164

99. Mitin, p.188

100. Kiselev, p.15

101. Skurlatov p.118

102. Mitin, p.127

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/29/2004 - 00:56

"None of this, of course was anti-semitism. It was simply 'anti-Zionism.'"

You must be joking.

Submitted by Janine on Wed, 12/29/2004 - 14:37

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Joking? Yes - or being ironic, anyway.

This article is an expose of the Stalinist roots of "left anti-semitism". The final sentence - "None of this, of course was anti-semitism. It was simply 'anti-Zionism.'" - is what Stalinism and its modern-day apologists would argue. The authors of this article/pamphlet, and the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, would say the opposite - this plainly WAS anti-semitism.

It's a shame that wasn't clear to you on reading it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/20/2005 - 14:17

Those who deny it do so for political reasons, a denial of the reality that Israel was always there and only the form of nationalism changed. Israel was recognized as the refuge against Christian and Islamic antisemitism and as such was a progressive project. There was no Arab nationalism in what is now Israel at the time Israel was reconstructed as a national entity to save the Jews. Criticizing Israel for liberating the Jews is not only anti-left it is the antithesis of progressive philosophy.

Hank Roth
See articles on socialist-Zionism at http://pnews.org/

Submitted by DB on Mon, 11/28/2011 - 00:21

Well, at least Workers Liberty is one of the few organisations on the revolutionary Left which considers anti-Semitism an important issue at all -- that's definitely to be commended in the current climate, in which other groups (namely the SWP) seem to be utterly fixated on anti-Muslim racism alone, and turn a blind eye to other forms of racism and prejudice which are just as poisonous and divisive. However, I do think it is about time a serious debate took place about how exactly the AWL defines "anti-Semitism", because all too often the term seems to be thrown around quite cynically, particularly when employed to denounce rival left groups. In that respect I think the re-naming of this article is quite sensible in light of Workers Liberty's reputation in the wider socialist movement.

Last week we had an article about RMT activist Steve Hedley -- most of which I happened to agree with -- in which it was stated that some of his comments at a meeting on Palestine "were line with some [anti-Semitic] myths and are therefore anti-Semitic". http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/11/07/anti-semitism-has-no-place-labour-movement

We've also had columnist Eric Lee argue that to even raise the issue of a "ritualistic" murder taking place in the occupied territories of Israel can be seen as anti-Semitic because its circumstances appear to echo anti-Semitic myths about Jewish bloodlust and ritualistic murder. http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/06/08/we-need-union-campaign-against-anti-semitism

This, for me, employs a wholly insufficient definition of anti-Semitism, one that is so wide-ranging and all-encompassing that it could be applicable to anything -- just like the SWP's definition of Islamophobia. Don't get me wrong: it is right that we be vigilant. But it does not follow that just because a statement overlaps with anti-Semitic myths it must necessarily be anti-Semitic, just as it doesn't follow that some of the AWL's criticisms of Islamic fundamentalists are "Islamophobic" if they happen to coincide with the kind of "medieval" stereotypes about Muslims promoted by the EDL. One of Hedley's comments to a Jewish pro-Israeli activist in the aforementioned meeting is a case in point: "your friends in the media" could be anti-Semitic, but is not necessarily so; it could either refer to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jews controlling the media, or to the power and influence of the formidable Israeli PR machine constructed by the Israeli ruling class. The context is crucial. I would argue that the entire concept of "objective anti-Semitism" is problematic precisely because it seeks to remove all context.

Comradely,
the other DB