Morning Star witch-hunts “Zionists” and Trotskyists

Submitted by Matthew on 12 October, 2016 - 12:18 Author: Sacha Ismail

The Communist Party of Britain newspaper Morning Star used the controversy in Momentum about Jackie Walker to launch an attack against the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty.

The CP implausibly called the decision to remove Jackie Walker as Vice Chair of Momentum a witch-hunt — she remains on the National Momentum Steering Committee which originally appointed her as its Vice Chair — while simultaneously trying to boost the actual witch-hunt by the Labour Party bureaucracy against us: “The Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, which has renounced its status as a political party in order to facilitate its relocation into Labour... this supposed ex-party has well attested pro-Zionist credentials.”

The significance of “supposed ex-party” is clear. The implication is nonsense: we were active in Labour long before Jeremy Corbyn ran for leader, never stopped calling for the election of Labour governments, and supported Labour in every seat last year while helping build a “Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory”.

But there is more: in the original version of this editorial, published online and then altered, the Morning Star claimed that our Zionist credentials were proved by the supposed fact that we “provided four of the seven” (!) votes to remove Jackie Walker as Vice Chair. The AWL has one supporter on the Momentum Steering Committee, Jill Mountford. The 4x multiplication seems to have been lifted from professional AWL-hater and “anti-Zionist” Tony Greenstein, who made the deranged claim on his blog that Labour NEC member Christine Shawcroft and TSSA staffer Sam Tarry are “AWL sleepers”.

Christine and Sam voted the same way as Jill; they are no more linked to us than Jackie Walker is. The Morning Star presumably realised was embarrassingly poor journalism, even by their standards, and deleted it.

The “four of seven” claim dramatises the kind of stuff we are dealing with. Underlying this is an old-fashioned Stalinist attempt to whip up hostility to Trotskyists (including, typically, by supporting right-wing attacks on us) — and an equally old-fashioned Stalinist attempt to whip people up against “Zionists”, without explain what they mean.

The editorial claims that left antisemitism not only doesn’t exist but is conceptually impossible, an “absurd formulation”. That is the core of their position. What is it that makes the AWL “Zionist” in the Morning Star editorial writer’s eyes? The fact that our support for the Palestinians involves advocating a two-state settlement and opposing blanket boycotts of Israel? But that is also the position held by many Communist Party members.

Presumably the editorial was also a factional move by the more Stalinist, “anti-imperialist” wing of the CP against their internal opponents. All in all a nasty mix. We hope this kind of thing will make people think twice about officially promoting the Morning Star at events like The World Transformed.