Left anti-semitism

"Mr Foot, do you hate the Jews?"

Author: 

Paul Foot

I got this letter recently from a woman in Surrey.


Click here for comment on this from Workers' Liberty 32
Dear Mr Foot

I was so disappointed in you when I heard your hysterical outburst against Israel on Any Questions.

I have admired your column in the Guardian and your cogent socialist views for a long time. However, you did yourself no good in the programme in revealing your up-till-now well-hidden anti-Jewish bias.

Foot's Socialist Worker column of 16 May 1996.

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Learn how to do it properly,Tammy!

By John O'Mahony

A small outcry greeted Tam Dalyell MP's assertion that there are too many Jews in Tony Blair's and George Bush's entourages, and that those Jews make Britain's and the USA's policy on the Middle East.

I found the responses to Dalyell encouraging, but also seriously off the point. The important and effective antisemites now are not those who talk like Hitlerites about Jewish influence and Jewish "cabals,'. Such people can usually expect the response Dalyell got.

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What is left anti-semitism?

What is “left-wing anti-semitism”? Where is it manifested? What is to be done about it?

There are three difficulties, three confusions and obfuscations, that stand in the way of rational discussion of what we mean by “left-wing anti-semitism”.

The first is that left-wing anti-semitism knows itself by another and more self-righteous name, “anti-Zionism”. Often, your left-wing anti-semite sincerely believes that he or she is only an anti-Zionist, only a just if severe critic of Israel.

The fact that their proponents are surely not racists does not answer the questions raised by root-and-branch "smash Israel" agitational themes.

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“Anti-Zionist” play will mark Holocaust Memorial Day: a drama of anti-semitic themes

By Stan Crooke

In November of last year the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) hosted Gilad Atzmon at one of their fund-raising events. Apart from being a renowned jazz musician, Atzmon is also well-known for his own brand of anti-semitism.

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A secular-democratic state

By Jim Higgins

It is always a pleasure to see Sean Matgamna in full spate and my enjoyment of his piece, “Paul Foot, philo-semite” (WL 32), was abated only by the fear that the might do himself a serious mischief, carrying that immense weight of heavy irony.

What a spiffing wheeze, Sean must have though, to belabour Footie with Hilaire Belloc, because one thing is sure, whatever Foot’s prejudices may happen to be, Belloc was a brass-bound and copper-bottomed anti-semite, the author of the lines: “How odd of God, to choose the Jews.”

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With Hitler on the road to Samara

Of course you know the story. A man is in the market place, and he sees Death, and Death looks at him intently, recognising him.

By Sean Matgamna

Of course you know the story. A man is in the market place, and he sees Death, and Death looks at him intently, recognising him.

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Writing as a Jewish traitor - an imagined disputation with my comrades on anti-semitism

Steve Cohen contributes to the debate on "left-wing anti-semitism"

For forty five years as a Jew and a revolutionary Marxist I have been waiting for this debate, this disputation. The time lag it itself revealing – revealing of the left’s refusal to get beyond platitudes, often nasty platitudes, in discussing Jews.

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An exchange with the local Palestine Solidarity Campaign

An attempt by AWL and Committee for 2 states to explore possibilities for joint work between the PSC and the Comm for 2 States are rebuffed. Why? Well read on.

This is the letter of reply by myself to the local PSC answering their reasons for not wishing to explore joint work. The PSC's letter is attached. PSC's comments are italicised.

Hello again Steve

I am not sure whether you wanted the debate I proposed to Pauline. As you don’t mention it I suspect that the answer is ‘no’. So I will respond to this email fully.

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The Israel-Hizbollah war and left-wing anti-semitism now

Anti-semitism in Britain is at its worst for decades: attacks on Jews, on the streets and on college campuses, have become endemic. Ninety-two such attacks were reported in July.....The role of the kitsch-left is creating the culture in which anti-semitism is now beginning to thrive, has been recorded over many years in “Solidarity”

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Another Zionist plot exposed?

By Stan Crooke

“Antisemitism Accusations – An Attempt to Smear Anti-Zionists into Silence” declares one of the headlines in this week’s Socialist Worker. The article in question deals with a parliamentary report on anti-semitism published earlier this month.

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Live dangerous — shop at Marks and Spencers

I don’t want to be a court jew

A court jew kneeling before the throne of the idiot anti-zionist

The court jew in the palace of the stupid anti-imperialist

Martin Buber where are you now

You who refused to kneel before the ultimate socialism of fools

– anti-semitism.

You who abstained from being the house nigger

From being an Uncle Tevye

I don’t want to shout out “not in my name”

(and my name is Y’Israel Zen ben David)

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Taking on anti-Semitism

By David Broder

On 10 July, seven AWL members took part in a protest against the jazz musician Gilad Atzmon performing at the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) summer school, Marxism.

In articles Atzmon has said things such as "... we must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously... American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy." The SWP has refused to condemn his politics.

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Anti-semitism on the left

Thomas Haury has written extensively about left anti-semitism in both pre- and post-unification Germany.

His best-known work is “Anti-Semitism on the Left”, a lengthy study of anti-semitism (anti-Zionism) in the early years of the German Democratic Republic. Other writings by Haury include “The German Left in the Goldhagen Debate” and “The Logic of German Anti-Zionism”.

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The Return of ‘Left Anti-Semitism’ in Poland?

By Piotr Kendziorek and August Grabski

Anti-semitism in Poland has not been articulated in the political language of the left since the time of the ‘anti-Zionist’ (in fact: anti-semitic) propaganda campaign of the 1960s inspired by General Moczar, and the later episode of the so-called Patriotic Association ‘Grunwald’ at the beginning of the 1980s. But articles which have recently appeared in the columns of the magazines “Lewa Noga” and “Rewolucja” (which are published by the Warsaw publishers “Ksiazka i Prasa”) give rise to the question of whether the ghost of anti-semitism is not again emerging in the guise of left ‘anti-Zionism’ in Poland.

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News Line editorial of April 9, 1983, and comment by Ken Livingstone, on "the Zionist connection"

The Zionist connection. News Line editorial, Saturday, April 9, 1983

A powerful Zionist connection runs from the so-called left of the Labour Party right into the centre of Thatcher's government in Downing Street. There is no difficulty what ever in proving this.

"The Zionist connection". News Line editorial, Saturday, April 9, 1983

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Dog doesn’t bark

This is an editorial from Solidarity’s forerunner, Socialist Organiser (27 September 1984)

This is an editorial from Solidarity’s forerunner, Socialist Organiser (27 September 1984)

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"I would hate myself in the morning"

An anti-Zionist Jewish socialist explain why he opposes the proposal for an academic boycott of Israel.

THE quote above comes from Ring Lardner Jr, the famous writer and member of the Hollywood Ten — who were convicted in 1947 of criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with the House Unamerican Activities Committee. The ten were imprisoned for a year for their defiance.

In fact, Lardner was one of the few who did respond to a question put to him. The question of course was whether he was or had ever been a member of the Communist Party. To which he replied “I could answer the question exactly the way you want, but if I did I would hate myself in the morning”.

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Another year of messy debate

If a North Korean mathematician wants to come to a conference in Britain, we will be happy to discuss maths with her; we will not demand that she repudiates her state’s constitutional claim that North Korea is a socialist paradise on earth. This is how it should be. Discuss integral calculus during the day; discuss politics over dinner; help her to defect, if she wants.

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Israel boycott resurfaces in NATFHE

By a NATFHE member

On 27-29 May, the lecturers’ union NATFHE will meet in Blackpool for its last conference before merger with another lecturers’ union, AUT, to form the “Universities and College Union”, UCU.

NATFHE organises lecturers in further education colleges and the “newer” universities, AUT those in the “older” universities, so the merger has industrial logic.

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As we were saying: Should we boycott Israeli goods?

A new attempt is being made to set up a movement in Britain to support the Palestinian Arabs by organising a boycott of Israeli goods on sale here.

It would be a campaign like the decades-long boycott of South African goods. According to press reports, it already has pledges of support from as many as twenty MPs, mainly Labour, and including Clare Short.

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How not to deal with anti-semitism

The 2005 NATFHE (college and newer universities lecturers’ union) conference passed a motion — written by a member of the Socialist Workers Party — which declared, “to criticise Israeli policy or institutions is not anti-semitic.”

The 2005 NATFHE (college and newer universities lecturers’ union) conference passed a motion — written by a member of the Socialist Workers Party — which declared, “to criticise Israeli policy or institutions is not anti-semitic.”

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The roots of anti-semitism

Author: 

Mark Osborn

Anti-semitism, or anti-Jewish prejudice is an ancient form of racism.

Unlike modern anti-black racism, the roots of which lie in the trade in slaves and the rise of capitalist colonialism, going back perhaps 400 years, anti-semitism dates back to conflicts inside the Roman Empire.

In AD 313 the Emperor Constantine the Great gave Christianity supremacy inside the Empire. The Christians used their new power to persecute their Jewish rivals. The Jews were blamed for what was for Christians the worst crime in history: “The Jews killed Christ”.

Where does anti-Semitism come from, and why?

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“Left” anti-semitism is no myth

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

The charge of “anti-semitism” is thrown at critics of Israel by the crassest of the uncritical, and sometimes paranoid, apologists for Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians?

This is true.

Guardian writer makes excuses for "Left wing" anti-Semitism

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Reinstate Ken Livingstone!

By Amina Saddiq

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone’s suspension from office by the Adjudication Panel of the Standards Board of England has been “frozen” by the High Court pending an appeal. Whatever the final outcome, the issues posed for socialists and serious democrats are clear.

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"Cover your heads", SWP tells protest women

Author: 

Lynne Moffat

Solidarity 3/6, 30 April 2002.

I attended a picket on Saturday 27 April outside the Israeli embassy in High Street Kensington. My previous experience of pickets there had been primarily of ones organised bv the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, but supported by other organisations who also take a two state position on the Middle East conflict. I was somewhat shocked by some of the things I saw and heard on this picket.

When the SWP demanded on a demonstration that women who were not Muslims, or not from those sub-strands of Islam in which head-covering is customary, cover their heads "in solidarity"

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The omnibus alibi

We continue our discussion the issue of “left-wing anti-semitism”. For articles from Solidarity on this subject see:

www.workersliberty.org/taxonomy/page
/or/422

Solidarity should be congratulated for tackling a once festering, now blossoming problem on the left. I can vividly remember during the first Gulf War the Israeli anti-war/anti-occupation group, Women in Black, being jeered as “Zionist whores” at a Washington anti-war rally as Iraqi scuds were being hurled at Israel.

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