Discussing left antisemitism

Submitted by AWL on 17 October, 2018 - 8:30 Author: Ira Berkovic

Workers’ Liberty branches around the country have in the last month been organising meetings on left antisemitism, discussing what this phenomenon is and how to fight it.

Meetings have taken place in Sheffield, Lewisham, King’s Cross, Oxford, Bristol, Northampton, Brixton, Newcastle, and Durham.

The attitude from some in the Momentum and Labour leaderships has been to treat the question as one of embarrassing public relations optics, perhaps to be dealt with by expelling a few of the worst offenders; serious discussion and debate of the issues, involving proper historical analysis, has not, on the whole, been encouraged or facilitated.

Workers’ Liberty’s meetings have attempted to supply this deficiency.

Comrades have attended from local Labour Parties and Momentum groups, showing a real appetite amongst many activists to properly discuss the issues. Many points of debate have arisen at the meetings, including the extent to which the issue of antisemitism on the left can be separated from questions of policy towards Israel/Palestine, and whether left antisemitism is a form of “racism”.

Most meetings have been attended by attended by some holding views different, sometimes wildly so, from Workers’ Liberty. Although there have been sharp exchanges, in general the meetings have been characterised by openness and an atmosphere of free speech.

The aim of the meetings, however, has not merely been to provide a space for debate but to convince comrades of a particular view: that antisemitism does exist on the left, and in a specific and distinct form, and that the way to uproot it is to replace the conspiracist form of anti-Zionism that currently predominates on much of the far left with a consistently democratic policy that upholds the equal right of all peoples to self-determination.

If you want to organise a meeting on this topic in your area, email us.

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