The British ruling class is currently engaged in a systematic campaign to discredit any form of solidarity with Palestinian liberation. The focus has been mainly against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour Party but it is extended to anyone who criticises Israel. The left social democrat Labour leaders Corbyn and McDonell have consistently opposed the racist Zionist colonial state of Israel in its attempts to exterminate the Palestinian people. They both mistakenly believe that the colonial state and Palestine could live side by side in a lasting peace therefore neglecting the need for national liberation. However to even give mild support for Palestinian rights is going too far for the Zionist lobby in Britain and its ruling class allies.
The most bizarre and ludicrous accusations have been thrown at Corbyn and anyone who appears to support Palestine. The central theme of the accusations is that Corbyn, his supporters and the supporters of Palestinian liberation are ‘anti-semitic’; in other words they hate Jews. This is a typical smear thrown at any opposition to the Zionist state. Zionism is and always has been a racist ideology. It promotes the supremacy of the Jewish people, that is the white members of the Jewish people, and proclaims their God-given right to occupy and culturally dominate the territory of what is today Palestine with the removal of any other peoples.
The Palestinian people were sacrificed by British and US imperialism seven decades ago for the Zionist cause which aided the imperialists who required dominance of the Middle East. It also meant that the ruling classes of Europe could relieve themselves of much of their Jewish masses which they had persecuted. The Zionists have been carrying out a genocidal war against the Palestinian people and trying to suppress their desire for national independence and statehood ever since. In Palestine the Zionists have established a white supremacist and culturally homogeneous state which tolerates non-Jewish peoples as second class citizens while reducing Gaza into a hellish prison camp.
Israel is an important customer for British arms sales and is the main watchman and guardian for the imperialists in the Middle East. Any criticism of them is thus to be discredited by the ruling class. Corbyn has therefore been singled out not only for supporting Palestinians but also because he does not follow the current aims of Britain’s ruling class, in particular its finance and military wings. It is an attack on anyone who may speak up for the interests of the working class and oppressed. Of course, Corbyn is hardly a real threat to British capitalism and has already capitulated to Zionism. But because of his stand on certain issues he must be attacked and so must national liberation struggles of the oppressed countries and socialism.
The latest attacks came as Labour was debating wether to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of ‘anti-semitism’. The IHRA gives eleven examples which it claims as represent anti- semitism include the following two:
‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.’
‘Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.’1
These two examples are clearly protecting the Israel terror state from justified and real criticism. Its establishment was based on the racist ideology of Zionism and in one of the most terrible ironies of history its policy is comparable to that of the Nazis. Yet the sensible questioning of this inclusion in a definition of anti-semitism has caused a major attack by the ruling class against those inside Labour and outside who support the Palestinian national liberation struggle. The ruling class however cannot simply conduct a campaign of vilification and slander using their obvious means at their disposal. They require fake socialists to carry out their dirty work also. Step forward the ‘Alliance for Workers Liberty’ or rather the Alliance for Western Liberalism! It is a Trotskyist clique and Zionist cult. The AWL has spearheaded the attacks on Palestinian activists and even the mild critics of Israel such as Corbyn.
The AWL have been carrying out ‘entryism’ in the Labour Party for decades. They have probably been one of the most successful Trot groups to do so. This is probably due to the fact that they openly side with the Labour Party’s most reactionary elements which are in control of the Party organisation. The AWL could not wait to jump onto the anti- Palestine bandwagon denouncing Corbyn and others as ‘anti-semitic’. So obsessed are they with helping facilitate this ruling class campaign against the Palestinians it occupies a large number of articles in their rag ‘Solidarity’ and their website. Despite the fact that this Trotskyist group is a major proponent of Labourism and Corbyn they remained more loyal to their Zionist political masters and denounced Corbyn for tailing ‘anti-semitism’. In their latest edition of ‘Solidarity’ they claim that to state that Israel is racist is ‘anti-semitiism’. The article claims the left is biased against Israel as compared to other countries’ actions:
‘But if any other country were to conduct an occupation or war of aggression (like the UK, or Saudi Arabia) or a dirty, colonial war (like Turkey), or to pass racist laws (like Hungary), the left would say something like “the government should stop doing that.” “End the occupation!” “Amend the constitution!” “Repeal the racist law!” “Independence for the oppressed people!” But the “racist endeavour” slogan on the posters makes no such demand of Israel. The “demand”, if there is one, is: “Israel should cease to exist”.
More than that, because Israel’s very existence is racist, if you don’t agree that Israel should cease to exist, then you a racist, too. They ignore a very important difference between Israel and the other countries which they mention. Israel is a colony like the colonies of the 19th century. It is a settler colony of mainly white people who are Jewish. It has sought to create a ‘Jewish state’ which excludes those who are not Jewish (and in many cases the ‘wrong’ type of Jews, e.g. those from Ethiopia who are black) and the majority of the original population of Palestine do not fit the criteria. Since 1947 and in some cases earlier the Palestinians have been ethnically cleansed from their land and their culture denigrated by the Zionists. Israel was not a modern nation which existed in that territory. It was created by the Zionist movement supported by the British and US imperialists and later others through mass violence against the original inhabitants. The roots of Zionism belong with other ultranationalist movements from Europe. The early 20th century Zionist Arthur Rappin promoted the racial theories developed by Hans Gunther which claimed Jews were distinct from ‘Nordic races’ and should live in Palestine which it was claimed was their racial home. Gunther went on to advise Himmler. The Zionists embraced other influences from the German Nazis regarding population distribution.2 In recent years the Israeli government has given support to the neoNazi and far right nationalist government in the Ukraine. The AWL also promotes the Ukrainian Fascist Bandarites in their publications on the history of Trotskyism. The AWL has posted Trotskyist publications from the nineteen forties which hail the fascist collaborators and traitors of the ‘Ukrainian Revolutionary Army’who committed ethnic violence in the Soviet Union during the darkest days of the Second World War when the USSR led the world front against Nazism. Israel is a racist colony and must be overthrown by the Palestinian liberation movement.
The AWL attempt to find every manifestation of alleged ‘anti-semitism’ anywhere on the left, acting essentially as the agents of Israel in the trade unions in which they are also active and the left of the Labour Party. The Labour Party is already heavily infiltrated by the Israeli embassy via ‘Labour Friends of Israel’ as was recently exposed by investigative journalists. The reality is that anti-semitism is no longer a major form of prejudice in Britain as it once was. It is true that some backward elements still hold conspiracy theories about or religious hatred toward Jewish people but it is rare. What is a major prejudice today is anti-Muslim hatred which is whipped up by the media and politicians and this form of bigotry is completely ignored by the AWL. The fascists in Britain have even dropped anti-Jewish rhetoric in favour of anti-Muslim rhetoric these days. Indeed the fascist groups in Britain today such as the English Defence League support Zionism.
This is nothing new for the AWL as they have always stood on the side of British imperialism and its interests in the Middle East. They openly oppose calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan on the basis that there is not a proper labour movement in Iraq, whatever they consider that to be, and that the Iraqi and Afghan resistance are all reactionaries and a ‘Third Force’ is required before the imperialists should withdraw!3 The idea of uniting all those who can be united is anathema to them. What they mean is that the imperialists must create their own neocolony and decide what is best for these people. In the AWL’s view the masses cannot speak or fight for themselves without the civilising help of ‘democratic’ Europeans! They even claim that oppressed nations like Iraq are ‘imperialist’ 4 The message from the AWL was clear. The peoples of Iraq should give up all resistance to US-British occupation and sit and wait for the workers in Britain to build a solidarity movement to ‘help’ them build a labour movement. Apparently they cannott resist occupation unless it is by some sort of trade union action! Heaven forbid they dare to take up arms!
This type of liberal nonsense is entirely at home in the social democrat Labour Party which the AWL parasitically survives on. More disturbingly they send their members into militant unions such as the RMT to attempt to take positions of authority, a typical Trotskysit tactic. It is a disgrace that the AWL has the audacity to claim to speak as socialists or for the oppressed when they spearhead the Zionist campaign of slander against the left and fuelling ruling class hysteria. Genuine anti-imperialists and socialists should struggle against this Zionist cult in the working class movement and defend the rights of Palestinian people in their struggle against the Zionists.
Solidarity, No.478, 12 September 2018 online at <https://www.workersliberty.org/solidarity-478-12-
1IHRA website <https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/working-definition-antisemitism>
2Mazower, M, (2008)‘The Jewish Question: From Europe to the Middle East, in Chapter 18 The New Order in World History, in Hitler’s Empire, pp 597-601
3“Anti-imperialism” in Iraq: a response to debate at <https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2008/07/02/anti-imperialism-iraq-response-debate>
4Should we call for US and British troops ut of Iraq now? At<https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2017-07-26/should-we-call-us-and-british-troops-out-iraq-now>