Arabs, Jews, and Socialism

Arabs, Jews, and Socialism

Arabs, Jews and Socialism

Published on: Thu, 19/07/2012 - 14:39

Second printed edition, expanded and corrected (May 2019): £7 including UK postage, £8 including non-UK postage.

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Third edition, further expanded and corrected (October 2019)

This includes some additions to and corrections to the second edition, May 2019. The first edition was in 1989 (date incorrectly given, in second edition, as 1993).

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Some texts in this collection are slight revisions of earlier versions of those same texts found elsewhere on this website.

This pamphlet presents the long and lively public debate in the 1980s and 1990s, with many contributors, which led to Workers' Liberty re-developing our ideas about Israel, Palestine, and antisemitism. It is a new, expanded, and corrected edition of the 1989 Workers' Liberty Pamphlet, 'Arabs, Jews and Socialism: The debate on Palestine, Zionism and anti-Semitism'.

Click here to download pdf of the second edition (May 2019)

Click here to download pdf of the first edition (1989)

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Arabs, Jews, and Socialism: Note (2019), Introduction (2019), Preface (1989)

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 12:10

Martin Thomas, Sean Matgamna


This is an expanded version of a pamphlet, “Arabs, Jews, and Socialism”, produced by Workers’ Liberty in 1989. The main addition is the debate between Jim Higgins (former National Secretary of what is now the SWP) and Sean Matgamna in 1996-7, which was the major sustained public exchange of polemics in that period. Some errors and omissions in the 1989 edition have been corrected.

The pamphlet should be read together with our 2002 pamphlet (expanded edition 2016), “Two nations, two states”, and in particular with two articles in it. One is “Marxism and the Jewish Question” (of which an

Arabs, Jews and Socialism: Debate: Jim Higgins and Sean Matgamna

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 12:04

Jim Higgins, Sean Matgamna

This debate between Sean Matgamna and the late Jim Higgins (former National Secretary of the SWP), was sparked by a column by the late Paul Foot in Socialist Worker and Sean Matgamna's comment on it. The debate ran in Workers’ Liberty nos.32-34 and 38, in 1996-7.

"Mr Foot, do you hate the Jews?"

By Paul Foot

I got this letter recently from a woman in Surrey.

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

Arabs, Jews and Socialism: 1. Anti-Zionism and antisemitism

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 11:48

Sean Matgamna, Jane Ashworth, Jakob Taut, Andrew Hornung, Tony Greenstein, Liam Conway, Clive Bradley

Gerry Healy and the World Jewish Conspiracy

Sean Matgamna, SO 127, 14.4.83

Newsline has continued in its ridiculous campaign of bluff and bluster against the BBC Money Programme. But still, litigious though it is, it has not got round to suing the BBC.

Many - solicited - letters from members and supporters have been printed. The campaign continues against Socialist Organiser, linked with the BBC according to the well-tried Stalinist technique of the "amalgam". Example from a piece by long-standing member Alex McLarty: "Trade unionists! Members of the labour movement! Be warned! Depending on

Arabs, Jews and Socialism: 2. 'Secular democratic Palestine' or 'Two states'?

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 11:38

Sean Matgamna, Bruce Robinson, Martin Thomas, Clive Bradly, Bas Hardy, Rachel Lever, Robert Fine, Tony Greenstein, Moshe Machover, Fatah, DFLP, Arthur Bough, Lenni Brenner, Avraham Shomroni

The only answer: two states

John O’Mahony [Sean Matgamna], SO 233, 19.6.85

For about seven years Socialist Organiser editor John O'Mahony has held to a minority point of view among SO supporters in that he rejected the call for a secular democratic state in Palestine as unrealistic, and argued that socialists should advocate a solution to the conflict of Arabs and Jews in Palestine on the basis of two states. Here he outlines his views.

We have to support the Palestinians, as the oppressed, against Israel as the oppressor. However, what is our alternative to the existing situation of

Arabs, Jews, and Socialism: 3. Zionism and the Holocaust

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 11:16

Andrew Hornung, Jeremy Green, Tony Greenstein, Lenni Brenner

Zionism, twin of antisemitism

Andrew Hornung, SO 109, 18.11.82

Andrew Hornung reviews Tony Greenstein's pamphlet 'Zionism - anti-semitism in Jewish garb'.

Chief Rabbi Emmanuel Jacobowitz was once asked by a BBC interviewer whether there was any difference between being anti-Israel and being antisemitic. 'In theory that is possible', he replied, 'in practice it isn't.'

Earlier this year, a Jewish shopper in Regent Street, no doubt impelled by the same view, insisted that police arrest Labour Committee on Palestine members who were picketing the Israeli state airlines in protest at the

Arabs, Jews and Socialism: 4. 'Zionism' and 'Anti-Zionism' in Britain today

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 11:01

Sean Matgamna, Clive Bradley, Bryan Edmands, Martin Thomas, Tony Greenstein, Steve Channon, Duncan Chapple

Pink Ken changes

“Graffiti” column (unsigned [Sean Matgamna]), SO 267, 17 April 1985

It must say something about the state of the left that the drift to the right of former leftists sometimes, incidentally, leads them to adopt better politics than they used to have before. Socialist Organiser has commented on this phenomenon, for example, when their move to the right led careerists like Neil Kinnock to drop the "identikit leftist" Little-England opposition to the EEC [EU].

And now Pink Ken Livingstone has changed his position on Zionism.

Remember that Livingstone used to talk about "Zionist"

Arabs, Jews and Socialism: 5. THE "PERDITION" AFFAIR

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 10:56

Sean Matgamna, Tony Greenstein

The Perdition affair

John O'Mahony [Sean Matgamna], Workers' Liberty 6, April 1987

When the Royal Court Theatre decided at the last minute not to go ahead with its scheduled production of Jim Allen's play about the massacre of the Jews of Hungary in 1944, 'Perdition', a flood of discussion, polemic and recrimination was unleashed in the press. It had already been the subject of protests by various prominent Jews and of publicity in the press.

There are at least two issues involved in the 'Perdition' affair: artistic freedom and its limits; and whether or not 'Perdition' is anti-Jewish.


Arabs, Jews and Socialism: 6. Postscript: With Hitler on the road to Samara

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 10:37

Sean Matgamna, Socialist Organiser 472, 23 January 1991

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.

In a panic, the man runs to his horse and gallops away desperately, taking the road to the city of Samara.

As he gallops off, Death turns to his companion. “Strange,” he said, “that was so-and-so. I was surprised to see him here, because I have an appointment with him, tonight, in Samara.”

Death is all-powerful. There is no escape when he reaches your name on the list.

Consider now, and the association is appropriate enough, the fate of poor Adolf Hitler. This heroic

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