Left antisemitism

Barking: too passive

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:45
Author

Ben Tausz

Martin Thomas’ response to the “triggering” of Margaret Hodge for reselection (Solidarity 519) is too passive.

First, as democrats who believe every Labour MP should face reselection at every election, we should welcome and support every ballot-triggering — both for MPs we want to replace and those we want to keep.

Second, Thomas writes “Replacing Hodge either way [by imposition or democratic election] would signal a move to silence or marginalise protest against antisemitism in the Labour Party.” This is an abdication of our responsibility in the battle against left-antisemitism. In this

Williamson the book

Published on: Mon, 07/10/2019 - 11:03
Author

Stan Crooke

In February of this year Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North, complained about the Labour Party’s response to criticisms of antisemitism:

“I’ve got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion we’ve backed off far too much, we’ve given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic. What have we got to apologise for?”

*Bad News for Labour – Antisemitism, The Party and Public Belief* (by Greg Philo and others, Pluto Press) is the literary version of Williamson’s claim.

Less rabble-rousing and less rhetorical. More nuanced and more refined.

In defence of the Morning Star

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2019 - 09:06
Author

Andrew Northall

Jim Denham's major piece (Solidarity 516) responding to my letter in Solidarity 515 continues to peddle the outrageous accusation that the Morning Star newspaper “actively foments antisemitism”.

Antisemitism is obviously a highly emotive and sensitive issue and in response we need to be really clear, factual and
logical.

In plainer language, the accusation “actively foments antisemitism” could read: “the paper expresses hatred to people who are Jewish (whether by religion, ethnicity or culture) or encourages other people to be hostile to Jews”. Does the Morning Star encourage hatred against

Morning Star “actively foments antisemitism”?

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 11:06
Author

Jim Denham

A letter from Andrew Northall in Solidarity 515 takes issue with Sean Matgamna’s claim (in Solidarity 509) that the Morning Star “actively foments antisemitism.”

Comrade Northall describes the claim as “completely disgraceful” and something that “any reader” of that paper will know to be “completely untrue.”

As a daily reader of the Morning Star, I’d say Sean’s description is fully justified.

The Morning Star has, by its own admission, published at least one clearly antisemitic article:

In June 2018 the paper published an article headlined ‘Rising antisemitism cannot be tackled without

Letters

Published on: Thu, 05/09/2019 - 10:39

I was catching up on a backlog of reading material, and I was genuinely shocked to read in Sean Matgamna’s piece The Willsman Affair (Solidarity 509) that the Morning Star daily newspaper “actively foments antisemitism”.

This is a completely disgraceful comment and, as any reader or the Star will know fine well, is completely untrue. Sean should ether provide some examples of “antisemitism” in the Star, “actively fomented” or otherwise, or withdraw that comment completely.

Even Jim Denham, who seems to have a weekly column dedicated to sarcastic sniping at the Star, admits in Solidarity 503

Robert Fine on antisemitism and Stalinism: a comment

Published on: Tue, 13/08/2019 - 12:34
Author

Eduardo Tovar

I read Dan Davison’s article on Robert Fine and the critique of antisemitism in Solidarity 512 with great interest.

While Davison’s overall tribute to Fine is both lucid and commendable, there are two significant aspects of Fine’s critical perspective that Davison left under-examined. These are, first, Fine’s understanding of the connections between antisemitism and racism and, second, his standpoint on Stalinism and anti-Stalinism.

Having written reviews of two of Fine’s books so far as part of an ongoing series, I found Fine’s ideas about antisemitism thought-provoking. Indeed, I can see

A first step against antisemitism

Published on: Mon, 12/08/2019 - 12:25
Author

Dale Street

Dale Street reviews the Labour's Party's training materials on antisemitism.

The Labour Party training materials on antisemitism first promised in April of last year have now been produced and circulated to party members. Potentially, they could help to start a meaningful process of political discussion and education.

A leaflet entitled “No Place for Antisemitism” condemns conspiracy theories which portray “capitalism and imperialism as the product of plots by a small shadowy elite.” These are “just one step away from myths about Jewish bankers and a secret Jewish plot for world domination.”

Corbyn in the 1980s

Published on: Wed, 17/07/2019 - 08:51
Author

Sean Matgamna

The Times of 6 July 2019 ran an article by Dominic Kennedy, "Corbyn's hard-left blueprint revealed", attacking Jeremy Corbyn for his links in the 1980s with Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. Sean Matgamna, editor of Socialist Organiser in the period described, talked to Solidarity.



We have serious political differences with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

But Corbyn has the record of an honorable, serious left-winger, who - unlike many others who had some association with Socialist Organiser in the 1980s - did not change his coat in the years of Blair's New Labour

Why and how the left has shifted on Israel

Published on: Wed, 17/07/2019 - 08:31
Author

Susie Linfield

Susie Linfield, author of The Lions’ Den: Zionism and the Left, talked with Martin Thomas from Solidarity.

Many of the eight writers you analyse had their thinking on Israel shaped by Stalinism. But you don’t mention Stalinism.

That was most true of Maxime Rodinson. He was a Stalinist, and even after he left the Communist Party, he remained a Stalinist. Then in some ways he substituted what he called the Arab Revolution for the Soviet Union.

He was acutely aware of the regression, autocracy, dictatorship of the Arab states. But at many times he tried to overlook that.

Isaac Deutscher was

Labour and antisemitism: yes, it’s a real problem

Published on: Wed, 17/07/2019 - 06:42
Author

Cathy Nugent

The BBC Panorama programme (10 July) about Labour’s antisemitism problem has intensified the Party’s internal row.

Unfortunately, because the programme was not well done, and because Labour’s response has been to “shoot the messenger” as Emily Thornberry rightly put it when criticising that reaction, the renewed row has brought very little light so far.

Thornberry said: “I think that we shouldn’t be going for the messengers, we should be looking at the message. I think that is what is important.

“Nobody can pretend that there isn’t an ongoing problem within the Labour Party about antisemitism,

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