Left antisemitism

Left politics without the activists

Gabriel Pogrund’s and Patrick Maguire’s book Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn is not really about the politics of the Corbyn Labour Party leadership, but about the “politics” in the sense of corridor chat, text-message exchanges, and WhatsApp groups at the top of the party hierarchy. Tellingly, it doesn’t mention the failure of the Labour Party in that period to promote any real ongoing political campaigns outside the general elections of 2017 and 2019. Either the authors take it as obvious that political parties won’t do political campaigning, or they picked up no argument or...

Labour's antisemitism tangle

More than ÂŁ300,000 has been donated to a fundraising page to help support Jeremy Corbyn if a legal case goes ahead over the leaked Labour antisemitism report or the Panorama programme produced by John Ware. Keir Starmer has already settled the Panorama legal cases with the whistle-blowers featured in the documentary, several of whom are heavily criticised in the pro-Corbyn leaked report. Corbyn has criticised the decision. He claims the move to settle was political rather than legal and that Labour had a strong defence case. Regardless of the merits of the legal case against the former party...

That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Antisemitic: an anti-racist analysis of Left antisemitism

Steve Cohen's "That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Antisemitic: an anti-racist analysis of Left antisemitism", first published in 1984, was a seminal work. Workers' Liberty is selling copies of the third edition, published in 2019: 212 pages for £5, plus postage. This now classic book should be read by everyone active on the left. It looks at the history of Left antisemitism from a socialist perspective. Get the book Buy the book for £5, plus postage (£1.50 UK, £5 international), from Workers' Liberty. UK postage International postage eBook and PDF You can buy the ebook here. The second, 2005 version...

Fabrication not antisemitic?

No one, I think, now denies that the story of Minneapolis cops learning neck-kneeling from Israel was a fabrication. But, in the wake of Rebecca Long Bailey’s sacking from the Shadow Cabinet, some still suggest — for example, in Momentum’s 1 July Zoom report-back from Labour’s National Executive — that it wasn’t antisemitic. Denunciations of Israel (so the argument goes) can’t be antisemitic, because only antisemites can identify Jews with Israel and consider a denunciation of the Israeli state as an attack on Jewish people. But here we have a very special sort of denunciation. That it’s...

Anti-racist resources

This page brings together various anti-racist resources to learn about anti-racist movements, and arm yourself with ideas to beat back racism: readings and pamphlets, video and audio.

On the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey

A worldview which sees the hidden hand of Israel behind every social ill, and which radically inflates the power of the Israeli state, are key aspects of what Workers' Liberty and others have called "left antisemitism". The claim in the actor Maxine Peake's recent interview in the Independent, that "the tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd's neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services", belongs to that worldview. The claim itself is false. US police have attended conferences in Israel, and in other countries. There is no evidence to suggest the...

Leaked Labour report shows two scandals

Much comment on the leaked 850-page Labour Party report leaked on 12 April has focused on its extensive and vivid documentation of the already-known fact that from 2015 the hold-overs from the Blair-Brown era in the Labour Party machine were viciously and unscrupulously hostile to - indeed out to sabotage - the Labour Party's new elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and to more or less anyone "left" or Corbyn-supporting. But the report is entitled “The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014-2019”, and that, too, deserves analysis. At the moment, it...

Taking the lid off

Some issues emerge clearly from the leaked Labour Party report on its Governance and Legal Unit's handling of antisemitism and other issues. 1. The remnants of New Labour, entrenched in the party machine, hated any attempt, however modest, to move the party to the left. They were opposed to Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham as well as Corbyn. They were virulently hostile to even minimally left-wing policies. 2. They preferred a Tory government - even under Johnson and his hard Brexiteers - to a Labour victory under Corbyn. In a kind of "Third Period Blairism", this was a case of "After Boris our...

Parts of "left" link with right on antisemitism

On 24 February anti-far right campaign Hope Not Hate and the Jewish charity Community Security Trust published a report on London-based antisemitic conspiracy group Keep Talking. Since HnH and the CST secretly infiltrated Keep Talking in early 2017, it has hosted “an array of both left-wing and right-wing speakers, who have discussed a wide variety of conspiracy theories”. Particular focuses have included 9/11, terror attacks in London, historical assassinations, the murder of Jo Cox, the Skripal affair and Syria. In addition “antisemitic conspiracy theories are at the core of the group...

The best medicine

The Labour Party machine is hastening to “clean house”. It announced at the end of January that it had expelled 45 members over antisemitism in 2019. Another 104 members voluntarily quit in 2019 while charges of antisemitism were pending. In 2018, ten people were expelled and in 2017, one. 296 members were suspended over antisemitism complaints in 2019, compared with 98 suspended in 2018. The numbers are still small compared to the many hundreds “auto-excluded” in 2015 and 2016 (without a hearing and often without precise charges), not for antisemitism but for left-wing associations, current...

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