Solidarity 407, 1 June 2016

Scapegoating Jews for the slave trade?


Dan Katz

There was a lot of Jewish support for the US Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Martin Luther King spoke out against anti-Semitism:

“How could there be anti- Semitism among Negroes when our Jewish friends have demonstrated their commitment to the principle of tolerance and brotherhood…

“It would be impossible to record the contribution that the Jewish people have made toward the Negro’s struggle for freedom — it has been so great.” (1965)

France: strike movement grows


Olivier Delbeke

Over the last week, the balance of forces has shifted in favour of the working class. This was a surprise for its enemies, who responded with howls of anger, and a powerful and growing cause for confidence and unity within the ranks of the social layers in the battle — but also for those who haven't yet joined in, but who are watching, listening and learning. But you wouldn't hear this by watching or reading the national media, who, for just this reason, have taken up a shrill tone of outrage, which is becoming fouler and more ridiculous by the day.

Industrial news in brief


Cath Fletcher, John Moloney and Ollie Moore

Catering staff at the University of Manchester have won a deal for no compulsory redundancies, no loss of hours, and no pay cuts. Their employer, UMC, a subsidiary company wholly owned by University of Manchester, had said in March that it would sack 46 of its 280-odd catering workers and move the rest to term-time only contracts — meaning a pay cut of about one third. Hannah McCarthy, the student union Campaigns and Citizenship Officer and vice-chair of Manchester Momentum, spoke to Solidarity.

Organise a youth movement


Michael Johnson

This weekend, two important events are taking place in Manchester for young members of the labour movement: an extraordinary national conference of Labour Students, and the first democratic conference of Momentum Youth and Students.

An inspiring dialogue


Jill Mountford

There is now a renewed interest in socialist ideas, an appetite to better understand how the world works and why it works in the interests of such a small minority. There’s a craving among a much bigger layer of people for ideas about what we do about the preposterous injustices of capitalism. These appetites and cravings need to be fed and satiated with ideas and arguments about what socialism is and importantly, what it is not (i.e. the 57 varities of the Stalinism of the twentieth century).

Alessandro: The Black Prince of Florence


Cathy Nugent

Cath Fletcher's book about Alessandro de' Medici, the bastard son of a Duke and a servant, or possibly slave, of a black African background, is a work of historical detection. The text weighs up the often contradictory, dishonest and sparse accounts of Alessandro's life.

Anti-semitism and reactionary anti-capitalism

Moishe Postone, a Marxist writer based at the University of Chicago and author of Time, Labour, and Social Domination, and Critique du fétiche-capital: Le capitalisme, l'antisémitisme et la gauche, was in London in May, and spoke to Martin Thomas from Solidarity about anti-semitism on the left and reactionary anti-capitalism.

Letter: Meanings of Zionism


Jason Schulman

The difference the AWL has with me may simply be a continental difference, so to speak. Among Jews I know, in the US, if you call yourself a Zionist, then that means that you’re inclined to agree with whatever the Israeli government does. If you don’t, then you’re non-Zionist or anti-Zionist.

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