Is Labour's Anti-Semitism "scandal" conclusive proof that the reformists will never be allowed anywhere near power?

Submitted by Vlad The Inhaler on July 19, 2018

As someone who has been part of the mainstream movement in and around Labour for years the nagging doubt that the closer we got to the levers of state power (as much as any government does, anyway) the more all the weapons, soft as well as hard, would be deployed against us.

Do you interpret the dogged attacks on Corbyn as conclusive proof of this?

jondwhite

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Who is the mainstream movement?
Who is we?
All ruling class weapons are on the ruling class table for averting imminent revolution.
Corbyn will compromise like any good Labour leader.

Mike Harman

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There were dogged attacks on Miliband as well. Note the attacks are coming from the right wing of the labour party and the Tories, not the CBI etc. I think the CBI would be relieved by a Corbyn government at this point (Keynesian stimulus, probably some configuration of EEA membership or similar terms). Corbyn's actual political proposals are barely to the left of Miliband if at all.

https://theoccupiedtimes.org/?p=14738 is good on anti-Semitism in Labour.

Vlad The Inhaler

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jondwhite

Who is the mainstream movement?
Who is we?
All ruling class weapons are on the ruling class table for averting imminent revolution.
Corbyn will compromise like any good Labour leader.

C'mon Jon. You know what I meant.

I'm thinking of deleting this thread. I opened it in exasperation at the current situation. I'm not sure much constructive debate can ensue.

wojtek

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why does Corbyn object to the IHRA definition?

I think the CBI would be relieved by a Corbyn government at this point (Keynesian stimulus, probably some configuration of EEA membership or similar terms).

CBI warns on Labour’s renationalisation plans

Vlad The Inhaler

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wojtek

Why does Corbyn object to the IHRA definition?

I think the CBI would be relieved by a Corbyn government at this point (Keynesian stimulus, probably some configuration of EEA membership or similar terms).

CBI warns on Labour’s renationalisation plans

Because its dreadful and open to interpretation. Some top UK universities have also refused to use the IHRA definition because its too broad and could easily be used to prosecute anyone that criticised Israel.

Noah Fence

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm thinking of deleting this thread. I opened it in exasperation at the current situation. I'm not sure much constructive debate can ensue.

What constructive debate is there to be had about Corbyn? Maybe I’m misreading you but you give the impression that you think Corbyn and the left of Labour have some significance in class struggle?
What significance do they have iapart from absolute and indisputable position as our class enemy?

Mike Harman

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wojtek

Why does Corbyn object to the IHRA definition?

I think the CBI would be relieved by a Corbyn government at this point (Keynesian stimulus, probably some configuration of EEA membership or similar terms).

CBI warns on Labour’s renationalisation plans

CBI consultation on National Investment Banks: http://www.cbi.org.uk/news/responses-sought-on-cbi-s-submission-to-the-scottish-national-investment-bank-consultation/

CBI position on Brexit essentially the same as Labour's at this point (to the extent that Labour has put forward a position) http://www.cbi.org.uk/business-issues/brexit-and-eu-negotiations/

Warm applause at the British Chamber of Commerce for John McDonnell: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mcdonnell-wins-applause-from-business-leaders-gxpvl2sx2

They don't have to like it, they just have to think there would be a more stable business environment under Labour than the current Tory/DUP configuration, or that it wouldn't be worse.

R Totale

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noah Fence

What constructive debate is there to be had about Corbyn? Maybe I’m misreading you but you give the impression that you think Corbyn and the left of Labour have some significance in class struggle?
What significance do they have iapart from absolute and indisputable position as our class enemy?

I don't think you have to necessarily like Corbyn to think that the strategies used against him have some relevance to us. To take an extreme example, I don't think the ruling class are likely to go for a Chilean solution any time soon, but if they did it would definitely have consequences for us, no matter what you think about Corbyn.

Vlad The Inhaler

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I still struggle to comprehend people's indifference to the contrast between Labour and the Tories. Whilst, yes, Labour are not going to transform society or mitigate exploitation or even take our side in any future class conflict, there is a material, tangible and incredibly critical difference between the two parties. I know, as someone that relies on state benefits to keep me from destitution, that life under Labour is always preferable to life under the Tories. This is why, despite despising everything they stood for, I always voted Labour - even under Blair in 2005. I'm a million miles away from being a champagne Fabian like him, but as Stephen Fry succinctly put it - there may only be margins between Labour and the Tories but people live and die in those margins. Yes we want more, much more but surely self-preservation or a sense of class solidarity kicks in at some point and you look at the carnage created by the Tories. Disabled people have been dying in their thousands. Clearly the immiseration thesis is utterly bankrupt at this point. How does a vote for Labour in any way invalidate our work as revolutionaries beyond petty, ivory tower principle?

Mike Harman

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think it is really breaking any sacred inviolable principle to vote as such. The arguments about parliamentary politics are a critique of the state and political parties, not a moral injunction against people never to vote. And it's going to take someone a few minutes to an hour.

Where you quickly run into trouble though is telling people to vote, canvassing for Labour Party politicians, joining the Labour Party to try to get into candidate selection etc.

The last General Election there were Momentum activists running around marginal seats (probably in some cases not even marginal ones) canvassing for Blairite Labour MPs because there was panic that a bad election result could mean a leadership challenge for Jezza. That is actual time and effort, in many cases by supposed 'communists' that could literally be spent doing almost anything else. If you look at some elements in Plan C moving towards a kind of advisory position for Labour, or Novara Media's by now complete transformation into Labour Party media outlet, there's a lot more going on than voting. To the point where they go on TV to defend NATO against Donald Trump or to argue that the Tories are cutting police officers too much. They're not 'moving the Labour Party to the left' but themselves being pulled massively to the right.

I do think "they're all the same" is a weak argument by itself at this point, since clearly there are differences between say Jacob Rees-Mogg and Diane Abbott. A lot of us would have said it was impossible for Corbyn to end up leader of the Labour Party (probably he would too), yet there he is. Whether there are differences between Frank Field, Stephen Kinnock, Jess Phillips and most Tory MPs is a much harder question to answer though.

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Re. post #10:
The policies of Churchill in the 1950s, Anthony Eden & Harold Macmillan were to the left of Harold Wilson. In the logic of electoral politics, perhaps you would have voted for the first 3 rather than the latter.

As for your contemptuous idea that opposition to your contemptible servility to choices utterly outside of your control is

petty, ivory tower principle

- this caricatures (with a clichéd manipulative strawman-type argumentative tactic) all those who criticise idiotic Corbynistecism as mere armchair theoreticians. While many may be (and perhaps this is what you were before you became a member of Lackeys-for-Labouriousness), there are still lots of people who recognise that making your own mistakes, struggling directly with others without and against hierarchy, is infinitely more instructive than self-abasement. Plodding after the carrot of a Labour victory, submitting to mere membership of a gang of politicians that really don't give a flying fuck about you at the bottom except as petty pedlars of their ambitions to sit on the throne at Downing Street, is bound to lead you either into a disillusionment drowning in depression or into becoming a well-paid PR-man for future rulers.

As for quoting Stephen Fry, that all-pervading arrogant phoney who tries to hide his arrogance with contrived humility, that fundamental role-model for the rewards of well-paid acquiescence to this moronic society, that apologist for the monarchy (probably the most blatant expression of class privilege ) - well, if you ever had a splinter of critical insight you must have long extracted it to end up thinking quoting him could ever convince anyone other than those who never rebel at all. Which may well include the vast majority of those who post on libcom. After all, any genuine revolt against capital would not allow a social democrat like Vlad the Inhaler to post garbage on their site.

R Totale

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nymphalis Antiopa

... Which may well include the vast majority of those who post on libcom. After all, any genuine revolt against capital would not allow a social democrat like Vlad the Inhaler to post garbage on their site.

I think there's a difference between "hosting social democrat propaganda" and "allowing space for people who have an interest in our ideas but are also influenced by different perspectives to discuss and develop their own ideas". What was that about people making their own mistakes again? Or is it only ok if they're the right kind of mistakes?

Ed

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wojtek

Why does Corbyn object to the IHRA definition?

Basically, it's because in amongst all the very fair enough definitions/examples of anti-Semitism, they've added:

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

So, I guess saying that Israel is a settler-colonialist project that was formed off the back of ethnic cleansing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs (all true), then that could be considered anti-Semitic.

This actually comes back to R Totale's point about "the strategies used against [Corbyn] having some relevance to us": it seems fairly clear that the attacks on Corbyn from the Labour Right and beyond are actually about governing the space of 'reasonable' politics i.e. Corbyn is too left-wing so needs to be booted back into place. For those of us further to the left than Corbyn this is relevant but only insofar as we need to defend the principles being attacked (i.e. Trident, anti-war, anti-privatisation etc). Not imo, as many have ended up doing, campaign for Corbyn (including on principles we don't share i.e. more police and border guards).

Vlad The Inhaler

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nymphalis Antiopa

Re. post #10:
The policies of Churchill in the 1950s, Anthony Eden & Harold Macmillan were to the left of Harold Wilson. In the logic of electoral politics, perhaps you would have voted for the first 3 rather than the latter.

As for your contemptuous idea that opposition to your contemptible servility to choices utterly outside of your control is

petty, ivory tower principle

- this caricatures (with a clichéd manipulative strawman-type argumentative tactic) all those who criticise idiotic Corbynistecism as mere armchair theoreticians. While many may be (and perhaps this is what you were before you became a member of Lackeys-for-Labouriousness), there are still lots of people who recognise that making your own mistakes, struggling directly with others without and against hierarchy, is infinitely more instructive than self-abasement. Plodding after the carrot of a Labour victory, submitting to mere membership of a gang of politicians that really don't give a flying fuck about you at the bottom except as petty pedlars of their ambitions to sit on the throne at Downing Street, is bound to lead you either into a disillusionment drowning in depression or into becoming a well-paid PR-man for future rulers.

As for quoting Stephen Fry, that all-pervading arrogant phoney who tries to hide his arrogance with contrived humility, that fundamental role-model for the rewards of well-paid acquiescence to this moronic society, that apologist for the monarchy (probably the most blatant expression of class privilege ) - well, if you ever had a splinter of critical insight you must have long extracted it to end up thinking quoting him could ever convince anyone other than those who never rebel at all. Which may well include the vast majority of those who post on libcom. After all, any genuine revolt against capital would not allow a social democrat like Vlad the Inhaler to post garbage on their site.

Finished?

Feel better?

Good.

I am not even sure why I started this thread. It certainly wasn't to proselytise for Labour politics. I am not, nor have I ever been a Social Democrat. I have always subscribed to a version of revolutionary politics and rejected electoralism, gradualism and reformism. My point, which seems to have been lost on you, is that a vote for Labour seems to me to be a zero cost short term solution to social catastrophe, especially in light of, what I take to be, the refutation of the Immiseration theory, that being that all we have to do is let Capitalism kill, maim and impoverish enough proletarians that the penny finally drops and the proles wake up to their historic role as authors of the future socialist society.

I am trying as best I can to work through thoughts, ideas and feelings in the wake of walking away from Leninism. Returning to first principles, if you will. I'm trying to figure out what I actually believe (as opposed to what I'm supposed to believe), what I actually think is true (as opposed to what I have been told is true). Part of that is examining my complex feelings on the Labour party. I still reject the party as the mechanism through which Socialism or justice can be achieved.

R Totale

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

...
This actually comes back to R Totale's point about "the strategies used against [Corbyn] having some relevance to us": it seems fairly clear that the attacks on Corbyn from the Labour Right and beyond are actually about governing the space of 'reasonable' politics i.e. Corbyn is too left-wing so needs to be booted back into place. For those of us further to the left than Corbyn this is relevant but only insofar as we need to defend the principles being attacked (i.e. Trident, anti-war, anti-privatisation etc). Not imo, as many have ended up doing, campaign for Corbyn (including on principles we don't share i.e. more police and border guards).

Just to expand on this, the moment when I was paying most attention to the whole saga was that really weird moment around Passover when Corbyn's attendance at the Jewdas Seder was seized on as further proof of his antisemitism, so there were people with perfectly straight faces essentially making the claim that being associated with politically radical, anti-racist and anti-zionist Jews is a bad thing and pretty much makes you a racist - I don't think you have to have any fondness for Corbyn, or even Jewdas, to think that's a really frightening line of argument and to be glad it was pretty much roundly defeated.

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

VTI mentions Immiseration " theory"? Again he sets up a strawman to answer something I do not subscribe to and never mentioned, and yet seems to think quoting everything I say and pretending that

Finished? Feel better? Good.

is an answer.
Clearly he thinks expressing disgust and anger is merely an exorcism. He would probably say

Finished? Feel better? Good.

about a riot. Typically smug & superior.

His walk away from Leninism into Corbynism must have taken all of 3 seconds, since Leninism was merely social democracy in a situation (1917 Russia) where gradual reform into state capitalist modes of production and control were not possible; hardly much distance to walk at all.
And both are utterly opposed to

making your own mistakes, struggling directly with others without and against hierarchy

Mike Harman

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nymphalis Antiopa

... Which may well include the vast majority of those who post on libcom. After all, any genuine revolt against capital would not allow a social democrat like Vlad the Inhaler to post garbage on their site.

If you think we should ban a forum poster because they're mired in social democracy, why aren't you also campaigning for the removal of David Harvey from the library?

Vlad The Inhaler

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I would just like to confirm once again, lest there be any confusion...I. Am. Not. A. Social. Democrat. Or. A. Corbynista.

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

why aren't you also campaigning for the removal of David Harvey from the library?

Campaigning? There are loads of things in the library or in other parts of libcom that are obstacles to the struggle against dominant social relations. You seriously think I should waste time campaigning? Seriously seriously?

VTI. Says. He. Is. Not. A. Corbynista. Nor. A. Social. Democrat. He. Does. Not. Answer. Anything. I Say. For. Example. I. Never. Mentioned. Socialism. Or. Justice.

If he wants to "Return... to first principles" perhaps he could say what these "first principles" are that he has left behind and wants to return to? And why these "first principles" involve worrying about whether to vote Labour or not. Vote Labour if you feel like it. Have a wank if you feel like it. But there is no point in making either one of these actions public or turning them into a discussion. And neither wanking nor voting Labour seem to have anything to do with first principles. Better to go off and smash a window rather than have these dilemmas rumbling round your head.

Ed

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nymphalis Antiopa

He. Does. Not. Answer. Anything. I Say.

To be fair, I wouldn't bother answering someone who was so obviously spoiling for a fight unless I really had to. Better twenty people like Vlad who ask questions and discuss things openly than two ultra-leftists who think they know it all and are waiting to jump down each other's throats.

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ultra-leftists

You are clearly

spoiling for a fight

- I am not an ultra-leftist.
I realise libcom admins far far prefer endless discussion without consequence with people who go round and round in circles

examining... complex feelings

about voting Labour (complex???) than actually getting involved in a fight. But why pretend you are involved in anything other than an acdemic debating society ?

This is my last post here - clearly we have very different ideas about what it means to participate in the struggle against dominant social relations.

Red Marriott

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Vlad

I know, as someone that relies on state benefits to keep me from destitution, that life under Labour is always preferable to life under the Tories. This is why, despite despising everything they stood for, I always voted Labour - even under Blair in 2005.

Life on benefits was much easier under Thatcher. Benefit sanctions began under Labour;
https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-fair-benefit-sanction-and-they-are-not-a-tory-invention/
A Corbyn government would've enforced most of the Tory benefit cuts;
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/20/labour-manifesto-keep-planned-tory-benefit-cuts-resolution-foundation

Greece’s Syriza party had a programme considerably to the left of Corbynism but quickly capitulated to the EU/IMF dictates and have happily imposed more austerity and encouraged refugees to drown in the sea rather than reach their shores. It’s an old story; eg, the 'great liberation' of an ANC victory in SA was supposed to lead to the promised land. It led to massive enrichment of a new corrupt black elite as they imposed neo-liberal austerity that has kept the black townships as poor as under apartheid. All these things are theoretically ‘better’ than some other possibilities; but worse insofar as they perpetuate the idea that the limits of our horizons must remain submission to the slightly slower less-bad ruling class option - even as things get steadily worse with each successive government, even if at varying paces.

Mike Harman

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The overall politics of the piece are not good (iirc it ends up more or less arguing for a 'new party of the left' in the US), but this particular section on the Democrats vs. Republicans in the US as a 'ratchet' is interesting: http://stopmebeforeivoteagain.org/stopme/chapter02.html - except as Red points out this doesn't hold for the Labour Party anyway.

As well as introducing benefits cuts they're also responsible for Yarls Wood and the majority of the current detention and deportation infrastructure (not that there wasn't one under Thatcher, but the specific configuration and capacity we see now belongs to New Labour, as well as restrictions on refugees such as 'no recourse to public funds').

Red Marriott

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

New releases from UK state archives show how one of the most left of post-WWII Labour governments treated their 'allies' in the unions;

Senior figures in Harold Wilson’s Labour government plotted to use a secret foreign office propaganda unit to smear a number of left-wing trade union leaders, according to government papers released on Tuesday to the National Archives at Kew.
James Callaghan, then home secretary, told the then cabinet secretary, Sir Burke Trend, that he was keen that action should betaken to bring down two unionists in particular: Jack Jones of the Transport and General Workers Union and Hugh Scanlon of the Amalgamated Engineering Union.
According to a memo written in March 1969 by Daniel Gruffydd Jones, principal private secretary at the Cabinet Office, this plan had been raised in cabinet discussions. [...]
... a Cabinet Office file ... detailed the activities of a foreign office unit called the Information Research Department (IRD), which placed unattributed articles in the press both in the UK and abroad, and which covertly published books and academic articles, produced radio programmes, ran news agencies and influenced the BBC and Reuters.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/24/wilson-government-used-secret-unit-to-smear-union-leaders

mn8

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I see the point of this thread. Corbyn has been attacked from within his own Party, and now faces all kinds of smears after earlier snobbish 'well he is too radical and not savvy and wise like Blair' approaches didn't go as far as expected. There were always allegations that Corbyn was too radical and offensive (Momentum also received some complaints, for example from the more Blairite J. K. Rowling), that he wasn't pro-Israel enough, or that he was a distraction to the Labour Party.

That said, Corbyn did have a decent shot at the previous elections. It was too convincing to rule out a 'leftist' victory of that sort. This happened despite the more radical gestures of Corbyn's movement, which implies that there is space for radicals to operate in politics.

You're right, all kinds of attacks would have to be weathered. This includes attacks from the soft left and right, on topics such as this. In a radical movement which often expresses anger or frustration towards society, it is difficult not to find some kind of 'moral crisis' that could be manufactured.

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is the Jewish Community over-egging the pudding?
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-44957906

Is Labour an "existential threat to Jewish life" and has "The stain and shame of anti-Semitism has coursed through Her Majesty's Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015,"

Or is it Israeli actions the cause of anti-semitism
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/26/politics-fuelling-high-number-of-antisemitic-incidents-in-uk-says-watchdog

The CST said 77 antisemitic incidents in the first half of 2018 showed anti-Israel motivation alongside antisemitism yet nobody is placing the blame on the state of Israel for inciting anti-semitism even though the Jewish Bund predicted such occurrences long, long ago

I listened to George Galloway a couple of days ago and had to concede the point that the coincidence of this anti-Corbyn campaign is always related to Labour taking the lead in the opinion polls

R Totale

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjohnstone

Is the Jewish Community over-egging the pudding?
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-44957906

Please don't say things like "the Jewish community" when you mean "the small group of ruling-class people who play the role of professional representatives of the Jewish community". I don't think this statement was perfect, but its emphasis on introducing a class analysis to the differing interests that are hidden behind "community" was spot on: https://www.jewdas.org/enough-is-enough/

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You do have a point, but three newspapers joined together plus various organisations, so will this "small group of ruling class" face criticism from the wider community or will they be endorsed. I think you know the answer. They do, rightly or wrongly, represent the feelings of the majority of the British Jewish community. Unless you suggest that there is a silent majority who oppose their public voices.

Regards a class analysis, nationalism (the zionist ideology) and religion has so far has prevailed over class solidarity despite some dissenting views, Sadly, such politics are also mirrored within the Palestinian community. I'm pretty much a pessimist and hold out not much hope for any positive change in attitudes in Israel or the Occupied Territories or among the Jewish and Palestinian diaspora and their supporters. At times i catch glimpses of changes for the better but then they are dashed.

I think on the specific target of Corbyn, i feel that his pro-Palestinian leanings (in contrast to Blair's Israeli sympathies), may well be the motivation for the attacks but declaring such brings the charge of anti-semitism against me for it contravenes one of the guidelines...that certain British Jews place loyalty towards Israel before loyalty to the British Labour Party.

And other anti-Corbynists and anti-Labour Party are using the dispute to advance their own interests.

I often wonder what the late Gerald Kaufman would have made of all this. This link shows what the readers of the Jerusalem Post thought of him and equates anti-zionism with anti-semitism

https://www.jpost.com/Blogs/On-the-Zionist-front-line/Sir-Gerald-Kaufman-and-speaking-ill-of-the-dead-484072

those who promote anti-Zionism are promoting anti-Semitism. They certainly don't intend to, but they do. Sir Gerald Kaufman, I am quite sure, would never knowingly have done such a thing, but there you have the problem. He didn't know he was doing it. He should have, but he didn't.

I could call them useful idiots, which does I am afraid describe nicely what they are (Kaufman, Chomsky, Finkelstein et al

[Corbyn] unthinking obsession with the myth of Palestinian victimhood makes it impossible to see him as intelligent enough to become Prime Minister.

R Totale

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Will come back to this later, but just dropping off this link that analyses the actual difference between the IHRA guidelines that Labour are being attacked for supposedly not using, and the Labour document, which really makes it clear how weird the whole artificial controversy is: https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brian-klug/code-of-conduct-for-antisemitism-tale-of-two-texts

Thinking about it, has there been much fuss over UKIP adopting a guy who's most famous for his catchphrase being "gas the jews"?

Ed

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjohnstone

three newspapers joined together plus various organisations, so will this "small group of ruling class" face criticism from the wider community or will they be endorsed. I think you know the answer. They do, rightly or wrongly, represent the feelings of the majority of the British Jewish community.

Yeah, but if the Mail, the Sun, the Times and the Telegraph all put out a joint statement on some Islamaphobic shit or something similar, would you describe that as the opinion of the 'British community' or would you say it's the British ruling class trying to force-feed reactionary views to the public? Even if the majority of Jews come to accept this version of events, it doesn't mean that the statement comes from the 'Jewish community'; to use the old Chomsky terminology, it's the Jewish community's consent being manufactured by the statement (and ones like it that seem to be flying in all directions atm)..

ajjohnstone

I think on the specific target of Corbyn, i feel that his pro-Palestinian leanings (in contrast to Blair's Israeli sympathies), may well be the motivation for the attacks but declaring such brings the charge of anti-semitism against me for it contravenes one of the guidelines...that certain British Jews place loyalty towards Israel before loyalty to the British Labour Party.

I agree that this is part of it but I don't think it's the whole story and I think at least some of the motivation is actually much closer to home. So, yes, the Board of Deputies' Zionism puts them in opposition to Corbyn but more than just a geo-political issue 'over there', but also their general conservatism (whether connection to Tories or Labour Right) means that a Corbyn government could potentially upset their role as the go-to representatives for the Jewish community in Britain. This came to the fore imo when Corbyn was told he needed to meet with the 'Jewish community' and went to the Jewdas seder their reaction was essentially 'no, we didn't mean those Jews, we meant us!'

So, imo, it's not just about Israel and geo-politics but also about maintaining their role within the community, which I think would be diminished by a Corbyn government who would probably seek out other voices within the Jewish community in Britain.

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If the Guardian and the Dail Mirror and the provincial press like the Scotsman et al all joined in with a joint editorial, perhaps they would be deemed reflecting the opinions of a wider constituency than just the ruling class, but as i said i did take the point on board althogh i am not a 100% convinced and remain open to further arguments on the question

We ourselves represent the interests of the working class but i doubt many would say we that we represent the working class as a whole at the moment.

I won't cite to you innumerable polls but they are very consistent that the vast majority of Jewish people in the UK (and across the world) have sympathies (although often with various degrees of caveats) for the State of Israel. This was not always the case before its establishment. Even many anti-Israeli policy commentators such as Chomsky and Finkelstein accept the state of Israel to exist. According to the IHRA, because we do not, we are anti-semitic. An example would be that all those who voted against Independence in 2014 are self-hating Scots and those non-Scots who supported the No campaign are anti-Scot racists. (ok i accept it is not a perfect example but does show where we can go with this)

But it is to be noted that the main centre of dispute now is on the question of Israel's legitimacy and the hope that anti-Zionism is accepted as a form of anti-semitism and that is a geo-political issue. I hazard to suggest that an analogy would be the defence of the USSR's interests initiated by Moscow's Comintern directives by the CPGB being a primary drive for many of their foreign affairs positions.

I did in an aside recognise that the "controversy" is being used by others to attack both Corbyn and the Labour Party. And indeed the media is exploiting it, trying to create the news-worthy narrative i think it does not really deserve.

Vlad The Inhaler

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Having thought about the complex motivations for starting this thread I've come to the conclusion that what I was, inexpertly, trying to say is that I have been alarmed at the depths that the ruling class has stooped to, given the relative moderacy of what Corbyn actually proposes. I mean, its fairly milquetoast Keynesianism even by historic Labour standards. There's no talk of squeezing the rich until the pips squeek, there's no talk of immediately nationalising the key industries, they're not even breaking from the Tory language where everything is reduced to mere economics , i.e - "That which is good for the economy, is good for the people'. Its a far cry from the political economy Old Labour used to at least pay lip service to.

The extended point, given that no one here is a Labourite, is that ferocity of the ruling class' offensive suggests that something material, fundamental has changed and this has profound implications for the rest of us.

To enact the change that we all want to see we need revolutionary ideas to travel as broadly as possible and to penetrate as deeply as possible into the consciousness of the working class. These revolutionary ideas will always be mediated/censored/fought by the ruling class and they have the ear of the working class through the media to the extent never before seen. Everywhere and anywhere an example of the movement bringing change will be met with a ferocious barrage of ruling class propaganda against us.

It seems to me any notion of being "respectable", "legitimate", or "legal" goes out of the window. I'm struggling to see any way we can possible play their game and not be utterly routed. Its not a conclusion that I am at all comfortable with.

Spikymike

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And then critical Corbyn supporter Tony Greenstein sticks it to Margaret Hodge and her media support (making one or two valid points in the process) here:
https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1213/not-fit-for-purpose/
Also it seems some in Israel have also been accused of being 'antisemitic' for this barbed cartoon;
https://theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/26/israel-cartoonist-fired-over-animal-farm-netanyahu-caricature
Edit/PS: there is an overlapping discussion on this thread as well including some useful linked background info here:
https://libcom.org/blog/anti-semitism-rooting-out-oppression-or-ruling-class-hypocrisy-09042018

R Totale

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Vlad The Inhaler

To enact the change that we all want to see we need revolutionary ideas to travel as broadly as possible and to penetrate as deeply as possible into the consciousness of the working class. These revolutionary ideas will always be mediated/censored/fought by the ruling class and they have the ear of the working class through the media to the extent never before seen. Everywhere and anywhere an example of the movement bringing change will be met with a ferocious barrage of ruling class propaganda against us.

It seems to me any notion of being "respectable", "legitimate", or "legal" goes out of the window. I'm struggling to see any way we can possible play their game and not be utterly routed. Its not a conclusion that I am at all comfortable with.

TBH, I think there's limits to this - I'm not sure the latest wave of Corbyn-smearing is that much new compared to the several years of stuff that was thrown at him in the years leading up to the 2017 election (cenotaph-bow-gate being a particular highlight) and yet Labour made significant gains then, and despite everything they're still ahead in the polls now, so the ruling class can say whatever they want in the media, but if it's obviously bollocks then there's no guarantee people'll listen to it. And tbh the decline of traditional media in favour of relatively (stress the relatively) decentralised forms of social media is very much a double-edged sword, but I think it has undermined the ability of the ruling class (or is it best to say the ruling faction of the ruling class?) to straightforwardly transmit their ideas through the media, even if what's currently filling the vacuum isn't that much better.

freemind

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It sickens me how Zionists are pushing points unchallenged like equating the actions of the Israeli state with Nazi Germany or denying its right to exist(Israel) as Antisemitism.
Gaza is a ghetto like Warsaw although there are differences a racist regime had imprisoned and persecuted another group and punished them in a multitude of ways including executions.
There are no concrete examples of antisemitism per se regarding Labour but a witch hunt against anyone criticising Israel and the BDS.
Most Jews don’t support or identify with Israel/Zionism.
Judaism is a religion not a race.The so called Jewish people are only a “people” in the same way as the Irish or Polish are termed a Catholic people.Zionists blur the lines like the State does on Patriotism in order to claim persecution to further its aims.
Are the Holocaust survivors who condemned the brutal onslaught against Gaza in 2014 anti Semitic?
Of course not but Israel terms them self haters and uses the Holocaust and the suffering of the 6 million to shamelessly justify its racist ethnic cleansing if Palestinians.
Israel’s “purity of arms” is sickening and the butchered of Aushwitz,Treblinka,Sabra and Shatilla and Gaza amongst others are testament to its Nationalist butchery and racism.Racist and Fascistic mirroring Nazi Germany which all Libertarians and Communists should oppose and confront.

Auld-bod

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

freemind #36

A series of assertions are not a very good way to frame a convincing opinion.

For example:
‘Judaism is a religion not a race’.

Does it therefore follow that there are no secular Jews?

The state of Israel oppresses the Palestinian people shamefully, though to equate its behaviour with the Nazis simply detracts from whatever you’re saying.

Please keep out the sun

Spikymike

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There is the human race that encompasses people with ethnic and cultural differences. Culture and religion are often entwined in various ways but are not the same, so secular Jews would be culturally Jewish but not religious presumably?

freemind

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Auld bod
Get in the sun and grow your brain

freemind

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Auld bod
Get in the sun and grow your brain

freemind

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Secular Jews or whatever lol Maybe we should talk of lapsed Catholics or non practising Protestants.Phosphorous.bombs,terror,denying the right to life and State terror is an equivalence of Fascism whether practised by Nazi Germany or Israel/Zionism.
The comparison stands and if you can’t grasp that you don’t understand either.

Juan Conatz

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I haven't been able to really make out this antisemitism scandal in the Labour Party thing. It seems most people in this thread view it as exaggerated as part of a plot to discredit the Corbynistas. From experience on the American left, antisemitism is often downplayed, papered over or denied, when it actually is somewhat common and tolerated.

freemind is good example of this, they are so in a rage over the state of Israel, which unfortunately leads them into pushing the common antisemitic trope about how Jews are a uniquely manufactured people.

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"Judaism is a religion not a race."

Under UK legislation, being a Jew or a Sikh is actually defined as a race.

The latest Corbyn is an anti-semite piece here.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/28/labour-antisemitism-code-ian-austin-mp-faces-suspension

Critics have seized on comments made by Corbyn in 2012 when appearing on Press TV in which he linked a jihadi massacre of 16 Egyptian policeman to Israel.

Corbyn said: “I’m very concerned about it [the massacre] and you have to look at the big picture: in whose interests is it to destabilise the new government in Egypt? In whose interest is it to kill Egyptians, other than Israel, concerned at the growing closeness of relationship between Palestine and the new Egyptian government?...It seems a bit unlikely that would happen during Ramadan, to put it mildly, and I suspect the hand of Israel in this whole process of destabilisation.”

Ivor Caplin, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said: “Conspiracy theories underpin a huge swathe of antisemitism. Grand conspiracies about Jews, either individually or as a collective, are antisemitic. The IHRA definition is clear about this. This is why Labour should have adopted the definition in full, including all of the examples. Jeremy needs to provide clarity on his views on this conspiracy theory and any others he may have aired in the past.”

Dave Rich, head of policy at the charity Community Security Trust, said: “The debate about the IHRA definition and Labour’s code has been about the difference between clear antisemitism and criticism of Israel, but often the problem comes with an extreme hatred of Israel, often expressed through conspiracy theories that provide the bridge between the two.”

Juan, Norman Finkelstein does deny strong anti-semite attitudes exist in the US and he recently gave an example...the social acceptance of the president's daughter and son-in-law.

Mike Harman

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

I haven't been able to really make out this antisemitism scandal in the Labour Party thing. It seems most people in this thread view it as exaggerated as part of a plot to discredit the Corbynistas. From experience on the American left, antisemitism is often downplayed, papered over or denied, when it actually is somewhat common and tolerated.

freemind is good example of this, they are so in a rage over the state of Israel, which unfortunately leads them into pushing the common antisemitic trope about how Jews are a uniquely manufactured people.

This is pretty accurate. The media coverage has been a lot more than for example whenTory MPs say the N word, but the response has been entirely defensive and based on either pointing out hypocrisy or outright conspiracy theory, very little actually confronting anti-Semitism.

The Mear One mural (and comments by the artist about it) that was one of the main catalysts of this is so clearly anti-Semitic it was sickening seeing people trying to excuse this.

https://www.vox.com/world/2018/3/29/17168320/labour-corbyn-anti-semitism-mural

Mrntd

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jews are more like a collection of peoples with religious and some cultural traits in common, rather than a single people. Historically, the Yiddish-speaker Ashkenazim of Eastern Europe were clearly a single ethnicity, different from others in the region (as opposed to simply being "ethnic Poles/Ukrainians/Russians of Jewish faith"), but they also were of a different ethnicity from Beta Israel of Ethiopia.

The Meir One mural in itself is kinda ambiguous, even though being "ambiguously racist" still isn't good. The artist's comments, through, clearly establish it as antisemitic.

R Totale

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

freemind

Secular Jews or whatever lol Maybe we should talk of lapsed Catholics or non practising Protestants.

That's kind of the point though - in, say, 1960s or 1970s Northern Ireland, I don't think you could have escaped the stigma against Catholics by saying "I'm not really Catholic, I've not been to mass in ages." This whole distinction between whether groups are "real races" or not is a complete distraction, unless anyone actually wants to try arguing that Jews have never been discriminated against as a group?

Juan Conatz

I haven't been able to really make out this antisemitism scandal in the Labour Party thing. It seems most people in this thread view it as exaggerated as part of a plot to discredit the Corbynistas. From experience on the American left, antisemitism is often downplayed, papered over or denied, when it actually is somewhat common and tolerated.

Yeah, there's a lot going on here, and there's been a lot of "rounds" or episodes - I think that there is definitely some antisemitism among the broad Corbyn milieu (with shit on the internet it can be kind of hard to say whether Corbynistas are actually formal members of the Labour Party or not, which must be a fairly tricky issue for the party's disciplinary structures) but also that it is definitely being manipulated. With regards to this current installment of the crisis, it seems to revolve around various professional representatives of "the Jewish community" claiming that the Labour Party is a terrible threat to Jewish people because of... the wording used in their new guidelines about how to fight antisemitism. Which doesn't really seem justified by examining the documents in question: https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brian-klug/code-of-conduct-for-antisemitism-tale-of-two-texts

So yeah, there are definitely antisemites, cranks, and "my party/movement/ideology right or wrong" blind-eye-turners out there, but that doesn't change the fact that this particular instance seems to be a bit of a fuss over nothing - especially given that, as mentioned above, recent weeks have also seen another more-or-less mainstream UK political party openly welcome a new member most famous for making a video of himself saying "gas the Jews", which doesn't seem to have attracted anything like the same level of scruntiny from the people who're currently so outraged about how antisemitic the new guidelines about opposing antisemitism are.

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mrntd, on the SPGB forum which is presently down at the moment and in an article i wrote for the Socialist Standard, i have tried to bring some historical perspective to Zionism and anti-Zionism with reference to the Jewish Labour Bund anti-Zionism by pointing out that the Yiddish culture and language was physically attacked by Zionists, meetings conducted in Yiddish were broken up and printers were actually fire-bombed for publishing Yiddish publications so that the resurrected biblical language of Hebrew would prevail and it wasn't until they succeeded in making Hebrew mainstream has the rich heritage of Yiddish been studied in Israeli institutions.

I've also tried to accuse the Israeli government of anti-semitism by its political friendships with Hungary, Ukraine and Poland

One fact that i recently came across is that 50,000 Israeli citizens a year visit their roots in Morocco a country actively engaged in restoring all its synagogues, no doubt for this thriving tourist trade. Morocco also issues second-passports to those Israelis with Moroccan links. Sort of goes against the Arabs are all anti-semite narrative commonly produced in the media.

https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2017/11/02/moroccos-little-idyll-of-jewish-muslim-coexistence PAY WALL

freemind

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hello R Totale

pi

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have no idea how to judge how widespread (I suspect, maybe hope, not very) such things are in the Labour Party but it exists. I know members fixated on Israel as a unique cruelty. They chant "from the river to the sea" at demonstrations. They wonder how the tail wags the dog re US policy, hinting at conspiracy. They never mention, say, Egypt for it's part in the persecution of Palestinians. They argue, technically speaking, Jews are not a race. And they fail to acknowledge a racist mural for what it is. Seems to me it's the relentless focus, the sum of dog whistles, that screams racism. I don't believe he is anti-Semitic but Corbyn posting approval of the mural is surprising to say the least. Perhaps this suggests, as already hinted at, that the outrage at Israel, the obsession with anti-imperialism (only US imperialism of course), and the company this entails, leads to a slipping into poor thinking rather than being rooted in conscious racism.

At the same time people are lining up to exaggerate all this to hammer Corbyn whilst ignoring racism elsewhere.

To Vlad's question: I think repeating a lie often enough still works but not sure this is a new depth. Gotta admit though, as I try to educate myself politically these past few years I am even less clear about many, many things including the line between revolution and reformism, so what the fuck do I know.

Spikymike

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In relation to some of the points in ajj's last post thought I'd mention this little useful pamphlet by that old left-wing singer-songwriter Leon Rosselsdon from the Five Leaves Bookshop that I picked up at the last London Anarchist bookfair also available through PM Press and mentioned here;
https://www.leftwingbooks.net/book/content/precious-strand-jewishness-challenges-autthority

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Searching for free text, i came across this, a recording of Rosselson giving an hour and half long lecture

https://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1923858

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The latest allegation

The Board of Deputies of British Jews yesterday accused Corbyn of leading Labour into a “dark place of ugly conspiracy theories”.

Marie van der Zyl, the board’s president, said in a statement: “Even by Labour’s low standards, the last few days have been utterly shameful. In 2018 Labour is not only a party with extravagant levels of tolerance for antisemitism but one which deliberately obstructs measures to counter hatred and punishes those who speak out against it.”

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/29/shocked-my-party-offending-jews-says-labour-mp-antisemitism-ian-austin

mn8

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The recent accusations concern Labour's definition of anti-Semitism. I think that the right-wing 'anti-Semitism' accusers are shedding any pretence of Israel not being the central focus of their complaints. The controversial 'omissions' of Labour's definition are by most accounts merely to do with Israel and Zionism. They involve protecting Israel. Corbyn has been denounced by politicians as an anti-Semite for this. I think an attack by Conservatives and right-wing Labour based on 'racism' is slightly ironic. I think that Labour would be cautious about passages which could easily target their leader's controversial lack of enthusiasm for Israel. Still, that the backlash has often been focussed on these sections is peculiar.

It's also troubling that claims of 'white genocide' and 'anti-white multiculturalism'are gaining prominence online and etc. At least Antifa are combatting that slightly. Nonetheless, the right-wing are increasingly co-opting the left's language of anti-racism. Likewise, Trump claimed to be 'anti-establishment,' while touting his establishment credentials in capitalist society. All the same, the right-wing is typically fine with inciting Islamophobia and dislike of immigrants.

R Totale

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I know not everyone's keen on the source, but I think Seymour has been quite good on this issue: https://www.patreon.com/posts/20431115

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The latest accusation

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) charge "that the party has, through years of deliberate or reckless dereliction of its duty to enforce its own rules, created an atmosphere in which Jewish members and/or associates are discriminated against,” the CAA’s letter to the equality watchdog said.

Gideon Falter, the chair of the CAA, said: “The evidence shows beyond all doubt that Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite and the Labour party has become institutionally antisemitic. The problem is not one man but an entire movement which has hijacked the anti-racist Labour party of old and corrupted it with a racist rot.”

Jeremy Corbyn has apologised for speaking at a 2010 event where the actions of Israel in Gaza were compared to the Nazis. The main talk, called Never Again for Anyone – Auschwitz to Gaza, was given by Hajo Meyer, a Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. He repeatedly compared Israeli action in Gaza to the mass killing of Jewish people in the Holocaust.

So we have the CAA basically accusing an Auschwitz survivor of being an anti-semite. Fortunate for them Hajo Meyer is no longer alive to answer.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/01/jeremy-corbyn-issues-apology-in-labour-antisemitism-row

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Another accusation

McDonnell endorsed the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) which supports the liberation of Palestinian people and land and challenges what it claimed were Israeli attempts to spread false accusations of antisemitism. IJAN is regarded as a radical Jewish fringe group which is thought to have several hundred members in the UK and a couple of thousand internationally. One of its most prominent members was the late Holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer. IJAN’s charter suggested the Holocaust was being used by Israel to give it licence to “perpetrate other atrocities” against the Palestinians and claimed there was a history of zionist collusion with “repressive and violent” regimes including Nazi Germany.

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust, a charity that protects British Jews from antisemitism and related threats, said: “It is extraordinary, but deeply meaningful, that senior Labour figures backed such a tiny extremist grouplet of anti-Zionist Jews. This fringe of a fringe uses the word Zionism in terms of conspiratorial global power, and, unable to actually deny the Holocaust, instead tries desperately to use it to somehow attack Zionism and Israel.”

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/01/john-mcdonnell-praised-anti-zionist-network-ijan-accused-antisemitism

Isn't this an example of how pro-Israeli Jews are using anti-semitism to suppress criticism of Israeli policies? Or am i anti-semitic for suggesting that debate within the Jewish community is being derailed by such charges against those who disagree with Zionism, who forget they were also the fringe of the fringe at one time.

Contrary to this criticism of manipulation of views, Norman Finkelstein has written a book the "Holocaust Industry" revealing just how it is used to defend Zionism and Israel.

Ed

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjohnstone

Isn't this an example of how pro-Israeli Jews are using anti-semitism to suppress criticism of Israeli policies?

Yes, I think you're exactly right. It's so utterly craven, it's shocking to think they've got the brass neck to use the words of a dead Holocaust survivor as an example of anti-semitism. Like, even if I've got some issues with making comparisons between Israel and the Nazis, the idea that you could call a Jew who went through the horrors of the camps an anti-Semite because you disagree with them on Israel is unbelievable.

What's most worrying for me is, in apologising, I feel like Corbyn etc are now allowing opposition to Israeli atrocities to become taboo/politically incorrect. From the last article you linked above, McDonnell is accused of supporting a group which gave

a voice to Jews who condemned Israel’s “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians.

So, not only are Jews opposing Israel again accused of anti-Semitism, but describing Israel as having carried out ethnic cleansing now gets scare quotes! And yet, what else could you call the war of 1948 that led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians being forced to flee their homes?

Saw John Lansman on Channel 4 News the other day (see video below) and some guy from Jewish News discussing the IHRA definition and I felt like neither wanted to get into this part of the discussion: the Jewish News guy knew he wouldn't have a leg to stand on but Lansman, too scared to be accused of anti-Semitism, played into his hands as well by avoiding it and so accepting the underlying premise that calling the State of Israel a racist endeavour is anti-Semitic. Why he doesn't just lay out some historical facts and then say, "look, you tell me if that's racist or not" I don't know.

Apologies for the rant. You may or may not have guessed that I've been doing a lot of swearing at the telly recently...

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More accusations against Labour/Momentum

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-antisemitism-momentum-barnet-jews-jeremy-corbyn-israel-a8473501.html

ajjohnstone

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/jamie-stern-weiner-norman-finkelstein/american-jewish-scholar-behind-labour-s-antisemitism-scanda

A couple of years old but i think a good rebuttal by Norman Finkelstein of this "controversy" and its hypocrisy.

no1

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mainstream political discourse has become totally debased in the UK. Here's a film/interview with Hajo Meyer (who Corbyn apologised chairing a meeting for) in which he talks about his experiences of surviving Auschwitz, esp resisting the process of dehumanisation in the concentration camp. The Nazis tried to dehumanise him by turning him into a number, now the British media have posthumously turned him into an anti-Semite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph6snSt2quI

(the interview is in Dutch, but it's got English subtitles)

ajjohnstone

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What puzzles me is why there is little to no defence against the charges.

I came across this recently

"Looking at the political spectrum of British society, the most antisemitic group consists of those who identify as very right-wing. In this group about 14% hold hard-core anti-Semitic attitudes and 52% hold at least one attitude, compared again to 3.6% and 30% in the general population. The very left-wing, and, in fact, all political groups located on the left, are no more antisemitic than the general population. This finding may come as a surprise to those who maintain that in today’s political reality, the left is the more serious, or at least, an equally serious source of antisemitism, than the right..."

https://cst.org.uk/public/data/file/7/4/JPR.2017.Antisemitism%20in%20contemporary%20Great%20Britain.pdf

Published only last September by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research that the Community Security Trust helped fund that put the lie to the hysteria of Labour Party anti-semitism.

Mike Harman

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjohnstone

What puzzles me is why there is little to no defence against the charges.

Well there's two things going on (more than two of course):

1. Right wingers (Jewish or not) trying to frame any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic

2. Labour figures responding to any accusation of anti-Semitism existing in the Labour Party as 'Tory/establishment smears'.

The latter has slowed down recently a bit, but last year and the year before it was all over the place.

Paul Mason can usually be relied upon to be all over the fucking place, so as an example:

September 2016:

[url=https://twitter.com/paulmasonnews/status/777948096307269632]If there’d been 1 incident of anti-semitism, misogyny or threats in 6 months of C4 undercover rushes, they would have shown it. Surely?[/quote]

And another one:

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-corbyn-supporters_uk_57da7a5ce4b0d584f7eff173"I see what they’ve done all over the summer. The spurious allegations of harassment, the spurious allegations of anti-Semitism, the spurious allegations of sexism, all designed to drag Labour’s image down so that the polls tank. That’s what the Right in Labour is up to..... You show me a single Corbyn supporter who has been convicted of harassment, convicted of anti-Semitism. Show it to me.”

March 2018:

Good, well reasoned argument about why Labour must fight rising antisemitism & its reflection inside party ...

March 2018:
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/bbc-newsnight-presenter-paul-mason-explains-why-he-was-in-secret-facebook-group-antisemitic-material-1.460240

April 2018:

That’s the bigger story behind wave after wave of smears unleashed against Jeremy Corbyn - even if you accept, as I do, that he is an imperfect politician and that Labour has specific challenges with anti-Semitism, which it has handled badly.

So in 2016 we get grandstanding, "show me the anti-Semitism! Where is it?!?!?1", in 2018 it's "well I definitely accept that Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism and hasn't handled it very well, but..." and also "someone added me to a facebook group with people I know in it, where there was a tonne of anti-Semitic content being posted, but I never check the group so didn't see any of it"
\ - of course I doubt there's an admission that Paul Mason handled the accusations badly in the first place back in 2016 in any of this.

An analogy would be someone says:

"The libcom forums have a problem with Islamophobia, one person on there went on to join Generation Identity and they published something by a UKIP member".

You could respond by saying that this is a smear! where's the evidence! etc., but then someone could point to this thread where Kingzog was pushing Islamophobic conspiracy theories for a couple of pages, and we recently found out he joined Generation Identity since. http://libcom.org/forums/news/migrants-sexual-violence-19042016

Now in that thread everyone was arguing with him, then he got banned, but nevertheless the comments are there and could be screenshotted by someone making that accusation in bad faith.

You could also show him here happily talking about left communism, Chartism and Bernie Sanders less than a month before he was banned:
https://libcom.org/blog/towards-anarchist-perspective-2016-primaries-25032016 or his posts in 2012 about Andrew Kliman and value theory: https://libcom.org/forums/theory/some-critical-remarks-klimans-proposition-increasing-workers-income-27092012 - so not a random person who joined and immediately started throwing racist shit around, but someone who posted on the site for years quite happily prior to that happening (I haven't gone back through their posts to look for early warning signs).

Or for that matter that we published something from a former Class War member who went on to join UKIP: http://libcom.org/library/british-islamism-towards-anarchist-response-paul-stott (of course it was published to be argued against, but the accusation in itself would not be false).

Or on anti-Semitism itself there's still posts around accusing libcom of siding with holocaust deniers because we removed a post about Gilles Dauve's dad: https://antigerman.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/gilles-dauve-jean-barrot-guy-dauve-la-vielle-taupe-pierre-guillaume-amadeo-bordiga-didier-daeninckx-not-bored-and-libcom/ and host https://libcom.org/library/auschwitz-big-alibi (some background on all that from the old John Gray site: https://libcom.org/library/john-gray-introduction-question-state).

So to deal with bad faith accusations around stuff like this properly, you'd need to be able to point people to what actually happened, what action was or wasn't taken, whether something could have been done better, not just dismiss the entire thing as right wing smears - and this can build trust for when something is just completely made up or taken out of context.

Mike Harman

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Don't think it's been mentioned here, but on the more thoughtful end of things from a few months ago (at least in the context of 'people who actually care about what happens in the Labour Party'):
Matt Bolton and F H Pitts.
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2018/03/combat-left-anti-semitism-corbynism-must-y change-way-it-sees-world

If like me you have a natural revulsion to the NS, FH Pitts wrote this, which is about machine-fragmentism (Virno, Gorz, Demanding the Future, Mason, Bastani) and is pretty good.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03085147.2017.1397360 (academic site but open access PDF).

There's a response to it from the New Socialist, which afaict is mostly pro-Corbyn mostly Leninists, but for a pro-Corbyn/Labour publication it's the most critical one (i.e. unlike Novara which is completely uncritical of Corbyn and the rest of the shadow cabinet, preferring to take selfies with Emily Thornberry, or call pro-Iraq-war, pro-Modi, pro-immigration controls Barry Gardiner 'the people's gardiner').

https://newsocialist.org.uk/antisemitism-editorial/

Red Marriott

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is pathetic that Corbynism has so easily given in to such crude smear tactics, even as they are slightly ahead in the polls. You might have thought that would have tempered a little their opportunist submission but they don’t even seem prepared to lose a minority of votes by insisting criticism of Israel (even by a Jewish Holocaust survivor) isn’t necessarily anti-semitism.

Of more importance for those radicals outside the Corbyn camp is the likelihood that similar tactics will, if necessary, be used against more radical movements and may achieve similar success. But then, as their acceptance by submission of obviously false slanders makes clear (with no defence given of their erstwhile ‘comrade’ Meyer the Holocaust survivor) such tactics could probably as easily come from a Corbyn government. For those who only care about what you can make people believe rather than truth - propaganda, PR and manufacturing consent is the road to power and if they play by those rules now they’ll rule by those rules.

Mike Harman

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott

but they don’t even seem prepared to lose a minority of votes by insisting criticism of Israel (even by a Jewish Holocaust survivor) isn’t necessarily anti-semitism.

Really seems simple to say 'holocaust survivors can say what they like about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians' and leave it there but then does the front bench even agree on this when the shadow foreign Secretary is connected to Labour Friends of Israel?
http://www.lfi.org.uk/emily-thornberry-visits-israel-with-lfi/

ajjohnstone

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Corbyn defends himself and the Labour Party

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/03/jeremy-corbyn-antisemitism-labour-party

Forgive my cynicism but it appears to be "guilty as charged, promise to do better in future".

And the response?

Gideon Falter, the chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, dismissed what he called “a vague and meaningless article”. He said that Corbyn had “again preached to Jews that he is right to have rewritten the international definition of antisemitism” and was not taking on board the concerns of the Jewish community.

A spokesman for the Jewish Labour Movement expressed disappointment at Corbyn’s words: “Today, other than another article bemoaning a situation of the party’s own making, nothing has changed. There is no trust left. We find ourselves asking once again for action, not words.”

jondwhite

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Although you may stop short of regarding Leninism as a ruling class weapon, rather than just another stricter form of well-intentioned leftism sharing broad goals with socialists, Leninism is almost certainly a ruling class weapon.
One Leninist conceit is that anarchist or socialist opposition to Labour is indifference to the contrast between Labour and the Tories or petty ivory tower principle.
It's not. And there is more to Leninist attempts to parlay support for Labour into Leninism than you think. Where Labourism is strong and Leninism is not, Leninism uses lesser of two evils fallacy. Not fellow travelers so much as a cuckoo in the nest. At what point do Leninists stop calling for a vote for Labour and why?

A strong argument can be made that Leninism is a form of Social democracy, in particular the economics.

Why attacks on Corbyn should lead to abandonment of respectability, legitimacy or legality I'm not sure. How does this fit in with your notion of "the mainstream movement"? If you imagine there are shortcuts to socialism, there are not.

Having said that - Nymphalis' smug condescension can only serve to put people off, deter engagement, demoralise and damaging the cause. It is poison to those new to libcom. Bans should be for this belligerent demeaning attitude, not sincere questioning about Corbyn. After all, it is a discussion forum, not an echo chamber.

ajjohnstone

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Another Corbyn apology
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-45077647

The Campaign Against Antisemitism criticised the video for being "insincere" and said Mr Corbyn had failed to address his own issues with anti-Semitism.

Gideon Falter, chairman of the group, said: "Jeremy Corbyn has released yet another bland statement devoid of any apology for his own anti-Semitism or promises of specific actions. In his Guardian article on Friday he called our concerns 'overheated rhetoric' and in this video he says that our concerns must not be dismissed. It is just another contradictory, hypocritical, insincere attempt to whitewash his own role as the author of this nightmare."

It appears from the accusation that it has escalated from anti-semitism of elements within the Labour Party to claims of personal anti-semitism of Corbyn himself.

Vlad The Inhaler

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It was always going to. Despite thinking that this is a cynical witch hunt to remove Corbyn and/or his supporters I can also believe that he has handled the whole thing like a typical cack-handed Social Democrat. When you want to be everyone's friend you're always going to get found out eventually because try as you might you can't be everyone's friend. If you stand with the working class then you can't stand with Capital at the same time. If you stand for oppressed minorities like the Palestinians then you cannot also stand for the pro-Israel lobby. They've picked a side, so must you. There's no version of kumbaya that is going to fix the fundamental divisions in society.

jondwhite

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry but the notion that social democrats are cack-handed or ineffective and must pick a side or else are some sort of betrayers is typical Bolshevik. Labour picked a side no later than 1906 when at their conference, when they rejected the class struggle. Corbyn's speech to the city of London brings this defence of capitalism up to the present. This is no betrayal because this implies they stood for socialism in the first place. Supporters of one state solution (or two) in Israel-Palestine are not on our side.

Vlad The Inhaler

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jondwhite

Sorry but the notion that social democrats are cack-handed or ineffective and must pick a side or else are some sort of betrayers is typical Bolshevik. Labour picked a side no later than 1906 when at their conference, when they rejected the class struggle. Corbyn's speech to the city of London brings this defence of capitalism up to the present. This is no betrayal because this implies they stood for socialism in the first place. Supporters of one state solution (or two) in Israel-Palestine are not on our side.

I think you misunderstood. I was in fact saying the same thing.

ajjohnstone

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This lengthy detailed article from Media Lens is well worth a read

http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2018/876-israel-is-the-real-problem.html

It includes some useful links that also make good reading such as this one

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hijacking-victimhood-and-demonizing-dissent/

ajjohnstone

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

When asked if they believed Labour is an “institutionally antisemitic party”, 40 per cent of those polled said they disagreed, 23 per cent agreed and 37 per cent did not know.

The poll found that 35 per cent of people did not believe Mr Corbyn was antisemitic while 27 per cent did and 38 per cent said they did not know.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-antisemitism-party-jeremy-corbyn-majority-poll-ihra-a8487591.html

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The OP say:

As someone who has been part of the mainstream movement in and around Labour for years the nagging doubt that the closer we got to the levers of state power (as much as any government does, anyway) the more all the weapons, soft as well as hard, would be deployed against us.

Then s/he says

I am not, nor have I ever been a Social Democrat. I have always subscribed to a version of revolutionary politics and rejected electoralism, gradualism and reformism.

And emphasises it with

I. Am. Not. A. Social. Democrat. Or. A. Corbynista.

And yet no-one seems to have noted the contradiction here. Instead I get attacked for attacking his idiotic OP - which expicitly says s/he

has been part of the mainstream movement in and around Labour for years

and talks of "we" getting closer "to the levers of power". Labour with a capital L (besides, the labour movement in the UK has been moribund for the last couple of decades or more), with which s/he associates himself with his/her "we".

If s/he seriously thinks s/he has been

walking away from Leninism

and

Returning to first principles

then I can't see it - because first principles would be to stop playing silly buggers with words and playing politics and say straightforwardly what s/he wants or does not want.

As for R. Totales

is it only ok if they're the right kind of mistakes?

- there's a fundamental difference in just repeating the same old mistakes that have ended up reinforcing capitalism in various ways (and reinforcing confusion also) and making new mistakes which come from a refusal to adhere to any statist ideology - whether it be social democracy under a Labour "movement" disguse or under a Leninist disguise (Leninism being merely a form of social democracy adapted to countries where a reformist transition to a relatively independent national form of capitalism, and the development of the productive forces that is one of the main bases of capitalism, was impossible because the ruling class were wholly submissive to foreign capital).

Vlad The Inhaler

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nymphalis Antiopa

The OP say:

As someone who has been part of the mainstream movement in and around Labour for years the nagging doubt that the closer we got to the levers of state power (as much as any government does, anyway) the more all the weapons, soft as well as hard, would be deployed against us.

My reasons for working with Labour people is simply because for all their illusions in Social Democracy they are the active and class conscious members of our class. If you only want to work with people at a similar level of political development as you then enjoy holding your meetings in a phone box.

[quote=Nymphalis Antiopa]Then s/he says

I am not, nor have I ever been a Social Democrat. I have always subscribed to a version of revolutionary politics and rejected electoralism, gradualism and reformism.

And emphasises it with

I. Am. Not. A. Social. Democrat. Or. A. Corbynista.

Nymphalis Antiopa

And yet no-one seems to have noted the contradiction here. Instead I get attacked for attacking his idiotic OP - which expicitly says s/he

has been part of the mainstream movement in and around Labour for years

and talks of "we" getting closer "to the levers of power". Labour with a capital L (besides, the labour movement in the UK has been moribund for the last couple of decades or more), with which s/he associates himself with his/her "we".

There is no contradiction, see my previous answer. My goal has always been to be where the working class are.

Nymphalis Antiopa

If s/he seriously thinks s/he has been

walking away from Leninism

and

Returning to first principles

Nymphalis Antiopa

then I can't see it - because first principles would be to stop playing silly buggers with words and playing politics and say straightforwardly what s/he wants or does not want.

and you think the best way to help me work through my political ideas is by writing me off as some kind of degenerate? if you're not interested in helping others to reach the same level of awesome class consciousness as you then dare I say it that propagation of your ideas is held in less esteem than virtue signalling.

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Previous post sent by mistake.
Edit:

My goal has always been to be where the working class are.

This is Leninist politics - the kind of condescending nonsense which has often been perpetuated by the SWP (and others) to justify their tailending of the Labour Party. It is also typical politics in general - trying to win people over from where they (supposedly) are in order to ...what exactly? After well over 100 years of the working class supposedly being in the Labour Party, a party that has constantly derailed any independent activity on the part of workers and proletarians in general, to repeat endlessly this Leninist desire to recruit or seduce or whatever rather than critique those who are in this party and their illusions is going to merely contribute to repeating your own illusions as well as others.

The working class is all over the place - saying that the working class is in the Labour Party doesn't even measure up to the facts - in January 2018, Labour had 552,000 members, not all of them working class, and obviously there are a lot more workers in the UK than 552,000. You clearly want to speak on behalf of "the working class" in saying this, in order to preserve some crappy Leftist role. If they were "class conscious" they'd be doing all they could to ppose the Labour Party.

There would be more to say but really, this kind of atrophied other-directed politics - a critique of which has been around for (I'd guess) most of your adult life - won't do anything to undermine your patronising role. Revolt begins by opposing such political roles, as it does roles in general. Either act for yourself along with others (even if they only fit into a phone box) or pretend to act on behalf of the working class and continue getting nowhere.

R Totale

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

NA, will write a longer reply later, but just wondering: are you based in the UK or elsewhere?

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Elsewhere - I used to live in England

R Totale

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyway, yeah, my longer reply is that, to the extent that you've been "attacked" - and tbh I think the response you've received has been not really that aggressive for the most part - I don't think that's because of you disagreeing with VTI's politics, or what you interpret VTI's politics as being. After all, Red M's posts on this thread have been pretty much equally critical of Labourism and no-one seems to have responded negatively to them at all.
I think it's more that your tone that people are objecting to - coming in with your very first post on this thread with a demand that VTI should be banned and suggesting that "the vast majority of those who post on libcom" may well be "those who never rebel at all" gives the impression that you're playing the role of the more-sussed-than-everyone-else specialist in ideas, dropping by to instruct the rest of us on how to reach the correct level of consciousness. Which naturally tends to put some backs up among those of us who are trying, however imperfectly, to develop our own perspectives.

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I did NOT demand he be banned - I said, "any genuine revolt against capital would not allow a social democrat like Vlad the Inhaler to post garbage on their site. " If he posted stuff that was not garbage then fine - but he contradicted himself and I find his self-contradictions utter garbage. I'll get back to the rest of what you say tomorrow

ajjohnstone

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As an SPGBer i have little time for left-winger such as Corbyn but my interest is in the manipulation of the media on this current "controversy" and the hypocrisy involved.
Rather than challenge Corbyn's policies which meet with the approval of the majority of voters the right-wing have sought other tactics to discredit him and add to this is the need to thwart a possible shift in UK foreign policy if he is elected in regards to the ME. I always believed that Robin Cook was displaced as Foreign Sec. because of his perceived position on Israel and the Palestinians and he too was accused of being an anti-semite by Israelis

Today part of the camouflage is finally off.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-45170622

Netanyahu, who has been voicing support for anti-semitic regimes in Eastern Europe, has attacked Corbyn directly, as a response to the Daily Mail story.

As an aside i note that Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger said: "Being 'present' is the same as being involved. "When I attend a memorial, my presence alone, whether I lay a wreath or not, demonstrates my association and support."

This is similar to the SPGB position on demos and protests. We attend them, standing on the sidelines selling our literature of leafleting...we do not participate by marching along with our party enemies.

I mention this in passing.

Mike Harman

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On this wreath thing there's a photo of Corbyn actually holding the wreath.

There are massive double standards given the shadow cabinet itself has prominent Israel, and Modi supporters let alone every other MP's links to other countries, but Corbyn isn't an internationalist communist, rather a weird combination of social democrat and anti-imperialist. Hence sharing platforms with the SWP and Galloway et al.

R Totale

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This has some useful info for those, like me, who don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of which Palestinian militants are buried in which graves: https://mobile.twitter.com/YairWallach/status/1029036661458591745

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

R Totale:

Red M's posts on this thread have been pretty much equally critical of Labourism and no-one seems to have responded negatively to them at all.
I think it's more that your tone that people are objecting to

The difference between my and RedMs and other people's posts can be seen in VTI's response to them: VTI didn't really respond at all to theirs (I am referring to those that deal with his apparent attachment to "the Labour movement", not those "On The Anti-Jewish Question"), but did to mine. Precisely because the disgust of my tone differed from the merely objective fact-based criticism of the others, which he ignores. This shows you that polite dialogue with someone who contributes to the most obvious of illusions, illusions which were critiqued years and years ago, and which continue to be critiqued all over the place, is so much water off a duck's back. At least s/he reacted to me, whereas to all the other posts re. the Labour Party s/he remains largely impervious - so what's the point in not being contemptuous?
It's not a question of "playing the role of the more-sussed-than-everyone-else specialist in ideas, dropping by to instruct the rest of us on how to reach the correct level of consciousness" - but more me trying to find a way to provoke people into revealing either their attempts to get to grips with confronting reality or avoind it by using convoluted ideas (and VTI's ideas are very convoluted). Perhaps I failed - and probably I shouldn't have bothered, but sometimes I get rightly angry, though this anger and disgust has fuck-all to do with any pretension to instructing the rest of you on how to reach the correct level of consciousness. Such a role would not be be an expression of consciousness at all, quite the opposite.

VTI pretends s/he is not a social democrat despite believing that " Labour people ... for all their illusions in Social Democracy... are the active and class conscious members of our class." They are not - and describing them as such is an insult to all those who for years and years have attacked the Labour Party from a radical perspective as well as an insult to all those who act for themselves without any clearly developed class consciousness. The only activity (as LP members) they are involved in is getting their precious party "closer...to the levers of state power" , as the OP puts it. Besides what influence does VTI want to have on them since s/he clearly has no perspective outside of desperately trying to influence people for years and years without any perceivable effect whatsoever. And it's as clear as mud what the content of his/her attempts are to influencing people who have not even begun to confront their submission to this society, at least insofar as their membership of the LP goes.

Any attempt to work with people who are not at a similar level of political development as you or me is inevitably hierarchical: inequalities in understanding there almost invariably are, but a basic desire to act for ourselves and to confront what we can confront can have nothing to do with those who aim or claim first of all to raise other people's levels of consciousness - we have to first of all develop (not raise) our own consciousness amongst people we know before we can pretend to contribute to influencing, say, 520,000 people (the current LP membership).

Nymphalis Antiopa

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

VTI:

My goal has always been to be where the working class are.

and:

I am trying as best I can to work through thoughts, ideas and feelings in the wake of walking away from Leninism.

Franz Pfempfert:

In order not to lose touch with the masses, one must go wherever they are to be found. This is the axis around which all of the arguments in Lenin’s book* revolve, making the book a theory of manipulation

( https://libcom.org/library/lenin-s-infantile-disorder-third-international )
* Ultra-Leftism: An Infantile Disorder