Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Are we anti-semitic?

Many Jewish groups and some of the media is accusing the Labour Party of anti-semitism. Corbyn has described anti-semitism as the "socialism of fools" using an expression of the 19th Century German Marxist, August Bebel. 

So is the Socialist Party anti-semitic?

We most definitely seek an end to the Jewish faith. But we also aim at the elimination of all religions whether Christian, Islam, Hindu or whatever.

We do not recognise Jews as a special racial category but that is because we doubt the validity of race as a scientific concept.

We wish the abolition of the state of Israel but we also work towards all nation-states ceasing to exist and oppose the creation of new ones such as the proposed Palestinian state.

Zionists are always complaining about anti-semitism, real or imaginary. They use such complaints especially as a gambit to de-legitimise criticism of Zionism and Israel. From the start, however, Zionist opposition to anti-semitism has been superficial and selective, because Zionism is itself closely connected to anti-semitism.

One of the foremost proponents of the Zionist movement, Dr. Charles Weizman,  in his book "Zionism and the Future" thanked anti-Semitism. "This process [assimilation] would proceed to its logical end even more rapidly were it not checked by anti-Semitism. The record of the emancipated Jew in loyalty to his country, in devotion to its ideals and service to its interests, is unimpeachable. None the less he is felt by the outside world something different, still an alien, and the measure of his success and prominence in the various walks of life which are thrown open to him is, broadly speaking, the measure of the dislike and distrust which he earns. Thus the phenomena of assimilation and anti-Semitism go on side by side, and the position of the emancipated Jew, though he does not realise it himself, is even more tragic than his oppressed brother."
Originally Zionism was conceived as a means of solving the problem of anti-semitism. From this point of view, where the problem does not exist there is no need for the solution. However, ends and means were inverted long ago, and Zionism became an end in itself, with anti-semitism a condition of its success. Anti-semitism might still be regarded in principle as an evil, but as a necessary evil. Often it was also said to be a lesser evil compared to the threat of assimilation supposedly inherent in rising rates of intermarriage. Against this background, it seems a trifle naive to ask why Israel's ruling circles don't realise that by their own actions they are generating anti-semitism. They do realise. But they make it a point not to give a damn what the world thinks of them. There is nothing unique about the affinity between Zionism and anti-semitism. Russian nationalism thrives on Russophobia, Irish nationalism on anti-Irish prejudice, Islamism on hatred of Moslems, and so on. To escape the vicious circle, we must respond to ethnic persecution by asserting our identity as human beings and citizens of the future world cooperative commonwealth.
Nationalism can never be a solution to the problems of oppression: it was not for the Jews; it would not be for the Palestinians. The problem is class, not national, racial, or religious origins. The cause of socialism is and must be universal. So long as you are living in a society that forces you to be a wage slave, you must, if you wish to be free, join hands with your fellow workers of all countries in the task of securing "the world for the workers." It is in the interest of your masters that you should be divided by national and religious barriers so that you should not be able to think of occupying yourselves with the mission of freeing yourselves of capitalist bondage. It is up to all, then, to study their class position in society, which is cosmopolitan and anti-religious in character. For it is only by so doing that they will become free in the truest sense of the term.

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