On the Elections in Britain and the Role of Zionism
By Yossi Schwartz, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 28.12.2019, www.thecommunists.net
The defeat of the Labor party by the Tories led by Boris Johnson, a racist Islamophobe, in the general elections in England will encourage the reactionary forces in other countries. Hence we will see further attacks on the social and democratic rights of the masses in countries like USA, Israel, India, Philippine, Brazil, the Arab states and Iran. However, there we can also expect that the masses will fight back in this period of sharper class struggles.
Various reasons caused the defeat for the Labor party and most importantly its reformist wishy-washy program and policies. (1) Instead of rejecting both capitalist options leaving or staying in imperialist EU and mobilizing the working class in a general strike for a workers government, Corbyn attempted to appease both sides: those who supported leaving and those supporting staying in the EU by simply calling for a new referendum. Instead of kicking out the Blairites – the right wing of the party that their place is with the Tories – he removed some left wing figures known for their pro-Palestinian positions. In July 2017, Labour’s leadership – the National Executive Committee (2) – adopted the so-called International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (3) Working Definition (4) that includes the notion that criticism of Israel can amount to Anti-Semitism. In February and July 2019, complaints of Anti-Semitism led to a process where 350 members resigned, expelled or received formal warnings. Thus even on the issue of Zionism Corbyn caved in and even apologized to the Zionists.
In this period of high uncertainty and insecurity the working class and the poor in the rural areas and in the cities are seeking a strong firm leadership and since the Labor party was unable to provide it there was a shift to the right, especially among older people.
The role of the mass media in this election was clear: as mouthpiece of the capitalist class they all attacked the left wing of the Labor party because they do not trust the left wing of the Labour Party to control the masses in this historical crisis of capitalism.
It will be stupid to believe that Israel and the Zionists are the major reason for the victory of the Tories but it is clear that they have played a role in it.
At a time real Anti-Semites kill Jews and vandalize synagogues and graveyards, Simon Wiesenthal Center allegedly a Nazi Hunter organization accused Corbyn as the most dangerous Anti-Semite of our time: “No one has done more to mainstream anti-Semitism into the political and social life of a democracy than the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party,” said the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Members and staff who have dared to speak out against the hate were purged, but not those who declared ‘Heil Hitler’ and ‘F–k the Jews.'” (5)
The British chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, accused Corbyn of mainstreaming anti-Semitism which was an indirect call to vote for racist Johnson who said that Muslim immigrants lack “loyalty to Britain” because of their religion: “Islam is the problem,” he wrote. In his past he wrote an article describing Africans as “pickanninies” (6) with “watermelon smiles.” (7)
The immediate reaction of the Israeli government was to hail Johnson winning as a defeat for Anti-Semitism. ”Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the Conservatives’ win in the polls was “not just a political victory, it is first and foremost a victory of values”…”The spectre of anti-Semitism loomed large over this campaign and the British public overwhelmingly voted against it,” Katz said.” (8)
It should not surprise us that Israel and the Zionist movement are in the front line of the reaction in the world. In its political appearance it is very similar to racist Hindutva in India, even though Israel is an imperialist state and India is a semi colony. In September 2019 Zionist Professor Gadi Taub and Dr. Subramanian Swany held a discussion in the University of Mumbai on Zionism and Hindutva. On the posters announcing the event we can see the picture of the Zionist Theodor Herzl alongside Hindutva ideologue V.D. Savarkar. The official symbol of the Israeli state is on the poster. In addition Vaibhav Purandare, a right wing journalist and the author of Savarkar: The True Story of the Father of Hindutva was the moderator.
“Gadi Taub, kept the audience spellbound with his interpretation of nationalism and the similarities between Zionism and Hindutva”….“This is the first time in recent years we are seeing such a provocative and supremacist tone of discussion. Israel has been working very hard on Brand Israel, portraying it as a liberal and progressive country. This talk is telling in that at its root it remains a country that practises apartheid and is completely supportive of the Hindutva ideology,” said Apoorva P.G., coordinator with the Palestinian BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) National Committee.” (9)
Israel is a close ally not only of racist Shri Narendra Modi but of other authoritarian leaders – such as the far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who visited Israel in March 2019. The far-right leader was asked on during his visit to Israel if he agreed with the claim by his foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, that the Nazis were leftists. “There is no doubt right?” Bolsonaro replied, according to Reuters. (10)
It is interesting to observe how all these authoritarian politicians use very similar verbal tricks. Netanyahu for example said that Hitler got his idea of exterminating the Jews from the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin. In the real world long before Haj Amin arrived in Germany the Nazis were killing the Jews.
“Prime minister tells World Zionist Congress that Hitler only wanted to expel the Jews, but Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti convinced him to exterminate them, a claim that was rejected by most accepted Holocaust scholars”. (11)
Other close friends of Israel in addition to Trump are Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Italy’s Matteo Salvini, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte.
The Zionists have an interest in defeating every progressive democratic movement and to create a great fear among the Jews of another Holocaust, in order to push them to Israel. Yet because of the nature of Israel as a society of settler colonialists they ally themselves with the real Anti-Semites of the far right. This is very dangerous not only to the international working class and the oppressed but also for the Jewish masses.
The collaboration of the Zionist leaders with the most reactionaries began with its historical leader Theodore Herzl. Herzl offered the Russian Tsar who was behind the pogrom of Kishinev in 1903 his service to isolate the Jews from the revolutionary movement for supporting his plans for his colonialist project to form a Jewish state in Palestine. (12) The collaboration of the Zionist with the Third Reich continued until WWII. (The Transfer The Haavara Agreement (Hebrew: הֶסְכֵּם הַעֲבָרָה). (13)
The way things go very soon even mentioning this agreement would be considered by the Zionists and their friends as an Anti-Semitism. The more the real nature of Israel is exposed the more the friends of Israel will try to crack down on its opponents.
To fight against imperialism and the real racism it is necessary among other things to defeat Zionism.
5) Corbyn-Led British Labour Party Named No. 1 Anti-Semitic Threat Worldwide, 12/12/2019, https://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/news-detail.php?SECTION_ID=3&ARTICLE_ID=125272
7) UK election results: Labour’s crushing defeat, explained – Vox, https://www.vox.com/world/2019/12/13/21004755/uk-election-2019
8) FRANCE 24, 13/12/2019, https://www.france24.com/en/20191213-israel-hails-johnson-win-as-defeat-for-anti-semitism-1
9) Anupama Katakam: Zionism and Hindutva: Communal cousins, Front Line : September 27, 2019, https://frontline.thehindu.com/the-nation/article29390909.ece
10) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-brazil/brazils-president-calls-nazis-leftists-after-israel-holocaust-museum-visit-idUSKCN1RF1QD; Josefin Dolsten: “Bolsonaro says Nazis were ‘leftists’ following visit to Yad Vashem”, The Times Of Israel, 4 April 2019
11) Netanyahu: Hitler Didn’t Want to Exterminate the Jews, Haaretz Oct 21, 2015, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/netanyahu-absolves-hitler-of-guilt-1.5411578
12) See on this e.g. Yossi Schwartz: The Origins of the Jews, chapter III and IV, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/origins-of-jews/
13) David Yisraeli: “The Third Reich and the Transfer Agreement”, in: Journal of Contemporary History 6 (1972), S. 129–148; see also: Tom Segev: The Seventh Million: Israelis and the Holocaust
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The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements, and articles on Israel, Anti-Semitism and the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. In particular we refer to:
Yossi Schwartz: Palestine and Zionism. The History of Oppression of the Palestinian People. A Critical Account of the Myths of Zionism (Book), April 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/palestine-and-zionism/
Yossi Schwartz: The Origins of the Jews (Pamphlet), https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/origins-of-jews/
Yossi Schwartz: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism, 16 November 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-semitism-and-anti-zionism/
Yossi Schwartz: Zionism and Anti-Semitism, 21.03.2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/zionism-and-anti-semitism/
Yossi Schwartz: On Anti-Semitism and Zionist Racism, 22.12.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/on-anti-semitism-and-zionist-racism/
The program of the RCIT’s section in Israel / Occupied Palestine can be read here: http://www.the-isleague.com/our-platform/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/summary-of-isl-program/
See also Yossi Schwartz: Israel’s War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, http://the-isleague.com/1948-war-5-2013/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/israel-s-war-of-1948/
Michael Pröbsting: On some Questions of the Zionist Oppression and the Permanent Revolution in Palestine, http://the-isleague.com/zionist-oppression-and-permanent-revolution/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/permanent-revolution-in-palestine/
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