Centrist Tony Greenstein in the Middle of the Road

We should be thankful for small mercies, or perhaps for lesser kinds of opportunism. In the aftermath of Gerry Downing’s capitulation to the heavily Zionist-influenced defeat of the Corbyn-movement and his betrayal of the uncompromising anti-Zionism that he publicly fought for in the last five years, Tony Greenstein has actually emerged somewhat to Downing’s left.[1]

Gerry Downing defends Marxism against Zionism, Daily Politics March 2016

In this article we use the term ‘centrist’ to describe the like of Greenstein and Downing. We should clarify that we are not using the term in the way it is commonly used in British left-wing politics these days, to mean right-wing, neo-liberal Blairite-type politics. Rather we are using it in the way Lenin and Trotsky used it, to describe those trends within the workers movement that vacillate between social reform and social revolution as a political programme. As Trotsky noted:

“A centrist occupies a position between an opportunist and a Marxist somewhat analogous to that which a petty bourgeois occupies between a capitalist and a proletarian: he kowtows before the first and has contempt for the second.”[2]

He went on to explain about the amorphousness and political diversity of centrist trends:

“One must understand first of all the most characteristic traits of modern centrism. That is not easy first, because centrism due to its organic amorphousness yields with difficulty to a positive definition: it is characterized to a much greater extent by what it lacks than by what it embraces, secondly, never has centrism yet played to such an extent as now with all the colours of the rainbow, because never yet have the ranks of the working class been in such ferment as at the present time. Political ferment, by the very essence of the term, means a realignment, a shift between two poles, Marxism and reformism; that is, the passing through the various stages of centrism.”[3]

It is not difficult for Greenstein, as a slightly different kind of centrist, to come out to the left of Gerry Downing, as Downing, in the aftermath of Boris Johnson’s election victory, embarked on his right-wing, pro-Zionist trajectory in opposition to politics that he had previously defended on national television in March 2016. Downing lacks Marxian arguments to defeat the orthodox Marxist politics SF had stood for since 2015, and so has been forced to embrace such Zionist thinkers as Alan Dershowitz, Dave Rich, Ron Rosenbaum, and more, to try to attain political substance.

Downing even embraced an anonymous Zionist troll who dubs himself ‘Sven Gøllӱ’ (Svengali), who had the honour of having a guest article on the stolen ‘Socialist Fight’ website itself. We note that this individual is very concerned to hide his real political pedigree, while praising Gerry Downing as someone who is prepared to re-think his ideas. He is very coy about who he really is. If he were any sort of a left-winger he would not hesitate to give us a run-down of his leftist associations, even pseudonymously. But he cannot. His style is familiar, as he confirms to an archetype of Zionist trolls.

He is most likely one of a stable of UK Zionist trolls whose most prolific is Ben Gidley, who has trolled the left for years under various flags of convenience such as ‘Bob From Brockley’, ‘The Soapy One’, and ‘Anti-Nazis United’ (which despite its name has targeted left-wingers, even black ones such as Jackie Walker). Some circumstantial details that he let slip point to Gidley likely being ‘Sven Gøllӱ’. But even if he is not, it is one of his cohorts from the UK Zionist stable.

As befitting someone who is rapidly retreating to the right, Downing’s factional campaign has involved not only the enlistment of Zionist ideologues to combat the left-wing of his own organisation, but also racist/Islamophobic abuse from some of Downing’s new cohorts against comrades in the Trotskyist Faction of SF, the majority of whom are from the Middle East/South Asia region.

Tony Greenstein, of course has more sense than to overtly associate himself with Nakba deniers, anonymous Zionist trolls, or the likes of the Community Security Trust (who he once dubbed the ‘Community Security Thugs’). In fact, in a way quite honourably, at the conclusion of his piece he comes to our defence against Downing’s more psychotic fascist-baiting rants, writing about Ian Donovan that:

“Despite his many sins Ian looks to the left not the right. It would be wrong to categorise him as a fascist, if only through guilt by association.”[4]

The ‘guilt-by-association’ he is talking about is Downing’s parroting of the propaganda of the Community Security Trust who published propaganda, reproduced wholesale on Facebook by Downing, which sought to brand the expatriate Israeli Jazz  musician Gilad Atzmon as a ‘fascist’. Greenstein distances himself from this polemic, as well he might, with the following statement about Atzmon:

“I disagree. Fascism is a specific political movement aimed at not only destroying working class organisations and the left but all democratic rights. It is the last resort of capitalism against the workers’ movement. GA certainly flirts with fascists and anti-Semites, neo-Nazis included but he has also flirted with the Left, including the SWP. He is, if anything, politically promiscuous. He reminds me of Christopher Hitchens, a contrarian who would argue positions for the outrage they would cause.

“I’m sure that GA, an accomplished jazz player, is well aware that jazz was considered Jewish inspired ‘nigger music’ in Nazi Germany. Listening to jazz was considered an act of rebellion by rebellious youth chafing at the boring monotone culture of the Nazis. GA also works happily with Jews, converses with them and has no personal antagonism to Jews as Jews. In other words whilst his ideas are without doubt anti-Semitic, on a personal level he is not an anti-Semite. Nor is there any reason to believe that he has given his support to, still less become a member of, a fascist organisation.”[5]

Tony Greenstein and Gilad Atzmon

Personal vs ‘Political’ Racism: Centrist Sophistry

This formulation, that someone can be ‘politically’ anti-Semitic without being personally so, is an index of Tony Greenstein’s left centrism. Someone who promotes racist ideas cannot be non-racist. Greenstein is, more honestly than Gerry Downing, talking about political positions that he finds uncomfortable. Unlike Downing, he has the integrity to admit that the people he is denouncing as ‘anti-Semitic’ are not personally racist.

His comparison of Atzmon with Christopher Hitchens is wide of the mark, as Hitchens was a neocon supporter of imperialist wars, whereas Atzmon is an outspoken opponent of such neocon wars. Whatever Atzmon’s problems and illusions, they are polar opposites.

Greenstein’s distinction between ‘personal’ and ‘political’ ‘racism’ ties him up in a knot: he both accuses people of racism and exonerates them of that in the same sentence! Trotsky once said that centrism is ‘crystallised confusion’. Well you cannot get more confused than that. Tony Greenstein has invented something quite unique here: the non-racist racist. But this is nonsense: in the real world, racism is as racism does.

Gerry Downing when he was a Marxist and an anti-Zionist, did not believe in this bizarre, dualistic and self-contradictory concept. Now he has become a renegade from the consistent anti-Zionist politics he previously upheld, he still does not buy it. From the other side. But he has now decided that consistent anti-Zionism is ‘anti-Semitic’. In his mind, less nimble than Tony’s left-centrism, since to him we are ‘anti-Semitic’ therefore we must be personally racist.

But he has a problem. Our faction is majority non-white. It also includes the majority of the non-white comrades of SF, an organisation that was close to half non-white in its membership composition. Whereas his faction contains no non-whites; none have signed his factional statements. So Gerry has to put it about that our members are personally racist in some way, but that is rather difficult in a racist society where non-whites are subject to the most vicious racism. So the result has been a cacophony of abuse directed at our sole white comrade, comrade Donovan, seeking to mendaciously say he is a ‘white nationalist’. Somewhat contradictorily, he is also accused of being a pro-Muslim ‘communalist’ because of his membership of RESPECT in the 2000s. This complete nonsense cannot explain how comrade Donovan, as a ‘white nationalist’, can be in a majority non-white faction, or could have been an enthusiastic RESPECT member for several years.

No ‘white nationalist’ could possibly do such things, of course. So the bottom line of this nonsense is the other side of the self-contradictory nonsense accusations from Downing, the part about pro-Muslim ‘communalism’.  This has, not surprisingly, led to Islamophobic and racist abuse from some of Downing’s followers against supporters of our faction, and particularly against one of our non-white comrades of Middle Eastern origin.

Renegades and Islamophobia

This comrade was baldly accused of being in favour of murdering Jews in London synagogues by Gareth Martin, a racist bigot and Downing supporter. No such attack has happened and this sickening racist fantasy was pulled right out of the abuser’s posterior. Another of Downing’s defenders on Facebook, someone called Rob Lyons (apparently from North America) baited our comrade about people from his Middle Eastern ethnic background “beating their wives”: a classic reactionary slur and stereotype.

 This is no great surprise, as political Zionism is a racist ideology:  so is Islamophobia, and they are closely related. It is no surprise that some of those in and around a faction that makes copious use of Zionist ideologues like Dershowitz, Rich and ‘Sven Gøllӱ’ to argue its case, should have outright Islamophobes among them. There is no ‘separation’ between ‘political’ and ‘personal’ racism in the Downing faction: that faction has pulled in outright racists from outside the original SF, and none of its people are prepared to condemn the racism of Gareth Martin and Rob Lyons.

Racism is as racism does, and for attacking these bigots, our comrades, and comrade Donovan in particular, has implicitly, but unmistakably, been accused of ‘anti-white racism’ by Downing himself. This is itself a far-right slur usually found among white supremacists. So it seems that these people’s ranting about our alleged ‘white nationalism’ is an example of projection: a classic feature of political Zionism, where genocidal anti-Arab racists and ethnic cleansers project their attitudes onto their victims and intended victims.

Tony Greenstein might well be wary of this evolution to the right of Gerry Downing, which had its first manifestation at Communist University in 2019, when Downing acted independently of his Socialist Fight comrades in launching a rather odd attack on Tony for his expressed admiration for the Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt, because of her long time relationship with the dilettante/academic philosopher Martin Heidegger, an opportunist who was a largely inactive member of Hitler’s party during the period of Hitler’s regime.  

Tony knows of what he speaks when he talks of ‘guilt by association’, as Downing denounced him as soft on Nazism on this occasion. This actually became an issue in the division in SF; maybe embarrassingly for Tony, the ‘anti-Semitic’ Trotskyist Faction condemned Downing’s unprincipled and personally motivated attempt at ‘revenge’ against him for Tony’s wrong-headed criticism of SF and Downing in particular, which in his degeneration he treated as a personal slight (to be avenged therefore) and not a political difference to be argued about.

What all this clarifies quite well is that what is being argued about is not racism. Tony Greenstein considers, apparently quite sincerely, that it is possible to be ‘anti-Semitic’ without being ‘personally’ racist. And Downing considers that ‘anti-Semitism’ is the ultimate evil, but has no problem with outright racist abuse of comrades from ethnic groups that his supporters do not like. Greenstein, no doubt, would find that abhorrent, though he does not actually like to say so. Maybe he considers it impolite to challenge Downing about such things?

A Discomfiting Theory

What he is most concerned, however, is captured in the headline of his piece: “Socialist Fight Drops Its Support for Ian Donovan’s Anti-Semitic Theories about a pan-national Jewish-Zionist Bourgeoisie – or does it?” Given that we have clarified above that Tony considers that ‘anti-Semitism’ has nothing to do with racism, that for him it is perfectly possible to be ‘anti-Semitic’ without holding any animus towards Jews as all, then it is clear that what is at stake here, is his own animus towards a theory. A theory that he finds objectionable even though he cannot argue – because he has too much integrity, or perhaps that he has too much concern for his own credibility – that the theory is racist. Through his effective de-fanging of the concept of anti-Semitism , he has therefore revealed that he has some other motive for anti-racism for objecting to that theory.

So let us examine some of the contradictions and non-sequiturs in his article that further expose his crystallised confusion on these matters. For instance, on the question of the ‘right’ of Labour Party members to support Israel, he writes:

“ID’s defence, if that is the right word, is that GD has become a Zionist because he doesn’t support expelling all Zionists from the Labour Party. Neither do I. I am in favour of disaffiliating or proscribing Zionist organisations such as Labour Friends of Israel and Jewish Labour Movement not individuals per se, although clearly Zionist apparatchiks and propagandists should be shown the door.”[6]

It is reasonable to wonder if Tony would be so indulgent of members of the Labour Party, on an individual level, supporting other openly racist states. Such as Nazi Germany, perhaps? It is very difficult to find cases of genuine anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, certainly on the left, but there have been a few cases of right-wingers who have made pro-Hitler comments. Such views, along with those approving apartheid and colonialism, are rightly anathema in Labour. Why should support for Israel be any different to support for Hitler? Downing’s indulgence of supporters of Israel does not actually make him a Zionist, but the double standard involved from both Tony and Downing is a capitulation to Zionism to a lesser degree.

The contradiction in Tony’s article is shown when he writes that our views, as expressed in a recent letter in the Weekly Worker, are

“… an appalling apologia for GA’s anti-Semitism, including his comments questioning the Holocaust.”[7]

But Tony himself in his own terms could be said to have ‘apologised’ for Atzmon’s supposed ‘anti-Semitism’ when he wrote that Atzmon “works happily with Jews, converses with them and has no personal antagonism to Jews as Jews.” But ‘hostility to Jews as Jews’ is the definition of anti-Semitism that Greenstein endorses, the Klug definition. So surely his remarks are also an ‘apologia’ for Atzmon!

Arab and Jewish ‘anti-Semitism’

This is where Greenstein’s contradictions get him really bogged down. He considers our inclusion of Atzmon’s sometimes-expressed sceptical views about aspects of the Nazi holocaust in the same category as Arab and other third-world ‘holocaust denial’ to constitute this supposed ‘apologia’. But this is simply illogical. He writes that Atzmon’s scepticism:

“has nothing in common with Arab or third world Holocaust denial. Yes because Zionism uses the Holocaust as a weapon many Arabs therefore query the weapon itself rather than the use made of it. But Atzmon comes from the oppressor people. His ideas are from European neo-Nazis.”[8]

So Atzmon’s questioning – he questions aspects of it but does not actually deny – the Holocaust has nothing in common with Gamal Abdul Nasser’s 1964 speech when he condemned “the lie of the Six Million”? Or has nothing in common with Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s organisation of conferences in Iran to debate the truth or otherwise of the Nazi holocaust, which coincided pretty much with the period – around 2005, when Atzmon first became a political factor at SWP events associated with the Iraq anti-war movement? Or they have nothing in common with the decades-long publication by the Ba’athist Syrian regime, of copious quantities of Nazi literature as part of an imagined counter-thrust against Israel? Or Hamas’ original charter, now amended for ‘respectability’ which endorses the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

In formal ideological terms, there is no way to separate ‘Arab or third world holocaust denial’ from neo-Nazi holocaust denial, as Greenstein attempts to do. The only way to separate it is to take account of the material circumstances that drive it: it is not an ideology of German imperialism but that of oppressed peoples trying to hit back at their oppressors, the Jewish state/Zionist imperialism, and their ‘democratic’ imperialist allies. In the absence of an authoritative revolutionary, communist movement able to fight their oppressors along a class axis, oppressed peoples under bourgeois leadership look for any weapon they can find to fight these oppressors.

In this context Atzmon’s views are as much an organic outgrowth of the politics of the Middle East as all the above. However they are qualitatively milder, and are underpinned by a theory of Jewish identity that does not condemn all Jews.

Atzmon’s theory of three categories of Jews: the born-Jewish: the religious, and those who regard their Jewishness as their most important political attribute, only regards the third as problematic and does not condemn all Jews.[9] That theoretical perspective drives everything he says: he does not condemn all Jews and therefore cannot be said to be anti-Semitic. This is why as Greenstein points out, Atzmon “works happily with Jews, converses with them and has no personal antagonism to Jews as Jews”. That behaviour flows from his theory.

His ‘third category’ also appears to more or less coincide with the concept of Jewish chauvinism, which genuine Marxists oppose just as much as any other kind of racism or ethnic chauvinism, and so whatever reservations we have about Atzmon’s idealism, this aspect of his critique of what he calls ‘Jewishness’ is progressive. This is also why some on the Jewish left, including to a degree Tony, do not like his views as they think that some kinds of Jewish chauvinism are excusable, or deniable.

Greenstein’s statement that Atzmon comes “from the oppressor people” is moralism. He has done as much as is humanly possible to reject his origin in the oppressor people, renouncing his Israeli citizenship, getting his whole family out of Israel including his surviving parent, publicly stating that he will not return to that country until Palestine is liberated from the Israeli regime. He publicly identifies as a “Hebrew-speaking Palestinian”.  Short of joining a Palestinian armed–struggle group, which may be unwise, there is little else that anyone from this oppressor people can possibly to do reject their origins.

In this context, to say that his scepticism about the Nazi genocide does not flow from his sympathy and empathy with similar sentiments among the Arab masses with whom he obviously identifies is simply a denial of reality.  Atzmon is not unique, he is just the most prominent of an entire ‘fringe’ layer of Jewish defectors and ‘renegades’ who identify in similar ways with the Arab masses – and some of their illusions.

While Israel was founded mainly by Ashkenazi Jews who are thus the primary oppressors of the Palestinians, the Ashkenazi Jews were also the main victims of the Shoah – so in a way as well being born of the oppressor in Israel, Atzmon is also a descendant of those oppressed by Hitler. This makes his mistaken scepticism about aspects of the Nazi holocaust quite noble in its underlying motive, given that in Israel the exploitation of that past oppression is a primary tool for brainwashing the Jewish population to support and commit atrocities against the Palestinians.

Unfortunately Tony’s misrepresentation of Atzmon’s obvious motives on this question is somewhat less than noble. It is driven by an element of ethnic politics in his political makeup that, despite his numerous progressive and often very insightful criticisms of Zionist racism and even of softer elements of the Jewish left, he has never fully broken from.

Tony’s crystallised confusion is shown when he criticises the note accompanying Downing’s interview with Atzmon where GD said of Atzmon that ‘I do not agree he is either racist or anti-Semitic.’. But putting aside the ludicrous notion that a non-racist person can be a racist political ideologue, Greenstein said exactly the same thing of Atzmon when he wrote that Atzmon: “works happily with Jews, converses with them and has no personal antagonism to Jews as Jews… on a personal level he is not an anti-Semite”.

In other words, out of Tony Greenstein’s own mouth, this dispute is not about racism.  It is about political ideas that he finds objectionable not because he believes that those who advocate them are racist, but that raise issues that he finds discomforting. He cannot deal with our orthodox Marxist position on the Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie without mangling and distorting it.

Greenstein and Communalism

This is shown by the obvious distortion of our position on the Jews as a putative oppressor people, oppressing the Palestinian Arabs. Tony seems incapable of understanding plain English on this. He quotes our words on this pretty much in full but does not understand them:

“Jews are a ‘people, who, insofar as they act in a collective manner under a quasi-nationalist leadership today, act as oppressors of another people, namely Arabs’.” (emphasis added).[10]

He simply does not understand the significance of the words emphasised when he then turns around and accuses us of this:

 “Yet during the debate on whether or not LAW should exclude SF ID denied that they had described the Jews as an ‘oppressor people’ which suggests that his ‘materialist’ analysis of what he calls ‘the Jewish Question’ is indefensible.”[11]

But there is no contradiction here. For what was alleged (by Moshe Machover) in that discussion is that this characterisation of Jews under Zionist communal leadership encompassed every single Jew on the planet. That was what was denied, not that Jews insofar as they act under Zionist leadership oppress the Arab people of Palestine. In other words, membership of this oppressor group for Jews in the diaspora is a conscious ideological choice.

Those Jews who choose to act under Zionist leadership and fight to mobilise other imperialist forces to support oppressive, and indeed genocidal, policies and actions, are part of a population that participates in the oppression of the Arabs: an oppressor population in other words.  Those who refuse to do so out of anti-racist principle effectively opt out of that oppressor population and are not part of it. This is actually why communal politics is such a powerful presence in the Jewish population today and those who dissent are treated by mainstream Jewish organisations not as simply a dissenting minority with the ‘Jewish community’, but as traitors and enemies. And this is what Tony fears most of all. He fears to finally burn his bridges with this communalist ‘community’.

It is an expression of Jewish communalism, not anti-racism, when Tony writes:

“It is to be welcomed that Gerry now repudiates use of the term, ‘the world ‘Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie’’ and the whole notion of a Jewish-Zionist imperialist vanguard as anti-Semitic tropes.’ The idea that there is a Jewish sub-set of the ruling class, still less a pan national Jewish bourgeoisie is deeply anti-Semitic and reminiscent of Nazi  world Jewish conspiracy theories. They have no place in a socialist let alone Marxist group.”[12]

This is an attack on Marxism, not racism. First of all the term “the world ‘Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie’” is a falsification invented by Downing to justify his renegacy. It does not appear in any SF or related documents. This phenomenon is largely confined to Western Europe and North America; it is not a world-wide phenomenon. We defined it as ‘pan-imperialist’ (and ‘pan-national’ in a context that made clear that this means pan-imperialist), but there is one imperialist power that obviously does not have a contingent from this caste and is largely irrelevant to it: Japan.

Tony’s criticism above is communalist, anti-communist and an apologia for political Zionism in its international dimension insofar as it aims to protect a specific layer of the imperialist bourgeoisie against materialist, Marxist criticism.

He makes explicit his defence of wealthy, Zionist-communalist Jews against left-wing criticism when he says:

“ID explains support for Israel by the West as being on account of ‘Jewish overrepresentation in the US and other ruling classes.’ In other words Jews form an ethnic lobby”[13]

The non-sequitur in this is where Tony says that this means that “Jews” (i.e. in general) represent an ethnic lobby. But this is just feeble as any literate person reading the above sentence can see that it was referring to a Jewish section of the ruling class, ie. a class-based subset of Jews. Furthermore, our formulation about the ‘Jewish–Zionist bourgeoisie’ makes it very clear that we are only talking about that subset of the Jewish bourgeoisie that are actually Zionist.

Non-Zionist Jewish bourgeois are not part of the Jewish-Zionist bourgeois caste. For instance there is no reason to include George Soros in the J-Z caste as he does not seem to support Israeli crimes and has been virulently denounced by Netanyahu for his liberal political projects. We do not endorse Soros’ projects for class reasons due to our hostility to the liberal bourgeoisie in general, but our criticism of this is separate to our criticism of the J-Z caste.

So far from referring to all Jews, our allegation of ethnic lobbying is directed against a large politically-defined subset of a class-based subset of Jews, not against all Jews. Tony is not illiterate: he hopes the reader will not notice this evasion, or perhaps choose to ignore it perhaps out of a feeling of guilt for the Nazi holocaust, etc.

Tony’s defence of Jewish-Zionist chauvinist ethnic politics goes further when he quotes and denounces a Socialist Fight article that answered the following key question:

“‘Does it mean that we specifically target Jewish capital?’ Answer: Not all Jewish capital. But we do want to expose that a specific part of Jewish capital has an ethnocentric interest in the dispossession of Palestinians.”[14]

Greenstein says of our answer:

“Targeting Jewish capitalists was the anti-capitalism of the Brownshirts. It was what the Nazis and anti-Semitic movements in Europe did.”[15]

This equation with Nazism of criticism of bourgeois like Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, to give two concrete examples, who directly fund politicians on the basis of their support for the genocidal oppression of the Palestinians, is a disgusting apologia for this layer of racist bourgeois. Nazi propaganda in Weimar Germany made out that Jewish capitalists were somehow worse than non-Jewish in their exploitation of the German working class, an assertion that was based on nationalist myth and was flatly untrue. There was no difference in material interest between Jewish and non-Jewish bourgeois vis-à-vis the German working class.

But there is a difference of material interest between Jewish and non-Jewish bourgeois in the US and other imperialist countries in terms of the oppression of the Palestinians. This is due to Israel’s racist Law of Return, which gives all Jews born overseas the right to Israeli citizenship. Since Israel is a bourgeois state, which like all bourgeois states in reality belongs to its bourgeoisie, and an imperialist bourgeois state at that, this gives Jewish bourgeois in the diaspora a material interest in the Israeli bourgeois state.

This fits together perfectly with the ideology of political Zionism, that Jews born abroad are exiles whose real home is the Jewish state.  This racist law was consciously designed for this purpose: to create a layer of the overseas imperialist bourgeoisie that sees Israel, as well as their state of origin, as ‘their’ bourgeois-imperialist state. It has done this very effectively, as more advanced layers of the Jewish left than represented by Greenstein have begun to acknowledge.

Greenstein’s equation of criticism of the pro-Israel Jewish-Zionist bourgeois caste with Nazi agitation against Jewish bourgeois in the Weimar Republic is an attack on Marxism, not anti-Semitism, and similar to the propaganda of the Stalin regime in the 1930s that critics of the anti-Soviet bureaucracy were agents of Hitler. In the 1930s this was done in defence of the Stalinist bureaucratic caste that arose during the degeneration of the first workers state against Marxist criticism.

When gatekeepers like Greenstein, or Gerry Downing’s associate Dov Winter, make such amalgams they are defending the Jewish-Zionist bourgeois caste against criticism from Marxist internationalists. They are thus acting as gatekeepers; political agents of that bourgeois caste, within the workers movement, and their behaviour is a Jewish variant of class collaboration and mutatis mutandis, what Daniel DeLeon said about labour misleaders in general, that they are “labour lieutenants of the capitalist caste”. Such gatekeepers today act as labour lieutenants of the Jewish-Zionist bourgeois caste.

Finkelstein acknowledges reality

Norman Finkelstein

Regarding the social reality of this, we are far from the only left-wing people who have noticed the existence of a distinct, powerful layer of super-rich Jewish bourgeois who promote the interests of Israel and play a crucial role in the oppression of the Palestinians. More advanced sections of the Jewish left than Tony Greenstein have analysed and categorised this to the extent that it could be said that in denying this crucial element of social reality, Greenstein is engaged in a real process of denial of one of the most crucial mechanisms of the oppression of the Palestinians, and thus acting in favour of their oppressors.

For instance Norman Finkelstein, in his August 2018 essay Corbyn Mania, repeated and enhanced the observations that comrade Donovan made about the overrepresentation of Jewish bourgeois in the ruling classes of Western countries as the material basis that allows Zionist campaigns to destroy politicians, such as Jeremy Corbyn, who attempt in some way to stand up for Palestinian rights:

“The three richest Brits are Jewish. Jews comprise only .5 percent of the population but fully 20 percent of the 100 richest Brits.  Relative both to the general population and to other ethno-religious groups, British Jews are in the aggregate disproportionately wealthy, educated, and professionally successful. These data track closely with the picture elsewhere. Jews comprise only 2 percent of the US population but fully 30 percent of the 100 richest Americans, while Jews enjoy the highest household income among religious groups. Jews comprise less than .2 percent of the world’s population but, of the world’s 200 richest people, fully 20 percent are Jewish.”[16]

It is also a fact that Norman when he wrote this article was familiar with our position and appears to have been influenced by us, having been the speaker at the CPGB’s Communist University event in 2016, when a heated exchange took place involving comrade Donovan, Tony Greenstein and others. Finkelstein defended our right to speak when we were shouted down for making similar points and then responded at length on the role of ethnic lobbying and Jewish ethnic chauvinism in American politics, and was himself heckled considerably, including by Tony Greenstein.

Finkelstein goes on to elaborate on the relevance of this for questions related to the Middle East in American and British politics. He links it explicitly to the Israeli campaign against Obama’s Iran deal, and the 30 or so standing ovations Netanyahu received from US lawmakers at a joint session of the US Congress in 2015, and to the witchhunt against supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party:

“The Israel-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute rhapsodizes that ‘The Jewish People today is at a historical zenith of wealth creation’ and ‘has never been as powerful as now.’ It is certainly legitimate to query the amplitude of this political power and whether it has been exaggerated, but it cannot be right to deny (or suppress) critical socioeconomic facts. When virtually every member of the US Congress acts like a broken Jack-in-the-Box, as they give an Israeli head of state, who has barged into the Capitol in brazen and obnoxious defiance of the sitting US president, one standing ovation after another, surely it is fair to ask: What the hell is going on here? Were it not for the outsized power of British Jews, it’s hard to conceive that British society would be interminably chasing after a hobgoblin.”[17]

The ‘hobgoblin’ being the campaign of phoney allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour Party, by Zionists motivated by hatred of the Corbynite left because of their sympathy for the Palestinians.

Finkelstein also echoes the point from our theses about the ‘vanguard’ role of Jewish-Zionist bourgeois under capitalism today. He does so by making this astute observation about the changing social mores of the US bourgeoisie toward their Jewish bourgeois brethren:

“Not only is it no longer a social liability to be Jewish, it even carries social cachet. Whereas it once was a step up for a Jew to marry into a ruling elite family, it now appears to be a step up for the ruling elite to marry into a Jewish family. Isn’t it a straw in the wind that both President Bill Clinton’s pride and joy Chelsea and President Donald Trump’s pride and joy Ivanka married Jews?”[18]

This begs the question: why is it that the social hierarchy among the bourgeoisie appears to have been reversed, so whereas once Jews ‘married up’ into the non-Jewish bourgeoisie, now it is increasingly seen as being the other way round, that non-Jews are ‘marrying up’ into the Jewish bourgeoisie?

This is obviously a result of the enormous shift in the social position of Jews since WWII and the days of the dominance of anti-Semitism. In the days of widespread bourgeois anti-Semitism, even Jewish bourgeois were regarded with suspicion among the wider bourgeoisie as potential subversives due to the vanguard role that many Jewish workers and intellectuals played in the socialist and communist movement. ‘Country club discrimination’ against Jewish bourgeois was rife among wealthy gentiles.

Today we have a different situation. We have seen the rise of political Zionism to dominance among Jews as a right-wing, bourgeois movement, and the important role that prominent Jewish-Zionist bourgeois such as Friedman, Kissinger, Sherman, Joseph, Ayn Rand etc. played in neo-liberalism, which many of the bourgeoisie in general see as the creed that saved capitalism itself. As a result, there has arisen among the bourgeoisie in the Western countries in particular a deference to the Jewish bourgeoisie as a kind of vanguard, a particularly class conscious layer of their own class. A kind of mirror image of the role that Jews such as Marx, Trotsky, Luxemburg once played in the revolutionary working class movement.

This is a huge change in bourgeois class consciousness and explains the huge shift from the situation before WWII where anti-Semitism was used to inflict defeats on the working class movement. Today, bourgeois philo-Semitism and pro-Zionist racism has, as with the case of Labour and Corbyn, been used likewise to inflict defeats on the workers movement, a shift that the most advanced elements of the left have not yet caught up with and theorised properly.

Tony complains that our position amounts to saying that “the ‘Jewish bourgeoisie’ were the guardians of the rest of the capitalist class”. Yet he provides no explanation for this phenomenon, or why opposing ‘left anti-Semitism’ has become the fake ‘anti-racism’ of the bourgeoisie. He says this with horror even though he has been compelled to acknowledge the power of Finkelstein’s points on the gentile bourgeoisie ‘marrying up’. But he flinches from a materialist explanation of the bourgeoisie’s current philo-Semitic cult. 

In this regard Tony Greenstein’s fulminations against our Theses represent not advanced, vanguard working class politics, but political backwardness, communalism, and capitulation to a part of the bourgeoisie whom he and others with similar views identify with politically to a degree. Others on the Jewish left, not only Finkelstein, are both more honest and more in touch with social reality.

Mondoweiss, Jews and the Israel Lobby

Phil Weiss, the Jewish socialist who runs Mondoweiss, which is the most prominent Jewish left-wing socialist blog in the United States, does not mince words when it comes to the role of Jewish bourgeois in promoting the most despicable hard-line racist US policies towards the Palestinians. For instance, he writes scathingly of the role of Sheldon Adelson in promoting Trump:

“For 20 years Sheldon Adelson has been pouring money into Republican politics to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and he has succeeded. Trump has proved to be Adelson’s ‘perfect little puppet’ (to quote the president on Adelson’s former favorite in 2015), giving the casino mogul everything on his wish list, from moving the embassy to Jerusalem to recognizing the Golan annexation to tearing up the Iran deal. ‘A huge check from Sheldon Adelson’ and winning Jewish votes in Florida, is how Thomas Friedman explained Trump’s actions a few weeks ago. Adelson has more power than the Secretary of State, writes Tim Egan of the Times.”[19]

It is worth noting that Gerry Downing, now he has capitulated to Zionism, has denounced Phil Weiss in our internal discussions as a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ theorist for some of his views on these questions. However Tony Greenstein regularly writes articles that are published by Mondoweiss.

Weiss also makes mincemeat of the standard argument made by ‘left’ apologists for Jewish ethnic politics and lobbying that the real strength of the Israel lobby comes from Christian Zionists and Evangelicals, not Jewish bourgeois. This has been a standard argument from Tony Greenstein in the past against our attacks on the Israel lobby as centrally driven by specifically Jewish chauvinism:

“Some say Trump does all this for the evangelical vote. ‘A cynical play for evangelicals,’ and not Jews, David Rothkopf said of the settlements reversal. This may be comforting but it’s not true. If the settlements were such a winner for evangelicals, Trump would have announced the change two weeks earlier, before the Kentucky and Louisiana governor’s elections– when he pulled out all stops to win. Read Trump’s desperate speeches to rallies in those states to try and get Republican candidates to victory. In each speech he mentions Israel/Jerusalem once, in a boilerplate line. Compare it to adoption, abortion, health care, the military — where Trump goes on and on. The fact is that Christian evangelicals don’t really care that much about Israel, as a former Israeli consul in California, pointed out a year ago:

 “’Yes on paper there are 70 million evangelical Christians in America. How many truly are interested in the settlements and this and that? The numbers are not very high. The number of evangelical Christians who are interested in our political conversation is very very small.’”[20]

And Weiss points out the bipartisan nature of this ethnic lobbying, it is not confined to the Republicans and Adelson, but it is a social phenomenon.

 “Let’s be clear, selling out US policy on Israel to donors did not start with Trump and Republicans. Hillary Clinton pandered to pro-Israel contributors in her 2016 campaign. She attacked the boycott movement so as to please Haim Saban and other donors, and promised to take the U.S.-Israel relationship to ‘the next level,’ so as to change the script from the Obama years– when we only gave Israel 3.8 billion a year plus.”


“Sheldon Adelson has plenty of counterparts in the Democratic Party. I was in the audience in Cairo in 2009 when Obama, who had not yet visited Israel, thrillingly declared to the Muslim world that the settlements must end. The president had J Street at his back. Then he and J Street folded under political pressure, including a Netanyahu speech to Congress, defying Obama on settlements, when the multiple standing ovations were ‘bought and paid for by the Israel lobby,’ as Tom Friedman said.

 “So the settlements went on, and Obama broke his word and vetoed an anti-settlements resolution at the U.N. ‘just as the 2012 presidential campaign cycle was cranking up,’ to quote Ben Rhodes.”[21]

And he generalises this from a historical perspective:

“The Israel lobby, pro-Israel influencers, mostly Jewish, have been a factor in our political life since Harry Truman folded on his own opposition to a Jewish state in part because he needed $100,000 from political backers Abe Feinberg and Ed Kaufmann – a huge sum in 1948–for a whistlestop campaign trip through the midwest when his campaign was broke. ‘Democrats had to worry not just about the Jewish vote, but also about fundraising from wealthy Jewish contributors,’ John Judis wrote in his book Genesis.”

 “I bore myself repeating these items. (And God help the reader!) But I have to because most observers accept the antisemitism redlines echoed lately by Bernie Sanders: you are not to speak of an outsize Jewish role in politics. So few write about the Israel lobby, though they know it to be a significant force.”


“Israel lobbyists themselves extol Jewish political power in the U.S. as Israel’s lifeline for money and arms and diplomatic protection. ‘I have no qualms about pointing out that the American Jewish community is almost certainly the most influential minority community in the history of the U.S., and possibly in the history of the world,’ says Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum. ‘American Jews have worked hard to make it so, and have built a network of outward-facing institutions that protect this privileged position.’ While Times opinion editor Bari Weiss warns in her new book that the left wing of the Democratic Party is ‘actively hostile to Jewish power.’ Among progressives, she writes, ‘the very idea of Jewish power must be abjured.’[22]

The ‘outsize’ Jewish role in politics, say both Norman Finkelstein and Phil Weiss, who are among the most advanced and far-sighted elements on the US Jewish left, centred on the ‘outsize’ influence of the wealth of bourgeois Zionist Jews, due to their ‘outsize’ numerical representation relative to the size of the Jewish population itself in the Western countries and particularly the United States. This is fundamentally the same explanation as our own for the power of the Israel lobby: the overrepresentation of Jewish bourgeois with Zionist politics among the Western ruling classes relative to the size of the Jewish populations within those countries. If this is an anti-Semitic thesis then both Norman Finkelstein and Phil Weiss are anti-Semitic. They are certainly in advance of anyone we have so far encountered on the Jewish left in Britain.

Phil Weiss advances a hypothesis on what would have happened if there had not been a powerful Jewish-Zionist bourgeois lobby in Western countries able to powerfully distort the ‘normal’ functioning of these imperialist states:

“This is not just a domestic political question, it’s a foreign policy problem. The Israel lobby is the root cause of the Israel Palestine conflict.

“Consider the two other main causes of the conflict. 1, Israeli settlement/colonialism (or in Zionist terms, the effort to liberate European Jewry from persecution by establishing a Jewish homeland in historical Palestine). 2, Palestinian resistance to 1. Neither of these historical forces would still be a source of serious conflict 71 years after Israel’s establishment were it not for the lobby. Without the blind support of the United States, Israel would have made a deal a long time ago. The country would have followed through on the historic Palestinian concession of 1988 followed by the Arab Peace Initiative of 2001, and accepted partition of the land on highly favorable terms (Israel gets 78 percent). Without U.S. support, Israel would have been internationally isolated and would have grabbed the deal.”[23]

This has certain liberal-reformist implications and perhaps it is a sign that maybe Phil Weiss is not such a radical opponent of Zionism as he appears to be. Such a deal, if it had been consummated, would have resembled the Irish ‘peace process’, or the South African peace deal between the apartheid regime and the African National Congress, that brought to power Nelson Mandela. Both of these represented demobilisations of struggles against oppression and the buying off of those struggles for something that preserved capitalism and has since proved fundamentally rotten.

Such deals are generally in the interest of imperialism and a rational expression of how it seek to demobilise national liberation struggles that pose the question of permanent revolution where such struggles threaten capitalist-imperialist stability. Phil Weiss is correct that the reason why, instead of such a ‘solution’ being brokered, a genocidal policy towards the Palestinians has been adopted by US imperialism, not without its hesitations and vacillations, but clear nevertheless, is because of the Israel lobby, or as revolutionary Marxists call it, the Jewish-Zionist bourgeois caste. Phil Weiss believes that its days are numbered because of the growing disillusionment of younger Jews in the US with Israel and its crimes. This may well be an illusion, because it does not really address the power of capitalist property among a powerful minority of Zionist Jews. It may well be that the Jewish-Zionist lobby proves more durable than Weiss believes.  But that remains to be proven in practical struggle.

Centrism: Anti-Zionist in words, pro-Zionist in Deeds

Greenstein also comes to the defence of Zionism in other ways. He refutes the idea that Zionism is an independent force in world politics by a crude distortion of history, which is easy to expose. He writes that our Theses:

“..argued that what is distinctive about Israel is that unlike other settler colonial states ‘Israel has no ‘mother country’ because it was populated by part of the Jewish population from several countries.’ This is one of GA’s key argument as to why Israel’s character owes nothing to its being a settler colonial state but to the fact that it is a Jewish state. And it is the Jewishness that most interests GA.

It is of course a bogus argument. South Africa’s Boers had no mother country either. Nor did the American colonists once they had rebelled. Palestine had British imperialism as its sponsor.  What distinguishes settler colonialism is not who sponsors it but what the settlers do.  It is the political economy of settler colonialism which matters.  Do the settlers depend on exploitation of the indigenous labour or do they want to exclude it?”[24]

Once again, we see crude denial of reality and history. It is very clear that the original Boer (Dutch) settlers in South Africa had their origin in the Dutch Cape Colony. A simple search on Wikipedia reveals the truth about the origins of the Boers:

“The Cape Colony (Dutch: Kaapkolonie) was a Dutch East India Company colony in Southern Africa, centered on the Cape of Good Hope, whence it derived its name. The original colony and its successive states that the colony was incorporated into occupied much of modern South Africa. Between 1652 and 1691 a Commandment, and between 1691 and 1795 a Governorate of the Dutch East India Company. Jan van Riebeeck established the colony as a re-supply and layover port for vessels of the Dutch East India Company trading with Asia.[2] The Cape came under Dutch rule from 1652 to 1795 and again from 1803 to 1806.[3] Much to the dismay of the shareholders of the Dutch East India Company, who focused primarily on making profits from the Asian trade, the colony rapidly expanded into a settler colony in the years after its founding.”[25]

So far from the Boers not having a ‘mother country’, the Cape was ruled by Holland for approximately 150 years. That is classic colonialism.  Part of the Dutch population, along with some others, such as French Protestant refugees, migrated to take over an African territory. The Anglo-Saxon population of the North American colonies also clearly have their origin as a population mainly from the British ‘mother country’, likewise over a similar period of colonisation of over 150 years prior to the rebellion of the colonists consummated in 1776 and the War of Independence. It is clear however that Israel was different in some considerable ways as the Zionist movement did not originate in the British colonial power that took over Palestine in 1917. The Balfour Declaration, also in 1917, was a unique event in that the British colonial power promised Palestine as a ‘national home’ to a third party movement and population most of whom did not come from the ‘mother country’ at all.

 Even though the Balfour Declaration was addressed to the leading British Rothschild, this was in his capacity as a representative of Zionism as an international movement. This was not a migration of part of the British population to Palestine: the number of British Jews who went there was negligible. And it is well known that the leaders of the Zionist movement sought sponsorship from others, including the German Kaiser, the Russian Tsarist anti-Semite minister Von Phleve, and the Ottoman Sultan, among others, before the British. All these facts are so well known that Tony Greenstein insults the intelligence of his readers in pretending that Zionism was not an independent colonising movement that only sought sponsorship for its own aims, a quid-pro-quo, with other colonial powers.

This is so well-known that even others on the Jewish left who are really no more radical than Tony have been compelled to acknowledge the facts. For instance, Moshe Machover wrote that:

“In the ‘classical’ pattern of exclusionary colonisation, a European power, having invaded and taken possession of a territory, would encourage its own nationals to settle there under its military and political protection. These first settlers would be joined by many others from the mother country as well as from other European countries, and within a relatively short time the indigenous people would not only be dispossessed, but the survivors (if any) numerically overwhelmed and reduced to small, fragmented minorities.

In Palestine things proceeded quite differently. The settlers were not nationals of a mother country in possession of the coveted land; so from the very start the Zionist movement was seeking a surrogate mother – an imperial power that would dominate the region and promote the Zionist project in exchange for services rendered: forming “part of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilisation against barbarism”, as the movement’s founder put it.”[26]

So if Greenstein dictates that anyone who acknowledges historical facts on this question is in some way ‘politically’ anti-Semitic, then rightly he should also be denouncing Machover in the same way.  This petty falsification of history may well be because Greenstein himself, having internalised the absurd idea that a Jewish person can become an ‘anti-Semitic’ ideologue, fears being branded in that way himself, and thus resorts to this kind of petty attempt to obfuscate history to avoid being branded as an outright enemy by the powers that be in the Jewish establishment.

That is also involved in another complaint of his, viz. that:

“Socialist Fight accused the CPGB of having engaged in the ‘indulgence of Jewish sensibilities” as if all Jews have the same sensibilities. It is a statement which could have been taken from an overtly anti-Semitic publication.”[27]

This is incredibly precious. Of course, by ‘Jewish sensibilities’ is meant the sensibilities of the mainstream of Jewish political life. That is exactly what Greenstein is doing in the pandering to the idea that Jews are collectively innocent in his distortion of history just described.

He is denying that Zionism is an independent, predatory colonising force in its own right, which seeks to manoeuvre between the Great Powers for its own ends, and basically absolving the Jewish-Zionists of any crimes of their own. Apparently all their crimes were committed on behalf of some other force, Britain or the US, and they are thus absolved of real historical responsibility.

This is pandering to mainstream Jewish sensibilities, i.e. to Jewish chauvinism, as under capitalism the consciousness of the mainstream of this population, as with many others, is chauvinist and indeed racist, the racism being mainly against Arabs.

And there are more elements of apologia when Greenstein says:

“In Why Marxists must address the Jewish Question concretely today ID wrote that ‘Zionism is a Jewish nationalist-communalist project’ which is not true. It became an ethno-nationalist movement in Palestine/Israel but originally it was a separatist reaction to anti-Semitism. After all Poalei Zion in Russia joined the Bolsheviks.”[28]

The evasiveness and two-faced nature of centrism is clear here. Read it carefully : Greenstein admits that Zionism is, as we say, a ‘Jewish nationalist-communalist movement’. Yet he contradicts that on the basis that ‘originally’ it was merely a ‘separatist’ response to anti-Semitism. Presumably then, ‘originally’ it did not seek to take territory off another people, the aim that more than any other marks out its communalism. But of course it did: the clue is in the name: “Zionism” after Mount Zion in Jerusalem. The fact that a leftist part of Labour Zionism broke with communalism under the impact of the Russian Revolution and joined the Bolsheviks does not for one moment negate the communalist character of the Zionist movement. Once again, we have an apologia.

Greenstein’s anti-Left Witchhunts

Greenstein excuses his support for exclusionism against Socialist Fight on the basis of this anti-communist ‘criticism’ of our ‘left anti-Semitism’ and purports to laugh at the idea that “Marx and Trotsky would have approved” of our politics today. He also complains bitterly against our allegation that the campaign that part of the Jewish left, led by him, waged against the Socialist Workers Party for engaging with and hosting Atzmon from 2005-2010 was a communalist, anti-communist, and anti-left witchhunt. But the facts bear this out: the period in the 2000s was an unusually left-wing period in the SWP’s history. As we pointed out recently:

“Now under Alex Callinicos the SWP have overcome their more left-wing period under the leadership of John Rees and Lindsey German during the Iraq War period, where they blocked with George Galloway in RESPECT, loudly proclaimed their anti-Zionism, hosted Gilad Atzmon at Marxism, and their members occasionally engaged in fisticuffs with the pro-Zionist, pro-imperialist Alliance for Workers Liberty. Now instead under Callinicos the SWP insist on the presence of ‘Friends of Israel’ in their ‘Stand up to Racism’ front group events and strong-arm Palestinian supporters who protest. This is a major move to the right by the SWP.”[29]

It is perfectly clear that the capitulation of the SWP to the campaign waged by Greenstein and his fellow left communalists against their engagement with Atzmon was a key episode in their move to the right from their left-wing bulge in the Iraq war period. In a way the exclusion of Socialist Fight was a smaller-scale version of the witchhunt against the SWP, which was waged by Greenstein in a bloc with Hope Not Hate, the Alliance for Workers Liberty, and all kinds of forces who are distinguished by the fact that in the more recent period they have been part of the witchhunt against the Corbynite left in Labour.

George Galloway, John Rees and Lindsey German in the days of RESPECT

Just as in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Greenstein supported the witchhunt against Palestinian activists who were sympathetic to Atzmon waged by Socialist Action, fake-left opportunist reformists par excellence. The result of this was that Socialist Action consolidated their hold over PSC. Now Greenstein complains bitterly about the pro-Zionist capitulation of the PSC leadership to the likes of Emily Thornberry, of Labour Friends of Israel, and similar enemies of the Palestinian people.

Now as part of their bringing the Labour Party’s Zionist witchhunt into PSC, the Zionist camp-followers of Socialist Action have engineered the expulsion of Ian Donovan and Gerry Downing from PSC. Will Greenstein do anything about this? That is very unlikely. As confronted with a point-blank choice between consistently anti-Zionist revolutionary Trotskyists, and flagrant collaborators with Zionism, he will most likely support the collaborators with Zionism every time.

There are so many examples of Greenstein’s anti-Marxist capitulations, he really does fit in with the definition of centrism put forward by Trotsky referred to earlier. The closest to a formal definition of this is the formula for centrism as ‘revolutionary in words, reformist in deeds’ as used by the early communist movement against such figures as Kautsky. Or as a Trotsky explained in a way that clarifies matters some more:

“Speaking formally and descriptively, centrism is composed of all those trends within the proletariat and on its periphery which are distributed between reformism and Marxism and which most often represent various stages of evolution from reformism to Marxism–and vice versa.”[30]

In Greenstein’s case the earlier formula could perhaps be rendered as ‘militantly anti-Zionist in words, pro-Zionist in deeds’, particularly as consistent opposition to political Zionism and its poisonous influence in the workers movement is become a key touchstone of revolutionary politics today.

Leon Trotsky

Yet Greenstein is one of the most militant elements of the anti-Zionist Jewish left today: he oozes subjective commitment to the struggle against Zionism and racism, and for Palestinian rights. It is his political weakness, his centrist politics, which leads him to actions that completely contradict that when confronted with a consistently anti-Zionist, Marxist position. Faced with that, he sides with the ‘Jewish community’ of all classes every time, and defines it as a ‘progressive’, anti-racist obligation to, as Finkelstein puts it, “to deny (or suppress) critical socioeconomic facts”[31]

To this we counterpose the programme and outlook of the revolutionary Fourth International as expressed in the conclusion of the Transitional Programme of 1938:

To face reality squarely; not to seek the line of least resistance; to call things by their right names; to speak the truth to the masses, no matter how bitter it may be; not to fear obstacles; to be true in little things as in big ones; to base one’s program on the logic of the class struggle; to be bold when the hour for action arrives – these are the rules of the Fourth International.”[32]


[1] See https://tonygreenstein.com/2020/03/socialist-fight-drops-its-support-for-ian-donovans-anti-semitic-theories-about-a-pan-national-jewish-zionist-bourgeoisie-or-does-it/ for the article this is a reply to.

[2] https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1934/02/centrism-tm.htm

[3] ibid

[4] Greenstein op-cit

[5] ibid

[6] ibid

[7] ibid

[8] ibid

[9] See The Wandering Who by Gilad Atzmon, Zero Books 2011.

[10] See quote in ibid

[11] ibid

[12] ibid

[13] ibid

[14] Cited in ibid

[15] ibid

[16] http://normanfinkelstein.com/2018/08/25/finkelstein-on-corbyn-mania/. Note that there are many footnotes even in this passage, which have been removed here to make the quote readable. Following the link back to the original and then examining the footnotes is rewarding, as Finkelstein is a professional academic and footnotes meticulously.

[17] ibid

[18] ibid

[19] https://mondoweiss.net/2019/11/the-root-cause-of-the-conflict-is-the-israel-lobby/

[20] ibid

[21] ibid

[22] ibid

[23] ibid

[24] Greenstein op-cit

[25] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Cape_Colony

[26] https://www.israeli-occupation.org/2016-08-16/moshe-machover-the-decolonisation-of-palestine/

[27] Greenstein op-cit

[28] ibid

[29] https://www.socialistfight.org/uncategorized/trotskyist-faction-takes-on-the-mantle-of-socialist-fight/

[30] https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1932/01/whatnext9.htm

[31] Finkelstein op-cit

[32] https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/tp/tp-text2.htm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *