IHRA fake definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is a modern-day Nuremburg Law
The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party, and removal of the Parliamentary whip, by the grovelling Tory-Zionist stooge Starmer, is an outrage that all socialists and class -conscious workers must condemn. The pretext for this is the publication of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHCR) report into so-called ‘anti-Semitism’ under Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party over the last five years. Of course, we must demand its reversal, and Corbyn’s immediate reinstatement. But it is a predictable outrage, and we would advise the left not to hold its breath waiting for the neoliberal Labour Party bureaucracy to relent. There are several possibilities: from Corbyn’s expulsion, to his capitulation, to a major conflict in Labour that destroys Starmer’s leadership, to a split of part of the left from Labour and the emergence of a new party.
The prolonged smear campaign is simply a stratagem by the enemies of independent working-class politics to hobble the working-class movement. In this regard, given the odious politics of the right-wing of the Labour Party on virtually every question you can name, from Blair’s crimes in Iraq, to anti-immigrant chauvinism, to support for Tory austerity, and reactionary anti-union laws, they hardly have the political authority to pull off something like this by themselves. They are too discredited. So, Zionists had to step in and play the vanguard role as a bourgeois fifth column within the labour movement, providing a threadbare, barely plausible justification for bringing down Corbyn.
The smears lack coherence; the only reason that they have achieved currency is because every media organ from the BBC to the Sun to the Guardian repeats them ad nauseum and any voice that condemns them is excluded from being broadcast or published on the grounds that even to demur from, let alone full-throatedly condemn, the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign, is itself ‘anti-Semitic’ and of course, ‘anti-Semitism’ needs to be banned. So, dissenting voices are banned from the mainstream media.
This is totalitarian politics, similar to the mentality of the worst Stalinists in the late 1930s Moscow Trials, who smeared the leading cadre of the Bolshevik Party as terrorists and collaborators with fascism, and banned all dissent on the grounds that to dissent from the lie was prima facie evidence of fascist and terrorist sympathy in itself. The Nazis lied just as profusely, indeed the technique used by Nazis, Stalinists and Zionists was pioneered by the Nazi Propaganda chief Goebbels in the notorious technique of the Big Lie – it has to be big; it must be repeated incessantly and it will either come to be believed, or people will be so terrified to contradict it that it will be accepted through its power of intimidation alone.
This needs to be challenged, both in terms of labour movement democracy, and ideologically. Zionist totalitarian politics are poisonous to labour movement democracy, and to democratic rights generally. Starting with the aftermath of Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War of conquest and the rise of neo-liberalism in the 1970s, and even more so since the collapse of the USSR as a perceived alternative to capitalist hegemony, and the renewed outbreak of predatory imperialist wars and conquests in the Middle East, Political Zionism has played a vanguard role for imperialist reaction.
This can be defined as the international bourgeois faction in the United States and several allied imperialist countries whose core is a disproportionately powerful layer (relative to the proportion of Jews in the general population) of racist Jewish bourgeois who have citizenship rights under the racist Israeli ‘Law of Return’, and adhere to the Zionist ideology of exile and homecoming, claiming ‘Israel’ from the Palestinian Arabs as their homeland, even as a ‘reserve’ if they don’t actually reside there.
Racist Zionist McCarthyism
Notwithstanding Corbyn’s chronic weakness when confronted with their lying offensive, his numerous retreats and concessions to them, they were never going to be enough as long as he did not declare his support for Zionism ‘without qualification’ as Starmer did before becoming leader. Any Labour leader that professes any support for Palestinian rights in principle will be subjected to the same treatment. Indeed, the Zionist campaign over this began before Corbyn became leader, against Ed Miliband, though it was constrained by the fact that Miliband was even weaker on this than Corbyn, and because the former is Jewish himself.
It is highly likely that Corbyn will win in court if the suspension is challenged there. But as Chris Williamson found in 2019 when his suspension was overturned by a court, the tactic of the neoliberals when such legal setbacks happen is usually simply to manufacture another suspension on another pretext. Williamson’s double suspension was the doing of the Corbyn-supporting former General Secretary Jenny Formby, who was supposed to be part of the left. Whereas Corbyn’s suspension was formally the work of David Evans, Starmer’s appointee, an anti-working-class Blairite thug who has openly said that there is too much democracy in the Labour Party as it is.
In Britain today, the ousting of Corbyn from the leadership of the Labour Party and then his suspension is symbolic of the rise of a form of anti-working class politics just as sinister as the era of McCarthyism in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. While McCarthyism was not actually fascism, as it did not seek outright to crush the mass trade unions in the US that had grown out of the pre-war Great Depression, it sought to emasculate them by destroying their class-conscious elements through sackings and inquisitions organised from above, designed to deprive left-wing working class militants of the possibility even of earning a living through organised blacklists of socialists and communists.
The US working class, relatively quiescent at that point because of the considerable economic boom that was developing, was separated from its most class-conscious militants by this method. The neoliberal bourgeoisie and their vanguard, Zionist right, are trying to achieve something like this in Britain today. However social and economic conditions are considerably different here today from the McCarthy era and if the Labour left and the many tens, even hundreds of thousands of militants who have either been hounded out of the Labour Party, or left it in disgust, were to organise themselves politically to defy this, it could backfire in a big way.
Though it is a forlorn hope for the left to look to Corbyn himself to lead resistance to the new Zionist McCarthyism. This is shown by his response to his own suspension:
“I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me. I’ve made absolutely clear that those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.
It’s also undeniable that a false impression has been created of the number of members accused of antisemitism, as polling shows: that is what has been overstated, not the seriousness of the problem.
I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism. And I urge all members to stay calm and focused – while this problem is resolved amicably, as I believe it will be – to defeat this awful government, which is further impoverishing the poorest in our society.”
This is pathetic. One again, there is not one word in defence of any of the many lifelong anti-racist and socialist militants who have been smeared in the Goebbelsian manner by organised Zionist racists in the Labour Party, while he witters on about how he “believes” that this “problem” will be resolved “amicably”. Corbyn is not so “amicable” towards the anti-racist, anti-Zionist left. Throughout his leadership, when leftists came under attack, he threw them under the bus. This reached its nadir at the 2019 Labour Conference. When an excellent cartoon, depicting the Zionist campaign to destroy him, by the acclaimed pro-Palestinian illustrator Carlos Latuff, was displayed outside, on a banner by Labour Party members, he bizarrely and libellously denounced it as ‘anti-Semitic’ and supported its removal by the police. But he wants to “resolve” things “amicably” with Starmer, who supports Zionism “without qualification” including the mass expulsion and massacres of the Palestinian people.
It is right to condemn the suspension, but this should not translate into any call for the left to seek to rectify the situation in the Labour Party. Corbyn’s capitulation and grovelling to organised Zionist racists in Labour above should illustrate why. That is a forlorn hope, a labour of Sisyphus. The hold of Blairite neoliberals over Labour, its bureaucratic machine, the Parliamentary Labour Party, its forces in local government, and much of the local apparatus around the country, is overwhelming and that was not overcome or really dented much by Corbyn’s five-year spell as leader, or even the hundreds of thousands of members who joined to support Corbyn. The rise of Corbyn to the leadership was the result of a tactical miscalculation by the right wing that is very unlikely to be repeated, and it is pointless to bank on anything like this happening again.
IHRA Pseudo-Definition: A Totalitarian Set of Amalgams
The EHRC of course was fully on side with the right-wing and Zionist campaign to enforce the fake, Zionist-inspired and racist, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ on the Labour Party. This definition, especially its accompanying ‘examples’, sanctions the dispossession of the Palestinian people in the 1948 Nakba by defining the view that Israel is a ‘racist endeavour’ as ‘anti-Semitic’.
There is a degree of sophistry in this ‘example’ that implicitly recognises how appalling that is, by using the formulation that defining “a state of Israel”, not “the state of Israel” as a “racist endeavour” is “anti-Semitic, leading some to disingenuously try to argue that it is the idea of Israel that is being protected from criticism, not the existing state. But that is absurd deception: no one believes for a single moment that this example is talking about some other state of Israel in a parallel universe where its foundation did not dispossess another people. In practice the Zionists in Labour treat criticism of Israel as a racist state as ‘anti-Semitism”, and thus it is that to speak out against the racism of Israel and its supporters is to court expulsion from the Labour Party. Since gaining the Labour leadership, Starmer has massively accelerated expulsions of supporters of the Palestinians.
The IHRA definition is thus an anti-Arab rule, that defines the Palestinian Arab victims of Zionism as inferior people with inferior rights. Various other ‘examples’ of ‘anti-Semitism’ accompanying the definition make the same point, e.g. “Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” This is really a joke, since Israel is not a ‘democratic country” even formally, as three quarters of its indigenous Arab population were violently expelled from the country within living memory; they and their descendants are the legitimate majority in that territory. If Israel adhered to basic democratic norms it would not be ‘Israel’ at all, but Palestine, an Arab country with an Arab majority.
Then there is “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” But Israel has a racist law, the Law of Return, that gives every person born Jewish anywhere in the world, the right to Israeli citizenship, while denying that right to non-Jews, i.e. Palestinian Arabs, who were born there, and those born to these victims since the crime.
Israeli law says that all Jews have an interest in Israel, on a racist basis. Thus, it is not unreasonable to question Jews, who have what the Zionists themselves call ‘birthright’ in Israel, whether they support this racist privilege, or not. Of course, it is also reasonable to suppose that a great many anti-racist Jewish people would regard such racist laws with abhorrence. But then comes the example of “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel”. It would obviously be unreasonable to hold anti-racist Jewish people who reject this atrocity responsible for Israel’s actions. But what of those who do not reject it? They do bear responsibility for it, just as white people who supported white supremacist South Africa on racist grounds bore responsibility for the actions of that state.
And then there is “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”. But one policy of the Nazis that was notorious was the Nuremburg laws, which deprived Jews born and raised in Germany of Germany citizenship on grounds that they were Jewish. Israel has deprived millions of those expelled in 1948, and their descendants, of citizenship of the land it now occupies, because they are not Jewish. This is equally racist.
The set of ‘examples’ that accompany the IHRA ‘definition’, and is really essential to it, is a series of amalgams, that attempt, not particularly subtly, to equate criticism of Zionist racism with the politics of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Its main target is the pro-Palestinian left. But in passing, before it gets on to the main meal, so to speak, it has an obvious swipe at Muslims: “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion“ is a sign of ‘anti-Semitism’ it seems.
But of course, this does not mention the ethnic cleansing and forcible taking away of a people’s home country, justified by a claim of ownership based on the idea of “the Bible as a title deed”: a claim to land based on largely mythologised stories in a holy book much of which supposedly refers to events several thousands of years ago. It would be singularly appropriate to describe political Zionism as “calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Arabs in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.“ Some might observe such behaviour tends to create its own complement or nemesis. But the IHRA definition amalgamates that nemesis with the Nazis, in passing.
And there is the crowning point of the amalgam. Attacking the Zionist project as a “racist endeavour” is placed alongside “Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” and “Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.”
So, to say that Zionism is a racist endeavour is to put yourself alongside “National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II”. That is the real message that comes across from this list of putative “examples”.
In fact, the example of “Accusing … Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust” treads on very dangerous territory for the Zionists. For while it is difficult to exaggerate something of the magnitude of the Nazi holocaust, the deliberate genocide of several million Jewish people by the devotees of a paranoid, inhuman and racist ideology generated by capitalist imperialism at a particular phase of its evolution, nevertheless the fact is that the Zionist movement has exploited the genocide for political gain in its own racist campaign against supporters of the Palestinians.
Zionism and Anti-Semitism: Twin Brethren
That is a key part of the totalitarian structure of the IHRA definition, and it is a prime specimen of the genre. In the first few decades after the Second World War, only neo-Nazis denied the Nazi genocide occurred, and their reasons for doing so were transparent and odious. That is no longer true today, because for decades the Zionists have exploited it to justify their own crimes. Because of that, a considerable number of those disgusted by these ongoing crimes, quite comprehensibly, at the very least are open to the suspicion that the obvious use of the genocide to justify todays crimes means that the event itself is questionable.
This is an example of the self-incriminating slander, a variation of the self-fulfilling prophesy. For if anything is responsible for the growth of suspicions about the truth of the Shoah it is the Zionist exploitation of it to justify their own crimes. The IHRA pseudo-definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is a prime example of this. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that the IHRA pseudo-definition is itself an incitement to anti-Semitism.
We hope it does not succeed in that incitement, but it would fit in perfectly with the history of Zionism, in collaborating with genuine anti-Semites from the Tsarist minister Vyachelav Von Phleve, one of the key figures who inspired the anti-Semitic forgery and propaganda caricature of Zionism, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, whose purpose was a hate campaign against Jews in general. In August 1903 the founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl, met with Von Phleve in St Petersburg, to discuss “the establishment of Zionist societies in Russia” and to propose “a Russian government request to the Turks to obtain a charter for Jewish colonisation of Palestine.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyacheslav_von_Plehve)
This was 30 years or so before the Zionists sought a similar deal with the Nazis, titled the Haavara Agreement, in August 1933 when in a financial deal to hand over emigrant property to the Nazi regime, the Zionists secured the emigration of around 60,000 German Jews to Palestine between 1933 and 1939. This agreement broke the boycott by leftist and (at that time) non-Zionist bourgeois Jewish organisations against the Third Reich.
This Zionist campaign, and the IHRA pseudo-definition, are not directed against anti-Semitism at all. It is purely and simply a campaign against socialism using Goebbels’ Big Lie. If the left really were anti-Semitic, the Zionists would embrace them, as anti-Semitism is useful to the Zionist project. As the founder of Zionism, Theordore Herzl, stated in his Diaries:
“In Paris, as I have said, I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognized the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism.”https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/mideast/toi/chap3-11.html , The Other Israel
And in their scheming of the founder of Zionism anti-Semitism is seen to be positively helpful:
“It would be an excellent idea to call in respectable, accredited anti-Semites as liquidators of property. To the people they would vouch for the fact that we do not wish to bring about the impoverishment of the countries that we leave. At first they must not be given large fees for this; otherwise we shall spoil our instruments and make them despicable as ‘stooges of the Jews.’ Later their fees will increase, and in the end we shall have only Gentile officials in the countries from which we have emigrated. The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.”https://www.truetorahjews.org/herzl, True Torah Jews, authenticated Herzl quote from Herzl diaries
The whole point of this Zionist affinity for anti-Semites is that the latter are seen as useful tools to coerce and stampede Jews into taking part in the Zionist project. The founder of Israel, David Ben Gurion, made it very clear that in his view saving Jews from anti-Semitic persecution, and even murder, where it was an immediate threat as in the Third Reich, was not their particular concern. Sending colonists to Israel was the main objective even if many Jews died, who might otherwise have been saved, to achieve this:
“if the Jews are faced with a choice between the refugee problem and rescuing Jews from concentration camps on the one hand, and aid for the national museum in Palestine on the other, the Jewish sense of pity will prevail and our people’s entire strength will be directed at aid for the refugees in the various countries. Zionism will vanish from the agenda and indeed not only world public opinion in England and America but also from Jewish public opinion. We are risking Zionism’s very existence if we allow the refugee problem to be separated from the Palestine problem.”The Other Israel, op cit
And Ben Gurion drew the conclusion from this that:
“If I knew it was possible to save all the children in Germany by taking them to England, and only half of the children by taking them to Eretz Israel, I would choose the second solution. For we must take into account not only the lives of these children but also the history of the people of Israel.”Biography of Ben-Gurion by Shabtai Teveth, pp. 855-56, cited at https://www.truetorahjews.org/bengurion
So, in the face of real anti-Semitic persecution, Zionists not only ‘pardoned’ anti-Semitism and thought it ‘empty’ and ‘futile’ to combat it but considered anti-Semites their “most dependable friends”. In that vein they actively sought out deals and collaboration with Tsarist anti-Semitic persecutors and genocidal Nazis alike. The then-future founding Prime Minister of Israel actually said that he would prefer half of the children of his own people to die in an imminent genocide, than for all of them to escape to somewhere other than the Palestine he planned to seize by force from the Palestinian Arab people!
The “Anti-Semitism” Canard and Bourgeois Class Interest
Today, unlike in the circumstances before WWII, anti-Semitism is a rightly discredited and foul creed, discredited above all by the crimes of the Nazis. Real anti-Semitism is a fringe belief and hardly much of a threat to most Jews. The status of Jews in Western society was massively transformed after WWII from the pre-war situation where Jews were regarded as a semi-pariah population, where even the proportionately large layer of bourgeois Jews were excluded from the social circles of the bourgeoisie, or ‘country club discrimination’, to the situation described by Norman Finkelstein in his 2018 essay Corbyn Mania:
“Were popular stereotypes plotted along a spectrum from benign to malignant, most anti-Semitic ones would fall near the benign end whereas those of truly oppressed minorities would cluster at the opposite end. Yes, Jews must endure the reputation of being stingy, pushy, and clannish—but Muslims are profiled as terrorists and misogynists, Blacks are despised as chronically lazy and genetically stupid, and Roma/Sinti are loathed as dirty beggars and thieves. Nor do Jews suffer the losses attending actual victimhood. How many Jews qua Jews have been refused a job or flat? How many Jews have been shot dead by police or railroaded into jail? Whereas being Black or Muslim closes doors, being Jewish opens them. If whites occupying seats of power discriminate in favor of other whites, and men occupying seats of power discriminate in favor of other men, it would be surprising if largely successful Jews didn’t discriminate in favor of other Jews. 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?”http://normanfinkelstein.com/2018/08/25/finkelstein-on-corbyn-mania/
But though anti-Semitism is today a marginal and obsolete form of racist ideology, the Zionists pretend it is still rampant, as it is very useful for their own racist project. If they can somehow convince Jewish people that they are in some way at risk from slavering Jew-hating leftists, then that suits their agenda. Never mind that the idea of left-wing anti-Semitism, or any other kind of ‘left-wing’ racism, is an oxymoron. Anyone who harbours racist animosity towards any people, no matter how left-wing they flatter themselves to be, on that question is politically on the right.
However, the creation, by smoke and mirrors, of the belief that there is an ‘anti-Semitic’ threat from the left to Jewish people is an essential lie to Zionists. For two reasons: to try to find some kind of justification to themselves and others for the non-stop atrocities Israel commits against the Palestinians with their support. And two, to create a ‘circle the wagons’ mentality among those Jews they do influence, a fear of criticism and engagement, again to cement their domination over Jews because of fear of a supposedly anti-Semitic ‘other’.
What needs explaining is why this effort in deception gets such widespread bourgeois support. Why the entire bourgeois media, from the right wing Tory media such as the Sun and Daily Telegraph, to the Guardian and Independent, to the BBC and other publicly owned media who are formally under some kind of legal obligation to be impartial, join in promoting the fairy-tale that left-wing support for Palestinian rights and opposition to the racism of Zionist Jews against them is driven by racial antagonism to Jewish people.
There is only one explanation that is logically coherent. It is to be found in our Draft Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialism from 2014, which explains the extraordinary influence of Zionist politics in Western countries, to the point that representatives of virtually every single bourgeois party pay tribute to Israeli ‘democracy’, in the following way:
“There is a common ethnocentric project between the ruling class of Israel and the various hegemonic pro-Israel bourgeois Jewish organisations in a number of imperialist countries, centrally the United States. This pan-imperialist Zionist bloc within the bourgeoisie plays an active role in the oppression of the Palestinians. This bourgeois current, which extends from the ruling class of Israel to penetrate deeply into the US ruling class (and to a lesser extent the ruling classes of several European imperialist countries also) has some of the attributes of a national bourgeois formation without a single territory exclusive to itself.
“It is therefore both a powerful imperialist formation, and deeply unstable. In this epoch of declining capitalism, it plays the role of a kind of ‘vanguard of the bourgeoisie’ – not quite the mirror-image of Marxism but with aspirations along those lines. It has been instrumental in pushing the nationally limited imperialist bourgeoisies to partially transcend their own national particularisms. Hence the ‘traditional’ imperialist bourgeoisie, based on the nation-state, having overcome their previous fear of the supposedly proletarian-internationalist role of the Jews as a result of the outcome of WWII, now regards Jewish ‘cosmopolitanism’ and bourgeois semi-internationalism as a good thing, and to a considerable degree defers and follows the leadership of the Jewish/Zionist bourgeoisie.
“But this is unstable, and depends for its coherence on the maintenance of Israel as a Jewish state. Without that ethnocentric entity in the Middle East, the Jewish layers in the ruling classes in the imperialist countries would have no focus to unite them; their ‘internationalism’ (in reality tribalism) would collapse, and the Jewish bourgeoisie would simply over time disappear through assimilation into the national ruling classes of the imperialist countries. This bourgeois caricature of internationalism would collapse.
“Hence the rabid support of Israel by the bourgeois Jewish-ethnocentric fractions in the imperialist countries, their ability to maintain broader bourgeois support, and the failure of more seemingly rational voices in the ruling class to prevail over them. This represents a kind of bourgeois class instinct as to its interests against the proletariat, giving it additional political weapons against the genuinely internationalist aspirations of the working class movement. Unfortunately, due to inadequate political leadership, the left has until now failed to correctly deal with this problem.”https://www.socialistfight.org/draft-theses-on-the-jews-and-modern-imperialism-sept-2014/
Therefore, the wider bourgeois support for the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear against the left for criticising Zionist racism is not arbitrary, it is driven by class instinct and class interest. Hence the phenomenon of attacks on the democratic rights of critics of Israel which is becoming a serious danger in all the advanced Western capitalist countries. It seems incredible that laws, legal judgements and political pronouncements are now commonplace forbidding a fairly distant, racist state from being criticised for its racism, equating such anti-racist criticism itself with racism, and demanding punishments from fines, sackings or even possibly imprisonment for such critics, in the West that frequently trumpets its supposed respect for ‘human rights’. But that is the reality of ruling class policy today. And the EHCR report on the Labour Party reflects that ruling class policy.
EHRC Report: Bourgeois Smears and Threats to the Right To Criticise Racism
In the detail of the EHRC report, there lie the germs of serious attacks on democratic rights that have implications beyond the Labour Party, serious sophistry that itself amounts to a rationale for attacks on the democratic rights of critics of Zionist racism. These are manifested in the two cases that the report does provide some commentary on, the cases of Ken Livingstone, who requires no introduction, and Pam Bromley, a councillor from Rossendale in Lancashire.
What is particularly egregious and dangerous to democratic rights is that the EHCR says that comments made by Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley, that they were disciplined for in the Labour Party, are not protected by the article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression. They say this in the context of condemning the Labour Party since, supposedly, as a member of the Labour Party NEC (in the case of Ken Livingstone at the time) and a Labour Councillor (as was Pam Bromley at the time) they acted as ‘agents’ of the Labour Party. That of course is the Labour Party’s business.
But the attacks on these individuals, who are no longer members of the Labour Party, having resigned (in the case of Ken Livingstone) and been expelled (in the case of Pam Bromley) are a threat to democratic rights outside the framework of the Labour Party. Regarding Ken Livingstone, the report states that:
“The comments made by Naz Shah [which Ken Livingstone defended in TV interviews after she too was accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ and confessed, showing political weakness] went beyond legitimate criticism of the Israeli government, and are not protected by Article 10. Neither is Ken Livingstone’s support for those comments, or his suggestion that scrutiny of them was part of a smear campaign by the ‘Israel lobby’.”(p108)
Regarding Pam Bromley, the EHRC report says:
“Some of Pam Bromley’s posts suggested that complaints about antisemitism in the Labour Party had been fabricated. We recognise Pam Bromley’s right, under Article 10 of the ECHR, to express opinions about her own experience of the presence or scale of antisemitism in the Labour Party, within the bounds of the law, as we explain in Chapter 3. However, her posts go beyond this by repeatedly saying that allegations of antisemitism were fabricated.
“Some of Pam Bromley’s social media posts suggested that Jewish people were engaged in a conspiracy for control of the Labour Party, which we consider to be an antisemitic trope (for example, the reference to a ‘fifth column’).”
“The Labour Party received a number of complaints about Pam Bromley’s conduct on social media. Labour Party members told us that her conduct, including the Facebook posts above, contributed to a hostile environment in the Labour Party for Jewish and non-Jewish members.”
“We therefore consider that the posts had the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for members, and prospective members, of the Labour Party, particularly those who were Jewish.”(p110-111)
Again, the report says that Pam Bromley had ‘gone beyond’ what is permitted in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. This again has implications beyond the Labour Party. Because if these views are not protected by Human Rights law inside the Labour Party, then logically they are not protected by Human Rights law in British society as a whole. This is clearly an abuse of Human Rights law by the EHCR itself; if nailed down it is a license for state or public authorities to violate the democratic rights of anyone who holds similar views in wider society.
Let us look at the wording of article 10. It reads:
“1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
“2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”
This is a bourgeois document, obviously, and a number of the qualifications of it are in reality protection of the ruling class against the masses, for instance “national security” or “territorial integrity” which can be used to justify crimes and violations committed by the state, such as the persecution of Julian Assange for revealing state crimes (‘national security’), or the elected government of Catalonia, which tried to lead that nation to democratically secede from Spain after a referendum (that is ‘territorial integrity’).
But notwithstanding the anti-democratic nature of those qualifications, none of them apply here. Other qualifications, such as “the prevention of disorder or crime” are clearly irrelevant, as is “the protection of health or morals” which might relate to the enforcement of quarantine measures in the current pandemic, or the prosecution of those producing child sex videos. “The protection of the reputation or rights of others” refers to defamation of character, or laws against those advocating racial discrimination or inciting racial hatred. This is not involved here, or at least the report does not allege that the criminal laws on this are breached by these views – if it did this would be grounds for criminal prosecution. Nor is this covered by “preventing the disclosure of information disclosed in confidence” (data protection law, basically) or “maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary” (which is about contempt of court and similar things).
So despite the EHCR’s statement that these political views, publicly stated at the time, are not covered by Article 10 of the European Convention, none of the caveats or exceptions in Article 10 bear any resemblance to the views of Ken Livingstone or Pam Bromley, stated at the time.
The EHCR report, which claims these views are beyond the pale in terms of Article 10, does not quote from Article 10 and concretely demonstrate which of these caveats the views of Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley, as expressed at the time, run afoul of. Because any literate person can see that they do not conflict with any of them. Indeed, nowhere in the report, neither in the text itself or in the footnotes, is the full wording of Article 10 reproduced. The reasons are obvious: sleight of hand. Article 10 is partially reproduced in footnote 6 on page 26, which elaborates on the statement that “speech that is within the scope of the right to freedom of expression in Article 10 may still be restricted, or sanctioned, where it is proportionate to do”:
“6. It may be proportionate to do so pursuant to Article 10(2), which provides that the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 may ‘since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, … for the protection of the … rights of others’.”
The list of derogations is conspicuously missing here since none of the views they are trying to proscribe even remotely fit them.
The report seeks to elide around this by roping in Article 17, which states the following:
“Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the Convention.”
The EHRC attempts to enlist this to justify the following:
“However, the ECHR does not protect racist speech that negates its fundamental values. The European Court of Human Rights has held that speech that is incompatible with the values guaranteed by the ECHR, notably tolerance, social peace and non-discrimination, is removed from the protection of Article 10 because of Article 17.4. This may include antisemitic speech and Holocaust denial.”(p26)
They go on to quote various cases in Europe where individuals have been prosecuted under laws prohibiting ‘Holocaust Denial’ which the European Court of Human Rights have failed to overturn, and then claim that these have some relevance to the views of comrades Livingstone and Bromley:
“Furthermore, speech that is within the scope of the right to freedom of expression in Article 10 may still be restricted, or sanctioned, where it is proportionate to do so. In the case of harassment, conduct may be regarded as unlawful, and action taken on it, where this is proportionate to protect the rights of others not to have their dignity violated or to be exposed to an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.”(p26)
And this is the basis of the EHRC’s claim that the views of Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley were in some way unlawful, that their expression constituted ‘harassment’ supposedly of Jews on the grounds of ethnic origin in and around the Labour Party, and that the Labour Party was responsible for the alleged consequences of their views being expressed as they were its ‘agents’.
These views are laid out as follows regarding Ken Livingstone:
“In April 2016, while he was a member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), Ken Livingstone made statements about antisemitic social media posts by Naz Shah MP, which we explain below.
“Naz Shah’s social media posts included an image suggesting that Israel should be relocated to the United States, with the comment ‘problem solved’, and a post in which she appeared to liken Israeli policies to those of Hitler. Naz Shah apologised for her comments in Parliament on 27 April 2016.
“In media interviews between 28 and 30 April 2016, Ken Livingstone denied that these posts were antisemitic. He sought to minimise their offensive nature by stating that they were merely criticism of Israeli policy at a time of conflict with the Palestinians. He also alleged that scrutiny of Naz Shah’s conduct was part of an apparent smear campaign by ‘the Israel lobby’ to stigmatise critics of Israel as antisemitic, as well as being aimed at undermining and disrupting the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn MP.”(p105)
And that’s it! What the report mysteriously does not mention is that Livingstone was also denounced, rabidly, as ‘anti-Semitic’, for talking extensively about the issue of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. This was one of the charges against him when he was initially suspended in 2016 and in his re-suspension when he reiterated his views shortly before the end of his initial suspension and it was effectively extended for another year. So, this is a rather odd ‘blank space’ in the report. The reason for this may be that the authors of the report were afraid of overreaching themselves if they characterised references to this historical event, as in some way unlawful. They would be treading into the same territory as Nazi genocide deniers, as the Zionists’ dealings with the Nazis are very well documented.
Regarding Pam Bromley, we have the following litany of supposedly ‘anti-Semitic’ utterances on social media:
“‘Some time back I got hammered for posting an anti-Rothschild meme. However here they are again. We must remember that the Rothschilds are a powerful financial family (like the Medicis) and represent capitalism and big business – even if the Nazis DID use the activities of the Rothschilds in their anti semitic [sic] propaganda. We must not obscure the truth with the need to be tactful’ (post, 8 April 2018).
• ‘A huge sigh of relief echoes around Facebook’ (comment accompanying a shared BBC News story with the headline ‘Israeli spacecraft crashes on Moon’, 12 April 2019).
‘This is what’s behind all the false accusations of antisemitism. This is what, despite international condemnation, Israel does to its neighbour Palestine … All hidden behind a fog of fake accusations of antisemitism’ (comment alongside a post about injuries in Gaza, 12 April 2019).
• ‘Looks like fake accusations of AS [antisemitism] to undermine Labour just aren’t working, so let’s have Chris Williamson reinstated’ (post, 20 April 2019).
• ‘Are you losing the argument? Or is it that you have nothing of value to add? Why not call your opponent an… anti-semite! This will make you feel like you have won the argument and you wont [sic] need to provide any evidence’ (post, 15 May 2019).
• ‘My major criticism of him – his failure to repel the fake accusations of antisemitism in the LP [Labour Party] – may not be repeated as the accusations may probably now magically disappear, now capitalism has got what it wanted’ (post, 15 December 2019).
• ‘Had Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party pulled up the drawbridge and nipped the bogus AS accusations in the bud in the first place we would not be where we are now and the fifth column in the LP would not have managed to get such a foothold … the Lobby has miscalculated … The witch hunt has created brand new fightback networks … The Lobby will then melt back into its own cesspit’ (post, date unknown).(p108-9)
The problem with this is that none of the above can be demonstrated to involve hostility, or any advocacy of discrimination, against Jewish people, at all. Proof exists, in The Lobby, an 2017 undercover journalistic investigation by Al Jazeera Television, that pro-Israel elements in the Labour Party conspired with an Israeli state agent, Shia Masot, to undermine Corbyn’s leadership by making false allegations of anti-Semitism against party members. They were filmed doing it. Masot and leading figures in Labour’s pro-Israel factions were filmed laughing and joking about £1 million of funding made available to them by the Israeli state for that purpose.
In this context, the allegation that Pam Bromley’s remark about a ‘fifth column’ in Labour “suggested that Jewish people were engaged in a conspiracy for control of the Labour Party” is simply a smear, as they referred to specific political trends composed of both Jews and others involved in undermining Corbyn, not Jews in general. All the remarks above about fake accusations of anti-Semitism are fully justified against those people, a mixture of Jews and non-Jews. None of them are directed against Jews in general. There is nothing anti-Semitic about a joke about a failure in Israel’s space programme, self-evidently, since the writer considers that state persecutes Palestinians. Even the link to the article she shared, which does contain material from a dubious, conspiratorial source about the Rothschilds, is qualified by her own commentary where she compares the Rothschilds to another example in history of a powerful banking dynasty, the Medicis, who were not Jewish. She is not therefore attacking them for being Jewish, whatever she may or may not think of their behaviour, either historically or contemporarily.
This statement therefore also contains a smear:
“One of the social media posts used an obviously antisemitic trope, namely that Jewish people control the world’s financial system. In her response to this investigation, Pam Bromley said that she was making general criticisms about capitalism and a legitimate political argument. In our view, this post goes beyond legitimate comment, referring to antisemitic Nazi propaganda.(p110)
Mentioning ‘anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda’ while making an argument cannot by any normal logic be said to equate with agreeing with it. Pam Bromley’s argument was clearly that despite the Nazis making use of their activities for propaganda purposes to condemn all Jews, It is still legitimate to criticise this dynasty for what she evidently believes are their activities in support of capitalism and the racist state of Israel. To imply therefore that she was supportive of ‘Nazi propaganda’ is another deliberate smear.
The icing on the cake of this is when the EHRC says of Ken Livingstone “Furthermore, the Labour Party accepts, in its representations to the investigation, that he was acting as its agent in the specific circumstances identified”. In Pam Bromley’s case, since she is not a nationally known figure, they could not reasonably even say that.
But given the smears, self-serving omissions, and dishonesty about the above from the EHRC, its allegation that the sum total of these views, expressed legitimately by these two Labour Party leftists, constituted ‘harassment’, is also a smear. It contradicts itself blatantly when it writes first of all that “We find that Pam Bromley’s comments were unwanted conduct related to Jewish ethnicity, which, whether viewed individually or together with other relevant acts of Labour Party agents, had the effect of harassing Labour Party members” (p110) and then follows that up with “ Labour Party members told us that her conduct, including the Facebook posts above, contributed to a hostile environment in the Labour Party for Jewish and non-Jewish members” (p111).
So what was this ‘hostile environment’ Pam Bromley is alleged to have contributed to, “together with other relevant acts of Labour Party agents” (i.e. Ken Livingstone, the only other named) “related to Jewish ethnicity”, or did it contribute “to a hostile environment in the Labour Party for Jewish and non-Jewish members”? Was it based on ethnic discrimination, or not?
This contradiction in the text is simply explained by the fact that the hostility they expressed was to supporters of the racist state of Israel, both Jews and non-Jews. It was hostility to Zionist racism, not hostility to Jews. That the Labour Party ‘concedes’ this in the case of nationally known figure Ken Livingstone simply reflects the views of its leader, Keir Starmer, who has publicly stated that he supports Zionism ‘without qualification’. Its of a piece with his conduct over the libel case by Zionist so-called ‘whistleblowers’, including those directly involved with smearing Corbyn in the notorious BBC Panorama programme fronted by Muslim-baiting ‘journalist’ John Ware, where Starmer conceded and paid damages in a case that Corbyn had earlier had solid legal advice advice that Labour would win, for reasons that Corbyn himself said were politically motivated.
Fight and Deconstruct the Smears, Don’t Grovel Before the Smearers!
There have been some unfortunate and misguided attempts to defend Jeremy Corbyn against Starmer’s suspension by evoking passages in the EHCR report that appear to chime in with what he says, such as where it says:
“Article 10 will protect Labour Party members who, for example, make legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government, or express their opinions on internal Party matters, such as the scale of antisemitism within the Party, based on their own experience and within the law. It does not protect criticism of Israel that is anti-semitic.(p27)
And about Pam Bromley it says:
“We recognise Pam Bromley’s right, under Article 10 of the ECHR, to express opinions about her own experience of the presence or scale of antisemitism in the Labour Party, within the bounds of the law, as we explain in Chapter 3. However, her posts go beyond this by repeatedly saying that allegations of antisemitism were fabricated.”(p110)
But as pointed out earlier, accusations of anti-Semitism were fabricated by pro-Israel elements in the Labour Party in concert with an Israeli state agent, Shia Masot. When his activities were exposed, Masot was recalled to Israel because of the diplomatic storm the affair provoked. This is proof that accusations were fabricated in the Labour Party in a systematic manner.
So when Corbynites plead that Corbyn was only speaking from his experience about the scale of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party being inflated, and accuse Starmer of ignoring that even the EHCR report sanctioned the kind of difference Corbyn raised, they are legitimising this fraudulent report and allowing themselves to be gaslighted by the smear merchants who authored the report, who claim the right to say what is allowed and what is not allowed on the basis of … no objective criteria or proof whatsoever.
The statement by the EHCR that Article 10 “does not protect criticism of Israel that is anti-semitic” is totally dishonest, since they claim that saying things that can be proven to be true, on film, is ‘anti-Semitic’. For the EHCR, proven facts can be anti-Semitic. So presumably, in order not to be ‘anti-Semitic’, it is necessary to tell lies. This is another example of the totalitarian aspect of Zionist politics intruding into the politics of the labour movement. If facts are ‘anti-Semitic’, and citing those facts is also ‘anti-Semitic’ then we are getting into the realm of Newspeak from George Orwell’s 1984: ‘Truth is lies, war is peace’, etc.
The EHRC says that ‘criticism of Israel that is anti-Semitic’ is forbidden. But they do not define anti-Semitism. They do say of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism:
“The IHRA definition is not legally binding. To identify any unlawful acts by the Labour Party we need to apply the definitions contained in the Equality Act 2010. This is the approach that we have taken throughout this investigation. We do not comment on the IHRA definition for other purposes.”(p116)
The problem that they have is that the Equality Act 2010 contains nothing to determine whether any kind of criticism of Israel, a foreign state, is ‘anti-Semitic’ or not. How could it? It is not about criticism of foreign states. It is about matters connected with equality and discrimination affecting people who live in the United Kingdom, where the legislation applies.
So, in aiming to determine that criticism of Israel is ‘anti-Semitic’ or not, the EHRC are in practice working with the kind of material in the IHRA’s examples, which have already been analysed earlier.
Instead they say “We note the approach of the Home Affairs Select Committee, namely that it is not antisemitic to hold the Israeli government to the same standards as other liberal democracies, to criticise the Israeli government, or to take a particular interest in the Israeli government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent.” (p116)
Well we also note the statement that Israel is a ‘liberal democracy’ which is not the experience of the Palestinian people that are its indigenous population. It is an ethnocracy that suppresses them. This is part of the IHRA definition. It is to be noted that there is no definition of anti-Semitism in the Equality Act 2010, which however defines ‘race’ as including “(a) colour, (b) nationality, (c) ethnic or national origins.”. Which is totally useless in deciding whether criticism of Israel is ‘anti-Semitic’ or not.
However, the Oxford Dictionary defines anti-Semitism as “Hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people.” Mirriam Webster defines it as “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.” These definitions, unlike the IHRA Definition which explicitly says it is not legally binding, do have force of law. There is nothing in refusing to lie that Israel is a ‘liberal democracy’ or any of the other lies, amalgams and smears that litter both the IHRA pseudo-definition, and the EHRC report, that remotely fit those definitions. Which is evidently why they are not even mentioned in the report.
So, when the EHRC conclude that
“We are satisfied that the unwanted conduct we identify … meets the definition of harassment without reference to the IHRA definition and examples. But we are also satisfied that it would meet the IHRA definition and its examples of antisemitism.”(p116)
they are in fact engaging in sophistry and in practice using at least elements of the IHRA examples as the basis for their smear. They do not mention the definitions in authoritative dictionaries, they point to a putative definition in the Equality Act that does not exist. What they are actually doing is subliminally, by stealth, smuggling in the same approach as in the IHRA pseudo-definition, to brand critics of Zionism and its racism as ant-Semitic, and again by stealth, seeking to put those critics and their views outside the protection of Freedom of Expression protections as codified in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. This is an attack on the labour movement, on the anti-racist movement for Palestinian rights, and on democratic rights more generally.
Threats to Democratic Rights
This is serious, because the EHCR is a state body that purports to define what is permissible for the whole of society, not just about the Labour Party. It is possible that sophistry of this kind could be used to build the basis for anti-democratic state repression against the left, for instance against a left-wing party that rejected the capitulations of Labour, including under Jeremy Corbyn, to Zionist racism, and which campaigned openly as a militant anti-racist and therefore anti-Zionist Party.
This is not at all far-fetched, as is shown by a variety of repressive measures against left-wing critics of Zionist racism passed, or proposed, by a variety Western bourgeois legislative bodies. For instance, even the ‘respectable’ bourgeois Human Rights Watch reports that in the United States:
“Twenty-seven states have adopted laws or policies that penalize businesses, organizations, or individuals that engage in or call for boycotts against Israel. The laws or policies in 17 of those states explicitly target not only companies that refuse to do business in or with Israel, but also those that refuse to do business in Israeli settlements. Some states whose laws do not explicitly apply to settlements have also penalized companies that cut settlement ties.”https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/23/us-states-use-anti-boycott-laws-punish-responsible-businesses
Then you have the US State Department, led by Mike Pompeo, who are proposing to label such tame NGOs as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Oxfam as ‘anti-Semitic’ simply for criticizing Israeli abuses.
Similar things have happened in France, with Macron’s sponsorship of a motion passed by the French parliament last year that says that:
“Criticising the very existence of Israel as a collective composed of Jewish citizens is tantamount to hatred towards the Jewish community as a whole; just like collectively holding Jews accountable for the policies of the Israeli authorities is an expression of antisemitism”https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/12/4/france-adopts-resolution-equating-anti-zionism-with-antisemitism
Germany has adopted similar positions.
Another manifestation of this in Britain today is the very difficult legal action being undertaken by the expelled Labour Party Jewish socialist Tony Greenstein, who was smeared as a ‘notorious anti-Semite’ by the so-called ‘Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’ (CAA), a virulent Zionist body that aggressively targets opponents of Israeli racism with smears. The CAA is a registered charity that blatantly breaks the rules and extensively campaigned to smear Labour Party members during the entire period of Corbyn’s leadership and since. Rather than campaigning against anti-Semitism, in reality its political activity is a continual hate campaign against those who support the Palestinian Arab struggle against ethnic cleansing, to the extent that a correct name for the CAA would be ‘Campaign Against Arabs’. In In the recent hearing of Greenstein’s case, the CAA successfully applied to have Greenstein’s case struck out not on the grounds that their statement that Greenstein is a ‘notorious anti-Semite’ is true, but rather that it is their ‘honest opinion’. The judge agreed; it was struck out, and Greenstein has been landed with exorbitant legal costs.
This is how state racism and racism in the legal system has evolved. Israel is a state created though the expulsion of three quarters of the indigenous Arab population of ‘its’ territory, a monstrous act of racism that renders its claim to be any kind of ‘democracy’ a sick joke. Yet a ‘definition’ of ‘anti-Semitism’ is propagated throughout Western society that states that it is obligatory to treat Israel no differently from any other ‘liberal democracy’. And yet those who oppose this racism can be smeared as ‘anti-Semites’, even though the authors of these smears do not even dare to claim that these abusive insults are actually true, with the blessing of racist judges and the ruling class as a whole
This is grotesque racist abuse against the victims of Zionism, it is similar to the ‘Dredd Scott’ judgement in a court in the United States shortly before the mid-19th Century US Civil War, when a judge ruled that black people had “No rights that the white man is bound to respect”. That is state racism, and all this paraphernalia: the IHRA pseudo-definition, the EHCR report smearing Labour Party members, the corrupt judiciary that brazenly allows racist fake charities like the CAA to lie about anti-racists with the audacity of Goebbels, without even pretending that their statements are true, all this amounts to treating the Arab victims of Zionism as effectively sub-human, to justify Israel’s genocidal crimes, criticism of which the Zionists and their supporters among the wider bourgeoisie aim to criminalise throughout the West.
Zionism: A Far Right Trend That Instrumentalises the Old Far Right
Yet another example of this concerns the role of far right, overtly racist forces in Western societies. As long as they are pro-Zionist, they are allowed to run riot, or at least treated with kid gloves. There is scarcely a far-right party in the West that does not pay obeisance to Israel. In Britain you saw the odd spectacle of the Labour Party being upbraided for so-called ‘anti-Semitism’ by the likes of Nigel Farage, whose entire political career has been built on inciting racism and xenophobia. In the print media we saw similar denunciations of ‘anti-Semitism’ from racist human garbage like Richard Littlejohn, who has long raved hatred at immigrants and rejoiced at every sadistic abuse of asylum-seekers from New Labour and Tory governments alike.
This kind of thing parallels Trump’s denunciation of the left-wing layer of minority and Muslim/Palestinian Congressional ‘Squad’ Democrats, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, as ‘anti-Semitic’, for vocally opposing some Israeli crimes. Some of Trump’s cohorts, like Stephen Miller, are Jewish and overtly pro-Zionist, both Jewish supremacist and white supremacist. Steve Bannon, who was the publisher of the alt-right portal Breitbart, which played a major role in Trump’s rise to the Presidency in 2016, described himself as a ‘proud Zionist’. Indeed the founder of Breitbart, Andrew Breitbart, was himself both Jewish and a fervent Zionist. Richard Spencer, another white supremacist and basically neo-Nazi, who is also part of the alt-right and was close to the Trump regime particularly at the beginning, describes himself as a ‘white Zionist’, and while he displays some classic old-style anti-Semitic views about Jews supposedly undermining white America, he was reported by Haaretz in 2017 as saying:
“In an August 2010 article called ‘An Alliance with the Jews,’ published on his Radix Journal website, Spencer argued that Israel could become an ally of white nationalists in the United States. He wrote that in the face of the threat of nuclear weapons in countries hostile to Israel, there would be ‘hard-liners’ in Israel who would prefer to see the extreme right in the White House.https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/richard-spencer-to-israelis-i-m-a-white-zionist-respect-me-1.5443480
Thus far right trends that were historically anti-Semitic, or even ones that still echo this kind of verbiage, are tolerated as long as they are pro-Zionist. You can see this in Hungary, where the far right populist regime of Victor Orban is one of the few such governments that still indulges in hostile rhetoric against a Jewish bourgeois, George Soros, who for all his sins is not exactly a fervent Zionist. In 2019, at the European Elections Orban was supported by Yair Netanyahu, son of the Israeli PM, who wished him ‘good luck’, calling his party “true friends of Israel and the Jewish people”. Meanwhile in the Ukraine, Ukrainian state forces, who include open Neo-Nazis such as the Azov Batallion, are armed and funded by Israel. These forces look to Stepan Bandera, whose forces were overtly anti-Semitic nationalists, and committed atrocities against Jews, Poles and Gypsies while fighting alongside the Nazi invaders of the USSR during WWII. But they are just fine for the Israelis to arm, as they are fighting against Russia, and no doubt their historical dislike of Jews does not preclude them from admiring Israel’s single minded, overt racism.
In Greece, however, the overtly anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi Golden Dawn movement has been violently suppressed by the bourgeoisie, eight of its leaders jailed for in excess of 13 years for involvement in murders. Similar murders have happened in Ukraine, indeed the Nazi forces there carried out a massacre of trade unionists in Odessa in 2014, which never deterred NATO powers from supporting them or the Israelis from funding them. The difference is that Golden Dawn eschewed relations with Israel. Indeed, its propaganda at one point involved broadcasting film of the burning of Israeli and US flags. So, they were stamped out with the utmost ruthlessness, not for being Nazis or similar to Nazis, or even for being killers, but for being overtly hostile to Zionism.
We shed no tears for Golden Dawn, though such suppression by a bourgeois state does set a precedent that the left should be wary of. A genuine working-class government would treat the likes of Golden Dawn even more harshly – putting them in front of a firing squad would be a fine remedy! But the same is true of the Zionists’ many far right friends and supporters. More to the point is that the Zionists attitude to far-right groups, even overtly Nazi ones that are politically very similar to the movement that massacred millions of Jews in Europe during WWII, is purely instrumental. If they play ball and collaborate with Israel, they are indulged, helped, funded, even armed to the teeth, by Zionists with full support from the wider bourgeoisie. If they are mavericks who take their adherence to Nazism to the point of contempt for the Zionists, then, and only then, are they crushed in blood. This is because in essence, political Zionism is itself a far right, racist movement that makes use of a wide variety of collaborators but will not brook competition.
The statement in the IHRA pseudo-definition that its amalgams and anathemas are ‘legally non-binding’ is a temporary tactic. Already various social media platforms are either volunteering themselves, or being coerced, to remove ‘anti-Semitic’ ‘hate speech’ based on the IHRA pseudo-definition. The direction of motion is toward the gradual whittling away of the ‘legally non-binding’ caveat in favour of more and more blatant criminalization of anti-racist criticism of Israel’s crimes. The end product of this that the Zionists have in mind is a new version of Hitler’s Nuremburg Laws, this time directed against Palestinian Arabs and anyone who dares to defend them and condemn their ongoing persecution and ethnic cleansing; the ongoing Nakba that began in 1948 and still continues.
So, the labour movement needs to learn to see political Zionism from all angles, as a movement as dangerous to us, in its own way, as neo-Nazis are. We need to prepare a counter-offensive, to defend our democratic rights, to ensure that supporters of this racist movement are excluded rigorously from new working-class formations set up to regroup after their wrecking activities, and to drive them out of the traditional organisations of the labour movement.