Use reason, not expulsions, to defeat anti-Semitism in our movement

May 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm (anti-semitism, AWL, labour party, left, Marxism, reactionay "anti-imperialism", reformism, stalinism, trotskyism)

Three more councillors suspended from Labour day before electionsJackie Walker was suspended pending an investigation

We republish below, a new piece by Sean Matgamna, the person who has done more than any other individual to force the question of anti-Semitism onto the agenda of the British left.

As usual with Sean, it’s a balanced and well-reasoned piece that takes full account of the political context in which comments are made, and he is willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.

But I personally think he’s wrong in simply dismissing as unreasonable, concerns about Jackie Walker’s Facebook comments. I can agree that her comments should not have been dealt with by disciplinary action, but they were not unproblematic. As Sean doesn’t quote Walker’s comments, I will:

“As I’m sure you know, millions more Africans were killed in the African holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews …

“Many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. So who are victims and what does it mean? We are victims and perpetrators to some extent through choice”

I would ask, what is the relevance of Jewish slave-traders in the 17th century to anti-semitism today? I genuinely don’t understand what point Jackie was trying to make.

That may be partly because I haven’t seen the whole conversation the comments were part of, but could someone explain what the point was? The only interpretation I can see is that the role of Jews in slavery somehow mitigates anti-semitism today. If that’s not the point, then what was it? I’d be very happy to have it explained.


Mobilise reason to fight anti-Semitism
By Sean Matgamna

Jackie Walker, a woman of mixed African-Jewish background, and vice-chair of the Labour Party’s left-wing group, Momentum, has been suspended by the Labour Party on grounds of anti-semitism. The charge of anti-semitism is based on a fragment of a Facebook conversation from some months ago. Her anti-semitism consisted in the statement that Africa too had experienced a Holocaust.

The Labour Party now has a regime of capricious and arbitrary instant exclusions. This paper and its predecessor Socialist Organiser have argued that anti-semitism in the labour movement needs to be rooted out. But this Red-Queen-in-Alice-in-Wonderland off with their heads regime is not the way to do it.

For decades, from Israel’s June 1967 Six Day War and with renewed energy after the 1973 Yom Kippur Israeli-Egyptian war, hostility to Israel has been a major, and seemingly ever-growing, force in the labour movement and in the Labour Party. Some of that is a just hostility to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But there is more than that. There is often a blatant anti-semitism.

In June 1967 Israel occupied that part of pre-1948 Palestine which the United Nations partition plan of 1947 had designated for an independent Palestinian state, to exist side by side with Israel. That Palestinian territory had been occupied and annexed in 1948-9 by Jordan and Egypt, and a small part of it by Israel. Now all of pre-war Palestine and Gaza was under Israeli control. Various Israeli offers to vacate the newly conquered territories in return for peace and recognition by the Arab states were rejected. Israel’s occupation of that Palestinian land has so far lasted half a century. It has turned Israel into a regional imperialist power (in the sense that Marxists had called the pre-World-War-2 Czechoslovakian, Polish, and Yugoslav states imperialist: they ruled over minority peoples repressed to various degrees by the Poles, Czechs, Serbs).

Israel has been a grubby and brutal imperialist power in its treatment of the Palestinians. As with any other imperialist occupation, Marxists have demanded that the occupying power, Israel, get out of the Arab-majority territories and allow the Palestinians to have their own state there. That there were special problems was not to be denied. In 1967, no Arab state recognised Israel’s existence, or its right to continued existence. Only the PLO and a couple of states, Egypt and Jordan, do so, even today. The PLO before the June 1967 war had been controlled by Egypt and fronted by Ahmad Shukeiri, who proclaimed the PLO’s objective in the slogan: drive the Jews into the sea.

This was altogether too reminiscent of Hitler, then only twenty years dead. Any taint, approximation to, or suggestion of anti-semitism was still held to be unclean politics, far outside what was acceptable to labour-movement people. But with an enormous exception: the Stalinist movements everywhere had spent the years from 1948-9 to 1953 in a scarcely-disguised anti-semitic clamour against “the Zionists” and against Israel.

In Stalinist show trials in Russia’s satellite states in Eastern Europe, such as the Czech Slansky trial of 1952, recently-prominent Stalinists accused of all sorts of treasons were indicted above all as being Zionists. They were jailed, and some hanged. The Stalinist parties everywhere conducted large-scale propaganda against Zionism. It was then that the assertion that the Zionists were tools, and political and moral accomplices, of Hitler and the Nazis, appeared and went into circulation. In the USSR, a projected show trial of Jewish doctors who had attended the leading Stalinists was set in train. It was abandoned when Stalin died in March 1953. Stalin’s successor, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced Stalin in 1956, and his anti-semitism suddenly became a matter of public record. Many Jews left the Communist Parties. Stalinist anti-Zionist anti-semitism was banked down. But not everywhere. Open anti-semitism became a force in Poland as late as 1967-8.

The orthodox Trotskyists, including the Palestinian Trotskyists, declared themselves against both sides in the Israeli war of independence in 1948. The Workers Party in the USA supported Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. Naturally, Trotskyists denounced the Stalinist anti-semitic campaigns of 1948 to 1953. In 1956 and after, its anti-semitism was part of their denunciation of Stalinism. How did those attitudes turn into fervent support for the Arab states against Israel? What were the political processes by way of which much of what had been official Stalinist doctrine in 1948-53, denounced as anti-Semitism by the orthodox Trotskyists, came to be fervently accepted and propagated by them?

The objective basis for it was the fact and the accompanying brutalities of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian-majority territories. Its subjective basis was the peculiar version of anti-imperialism which the Trotskyists adopted from the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950 onwards, an anti-imperialism coloured and sculpted by the belief that in the colonial and semi-colonial world the Stalinists were, by virtue of their militancy against the US and its allies, leading the first stage of an anti-capitalist and essentially working-class world revolution.

Thus the orthodox Trotskyists came to be impassioned defenders and advocates of one of the great imperialist blocs contending for mastery in the world. They made criticisms of Stalinism, but never allowed them to affect the basic commitment to ” defend” the USSR and its spawns and replicas. The same sort of anti-imperialism was brought to bear on the antagonisms between Israel and the Arab states. The anti-colonial movements in the Arab world were construed as part of an”Arab Revolution”, which in turn was part of the “Colonoial Revolution which was part of the world revolution. The Grant tendency (later Militant, and today the Socialist Party and Socialist Appeal) even discovered in 1965 that Ba thist (non-Stalinist) Syria had in thhis historical process become a “deformed workers state”.

Israel, which after 1967, though not before, became closely allied with the USA, was part of the imperialist bloc. The Palestinians and the Arab states, such as Nasserite Egypt, opposing Israel were part of the progressive anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist bloc. And of course the Palestinians facing the superior might of Israel naturally attracted the reflex sympathy and support of socialists.

The Trotskyists shift from their attitude in the 1948 war and after was first a shift to a new denial that Israel was a historically legitimate state. From the end of Arab-Israeli hostilities in 1949, the Trotskyists had taken the existence of Israel as a fact. When in 1956 Israel joined France and Britain in invading Egypt (the Suez crisis), the Trotskyists properly took sides with Egypt, but did not conclude that Israel, the ally of Britain and France, had no right to continue existing. In the grip of a belief that the” Arab Revolution” was or would soon become socialist, Gerry Healy, the leader of the main British orthodox Trotskyist group, published a small pamphlet on the Suez crisis in which, astonishingly, he threatened that if the Israelis did not change to the right side in the world revolution, the side that the Arabs and their colonial revolution were on, they would soon face a bloody holocaust that would make Hitler’s massacres seem “like a tea party! The organisation that could allow Healy to publish such a thing — what could make the murder of six million Jews in Europe seem like a tea party?– was politically sick; but the same organisation, at roughly the same time, could publish a valuable expose of Stalinist anti-semitism.

The shift to a radical opposition to the existence of Israel came by way of widespread acceptance of the post-1969 PLO proposal to replace Israel with a secular democratic state in all of pre-1948 Palestine, in which Jews and Arabs could live as equals. The PLO no longer shouted “Drive the Jews into the sea”, but, with its seemingly benign proposal for Jewish-Arab equality in a common secular democratic state, it was thereby all the more effective in spreading the idea that Israel was not a legitimate state, that it should never have come into existence, and that it should be put out of existence as soon as possible. Any idea that this could ever be done by Israel agreeing to abolish itself as a state and put its citizens at the mercy of its long-time bitter enemies was ludicrous.

And it was an approach unique to the Jewish state: to no other nation state was there such an attitude. In practice the approach could only mean what Shukeiri’s “Drive the Jews into the sea” had meant: conquest of Israel, depriving the Hebrew nation of national rights, and killing as many Israeli Jews as necessary to do that. A combination of hostility to Israel’s continuing occupation of Arab-majority territories and the pseudo-benignity of the secular democratic state proposal made the formula widely acceptable to people who would never accept the same programme — that Israel was not a historically legitimate state and should go out of existence — presented as the “drive the Jews into the sea” that it was and in practice could only be. Thus the idea of Israel’s historical illegitimacy became widely accepted on the left, including the Labour Party left; and then, what followed from it, since Israel was so unreasonable as to refuse to abolish itself: support for any armed Arab (or, latterly, Islamic, i.e. Iranian) action against Israel.

Not just a proper socialist and democratic support for Palestinians attempting to drive out the Israelis from Palestinian majority territories, but support for suicide bombs against Israeli civilians and for the mouthings and actions against Israel of such as Saddam Hussein. Labour MPs held to such views, and not only honest and well-meaning political fools like the late Ron Brown MP. When in 1994 the soft-left Labour MP George Galloway, on camera, addressed Saddam Hussein, praising the butcher’s strength and in Arabic pledging support for the conquest of Jerusalem, the right-wing Labour establishment left it to the Tories and the press to protest. Galloway’s continued membership of the Labour Party was at that point never questioned, other than that Socialist Organiser (forerunner of Solidarity) said that he should be removed as an MP.

And now, under a left-wing leadership, we have a regime in the Labour Party where Jackie Walker, a woman of mixed African-Jewish background, can be summarily suspended for daring to call the long historical martyrdom of Africa, notably the slave trade, a Holocaust equivalent to the Hitlerian massacre of six million Jews. Are such glosses on history now full-blown anti-semitism? Not something maybe to disagree with or question, or denounce, but something incompatible with membership of the Labour Party? The Labour Party that for so long had George Galloway as one of its ornaments?

I repeat: anti-semitism on the left needs to be fought against and destroyed. This paper, and its predecessor Socialist Organiser, have been fighting it within the left and in the labour movement for over three decades. The main fight, however, has to take the form of debate, discussion, political education and re-education. The suspension from the Labour Party of a Ken Livingstone for pretty blatant anti-semitism on the air is just and necessary. The removal of Jackie Walker is preposterous. It is the sort of response in mirror image that the hysterical left in student unions have sometimes employed against those Jews they deem not hostile enough to Israel and thus Zionist and racist.

The Palestinians are oppressed by Israel and therefore are entitled to the support of honest socialists and consistent democrats. Is heated support for the Palestinians from now on to be incompatible with Labour Party membership? Is indignant, or exaggerated, or hysterical denunciation of specific Israeli acts to be branded racist, incompatible with membership in the new Labour Party?

We need to specify what left anti-semitism consists of, in order to debate, educate, and clarify. These, I think, are its main features.

1. The belief that Israel has no right to exist. That is the core of left anti-semitism, though it comes in more than one version and from more than one root, ranging from the skewed anti-imperialism of the orthodox Trotskyists through Arab nationalism to Islamic chauvinism.

2. The belief that Israeli Jewish nationalism, Zionism, is necessarily a form of racism. That this racism can only be expunged if Israel, Zionists, and Jews abandon Israeli nationalism and support of any kind for Israel. That Jews Jewish students, for example can only redeem themselves if they agree that the very existence of Israel is racist.

3. The view that Israel alone is responsible for the conflict with the Arab states (and, now, with Islamic states). The idea that Israel alone is responsible for creating Arab refugees, and is uniquely evil in doing so. In real history about 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out in 1948. In the following years the Jews who fled or were expelled from Arab territories numbered about 600,000. Israel integrated the 600,000; the Arab states mostly refused the Palestinians citizenship or even the right to work.

4. The claim that the Palestinian have a “right of return”, that is, the right to the organised settlement in Israel of six million people, only a tiny and dying-off number of whom were born in what is now Israel, is one of the many codes for in fact demanding the self-abolition of the Jewish state and justifications for war to conquer and abolish it because it will not accept the demand. It is not the equivalent of free immigration to the UK, or even of mass migration to the UK of millions from Syria, Libya, and Africa. Its equivalent for Britain would be the organised settlement in the country of sixty million people. Socialists should be in favour of agreements between Israel and the Palestinians for compensation and for letting individual Palestinians into Israel. Support for a collective right of return is only another form of the demand to conquer and destroy Israel, if it will not surrender.

5. The idea that the forced migration of 700,000 Arabs was a *unique* evil is also extravagantly wrong. In 1945, about 13 million Germans were driven out of Eastern Europe and German East Prussia. They were driven into a Germany reduced to ruins by wartime bombing, where economic life had seized up and millions were starving. At least half a million are reckoned to have lost their lives in that ethnic cleansing. Only obscure German nationalists now propose to reverse that forced population movement and to drive out the Poles and Czechs who live where Germans once lived.

6. There is a peculiar form of Holocaust semi-denial current on the left. I have never heard of anyone on the left who denies that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis (though, in the nature of things, someone will now jump out from behind a bush wearing a “Hitler was Framed” badge, and call me a liar). What many on the left deny is that this unique fact of history had repercussions that we should at least try to understand, with some sympathy for the surviving Jews and their decendents. On the left the Holocaust is not denied, but it is relegated almost to the status of a “virtual fact”. In truth, the Holocaust discredited all Jewish-assimilationist programmes, including ours, the socialist one. It created the will for a Jewish solution to the Jewish question and for the creation of Israel. There is not to be surprised or scandalised in that. The Holocaust should be appreciated as a real fact of history, with repercussions and reverberations, and not as something outside the history we are all part of, as a sort of side-show, as a two-dimensional hologram rather than the enormously weighty, reverborating event it was and continues to be.

7. The idea that there are good peoples entitled to all rights, and bad peoples, entitled to none. That too is something I have never heard anyone voice explicitly. But it is there as an underlying implicit subtext in the idea that we are concerned with national rights only for the presently oppressed, i.e. in this case the Palestinians.

8. There is no one-state solution. Not through, as now, Israeli domination of the whole territory and Palestinians living indefinitely in a limbo of Israeli occupation, nor through a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea” incorporating Israel after its Jewish population have been killed or overpowered by Arab or Islamic states. The only just solution that can serve both Jews and Arabs is two states: a sovereign Palestinian state in contiguous territory, side by side with Israel.


  1. Glasgow Working Class said,

    You cannot reason with fascists and anti semites. The Labour party should expel anyone who uses the party to further their own personal objectives.

  2. Ben said,

    There was no African Holocaust. The slave trade was not a holocaust, since its purpose was to supply healthy strong slaves to work in the plantations of the New World. Over three centuries several millions died as they were transported from Africa to the Americas, but their deaths were not desired or intended.

    The role of Jews in the slave trade was minor. The significant slavers were British, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese Christians, providing slaves to their compatriots in the colonies. Closer to home, the slave trade was an Arab Moslem enterprise, and to this day exists in some of those societies.

    The Israeli “occupation” was and is humane and liberal. During the years 1967-1993 the living standards of Palestine Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza strip increased dramatically. Open borders with Israel gave residents of these territories the opportunity to work in Israel, and travel, shop and enjoy leisure in Israel. Health standards and facilities improved significantly. Institutions of higher education were established where none existed before. Equally important, the restoration of a Jewish presence in that portion of the historic homeland of the Jewish people designated by the Palestine Arab leaders as destined to be Jew-free was pursued by Israel because it is an essential component of any equitable and true peace. To describe this as “grubby imperialism” is a gross assault on the truth and on the English language.

    • Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

      This comment is mistaken, perhaps based on a non-standard definition of the word.

      Sure the death of slaves was not intended (it obviously loses the slave owners money) but it was a well-known consequence – when owners ship slaves in such a manner, they will know approximately X% will die; and the owners will also have calculated ‘it’s not worth our while investing to improve conditions as we won’t cover that extra cost in increased revenues for slaves’.

      Two definitions of holocaust I have found are: “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war – “a nuclear holocaust” and “an event or situation in which many people are killed and many things are destroyed especially by fire.”

      There was an African Holocaust.

  3. Andrew Coates said,

    This article is so clear that you despair at how people deliberately misunderstand the AWL stand, and scream ‘Zionist’ at it.


  4. FalconMalteser said,

    I’m pretty sure that the Jewish responsibility for the slave trade is a full blown lunatic conspiracy theory which Louis Farrakhan helped circulate. I haven’t come across anything sensible exploring this, it seems to be have been pretty roundly debunked.

    So I’m a bit worried that Walker mentioned this, in theory it’s no different from blood libel or Protocols of Zion stuff.

    I think Walker was arguing with someone who was saying we shouldn’t boycott Israel when European anti-Semitism is increasing. Walker was trying to say that she was not anti-Semitic but neither was she Zionist. The other person then pointed out how there are many other countries who need to be condemned far more than Israel, and that we all still owe a terrible debt to the Jews. It was in response to that last comment that Walker tried to argue that because she is both jewish and African she has a special perspective on this, and invoked the African ‘holocaust’ to undermine the impact of the Holocaust. And not only that – she argued that many jews were responsible for the African Holocaust in order to make the same point.

    I’m not massive impressed that in response to her suspension Walker immediately stuck on facebook a version of the Niemoller quote about “first they came for the trade unionists, then they came for the jews… etc”. I can not stress enough how thoroughly sick I am of people on the left invoking Nazi Germany and the holocaust.

  5. FalconMalteser said,

    And I say that as someone on the left who my girlfriend pointed out last night has at least 15 books on Hitler, the Nazis and the Holocaust, not to mention additional related fiction… But I somehow magically manage to avoid referencing these historical events whenever I say something political. It shouldn’t be hard!

  6. FalconMalteser said,

    Being favourable – I suppose her argument is let’s say that Jews were responsible for an African Holocaust. In that instance would all Jews be responsible, now?

    I guess I agree with her that it’s unhelpful to shoehorn in the Holocaust to mitigate criticism of Israel – and someone else did that, not her.

    The problem emerges because the example she uses – and presumably believes – appears to be a bat shit awful conspiracy theory.

    Her additional comment that jews to some degree “choose” victimhood is also potentially rather troubling.

    Trial via social media is a tricky thing, god knows if someone went rooting around my internet history I’m sure they’d find many stupid things.

  7. John Rogan said,

    The big problem, to my mind, is the Jews as “chief financiers” of the slave trade reference. The reaction to Jackie Walker’s suspension by many people testifies to her anti-racist activism and the respect and affection she is held in by many people. This is shown in the statement put out by the LRC on May 4th which quotes from Ms Walker’s statement (including “chief financiers”). No reference, though, is made to any documents or books to substantiate it.

    So, we now have a situation where –

    1. A well respected anti-racist, Jackie Walker, has stated that Jews were the “chief financiers” of the slave trade.

    2. The LRC (chair John McDonnell MP) has issued a statement supporting her and repeating her “chief financiers” quote. In effect, this gives added credibility to it.

    It doesn’t take much imagination to see that the Nation of Islam and others will believe this to be support from the Labour Left for their views on Jews and the slave trade. Expect the LRC statement to be quoted in the future from them.

    Also, if Ms Walker succeeds in her appeal (without withdrawing her remarks), expect David Cameron to ask Jeremy Corbyn at the following PMQs to state whether or not he believes Jews were the chief financiers of the slave trade


    Here’s a comment I left on the Left Futures website in answer to Jon Lansman’s article on the subject of Jackie Walker’s suspension. He had linked to the NOI book but, in his reply to me, said, “I don’t think, as John Rogan suggests, that The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews is Jackie’s reference point”– I know from talking to her that her reference point is her own genealogical research and knowledge of & research into the slave trade”.
    . –

    “Many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade…” – Jackie Walker.

    “Jews have been conclusively linked to the greatest criminal endeavor ever undertaken against an entire race of people … the black African Holocaust. … The effects of this unspeakable tragedy are still being felt among the peoples of the world at this very hour.”

    — The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews (Nation Of Islam book), 1991

    “And I suspect it [JW’s suspension] may have been done without proper consideration of the sensitivities surrounding historical analysis of the slave trade that is every bit as shoddy as Lenni Brenner’s Zionism in the Age of the Dictators…” – Jon Lansman.

    The shoddy historical analysis that Jon Lansman refers and links to is “The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews” quoted above.

    This book set out to show how Jews dominated the Atlantic Slave Trade. Volume 2 (2010) was entitled “How Jews Gained Control of the Black American Economy” with the implication that, as with the slave trade (in their view), Jews are still in a dominant “master” position over blacks.

    Critics of the book used descriptions much stronger than “shoddy”, though.

    For example, Henry Louis Gates Jr. (head of the department of Afro-American studies at Harvard University) said –

    “The book, one of the most sophisticated instances of hate literature yet compiled, was prepared by the historical research department of the Nation of Islam. It charges that the Jews were “key operatives”in the historic crime of slavery, playing an “inordinate” and “disproportionate” role and “carv [ ing ] out for themselves a monumental culpability in slavery — and the black holocaust.”” (New York Times 20/7/1992).

    He also said it was “the Bible of new anti-Semitism” (b).

    Mr Gates pointed out something that readers of the book could check for themselves –

    “They might find out — from the book’s own vaunted authorities — that, for example, of all the African slaves imported into the New World, American Jewish merchants accounted for less than 2 percent, a finding sharply at odds with the Nation’s of Islam’s claim of Jewish “predominance” in this traffic.”(NYT as above)

    More up to date, here is the leader of the NOI Louis Farrakhan speaking about the Shoah –

    “German Jews financed Hitler right here in America…International bankers financed Hitler and poor Jews died while big Jews were at the root of what you call the Holocaust…Little Jews died while big Jews made money. Little Jews [were] being turned into soap while big Jews washed themselves with it. Jews [were] playing violin, Jews [were] playing music, while other Jews [were] marching into the gas chambers.” ( Sermon delivered at Mosque Maryam, Chicago, March 19, 1995)

    So, not only were Jews behind the slave trade but “rich Jews” also financed Hitler according to the NOI. If this is not obscene anti-Semitism at its most poisonous, then I don’t know what is.

    More on the anti-Semitism of the Nation of Islam can be read here (see Southern Poverty Law Center site).

    It is very good that Jon Lansman has pointed to the (possible) reference point for Jackie Walker’s statement that “[m]any Jews were..the chief financiers of the … slave trade”. If that is indeed the case, then the LRC and Momentum have to make a statement as to whether or not they believe this “chief financiers” view of history is also theirs.

    Otherwise, we will have a situation that many people will believe it to be true and it is not.

    • Ben said,

      Louis Farrakhan was refused entry to the UK because of his stated opinions, as described above. The lawyer who agreed to represent him in his legal struggle to overturn the Home Secretary’s decision also agreed to represent several other extremist Islamist supremacist and anti-Jewish agitators who had been denied entry, and was notorious for denigrating other Moslems who denounced such as his clients as “Uncle Toms”.

      This lawyer is none other than the just elected mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

      • Jim Denham said,

        I hold no brief for Sadiq Khan and am quite prepared to believe that in the past he’s made some bad decisions about who he’s shared platforms with, and his “uncle Toms” comment – if true – is shameful. I’m not so sure to what extent he can be condemned for having represented some dodgy characters – that was his job as a lawyer wasn’t it?

        But in any case his outspoken public opposition to anti-Semitism and the good impression he’s made on Jewish leaders in London (no mugs, they, I should think) more than makes up for past mistakes.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Farrakhan is a madman, but should not have been refused entry to the UK because of his beliefs, we do believe in freedom of speech here I hope.
        Khan, as a lawyer, is like a taxi-cab driver, neither has any control of whoever hires them.
        I never did buy into the guilt-by-association argument. Lawyers do not have to share their clients beliefs in order to represent them.

      • Ben said,

        A lawyer who represents his clients in court is just doing his job, but a lawyer who supports his clients’ opinions in public and openly denigrates those who oppose them is more than just doing his job – he is engaging in political advocacy, not legal advocacy. Khan clearly crossed that line on numerous occasions, and did so in a calculated way, garnering goodwill from the most extreme and evil among the Islamist supremacists and their acolytes.

  8. Andrew Coates said,

    One could point out that this is a favourite theme of open-anti-semite ‘comedian’ Dieudonné, who has some popularity as well as notoriety in the French speaking world.


    He has made such outrageous statements that I find it hard to even comment on the ‘issue’.

    February 2004:

    ‘Dirty nigger, the Jews will have your skin,’ I’ve heard this kind of slogans. They are all slave traders turned bankers, [converted to] the show-business and today to terrorist action they show supporting the policies of Ariel Sharon. Those who attack me have founded empires and fortunes on the slave trade and slavery.

    The comment gained Dieudonné his first fine for promoting racial hatred, €5,000.

  9. Glasgow Working Class said,

    I stick by my first comment and would urge the Labour leadership to rid us of the leftie fascists. It may be too late.

  10. Joe in Australia said,

    a sovereign Palestinian state in contiguous territory, side by side with Israel

    That would be a nice trick, considering that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank aren’t contiguous.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Uri Avnery (in a debate with iian Pappe):

      The parameters are well-known, and about them too there is a worldwide agreement.

      One: A Palestinian State will be created, side by side with Israel.

      Two: The border between them will be based on the Green Line [pre-1967 border], possibly with agreed excahnges of territory.

      Three: Jerusalem will be the capital of both states.

      Four: There will be an agreed solution to the refugee problem – meaning that an agreed number will return to Israel, and the others will be absorbed in the Palestinian State or in the present places of habitation while getting generous compensations, for example like what the Germans paid us.

      I am not against asking the refugees. Let us put on the table the solution which will be agreed upon – a detailed, clear solution, so that each of the refugees would know the choices they could make – and ask them. Neither Ilan nor me can speak authoritatively in the name of the refugees. (I did talk with some refugees in Lebanon when I was there, at the time of Sharon’s previous adventure.)

      In my view the great majority of refugees, if you give them the compensations they truly deserve, the great majority would prefer to stay where they are. Because they live there for sixty years already, their sons and dughters got married there, they have opened businesses there.

      I think there will remain a problem of some hundreds of thousands for whom a solution will have to be found, and I am in favor of us being full partners and finding a solution. I also don’t think it would be so difficult. When everything else is solved and only the Refugee Problem is left on the table, the public will agree to a compromise. I think that is a country which already has a million and quarter Arab Palestinian citizens – and I think it is good that there are – some addition will not make a big difference.

      Five: There will be an economic partnership between the two states, in whose framework the Palestinian Government will be able to defend the interests of the Palestinian People, unlike the present situation. The very existence of two states will to some degree diminish the gap in the imbalance between the two sides. This imbalance exists. We can complain about it, we can cry salty tears about it, but this balance exists – and we need to find a solution in the real existing world, not in an imaginary world which we would have liked to come into existence. We have to find a solution in the real world.

      Six: In the longer range, there should be a Middle-Eastern Union on the European model, which might eventually include also Turkey and Iran.

      There are big obstacles. They are real. Real obstacles can be overcome. They are as nothing – I want to emphasize this – they are as nothing compared with the obstacles on the way to a Single State. I would say that it is in the order of one to thousand. Opting for the One State since it is diffcult to gain the Two States is like being unable to beat a lightweigt boxer and therefore choosing to contend with a heavyweight; or failing to run a hundred metres, and therefore shifting to the marathon; or being unable to attain the peak of Mont Blanc, and therefore trying the Everest instead.

      • Stephen Bellamy said,

        There are no obstacles to a single state. There already is one.

      • Ben said,

        Both Avnery and Pappe agree that no Jews should be allowed to live in the Palestine Arab state, and that those living there today should be uprooted. Both Avnery and Pappe agree that Jewish refugees from the Arab countries who fled to Israel following the severe oppression and persecution they were subjected to should not be compensated. Both Avnery and Pappe agree that the Jews should make concessions as if they lost the war, and the Arabs should gain in spite of having been repeated genocidal aggressors. Most obscenely, Avnery suggests that the Arab refugees deserve the same compensation that the Germans paid Israel after WW2; in his moral universe the Arab refugees and the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust are equivalent.

        What Avnery and Pappe are proposing is not just or equitable, but a capitulation by Israel and acceptance of humiliation of the Jewish people. And the Europeans, whose soil is sodden with the blood of murdered Jews, promote their schemes and remind us yet again that their fundamental contempt for Jewish national rights and human rights is still deeply ingrained.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Ben: there is one absolutely crucial difference between them: Avnery defends Israel’s right to exist (behind pre-67 borders); Pappe hopes for the destruction of Israel.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        What? You want another capitalist state and muslim one to boot? Seriously, aren’t there enough of them?

  11. Steven Johnston said,

    Perhaps they could link the two areas along the lines of a Polish corridor?
    But seriously, people need to state whose side they are on? The side of the working class or the Israeli or Palestinian ruling class.
    Can we condemn both religions (indeed all) in this region as anti-working class and a load of nonsense to boot?

  12. glyn harries (@hackneyglyn) said,

    The idea of Jews as chief financiers comes not just from NoI but preceding them, a US fascist Walter White in 1968

  13. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Has the AWL been taken over by liberals now?

    If we we were addressing someone like that 13 year old who made the Rothschild conspiracy banner to take to that Manchester demo there might be some justification for explaining to them why they are wrong and shouldn’t believe every neo-nazi video they find on youtube.

    Same applies to a Naz Shah who unconditionally accepts that she is in error.

    But someone who literally begins sentences with ‘I am not a racist but…’ and demands that we apologise and reinstate them?

    Not amenable to reason.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: