Jew-hatred plays a unique role under capitalism today.
The scapegoating of Jews for consequences of the lawful and deadly workings of the capitalist system is a default setting for the ruling class, just as it was in the period leading up to World War Two.
UK Communist League leader Jonathan Silberman explained this in a May 2016 article:
....Jew hatred is a product of capitalism in decay. Its ultimate purpose is to divert workers from a united militant struggle by promoting the poisonous lie that the problem is not capitalism, but evil Jewish capitalists. And it goes hand in hand with fascism, which proclaims that the solution is not internationalism and workers taking power and replacing the dictatorship of capital through revolutionary struggle, but "national socialism," the polar opposite of the course fought for by communists since the time of Marx and Engels.
As the worldwide capitalist crisis deepens, Jew-hatred will continue to erupt. Class-conscious workers must oppose it everywhere it rears its head.
A feature of Jew-hatred today, unlike the 1930s, is "anti-Zionism." It finds fertile ground not in the traditional home for Jew-hatred, the rightward-moving petty bourgeoisie, but in the left-wing of middle class politics.
"Anti-Zionism" has its roots in the Stalinist regimes that ruled deformed and degenerated workers states in the USSR and Eastern Europe. It was introduced after World War Two to scapegoat and eradicate Stalinists with a Jewish background as these anti-worker police regimes sought to stifle and deflect any motion toward independent working class political action.
After the 1967 war, the USSR and East Germany flooded the Arab world with this left-wing updating of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It flourished among bourgeois nationalist regimes and leaderships, utilized to rationalize exploitation and curbs on democratic rights.
The term Zionism itself ceased to stand for anything other than "Jew" long ago. Zionism as an independent political movement in the world ceased to exist upon its victory in 1948.
The crux of organized "anti-Zionist" Jew-hatred on the left today is BDS [boycott, divestment, sanctions]. It had its birth in the UK in 2002, proposed by academics Steven and Hilary Rose and Mona Baker. In 2003 they began promoting an anti-Israel boycott in UK teachers unions.
Today's anti-Israel boycott recalls the previous Arab League boycott, and of course the German government anti-Jewish boycott of the 1930s.
As The Militant reported last week, BDS
….has growing support in U.S. and European liberal, academic and governmental milieus. BDS supporters seek to make an international pariah of Israel, treating its Jewish population as one reactionary mass and labeling it an "apartheid state." They demand boycotting Israeli goods and shutting down artistic, musical and academic exchanges with Israel.
Stakes and tasks for a working class campaign against Jew-hatred are inseparable from the tasks we shoulder in the fight for workers power.
To continue promote left scapegoating of Jews for economic crisis and imperialist war because of "Jewish bankers," a "neocon conspiracy," or an "Israel lobby" is a mortal threat to any motion toward solidarity and independent working class political action.
What should communists propose today? Several strategies can help draw of sharp line against Jew-hatred in the working class internationally.
· Acknowledge and recognize the state of Israel's right to exist.
· Toilers in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, and elsewhere need to explain and expose Jew-hatred and anti-Israel scapegoating as part of building movements to take on their respective capitalist rulers and other reactionary bourgeois political forces. Capitalist regimes from Cairo to Damascus to Tehran have all used Israel and "Zionism" as a rallying cry to prop up their rule and excuse their abuses, as has Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
· Acknowledge and recognition of a Palestinian state, as it is today, as a stepping stone to fight for a single, viable geographical homeland for the Palestinian people.
As The Militant summed-up last week:
Jew-hatred and anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise in many parts of the world. That's why the right of Israel to exist and of Jews anywhere to live there is even more important today. And such a view is the only road to rebuild a movement capable of winning recognition of a Palestinian state today, opening the door to fight for a contiguous, viable homeland for the Palestinian people.