Jewish and Palestinian workers unity in Israel today bodes well for future struggles

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Workers World Party Jew-hatred on the rise as capitalist crisis deepens

Any discussion of the nation-state law narrowly approved by the Israeli Knesset must begin with reading the law, not the commentaries on it. Final text here.




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The U.S. Workers World Party, a staunch supporter of the BDS movement and all forms of armed and unarmed action against Israel (both in Israel and worldwide), posted a comment on the new law shorty after passage. Titled "Israeli 'nation state' legislation parallels Nazi Nuremberg Laws," it was written by Susan Abulhawa.

Workers World's policy is to use any object at hand to beat the Jews. It is part of their unprincipled rainbow of political "whateverism," which includes calling for votes for Democrats, supporting the capitalist regimes of Tehran, Moscow, Caracas, and Managua, and a host of other opportunist activities.

In the last few years they have praised as progressive and correct the "knife intifada" and Hamas' cynical use of Gaza's workers and farmers as cannon fodder in confrontations staged with the IDF.

Abulhawa's article chimes nicely with this editorial policy.

I posted the article on Facebook this week.


A very knowledgeable comrade read it and noted:

"Among other idiocies, article claims there are antimiscegenation laws in Israel. There aren't, and the new law doesn't change that. Yes, there is no civil marriage, only religious marriage, something shared with many Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Syria, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Libya, Mauritania, as well as in Indonesia, Iran, and Lebanon (as per Wikipedia). This has been a problem for Jews themselves (men deemed to be of the Cohen priestly class cannot marry divorcees or widows, for example, and there's the issue of childless widows unable to remarry unless their late husband's unmarried brother releases them from the obligation to marry him). But couples married in other countries (many go to Cyprus for that) do have their marriage officially recognized."

(It is useful to recall a news item from a few years ago about a Muslim-Jewish couple that  got married. She had to convert to Islam, which was easier than him converting to Judaism. There were threats by ultranationalist Jewish groups to disrupt the wedding. Rivlin, the Israeli president, condemned the bigots, congratulated the couple and invited them to his house.)

(The wiki on marriage laws is here. I cite it to counterbalance the typically shrieking hysteria that taints any left/radical discussion about Israel.)




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Abulhawa, judging from her article, is not the typical Jew-hating petty-bourgeois Stalinist to whom Workers World newspaper opens its pages. She seems completely free of any acquaintance with Marxism and proletarian politics.

She does have a passion for historically inaccurate (to be kind) equations of Israel and Jews today with Nazis, as does Workers World. (Talk about intersectionality!)


There is nothing WWP likes better than a little Holocaust inversion to get the blood pumping: few capitalist states in the Middle East meet with their disapproval, and only one is exceptionally Hunnish enough to warrant Nazi/Hitler comparisons. (Hint: it's the state filled with Jews and founded two years after the end of the Holocaust.)

Today's slow-burning crisis of capitalism and increasing boss attacks around the world are already generating an uptick in Jew-hatred. Unlike the 1930s, today's Jew-hatred is spearheaded by the middle class left and uses terms like "Zionist" instead of "bloodsucker" or "Rothschild." This makes it more socially acceptable for leftist and radical chums to rationalize pogromist politics (and later pogromist practice.)

UK Communist League leader Jonathan Silberman noted one of the immediate consequences of the kind of Jew-hating politics promoted by Workers World and Abulhawa:

Anti-Semitism under the pretext of support to the Palestinian struggle undermines the Palestinian fight for national rights, including the fight for a viable and contiguous Palestine.

Silberman went on to note:

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.  




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Whatever law the capitalist ruling class of Israel passes and attempts to enforce will have to face the judgment, strength, solidarity and mobilization of the multinational Israeli working class.

Whatever advances Palestinians make toward their own nation will ultimately be based on the same proletarian class forces, not the current bourgeois misleaderships with which they are saddled, and which only succeed today in getting them pointlessly killed.

I'll leave the broader summation of these questions to a 2017 article by Emma Johnson and John Studer:

.... The key question here is the Jewish question, the right of Israel to exist as a homeland for Jews, and the right to return to Israel for Jews everywhere in a world where Jew-hatred is on the rise. As the crisis of capitalism and the class struggle deepen, history teaches, the capitalists lose confidence that "normal" methods will defend their rule, and they turn to fascist terror against the working class. Key to this is fanning Jew-hatred and pogroms to divert the toilers from fighting for power.

The need for a refuge for the Jews was etched in the consciousness of workers around the world during the second imperialist world slaughter when the Nazis marched across Europe, annihilating 6 million Jews — two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. The capitalist rulers in Washington and across Europe closed their borders to Jews who tried to flee the Holocaust.

Out of this catastrophe Israel was established. The world Jewish population has still not reached its prewar level. In 1939 there were almost 17 million Jews worldwide, largely in Europe. Today the number is just over 14 million.

"Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms," Fidel Castro, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, said of the Jewish people in 2010. "I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation."

The fight between Israeli authorities and the lame-duck Obama administration takes place as political alliances among capitalist regimes in the Middle East are undergoing tectonic shifts. Tehran has increased its military presence and political influence from Afghanistan to Lebanon. Shiite and Sunni-led regimes are lining up against each other. As Washington's influence declines, Moscow attempts to move in.

Israel is a Mideast nation. Today Tel Aviv is forced to take another look at who are its allies and its enemies. While most governments in the Mideast do not recognize Israel, many Sunni-led regimes, including Saudi Arabia and Jordan, are looking to work with Tel Aviv, sharing common interests in blocking Tehran.

Last year the Israeli government resumed diplomatic relations with Turkey after a six-year freeze following a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish ship delivering aid to Gaza.

Tel Aviv is warming up to Moscow and looking to closer relations with the incoming U.S. administration of Donald Trump.

Jew-hatred on the rise

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.

The U.N. resolution encourages the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, which 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.

But Israel today bears no resemblance to apartheid South Africa, and the position of Jews there and worldwide has no comparison to the murderous Boer overlords who ruled Pretoria before Nelson Mandela.

Hamas and Palestinian Authority leaders welcomed the U.N. resolution and Kerry's speech. This is in line with the course they have followed for decades, including using terror attacks to try to get the attention of Washington and other imperialist powers to pressure Tel Aviv. This course relies on turning the Palestinian masses into passive bystanders.

To defend Jews both in Israel and worldwide, and the only road that can open the door to mobilizing Palestinian workers and farmers to fight for their rights, requires recognition of the state of Israel.





Jay
28 July 2018




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Postscript: Workers World Party, the story thus far:


Workers World Party silent on Sarcelles synagogue attack


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Workers world party endorses knife attacks against Jews in Israel as royal road to Palestinian liberation


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From anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism: Workers World Party and the political degeneration of Caleb Maupin


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Caleb Maupin's synthesis of Jew-hatred and anti-communism


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Workers World Party opportunist whateverism and the LGBT milieu


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Sam Marcy's "utter contempt for the working people of Poland"


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Workers World Party: Workers who voted for Trump have "crossed the line"


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Workers World Party: tailist whateverism


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Workers World Party: If you voted for Trump, you are no smarter than a third grader


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