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Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Semitism

As French National Populist Rassemblement Takes Projected Lead in European Polls Anti-Semitism Scandal Emerges.

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Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Guillaume Pradoura"

Marine Le Pen’s Party  likes a laugh…

The Rassemblement National (RN) stands at 23,5% in polls for the European elections, just ahead of Macron’s list, for En marche at 22,5% (Européennes : un nouveau sondage donne le Rassemblement national devant En Marche ) In another poll more than a third of French people are reported to  have a “good opinion” of the far-right party (Plus d’un tiers des Français ont une bonne opinion du Rassemblement National).

This morning on Europe 1 Gilets Jaunes were interviewed on how they would vote.One said for Marine Le Pen’s party, the other would cast his ballot for La France insoumise.Meanwhile this  scandal around the picture of a Rassemblement National aide disguised in “funny” dress as a Rabbi has been hitting the French media headlines.
This is the background from Konbini news.C’est un nom inconnu du grand public. Et pourtant, Guillaume Pradoura est bien connu de la délégation du Rassemblement national (ex-Front national) au Parlement européen. Par son curriculum vitae d’abord. Actuellement assistant de l’eurodéputé Nicolas Bay, en 7e place sur la liste RN aux élections européennes, il a été un temps colistier de Marion Maréchal-Le Pen aux élections régionales de 2015.

He is unknown to the general public. And yet, Guillaume Pradoura is well known to the Parliamentary group of the Rassemblement national (RN) (former Front National) in the European Parliament. By his CV to begin with. He is currently assistant to the MEP Nicolas Bay, in 7th place on the list RN in the European elections. He was on the same election list as Marion Maréchal-Le Pen in the 2015 regional elections.

Guillaume Pradoura s’est d’abord fait un nom au sein de la mouvance identitaire avant de rejoindre le parti de Marine Le Pen. Un engagement qui lui permit de nouer de solides relations avec différents groupes nationalistes et néonazis européens. Au point de faire jouer son réseau pour aider un jeune Français proche du Ku Klux Klan à échapper aux forces de l’ordre, avait révélé Mediapart en 2016. L’assistant de Nicolas Bay avait alors expliqué au site d’information avoir “voulu l’aider, dans une sorte de réflexe paternaliste”.

Guillaume Pradoura first made a name for himself within the identitarian movement before joining the party of Marine Le Pen.  This was an engagement that allowed him to build strong relationships with different nationalist and neo-Nazi European groups. To the point of using his network to help a young Frenchman close to the Ku Klux Klan to escape the police, as Mediapart revealed in 2016. The assistant of Nicolas Bay had then tried to explain this by saying that he ” wanted to help, in a kind of paternalistic reflex’ .

He is now suspended from membership of the Rassemblement national.

RN : l’assistant de Nicolas Bay suspendu après s’être “déguisé” en juif sur une photo

The Rassemblement national (RN) announced Friday the suspension of Parliamentary Assistant to the European Parliament, RN Nicolas Bay after the broadcast of a photograph depicting him “disguised” as a Jew.

On this snapshot posted on social networks by MEP Sophie Montel, former activist of the National Front, Guillaume Pradoura is wearing a rabbi hat lined with curls. He grimaces in front of the lens, his hands twisted.

“Guillaume Pradoura is immediately suspended from the National Gathering and summoned before the conflict commission for the purpose of exclusion”, wrote Friday on his Twitter account the mayor of Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais) and vice-president of the RN, Steeve Briois.

At the beginning of the day on Radio Classique, Nicolas Bay had played down the importance of this “very old photo, which dates from 2012 or 2013” and spoke of “bad taste”.

This picture was initially defended by his boss,

“It was a dressing up, a simple bad taste joke  in a private setting” , said the former Vice President of the Front National Nicolas Bay,

Aide to far-right French politician pictured wearing Orthodox Jewish costume

Times of Israel.

Guillaume Pradoura, an aide to National Assembly leader Nicolas Bay, posing in 2013 while wearing an Orthodox Jew costume. (screenshot news.konbini.com via JTA)

JTA — An assistant of the general-secretary of France’s foremost far-right party was photographed grimacing while dressed as an Orthodox Jew and extending claw-like fingers at the camera.

Labeled by the French media as an “anti-Semitic caricature,” the image from 2013 of Guillaume Pradoura, which surfaced in social networks this week, exposed the National Rally – formerly National Front – to fresh criticism of anti-Semitism in its ranks.

Pradoura is the assistant of Nicolas Bay, ranked number 7 on the list for this month’s European Parliament elections by the National Rally under Marine Le Pen.

Bay dismissed criticism over the picture, saying that “it was a disguise, a mere joke made in bad taste made privately,” Kobini, a news site, reported Thursday.

Far-right candidate of the National Rally party Nicolas Bay, speaks during a media conference for the upcoming European elections next month in Strasbourg, eastern France, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party’s founder and father of it’s current leader, Marine Le Pen, has multiple convictions for denying the Holocaust and inciting racial hatred against Jews. His daughter has kicked him out of the party and vowed to stop expressions of anti-Semitism in its ranks.

 

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Labour Against the Witch-hunt Faces New Crisis over “member’s support for Holocaust denier.”

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The “procedure that Peter faced has been wholly unfair..” Tony Greenstein.  January 2019

Last November in the Weekly Worker, a leading force in Labour Against the Witch-hunt,  ‘Carla Robert’ of Labour Party Marxists wrote,

Similarly ridiculous is the case of Edinburgh Labour Party member Peter Gregson, who is currently “under investigation”. We will not be surprised if Gregson is also either told to undergo the JLM’s pro-Zionism training and/or referred to the NCC.

Anti-Zionism and self-censorship

By no coincidence whatsoever Labour Against the Witch-hunt publicly declared,

LAW Statement: Lift suspension of Peter Gregson from GMB, stop investigation

Labour Against the Witchhunt calls on Labour’s NEC to reject the allegations of anti-Semitism against Peter Gregson, condemns his suspension by the GMB trade union and calls for the immediate restoration of his full membership rights.

But, spotters of LAW’s tortured inner workings will have noticed at the time,

Although Peter’s petition is a good idea, challenging Labour’s NEC to revoke its adoption of the IHRA definition, we cannot support it. Firstly, we disagree with some of its wording – eg, before it adopted the full IHRA definition on September 4, Labour did not allow “full freedom of speech on Israel”. On the contrary, the witch-hunt was in full flow long before that. Secondly, some of the formulations in Peter’s supporting documents internalise the racism of Zionist ideology, failing to distinguish clearly between the Zionist movement and the Jewish population, and attributing a non-existent collective political identity to “the Jews”, eg, “the Jews have so much leverage here [in the UK]”.

LAW leading light Tony Greenstein wrote in January,

Although Labour Against the Witchhunt didn’t support Peter’s petition because of problems with its wording we recognise that it represents a significant opposition in the Labour Party to the attempt to curtail if not abolish freedom of speech.

Of course the corrupt and racist GMB has never had freedom of speech. The regional barons ruled without opposition. The union exists primarily for the benefit of its highly paid officials not its membership. However even Roache and co. will have difficulty defending this particularly iniquitous decision. If Peter’s expulsion is not revoked then GMB members should join another, genuine trade union.

Shop Steward Expelled for ‘anti-Semitism’ by a Racist and Corrupt Trade Union

In March Labour Party Marxists (another hat for LAW to wear) were saying:

Reinstate Peter Gregson 

 It goes without saying that, while Gregson is not anti-Semitic, he can certainly be criticised for his eccentric politics – in the words of Jewish Voice for Labour, he is a “loose cannon”. For example, he admits that his initiative can be described as a “death-wish” petition, in that it is “sticking two fingers up to the NEC” by “brazenly breaking the IHRA rule”. He adds: “It is important now for more of us to come out and openly breach the IHRA, whilst never being anti-Semitic in the true sense of the word.”

Such brazen defiance is a matter of tactics, of course, but it must be said that in current circumstances it is not exactly a wise move. Firstly, the forces opposing the witch-hunt are extremely weak and are hardly in a good position to mount a successful challenge of this sort. Secondly, the “death-wish” petition does the right’s work for it by identifying hundreds of Labour members as easy targets.

Gregson also makes himself a target through his inappropriate choice of words. For instance, he has claimed that “Jews” in Britain have “leverage” because of what he describes as a general feeling of guilt over the holocaust. When this clumsy phrasing was criticised by JVL – surely it is the Zionists, not undifferentiated “Jews”, who would try to turn any such sentiment to their advantage? – he was not prepared to admit his error or change his wording. His response is: “… we suffer in the UK from holocaust guilt. Thus, all Jews have leverage, whether they want it or not, because all Jews were victims.”

However, we must not let this hold us back from defending him.He is a victim of a rightwing witch-hunt, aimed at defeating the left and regaining control of the party for the Blairites.

web-Peter-gregson

Now…

Emails reveal row within Labour Against The Witchhunt over member’s support for Holocaust denier

Pete Gregson insisted denier Nick Kollerstrom was ‘Holocaust sceptic’, and was condemned by fellow LAW member Tony Greenstein

Labour Against The Witchhunt (LAW) – which was launched to defend Labour activists accused of antisemitism – has been rocked by a bitter rift over one of its member’s open support for a Holocaust denier.

Tony Greenstein, LAW’s vice-chair, who was himself expelled from Labour over his use of the word “Zio” and for mocking the phrase Final Solution, has clashed with another of the group’s supporters .

Peter Gregson – who has been backed by LAW since being expelled by the GMB union over alleged antisemitism – had urged Mr Greenstein and his allies to support a petition he started, which included links to an article by Ian Fantom of the conspiracy theory Keep Talking group.

In that article, Mr Fathom writes approvingly of Dr Nick Kollerstrom – author of The Auschwitz ‘Gas Chamber’ Illusion.

But in emails sent to LAW’s leading members – including expelled Labour activist Jackie Walker, her partner Graham Bash and Tina Werkman – Mr Greenstein initially attempts to persuade Mr Gregson to “cut links” with the Mr Fanthom and Mr Kollerstrom, saying the association “would be incredibly damaging” for LAW.

He writes: “I must ask you to remove all references to Ian Fantom’s article from your petition update which directs people to Kollerstrom’s holocaust denial article on the website of the well-known Holocaust denial site CODOH.”

In his March 22 email, Mr Greenstein also refers to wording in Mr Gregson’s petition saying: “It is bad enough that you yourself used the word ‘exaggerate’ in terms of the Holocaust.”

He writes on March 23 that Mr Greenstein is “exhibiting the kind of shrill neurosis for which the left is rightly famed. And is why of course so many in the left are doomed to obscurity, for they slam the door hard shut at every opportunity.”

Mr Fantom has previously shared conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11. But Mr Gregson writes of him: “I have spent time with Ian Fantom. I believe he is OK. I do not have a problem with his politics.”

In his own furious response, Mr Greenstein writes back at 2.54 am, setting out detailed evidence of Mr Fantom’s support for Mr Kollerstrom, noting that the article Mr Gregson links to says Mr Kollertrom “had been targeted in a witch-hunt”.

“You can call me whatever you want but I am not going to have holocaust denial being debated or legitimised under the guise of ‘free speech’,” Mr Greenstein writes.

“It’s like debating the rights and wrongs of murdering 50 Muslims in New Zealand last week, or perhaps that too didn’t happen?

“I am removing you from the LAW Facebook and will leave it to the LAW Steering Committee as to whether you are removed from LAW membership too.”

In a further message on April 3 – still copying in much of the LAW leadership – Mr Gregson writes: “Tony is stating he will seek to damage my reputation by making LAW shun me if I do not do as he asks. If that is not a threat, then I’m a chinaman.”

No response to this article has yet been seen.

Informed sources suggest that since he began, earlier this year, being published by the racist Islamic Qatar  dictatorship’s Al Jazeera Greenstein  has become more careful with his ‘robust’ language.

We still expect some broadside…

On the up, a couple of days ago Labour Against the Witchhunt, was celebrating Ken Livingstone’s decision to join their campaign.

“Former London mayor is announced as Labour Against The Witchhunt’s honorary president”

Written by Andrew Coates

April 16, 2019 at 5:22 pm

Pro-Brexit Rallies, Political Confusionism, from Tory Right, National Populist Left, to Anti-Semites.

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Star of the Anti-Brexit Show (Thanks Martin)

Paul Embery, FBU and the Arron Banks Backed Trade Unionists Against the EU.

…this does not mean that communists line up with Nigel Farage’s march on London. Then again, we do not mock it either – by the time it arrives in the capital on the symbolically significant date of March 29 it could be around the same size as the PV event.”

Weekly Worker. March for a national government

Some more of the democratic  chaps around yesterday:

 

Spiked, Brendan O’Neill, ex-Revolutionary Communist Party:

Institute of Ideas, ex-Revolutionary Communist Party Clare Fox.

 

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Such a contrast with this event:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 30, 2019 at 12:24 pm

Jackie Walker Expelled from the Labour Party, Some Mixed Thoughts.

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Image result for Jackie walker lynching

Many people had mixed feelings on the case and this Show did not help.

Jackie Walker expelled from the Labour Party

Jackie Walker has been expelled from Labour – after being suspended from the party for over two years – for “prejudicial and grossly detrimental” behaviour.

The former Momentum vice-chair – who is no longer a member of the Corbynite group – had incorrectly claimed at a party conference event in 2016 that Holocaust Memorial Day did not commemorate other genocides, and said she had not found a definition of antisemitism that she could work with.

The case against Walker, presented by the party over the last two days, focussed on a pattern of behaviour including comments on social media.

On the judgment today, a Labour spokesperson confirmed: “The national constitutional committee has found that the charges of breaches of party rules by Jackie Walker have been proven.

“The National Constitutional Committee consequently determined that the sanction for this breach of the rules is expulsion from Labour Party membership.”

Labour Against the Witch-hunt said,

The expulsion of Jackie Walker is a great injustice

Today’s expulsion of Jackie Walker from the Labour Party for “misconduct” – of which the Jewish Chronicle was informed before her solicitors – is a great injustice, though it does not come as a surprise. Although the panel took two days to come to their conclusion, the die had been cast long ago. The decision to charge her for a “pattern of behaviour” does not bode well for Chris Williamson MP, who has been accused of similar ‘offences’.

Jackie walked out on the first day of her hearing, because the panel did not allow her to read out a brief statement. This ruling once again emphasised the lack of fairness at the heart of the party’s disciplinary procedures: for example, the investigating officers added five new charges to their allegations a mere three working days before the hearing began, giving her no time to effectively challenge them and defend herself.

STATEMENT OF JACKIE WALKER

Today (26 March 2019) I (Jackie Walker) attended the long overdue Labour Party disciplinary hearing, before the Labour Party’s highest disciplinary panel (National Constitutional Committee). I was accompanied by my defence witnesses and legal team; I had submitted over 400 pages of evidence in my defence.

At the beginning of the hearing, the Chair advised me that this was to be an informal hearing and that I could address him by his first name. The Chair then invited procedural questions. Through my lawyer I asked to be allowed to make a brief opening address to the Chair and Panel. The large team of Labour Party lawyers objected. The Chair adjourned the meeting to consider my simple request to speak. Despite repeated requests from my lawyer that I be allowed to speak at the outset of my hearing, the Chair ruled that I remain silent. I therefore had no alternative other than to withdraw from the hearing, as it was clear to me that I would not receive a fair hearing.

This is a dignified statement.

Everybody should be aware that Jackie Walker has a serious left-wing background, both professionally and politically, in anti-racist work. She also, with a family heritage and a personal relationship in mind, self-identifies as Jewish.

But knowing about this does not answer the issues caused by Walker’s behaviour.

It would appear to many that she was bent on provoking a reaction with strident opinions on ‘Zionism’.

That is her right. But not everybody, particularly those with a deep sense of the horrors of anti-Semitism in the 20th century, would be at ease with  claims, however qualified, about Jewish involvement in the Atlantic slave trade.

This equally raised hackles,

Holocaust Memorial Day

At the event, Walker queried what she saw as the limited scope of Holocaust Memorial Day, saying: ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Memorial Day was open to all peoples who’ve experienced holocaust.’ When others shouted that it did include other genocides, she responded “In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such.”[26] Later, in an interview, she asked why Holocaust Memorial Day only concerns genocides committed since the 1940s, thereby excluding ‘the African holocaust’ during the slave trade.[27] She has also said, following the meeting, “I would never play down the significance of the Shoah. Working with many Jewish comrades, I continue to seek to bring greater awareness of other genocides, which are too often forgotten or minimised. If offence has been caused, it is the last thing I would want to do and I apologise

The campaign against Walker’s suspension has been led by Labour Against the Witch-hunt. Apart from personalities  like Ken Loach, her active backing includes the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), but above all, supporters of the Weekly Worker/Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee) and this figure:

Here is Walker’s immediate course of action.

The following is clearly beyond the bounds of the acceptable.

As is this.

Not to mention this:

 

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The impression many people on the left have is that Labour Against the Witch-hunt, and others, such as the JVL, wish to turn the Labour Party into a battlefield, or perhaps playground, in which rival views about Israel and Zionism (in all its varieties) can be shouted about.

Given that, internationally, Israel borders Syria, a country in which real and present genocides have happened, the degree of strident denunciation of Israel can be gut wrenching. Some people from Labour Against the Witch-hunt are amongst those who have fuelled the flames.

Apart from this being far from a political priority for the majority of Labour members and voters, there is little doubt that some anti-Semitic views have got an airing in the party during this row and others.

This is a problem – reflecting a growth in political confusionism, the mixing of right and left ideas, across the world in which conspiracy theories around ‘Zionists’. It exists.  It  cannot be swept under the carpet.

The Party has decided that Walker has breached rules deigned, amongst other objective,  to ward off this kind of behaviour.

For those who have a sense that Labour, and the broader labour movement is something that you are a part of, the expulsion is not welcome.

But neither is it unexpected.

 

Anti-Semitism and the Left: The Dreyfus Affair and Today.

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Open Anti-Semitism in the Dreyfus Affair.

Anti-Semitism and the Left: The Dreyfus Affair and Today.

 

“Many Socialists  – and Marxists in particular – view Jews not through the prism of race or religion but through that of class. Jews, in their eyes, are a white, rich powerful elite, unworthy have the solidarity or protection normally afforded to ethnic minorities.”

How Anti-Semitism Poisons Labour. Richard Verber. The ‘I’.

 

“Y a-t-il vraiment des races humaines? Je vois qu’il y a des homes blancs, des homes rouges et des hommes noirs. Mais ce ne sont pas là des races, ce sont des variétés d’une même race, d’une même espèce, qui forment entre elles des unions fécondes et se mêlent sans cesse…..  Les antisémites allument contre la race juive la colère des peuples chrétiens, et il n’y a pas de race juive.”

Are there really human races? I can see that there are white people, red people, and black people. But these are not races, but varieties of the same race, a same species, who between each other join in fertile relationships and who never stop mixing together. The anti-Semites spark the anger of the Christians against the Jewish race, and there is no Jewish race.”

Anatole France. Sur La Pierre Blanche. (1905)

Before The Protocols of the Elders of Zion there was Édouard Drumont’s La France Juive (1886), “Ever since the dawn of history the Aryan has been at odds with the Semite”. The book, which had 200 editions up to 1914, talked of the dream of the Jews to “reduce the Aryan into a state of slavery”, illustrated with figures such as the Rothschilds “tout puissant.” Before modern populism there was Boulangism (1880s), an anti-parliamentarian nationalist revolt, led by General Boulanger, with Drumont’s good wishes, and 48 MPS, including Boulanger for the Seine, elected in 1889. Absent from their official programme, in the Boulangist press attacks on Jewish financial figureheads, the Rothschilds and the Reinachs, flourished. The far-right anti-Dreyfus campaign of the next decades centred on claims of a Jewish-led ‘syndicate’ of treason manipulating politics, business and the affaire itself. It was a template of modern anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

 

The wrongful conviction for spying on behalf of the German army of a Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus in 1894, brought to the fore the issue of anti-Semitism in France. The French left reacted without glory. Jules Guesde, the leader of the self-proclaimed Marxist Parti ouvrier français (POF), has been accused of an “ambiguous” attitude towards Drumond. While waiting for the socialist revolution, he refused to defend the republic against Boulangism. Initially hailing Emile Zola’s J’accuse in 1896, and with some declarations against anti-Semitism, Guesde came to the conclusion that the innocence or guilt of Dreyfus was not a battle that “involved the working class.” Jean Jaurès in 1894 had talked of Dreyfus as part of “la caste des officiers de carrière”. He was not above attacking Jewish influence in finance, talking of the devastating effects of their “usury” on the country during a visit to French colonial Algeria in 1895. (1)

Both Guesde and Jaurès were embedded in the anti-Semitic climate of the time. They took it as an empirical ‘fact’ of the importance of “financiers juifs”; the “puissance juive” was part of capitalism. During the period, before Dreyfus marked out the rupture with nationalist anti-Semitism, there was little mention by either wing of the French socialist left, of poor Jewish migrants, or of the persecutions Jews suffered. If the capitalists were the problem, and there was no biological struggle between ‘Jews’ and ‘Aryans’, a fraction of capital was still marked out as Jewish. They were, as Verber puts it, part of an “elite”, the product of the capitalist system, but still agents within it.

Bernard Lazare.

The honour of the French left was saved the anarchist socialist critic, of Jewish origin, Bernard Lazare and his circle. Lazare’s l’antsiémitisme son histoire et ses causes (1894) talked of the economic bases of anti-Judaism, competition between a “non-assimilated” group and those in charge of industrial and financial capitalism. The Jewish community was described as a  ‘state within a state’ and their “facility at trading”. Yet this loose language was in the context of an atheist attack on religious exclusivity. This angle also explains why the author, noting a lack of certainty in the afterlife, praised the Jewish willingness to “fight tyranny” in this world. Above all in this work, and later, he began to defend humanity and internationalism against nationalism of all kinds.  Lazare sufficiently riled Drummont to fight a duel with him. He has been described as one of those who definitively classed anti-Semitism as an ideology of the extreme-right. (2)

Faced with the Dreyfus case Lazare took a stand, “They needed a Jewish traitor fit to replace the classic Judas” he  wrote, “a Jewish traitor that one could mention incessantly, every day, in order to rain his opprobrium on his entire race.” Working with Alfred’s brother, Mathieu Dreyfus, the critic badgered and cajoled every contact he could find to rally to the cause. Lucien Herr, the socialist librarian at the École normale supériere, became a notable ally and a bridge to the wider left. (3)

Jaurès was initially cold. But all this was to change. In speeches and, above all, in Les Preuves, (1898) the socialist leader stood with Dreyfus. This commitment was rooted in opposition to the nationalists of the right, and militarists, those who rallied to the army and the claim that its judgement against the Captain could not be wrong.

Defence of Dreyfus.

In defending Dreyfus Jaurès developed themes that continue to resound today.

The first of these is that the cause of socialism, based on class struggle against capitalism, is linked to that of humanity. In one of his most famous passages Jaurès said of Dreyfus, “I could answer that if Dreyfus was illegally condemned and if, as I will soon demonstrate, he is innocent, he is no longer either an officer or a bourgeois. Through the very excess of his misfortune he has been stripped of any class character. He is no longer anything but humanity itself, at the highest degree of misery and despair that can be imagined.”  (4)

The second is that Jaurès raised the banner of universal human rights and applied this to the legal system, “There are two parts to capitalist and bourgeois legality: There are a whole mass of laws aimed at protecting the fundamental iniquity of our society, and there are laws that consecrate the privileges of capitalist property, the exploitation of the wage earner by the owner. We want to smash these laws, and even by revolution if necessary abolish capitalist legality in order to bring forth a new order. But alongside these laws of privilege and rapine, made by a class and for it, there are others that sum up the pitiful progress of humanity, the modest guarantees that it has little by little conquered through a centuries-long effort and a long series of revolutions.” (Ibid)

Human Rights.

The defence of human rights, as part and parcel of socialism, illuminated by Marxist ideas of class, is illustrated – at length – in the Socialist History of the French Revolution. Could this historical event, a broad stream of thinking, the act of a specific people” asked Jaurès, “produce something of universal symbolical value? He noted the British conservative thinker, Edmund Burke’s scorn on such “metaphysics”, but that the fear of the British rulers was not of abstractions. Their worry was of the democratic reform that these ideas might inspire. (5)

The socialist daily that Jaurès founded was (and is) called l’Humanité. The title could be said to embody the ardent Dreyfusand Anatole France’s vision of anti-racism and Jaurès’ fight for justice. We have come a long way from that time, a century of greater injustices, including those carried out in the name of socialism, than Jaurès could have imagined. Yet there are those who believe that the fight for human rights, in a modern form, debated and rethought by thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Claude Lefort, Jacques Rancière and others, is at the heart of socialism. The Marxist influenced Étienne Balibar has talked of “égaliberté”, tying concrete equality and freedom together, and the “illiminated” extension of these rights. (La Proposition de l’égaliberté. 2010)

Fighting anti-Semitism today is part and parcel of that socialism. The left that keeps to the line set down by forerunners like Jaurès does not bend an inch in that determination.

On the eve of the First World War Jean Jaurès was assassinated in the Café du Croissant, Paris on the 31st of July 1914. Just before, as fictionalised in Martin du Gard’s L’été 1914, (1936) the socialist leader was desperately attempting to avert the conflict by appeals to European socialists at a meeting in Brussels. The nationalist Raoul Villain, a sympathiser of the anti-Semite Action française, murdered Comrade Jaurès.

 

 

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  1. Chapter Four. Jules Guesde. Jean-Numa Ducange. Arand Colin. 2017. Chapter IX Jaurès Dreyfusand. Jean Jaurès. Gilles Candar Vincent Duclert. Fayard 2014. The Man on Devil’s Island, Ruth Harris. 2010.
  2. Lazare wrote, “À côté du patriotisme se place l’humanitarisme, à côté du nationalisme se place l’internationalisme, et la notion d’humanité acquerra bientôt plus de force que la notion de patrie, qui se modifie et perd de cet exclusivisme que les egoisms nationaux veulent perpétuer.” “Lazare fut ainsi l’un des artisans de la rupture qui marquera définitivement l’antisémitisme comme un positionnement politique d’extrême  Bernard Lazare, premier  historien de l’antisémitisme.  Jacques Aron
  3. Cited in Ruth Harris. Page 56.
  4. The Socialist Interest Jean Jaurès, Les Preuves. Paris, La Petite République, 1898. Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor.
  5. Page 390. Tome V. Histoire socialiste de la Révolution française, 1901-1908.“c’était la réforme démocratique de la Constitution, c’était la très large extension du droit de suffrage et l’abolition des privilèges.”

George Galloway: My Name is Legion, “I am the ex-Mayor of Sunderland. I am Chris Williamson MP. I am Asa Winstanley. I am Marc Wadsworth. I am Jackie Walker. I am Tony Greenstein. I am Ken Livingstone…..”

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George Galloway Has Writ a Poem.

Hat-tip Heg.

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

Image result for gadarene swine story Bible

The Gadarene Swine.

Alas, there are many who would jest at Galloway’s Moving Poem.

George Galloway slammed for absolutely ludicrous tweet

Thanks R for the below:

 

We all know who Greenstein and most of the others are:

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "tony greenstein nazi bitch"

But the mystery of the appearance of one of these names is only now cleared up:

Labour suspends Electronic Intifada blogger Asa Winstanley, who called JLM ‘Israeli embassy proxy’

Mr Winstanley, who is prominent on Twitter, was suspended after it emerged he was a member.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 8, 2019 at 4:50 pm

From the Anti-Imperialism of Fools to Anti-Semitism?

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The Far Right, the Left, and Anti-Semitism

A Very Public Sociologist.

Phil was one of the first people on the left to signal out, in 2015,  the The Anti-Imperialism of Fools.

Its main feature was to support anything “against” imperialism, primarily the USA.

a certain intellectual dishonesty about their positions. Stop the War write op-eds that, let’s be generous, white wash the enemies of the US and UK, but do not link it with a clear intellectual framework for making sense of these position-takings. For the uninitiated, it suggests opposition to Britain’s wars is a gateway into apologising for some of the most disgusting regimes and terror groups on the planet. Therefore to understand the politics of Stop the War, one must delve a little into political history.

Yet Stop the War has more or less carried on as if none of this has happened, as if the USA is the only active agent in the world and – implicitly – the designs and manoeuvres of rival states and enemies are benign or, at least, less harmful. This is why Putin never gets as much stick as Obama, why leading members of its steering committee have occasionally associated with sundry undesirables, why the Kurds get no support while IS are clumsily and favourably compared with the International Brigades. It’s why it appears that authoritarians and totalitarians get a free pass while democratic countries are criticised and mobilised against.

Over the weekend he has developed this point, making clear his own opposition to “Israel’s racist despoiling of the Palestinians”and support for “pro-Palestinian politics.”

Phil begins by observing that,

“One thing very few people on the left seem willing to admit is that since 2003 the anti-war movement here has been subject to a process of infiltration by currents of opinion, and sometimes organised groups, behaving like the local representatives of the British far right.”

There is no doubt a lot more to say about  Netanyahu, and Israel.

But this is a post about the British left.

A key strand since 2015, and which this Blog has called, following the French example, “confusionism”, is the way that conspiracy thinking has crept into this “anti-imperialism”.

In 2003-5, this was mainly about opinions. In particular, there was a current of opinion within the movement, which grew stronger the occupation of Iraq went on, to say that 9/11 was an American inside job. That strand of opinion was assisted, inevitably, by the need for people – who were against the war – to find websites which would give an honest, objective account of what was actually happening in Iraq. This meant disassociating from mainstream media, going to anti-war news sites. In the US a large number of these sites were hosted by the so-called “libertarian” right and saw no reason against promoting conspiracy theories, 9/11 Truth accounts, etc. Movements such as Stop the War did try to keep these sort of opinions out – banning them from our platforms, etc. But this was a matter of silent gatekeeping – the left didn’t like to admit we had a problem in a movement we led – we would never say openly that we were worried about X or Y Stop the War group. The only time when the left in Stop the War came out publicly against the right was George Monbiot who in two Guardian pieces tore into the 9/11 Truth movement. In retrospect, that was a sign of the sorts of difficulties the left has been having in 2018-19: not least in the very many people who saw themselves on the left but posted in the Guardian comment threads criticising Monbiot.

That’s to say nothing of those in recent days ranting about the ‘Zionist’ media attacking Corbyn….

Or this, from conspi Rachel Swindon:

Phil then focuses on anti-Semitism.

Like the “conventional” far right, today’s anti-war anti-semites have grown through a process of individual activists building up a social media infrastructure which at a certain point they have monetised on YouTube, Patreon, etc, enabling previously isolated individuals to become full-time organisers on behalf of a certain political argument.

Probably most of my friends haven’t heard of them but that doesn’t meant they haven’t been able to achieve an influence much larger than they deserve.

A typical individual is Vanessa Beeley who was at one stage associated with an anti-war group in Frome, but has built up a Twitter following of 40,000 people which she uses to applaud dictators everywhere – Assad, Putin. And to say that the people she dislikes are in the pay of the Jews.

This, and Beeley to the fore, has been the subject of many posts here and on other critical left Blogs.

Williamson, who has praised Beeley, is a good example of indulgence towards this conspi thinking

The point about Williamson is that over the last 12 months he has liked the social media accounts of each of the four people/groups I’ve just mentioned, used his own social media to boost their profile, and treated them like the allies in a shared political project which he undoubtedly regards them to be. In so far as this part of the far right has a “shield” in official politics, he provides it.

Every time someone points out to Williamson that he is promoting anti-semites he goes through the same cycle of denial, insisting that his allies are good socialists being unfairly targeted for their views on Israel, belated admission, apology, promises not to do it again.

Perhaps some trying to justifying Williamson will disagree, violently, but to this writer it’s a fair summing up.

As indeed Comrade Dave Osler does in the Independent.

Once house room is granted to such relentlessly self-preening charlatans as Vanessa Beeley, Gilad Atzmon and David Icke, it’s a perilously short step to political judgments centred on the shoddy output of propaganda-driven state broadcasters, half-arsed alt-left websites and the crankier fringes of the Trot diaspora.

Before you ask, this isn’t a snipe from the right. I’m a long-standing lefty who has proudly donated to Jeremy Corbyn’s electoral efforts and knocked on doors for John McDonnell and Diane Abbott for many years.

Nor do I wish to exaggerate the extent of the problem. Thankfully this nonsense remains predominantly the province of a few hundred headbangers on social media, although even that minimal degree of traction feeds the Daily Mail with “vile Labour Twitter troll” stories as if by conveyor belt.

But branding the White Helmets Israeli stooges, or postulating a Rothschild Zionist grip on global central banking, is just the type of dimwitted aperçu that ensured antisemitism renewed circulation among radical young people during the anti-globalisation and Occupy movements, and sometimes emerge in the real world.

As Trotsky himself used to note, with a scratch comes the danger of gangrene. In a climate where 2.6 million Britons think the Holocaust was a myth, no potential Labour standard-bearer should get away with posting offensively photoshopped pictures of the gates of Auschwitz, on any pretext whatsoever.

Tom Watson is right to brand incidents like that a cause for deep shame. So it’s pleasing that Labour left figures such as Jon Lansman are on the case, as demonstrated by the excellent Rothschild Conspiracy Exposed video released by Momentum last week.

Meanwhile, matters are compounded in some quarters by wilful refusal to engage with current affairs, especially in other countries, which comes as an inevitable corollary of making the very words “mainstream media” a dread insult.

Put simply, the Beeb, The Economist and Financial Times have serious sources in Venezuela and Syria; one-man blogs written from bedrooms reeking of hamster urine do not.

Less of The Canary and more Marx: How Labour should deal with the conspiracism in its midst.

Confusion can naturally spread further as this indicates.

This is where ‘taking sides’ can lead.

But anti-Semitism seems to be at its heart.

Note this from the Gilets Jaunes protests this weekend.

The Left’s long history of antisemitism

The hard-Left’s division of the world into good and bad makes it blind to its own racism.

With ready-made tropes about Jewish world domination never more than a few clicks away online, populist ‘anti-elitism’ rhetoric – of either the Left or Right – easily lends itself to antisemitism. Portray capitalism as a sinister cabal of individuals controlling the economy, and antisemites invoke long-standing tropes about Jews controlling the banks.

As a recent paper on European antisemitism put it, prejudice against Jews is “residual yet perpetual”. A 2009 survey found that 31% of Europeans blamed Jews for the global economic crisis.

This is a good starting point, but the rest of the piece is not so easy to digest.

It is true that groupuscules who run bodies such as Labour Against the Witch-hunt have encouraged a climate in which anti-Semitism  and anti-Zionism (itself an ambiguous term) have sometimes run together.

But there is much to contest in the claim that there is some kind of “long history” to left anti-Semitism. We can begin from the fact that our glorious dead, Jean Jaurès onwards, fought tooth and nail against anti-semitism at a time when a parallel populist confusionism reigned in the minds of some on the left.

Nor can Corbyn be blamed for something with the deeper roots that Phil, and others (this Blog for example), have traced.

It was the Marxist, August Bebel who popularised the expression,  Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools,  (Der Antisemitismus ist der Sozialismus der dummen Kerle”.

Today there are many on the British ‘hard’ left who are fighting anti-Semitism tooth and nail, and stand with comrade Jon Lansman on the issue.

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On the French left this spirit is very far from dead:

Le non-sujet de l’antisémitisme à gauche – Pour une critique radicale de l’antisémitisme.

BRENNI CamillaKRICKEBERG MemphisNICOLAS-TEBOUL LéaZOUBIR Zacharias