Rob Ferguson

The killing fields of capitalism

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How should we define mass violence, such as that against the Rohingya? Rob Ferguson raises questions about the terms ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Since August over half a million Rohingya refugees have fled their homes and villages in Rakhine state in Myanmar. Villages, homes and mosques have been put to the torch in what the military term “clearance operations”. Thousands of civilians, including children, have been brutally killed and many tortured and raped.

Antisemitism and the left in Britain today (1)

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The political terrain underlying debates about antisemitism and Zionism has shifted dramatically since 2000. This shift has been shaped by the second intifada, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the more recent revival of antisemitism on the far right.

John Rose’s contribution to the discussion (“Antisemitism and anti-Zionism today”, January SR) is a serious attempt to address the consequences of these developments. However, I fear John’s approach risks confusing the issues at stake rather than clarifying them.

Denial

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In 1992 a group of Jewish socialists came together to write an Anti Nazi league pamphlet, “Holocaust Denial: The New Nazi Lie”, in response to the rise of Holocaust deniers, and in particular the British Nazi, David Irving.

The emergence of Holocaust Denial in the 1990s was not a coincidence. The British National Party (BNP) was making advances, as were Nazis elsewhere in Europe.

In 1993 the BNP won a council by-election in the Isle of Dogs, east London, and in the same year black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered near the BNP HQ in Welling, south London.

Extremism Bill is threat to all of us

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Barely a year after the passing of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the Tories are introducing a new “Counter Extremism Bill”.

It is landmark legislation and we will need a united opposition from the left, anti-racists, trade unions, student unions and the Muslim community to stop it.

With the planned introduction of the bill this autumn, state Islamophobia in Britain is being racked up to a new level.

Legacy of Eichmann's trial

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Eichmann on trial

To mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the BBC is showing a dramatisation of the trial of Adolf Eichmann.

On 11 April 1961 the 55 year old Nazi Adolf Eichmann was marched into a protected glass booth in a Jerusalem court. His entrance heralded the beginning of the first internationally televised trial, broadcast for four months across 37 countries.
Newsreels flown daily to the United States were transmitted by all the major news networks. Opinion polls indicated 87 percent of the US public had heard of or read about the trial.

The Legacy of the Holocaust

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Victims of the Holocaust

As the Zionists’ use of the Holocaust to defend Israel’s racism and military aggression begins to falter, the need to insist on its universal lessons has become greater than ever.

The war crimes, terror and deliberate targeting of civilians by Israel in Gaza has raised a question: how could those marked by the worst genocide in modern history show such inhumanity to others? How could a people whose suffering has been subject to the worst form of historical denial in their turn deny the history, dispossession or even the “existence” of another people?

Ukraine: a carnival of reaction looms?

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Imperialist rivalry between Russia, the US and EU threatens a carnival of reaction across Ukraine, that pits Ukrainian against Ukrainian, promoting reactionary forces on both sides.

The Geneva agreement signed by Russia, the US, EU and Ukraine, pledging to "de-escalate tensions", looked dead before the ink was dry. Shootings in the eastern town of Slavyansk left three pro-Russian protesters dead.

Ukraine: Torn apart by Imperialism

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Russia's annexation of Crimea, and the rising tensions between east and west, marks an era of heightened competition between rival imperial powers, argues Rob Ferguson.

Russia, the US and the European powers are facing their greatest clash since the Cold War. Following the overthrow of Ukrainian president Yanukovich, the new pro-Western government in Kiev turned to seal a partnership with the EU and Russia annexed Crimea, home to the Russian Black Sea fleet and its route to the Mediterranean.

Tensions are spreading to other "buffer" states on Russia's southern borders. Barack Obama has called on EU leaders to increase their military spending.

A new wave of anti-Semitism in Europe

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Fascist parties are once again proclaiming the anti-Semitic filth they have kept hidden for years. Rob Ferguson explains why they feel confident to do this now, how their ideolgy works, and how anti-racists and the left must respond to this growing threat.

On 26 January 20,000 right wingers marched through the streets of Paris in a protest against the Socialist Party government of Francois Hollande. Their "Day of Anger" included attacks on defence cuts, rising crime, high taxes and "destruction of the family".

However, besides the manifesto demands, the march was marked by an chillingly organised parade of anti-Semitism. The "Day of Anger" took place on the eve of International Holocaust Memorial Day, referred to in France as Shoah (Hebrew for "the catastrophe").

The nature of Islamophobia

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Talat Ahmed's article, Islamophobia, Repression and Resistance (Feature, Socialist Review, September 2013), was an incisive analysis of the rise of Islamophobia while asserting the importance of class.

However, there is one line of Talat's argument I feel compelled to disagree with. This may prove to be a matter of emphasis; however, if so, I think it is a significant one.

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