Antisemitism

On Antisemitism

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“The truth is that everyone who organises for justice in Palestine must wrestle with antisemitism, either because a false accusation is being lobbed at them, or because of a need to be vigilant to ensure that the critique of the Jewish state does not become a blanket criticism of the Jewish people”, explains Rabbi Alissa Wise, one of the contributors in this collection of essays curated by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

Students in San Francisco set up JVP in 1996. It grew rapidly in response to the war on Gaza in 2014. Today JVP has over 10,000 members across the US.

Roots of the Holocaust

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On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Tom Kay examines how anti-Semitism used by the German ruling class as a weapon against the workers' movement escalated into genocide.

In the course of the Holocaust 6 million Jews — two thirds of the entire European Jewish population — died at the hands of the Nazi murder machine. Adolph Hitler’s regime oversaw the killing of roughly 5 million socialists, communists, Roma Gypsies, Slavs, Christians, LGBT and disabled people.

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").

Death of an internationalist

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Jean-René Chauvin was a French Trotskyist who lived through, and participated in, some of the 20th century's most dramatic events. Ian Birchall looks at his life


On 17 February death finally claimed Jean-René Chauvin. It seems almost miraculous that he has died now, aged 92, and not much earlier. His memoirs contain an unbelievable sentence where he states that, after his incarceration in the Mauthausen and Auschwitz concentration camps, he found the atmosphere in Buchenwald "much more relaxed".

Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters

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Louis Begley, Yale University Press 2009, £18

Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a general staff officer in the French army, was convicted of espionage in 1894. The evidence was flimsy, to say the least. Stripped of his position, Dreyfus was imprisoned on a disease-ridden island in the Caribbean.

Dreyfus was a Jew - one of a handful in an officer class dominated by reactionary royalists. Documents backing the evidence proved to be forgeries, yet all attempts to reopen the trial were quashed.

A Day to Remember

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The scale and methods of the Nazi genocide of Jewish people make it a politically unique event that deserves a special day of memorial.

My favourite book of the last year was Suite Française by Irene Nemirovsky. The two sections in the book were originally planned as the first of six interconnected stories based around the fall of France in 1940 during the Second World War and its consequences.

Nemirovsky never finished them - a French Jew, she was arrested, deported and died in Auschwitz. The books were only recently discovered and published to great and justified critical acclaim.

Left History: Rising from the East

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Dave Crouch looks at the role of the Communist Party in organising Jewish workers in London's East End from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Respect's electoral success in east London and Birmingham is not the first time the left has reached out to an oppressed minority in political turmoil. Phil Piratin's famous victory in 1945 to become Communist Party MP for the Mile End constituency took place in an area where Jewish immigrants made up between 40 and 50 percent of the population.

Zionism and Anti-Semitism: The Jewish Question

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To be anti-Zionist does not mean you are anti-Semitic.

Alarm bells have been ringing in recent months about a resurgence of anti-Semitism, particularly in Western Europe and the Middle East. Zionists have always dismissed criticisms of Zionism or of Israel with the claim that such criticisms represent anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. So we need to disentangle the phony label of anti-Semitism--justifiable criticisms of Israel and Zionism--from the genuine article.

Black and White Lies

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Race in Britain

It didn't take long for this government's brief flirtation with Britain's Muslims to come to an end. No sooner had the war against Afghanistan been 'won', accompanied by convenient pictures of religious leaders on the steps of 10 Downing Street, than it was back to normal. Tony Blair tucked his copy of the Koran away, and out came the Old Testament figure of home secretary David Blunkett.

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