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The attack on Corbyn is an attack on reason and democracy

29 March 2018

The recent hysteria in Britain over a mural is both an attack on Corbyn as an attack on logic and reason.  It is evidence of the completely reactionary nature of identity politics carried to its logical conclusion.  The charge is that Corbyn is soft on anti-Semitism because he once many years ago defended a mural.  What is the context?  Was the mural artist an anti Semite?  Were all the characters Jewish?  Were there are any anti-semitic groups involved?  The fake anti-semites are reduced to the crudest of racial stereotypes; “but look at their big noses!”

The BBC reached new lows.  A week ago they portrayed Corbyn as an agent of the Kremlin.  This week they went to town on Corbyn the anti-semite.

What do we know?  We know that Israel has been mobilising across the world to defeat the BDS movement.  We know that in the U.S.A.  It has been successful in ruling many boycott activities illegal, forced the silencing and sacking of many opponents and has joined with Trump and many sections of the American ruling class in a new offensive against the Palestinians.  The British ambassador is Mark Regev, liar in chief for Israel during the many attacks on Gaza.  A recent documentary by Al Jazeera exposed Israel’s actions in infiltrating and manipulating British political parties – activity that still goes on and that is ignored while the British press whip themselves into a frenzy over Russia.  A similar documentary about Israeli spying and political intervention in the USA has been suppressed.  We also know that Labour party right wingers are desperate to join with the Tory party in common patriotic support for British imperialism and time and again they have concocted the most ludicrous claims of anti-semitism in an attempt to remove Corbyn.

A new criminal is identified – the leftist anti-Semite. Evidence of this crime is opposition to Israeli colonisation of Palestine. This is the central plank of Israeli attempts to deflect criticism and also of a determined attempt, in co-ordination with friendly governments and organisations to criminalise solidarity with Palestine and make boycott activities illegal. Both the Labour right, supported by a well-funded and organised Israeli movement inside the Labour party, and Israeli agents themselves, see the issue as a weak point and have persecuted ongoing witchunts and suspensions against Corbyn supporters, many of them Jewish themselves.  The right will keep coming back until Corbyn is defeated.

There are certain lessons:

Corbyn constantly retreats when attacked by the right, he has stepped back from decades of solidarity activity with Palestine and remained silent as allies are accused and suspended.  He has to do this because he is committed to parliamentary reform by forming a Labour government and that means keeping the Labour party from splitting.  However experience tells us that neither the labour party nor the British parliament are likely guarantors of working class rights.  Socialists in the labour party need to organize independently around a socialist programme so that they have weapons of struggle to hand no matter what the outcome of the battles at the top of the party. The Momentum movement has been acting this way at a local level but central control remains with one individual, preventing the full development of the group.

A similar argument can be made in relation to the BDS movement.  It is facing a global offensive and needs a firm programme based on the need to dismantle the apartheid state and a strategy that actively targets governments and collaborators across the globe rather than a humanitarian call to disinvest aimed at organisations and individuals.
Socialists in Ireland should show solidarity with Corbyn and his supporters when they come under attack.  We should not do so by joining the British Labour party.  In light of the imperialist domination of Ireland the best solidarity would be a revolutionary workers party in our country. Solidarity with Palestine is an important element in building such a movement.

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