“And yes, we can oppose Israel’s foreign policy without being anti-Semitic.” (David Rachline, mayor of Fréjus, member of the proto-fascist National Front)
The first painful revision we must make, if we really want to get rid of the ambiguities of current Left anti-Zionism, is to fully recognize the existence of an old anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-Semitic tradition, particularly in the Left and Far Left, in Europe, but also on other continents.
To my knowledge, only two groups with very different political backgrounds have publicly denounced the ambiguities of leftist and anti-globalization circles in this regard: the AWL in Britain (a “Trotskyist” group) and Doorbraak (ex-De Fabel van de illegaal*), a Dutch organization which can be roughly labelled as “anarchist communist”. I could also mention the German Anti-Deutsche, originating from Maoist and autonomous groups, but their current positions can’t be classified as Far Left nor Left, as they have become synonymous with a fanatical defence of U.S. and Israel policies… on behalf of a radical condemnation of German nationalism.
No French anarchist or Far Left group has ever raised the question of Left anti-Semitism and tried to fight it seriously in its own ranks. By itself, the silence about the anti-Semitic stand-up comedian and fascist politician Dieudonné for a decade speaks for itself (and the anarchist defenders of Dieudonné’s “freedom of expression”, which was supposedly violated by the little “repression” waged by minister of Interior Manuel Valls, do not encourage us to believe in any awareness, or self-criticism, of their past cowardice).
We could also mention the countless times when anti-Semitic-conspiracist websites and authors are quoted by leftist militants in their posts. Or the numerous links from “radical” publications, organizations or alternative websites to these same reactionary websites.
This indifference can only make the Left particularly vulnerable to the criticisms formulated by unscrupulous journalists and historians, but also by people of good faith who are not obsessed with Israel and Palestine from morning to night and despise anti-Semitism, even wrapped in “Left” arguments.
Leftist or anarchist groups, in France as elsewhere, usually deny this phenomenon or reduce it to the ravings of a few embittered and isolated individuals, of some (ex) brainless ultralefts who joined the the Far Right, or claim it’s simply “Zionist” calumnies to silence any criticism against Israel.
To undertake such a reflection on current Left anti-Semitism one already needs to know the traditional mechanisms of Christian and Muslim anti-Judaism and racial anti-Semitism, their evolution and their new costumes and mutations. If you think that anti-Semitism is a phenomenon of the past and is disappearing; if you reduce it to Christian or Medieval anti-Judaism or to Nazi racial theories; and if you believe that the only present danger is “Islamophobia”, then you don’t need to get involved or bothered by the struggle against anti-Semitism. Even worse, any person who raises the subject is necessarily a cop, a Zionist, a neo-conservative or a paranoid anticonspiracist…
To explain anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist Left anti-Semitism, one can distinguish several factors. This article will present them succinctly, but they obviously need to be described at greater length:
1. Marxists and anarchists have been unable to define an efficient materialist position on the so-called “Jewish question” as well as on other national, religious or cultural issues.
For Marxist currents, at least, this attitude was understandable in the 19th century and until the October Revolution because they believed in the imminence of capitalist collapse. This collapse would give way to socialism, a new social-economic system supposed to solve all “secondary” issues (racism, anti-Semitism, nationalism, domination of women, etc.) bequeathed by the “old world”.
Let’s remind all ”anti-Zionists” who pay respect to 20th and 21st century Marxist thinkers and dare to claim the heritage of the Bund, that this Party was violently denounced by Plekhanov (he called them “seasick Zionists”) and Lenin. In his critical “Remarks on the National Question”, written in 1913, Lenin mentions “the most oppressed and persecuted nation—the Jews”, but then writes: “Whoever, directly or indirectly, puts forward the slogan of Jewish ‘national culture’ is (whatever his good intentions may be) an enemy of the proletariat, a supporter of all that is outmoded and connected with caste among the Jewish people; he is an accomplice of the rabbis and the bourgeois.” In short, Vladimir Ilyich was also “seasick” when he wrote about the Jewish question and did not know how to deal with it… Finally, let’s note that the Bund was repressed by the Soviet state in 1919 (thus by Lenin and Trotsky in power, not by Stalin) and forced to disband in March 1920.
– dozens of new nation-states have been created;
– nationalist ideologies have triumphed in Third World countries (from victorious guerrillas – China, Cuba, Algeria, Vietnam, Mozambique, Angola, etc. – to current Latin American populist regimes);
– nationalism has also triumphed in Western countries (see the predominant influence of “anti-fascist” bourgeois and Stalinist Resistance movements in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s, and then the emergence of separatist regionalisms in the Basque Country, Scotland, etc.).
In such a context, indifference to the Jewish question (usually coupled with opportunism vis-à-vis other nationalisms or regionalisms) is no longer tenable without making a thorough policy review and serious updating.
And it’s precisely because this indifference is no longer tenable that traditional internationalist principles defended – in theory – by leftist or anarchist groups are more easily emptied of their original proletarian, anational, content. It’s because of this indifference that the Far Left switched from a support to the common struggle of Israeli and Arab proletariats until the late 60s, to uncritical support for Hamas or the PFLP. And it threw into the dustbin any reference to the Israeli working class or even Arab working classes. We must recognize that principled opposition to bourgeois nationalism has rarely been applied by so-called revolutionary groups. It does not mean this position is wrong today, quite the contrary. But it must be based, re-founded, on solid and coherent arguments and on a “concrete analysis of the concrete situation”.
2. The Revolutionary Left suffers from a lack of knowledge of Jewish history and Jewish religion (see, for example, the permanent denunciation of an alleged elitism or superiority complex of the “Chosen People” ; this denunciation is based on a misunderstanding for the most ignorant militants, or a gross falsification for the astute anti-Semites. We could also quote its ignorance of Jewish liberation theology, while its Christian and Muslim versions are supported with enthusiasm by leftist and in anti-globalization circles).
3. In daily propaganda and in some more theoretical writings, the Revolutionary Left tends
– to always personalize and demonize some individual exploiters – especially usurers, speculators, financiers and bankers (and among them especially the Jews, from Rothschild to Maddoff, not to mention Goldman Sachs, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, French Jewish intellectuals and American neoconservatives wearing a so-called “Jewish” name);
– to focus only on the misdeeds of banks, tax havens, speculative bubbles, in other words on “unproductive” capitalism (yesterday accused of being “cosmopolitan”, today of being “globalist”) which is opposed to “productive” capitalism, rooted in national soil. One can find such themes in the anti-globalization movement, Indignados, Latin American (statist or non statist) Left, etc.
This inevitably leads the Left to ignore in its daily propaganda the functioning of the capitalist system. A rigorous critique requires a much more complicated propaganda than the simple denunciation of some stock speculators, cynical billionaires, fat cigar-smokers or “vampire” capitalists.
4. The Left is under the dangerous illusion that anti-Semitic anti-capitalism can have a “progressive” dimension. In other words, anti-Semitic proletarians are wrong to limit their hatred of the system to some Jews, or even to Jews as a pseudo “privileged” group, but it does not matter. According to this “theory”, confusion will soon disappear because the exploited will open their eyes and quickly realize the need to fight all capitalists; they will fight the capitalist system as a whole (not just the so-called “Jewish” bank or finance); they will understand that capitalism must be replaced by another social organization, abolition of wage labour and the state.
The old anti-capitalist anti-Semitism persists but it has been modernized, especially in the form of “anti-imperialist” anti-Zionism in the Near and Middle East as well as in other regions of the South; in Muslim communities of major Western cities; but also under the influence of populist leftist regimes in Latin America. All this combines perfectly with the anti-Judaism revived and restored by certain tendencies of political Islam.
5. The Left underestimates and even denies the importance of anti-Judaism and of modern anti-Semitism in so-called “Muslim” countries (the 57 states of the OIC, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) and its influence in main Western cities, facilitated by the presence of satellite channels, imams trained in Saudi Arabia or in ultraconservative religious institutions, etc.. This denial of anti-Semitism is based on a misunderstanding:
– of Islam and its various currents (see for example how leftists and anti-globalization movements minimized the historical conflicts between Sunnis and Shias in the Middle East and assign primary responsibility for this century-old religious rivalries to the American-European intervention in Iraq in 2003!),
– of the discriminatory dhimmi status for centuries which combines with the Left’s silence about pogroms in Arab and Muslim countries,
– of the political role played by religion in the Near and Middle East, including in so-called national liberation movements during the 20th and 21st centuries,
– of the diffusion of European Far Right ideas in the Arab-Muslim world (massive diffusion of the Protocol of the Elders of Zion, whose absurdities are included both in the Hamas Charter as well as in soap operas or textbooks; a Holocaust deniers conference in Iran; Arabic translations of books written by French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy; etc.),
– of the Arab regimes’ active role in the expulsion of local Jews after 1948, from countries where they had lived for centuries, often even before the introduction of Islam.
This ignorance is reinforced by the use of a baroque mistaken notion borrowed from 19th century linguistics: the existence of so-called “Semitic peoples”. This linguistic concept has been transferred to anthropology (Jews and Arabs therefore being stored in the same ethnic group, contrary to all the lessons of history). The use of this fake anthropological notion is designed to delegitimize the concept of anti-Semitism and thus the fight against this scourge.
6. Leftists and anarchists wish to get rid, at a very cheap price, of the serious political problems posed by the European Judeocide, starting with the apathy or embarrassed silence of the Left in front of the “Shoah” during and after the Second World War.
Faced with this problem, Left anti-Zionists use several dishonest methods:
– They reduce anti-Semitism to a very distant, almost prehistoric, past. This allows them to maintain the fiction of an antifascist resistance which fought the Judeocide and also to claim that Nazi racial anti-Semitism no longer exists, therefore we need to “move on”;
– They loudly denounce economic collaboration between “Zionists” and Nazis (hence the vile term “sionazis” and the swastikas stuck on Israeli flags in “pro-Palestinian” demonstrations), through the Haavara or “Transfer agreement”, signed in 1933. This agreement functioned until 1939 and allowed the Nazis to extort money from 50,000 Jews who were able to emigrate to Palestine. Dishonest anti-Zionists also exaggerate the importance of the Stern Gang (which never counted more than a hundred members in Palestine) which tried to negotiate with the Nazis in order to help as many Jews as possible to leave Europe and not be exterminated. If you compare the arguments of Holocaust deniers like Faurisson with the arguments of many anti-Zionists, they are exactly the same on this point;
– They focus on the collaboration between Judenräte (Jewish councils) with German authorities during the Second World War as if this “collaboration” took place in peacetime, in a peaceful atmosphere and without the use of torture, blackmail, extortion, assassination and establishment of a clandestine administration to organize the Judeocide. Meanwhile dishonest anti-Zionists ignore or deny the importance of all forms of passive or active resistance, unarmed or armed, in the various Jewish communities between 1939 and 1945. They keep silent about the fact that resistant Jews received little help from the Allied “democratic” powers and from “communist” anti-Nazi resistance movements. This double negation allows the Left to excuse its silence during the Judeocide, to perpetuate the legend of an eternal Jewish passivity and to imply or assert a complicity between Jews and Nazis.
– In a more prosaic and trivial manner, the Left reduces the fear of present anti-Semitism to an age-old Jewish “paranoia”.
This last silly psychological explanation of a supposed Jewish and Israelian “paranoia” is paralleled by the term “self-hatred” used by reactionary Jews against any progressive or anti-Zionist Jew. We can only advise anti-Zionists to think a little about the content of their propaganda: did they ever notice that the victims of racism, sexism and homophobia are accused by their oppressors of being “paranoid“, “obsessive” or “persecution maniacs“? Don’t they see a problem in their cheap psychological explanation about Jewish and Israelian pathology ?
7. Today leftists and anarchists recycle the main themes of Left anti-Zionism with an anti-Semitic tone, an ideology initially conceived by Russian and East European Stalinists (for more details read Stan Crooke’s article: “The Stalinist roots of left “anti-Zionism”).
The basic arguments of current Left anti-Zionism were made up by Soviet Stalinists, who themselves were anti-Semitic, as evidenced by
– the arrest and subsequent execution of the leaders of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in 1952,
– the Jewish doctors trials in the USSR in 1953 (“Every Zionist is an agent of U.S. intelligence services”, said Stalin. “Jewish nationalists think their nation was saved by the United States, a country where they can become rich, bourgeois. They think they owe a debt to the Americans. Among my doctors, there are many Zionists”),
– the anti-Semitic trials in Czechoslovakia (1952) and anti-Semitic campaigns in Poland (1952, 1968).
It were Soviet Stalinists and their Left nationalist allies, first in the Eastern Bloc and Arab countries, and finally globally, who transformed the word “Zionist“ into a political insult and a religious term synonym of evil. They have thus introduced a very convenient way of replacing the word “Jew” and concealing anti-Semitism.
But the question is even more complex. Stalinist anti-Zionism has also been spread by “communist” Jews who were in favour of a total assimilation of Jewish people and convinced that socialism would end all discriminations:
– In the “people’s democracies”, Jewish Stalinists had a significant influence in justice, police forces, public administration and the party apparatus and even at its head. This over-representation of Jews in the ruling circles of some “people’s democracies” (Hungary being the extreme example) had very negative consequences for the Jews. The cynical games of the USSR and pseudo-socialist states led Stalinist Jews to assume responsibility for State repression against workers and peasants living behind the iron curtain, and even for pogroms in the early years of the “communist” regimes. Stalinist Jews also contributed to erase the specificity of the Judeocide and the responsibilities of Eastern European populations. Supported by Stalinist Jews, this official “communist” silence has actually fuelled popular anti-Semitism on various contradictory or complementary themes: “Communists and Jews work hand in hand”; “Jewish Holocaust survivors are favoured by the Communist state”; “Jews are not really part of our nation“. Even crazier, if possible: “former Jewish capitalists and Jewish Communists in power agree to exploit us”… Today we can see the harmful results of this vicious Left anti-Zionism which targeted Jews in all countries of the Eastern bloc;
– In the Near and Middle East, many local members and leaders of the “communist” parties were anti-Zionist Jews. Local Stalinist parties, starting with the Palestinian party, had not much to say against Muslim anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism and against pogroms in Palestine (e.g., the pogrom of Hebron in 1929 during which it were not the new European Jewish settlers who were massacred, but the Jews whose ancestors had lived for centuries in Palestine. This speaks volumes about Palestinian anti-colonialism and its religious dimension, fundamentally linked to the subordinate place Jewish dhimmis occupied in societies governed by Islam)….
8. Outside Israel, irresponsible leftist or anarchist anti-Zionists recycle, without any precaution, debates and concepts used within Israeli society.
For the last twenty years, “post-Zionist” or anti-Zionist currents have appeared in Israeli intelligentsia. The spokesmen of these currents (“new historians” like Ilan Pappe, Benny Morris before his “zionist” turn, Tom Segev and scholars such as Sand, Zertal and Kimmerling) are Jews who are not anti-Semitic (although some Israelis accuse them of the worst deviations, e.g. in the book “Post-Zionism, Post- Holocaust” by Elhanan Yakira, which offers a sophisticated but reactionary argument)…
Many Israelis, including “Zionists” compare Nazi Germany with their country. In 1995, during the Far Right campaign against Rabin which led to his assassination, he was represented, on posters, by his Israeli opponents with an SS uniform. Such analogies, even if they are false and politically dangerous, have a meaning in Israel, given the common memory shared by Israelis about the Judeocide, regardless of their political positions.
When these comparisons or analogies are carelessly transferred into Europe, North America and Latin America, they have a different meaning because in these continents the Left hardly mobilized its forces against the Judeocide when it took place. After WW2, the Left (and the Right) did everything they could to prevent Jewish resistants to reclaim their Jewishness and their specific rights as victims of the genocide, in the Eastern bloc as well as in the West. And today, on these two continents, the Left and Far Left don’t pay any attention to the Judeocide. They recall its existence only to compare the methods of the Israeli army against the Palestinians with the methods of the Nazis against the Jews. These comparisons are reactionary and only help Holocaust deniers and neo-fascists to spread their racist propaganda.
The fact that Israeli anti-Zionists deliberately ignore the dangers of these comparisons is very problematic but understandable: they discuss in a society where everyone knows what the Judeocide has been. The fact that Western anti-Zionists have no historical memory about the cowardice of the Western Left during the Second World War, and about the anti-Semitic origins of Stalinist anti-Zionism is much more disturbing.
9. Current leftist currents support Anglo-Saxon multiculturalist and postcolonial theories which are fashionable in academic circles, and have been imported into Europe, often to fight the influence of Marxism and the very idea of social revolution.
This ideological influence has pushed many European leftists to divide Western societies into two antagonistic blocs: the dominant “Whites” (and their accomplices) and the dominated “non-Whites”. The opposition between these two imaginary categories is understood as much more important than the opposition between bourgeois and proletarians. As Jews belong to the “Whites”, any criticism of current, modern anti-Semitism, is suppressed, or disqualified by trendier theories (postmodernism, deconstruction, gender studies, postcolonialism, etc.).
Leftist militants, and even the average leftist or anti-globalization intellectual, are unable to understand that one can be “White” and at the same time victim of racist discrimination. In their imagination the essential racist domination, if not the unique domination, targets “non-Whites” of “postcolonial” origin. If a Jew is a victim of classic anti-Semitic racism (religious, economic and/or racial) or of modern anti-Semitism (hidden under an “anti-Zionist“ varnish) he has only one solution: to shut his mouth since he (or she) belongs to the world of the dominant “Whites“ and their accomplices. This political intransigence does not apply to homosexual, lesbian, queer, and transgender people and women, all groups whose domination is recognized by multiculturalist leftists, even if they belong to the petty bourgeoisie or to the bourgeoisie. This is even true if these minorities are “White”, therefore supposedly inherently complicit in the exploitation and domination of the “non-Whites”.
There is a curious convergence between three forces:
– the European Far Right which condemns feminism as a “Jewish invention” and an “unnatural” theory;
– Muslim fundamentalists who present feminism as a Western, anti-religious ideology, and condemn Middle and Far East feminists as traitors sold to the “American-Zionist Axis of Evil”;
– and Western multiculturalists who believe that “sectarian secularist” feminists are all racist and colonialist Whites.
Simultaneously attacked by these three forces, atheist feminists, or even just secular feminists, wherever they are active on this planet, are in a very precarious situation, especially if they are not fierce “anti-Zionists” who denounce the crimes of Israel every morning before taking their breakfast.
10. The term “Islamophobia” (imposed inside international institutions by the 57 states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference) mixes and confuses several very different phenomena:
– Pseudo-scientific 19th century racism which targets today, in Europe, migrants coming from North Africa, Near and Middle East, and SubSaharian Africa. This racism is hidden under a culturalist dressing (clash of civilizations, hypocritical defence of Enlightenment and feminism by the Right and far Right parties);
– Systemic or institutional racism (hidden domination under the mask of democratic or republican equality);
– Anti-Muslim religious passions fuelled by Christians political parties or competing churches;
– Consequences of Franco-Algerian war (difficult social integration of former French settlers in France, which fuels anti-Muslim resentment among “poor Whites” and provides a basis for Right and Far Right parties);
– Consequences of current conflicts in the Near and Middle East (forced exile of Christian populations, ethnic cleansing of Christians, which can and will only breed resentment against Islam in the West);
– Loss of geopolitical influence of former European colonial powers (France, Great Britain) and setbacks of American power. Western ruling classes constantly try to compensate their setbacks with “humanitarian interventions”. These interventions are launched in the name of a so-called democratic civilization fighting against “Islamic “or “jihadist” barbarism. This kind of propaganda can only feed hostility against Muslim workers who live in Europe or America;
– Identitarian anxieties which stimulate European nationalism and xenophobia, given the chaotic construction of the European Union;
– And atheist and rationalist criticism of religions.
The concept of Islamophobia deliberately confuses all these very diverse phenomena and dimensions. Its main aim is to marginalize and discredit any criticism against modern anti-Semitism, on behalf of the fight against Islamophobia, against neoconservative arguments but also against rationalism and universalism. Universalism is condemned as too western, “too White” or implicitly “too Jewish”, or all three at once.
11. The criminal policy of Israel and the hatred it arouses among Palestinians and neighbouring peoples does not obviously facilitate the understanding of current, modern, anti-Semitism. Israeli nationalism polarizes all these frustrations and resentments. This nationalism:
– defended the right of the victims of the Judeocide to benefit from a reliable state protection after 1945;
– claimed the historic right of the Jewish community living in Palestine not to be expelled by Palestinian or Arab nationalists;
– built a Jewish state with all the ensuing war crimes that may encourage such an ethno-religious definition;
– presents Jewish religion as monolithic, and therefore, in fact, as a dogmatic and sectarian religion;
– claims the right to Jewish self-determination, like any liberation movement;
– has a special alliance with the main current Western power, the United States, after having been initially supported by Russian imperialism (all leftists nostalgic for the Soviet Union hide this fact);
– encourages the illusion that Israel can exist while permanently ignoring or despising Near and Middle East history and their religious, social and political determinisms;
– conducts a permanent territorial expansion which resembles a progressive ethnic cleansing and makes impossible the creation of a Palestinian state enjoying the same natural and geographical advantages (access to the sea, energy and water, for example).
Faced with a complex and contradictory state ideology (“Zionism” which is inspired by century-old religious traditions, a Socialist-Zionist heritage and European bourgeois 19th century nationalism), it is easier and more convenient for the average leftist or anti-globalization activist to forget the age-old anti-Semitism which plagued the European continent where he lives, and specially to forget the anti-capitalist forms of Left anti-Semitism.
This allows him (or her) to adopt a radical posture without the slightest risk, and reduce the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a conflict between Jews/Israelis who are all colonialist, racist, religious and “pro-imperialist” (with a few exceptions) and Palestinians/Muslims/Arabs who are all anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist and internationalist (without exception)… A comforting fairy tale for leftists mourning a European revolution that has yet to come.
12. An image of imperialism, specifically of American imperialism, influenced by conspiracy theories. Its critique is reduced to the denunciation of some criminal presidents or generals (often compared to Hitler) and a “Zionist lobby” supposedly dictating its policy to the U.S. State. Such “theories” blend well with the cultural anti-Americanism of the nationalist Right (the Gaullists in France, for example) and nationalist Left. This trivial Left anti-Americanism was fed by Stalinist parties throughout the Cold War, and even a long time afterwards. Its aim was to build an alliance with the national bourgeoisie in every European state, and this pro-Soviet stance was strongly stimulated by Russian subsidies.
These conspiracy theories and trivial Left anti-Americanism fit very well with the explanations propagated by Sunni and Shia groups (whether they are protected by their governments or dissident, internationalist jihadist-groups) which denounce the “Great Satan” (the United States) and “Little Satan “(Israel).
We can observe a convergence between these three phenomena:
– various forms of modern Marxist or thirdworldist anti-imperialism,
– traditional anti-Judaism,
– and confused anti-Zionism with intertwined nationalist and religious origins.
This political convergence explains the perfect cohabitation, in demonstrations held in Western countries, between the leftists and the most reactionary political Islamists.
13. An inability to oppose the establishment of an (unlikely?) European imperialism and an (unlikely?) European Union in other terms other than those of nationalism and regionalism.
Critics of the creation, operation and development of the European Union are often based on the same conspiracy theories as Right and Far Right anti-capitalism and trivial Left anti-Americanism.
Right/Far Right anticapitalism denounces the alleged influence of the Illuminati, Freemasons, stateless Jews, Bilderberg Group, Trilateral, etc.
Trivial Left anti-Americanism overestimates the role of the NATO, of U.S. manoeuvres in the IMF, the World Bank and the UN.
Both (Right and Left) remain silent in front of the geopolitical manoeuvres and military interventions of Russian imperialism, or at least underestimate its power.
Both denounce “Brussels bureaucracy”, German omnipotence and European “oligarchs” as if the heads of State, ministers, MPs and parties were not represented in EU institutions. As if most – large, medium or small – capitalists did not support the European economic integration project. As if all difficulties could be reduced to the dictates of wicked Germany, treacherous sabotage of the pro-American British “poodle” and Yankee will to create discord among European states.
In a context of massive identitarian crisis among European peoples, it’s not surprising that anti-Semitism resurfaces. One of the historical and cyclical functions of anti-Semitism is in fact to cement national unity, including in countries such as Japan, where the Jewish presence was and is still insignificant.
This symbolic dimension of anti-Semitism in relation to the question of identity is completely ignored by leftists and anarchists obsessed with what they call anti-Zionism.
14. Faced with increasing globalization, leftists blindly follow the themes put forward by the anti-globalization galaxy, a galaxy funded by public manna both in the North and South. This no-global galaxy and its Marxist thinkers are unable to criticize populist regimes, and reformist and nationalist trends in the South. In the name of democracy they welcome on their meetings and events: supporters of conspiracy theories; the most reactionary representatives of political Islam; and reactionary Christian politicians or ecologists as far as they defend protectionist or isolationist positions.
This presence of a sizeable reactionary contingent, openly active within the no-global movement, has strengthened the propensity to anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism and anti-imperialism. The permanent denunciation of the alleged decisive role of cosmopolitan Finance and American superpower has only promoted anti-Semitic theories, given the absence of a materialist analysis of the fundamental mechanisms of capitalist exploitation and geopolitical relations between the powers.
15. The disintegration of the working classes, the forms taken by de-industrialization in major Western capitalist countries, the rising unemployment and the extension of the “ precariat” have totally confused anarchist and Far Left activists who expected a victorious revolutionary wave in the 60s and 70s.
These unexpected phenomena, poorly analysed, made them even more permeable to all postcolonial, postmodern ideologies. These ideologies claim to deconstruct all theories, including classical revolutionary theories invented by “western white males”. They intend to replace them with a relativism which endlessly fragments the exploited masses into countless minorities, defined by the multiple specific forms of domination they suffer from.
The class-based ideology of the labour movement, which saw in the proletariat the main revolutionary subject and vanguard of social transformation had some flaws. But at least it was a safeguard, a common reference which one could assert against the deleterious influence of anti-Semitic anti-capitalism.
The propaganda of most anarchists and leftist groups is less and less class-based. It is increasingly disconnected from the world of wage earners and places of production. This can only facilitate a general political regression even outside the infiltration attempts or ideological recuperations made by the Far Right.
Anyway, the Far Right has lead a very clever ideological war for thirty years, strengthened, since the invention of the internet, by its massive presence on all social networks.
The Far Left and anarchists are unable to effectively counter this ideological war as they are entangled in the ambiguities of their anti-Zionism and refuse to analyse their responsibilities in the dissemination of anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist Left anti-Semitism.
Dit van origine Franstalige artikel werd in april/mei van dit jaar geschreven en verscheen eerder in Ni patrie ni frontières
* Some texts of De Fabel van de illegaal on Left antisemitism
– Campaign against the MAI potentially antisemitic
– ATTAC’s open flank
– Ten tips against anti-Semitism
– Biggest manifestation of anti-Semitism since 1945
– Anti-Semitism on the Indymedia website
– Is Zionism the new enemy of the anti-globalization movement?
– The conservative roots of anti-Americanism
– Between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism
See here for more..
(these links were added to this article by Doorbraak)