The following is an SL/B statement issued on 9 November 2023.
The Zionist war machine is massacring Palestinians in Gaza with the full backing of the American and British governments. As for Keir Starmer and the leadership of the Labour Party, they are toeing the line, defending Israel’s “right” to raze the Gaza strip and murder an entire people. The trade union leaders? At best they have issued timid “criticisms”, at worst, they support him. This is intolerable.
Support to Zionism and the right of Israel to oppress Palestinians is a red line for the (Protestant, anti-Jewish) British ruling class. For Starmer and his clique, support to Zionism is their loyalty oath to the British establishment, the necessary political passport to be admitted to their ranks. Corbyn and his supporters were purged from Labour and slandered as “anti-Semites” precisely because they crossed this line.
The only force which can actually put a stop to the current massacre is the working class. But the British workers cannot take a single step in this direction as long as they are led by Zionists like Starmer and his trade union backers! Hell, this unholy alliance with Zionists is just as much an obstacle to the fight for higher wages, a better NHS, decent schools and affordable housing. The struggle of the working class in Britain and the cause of Palestinian freedom are linked by their common enemy. Now is the time for a real fight to throw the pro-establishment leaders out of the labour movement!
But most people are trying to pressure Starmer to come out for a “ceasefire”, as opposed to “humanitarian pauses”. This is just a debate over how long to pause during the slaughter. The point is not to get a short break from the blitzkrieg but for Labour and the TUC to stand for the liberation of Palestine! But again, this obviously will not happen as long as Labour and the TUC are led by Zionists!
Anti-Zionism isn’t anti-Jewish
Let’s be clear, the charge of “anti-Semitism” against opponents of Zionism is the most disgusting lie. Zionism is an ideology which claims that all Jews have a religious right to steal the land of Palestinians. To oppose Zionism means to oppose that. It does not mean opposing the right of Israeli Jews to live in Palestine.
If the Labour Party and trade unions were led by fighters for the working class, as opposed to the current gang of spineless careerists and knighted yuppies, they would say: the freedom of the Jewish population of Israel, not least of all the liberation of the Jewish working class, depends on the liberation of Palestine. The cause of anti-Zionism is also the cause of the Jewish working class!
Don’t quit, fight! For a rank-and-file revolt!
In response to Starmer’s open proclamations of Israel’s right to massacre and starve the people of Gaza some 50 Labour councillors have quit the party. This may help their chances of re-election, but it does nothing to break the stranglehold of Zionism on the party. Quitting at this point only means carrying out Starmer’s purge for him. If you are going to go down, go down fighting. Go down with a chance to win!
But the attitude of pretty much the whole left is “Starmer’s hold on the party is too strong”, “the left is too weak” and “for now, these are the union leaders we have, we have to pressure them to fight”. All this amounts to the same thing: refusing to put up a fight against the Zionists in the labour movement.
Don’t expect anything from the Labour lefts. Sultana, McDonnell & Co won’t break the rules. They have shown that they would rather let themselves be purged by the right wing than do anything to confront the Zionists head-on. Just look at Corbyn.
What is needed is simple. An upsurge of the rank and file, both in the Party and in the trade unions, could toss out the Zionists in an instant, rules be damned. For this to happen, the red line must be crossed. Anyone, and any group claiming to stand for Palestine, must fight for this. For a real fight to remove the obstacles to working-class actions in defence of Palestine!