Ever since the Oct. 7 murderous massacre of over a 1,400 Jews in Israel by Tehran-backed Hamas, candidates of the Socialist Workers Party and members of the Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada and the U.K. have been campaigning to get out the truth about the deadliest pogrom since the Nazi Holocaust in World War II. They explain the rise of lethal antisemitic violence is dangerous not only for Jews but for the entire working class and the union movement worldwide.
The SWP candidates are running in the November 7 elections across the country.
Party members and supporters have taken the Militant and a campaign statement by Rachele Fruit, SWP candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida, to working people on their doorsteps, protests defending Israel’s right to exist as a refuge for the Jews, and to unionists on strike picket lines. Most workers, shocked and horrified by the slaughter of innocents they saw on the news that day, are open to a communist explanation of the roots of Jew-hatred and why the working class must organize to fight it.
A lively debate took place at the Militant Labor Forum in Montreal Oct. 21 featuring Steve Penner, organizer of the
Communist League in Canada. The topic was, “Massacre of more than 1,400 Jews in Israel along with Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine: A turning point in world politics.”
Penner explained why communists are for both the victory of Ukraine in the war against Moscow’s invasion, and for Israel in the war against Hamas. “The fight against Jew-hatred is completely interconnected with the fight against imperialism’s march toward fascism and war,” he said.
The CL leader urged the 35 forum participants to read and circulate the series of New International magazines on Marxist politics and theory. These explain the roots of the deepening worldwide capitalist economic, social and moral crisis, and why the questions of war and Jew-hatred are central in world politics today. They outline why the working class needs to build revolutionary working-class parties to take political power.
Others expressed a different point of view. “There are two massacres,” forumgoer Grant Hargrave argued in the discussion period. “Hamas’ massacre of Jews on Oct. 7, and the subsequent bombing of Gaza by Israeli forces.” Another participant said, “Hamas is terrorist. But Israeli bombing of Gaza closes space for working people to act. Why not call on Israel not to use its air force?”
“Neither speaker,” replied Penner, “said anything about how to prevent both the massacre of more Jews and destruction of the state of Israel as a refuge.” This, he said, “is the stated goal of Hamas, Hezbollah and their backer, the bourgeois clerical regime in Iran.” He said, “Tehran is racing to develop nuclear weapons with the goal of annihilating the state of Israel.
Israel as refuge for Jews
“While we give no support to Israel’s capitalist government, we unreservedly support Israel’s right to defend itself. A victory by Hamas would be catastrophic for Jews in Israel and elsewhere and give a huge boost to the forces of reaction.
“There are enormous stakes for the world’s oppressed and exploited. You have to decide which side you are on,” Penner said.
SWP campaigners find many workers want to understand more deeply what is behind Hamas’ antisemitic assaults, as well as the wider political turmoil and military conflicts in the world today.
Lynda Little, a member of the Communist League in Canada, reports that a co-worker of hers at Walmart wanted to get the French edition of The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation by Abram Leon before he travels back home to Morocco for several weeks. He organized to have a friend get the money to Little and bring it to him before he leaves.
In London Oct. 22, “Bring them home!” was the repeated chant at a solidarity rally in Trafalgar Square. Protesters were calling for the release of more than 200 hostages seized by Hamas and taken to Gaza during the Islamist group’s Oct. 7 anti-Jewish slaughter in Israel.
Called by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and United Jewish Israel Appeal, the rally drew 15,000 participants — the largest gathering of Jews in Britain in recent years. Signs with photographs of the faces of the hostages were held by 203 volunteers, while many in the crowd did likewise.
Survivors of the Hamas attacks and relatives of hostages spoke at the rally. Other speakers included prominent rabbis and politicians from both the Conservative and Labour Parties.
Members of the Communist League were joined there by a couple of other participants from a Militant Labor Forum held the previous evening. The meeting protested Hamas’ pogrom, defended Israel’s right to exist and discussed the road forward in the fight against Jew-hatred. The CL contingent was welcomed and thanked for their solidarity.
“Working people cannot rely on London, Washington or other ‘democratic’ imperialist governments to protect the Jews,” said a statement by Pamela Holmes, organizer of the London branch of the League, that was distributed. “London closed the door on Jewish immigration before, during and after World War II. That, and the betrayal of revolutionary opportunities by the Stalinists in Moscow and elsewhere, led to Hitler’s ‘Final Solution.’ That’s why Israel had to be, and has to be, a refuge for the Jews.
“But as long as we live under decaying capitalism, there will be no safe haven for Jews — in Israel, the U.K. or elsewhere,” Holmes said. “Only the working class and its unions, acting decisively with class-conscious leadership, can take on and defeat the forces of reaction.” It is only the struggle for workers to take power and make a socialist revolution that can end Jew-hatred once and for all.
Henry Ford’s antisemitism
At Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville Oct. 23, SWP campaigners Amy Husk and Betsy Farley joined the strike picket line of UAW Local 862. The Militant’s headline, “Fighting Jew-hatred is a union issue” caught the eye of striker David Straughn and he got a copy. “Why is there so much feeling against the Jews, and for such a long time?” Straughn asked.
Farley said, “Wealthy ruling classes like the capitalists today, and even before capitalism, have tried to trick workers into blaming our problems on someone else, like the Jewish people, when really it’s the fault of the rulers’ system.”
“That sounds like Ford,” said Straughn.
In fact, Henry Ford, the company’s founder, had been a prominent Jew-hater, writing and distributing antisemitic newspapers and books worldwide.
Nazi leader Adolph Hitler put up a picture of Ford in his Munich office in 1931. “I regard Ford as my inspiration,” Hitler told the Detroit News.
SWP and Communist League members are campaigning to expand the readership of the Militant and books by SWP leaders and other revolutionaries. They’re extending the reach of the communist movement, by clearly addressing the historical origins and class roots of antisemitism and boldly presenting a working-class course to combat and overcome it, on the road to taking political power.
By the end of the fourth week, this political campaign over the fall to win 1,350 subscribers to the paper and sell the same number of books has got a good response by working people. It is ahead of schedule, with 797 subscriptions and 1,065 books sold.
SWP members are also winning contributions to the party’s annual Party-Building Fund of $140,000.
To join SWP or CL members campaigning, contact the nearest branch.