No to the Democrats’ Slanders Against Palestine Solidarity

In Gaza, Israel continues its unbridled campaign of slaughter and terror, while in the United States, the Democrats train their own sights on the millions of American workers and youth standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Copying from a well-worn playbook, liberal politicians are falling over themselves to cast smears of “antisemitism” against opponents of Zionism. Shaken by the mass movement in support of Palestine, the capitalists’ favored political party will sink to any depths to undermine it.

At a protest in Philadelphia on December 3, a march briefly stopped and chanted outside of Goldie, a restaurant owned by wealthy Israeli chef Michael Solomonov. Solomonov’s restaurant group has organized donations for a pro-IDF charity, and former employees of Goldie are speaking out  after the restaurant fired them for expressing support for Palestine. Thus, Solomonov and his establishments are perfectly legitimate targets for working class, anti-imperialist outrage. An injury to one is an injury to all!

Our class enemy sees things differently. Within hours, prominent Democrats began showering condemnation on the protestors. A spokesman for President Biden—a man who rushed across the planet to embrace the butcher Benjamin Netanyahu less than 24 hours after Israel murdered hundreds in its bombing Gaza’s Al-Ahli Hospital—called the protest “antisemitic and completely unjustifiable.”

Pennsylvania Governor, Democrat Josh Shapiro, rushed to social media to say the entirely peaceful march was a “blatant act of antisemitism—not a peaceful protest,” echoing the unfounded claim that Goldie was “mobbed” because its owner is Jewish. Shapiro then attempted to capitalize on his dishonest stand with a photo-op at the eatery a few days later.

Other prominent Democrats, including Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman and Philadelphia Congressman Brendan Boyle, took to social media to repeat the baseless claim that the protest targeted certain businesses “simply because they’re Jewish-owned.”

Predictably, pro-imperialist propaganda outlets, from the Philadelphia Inquirer to Fox News to The Guardian, were soon awash with headlines repeating these genocide-enthusiasts’ distortions to the entire world.

Liberal politicians are falling over themselves to cast smears of “antisemitism” against opponents of Zionism. / Image: Socialist Revolution

What really happened on December 3?

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Rittenhouse Square, and the march commenced with a prayer, transitioning into energetic chants as the crowd traversed the narrow streets of Philadelphia. Led by the Philly Palestine Coalition, the march featured a noticeable group of rabbis and other Jewish individuals in religious attire, holding a huge banner and signs in support of the Palestinians.

Contrary to the media narrative, the protest did not single out Goldie for having a Jewish owner. In fact, attention shifted to Starbucks later in the march, and a focal point of discontent, the University of Pennsylvania, was criticized for its support of Israel, restrictions on free speech, and perpetual involvement in local gentrification.

Much of the march concentrated on the University City Townhomes, emblematic of the broader issue of gentrification and affordable housing around private universities like UPenn and Drexel. Speakers emphasized the parallel displacement of oppressed peoples in both Palestine and in Philadelphia, attributing it to the capitalist class.

A concluding speech by a Philadelphia-based rabbi addressed the media’s distortion of Judaism, and explained the difference between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. He expressed embarrassment at the conflation of the two, asserting they have nothing at all in common.

Throughout the march, IMT comrades engaged with dozens of attendees and encountered no antisemitic sentiments. Participants sympathized with the Palestinian cause, seeking revolutionary systemic change to address the brutal oppression.

On December 5, Biden stated, “I am a Zionist. I make no apologies for that.” / Image: US Embassy Jerusalem, Flickr

Why the imperialists twist “antisemitism”

We have seen this sort of revolting slander before. Recent days have furnished another rotten example. On December 5, Congress overwhelmingly passed a shameful resolution declaring that “anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” Ninety-two Democrats joined all but one of their Republican allies to vote in favor of this measure, with a further 95 Democrats voting “present” to avoid making any kind of stand whatsoever.

By a vote of 311 to 14, an institution with a 13% approval rating chose to smear many millions of Americans, including a huge number of Jewish Americans, branding them all as “antisemites.”

The purpose of all of this is to clear the way for a general political offensive against the masses of American workers and youth who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of this appalling slaughter and 75 years of national oppression.

This reveals the deep fear that the movement inspires in the hearts of both capitalist parties. As they careen towards yet another shambolic presidential election between candidates most people despise, the last thing that the American ruling class wants to see are millions of outraged people on the streets and growing outspokenness from labor unions against the country’s disgusting foreign policy. The capitalist rulers think they can disarm this threat to their stability by lying through their teeth, and they’re leaping at the chance.

Imperialism and Zionism

At a campaign event on December 5, Biden stated, “I got in trouble many times for saying you don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist, and I am a Zionist. I make no apologies for that.”

The president actually makes an important point—one needn’t be Jewish to be a Zionist. In fact, many Zionists in the world aren’t even Jewish, but rather evangelical Christians who seek to instrumentalize the Jewish people in order to fulfill apocalyptic religious fantasies.

Communists understand that, in the end, Zionism has nothing to do with safeguarding Jewish people. As Trotsky predicted in 1940, the fulfillment of the Zionist project has been a “tragic mockery” and led millions of Jews into a “bloody trap”—a debasing cycle of violence and reaction that’s impossible to escape under capitalism.

The true significance of Zionism lies in its utility for US imperialism. By sponsoring and defending the Zionist regime, the US imperialists succeeded in implanting a permanent, heavily armed outpost in the heart of the Middle East.

That doing so came at the cost of erasing an entire nation of people was of little concern to these people; the entire point of American capitalism’s steadfast support for Zionism is precisely that it is a means of dividing and ruling, allowing them to maintain their influence over this strategically important region.

The religious and ethnic trappings of Zionist ideology are very helpful features for the imperialists. As an instrument of imperialist policy, Zionism comes ready-made with all of the ingredients necessary to ignite yet another divisive culture war, making it ideal for their purposes. It is this culture war which the imperialists intend to use to deflect attention from the devastation wrought by their policies and to silence all who oppose them.

In Britain, the capitalists sought to discredit Jeremy Corbyn by tying his longstanding support for the Palestinian cause to bogus claims that the Labour Party was “institutionally antisemetic.” / Image: paulnew, Wikimedia Commons

Don’t give the imperialists a single inch!

The strategists of American capitalism have learned from their brethren in Britain. In the 2017 parliamentary elections, Jeremy Corbyn, then the social democratic leader of the Labour Party, nearly led his party to power on a program of popular, pro-worker reforms. This evoked panic from every shade of capitalist politics—Tory, Blairite, Liberal, and Green alike—who dedicated their energies to destroying Corbynism.

The capitalists sought to discredit Corbyn by tying his longstanding support for the Palestinian cause to bogus claims that the Labour Party was “institutionally antisemetic.”

Rather than coming out swinging against these obvious slanders and lies, Corbyn and his top advisors caved in. Yielding to the poison of identity politics, Corbyn and the weak reformists around him simply surrendered to their enemies. Thousands of Labour Party members were investigated and purged from the party lists on the flimsiest of evidence, including simply interacting with social media content critical of Israel.

As the 2019 election approached, the imperialist smear machine went into overdrive. Corbyn continued to retreat and apologize for something for which his movement was not guilty. Labour was trounced in the election, thus destroying the best chance the British working class had to implement pro-worker policies in decades.

In the aftermath, the purges continued. Disgustingly, left-wing anti-Zionist Jewish members of the Labour Party found themselves five times more likely to face accusations of “antisemitism” from this inquisition.

Hundreds of thousands of Labour members quit in disgust as the right-wing Blairites around Sir Keir Starmer ascended to replace Corbynism. Communists in Britain did all they could to resist this capitalist counteroffensive, but they too were eventually pushed out of the party.

The Democrats are copying this tactic. We, too, must learn from this sorry episode in the fight against our own rotten imperialist ruling class. The communists cannot give the imperialist enemy even one inch. These smears are often cooked up in the logic and language of liberal-academic identity politics, which sometimes winds its way into left-wing movements.

We must be perfectly clear: such ideas serve only the interests of the murderous imperialists, no matter how well-intentioned anyone who repeats them may be. But we can be certain that the Democrats and the rest of the bourgeois have only the worst intentions in mind when they openly side with the Zionist thugs who cast these spurious accusations at the struggle for Palestinian freedom.

Resisting Zionism, which is nothing more nor less than a tool of America’s imperialist foreign policy, has nothing to do with antisemitism. / Image: Socialist Revolution

Fight back!

Our movement must respond firmly and without compromise: resisting Zionism, which is nothing more nor less than a tool of America’s imperialist foreign policy, has nothing to do with antisemitism. Instead of retreating, we must fight back and point the finger squarely where it belongs!

The American capitalists and their prized ally, the criminal Zionist regime in Israel, have viciously oppressed the Palestinian people for three-quarters of a century. Israeli imperialism has murdered, maimed, and traumatized millions in that time, forcibly uprooting and trampling upon an entire nation in their pursuit to dominate the Middle East.

Virtually all of the allegedly “progressive,” “anti-racist,” or “anti-war” Democrats are enthusiastic supporters of these horrific policies. Not because they care about the safety of Jewish people or want a genuine fight against actual antisemitism, but because American capitalism requires a friendly military fortress in the Levant, one that’s armed to the teeth and under the command of fanatical reactionaries. The Democrats will happily slander American workers and young people in order to distract attention from and defend their predatory policies.

The American working class is the only force on Earth that can bring US imperialism to an end. It is time to organize for a long-haul, revolutionary struggle to put the treacherous liberals in their proper place: the dustbin of history.

Our struggle against imperialism requires a communist party and revolutionary press that will stand up to the lies of the capitalist media, politicians, and institutions! As Leon Trotsky said, the locomotive of history is truth, not lies!

We will agitate, educate, and organize a critical mass of revolutionary workers and young people until we finally have a force capable of bringing the horrors of capitalism to an end and replace them with a communist society, one that is fit for human habitation.

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