[Marxism] "Antisemitism in the Movement"?

kersplebedeb info at kersplebedeb.com
Sat Jul 15 14:06:32 MDT 2006

Yoshie, you seem troubled by this movement event happening at 
Bluestockings (a radical left bookstore). I have no knowledge of how the 
discussion will unfold, or how the event was planned (though Peter 
Staudenmeier has a good rep. in my books), but i have the opposite gut 
reaction as you: i wish i was in NYC so that i could attend!

Why the differing reactions?

Well, i think there are three questions here: (1) does anti-semitism 
exist in the left, (2) is that why the left gets accused of 
anti-semitism in some quarters and (3) is that why "many" Jewish 
activists have abandoned the left.

While i might agree with Yoshie on points 2 and 3 (i.e. i think concerns 
about left anti-semitism in the mainstream press and in the official 
anti-anti-semitism industry are disingenuous, and i don't think there is 
a problem of any significant numbers of Jewish activists having been 
driven away by anti-semitism - though several i know have been 
disheartened by it) i think we defniitely disagree on point 1.

As a non-Jew who has been active for twenty years i have seen a lot of 
anti-semitism on the left (of course i've also seen loads of other 
problematic things, including sexism and racism and hompphobia and 
transphobia and middle class dominance, but they're not what's being 
discussed here), some of it clearly stemming from ignorance and bad 
manners, but also some of it clearly political.

Not sure if i should now give a list of incidents, comments, statements, 
etc. (it strikes me as a silly exercise) or what. I would certainly 
agree that anti-semitism often is used as a canard against the left, 
especially the anti-imperialist and national liberation movements, but 
to go from there to say that "there is no issue" is quite a leap. 
Indeed, while the canard would probably live on as long as the Jewish 
community was tied to the zionist project, it would be a lot less 
effective if a the left had a coherent and consistent position on 

I'm certainly not saying i have such a thought out position to offer, 
but having left activists discussing the question at a left bookstore 
advertised on a left website (i.e. the Bluestockings event listed below) 
is to me a step in the correct direction, and should not be conflated 
with those right-wingers who are simply out to smear all opposition to 

> Events
> Opposing Antisemitism in the Movement:
> A Workshop for Activists
> New York City, July 23, 2006
> When: Sunday, July 23, 6:30 p.m.
> Where: Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street, between Stanton and Rivington
> Streets, Manhattan (directions below).

More information about the Marxism mailing list