Author: Editorial, Solidarity, 21 August, 2008
The Socialist Workers Party’s behaviour at last Saturday’s [16 August 2008] protest against the British National Party’s Red White and Blue festival was spectacularly crass. But nothing they did was odder than the text of the petition they were circulating to gather contact names.
Using Love Music Hate Racism as a party front, their petition’s second bullet point reads: “[The BNP] deny the holocaust where thousands of LGBT people, trade unionists and disabled people were slaughtered.”
No mention of the main victims of the Holocaust, the Jews.
How could such an omission be accounted for? Perhaps, it could be argued, the Jews were simply forgotten, left off the list of victims through casual error. Perhaps we should regard this as a stupid mistake, but not a malicious or politically significant one. Perhaps a young, new SWP member should take the blame.
Let us assume that a young member did write this. Don’t more experienced comrades in the SWP check political material before it is circulated? We know they do.
But let us also assume that the youngest, newest SWP member produced this material, which was then circulated, unchecked by anyone else within the SWP. Why would this hypothetical new member “forget” the Jews?
To say something has been “forgotten” is a description, not an explanation. For example, one of us might forget our office keys — a description of an event. But the explanation may well be that somewhere in our brain, perhaps semi- or sub-conciously we don’t really want to go to work.
Political people, writing political documents, make such glaring omissions for identifiable political reasons.
Our charge against the SWP is not that they hate Jews — not as individuals. Our charge is not that they are Hitlerites — of course they are not. Our charge against the SWP is that their hostility to “Zionism” (i.e. to most Jews in the world) is now so deep-running, so pernicious, so unthinking, blinkered and automatic, that such an “accident” or “mistake” is possible. By creating an organisation with such a default setting, the SWP’s leaders are building a group which will “forget” the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Shame on you!
More power to the SWP for finally recognising those who bring misery on every country in the world, including ours. Perhaps deep down the SWP may think Hitler had a point, or perhaps they realise that the 6 million figure has purchased war and misery on a level the Jews themselves have never felt. It was only 2 weeks ago that Israel was looking to shed blood in Ossetia. One would genuinely assume that any peoples who had really suffered would never wish it upon anyone else, but we enlightened few know differently.