Socialist Workers Party statement

Protest Abbas’ defense of the Holocaust

September 25, 2023

Statement by Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York City Council, Sept. 13.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Aug. 24 statement defending the Holocaust should be condemned by the labor movement and all those opposed to exploitation and oppression.

Abbas repeats antisemitic garbage, claiming 6 million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis not because of Jew-hatred, but because of their role in “usury and money.” He says European Jews could not have been victims of antisemitism because they’re not really Semites! 

Between 1933 and today, the population of the world has increased 350%, but the Jewish population is still below what it was in 1933. Some two-thirds of European Jews were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. 

Abbas’ words are grist to the mill of the reactionary rulers of Iran whose stated aim is to wipe out the state of Israel, home to nearly half the world’s Jews. Tehran’s course toward acquiring nuclear weapons endangers all those throughout the region and beyond. 

Over 200 Palestinian figures signed a letter Sept. 10 condemning Abbas’ attempt to “justify anti-Semitism,” and “Nazi crimes against humanity.” 

Today, antisemitism among working people is less than ever. But amid a deep world capitalist crisis, violence against Jews is on the rise. Any political party aspiring to speak and act in the interests of the working class must condemn all expressions of Jew-hatred. 

The Socialist Workers Party calls for recognition of both an independent Palestinian state and of Israel’s right to exist. This must include the right of Jews the world over to seek refuge in Israel.

As the capitalist crisis and rising threats of new wars mark today’s epoch, the bosses are driven to wage greater assaults on labor. History shows they inevitably turn to fascist forces who blame Jews for the social crisis to divide and attack the working-class movement. This, including the horrors of the Holocaust, is the lesson of the rise of Hitler.

Fighting antisemitism is integral to the working-class line of march toward the conquest of power and to building a party that can lead that revolutionary struggle. Only the elimination of capitalism can open the door to ending Jew-hatred once and for all.