Workers and our unions have a critical stake in taking on and fighting to defeat every form of Jew-hatred wherever it appears. That’s what candidates and members of the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada and the U.K. are explaining in response to Hamas’ murderous assault in Israel Oct. 7, the largest pogrom since the Holocaust.
They find that most workers they meet are shocked and outraged by the slaughter.
They’re getting a statement by Rachele Fruit, the SWP’s candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida, into the hands of working people at union picket lines and on their doorsteps in cities, small towns and rural areas. The statement was printed in last week’s Militant and is available on the paper’s website. It explains that building parties that can fight for workers power and socialism is the road to ending Jew-hatred once and for all.
“Hamas’ attack was outrageous,” insurance worker Anthony Coleman told Lea Sherman, SWP candidate for New Jersey General Assembly, when she knocked on his door in Orange, New Jersey, Oct. 15. Sherman said all workers had a stake in defending Israel’s right to exist as a refuge for Jews after the horrors of the Holocaust, and Washington and London’s refusal to admit Jews before, during and after the Second World War.
Coleman pointed to the sharp conflicts between the Democratic and Republican parties today. “When one party gets elected here, the other says the election was illegitimate,” Coleman said. “That’s a problem.”
“Neither of them defend workers’ interests,” Sherman replied. “Both of them backed Biden when he banned rail workers from striking last year for better wages and safer conditions.”
“Without safety you end up with derailments like the one in East Palestine, Ohio,” Coleman said, “and it’s always the working class that’s affected.” He got a subscription to the Militant.
Later that afternoon Sherman marched alongside several thousand in Livingston, New Jersey, to protest Hamas’ slaughter. The action was organized by the ad-hoc MetroWest Israel Action Committee and the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. It included participants from synagogues, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches and Chinese and Indian community groups. Among the placards carried by marchers was a sign that pointed to the danger of Jew-hatred everywhere. It read “USA is not immune.”
In Pittsburgh, Tony Lane, SWP candidate for Allegheny County Executive, and campaign supporters visited Militant subscribers to discuss how workers can take on and eradicate antisemitism and why this is a life-and-death question for the labor movement. They visited Francis Graham, who told Lane that the Israeli government had a long record oppressing the Palestinian people.
“Israel exists because of the Holocaust,” Lane said. “Fighting Jew-hatred and defending Israel’s right to exist is crucial.” He showed Graham The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation by Abram Leon, a leader of the revolutionary working-class movement in Nazi-occupied Belgium in the 1940s. Leon was captured and killed in the gas chambers in Auschwitz, Poland.
The book describes how antisemitism rises at times of deep going capitalist crisis, as insecure layers of the middle class look for someone to blame. The capitalist rulers turn to Jew-hating fascist forces to try to crush mounting working-class battles.
“I can see the point you’re making,” Graham said. He decided to get the book.
“I think what’s happening in Israel is horrible,” student Kate Baker told SWP campaigners Lisa Rottach and Miguel Zarate when they knocked on her door in Louisville, Kentucky, not far from the picket lines of striking United Auto Workers at the Ford Truck Plant there.
“The only way to end violence and pogroms against Jews once and for all is for working people to overturn capitalism,” Rottach said. Workers gain confidence we can change the conditions we face through fights like the UAW strike, Zarate said. Baker arranged a follow-up visit so she can subscribe to the Militant.
The SWP campaigners also met a worker who recently arrived from Cuba, who described the severe hardships working people confront there. He told Rottach that neither the Cuban government, nor former President Fidel Castro were to blame. He said Castro was “a leader for the whole world.”
“The SWP demands an unconditional end to the U.S. economic war against Cuba. Washington should remove Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism,” Rottach said. The man purchased a copy of the Spanish edition of The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward by SWP leaders Jack Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and Steve Clark, along with a Militant subscription.
In Minneapolis, SWP campaigners Mary Martin and Kevin Dwire met a retiree who was pet sitting at a friend’s house.
“Why don’t you both come in,” she said after they showed her the paper’s headline, “Condemn Jew-hating pogrom! Defend Israel’s right to exist!” As the dogs and cats came to greet the SWP campaigners, she told them she had been unable to find anything objective in news coverage about Hamas’ assault. She readily subscribed to the Militant.
Supporters of the Militant are hosting Militant Labor Forums where working people can address this turning point in world politics and discuss how workers can build the party we need.
SWP and Communist League members are campaigning to expand the readership of the Militant and books by SWP leaders and other revolutionaries. At the end of the third week, the fall campaign to win 1,350 subscribers to the paper and sell the same number of books is just ahead of schedule, with 689 subscriptions and 974 books sold.
SWP members are also winning contributions to the party’s annual Party-Building Fund of $140,000. They’re extending the SWP’s reach, attracting workers and winning new fund contributors by clearly addressing the class roots of antisemitism and boldly presenting a course to combat and overcome it, on the road to workers taking political power.
To join SWP members campaigning or to contribute to the fund contact the nearest branch listed in the directory.