The brutal slaughter of over 1,400 men, women and children in Israel Oct. 7 changed world politics forever, shocking millions of working people worldwide.
On doorsteps, union picket lines and at demonstrations against the Hamas pogrom, members and candidates of the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Leagues in Canada, Australia and the U.K. have been joining discussions on the roots of Jew-hatred and the stakes in the fight against it for working people.
“So much hate!” said Rufino Tejada, a retired tailor originally from the Dominican Republic, about the massacre by Hamas in Israel. “There can’t be a cease-fire with a group like that.” He liked the headline in the last issue of the Militant saying, “Defend Israel’s right to exist! Call for cease-fire is support for Hamas.”
Tejada was speaking with Seth Galinsky, Socialist Workers Party candidate for City Council in New York, and party member Tamar Rosenfeld, when they knocked on his door Nov. 5.
Galinsky told Tejada that there has been a rise in acts of Jew-hatred. “Working people need to build working-class parties in Israel, the Palestinian territories, in the U.S. and around the world,” he said, “that can lead the fight to take power out of the hands of the capitalist rulers.”
Tejada subscribed to the Militant and bought three Pathfinder books on special, 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; Cuba and the Coming American Revolution; and Are They Rich Because They’re Smart?
“The Militant’s coverage of the pogrom against Jews, Israel’s response, rising worldwide Jew-hatred, and the ongoing labor resistance here are helping win individuals to subscribe to the paper,” SWP member Norton Sandler told the Militant. “Over the past three weeks, the Los Angeles branch has signed up 45 subscribers and sold many books by SWP leaders and other revolutionaries, including The Jewish Question by Abram Leon. A few subscriptions were renewals, but most were to new readers. Several were sold door to door in Los Angeles and in small towns in the Imperial Valley. Ten were sold to hotel workers fighting for a new contract, five to workers on strike trying to defend their Teamsters local from a union-busting attack, and to bakery and rail co-workers.”
Hollaye Tanner, a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in Canada, and daughter Rayne, met with SWP member Jacob Perasso and Communist League supporters Ned Dmytryshyn and Fred Nelson at a coffee shop in Vancouver, British Columbia, Nov. 5.
“I was worried because I thought the Militant might be against the Jews,” she said, “but now I’m very happy that you are not and that you defend the right of Israel to exist and its right to defend itself against attack.”
She said she wanted to learn more about the history of Jew-hatred so she could be more effective in explaining why the fight against it is so important for unions and all working people.
Tanner renewed her Militant subscription for six months and bought The Jewish Question, The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us, and Women in Cuba: The Making of a Revolution Within the Revolution.
Gabrielle Prosser, SWP candidate for Minneapolis City Council in the 11th Ward, set the record straight after an Oct. 23 article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune tried to paint the party as a champion of reforms.
“The SWP program is for socialist revolution,” she wrote in a letter the paper published Nov. 3. “Workers everywhere need to oppose Jew-hatred and defend Israel’s right to exist as a refuge for Jews.” Opposing Jew-hatred “is an important question not just for Jews, but for the working class. Those who champion Hamas today will easily find themselves allied with future fascist forces, who target both Jews and the working class in times of sharp capitalist crisis.”
John Hawkins, SWP candidate for U.S. Senate from Ohio, and party member Jacquie Henderson spoke with Richard True about renewing his subscription to the Militant in Cincinnati Nov. 1. “You are back, good! It’s time. I’ve been missing that paper,” said the laid-off autoworker.
Looking at the Militant headlines, “Fight Jew-hatred! Support the right of Israel to exist!” True said, “I have been wondering about this, where does all this violence come from?”
Hawkins said, “Jew-hatred is a key part of capitalism. The capitalist rulers can’t solve the deepening crisis of their system. As their crisis deepens, they try to scapegoat Jews so we won’t organize to rid the world of the real source of our misery — their class rule.”
Hawkins added, “This oppression of the Jews is centuries old. Its roots go back to antiquity, as The Jewish Question by Leon explains.”
“I never knew any of this history before,” True said after looking through the book. Renewing his Militant subscription, he also got The Jewish Question and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by Barnes. “I look forward to our next discussion,” he said.
By the end of week six of the eight-week fall campaign to expand the reach of the Militant, we are on target with 1,034 subscriptions sold toward the goal of 1,350. The goal of selling the same number of books by SWP and other revolutionary leaders has already been surpassed, with 1,370 sold and more to come by Nov. 21.
To join SWP or CL members in this effort, contact the nearest branch.