Join SWP in fight against Jew-hatred, to advance working-class struggles

By Janet Post
January 29, 2024
Lea Sherman, right, SWP candidate for U.S. Congress from New Jersey, campaigns at Jan. 12 “Bring Them Home” action at U.N. to demand return of hostages seized by Hamas. Sponsored by Jewish organizations, it drew over 2,500 people, including high school student contingents.
Militant/Terry EvansLea Sherman, right, SWP candidate for U.S. Congress from New Jersey, campaigns at Jan. 12 “Bring Them Home” action at U.N. to demand return of hostages seized by Hamas. Sponsored by Jewish organizations, it drew over 2,500 people, including high school student contingents.

Socialist Workers Party members in Washington, D.C., called on area unions to condemn a Jew-hating attack on holiday displays in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore Dec. 23. 

Lights were torn from the front fence of Rabbi Moshe Moskowitz’s house. He had a yard sign saying, “We stand with Israel.” The house of Joshua Lamont with a “Happy Hanukkah” light display was also vandalized. The yards of both homes were strewn with pieces of smashed watermelon, a symbol reflecting the colors of the Palestinian flag. 

“Working people and the labor movement should speak out against this act of vandalism and stand in solidarity,” read a statement by Arrin Hawkins, chairperson of the SWP branch in D.C. “The banner of the working class everywhere must include an uncompromising fight against Jew-hatred. 

“The Socialist Workers Party defends the right of Israel to exist as a haven for Jews and condemns the Jew-hating pogrom” carried out by Hamas Oct. 7, Hawkins wrote. 

2024 Candidates ListParty members visited the neighborhood Dec. 29 to talk with working people. They delivered the statement to Moskowitz and Lamont, who is a sign language interpreter. Lamont got the book The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation  by Abram Leon and a subscription to the Militant  from the SWP campaigners. 

Two weeks later, Lamont told party member Arlene Rubinstein that he had gone from “being a guy stringing holiday lights to a ‘supporter of genocide’ on social media” since the attack on his home. At a 7-Eleven convenience store, the night of the vandalism, he said he was called a “dirty Jew.” 

“I decided to speak out — I was attacked for being Jewish. I appreciate what you say in the Militant  about the labor movement helping to lead a discussion because there needs to be a real conversation and a movement,” Lamont said. “In fact, the working class is where I have gotten the most support — offers of help and commitment, and cookies. 

“Whenever there is a crisis, there’s a need to find the bad guy and Jews are scapegoated. Historically, they have been punted to the next country until there is no safe country,” he said. 

“There is no solution to the Jewish question or any other question humanity faces under capitalism,” Rubinstein replied. “The Socialist Workers Party aims to educate and organize the working class to take power. That will open the door to ending war, exploitation and oppression — and getting rid of Jew-hatred once and for all.” 

Interest in ‘Militant’ in Montreal

Communist League members Francois Bradette and Katy LeRougetel campaigned in Montreal’s Saint Laurent neighborhood Jan. 13. They met warehouse workers Parneet Kaur and her husband, originally from India. LeRougetel showed Kaur a photo in the Militant  of a Russian mother demonstrating against Moscow’s war in Ukraine. “My brother arrived in Ukraine to study two months before the war started there,” Kaur said. 

“The CL supports Ukrainians’ fight for independence,” Bradette said.

The CL members told Kaur about the Militant’s coverage of the fight by farmers in India in 2020 and 2021. The farmers successfully pushed back a threat to their livelihoods after the government tried to end state-guaranteed prices that farmers get for grain. Tens of thousands of farmers had set up protest encampments in New Delhi. 

“My brother, father and grandfather were all part of that,” said Kaur. “You say there were marches in Quebec in solidarity with them?” “Yes,” said LeRougetel, “and the Militant  ran articles to get out the truth.” Kaur signed up to be informed about the Militant Labor Forum. 

Communist League members in Montreal are also staying in touch with workers who were part of the strike actions this year in Quebec by some 600,000 public sector workers. 

After their contracts expired last March, education support workers, nurses and health care workers, social workers and others began their fight over wages and working conditions. Some 420,000 workers in the Common Front, a coalition of four union federations, set up picket lines around the province. Workers began voting on a tentative agreement Jan. 15. 

Bradette and CL member Beverly Bernardo visited striker Melina Legault at her home in Boisbrand, north of Montreal, Jan. 7. Legault had subscribed to the Militant  at a demonstration in Sherbrooke last May. She asked them to receive Militant  articles translated into French each week. 

They also showed Legault The Jewish Question along with a Militant  article describing the campaign of Pathfinder Press volunteers to place the book and other titles on revolutionary working-class struggle in libraries and bookstores. In a discussion Jan. 13 Legault said she would go to her library to ask them to order the book. 

To join campaigning with members of the SWP or CL, contact the branch nearest you listed in the Directory.