Socialist Workers Party campaign statement

Join the fight against Jew-hatred!

March 11, 2024

Statement by Lea Sherman, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Congress from New Jersey, Feb. 28.

Jew-hatred is built into capitalist rule, spreading as this cut-throat social system breeds deepening crises and more wars.

The Socialist Workers Party urges workers to join in combating Jew-hatred, whether it’s offering solidarity to Jewish-owned businesses subject to boycotts by the middle-class left, or joining street actions to protest growing assaults on Jews, or refuting the lie that Israel is carrying out “genocide” in its war to destroy Hamas. Join the March 3 protest against antisemitism in San Francisco!

It’s a deadly illusion that Jews can be assimilated enough in the U.S. — or anywhere else — to avoid persecution. As is the notion that imperialist governments, or either the Democratic and Republican parties, can be relied on for protection.

Combating Jew-hatred has a special place in the fight to build working-class parties capable of leading workers to take political power into our own hands, uproot capitalist exploitation and to transform ourselves.

Under capitalism, as layers of the middle class get ruined, reactionary demagogues — including those who today call themselves socialists — blame Jews. When the capitalist rulers decide their rule is threatened, they will back fascist thugs to try to crush unions, murder vanguard workers and annihilate the Jewish people. That’s what happened in Germany in the 1930s. Incipient fascist currents emerged in the U.S. at the same time, like Mayor Frank Hague in Jersey City, who crushed the union movement there, as well as free speech.

This is the future everywhere, including in the “democratic” imperialist nations, where the fight to replace capitalism with workers power is decisive for humanity’s future. It’s in the U.S. — home to the rulers of the world’s last empire — that the battle against Jew-hatred will be most important.

Fighting Jew-hatred is why it’s crucial today to defend Israel’s right to exist as a refuge for Jews. Israel was founded because the imperialist rulers in London and Washington slammed shut their borders to those fleeing the rise of the Nazis and because of the slaughter of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

Responding to the Oct. 7 pogrom in Israel is a test for any political current claiming to speak for the working class. Recognizing what took place was in fact a pogrom has to be faced. It was a slaughter targeting Jews, accompanied by the rape and mutilation that has always been part of pogroms. It was neither an act of “terror” as the U.S. government says, nor a fight, however misplaced, for Palestinian liberation as the middle-class left argues.

The Socialist Workers Party campaigns for working people to act against all moves to slander, scapegoat and attack Jews. This task belongs to the working class and our unions in the U.S. and worldwide. Join the fight!