Against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, and against the leaders of the bourgeoisie who fuel the fire!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
November 13, 2023

The Macronist president of the French National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, and the president of the Senate, Gérard Larcher (LR: Les Républicains), who both called for the demonstration against antisemitism, said they were “happy” and “reassured by this surge of republicanism”.

Le Pen and the National Rally (RN: Rassemblement national) are also extremely happy with the “wonderful welcome” they received. The leaders of the Greens (EELV: Europe Écologie les Verts), the Socialist Party (PS: Parti Socialiste) and the French Communist Party (PCF: Parti Communiste Français) were not so happy and quite embarrassed to be demonstrating with the far right. Nevertheless, they also congratulated themselves on the event.

So, yes, those party leaders are satisfied: their political operation was a success.

Of course, a great many people sincerely and wholeheartedly took part in the demonstration to express their solidarity with Jewish relatives, friends and neighbors. To reaffirm their commitment to the fight against antisemitism and for some of them, the fight against all forms of racism.

Unfortunately, this demonstration won't make antisemitism recede in the least little bit. It is part of a revolting propaganda campaign that could, on the contrary, stir up hatred between different communities.

If it was a question of uniting behind universal values, why did the organizers only denounce antisemitism ? Why didn't they also denounce the provocations and aggressions against Muslims and Arabs which neither the government nor the media bother to identify?

If it was a question of expressing solidarity with the victims of the Israeli-Palestinian war, why only evoke the Israeli victims and hostages? Why not denounce the mass slaughter that is still going on right now in Gaza and kills hundreds of people every day?

The bias in favor of the Israeli government and the denial of the fundamental oppression suffered by Palestinians is intolerable. Worse, it goes hand in hand with propaganda against Muslims and immigrants who are accused of being antisemites and potential terrorists.

If Le Pen was so keen on demonstrating, it was also to encourage anti-Arab sentiment.

Yes, antisemitism is a scourge to be fought. Hatred of Jews is one of the worst forms of filth to be found in a society in crisis. “Antisemitism is the socialism of fools,” Auguste Bebel said in his time, condemning those who equated capitalists and bankers with Jews.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, from Tsarist Russia to the French Republic, these prejudices stirred up by the far right were used by all rulers to divert popular anger and ensure their domination.

Hitler used those prejudices to conquer power. In the years 1933-1939, when fleeing Nazi Germany had become a matter of life and death for Jews, the United States and so-called democracies shut them out, because they had an anti-immigration policy and were antisemites too!

During the war, Hitler perpetrated the largest genocide of the 20th century, exterminating six million Jews. The French state supported this barbarism by handing over 75,000 Jews to the Nazis.

In those years, revolutionary workers proudly fought antisemitism just as they fought racism and xenophobia. We must continue this fight!

Jews should be confused neither with the capitalists nor with the murderers who rule Israel. Palestinians can't be equated with Hamas, just as workers from here can't be identified with Macron.

Everywhere, in all populations, there are exploited people and exploiters. And everywhere, there are workers fighting against their own leaders and exploiters. It's by turning all these struggles into a fight to oust the big bourgeoisie from power, i.e. to overthrow capitalism, that workers will unite to change their lot and throw racism and prejudices of another age into the dustbin of history.

No unity, no solidarity with those who rule and exploit us by dividing the working class and pitting peoples against one another! Unity and class solidarity between workers of all countries and origins!

Nathalie Arthaud