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Peter Wolf @peterawolf
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Seems to me that Jeremy Corbyn is probably an unconscious anti-Semite. I'd wager he genuinely doesn't consider himself an anti-Semite, doesn't recognize anti-Semitism when he sees it, and deals in anti-Semitic tropes whose only aspects he comprehends are the anti-capitalist bits.
Cries of "anti-Semitism!" over that video of him are a reach. But what prompts such wariness?

The fact that Corbyn is steeped in a conspiratorial anti-Semitic milieu (Google his brother Piers), defends anti-Semites, & rehabilitates anti-Semites under the guise of "anti-Zionism."
The late Moishe Postone, a brilliant Marxist academic at U. Chicago, wrote much about left anti-Semitism and reactionary anti-imperialism. He noticed the revival of anti-Semitism on the left as a "pseudo-emancipatory anti-capitalism," which is, after all, a very old story.
Leftists used to call anti-Semitism "the socialism of fools," because many far-right politicians did criticized capitalism (and much of modernity) as essentially a Jewish swindle perpetrated by shadowy cabals of Rothschilds and Montefiores scheming in Prague or Basel or New York.
This has long been a staple of right-wing anti-capitalism. From Action Français through fascism, to contemporary national populism with its dark gnashing and menacing snarls about (((Globalists))) and George Soros. We've even seen the revival of the 1930s "Banksters" dog whistle.
The Left's own history with anti-Semitism is fraught. Despite being of Jewish descent himself (the family had converted to get ahead in Protestant Prussia) Marx had... let's call them "complicated" ideas about Jews. Bakunin, Marx's Anarchist rival, was a frothing anti-Semite.
In that 34 year window between Marx's death and before the Bolshevik Revolution, many Jews joined, supported, or otherwise contributed greatly to the cause of the Left, often spurred by the anti-Semitism permeating the reactionary states, institutions, & societies of the time.
To flag some big Jewish events that happened in that window: the rise of pogroms in Russia, the Dreyfus Affair, the birth of modern Zionism, the Hilsner Affair, the Kishinev Pogrom, publication of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," the Beilis Trial, the lynching of Leo Frank.
World War I was particularly difficult for Euro-American Jewry. On the one side were Britain, France, Italy, the USA (eventually) and... Russia, then the world's most anti-Semitic regime, which also ruled over most of the world's Jews, & brutalized them throughout the war.
On the other side: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria,& the Ottoman Empire. With a few exceptions (most notoriously the German Army's 1916 Jewish Census meant to show that Jews were shirking military service, but proved the opposite), Jews had done pretty well in these countries.
World War I was also a crisis for the Euro-American left, particularly the Socialist International. Franco-Belgian socialists could claim self-defense; Austro-Germans a crusade against Russian barbarism; Anglo-American wished poxes on all houses. All went to war with one another.
In the US, opposition to entering WWI was most ardent among German & Irish communities. American Jews also tended to favor neutrality (often for socialist or anti-Tsarist reasons), though this was often slandered as a form of dual loyalty to Germany orchestrated by "NYC bankers."
Now here the post-Marx curtain drops and a new actor vaults onto the center of the international leftist stage. No martyred Jaurès or humdrum Kautsky, but a real revolutionary. Not long after seizing power in 1917, Vladimir Lenin denounced anti-Semitism as counterrevolutionary.
Is Lenin entirely free of anti-Semitism? No. Are Lenin's associates, many of them culturally assimilated Jews, free of anti-Semitism? Again, no. Do Reds commit pogroms during the Russian Civil War? Yes, but less than Whites or nationalists. How do religious communities do? Badly.
But the Soviet Union becomes the world's first anti-anti-Semitic state. Under the Bolsheviks, anti-Semitism is considered incitement and punished. Yiddish and secular Jewish culture are promoted along with the other state-sponsored national cultural revivals of the 1920s USSR.
However, this does not last. Lenin dies in 1924 and is succeeded by a fellow named Iosif Stalin. Stalin has his own ideas regarding various ethnic groups.

It doesn't help that some of his biggest rivals are Jews, or that his only daughter keeps falling in love with Jewish men.
It is perhaps worth noting that being Jewish meant practically nothing to Stalin's rivals. Trotsky, Kamenev, Zionviev: they were committed cosmopolitans. About the only one who did self-identify as a Jew was the thuggish Lazar Kaganovich, who was Stalin's bosom buddy & henchman.
Anyways, Stalin rolls back the national cultural revivals of the 1920s, often brutally. Many poets, authors, and artists who helped them flourish are shot between 1936 and 1938 as "nationalists."

Stalin also has a habit of targeting entire ethnic groups who distress him.
In the Soviet Famine of 1932-1933, around 7 million Soviet citizens starve to death. Ukrainians are specifically targeted by Stalin in the Holodomor, with about 3.5-4 million dying of deliberately inflicted starvation. Between ⅓ and ½ of ethnic Kazakhs also die of hunger.
BTW, anybody who thinks the propagandistic slur/conspiracy theory of "crisis actors" is new ought to revisit Stalin's famines.

Stalin accused victims of starvation of being "living propaganda" who hated socialism so much that they were starving themselves to tarnish its image.
So that's the famines. Meanwhile, the USSR is paranoid about Polish spies, Polish plots, & a potential Polish invasion from the moment it signs a peace deal with Poland in 1921.

Stalin fears (and many Ukrainians hope for) a Polish invasion during the famine. It doesn't happen.
But this doesn't deter Stalin! While we now associate the Purges with officers and party officials and Old Bolshevik prominenti getting the show trial treatment, this is fairly skewed.

Most of the Great Terror's victims come from the kulak and "national" actions.
Most people know Stalin shot "kulaks," an ad hoc category which basically meant "suspect peasants," many of whom were suspect for having survived the famine, the GULag, or both. Over 378,000 kulaks were shot in the Terror.

Most people don't know about the "national actions."
The following numbers of Soviet citizens were shot for political crimes, often accused of spying for "enemy nations":

-111,091 Poles
-16,573 Latvians
-7,998 Estonians
-9,078 Finns

The USSR further helped its ally Mongolia kill 20,474, and deported 170,000 Koreans to Kazakhstan.
These "national actions" carried over to the NKVD, a particularly diverse arm of the Soviet state. Prior to the Terror, its officers were predominately Latvian, Polish, German, & almost ⅓ were Jews.

By 1939, Jews were 4%, ⅔ were Russian, & the rest were Stalin's own Georgians.
Stalin removed more Jews from the upper echelons of the Soviet state when he was courting, and then allied with, Hitler's Germany.

Most prominent among these branches (somewhat obviously) was the Foreign Commissariat, then headed by Maksim Livtinov, who was replaced by Molotov.
So let's pull a Greek and leave all the action offstage and skip to eastern Europe in the summer of 1945.

Hitler is defeated. With the exceptions of Yugoslavia, Greece, Sweden & Finland, the Red Army occupies everything from Moscow to Magdeburg after an apocalyptic colonial war.
Soviet soldiers have been sent out into a world they are not prepared for. They occupy places whose societies were never as closed off as that of the USSR where they've spent their lives. They are exposed to things unsanctioned by the Party. To a totalitarian, this is troubling.
In fact, they are bumping up against the zone occupied by the liberal democratic Allies. This is also troubling to Moscow.

Something *else* that's troubling to Moscow is the material situation in eastern Europe which, post-war, is a hotbed of ethnic cleansing.
One of the most awkward things in the Soviets' new bloc, related to ethnic cleansing, is the 6 million people's worth of property floating around.

6 million people's worth of apartments. Houses. Shops. Furniture. Silverware. Lamps. Blankets. Shoes.

But other people now have it.
This property was all taken "legally" under the Nazis. Everybody knows that, for the most part, the original owners aren't coming back.

But everybody knows there are still some original owners out there.

And the new owners are very nervous about the original owners coming back.
So put on your peaked cap and imagine yourself back in some planning bureau in Moscow circa 1945.

The Party Line, as put by Stalin in 1941, is that all Soviet citizens suffered equally, regardless of ethnicity, & that Russians particularly have borne the brunt of the sacrifice.
You have millions of new subjects in newly-conquered satellite countries. They don't like the USSR (& you're suspicious of them), they are scared, and restoring a semblance of order across the USSR alone is hard enough, much less a half-dozen more countries you're occupying.
These new subjects are afraid of losing their property. Not just because the USSR doesn't dig private property, but also because that property wasn't theirs two-three years ago.

Now, do you, Comrade Planner, listen to the few thousands of people trying to reclaim that property?
Of course not! Such special pleading! So the Nazis gave your store and your murdered granny's house to your neighbor Pavel. We ALL lost so much in the war. And Pavel is so cooperative now, whatever he did then.

He can keep it. He can keep it all. Stop with the identity politics.
The Soviet regime in eastern Europe was partly founded upon accepting the injustices of the Holocaust. To do otherwise would further undermine Soviet legitimacy among already hostile populations.

Therefore, the Holocaust can't be seen as special.

All victims of fascism matter.
Now, even though this is the official line, there is some push back. Prominent Soviet Jews refuse to ignore the Holocaust. The Politburo begins to discuss what to do with all of the displaced Jews, whom Soviet occupation & relief authorities see as a nuisance & unpopular burden.
Serious thought is given to making Crimea into a Jewish SSR. It's tempting, but Stalin decides Crimea is too strategically vital to fill with Jews, and besides he already gave the Jews a homeland in 1934 in a bit of howling wilderness along the Chinese border called Birobidzhan.
The State of Israel achieves its independence in 1947-49. The Soviet Union becomes the first country to de jure recognize Israel, despite the USSR's longstanding hostility towards Zionism. Stalin's glad to be rid of some refugees and hopes to have a new client in the Near East.
But what's this? In 1948, there are MASSIVE celebrations among Jews in the USSR. The Israeli ambassador, Golda Meir, attends Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services at Moscow's Choral Synagogue with Molotov's wife, Polina, and is accompanied by a crowd of 50,000 Jews.
On the long list of Things That Terrify Tyrannies, "Spontaneous Popular Action" is right at the top.

A spontaneous crowd of 50,000 people at a religious festival with a foreign diplomat in a xenophobic state that prides itself on atheism and central planning is... problematic.
Stalin's policy begins to change. In the post-war hellscape of eastern Europe, Jews were a nuisance. Tens of thousands of them celebrating with some old granny in Moscow is jarring. Despite Soviet outreach, Israel prefers the US. And now Soviet Jews are acting... proud? WTF?
Stalin prepares one last purge. Stalin blames the death of his heir, Zhdanov, on a conspiracy of "rootless cosmopolitan" doctors. Anti-Semitic campaigns are launched across the Soviet bloc. Israel is demonized as an American satellite. The Jewish intelligentsia is jailed or shot.
Stalin dies before the worst of the purge kicks off. Beriya immediately halts the arrests, executions, & trains meant to deport Soviet Jews to Siberia. Molotov's wife is released from prison. Her first question upon release: "How is Stalin?" She faints when informed of his death.
When Stalin died, anti-Semitism—once explicitly denounced by Lenin as counterrevolutionary in itself—had clawed its way back into the regnant ideology of eastern Europe. Stalin's heirs did not seek to remove it, and often found it useful in the search for allies & clients abroad.
Let's revisit some of the main tenets of Soviet anti-Semitism:

- Jews claiming undue status as special victims
- Jews as an alien nuisance
- Jews as dubiously loyal
- Jews as nefarious conspirators
- Israel as a cat's-paw of American empire, the mother ship of Global Capitalism
Now, do any of these things seem present in Corbyn's Labour Party?

Would any of these things seem out of place in Corbyn's Labour?

Have Corbyn or those close to him ever suggested, implied, hinted at, or outright said any of these things?

Would it be surprising if they did?
If you've made it this far, dear reader, you can tell my threads could use a bit of work in the Brevity Department. So I'll end here.

Of course there's more—always more. History never ends; it merely recedes. As Faulkner reminded us, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
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