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Fathom Highlight | The historic depths of European left-wing antisemitic anti-Zionism / 27 September / 2016

In 2016 the UK Labour Party – meeting in annual conference in Liverpool this week – has been mired in controversy about antisemitism in the party. This week’s highlight is an important contribution to that important debate. Simon Gansinger and Marlene Gallner show that the problem of antisemitic anti-Zionism, far from being a ‘cooked up’ smear by one part of the party on another part, has a very long history on the European Left. Gansinger examines the near-destruction of Poland’s Jewish community after a Communist Party ‘anti-Zionist’ campaign in the late 1960s. Gallner brings to light the writings of Holocaust survivor and writer Jean Amery about the danger of a demonising and simplistic left-wing anti-Zionism in post-war Germany. We hope both will inform the debate in the Labour party and wider Left.

Our video of the week is Meghan O’Sullivan, Philip Gordon, Dennis Ross and James Jeffrey, all distinguished former foreign policy officials, sharing their insights from a recently completed tour of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel.

Our image of the week are Greek Orthodox walking with a cross through the Via Dolorosa, in Jerusalem’s Old City, believed to be the same route that Jesus walked through on his way to his crucifixion, 19 September 2016.

Communists Against Jews: the Anti-Zionist Campaign in Poland in 1968

by Simon Gansinger

‘Everything started collapsing then’, wrote Halina Zawadzka, who survived the Shoah in Poland, about her experience of 1968 in Communist Poland when dozens of Jews committed suicide after they had found themselves publicly vilified and socially isolated, denounced as a ‘fifth column’ by Władysław Gomułka, the first secretary of the Polish United Workers Party. 8,300 members were expelled from the Communist party, nearly all Jewish. 9,000 Jews lost their jobs, some were beaten up and hundreds were thrown out of...

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Like a Cloud Contains a Storm: Jean Améry’s Critique of Anti-Zionism
by Marlene Gallner

Jean Améry is best known in the anglophone world as a Holocaust survivor and author of At The Mind’s Limits, an Auschwitz memoir hailed by...

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