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Michael Gove smears SWP as antisemitic because we oppose Israel

The Tory minister targeted socialist groups in an attempt to witch-hunt the Palestine solidarity movement
Issue 2906
Tory communities secretary Michael Gove. (Picture: Simon Walker)

Tory minister Michael Gove claimed the SWP and other socialist groups were antisemitic (Picture: Simon Walker)

In a desperate effort to slur the Palestinian movement—and in advance of new attacks on the right to protest—the Tories claim that socialist groups are antisemitic

Michael Gove said on Tuesday that “the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party and the Revolutionary Communist Party” are antisemitic in the mould of the fascists.

It’s a disgusting smear. Being against Israel does not mean you hate Jews. Large numbers of Jews in Britain and elsewhere have joined the marches in solidarity with Palestine in recent months.

Anti-Zionism—opposing the racism of the Israeli state and its genocidal actions—is opposition to colonialism and imperialism. It is a recognition that liberation for the Palestinians requires an end to a state-based on ethnic cleansing and murder.  

If Gove wants to find real antisemites, he should look to himself and his colleagues. The Hungarian government of Viktor Orban pushes antisemitic conspiracy theories. The Tories welcome Orban to Downing Street.

Far right supporters of Donald Trump marched in 2017 chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” Trump supported them—and yet the Conservatives rolled out the red carpet for Trump and most of the cabinet hope Trump will be president again.

And Gove has a long track record of Islamophobic views and associations. This includes leading the government’s role in the Trojan Horse affair, when it was falsely alleged that an extremist takeover of schools in Birmingham was under way. 

He wrote a book called Celsius 7/7 in which he highlighted the “threat of Islamism”’. And he was a founding member of the Henry Jackson Society, a pro-imperialist and Islamophobic outfit. 

The mass movement for Palestine is shaking ruling classes everywhere. They sense that Israel is now exposed to hundreds of millions across the world as guilty of genocide. They fear that their Zionist watchdog in the Middle East is on increasingly shaky foundations.

Whenever Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu is under attack, he peddles the vile lie that the criticism is antisemitic. The Tories are now doing the same. They confected the same fakery against Jeremy Corbyn when he was Labour leader. 

Socialist Worker and the SWP are proud to be anti-Zionists—and to fight antisemitism and all forms of racism.

The best response to Gove is to keep building the movement for Palestine, to escalate the protests, student encampments and workplace actions, and to argue for a revolutionary socialist solution to capitalism and imperialism.

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