Jewish Socialist magazine – new issue now out


We would like to alert readers to the lastest edition of the Jewish Socialists’ Group magazine.

A special subscription offer is available until the end of October.

We are also pleased to repost the editorial from this latest issue.

The new issue of Jewish Socialist magazine (No 74) is out in a bumper 36-page issue. The editorial collective believe it is one of the very best issues we have produced since the magazine started in 1985!

From the end of the month prices will be going up for the first time since 2007, but there is a  Subscription Special Offer for those who subscribe before the end of October. We are holding the prices on our subscription page on the website until that date. It will change on 1st November 1. So until then you can subscribe at the price of £10 for 4 issues (inland) via this link.

One of the outstanding pieces in this issue, and a key intervention in anti-racist debate, is written by Liz Fekete, Director of the Institute of Race Relations. She focuses on the links between state racism, hate crime and resistance, based on her speech as a guest contributor to the Jewish Socialists’ Group’s first Annual Members Conference by Zoom this year. You can read it here.

Subscription Special Offer

Full contents list here.


Jewish Socialist 74, Autumn 2020

After George Floyd’s horrific murder at the hands of police in Minneapolis in May this year, the Jewish Socialists’ Group issued a statement incorporating the powerful words of one of our sister organisations in America, the Boston Jewish Workers’ Circle. They said: “We are full of grief and outrage over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and all black lives lost to police brutality and white supremacy. As a multiracial Jewish community committed to racial justice and a better world for all, we mourn together, we protest together, and we recommit ourselves to work together for racial justice within ourselves, our communities, and our country.”

The solidarity protests that mushroomed here in Britain through Black Lives Matter (BLM) compelled us to ask what our communities were doing to challenge not just acts of hate that periodically target Jews, the LBGT community and others, but also the daily structural racism that blights the lives of Black and other minority communities. The Board of Deputies indicated support for BLM concerns but then gave a platform to Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel, who used it to attack Travellers. Liz Fekete and Janet Darley tackle the questions around community responses head-on in this issue.

One political casualty of the Floyd murder was left-wing Shadow Cabinet member Rebecca Long-Bailey, hastily sacked by Labour’s new leader, Keir Starmer. She had retweeted a newspaper interview with her constituent Maxine Peake, a well-known actress and activist in progressive causes, not least antifascism. Peake regularly speaks at annual memorial events commemorating the International Brigades. In one sentence Peake said that American police learned the “knee on the neck” technique from Israeli state forces. She knew that tactic was widely used against Palestinians and that thousands of American police have been trained by Israeli counterparts, but there was no evidence that Minneapolis police learned this tactic from Israelis. America’s use of violent restraint techniques against Black citizens long preceded Israeli training.

Long-Bailey was accused of spreading a “Jewish conspiracy” allegation. She hadn’t. Nor had Peake. Ironically their accusers made the common mistake of antisemites: they conflated Jews in general with the Israeli state. And the Israeli state is far from innocent when it comes to exporting Homeland Security “pacification” and surveillance methods and systems. Jeff Halper, an Israeli activist for justice for Palestinians and a recognised authority on such exports reveals Israel’s true role.

Marek Edelman, who died in 2009, fought for justice in a very different context. He was second-in-command in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, but his struggles for freedom and democracy continued in Poland after the war. This autumn marks the 40th anniversary of Poland’s independent trade union movement, Solidarnosc. David Rosenberg tells the lesser-known story of Edelman’s revived activism especially in the 1970s and ’80s through the Workers’ Defence Committee and Solidarnosc.

This year we sadly lost another Jewish fighter for justice, Denis Goldberg from South Africa, whose activism against the apartheid government resulted in a long prison sentence. Like Edelman, Goldberg never stopped fighting for freedom and justice. Andrew Feinstein, who served as a Jewish ANC MP, remembers Goldberg’s life.

Contents list

Homes sweet homes; Battles for a better world
Israel/Palestine campaigning round-up
Change the World: Zulat human rights think tank
Unity and universalism: Liz Fekete and Janet Darley on rebuilding common struggles
Collective memories in conflict: Michael Rothberg raises fundamental questions about the culture of memory
Annexation: does it mean the death of democracy? Lev Taylor dared to raise the topic of Israel/Palestine with his congregation
What do the Israelis teach western police forces? Jeff Halper explores the export of securitisation
Gaza: the battle for health: Colin Green reports on the how medical services are coping
Klezmer class: Lynne Walsh talks to klezmer violinist Ilana Cravitz
Memories of Jewish life in China: Mike HCollectieiser explores the history of the community in Harbin
To be like Esther Riskind: Magdalena Koslowska describes the lives of inspirational Bundist women
Always with the oppressed: David Rosenberg tracks Marek Edelman’s life against the dramatic changes in Poland
Life is wonderful: Andrew Feinstein honours the life of anti-apartheid campaginer, Denis Goldberg
To be Someone by Ian Stone – review by Ruth Lukom and Mike Gerber
The Missing: The true story of my family in World War II by Michael Rosen – review by Joseph Glaser
The Jewish Question: A marxist interpretation by Abram Leon – review by Julia Bard
Stories from a Migrant City by Ben Rogaly – review by Mike Heiser
Apeirogon by Colum McGann – review by Simon Lynn
Jeremy Hardy Speaks Volumes edited by Katie Barlow and David Tyler – review by Lynne Walsh
Rosa Luxemburg by Dana Mills – review by Stephen marks
Der Fremder in der Fremd by Irena Klepfisz