That's Funny You Don't Look Anti-Semitic

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That's Funny You Don't Look Anti-Semitic, front cover.

That's Funny, You Don't Look Anti-Semitic: An Anti-Racist Analysis of Left Anti-Semitism is a booklet by a Jewish Trotskyist, Steve Cohen, published in 1984 in the United Kingdom, discussing argued widespread anti-Semitism in early leftist movements. Some critics have disagreed with the analysis but still found some of the descriptions interesting.

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Quotes

The most obvious example of this was the equation of Jews with capitalism. For instance, Today, Scientific Socialism, in its first issue of 1884 printed an article where it was taken for granted that "economically and socially Jews are our antagonists". This equation was not simply of Jews with capitalism. It was an equation of Jews with imperialist domination—a domination that was conscious and conspiratorial. Justice, the paper of the S.D.F., claimed that: "Jew moneylenders now control every Foreign Office in Europe" (5.4.1884).
It was frequently alleged that all imperialist wars were organised and manipulated by Jews, in the interest of Jewish finance. Sometimes it was suggested that this was channelled through just one family—the Rothschilds. Labour Leader, the paper of the I.L.P., stated that: "Wherever there is trouble in Europe, wherever rumours of war circulate and menʹs minds are distraught with fear of change and calamity, you may be sure that a hooked‐nosed Rothschild is at his games somewhere near the region of the disturbances" (19.12.1891).
The Aliens Act of 1905 is almost entirely forgotten today by the Jewish community and by socialists. It was the natural corollary to the anti-Jewish ideology described above, namely the successful demand for immigration control on Jews. The Act was passed by a Tory government with the full support of its leadership and of the Tory Party. It was enforced by a Liberal government. However, in many ways it was the result of nearly twenty years of agitation by the English working class. From 1892, the T.U.C. was formally committed to a resolution excluding Jews. Indeed, the T.U.C. sent a delegation to the Home Secretary demanding control (Times, 6.2.1896).
W.H. Wilkins, a fanatical campaigner for control, in his book The Alien Invasion, published in 1892, named 43 labour organisations, not including the T.U.C., advocating restrictions on Jews. These ranged from the National Boiler Makers and Iron Ship Builders Society to the Miners Association of Durham to the Oldham Provincial Card and Blowing Room Operatives. It also included the Liverpool Tradesʹ Council. Many other tradesʹ councils were to come out in favour of control. These included London, where control was supported by the renowned rank and file dockersʹ leaders Ben Tillett and Tom Mann, Manchester and Leeds.
The legitimisation of immigration control has had enormous repercussions in the 20th century, not least because it kept out tens of thousands of Jews from England in the 1930ʹs—thus resulting in their deaths [sic]. It also meant that the equally racist [sic] agitation for controls against black people was successful, in a relatively rapid period. It took just four years after the race attacks [sic] in 1958 in Notting Hill and Nottingham, before control was legislated. The labour movement did not campaign either for or against it: controls were accepted as ʺnaturalʺ and being based on ʺcommon senseʺ. It was the active, if forgotten, struggle for controls by the labour movement over 60 years earlier, which had legitimised them.
Groupings within the fascist movement today have an acute awareness of the history of early socialism—and embrace this history as their own! For instance there was an article in the National Front magazine, Spearhead, in March 1980 called "Nationalism and the Old British Socialists". This was produced at a time when a faction of the N.F., led by Martin Webster, was arguing that the organisation had to have a working class base with the politics of national socialism. The article praised particular groups and individuals—Robert Blatchford's Clarion Clubs, the Fabians, the S.D.F., the I.L.P. and various trade unionists. The Fabians, Beatrice Potter and Sydney Webb, were praised for describing Jews in the book Industrial Democracy as a "constant influence for degradation" and George Bernard Shaw for characterising the Jews as "the real enemy, the invader from the East, the Druze, the ruffian, the oriental parasite" (Morning Post, 13.12.25).

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