Respectful Shoutout to the CST

Obviously, I have some significant political differences with the CST.  Mostly because I’m a wee bit unconvinced that rejecting physical force anti-fascism actually allows you to claim that you incorporate the 43/62 tradition into your work and a churlish man might think that to claim otherwise is taking the piss.  (In the “Where Are They Now File”, I was tickled to see the claim that Nothing British About the BNP were the exemplars of anti-fascist best practise, shortly before they won the election and all fucked off.  Ah, hindsight is a harsh mistress at times).

But, not withstanding that petty and sectarian snarking (hey, it’s why you all love me so), they deserve serious kudos for this statement.

CST would like to make it clear that we have not organised this demonstration, and we will not be providing security for it.

We will not be providing security because we believe that members of the English Defence League plan to attend the demonstration, and that the organisers have not taken sufficient steps to prevent this from happening.

Nice one.  This is exactly the kind of statement needed in the described situation and other groups should learn from this.  So unconditional applause for the CST here.

Speaking hypothetically, this is exactly what militant anti-fascists should be hoping for.  A best case scenario will be when (as seems to be the case here) we can be absolutely sure that any demo with an EDL presence will be made up solely of a) EDL supporters and b) EDL enablers.

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  1. Comment thread here http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/naqba-day-extremists-spew-hate-outside-israeli-embassy/ with three or four idiotic Zionists defending the EDL. Depressing reading.

    • That link is really very depressing reading. I got your email btw, just didn’t know how to engage with that type of confrontational politics. I tend to have two modes only – serious scholar or satirical jester.

      I don’t know what can be done about those small few who defend the EDL. Probably nothing. My time is probably better spent designing an online random Hoffmanesque insult generator.

  2. Yeah, this is becoming an issue that needs to be resolved. I still think it would be preferable if it comes from within the Zionist community, but if it looks conclusively like that’s not going to happen…

  3. I will say that we should probably be cautious about assuming that the ‘neutral’ Zionists defending the EDL on that thread are actually that. It’s the Internet. People can claim to be whatever they want to be. It’s notable that Roberta Moore appeared on that thread extremely quickly.

    Have you had any dealings with the CST? I’m considering giving them a ring for an informal chat about this issue, but I have no idea how receptive they’re likely to be to militant antifascists on this, especially ones they haven’t had any previous dealings with.

  4. I also suspect that some of the pro-EDLers on that thread are fakes. At least one of them with a “Jewish” name seems to have very little grasp of any Jewish reality and writes more as a Christian. I know that some months ago someone from Jewdas went thru the EDL Jewish Division facebook page and found a tiny percentage of the people there were British Jews. Most were either Americans or Israelis (who might have more excuse for ignorance, altho many of them were Kahanist fanatics) or non-Jewish EDLers.

    I am dissappointed that Richard Millet has not said a word of censure. I don’t read his comment threads enough to know if this is a regular thing there.

  5. It could be that many zionists don’t want to be too vocal against the EDL because they are hedging. Also, given what zionists support, even if they don’t like the EDL in the UK, they do tend to support something very similar in Israel/Palestine. There is a further issue that the most active anti-fascists here tend to be anti-zionist and zionists don’t like to work with anti-zionists even on issues not concerning Israel/Palestine. I remember in the seventies there were zionists who were loath to work in or with the Anti-Nazi League because of it being an SWP initiative.

    BTW, Antony Lerman has an interesting article titled, How Feelings of Jewish Insecurity are Aggravated by the Community Security Trust.
    http://antonylerman.com/2011/06/13/how-feelings-of-jewish-insecurity-are-aggravated-by-the-community-security-trust/
    or try this: http://tinyurl.com/3jz3ywz

  6. Odd to see Mark recommend a link that speaks positively of Geoffrey Alderman!

    • I’ve now read the articles by Geoffrey Alderman and they are both very good, especially the second one.

      Here’s the first.

      Here’s the second.

  7. Even a broken clock’s right twice a day.

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