Nick Cohen wrote long ago about the weird relationship between the elements of the left and Muslims so extreme they could be called fascist (I even had a crack myself). For the perennially unpopular left the potential muscle offered by extremist Islam offered a tiger they could ride, if not all the way to power, certainly towards a bit of sought after relevance. This left were less Atlee, more Von Papen.
Of course, there were huge hurdles to overcome; issues of women’s rights, gay rights or even animal rights. The left avoided them by going quiet on these issues. The card of Anti-Americanism trumped all others. As Churchill said, “If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons”. Well I’ve yet to see a production of Faustus where Mephistopheles doesn’t come to collect.
Well now the ‘left-right’ axis or ‘ideology horseshoe’ has been bent into a pretzel. Next Tuesday the University of Westminster will be playing host to an event called ‘Zionism, Jewishness and Israel’ which is billed as “A panel discussion examining Israeli Criminality in the wake of the Goldstone Retract”. Speakers include John Rose, a leading figure in the Socialist Workers Party, Alan Hart who, according to the post which brought this whole thing to my attention, has made up stories about Israel, notably that Israelis were behind 9/11, and Dr Ghada Karmi, an academic at Exeter University.
Also on the roster is Gilad Aztmon, a shameless anti Semite who was expelled from the SWP for calling the holocaust “a complete falsification invented by Zionists and Americans”. No wonder Stormfront, a leading neo Nazi website, are advertising the event. So are members of the Stop the War Coalition. The left are now making common cause, not just with Islamofascists, but with common or garden fascists.
However, it now appears that John Rose and Ghanda Karmi have pulled out of the event. That leaves just Alan Hart and the University of Westminster which is still, apparently, playing host to Aztmon’s noxious fantasies.
I tried to contact the University to find out who had booked the event and how I could get in touch with them. After a bit of passing around I spoke to a guy called Jordan who told me that though the event was indeed booked for next Tuesday, he knew nothing about it and neither did anyone he had been able to speak to. He did say, however, that the event could have been arranged via the Student Union. This would be the same student union which recently saw three activists from Hizb ut Tahrir elected.
Anyway, Jordan has told me that his director will be in touch with me. I’ll keep you posted.