Racism Came to Britain with the Empire - Colonialism is the handmaiden of racial supremacy
When a member of the SWP proposed that Brighton & Hove Trades Council sponsor a meeting on UN anti-racism day I was naturally in favour. UN anti-racism day was originally established in 1966 as a commemoration for the 60 Black Africans killed by the Apartheid police in South Africa in 1960.
It was particularly appropriate because on January 12th Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem had declared that Israel was an Apartheid state. What made this statement important is that B’Tselem is the quintessential liberal human rights organisation. Founded in 1989 as a liberal Zionist organisation this declaration represented a break from the view that Israel was a flawed Western-style democracy. In B’Tselem’s own words:
The Israeli regime enacts in all the territory it controls (Israeli sovereign territory, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip) an apartheid regime. One organizing principle lies at the base of a wide array of Israeli policies: advancing and perpetuating the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians.
The anti-racist and anti-fascist movement in this country had always opposed Apartheid in South Africa. How could SUTR not adopt the same attitude to Israeli Apartheid? What was different?