Com­mu­nist spells out pol­icy

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

YOU PROB­A­BLY haven’t heard of Jonathan Sil­ber­man, the 63-year-old fac­tory worker who has signed up to com­pete in next year’s may­oral elec­tion on be­half of the Com­mu­nist League.

But the can­di­date for the left-wing party is un­der no il­lu­sion about his chances of win­ning. “I am com­pletely re­al­is­tic,” he says.

Mr Sil­ber­man is the sec­ond Jewish can­di­date in the race, af­ter Con­ser­va­tive can­di­date Zac, and says “fight­ing Jew-ha­tred” is at the front of his cam­paign, which he de­scribes as “a work­ing-class cam­paign. I hap­pen to think that fight­ing the rise of Jew-ha­tred is an im­por­tant part of any work­ing-class cam­paign to­day.

“I think the source of the rise of Jew ha­tred is down to slow-burn­ing, cap­i­tal­ist op­pres­sion, and such is the na­ture of a cap­i­tal­ist so­ci­ety that, when it meets a cri­sis like it is in now, Jews will al­ways be a tar­get.”

The trade union­ist’s fam­ily were in­volved in cam­paign­ing to get Jews into Bri­tain in the 1930s.

As well as fight­ing against in­creas­ing an­ti­semitism, Mr Sil­ber­man says he wants to see “a mas­sive rise” in the min­i­mum wage and would com­mit to build­ing more homes, schools, and hos­pi­tals in the cap­i­tal.

He has been crit­i­cal of Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn’s “in­abil­ity” to chal-

Spread the word: Jonathan Sil­ber­man, cam­paign­ing for a work­ing-class gov­ern­ment, meets refugees at Calais lenge an­ti­semitism and says that “the party was in­ca­pable of be­ing trans­formed into a so­cial­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

“Jeremy has failed to put him­self at the lead­er­ship of fight­ing Jew ha­tred,” says Mr Sil­ber­man, “and I dis­agree with him on a num­ber of key is­sues. I be­lieve his ref­er­ence to Hamas and or­gan­i­sa­tions like that as friends, what­ever his ex­pla­na­tion, is un­ac­cept­able.

“Hamas’s idea that the task of Mus­lims should be to kill Jews is some­thing their lead­ers echo to­day, it is not just a his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment.

“Their ba­sic line is ‘from the river to the sea’ they are in favour of smash­ing the Is­raeli state.

“I’m op­posed to the cap­i­tal­ist gov- ern­ment of Is­rael but I’m equally op­posed to the cap­i­tal­ist gov­ern­ment of Bri­tain or the United States, but I don’t call for the de­struc­tion of Bri­tain and I won’t call for the de­struc­tion of Is­rael.”

Mr Sil­ber­man also con­demns the boy­cott of Is­rael and ar­gues that the so­lu­tion to peace in the Mid­dle East was to get rid of cap­i­tal­ism.

He says: “The ar­gu­ment that it is an apartheid state is non­sense. There have been many man­i­fes­ta­tions of the work­ing-class strug­gle where Jews and Arabs in Is­rael have fought side by side, from nurses to tele­coms work­ers, and the de­fence of im­mi­grants.

“Hamas’s rou­tine mis­sile as­saults on Jews [in­clud­ing] civil­ians closes down the space for that sort of stuff.

“There should be ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the gov­ern­ments of Gaza, and the West Bank based on the recog­ni­tion of Is­rael as it is to­day.”

Mr Sil­ber­man stood, with­out suc­cess, for elec­tion in 2015 in Hack­ney North and Stoke New­ing­ton.

“My cam­paign is not ori­ented to any group of peo­ple,” he says. “It is for the forg­ing of a work­ing-class lead­er­ship in the UK and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“I don’t be­lieve there is any Lon­don based so­lu­tions to the prob­lems work­ing peo­ple face here or any­where. If I were elected mayor I will do things that I think should be done all around the coun­try and in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

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