Stop the War Coalition invites Kremlin-funded far-Right academic to discuss Ukraine
On August 27th, the Stop the War Coalition, described by journalist Nick Cohen as a “front organisation” for the Socialist Workers Party, is hosting an event entitled ‘How to stop the spread of war’. Topics under discussion include the conflict in Ukraine.
One of the announced speakers is Boris Kagarlitsky, a Russian academic who runs the Institute of Globalisation and Social Movements, which is partially funded by the Kremlin. Kagarlitsky is a staunch defender of the pro-Russian separatist rebels in Ukraine, and spoke at the launch of “Solidarity with Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine.”
Although Kagarlitsky describes himself as a Communist, he is closely involved with a number of far-right movements. Kagarlitsky has spoken at a round-table event hosted by the Florian Geyer Club, a right-wing Russian group founded by three notorious extremists, of whom two were once members of the neo-Nazi “Black Order of the SS”. He has also shared a platform with notorious Russian fascist Aleksandr Dugin and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Israel Shamir at an event organised by the far-right Austrian Freedom Party.
Writing in the Moscow Times shortly after 9/11, Kagarlitsky gave credence to the claim that the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre was an inside job, arguing that the evidence of al-Qaeda’s involvement was “shaky,” and adding:
“It would appear that the operation was organized and carried out by people who had free passage around the country and were considered to be above suspicion. If they are professionals, they did not acquire their experience in underground terrorist groups. It cannot be excluded that the attacks were organized by forces within the United States, and this would have to be people with considerable military experience.”
In a later article, he reiterated his position:
“The official version of events leaves such a large number of unanswered questions that even Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a loyal ally of the United States in the Middle East, could not refrain from voicing certain doubts. Mubarak is himself a professional pilot and does not understand how terrorists with minimal flying skills could have steered the planes to their targets. The Russian General Boris Agapov, a well-known specialist on Afghanistan, cannot understand how bin Laden and the Taliban, with their primitive organization, could have executed such a large-scale act of terrorism; he believes that one of the more competent secret services must have had a hand in things. The German Berliner Zeitung and the Indian Mainstream asked how the terrorists could have implemented their plan without a single U.S. citizen as accomplice.”
Stop the War Coalition is a British grassroots group that ostensibly lobbies the West to “change its disastrous foreign policies.” In truth, as the Spectator writer James Bloodworth notes: “[Stop the War] isn’t so much opposed to war as has accrued a sorry reputation for supporting the other side in every conflict it has pretended to oppose.”
Stop the War’s vice-president is Kamal Majid, who has urged support for the Assad regime because of their “long history of resisting imperialism” and claims that their downfall “will pave the way for a pro-Western and pro-US regime.” Majid also established the Stalin Society, which was established to “defend Stalin and his work.”
It has become increasingly clear over the last few months that certain topics, such as the conflict in Ukraine and protests against the Israeli state, have provided activists from the far-Left and far-Right with the means to find common ground.
Recent anti-Israel protests in London, partly-organised by Stop the War, have featured far-Right activists such as James Thring and Lady Renouf. Thring, described as “an anti-Zionist activist who has been vocally supported by former the Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke,” has been featured in revisionist pro-Nazi documentaries and is aligned with the “New Right” society, a British neo-Nazi organisation.
Lady Renouf claims that Judaism is a “repugnant and hateful religion,” and is described by Searchlight Magazine as “the chief cheerleader for disgraced Holocaust denier David Irving. Renouf has contributed to the defense of several other Holocaust deniers and has since become one of the most influential figures in this murky anti-Semitic subculture.”
Activists from the Neturei Karta, an extreme anti-Zionist sect, have also been frequently paraded by Stop the War and other groups at recent protests. Neturei Karta has rallied in support of Hungary’s “neo-Nazi” Jobbik party, the officials of which have “rejoiced” at the deaths of Israeli soldiers killed by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. In 2006, Neturei Karta’s UK branch leader, Ahron Cohen, stated that those Jews who perished in the Holocaust “deserved it.”
In early February, Stop the War Coalition published an article by the writer Alison Weir, which claimed that the murder of Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics was justified because of Israel’s “ethnically cleansing much of the indigenous Palestinian population.”
Weir’s article was originally published by Counterpunch, an extremist website condemned as a “neo-Nazi magazine” by anti-racism bloggers. Counterpunch has previously posted an article by Alison Weir which claims Jews were responsible for the ritual murders of non-Jews – an invocation of the ancient blood libel.
Weir herself has taken part in interviews with the notorious Holocaust Denier Hesham Tillawi, whose television show “regularly features white supremacists.” Moreover, Tillawi, according to the Anti-Defamation League, has appeared at a conference with a number of “prominent anti-Semites on the American far right”, and organized by Jamaat al-Muslimeen, an Islamist group that “promotes Holocaust denial and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories.” Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. Attorney General and leader of the “far-left International Action Center,” also spoke at the conference.