Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic?

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ajjohnstone
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May 3 2016 13:57

Aren't we anti-Judaism.....anti-Christian, anti-Muslim, anti-Hindu, anti-all religion? We are also anti-theocracies and who can deny that Israel is de facto, like most Middle Eastern countries, a theocratic state rather than a secular democracy it claims to be. We are opposed to all institutionalised ignorance. A plague on all your houses.

As i said previously, Zionism can itself be accused of anti-Semitism, especially if you consider how they so easily label critics of Israeli policy such as Noam Chomsky or Norman Finkelstein as self-hating Jews even Bernie Sanders suffers this invective
(http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/66876/jewish-comedy-legend-jackie-maso...)

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The specific terms "self-hating Jew" and "Jewish self-hatred" only came into use later, developing from Theodor Herzl's polemical use of the term "anti-Semite of Jewish origin", in the context of his project of political Zionism. The underlying concept gained common currency in this context, "since Zionism was an important part of the vigorous debates that were occurring amongst Jews at the time about anti-Semitism, assimilation and Jewish identity." Herzl appears to have introduced the phrase "anti-Semite of Jewish origin" in his 1896 book, Der Judenstaat (The Jews' State), which launched political Zionism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-hating_Jew

S. Artesian
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May 3 2016 16:03

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/jamie-stern-weiner-norman-finkelstein/american-jewish-scholar-behind-labour-s-antisemitism-scanda

freemind
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May 3 2016 16:08

The Jews are only a people in the same sense as the Poles or Irish are a Catholic people which we all know is Theocratic rubbish.
Zionists are Jewish Nationalists and any Nationalism should be opposedeven one that purports to fight for a 'Jewish Homeland'
The maxim All Zionists are Jews but not all Jews are Zionists 'applies
Isis or Al-Qaida use the same Religious Nationalism with their goal of the caliphate.
Nationalism whether in Zionist or any other guise is another layer of oppression and buffer for capital to stop unity in the working class.

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May 3 2016 18:42

Zionism is a foreign (European) bourgeois institution imposed upon the native Semitic working population. Does that explain Auld-bold, #28?

Zeronowhere
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May 3 2016 20:03
freemind wrote:
The Jews are only a people in the same sense as the Poles or Irish are a Catholic people which we all know is Theocratic rubbish.

Jews having a racial element does have some grounding in their religion.

Christianity does not generally hold their religion to have a racial element, properly practiced. At least, not in the same manner.

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I'm suspicious of those with their own nationalist ideas yet who single out Zionism for special treatment.

Presumably people with different nationalist ideas shouldn't be expected to respect Zionism. In any case, this is generally in response to Israel in particular, which comes with a brief history, as well as Zionism of recent times, which has generally been quite problematic and quite harmonious with the Western nations. In general, though, Zionism isn't merely an undifferentiated 'nationalism,' but a nationalism associated as S. Artesian said with dispossession, and a basis in a past often said to involve significant religious subjugation, often of foreign races, so it's not such as to be treated generally as something which requires exceptional effort for people to oppose.

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Then the answer to the original question is "no,"-- if it depends on the "who"-- then it is not intrinsic to the "thing" itself.

Valid. In addition, because 'anti-Semitism' is a sensitive word in Western culture, accusations directed at anti-Zionism along these lines, and then vague attempts to associate them absolutely, are very easily blurred into mere emotional stimulation of some sort or other rather than being as innocuous as they may have seemed.

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to use anti-semitic language ('Zionist-led media'), imagery and, let's be honest, to support anti-semitic groups (who else remembers "We are all Hamas"?).

The USA, for instance, were often proud supporters of Israel, and made a lot out of their ties with the nation being 'special.' As such, associations made between their institutions and Zionism were hardly completely unfounded, nor did they necessarily imply racism. Likewise, when it comes to Hamas, support was generally based on their position in the world system and the nature of their action on a political level, and not their platform in any case. This need not imply anti-Semitism, just as it need not have implied a sudden conversion to Islam.

S. Artesian
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May 3 2016 22:36
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So while i think you're right to say there's no moral quandry in being anti-Zionist per se, there are issues within anti-Zionism that need to be confronted and doing so is also a class issue..

Can you be specific? What are the issues within anti-Zionism that need to be confronted, and are only encountered in anti-Zionism?

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At the same time, there is a tendency for anti-Zionism to blur into anti-semitism, to use anti-semitic language ('Zionist-led media'), imagery and,

What about references to "pro-Zionist media"? Clearly that's an objective assessment of the commercial media in the US, isn't it? Major print and broadcast enterprises are unabashedly pro-Zionist, so how does it become "anti-semitic" to identify the media as "pro-Zionist" or even "Zionist-led"?

Does identifying the US government as "pro-Zionist" constitute a tendency to blur the line, and/or constitute a code for anti-semitism?

Yes, we are "anti-religion" and we are anti-anti-Semitism, but we are both based on our opposition to discrimination, bigotry, exploitation, and our opposition to the obscuring of the real conditions that determine that discrimination, bigotry, and exploitation. Zionism is precisely one of those "obscuring" conditions.

I don't thinks there's any "mileage" to be obtained from stating "Oh, of course we oppose Zionism because we oppose any nationalism." That too obscures what Zionism is. It is not just any nationalism. It is not, for example, like Algeria's "national struggle" for separation from France. It is not a national aspiration for "a homeland." It is a settler ideology, no less than that of the Boer "Great Trek" based upon, and serving to preserve, "a master-slave" relationship.

That being said, the limitations, the "cul-de-sac" so to speak with anti-Zionism is just that--the isolation, separation, abstraction of opposition to Israel, of opposition to the Zionist state, from the class-struggle against capitalism locally and globally.

ajjohnstone
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May 3 2016 22:49
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Jews having a racial element does have some grounding in their religion.

They also share this identity, at least under UK law, with Sikhism

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the United Kingdom, therefore recognize Sikh as a designated ethnicity on their censuses. The American non-profit organization United Sikhs has fought to have Sikh included on the U.S. census as well, arguing that Sikhs "self-identify as an 'ethnic minority' " and believe "that they are more than just a religion"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikh

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandla_v_Dowell-Lee

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May 4 2016 01:30

Anti-Zionism is equally a foreign ideology imposed on the Palestinian working class in order to derail the class struggle. Note the role played by Hamas in reaction to the intifada. Rather than arm the militant proletariat of Palestine/Israel, it armed itself on one hand and attempted to bribe the working class on the other.

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Auld-bod
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May 4 2016 11:24

Schmoopie #35

Thanks.

fidel gastro
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May 14 2016 12:36
Noah Fence wrote:
So, is everyone's favourite newt fancier, Red Ken, an anti Semite or a racist based on his recent comments?

Having read about The Final Solution, I think I'm right in saying that up until the war, the Nazis' official policy was that of forced emigration of the Jews rather than the extermination, although I'm sure there were those in the party all along that believed in their extermination. However, I'm sure that Hitler condemned Zionism in Mein Kampf. Apparently the Lehi, a far-right, Zionist group appealed to Hitler to give them a Jewish state and pledged support to him and the Nazis but my memory of all that isn't great and I haven't read about it for a long time. So perhaps there is some truth in what Livingstone said, personally I don't think it was racist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Solution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_%28group%29

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May 4 2016 15:24

This video is interesting:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32941.htm

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Red Marriott
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May 4 2016 20:33

An hour-long interview about the book with the author Edwin Black (described in reviews as a Zionist) here;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE2hsaHAEX0

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May 5 2016 21:38

This discussion would be greatly helped by considering the essay 'Antisemitism and National Socialism' by Moishe Postone.

Postone argues that Antisemitism is not, as is commonly believed, like other forms of racism and discrimination. Racism usually rests on the belief that the designated Other is in some sense lesser and subordinate. Antisemitism in contrast rests on the belief that the Jews are so powerful that they manage to clandestinely conspire to bring the world to its destruction - manipulating terrible world events such as war, acts of terror, bloody revolutions and financial crises - for their own benefit. Antisemitism is not just a form of discrimination therefore but a pseudo-anti-capitalist world view that scapegoats the effects of abstract domination onto Jews: 'the Jews control the media', 'the Jews cause financial crises', 'the Jews cause war' etc. Just because people replace the word Jews with Israel or Zionists doesn't mean that the logic has changed. It is still scapegoating the world's problems onto some personified Other that is Jewish. This kind of discourse has a history and semantic word games aren't going to hide it.

The obsession among large parts of the left with the idea that Israel somehow is singularly evil among modern nation states for its occupations (what about Turkey's occupation of Cyprus? What about the continued decimation of native communities in the Americas? etc.), that it alone is responsible for the lack of stability in the region (as if there isn't a massive economic collapse in surrounding countries that has nothing to do with Israel but with a structural crisis of capitalism itself), that it is so powerful that it somehow controls US foreign policy (as if the US wouldn't want a powerful military ally in one of the most strategic spots in the world) and even the media is antisemitic.

A person can be - i.e. express or do something - antisemitic even if they don't understand what they are saying in the manner described above and they don't have to be rabid Jew-hating brownshirted skinheads to be antisemitic. Antisemitism is a dangerous political ideology. The hidden threat behind it has always been the annihilation of the Jews and I cannot help but think that when people obsess about getting rid of the one state that is mostly made up of Jewish people, that antisemitism is the root cause.

S. Artesian
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May 5 2016 22:01
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The obsession among large parts of the left with the idea that Israel somehow is singularly evil among modern nation states for its occupations (what about Turkey's occupation of Cyprus? What about the continued decimation of native communities in the Americas? etc.), that it alone is responsible for the lack of stability in the region (as if there isn't a massive economic collapse in surrounding countries that has nothing to do with Israel but with a structural crisis of capitalism itself), that it is so powerful that it somehow controls US foreign policy (as if the US wouldn't want a powerful military ally in one of the most strategic spots in the world) and even the media is antisemitic.

OK, but who does that? Who argues that Israel is singularly evil among modern nations? Who argues that Israel alone is responsible for the brutality practiced in Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, in Iran, in Syria, in Egypt? Not even James Petras, to my knowledge, claims that.

And again, we need to qualify and quantify these conditions when we start attributing them to "large parts of the left."

Yes, you can be a crackpot anti-Zionist like you can be a crackpot anything; but you can also oppose Zionism for what it is;settler-state capitalism dependent upon the expulsion and impoverishment of an indigenous population.

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May 6 2016 01:33

I have met a number of people, especially at university, who do indeed "single out" Israel in the sense that they are far more negative toward Zionism than Palestinian nationalism or third-world nationalist movements in general and are highly inclined to join Students for Justice in Palestine but less interested in starting a Students for Justice in Saudi Arabia or anything like that for other US clients. However, I don't think that is necessarily because of the Jewish aspect of Israel. A lot of the (perhaps excessive) focus on the State of Israel that I have encountered from American leftists is very related to the very high-profile public relationship that the Israeli government enjoys with the Israeli government--while the US may have a very close relationship with various Gulf states, for example, it's hard to imagine many of those heads of states being invited to address the entire US Congress. And certainly when it comes to PR, there's no government that an American politician is happier to fall in line with than the Israeli government. This isn't to say that selectively anti-natinionalist politics warrant any praise, but as an American with some direct experience with the Palestinian solidarity movement, I do think that it's an error to assume that shitty politics coming from this scene are necessarily rooted in anti-Semitism.

Spikymike
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May 6 2016 10:28

Malva's post 44 with S.Artesian's and Tyrion's qualifications in their posts 45/46 are starting to make some sense for me here, but on the related issue of the politics in the local UK Labour Party rift and accusations of 'antisemitism' it is worth people reading what finkelstein has to say in that link S.Artesian provided in their post 33 which it struck me is reinforced with this recent news story here:
www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/05/israeli-military-chief-yair-golan-...

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May 6 2016 11:23

the occupation of East Timor 1975-1999 and of Western Sahara since 1975 have failed to mobilise the global left (with the exception of Portugal and Australia respectively Spain and Algeria) in substantial numbers

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May 6 2016 23:52
S. Artesian wrote:
Yes, you can be a crackpot anti-Zionist like you can be a crackpot anything; but you can also oppose Zionism for what it is;settler-state capitalism dependent upon the expulsion and impoverishment of an indigenous population.

As kind of a side note, I see the point about the Palestinians being indigenous pop up a lot when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being discussed and I really think its misleading and irrelevant. I think it takes for granted the idea that whatever ethnic group has an older historical claim to the land has some sort of collective right to exercise sovereignty over it - the same argument made by the Zionists. Then you get into these really stupid debates about who indeed, does have a better historical claim, with everyone trotting out their own highly politicized histories. For example, a portion of the Palestinian population is descended from Bosnian Muslims who emigrated there in the 19th century when the Ottomans were ruling, and you'll occasionally hear Zionists touting some highly exaggerated version of this in the whole more indigenous than thou debate. You could also argue with much historical weight that much of the Israeli population could be seen as refugees fleeing from antisemitic persecution and oppression rather than settlers, and that every nation-state is founded on the basis of ethnic cleansing at least in concept, and most also in fact.

I guess my point is that the issue isn't which group settled there when. The issue is that the Palestinians are suffering from military occupation and racist oppression. That would be no less important had the Palestinians shown up yesterday. So to me at least, it seems like all the rhetoric about ingenuousness serves only to confuse the issue and takes for granted the fundamentally capitalist/nationalist logic that gave rise to the conflict in the first place.

Zeronowhere
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May 7 2016 01:39

It might be misleading to portray the general process as a question of 'historical right.' Obviously, major countries, including Israel, were rarely decided on the basis of 'historical right.' This would be merely an excuse for a few countries that value no such thing, some more enthusiastically than others, to take land from some others and shove a proxy in there instead, with the support of world capitalism and hence founded as merely an expression of this in the form of appropriation, one which it has lived up to until this day. In most situations this would be an act of war, as indeed most claims of the sort are, but such countries as were displaced, and reacted with annoyance rather than submitting, as may be expected, to the world order of the time, are also generally in the process neglected or trodden underfoot.

These were, of course, people of a certain religion and possibly race, so in that sense claims of racism in that direction being a part of the Israeli state from early on are not unfounded. Unless they presumably assumed that that was totally how things worked, and it was usual for people due to the backing of the USA to throw people out of spaces to put different countries in there instead, while of course claims to a country have generally lead to civil wars, wars with Rome and bloodshed. With the more 'enlightened' UN, with a Dalai Lama as its animal mascot, you of course just end up with general displacement, and a frail, slightly muffled resistance, due to attempts to remain within an order that did not favour their struggle. A revolution would only remove these obstacles, and would not generally remove that struggle itself, given that it is not centrally concerned with such specifics.

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That would be no less important had the Palestinians shown up yesterday.

This seems fairly implausible. Israel was the way it was because of its history, and its dynamic with such states was a result of this. If it acts like an occupation, it is perhaps in part because it was from the beginning a foreign imposition, and if it acts mechanical, perhaps because it was an unacknowledged form of belligerence, which was merely rebranded in the unacknowledged 'War on Iraq,' in which connection in between resistance to such wars and similar attacks in the Middle East, would it perhaps be a bit suspect if resistance to Israel did not come up? It would then be strange if you were to condemn either resistance to these wars, or to Israel, not for not going far enough, but instead for existing at all. In any case, Israel's policy was not, as it was often represented, merely a result of free will - as if it were redeemable and merely had to change its mind -, but rather a result of necessity given their historical track, which is in a sense quite obvious in their case. This was in a sense merely a dilution, and not an objection to Israel in any historical sense, or as such, but merely to specific actions, which however was just co-opting anti-Israeli sentiment which was likely to be more systematic generally.

If someone was anti-American, they were quite likely to be anti-Israeli without needing the further stimulation of anti-Semitism. America, of course, was closer to the centre of world capitalism than other countries, which is a real distinction between the countries - which are not merely abstractions to be conceptually critiqued - and hence anti-Americanism was generally justified. The general problem with it was merely that it was not serious, or did not actually have any fundamental problem with America in terms of its place on the world scene, or indeed with Americans - only the 'bad' ones, which could be said of any country - and in general reduced the dislike to a merely aesthetic one rather than a serious condemnation. Such aesthetic forms were merely co-option, though. People had a problem with 'America,' apparently, but not really in any overall sense, just minor quirks - which would generally indicate that they liked it, and also considered themselves a voting citizen, even if they were British, which is perhaps not the point of such sentiments. Generally speaking, though, the point of religious wars was merely to seize land on behalf of one religion, driving the other out. That people disapprove of such attempts at religious war against, incidentally, the Islamic and Arabic states, need not then come as such a surprise.

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May 7 2016 02:22
Zeronowhere wrote:
Jews having a racial element does have some grounding in their religion.

They actually don't mate, sure their bible talks about a chosen people and a shared lineage etc, but in reality the Jewish community is made up of a very diverse group of ethnicities and cultures. Many of which had their own languages unknown to any of the others. The Jewishness is in the blood line today is usually pushed by racist Jews(and anti semites) who don't want to be associated with other Jews. Like the poor treatment of African Jews in Israel.

http://www.irinnews.org/report/94819/tribulations-being-ethiopian-jew

Besides religion is usually used interchangeable with other identifiers when there's hostility between different communities. In Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland you still vicious bigotry about Catholics and Protestants which have blatantly racist context. And the European right having been crowing about the dangers of the "Muslim birth rate" even though religions don't have birth rates because its a social relationship you can change or opt out of. Its just an excuse to other someone.

Entdinglichung wrote:
the occupation of East Timor 1975-1999 and of Western Sahara since 1975 have failed to mobilise the global left (with the exception of Portugal and Australia respectively Spain and Algeria) in substantial numbers

That's true but Apartheid South Africa did, and in the 19th century most leftist groups in Europe at least paid special attention to Russian control of Poland. And I think we're seeing a resurgence in global sympathy with the Kurds right now.

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May 7 2016 07:14
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The issue is that the Palestinians are suffering from military occupation and racist oppression. That would be no less important had the Palestinians shown up yesterday. So to me at least, it seems like all the rhetoric about ingenuousness serves only to confuse the issue and takes for granted the fundamentally capitalist/nationalist logic that gave rise to the conflict in the first place.

Is this the real issue? Are you not yourself falling into the same nationalist (ie non-classist) logic? Does the Palestinian capitalist suffer 'from military occupation' or is he the beneficiary? The Israeli state is not the only military occupier of the Occupied Territories, now Palestinian Territories. There is already a two state solution but it is only a solution for one class, the bourgeoisie.

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May 7 2016 07:55

Schmoopie #52

I see your logic that situations should be seen through a class analysis, however to recognize that a group of people who identify as Palestinians are living under occupation is simply to describe what is happening. To say that the proposed solution plays into the hands of the Palestinian ruling class is true, though it is hard to think of any situation in the world where the rich do not profit or avoid the consequences of unfolding events. Example: the UK welcomes the rich, Cameron wishes to roll out the red carpet for them, but if you’re poor get back, get back.

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May 7 2016 08:39

No argument with that, Auld-bold. By the same logic then, if you and me identify ourselves as 'British', we are also living under occupation by the British State, which itself is a body of the ruling class/the rich/bourgeoisie. Yet, only the working class has this sense of being under an occupying power. The bourgeois feels free.

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May 7 2016 09:14
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If someone was anti-American, they were quite likely to be anti-Israeli without needing the further stimulation of anti-Semitism.

The historian Tony Judt argues that the development of European anti-Americanism in the post-war period was in part fuelled by the notion that it was the new seat of Jewish power in the world. I also think that anti-Americanism, even when it is in no way fuelled by Antisemitism (which these days is probably the case for most people in Europe, I hope anyway!), is reductive and also seeks to personalise and scapegoat abstract domination onto the actions of a single 'people' and their state.

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May 7 2016 08:51

This article argues that the left wing of capital, like the right, is vulnerable to antisemitism, because (a) it can't grasp capital as a social relation and thus tends towards personalisation and (b) its opposition to Zionism is based on support for rival nationalisms, which are no less dependent on imperialist backing, and whose antisemitism has become increasingly overt. As the SWP put it: "We are all Hizbollah", which means "we all" support the project of throwing the Jews into the sea.

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201605/13931/labour-left-and-je...

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May 7 2016 09:35

Alf, thanks for reminding us via the article you reference why this topic is being discussed at this time, on this forum. It is of purely parochial interest.

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May 7 2016 12:10

Obviously, the 'we are all' slogan form needn't mean direct identity, or transformation. This would have been detrimental to Hezbollah, for one thing. It implies support or sympathy with something in terms of their position on the world stage, or with their suffering or persecution, rather than implying literal identification with the stances of that group, in which they were in any case not expected to be entirely clean.

In any case, the 'left wing of capital' is unlikely to persecute personifications of capital systematically, for that reason, which would mean that they opposed capitalism. This would generally disqualify them from being qualified as such. The left wing of capital is not generally associated with stoking such hatred. In addition, if anti-Semitism would also tend to imply some form of tacit opposition to capitalism, then it is being portrayed positively, and would only appear as the worst form of racism and so on to apologists of this system. The 'left wing of capital' generally implies still belonging clearly and being alright with that system - as with much of the 1930s Social Democrats of Germany - not merely having a limited socialist impulse which is not fully realised or expressed, which is still after socialist, and was also more honest.

S. Artesian
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May 7 2016 15:08
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As kind of a side note, I see the point about the Palestinians being indigenous pop up a lot when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being discussed and I really think its misleading and irrelevant.

It is not misleading and irrelevant. It is the real history of the creation of Israel. It a)counters the mythology of a "promised land" belonging historically to Judaism and b) the "poor little Israel" victim of Arab aggression ideology.

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I think it takes for granted the idea that whatever ethnic group has an older historical claim to the land has some sort of collective right to exercise sovereignty over it - the same argument made by the Zionists.

Nonsense. Nobody's claiming anything about sovereignty-- rather it provides an accurate explanation of the real historical development of the struggle.

Quote:
For example, a portion of the Palestinian population is descended from Bosnian Muslims who emigrated there in the 19th century when the Ottomans were ruling, and you'll occasionally hear Zionists touting some highly exaggerated version of this in the whole more indigenous than thou debate.

Again the issue has nothing to do with "prior rights"-- but the expulsion of a sector of the population living in the territory prior to or at the time of a political transformation.

Quote:
You could also argue with much historical weight that much of the Israeli population could be seen as refugees fleeing from antisemitic persecution and oppression rather than settlers, and that every nation-state is founded on the basis of ethnic cleansing at least in concept, and most also in fact.

No doubt you could see it that way. And you could see the Boers as refugees from British imperialism. So what? Doesn't change the fact that the Boers imposed a "master slave" relation ship upon Africans, and that Israel is a settler state. No, not all nation-states are settler states, but they are all part of the international structure of capitalism. And that's exactly the point to be made about Israel. The settler-state notion is the historically accurate depiction of its terms of origin.

Quote:
I guess my point is that the issue isn't which group settled there when. The issue is that the Palestinians are suffering from military occupation and racist oppression. That would be no less important had the Palestinians shown up yesterday. So to me at least, it seems like all the rhetoric about ingenuousness serves only to confuse the issue and takes for granted the fundamentally capitalist/nationalist logic that gave rise to the conflict in the first place.

Right, the issues are which "group" oppresses, and which "group" is the oppressed and the specific origins of that relationship

ingenuous is not indigenous.

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May 7 2016 20:51

Artesian, thanks for pointing out my typo.

S. Artesian wrote:
It is not misleading and irrelevant. It is the real history of the creation of Israel. It a)counters the mythology of a "promised land" belonging historically to Judaism and b) the "poor little Israel" victim of Arab aggression ideology...
Nobody's claiming anything about sovereignty-- rather it provides an accurate explanation of the real historical development of the struggle.

I think you're engaging in exactly the type of misleading and irrelevant discussion I was talking about here. a) Who cares what religious claims Judaism makes to the land, mythological or not? If the excuse for ethnic cleansing is a religious/nationalist historical claim making a counter-claim only validates nationalism and provokes more argumentation within a nationalist framework. I think all of that is really useless from a communist perspective. b) I don't think pointing out the irrelevance of competing nationalist claims lends any sympathy to Israel where the Arab-Israeli wars are concerned. Or the other side for that matter. Rather, I think it points out the absurdity of nationalism and the cynical game of international relations which produces such wars.

S. Artesian wrote:
Again the issue has nothing to do with "prior rights"-- but the expulsion of a sector of the population living in the territory prior to or at the time of a political transformation.

We agree then? I thought this was my point? Saying the Palestinians were living in the territory prior to or at the time of a political transformation that led to their expulsion is historically accurate and helps us understand the present situation. However, the word "indigenous" has always been connected to legitimating claims of "prior rights" the way I've heard it used in political discussions - especially discussions about Israel.

S. Artesian wrote:
And you could see the Boers as refugees from British imperialism. So what? Doesn't change the fact that the Boers imposed a "master slave" relation ship upon Africans, and that Israel is a settler state. No, not all nation-states are settler states, but they are all part of the international structure of capitalism. And that's exactly the point to be made about Israel. The settler-state notion is the historically accurate depiction of its terms of origin.

Right, the issues are which "group" oppresses, and which "group" is the oppressed and the specific origins of that relationship

I didn't say that every nation-state is a settler state, I said that "every nation-state is founded on the basis of ethnic cleansing at least in concept, and most also in fact," and I'll stand by that. Equating the oppression of Jews in Europe and the Middle East to the conflict between the Boers and the British Empire is a gross distortion. I very much doubt Zionism ever would have become a viable project without the massive population increase of Jews fleeing from Nazism and the post-WWII European pogroms, or without the addition of so many Arab Jews who were forcibly expelled from their resident countries (whose descendants make up the majority of Israeli Jews today). I also doubt Zionism would have received so much support from the Jewish population if not for the holocaust and its aftermath - after all, before the holocaust the vast majority preferred immigration to the US.

Yes, Israel is a setter-state, but trivializing antisemitism and its role in the creation of Israel only obfuscates the specific origins of the oppressive relationship the Israelis now have the the Palestinians. I see this a lot when hardcore anti-zionists activists in the US are asked to consider the role of antisemitism in the creation of Israel and when they're confronted with concerns about their own antisemitism or their toleration of it within anti-zionist activism: trivialize it, claim its irrelevant, deny its existence. I guess they think that allowing for consideration of antisemitism's role would somehow detract from sympathy for the Palestinians? It shouldn't.

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Schmoopie
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May 7 2016 21:22
Quote:
...the oppressive relationship the Israelis now have with the Palestinians.

laborbund

Do Israelis have an oppressive relationship with Palestinians? When I worked in Israel/Palestine alongside Israelis and foreigners like myself, we had NO relationship with Palestinian workers at all. A good example was when I was working the tomato picking machines in the fields. The machine I worked on would work the same field as a machine manned by Palestinian workers but there was never any opportunity for fraternisation and we were certainly not oppressing anyone. We were all equally oppressed by the heat, the grime and the monotony.