Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic?

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factvalue
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Jun 21 2016 15:13

Alf writes that the problem is deeper than I think. Alright, now let me see, what do I think? Well, as stated in the post immediately before Alf's, I think it's not a major threat. Ok. What would be deeper than not a major threat? How about, a major threat? You then claim that Alf's thoughts are your thoughts exactly.

Stating that anti-Semitism doesn't pose a major threat is not identical with claiming that anyone else has said that it is. I was referring, as I have been for a while now, to the propaganda of entities such as the ADL. I think such propaganda influences discussions like these and opinions such as Alf's. It might have been more productive in this thread for you to have at least allowed for the possibility that others might have a position of their own, rather than continuing with the customary knuckle-headed posturing, as if such people hadn't had the good taste to realise that they were trespassing on your personal narrative territory.

I think there is an issue of discrimination of one form or another to be addressed. But I don't think this one is of the same dimensions as those other issues that I've raised as potentially better uses of people's time and energy, such as the Zionist propaganda behind the ludicrous claim of a worrying rise in anti-Semitism in the Western world.

S. Artesian
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Jun 21 2016 19:45

Personally, I find it remarkable that those on Libcom are more worried about factvalue's assessment of the dangers of antisemitism than about the endorsement of UN resolution 242 as a long term, short term, interim means for resolving the conflict.

factvalue
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Jun 21 2016 20:26

It depends what your immediate goals are. In setting such goals I think the most important questions are: What are we trying to accomplish, and how do we intend to accomplish it? My answer is, and in this I entirely agree with Finkelstein, that the immediate objective is to achieve the maximum possible in terms of justice, given the current and foreseeable balance of political forces (the political horizon of progressive public opinion). The means is as always creating a mass movement that can exert pressure on the dominant political forces in the first instance, without losing sight of ultimate goals but as a tactic for furthering them. If you bear these parameters in mind, it's quite obvious that dismantling/abolishing states in the immediate present is not a political position but political posturing.

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Serge Forward
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Jun 21 2016 22:04
S. Artesian wrote:
Personally, I find it remarkable that those on Libcom are more worried about factvalue's assessment of the dangers of antisemitism than about the endorsement of UN resolution 242 as a long term, short term, interim means for resolving the conflict.

I didn't realise anyone on Libcom had actually endorsed UN resolution 242. However, factvalue has talked shite on numerous occasions in this thread.

S. Artesian
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Jun 21 2016 23:31
factvalue wrote:
It depends what your immediate goals are. In setting such goals I think the most important questions are: What are we trying to accomplish, and how do we intend to accomplish it? My answer is, and in this I entirely agree with Finkelstein, that the immediate objective is to achieve the maximum possible in terms of justice, given the current and foreseeable balance of political forces (the political horizon of progressive public opinion). The means is as always creating a mass movement that can exert pressure on the dominant political forces in the first instance, without losing sight of ultimate goals but as a tactic for furthering them. If you bear these parameters in mind, it's quite obvious that dismantling/abolishing states in the immediate present is not a political position but political posturing.

This isn't a question of separating an "immediate goal" from an "ultimate goal;" it's a question of how a class movement builds itself, develops its class consciousness distinct from and in opposition to various bourgeois palliatives which are far more "unrealistic" than those steps that must be taken to build the class movement.

Swearing allegiance, or advocating a solution along the lines of 242 gets us exactly where we are today...nowhere; with Israel essentially having a free hand to do whatever it likes, and the opposition "kettled" in occupied or unoccupied territories, administered by those who dream of nothing so much as being the Palestinian Chiang Kai-Shek and find their own little Taiwans.

There is absolutely no possibility of creating a mass movement that "exerts pressure on the dominant political forces" by constraining itself within the boundaries, literal, physical, and methaphoric of 242 or any other piece of bourgeois wishful bureaucratic thinking.

Christ on a crutch the history of every "liberation movement" from the MNR in Bolivia in 1954 to the ANC in 1994 (and prior, and beyond) proves that.

The point being we don't simply say "Dismantle the state(s)." or "All Power to the Palestinian soviets" when there are no soviets around, and no movement that has developed the basis for a dual power-- but we do want to find programs, demands, organizations, and even slogans, that contain the seeds of that dual power, of that class organization, and that can only be done by not endorsing "provisional regimes"-- whether those provisions be UN resolutions, leaving power firmly in the hands of the bourgeoisie and their wannabees, in organizations like Hamas and/or the PLA, or in parliaments, general assemblies, etc. etc.

Moreover, how is it possible to even countenance support for a UN resolution, when that resolution is the product of an organization that occupies country after country to secure the rule of capital? Haiti, anyone?

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Jun 22 2016 08:52
Quote:
It depends what your immediate goals are. In setting such goals I think the most important questions are: What are we trying to accomplish, and how do we intend to accomplish it?

Our role as communists/anarchists is not to broker a peace between competing factions of the bourgeoisie. Our role is steadfastly to delineate between the force for revolution (in this instance the insurgent Palestinian working class) and the force of reaction (the Israeli State and Palestinian nationalist aspiration for a state).

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The means is as always creating a mass movement that can exert pressure on the dominant political forces in the first instance, without losing sight of ultimate goals but as a tactic for furthering them.

Why the need to create a mass movement? A mass movement already exists: the insurgent Palestinian working class.

factvalue
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Jun 22 2016 23:58
S. Artesian wrote:
This isn't a question of separating an "immediate goal" from an "ultimate goal;" it's a question of how a class movement builds itself, develops its class consciousness distinct from and in opposition to various bourgeois palliatives which are far more "unrealistic" than those steps that must be taken to build the class movement.

Swearing allegiance, or advocating a solution along the lines of 242 gets us exactly where we are today...nowhere; with Israel essentially having a free hand to do whatever it likes, and the opposition "kettled" in occupied or unoccupied territories, administered by those who dream of nothing so much as being the Palestinian Chiang Kai-Shek and find their own little Taiwans.

I think we're mostly arguing past the other, me about the tactical insanity and immorality of demanding the impossible while a massacre continues and you in mistaking me for the UN ambassador to libcom. Forget 242, it's just something to focus on, perhaps begin instead with ending the blockade or demolishing the wall? Now that the likes of the Saudis have their own problems to deal with and have abandoned them, and now that they have seen the realities of the Palestinian Authority and Hammas up close, although their morale is battered and, unlike the South Africans, they're unlikely to get a hand from the Cuban army, with world opinion more overwhelmingly on their side now than ever before, perhaps the Palestinians have a chance to build a movement.

Unfortunately the brutalised, militarised population of Israel has shown itself time and again to be 90-95% behind every massacre carried out by the IDF, mainly because most of them have by now personally engaged in them and become inured. Mainstream television in Israel shows Israeli children writing their names on bombs to be dropped on Palestinian children, this in a nuclear country with the sixth most powerful army in the world, which dropped 20,000 tons of explosive (versus 40) during the 2014 'operation', protected by the US which has made it abundantly clear that any power – dual-, Iran or otherwise - which threatens Israel will be sent back to the stone age, a country whose embassies since the second intifada have been directly instructed to ratchet up accusations of antisemitism in order to cause as much trouble as possible for everyone from fucking Jeremy Corbyn and his crew to the BDS movement (which is legally banned in France and de facto here) never mind that Muslims and not Jews are being targeted for attack on all sides. So where do they start?

S. Artesian
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Jun 23 2016 00:00
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it's just something to focus on, perhaps begin instead with ending the blockade or demolishing the wall?

Much, much better. An actual "place" to start.

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Jun 23 2016 10:30

Perhaps, it may be useful to transpose this discussion to the UK. If we treat Harlesden as Gaza City and the province of Ulster as the West Bank.

Is anti-Britishism anti-Chritian?

factvalue
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Jun 23 2016 11:48
Serge Forward wrote:
However, factvalue has talked shite on numerous occasions in this thread.

My original reply to this was [Admin: SEXIST INSULT AND RESPONSE DELETED]. What was 'libcom's' reason for removing this tiny piece of harmless banter in an otherwise heavy and turgid thread? What are you allowing yourselves to become?

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Jun 23 2016 12:01

Admin: post containing nothing but a sexist insult has been unpublished in accordance with Libcom.org posting guidelines. A post quoting the sexist post was also deleted. Users are reminded that oppressive language is not allowed on libcom.

If you want to discuss the decision, please start a thread in the feedback forum, do not further derail this discussion. Further discussion of admin decisions will be unpublished.

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Jun 23 2016 21:59

Admin: off-topic posts unpublished.

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Schmoopie
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Jun 24 2016 13:08

factvalue, I wouldn't take too much notice of reactionary trolls (ie the administrators).

I'm sorry that I accused you of anti-Semitism and I forgive you for trolling through all of my posts on this topic and pulling out the most innocuous one and quoting it out of context on another thread.

I think the reason why you have been sanctioned here is because you dared to enter into a debate which was not universally welcome.

factvalue
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Jun 24 2016 18:24
Schmoopie wrote:
factvalue, I wouldn't take too much notice of reactionary trolls (ie the administrators).

I'm sorry that I accused you of anti-Semitism and I forgive you for trolling through all of my posts on this topic and pulling out the most innocuous one and quoting it out of context on another thread.

I think the reason why you have been sanctioned here is because you dared to enter into a debate which was not universally welcome.

I think you're right. It's a very loaded subject. I can't remember the quotation you mention but if I offended you I apologise. Thing is, comrades should be allowed to have arguments over issues, particularly if the fundamentals are generally agreed on, it's not a love-in at some hippy ashram and nobody's perfect, even though there are quite a few bullshitters on here who'd like you to think they are.

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Schmoopie
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Jun 24 2016 19:14

Right now I wish it was a love in at an ashram with non stop chillum passing from left to right but you are right that is not what this space is for. I think you deserve to have the last word on this thread having put in the most work. Why not give a summary of your perspective?

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Schmoopie
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Jun 27 2016 12:44
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Is anti-Britishism anti-Chritian?

I definitely think I am a little anti-Goyish; it's not so much that I am against the Goyim but at times the Goyim seem so vehemently anti anyone outside of their private sphere. Let me explain.

I went out for a long walk today with my 3 year old daughter and the two little terriers, Maisy and Brutus. Towards the end of our two hour sojourn around the big plantation, otherwise known as the "English countryside", we suddenly had two large German shepherds bounding menacingly towards us. I knew their target was little Brutus (Maisy had slipped past them and run for cover) although it could equally have been the little girl, Posie. Fearing for threat to life, as the two strange dogs passed me by I kicked out at them without contact and shouted in an attempt to scare them from their deadly course as I perceived it. The two dogs winced a little but carried on past me. Then, to my surprise, the burley Goy comes up to me and says, "Why did you attack my dogs?" I was like, "What?"

Sometimes the Goyim appear as a species apart.

S. Artesian
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Jun 27 2016 21:35

How could you be certain that:

1. The shepherds were intent on attacking?
2. If you were certain, why not just pick up your little terrier in your arms (presuming your daughter was walking, or in a stroller)? Or pick up your daughter, and place Brutus between your feet?
3. The shepherds' owner wasn't Jewish?
4. Even if not Jewish, he was representative of the entire category "not-Jewish"?
5. The shepherds weren't on their way to synagogue?

Fleur
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Jun 27 2016 22:36

Did you know exactly what the dog's owner's religious background was by sight alone?
And if anyone kicks my dogs I would fucking cut them.

S. Artesian
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Jun 27 2016 23:28
Fleur wrote:
Did you know exactly what the dog's owner's religious background was by sight alone?
And if anyone kicks my dogs I would fucking cut them.

I think, Fleur, but not certain that old Schmoop is, how you say, "taking the piss"?? "Having us on"??

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Jun 30 2016 08:46
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Did you know exactly what the dog's owner's religious background was by sight alone?

I didn't allude to the stranger's religion, I said he was a gentile – not of my common stock. Perhaps I am guilty of racial stereotyping but the German shepherds and the machismo to me just cried "GOY".

Quote:
And if anyone kicks my dogs I would fucking cut them.

As I said earlier I kicked out at the dogs as a means of making them aware of my presence. Kicking the dogs would have been futile, so intent they were on petting little Brutus (as it transpires).

I hope that at some point in the future the weird Yid (myself) and the strange Goy (the other) can be best of friends and that our dogs will be free to run up and down in play.

S. Artesian
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Jun 30 2016 11:35

Silly me, I thought "gentile" meant "not Jewish" and I thought Jewish meant of the Jewish religion.

Learn something new everyday

Fleur
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Jun 30 2016 11:37
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I think, Fleur, but not certain that old Schmoop is, how you say, "taking the piss"?? "Having us on"??

Not easy to tell.

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jef costello
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Jun 30 2016 13:15

I wish people would train their dogs.

Fleur
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Jun 30 2016 13:54
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I wish people would train their dogs.

Agreed and doubly so for terriers. Other than the last few months I've had terriers of one kind or another my whole life and you have to make sure they'll come to you immediately when you're outside because they're smart, determined and reluctant to back down. 9 times out of 10 it's the terrier who starts the trouble. You need to be able to stop it. If you can't control your dogs, don't have them.

factvalue
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Jun 30 2016 14:44

The only time I've been attacked by a dog was one when I was fourteen and this UDA dickhead round our way made his German Shepherd jump up on me as I was walking past them. Luckily I was already aware that he didn't like me, mainly since he'd tried to pick fights with me several times for no apparent reason, and so I anticipated it. I head butted the fucker really viciously as it tried to bite me on the mouth and then threw it by the back legs into the middle of the road where a car hit it. I then turned on him, but he was too shocked to really put up much of a fight. Belfast in the 70s, what a beautiful little place to grow up.

If a dog attacked one of my children it would end up in bin bags in multiple locations all over the Earth's crust.

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Jun 30 2016 16:23
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I wish people would train their dogs.

It would have been the sensible thing for me to do.

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I thought Jewish meant of the Jewish religion.

Not really. If I remember correctly, in this thread, Jef has told us he is Jewish but I am pretty certain that by that he does not mean that he observes rabbinical laws. It means that we are Jewish by descent (descended from Jacob/Israel). All of my mother's family are Jewish yet none of us, with the exception of a born-again Christian cousin, has any religion to speak of.

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Jul 3 2016 14:22

Artesian: a while back you wrote:

Silly me, I thought "gentile" meant "not Jewish" and I thought Jewish meant of the Jewish religion.
Learn something new everyday

Can you elaborate on this, in case I have misunderstood it? Particularly the idea that being Jewish means being “of the Jewish religion”.

S. Artesian
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Jul 3 2016 15:20
Alf wrote:
Artesian: a while back you wrote:

Silly me, I thought "gentile" meant "not Jewish" and I thought Jewish meant of the Jewish religion.
Learn something new everyday

Can you elaborate on this, in case I have misunderstood it? Particularly the idea that being Jewish means being “of the Jewish religion”.

I've always assumed that when somebody refers to himself/herself or some one else as being "Jewish," that the term Jewish referred to the Jewish religion.

I mean, it's a religion, no? The so-called "cultural" markers of being "Jewish" don't really "travel well." There are Chinese Jews, Asian Jews, African Jews, Caribbean Jews, Cuban Jews, Turkish Jews, Persian Jews, Syrian Jews, etc. etc.

I don't think there are "Jewish" atheists-- Marx was not "Jewish." Neither was Trotsky or Luxemburg.

Am I Jewish? No. Were my parents? Yes. Is my sister? Oy, don't even ask.

Can anyone else elaborate on what other take "Jewish" to mean?

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Jul 3 2016 18:15

But within the marxist tradition, there is the idea that the Jews cannot be understood only as a religious denomination - notably Avram Leon's theory of the 'people class', which examines the specific economic role of the Jews in ancient, feudal and capitalist societies. Official Judaism has argued that the Jews' stubborn adherence to the faith of their forefathers has enabled them to survive despite history; Marx answered that the Jews have survived not despite history, but because of history, and gave us a few pointers to how we might approach this problem, which Leon took up again in the 1930s. And Hitler added a further dimension: we will exterminate you not merely because of your religious beliefs, but because of your history (or as the Nazis put it, your racial history).

So I don't think the Jewish problem can be solved in the way you suggest.

Rurkel
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Jul 3 2016 19:10

I find that in America, being Jewish is often perceived like S. Artesian said, through the terms of religion. It's different in Europe, particularly Eastern one, since

1) The Ashkenazi Jews, the ones Eastern Europeans were familiar with, shared quite a lot of cultural traits, including the Yiddish language. The only other Jewish group in the broad region were the very small and unorthodox Karaites.
2) Soviet policy on nationalities "forcefully recognized" Jews as an ethnicity (see the infamous "fifth graph" in Soviet passports, the one that required you to list your ethnicity. "Jewish" was one of recognized opinions. People could only pick the ethnicity of their parents - they could choose one or the other in case the parents had different ethnicities). This led to the notion of Jew-as-an-ethnicity to be widespread among Jews and non-Jews alike even with the abandonment of Yiddish and other traditional customs. Had S. Artesian been born in the USSR, he'd likely have "Jew" written in his "ethnicity" passport column.
3) Influence of Zionist ideology, although due to factors 1) and 2) it didn't need to spend much time or effort on this matter at all.
4) Some influence of far-right antisemitic concepts... don't think this alone was particularly distinctive in this matter, either.

Today many people in countries like Russia would place "Jew" in the same group as "Russian", "Ukrainian", or "Pole". Phrases like "I had a Jewish mother and a Russian father" are common (and, unless the person saying this is young, would accurately reflect what's written in their birth certificate).