Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic?

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S. Artesian
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Jul 3 2016 20:30
Alf wrote:
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).

Well, then that's yet another part of the "marxist tradition" that I don't line up with. "People class"? What is the specific role attributable to all Jews as a people class in ancient, feudal capitalist society; and that means more than just European ancient, feudal, capitalist society?

Jews in 1905 Chicago, China, the Ottoman Empire shared what common role, economic function with Jews in Zitomer in the Ukraine? What common economic function did those Jews share not just with the Jews in Zitomer, but also with the Jews who owned textile mills in Poland?

And using the example of Hitler is pretty problematic, at least to me. Does anyone seriously think Hitler exterminated Jews because of some shared, common, specific economic function?

Racial history??? What is that? Since race is a social, unscientific construct, and history is the product of class struggle, of the social organization of labor, how on earth do we get Marxists stating that "racial history" has the slightest shred of validity in the "marxist tradition"???? Boggles the mind, really.

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

Good, because a) I'm not suggesting a "solution" b) I don't think there is a need for a "solution" c) and because I don't think there's even a problem.

If "Jewishness" represents a "problem" for historical materialism, as opposed to antisemitism representing part of the larger problem of discrimination, bigotry, etc.-- then historical materialism is, you should pardon the express, fucked. And I don't give a rat's ass, very much, for the "marxist tradition," but I do care a whole lot about historical materialism and the concrete critique of capital.

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Alf
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Jul 3 2016 22:12

I don't see why historical materialism would be fucked if it accepted that the last word "on the Jewish Question" has not yet been said, that there are real theoretical problems to look into here. I also think that historical materialism is not the same as a kind of reductionism to economic roles, an approach which Leon (who I think is certainly worth reading) does to some extent fall into in his book The Jewish question, a marxist interpretation. The same can be said about Bordiga, who, in Auschwitz the great alibi, also tends towards the idea that "Hitler exterminated the Jews because of some shared, common, specific economic function". To argue that the Nazis massacred the Jews because of their history and not just because of their religious beliefs, means integrating the directly economic aspect of the question with other dimensions, anthropological, ideological, psychological, ethical...none of which means abandoning the method of historical materialism.

https://www.marxists.org/subject/jewish/leon/index.htm

libcom.org/files/Amadeo%20Bordiga%20Auschwitz.pdf

S. Artesian
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Jul 3 2016 22:27
Alf wrote:
I don't see why historical materialism would be fucked if it accepted that the last word "on the Jewish Question" has not yet been said, that there are real theoretical problems to look into here. I also think that historical materialism is not the same as a kind of reductionism to economic roles, an approach which Leon (who I think is certainly worth reading) does to some extent fall into in his book The Jewish question, a marxist interpretation. The same can be said about Bordiga, who, in Auschwitz the great alibi, also tends towards the idea that "Hitler exterminated the Jews because of some shared, common, specific economic function". To argue that the Nazis massacred the Jews because of their history and not just because of their religious beliefs, means integrating the directly economic aspect of the question with other dimensions, anthropological, ideological, psychological, ethical...none of which means abandoning the method of historical materialism.

https://www.marxists.org/subject/jewish/leon/index.htm

libcom.org/files/Amadeo%20Bordiga%20Auschwitz.pdf

You didn't answer the questions, Alf. What is the economic role the people/class of Jews have shared in ancient, feudal, capitalist societies. What economic function did the young Jewish women who perished in Triangle Shirtwaist Fire share with Jewish textile mill owners. What was the shared economic function of Jews, existing beyond modes of production, that Hitler sought to eradicate.

BTW-- that's why historical materialism would be fucked-- because people would be using it to avoid answering specific questions; to propose "solutions" to problems that aren't.

We talk a lot about "insensitivity" used in expressions-- for example the insensitivity in chanting "We are all Hamas." I have to say, whenever I hear somebody talking about "solutions" to people as if the people are a problem, a question, I'm inclined point them in a different direction-- away from me, because the very structure of such a discussion is, IMO, madness.

Solutions to the "black question," anybody? The "immigrant question," anybody? The "women problem" someone? I think the only question or problem here is why somebody would choose to pose issues of history, class, and labor as if the people involved were themselves the question, or the problem.

So please, Alf, answer my questions. Yours really aren't relevant. You can ask someone else, of course, someone more in tune with the "marxist tradition" as you see it. Just not me, I'm not apparently, of that tradition, which is fine with me.

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Jul 3 2016 22:36
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You didn't answer the questions, Alf. What is the economic role the people/class of Jews have shared in ancient, feudal, capitalist societies. What economic function did the young Jewish women who perished in Triangle Shirtwaist Fire share with Jewish textile mill owners. What was the shared economic function of Jews, existing beyond modes of production, that Hitler sought to eradicate.

To be fair to Alf here, it doesn't matter that there is no shared economic role of the Jewish people, only that there is perceived one that is believed as if it is true. And the perceived role of Jews is finance capital (likely due to some Jewish communities accepting the role of tax collectors and money lenders in return for protection during medieval Europe). Kurz and Postone, for example, have made decent arguments to that regard and can at least explain the anti-Semitic trope of the money-hungry/loving/worshipping Jew. Just see the recent tweet Trump made about Clinton.

Whether Hitler and the Nazis believed in the Jews = finance capital = world domination, I don't know.

S. Artesian
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Jul 3 2016 22:54
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To be fair to Alf here, it doesn't matter that there is no shared economic role of the Jewish people, only that there is perceived one that is believed as if it is true.

That's being more than fair, comrade. That's giving an answer for Alf to the question he did not ask, for one thing; and offering as "evidence" for his contention "that Jews form a people class" the very lack of evidence, the misperception of Jews as a "people class."

And I might add, one more example of either f**ked-up historical materialism, or f**king-up historical materialism.

We are looking for the shared economic role maintained by Jews as a people-class, common to Jews in ancient, feudal, capitalist times, not the deliberate misperceptions, distortions, etc. used to disguised competitive jealousies, theft, aggrandizement, extermination.

If there is no historical basis for a "timeless" universal, economic function of Jews, then there can be no basis for understanding Jewish-ness as anything other than a religion. Anti-Jewishness is a different matter, and can be explained by historical economic function anti-Jewishness serves-- preservation of the Church, of landed property, aggrandizement, theft, looting, a bit of the old primitive accumulation.

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Jul 3 2016 23:11

Khawaga is quite right to say that the perception of the role of the Jews is the issue here, rather than any real common interest. I am certainly not denying the reality of class divisions among Jews at any stage of history - which is one reason I think Leon's idea of a people-class is not really satisfactory. I would add however that the antisemitic 'trope' of Jews as the personification of finance capital does have material/historical roots in the role of usury imposed on Jews in Christian-feudal society. And the fact that only a minority of Jews in that society were engaged in money-lending (or banking) didn't prevent this perception being used to stir up pogroms against Jews in general.

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Jul 3 2016 23:08
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And I might add, one more example of either f**ked-up historical materialism, or f**king-up historical materialism.

Not at all, and neither did I make the claim (it seems like the ICC believes that anything can be explain by that) It's got nothing to do with historical materialism at all; it's just bigotry. And like other forms of racism where e.g. black skin is made to signify more than white skin, Jews as an ethnic (or religious) group has come to signify more than other groups.

And I didn't offer anything up as "evidence" for Alf's assertion, merely that it is quite common, indeed an anti-semitic trope, of assigning Jews an exclusive economic function that somehow explains everything about their conduct and so on.

Quote:
We are looking for the shared economic role maintained by Jews as a people-class, common to Jews in ancient, feudal, capitalist times, not the deliberate misperceptions, distortions, etc. used to disguised competitive jealousies, theft, aggrandizement, extermination.

But that's the point, no? That any supposed shared economic role maintained by Jews is a pure racist fantasy.

S. Artesian
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Jul 4 2016 00:09
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But that's the point, no? That any supposed shared economic role maintained by Jews is a pure racist fantasy.

I agree, but according to Alf, the "marxist tradition" :

Quote:
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.

You will recall that this began because I stated that "Jewish" pertains to those of the Jewish religion, that the religion is the common factor, not some shared ethnicity, not some shared "people class," not by some shared "specific economic role."

If there is no such specific economic role, then why is Alf talking about a "marxist tradition"?

If the fact is there is no shared economic function which somehow transcends modes of production and class, then references to the "Jewish question" are just reproducing the tropes of anti-semitism in another garb-- which by the way,we have to acknowledge is precisely what Marx's "On the Jewish Question" does. Truly a horrible exercise in ahistorical abstraction.

I'm not in "that tradition" apparently. And I do think the only commonality to being Jewish is the religion as in Liz Taylor, Jewish. Leon Trotsky, not Jewish.

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Jul 4 2016 07:13

I have to focus on other stuff so will have to take a break for a while and see whether this aspect of the discussion goes anywhere. Marx's On the Jewish Question certainly contains some anti-semitic tropes and should be a warning (like this thread has been in certain cases) that the the historical workers' movement (and not just the capitalist left) is not immune from the anti-semitic virus. And on the other side of the coin, Zionists and all kinds of Marx-haters have quoted from this text to prove that Marx anticipates Hitler in preparing for "a world without Jews" (the title of a book by Dagobert Runes which republishes Marx's essay) . But there's rather a lot more to Marx's text than concessions to anti-semitism, including a defence of the 'civil rights' of Jews in the context of a bourgeois revolution, against Bruno Bauer's evasions; the emergence of Marx's conception of alienation, and clear signs of his transition from radical democracy to communism. This view of Marx's essay is developed in the article linked below, which might be more critical of Leon and Bordiga (and of Marx, for that matter) if it was written today....
http://en.internationalism.org/ir/114_jewish_question.html

S. Artesian
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Jul 4 2016 12:34
Alf wrote:
I have to focus on other stuff so will have to take a break for a while and see whether this aspect of the discussion goes anywhere. Marx's On the Jewish Question certainly contains some anti-semitic tropes and should be a warning (like this thread has been in certain cases) that the the historical workers' movement (and not just the capitalist left) is not immune from the anti-semitic virus. And on the other side of the coin, Zionists and all kinds of Marx-haters have quoted from this text to prove that Marx anticipates Hitler in preparing for "a world without Jews" (the title of a book by Dagobert Runes which republishes Marx's essay) . But there's rather a lot more to Marx's text than concessions to anti-semitism, including a defence of the 'civil rights' of Jews in the context of a bourgeois revolution, against Bruno Bauer's evasions; the emergence of Marx's conception of alienation, and clear signs of his transition from radical democracy to communism. This view of Marx's essay is developed in the article linked below, which might be more critical of Leon and Bordiga (and of Marx, for that matter) if it was written today....
http://en.internationalism.org/ir/114_jewish_question.html

Alf-- that's all fine and dandy but a) what is the special economic function of Jews and b) what does any of what you wrote above have to do with the shared characteristic of "Jewish-ness" being something other than the religion?

Those are, after all, the issues you raised.

So please, before focus on other stuff-- could you respond to those issues you yourself raised?

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Jul 4 2016 13:48

I really can't focus on this now, but on the economic issue, the starting point has to be what Marx wrote in Capital, Vol 1, ch 1, when he said:
"Trading nations, properly so called, exist in the ancient world only
in its interstices, like the gods of Epicurus in the Intermundia, or
like Jews in the pores of Polish society.
"

This is a view of the role of Jews in pre-capitalist society, but important elements of it survive in capitalist society, giving rise to the familiar anti-semitic trope of the parasitic, mercantile Jew. Comrades who want to follow this up can read Leon's book which attempts to take the story up to the period of the Second World War (he was murdered by the Nazis during the war). In a critical spirit of course....

S. Artesian
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Jul 4 2016 14:19
Alf wrote:
I really can't focus on this now, but on the economic issue, the starting point has to be what Marx wrote in Capital, Vol 1, ch 1, when he said:
"Trading nations, properly so called, exist in the ancient world only
in its interstices, like the gods of Epicurus in the Intermundia, or
like Jews in the pores of Polish society.
"

This is a view of the role of Jews in pre-capitalist society, but important elements of it survive in capitalist society, giving rise to the familiar anti-semitic trope of the parasitic, mercantile Jew. Comrades who want to follow this up can read Leon's book which attempts to take the story up to the period of the Second World War (he was murdered by the Nazis during the war). In a critical spirit of course....

That just won't do, "trading nations in the ancient world.................like Jews in the pores of Polish society"???? That's not saying Jews are a trading nation, serve a mercantile function. Christ on a crutch, you should not take offense at the expression. It's saying the trading nations exist as "outliers," at the boundaries, between the boundaries and in reality bridging those boundaries. Marx is not saying that Jews exist in Poland as a "trading nation."

Sorry Alf, this just isn't worth pursuing. You are producing nonsense and calling it historical materialism.

Jewish, Jews, etc.-- the shared characteristic is a religious belief. Like Islam. The shared characteristic of Moslems is a religious belief.

And we all need to learn the lesson.........don't bring up stuff you really can't "get into." Why even bring it up? I'm not saying Alf is ducking the issue he brought up but.........

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Jul 4 2016 15:15

Maybe I've misunderstood, S. Artesian, but the idea that terms like Jewish, Jews, Muslim, etc. only refers to shared religious belief doesn't sound right to me. When people refer to the Jewish anarchist movement and newspapers like Freie Arbeiter Stimme, or in William J. Fishman's East End Jewish Radicals, they are not in any way referring to a shared religious belief. When Jews were sent to the gas chambers by the Nazis, this was not on the basis of their religious belief. Likewise, in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, those who were labelled/labelled themselves Muslims were by no means practising Muslims.

factvalue
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Jul 4 2016 15:25
Serge Forward wrote:
When Jews were sent to the gas chambers by the Nazis, this was not on the basis of their religious belief.

On what (real) basis then?

S. Artesian
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Jul 4 2016 15:45

Serge,

What then distinguished the papers like Freie Arbeiter Stimme, or Fishman's East End Jewish Radicals from "non-Jewish anarchists," or non-Jewish East End radicals?

As for Jews being exterminated by Hitler--- uh... yes, that, Jewish religion, or being descendant from those of the Jewish religion, whether practiced or not, was the shared characteristic. That Jews themselves assimilated into European cultures doesn't change the existence of antisemitism which discriminates based upon the religion. And it didn't change the fact that what Jews shared, assimilated or not, practicing or not, was simply a religion.

I'd pose the same question to you as to Alf-- what is the shared, special economic function of Jews that Alf, on-again, off-again, thinks exists?

What special, shared economic, historical role does the textile mill owner in Lodz, Poland in 1905 share with the Triangle Shirtwaist workers?

What do the Jews of Zitomer share with those who lived in Ethiopia, or China?

"Jewish" is not determined by religion? That's why Schmoopie just knew that the owner of the two shepherds wasn't Jewish? Because Jews share an aversion to German shepherds? Because the owner didn't "look Jewish"?? Or may it was the cross the owner was wearing around his neck? But if Jews aren't just a religion, then we can't go by the cross, can we?

This is far too much effort to expend due to Schmoopie's story, and the attempt to humorously point out the unwarranted assumptions in such a story.

factvalue
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Jul 4 2016 15:57

Just wanted to advertise a great book from back in post 126:

factvalue wrote:

Sorry for the long quotation but Shlomo Sand says what I want to say about 'ethnicity' much better than I can in The Invention of the Jewish People:

Quote:
The murderous first half of the twentieth century having caused the
concept of race to be categorically rejected, various historians and other
scholars enlisted the more respectable concept of ethnos in order to preserve
the intimate contact with the distant past. Ethnos, meaning "people" in ancient
Greek, had served even before the Second World War as a useful alternative
to, or a verbal intermediary between, "race" and "people." But its common,
"scientific" use began only in the 1950s, after which it spread widely. Its main
attraction lies in its blending of cultural background and blood ties, of a
linguistic past and a biological origin—in other words, its combining of a
historical product with a fact that demands respect as a natural phenomenon.7
Far too many authors have used this concept with intolerable ease, sometimes
with astonishing intellectual negligence, though some of them do apply
it to some premodern historical entity, some mass of shared cultural expressions
from the past, that despite its dissolution persists in a different form. The
ethnic community is, after all, a human group with a shared cultural-linguistic
background, not always well defined but capable of providing crucial materials
for a national construction. Yet a good many other scholars cling to ethnos
as though to bring in by the back door the essential primevalism, the racial
concept that in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries bolstered the promoters
of the fragile national identity.

Thus ethnos has become not merely a historical and cultural unit but an
ambiguous entity of ancient origin, at whose heart lies a subjective sense of
closeness that it inspires in those who believe in it, much as race did in the
nineteenth century. Committed scholars argue that this identity belief should
not be challenged, because it carries a powerful sense of origin that should
not only be taken into account during critical analysis and dissection—a legitimate,
even essential process—but should even be adopted as a whole, and as a
positive historical fact that need not be questioned. These scholars admit that
the idea that the modern nation sprang from the ethnos may be unverifiable.
Nevertheless, we have no choice but to live with it; attempting to question it is
pointless and ultimately undesirable.

Blurring the categories of ancient social groupings, as these scholars
have helped to do, apparently seemed to them a necessary condition for the
preservation of unstable identities in the present. Anthony D. Smith, who
became one of the most active scholars in the field of nation studies, made a
significant contribution to this process. At a relatively late stage in his work, he decided to grant the ethnic principle a decisive role in his research, and even
described his approach as "ethno-symbolic." The term "symbolic" helps soften
the essentialist resonance of the phrase while supplying the desired ambiguity.
For Smith, "an ethnic group, then, is distinguished by four features: the sense
of unique group origins, the knowledge of a unique group history and belief
in its destiny, one or more dimensions of collective cultural individuality, and
finally a sense of unique collective solidarity."

The diligent British scholar, it seems, considers that the ethnos is no longer
a linguistic community with a common way of life; that the ethnos does not
inhabit a particular territory but needs only to be associated with one; that
the ethnos need not have an actual history, for ancient myths can continue to
serve this function equally well. The shared memory is not a conscious process
moving from the present to the past (since there is always someone around who
can organize it) but rather a "natural" process, neither religious nor national,
which flows by itself from past to present. Smith's definition of ethnos, therefore,
matches the way Zionists see the Jewish presence in history—it also matches the
old concept of pan-Slav identity, or that of the Aryans or Indo-Europeans, or
even of the Black Hebrews in the United States—but is quite unlike the accepted
connotation among the traditional community of anthropologists.

Toward the end of the twentieth century and in the early twenty-first,
"ethnicity"—which Etienne Balibar rightly described as entirely fictitious—
has experienced a resurgence in popularity. This French philosopher has
reiterated that nations are not ethnic, and that even what is deemed to be their
ethnic origin is dubious. It is in fact nationalization that creates a sense of
ethnic identity in societies—"represented in the past or in the future as if they
formed a natural community."10 Unfortunately, this critical approach, which
warns against ethnobiological or ethnoreligious definitions, has not had sufficient
impact. Various theoreticians of nationality, like nationality-supporting
historians, continue to thicken their theories and hence their narratives with
essentialist, ethnicist verbiage. The relative retreat of the classic sovereign nationalism in the Western world in the late twentieth century and the beginning
of the twenty-first has not weakened this trend; indeed, in some ways it
has strengthened it.

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Jul 4 2016 16:09

S. Artesian, what distinguished FAS and the Jewish anarchists from other anarchists would, I assume, have been a shared commonality, shared experience derived from past religious and ongoing cultural identity and language.

With anti-semitism and the Holocaust, I don't think it was about the religion though but was more about politics of the "other", a perceived or actual cultural "otherness" that was easy to scapegoat for political ends. For the record, I don't buy into the economic role of Jews either... though Leon's book does look interesting.

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Jul 4 2016 17:19
Quote:
I'd pose the same question to you as to Alf-- what is the shared, special economic function of Jews that Alf, on-again, off-again, thinks exists?

Historically, the main factor that distinguished Jew from gentile in European history has been the exclusion of Jews from agriculture. This exclusion by the ruling Christian elite forced Jews to find other means of earning their bread. One of these pursuits was usury, another the Stage, diplomacy, tailoring, etc.

To put it simply, if I look backwards I am Jewish (by race, by descent, by religion and by the particular distinguishing socio-economic factors that defined me as Jew). If I look forward, I am a proletarian (a captive of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

AndrewX
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Jul 4 2016 19:22

Of course, the inference, and assumption of this question, is that Zionism is bad. Maybe we should start from square one and discuss that assumption which is really the issue. The left has demonized Israel, labeled its policies "apartheid" equal to the old system in South Africa. Is Israel a colonial imposition into the lands of the natives by Europeans? Is the whole process of creating a state in Palestine by Jews no better than what the British did in South Africa or India? They obviously have big differences. What about Cuba? Fidel is a descedent of Spanish conquistadores. He threw out or forced out or even shot a lot of Cubanos who he considered a threat. So it's all right to create a state as long as it conforms with the left's anti-capitalist anti-imperialist anti-western criteria? I was raised left, CP parents, anti-war, but I don't swallow the anti-Zionist diatribe that every p.c. leftist spouts. Every situation is different. Choices have to be made. With Israel I see a progressive state which gives women equal rights, an essentially democratic state and not a monarchy or a dictatorship which gives the vote to all who want to be citizens no matter what their religion or ethnicity. The kibbutz movements in Israel are some of the most progressive efforts toward socialism in the world and this is an important factor to consider. Israel isn't perfect and there are abuses but what country is? Cuba imprisons gays and executes people for smoking marijuana. China executes people for embezzlement. The Palestinian cause is important but is Israel to blame or should be look to those countries that confine them to camps, refuse them citizenship, (Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria) So maybe the question should be, "Is being pro-Zionist anti-left?"

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Jul 4 2016 19:21

Yes, Zionism is fucking bad because all forms of nationalism is bad. Anarchist don't oppose the state of Israel because it's an exceptional evil but because it is a violent, racist state like any other.

AndrewX
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Jul 4 2016 19:26

If all states and violent and racist then all tribes are violent and racist and all clans are violent and racist and all people are violent and racist. Oh well. Not much hope then is there.

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Jul 4 2016 19:33

Wow, amazing logic there and clueless as to what the state really is. Why are you even bothering posting here? Your clearly not an anarchist.

S. Artesian
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Jul 4 2016 19:40
Quote:
Is Israel a colonial imposition into the lands of the natives by Europeans?

Yes. Precisely that. See the Balfour doctrine, and the history of British "administration."

Quote:
Is the whole process of creating a state in Palestine by Jews no better than what the British did in South Africa or India?

Not a bit better.

Quote:
What about Cuba?

What about it? Are you truly likening the overthrow of Batista to the expulsion of Palestinians?

Quote:
He threw out or forced out or even shot a lot of Cubanos who he considered a threat

. You mean like Batista's police forces? Or the Bacardi family? Or the plantation owners? Look into my eye, let me know if you see anything like a tear forming there.

Quote:
With Israel I see a progressive state which gives women equal rights, an essentially democratic state and not a monarchy or a dictatorship which gives the vote to all who want to be citizens no matter what their religion or ethnicity.

Palestinian women, they get equal rights, too? Democracy? There are severe restrictions on the political activity of Palestinians. Democracy? Like the US South was a democracy-- for white people.

Quote:
The kibbutz movements in Israel are some of the most progressive efforts toward socialism in the world and this is an important factor to consider. Israel isn't perfect and there are abuses but what country is?

Really? Expelling a resident population is a progressive effort towards socialism? Who would have thunk that.

Israel isn't perfect? But who's asking for perfection. How about the blockade? How about ending that? How about the division of the West Bank into "A" territories, "B" territorires, "C" territories, with the original residents confined to the least economically viable territories, and the most fertile areas reserved for Israeli settlements? Is that simply not "being perfect"? Or is it representative of a "settler capitalism," like........South Africa was?

Quote:
China executes people for embezzlement.

Israel executes people for being Palestinian. Hence, Palestinian = embezzler. Got it. Now that's democracy.

Quote:
The Palestinian cause is important but is Israel to blame or should be look to those countries that confine them to camps, refuse them citizenship, (Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria)

That's an easy one. Look to source of their dispossession and expulsion. That would be Israel.

Quote:
"Is being pro-Zionist anti-left?"

Or perhaps the question should be is defending Zionism as a democracy an exercise in sophistry, as you so ably demonstrate.

AndrewX
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Jul 4 2016 19:40

excuuuse me for upsetting the purity of your website. I didn't know that anarchists liked to maintain total control over their media. Bit of a contradiction, no? .

S. Artesian
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Jul 4 2016 19:42
AndrewX wrote:
excuuuse me for upsetting the purity of your website. I didn't know that anarchists liked to maintain total control over their media. Bit of a contradiction, no? .

I'm not an anarchist, and you're full of crap.

baboon
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Jul 4 2016 19:46

Even though he's a good mate of mine I don't see Alf ignoring or distorting the nature of the proletariat within any class division.

There's an abiding myth around Jews, taken up and used by the bourgeoisie in various forms, that is outside the question of religion and has a historical existence of its own. I haven't read any of the links above, nor some of the longer posts, but I agree with Serge's post above and his framework of the "others", the fear of differences, outsiders, that's all too relevant today. Scapegoating and the pogrom mentality (something that can take on its own dynamic in certain circumstances) is never far away in capitalism.

Zionism is the particular expression of a "nation" born from the guts of imperialism, which lives in constant fear of war and whose main purpose is war. It is a "typical" nation, with certain specifics, of a decaying social system.

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Khawaga
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Joined: 7-08-06
Jul 4 2016 19:47
Quote:
excuuuse me for upsetting the purity of your website. I didn't know that anarchists liked to maintain total control over their media. Bit of a contradiction, no? .

If we maintain "total control", how come you can still post? So, no contradiction at all. But you can still take your megaphone desktop tool and shove it up your ass. And if you do intend to stick around, at least bother reading the threads you post to because what you wrote had fuck all to do with the discussion but instead a canned defence of Israel that was supposed to do... what?

S. Artesian
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Joined: 5-02-09
Jul 4 2016 19:48
Serge Forward wrote:
S. Artesian, what distinguished FAS and the Jewish anarchists from other anarchists would, I assume, have been a shared commonality, shared experience derived from past religious and ongoing cultural identity and language.

With anti-semitism and the Holocaust, I don't think it was about the religion though but was more about politics of the "other", a perceived or actual cultural "otherness" that was easy to scapegoat for political ends. For the record, I don't buy into the economic role of Jews either... though Leon's book does look interesting.

Let's not assume. We're talking about history. We can know. You claimed some other commonality using specific examples. I'm just asking you to not assume what the commonality was, but what in all actuality was the characteristic that distinguished FAS and other examples from "non-Jewish" anarchists. Somewhere along the line, it traces back to a shared religion, or a shared interpretation of the religion (Ashkenazi, as opposed to Asian, Arabic, or African Jews).

Leon's book is very interesting. I recommend it.

As for the "other" thesis; what was the "otherness" based on? Physical appearance? Blonde-haired blue-eyed Jews were gassed in the camps. Hitler doesn't refer to his struggle against "the other"-- he identifies the other as "Jews," who share a religion, which he then distorts to characterize Jews as a "race."

AndrewX
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Joined: 4-07-16
Jul 4 2016 19:55

So, according to Artesian, the Cubano government is justified because it replaced the repressive government of Batista. I'm not arguing that. In fact I agree with it. Choices are made, meaning that more progressive choice is the better one. Applying this argument to Israel, before its creation it was a colony or Rome, then the Ottomans, then the British, all of which were colonizers and repressive in varying degrees to the local population. So in comes Israel which is opposed by the Arab League because they don't want a Jewish state in the midst of what they consider their sphere, their goal of an Arab dominated Middle East. These Arab states were without exception undemocratic, repressive states. So I go with Israel just like you go with Cuba.

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Khawaga
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Joined: 7-08-06
Jul 4 2016 20:07

It's going to be fun watching Artesian rip you a new one.

Quote:
Applying this argument to Israel, before its creation it was a colony or Rome, then the Ottomans, then the British, all of which were colonizers and repressive in varying degrees to the local population.

But you fail to note that when "Israel came", it also repressed the local population. And still does. And no, that Jews were oppressed and thrown out of Arab countries does not justify anything Israel is currently doing to Palestinians. It just shows that wherever some bourgeois faction wants to create a state, they will be xenophobic as fuck.