Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic?

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Serge Forward
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Jul 5 2016 12:55

For the record, factvalue, I don't think S. Artesian is an anti-Semite but I believe he did use an anti-Semitic trope. You, however, hold some incredibly suspect views and you're a nasty little shite. I repeat, I honestly have no idea why you're tolerated on here. Either way, you'll not get the time of day off me from now on. Do one.

S. Artesian
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Jul 5 2016 13:12

I hope somebody who agrees with Serge, explains how drawing the parallel between the Knesset deputy-speaker's desire to empty Gaza and place Palestinians in concentration camps and the Nazi policy of placing Jews in concentration camps, is utilizing an anti-semitic trope-- like the other tropes-- "Jews control the banks;" "Jews control the media;" "Jews control the world."

Who would have thunk that "Israel's government treats Palestinians like Nazis treated the Jews" actually means "Jews are Nazis"???

EDIT: Well, there's some good news-- I believe AndrewX has been banned.

factvalue
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Jul 5 2016 13:24
Serge Forward wrote:
You, however, hold some incredibly suspect views and you're a nasty little shite. I repeat, I honestly have no idea why you're tolerated on here. Either way, you'll not get the time of day off me from now on. Do one.

Really? O well, I'll do my best to try and get along without the masterful subtlety and nuance of your horrendous, politically illiterate emissions.

S. Artesian
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Jul 5 2016 13:52

And just to give fuel to the "anti-semanticists" out there (as opposed to anti-semites) a "trope" is the use of words in a figurative, metaphorical sense-- in the non-literal sense. A trope can also mean a common or overused rhetorical or literary device.

I don't know how describing the actions of the Israeli government as literally the actions of the Nazi government in its treatment of Jews can be a trope; and neither is such a description a common or overused rhetorical device.

But that's just me. Others might have a different definition. I'd just love to find out how criticizing the Knesset's desire to expel Palestinians and put them into concentration camps as a Nazi policy becomes an adventure in antisemitic stereotyping. I did not, for example, say "Jews are Nazis," "All Jews want Palestinians in concentration camps." Or is it because those in charge of the Israeli government are Jews that it becomes a "trope"/

Come on plenty of people think I trivialize anti-semitism, that I indulge in such tropes, so explain this one, would you?

baboon
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Jul 5 2016 19:44

I think that counter-posing a proletarian nature to the Cuban regime in relation to the specific expressions of Israel distorts the question. Imperialism is certainly the raison d’etre of Israel but, with different specifics, no less imperialist interests existed in Cuba.

After a genuine workers’ uprising the working class in Cuba exchanged the Batista regime and all its priviliges to the Castro regime with the privileges, repression and penury of a stalinist state. After being rebuffed by the US Castro turned to Russia in the Cold War and laid the ideological ground for all the “anti-Yankee, anti-imperialism” lies of populist “socialist” charlatans in the region ever since. The hygiene and education of many workers improved after the coup but this was a result of the deliberate development of health and education as a weapon of Cuban imperialism within the Russian bloc. As well as soft there was hard Cuban power with 60,000 Cuban troops, directed by the East German Stasti, defending Russian interests in Angola within the proxy wars that raged in Africa.

I think that it’s also a mistake in relation to Israel to underestimate the role played by the Arab regimes in the repression of the Palestinians. On a body count basis the Arab regimes have killed more Palestinians, imprisoned more and put more into various “camps”. The Israeli regimes have been complicit in all this when they haven’t openly initiated it. The already existing collusion between the Israeli state and the PLO was laid bare by wikileaks a while ago with its leader Abbas, begging his Israeli masters for a “fig-leaf”, anything to give him the least credibility.

I still think that one of the bases of the question of anti-Semitism is the fear and suspicion of the “other” – just one expression it and we see it exploding today throughout the Middle East and into Europe, making this a critical question for the working class. While there are and can be “distinguishing features” to this fear (colour, religion, language, accent, etc.), there doesn’t have to be because the bourgeoisie can also use it as the demonisation of the working class, as in “the enemy within”.

S. Artesian
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Jul 5 2016 21:36
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The hygiene and education of many workers improved after the coup but this was a result of the deliberate development of health and education as a weapon of Cuban imperialism within the Russian bloc.

"The hygiene and education of many workers improved after the coup but this was a result of the deliberate development of health and education as a weapon of Cuban imperialism within the Russian bloc"

Huh? What Cuban imperialism?? What external country or people did Cuba subordinate to its own ruling class' need for accumulation?

Education, healthcare, access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation services improved not just for "many workers" but for the population as a whole.

You don't like what happened to the Cuban Revolution? Neither do I, but let's give the devil, including the bureaucratic devil, his due. It was a revolution. The improvement in living standards in Cuba was not done as a propaganda item, and it certainly was not an island wide equivalent of a Potemkin village. It was real. It was subsidized by the fSU, but it involved work, planning, and organization by those who led the struggle. And it still exists, although it has been eroded, and the bourgeoisie can't wait to dismantle it entirely.

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As well as soft there was hard Cuban power with 60,000 Cuban troops, directed by the East German Stasti, defending Russian interests in Angola within the proxy wars that raged in Africa.

This is not accurate. See the book Conflicting Missions..... Many studies agree that Cuba's decision to send troops to Angola to preserve the MPLA against the apartheid troops and Savimbi's guerrillas was independent of the Soviet Union's desires, and was not directed by the East German Stasi or any other USSR surrogate.

The interests that the Cuban troops did wind up protecting were those.......of US oil producers-- protecting for example the extraction facilities of US oil major Mobil against attacks from forces opposed to the Angola government, and the revenues the government received from the extraction.

Actually, there were little Soviet interests to be protected in Angola, and the mythology of such Soviet interests, "Soviet imperialism," was used by China to rationalize its backing of Savimbi and .... apartheid South Africa's incursion.

Cuban leadership assessed Africa as a continent ripe for "national liberation," for "anti-imperialist struggle" and consistently, and persistently, intervened with and without the support of the USSR to advance those struggles against those supported by advanced capitalism. Protecting "Russian interests" had little to do with it; and advancing Cuban "imperialism" had absolutely nothing to do with it.

S. Artesian
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Jul 5 2016 21:55

Anyway, is there anyone out there, anywhere, who cares to explain how-- when the deputy-speaker of the Israeli Knesset advocates forcible expulsion of an entire ethnicity from an area; confining that population in concentration camps; how when the Israeli Knesset support forcible expulsion of families of individuals identified with "anti-Israel activities"-- identifying those policies as akin to, if not identical with, the policies and actions of Nazis towards Jews, is employing an antisemitic trope?

Anybody?

factvalue
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Jul 5 2016 22:02

..and, is Norman Finkelstein anti-Semitic? How about Edwin Black?

baboon
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Jul 7 2016 11:49

You can't have nationalism without imperialism - it goes with the territory and it's no different for Cuban nationalism, including Cuban nationalism with a Stalinist face.

Many workers in the west were hoodwinked by the "exceptionalism" of a so-called Cuban socialism which was constantly being propagandised by and justified by various elements of Stalinism.

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Jul 7 2016 12:37

S. Artesian #415
‘How is the advocacy of concentration camps by Israelis for the incarceration of Palestinians different from the Nazi advocacy of concentration camps for the incarceration of Jews?’

I believe your comment was over the top as the Nazi concentration camp remark implies that the Israeli state is planning to liquidate the Palestinians. They are brutal and oppressive though I’ve seen no evidence that they have opted for ‘the final solution’. You’re weakening the good points in your posts – cool down.

S. Artesian
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Jul 7 2016 12:37
baboon wrote:
You can't have nationalism without imperialism - it goes with the territory and it's no different for Cuban nationalism, including Cuban nationalism with a Stalinist face.

Many workers in the west were hoodwinked by the "exceptionalism" of a so-called Cuban socialism which was constantly being propagandised by and justified by various elements of Stalinism.

So then, what country or people, outside its borders did the Cuban ruling class subjugate to its needs for accumulation?

S. Artesian
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Jul 7 2016 12:42
Auld-bod wrote:
S. Artesian #415
‘How is the advocacy of concentration camps by Israelis for the incarceration of Palestinians different from the Nazi advocacy of concentration camps for the incarceration of Jews?’

I believe your comment was over the top as the Nazi concentration camp remark implies that the Israeli state is planning to liquidate the Palestinians. They are brutal and oppressive though I’ve seen no evidence that they have opted for ‘the final solution’. You’re weakening the good points in your posts – cool down.

Well, I happen to think the deputy-speaker of the Israeli Knesset has exactly that in mind. He said what he said. He spoke of concentration camps "in the desert."

But be that as it may, the issue isn't whether the comment is "over the top." The issue is how the comment is in fact an "anti-semitic" trope. Exactly how does the comment rely upon antisemitic stereotypes, caricatures, distortions, etc?

I'm not objecting to a disagreement with my assessment. I object to the characterization of my argument as employing antisemitic images, language, etc.

factvalue
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Jul 7 2016 17:04

The propaganda that facilitates all this braying of 'anti-Semitism!!' when the actions of the Israeli State are compared with those of the Nazis, not long ago resulted in that putrid arch-Zionist Alan Dershowitz alleging on the Harvard Law School website that Norman Finkelstein's deceased mother, who'd been through the worst of the Nazi holocaust from the Warsaw ghetto to concentration and slave labour camps and who, like his father, had lost her entire family, had been a Nazi collaborator.

As Finkelstein said at the time, it's the type of strategy promoted by Hitler in Mein Kampf: a lie's credibility is directly proportional to its size, so make your lies as spectacular as possible if you want people to believe you. Make your claims as brazen as possible and couch them in the crudest form you can and the mud will stick. Because 'after all' people will say, 'surely no-one would make such allegations unless they were true. Yes, mm, and that would explain why he's criticising Israel, mm, mm'. Dershowitz and those like him understand these things.

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Jul 11 2016 22:32

I was in Israel recently, only for a week, visiting family and some historical sites. I learned a lot about what happened to my Krakow relatives during the second world war, especially from what some of those cousins who survived wrote in an autobiography and a legal deposition.

The three survivors who I knew personally are all dead now. The one who wrote the autobiography, who I have not met and prior to my visit had never heard of, is still alive. Much of the conversation with my still-living cousins was about family history, but we occasionally touched on the state of the nation. The oldest cousin, on my mother's side, now lives in Jerusalem but was born in Britain. He follows a form of orthodox Judaism which I think derives from the liberal humanist tradition of Maimonedes. He considers himself to be a Zionist, but has told me that he is extremely alarmed by what he himself described as a racist and fascist tendency taking hold of the country.

The husband of a cousin on my father's side describes himself as a social scientist and an atheist, and lives in Tel Aviv. He said that he can no longer bear going to Jerusalem, which he feels has been lost to the frummers, the ultra-religious. He even said that he was ashamed to be an Israeli. In a discussion about elections and voting, he responded to me by saying that he used to abstain from all the elections in Israel, but has since changed his mind and today he supports what he called the "far left" party in the Knesset (Meretz, I think). At the same time he maintained that the left is almost non-existent in Israel. For him Israel is already a fascist state.

From the 1920s on, Zionism began to give rise to fascist currents, but originally this was a minority in a movement increasingly dominated by 'Labour Zionism'. Today the heirs of Jabotinsky, Beigin, the Stern Gang and (although he's still officially beyond the pale in Israel) the American "Arabs Raus" Rabbi, Meier Kahane - these are now the dominant trends in Zionism as it manifests itself in the state of Israel. I don't think that it's historically accurate to define Israel as a fascist state, but seriously examining the convergence between the current practices and ideologies of the state of Israel, and those of fascism and of Hitler's Germany, can by no means be dismissed as an anti-semitic trope. It's certainly an irony of history, not only that the Jews created their own Black Hundred gangs, but also that these same Black Hundreds should eventually become the heirs of the Jewish state.

But it's another irony of history that numerous ideological heirs of Hitler have found a new way of exposing the sinister designs and atrocities of the Jews: claiming that they are just as evil as Hitler, perhaps even worse than the Nazis. So the Star of David=Swastika symbolism has indeed been very widely taken up by the current propagandists of anti-semitism. This reality should also not be underestimated.

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Jul 11 2016 23:00
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He said that he can no longer bear going to Jerusalem, which he feels has been lost to the frummers, the ultra-religious.

My mother, also a liberal atheist Jew, expresses the same prejudice against religious Jews. I have never understood that aspect of her character.

I think it is simplistic to describe Israel as fascistic. It is a country split down the middle: a fascist state and the common people.

S. Artesian
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Jul 12 2016 12:48

Appreciate Alf's comments. There's no getting around the parallels, and convergences, so evident in volk nationalisms.

Schmoopie wrote:
It is a country split down the middle: a fascist state and the common people.

I don't recall describing Israel as fascist. "Apartheid" or "apartheid-like" absolutely. However there's no way to deny the "final solution" inherent in the Zionist project. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has heard more than one Zionist, expound, more than one time, upon how much he or she wishes "all the Arabs dead." That's an actual quote from an actual "discussion" with five US Jewish Zionists here in NYC; said by one, agreed to by the other four. And that's not the only time or the only statement I've encountered.

I disagree with Schmoopie's analysis: for one thing, all "countries" are split-- between the state representing the ruling class, and the rest of society. Israel's no different, in this regard from 1930s Germany, or Italy. Hell, you could describe the US South in 1861 as "split" between the state and the "common people." Doesn't make a bit of difference to slaves, though, did it?

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Jul 16 2016 13:57
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...all "countries" are split-- between the state representing the ruling class, and the rest of society. Israel's no different...

I agree