Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic?

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Ed
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Jun 12 2016 20:15
S. Artesian wrote:
I, trivializer of all things that I am, asked for evidence that the current left is so saturated. I was referred to a book from 30 years ago, (updated with a new introduction), a reference to a 12 year old article from the "spirit" moving the Occupy demonstrations,... oh yes, and chants of "we are all Hamas" from demonstrations precipitated by Israel's acute, chronic, perpetual assaults on Gaza.

Well, no, that's not true..

  • You were also given a link to a prominent left-wing politician and anti-zionist campaigner saying he would make his city an 'Israel-free zone' and that they don't even want Israeli tourists.
  • You were also given a link to a Jewish socialist recounting his experience on a demonstration in 2014 where he was nearly attacked for confronting a guy promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  • You also offered the example of Cynthia McKinney saying that AIPAC is in "total control of the US government", at first saying she wasn't anti-semitic, then later (after it was pointed out she'd appeared on a far-right radio show and promotes anti-semitic comedian Dieudonné), said that it doesn't matter if she's an anti-semite or not.
  • I offered to recount my own experiences of anti-semitism on pro-Palestine demonstrations but you didn't seem interested

I could also add more recently (i.e. since this discussion) a Corbyn supporter in Labour saying that "many Jews" were the "chief financiers of the slave trade".. another anti-semitic myth, promoted by your mates in the Nation of Islam.

You could also do a Google image search, ffs..

So look, you don't have to agree but don't make up shit about what people who disagree with you have been saying..

Similarly, stop ascribing the word 'saturated' to everyone.. that's not my point and I'm not sure I'd use that particular word so stop making out that everyone has to defend it in order for them to be 'right' that anti-semitism exists as a significant tendency within the pro-Palestine movement..

factvalue
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Jun 12 2016 20:26

SF - I think there are genuine intermittent rises in anti-semitism caused by massacres committed by the state of Israel, which atrocities are themselves being encouraged and enabled by Israel's connections with a destructive, right wing gang of war mongering, rich Jews in the US who like to destroy any chance of peace in Palestine and the rest of the region from their threatened bunkers in the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard, Beverly Hills or Florida, and who have a vested interest in a holocaust industry that imprints death ('remembrance') deeply into the minds of Israel's young people, conditioning them to a paranoid, spartan, siege and conquest mentality in order to perpetuate a situation that they believe will accomplish their insane objectives and those of their ultra right wing allies in Israel, such as, most recently, a war with Iran.

As I wrote in post 229 'Another source of genuine anti-semitism in Europe has been the shakedown of Eastern Europe by the Holocaust industry of Jewish 'charities', run by the self-same rabid, right wing loonies, who are also responsible for concocting the cover of a 'new anti-semitism' within and somehow inherent to western countries (all modern socioeconomic and cultural indicators to the contrary notwithstanding) every time there is any heat on Israel. In other words, these bastards are not trying to root out anti-semitism, they have no interest in getting rid of it because they only exist to defend ultra right wing Israel at all cost and to line their pockets in a contemptible misuse of the Nazi holocaust.

S. Artesian
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Jun 12 2016 20:40
jef costello wrote:
S. Artesian wrote:

Now personally, since I haven't seen any evidence that the left is "saturated" with antisemitism (the general population of France not qualifying as "left" IMO)

Where is this coming from?

Malva quoting statistics (post #92, I think) and subsequent replies.

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Jun 12 2016 20:51
S. Artesian wrote:
jef costello wrote:
S. Artesian wrote:

Now personally, since I haven't seen any evidence that the left is "saturated" with antisemitism (the general population of France not qualifying as "left" IMO)

Where is this coming from?

Malva quoting statistics (post #92, I think) and subsequent replies.

subsequent replies by you where you used the word "saturated" incessantly to dismiss anti-Semitism

S. Artesian
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Jun 12 2016 21:08
Ed wrote:
..

  • You were also given a link to a prominent left-wing politician and anti-zionist campaigner saying he would make his city an 'Israel-free zone' and that they don't even want Israeli tourists.
  • You were also given a link to a Jewish socialist recounting his experience on a demonstration in 2014 where he was nearly attacked for confronting a guy promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  • You also offered the example of Cynthia McKinney saying that AIPAC is in "total control of the US government", at first saying she wasn't anti-semitic, then later (after it was pointed out she'd appeared on a far-right radio show and promotes anti-semitic comedian Dieudonné), said that it doesn't matter if she's an anti-semite or not.
  • I offered to recount my own experiences of anti-semitism on pro-Palestine demonstrations but you didn't seem interested

Yes, and another example of antisemitism being "prevalent"-- IIRC, your word was "prevalent" wasn't it, as in "all too prevalent"? laborbund and others I think used saturated, nice of you to distance yourself from their term. always important to split hairs-- that was cited was the so-called advocacy by a member of the Labour Party to "deport the entire population of the state of Israel to the US." Well, that's bollocks, as is the quote you cite from Galloway. He said he would make it an "Israeli free zone," not Jewish-free zone, although perhaps that's a merely technicality in your world. Not so in mine. So I reject your example of Galloway. And I reject your example of Adbusters and McKinney's as being symptomatic of the "prevalence" of antisemitism within or among the antizionist left.

You are right, I am not interested in your personal experiences, because anecdotes do not amount to the quantity that is designated when people use words like "saturated" or "prevalent."

Quote:
I could also add more recently (i.e. since this discussion) a Corbyn supporter in Labour saying that "many Jews" were the "chief financiers of the slave trade".. another anti-semitic myth, promoted by your mates in the Nation of Islam.

Like to slur do you? I have no "mates" in the NOI. But good of you to prove how similar your methods are to that your mates in AIPAC. That's one. And for two, since when does Corbyn and/or the Labour Party register as "the left"? That's what you think the "left" is? Of course you do, since you think Adbusters is left. Fuck, if that's the case, you and your mates over there are just as fucked up as your mates over here who think Bernie Sanders is "left."

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So look, you don't have to agree but don't make up shit about what people who disagree with you have been saying..

Word to yourself, mate.

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Similarly, stop ascribing the word 'saturated' to everyone.. that's not my point and I'm not sure I'd use that particular word so stop making out that everyone has to defend it in order for them to be 'right' that anti-semitism exists as a significant tendency within the pro-Palestine movement..

Well, now it's no longer "prevalent" among the left, but in the pro-Palestine movement, which I guess includes the governments of Iran, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, Cuba, etc. etc. Talk about making shit up that suits you at any particular time. Keeping moving the goal posts, mate, sooner or later you'll get it close enough to something you might be comfortable with.

S. Artesian
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Jun 12 2016 21:12

Saturated brought into the discussion by laborbund in #65, in which he, and in later posts others, asserted that I "trivialized" anti-semitism; I could say, used the word "trivialization" incessantly. Maybe I will.

So what word would make all you anti-trivializers happy? "Prevalent"? "Significant"? "Powerful"? "Majority"? "Expanding"? Pick one or more, and let me know. I'll drop "saturated" and the argument won't change a bit-- because all you've produced in support of your favorite word of characterization is......at its very strongest, lame as lame can be.

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Jun 12 2016 21:51

First off, I want to apologise for the NOI 'mates' thing. I meant it as a barbed joke rather than a slur but I realise that considering how heated these exchanges have been that it might not have been read like that and it prob wasn't helpful to include..

S. Artesian wrote:
He said he would make it an "Israeli free zone," not Jewish-free zone

This is the issue though, isn't it? That the anti-zionist left often replace 'Jew' with 'Israeli' or 'Zionist' but keep the whole structure of the anti-semitic trope the same.. like when Yvonne Ridley, founder of Stop the War and the Respect Party (do those count as left?) said that "Zionists have their tentacles everywhere".. that's a standard anti-semitic trope but with one word changed. Similarly, how is it any better to say that Bradford will be an Israeli-free zone? Since when was the actions of a government the fault of every citizen of that country? And moreover, why stop at Israelis anyway? If you're going to include all Israelis regardless of whether they support Zionism or not, then, there doesn't seem to be any logical reason not to expand it to include all Jews, especially considering there is actually overwhelming support - both theoretical and practical - for zionism amongst the Jewish community abroad.. and that is exactly the inference that people will (and actually do) make, regardless of semantic games about whether he said the word 'Jew' or not.. all the semantic games do is provide cover for that process..

S. Artesian wrote:
since when does Corbyn and/or the Labour Party register as "the left"?

Erm, since all the unions and Trot and ex-Stalinist and social movement groups came out and encouraged people to elect him leader? Since he was involved in the anti-apartheid, anti-war, anti-cuts movements since the 1970s? Again, it's not my kind of left and I think his politics are and have always been a dead end but then I think that for most of the left.. that doesn't stop them being on the left!

S. Artesian wrote:
Of course you do, since you think Adbusters is left.

As I said before, a magazine that gets frequent contributions from Zizek, Hardt, Negri and Graeber can be considered part of the left. Even if I think the magazine is shit and have serious criticisms of all the above.

I would actually be interested to start a thread called 'S. Artesian's left' where you outline who's in and who's out. Please feel free to start as I'm genuinely curious.

S. Artesian wrote:
Well, now it's no longer "prevalent" among the left, but in the pro-Palestine movement, which I guess includes the governments of Iran, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, Cuba, etc. etc. Talk about making shit up that suits you at any particular time. Keeping moving the goal posts, mate, sooner or later you'll get it close enough to something you might be comfortable with.

I think I've always been clear that I'm talking about the pro-Palestine left (or better, Palestine Solidarity as a left-wing campaign), otherwise I would've just pulled a bunch of anti-Israel quotes from neo-Nazi groups, wouldn't I? I think for the purposes of this debate it's better if you stop guessing..

S. Artesian wrote:
You are right, I am not interested in your personal experiences, because anecdotes do not amount to the quantity that is designated when people use words like "saturated" or "prevalent."

True, but when you start hearing similar anecdotes from different anti-Zionist Jews it should eventually make you sit up and listen. Instead, your tactic is either to equivocate about semantics ('he said Israelis not Jews!') or declare them as not part of the left and so wash your hands of all responsibility.. I personally don't think that's good enough..

As an interesting aside, I think factvalue's point about "genuine anti-semitism" rising alongside massacre by the state of Israel is a fair assumption (though obv needs verifying with stats). I would agree that much anti-semitism is driven these days by the very real atrocities committed by Israel. But then this is basically my point: there does exist "genuine anti-semitism" in the pro-Palestine movement; surely our goal is to challenge (and, in time, defeat) it?

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Jun 12 2016 22:53
Quote:
As an interesting aside, I think factvalue's point about "genuine anti-semitism" rising alongside massacre by the state of Israel is a fair assumption (though obv needs verifying with stats). I would agree that much anti-semitism is driven these days by the very real atrocities committed by Israel. But then this is basically my point: there does exist "genuine anti-semitism" in the pro-Palestine movement; surely our goal is to challenge (and, in time, defeat) it?

That, factvalue's point, was exactly the point. Does there exist genuine antisemitism in the pro-Palestinian left? I'm sure there exists some genuine antisemitism in the pro-Palestinian left. I don't think the pro-Palestinian left however can be characterized as "antisemitic."

Should antisemitism be challenged? Sure it should be. But when AIPAC attacks Cynthia McKinney as being antisemitic because she opposes Israel's actions, because she attacks US government support of Israel, because she opposes, not Jews, but Zionism, then the "challenge" to be made is to AIPAC and the reason for their attacks.

factvalue
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Jun 13 2016 10:35

Ed, something occurred to me upon reading your commentary around the "Zionists have their tentacles everywhere" 'trope', as you characterised it: bearing in mind what you said about the overwhelming support for zionism from Jews internationally, are Jews excluded from networks of power and privilege? And if they aren't but, on the contrary, are disproportionately well connected, as the leader of the ADL recently said regarding e.g. media and publishing, is yours the only possible interpretation of that statement, or was the statement merely an empirical observation? Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Stop the War or Galloway or any other Stalinist, but how much might you be responding to theatrical, choreographed foreboding propagated by the likes of the ADL that there's a holocaust lurking around every corner?

Regarding the link between Israeli army massacres and spikes in anti-semitism, you don't have to look too far for corroboration (it took seconds). For example, at Tel Aviv Uni's Kantor Center website, the Moshe Kantor Database for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism's General Analysis 2015 page 8, para 1 begins:

'As previously mentioned in the Overview, the year 2015 ended with feelings of concern and fear, among Jews as individuals and as members of communities, and non-Jews alike, especially in Europe. This tendency has its roots in the events of the summer of 2014, when, during and following the Protective Edge military operation in the Gaza Strip, Jewish communities - and Israeli citizens - faced an almost unprecedented wave of antisemitic manifestations and hostility, verging on the hateful.'

Now admittedly this comes from the people who claimed that Russia's refusal to accept the uniqueness of 'The Holocaust' was clear evidence of anti-semitism (and not down to the millions of Russians killed in the second world war) so rather than trying to dig up old references from ages ago, I've emailed Finkelstein to send me his own extensive statistics on the links between Israeli massacres and antisemitic attacks.

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Jun 12 2016 23:37
factvalue wrote:
Ed, something occurred to me upon reading your commentary around the "Zionists have their tentacles everywhere" 'trope', as you characterised it: bearing in mind what you said about the overwhelming support for zionism from Jews internationally, are Jews excluded from networks of power and privilege? And if they aren't but, on the contrary, are disproportionately well connected, as the leader of the ADL recently said regarding e.g. media and publishing, is yours the only possible interpretation of that statement, or was the statement merely an empirical observation? Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Stop the War or Galloway or any other Stalinist, but how much might you be responding to theatrical, choreographed foreboding propagated by the likes of the ADL that there's a holocaust lurking around every corner?

you appear to be arguing that the only reason anyone thinks anti Semitism is an issue is because they have been conned by Zionists

factvalue
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Jun 13 2016 00:33

Ed - Again, in your extrapolation from Israelis in (the odious) Galloway's remark, to Jews, you seem to be quite directly rehearsing the 'anyone attacking Israel is actually attacking Jews' malarky that has become so familiar a ruse through over-use. Does not Israel represent itself as the State of the Jewish People and thereby implicate Jews collectively in its massacres? Does Netanyahu not describe himself as representative of all of the world's Jews? And if these same Jewish people, as you have said, overwhelmingly support zionism, don't they also automatically support racism, given that Israel's leading historian Benny Morris has written that zionism implies ethnic cleansing, that it was 'inevitable and in-built into zionism' from the beginning?

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Jun 13 2016 00:45
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This is the issue though, isn't it? That the anti-zionist left often replace 'Jew' with 'Israeli' or 'Zionist' but keep the whole structure of the anti-semitic trope the same..

No, that really isn't the issue, or at least not all of it, because we all agree that there is a distinction between Jewish and Zionism, but there is almost no such distinction possible between Israeli and Zionist, and almost by definition--

Given the poor response to argument by analogy, I should be hesitant to try this, but call me incorrigible, suppose Algeria for example refused to honor the passports of white South Africans during the apartheid era-- superficially at least not distinguishing between anti-apartheid and pro-apartheid South African whites. Would that be "racism"?

And to not use analogy, does this mean you think that the BDS movement is antisemitic? Because it "substitutes" Israeli or Zionist for Jew; because it doesn't distinguish among companies doing business with Israel which oppose the "excesses" of Zionism and those which don't? {not, repeat not an endorsement of BDS}

Quote:
And if they aren't but, on the contrary, are disproportionately well connected, as the leader of the ADL recently said regarding e.g. media and publishing,

This is where I have questions, because I don't know what "disproportionately well connected" means; like the Adbusters article on neocons and Jews, its the criteria for selection is at best opaque and at worst completely arbitrary. Are Jews disproportionately well connected because the Sulzberger-Ochs families owned/own The New York Times? Because Tisch, Sarnoff, etc. were so important to development of radio and video broadcasting? Does that make "Jews" disproportionately well-connected?

What happens with this sort of argument by "links" and "disproportion, is that we lose sight of the fact that these individuals are "well connected" as individuals, based on their economic activity being part of the general economic activity of the system, of the ruling class, of capitalism as a whole, and that those individuals do not represent interests separate and apart from the interests of that system or that class.

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Jun 13 2016 02:33

I haven't any empirical evidence that the left (in the UK) is saturated with anti-semitism; it is though.

S. Artesian
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Jun 13 2016 03:42
Schmoopie wrote:
I haven't any empirical evidence that the left (in the UK) is saturated with anti-semitism; it is though.

Well that settles it then-- if only Schmoopie would have told me that 250 posts ago, we could have saved a lot of time.

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Jun 13 2016 03:48
Quote:
Schmoopie wrote:

Quote:
I haven't any empirical evidence that the left (in the UK) is saturated with anti-semitism; it is though.

Well that settles it then-- if only Schmoopie would have told me that 250 posts ago, we could have saved a lot of time.

We had to make sure.

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Jun 13 2016 10:32
S. Artesian wrote:
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And if they aren't but, on the contrary, are disproportionately well connected, as the leader of the ADL recently said regarding e.g. media and publishing,

This is where I have questions, because I don't know what "disproportionately well connected" means; like the Adbusters article on neocons and Jews, its the criteria for selection is at best opaque and at worst completely arbitrary. Are Jews disproportionately well connected because the Sulzberger-Ochs families owned/own The New York Times? Because Tisch, Sarnoff, etc. were so important to development of radio and video broadcasting? Does that make "Jews" disproportionately well-connected?

What happens with this sort of argument by "links" and "disproportion, is that we lose sight of the fact that these individuals are "well connected" as individuals, based on their economic activity being part of the general economic activity of the system, of the ruling class, of capitalism as a whole, and that those individuals do not represent interests separate and apart from the interests of that system or that class.

Just to be clear: If the Israeli state stopped being a strategic asset, if American capitalism required rich right wing Jews in the Holocaust industry to abandon support for Israel, that is what would happen, tails don't wag dogs.

Beyond anti-semitic attacks (according to Tel Aviv Uni's Kantor Centre, explicitly anti-semitic attacks involving a weapon numbered 25 worldwide in 2013 - not deaths mind you, attacks - hardly the onset of a new pogrom) what is the actual content of the form of anti-semitism which is claimed to be on the rise? Because, in a US context, from Finkelstein's Holocaust Industry:

'As anti-Semitic barriers quickly fell away after World War, Jews rose to preeminence in the United States. According to Lipset and Raab, per capita Jewish income is almost double that of non-Jews; sixteen of the forty wealthiest Americans are Jews; 40 percent of American Nobel Prize winners in science and economics are Jewish, as are 20 Percent of professors at major universities; and 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington.
The list goes on.

Far from constituting an obstacle to success, Jewish identity has become the crown of that success. Just as many Jews kept Israel at arm's length when it constituted a liability and became born-again Zionists when it constituted an asset, so they kept their ethnic identity at arm's length when it constituted a liability and became born-again Jews when it constituted an asset. Indeed, the secular success story of American Jewry validated a core - perhaps the sole - tenet of their newly acquired identity as Jews. Who could any longer dispute that Jews were a "chosen" people?

In 'A Certain People: American Jews and Their Lives Today', Charles Silberman - himself a born-again Jew — typically gushes: "Jews would have been less than human had they eschewed any notion of superiority altogether," and "it is extraordinarily difficult for American Jews to expunge the sense of superiority altogether, however much they may try to suppress it." What an American Jewish child inherits, according to novelist Philip Roth, is "no body of law, no body of learning and no language, and finally, no Lord . . . but a kind of psychology: and the psychology can be translated in three words: 'Jews are better."''

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Jun 13 2016 11:30

Borderline.

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Jun 13 2016 12:01
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...and "it is extraordinarily difficult for American Jews to expunge the sense of superiority altogether, however much they may try to suppress it." What an American Jewish child inherits, according to novelist Philip Roth, is "no body of law, no body of learning and no language, and finally, no Lord . . . but a kind of psychology: and the psychology can be translated in three words: 'Jews are better."''

Just a blanket term 'Jews' with no discrimination between bourgeois Jews and working class Jews. Something's not quite right.

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Jun 13 2016 12:14
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sixteen of the forty wealthiest Americans are Jews;

Again, self-selecting and completely irrelevant. Sixteen out of 40 sounds disproportionate; but if it's the same 16 out of 1000 wealthiest, it's a bit of a different picture.

Quote:
40 percent of American Nobel Prize winners in science and economics are Jewish, as are 20 Percent of professors at major universities; and 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington.

WTF? What does that show? That Jews are disproportionately "well-connected" because those with Jewish backgrounds are professors at major universities? And again, what constitutes "leading" in "leading law firms"? Annual revenues? Number of attorneys?

Quote:
Far from constituting an obstacle to success, Jewish identity has become the crown of that success.

Oh come on, do us a favor... Jewish identity has become the crown of success? That explains why so many, Elisabeth Taylor for example, rushed to convert to Judaism so they can pass as Jewish a grab a bit of this outsized success.

And Philip Roth---? Why not Goldie Hawn-- half-Jewish. Or Billy Crystal? Or Sarah Silverman? Clearly, they got where they are, or where, by being Jewish and well-connected.

This by Finkelstein sounds like an unfunny version of Adam Sandler's Saturday Night Live bit, (itself unfunny), where he'd sing a song identifying celebrities and distinguishing between Jews and "not a Jew."

factvalue
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Jun 13 2016 12:23

To me he's addressing the question of whether or not Jews in the US should believe that anti-semitism is a problem which is locking them out of society. Is he wrong? Remind me again, is this

Quote:
According to Lipset and Raab, per capita Jewish income is almost double that of non-Jews

also irrelevant?

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Jun 13 2016 12:23
factvalue wrote:
Ed - Again, in your extrapolation from Israelis in (the odious) Galloway's remark, to Jews, you seem to be quite directly rehearsing the 'anyone attacking Israel is actually attacking Jews' malarky that has become so familiar a ruse through over-use. Does not Israel represent itself as the State of the Jewish People and thereby implicate Jews collectively in its massacres? Does Netanyahu not describe himself as representative of all of the world's Jews? And if these same Jewish people, as you have said, overwhelmingly support zionism, don't they also automatically support racism, given that Israel's leading historian Benny Morris has written that zionism implies ethnic cleansing, that it was 'inevitable and in-built into zionism' from the beginning?

So on the one hand its wrong to imply anti Zionism is anti Jewish (leaving aside that Ed isn't actually saying this) on the other hand though Zionism is inseparable from the world Jewish population....

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Jun 13 2016 12:38
Reddebrek wrote:
So on the one hand its wrong to imply anti Zionism is anti Jewish (leaving aside that Ed isn't actually saying this) on the other hand though Zionism is inseparable from the world Jewish population....

Ed has already said that internationally Jews overwhelmingly support zionism. What does he mean by zionism? What do you mean? Do you mean that Israel has a right to exist within its pre-June 1967 borders in accord with e.g. UN 242? Then I am a zionist. Do you mean that the original ethnic cleansing of the population of Palestine was fine? Then I am anti-zionist. Do you mean that zionism as actually occurring state terrorism currently being practised by the state of Israel in the region is perfectly fine? Then I'm anti-zionist. Do you mean that there should exist a religious, racist state anywhere? I'm anti- that. Does this mean I'm anti-semitic?

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Jun 13 2016 13:24
Serge Forward wrote:
Borderline.

Alright Madge.

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Jun 13 2016 13:51
factvalue wrote:

Ed has already said that internationally Jews overwhelmingly support zionism.

Cool, that doesn't actually mean anything though, you're still equating Zionism with the Jewish population and making excuses for the poor treatment of the latter on the behaviour of the former. And when called on this you've resorted to blathering on about how rich the Jews are.

Quote:
Does this mean I'm anti-semitic?

No what makes you an anti-semite is your use and defence of Anti-semitic views like say this:

Quote:
are Jews excluded from networks of power and privilege? And if they aren't but, on the contrary, are disproportionately well connected, as the leader of the ADL recently said regarding e.g. media and publishing

In the past comments you've stated or taken for support statements that

1) The Jews have most of the money
2) The Jews control the media
3) The government of Israel is the leadership of the world Jewish community

So far the only thing you haven't used yet is blood libel.

The Jews are not a group or political faction, they're a diverse community. Indeed they're are so diverse that what makes someone Jewish is actually a very controversial subject. Even if every statement you've said or taken were correct, it wouldn't actually mean anything because you can't tell anything about these people other than their wealth and their identification as Jewish.
Let's take those 16 families you mentioned.

What branch of Judaism do they follow? Or are some of them Atheists?What ethnic background do they come from? Are they European Jews, Eastern Europeans? North African? Sub Saharan? Middle Eastern? Iranian? Asian? Did their grandparents speak Hebrew, Yiddish or Ladino or some other Jewish language? What are their political views? Are they actively using their wealth to gain influence or are they content to be idle? And how exactly did they get this wealth? What actually is their stance on Israel?

If you don't know the answers to these questions then this is all meaningless, all you've done is established that some Jews have done well out of the present state of affairs. And in no way does this justify your generalisations.

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Jun 13 2016 15:19
factvalue wrote:
To me he's addressing the question of whether or not Jews in the US should believe that anti-semitism is a problem which is locking them out of society. Is he wrong? Remind me again, is this

Quote:
According to Lipset and Raab, per capita Jewish income is almost double that of non-Jews

also irrelevant?

I thought you were citing it to bolster the assertion or question about "Jews being disproportionately well-connected.' If that is the issue in question, then passage by Finkelstein is irrelevant.

If the argument is that Jews are not systematically and systemically denied access to education, housing, medical care, professions, economic advancement because they are Jews, then it is relevant.

If the argument is that Jews exert some special, oversized influence, based on, and in the interests of their "Jewishness" then I think the passage is completely irrelevant.

EDIT:

Quote:
Do you mean that Israel has a right to exist within its pre-June 1967 borders in accord with e.g. UN 242? Then I am a zionist.

Then I'm not. Because the pre-1967 borders were based on the expulsion of a resident population, and the pre-1967 borders are based on deep and penetrating discrimination against now minority religious and ethnic populations; because, and most importanlty, you don't get to turn back the clock in this struggle.

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Jun 13 2016 15:21

If I remember rightly, towards the end of the first phase of this thread, Spikeymike implied that
looking further into the definition and above all the class nature of the 'left', which I had argued for, would be a diversion from the main point of this thread.

Artesian said that I had raised some "fine points" for discussion, but not for this thread.

Whether on this thread or another one, I think that the question remains central to understanding whether or not the vision of capitalism propagated by the 'left' - shall we call it the 'recognised left' - is able to develop a revolutionary understanding of the Jewish question, the history of Zionism, and the meaning of imperialism; whether it is able to make a communist critique of anti-semitism, and thus arm itself against it. But to answer this question perhaps we need to try a few definitions of political currents, in particular those that claim to be revolutionary and even marxist.

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fingers malone
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Jun 13 2016 15:40

I haven't posted as I try not to have big opinions about things I don't know much about, but I'm not happy with some of the comments being made in this thread, and also specifically I'm not happy with the way some posters are talking to Ed, and I feel that I should say so.

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Serge Forward
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Jun 13 2016 17:49

This thread is saturated with comments I'm not happy with.

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Jun 13 2016 20:43

To give an example of what I'm getting at: the Trotskyist current, in its great majority, became part of capitalism during 1939-35 when it participated in the imperialist war in defence of 'democracy' and the 'workers' state' in Russia. Since that time, faced with the numerous wars capital has imposed on humanity, it has consistently supported one imperialist side against another, using 'marxist' justifications drawn from a very different period in the life of the workers' movement.

With regard to the 'Arab-Israel' conflict, during the cold war the Trotskyists generally supported the states and nationalist forces backed by the USSR against Israel and the USA (Egypt, Syria, PLO, etc). Since 89, and the break up of the old blocs, things have been more complicated but the Trotskyists rarely fail to support the powers that are lined up against Israel and the US, which they generally identify as the only imperialist camp. That has included Iraq under Saddam, Syria under Assad, Iran under the Mullahs, the PLO, Hizbollah and Hamas, and to a certain extent even al Qaida and ISIS. How then would it be possible for this ' far left' political current to radically distance itself from the openly anti-semitic ideologies espoused by all these states and gangs?

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Jun 13 2016 23:01
S. Artesian wrote:
I thought you were citing it to bolster the assertion or question about "Jews being disproportionately well-connected.' If that is the issue in question, then passage by Finkelstein is irrelevant.

If the argument is that Jews are not systematically and systemically denied access to education, housing, medical care, professions, economic advancement because they are Jews, then it is relevant.

If the argument is that Jews exert some special, oversized influence, based on, and in the interests of their "Jewishness" then I think the passage is completely irrelevant.

I don't see any contradiction between the first two of these, unless that 'disproportionate' is taken normatively as 'unjust' or whatever and you're concerned that I'm suggesting number three, which I'm not. The Finkelstein quotation showing the numerical representation of Jews in certain not insignificant socioeconomic locations, in numbers not in proportion with the small number of Jews relative to the rest of the population in the US, is part of my questioning of the substance of claims of a worryingly significant upsurge of anti-semitism which several here are insisting on making. In addition they act as counterexamples to another prevailing (and ahistorical) notion among certain types that western society is inherently, virulently and currently antisemitic. Do virulently anti-semitic societies produce numbers anything like those Finkelstein was readily able to cherry pick?

S. Artesian wrote:
EDIT:
Quote:
Do you mean that Israel has a right to exist within its pre-June 1967 borders in accord with e.g. UN 242? Then I am a zionist.

S. Artesian wrote:
Then I'm not. Because the pre-1967 borders were based on the expulsion of a resident population, and the pre-1967 borders are based on deep and penetrating discrimination against now minority religious and ethnic populations; because, and most importanlty, you don't get to turn back the clock in this struggle.

Given that those most directly affected have conceded this already - presumably because you don't get to turn the clock back - I don't think as a distant onlooker that my principles outweigh their pragmatism so I respect their decision. One of the problems I have with a lot of BDS is their single state solution, which does not.