this palestine-israel thread

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confuseder
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Mar 1 2014 21:31
this palestine-israel thread

hi guys,

i am new here.i did not make an account until i saw this and i was reading this talk:

http://libcom.org/forums/history/why-people-far-left-are-very-anti-israe...

i dont know much about palestine stuff (only wat other people have told me growing up, i watchd a documentary about it called occupation101) but i was reading through it and i learned a lot from the debate.i dont get why this guy was banned.

i guess i should add, i am new to anarchist organizing and i am black and muslim.i dont practice but that was my religion growing up.i was really trobled by some of the stuff said in that talk not by the banned guy but everyone else. some people said if i reject isreal it is the same as bulldozing the jews.wat?!i dont reject israel or palestine because i dont think i know enough about it, but banning that guy and some of the other comments made me very uncomfortable with anarchists.if this is the way it is in all the anarchist circles then i dont like this and i wil leave organizing wit anarchists.

maybe i didnt follow it but i didnt get why he was banned and the way people talked about his ideas was very rude.it did not make me feel safe, and it reminded me of some people who say really anti-muslim and anti-black stuff that i met in occupy wall street (that is were i first herd about anarchistm), they said if i say black power that is the same as white power.that is weird, white power is used by KKK but black power was used by my parents when they protested in the movement.the stuff in that talk made me feel like people were saying it goes both ways, like the people at occupy.this is the second time i have felt very bad about anarchists.

is this normal? did i miss somthing?

sorry for spelling

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A Wotsit
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Mar 2 2014 01:27

Edit: if you are a genuine new poster, then welcome to the site!

Hmmmm... I am not sure if this is Drak inventing an alias and attempting to hide his written style. I am going reply as if it's not. Though I suspect it is. (No offence to you if you're not him, but it is more than slightly suspicious a new account defending him is now registered straight after he's banned- why didn't you chip in earlier?).

I can't comment on the thread which got Drak banned, as I never got my head fully around Draks points and I think you can see as well as any of us what the admins reasons were. I think the quote Standfield highlighted was enough to justify a ban in itself. I also got the impression fairly early on Drak may have been, conciously or not, anti-semitic. I personally don't want to debate this tbh. In any case the admins make these decisions (and I ain't one).

You raise other issues though. We would neither tolerate nor condone anti-muslim or anti-black comments. I do recall people being banned here for espousing Islamophobic views and slandering Muslims. One of the admins wrote this on islamophobia a while back, which I remember thinking was good at the time http://libcom.org/library/anarchism-british-islamism-putting-things-pers... (edit to add link, not sure if this is the one I recall or not)

If anyone can find that (or those) threads where people have been banned for similar conduct to Drak and link here that would be good- just to show the ban hammer reigns down on all who slander or attack any particular group (unless of course that group is defined by social class (e.g. the borgies) or occupation (e.g the filth)).

On the topic of black power. There are threads about that on this site I think, if anyone would care to find them. (edit: never mind, there's bloomin loads) I don't know much about it. I seem to remember something on black nationalism...and recall criticisms focusing on the problematic internal hierarchies within black power movement/ orgs rather than anyone going 'what about poor ol white people'. I hope no one here would be stupid enough to equate black power (which stems from reactions against racism) with white power (which is obviously horrendous and racist).

In terms of the conduct of the debate, I do think Drak brought a little of that on himself in the way he dealt with disagreement. Although I also think we are well reminded to try and keep things constructive and try to avoid mockery and rudeness (guilty m'lud).

If you are a genuine new poster I hope to see you engage in discussions in many parts of the site.

No worries about spelling, unless you're doing it on purpose to appear to hide your natural style. Hmmmm...

confuseder
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Mar 2 2014 13:03

hi i did not sign up earlier because i was just reading and also i can not type well so i dont like doing this! if you think i should add my 2 sense to that talk about isreal i will, but it seems like people are very rude and also i told u i do not really feel that comfortable with some of the people here.

i did not think he was rude, i think the other people were rude. id ont really know israel palestine stuff as much but it did not sound like he was racist and he was saying that noam chomsky and all agree iwth him. i watched the video he posted and ya noam chomsky said the same thing, is noam chomsky also an antisemitic? i remembr him from occupation101 he is one of the people that talked about it and a lot of people at occupy wall street say he is good.

im reading that quote, i dont get why that got anyone banned. i hear people in my community say angry stuff like that i dont think its the same or that it is racist, people are angry because we are not included, it is not the same as when the police come and harass us. also that sounds like someone elses quote, not his, he was just answering abouti t.

i am not going to go and defend everything he said but i liked a lot of what he said. im afraid if i open my mouth in anarchist cirlces i will just get yelled at. that is what happend at occupy. they said i was causing problems when i talked about racism because the white people didnt get it. mayb im wrogn, but it sounds the same only with jews and palistinians instead of whites and blacks.

ya anyway i dont think ill be using this forum anymore. bad vibes. trust me tho, i hav plenty of natural style! come to bk ill show you my moves haha peace brother

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Fnordie
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Mar 2 2014 13:31

I also don't think Drakula25 should have been banned. It reflects poorly on libcom that he was. He made a lot of nasty and aggressive posts, but he's hardly the only one to ever do that. He unfairly accused people with a "softer line" on Israel of being Zionists - but that doesn't make him an anti-Semite. He made it very clear his position was not "Israel is the enemy because it's Jewish" but rather "Israel is the enemy because it's a settler-colonialist state."

I think he was being kind of a dick about it, but I agree with his major point. Israel is a genocidal project, like the early US was, and it deserves principled opposition from anyone who cares about human emancipation. Arguing "it's no better or worse than any other state" strikes me as callous.

Conflating "anti-Zionism" with "anti-Semitism" is part of the problem - nobody would claim that supporting the struggle against Apartheid would have been "anti-white," right?

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A Wotsit
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Mar 2 2014 20:48

deleted. neither use nor ornament

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A Wotsit
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Mar 2 2014 20:49

deleted

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Mar 2 2014 16:17
Fnordie wrote:
I think he was being kind of a dick about it, but I agree with his major point. Israel is a genocidal project, like the early US was, and it deserves principled opposition from anyone who cares about human emancipation. Arguing "it's no better or worse than any other state" strikes me as callous.

Conflating "anti-Zionism" with "anti-Semitism" is part of the problem - nobody would claim that supporting the struggle against Apartheid would have been "anti-white," right?

Nobody disagrees that Israel is attempting ethnic or political cleansing of the Palestinians. At one point or another all states have (some still are) busy getting rid of unwanted elements in their countries by either killing them off, completely assimilating them, destroying their culture or some form of that. This is what nation-states do; they are per definition racist. All the anti-immigration stuff is just an extension of that; not wanting to "dirty" the nation with impure peoples. On that level Israel is not any different from any other state. That's a principled stance on Israel based on opposition to all nation-states, not on some exceptionalism that Israel is much much worse than anyone else because [insert anti-semitic trope here].

And who conflated anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism? That was Drakula. He ascribed that to everyone he disagreed with. I don't care calling myself an anti-Zionist; I am an anti-nationalist, which per definition includes the Zionist project. I don't see a need to give me a label that is specifically against the Israeli project.

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Mar 2 2014 18:58

It is perfectly fine for the libcom admins to ban people. Surely it is a basic premise of free association that you can enter into a relationship and end it when you feel that it is no longer productive or that it is even poisonous. The admins invite anyone to come on to the forum and argue. Indeed, it is good to have arguments with these people to expose their views. But at some point it is no longer constructive. Imagine a world in which you could never walk away from someone spouting heinous abuse (... admittedly the workplace can often resemble this).

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Mar 2 2014 22:05

I think "you're banned for being a dick" is perfectly fine. I think "you're banned for being an anti-semite" is worrisome, when the actual offense is just dickishness + criticism of Israel.

The only thing at all 'exceptional' about Israel's ethnic cleansing is that it's happening right now, and with the backing of a superpower. The ongoing resistance to it is courageous, includes more than a few anarchists, and deserves our support. An independent Palestine is desirable on simple humanitarian grounds alone, even though it has nothing to do with anti-state or anti-capitalist politics.

Does believing this make me an anti-semite?

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Mar 2 2014 22:32
Quote:
when the actual offense is just dickishness + criticism of Israel.

Quote:
Does believing this make me an anti-semite?

If you still think that despite all of the horrific things Drakula25 said he still isn't an anti-Semite then maybe it does. You're obviously inviting someone to make such an accusation so that you can face this argument.

As for your other comment, I don't believe that thinking that a two state solution would ease tensions and work to some extent makes a person an anti-Semite. But Drakula25 went far beyond any such statement, accusing contributors to libcom of being 'Israeli' stooges, for example, and called for the erasure of the Israeli people from the Middle East.

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Fnordie
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Mar 2 2014 22:53

I wouldn't agree with an indigenous activist who wanted to deport white "settlers" from North America, either. But I don't think having that position would necessarily make them a racist.

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Mar 2 2014 23:10

I think anyone calling for the mass deportation of any group of people on the basis of their skin colour would be racist almost by definition.

Moreover, your comments is bizarre because historically native Americans often aided and sheltered English settlers who fled capitalist civilization!

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Mar 2 2014 23:53

There a lot of interesting facets to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, unfortunately we have idiots like Drakula to make sure that these never get talked about. Not only were the Palestinians ethnically cleansed from Palestine and the ones who remain there face horrible violence, but the Palestinians have faced enormous violence in the countries they have been dispersed to. For example, following the First Gulf War, the Kuwaiti authorities ethnically cleansed 350,000 Palestinians from their country due to the rumor that was spread that the Palestinians had cooperated with Saddam's occupation forces. The expulsion of the Palestinians was done under the eyes of the U.S. troops commanded by Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf who didn't lift a finger to stop this ethnic cleansing. The Palestinians living in horrid squalor in the refugee camps of Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, are periodically blamed for one or another problem and are massacred by the thousand. Robert Fisk, writes that in 2000 while visiting a Beirut refugee camp he told a friend that if he lived there "I would commit suicide."

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Mar 2 2014 23:52
Malva wrote:
Moreover, your comments is bizarre because historically native Americans often aided and sheltered English settlers who fled capitalist civilization!

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're not very familiar with US history, because otherwise that could be an astoundingly offensive thing to say.

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Mar 3 2014 00:02

Hold on a second, how does stating that Native Americans did not see their struggle against colonialism as a race war translate into me denying the mass murder and genocide of Native Americans?

edit: when I said "English settlers who fled capitalist civilization". This means English settlers who did not want to engage in colonialism and ran away from colonies (which was such a problem that the colonial authorities often had to hold them under arms). I hope that is clear enough.

radicalgraffiti
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Mar 3 2014 00:12
Fnordie wrote:
I think "you're banned for being a dick" is perfectly fine. I think "you're banned for being an anti-semite" is worrisome, when the actual offense is just dickishness + criticism of Israel.

he wasn't really criticizing Israel though, he was accusing anyone who criticized Israel and other states of Zionism, he also called people Zionists for pointing out the antisemitic origins of some "criticism" of Israel.

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Mar 3 2014 00:23
Soapy wrote:
There a lot of interesting facets to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, unfortunately we have idiots like Drakula to make sure that these never get talked about. Not only were the Palestinians ethnically cleansed from Palestine and the ones who remain there face horrible violence, but the Palestinians have faced enormous violence in the countries they have been dispersed to. For example, following the First Gulf War, the Kuwaiti authorities ethnically cleansed 350,000 Palestinians from their country due to the rumor that was spread that the Palestinians had cooperated with Saddam's occupation forces. The expulsion of the Palestinians was done under the eyes of the U.S. troops commanded by Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf who didn't lift a finger to stop this ethnic cleansing. The Palestinians living in horrid squalor in the refugee camps of Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, are periodically blamed for one or another problem and are massacred by the thousand. Robert Fisk, writes that in 2000 while visiting a Beirut refugee camp he told a friend that if he lived there "I would commit suicide."

This. And also the situation of non-Ashkenazim Jews in Israel. But no, it's always supposed to be jew vs. arab; class analysis in relation to Israel is, following Drakula, Zionist.

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Mar 3 2014 00:25
Malva wrote:
Hold on a second, how does stating that Native Americans did not see their struggle against colonialism as a race war translate into me denying the mass murder and genocide of Native Americans?

Fnordie appears to have taken a leaf of out Drakula's book.

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Mar 3 2014 03:55

He may have been deported but the seeds he has sown continue to cause strife in the libcom autonomous zone

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Mar 3 2014 05:46

Malva - I hastily misinterpreted the native american thing, sorry about that. Someone else told me they took it the wrong way, too - thanks for clarifying in that edit.

I don't agree with much of what that guy said (like denying that anti-semitism is a problem). I don't think anyone should look at struggles against colonialism as 'race wars'. All I'm saying is, total opposition to the existence of Israel doesn't automatically make you anti-Jewish. Lots of principled anti-racists oppose it, including Jewish anti-racists. Seeing those definitions blurred is troubling.

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Mar 3 2014 14:16
Fnordie wrote:
All I'm saying is, total opposition to the existence of Israel doesn't automatically make you anti-Jewish. Lots of principled anti-racists oppose it, including Jewish anti-racists.

And? What's your point? Who has been denying this? It's Drakula's that muddied the waters; it seems like you took his bait.

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Mar 3 2014 18:30

Drakula wasn't just criticizing Israel. The part of his posts that I think was really objectionable was all the stuff about the US being controlled by Israel. This understanding of US-Israel relations is nonsensical on the face of it (which state is clearly far more powerful?), and Drakula didn't seem to think any of the US' other client states had played this secret master role. This really does bring to mind old Elders of Zion style tropes about Jews manipulating Christian society to their own ends from behind the scenes.

All these references to Chomsky are a bit ironic given what he's had to say about the sort of stuff Drakula's been on about.

Noam Chomsky wrote:
What were "the Lobbies" that led to pursuing very similar policies throughout the world? Consider the year 1958, a very critical year in world affairs. In 1958, the Eisenhower administration identified the three leading challenges to the US as the ME, North Africa, and Indonesia -- all oil producers, all Islamic. North Africa was taken care of by Algerian (formal) independence. Indonesia and the ME were taken care of by Suharto's murderous slaughter (1965) and Israel's destruction of Arab secular nationalism (Nasser, 1967). In the ME, that established the close US-Israeli alliance and confirmed the judgment of US intelligence in 1958 that a "logical corollary" of opposition to "radical nationalism" (meaning, secular independent nationalism) is "support for Israel" as the one reliable US base in the region (along with Turkey, which entered into close relations with Israel in the same year). Suharto's coup aroused virtual euphoria, and he remained "our kind of guy" (as the Clinton administration called him) until he could no longer keep control in 1998, through a hideous record that compares well with Saddam Hussein -- who was also "our kind of guy" until he disobeyed orders in 1990. What was the Indonesia Lobby? The Saddam Lobby? And the question generalizes around the world.

http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20060328.htm

An Affirming Flame
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Mar 3 2014 20:55

I think it's important to look at how the American liberal/progressive/radical left's theories about the 'Israel Lobby' being so powerful relates to their conception of struggle being rooted nearly entirely within the spectacle. And of course because they lack a clear class analysis.

To many of that activist sort, struggles are won or lost in the media. Winning a twitter or facebook debate brings your cause just a little closer to final victory. Losing is a real loss. To the subject at hand, if a media personality on your 'side' is successfully branded an anti-Semite for voicing criticism of Israel and therefore permanently shut out of mainstream debate, that is a serious blow to the Palestinian cause. It's almost like if some cable TV gasbag is revealed to have ties to AIPAC after denying it and so loses some credibility, it will somehow directly lead to a weakening of Israel's grip on the territories and give confidence to Palestinian resisters.

That strong emphasis on the critical importance of purely spectacular debate is what I believe ultimately causes many of these activists to start feeling and saying anti-Semitic things without originally coming from a place of anti-Semitic belief. They'll be in denial that they're being anti-Semitic as long as they cling to the spectacle of struggle.

I'll try to illustrate the process with a theoretical example, based on stuff I've seen.

Say you're a small-time radical media personality with a decent social media following and readership on your blog or column and a desire to eventually reach a much wider audience. One day you write a piece strongly critical of an Israeli action in Gaza or the West Bank and go on to say that Israel is an illegal entity that must cease to exist as a Jewish state in order for peace to be reached.

You soon find yourself embroiled in a twitter war with other media personalities who are staunchly pro-Israel and are denouncing you as an anti-Semite. Some of them are affiliated with pro-Israel organizations/lobbies. Remember, this is a crucial struggle for the cause and Palestinians are counting on you to win, according to your beliefs. It seems like media figures are coming out of the woodwork to denounce you; you've never gotten so much attention in your career. Even other people on your 'side,' perhaps more moderate than you, are expressing concern with your choice of words and refuse to defend you.

Under this barrage, naturally you feel you are the victim of a witch-hunt. You're not anti-Jewish, just anti-Israel as a Jewish state. You see a massive apparatus kicking into gear within hours of your column being published, with your name being tarnished all across the internet. You're overwhelmed by it. You feel your cause has no chance against this juggernaut, in such a critical arena. Even some of those on your 'side' and the 'left' generally are denouncing you.

So that's the 'Israel lobby' in your mind. Some massively powerful organization with widespread influence, even in your movement. It prevents any criticism of Israel and is successfully making sure no one challenges Israeli power. And congratulations: from now on you probably really are going to start entertaining anti-Semitic beliefs and voicing them without awareness that they are in fact anti-Semitic. Because it's going to feel completely justified to you.

The only way out of the trap is to realize that the whole media circus you thought was so important is just a spectacular side show. No armies are being lifted up with your victories or being crushed along with your defeats. Sure, these vocal defenders of Israel denouncing you can generate a ton of decibels in the media, but that in no way, shape or form means they are dictating US policy. If it suddenly became counter to the vital interests of the US state to support Israel, these gasbags would be left sputtering as the US dropped Israel like a hot potato.

But an internationalist, working class perspective is necessary to see this. Unfortunately, that perspective is practically non-existent in much of the modern American 'left.'