Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic?

Submitted by proletarian. on May 1, 2016

The Big Questions - Series 9: Episode 15

Nicky Campbell presents the moral, ethical and religious discussion series live from Oasis Academy, Salford. Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic?

Features socialists Moshe Machover and Tony Greenstein.

jondwhite

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No, anti Zionism and anti Semitism are two different concepts. You can be anti Zionist without being anti Semitic.

Auld-bod

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitic are not synonymous.
Being a Zionist and a Jew is not synonymous.
Many Jewish people are not Zionists.
There are a number of Zionists who are/were Christians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Zionism

Major-General Orde Charles Wingate was an interesting example of a Christian, who actively trained the Haganah (a Jewish/Zionist armed group).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orde_Wingate

EDIT
This is interesting on utube:

Noam Chomsky : the historical origins of Christian Zionism

Serge Forward

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No, they're not the same, but hang around anti-zionist circles long enough and it won't be long before you meet an anti-semite. Conversely, not all zionists are anti-palestinian, anti-arab, anti-muslim chauvinists. The progressive zionists are the leftish and liberal wing.

Sleeper

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No gods, No masters.

It's really not rocket science now is it?

Khawaga

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yet another vapid comment by Sleeper.

admin: please address arguments all points rather than insulting individuals

Sleeper

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Or maybe it is difficult for some...

Khawaga

Yet another vapid comment by Sleeper.

Fleur

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No gods, No masters.

So go ahead and explain exactly what you mean by parroting this slogan in a discussion which pretty much boils down to racism.

*Pet peeve: people who think they are actually contributing to a discussion by trotting out some kind of cliché or slogan in lieu of any kind of argument.

Noah Fence

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So, is everyone's favourite newt fancier, Red Ken, an anti Semite or a racist based on his recent comments?

Sleeper

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"Ni dieu ni maître!"

ajjohnstone

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ooops posted on the wrong thread but anyways, might as well repeat the link here

http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2016/04/socialism-v-zionism.html

As i said on the other thread - Zionism required anti-Semitism to flourish and were willing to co-operate with anti-Semites to further their aims.

The title of this thread could easily be "Is Zionism anti-Semitic?"

Sleeper

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

No gods, No masters.

So go ahead and explain exactly what you mean by parroting this slogan in a discussion which pretty much boils down to racism.

*Pet peeve: people who think they are actually contributing to a discussion by trotting out some kind of cliché or slogan in lieu of any kind of argument.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge Forward

No, they're not the same, but hang around anti-zionist circles long enough and it won't be long before you meet an anti-semite. Conversely, not all zionists are anti-palestinian, anti-arab, anti-muslim chauvinists. The progressive zionists are the leftish and liberal wing.

Well, since Arabic people are part of the category "semite," hang around zionist circles long enough and it won't be long before you meet an anti-semite.

syndicalist

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm Jewish but not a Zionist. It when some make stupid remarks about Jewish this and Jewish that which changes the dynamic. Also, not every Israeli Jew is a racist or nationalist. The lines are funny in some places. So a lot of times it's when you get into conversation or discussion you realize if someone is an antisemite, uninformed or really antizionist

Khawaga

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pet peeve: people who think they are actually contributing to a discussion by trotting out some kind of cliché or slogan in lieu of any kind of argument.

That must make Sleeper your nemisis, anti thesis or Bizarro-Fleur, or something.

fidel gastro

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noah Fence

So, is everyone's favourite newt fancier, Red Ken, an anti Semite or a racist based on his recent comments?

Who knows? He might be but I don't think what he actually said was racist. As for Naz Shah, she probably went too far but I'm not sure if it was racist. Also I can't help but think that there was some truth in what she said. Alot of Israeli settlers are originally from America and there is alot of space in America- those are facts. I guess her going too far is saying that all Israelis should be shipped off to America but when you think about it- they did drive the Palestinians off their land and kill alot of them- so is that anti-semitic/racist aswell? Surely it is. It's certainly very messed up.
I would like to see Israelis and Palestinians sharing the land there and living in peace, obviously, but that doesn't look like thats going to happen- certainly if things continue as they are, with the Israeli government refusing to negotiate with the Palestinians and refusing to accept their right to a proper state/share of the land and with the Palestinians' insistence on armed struggle as a way of fighting back, which isn't working and can't possibly work against the overwhelming might of the US backed Israeli military. I'd like to see both sides reject religious fundamentalism, terrorism and right-wing bullshit and nationalism.

Hope everyone had a nice May Day by the way. I notice there is no May Day thread.

Ed

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Well, since Arabic people are part of the category "semite," hang around zionist circles long enough and it won't be long before you meet an anti-semite.

Not sure this is what S. Artesian is doing (and I don't think he's an anti-semite) but whenever I hear this argument it's almost always in the context of minimising or excusing anti-semitism (against Jews). So someone takes issue with supporting anti-semitic anti-Israel groups or anti-semitic language and anti-zionists will say "well, Palestinians are also semites and Israel is anti-Palestinian so they're THE REAL anti-semites".. that's just using semantics to say that anti-Jewish racism isn't important..

And I think that Serge's point about anti-semitism in the anti-zionist movement is kind of true.. not in the goose-stepping skinhead sense but just in the kind of language and arguments that are fairly mainstream within it i.e. the new NUS leaders (who I also DON'T think is an anti-semite) talking about the "Zionist-led media" or when people talk about how US middle-east policy is controlled by the "powerful Israel lobby" as if American policy is somehow working against its own interests by supporting Israel..

That said, anti-Zionism and anti-semitism are NOT the same, even if a lot of Jews do genuinely experience the former as the latter. Re Ken Livingstone: I really don't get what people are getting so huffy about. Apart from awful phrasing about Hitler "going mad" at some point in the early 1940s, I really don't get what's anti-semitic about his comments..

As a last kind of side issue, I was chatting to someone about this yesterday: do Jews count as BME (Black and Minority Ethnic)? Dunno if maybe this needs a separate thread..

Fall Back

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

Not sure this is what S. Artesian is doing (and I don't think he's an anti-semite) but whenever I hear this argument it's almost always in the context of minimising or excusing anti-semitism (against Jews). So someone takes issue with supporting anti-semitic anti-Israel groups or anti-semitic language and anti-zionists will say "well, Palestinians are also semites and Israel is anti-Palestinian so they're THE REAL anti-semites".. that's just using semantics to say that anti-Jewish racism isn't important

100% this, and also it's factually totally wrong. From inception the term antisemitism has always and exclusively meant anti-Jewish prejudice - the root of the term is basically irrelevant.

jef costello

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The root of the term is stupid anyway as it comes from the fact they are descendants of Shem rather than Ham.

ajjohnstone

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm curious to the proposition about Palestinians in their demands for either two-state or one-state.

As Fidel in message #17 suggests the idea that Palestinians can militarily prevail is fantasy.

The two-state is an acceptance of "bantu-stans" - disjointed enclaves of Palestinian-controlled territory that as an independent sovereign nation will simply not be viable.

Israel fully annexed East Jerusalem and now declare Golan Heights as non-returnable. Why not demand the whole West Bank and Gaza Strip as "Greater Israel", as many extremist Zionists insist and instead of a nationalist movement, Palestinians now campaign in a civil rights movement for full recognition as Israelis. Imagine protests of Palestinians demanding to be Israeli citizens, sit-down demonstrations for Israeli passports. How can there be usual counter-arguments be that they will not recognise Israel. Palestinians become de facto Zionists.

How would this impact on world opinion and affect the mainstream media narrative?

Diplomatically it will distance the stance of Iran who maintain they support what the Palestinian seek but are really in a regional struggle for dominance. Hence, the Iranian support for the existence of Hezbollah who declare they are in a fight as a national liberation movement to evict Israeli occupation of the tiny territory of Sheba Farms, a little patch of land scarcely worth the sacrifice of blood and easily ceded. It is a few square miles that Syria says is theirs anyway and not Lebanese.

But it would mean that the estrangement of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere who would have to now struggle for full citizenship in the countries they live in for near-on 50- 70 years.

I'm just raising this as a topic for others to educate me and show all the mistakes in such a view. It is just a talking point.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fall Back

Ed

Not sure this is what S. Artesian is doing (and I don't think he's an anti-semite) but whenever I hear this argument it's almost always in the context of minimising or excusing anti-semitism (against Jews). So someone takes issue with supporting anti-semitic anti-Israel groups or anti-semitic language and anti-zionists will say "well, Palestinians are also semites and Israel is anti-Palestinian so they're THE REAL anti-semites".. that's just using semantics to say that anti-Jewish racism isn't important

100% this, and also it's factually totally wrong. From inception the term antisemitism has always and exclusively meant anti-Jewish prejudice - the root of the term is basically irrelevant.

Yeah, those sort of linguistic ballgames are annoying as shit.

My right wing relatives have told me on more than one occasion that...

1) National socialism - see fascism is the same thing as socialism.
2) I can't be a homophobe, because "phobia" means fear and I'm not afraid of gay people.
3) And that the n-word really just means "ignorant".

syndicalist

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

syndicalist

I'm Jewish but not a Zionist. It when some make stupid remarks about Jewish this and Jewish that which changes the dynamic. Also, not every Israeli Jew is a racist or nationalist. The lines are funny in some places. So a lot of times it's when you get into conversation or discussion you realize if someone is an antisemite, uninformed or really antizionist

I'm curious if the person who downed my reply would like to engage, I'd be happy to go so

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not sure this is what S. Artesian is doing (and I don't think he's an anti-semite) but whenever I hear this argument it's almost always in the context of minimising or excusing anti-semitism (against Jews).

What I'm doing is a) not making any argument b) simply trying to point out the nonsense that says "hang around anti-zionist circles long enough, and you'll run into an anti-semite."

No shit. Hang around anything long enough and you'll run into an anti-semite. Hang around zionist circles long enough and you'll run into anti-semitic pro-zionist... That's where the word games are and are being played.

The issue is, is one-- anti-Jewish-- inherent in, essential to, part of, anti-zionism. And the answer is clearly "no."

There's no moral quandary about being anti-zionist, no matter how desperately Jewish zionists want anti-zionism to be conflated with anti-semitism.

It's a class issue, like being anti-apartheid, being anti-colonialist, being anti-pied-noir, anti-settler states were class issues.

radicalgraffiti

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Not sure this is what S. Artesian is doing (and I don't think he's an anti-semite) but whenever I hear this argument it's almost always in the context of minimising or excusing anti-semitism (against Jews).

What I'm doing is a) not making any argument b) simply trying to point out the nonsense that says "hang around anti-zionist circles long enough, and you'll run into an anti-semite."

No shit. Hang around anything long enough and you'll run into an anti-semite. Hang around zionist circles long enough and you'll run into anti-semitic pro-zionist... That's where the word games are and are being played.

The issue is, is one-- anti-Jewish-- inherent in, essential to, part of, anti-zionism. And the answer is clearly "no."

There's no moral quandary about being anti-zionist, no matter how desperately Jewish zionists want anti-zionism to be conflated with anti-semitism.

It's a class issue, like being anti-apartheid, being anti-colonialist, being anti-pied-noir, anti-settler states were class issues.

theres noticeably more anti-semites in anti-zionism than elsewhere and when anti-semitism by anti zionists is pointed out the general response is defend anti zionism not to confront the anti-semitism

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

theres noticeably more anti-semites in anti-zionism than elsewhere and when anti-semitism by anti zionists is pointed out the general response is defend anti zionism not to confront the anti-semitism

Those are assertions that really requires qualification and quantification. How are you measuring? What are you measuring? Got any fries to go with that shake?

I thought the issue was if opposing the existence of the Zionist state is intrinsically anti-Jewish?

That was the OP, right? Do all agree that there is no anti-semitism inherent in opposing Zionism?

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Zionism is anti-Semitism.

https://libcom.org/library/worldwide-intifada-issue-1-summer-1992-price-50-pence

Auld-bod

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie #27

Please explain.

Serge Forward

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Do all agree that there is no anti-semitism inherent in opposing Zionism?

Depends who's doing the anti-Zionism surely? I'm anti-Zionist much as I'm opposed to all nationalism but I'm suspicious of those with their own nationalist ideas yet who single out Zionism for special treatment. By the way, do you not find it suspicious when people start to racially classify who is and isn't semitic and go on about Arabs being semites too? After all, whatever the etymology of the word semite, 'anti-semitism' is not commonly used to mean anti Jewish and anti arab racism. Also, do you not think that the term 'anti-Zionism' is sometimes just used as a code for anti-jewish?

Ed

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Do all agree that there is no anti-semitism inherent in opposing Zionism?

Yeah, I think it's important to say we all agree on this point: opposing Israel as a settler project is not the same as hating Jews (or even saying Jews can't live in the region).

At the same time, there is a tendency for anti-Zionism to blur into anti-semitism, to use anti-semitic language ('Zionist-led media'), imagery and, let's be honest, to support anti-semitic groups (who else remembers "We are all Hamas"?)..

Given this, I don't think radicalgraffiti's point about anti-Zionist circles having more anti-Semites than most others is that outlandish. Maybe not in the sense of having lots of straight up Jew-haters but in terms of using a lot anti-Semitic motifs, definitely (and obviously in supporting, however 'critically', groups like Hamas and Hezbollah). Moreover, as radicalgraffiti mentioned, if you point any of this out, there is a tendency to defend anti-Zionism rather than confront anti-semitism, often using that argument you mentioned (whether you were 'making' it or not is unimportant here) that 'Arabs are semites too'..

So while i think you're right to say there's no moral quandry in being anti-Zionist per se, there are issues within anti-Zionism that need to be confronted and doing so is also a class issue..

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Depends who's doing the anti-Zionism surely

Then the answer to the original question is "no,"-- if it depends on the "who"-- then it is not intrinsic to the "thing" itself.

I'm suspicious of those with their own nationalist ideas yet who single out Zionism for special treatment.

What exactly does that mean? Are you "suspicious" of Palestinians who "single out" Zionism for special treatment?

By the way, do you not find it suspicious when people start to racially classify who is and isn't semitic and go on about Arabs being semites too?

No. I think it's basically irrelevant. "Suspicion" isn't anything I devote much time to. If you think opposition to the policies, programs, economics, social structure, existence of a particular "settler state" is intrinsically racist vis-a-vis the settlers, then just say so.

Also, do you not think that the term 'anti-Zionism' is sometimes just used as a code for anti-jewish?

I think it's irrelevant what a term is "sometimes" just used for. What matters are the social relations, the material reality, driving a conflict. The social relations, the material reality, behind Zionism are those of dispossession, expulsion, segregation, impoverishment, discrimination. Anti-Zionism originates in the opposition to those conditions.

You might as well be arguing that the Watts Rebellion in the US in 1965 was "suspicious" because of the role the Nation of Islam played and its designation of whites as blue-eyed devils, and because of the anti-Jewish sentiments and actions of some of those in rebellion.

ajjohnstone

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Aren't we anti-Judaism.....anti-Christian, anti-Muslim, anti-Hindu, anti-all religion? We are also anti-theocracies and who can deny that Israel is de facto, like most Middle Eastern countries, a theocratic state rather than a secular democracy it claims to be. We are opposed to all institutionalised ignorance. A plague on all your houses.

As i said previously, Zionism can itself be accused of anti-Semitism, especially if you consider how they so easily label critics of Israeli policy such as Noam Chomsky or Norman Finkelstein as self-hating Jews even Bernie Sanders suffers this invective
(http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/66876/jewish-comedy-legend-jackie-mason-bernie-sanders-self-hating-anti-semite/#rbSlpyVGCjv7xyAa.97)

The specific terms "self-hating Jew" and "Jewish self-hatred" only came into use later, developing from Theodor Herzl's polemical use of the term "anti-Semite of Jewish origin", in the context of his project of political Zionism. The underlying concept gained common currency in this context, "since Zionism was an important part of the vigorous debates that were occurring amongst Jews at the time about anti-Semitism, assimilation and Jewish identity." Herzl appears to have introduced the phrase "anti-Semite of Jewish origin" in his 1896 book, Der Judenstaat (The Jews' State), which launched political Zionism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-hating_Jew

freemind

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Jews are only a people in the same sense as the Poles or Irish are a Catholic people which we all know is Theocratic rubbish.
Zionists are Jewish Nationalists and any Nationalism should be opposedeven one that purports to fight for a 'Jewish Homeland'
The maxim All Zionists are Jews but not all Jews are Zionists 'applies
Isis or Al-Qaida use the same Religious Nationalism with their goal of the caliphate.
Nationalism whether in Zionist or any other guise is another layer of oppression and buffer for capital to stop unity in the working class.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Zionism is a foreign (European) bourgeois institution imposed upon the native Semitic working population. Does that explain Auld-bold, #28?

Zeronowhere

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

freemind

The Jews are only a people in the same sense as the Poles or Irish are a Catholic people which we all know is Theocratic rubbish.

Jews having a racial element does have some grounding in their religion.

Christianity does not generally hold their religion to have a racial element, properly practiced. At least, not in the same manner.

I'm suspicious of those with their own nationalist ideas yet who single out Zionism for special treatment.

Presumably people with different nationalist ideas shouldn't be expected to respect Zionism. In any case, this is generally in response to Israel in particular, which comes with a brief history, as well as Zionism of recent times, which has generally been quite problematic and quite harmonious with the Western nations. In general, though, Zionism isn't merely an undifferentiated 'nationalism,' but a nationalism associated as S. Artesian said with dispossession, and a basis in a past often said to involve significant religious subjugation, often of foreign races, so it's not such as to be treated generally as something which requires exceptional effort for people to oppose.

Then the answer to the original question is "no,"-- if it depends on the "who"-- then it is not intrinsic to the "thing" itself.

Valid. In addition, because 'anti-Semitism' is a sensitive word in Western culture, accusations directed at anti-Zionism along these lines, and then vague attempts to associate them absolutely, are very easily blurred into mere emotional stimulation of some sort or other rather than being as innocuous as they may have seemed.

to use anti-semitic language ('Zionist-led media'), imagery and, let's be honest, to support anti-semitic groups (who else remembers "We are all Hamas"?).

The USA, for instance, were often proud supporters of Israel, and made a lot out of their ties with the nation being 'special.' As such, associations made between their institutions and Zionism were hardly completely unfounded, nor did they necessarily imply racism. Likewise, when it comes to Hamas, support was generally based on their position in the world system and the nature of their action on a political level, and not their platform in any case. This need not imply anti-Semitism, just as it need not have implied a sudden conversion to Islam.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So while i think you're right to say there's no moral quandry in being anti-Zionist per se, there are issues within anti-Zionism that need to be confronted and doing so is also a class issue..

Can you be specific? What are the issues within anti-Zionism that need to be confronted, and are only encountered in anti-Zionism?

At the same time, there is a tendency for anti-Zionism to blur into anti-semitism, to use anti-semitic language ('Zionist-led media'), imagery and,

What about references to "pro-Zionist media"? Clearly that's an objective assessment of the commercial media in the US, isn't it? Major print and broadcast enterprises are unabashedly pro-Zionist, so how does it become "anti-semitic" to identify the media as "pro-Zionist" or even "Zionist-led"?

Does identifying the US government as "pro-Zionist" constitute a tendency to blur the line, and/or constitute a code for anti-semitism?

Yes, we are "anti-religion" and we are anti-anti-Semitism, but we are both based on our opposition to discrimination, bigotry, exploitation, and our opposition to the obscuring of the real conditions that determine that discrimination, bigotry, and exploitation. Zionism is precisely one of those "obscuring" conditions.

I don't thinks there's any "mileage" to be obtained from stating "Oh, of course we oppose Zionism because we oppose any nationalism." That too obscures what Zionism is. It is not just any nationalism. It is not, for example, like Algeria's "national struggle" for separation from France. It is not a national aspiration for "a homeland." It is a settler ideology, no less than that of the Boer "Great Trek" based upon, and serving to preserve, "a master-slave" relationship.

That being said, the limitations, the "cul-de-sac" so to speak with anti-Zionism is just that--the isolation, separation, abstraction of opposition to Israel, of opposition to the Zionist state, from the class-struggle against capitalism locally and globally.

ajjohnstone

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jews having a racial element does have some grounding in their religion.

They also share this identity, at least under UK law, with Sikhism

the United Kingdom, therefore recognize Sikh as a designated ethnicity on their censuses. The American non-profit organization United Sikhs has fought to have Sikh included on the U.S. census as well, arguing that Sikhs "self-identify as an 'ethnic minority' " and believe "that they are more than just a religion"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikh

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandla_v_Dowell-Lee

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anti-Zionism is equally a foreign ideology imposed on the Palestinian working class in order to derail the class struggle. Note the role played by Hamas in reaction to the intifada. Rather than arm the militant proletariat of Palestine/Israel, it armed itself on one hand and attempted to bribe the working class on the other.

Auld-bod

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie #35

Thanks.

fidel gastro

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noah Fence

So, is everyone's favourite newt fancier, Red Ken, an anti Semite or a racist based on his recent comments?

Having read about The Final Solution, I think I'm right in saying that up until the war, the Nazis' official policy was that of forced emigration of the Jews rather than the extermination, although I'm sure there were those in the party all along that believed in their extermination. However, I'm sure that Hitler condemned Zionism in Mein Kampf. Apparently the Lehi, a far-right, Zionist group appealed to Hitler to give them a Jewish state and pledged support to him and the Nazis but my memory of all that isn't great and I haven't read about it for a long time. So perhaps there is some truth in what Livingstone said, personally I don't think it was racist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Solution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_%28group%29

Auld-bod

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This video is interesting:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32941.htm

Red Marriott

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This video is interesting:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32941.htm

An hour-long interview about the book with the author Edwin Black (described in reviews as a Zionist) here;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE2hsaHAEX0

Malva

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This discussion would be greatly helped by considering the essay 'Antisemitism and National Socialism' by Moishe Postone.

Postone argues that Antisemitism is not, as is commonly believed, like other forms of racism and discrimination. Racism usually rests on the belief that the designated Other is in some sense lesser and subordinate. Antisemitism in contrast rests on the belief that the Jews are so powerful that they manage to clandestinely conspire to bring the world to its destruction - manipulating terrible world events such as war, acts of terror, bloody revolutions and financial crises - for their own benefit. Antisemitism is not just a form of discrimination therefore but a pseudo-anti-capitalist world view that scapegoats the effects of abstract domination onto Jews: 'the Jews control the media', 'the Jews cause financial crises', 'the Jews cause war' etc. Just because people replace the word Jews with Israel or Zionists doesn't mean that the logic has changed. It is still scapegoating the world's problems onto some personified Other that is Jewish. This kind of discourse has a history and semantic word games aren't going to hide it.

The obsession among large parts of the left with the idea that Israel somehow is singularly evil among modern nation states for its occupations (what about Turkey's occupation of Cyprus? What about the continued decimation of native communities in the Americas? etc.), that it alone is responsible for the lack of stability in the region (as if there isn't a massive economic collapse in surrounding countries that has nothing to do with Israel but with a structural crisis of capitalism itself), that it is so powerful that it somehow controls US foreign policy (as if the US wouldn't want a powerful military ally in one of the most strategic spots in the world) and even the media is antisemitic.

A person can be - i.e. express or do something - antisemitic even if they don't understand what they are saying in the manner described above and they don't have to be rabid Jew-hating brownshirted skinheads to be antisemitic. Antisemitism is a dangerous political ideology. The hidden threat behind it has always been the annihilation of the Jews and I cannot help but think that when people obsess about getting rid of the one state that is mostly made up of Jewish people, that antisemitism is the root cause.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The obsession among large parts of the left with the idea that Israel somehow is singularly evil among modern nation states for its occupations (what about Turkey's occupation of Cyprus? What about the continued decimation of native communities in the Americas? etc.), that it alone is responsible for the lack of stability in the region (as if there isn't a massive economic collapse in surrounding countries that has nothing to do with Israel but with a structural crisis of capitalism itself), that it is so powerful that it somehow controls US foreign policy (as if the US wouldn't want a powerful military ally in one of the most strategic spots in the world) and even the media is antisemitic.

OK, but who does that? Who argues that Israel is singularly evil among modern nations? Who argues that Israel alone is responsible for the brutality practiced in Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, in Iran, in Syria, in Egypt? Not even James Petras, to my knowledge, claims that.

And again, we need to qualify and quantify these conditions when we start attributing them to "large parts of the left."

Yes, you can be a crackpot anti-Zionist like you can be a crackpot anything; but you can also oppose Zionism for what it is;settler-state capitalism dependent upon the expulsion and impoverishment of an indigenous population.

Tyrion

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have met a number of people, especially at university, who do indeed "single out" Israel in the sense that they are far more negative toward Zionism than Palestinian nationalism or third-world nationalist movements in general and are highly inclined to join Students for Justice in Palestine but less interested in starting a Students for Justice in Saudi Arabia or anything like that for other US clients. However, I don't think that is necessarily because of the Jewish aspect of Israel. A lot of the (perhaps excessive) focus on the State of Israel that I have encountered from American leftists is very related to the very high-profile public relationship that the Israeli government enjoys with the Israeli government--while the US may have a very close relationship with various Gulf states, for example, it's hard to imagine many of those heads of states being invited to address the entire US Congress. And certainly when it comes to PR, there's no government that an American politician is happier to fall in line with than the Israeli government. This isn't to say that selectively anti-natinionalist politics warrant any praise, but as an American with some direct experience with the Palestinian solidarity movement, I do think that it's an error to assume that shitty politics coming from this scene are necessarily rooted in anti-Semitism.

Spikymike

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Malva's post 44 with S.Artesian's and Tyrion's qualifications in their posts 45/46 are starting to make some sense for me here, but on the related issue of the politics in the local UK Labour Party rift and accusations of 'antisemitism' it is worth people reading what finkelstein has to say in that link S.Artesian provided in their post 33 which it struck me is reinforced with this recent news story here:
www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/05/israeli-military-chief-yair-golan-nazi-germany-comparison

Entdinglichung

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the occupation of East Timor 1975-1999 and of Western Sahara since 1975 have failed to mobilise the global left (with the exception of Portugal and Australia respectively Spain and Algeria) in substantial numbers

laborbund

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Yes, you can be a crackpot anti-Zionist like you can be a crackpot anything; but you can also oppose Zionism for what it is;settler-state capitalism dependent upon the expulsion and impoverishment of an indigenous population.

As kind of a side note, I see the point about the Palestinians being indigenous pop up a lot when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being discussed and I really think its misleading and irrelevant. I think it takes for granted the idea that whatever ethnic group has an older historical claim to the land has some sort of collective right to exercise sovereignty over it - the same argument made by the Zionists. Then you get into these really stupid debates about who indeed, does have a better historical claim, with everyone trotting out their own highly politicized histories. For example, a portion of the Palestinian population is descended from Bosnian Muslims who emigrated there in the 19th century when the Ottomans were ruling, and you'll occasionally hear Zionists touting some highly exaggerated version of this in the whole more indigenous than thou debate. You could also argue with much historical weight that much of the Israeli population could be seen as refugees fleeing from antisemitic persecution and oppression rather than settlers, and that every nation-state is founded on the basis of ethnic cleansing at least in concept, and most also in fact.

I guess my point is that the issue isn't which group settled there when. The issue is that the Palestinians are suffering from military occupation and racist oppression. That would be no less important had the Palestinians shown up yesterday. So to me at least, it seems like all the rhetoric about ingenuousness serves only to confuse the issue and takes for granted the fundamentally capitalist/nationalist logic that gave rise to the conflict in the first place.

Zeronowhere

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It might be misleading to portray the general process as a question of 'historical right.' Obviously, major countries, including Israel, were rarely decided on the basis of 'historical right.' This would be merely an excuse for a few countries that value no such thing, some more enthusiastically than others, to take land from some others and shove a proxy in there instead, with the support of world capitalism and hence founded as merely an expression of this in the form of appropriation, one which it has lived up to until this day. In most situations this would be an act of war, as indeed most claims of the sort are, but such countries as were displaced, and reacted with annoyance rather than submitting, as may be expected, to the world order of the time, are also generally in the process neglected or trodden underfoot.

These were, of course, people of a certain religion and possibly race, so in that sense claims of racism in that direction being a part of the Israeli state from early on are not unfounded. Unless they presumably assumed that that was totally how things worked, and it was usual for people due to the backing of the USA to throw people out of spaces to put different countries in there instead, while of course claims to a country have generally lead to civil wars, wars with Rome and bloodshed. With the more 'enlightened' UN, with a Dalai Lama as its animal mascot, you of course just end up with general displacement, and a frail, slightly muffled resistance, due to attempts to remain within an order that did not favour their struggle. A revolution would only remove these obstacles, and would not generally remove that struggle itself, given that it is not centrally concerned with such specifics.

That would be no less important had the Palestinians shown up yesterday.

This seems fairly implausible. Israel was the way it was because of its history, and its dynamic with such states was a result of this. If it acts like an occupation, it is perhaps in part because it was from the beginning a foreign imposition, and if it acts mechanical, perhaps because it was an unacknowledged form of belligerence, which was merely rebranded in the unacknowledged 'War on Iraq,' in which connection in between resistance to such wars and similar attacks in the Middle East, would it perhaps be a bit suspect if resistance to Israel did not come up? It would then be strange if you were to condemn either resistance to these wars, or to Israel, not for not going far enough, but instead for existing at all. In any case, Israel's policy was not, as it was often represented, merely a result of free will - as if it were redeemable and merely had to change its mind -, but rather a result of necessity given their historical track, which is in a sense quite obvious in their case. This was in a sense merely a dilution, and not an objection to Israel in any historical sense, or as such, but merely to specific actions, which however was just co-opting anti-Israeli sentiment which was likely to be more systematic generally.

If someone was anti-American, they were quite likely to be anti-Israeli without needing the further stimulation of anti-Semitism. America, of course, was closer to the centre of world capitalism than other countries, which is a real distinction between the countries - which are not merely abstractions to be conceptually critiqued - and hence anti-Americanism was generally justified. The general problem with it was merely that it was not serious, or did not actually have any fundamental problem with America in terms of its place on the world scene, or indeed with Americans - only the 'bad' ones, which could be said of any country - and in general reduced the dislike to a merely aesthetic one rather than a serious condemnation. Such aesthetic forms were merely co-option, though. People had a problem with 'America,' apparently, but not really in any overall sense, just minor quirks - which would generally indicate that they liked it, and also considered themselves a voting citizen, even if they were British, which is perhaps not the point of such sentiments. Generally speaking, though, the point of religious wars was merely to seize land on behalf of one religion, driving the other out. That people disapprove of such attempts at religious war against, incidentally, the Islamic and Arabic states, need not then come as such a surprise.

Reddebrek

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Zeronowhere

Jews having a racial element does have some grounding in their religion.

They actually don't mate, sure their bible talks about a chosen people and a shared lineage etc, but in reality the Jewish community is made up of a very diverse group of ethnicities and cultures. Many of which had their own languages unknown to any of the others. The Jewishness is in the blood line today is usually pushed by racist Jews(and anti semites) who don't want to be associated with other Jews. Like the poor treatment of African Jews in Israel.

http://www.irinnews.org/report/94819/tribulations-being-ethiopian-jew

Besides religion is usually used interchangeable with other identifiers when there's hostility between different communities. In Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland you still vicious bigotry about Catholics and Protestants which have blatantly racist context. And the European right having been crowing about the dangers of the "Muslim birth rate" even though religions don't have birth rates because its a social relationship you can change or opt out of. Its just an excuse to other someone.

Entdinglichung

the occupation of East Timor 1975-1999 and of Western Sahara since 1975 have failed to mobilise the global left (with the exception of Portugal and Australia respectively Spain and Algeria) in substantial numbers

That's true but Apartheid South Africa did, and in the 19th century most leftist groups in Europe at least paid special attention to Russian control of Poland. And I think we're seeing a resurgence in global sympathy with the Kurds right now.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The issue is that the Palestinians are suffering from military occupation and racist oppression. That would be no less important had the Palestinians shown up yesterday. So to me at least, it seems like all the rhetoric about ingenuousness serves only to confuse the issue and takes for granted the fundamentally capitalist/nationalist logic that gave rise to the conflict in the first place.

Is this the real issue? Are you not yourself falling into the same nationalist (ie non-classist) logic? Does the Palestinian capitalist suffer 'from military occupation' or is he the beneficiary? The Israeli state is not the only military occupier of the Occupied Territories, now Palestinian Territories. There is already a two state solution but it is only a solution for one class, the bourgeoisie.

Auld-bod

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie #52

I see your logic that situations should be seen through a class analysis, however to recognize that a group of people who identify as Palestinians are living under occupation is simply to describe what is happening. To say that the proposed solution plays into the hands of the Palestinian ruling class is true, though it is hard to think of any situation in the world where the rich do not profit or avoid the consequences of unfolding events. Example: the UK welcomes the rich, Cameron wishes to roll out the red carpet for them, but if you’re poor get back, get back.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No argument with that, Auld-bold. By the same logic then, if you and me identify ourselves as 'British', we are also living under occupation by the British State, which itself is a body of the ruling class/the rich/bourgeoisie. Yet, only the working class has this sense of being under an occupying power. The bourgeois feels free.

Malva

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If someone was anti-American, they were quite likely to be anti-Israeli without needing the further stimulation of anti-Semitism.

The historian Tony Judt argues that the development of European anti-Americanism in the post-war period was in part fuelled by the notion that it was the new seat of Jewish power in the world. I also think that anti-Americanism, even when it is in no way fuelled by Antisemitism (which these days is probably the case for most people in Europe, I hope anyway!), is reductive and also seeks to personalise and scapegoat abstract domination onto the actions of a single 'people' and their state.

Alf

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This article argues that the left wing of capital, like the right, is vulnerable to antisemitism, because (a) it can't grasp capital as a social relation and thus tends towards personalisation and (b) its opposition to Zionism is based on support for rival nationalisms, which are no less dependent on imperialist backing, and whose antisemitism has become increasingly overt. As the SWP put it: "We are all Hizbollah", which means "we all" support the project of throwing the Jews into the sea.

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201605/13931/labour-left-and-jewish-problem

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf, thanks for reminding us via the article you reference why this topic is being discussed at this time, on this forum. It is of purely parochial interest.

Zeronowhere

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Obviously, the 'we are all' slogan form needn't mean direct identity, or transformation. This would have been detrimental to Hezbollah, for one thing. It implies support or sympathy with something in terms of their position on the world stage, or with their suffering or persecution, rather than implying literal identification with the stances of that group, in which they were in any case not expected to be entirely clean.

In any case, the 'left wing of capital' is unlikely to persecute personifications of capital systematically, for that reason, which would mean that they opposed capitalism. This would generally disqualify them from being qualified as such. The left wing of capital is not generally associated with stoking such hatred. In addition, if anti-Semitism would also tend to imply some form of tacit opposition to capitalism, then it is being portrayed positively, and would only appear as the worst form of racism and so on to apologists of this system. The 'left wing of capital' generally implies still belonging clearly and being alright with that system - as with much of the 1930s Social Democrats of Germany - not merely having a limited socialist impulse which is not fully realised or expressed, which is still after socialist, and was also more honest.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As kind of a side note, I see the point about the Palestinians being indigenous pop up a lot when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being discussed and I really think its misleading and irrelevant.

It is not misleading and irrelevant. It is the real history of the creation of Israel. It a)counters the mythology of a "promised land" belonging historically to Judaism and b) the "poor little Israel" victim of Arab aggression ideology.

I think it takes for granted the idea that whatever ethnic group has an older historical claim to the land has some sort of collective right to exercise sovereignty over it - the same argument made by the Zionists.

Nonsense. Nobody's claiming anything about sovereignty-- rather it provides an accurate explanation of the real historical development of the struggle.

For example, a portion of the Palestinian population is descended from Bosnian Muslims who emigrated there in the 19th century when the Ottomans were ruling, and you'll occasionally hear Zionists touting some highly exaggerated version of this in the whole more indigenous than thou debate.

Again the issue has nothing to do with "prior rights"-- but the expulsion of a sector of the population living in the territory prior to or at the time of a political transformation.

You could also argue with much historical weight that much of the Israeli population could be seen as refugees fleeing from antisemitic persecution and oppression rather than settlers, and that every nation-state is founded on the basis of ethnic cleansing at least in concept, and most also in fact.

No doubt you could see it that way. And you could see the Boers as refugees from British imperialism. So what? Doesn't change the fact that the Boers imposed a "master slave" relation ship upon Africans, and that Israel is a settler state. No, not all nation-states are settler states, but they are all part of the international structure of capitalism. And that's exactly the point to be made about Israel. The settler-state notion is the historically accurate depiction of its terms of origin.

I guess my point is that the issue isn't which group settled there when. The issue is that the Palestinians are suffering from military occupation and racist oppression. That would be no less important had the Palestinians shown up yesterday. So to me at least, it seems like all the rhetoric about ingenuousness serves only to confuse the issue and takes for granted the fundamentally capitalist/nationalist logic that gave rise to the conflict in the first place.

Right, the issues are which "group" oppresses, and which "group" is the oppressed and the specific origins of that relationship

ingenuous is not indigenous.

laborbund

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Artesian, thanks for pointing out my typo.

S. Artesian

It is not misleading and irrelevant. It is the real history of the creation of Israel. It a)counters the mythology of a "promised land" belonging historically to Judaism and b) the "poor little Israel" victim of Arab aggression ideology...
Nobody's claiming anything about sovereignty-- rather it provides an accurate explanation of the real historical development of the struggle.

I think you're engaging in exactly the type of misleading and irrelevant discussion I was talking about here. a) Who cares what religious claims Judaism makes to the land, mythological or not? If the excuse for ethnic cleansing is a religious/nationalist historical claim making a counter-claim only validates nationalism and provokes more argumentation within a nationalist framework. I think all of that is really useless from a communist perspective. b) I don't think pointing out the irrelevance of competing nationalist claims lends any sympathy to Israel where the Arab-Israeli wars are concerned. Or the other side for that matter. Rather, I think it points out the absurdity of nationalism and the cynical game of international relations which produces such wars.

S. Artesian

Again the issue has nothing to do with "prior rights"-- but the expulsion of a sector of the population living in the territory prior to or at the time of a political transformation.

We agree then? I thought this was my point? Saying the Palestinians were living in the territory prior to or at the time of a political transformation that led to their expulsion is historically accurate and helps us understand the present situation. However, the word "indigenous" has always been connected to legitimating claims of "prior rights" the way I've heard it used in political discussions - especially discussions about Israel.

S. Artesian

And you could see the Boers as refugees from British imperialism. So what? Doesn't change the fact that the Boers imposed a "master slave" relation ship upon Africans, and that Israel is a settler state. No, not all nation-states are settler states, but they are all part of the international structure of capitalism. And that's exactly the point to be made about Israel. The settler-state notion is the historically accurate depiction of its terms of origin.

Right, the issues are which "group" oppresses, and which "group" is the oppressed and the specific origins of that relationship

I didn't say that every nation-state is a settler state, I said that "every nation-state is founded on the basis of ethnic cleansing at least in concept, and most also in fact," and I'll stand by that. Equating the oppression of Jews in Europe and the Middle East to the conflict between the Boers and the British Empire is a gross distortion. I very much doubt Zionism ever would have become a viable project without the massive population increase of Jews fleeing from Nazism and the post-WWII European pogroms, or without the addition of so many Arab Jews who were forcibly expelled from their resident countries (whose descendants make up the majority of Israeli Jews today). I also doubt Zionism would have received so much support from the Jewish population if not for the holocaust and its aftermath - after all, before the holocaust the vast majority preferred immigration to the US.

Yes, Israel is a setter-state, but trivializing antisemitism and its role in the creation of Israel only obfuscates the specific origins of the oppressive relationship the Israelis now have the the Palestinians. I see this a lot when hardcore anti-zionists activists in the US are asked to consider the role of antisemitism in the creation of Israel and when they're confronted with concerns about their own antisemitism or their toleration of it within anti-zionist activism: trivialize it, claim its irrelevant, deny its existence. I guess they think that allowing for consideration of antisemitism's role would somehow detract from sympathy for the Palestinians? It shouldn't.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

...the oppressive relationship the Israelis now have with the Palestinians.

laborbund

Do Israelis have an oppressive relationship with Palestinians? When I worked in Israel/Palestine alongside Israelis and foreigners like myself, we had NO relationship with Palestinian workers at all. A good example was when I was working the tomato picking machines in the fields. The machine I worked on would work the same field as a machine manned by Palestinian workers but there was never any opportunity for fraternisation and we were certainly not oppressing anyone. We were all equally oppressed by the heat, the grime and the monotony.

laborbund

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Point taken, Schmoopie. It would have been more precise of me to say that Israelis and Palestinians have an unequal relationship to the Israeli state and capital, and that this inequality favors Israelis, exploitation of Israeli workers notwithstanding, and is oppressive to Palestinians. I'm not surprised you were kept separate from Palestinian workers. I wonder if they were paid the same wage, though.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wrong never lies in unequal rights; it lies in the assertion of “equal” rights...

You are right to say that there is unequal recompense between domestic Israeli workers and migrant labour (foreign and Palestinian). This is applicable to all countries. It is one way in which capital divides and rules, if we allow it to.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

laborbund

I don't think pointing out the irrelevance of competing nationalist claims lends any sympathy to Israel where the Arab-Israeli wars are concerned. Or the other side for that matter. Rather, I think it points out the absurdity of nationalism and the cynical game of international relations which produces such wars.

I think "competing nationalist claims" are indeed irrelevant, but pointing out that the Zionist state required, and requires, expulsion and dispossession of people resident in a territory, and resident prior to Zionist incursion is not making a competing nationalist claim.

I said that "every nation-state is founded on the basis of ethnic cleansing at least in concept, and most also in fact," and I'll stand by that.

Different argument for a different thread, but offhand, that's just not accurate. Not all "nation-states" are based on "ethnic cleansing."
Sometimes the nation state itself is founded on an end to ethnic cleansing, and the break up of that state is based on ethnic cleansing.

We agree then? I thought this was my point? Saying the Palestinians were living in the territory prior to or at the time of a political transformation that led to their expulsion is historically accurate and helps us understand the present situation. However, the word "indigenous" has always been connected to legitimating claims of "prior rights" the way I've heard it used in political discussions - especially discussions about Israel.

Well, okay. Indigenous means "pertaining to the native inhabitants of a region" or "born in or native to" a territory. That some of the people expelled and dispossessed were immigrants doesn't change the fact that the indigenous population expelled. But yeah, non-indigenous Moslems were also expelled, and their property aggrandized.

Equating the oppression of Jews in Europe and the Middle East to the conflict between the Boers and the British Empire is a gross distortion. I very much doubt Zionism ever would have become a viable project without the massive population increase of Jews fleeing from Nazism and the post-WWII European pogroms, or without the addition of so many Arab Jews who were forcibly expelled from their resident countries (whose descendants make up the majority of Israeli Jews today). I also doubt Zionism would have received so much support from the Jewish population if not for the holocaust and its aftermath - after all, before the holocaust the vast majority preferred immigration to the US.

First off, while there certainly was discrimination against Jews in the Middle East, and Persia, and the former Ottoman Empire, it hardly measures up to that practiced in Europe. Zionism is a European project, first and foremost, or Anglo-European or Anglo-American-European. Jews living in Arab countries, and in portions of the former Ottoman empire were not expelled until after the formation of Israel.

The growth of the Sephardic Jewish population in Israel takes place over the last 40 years. Zionism was, and remains, a European product.

I don't know what post-WW2 European pogroms you are talking about? Did you mean WW1?

, but trivializing antisemitism and its role in the creation of Israel only obfuscates

Nobody's trivializing anti-semitism, but explaining Zionism by anti-semitism misses the point. The oppressed people aren't the Zionists,the oppressed people are those expelled, dispossessed, and subjugated by the Zionists-- those who experience Zionism as in fact the indigenous African people experience the Boers.

As for this:

Do Israelis have an oppressive relationship with Palestinians? When I worked in Israel/Palestine alongside Israelis and foreigners like myself, we had NO relationship with Palestinian workers at all. A good example was when I was working the tomato picking machines in the fields. The machine I worked on would work the same field as a machine manned by Palestinian workers but there was never any opportunity for fraternisation and we were certainly not oppressing anyone. We were all equally oppressed by the heat, the grime and the monotony.

Well, Schmoop, those Israelis you worked beside are subject to and participate in the IDF, and the IDF most assuredly has an oppressive relationship with the Palestinians, I'd say yeah, just like the white South Africans had an oppressive relationship with black Africans.

laborbund

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Again, if all of the people expelled were immigrants would it be a fundamentally different matter? I really think we should take the position that ethnic cleansing is unjustifiable, regardless of the circumstances under which it takes place. And just for clarity, it wasn't just Palestinian Muslims who were expelled in '48. There was also a sizable population of Palestinian Christians and a few minority religions.

Here are the pogroms I was talking about, some of which occurred in the Arab world as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogrom#After_World_War_II

You have been trivializing antisemitism throughout this thread by claiming its irrelevant to the discussion, comparing Jews to Boers, and engaging in semantic gymnastics to redefine the word itself. I'm not trying to attack your character or good faith, but I really do feel that many of your comments on this thread have been trivializing and I hope you'll give that some honest consideration.

I think trying to explain Zionism without reference to antisemitism is fundamentally intellectually dishonest, and its probably an important reason why contemporary anti-Zionist discourse is saturated with antisemitic stereotypes, conspiracy theories, imagery, etc. The antisemitism of the 19th century created the Zionist movement and the antisemitism of the 20th century made Zionist ambitions a practical possibility. Antisemitism has also sustained Zionism by furnishing Israel with new waves of Jewish immigrants over the decades. When Zionism is explained in this way it becomes a teachable moment: you can't get nationally liberated; nationalism isn't liberating. Especially when one considers that a huge part of early Zionism was labor Zionism, and that it entertained various fantasies of building a socialist (using the word very loosely) state without expulsion (including ideas about integrating with Arab culture), it becomes all the more instructive that the Israel we ultimately ended up with is an oppressive capitalist nation-state, forcing the Palestinians to live under military occupation, and increasingly authoritarian and theocratic internally.

I'm going to take a break from this thread, at least for a couple of days.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Again, if all of the people expelled were immigrants would it be a fundamentally different matter? I really think we should take the position that ethnic cleansing is unjustifiable, regardless of the circumstances under which it takes place. And just for clarity, it wasn't just Palestinian Muslims who were expelled in '48. There was also a sizable population of Palestinian Christians and a few minority religions.

Again, what's your point? I'm not making any claims for a "competing" nationalism. I'm stating that the Zionist project was based on the expulsion and dispossession of a population that was resident prior to 1948, and 1917; and that Zionism required that expulsion, and preserves itself through continued dispossession against Arab and Moslem populations in the occupied territories.

Is that an "antisemitic" statement? Is that trivializing anti-semitism? Or is it historically accurate?

The wiki-article refers to 1, a single, incident in the Arab world post WW2; like I said that while discrimination certainly existed against Jews in the former Ottoman empire, it was nothing like what was experienced in Europe. Other attacks certainly occurred during the 1947-1948 violence against the Palestinians, and was stoked further by continued Israeli aggression, including its attack with the UK and France on Egypt in 1956.

You have been trivializing antisemitism throughout this thread by claiming its irrelevant to the discussion, comparing Jews to Boers, and engaging in semantic gymnastics to redefine the word itself. I'm not trying to attack your character or good faith, but I really do feel that many of your comments on this thread have been trivializing and I hope you'll give that some honest consideration.

Ah, I've been "trivializing" anti-semitism... how? Not by claiming it's irrelevant. I have argued solely that there is such a thing as anti-Zionism without anti-semitism, and that I don't know very many people who think Israel is singularly evil, or is responsible for all the bad things in the world (I'm still blaming Nixon for all those things). That's all I've argued.

Nice attempt to fog the issues, laborbund, and equate Zionism with Judaism by stating that I've been "trivializing anti-semitism by comparing Jews to Boers"... but where have I ever compared Jews to Boers? Nowhere. I guess only those whose reading comprehension is a bit better than yours will realize I compared Zionists to Boers, and that's more than a technical distinction.

The fact that you deliberately ignore that distinction, that class distinction, makes it clear that besides being the one engaging in semantic gymnastics, you're willing to go to some length to distort and obscure the real issues.

Your claims that anti-Zionist discourse is "saturated" with anti-semitism requires, as the other and previous claims have required, a bit of qualification and quantification. Saturated? Not fucking hardly. There are significant anti-Zionist sources which are not the least bit anti-semitic-- Ilan Pappe and Finkelstein come to mind first. Others have mentioned Chomsky, but I haven't read his stuff so I don't know.

I do question the good faith and character of those who so deliberately obscure and distort arguments so that they can claim "anti Zionism is saturated with anti-semitism." I do question the good faith and character of those who conflate Jews with Zionists.

Oh sure, the heart of Zionism was "labor zionism." Right, that was the ideological cover. In the 19th century, Boers had their fundamentalist Christianity serving their particular form of settler-capitalism; in the 20th century, when social democracy was the "cover" for capitalist recuperation, "kibbutz socialism" is the ideological equivalent of the Boers ultra-Christianity. Sure thing, and like "labor Zionism" and "kibbutz socialism" Israel is a "democracy."

Did anti-semitism feed Zionism? Of course. I said nothing to indicate I don't think anti-semitism stoked Zionism, just as white racism in the US stoked the NOI, and various black nationalist movements. Doesn't change anything about the social relations between white racists and African-Americans; or the Zionists and the Palestinians.

The question was if anti-Zionist is inherently anti-semitic. I presume you think it is, since you also believe, without being able to quantify or qualify it that "anti-Zionist discourse is "saturated" with antisemitism.

BTW, exactly WTF does that mean? "Saturated"?

Yeah, take a fucking break, and when you come back try and keep in mind that you probably should avoid conflating Jews with Zionists.

Spikymike

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anti-Zionism cannot logically be considered inherently anti-Semitic but I took 'aborbunds' claim that ''contemporary anti-Zionist discourse is saturated with anti-Semitism' even if 'saturated' might be exaggerated terminology, to refer to the broader experience of anti-Zionism across the full Left/Right political spectrum and I don't think quoting the admireable Finkelstein or Chomsky is much evidence in itself against that claim. Additionally it strikes me that if 'labour Zionism and kibutz socialism' ended up as 'ideological cover' (and moreover a practical means of the Israel states territorial expansion) then they were not intentionally perceived that way by their proponents and are not a direct comparison with the Boars Christian ideology. Is the anti-Semitism of many anti-Zionists not perhaps also related to the connections drawn by Moishe Postone in Malvas post No44? Clearly there are some 'overlapping arguments' being played out in this discussion and I'm still trying to untangle these.

Auld-bod

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spikymike #67

That's a good post.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is the anti-Semitism of many anti-Zionists not perhaps also related to the connections drawn by Moishe Postone in Malvas post No44?

That (^) requires empirical analysis not theoretical speculation. Claiming that "anti-Zionist discourse is saturated with anti-semitism" assumes as fact precisely what has yet to be established.

then they were not intentionally perceived that way by their proponents and are not a direct comparison with the Boars Christian ideology.

It does not matter how the proponents of Zionism perceived, rationalized, explained, justified, Zionism. It matters what Zionism actually is; and that "is" that existence is made manifest in the expulsion and dispossession of the population, indigenous/non-indigenous that does not "fit into" the needs of Zionism.

Mis-perception, so to speak, is the bread and butter of capitalist ideology-- history abounds with examples-- "white man's burden" "civilizing missions" "war to preseve democracy" "laissez-faire." Ignorance, and bullshit, are fundamental to property.

The fact that laborbund claims (more than once) that I've asserted "Jews are Boers" rather than "Zionists are Boers" really says all we need to know about "saturation." He presumes anti-Zionism is in fact anti-Jew.

Short version: deal with the fucking facts.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meanwhile, of course, it would be nice if Ed could provide some development, clarification, and examples that could further our understanding of this:

there are issues within anti-Zionism that need to be confronted and doing so is also a class issue..

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't know how relevant this is but the older generation of Jews that I knew always refered to the State of Israel (and the Occupied Territories) as "Palestine" wisely giving no recognition to the newly founded divisive entity. It was viewed as a country to be avoided like the plague as a place of residence. What Jew would willingly join the armed forces of any nation? Only a mashuganah.

Ed

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Meanwhile, of course, it would be nice if Ed could provide some development, clarification, and examples that could further our understanding of this:

there are issues within anti-Zionism that need to be confronted and doing so is also a class issue..

Yeah, I've been meaning to come back to it but have had no time basically.. short version is that I agree with laborbund's view that you're trivialising anti-semitism within the anti-Zionist movement by saying it's just down to a few cranks that you get anywhere.. this isn't true, for instace, it's really common to see people arguing that it's Israel and 'the powerful Israel lobby' in America that forces the US to support it. That is a classic anti-semitic trope that the Jews are bending world powers to do their bidding (as if America has no interest in having a powerful ally in the Middle-East!), the only thing that's changed is that 'Jews' is replaced by 'Zionists' or 'Israel'.

Similarly, George Galloway's comments that they "don't even want Israeli tourists in Bradford" is a blatantly racist comment, not by some fringe figure but by arguably one of the most central figures of anti-Zionism in Britain.

Equally, the slogans "We are all Hamas" and "We are all Hezbollah", which again were mainstream on British pro-Palestine demos, support anti-semitic organisations. Zeronowhere says it's support for a group with regards to its position in a world system of international relations rather than support for anti-semitism but that's little solace to any Jews or Israelis on those demos. I mean, fuck sake, 'We are all Palestinian' gets the same point across without any suggestion of support for batshit Islamist anti-semites! So why specifically single out Hamas for support? It can only be because you don't think their anti-semitism is particularly important.

So when Zeronowhere (who is probably NOT an anti-semite) says 'well, it's not really anti-semitism', he's still trivialising anti-semitism by saying it's not as important as support for groups opposing Israel. And personally, I think that kind of equivocation is dangerous as while it has basically fuck all effect whether Westerners sloganeer "We are all Hamas" on what happens in Israel/Palestine it does have an effect on how acceptable people think anti-semitism generally and so opens the door for anti-semitic acts towards Jews in the West (and I'm thinking of how many anti-semitic incidents are motivated by pro-Palestine sympathy).

I 100% agree with you that anti-Zionism is a class issue, that Israel must be opposed as a settler state etc. But fighting anti-semitism is also a class issue. And it doesn't help the fight against anti-semitism to pretend that it's not an all-too prevalent presence in the anti-zionist movement. I'm all for a class position on Zionism but support for anti-semitic groups surely isn't it?

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with laborbund's view that you're trivialising anti-semitism within the anti-Zionist movement by saying it's just down to a few cranks that you get anywhere..

Of course, that's not what I said; I never said it was down to a few cranks that you get anywhere. What I said was "hang out anywhere long enough and you'll run into an anti-semite;" and that there are wacko anti-Zionists that are anti-semites, just as there are wackos anywhere. I said both as a challenge to those who state, without qualifying and/or quantifying, that anti-semitism is prevalent, all too prevalent, in, or anti-semitism saturates the anti-Zionist movement.

What you've produced is a "guilt by association" that claims that those who identify with Hamas' or Hezbollah's resistance to Israeli military attacks are somehow associating themselves with anti-semitism, and doing so, if not consciously, at least sub-consciously.

I think that's bullshit. If I defend the Watts rebellion against the attacks of the LAPD; if I defend the Nation of Islam from the military-style assault on its mosque conducted by the LAPD and other state forces during the Watts rebellion, I am not supporting or endorsing anti-semitism; despite the NOI's own anti-Jewish statements; despite the fact that the Watts rebels made no bones about their antipathy for the Jewish merchants in the neighborhood.

Moreover, if your criticism of support for Hamas or Hezbollah is based on their anti-Jewish pronouncements-- well you might want to reexamine that as the criticism itself misses the class issues-- namely that Hamas supports Palestinian capitalism, as stunted as it is in Gaza, that Hamas wants to usurp Abbas' PLA role as the wannabe Palestinian Kuomintang; that Hezbollah is quite at home with Mullah capitalism and the suppression of workers' struggles. That's what the criticism of Hezbollah and Hamas should focus on-- their pro-capitalist actions. The conflating by each/both of anti-Zionism with anti-semitism is to obscure that orientation; and muzzle those who would raise a criticism.

it's really common to see people arguing that it's Israel and 'the powerful Israel lobby' in America that forces the US to support it. That is a classic anti-semitic trope that the Jews are bending world powers to do their bidding

Made a bit more complicated by the fact, of course, that there really is a powerful Israeli lobby. It really exists. I does not make the US do anything it doesn't want to do, wouldn't do on its own, but it certainly exists, certainly organizes drives against those who oppose Zionism; is active in suppressing anti-Zionist academics, politicians, etc.

A powerful pro-Israel lobby exists. Acknowledging its existence is not anti-semitism. It's a fact. Even arguing that it exerts strong influence isn't anti-semitism. It's a fact. Arguing that it mobilizes against those who criticize Zionism isn't anti-semitism. It's a fact. And pointing out that it smears those who oppose Israel and its policies as anti-semitic, isn't anti-semitism. It's a recognition of reality.

So you want to criticize those who say there is a powerful pro-Israel lobby as anti-semitic? And the people against whom you are making such an accusation, they're supposed to think that YOU are not supporting exactly that pro-Israel lobby? YOU are not subconsciously feeding into the pro-Israel lobby's conflation of anti-zionism with anti-semitism?

So Cynthia McKinney who is quite explicit in her claim that AIPAC pretty much owns the US Congress, she's anti-semitic? And she can't be judged on her record regarding African-American struggles, labor struggles, opposition to the war in Iraq, opposition to threats against Iran, etc? Because she's supposedly using her hostility to AIPAC as a coded message of anti-semitism? So we judge her on that, rather than what she has done and how it relates to class struggle, right?

I 100% agree with you that anti-Zionism is a class issue, that Israel must be opposed as a settler state etc. But fighting anti-semitism is also a class issue. And it doesn't help the fight against anti-semitism to pretend that it's not an all-too prevalent presence in the anti-zionist movement. I'm all for a class position on Zionism but support for anti-semitic groups surely isn't it?

Yes, I agree fighting anti-semitism is a class issue. You have yet to establish that anti-semitism is "all-too prevalent" in anti-Zionism. .

Alf

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with much of what ed has written in his last couple of posts. I am not clear about the implications of what Artesian is saying. The Trotskyists and other leftists generally use this notion of a "settler state" to reinforce the argument that Israel - as opposed to other states - is not legitimate, that it has "no right to exist", and needs to be replaced with something that is legitimate even if not yet a "workers' state", such as a "democratic secular state of Palestine" or "two state solution". This is a perspective that communists who recognise that all bourgeois states need to be dismantled cannot identify with. I am not ascribing this view to Artesian, but it would help if he spelled out more clearly what the political implications of his analysis are.

For me, communists are obviously opposed to fascism but they are not anti-fascists, because the latter term has become inseparable from the formation of fronts with the bourgeoisie. I think the notion of anti-Zionism has come to have a very similar significance.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

I agree with much of what ed has written in his last couple of posts. I am not clear about the implications of what Artesian is saying. The Trotskyists and other leftists generally use this notion of a "settler state" to reinforce the argument that Israel - as opposed to other states - is not legitimate, that it has "no right to exist", and needs to be replaced with something that is legitimate even if not yet a "workers' state", such as a "democratic secular state of Palestine" or "two state solution". This is a perspective that communists who recognise that all bourgeois states need to be dismantled cannot identify with. I am not ascribing this view to Artesian, but it would help if he spelled out more clearly what the political implications of his analysis are.

For me, communists are obviously opposed to fascism but they are not anti-fascists, because the latter term has become inseparable from the formation of fronts with the bourgeoisie. I think the notion of anti-Zionism has come to have a very similar significance.

Exactly what do you agree with? It would be helpful if you spell it out.

As for "settler state," I don't know how or why Trotskyists use the term. Nor do I think it matters whether or not Israel is "legitimate." I'm not talking legal-ism. "Settler state" means quite simply a capitalist state founded, like the US for example, by settlers-- requiring the expulsion, dispossession and/or elimination, extermination, suppression, subjugation, repression etc etc etc-- of an already existing population.

The abolition of the settler state, requires the abolition of its capitalism, which requires a workers revolution, an anti-capitalist, working class based, socialist opposition to Zionism, and to Hamas, Hezbollah, and their sponsors. That's not the "implication" of my position. It's the explication.

I have no interest in a "two state solution," nor do I advocate single-issue "anti-Zionism." Such single issue-ism is, as I've pointed out, a cul-de-sac. You can go back and read where I've said that.

What I object to is the notion that somehow the "left" because of, or through its opposition to Zionism, is somehow tainted by, saturated with, compromised by anti-semitism.

As this discussion has rolled out, it has, IMO, become very clear that despite the statements by some that anti-Zionism is not anti-Jewish, that same some regards the necessity to oppose and combat anti-semitism as a "greater" priority, than recognizing Zionism for what it truly is-- a settler-capitalist formation.

Hence we get the "criticism" of Hamas and Hezbollah as "anti-semitic" rather than as class-collaborationist, pro-capitalist amalgams.

I have spelled this out explicitly in previous posts.

So it would be great if you or Ed or anybody spelled out the implications of your "concerns." Let me use an example from history:

Do you think that somehow the revolt in Watts, and the defense of that revolt, is somehow compromised, is less rooted in exploitation and racism, because of the explicit anti-semitic statements and actions of some of those in revolt? Do you think that defense of the NOI mosque in Watts from the military assault was any less obligatory for all socialists because of the explicit anti-semitism of the NOI?

I think the revolt is not compromised, that the anti-semitism is indicative of a movement, revolt, struggle that has not yet recognized the class basis of its origin, and the class basis for its advancement, and is also a result, in major part, of a retreat on the part of the working class as a whole; a retreat based on repression of class-wide organization. The revolt in Watts quite clearly developed the way it did because of the suppression and breaking up of interracial class based organizations during the McCarthy and post-McCarthy era.

Ed

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

I never said it was down to a few cranks that you get anywhere. What I said was "hang out anywhere long enough and you'll run into an anti-semite;" and that there are wacko anti-Zionists that are anti-semites, just as there are wackos anywhere. I said both as a challenge to those who state, without qualifying and/or quantifying, that anti-semitism is prevalent, all too prevalent, in, or anti-semitism saturates the anti-Zionist movement.

Ok, I suppose I don't know of any other political movements where centuries-old anti-semitic tropes form such a significant ("saturate" is your word btw, I wouldn't use it and don't think anyone's claimed it on this thread) part of it's discourse, where some of the central narratives used by mainstream figures within it utilise anti-semitic imagery (Adbusters putting stars next to the names of Jewish neocons, anyone?). Maybe you could give us some examples of other movements where it was so central?

S. Artesian

What you've produced is a "guilt by association" that claims that those who identify with Hamas' or Hezbollah's resistance to Israeli military attacks are somehow associating themselves with anti-semitism, and doing so, if not consciously, at least sub-consciously.

Well, that wasn't really the point I was making but while we're here I don't how saying 'We are all Hamas' can be anything but associating yourself with anti-semitism as you're associating yourself with a group whose anti-semitism is fairly central to their ideology. But really my point was that it trivialises anti-semitism as the group's anti-semitism is less important than the fact that they oppose Israel. I think that's fucked and certainly opens the door to anti-semitism at home.

Your Watts rebellion comparison is interesting but possibly draws out our differences. Obviously the rioters might have had all kinds of reactionary ideas as individuals but the point is you back the revolt not the politics of every individual who took part. The fact is sometimes people express legitimate grievances in reactionary ways (I'm thinking also of the 2009 UK oil strikes and 'British jobs for British workers') and that has to be confronted, even if you support the underlying sentiment of the revolt. I'm not sure you can do that while backing the reactionary capitalist rackets that propagate those ideas (of which Hamas and NOI are two examples, tho fairly different). So I don't know what you mean by "defend" NOI but I def wouldn't give out leaflets that say 'We are all Nation of Islam', and I understand even less how you would "defend" Hamas (assuming you continue the analogy back on the group you originally intended to explain with it).

The rest of your analysis of Hamas etc a capitalist gangs is basically right imo and obv I don't just oppose them for their anti-semitism.. but this is a thread specifically about anti-semitism so I think that's basically just preaching to the choir..

S. Artesian

Ed

it's really common to see people arguing that it's Israel and 'the powerful Israel lobby' in America that forces the US to support it. That is a classic anti-semitic trope that the Jews are bending world powers to do their bidding

Made a bit more complicated by the fact, of course, that there really is a powerful Israeli lobby. It really exists. I does not make the US do anything it doesn't want to do, wouldn't do on its own, but it certainly exists, certainly organizes drives against those who oppose Zionism; is active in suppressing anti-Zionist academics, politicians, etc.

Well, no, it's not made more complicated by the real existence of a Zionist lobby that does all that other shit for the simple reason that you point out: it doesn't make America do shit that it wouldn't do anyway. I think it's fine to talk about the shit the Zionist lobby actually does (like when Dershowitz basically got Finklestein sacked for exposing him as a hack) but the prevalence of this idea that somehow America is Israel's puppet is just a warmed up Protocols of the Elders of Zion..

S. Artesian

So Cynthia McKinney who is quite explicit in her claim that AIPAC pretty much owns the US Congress, she's anti-semitic? And she can't be judged on her record regarding African-American struggles, labor struggles, opposition to the war in Iraq, opposition to threats against Iran, etc?

I don't know who she is but I don't think it matters. She's definitely using anti-semitic tropes. She might not hate the Jews she meets in the street but she 100% uses anti-semitic thinking in her argumentation. Why would her record on a bunch of other shit change that? Was Stokely Carmichael not a misogynist? When Tony Benn defended Julian Assange saying "if that was rape then I'm many of us here are rapists", was he not propagating rape culture? If anything, you've just proven how ingrained anti-semitism is in society, that otherwise decent people still think using these classic tropes. If I say some racist shit, it should be expected that people say 'what the fuck?' not 'well, he's involved in libcom so you can't judge him on one comment'..

S. Artesian

Yes, I agree fighting anti-semitism is a class issue. You have yet to establish that anti-semitism is "all-too prevalent" in anti-Zionism.

Well then maybe we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think the fact that anti-semitic tropes and narratives are so mainstream (think Galloway, think Adbusters' 'Why won't anyone say they're Jewish?' article, now your mate Cynthia McKinney) in such a way comparable to no other movement (apart from maybe neo-nazism) means that anti-semitism is prevalent. I think sloganeering identification and support for anti-semitic groups trivialises anti-semitism, if not outright promoting it. You obviously don't. But then all your arguments look like equivocations and excuses for anti-semites and people who use anti-semitic arguments ('that's guilt by association', 'well, there really is a zionist lobby', 'look at her wider record'). It doesn't look like a class position on anti-semitism (and by extension, neither can it be one on anti-zionism)..

None of this means I'm not an anti-Zionist. I am and always will be. But I think there needs to be 'Anti-Zionists against anti-semitism' as much as 'Jews against Zionism'. The latter without the former is just ideological cover for people who don't want to address problems internal to a movement they identify with..

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed #76

Ok, I suppose I don't know of any other political movements where centuries-old anti-semitic tropes form such a significant ("saturate" is your word btw, I wouldn't use it and don't think anyone's claimed it on this thread)

As is the case with laborbund, reading comprehension and attention to detail don't seem to be your strong suits. "Saturate" is not my word, it's laborbund's. See his post #65.

(Adbusters putting stars next to the names of Jewish neocons, anyone?)

Adbusters, which started out precisely as a NON-left movement-- "Get the money out of politics" is your evidence for the anti-semitism of the left? Adbusters has never been to the left of the Democratic Party.

We are all Hamas' can be anything but associating yourself with anti-semitism as you're associating yourself with a group whose anti-semitism is fairly central to their ideology

I sincerely doubt that those at a demonstration in response to Israel's attacks on the Gaza, its targeting of UN "refuge" areas, its murderous assault on people onboard a ship bringing supplies to Gaza, its use of collective punishment, its use of white phosphorus are expressing their anti-semitism, or supporting Hamas' anti-semitism, when chanting "we are all Hamas." The fact that you think that's clearly the meaning of the chant shows just how oblivious you are to what actually motivates the demonstration.

So along with a lack of reading comprehension, we can now clearly identify a real blind spot to your estimate of the scope, the "all-too-prevalent" anti-semitism.

I don't know who she is but I don't think it matters. She's definitely using anti-semitic tropes. She might not hate the Jews she meets in the street but she 100% uses anti-semitic thinking in her argumentation. Why would her record on a bunch of other shit change that? Was Stokely Carmichael not a misogynist? When Tony Benn defended Julian Assange saying "if that was rape then I'm many of us here are rapists", was he not propagating rape culture? If anything, you've just proven how ingrained anti-semitism is in society, that otherwise decent people still think using these classic tropes. If I say some racist shit, it should be expected that people say 'what the fuck?' not 'well, he's involved in libcom so you can't judge him on one comment'..

You don't know who she is? But you don't know how that matters? But despite your lack of knowledge and interest you she 100% uses anti-semitic thinking? If you don't know who she is, and what her history is, how do you know she uses anti-semitic tropes? By saying AIPAC owns the US Congress? Do you know how much AIPAC spends on lobbying the Congress? Or does that not matter either, simply because anybody who says AIPAC conflates Zionism with Judaism to raise money from many Jewish people and then uses that money to solidify support for the US govt's pro Israel policies MUST necessarily be anti-semitic? Is that what you mean by anti-semitic tropes?

For the record, AIPAC spent over 3 million in 2014 lobbying the Congress-- and AIPAC does NOT contribute directly to the campaigns of those running for Congress. In the 2014 election cycle, Democrats received $6.5 million from pro-Israel groups; Republicans $5 million. Does pointing out that massive monetary impact make me anti-semitic? Is that an anti-semitic trope-- that the pro-Israel lobby contributes millions to election campaigns, and spends millions more lobbying elected representatives?

The examples of Stokely Carmichael actually does make my point-- do we reject Stokely's legacy with SNCC-- his courage, and organizational ability in Alabama, organizing against the Klan, the white terrorists, because he was a misogynist, or became an admirer of Toure, or whatever? Do we say the struggle in Lowndes county was "compromised" "saturated" by SNCC's association with Stokely? Bollocks.

Obviously the rioters might have had all kinds of reactionary ideas as individuals but the point is you back the revolt not the politics of every individual who took part. The fact is sometimes people express legitimate grievances in reactionary ways (I'm thinking also of the 2009 UK oil strikes and 'British jobs for British workers') and that has to be confronted, even if you support the underlying sentiment of the revolt. I'm not sure you can do that while backing the reactionary capitalist rackets that propagate those ideas (of which Hamas and NOI are two examples, tho fairly different).

Exactly. We back the struggle. The struggle is against Israel's expulsion, dispossession, brutalization, aggression against Palestinian people, against the people Arabic, whether Moslem or Christian in the occupied areas. The struggle is against Israel as integral to the capitalist order.

But then all your arguments look like equivocations and excuses for anti-semites and people who use anti-semitic arguments ('that's guilt by association', 'well, there really is a zionist lobby', 'look at her wider record'). It doesn't look like a class position on anti-semitism (and by extension, neither can it be one on anti-zionism)..

You've just made a complete circle jerk and mistaken that for actually getting laid. I've made no excuses for anyone's anti-semitism. I said that those chanting "We are all Hamas" are not anti-semites, not supporting anti-semitism, and most probably are not even aware of Hamas' anti-Jewish statements, but are reacting to Israel's assaults on Gaza, etc. I didn't say Cynthia McKinney's record excused anti-semitism. I claimed the pro-Israel lobby launched an attack on her, of withering proportions when she came out against Israel, and that YOU in all your lack of comprehension are right in line with that attack, ignoring exactly who she is and what she stands for, WARTS and ALL.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am yet to hear anyone mention the crucial factor in the region that we are ultimately discussing. The uprising of the working class in Palestine. For me, the three months from September to December, 2000, were of enormous impact that I can only compare to Russia, 1917, which I have only read about. The resilience and militancy of our class was astounding. I make the demarcation between December and after because around that time the energy of our class struggle appeared to diminish (not surprisingly bearing in mind the isolation our class combatants faced) and because around that time the Palestinian nationalist organisations began to retrench and subvert the class struggle into a nationalist war (through the use of suicide bombers and a propaganda war).

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

So I don't know what you mean by "defend" NOI but I def wouldn't give out leaflets that say 'We are all Nation of Islam',

Here's what I mean: If somebody did pass out leaflets,after the military assault on the NOI mosque in Watts, stating "We are all Black Muslims"-- you would be offended (your word) because, according to your logic, the anti-semitism of the NOI outweighs the need to oppose the assault.

I would not be offended. I wouldn't pass out that leaflet. That-- "We are all Black Muslims" isn't my position, given the totality of the NOI positions (back then, it was buy land in the South and build a black nation); but I would certainly oppose the assaults on the NOI mosque, going so far as to advocate organizing defense guards of "the left" to protect the NOI mosques from the LAPD and National Guard assaults.

Simple question: Would you participate in such a defense guard organization?

Ed

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh dear, it looks like the grumpy S. Artesian is back, making up for his refusal to address any of the points being made with increasingly outlandish claims padded out with insults (which he recycles from one argument to the next.. usually "reading comprehension"). Like an angry magician with no trick, just patter..

S. Artesian

As is the case with laborbund, reading comprehension and attention to detail don't seem to be your strong suits. "Saturate" is not my word, it's laborbund's.

Case in point. This is also one of very few (possibly the only?) accurate response to one of my statements that S. Artesian musters in his entire post, both with regards who said 'saturate' and attention to details not being one of my strengths. Well done.

S. Artesian

Adbusters, which started out precisely as a NON-left movement-- "Get the money out of politics" is your evidence for the anti-semitism of the left? Adbusters has never been to the left of the Democratic Party.

I'm sorry but this just isn't true. As much as we might both think they're shite, Adbusters is a left-wing publication. Zizek, Graeber, Hardt and Negri have all written for it; again, we might think they're all shite but they're undoubtedly part of the left. Fuck, I might think you're shite but even that doesn't stop you still being part of the left!

S. Artesian

Ed

We are all Hamas' can be anything but associating yourself with anti-semitism as you're associating yourself with a group whose anti-semitism is fairly central to their ideology

I sincerely doubt that those at a demonstration in response to Israel's attacks on the Gaza, its targeting of UN "refuge" areas, its murderous assault on people onboard a ship bringing supplies to Gaza, its use of collective punishment, its use of white phosphorus are expressing their anti-semitism, or supporting Hamas' anti-semitism, when chanting "we are all Hamas." The fact that you think that's clearly the meaning of the chant shows just how oblivious you are to what actually motivates the demonstration.

So in this section, you're a) just making things up about my opinions, and b) selectively quoting me, cutting out my more substantive point and replying to a side-issue, which I only mentioned because you'd earlier misunderstood a point I was making.

I don't believe people protest Israeli aggression because they're anti-semites or support Hamas' anti-semitism: I believe identification with and support for Hamas can only be justified because you think their opposition to Israel is more important than the fact they are mental anti-semites. That, imo, trivialises anti-semitism and trivialising anti-semitism is, historically and presently, really fucking dangerous. Anti-Zionism needs to express itself in a way that doesn't trivialise anti-semitism.

S. Artesian

You don't know who she is? But you don't know how that matters? But despite your lack of knowledge and interest you she 100% uses anti-semitic thinking? If you don't know who she is, and what her history is, how do you know she uses anti-semitic tropes?

Well, like I said, I don't know her so I was going off what you said, in the context you said it in, which was about the pro-Israel lobby 'owning' congress and whether the Zionist lobby makes the US support Israel against its interests. In that context, with that info, yeah, she's using anti-semitic tropes. Maybe you didn't give me the full quote, maybe there's a bunch of other contextual shit that changes the sentiment drastically, but this thing that America is Israel's puppet is the exact same anti-semitic argument that Jews are pulling the strings behind all the world powers. All that's changed is the word 'Jews', substituted for 'Zionists'.

At the same time, a very quick Google search on her reveals some dodgy shit and she's at least very willing to faternise with/promote anti-semites. One blog mentions her going on a far-right internet radio show while on twitter she recently promoted famous anti-semitic comedian Dieudonné:

If you love Jon Stewart, you should like Dieudonné! Give a listen here. http://t.co/ycU3TIyxbj— Cynthia McKinney PhD (@cynthiamckinney) March 11, 2015

Again, I don't know much about her so she herself might not be a Jew hater, it might not really be her on that radio show and it might not even be her actual twitter account, but at first glance she certainly seems able to tolerate a fair amount of hatred towards Jews. Maybe this is "right in line" with the attack on her by the pro-Israel lobby but, tbh, it does look really bad and if she is genuinely anti-semitic I don't think you can just wave it away by saying 'the more important thing' is that it's an attack by the pro-Israel lobby. In fact, I think this actually does illustrate how quickly these tropes and the trivialisation of anti-semitism can turn into (or at least open the door to) genuine anti-semitism.

S. Artesian

The examples of Stokely Carmichael actually does make my point-- do we reject Stokely's legacy with SNCC-- his courage, and organizational ability in Alabama, organizing against the Klan, the white terrorists, because he was a misogynist, or became an admirer of Toure, or whatever? Do we say the struggle in Lowndes county was "compromised" "saturated" by SNCC's association with Stokely? Bollocks.

Again, that's actually the opposite of what I was saying. My point was that no matter how "decent" someone is, there is always fallibility that needs confronting. Perhaps non-binary thinking isn't your strong point, as attention to detail isn't mine, but it's perfectly possible (in fact, probably inevitable) for people who are great or inspiring organisers to completely fuck up in one aspect or another. Do we reject Stokely Carmichael outright coz he was a misogynist? Of course not. Do we pretend it doesn't matter coz of his record? Not that either.

We back the struggle. The struggle is against Israel's expulsion, dispossession, brutalization, aggression against Palestinian people, against the people Arabic, whether Moslem or Christian in the occupied areas. The struggle is against Israel as integral to the capitalist order.

Ok but if you don't deal with anti-semitism then your struggle will just descend even further into the ethnic struggle that it is currently locked into being. And I personally don't see how that could be anything but good for the capitalist order.

Ed

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cross-posted with this:
S. Artesian

Simple question: Would you participate in such a defense guard organization?

I probably wouldn't be welcome as I'm Jewish.

Anyway, I don't think your analogy works travelling between supporting the spuriously Muslim NOI attacked by police in the Watts riots during the civil rights movement and an Islamic fundamentalist organisation which murders both Palestinian and Israeli civilians.

Would you participate in a defense guard for Hamas?

Edit to add: The more I think about it, the more I think this shit about the NOI is just more magician's patter: "And now, for my next trick, I'll make you travel back in time to form hypothetical defense guards for a completely different type of organisation in a completely different context!"

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry to interject into your private discussion Ed and Art but let's summarise this matter. If we understand anti-Zionism to be the full frontal attack by the working class of Palestine on the Zionist State of Israel, the answer to the original question is no, it is not anti-Semitic (ie anti-Jewish). If, however, we understand anti-Zionism in the sense of a liberal campaign group then, more than likely, an element of anti-Semitism is at play.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Now Ed, I don't know what your definition of "left" is, but Adbusters, an anti-consumerist venture, flogging vegan shoes, doesn't make it in my definition. Digital detox, one flag, culture jamming, hardly counts as "left," and it's demand, initiative for Occupy-- Form a presidential commission to "separate money from politics" and "set the agenda for a New America." That's left? Not where I've been. My use of the term left is pretty much restricted to Marxists, or socialists, or radicals. I don't think anyone would confuse Adbusters with any of the three.

As for the article on the neocons-- it's about as benign an article as I've read, questioning the role of neocons, and Jewish neocons in particular, in the Bush administration.

The article says this:

A lot of ink has been spilled chronicling the pro-Israel leanings of American neocons and fact that a the disproportionate percentage of them are Jewish. Some commentators are worried that these individuals – labeled ‘Likudniks’ for their links to Israel’s right wing Likud party – do not distinguish enough between American and Israeli interests. For example, whose interests were they protecting in pushing for war in Iraq?

That's anti-semitism? No, it's not anti-semitism. It just happens to be wrong. Whose interest were the neocons protecting in pushing for war in Iraq? It doesn't matter whose interests the neocons thought they were protecting, whether Israel's or the US's, because they clearly thought both. And, the real protection being provided was to capital-- to the oil majors, whose rate of profit was languishing (again), who were suffering from overproduction (again), and who were thumping for driving Iraq's production off the markets ever since 1998, and who raked in the money between 2003 and 2007.

When AIPAC arranges for John Boehner to invite Netanyahu to address the US Congress in an election year in Israel, when by protocol, the US head of state does not give the appearance of favoring a candidate by providing a candidate with the pomp of a state visit; and when the pro-Israel lobby arranges this in order to muster opposition to the "detente" with Iran favored by a wing of the bourgeoisie, you think bringing up the pro-Israel lobby's role in this is reverting to an anti-semitic trope?

You don't think there's a powerful pro-Israel lobby at work? Or do you think identifying it as pro-Israel; identifying its role is just too dangerous, too be spoken about?

I don't think there's a single thing for the "left" to fear in the questions raised by Adbusters about the neocons; I don't think there's a bit of anti-semitism in questioning AIPAC's role in getting Boehner and the morons in the US Congress (a repository of anti-semitism if ever there was one) to host Netanyahu.

I think we would welcome that, welcome the questions, so that we could answer them.

I love how you keep referring to "trivializing anti-semitism," especially since that is exactly the charge raised against Adbusters when it compared Israel's blockade of Gaza to the Nazi's treatment of the Warsaw ghetto. Then the Canadian Jewish Congress was up in arms because that "trivialized the Holocaust." The CJC ought to tell that to the survivors, and the descendants of the survivors of the death camps who spoke out against Israel's attacks on Gaza and in fact likened Israel's attacks and actions as reminiscent of the Nazis.

So is it trivializing anti-semitism to compare Zionists to Boers; the use of white-phosphorus to Zyklon B; the demands of certain member of the Knesset for the transportation of Palestinians to someplace in the desert where they can be confined until they die to the transport of Jews to
death camps (that was a real proposal by an actual member of the Knesset. All he left out was having "Arbeit Macht Frei" inscribed in Hebrew above the camp, and provisions for tattooing the Palestinians)?

I never said anti-semitism "doesn't matter" or should be ignored. I said it does not saturate the left, and certainly your lame use of Adbusters points out exactly how unsaturated things are.

Do I think Hamas' "anti-semitism" is trivial or unimportant? Of course not. It's part and parcel of its anti-communist, anti-socialist organization. But the issue is the struggle. The struggle is against the settler-capitalism that expelled the Arabic population of Palestine. The struggle is against the settler-capitalism that has occupied the West Bank and restricted the Arab population to less fertile areas; with less access to water; while expropriating the entire area for "Greater Israel."

Re the question of defense, here's what I would, and did defend: At a demonstration against the Israeli assault on Gaza, a Zionist counter-demonstrator tried to go after a kid with a pro-Hamas placard. I defended that kid with that placard from that Zionist. What about you, smiley? Would you defend that kid, or in your attempt to not trivialize anti-semitism, would you let that Zionist, who, by the way, was screaming "I hope all you fucking Arabs die" have at him?

Tell you what, Mr. Chuckles, I'd also defend Cynthia McKinney from AIPAC's attacks, her use of tropes, her bad taste in comics, and all. That's not trivializing anti-semitism. It's a recognition that the allegations of anti-semitism are trivial to the reason she was, and is, being attacked. Too subtle a point for you to grasp? No doubt.

And just to make it more clear, and not too historical, for you: If that young person's placard had read "Jews Out of Palestine"-- I still would have defended him against the Zionist-- just as I would defend an avowed anti-Jewish Black Muslim from an attack by a white-supremacist (a white suprematist requires a whole different thread), or from a Zionist.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

Sorry to interject into your private discussion Ed and Art but let's summarise this matter. If we understand anti-Zionism to be the full frontal attack by the working class of Palestine on the Zionist State of Israel, the answer to the original question is no, it is not anti-Semitic (ie anti-Jewish). If, however, we understand anti-Zionism in the sense of a liberal campaign group then, more than likely, an element of anti-Semitism is at play.

I think that's a fine summation.

Ed

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

it's not anti-semitism. It just happens to be wrong.

Yeah, wrong in a way that draws on centuries of anti-semitic tropes. I mean, ffs, the article uses the horrendous imagery of a list of names with Jews marked with black dots as 'proof' of a shadowy cabal of Jewish neocons who control American foreign policy in the Middle East.

At the same time, I'm starting to see the pointlessness in arguing this point with you. I mean, take this 'anecdote'..
S. Artesian

here's what I would, and did defend: At a demonstration against the Israeli assault on Gaza, a Zionist counter-demonstrator tried to go after a kid with a pro-Hamas placard. I defended that kid with that placard from that Zionist. What about you, smiley? Would you defend that kid, or in your attempt to not trivialize anti-semitism, would you let that Zionist, who, by the way, was screaming "I hope all you fucking Arabs die" have at him?

Even though this stinks of the kind of tall-story that self-aggrandising old lefties make up/exaggerate ('the Zionist was ten-feet tall with arms like tree trunks'), I'll answer it as if it was true: of course I'd defend the kid with the pro-Hamas placard as a) he's probably not a Jew hater himself, just trivialising hatred against Jews; and b) the Zionist isn't attacking him because he's holding a pro-Hamas placard but because he's protesting Israel.. that is, any of us could have been victim to that attack and you oppose it on that basis not whether the person has 'the perfect line'.. that's fucking obvious..

S. Artesian

I'd also defend Cynthia McKinney from AIPAC's attacks, her use of tropes, her bad taste in comics, and all. That's not trivializing anti-semitism.

By "and all" do you include going on far-right internet radio shows? Coz it's interesting you left that inconvenient detail off your list.. and btw, saying that promoting Dieudonné is just "bad taste in comics" really is trivialising anti-semitism: this is a guy who said a Jewish journo made him think of gas chambers, whose fans do his 'inverted seig heil' outside synagogues and Jewish cemeteries. Calling it "bad taste in comics" literally is you trivialising anti-semitism..

S. Artesian

It's a recognition that the allegations of anti-semitism are trivial to the reason she was, and is, being attacked. Too subtle a point for you to grasp? No doubt.

Ok so while AIPAC is not primarily concerned with anti-semitism but supporting Israel and opposing anti-semitism is just a tactic to that end (to be dropped when inconvenient) rather than a principle, I thought opposing anti-semitism (like all racism) was a principle for socialists. So if AIPAC expose her as an anti-semite, and she actually is an anti-semite, then while we have to recognise that anti-semitism is trivial as to why AIPAC exposed her, she still has to be treated like our movement would treat any racists. We would have to denounce her anti-semitism while still denouncing AIPAC's opportunism in using it to further their political ends. Though maybe that's a little too subtle for you..

S. Artesian

And just to make it more clear, and not too historical, for you: If that young person's placard had read "Jews Out of Palestine"-- I still would have defended him against the Zionist-- just as I would defend an avowed anti-Jewish Black Muslim from an attack by a white-supremacist (a white suprematist requires a whole different thread), or from a Zionist.

So here's the thing with your posts: on the one hand, you say there isn't a problem with anti-semitism within the anti-Zionist movement but, on the other, with every example (real or hypothetical) of it you're determined to minimise and excuse anti-semitic anti-Zionists so as to keep them within the movement. So you'll defend Cynthia McKinney, even if she did appear on a far-right radio show and promotes anti-semitic comedians; you'd defend some hypothetical anti-semite with a 'Jews Out of Palestine' placard; you'd defend an anti-semitic NOI member. Because there's always something more important than the fact these people are mental racists..

Yet in your list of anti-semites you'd defend, you never qualify whether you would also defend a Jew being abused, shouted at or attacked by anti-semitic anti-Zionists. Like, would you have stepped in for the author of this article? Or is the important thing to keep the focus on Israel's crimes and so he should never have confronted the guy promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Would you have marched alongside him the same way you would march alongside someone declaring 'Jews Out of Palestine'?

I mean, in my ideal anti-Zionist demo, I hope your hypothetical guy with the 'Jews Out of Palestine' placard would have been battered senseless by other pro-Palestine protesters and kicked the fuck out of the demonstration (along with the Protocols guy.. who I assume S. Artesian would also defend?) before the Zionists had even seen him. They can fight the rest of us principled anti-Zionists.

So yeah, I'll take your estimation of the levels of anti-semitism within anti-Zionism with a pinch of salt as it seems you don't really care very much about it even where you would/do see it..

Ed

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

If we understand anti-Zionism to be the full frontal attack by the working class of Palestine on the Zionist State of Israel, the answer to the original question is no, it is not anti-Semitic (ie anti-Jewish). If, however, we understand anti-Zionism in the sense of a liberal campaign group then, more than likely, an element of anti-Semitism is at play.

Well, I think there are issues with how you formulate your division (can we really describe anti-Zionism as purely a working-class movement? Is it just 'the working class of Palestine' who are attacking Israel? Aren't capitalist rackets such as Hamas and Fatah also part of anti-Zionism? Are they unproblematically 'the working class'? Do these groups promote anti-semitism? etc etc).

I don't think this division is really necessary. Really, your point (and mine and S. Artesian's) is that anti-Zionism is not necessarily anti-semitic. My point, however, is that anti-semitism is nonetheless prevalent in anti-Zionism, both in the West and in Palestine, even if it doesn't need to be.

factvalue

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Someone earlier posted on how 'racism' is often used interchangeably with other types of discrimination, as in my own place of origin Northern Ireland [one of the other gifts imperialism bequeathed to the modern world] where 'sectarianism' is the most prevalent way of referring to the local variety of intercommunity hatred. Do the words we use to discuss this matter? As a Jew, do you feel that 'racism' best describes the subject under discussion Ed? What do you think of Shlomo Sand?

A few years ago when his rag first came out, a mate of mine asked me to interview Gilad Atzmon for a video he was making. Atzmon's wee effort, a ludicrous pot boiler of conspiracy wankadoodle which at one point claims the 2008 financial crash was engineered by the Israel lobby, was peppered with references to the Nazi 'philosopher' Heidegger, and every time I circled closer to try to get at why he had chosen this person as his intellectual mascot, being an excellent jazz improviser, he'd change key multiple times in the space of a few bars and start speaking about Kant or whether Jupiter was there when you weren't looking at it, etc... After the gig and a few drinks, outside on the street as we were saying goodbye, completely unprompted he said quietly to me 'I'd rather have died on the Russian front than end up like fucking Walter Benjamin.' It's been my experience that my enemy's enemy is not my friend and that there's a fuck of a lot of leftist anti-semites representing themselves as anti-Zionists, certainly in London.

EDIT: Just to say that the interview took place as part of an evening of jazz music, so my reference to 'gig' earlier was to jazz and not just an escaped glob of jizz.

Serge Forward

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'd just like to express my appreciation of Ed's comments in this thread, particularly #85. You're pretty much bang on every time fella. That link to the Workers' Liberty article was interesting too - even if generally I think AWL are a bunch of mutts.

S. Artesian, some of your comments sound as if you're in denial about anti-semitism within anti-zionism... especially when you go on to say which anti-semites within anti-zionism (which now apparently does contain anti-semites) are worth defending. I find that quite troubling. Have you ever been connected to Respect, the SWP or one of their breakaway outfits? I ask this not to have a dig but because that's exactly the kind of reasoning you tend to hear in such political circles.

I don't think there's anything particularly controversial to say the wider Palestine solidarity scene and anti-zionism in general has a fair few anti-semites in the mix. What would be controversial in communist/anarchist circles is to downplay or possibly even collude with such anti-semitism in the name of siding with those people currently oppressed by the Israeli state (aside from the Israeli working class), its military and political backers. But I'm sure that's not what you're doing and I've probably just misread your comments.

Factvalue, just seen your quote from Gilad Atzmon. What a fucking maggot.

factvalue

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I found him spooky, you know when someone's nursing a secret they are aching to spew out kind of way?

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Adbusters printed one article 12 years ago, that pointed out that half of the neocons (a group known for its belligerent defense of Israel; its advocacy of regime change in the Mideast) were Jewish, outspoken in their support for Israel and against Palestinians, and you think that one article represents a saturation with anti-semitism?

There's no need to engage in conspiracy theories here, and the article itself doesn't engage in conspiracy theories. It's a question of class. Jews in the United States have higher median incomes than many other minorities. Higher median incomes, higher wealth, translates into easier access to higher education, and entry into politics. According to the Pew Research Center 25% of Jews report household incomes of $150,000 or more, compared to 8% of the public as a whole. Is that an anti-semitic trope, that Jews have higher median incomes and more money means more influence in politics in the US?

Money talks, and bullshit is a marathon jogger. And you know what else, that higher level of wealth generally accounts of a more conservative political view. So what's the big fucking issue here? You have a group with a higher income represented in government at levels disproportionate to its total numbers in the general population. No shit, Sherlock.

The article doesn't say that Jews conspired to get higher incomes so they could place their children in government so they could create wars to protect Israel. That would be anti-semitic. But pointing out that half the neocons in the Bush Admin are Jewish is a fact that is explained by social economic analysis, not conspiracy.

Adbusters then compared the assault on Gaza to the Nazi's treatment of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, and that's supposed to be trivializing anti-semitism?

Are those your examples of "saturation"?

Galloway says something that Israel tourists aren't wanted in some town and that's supposedly the evidence for the left being saturated with anti-semitism?

Of course anti-semitism exists within anti-Zionist groups, but where on the left-- among the Marxist organizations, the socialist organizations is it? I thought we were talking about the left.

I asked for a quantification and a qualification of the claim that anti-semitism is "prevalent" "all too prevalent" "saturates" the anti-Zionist left. And indeed, what is provided are trivial incidents. Demonstrators chanting "We are all Hamas" in response to Israel's military assault on Gaza. That's supposed indicated significant anti-semitism and/or "trivializing" anti-semitism?

What bullshit. Actually you're the one who has pretty much established that the anti-semitism that is supposedly prevalent is pretty much trivial.

So if AIPAC expose her as an anti-semite,

AIPAC did no such thing. AIPAC attacked her because of her anti-Zionism. They could care less about anti-semitism. They claimed she was anti-Zionist because she is anti-Jewish. That's just horseshit. They conflate anti-Zionism with anti-semitism. She's anti-Zionist because of what Israel is and does.

They attacked her because she opposed defending Israel; she opposed the response to 9/11; because she denounced AIPAC's lobbying activities on behalf of Israel.

Now I don't know if you've been able to find any statements by her that are explicitly anti-semitic, but I haven't. But I do know that she was gerry-mandered out of her congressional district once due to her opposition to the US govt policies, that this was done clearly to deny her a seat.

I don't think there's any evidence to support a claim that she's anti-semitic. You're going to have to come up with something more than her endorsement of a jerk-off comedian in France, otherwise you, again, are grasping at trivialities. I think McKinney's record is pretty clear. She's not a Marxist but vehemently anti US military; anti-racist; anti-Zionist. You're going to need to come up with something that offsets those open public record of her actions, otherwise you're just engaging in conspiracy theories yourself-- you are in fact buying into the trivialization of the real reason for the drive against her by use of "anti-semitism."

Serge-- never been associated with Respect, or the SWP, or the IS on this side.

I don't think there's anything particularly controversial to say the wider Palestine solidarity scene and anti-zionism in general has a fair few anti-semites in the mix

This all started because I suggested that when you make a statement like that, or you claim "anti-semitism" is all too prevalent, or the left is saturated with anti-semitism, you need to qualify and quantify it.

And all that's been offered, truly, is trivial occurrences.

Reddebrek

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You know it might be wroth sticking this pdf in the op of every thread that deals with anti-Semitism, or Zionism, or Jews or a Jewish person in particular. I also recommend everyone interested in this subject give it a read because I definitely see some of the attitudes and arguments it tackles in this very thread.

Malva

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

you need to qualify and quantify it.

If we were all blessed with a research grant and years of experience to carry out a quantitative sociological study on the extent of antisemitism on the left maybe that would be a reasonable demand. Unfortunately, such research does not exist and we have to rely on analysing the statements that we come across in our own experience. However, there are studies of the general population carried out by the ADL: http://global100.adl.org/ It reveals some shocking facts. For example, in France 51% of people agree that 'Jews have too much power in the business world', 48% that 'Jews have too much power in international financial markets', 46% 'Jews have too much control over global affairs' and so on. I doubt the 'ruling class' makes up half of the country or that none of these people are left-wing or working-class voters. There are currently thousands of Jews leaving France for Israel every year precisely because they feel that hostility towards Jews is on the rise and people are trivialising the situation.

There's no need to engage in conspiracy theories here, and the article itself doesn't engage in conspiracy theories. It's a question of class. Jews in the United States have higher median incomes than many other minorities. Higher median incomes, higher wealth, translates into easier access to higher education, and entry into politics. According to the Pew Research Center 25% of Jews report household incomes of $150,000 or more, compared to 8% of the public as a whole. Is that an anti-semitic trope, that Jews have higher median incomes and more money means more influence in politics in the US?

What you are essentially doing here is identifying the Jews as an ethnicity as the class oppressor. It's not a question of conspiracy theories but of scapegoating a structure of oppression onto the Jews. It is an antisemitic trope.

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

...can we really describe anti-Zionism as purely a working-class movement?

If we understand anti-Zionism to be the full frontal attack by the working class of Palestine on the Zionist State of Israel..., yes If, however, we understand anti-Zionism in the sense of a liberal campaign group then, more than likely, an element of anti-Semitism is at play, no

Aren't capitalist rackets such as Hamas and Fatah also part of anti-Zionism?

These fall into the latter categories: liberal (ie bourgeois) campaign groups. Furthermore, these exist harmoniously with Zionism – they are it's counterpart.

Malva

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It also occurs to me that your statistic is completely meaningless because, precisely because they are a minority, the fact that the ethnicity might be slightly more wealthy would have only minimal impact. It is the typical 'Have you heard the rumour about the Jews? They are rich and have undue power in politics.' It is precisely this kind of widespread rumour that has led directly to high-profile attacks on Jews in France by criminal gangs in recent years.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There's no need to engage in conspiracy theories here, and the article itself doesn't engage in conspiracy theories. It's a question of class. Jews in the United States have higher median incomes than many other minorities. Higher median incomes, higher wealth, translates into easier access to higher education, and entry into politics. According to the Pew Research Center 25% of Jews report household incomes of $150,000 or more, compared to 8% of the public as a whole. Is that an anti-semitic trope, that Jews have higher median incomes and more money means more influence in politics in the US?

This is racist claptrap. Thanks for pointing it out, Mulva.

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Racist claptrap? So you mean that the numbers are wrong? 25% don't report incomes greater than $150,000? That greater income does not provide greater political influence in the US; and that those with greater income are not more conservative? Somebody tell the Koch brothers.

However, there are studies of the general population carried out by the ADL: http://global100.adl.org/ It reveals some shocking facts. For example, in France 51% of people agree that 'Jews have too much power in the business world', 48% that 'Jews have too much power in international financial markets', 46% 'Jews have too much control over global affairs' and so on. I doubt the 'ruling class' makes up half of the country or that none of these people are left-wing or working-class voters. There are currently thousands of Jews leaving France for Israel every year precisely because they feel that hostility towards Jews is on the rise and people are trivialising the situation.

Fucking priceless. Because half the French people think Jews this, or Jews that, the "left" therefore is saturated with anti-semitism. Except of course, the issue isn't, wasn't if half the French people buy into anti-semitic tropes. Your survey might have some significance to the issue if it showed that those beliefs correlated with, determined anti-Zionist, or were determined by anti-Zionist views.

Now, you got another survey in your pocket that does that? That shows the half in France with anti-semitic views being anti-Zionist? I'll bet not. It's quite possible, it's more than possible that the same population buying into anti-semitic tropes is not anti-Zionist, is pro-Zionist.

But this:

There are currently thousands of Jews leaving France for Israel every year precisely because they feel that hostility towards Jews is on the rise and people are trivialising the situation

is so good it's worth requoting.

Jews are leaving France. No shit, and we know that's because the "left" is in power in France right? We know that because they call themselves Socialists and they're in power, and they are saturated with anti-semitism, right? I mean that was the original issue.

So because half the people in France admit to anti-semitic tropes, and because that survey sample must include workers, socialists, leftists, and because now the Socialist Party is "left" and is in power, and because Jews are emigrating to Israel, therefore the left is saturated with anti-semitism.

There's nothing "shocking" about those numbers; or perhaps shocking only to those who don't know their own history, or the history of France, Dreyfus anyone? Better Hitler than Blum anyone? Half the people in France have bought into anti-semitic tropes for over a century. Didn't stop France from teaming up with Israel in 1956 to invade Egypt and seize the Suez Canal, did it?

It also occurs to me that your statistic is completely meaningless because, precisely because they are a minority, the fact that the ethnicity might be slightly more wealthy would have only minimal impact.

What are you talking about? The very wealthy are a minority. The fact that a certain wealthy sector of the population might be disproportionately represented in government has nothing to do with their ethnic background, but everything to do with the material resources.

There isn't a thing racist in explaining how that occurs.

Simple version, since obviously you need one: They're not neocons because they're Jews, they're neocons because they represent a class interest; those neocons were in government because they represent a section of the bourgeoisie. Their religion is immaterial to the factors determining their presence in government. Their class is not immaterial.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

F+cking priceless

Too right, when the fock did we start quoting polls on public opinion. Please!

Now, you got another survey in your pocket that does that? That shows the half in France with anti-semitic views being anti-Zionist? I'll bet not. It's quite possible, it's more than possible that the same population buying into anti-semitic tropes is not anti-Zionist, is pro-Zionist.

True

S. Artesian

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BTW, what those who accuse the Adbusters article of racism have missed i the real basis for the critique of the article as basically meaningless-- that is it self-selects the sample size so that the Jewish representation is overwhelmingly disproportionate. The article picks "50 important" neocons and "discovers" half of them are Jewish.

What makes the 50 important? Bush and Rice aren't among the 50; neither is Colin Powell or Ashcroft, or the Koch Bros, or any of 1000, 10,000, or 100,000 neocons.

I don't think the article means Adbusters is "saturated" with anti-semitism (no more than I think Adbusters can be called the left). I think it's a stupid article.

Malva

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What are you talking about? The very wealthy are a minority. The fact that a certain wealthy sector of the population might be disproportionately represented in government has nothing to do with their ethnic background, but everything to do with the material resources.

My point is that Jews still represent a minority within a minority that is the bourgeoisie and you can hardly claim therefore that the political actions of capital's NCOs in the US with regards to Israel would be essentially different if they did not contain Jews.

Racist claptrap? So you mean that the numbers are wrong? 25% don't report incomes greater than $150,000? That greater income does not provide greater political influence in the US; and that those with greater income are not more conservative? Somebody tell the Koch brothers.

I mean that your interpretation of that information is wrong. I am saying that the fact that Jewish people make slightly more money than the general population means absolutely nothing with regards to the US government's position on Israel despite your reductive and simplistic class 'analysis'.

we know that's because the "left" is in power in France right? We know that because they call themselves Socialists and they're in power, and they are saturated with anti-semitism, right? I mean that was the original issue.

I have no idea what you are talking about here. It doesn't seem to refer to anything that I said.

The main thrust of my criticism is that you seem to trivialise antisemitism at a time when Jews feel that they are unsafe because of rising antisemitism. This is why I referred to the statistics: to show that antisemitism is not a trivial matter today but should rather be a major cause for concern for the left in a way that it currently isn't. I actually think that addressing the ways in which certain modes of discourse critical of the actions of the Israeli government towards Palestinians and the US's military support of Israel slip into antisemitism would help to aid in the creation of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

There's nothing "shocking" about those numbers

I'll let that speak for itself.

Serge Forward

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Malva

There's nothing "shocking" about those numbers

I'll let that speak for itself.

Indeed. With it's often uncritical and occasionally unprincipled support for various national liberation struggles, when it comes to Palestine, the capitalist left has been sleepwalking into anti-semitism for some time. I'm not saying S.Artesian is anti-semitic, but s/he does seem to be influenced by the left's somnambulist tendency.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

My point is that Jews still represent a minority within a minority that is the bourgeoisie and you can hardly claim therefore that the political actions of capital's NCOs in the US with regards to Israel would be essentially different if they did not contain Jews.

Except I never claimed the political actions of capital's neocons would be essentially different if there were no Jews among the "list." I've never claimed anything remotely like that, and neither does the Adbusters article-- which BTW, I think is flawed and I now think based on what I wrote earlier about "self-selection" does indeed play into anti-semitic tropes, and is not worthy of any defense. Yes, I'm changing my position and state MY earlier defense of the article was incorrect.

I'm actually claiming that the obverse is the reality, that neocons who are Jewish are neocons because the neocon policy is what it is with or without their presence, without their participation.

Still, that was one article 12 years ago, with no subsequent follow up that I found, or that anyone else has provided, so I don't think that article can be used to bolster a claim that the anti-Zionist left is saturated with anti-semitism.

mean that your interpretation of that information is wrong. I am saying that the fact that Jewish people make slightly more money than the general population means absolutely nothing with regards to the US government's position on Israel despite your reductive and simplistic class 'analysis'.

Again, I have never claimed that the US government's position has anything with the neocons being Jewish. I think that the Jewish neocons, like neocons in general represent a sector of the bourgeoisie, act as agents of the bourgeoisie based on their class background; on their commitment not simply to Zionism, but to "neocon-ism" which includes treating Israel as an "anchor state" for capitalist interest.

You might as well be telling me that because "the bourgeoisie make slightly more money than the general population, that means absolutely nothing with regards to the US government's position on Israel."

The main thrust of my criticism is that you seem to trivialise antisemitism at a time when Jews feel that they are unsafe because of rising antisemitism. This is why I referred to the statistics: to show that antisemitism is not a trivial matter today but should rather be a major cause for concern for the left in a way that it currently isn't. I actually think that addressing the ways in which certain modes of discourse critical of the actions of the Israeli government towards Palestinians and the US's military support of Israel slip into antisemitism would help to aid in the creation of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Priceless again-- "addressing the ways that certain modes of discourse critical of the actions of the Israeli government would help to aid in the creation of a peaceful resolution of the conflict."
Now that's truly trivialization of the issue. In fact that's textbook trivialization. Sure fucking thing, if Hamas quits talking about expelling Jews, sure thing, that's going to aid in the creation of a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Absolutely brilliant. Hey, rocket, ever hear of the Oslo Accords? Ever look into Israel's compliance or lack thereof with the terms of the Oslo Accords, as "liberal" "non-inflammatory," non-threatening to Israel's existence and its power over the occupied territories that it is? And you think that would be resolved if Hamas, Hezbollah, and the "saturated left" changed their rhetoric?

How ignorant do you have to be to think that a) changing the rhetoric of those who are, warts and all, part of those subjected to Israeli expansionism is going to do anything to aid in the creation of a peaceful resolution of the conflict? AND b) to think that there is going to be a peaceful resolution of the conflict, given the class basis for the conflict's origin and continued manifestations?

Really fucking ignorant. And the trivial.

Reddebrek

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Except I never claimed the political actions of capital's neocons would be essentially different if there were no Jews among the "list." I've never claimed anything remotely like that, and neither does the Adbusters article-- which BTW, I think is flawed and I now think based on what I wrote earlier about "self-selection" does indeed play into anti-semitic tropes, and is not worthy of any defense. Yes, I'm changing my position and state MY earlier defense of the article was incorrect.

???? If their Jewishness is irrelevant or just an interesting bit of trivia then why bother bringing it up in the first place? I see this shit quite often, someone emphasises someone or somethings Jewishness (even in cases were it actually isn't true) then when called out on this, switch tack to say it doesn't really matter. Reading that list myself I see most of those names are male, but no one seems to be using the Neo-Cons as an example for a mannish conspiracy. I bet they all speak English as a first language too and yet any attempt to publish an article about an anglophonic agenda would be ridiculed before the ink dried.

I'm actually claiming that the obverse is the reality, that neocons who are Jewish are neocons because the neocon policy is what it is with or without their presence, without their participation.

Then why bring up repeatedly their Jewishness. And in what way are you and Adbusters defining Jewishness, is it religious or ethnic?

Still, that was one article 12 years ago, with no subsequent follow up that I found, or that anyone else has provided, so I don't think that article can be used to bolster a claim that the anti-Zionist left is saturated with anti-semitism.

Well you could actually read "That's Funny you don't look antisemitic" a pamphlet cataloguing Leftist and anti-zionist anti semitism, and hosted on this very site. Indeed you'd find plenty of material on this very subject on this site had you bothered to look.

Again, I have never claimed that the US government's position has anything with the neocons being Jewish. I think that the Jewish neocons, like neocons in general represent a sector of the bourgeoisie, act as agents of the bourgeoisie based on their class background; on their commitment not simply to Zionism, but to "neocon-ism" which includes treating Israel as an "anchor state" for capitalist interest.

Then stop bringing up an irrelevant bit of trivia then?

You might as well be telling me that because "the bourgeoisie make slightly more money than the general population, that means absolutely nothing with regards to the US government's position on Israel."

This is a false equivalence, you didn't say the "Jewish Bourgeoisie" you said American Jews as a homogenous group are richer than the average and this accounts for their strong position in American politics.

Right here

Jews in the United States have higher median incomes than many other minorities. Higher median incomes, higher wealth, translates into easier access to higher education, and entry into politics. According to the Pew Research Center 25% of Jews report household incomes of $150,000 or more, compared to 8% of the public as a whole. Is that an anti-semitic trope, that Jews have higher median incomes and more money means more influence in politics in the US?

Your talking about "The Jews" not a specific group of them. And even if you were what's the point since the Jewish community of the USA is a very small minority like 2% of the total population and they aren't monolithic. So that would mean they were a tiny slither of the US bourgeoisie and if there actions are dominated exclusively by class interests then really what is the point at all?

Priceless again-- "addressing the ways that certain modes of discourse critical of the actions of the Israeli government would help to aid in the creation of a peaceful resolution of the conflict."
Now that's truly trivialization of the issue. In fact that's textbook trivialization. Sure fucking thing, if Hamas quits talking about expelling Jews, sure thing, that's going to aid in the creation of a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Absolutely brilliant. Hey, rocket, ever hear of the Oslo Accords? Ever look into Israel's compliance or lack thereof with the terms of the Oslo Accords, as "liberal" "non-inflammatory," non-threatening to Israel's existence and its power over the occupied territories that it is? And you think that would be resolved if Hamas, Hezbollah, and the "saturated left" changed their rhetoric?

Care to explain how combating anti-semitism in anyway detracts from opposition to the Israeli state? I mean if your correct and the anti-semites are just a small fringe then it really shouldn't take up that much time. Or do you seriously believe that BDS and protest meetings are all that keeps the IDF from launching its final assault? Because if you don't then this entire paragraph is just a falsehood.

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Let me put it another way. Who has a material interest in opposing the Zionist State of Israel? The Palestinian working class (both Jew, Arab and others) or those that through their words and political campaigns claim to be 'anti-Zionist'?

S.Artesian:

Do all agree that there is no anti-semitism inherent in opposing Zionism?

No, I don't agree. To oppose this particular form of nationalism is intrinsically anti-Semitic.

And still no mention of the intifada ('shaking off'). Surely intifada is the only concrete anti-Zionism.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A) I didn't bring it up. Ed did, viewing the article as evidence of the prevalence of anti-semitism on the left. I stated I incorrectly defended the article. Twice. Reading comprehension not your strong suit? Go sit in the back with Ed and laborbund.

B) I never cited that article as evidence of any conspiracy. Nor does the article itself make any references to, or imply a conspiracy.

Regarding the disproportionate number of males on the list-- do you think pointing that out amounts to "gender bias"? You think that the disproportionate numbers doesn't say anything about power relations in the US? In US capitalism?

Yes, indeed, just as Jews in France have been surveyed as Jews about their feelings of safety and security in France, Jews in the United States, along with Hindis, and other ethnic minorities have been surveyed regarding income, wealth, and political "orientation." You think that information that shows that Jews, as a distinct group, have a statistically significant higher median income than the population as a whole is an anti-semitic trope? Or is it just the reporting that you think is anti-semitic?

You think that Jews as an ethnic group report a significantly greater portion with incomes over $150,000 per year, 3X the rate for the population as a whole has fuck-all to do with the known shift among Jewish voters from supporting Democratic, liberal, civil rights, and labor advocates, to supporting Clinton-Democrat, or Republican, more conservative advocates?

Those facts have not been used to explain anything other than precisely that shift, and that access to positions as agents of neocon US capitalism. Those numbers have not been used to project a conspiracy; or any change in US policy; or anything other than what they actually correlate with-- that movement to the "right."

Well you could actually read "That's Funny you don't look antisemitic" a pamphlet cataloguing Leftist and anti-zionist anti semitism, and hosted on this very site. Indeed you'd find plenty of material on this very subject on this site had you bothered to look.

I certainly could. Funny that nobody mentioned it prior to you, and you only after 100 posts. If I knew about it, I certainly would have read it. Here's the thing, of course, since I don't think the "left" is "saturated" with anti-semitism, I wasn't looking for material on the subject.

I know about it now and I'll take a look.

Care to explain how combating anti-semitism in anyway detracts from opposition to the Israeli state? I mean if your correct and the anti-semites are just a small fringe then it really shouldn't take up that much time. Or do you seriously believe that BDS and protest meetings are all that keeps the IDF from launching its final assault? Because if you don't then this entire paragraph is just a falsehood.

I never claimed any such thing. Talk about false equivalence and lack of reading comprehension, you take the cake. I never said combating anti-semitism detracts from opposition to the Zionist state. I said thinking, delusional thinking BTW, that changing the "mode of discourse," is going to contribute to a peaceful solution is bollocks; that a peaceful solution is not possible given the class configuration of the conflict, the basis of Zionism in settler capitalism, and the self-proclaimed need of the Zionist state for "lebensraum"-- oh wait, is that another anti-semitic trope, using a term associated with the Nazis to describe what the Israelis have done, and the Zionists support, in the occupied territories? Like Adbusters describing the treatment of Gaza by the Israelis as equivalent to the Nazis treatment of the Warsaw Ghetto? Too bad. That's not trivializing anti-semitism, that's pointing out how the Israelis have adapted and adopted tactics used by the Nazis-- collective punishment, destruction of the property belonging to families of so-called "terrorists," death squads, summary executions etc. etc.

Let's get this straight, in this conflict, the Israelis are the Nazis, the calls on the part of Hamas and Hezbollah for "driving Jews out" or into the sea to the contrary not withstanding. Hamas and Hezbollah have issued calls that echo the Nazis? Guess what, the Israelis have actually acted the part of Nazis. In the actual treatment of Palestinians, and those Arabs in the occupied territories, the Israelis have earned the labels of racists, terrorists, storm-troopers, war-criminals.

EDIT: Does anyone think for one second that this current situation would be going on if Israel had been able to "control" its settler capitalism so that the Oslo Accords might proceed, as benign and weak as they are? I guess only someone who thought Israel could in fact do so would now think that this would be going on if Israel had so conducted its policy; that the anti-semitism of the anti-Zionist groups among Palestinians is somehow not related to the assaults on Palestinians in violation of those accords, the horrible division of the West bank into Areas A, B, and C, with Palestinians confined to the least economically viable area, and the subsequent "summits" where not even Arafat could stomach the terms being proposed by the Clinton and Barak.

Of course no such outcome was possible, no more than a "peaceful resolution of the conflict" is somehow remotely possible if only the "rhetoric" and the "trivialization of anti-semitsm" is abandoned.

Schmoopie

No, I don't agree. To oppose this particular form of nationalism is intrinsically anti-Semitic.

That's a change in your position, I think. Not that you're not entitled...but that's not what you said in a previous post. Perhaps many feel as you do. You just have the temerity to assert it, now. That's too bad, not the temerity, but the assertion.

Perhaps you could explain what you mean.

wojtek

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Real oppression is getting wolloped by Barnsleh 4-1 and sitting silently while thousands shout 'Yorkshire! Yorkshire!' in your face.

I'm already sorry for this post. As you were...

Malva

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the Israelis are the Nazis

And there it is.

Auld-bod

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To write ‘the Israelis are the Nazis’ is just stupid. The Israeli state’s actions are closer to those of the European powers and their dirty little colonial wars. They were about domination and exploitation not extermination.

Ed

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So I've got zero time right now to reply properly but just wanted to say that I'm really enjoying watching S. Artesian write hundreds (thousands?) of words while never making any substantive point about the actual issues people are raising.. 'you don't think this has anything to do with the shift in the Jewish community from Democrats to neocons??!?!?!?!?!'.. that's not the point, I'll leave you for now to try and work out what the actual point is (assuming you're at all interested)..

In slight defense of S. Artesian though, I also don't get why comparisons between Israel and the Nazis is anti-semitic. Always thought the point was that the Nazis are accepted as the historical embodiment of evil that all other evils are then measured against, a million miles away from saying America supports Israel because 'half of neocons are Jewish'.. I really liked the Finklestein interview Artesian linked to before where he mentions that for his Warsaw Ghetto surviving mother,

the Nazi holocaust was a chapter in the long history of the horror of war. It was not itself a war – she was emphatic that it was an extermination, not a war – but it was a unique chapter within the war. So for her, war was the ultimate horror. When she saw Vietnamese being bombed during the Vietnam War, it was the Nazi holocaust. It was the bombing, the death, the horror, the terror, that she herself had passed through.

Anyway, enough of the S. Artesian love-in.. seconds out, ding ding..

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So I read Funny.... and here are some of my thoughts:

1. A masterful job explaining the origins, development, and preservation of anti-semitism in Britain, and in the British labor movement; the importance of the Aliens Act, and the anti-revolutionary, anti-human stance of great majority of "official" labor and socialist organization failure to oppose the Aliens Act, or worse, endorse the Aliens Act.

2. The evidence for anti-semitism of the "modern left" in Britain ends in the 1980s-- not the flaw of a work written in 1985.

3. Does make me wonder if those claiming that the current British left is "saturated" with anti-semitism, that the anti-semitism is prevalent, can provide similar, and copious, documentation, as Cohen does. We have the citing of a statement by Galloway; we have the crass opportunism of those aligning with Moslem clerics. Certainly there must be more if the British left is saturated.

4. I think Cohen makes a critical mistake when he argues:

I take it as axiomatic that any revolutionary of that pre‐war period would have fought for the absolute right of Jews to enter Palestine. To have argued otherwise, to have argued for immigration controls, would have meant support for the British Mandate

. In fact fighting for the absolute right of Jews to enter Palestine meant fighting to support the British mandate-- British capital's power to determine, steer, control immigration to areas "safe" and distant from the "homeland." Certainly Balfour regarded that as the reason for, and a benefit of, his "doctrine" concerning Palestine. The fight should have been, had to be, admission to the British homeland, to Britain itself-- the abolition of immigration controls to Britain, and the opposition to British capital's power to segregate human according race, religion, or ethnic background. I was really surprised that Cohen takes that position given that he clearly understands the connection between the Balfour doctrine and the Aliens Act.

5. Honestly, I don't know very much about the state of the British left, and in this discussion, it seems clear to me, that part of the disagreement is based on actions specific to the British left-- that is not to say that anti-semitism is not present-- present,not prevalent-- in North America's left, or continental Europe's-- still it might help, again if somebody could provide the specifics and documentation as Cohen does. Malva's citing of opinion polls in France doesn't quite cut the mustard, does it?
____________

Enough of the restrained, respectful discussion:

Malva

And there it is

There what is? Anti-semitism? The use of an anti-semitic trope-- to liken the actions of the Israeli government, its military, its political supporters, and its settlers, to the actions of Nazis? Tha'ts anti-semitic. To quote Cohen:

It [anti-semitism manifesting through anti-Zionism] is encouraged by Israeli exceptionalism—by the constant depiction and caricaturing of Israel as somehow being the pre‐eminent world imperialist power

There's no caricaturing of Israel as being the preeminent world imperialist power.

and:

I used the left press as source material—and became horrified by what I was reading. And what I was reading was gross stereotyping of the Jew via the stereotyping of Israel as the most powerful force in the universe

Where is that stereotyping of the Jew via stereotyping Israel as the most powerful force in the universe? I'm certainly not arguing that Israel is more powerful than Germany, France, the US, the UK, Russia. But Israel's settler capitalism is certainly the most powerful force confronting Palestinians in their struggle.

or:

It provides its adherents with a universal and generalised interpretation of the world. This is the theory of the Jewish conspiracy, which depicts Jews as historically controlling and determining nature and human destiny

I'm offering nothing that pretends there's a Jewish conspiracy. There is no such thing. I do not depict Jews as controlling human destiny. Likening Israeli treatment of Palestinians to Nazi treatment of Jews is not making a general interpretation of the world as "controlled by Jews."

or:

This is precisely because anti‐semitism is an ideology which claims to provide cosmic understanding. Central to the ideology are demonic notions which quite clearly transcend the material presence of Jews

.

There are no claims for "cosmic understanding" for all that is wrong in the world. I usually identify Richard Nixon as my "go to" source for all that is wrong in the world; or if in a more historical mood, the legacy of Britiish imperialism, which BTW, certainly has applicability here. And certainly there are no demonic notions of the Nazi-like aggression of the Israeli government and its supporters, clearly transcending its material presence.

or:

Quite clearly, anti‐zionism is not in itself anti‐semitic. However, much of what the Left poses as anti‐zionism is transcendental: it relates neither to the struggle of the Palestinians nor to what the Israeli state is actually doing. Rather it is concerned with ascribing world power to zionism and holding all Jews in the world responsible for this. Left practice presents as anti‐zionism something which is neither about zionism nor about Palestinian liberation, but is about some alleged responsibility of Jews on a global scale

Where's the ascribing of an impulse to world domination? Is it because the Nazis included in their ideology world domination, that describing Israeli treatment of Palestinians as nazi-like automatically means, codes for, "Zionist domination"? If that's the objection, I would recommend as an antidote, the specificity which is included: In this conflict, the Palestinians are.

You want to argue,that such references are tactically less productive given the reflexive recoil from any comparison of the descendants of Nazi oppression to their oppressors? I certainly can understand that, but I don't agree. The statements of the rightists, and ultra-rightists in the Israeli government stink of the brutal racialism that so determined Nazi ideology and actions.

You think it's hyperbole to liken the actions of the Israeli government to the actions of Nazis? That's open to discussion, and that discussion has to include Sabra, Shatila, where the IDF collaborated,organized, facilitated, supported fascist death squads assaults on Palestinian refugees. That discussion has to include Jenin-- bulldozing the entire village, refusing entrance to a panel of inquiry. That discussion has to include the use of white phosphorous against the general population. That discussion has to include the slow strangulation of Gaza through denials of vital medicines and equipment.

Somebody wants to tell me-- "Oh, that's just was colonialists do?" Like the US deploying white phosphorous in Fallujah, destroying the electrical power grid of Iraq, diestroying the public education, healthcare, and even sanitary systems? OK, sure thing. Just like that. Or like the US in Vietnam-- strategic hamlets, free fire zones, Operation Phoenix? Or like the French in Algeria? Utilizing torture, death squads, etc? Or like...........the Afrikaaner governments in South Africa? Sure, I'll accept that, although didn't someone complain about likening the Zionists to the Boers? Or like the Spanish combating the Cuban revolution in the 19th century-- you know-- concentration camps? Or the British combating the Boers? You know, concentration camps?

OK sure thing.... except all those examples involve actions similar if not identical to actions taken by Nazis in occupied territories.

Finally, again returning to Cohen's book:

Moreover whatever the significance today of Left anti‐Semitism, its influence and social weight is insignificant compared to that within Muslim communities (an anti‐Semitism which is possibly matched by racism within the Jewish community)

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed,

And I'm chuckling over your inability to provide the documentation of anti-semitism anywhere close to the degree that Cohen provided.

The real issue with Adbusters article, as I will now say for a third time, is that it self-selected its sample to "prove" what in fact was assumed-- and as I will now say again, plays into anti-semitic tropes.

And I'm roaring with laughter over the fact that you can't seem to come up with anything other than one article 12 years ago, from a group that flogs vegan footwear, digital detox, and an "agenda for a New America, to submit as evidence for the prevalence of anti-semitism within the left.

Ed

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry I didn't go into as much detail as you did about the imaginary 'left defense guard' you would organise to defend anti-semites past and present.. ffs these Dungeons and Dragons socialists..

radicalgraffiti

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

why would you expect people to keep exhaustive notes of something that they encounter all the time?

do you think it just vanished after the last article?

radicalgraffiti

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

oh look its those anti eu socalists you like

https://storify.com/InTheSoupAgain/trade-unionist-and-socialist-coalition-fails-to-ta

https://storify.com/InTheSoupAgain/ray-woolford-and-tusc

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh Rad, you're just too precious. You know, I don't like anybody, anybody.

I'm sorry to read that anti-eu trade union socialists are racist, unlike the abstentionist bloc; the pro-eu bloc.

Somewhere in Britain, there must be an anti-eu, anti-racist socialist. How about you Rad, do you qualify as anti-EU anti-racist?

Who can keep up? I mean really. Don't oppose the British bourgeoisie's participation in the alliance of European capitalists, because that means you might have to distinguish yourself from the rightists opposed to the EU; from the "foreign-flood" mongers; from the racists.Background noise. Right.

No sirree, abstain because there are certain advantages to being in the EU bloc of bourgeoisie-- like when the bloc of bourgeoisie devastates Spain, or Greece, then the Spanish and Greeks can emigrate to Britain. But the migrant labor already in Spain? Those Africans? Fuck them. Back to Africa, motherfuckers.

Fuck your little privileged immigrant status for your little privileged Europeans. Fuck your little privileged status of abstaining-- of not having the temerity to attack the EU and Britain's participation init.

You don't have to answer the question. We know what you are.

EDIT: What I truly wonder about is why, all diatribes, attacks, polemics, to one side (as much as that pains me), there isn't (or maybe there is) some willingness to take on the referendum and the support for "stay" on the basis of opposition to the mutual support the bourgeoisie offer each other through the EU? Why not oppose the "advantages" EU membership provides to finance capital in the City? Why not oppose the collective action on the part of the EU that includes military and proposed military responses (like to emigrants from the north coast of Africa)? Why not oppose Britain's participation in this myth of a Europe united under capitalism when even the president of the EU commission is reported to have said the "dream" of a single European nation is dead? Sure is, under capitalism. So why not make the point?

Does anyone truly think the EU is a "benign" expression of capitalist domination? Really? In Ireland, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria-- anywhere, when it supports the local bourgeoisie? You might as well be telling me "structural reform" is milk and cookies.

Does anyone truly think that the EU is not in the very midst of revising its "passport free" travel requirements? Does anyone think that the EU is not part and parcel of the attempt by the bourgeoisie to seek "labor reform"-- and will not seek drive the wage level down and, sooner rather than later, below the value of labor power?

Is it impossible to use this issue, this opportunity to reject the EU along these lines?

Short version: Is the British working class so xenophobic, so pulverized, so disorganized that you might as well concede the battle even before it is joined?

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

radicalgraffiti

why would you expect people to keep exhaustive notes of something that they encounter all the time?

do you think it just vanished after the last article?

Brilliant. Makes you wonder why Cohen ever bothered to write the book, doesn't it? I mean why make notes of something he encountered all the time?

Here's why, skidplate, because you and others have made the assertion that ant-semitism is prevalent on the British left; that it informs a major portion of the anti-Zionist discourse and rhetoric of the left.

And because not everyone is British.

You're a regular fucking historical materialist, aren't you?

Auld-bod

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian #109:

‘Somebody wants to tell me-- "Oh, that's just was colonialists do?" Like the US deploying white phosphorous in Fallujah, destroying the electrical power grid of Iraq, diestroying the public education, healthcare, and even sanitary systems? OK, sure thing. Just like that. Or like the US in Vietnam-- strategic hamlets, free fire zones, Operation Phoenix? Or like the French in Algeria? Utilizing torture, death squads, etc? Or like...........the Afrikaaner governments in South Africa? Sure, I'll accept that, although didn't someone complain about likening the Zionists to the Boers? Or like the Spanish combating the Cuban revolution in the 19th century-- you know-- concentration camps? Or the British combating the Boers? You know, concentration camps?

OK sure thing.... except all those examples involve actions similar if not identical to actions taken by Nazis in occupied territories.’

I see all violent conflict/war as almost inevitably leading to criminal behavior, rape, murder or other atrocity.

History shows a multitude of examples. The main difference for me lies not simply in the various outcomes, it is also in the reasons for the conflict and what it is meant to achieve.

An example would be in the use of concentration camps. I understand this was pioneered by the British as a strategy to defeat the Boers who were fighting a guerrilla war. The idea was to isolate the fighters from their supporters and thereby defeat them. The USA used the same tactic in Vietnam. The British in Northern Ireland reversed the tactic by rounding up ‘the players’ and interning them without trial. The intended end was to win the war by defeating the enemy and tens of thousands of innocents died.

The Nazis on the other hand, wished to secure their political victory in Germany 1933, by rounding up their political opponents and ‘undesirables’. This became not a means to end WW2 (1), rather it was used as part of a systematic method to eradicate their enemies from the face of the earth.

There lies the difference: murder and atrocity as a means to an end - or an end in itself.

(1) Rather than aid the Nazi war effort, it can be argued the mass murder used up much valuable war material (people). A small example: the SS commandeering railway wagons to carry off their victims, while the German army was freezing in summer clothes outside Moscow in 1941.

Reddebrek

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Personally if you need a comparable US example I always think of the fate of the American Indians. I mean this

Is pretty similar to this

And yet I don't think the movement against the settler state of the USA* is even close to as large and powerful as the American section of the anti Zionist movement. That's always struck me as quite odd because the American Indians are much closer to home and thus present more opportunities to intervene and build links of solidarity. And yet there doesn't appear to be that much comparable activity from American activists who aren't Indians themselves.

I personally don't believe that the (sole) reason for the popularity of the anti Israel movement, is conscious anti-semitism. But I do find it odd why that seems to be the only example of militant and bloody colonialism that seems to get so much attention.

Is it just a question of out of sight out of mind? Or well the damage has been done (even though its still being done)?

*Or really any of the other nation states in the Western Hemisphere, but I don't speak Spanish or Portuguese so I could be wrong about a few of them.

Edit to add
S. Artesian

A) I didn't bring it up. Ed did, viewing the article as evidence of the prevalence of anti-semitism on the left. I stated I incorrectly defended the article. Twice. Reading comprehension not your strong suit? Go sit in the back with Ed and laborbund.

Just a quick comment, if you want to take the condescension route you might want to put the effort into being correct. You did bring up the Adbusters article because you... brought it up to make a comment independent of Ed, you thought it was worthy of commenting and defence and so you did. And you're admitting you did right here. Just because Ed talked about it first doesn't change that, that isn't what that term means. I brought it up earlier to ask you a question which you haven't answered, and I'm bringing it up right now as a demonstration of a point.

I asked you what's the point of highlighting Jewishness in that list was. You haven't answered me, your now saying you no longer defend it, and that's fine. But you did defend it so I can only assume you did think there was a point to singling out the Jews, could you please tell me what that point was, because unless you have amnesia you should still remember even if you no longer agree with it. Either your reading comprehension isn't very good either or your just trying to bury a part of the conversation that makes you feel vulnerable. I don't really care which but I would like an answer, why did you think it was worth the ink to single out the Jewish members, what was the point?

Zeronowhere

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That's always struck me as quite odd because the American Indians are much closer to home and thus present more opportunities to intervene and build links of solidarity. And yet there doesn't appear to be that much comparable activity from American activists who aren't Indians themselves.

Obviously, the breaking of the American Indians occurred in the name of struggles which had far less relevance to the situation at the time of the Palestine scenario. They were highly spread out, in any case, and that was not of course formed under a comparable scenario. In either situation, the USA was not a 'settler state,' in the same sense, it was an expansion of an existing state. The USA was formed in the opposite manner, by breaking free of British occupation.

Obviously S. Artesian was fairly clear that they didn't view anti-Semitism as anything inherently associated with anti-Zionism, and if you want to bring a non-existent struggle to public consciousness and inform them about that, then that's okay, but people taking views or agitating about an on-going affair which is striking for many reasons, and displays a fair few tendencies that the left have continually associated with capital or imperialism, in such a way that others may clearly view and oppose this, might have other reasons for doing this instead, other than anti-Semitism.

Being 'closer to home' need not mean much in America, which was not a country restricted to domestic affairs. The focus is, of course, on politics, and not on tea parties.

And yet I don't think the movement against the settler state of the USA

There were many movements against the empires of other nations. People opted for political movements which would release these, and so on, ultimately. This was also aided by WWII, where a lot of these nations were freed of British or imperial influence, and armed against them, and the British for instance left incapable of re-establishing their dominance. Likewise, North Vietnam freed itself from this, and managed to defend this, aided by miscellaneous mosquitoes. Now, it might be that a lot of this was driven by persistent anti-white sentiment. However, in general, Israel is treated as it is, as a state founded - as an independent nation - and hence inherently acting on the basis of certain impulses, or in general an undeclared war which has become a cause célèbre for major nations, and obviously people would rather not leave this 'special relation' unopposed. It is a nation generated by this international order, founded on a mythology of conquest and subjugation of other races, and which is compelled to continually act along these lines, in which sense people obviously might have opted to attack the USA on its current interests and actions, rather than on dead American Indian struggles.

Ultimately, the Israeli situation was like an on-going cancer in international and in, for instance, American domestic politics and their system, which people felt the need to actively oppose - and were certainly not in favour of continuing to impose, or favouring a political route in that direction -, while the Amerindian situation really had little relevance.

The USA, of course, was founded by repelling British settlement, not immediately by settling.

Rurkel

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Current Amerindian situation is far less severe than the Palestinian one, in that there're no current equivalents to the West Bank wall, special roads, the Gaza blockade, etc. There're XX century situations closer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than the American Indian one.

Fleur

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

and if you want to bring a non-existent struggle to public consciousness and inform them about that, then that's okay,

Non-existent struggle? You are kidding? Clearly you are woefully unaware of ongoing struggles of Native Americans/ First Nations people. And settler colonialism is an appropriate way to describe it.

Fleur

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, you're right though, the situation of indigenous people in North America is not as severe as what is going on in Palestine because 90% of their population have already died as a result of the genocide caused by us European folks deciding to come and settle here.

Joseph Kay

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Zeronowhere

Obviously, the breaking of the American Indians occurred in the name of struggles which had far less relevance to the situation at the time of the Palestine scenario. They were highly spread out, in any case, and that was not of course formed under a comparable scenario. In either situation, the USA was not a 'settler state,' in the same sense, it was an expansion of an existing state. The USA was formed in the opposite manner, by breaking free of British occupation.

That's not really true, what became the US was a slaver, colonial project from its inception, before, during, and after independence from Britain (one of the grievances against Britain was the closure of territories to further settlement; and sale of annexed land was a major source of revenue of the new government). And some of the atrocities committed against the indigenous population would make the IDF blush. Indeed, the US policy was explicitly exterminationist in a way Israel rarely compares to (though Ayelet Shaked gives it a good go). That said, it's true that most of those atrocities happened outside living memory*, and that probably accounts for some of the focus on Israel.

* Though I'm told native american oral traditions and temporality mean a few hundred years ago is often still a 'present' trauma, and for example the genocidal residential schools in Canada closed in the 1990s

radicalgraffiti

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

radicalgraffiti

why would you expect people to keep exhaustive notes of something that they encounter all the time?

do you think it just vanished after the last article?

Brilliant. Makes you wonder why Cohen ever bothered to write the book, doesn't it? I mean why make notes of something he encountered all the time?

Here's why, skidplate, because you and others have made the assertion that ant-semitism is prevalent on the British left; that it informs a major portion of the anti-Zionist discourse and rhetoric of the left.

And because not everyone is British.

You're a regular fucking historical materialist, aren't you?

so you want us to write you a book, which you would presumably dismiss as irrelevant because the things discussed happened in the past

Reddebrek

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@Rurkel, and Zeronowhere

I'd like to thank the pair of you for your responses, because you've proven my point better than I ever could. Your complete and total ignorance of the conditions and struggles of the American Indians, a group that exists across an entire continent and have over 500 years of examples of brutality and oppression, and your knee jerk defences of the prominence of the anti Zionist campaign based on that ignorance is so what I was trying to get across, that I really have nothing more to add.

Seriously I could go on about how Eretz Israel also broke away from British control via a violent insurrection, though I won't because have no idea what relevance that would have either way.

@ S.A

Brilliant. Makes you wonder why Cohen ever bothered to write the book, doesn't it? I mean why make notes of something he encountered all the time?1

Here's why, skidplate, because you and others have made the assertion that ant-semitism is prevalent on the British left; that it informs a major portion of the anti-Zionist discourse and rhetoric of the left.

And because not everyone is British2.

You might actually go read it again because its quite clear from your comments that you missed a whole lot.

1: Did you miss the part where the booklet was acknowledged as the first of its kind? And that he went back and researched things that happened to him after the fact? And that he nearly didn't write it at all because he anticipated and received backlash? That he describes many things he did not personally experience? That's Funny is many things but it is not a diary.

Do you record all your conversations? add every event to dear diary?

2: Yeah, while That's Funny is focussed on the British Left it does go beyond that, and its explanations for the roots of anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitic lines peddled by leftists are pretty universal. So unless you have an explanation for why other non British leftists are immune to it then that's not an rebuttal.

Also could you make up your mind please, you've asked for examples and now you're rejecting them on the grounds that they don't apply because they happened in a different nation.

But if only American anti semitic lefties will do, then why don't you have a look at this book?
http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1582

Alf

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think we are encountering problems of definition around at least two central issues:

The discussion has not arrived at a view of the class nature of Zionism in its original form - or rather the class natures of the different currents which made up the early Zionist movement. There were in all probability three principal trends: the outright rich bourgeois colonisers, of course, but probably more significant at the beginning, the petty bourgeois core around Herzl, and even the proletarian elements, in Russia those around Ber Borochov and his group, which founded Poale Zion. They were an offspring of the Menshevik tendency, which at that time was by no means outside the workers' movement.

Perhaps more importantly, there has been no definition of what is meant by the "left". Artesian offered a definition in which marxist organisations played an important part, but he didn't define what are the criteria for telling whether an organisation is marxist or not. This is a rather key problem in a discussion aimed at assessing how far "the left" is infected by anti-semitism.

I would say that for the majority of posters on this thread, the "the left" is made up of organisations which present themselves as marxist, but which are in reality the extreme left wing of the capitalist political machinery. I am not clear where Artesian stands on that view, which has for so long been rejected as being "ultra-left" and sectarian, but which now has quite a wide following among the anarchists.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Re: what Fleur and JK wrote I seem to recall the figure for land theft - under cover of 'treaty' - being virtually identical [at 98% in the contiguous lower 48] to the % of people murdered in the genocide, using such means as the scalp bounty, during which the bodies of pregnant women were regularly found with their wombs hacked open so that the unborn children's scalps could profit their murderers. The proportion of the American Indian population locked away in the US prison-industrial complex was also larger than any other sector the last time I looked, some years ago, with reservations such as Pine Ridge in Dakota having higher figures for the likes of death by exposure than anywhere else in the US, when I first became adequately aware of these things in the early 1990s.

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:

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.

Zeronowhere

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Reddebrek

@Rurkel, and Zeronowhere

I'd like to thank the pair of you for your responses, because you've proven my point better than I ever could. Your complete and total ignorance of the conditions and struggles of the American Indians, a group that exists across an entire continent and have over 500 years of examples of brutality and oppression, and your knee jerk defences of the prominence of the anti Zionist campaign based on that ignorance is so what I was trying to get across, that I really have nothing more to add.

Good. Then be quiet. I think that really proves the validity of what we were saying, and that it was worth saying.

Your contribution is noted, as part of the discussion of why anti-Zionism need not be anti-Semitic. Or did it eventually have nothing to do with that? If you're just going to use the American Indian struggle to condemn people as anti-Semitic, as S. Artesian has already been labelled here, then it might be that another thread would be more appropriate if the end were merely to get people to show compassion for American Indians, which is really neither here nor there.

But in any case, you're right, it could just be that people hate American Indians rather than Semites. Which makes it seem even less relevant, unless this has eventually become a race to smear anyone with any sympathies towards anti-Zionism as racist in some way or other, without this being relevant at all. Can you accuse people of racism with all the colours of the wind.

Edit:

Non-existent struggle? You are kidding?

I meant 'struggle' in an analogous sense.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

RadGraf

so you want us to write you a book, which you would presumably dismiss as irrelevant because the things discussed happened in the past

Just like I dismissed Cohen's book as irrelevant? I didn't do that, did I?

Reddebrek)

Your complete and total ignorance of the conditions and struggles of the American Indians, a group that exists across an entire continent and have over 500 years of examples of brutality and oppression, and your knee jerk defences of the prominence of the anti Zionist campaign based on that ignorance is so what I was trying to get across, that I really have nothing more to add.

Certainly, struggles against the oppression of native Americans exist and are waged daily in the United States. And just as certainly the US in its treatment of the indigenous people is perhaps the archetype for settler capitalism.

The prominence of the anti-Zionist campaign is attributable to many things. Are you trying to claim that anti-semitism is one of the reasons why the anti-Zionist campaign is given prominence?

You might actually go read it again because its quite clear from your comments that you missed a whole lot.

1: Did you miss the part where the booklet was acknowledged as the first of its kind? And that he went back and researched things that happened to him after the fact? And that he nearly didn't write it at all because he anticipated and received backlash? That he describes many things he did not personally experience?

Thick as a brick you are, aren't you? I used the phrase "why make notes" as a turn, a "flip" of Rad Grafs-- why document what "we encounter everyday."

I wasn't asking for record of conversations-- Cohen provides historical documentation for the anti-semitism expressed in regards to the Alien Act, and by providing excerpts from the writings of (mostly British) leftists themselves. Now if the "official" British left-- and I don't even know who would fall into that category-- SWP, the British "section" of WSWS, or IS, etc.-- is saturated with anti-semitism, then the anti-semitic tropes that Cohen documents should be appearing in the words and actions of that official left. So are they? I know it's just me being tendentious, and splitting pubic hairs, but somebody says The US Spartacists (or whatever the current incarnation is called, SWP, ISO, Solidarity, Socialist Action etc. etc. are saturated with anti-semitism-- and since I follow none of those groups actions or writings, I want to see the documentation. Is that so fucking hard to understand?

Also could you make up your mind please, you've asked for examples and now you're rejecting them on the grounds that they don't apply because they happened in a different nation.

That's right up there with laborbund claiming I compared Jews to Boers and the other fucking nonsense that's been produce by the "saturationists." I rejected exactly none of the examples provided by Cohen. I explicitly acknowledged the validity of his argument regarding the use of anti-semitic language and arguments in the service of anti-Zionism.

You are either thicker than a brick, or deliberately dishonest. If I weren't such a charitable sort, I'd guess the latter.

As for the Adbusters article--one more time-- I never even heard of it until post # 76 by Ed. Then I looked it up. And I incorrectly concluded it did not engage in anti-semitic coding.

I don't there's anything anti-semitic in pointing out the significant differences in median income that exist in the US among Jews, blacks, Hindis, and the general population and how that correlates with the political preference of the Jews, blacks, Hindis, etc.

I do think there's something significantly wrong in regarding or suggesting that the higher levels of median income represents a conspiracy, allowing Jews as Jews to direct US capitalist policy on behalf of Israel. That's anti-semitism. There is no Jewish foreign policy in or of the US government, just as there is no Jewish public health policy, no Jewish labor relations policy, no Jewish trade policy, no Jewish defense policy, no Jewish social welfare policy, and no Jewish human rights policy. There are programs, plans, policies of US capitalism, and some Jews, some times, are the agents, advocates, and administrators of such policies.

In reviewing Schmoopie's posts, I think he is in fact onto something critical-- in his argument that anti-Zionism is indeed a "transplant" a "graft" unto the struggle for emancipation of the Palestinian people and Palestinian workers in order to frustrate, and obstruct the development of a class-conscious movement that opposes and undercuts the petty bourgeoisie's (and surely clerics qualify as spiritual shopkeepers) yearning for a "nation," that is to say a market, that is to say the "freedom" to exploit labor.

EDIT: But this needs to be sorted out, worked through. Surely, if we accept Zionism as meaning that all members of the Jewish religion are entitled to a homeland because they are Jewish; and we know that the economic basis for that homeland, given the fact that it will exist as capitalist, sponsored by advanced capitalism, is in the dispossession of those residing in the territory who are not Jews; , and that the social reproduction of such a homeland involves the reproduction of discrimination, exploitation, and oppression of those "others;" then the impulse to anti-Zionism is not anti-semitic, nor is it originally an ideological "narrative" convenient for a competing would be capitalist formation.

That anti-Zionism can, and perhaps inevitably becomes, just such a narrative convenient to a wouldbe capitalist formation when "left to itself" indicates not just the "weak" class development of those directly prey to Zionism, but also the retreat of workers struggles in general after 1973.

To Alf: I don't usually swing along with the vocabulary that is so in vogue: like the "left" is the "left wing of capitalism." I mean I don't buy into notions that "explain" advanced capitalism through using, as a buzzword, "fictitious capital" any more than I buy into explanations based on "imperialism" as a buzzword.

I do think the "left"-- as manifested say by Syriza and any and all those who offered Syriza the slightest bit of support, "critical" or otherwise, is fundamentally incapable of anything other than paving the way for capitalist re-constitution-- and even that gives the left too much credit for being effective.

Incompetent, capitulationist, collaborationist,-- I think the left fears nothing so much as it fears actual rupture with capitalism, actual workers' organization.

Getting back to Cohen's book-- what I did not miss, which apparently others did, or don't think is important to comment upon-- is his position that it's a given that Marxists would have, should have fought for unrestricted Jewish entry into Palestine. That he doesn't see that action as enforcing the spirit and practice of the Alien Act, as it was "channeled" by the Balfour Doctrine; that he doesn't recognize the struggle for that as implicitly confirming British imperial power over territory seized in the breakdown of the Ottoman empire represents the trick bag that Marxists got into after the devastation of the working classes leading up to and through the world war.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For those without regular contact with young children or who just haven't experienced the wonders of Disney's Pocahontas, it should be pointed out that when in the context of the genocide of American Indians Zeronowhere wrote:

Can you accuse people of racism with all the colours of the wind.

he achieved depths of analysis that I don't recall experiencing since the last time my five year old made me watch it.

Zeronowhere

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is quite an elegant sentence, where discrimination about race and skin colour is concerned, yes.

Fleur

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Zeronowhere actually made a Pocahontas reference? That's about as crass as it gets.

I meant 'struggle' in an analogous sense.

So it's a pissing competition about who is the most deserving of solidarity?

I'm not really complaining about people who do solidarity work, a lot of people have done it or something similar at various times but I'm always a bit dismayed that people so often prefer to do solidarity work with people in places far away, rather than work with people in their own back yard. Native people in North America are the most marginalized people on the continent and yet the interest from the radical left is negligible compared to Palestine. Why is this? I don't know and that's not a serious question but I suspect it has a lot to do with it being easier.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why is this? I don't know and that's not a serious question but I suspect it has a lot to do with it being easier.

Why is this? First and foremost, the breaking of "radical' groups through repression-- COINTELPRO, targeted arrests, dispersals, assassinations, imprisonments. Secondly, the defeat more or less, more than less, of insurgent workers movements and the breaking of the US strike wave in 1974. Third, dispersal and liquidation of industrial concentrations through the great asset stripping era post 1979. Fourth, sustained assault by the US bourgeoisie on social welfare programs, and reduction in number of workers employed in manufacturing, mining, and utilities in the US.

That's the "reduction" in the level of intensity and awareness of the struggles of indigenous Americans. You get, essentially, de-proletarianization-- atomisation, fragmentation, isolation.

As for the heightened level of awareness and involvement re the Palestinian struggle-- uh...
1. historical area of explosive, near explosive conflict for the US and the former Soviet Union. ,

2. Massive weaponry deployed to Israel, and "terrorist" practices employed by some Palestinian forces to counter that massive firepower discrepancy. Willy Peter will make you a believer, and a "terrorist."

3. Area of conflict is also the area that has seen massive military conflict between Israel and Arabic states, with integrated use of infantry, armor, artillery, air forces.

4. Level of Israeli ferocity when engaged in conflict-- Lebanon for example; Sabra, Shatila. The response to the first intifada, and the second intifada which resistance include a general strike of Palestinians working in Israel on Israeli holdings. And incidents like Jenin.

5. International condemnation of Israel in the organizations of "international bourgeois stability"-- i.e. the UN.

6. Proximity to the sensitive trade and production circuits of oil.

7. Oil

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Redd

But I do find it odd why that seems to be the only example of militant and bloody colonialism that seems to get so much attention.

Well, Redd, you probably find it odd because it's the "only example" only in your own mind. You want to criticize Zero for his lack of knowledge about the struggles of indigenous Americans, and yet you make a statement of astounding ignorance about what does and doesn't get attention in the US?

Haiti gets attention. Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador get attention. Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico (particularly the destruction wrought through the "war on drugs"). Maquiladoras get attention.

US actions in Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan get attention.

Attacks on documented and undocumented persons get a whole lot of attention.

The intensified exploitation of migrant laborers, often women, and women of color gets attention.

Police assaults and murders of black youth gets a lot of attention.

Burning of African-American churches gets a lot of attention;

sexual assaults on women, and sexual molestation of youth gets attention; religious, and "civil" attacks, on women's reproductive healthcare gets a boatload of attention....

What you don't know could fill a..........

Fleur

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What you are saying, we all know. Some of us have been told first hand by people about what the situation in Palestine is like. You're preaching to the choir. You don't need to preach so hard. That wasn't my question. I'm speaking as someone who's been there, in solidarity campaigns. I've bought the t shirt, worn out the shoe leather, picketed, protested, boycotted, shouted, vandalized, graffitied, handed out the fliers, given up my time - lots of it. Only what I'm talking about was South Africa.

What I'm talking about is the sheer amount of time and energy the left put into these campaigns. Even so, I'm not particularly criticizing people who do these things. I just wonder if a good part of the appeal of these movements is the camaraderie, working with like minded people on the side of righteousness but at the same time it's not something which doesn't particularly effects us personally at all. That's what I mean by easier. You're not in Jenin, I wasn't in Soweto, at the end of the day I could just go home and put my banner down by the front door. DId we win? I don't know. People seemed to think we did. The government changed.

My point is not to criticize Palestinian solidarity groups, or to give Israel a pass or to let the US government off the hook etc. I was suggesting that people are highly attracted to other people's national liberation struggles for all sorts of reasons and people get burnt out from politics so easily, given the virtually unwinnable nature of this fight, do American leftists feel that all this energy and commitment is doing anything at all?

Just my thoughts, please don't try and answer that, I can't be bothered to get into a slanging match. It's just my observations as miserable old cynic that westerners campaigning for national liberation movements elsewhere don't seem to have ever made an iota of difference.

Tyrion

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur raises good points as to the "sexiness" of the Palestinian struggle among Western leftists. Aside from all that's been talked about already here, perhaps it illustrates a big problem of trying to replay past struggles. I think you see this a lot with the demonstrations and marches from point A to point B that I know I used to be very enthusiastic about back when I was first discovering more radical politics and activism. In large part, this was because they appeared to emulate the movements of the 60s and the anti-war movement specifically, in which large numbers of people gathering and chanting apparently ended the Vietnam War. This is a total misunderstanding of history, and it's no surprise that mainstream outlets play up the significance of domestic demonstrations while totally neglecting the much more important widespread mutinies of American soldiers that had a far more direct impact on hindering the war effort. But similarly, the Palestinian struggle resembles past anti-colonial struggles as well as the fight against apartheid in South Africa. That's all been mythologized enough that, based on my personal experience, that may be part of the appeal to young American leftists of taking part in Palestinian solidarity activism.

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

post deleted

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tyrion wrote:

This is a total misunderstanding of history, and it's no surprise that mainstream outlets play up the significance of domestic demonstrations while totally neglecting the much more important widespread mutinies of American soldiers that had a far more direct impact on hindering the war effort.

... with a little help from the Vietnamese armies (Tet Offensive?).

radicalgraffiti

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

RadGraf

so you want us to write you a book, which you would presumably dismiss as irrelevant because the things discussed happened in the past

Just like I dismissed Cohen's book as irrelevant? I didn't do that, did I?

really

S. Artesian

2. The evidence for anti-semitism of the "modern left" in Britain ends in the 1980s-- not the flaw of a work written in 1985.

3. Does make me wonder if those claiming that the current British left is "saturated" with anti-semitism, that the anti-semitism is prevalent, can provide similar, and copious, documentation, as Cohen does. We have the citing of a statement by Galloway; we have the crass opportunism of those aligning with Moslem clerics. Certainly there must be more if the British left is saturated.

S. Artesian

Ed,

And I'm chuckling over your inability to provide the documentation of anti-semitism anywhere close to the degree that Cohen provided.

The real issue with Adbusters article, as I will now say for a third time, is that it self-selected its sample to "prove" what in fact was assumed-- and as I will now say again, plays into anti-semitic tropes.

And I'm roaring with laughter over the fact that you can't seem to come up with anything other than one article 12 years ago, from a group that flogs vegan footwear, digital detox, and an "agenda for a New America, to submit as evidence for the prevalence of anti-semitism within the left.

this certainly doesn't come across as at all dismissive. "yes there where problems in the past but its different now, those examples you provided are isolated incidents"

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

this certainly doesn't come across as at all dismissive. "yes there where problems in the past but its different now, those examples you provided are isolated incidents"

Lame. About as lame as it can get. We have a book that goes into detail on the origin, penetration, and maintenance of anti-semitism among socialist, and labor groups. The book is published in 1985. The book is recommended as a source for discussion going on here and now about the current "saturation" of the anti-Zionist left with anti-semitism... The book is read, understood, acknowledged as being accurate, and as is always the case-- there are some disagreements.

And asking those people who recommend that book to provide just a bit of the detail Cohen provided 30 years ago in supporting his work is... dismissive of the work itself. Ah yes....we "trivializers" of anti-semitism work in mysterious and conspiratorial ways. Even asking for anything other than a reference to an article 12 years old, or the statement about Israel tourists made by a oft-quoted left figure is clearly, if not anti-semitic, trivializing anti-semitism.

Those examples cited are "isolated incidents" not because I think they are, but because no further development has been offered.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Earlier,

Malva wrote:

There are currently thousands of Jews leaving France for Israel every year precisely because they feel that hostility towards Jews is on the rise and people are trivialising the situation.

It also occurs to me that your statistic is completely meaningless because, precisely because they are a minority, the fact that the ethnicity might be slightly more wealthy would have only minimal impact. It is the typical 'Have you heard the rumour about the Jews? They are rich and have undue power in politics.' It is precisely this kind of widespread rumour that has led directly to high-profile attacks on Jews in France by criminal gangs in recent years.

FFS, does NONE of this have any connection at all with the unremittingly outrageous behaviour of an (exclusively) religious, murderous racist State in the mid-East which destroys with abandon because backed by superpower capital and weapons? Is there nothing in the idea that horrific war crimes by the exclusively Jewish state blow back at Jews everywhere, thereby expanding the citizenry of this state, leading to increased demand for territory by that state?

Joseph Kay

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

Is there nothing in the idea that horrific war crimes by the exclusively Jewish state blow back at Jews everywhere

"Is there nothing in the idea that horrific war crimes by the exclusively Muslim terrorists blow back at Muslims everywhere..." Yes there is, it's called racism, i.e. holding people collectively accountable for the actions of 'their kind'.

That said, Arun Kundnani's just published a piece arguing that anti-semitism is not excessive anti-Zionism, but a conspiratorial account of capitalist disorder.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Again, is the exclusively Jewish, racist state in the mid-East in no way responsible for any of this? Would it be on the rise if the actions of this state were otherwise?

laborbund

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

That's right up there with laborbund claiming I compared Jews to Boers and the other fucking nonsense that's been produce by the "saturationists."

You did compare Jews to Boers. I said:
laborbund

You could also argue with much historical weight that much of the Israeli population could be seen as refugees fleeing from antisemitic persecution and oppression rather than settlers...

since for many emigration to Israel wasn't a matter of Zionist ideology, but a practical question of escaping pogroms, nazism, more pogroms, etc. and having literally nowhere else to go.

Then you responded:
S. Artesian

No doubt you could see it that way. And you could see the Boers as refugees from British imperialism.

As though the antisemitism experienced by Jews in Europe and the Middle East is somehow analogous to the Boers' being upset that the British wanted to roll back the extent to which the Boers could oppress the natives. That is an obscene trivialization of antisemitism, and when I pointed that out, you began insisting that I was equating Jews with Zionists.

And yes, contemporary anti-zionism in the US is saturated with antisemitism. That's been my experience and the experience of many other self-identified Jews on libcom. So instead of resorting to childish insult and demanding that we prove it to you why don't you take it seriously and look into it yourself. You can find out more about it here. Or take your own proof. Cynthia McKinney? Defense of the antisemitic (and misogynist, and homophobic, and pro-capitalist) NOI should be obligatory for all socialists?

Oh, and on the issue of Native American struggles in the US: I lived in western SD for a while, north of Pine Ridge, and yes the conditions are appalling as others have pointed out above; basically third world. Then there's the extraordinarily high rate of police killings of Natives and the nearly constant vigilante violence which whites carry out with impunity. I mean ffs, the governor when I lived there was a one time vigilante himself who liked to think of himself as an "Indian fighter." Its not as though the oppression of Natives is something that occurred in the 19th century. Its happening now. I never saw delegations of white solidarity activists from out-of-state while I lived in SD, though I did see a lot of Native struggle. The lack of knowledge and especially of concern outside of Indian Country itself is fucking galling. So it really does make me a bit suspicious when the justification for excessive focus on Israel is that its a settler-state.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That said, Arun Kundnani's just published a piece arguing that anti-semitism is not excessive anti-Zionism, but a conspiratorial account of capitalist disorder.

Is that news? Is it controversial on this thread to suggest that the actions of a violent religious state are causing problems around the world for members of that religion?

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

laborbund wrote:

So it really does make me a bit suspicious when the justification for excessive focus on Israel is that its a settler-state.

What would account for this re-focusing? Is SA's list earlier just a contrivance to cover up for the cowardice at the heart of the neglect of American Indian struggles in the US?

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You did compare Jews to Boers. I said:
laborbund

You could also argue with much historical weight that much of the Israeli population could be seen as refugees fleeing from antisemitic persecution and oppression rather than settlers...

since for many emigration to Israel wasn't a matter of Zionist ideology, but a practical question of escaping pogroms, nazism, more pogroms, etc. and having literally nowhere else to go.

Then you responded:
S. Artesian

No doubt you could see it that way. And you could see the Boers as refugees from British imperialism.

That is fucking pathetic. I said "you could see it that way" ironically, the emphasis being on the You. You could see it it that way. I don't see it that way, which is precisely why I pointed out that you could see the Boers as refugees from British imperialism. YOU. Not me. And, in YOU so doing YOU would miss the point-- that it doesn't matter what the ideology justification is or is not, was or was not. What matters is what was intrinsic to, inherent in, necessary for the construction of the "homeland"-- the Zionist homeland, the Boer homeland. I compared Zionists to Boers, not Jews. Not all Jews emigrated to Palestine. Not all Jews support the Zionist project.

As though the antisemitism experienced by Jews in Europe and the Middle East is somehow analogous to the Boers' being upset that the British wanted to roll back the extent to which the Boers could oppress the natives. That is an obscene trivialization of antisemitism, and when I pointed that out, you began insisting that I was equating Jews with Zionists.

Obscene? I think ignoring the inherent, necessary, intrinsic consequences of supporting a British imperial policy, supporting its immigration controls, supporting its "doctrines" regarding the "rights" of some people; ignoring how all that feeds and fed into dispossession of a resident population, the destruction of its means of subsistence, the terrorism that was and is practiced by the expropriating population is more than obscene, more than pornographic, it's absolutely reactionary.

Cynthia McKinney was not targeted for being anti-semitic. She was targeted for opposing the pro-Israel lobby. The charges of anti-semitism were raised specifically by that lobby for the purposes of defeating her political opposition to US policy regarding Israel. Back in 2002, I believe, a representative of the Anti-Defamation League was on record as thinking that Cynthia McKinney had NOT "crossed over the 'line' " and into anti-Jewish statements.

And the NOI issue was specifically attached to Watts in 1965 and the assault on it mosque in Watts by police forces. Tell me again how you wouldn't support defense of the NOI mosque from those attacks because of the NOI's well known reference to whites as blue-eyed devils and its explicit anti-Jewish statements.

Oh, and on the issue of Native American struggles in the US: I lived in western SD for a while, north of Pine Ridge, and yes the conditions are appalling as others have pointed out above; basically third world. Then there's the extraordinarily high rate of police killings of Natives and the nearly constant vigilante violence which whites carry out with impunity. I mean ffs, the governor when I lived there was a one time vigilante himself who liked to think of himself as an "Indian fighter." Its not as though the oppression of Natives is something that occurred in the 19th century. Its happening now. I never saw delegations of white solidarity activists from out-of-state while I lived in SD, though I did see a lot of Native struggle. The lack of knowledge and especially of concern outside of Indian Country itself is fucking galling. So it really does make me a bit suspicious when the justification for excessive focus on Israel is that its a settler-state.

[/quote]

Who made any such justification? Not me.

One more time: I didn't compare Jews to Boers, I compared Zionists-- settler capitalists to settler capitalists. You want to separate the emigration from the settlerism? Good fucking luck.

laborbund

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

laborbund wrote:

So it really does make me a bit suspicious when the justification for excessive focus on Israel is that its a settler-state.

What would account for this re-focusing? Is SA's list earlier just a contrivance to cover up for the cowardice at the heart of the neglect of American Indian struggles in the US?

I actually think there's a lot to be said for that list, but yeah I also think a large part of it is pure cowardice and the fact that solidarity groups are mostly made up of white middle class college kids who want to be part of a moral crusade and their moral crusader self-image might be harmed if they had to think of themselves as "settlers."

laborbund

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

And the NOI issue was specifically attached to Watts in 1965 and the assault on it mosque in Watts by police forces. Tell me again how you wouldn't support defense of the NOI mosque from those attacks because of the NOI's well known reference to whites as blue-eyed devils and its explicit anti-Jewish statements.

Ok. I wouldn't defend these fucks. For the simple fact that they wouldn't defend me, but would likely kill me if their goals were ever attained. If I were in your watts riots time warp scenario I would try to defend and aid ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE the police were attacking who didn't happen to belong a to nationalist, capitalist religious cult.

Joseph Kay

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

Again, is the exclusively Jewish, racist state in the mid-East in no way responsible for any of this? Would it be on the rise if the actions of this state were otherwise?

If the actions of the Israeli state make a person want to collectively punish Jews, that person is probably already inclined to anti-semitism (or at least a dubious notion of collective racial guilt).

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.alanhart.net/anti-semitism-what-it-is-and-is-not/

QUOTE An anti-Semite used to be a person who disliked Jews. Now it is a person who Jews dislike UNQUOTE

Those are the words of my dear Jewish friend, Nazi (Auschwitz) holocaust survivor Dr. Hajo Myer. They are taken from page 179 of his magnificent book An Ethical Tradition Betrayed – The End of Judaism (published in 2007).

Hajo was making a point in passing which had been provoked in his mind by an incident that happened in the Netherlands where he lives. Gretta Duisenberg, the wife of the former European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg, hoisted a Palestinian flag at her home as a protest against Israel’s actions in the occupied territories. Her Jewish neighbours saw to it that their accusation that she was anti-Semitic went viral, and a Jewish lawyer not only sought to press a charge against her, he approached the Jewish World Congress in New York with the suggestion that Wim Duisenberg should be declared persona non grata in the United States. That affair, Hajo wrote, “reflects a caustic, contemporary definition of the term anti-Semite.” Then came his own redefinition as quoted above.

In the light of the false charges of anti-Semitism that were levelled against British Liberal Democratic MP David Ward for telling the truth, and then against Gerald Scarfe for his anti-Netanyahu cartoon in the Sunday Times which reflected (yes, in a grotesque way) the truth, I would expand Hajo’s definition as follows. An anti-Semite today is a truth-telling person Jews who support the Zionist state of Israel RIGHT OR WRONG not only dislike but want to silence.

That last statement of mine should not be taken to imply that I am a denier of the existence of anti-Semitism. It is on the rise due mainly to the Zionist (not Jewish) state’s brutal oppression of the Palestinians and on-going colonization of their West Bank land and water in open defiance of, and contempt for, international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

Also true is that a number of web sites which reflect mainly American and European views are alive and crawling with the most vile expressions of anti-Semitism. That said, I think it’s more than possible that some of the anti-Semitic excrement in comments on web sites is the work of Zionist assets for the purpose of discrediting by association those of us who seek to tell the truth. (The web site of Veterans Today is an example of what I mean. It is one of quite a few sites that publish my articles, but many of the comments under them do not engage with what I have written. They spew out hatred of Jews and deny the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust. As I wrote in Volume One of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, I think holocaust denial is as obscene and wicked as the great crime itself).

The main point I want to convey in this article is that it really, really, really is time for peoples of all faiths and none everywhere to understand that it is perfectly possible to be passionately anti-Zionist (anti Zionism’s colonial enterprise), and fiercely condemnatory of the policies of Zionism’s in-Israel leaders, without being in any way, shape or form anti-Semitic. The assertion of those Jews (a minority of the whole?) who support Israel right or wrong that criticism of Israel’s leaders and their policies is a manifestation of hatred for all Jews everywhere is c-r-a-z-y. It can only come from traumatized minds which have been brainwashed by Zionist propaganda.

In my view real understanding requires knowledge of the following.

There are two definitions of anti-Semitism in its Jewish context. One was born in real history and represents a truth. The other is part and parcel of Zionist mythology and was invented for the purpose of blackmailing non-Jewish Europeans and North Americans into refraining from criticising Israel or, to be more precise, staying silent when its leaders demonstrate their absolute contempt for international law and resort to state terrorism.

Anti-Semitism properly and honestly defined in its Jewish context is prejudice against and loathing, even hatred, of Jews, all Jews everywhere, just because they are Jews. (I say “anti-Semitism in its Jewish context” because there is another context. Arabs are also Semitic peoples. A real and true anti-Semite is therefore one who is prejudiced against and lathes, even hates, both Jews and Arabs).

Anti-Semitism as defined by Zionism, the colonial, ethnic cleansing enterprise of some Jews, has come to mean almost all criticism of Israel’s policies and actions. Put another way, anti-Semitism as defined by supporters of Israel right or wrong is anything written or said by anybody who challenges and contradicts Zionism’s version of events. In effect Jewish supporters of Israel right or wrong say, “If you disagree with us, you’re anti-Semitic.”

As a blackmail card to silence criticism of Israel and prevent informed and honest debate about who must do what and why for justice and peace in the Middle East, Zionism’s false charge of anti-Semitism has worked wonderfully well to date. Why? In the long (and still present) shadow of the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust, a European crime for which, effectively, the Arabs were punished, there are few things Westerners in public life, politicians and media people especially, fear more than being accused of anti-Semitism. The charge – even when false as it most often is – can destroy careers.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Now although this guy is a complete crazy, which parts of this would you disagree with, in the interests of rational debate?

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If the actions of the Israeli state make a person want to collectively punish Jews, that person is probably already inclined to anti-semitism (or at least a dubious notion of collective racial guilt).

So the actions of the Israeli State could (probably) have no influence on how easily bigoted opinion could spread, or influence the less well-informed or intelligent, because of the discovery of the bigotry gene or something? Is the 'notion of collective racial guilt' dubious through being obviously illogical, or because besides being illogical it is based upon 'race', and particularly so since Judaism is a religion?

Rurkel

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

http://www.alanhart.net/anti-semitism-what-it-is-and-is-not/

some of the anti-Semitic excrement in comments on web sites is the work of Zionist assets for the purpose of discrediting by association those of us who seek to tell the truth. (The web site of Veterans Today is an example of what I mean. It is one of quite a few sites that publish my articles, but many of the comments under them do not engage with what I have written. They spew out hatred of Jews and deny the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust.
...
Anti-Semitism properly and honestly defined in its Jewish context is prejudice against and loathing, even hatred, of Jews, all Jews everywhere, just because they are Jews.

Too narrow a definition that opens the door to "some of my best friends are"-style arguments.

Also, Veterans Today is a delightful little site that runs articles like "Did Mossad death squads slaughter American children at Sandy Hook?". You don't need Zionist agents to leave Holocaust denying comments there, lol.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Let's quit fucking around: I'm going to expose the full depth of my trivialization of anti-semitism so that laborbund and Malva, and Radical Graffiti, and whomever can say "See, there it is."

Here it comes:

I do not think the history of anti-semitism in Europe entitles those of the Jewish religion to a "homeland" dedicated to the welfare, preservation, or protection of Jews, Jewishness, or the Jewish religion.

I do not think there is any such entitlement because no such homeland will or can exist separate and apart from imperial power; from the projection of imperial power; from the reproduction and maintenance of capitalism; no such homeland can be anything other than a settler capitalist society requiring first and foremost the dispossession, expulsion, discrimination against, subjugation of those residing in the territory before it is established as a "Jewish homeland."

So to Stephen Cohen, whose book I admire and recommend, I'd say your "axiom" that Marxists should have fought for unimpeded immigration of Jews into Palestine, is in fact an abandonment of Marxism, historical materialist analysis.

That's exactly how fucking trivial I think the history of anti-semitism is to the foundation, maintenance, preservation of Israel.

Now if laborbund or anybody else wants to take exception that, wants to argue that indeed, the history of anti-semitism in Europe does entitle Jews to a homeland, a homeland carved out by already existing imperial relations; a homeland that in essence manifests the anti-semitism of the imperial powers and their needs to control immigration, then step right the fuck up and say so.

But spare me, or us, the bullshit about how you experience anti-semitism everyday at the hands of "leftists" who oppose that territorial extrusion of imperialism, but you just can't be bothered to provide any references to any documents or actions by that "left" engaging in that bigotry except for maybe an article from 2004, and the statements of an addled fuck like Galloway.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

laborbund

factvalue

laborbund wrote:

So it really does make me a bit suspicious when the justification for excessive focus on Israel is that its a settler-state.

What would account for this re-focusing? Is SA's list earlier just a contrivance to cover up for the cowardice at the heart of the neglect of American Indian struggles in the US?

I actually think there's a lot to be said for that list, but yeah I also think a large part of it is pure cowardice and the fact that solidarity groups are mostly made up of white middle class college kids who want to be part of a moral crusade and their moral crusader self-image might be harmed if they had to think of themselves as "settlers."

The question is why does the issue of Palestine attract more attention than the condition of Native Americans.

The simple answer is the defeat of the black liberation struggle after the breaking of the 1974 strike wave. With the defeat of those two struggles for the emancipation of labor, all the struggles began to wane, or go in directions different from the original struggle which were organized around confronting the institutional arrangements of exploitation and oppression.

As for the attraction of the Palestinian struggle, you think maybe the fact that it has been so violent, that it is in the press everyday, that the pro-Israeli forces have so diligently tried to characterize opposition to Israel as anti-semitism, as the 2nd coming of the Holocaust, you think that might have something to do with it?

Just asking.

I think that laborbund's argument "see, you'd rather deal with the Palestinian issue than the Native American issue because that way you can avoid responsibility, you can blame others" has all the political weight, and logical coherence, of "If you think communism is such a great thing, why don't you go live in Russia." Here it gets expressed, "If you think settler capitalism is such a bad thing, why don't you go live on a reservation and do something for Native Americans."

Same stupid linkage simply serving an ideological prejudice in the support of ongoing oppression.
Same infantile gut-checking designed to deflect from the accuser's own bias, own support for the conditions of misery.

I suspect then that laborbund and others bring it up to ease their own consciences about their sympathies for Israel.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

laborbund

S. Artesian

And the NOI issue was specifically attached to Watts in 1965 and the assault on it mosque in Watts by police forces. Tell me again how you wouldn't support defense of the NOI mosque from those attacks because of the NOI's well known reference to whites as blue-eyed devils and its explicit anti-Jewish statements.

Ok. I wouldn't defend these fucks. For the simple fact that they wouldn't defend me, but would likely kill me if their goals were ever attained. If I were in your watts riots time warp scenario I would try to defend and aid ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE the police were attacking who didn't happen to belong a to nationalist, capitalist religious cult.

OK, now it's my turn. There it is. The expression of your trivialization of racism and police oppression in the United States, because you wouldn't defend Black Muslims from police assault because they're what "anti-white"? "anti-Jewish"? If they weren't anti-Jewish, but only anti-white, would you defend them then? So how ridiculous is that?

As for defending others-- well that's just bullshit on your part. How do we know that? We know that because you claim the entire spectrum of the left is "saturated" with anti-semitism. And it certainly is a fact that numerous people participating in that rebellion targeted Jewish-owned stores, made explicitly anti-Jewish statements, complained about Jewish, attacked Jews based on their experience with the Jewish people they encountered in Watts.

Anti-semitism is the class line in laborbund's world.

Guess what? A people in revolt don't come to your doorstep all dressed up, free of prejudices, and ready to receive the enlightenment you want to bestow on them.

.

radicalgraffiti

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

this certainly doesn't come across as at all dismissive. "yes there where problems in the past but its different now, those examples you provided are isolated incidents"

Lame. About as lame as it can get. We have a book that goes into detail on the origin, penetration, and maintenance of anti-semitism among socialist, and labor groups. The book is published in 1985. The book is recommended as a source for discussion going on here and now about the current "saturation" of the anti-Zionist left with anti-semitism... The book is read, understood, acknowledged as being accurate, and as is always the case-- there are some disagreements.

And asking those people who recommend that book to provide just a bit of the detail Cohen provided 30 years ago in supporting his work is... dismissive of the work itself. Ah yes....we "trivializers" of anti-semitism work in mysterious and conspiratorial ways. Even asking for anything other than a reference to an article 12 years old, or the statement about Israel tourists made by a oft-quoted left figure is clearly, if not anti-semitic, trivializing anti-semitism.

Those examples cited are "isolated incidents" not because I think they are, but because no further development has been offered.

i like how you find it more reasonable to assume every one here who's had any involvement with anti Zionism is lying rather than accepting there's a problem

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Keep on making shit up radgraf. I assume nothing either way about what people say they experienced. Go right ahead and relate your experiences.

Alf

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To Artesian, response to your post 128

To Alf: I don't usually swing along with the vocabulary that is so in vogue: like the "left" is the "left wing of capitalism." I mean I don't buy into notions that "explain" advanced capitalism through using, as a buzzword, "fictitious capital" any more than I buy into explanations based on "imperialism" as a buzzword.
I do think the "left"-- as manifested say by Syriza and any and all those who offered Syriza the slightest bit of support, "critical" or otherwise, is fundamentally incapable of anything other than paving the way for capitalist re-constitution-- and even that gives the left too much credit for being effective.
Incompetent, capitulationist, collaborationist,-- I think the left fears nothing so much as it fears actual rupture with capitalism, actual workers' organization

I don’t think that the notion of the left of capital is just a fad or fashion. It has been central to the entire proletarian movement since at least 1919, when the Communist International declared that the opportunists in the social democratic parties were no longer part of the workers’ movement, but had become direct agents of the ruling class. When the degeneration of the Communist International in turn became irreversible, the left communists developed the argument that the Communist Parties had themselves joined the bourgeois counter-revolution – a trajectory that paralleled and inter-acted with the integration of the USSR into the ‘concert’ of world imperialism.

By the end of the Second World War, they had come to a similar conclusion regarding all the Trotskyist organisations which had justified participation in the war through invoking either or both anti-fascism and the defence of the USSR. There had been exceptions, such as the Greek group around Stinas, the Munis tendency in the Spanish and Mexican groups, the Austrian RKD and others – but all these groups ended up breaking with Trotskyism as such, proclaiming it dead to the working class.

You may disagree with their assessment, but you can hardly dismiss the argument as a new vogue.

I am still not clear where you stand on contemporary Trotskyism. Even regarding Syriza, you define them as class collaborationist rather than as a party of capital.

I continue to think that this is a central issue. If we see an organisation as being entirely bounded by the world-view of capital, why would it be surprising to find that they are vulnerable to anti-semitism, which has a very long and deep history within capitalist society and its ideology? On the contrary, it would be more surprising not to find that this was the case. The recent scandals in the Labour party, however much they have been hyped and built up, really do show the penetration of the kind of anti-Zionism which has more or less ceased trying to hide its distrust and even hostility to Jews as Jews, a phenomenon which, on a broader social scale, has also been growing at a disturbing rate among disaffected Asian or North African youth – most visibly in France. Our task as communists is to understand why this is the case, both in its more general form and in the way it manifests itself in political organisations.

I would also be interested in what you have to say about my suggestions about the class origins of Zionism – the idea that it began as an inter-classist movement among Jews, containing petty bourgeois and proletarian elements as well as bourgeois ones. This is not to deny that the bourgeois component won out and that Zionism very rapidly became an adjunct of imperialism. But I would also contend that it has shared this fate with all other branches of nationalism in the 20th and 21st centuries, including Algerian, Vietnamese, and Palestinian nationalism.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf:

Fine points for a discussion, but probably on a separate thread.

Ed

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian's posts are getting more and more erratic and illogical. I'll just point out two examples from his most recent posts:

S. Artesian

I think that laborbund's argument "see, you'd rather deal with the Palestinian issue than the Native American issue because that way you can avoid responsibility, you can blame others" has all the political weight, and logical coherence, of "If you think communism is such a great thing, why don't you go live in Russia." Here it gets expressed, "If you think settler capitalism is such a bad thing, why don't you go live on a reservation and do something for Native Americans."

Er, no, they're obviously not saying to people they should live on reservations instead of doing Palestine solidarity work. They're saying "If you think settler capitalism is such a bad thing, why don't you fight the settle capitalist state that you live in?" I don't know how much I agree with that line of argument as I'm uneasy with saying that the prevalence of pro-Palestine solidarity is down to left-wing anti-semitism (basically because it's too similar to what Zionists say for it to be comfortable for me).. but it's just fucking obvious what he's saying and you're really clutching at straws at this point.. seriously, just go sit somewhere quiet for while and chill the fuck out..

S. Artesian

As for defending others-- well that's just bullshit on your part. How do we know that? We know that because you claim the entire spectrum of the left is "saturated" with anti-semitism. And it certainly is a fact that numerous people participating in that rebellion targeted Jewish-owned stores, made explicitly anti-Jewish statements, complained about Jewish, attacked Jews based on their experience with the Jewish people they encountered in Watts.

I don't want to speak for laborbund but it's obvious that they could participate in defending others because there's a difference between people with prejudices and people who are organised in reactionary organisations. I might participate in an action alongside or to defend someone who had some reactionary ideas (in fact, I know I actually have), I probably wouldn't do this for someone who was a paid up member of a reactionary organisation.

With this in mind, your third sentence makes no sense. If anything, by implication goes against your point: as if the left is 'saturated' with anti-semitism and laborbund continues to be involved in the left, surely this means they are willing to be involved in political situations with people even if they're not "dressed up" and "free of prejudices"?

As for my not having written a detailed book like Cohen did, I'm sorry. I did give a few examples though - not just Adbusters or Galloway) but you either said they weren't anti-semitism, weren't trivialising anti-semitism (even though the obvious implication is 'anti-semitism is not as important as opposing Israel), were anti-semitism but it didn't matter you still support them (not that you're saying anti-semitism isn't important) or you just ignored them outright, like this guy's experience of challenging anti-semitism on a pro-Palestine demo in 2014. Tbh, maybe I could've recounted my own similar experiences but I didn't think you'd particularly care/think it important either. Similar with anti-semitic placards on pro-Palestine demonstrations (though you can google that if you want to)..

Juan Conatz

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think it is particularly controversial to say that there is a fair amount of antisemitism and tolerance for antisemitism (for various reasons) in the anti-Zionist crowd.

I see that Cynthia McKinney was mentioned. I'm not particularly informed about anything she has said, but remember the right pouncing on her alleged use of New Black Panther Party security and antisemitic remarks her father made around the time she lost her seat in 2006.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said she spoke at a conference by a foundation run by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, who has expressed a number of conspiratorial and antisemitic remarks. She said she considered him a hero and also praised David Musa Pidcock, a Muslim convert who writes all sorts of weird conspiratorial rantings and who often appeared on Holocaust denier radio programs.

At this same conference, she had a picture taken with Pidcock and Michele Renouf. Renouf has links to Holocaust-denying "historian" David Irving, whose tours in the U.S. are organized and supported by fascist outfits and sympathizers. Renouf even got a documentary made about the assault on "academic freedom" (Holocaust denying) in Europe. Even The Daily Mail, no friend of anti-fascism, exposed a fascist meeting that Renouf and numerous players in the extreme right were at.

There's a number of other loose, shady associations McKinney has with Holocaust deniers that SPLC put out.

Allison Weir has also been known to reproduce antisemitic tropes and was finally called out on it last year. And of course, there is Gilad Atzmon, whose antisemitism is well known, I believe.

I don't know about some of the language being argued here ("saturation", etc.), but I think antisemitism is somewhat common in the anti-Zionist/Palestine solidarity movements. It's something I've continuously heard from Jewish leftists for years. I think most of it is just ignorance. I think people who are not Jewish or on the far left do not recognize some of these tropes. Or that they do not see Jews as anything different from the average white European, so worrying about these tropes is like worrying about anti-Italian or anti-Irish slurs in the United States in 2016. But that is no less dangerous because it opens up space for fascists to enter on the edges, in my opinion.

Juan Conatz

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

I don't know how much I agree with that line of argument as I'm uneasy with saying that the prevalence of pro-Palestine solidarity is down to left-wing anti-semitism

I used to give that credibility, but I don't agree with it anymore. I think it has to do more with massive Western aid and the easy racial narrative of Israel = Europeans, Palestine = natives. South African apartheid was only one of many racist systems when it existed, but it also fit into this well, and thus received the attention of Western leftists more. That's just how it is.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Now Ed, I didn't ask you or anyone else to write a book. I asked for examples from the writings of the left organizations where you claim anti-semitism is "all too prevalent" and "prevalent: and which others claim is "saturated" with anti-semitism. All that's been offered in response is equivocations, like yours, "why write a book" "why write a diary" "why believe everyone is lying" blahblahblahblah horseshit.

But really, I askedwhat I think is a pretty important question, particularly given the importance of Cohen's book, and the charges of "trivializing" anti-semitism made-- which question is:

Do you think the history of anti-semitism in Europe entitle(s,d) Jewish people to a territory, specifically organized as a "homeland" for people of that religion?

Kind of like to see the answer. Now I don't think for one minute that those answering "yes" to that question will automatically identify those answering "no" as anti-semites, or as "trivializing" anti-semitism, but some might, and given the nonsense that's been spewed-- "You compared Jews to Boers" is just one example, I think it's a fair question. .

Since Cohen claims to be a Marxist, as I do, and Cohen claims its axiomatic that Marxists would have fought for unrestricted entry into Palestine for Jews, and I think such an axiom is capitulation to the power of empire; uncritically endorses the power of empire to decide who lives where, and lives there for the convenience of the empire, I'd like to know what the others involved in this debate think.

I notice you haven't answered that question either in its concrete, immediate form-- i.e where you stand; or in its more abstract one-- Cohen's claim as to what's axiomatic, or what's not.

And really, at this point, that's the question that matters.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

But really, I askedwhat I think is a pretty important question, particularly given the importance of Cohen's book, and the charges of "trivializing" anti-semitism made-- which question is:

Do you think the history of anti-semitism in Europe entitle(s,d) Jewish people to a territory, specifically organized as a "homeland" for people of that religion?

Wait, is that the question?

Because, I'm pretty sure that all regular libcom posters won't be supporting or promoting the existence of any state, territory, or homeland. I thought the question was whether anti-Zionism is inherently anti-Semitic.

The consensus seems to be that a non-anti-Semitic anti-Zionism can exist, but that the anti-Zionist movement as it stands now is, at best, too tolerant of anti-semitism within its ranks.

Given that, I'm not sure how the question you've posed above has any particular bearing on the situation.

Reddebrek

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Quiet man, your facts are getting in the way of pointless grandstanding.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Because, I'm pretty sure that all regular libcom posters won't be supporting or promoting the existence of any state, territory, or homeland.

But of course that isn't the issue-- the abstract opposition to any state, territory, or homeland. The issue is opposition to the existence of this particular state, performing these particular actions, under these historical conditions.

laborbund has argued that the "impulse" to the Zionist state, the desire for a homeland among Jews was a response to the history of anti-semitism in Europe, reaching its peak, of course, in the extermination camps of the Nazis.

AndAccording to Cohen, that it was incumbent on Marxists post WW2 to support unrestricted immigration of Jews into Palestine.

Now maybe you and maybe Cohen can abstract that "axiom" from supporting a Zionist state, but I can't.

The discussion has morphed from general agreement that anti-Zionism isn't intrinsically anti-semitic, to "not-intrinsically, but saturated with anti-semitism."

In the discussion, we've had suggestions that "changing the discourse," i.e. removing "anti-semitic" language would help promote a "peaceful resolution" of this conflict by the parties.

We've had arguments that the left is "saturated" with anti-semitism not on the basis of programmatic proposals, analyses, actions taken by the left organizations-- indeed, even asking for such examples is regarded as "trivializing anti-semitism"-- but on the unwillingness of such organizations to sufficiently, rigorously, denounce, shun or exclude pro-Palestinian organizations or individuals with links to or expressions of anti-semitism from actions, protests.

I personally don't think such "failures" are evidence of anti-semitism; but rather the "petty-bourgeois" orientation of most of the left to nationalism in general, not qualitatively different from the support for Chavez, or Morales, or the ANC.

We've had the mobilization of the pro-Israel lobby against Cynthia McKinney in 2007, a mobilization that had absolutely nothing to do with any anti-semitic statements or actions she made because she had made none( if you don't believe that, check the database of the Anti-Defamation League),-- waved off, "trivialized" in fact, because 2 years later, McKinney "flirted" (according to the Southern Poverty Law Center) with known anti-semites. And indeed she did.

And no I am not a Cynthia McKinney supporter, but I certainly defended her in discussions from the smears and attacks from the pro-Israel lobby.

We've also had a flat-out rejection by laborbund that the expulsion of the Palestinians by the Israelis is a significant factor in the conflict,. OK maybe not rejection, let's try trivialization-- by laborbund claiming "all nation states are based on ethnic cleansing," or that some of those expelled and dispossessed were Christians, or had arrived in Palestine in the 19th century.

I think the fact that Israel is a settler-capitalist state is significant; I think that its origin is a product of imperial power is significant. I think that it's continued existence as a settler capitalist entity is guaranteed by the largest capital powers is significant, as I think the settler nature of its capitalism, the necessary targeting of a prior-resident population, makes it, Israel racist, apartheid like and feeds the growth, stridency, and vehemence of anti-semitism among Palestinians.

And I think it is the inability of the "saturationists" to recognize the specific facet of Israel settler capitalism that makes them, the saturationists see the "trivialization of anti-semitism" in the resistance to Israel.

And while Chilli is pretty sure about lots of things, I'm not. I'm not so sure that some don't think there's an argument to be made for a Jewish homeland-- a "socialist" one sure, a "democratic one" sure, a non-discriminatory one, even more sure, maybe even an anarchist one-- but a specifically Jewish homeland.

Just for historical argument's sake, I would like to know what the libcom anti-state, anti-homeland regulars thinks of Cohen's "axiom."

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf, I would say that your idea that 'Zionism... began as an inter-classist movement among Jews, containing petty bourgeois and proletarian elements as well as bourgeois ones' is nonsense. Only the bourgeois Jew aspires to 'Zion' – a nation of it's own. Proletarians (Marx, for example) simply aspire to emancipate themselves; and this aspiration has existed from the dawn of history, not 1919.

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Good post Artesian #167

Serge Forward

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian, did someone at some point use the word 'saturated'? I bet they're feeling proper stupid for that now.

Alf

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie: the 19th century workers' movement supported all kinds of national movements, such as those in Poland, Ireland, the anti-slavery war in the US etc. You can argue whether they were correct to do so, but it didn't prevent them from being part of the workers' movement. The Bund - which were sometimes called "Zionists with sea sickness" - was an organisation of Jewish workers in Russia whose near-exclusive focus on Jewish issues was rightly criticised by other tendencies but was still considered part of the movement. The workers' movement had a different motive for supporting national demands from either the petty bourgeoisie or the bourgeoisie. The proletarian tendency of Zionism was deeply flawed, following as it did the Menshevik theory that each nation had to go through its own "bourgeois" phase before socialist revolution was possible, instead of seeing things from a global point of view. My point is not that this "proletarian Zionism" had things right - it was a total dead end. But I do think it's necessary to question certain stereotypes, deeply embedded in the left, which see Zionism as having no similarities with other national movements and being purely an expression of colonialism from the start.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge Forward

S. Artesian, did someone at some point use the word 'saturated'? I bet they're feeling proper stupid for that now.

post #65

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The wretchedness of their [proletarian] lives drove this most humiliated of chosen peoples not to Palestine but to the actual Promised Land of work and relative toleration in America.

The sons of the middle class reacted to their narrow religious training in three ways. Some rejected it thoroughly. The world contains many examples of truant schoolboys-turned-author, and many a former yeshiva bocher (Talmudic student) has described his rants-melamed (bedbug-teacher, buggy pedant) as the biggest fool yet to live. Many, but an ever-shrinking number, continued to fill the synagogues without questioning the faith. Others sought to combine the two extreme positions: Jewish life, they agreed, was outmoded, but it could and should be reformed. Zionism found its adherents among these last two groupings, the absolutely essential ingredient for the movement’s mass following being the existence of thousands of middle-class Jewish students who could, though often with difficulty, converse in what was, for most other Jews, nothing more than a liturgical language.

Lenni Brenner, in The Iron Wall

Chilli Sauce

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

. Only the bourgeois Jew aspires to 'Zion' – a nation of it's own. Proletarians (Marx, for example) simply aspire to emancipate themselves; and this aspiration has existed from the dawn of history, not 1919.

So that is just not true. In fact, most of the early (pre-WWII) Jewish settlers in Palestine were explicitly and proudly proletarian:

https://libcom.org/history/impossible-reconciliation-contradictions-labor-zionism

Chilli Sauce

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S.Art

I'm not so sure that some don't think there's an argument to be made for a Jewish homeland-- a "socialist" one sure, a "democratic one" sure, a non-discriminatory one, even more sure, maybe even an anarchist one-- but a specifically Jewish homeland.

Lemme get this right: you think that some think "there's an argument to be made"? Why don't you wait until they make that argument before you start arguing against it?

S.Art

Just for historical argument's sake, I would like to know what the libcom anti-state, anti-homeland regulars thinks of Cohen's "axiom."

So, we've gone from "the question" to something you'd like to know?

Malva

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the discussion, we've had suggestions that "changing the discourse," i.e. removing "anti-semitic" language would help promote a "peaceful resolution" of this conflict by the parties.

This is a complete mischaracterisation of what I said. I was pointing out that there exist Antisemitic arguments aimed at Israel. That these do not help the situation but rather make it more difficult to ever reach any kind of agreement by either side - radical or otherwise - seems quite obvious. Of course, it is not just a matter of rhetoric - the fact that this is what you have taken from my words just shows that you have no interest in engaging with the critique of Antisemitism that I outlined above.

Edit: Which is essentially this:

Moishe Postone said:

It’s true that the Israeli government uses the charge of antisemitism to shield it from criticisms. But that doesn’t mean that antisemitism itself isn’t a serious problem. The way in which antisemitism is distinguished, and should be distinguished, from racism, has to do with the sort of imaginary of power, attributed to the Jews, Zionism, and Israel, which is at the heart of antisemitism. The Jews are seen as constituting an immensely powerful, abstract, intangible global form of power that dominates the world. There is nothing similar to this idea at the heart of other forms of racism. Racism rarely, to the best of my knowledge, constitutes a whole system that seeks to explain the world; whereas antisemitism is a primitive critique of the world of capitalist modernity. The reason I regard it as being particularly dangerous for the Left is precisely because antisemitism has a pseudo-emancipatory dimension that other forms of racism rarely have.

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce:

In fact, most of the early (pre-WWII) Jewish settlers in Palestine were explicitly and proudly proletarian:

Yet for the bourgeois settlers, the conquest of labor had an ideological component as well: the same hard work needed to develop the Jewish settlements would help cleanse them of their middle-class roots and create the Palestinian-Jewish proletariat that would form the basis of a new Jewish society.

http://libcom.org/history/impossible-reconciliation-contradictions-labor-zionism

So not proud proletarians but affected middle classes.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

S.Art

I'm not so sure that some don't think there's an argument to be made for a Jewish homeland-- a "socialist" one sure, a "democratic one" sure, a non-discriminatory one, even more sure, maybe even an anarchist one-- but a specifically Jewish homeland.

Lemme get this right: you think that some think "there's an argument to be made"? Why don't you wait until they make that argument before you start arguing against it?

S.Art

Just for historical argument's sake, I would like to know what the libcom anti-state, anti-homeland regulars thinks of Cohen's "axiom."

So, we've gone from "the question" to something you'd like to know?

You're a fucking stitch, you know that Chili? Ask for concrete evidence to support the accusation of "saturation" in the here and now, and I'm asking for a book, a diary, think everybody's lying.

Read the book EDIT: Reddebrek specifically recommends and raise a question about the so-called fundamental "axiom" and that's muddying the waters.

So why wait? Let's find out. Do you agree with that fundamental "axiom"? I think the fundamental axiom and the charges of "trivialization" of anti-semitism against those who don't accept it as axiomatic are linked.

The real proof of trivialization of anti-semitism is clearly when somebody asks a concrete question and suggests the answer should be in the concrete.

As for Malva-- "complete distortion" of what you said:

Here's what you said:

I actually think that addressing the ways in which certain modes of discourse critical of the actions of the Israeli government towards Palestinians and the US's military support of Israel slip into antisemitism would help to aid in the creation of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

WTF? WTFingF? Address the ways in which certain modes of discourse critical of Israeli government actions towards Palestinians, and the US's military support of Israel slip into anti-semitism would help to aid in the creation of a peaceful resolution of the conflict?????

Are you kidding me. What do you mean concretely? Do you mean don't call the Israeli government racist, war-criminal, vicious, brutal, colonialist, Boer-like, Nazi-like in its treatment of Palestinians; don't say the US supports Israel as an anchor-state for the power of empire; don't point out the actions of the pro-Israel lobby to muzzle, isolate, exclude the critics of the US policy from gainful employment, opportunities to even speak; don't point to the millions the pro-Israel lobby spends on generate support for the US/Israeli government policies, on the efforts it makes to identify anti-Israel as anti-Jewish. Do you mean that?

Or do you mean address the nonsense that says Israelis control the world, that Jews are neocons because of they support of Israel, that says Jewish bankers triggered the collapse of 2008, 2009, that says Zionism drinks the blood of the first born; that says Israeli is the vector for worldwide Jewish domination?

If its the latter-- swell-- now all you have to do is show us where, concretely, the left-- the radical, Marxist, socialist, anarchist left-- not the Labor Party, and or its affiliates, not the vegan shoe hawkers at Adbusters some 12 years ago, but where the Marxist left, that same group that Cohen says was obligated to fight for unrestricted Jewish entry into Palestine, has said any of those latter things.

What you are doing Malva, with your change the discourse jive is in fact trivialization, trivialization of the real basis for the conflict.

Let me put the question directly to Malva: do you think the history of anti-semitism in Europe entitles, determines, Jewish people to a homeland "dedicated" to the preservation of their religion? Or do you think that the creation of that homeland was in fact the exercise of imperial power, for the convenience of imperial power, namely to preserve the power to determine who lives where and why?

Anyone so inclined can answer the question... too.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The obsession among large parts of the left with the idea that Israel somehow is singularly evil among modern nation states for its occupations (what about Turkey's occupation of Cyprus? What about the continued decimation of native communities in the Americas? etc.), that it alone is responsible for the lack of stability in the region (as if there isn't a massive economic collapse in surrounding countries that has nothing to do with Israel but with a structural crisis of capitalism itself), that it is so powerful that it somehow controls US foreign policy (as if the US wouldn't want a powerful military ally in one of the most strategic spots in the world) and even the media is antisemitic.

OK, but who does that? Who argues that Israel is singularly evil among modern nations? Who argues that Israel alone is responsible for the brutality practiced in Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, in Iran, in Syria, in Egypt? Not even James Petras, to my knowledge, claims that.

And again, we need to qualify and quantify these conditions when we start attributing them to "large parts of the left."

Yes, you can be a crackpot anti-Zionist like you can be a crackpot anything; but you can also oppose Zionism for what it is;settler-state capitalism dependent upon the expulsion and impoverishment of an indigenous populatio

Malva

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Let me put the question directly to Malva: do you think the history of anti-semitism in Europe entitles, determines, Jewish people to a homeland "dedicated" to the preservation of their religion? Or do you think that the creation of that homeland was in fact the exercise of imperial power, for the convenience of imperial power, namely to preserve the power to determine who lives where and why?

I think Chilli Sauce already answered your question directly very well.

The problem that I have is precisely that 'concrete' opposition at the moment seems to take the form of proposals by a member of the labour party to deport the entire Israeli population to the US, of labour members in Oxford harassing other Jewish students as 'Zios', of a labour leader likening Israelis to Nazi sympathisers, of voicing public support for a political party that is openly Antisemitic, launches rockets at Israeli civilians and encourages people to blow themselves up on buses, of obsessing about this single issue as if it were the be all and end all of social opposition to capitalism, and so on. If none of these 'concrete' actions are a problem for you then clearly there is indeed no empirical evidence of Antisemitism on the left!

Chilli Sauce

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

Chilli Sauce:

In fact, most of the early (pre-WWII) Jewish settlers in Palestine were explicitly and proudly proletarian:

Yet for the bourgeois settlers, the conquest of labor had an ideological component as well: the same hard work needed to develop the Jewish settlements would help cleanse them of their middle-class roots and create the Palestinian-Jewish proletariat that would form the basis of a new Jewish society.

http://libcom.org/history/impossible-reconciliation-contradictions-labor-zionism

So not proud proletarians but affected middle classes.

That's your response? Not that I think you give a shit but:

a) you could try giving this book a read: https://libcom.org/files/Comrades%20and%20Enemies%20Lockman.pdf

b) You'll also note that section wasn't in reference to all settlers, but the "bourgeois" ones - and that's before getting into the problems of the term "middle class" from a communist perspective anyway.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S.Art

You're a fucking stitch, you know that Chili? Ask for concrete evidence to support the accusation of "saturation" in the here and now, and I'm asking for a book, a diary, think everybody's lying.

Read the book you specifically recommend and raise a question about the so-called fundamental "axiom" and that's muddying the waters.

Wait, what book did I recommend?

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The problem that I have is precisely that 'concrete' opposition at the moment seems to take the form of proposals by a member of the labour party to deport the entire Israeli population to the US,

Bullshit. You know that's bullshit. And as Chilli would put it-- all of "libcom's regular poster"s know that's bullshit.

"of a labour leader likening Israelis to Nazi sympathisers"

So at least we now have a partial answer-- the same answer that the pro-Israel factions give-- that it's anti-semitic, or at least trivializing anti-semitism, to compare Israel's actions to those of Nazis-- despite the use of collective punishment, assassinations, destruction of civilian areas, use of chemical weapons-- yeah white phosphorous is a chemical--, interdiction of medical supplies.

And when members of the Knesset endorse camps for Palestinians "somewhere in the desert" until Israel can figure out what to do with them.... oh that's not Nazi like, and that's not even a real indication of what is intrinsic and inevitable in Zionism, and Israel. Nope, don't try and trivialize anti-semitism by pointing out how Israel adopts and adapts the programs of the anti-semites.

If that pisses you off, then let me throw this into the mix: If Hitler were in power today, the Israelis would be selling him ovens and using the proceeds to buy white phosphorous from I.G. Farben.

launches rockets at Israeli civilians and encourages people to blow themselves up on buses,

Sure thing, and inflicts what % of the damage on Israelis that the Israelis inflict on the Palestinians? And does so in the face of continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied territory; continued denial of water rights to those in the occupied territory; continued interruption of vital supplies to a civilian population. Because our "anti-semites" do all those things like.....the Algerians did to the French colonialists, the armed struggle wing of the ANC did to the whites in South Africa... ? If only those Algerians had changed their discourse, there could have been a peaceful resolution of the conflict....

of obsessing about this single issue as if it were the be all and end all of social opposition to capitalism,

Fucking priceless-- obsessing about 'this single issue'-- right, oh yeah, that's what all the left does, abstract Zionism from the world as a whole, from all its connections to reaction in the world; making it out as if only Zionism exists-- right like there really isn't capitalism at all-- only Zionism. What bullshit. And to call the opposition to settler capitalism, to fucking apartheid like treatment of a population an "obsession"-- yeah you sure got a good grip on what's healthy and what's a pathology. Sure thing, because all those on that left "saturated" with anti- Zionism aren't ever concerned with things like austerity, increased rates of poverty, unemployment, lay-offs, militarism...

And still you don't have the spine to answer the direct questions directly. Quickest way to shut up an ideologue is to ask him or her to answer a concrete question.

Nice to see, Malva, that you no longer wish to pursue the assertion that I mis-characterize what you said in the earlier posts.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

S.Art

You're a fucking stitch, you know that Chili? Ask for concrete evidence to support the accusation of "saturation" in the here and now, and I'm asking for a book, a diary, think everybody's lying.

Read the book you specifically recommend and raise a question about the so-called fundamental "axiom" and that's muddying the waters.

Wait, what book did I recommend?

My apologies Chilli-- I meant to direct that to Reddebrek,

Malva

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You had an answer already. No one on here thinks that anyone has the right to erect a state and to assert ethnic authority over any piece of land. What you object to is the fact that I don't want to play your stupid little game of focusing on Israel above all other states that do just that.

Reddebrek

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

My apologies Chilli-- I meant to direct that to Reddebrek,

Really? perhaps you should try to be more coherent, if you genuinely want answers to your questions, because that's just a big jumble of words. My reading comprehension isn't very good after all.

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry if I come across as controversial but it is my personal opinion that every one of us that has posted a comment on this topic of discussion is of one mind. We all look forward to the overthrow of the Israeli/Palestinian bourgeoisie by it's united working class; and for this shaking off of bourgeois social relations to be reproduced globally.

Never mind what the British Labour Party or the left-wing generally say! Let the dead bury the dead!

Rurkel

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

Sorry if I come across as controversial but it is my personal opinion that every one of us that has posted a comment on this topic of discussion is of one mind. We all look forward to the overthrow of the Israeli/Palestinian bourgeoisie by it's united working class...

This is too gilb, since it ignores both the specifics of the situation and the difference of opinions on this specifics. For instance, there's a thesis that states that the peculiar nature of Israeli state makes the grand majority of Israeli Jews either capitalistic or a reactionary (settler colonialist) subsection of working class that is, in the whole, unable to be revolutionary. Obviously, the disagreement between this and the opposing views - e.g. that the "settler" property of Jewish-Israeli working class is not an insurmountable obstacle to its revolutionary potential, or that it doesn't possess any particular "settler property" at all relative to many, if not most, other states - can't be solved by your method.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For instance, there's a thesis that states that the peculiar nature of Israeli state makes the grand majority of Israeli Jews either capitalistic or a reactionary (settler colonialist) subsection of working class that is, in the whole, unable to be revolutionary.

Where has that thesis been proposed in this thread?

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just a couple of obvious things:

Malva wrote:

The problem that I have is precisely that 'concrete' opposition at the moment seems to take the form of proposals by a member of the labour party to deport the entire Israeli population to the US, of labour members in Oxford harassing other Jewish students as 'Zios', of a labour leader likening Israelis to Nazi sympathisers, of voicing public support for a political party that is openly Antisemitic, launches rockets at Israeli civilians and encourages people to blow themselves up on buses, of obsessing about this single issue as if it were the be all and end all of social opposition to capitalism, and so on. If none of these 'concrete' actions are a problem for you then clearly there is indeed no empirical evidence of Antisemitism on the left!

Schmoopie wrote:

Never mind what the British Labour Party or the left-wing generally say!

So is the rightward lurch just reality now, and the Labour party is part of the left? I wasn't aware that the labour party ws part of 'social opposition to capitalism,' when did that happen, I need to start watching TV again. Or maybe this 'left wing of capital' stuff has been dealt with already on the thread? - I haven't really been paying attention since it became obvious that people were just reactively popping up to defend their trenches and then refusing to engage with questions.

S. Artesian wrote:

What you are doing Malva, with your change the discourse jive is in fact trivialization, trivialization of the real basis for the conflict.

It's reminiscent of the old notion which came up again earlier that the student movement in the US somehow stopped the Vietnam war. Wank-wank.

Joseph Kay

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Bit of light relief

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is why the American Indian Movement gets no support. Cop a walk!

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rurkel:

This is too gilb, since it ignores both the specifics of the situation...

I concede that the action of the working class inside Israel proper and the action to be taken by the working class inside the Palestinian Territories may take different forms; rebellion in the former will likely take the form of mass desertion from the armed forces, whilst in the latter it will take the form of a general strike and mass movement across the 'borders' of divided Palestine. This scenario presupposes a seachange in the balance of forces between the classes worldwide.

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rurkel:

...and the difference of opinions on this specifics. For instance, there's a thesis that states that the peculiar nature of Israeli state makes the grand majority of Israeli Jews either capitalistic or a reactionary (settler colonialist) subsection of working class that is, in the whole, unable to be revolutionary. Obviously, the disagreement between this and the opposing views - e.g. that the "settler" property of Jewish-Israeli working class is not an insurmountable obstacle to its revolutionary potential, or that it doesn't possess any particular "settler property" at all relative to many, if not most, other states - can't be solved by your method.

These are not opinions that have been expressed in this discussion and properly not as this is a communist forum, not a glib bourgeois one.

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A little more light relief:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=18FCFMUcO6Y

Settle!

Malva

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So is the rightward lurch just reality now, and the Labour party is part of the left? I wasn't aware that the labour party ws part of 'social opposition to capitalism,' when did that happen, I need to start watching TV again.

In case you had forgotten this entire discussion began as a reaction to the accusations of Antisemitism aimed at the Labour Party. I don't vote and I've never voted Labour. I have never said that it in anyway embodies social opposition to capitalism. However, to claim that the Labour Party is not part of the Left in any normative sense is just bad faith.

It's reminiscent of the old notion which came up again earlier that the student movement in the US somehow stopped the Vietnam war. Wank-wank.

Please tell me how demanding that social movements against Israel's treatment of Palestinians not be Antisemitic is the same as claiming that protest movements ended the war in Vietnam. I'd love to see your logic.

Edit: I'd rather speak of social movements against 'Israel's treatment of Palestinians' more generally as I'm not particularly interested in the legality of the competing claims of different nationalisms.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In case you had forgotten this entire discussion began as a reaction to the accusations of Antisemitism aimed at the Labour Party

Not so. The OP and subsequent posts, up to #17, were exclusively about whether or not anti-Zionism was an expression of anti-semitism. Then there were a couple of posts about the recent actions of the Labor Party member, and then the discussion went right into anti-semitism connected to anti-Zionism on the left.

Please tell me how demanding that social movements against Israel's treatment of Palestinians not be Antisemitic is the same as claiming that protest movements ended the war in Vietnam. I'd love to see your logic.

She/He's arguing that your notion that "changing the discourse" and using different language to criticize US/Israel actions will facilitate a "peaceful resolution of the conflict" disregards the actual forces at work in the conflict and how those forces resolve themselves, this matter akin to arguing that anti-war protests in the US so undermined the US military that it could not achieve its military goals, thus ignoring the actual battlefield itself, and the successful strategy of the NVA and the NLF.

Both "assertions" might be charitably described as "idealistic."

Malva

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

She/He's arguing that your notion that "changing the discourse" and using different language to criticize US/Israel actions will facilitate a "peaceful resolution of the conflict" disregards the actual forces at work in the conflict and how those forces resolve themselves, this matter akin to arguing that anti-war protests in the US so undermined the US military that it could not achieve its military goals, thus ignoring the actual battlefield itself, and the successful strategy of the NVA and the NLF.

I hadn't realised that my original wording of 'help to aid in' was synonymous in English with 'panacea for'. Thank you for enlightening me. I equally hadn't realised that, all the while I thought I was arguing against Antisemitism, I had inadvertently been arguing that people simply needed to speak to each other nicely and 'give peace a chance'. /s

I've made my position clear to you. I think that there is Antisemitism on the left. I think it is a problem. You clearly don't. The fact that you are unwilling to even allow the possibility of such a reality, well, that really is the end of the thread for me. The rest is bluster.

Ed

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Malva

I've made my position clear to you. I think that there is Antisemitism on the left. I think it is a problem. You clearly don't. The fact that you are unwilling to even allow the possibility of such a reality, well, that really is the end of the thread for me. The rest is bluster.

Admittedly, SA did say there is anti-semitism in the anti-Zionist movement, just that it's no more or less than anywhere else. Though it is noticeable he hasn't provided any other examples of movements whose demonstrations regularly feature anti-semitic placards and the waving of flags of anti-semitic groups..

Anyway, I've really enjoyed this thread. My personal highlight has been S. Artesian's switch from "So is Cynthia McKinney anti-semitic?" to "It doesn't matter if she's anti-semitic, I'll defend her... like the Nation of Islam!".. lol, ok mate.. at least you can sing the blues..

Joseph Kay

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

Though it is noticeable he hasn't provided any other examples of movements whose demonstrations regularly feature anti-semitic placards and the waving of flags of anti-semitic groups..

Or round here, regularly end up outside three of the city's four synagogues, which are clustered around a square demonstrations virtually never otherwise go to.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyway, I've really enjoyed this thread. My personal highlight has been S. Artesian's switch from "So is Cynthia McKinney anti-semitic?" to "It doesn't matter if she's anti-semitic, I'll defend her... like the Nation of Islam!".. lol, ok mate.. at least you can sing the blues.

.

Happy to be of service, Ed. Except I never said that it doesn't matter if she's anti-semitic. I said I'd defend Cynthia McKinney from the likes of AIPAC and the pro-Israel lobby because her anti-semitism, real or imagined, has nothing to do with the AIPAC and pro-Israel attack; like I'd defend anti-semitic black people and the NOI during Watts from attacks by the state police and white terrorist National Guard attacks, because the anti-semitism has nothing to do with the police and racist attacks; like I'd defend those who don't like Jews but are crewing ships to bring supplies to Gaza from attacks by the IDF, because the like or dislike of Jews has absolutely nothing to do with the reason for the attacks, or the actions being taken that produce the attacks.

Makes me an anti-semite? Sure thing. Just as much as your refusal makes you a racist, or a supporter of the police, or a zionist.

Or, alternatively, makes me a trivializer of anti-semitism? Sure thing. Just as much as your your refusals make you a trivializer of racism, of police repression, of zionism.

S. Artesian

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I hadn't realised that my original wording of 'help to aid in' was synonymous in English with 'panacea for'. Thank you for enlightening me. I equally hadn't realised that, all the while I thought I was arguing against Antisemitism, I had inadvertently been arguing that people simply needed to speak to each other nicely and 'give peace a chance'.

Clearly, there's a lot you don't realize about the meaning of what you say. You did say that changing the discourse would facilitate a "peaceful resolution" of this conflict. Please tell me how that works? Did it work after 1993, the period initiated by the Oslo negotiations, when discourse was clearly "milder" prior to the 2nd Intifada?

Or did the economics of settler-capitalism both trigger the attempt at accommodation, and then, overwhelm the possibility of accommodation by the reaction of the settler-capitalists themselves?

I've made my position clear to you. I think that there is Antisemitism on the left. I think it is a problem. You clearly don't. The fact that you are unwilling to even allow the possibility of such a reality, well, that really is the end of the thread for me. The rest is bluster.

Well, yes, you've made it clear that's what you think, but you haven't provided evidence. You provided evidence regarding the views held by the French population. Unless and until you show those views are a result of, or are manifest in, the actions of the left in France, you have an unsupported hypothesis.

I have an alternate explanation-- the numbers of French people admitting to anti-semitism is conditioned by the history of France, irregardless of the actions of the left. Large numbers of French people have held anti-semitic views for centuries. They've even acted upon them. Those views, and actions, have not been shown to have anything to do with pro-Zionism or anti-Zionism, but everything to do with the historical enmity of the French petty-bourgeoisie towards Jews.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Malva wrote:

However, to claim that the Labour Party is not part of the Left in any normative sense is just bad faith

Normative is a slippery little word at the best of times so just to be clear: Are you saying that I should be claiming that the Labour Party is part of the left on ethical - as opposed to purely descriptive - grounds, if I want to avoid the ignominy of being accused of that other vacuous and lazy little ambiguity 'bad faith'? - in other words: you didn't really like what I wrote? Or are you saying that Labour are part of the left in some culturally normative sense? If so, then I'm sorry that I don't partake of 'the' culture in the same way you do. Since when, for example, did the left include the right? Since when did UK parliamentary politics encompass anything other than two right wings?

I have never said that it in anyway embodies social opposition to capitalism

But you did say 'of obsessing about this single issue as if it were the be all and end all of social opposition to capitalism, and so on,' having just finished within the same paragraph describing actions by members of the Labour party which you found objectionable: 'If none of these 'concrete' actions are a problem for you then clearly there is indeed no empirical evidence of Antisemitism on the left!' Forgive me if I misinterpreted your intention, or perhaps this was just more 'bad faith' on my part, or yours?

proletarian.

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't how many or if anyone watched the video in the OP but there is a follow up of sorts by Moshe Machover:

Anti-Zionism, antisemitism and the left

http://cpgb.org.uk/assets/audio/20160515moshe.mp3

(audio file)

teh

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

Though it is noticeable he hasn't provided any other examples of movements whose demonstrations regularly feature anti-semitic placards and the waving of flags of anti-semitic groups.

You can find anti-semitic placards in any left-wing demonstration (or non-left demonstration). Look at any right-wing blog that monitors these things (zombietime's old stuff comes to mind). Occupy Wall Street was endorsed by the American Nazi Party. Not irreverent, but neither emblematic of some sort of "saturation."

"Anti-semitic groups" just seems like a code word for Arab in this conversation. Your not going to find too many groups that think that Jewish colonialism is ok.

To answer your question about examples of movements:

Zionism: The Christian wing of zionism has a an anti-semitic logic to it (as does zionism itself really) and theres plenty of anti-semetic tropes popular amongst the membership/leadership of the organizations that make it up. Jewish colonists where the main sponsors of the Nazi-inspired Phalanges during Israels occupation of Lebanon, had a close relationship with anti-semite and fascist collaborator Sadat, are the main financial backers of Abu Mazen today (who has a history of anti-semetic words and actions), and are one of the main sponsors of anti-semitic Al-Qaeda in regions near the border with Syria today.

You could use guilt by association to do the same thing for any ideology, movement, or country. As is done regularly.

Libcom was pretty sympathetic to the Syrian Revolution in 2011 (incidentally another European colonial movement, judging by its use of the mandate flag) until limits to Western power made it an unviable project. Plenty of anti-semetic groups, supporters, etc there.

Ed

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

teh, it's late in the day and I'm about done with this thread but this comment really irked me:

teh

"Anti-semitic groups" just seems like a code word for Arab in this conversation. Your not going to find too many groups that think that Jewish colonialism is ok.

I think I've been pretty clear that by anti-semitic groups I mean Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups that have anti-semitism encoded into their constitutions (Hamas even reference the Protocols of the Elders of Zion!). I've got no problem with people waving PFLP or Fatah flags (I mean, I don't like either but they're not, as far as I know, anti-semites) or other Arab groups that regularly turn up at pro-Palestine demos. I think I've been very clear that being against Israel is not anti-semitic. I really don't know what gave you the idea that 'anti-semitic groups' just meant 'Arab groups', unless you think all Arab groups hate Jews (as opposed to just hating Zionism).

Re: movements. I meant progressive movements (otherwise we could just say Nazism or Islamic fundamentalism!). Your point about Occupy Wall Street is actually pretty good, there were really strong undercurrents of anti-semitism there as well (not just in the US but UK as well).

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

.. so what do you think of Shlomo Sand Ed? Answers on a postcard to 'The Temple to the Great God 'The Holocaust'', Argument Close, The New Metaphysics for the Masses Avenue, Gaza.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyone who hasn't read it yet can find The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering here for free.

teh

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

I think I've been pretty clear that by anti-semitic groups I mean Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups that have anti-semitism encoded into their constitutions (Hamas even reference the Protocols of the Elders of Zion!). I've got no problem with people waving PFLP or Fatah flags (I mean, I don't like either but they're not, as far as I know, anti-semites) or other Arab groups that regularly turn up at pro-Palestine demos. I think I've been very clear that being against Israel is not anti-semitic.

Dont understand your distinction between PFLP/Fatah and Hamas/Hezbollah here. Rhetoric about 'Hamas charter' is just a rehash of the 'PLO charter' controversy before Oslo. Dont necessarily agree with him but its worth noting Chomskys comments on it:

"Hamas charter means practically nothing. The only people who pay attention to it are Israeli propagandists, who love it. It was a charter put together by a small group of people under siege, under attack in 1988. And it’s essentially meaningless. There are charters that mean something, but they’re not talked about. So, for example, the electoral program of Israel’s governing party, Likud, states explicitly that there can never be a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. And they not only state it in their charter, that’s a call for the destruction of Palestine, explicit call for it. And they don’t only have it in their charter, you know, their electoral program, but they implement it. That’s quite different from the Hamas charter."

Again dont necessarily agree with him. In addition Hamas is now funded by US potentates in the Gulf (all very anti-semitic) so its only two or three steps away from going the route of Fatah. The Hamas/Hezbollah grouping (ie Iranian backed groups) is dated. Ive already noted the past public anti-semitism of Fatah leader Abu Mazen.

PFLP, on the other hand, is funded by Iran, which funds Yemens Houthis, whose anti-semitism goes beyond general anti-semitic tropes and is extreme in the European meaning of anti-semitism. PFLP is also currently engaged in joint armed struggle with Hezbollah in Syria, so you've inadvertently come to S. Artesian position re critically joining with Nation of Islam in the Los Angeles rebellion.

Also if PFLP/Fatah engaged/engage in terrorism and the object of their armed struggle is Jewish wouldnt that make them anti-semitic? I would lean towards no, but the vast majority of Jews certainly wouldn't (and western christians for that matter). PFLPs hijacking of Air France to Uganda was particularly notorious, more recently PFLP murdered four Jewish Anglo colonists in Israel as they were praying (I should note these various acts of murder were pretty regular for anti-colonial movements in Africa,Asia,and L.A. and its only because they failed to a greater extent in MidEast that they stick out in public memory).

I really don't know what gave you the idea that 'anti-semitic groups' just meant 'Arab groups', unless you think all Arab groups hate Jews (as opposed to just hating Zionism).

Well Hamas and Hezbollah are Arab and they are the most effective anti-Israeli forces. Your counter examples, Fatah, is obsequious and pro-colonial, and, PFLP, is irrelevant to the point of being considered harmless by outsiders.

Reason I brought it up though is because the French anti-semitic stats which were posted earlier. If these ADL statistics are correct (and these global polls are always questionable but Ill take it as is) then the majoriy of Middle Easterners hold anti-semitic views http://global100.adl.org/#map . Of course believing in anti-semitic tropes doesnt mean you hate jews as other public polling shows: http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/06/02/faith-in-european-project-reviving/eu-report-17/ .

I meant progressive movements (otherwise we could just say Nazism or Islamic fundamentalism!). Your point about Occupy Wall Street is actually pretty good, there were really strong undercurrents of anti-semitism there as well (not just in the US but UK as well).

But if anti-semitism is not greater in Zionism then anti-Zionism then why single the latter out, especially if anti-semitism is as marginal as Nazism or Islamic fundamentalism is in the United Kingdom (start of the thread)? Dont think the goals of most anti-zionism is generally "progressive" (from a left view). Most of these groups are (liberal) nationalists who think Israel is a liability to their states self-interest and they want a South Africa solution where the Palestinian elite is integrated (albeit in a separate but equal fashion) into the "international community." The rise of the Israeli "right" is also offensive to them because the latter is seen as moving away culturally from the "european" Israel of the last century to something Oriental and ungentile.

Point is if you dont want to be associated with shady people you should march alone. But sectarianism of this sort is generally frowned upon, for some reason. Guilt by association inevitably comes otherwise. FBI front group posted above SLPC does it all the time for right-wingers but it could easily be done to the left as well.

Schmoopie

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Factvalue, the quote attributed to Einstein (incidentally, whilst in Israel I worked alongside a man named Sella who told me that he was Einstein's brother but I suspect he was lost in mysticism) is in fact falsely attributed to him.

If we do not succeed in finding the path of honest cooperation and coming to terms with the Arabs, we will not have learned anything from our two thousand year old ordeal and will deserve the fate which will beset us.

Albert Einstein, 1929

I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from the practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power...

Albert Einstein, 1938

Spikymike

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Apologies for jumping back into this thread rather late and only quickly running through the more recent contributions but I thought this discussion was useful in helping me to clarify some of the issues even if that had to involve some temporary misunderstandings and irritability and a diversionary argument on definitions of 'the Left'. I wanted to say earlier that it struck me that, for instance, both Ed's and S.Artesian's contributions demonstrated that both were equally opposed to anti-Semitism in principle but were disagreeing more about strategy and tactics in relation to the practical effects of social movements that oppose the actions of the Israeli state and it's Zionist ideology, though it does seem to me that SA concedes too much to expressions of anti-Semitism (and indeed nationalism) within those social movements on a simplistic 'which side are you on' basis in any immediately critical confrontation, as others have suggested. What we say and what we do has to be consistent in our practice - or at least aimed at being so.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Along with Hannah Arendt, Stefan Wolpe and others, Einstein in a letter to the New York Times (December 4, 1948), condemned the Likud party of Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir as “fascist” and espousing “an admixture of ultra-nationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority.”

Rachel

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thank you Malva and Ed and a few others for some thoughtful comments and for taking this seriously. I missed the moment to come in with my experiences and examples and perhaps I wouldn't have, but sadly I do think anti semitism or anti Jewish bigotry, mixed up with and sometimes disguised by anti-zionism, is a real problem on the left. I've come to this reluctantly and I find it hard to talk about or even think about it, because it's so full of traps; e.g. I don't want to align with many of the other people who are attuned to it or involved in 'rooting it out' i.e. people who genuinely do want to redefine anti-semitism to include any criticism of Israel. But I also find I want less and less to do with the left that can't see the problem.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The problem I had with this thread is the usual one of separating bullshit from reality because any time Israel starts feeling some heat invariably 'a media campaign alleging a global outbreak of anti-Semitism is immediately mounted'.

Khawaga

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sure anti-Semitism is misused, but that doesn't change the fact that it does exist and is alive and well, however unconsciously it may be for some, on the left.

That book is great btw. I also recommend it together with his earlier Holocaust Industry book.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree, and would add that the misuse of antisemitism is both consciously and unconsciously used to intimidate and distract respectively by people of all political persuasions.

factvalue

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A much more extensive demolition of the latest round of claims for the rise of a 'new anti-semitism' can be found here.

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's not a demolition though, is it. Links to Norman Finkelstein on YouTube isn't really proof of anything, apart from what Norman Finkelstein thinks and I really can't be arsed watching. Why do you think ťhat claims of a recent rise in anti-semitism are unfounded? Make your case.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If I'm going to be arsed to reply (it wouldn't be 'til the morning) then tell me, do you think they are well-founded and on what?

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

... on the other hand, if you haven't watched it how do you know it isn't a demolition? Why would you do that, eh?

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm not the one making the claim here about the rise in anti-semitism being unfounded. You are. So surely the onus is on you to support that view. Expecting us to sit through a couple of hours (which we'll never get back) watching Finkelstein is just sloppy.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's a wee bit spooky that you think that's sloppy as you insist that others do all your research for you while dismissing an extremely well-researched presentation without even having seen it.

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What I'm saying is, state your case and construct an argument. Don't just provide links to a two hour video of some professor with an agenda and whose research methods are in themselves seen as controversial - and (even though he may occasionally hit the spot) somewhat one-sided. Expecting us to construct your argument for you is what's sloppy. Come on, pull your finger out and do some work.

Zeronowhere

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They were basically describing that video as a 'demolition' of claims of a 'new anti-Semitism' in a general social context. They weren't claiming that they had given the talks which they called a 'demolition,' so as they say if you're saying that it's not a demolition, then that's an issue with Finkelstein, not something that 'Factvalue' can change in that case. They are citing something relevant to this topic, not claiming to enact a 'demolition' on their own part. This whole discussion seems to be attributing to them something that they never said in order to turn the focus back on them, which overall movement seems common here and has also happened to 'Sleeper,' in a more casual context, among others.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

'Seen as controversial' by who? Vague phraseology to suggest objectivity is not helpful. You might at least show me the sources you're relying on to insist on the unreliability of this researcher. Watch the presentation and let me know your thoughts or don't if you can't be arsed. But if that's the case then you have nothing to say about it, so what's this about?

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Controversial by who? Right, you don't seem to know much about the research or researcher you're touting. Or you don't find him controversial. Obviously he's controversial to the pro-Zionist lobby but also controversial to anyone not just ticking off a generic anti-imperialist checklist. Shit, you've lured me out now and I made some comments on what I know about Finkelstein to fill the spaces you left. Clever. Now, Finkelstein aside, if you think recent claims of anti-semitism are over rated, please explain your reasons rather than linking to a two hour video of someone I'm familiar with. Show us your working. Obviously, if you don't think this, then forget about it.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry, controversial 'to anyone not just ticking off a generic anti-imperialist checklist'? And 'the spaces you left. Clever' Again, eh? There is no 'Finkelstein aside', my post was entirely about asking people to listen to the Finkelstein talk (which takes up about an hour, the second hour being Q and A). I do indeed think the recent round of 'new anti-semitism' claims is massively exaggerated, for the reasons given in Finkelstein's talk and also in his Beyond Chutzpah - where as you may know he demonstrates that the 'evidence of a new anti-Semitism comes mostly from organizations directly or indirectly linked to Israel or having a material stake in inflating the findings of anti-Semitism,' such as American Jewish organizations like the ADL and the Simon Wiesenthal Center and their counterparts in Europe and elsewhere. Such sources would like us to believe that e.g. reading Finkelstein is evidence of anti-semitism: 'The annual reports of Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism serve as a major source of data and analysis. Its 2000–2001 Antisemitism Worldwide survey highlighted this ominous development: “Prof. Norman Finkelstein’s book, The Holocaust Industry, [was] enthusiastically welcomed, especially in Germany, and by the extreme right in particular. . . . His arguments, even though completely refuted by serious researchers and publicists, have rekindled the image of the manipulative, greedy, power-hungry Jew.” None of these refutations is cited, perhaps because none exist; Raul Hilberg (the world expert on the Nazi holocaust) did praise the book’s key findings as a “breakthrough.”'

I think that genuine spikes in anti-semitism occur concurrently with public revulsion with massacres carried out by the Jewish state and that Israel could prevent these by giving up both the massacres and the exclusivity (I'm none too fond of states and religions tbh). Another source of genuine anti-semitism in Europe has been the shakedown of Eastern Europe by the Holocaust industry of Jewish 'charities'. In the words of (the unbalanced) Finkelstein in The Holocaust Industry 'With the collapse of the Soviet bloc, alluring prospects opened up in the former heartland of European Jewry. Cloaking itself in the sanctimonious mantle of "needy Holocaust victims," the Holocaust industry has sought to extort billions of dollars from these already impoverished countries. Pursuing this end with reckless and ruthless abandon, it has become the main fomenter of anti-Semitism in Europe.

The Holocaust industry has positioned itself as the sole legitimate claimant to all the communal and private assets of those who perished during the Nazi holocaust. "It has been agreed with the Government of Israel," Edgar Bronfman told the House Banking Committee, "that helpless assets should accrue to the World Jewish Restitution Organization." Using this "mandate," the Holocaust industry has called on former Soviet-bloc countries to hand over all pre-war Jewish properties or come up with monetary compensation. Unlike in the case of Switzerland and Germany, however, it makes these demands away from the glare of publicity. Public opinion has so far not been averse to the blackmailing of Swiss bankers and German industrialists, but it might look less kindly on the blackmailing of starving Polish peasants.'

Watch the video and let me know what you think would you?

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This film called Defamation is good too (but I didn't make this one either).

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Holocaust industry has positioned itself as the sole legitimate claimant to all the communal and private assets of those who perished during the Nazi holocaust.

In much the same way that the Jamaican State is laying claim to reparations for African slaves transported to Jamaica. They're sicko.

I visited The Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. At the entrance they gave me a little cardboard kippel to put on my head. When I got to the exhibit of a map of Europe laid out on the ground with the Concentration Camps marked on it I leaned over to look and my cap fell on to Italy. Bwoy, I laughed so much, me almost bust me head!

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

With the slight difference that at least some of those most directly affected are still around, so there would be at least a chance of them benefiting from the process, if the Holocaust industry wasn't pocketing nearly all the proceeds for their own use, and leaving to one side arguments over the merits of such a procedure if carried out at the cost of the destruction of the lives of poor working people in the here and now.

EDIT:

The following is taken from a review I recently read of a 2013 Polish language anthology entitled We Have No Financial Obligations to the Jews - I have not been able to get hold of a translation:

'HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY CLAIMS

Ireneusz T. Lisiak debunks the myth, promoted by the likes of neo-Stalinist Jan T. Gross, that Poles have been reluctant to return Jewish properties to their Holocaust-surviving Jewish owners, and that they did so owing to (what else?) anti-Semitism. Fact is, some 150,000 Polish Jews re-acquired their property before selling it and emigrating to Palestine and elsewhere. (p. 168, 170). Furthermore, the vast majority of Jews had no problem whatsoever in the reacquisition of their property. (p. 157, 173, 184).

However, the new post-WWII Soviet-imposed Communist puppet government was opposed to the return of large-sized Nazi German-seized property to their rightful Jewish owners because, after all, this property was soon to be nationalized. Perhaps ironically, one of the main enforcers of this nationalization policy was Mieczyslaw Mietkowski, a Jewish Communist official. (p. 167, 173). More on nationalized properties later.

JEWISH CLAIMS AGAINST POLAND--ALL SATISFIED IN 1952

Germany is the nation that unilaterally developed and implemented the Shoah, and Germany has been paying billions of Marks to the Jews, as reparation, since 1952. These payments cover ALL the Jewish property seized by the Nazis from the Jews. (p. 169, 171). That alone makes it obvious that Poland owes nothing to the Jews.

JEWISH CLAIMS AGAINST POLAND--ALL SATISFIED IN 1960

As if the foregoing had not been enough, there was the July 16, 1960 agreement involving Poland, and western nations, which included Poland paying a then-considerable sum of 40 million U. S. dollars. It explicitly covered all the properties that had been nationalized as part of the Communization process immediately after WWII. (p. 183, 185). (For details on the 1960 agreement, see the Appendix in this book: pp. 295-on).

The large properties nationalized by the Communists had included breweries, mills, and factories that had once belonged to Jews. (Of course, it also included large properties that had been owned by non-Jews). The 1960 agreement between Poland, the USA and Canada, and 12 western European nations specified that, once Poland had paid restitution, which she did, NO nation had any further claims upon Poland for these properties. (p. 173, 187). This entire process was closed in 1981. (p. 186). In fact, a U. S. Congressional resolution stated, in 2008, that the 1960 agreement completely satisfies all property-restitution claims regarding Communist-seized properties.

The issue is unambiguous. Ireneusz T. Lisiak categorically states that Poland has no unrealized property-restitution obligations to the Jews whatsoever. (p. 169, 181).'

radicalgraffiti

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue, i don't see how anything your posting has any relevance to the subject of the thread

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't believe you.

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

radicalgraffiti

factvalue, i don't see how anything your posting has any relevance to the subject of the thread

Well if this is anything to go by...
factvalue

I think that genuine spikes in anti-semitism occur concurrently with public revulsion with massacres carried out by the Jewish state and that Israel could prevent these by giving up both the massacres and the exclusivity (I'm none too fond of states and religions tbh). Another source of genuine anti-semitism in Europe has been the shakedown of Eastern Europe by the Holocaust industry of Jewish 'charities'

...as atrocities by 'the Jewish state' are apparently a cause of an increase in anti-semitism and as 'Jewish "charities"' are a cause of anti-semitism in Eastern Europe, then... er... hang on... I'm confused now... beyond victim blaming, what is factvalue trying to say???

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

SF, in the film Defamation (Were you able to be 'arsed' enough yet to look at any of the links in your careful preparation of this impressive cross-examination?) there's an episode in which some Israeli students, on a visit to Majdanek concentration camp, say that they believe that having had the full horror of the Nazi holocaust described to them ad infinitum they feel that their 'limit' is too high, so that when they see Palestinian homes being demolished they just think 'That's nothing compared with what happened to us'. At one point on their trip, the Israeli filmmaker asks them why they don't go outside, and they tell him that they have been warned by the secret service guy that the country they are in is full of anti-semitic lunatics who want them dead, so they stay inside. But there are so many other Jewish voices represented in the film which deny and demonstrate how ludicrous this is that they make your lazy comments above look completely politically illiterate and beside the point. Who are the 'victims' you refer to? The simple question of who are all the victims of the (ab)uses of anti-semitism seems entirely lost on you. Why is that?

Does Israel not describe itself as the Jewish state and claim to represent all of the world's Jews? Are Jewish organisations whose sole reason for existence is to fight anti-semitism not on public record as having fabricated numerous charges in order to extort money and have they not been prosecuted for it? In the film Defamation one rabbi in Brooklyn says that when anyone's livelihood depends on there being something to be afraid of, he immediately suspects their motivations. Another rabbi in Kiev believes that the reasons the orthodox Jews in his synagogue don't worry about antisemitism at all is because, unlike some secular Western Jews, their identity as Jews doesn't depend on it. Is that somehow controversial or hard to grasp? Do you have evidence which proves that there is no link between e.g. Israel's last eight 'operations'/massacres in Lebanon and Gaza and an upsurge of anti-semitism, particularly among disaffected young Moslims in Europe (never mind in Gaza and Lebanon)? Perhaps you need to stop posting until you've done at least a little leg work?

noslavery

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Antisemitism, arabophobia, islamphobia, christianophobia and all other other kinds of stupidities, including sexism, racism, nationalism, have potential to become wide spread and dangerous to humanity. Capitalists will propagate these kind of hatred to put workers against each other to avoid addressing the real issue which is wage-slavery. Nothing is better than international, multi-national and multi-cultural love, friendship and solidarity among wage-slaves of the world. We are several billions, they are several thousands. We can win.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a better version of the film Defamation: Anti-Semitism The Movie and The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy addresses the question of the separateness of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as well documenting the baleful influence of the likes of American organisations like the ADL on the people of Israel, Palestine and the rest of the region.

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Factvalue, I'm sorry you've taken my off the cuff "can't be arsed" comment to heart. It would have been more accurate for me to have said I don't have the time at the minute to watch a two hour video of Prof. Finkelstein's lecture plus Q&A, or to watch the hour and a half long Defamation film (which I admit does look very interesting). In truth, I only pop on t'internet for a few minutes at a time, usually by phone, so am not in a position to watch any lengthy videos.

Of course there has been an upsurge in anti-semitism, particularly since 2008, related to the situation in Gaza. Why are you telling me this as some of your posts have attempted to demonstrate that a rise in anti-semitism is somewhat overplayed? Yet, and correct me if I'm wrong, you seem to be suggesting where there is a rise in anti-semitism, then this is because of actions by Israel (or 'the Jewish State' as you prefer to call it) or the holocaust lobby. While I accept the connection, I nevertheless find that sort of reasoning disturbing.

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If I might butt in here, and spread some gasoline on troubled waters-- the original issue was/is anti-Zionism antisemitic? The answer, we (almost) all agreed was, "no, it is not intrinsically, inherently antisemitic." Then we got into this: "Is the left saturated with antisemitism?"

And that's where we still are, right? Is it? 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, if chanting "we are all Hamas" is indicative of the saturation of the left with antisemitism, then those arguing that point have in fact proven factvalue's point: that the increase in antisemitism is connected to, associated with, a product of, in reaction to, Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

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); since I don't think chanting "we are all Hamas" is necessarily a manifestation of antisemitism, I don't buy that an increase in antisemitism in general is dependent upon Israel's actions--- but all my friends out there who do think the left is so saturated, that the chant is antisemitic-- you need to get your "line" together, because all factvalue has done is to pick up the mirror and turned it your way.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

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?

Ed

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

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

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef costello

S. Artesian

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.

radicalgraffiti

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

jef costello

S. Artesian

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

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

..

[*] 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."

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."

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.

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

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Ed

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

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

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

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

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?

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

radicalgraffiti

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

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

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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?

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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}

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.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

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.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

We had to make sure.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

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."''

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Borderline.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

...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.

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

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?

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

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

also irrelevant?

Reddebrek

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

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....

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Reddebrek

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?

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge Forward

Borderline.

Alright Madge.

Reddebrek

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

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.

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:

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.

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

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

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:

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.

Alf

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

fingers malone

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Alf

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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?

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

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

EDIT:

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

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.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

Ed has already said that internationally Jews overwhelmingly support zionism.

[/quote]

Reddebrek

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.

What even vaguely are you dribbling about? If anything doesn't mean anything in this thread so far it's this ill considered flapdoodle. Ed made a claim about the number of Jews supporting Zionism, true or false? Where did anyone 'equate' anything? When did you place this 'call' you imagine yourself to have made? Did you read the quotation from Tel Aviv Uni? Maybe you should 'call' the Kantor Centre and leave a message if you don't like their description of the contiguity of Israeli massacres and anti-semitic upsurges.

factvalue

Does this mean I'm anti-semitic?

Reddebrek

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

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

[/quote]

See my comments to SA but I have to say, this is taking a stupefyingly predictable path.

Reddebrek

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.

Sorry but I don't speak in plain, blunt phrases like this, as anyone on here not completely blinded by an agenda (in which case I might be in trouble) can attest to. 'The Jews have all the money' is too cheap to respond to and the others are dull misunderstandings at best and deliberate but inept at worst. If you really need to get into caricature to discuss anything then we've really nothing to say to each other, these are tabloid headlines, not arguments. I rarely get reduced to this but here goes: try looking at the quotations again, if you feel so strongly, but without prejudice this time. Good luck.

Reddebrek

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.

Thanks for the wee tutorial but I kind of knew all that already. It's not exactly rocket science nor is it relevant to the issue I'm concerned with at the moment. What interests me, and I really don't know how this could have escaped your notice, is whether or not ALL of these people should feel warranted in a belief that we are in the middle of a massive rise in anti-semitism, which does not distinguish between any of them, and to what extent such a belief is being engineered by something like the Holocaust industry as described by Finkelstein. This is a sensitive subject full of hazards and difficult to explore patiently while avoiding giving offence or anticipating subject positions to the point of stereotyping and closing our minds. It is also a very relevant and interesting issue, certainly to me, which demands discussion on these forums.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue, what Reddebrek wrote was the impression that you gave me. All I heard was 'Jew' this 'Jew' that. Perhaps your arguments went over my head?

I will give my answer to the original question posed: Yes, unless you are a worker inside Israel/Palestine.

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

SA

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..

fv

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.

Perhaps you should explain then what you mean by disproportionate representation in fields like publishing, or law. Do you simply mean a ratio greater than that which appears in relation to the general population? If so, then why the connection of that frequency to Zionism?

Do virulently anti-semitic societies produce numbers anything like those Finkelstein was readily able to cherry pick?

No, not at all. Did someone claim the US was a virulently antisemitic country? If so, I missed it. I think that people are reacting to the implication, which you don't intend to make, that these higher numbers provide "Jews" with a disproportionate influence on policies, programs, and politics in the US, and not just disproportionate based on numbers, but disproportionate based on an assumed shared, special interest attached not to economic position but to "Jewishness." This is where it all gets really difficult, and tropes, memes, stereotypes, codes, etc. are perceived even where and when you think there are none.

Given that those most directly affected have conceded this already -

Really? So that concession is immutable? Certainly not to the Israelis, who want to expand. To the Palestinians? Well let's do more than hope that the nature of this struggle is not-containable within the framework of UN resolutions. We are talking about class struggle, aren't we? Is there a realistic alternative to a worker-led social revolution that dismantles the Israeli military force, and the military forces of the Arab states? I don't think so.

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This by Reddebrek

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

is garbage.

Reddebrek

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue

What even vaguely are you dribbling about?

Your own words.

If anything doesn't mean anything in this thread so far it's this ill considered flapdoodle. Ed made a claim about the number of Jews supporting Zionism, true or false?

Again doesn't matter either way. I don't see how I can be any clearer.

Where did anyone 'equate' anything?

???? You did that right here.

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,

And virtually every comment you've made on the last few pages have been about "The Jews" no distinction or qualification. You are treating an entire group of people as a bloc or monolithic entity.

When did you place this 'call' you imagine yourself to have made? Did you read the quotation from Tel Aviv Uni? Maybe you should 'call' the Kantor Centre and leave a message if you don't like their description of the contiguity of Israeli massacres and anti-semitic upsurges.

When the hell did I say anything about the Kantor Centre? It has nothing to do with your absurd equations.

See my comments to SA but I have to say, this is taking a stupefyingly predictable path.

Yes it is stupid that you're denying anti-Semitism whilst using one of the oldest and most blatantly anti-Semitic lines in the book.

Reddebrek

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.

Sorry but I don't speak in plain, blunt phrases like this, as anyone on here not completely blinded by an agenda (in which case I might be in trouble) can attest to. 'The Jews have all the money' is too cheap to respond to and the others are dull misunderstandings at best and deliberate but inept at worst.

No its a fair summary of your behaviour and comments, or the comments you have taken to support your world view.

'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;

What is the point of this quotation? what does it even have to do with Israel and Palestine? The rest of the extract doesn't link back to it, its just a laundry list of wealthy Jews and an accusation of community psychology. You were taking criticism so in response started writing about how Jews have more money.

2)

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

Again you personally are stating that the Jews (again note the Jews) are "disproportionately" well connected in e.g. media and publishing.

So yes you are stating that the Jews(as a group) control the media, that is literally what you're saying. If you don't believe that Jews are a group working in concert then this statement just doesn't make sense, how does the existence of powerful and influential individuals reflect on a group they're nominally connected too? Does the Murdoch family prove that the Australians (as a group) are disproportionately well connected in global media and publishing? If not why not.

3)

We've already covered this,

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,

Again we have the monolithic Jew. First you state that Israel represents the Jewish people, and that this implicates the Jews collectively in its crimes. You don't question the validity of this representation at all. On the contrary you support this link.

If you really need to get into caricature to discuss anything then we've really nothing to say to each other, these are tabloid headlines, not arguments.

Yes they are tabloid headlines but unfortunately they are your arguments not mine. I notice despite all your harrumphing you've not actually been able counter any of my allegations. The best you've done is tried blanket denials which are easy to debunk.

I rarely get reduced to this but here goes: try looking at the quotations again, if you feel so strongly, but without prejudice this time. Good luck.

I did actually, and no your arguments haven't gotten better with age.

Thanks for the wee tutorial but I kind of knew all that already. It's not exactly rocket science nor is it relevant to the issue I'm concerned with at the moment.

If you really did know all this then why are you constantly and still referring to Jewish people as if their a monolithic entity, and if it isn't relevant then why on earth did you bring it up? Oh a I get it once someone takes issue with what you say it's no longer relevant, right.

What interests me, and I really don't know how this could have escaped your notice, is whether or not ALL of these people should feel warranted in a belief that we are in the middle of a massive rise in anti-semitism,

??????
Okay, then where is your proof that these people that you brought up do actually think that? I've read your comments again and I don't see where these privileges media controlling types think this, did you cut an extract a bit too short?

Oh wait, by ALL did you mean the entire Jewish population? Because if so then you really were wasting time on anti-Semitic caricatures. The existence of a privileged group within a group does not negate the experiences of the rest. I don't honestly understand why you would think it would.

which does not distinguish between any of them,

So you actually are talking about the Jewish population as a monolithic entity, without qualification or distinction. So I guess your complaints about me being unfair to you were just hurt feelings.

This is a sensitive subject full of hazards and difficult to explore patiently while avoiding giving offence or anticipating subject positions to the point of stereotyping and closing our minds. It is also a very relevant and interesting issue, certainly to me, which demands discussion on these forums.

Really, that's funny I'm discussing this with you, so far all you've done is moan and declare you're refusing to talk further.

S. Artesian

This by Reddebrek

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

is garbage.

Gee I guess reading comprehension isn't your strong suit hey buddy.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Resolute Reddebrek!

Don't no one say, sloppy seconds Schmoopie!

I'll widen the question to state that anyone who talks about Jews in this context is just repeating the bourgeois lies.

potrokin

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fuck Nicky Campbell, and as for the retarded question, is anti-Zionism Antisemitic? Ofcourse fucking not.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Reddebrek

factvalue

What even vaguely are you dribbling about?

Your own words.

Bless you my dear comrade. ¡Olé! ¡Qué interpretación más maravillosa!

Reddebrek

factvalue

If anything doesn't mean anything in this thread so far it's this ill considered flapdoodle. Ed made a claim about the number of Jews supporting Zionism, true or false?

Again doesn't matter either way. I don't see how I can be any clearer.

I am pleased to confirm that it’s just about as clear as it could be that you’d rather not address what I’m writing. (Btw, is that a windmill over there or a great big fucking anti-semitic giant?)
Reddebrek

factvalue

Where did anyone 'equate' anything?

???? You did that right here.

Reddebrek

factvalue

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,

And virtually every comment you've made on the last few pages have been about "The Jews" no distinction or qualification. You are treating an entire group of people as a bloc or monolithic entity.

Alright, let's take them one at a time:

factvalue

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?

These comments were about the actions and nature of the Israeli state in engendering and promulgating genuine, although unwarranted, anti-semitism, which if I recall correctly has a connection, however tenuous it may appear to you, with the theme of this thread.

factvalue

And if these same Jewish people, as you have said, overwhelmingly support zionism, don't they also automatically support racism.

This was about the effect that unqualified support for ‘zionism’ (understood as encompassing an original ethnic cleansing together with an ongoing colonialist aggression) might be having in propagating: anti-semitism.

Why did you decide to leave out the end of this quotation, which reads ‘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'? The whole question, written in this way, with this context, with this meaning, was put to Ed in the hope of getting his opinion, but as with all other questions from me to Ed it remains unanswered as yet. He did suggest that I needed to back up my entirely uncontroversial claim that Israeli atrocities have some connection with genuine (as opposed to fabricated) upturns in anti-semitism but presuming Ed doesn’t want to discuss the datum I’ve offered (from the Kantor Centre itself no less) then if you read the paragraph above again (!) you may notice the phrase ‘Does Israel NOT REPRESENT ITSELF AS the State of the Jewish People' (it doesn't distinguish) and thereby implicate Jews collectively all round the planet in its massacres.? Go ahead, have another look…. Do you see it yet? That was me pointing out that when Israel does this, it implicates Jewish people everywhere in its massacres (particularly in the minds of those who are hard of thinking) while Jewish zionists are in turn, however unintentionally, unavoidably linking themselves to these massacres through their support for zionism in such a context, and if what Ed reported was correct, in overwhelming numbers.

Reddebrek

And virtually every comment you've made on the last few pages have been about "The Jews" no distinction or qualification. You are treating an entire group of people as a bloc or monolithic entity.

How embarrassing for you, you've put a fabricated quotation in. I haven't mentioned 'The Jews', although I have been talking about Jews because, well of course I’d have to check back, but I’m fairly certain that it was because it seemed to me that the thread, this thread, was concerned with something known to many as ‘anti-semitism’.

Reddebrek

factvalue

When did you place this 'call' you imagine yourself to have made? Did you read the quotation from Tel Aviv Uni? Maybe you should 'call' the Kantor Centre and leave a message if you don't like their description of the contiguity of Israeli massacres and anti-semitic upsurges.

When the hell did I say anything about the Kantor Centre? It has nothing to do with your absurd equations

This is a remarkable example of its kind, an authentic closed-and-feeble-mindedness fuelled by a pre-set agenda, indicating to me that you are clearly following some internal script disconnected with anything I’m actually posting. I salute you! But no, you’re right of course, no one could accuse you of mentioning the Kantor Centre, or even of reading the thread properly before lurching forward and belching out idiocies of this quality. Hint: It was me, I mentioned the Kantor Centre, now, show them what they could have won Sancho: A fully functioning reasoning faculty, yey!!

Reddebrek

factvalue

See my comments to SA but I have to say, this is taking a stupefyingly predictable path.

Yes it is stupid that you're denying anti-Semitism whilst using one of the oldest and most blatantly anti-Semitic lines in the book.

How about you back away from the horse, put down the lance and go off somewhere nice and quiet and..I d’know..read the thread properly?
Reddebrek

factvalue

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.

Sorry but I don't speak in plain, blunt phrases like this, as anyone on here not completely blinded by an agenda (in which case I might be in trouble) can attest to. 'The Jews have all the money' is too cheap to respond to and the others are dull misunderstandings at best and deliberate but inept at worst.

No its a fair summary of your behaviour and comments, or the comments you have taken to support your world view.

Righto!

Reddebrek

factvalue

'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;

What is the point of this quotation? what does it even have to do with Israel and Palestine? The rest of the extract doesn't link back to it, its just a laundry list of wealthy Jews and an accusation of community psychology. You were taking criticism so in response started writing about how Jews have more money.

Thank you for trying to teach me the secrets of this great wisdom but don’t you have anything? If you were running let’s say the ADL, and you'd assigned yourself the task of making a lot of money and gaining a lot of influence and respect by whipping up paranoia using anti-semitism, both in the US and worldwide, with the added effect of creating support for aggression and slaughter by the Israeli state in Palestine, it would be more than a little inconvenient if simultaneously Jewish people were demonstrably able to swim so well in this sea of prejudice and hatred that you were busy conjuring up, don’t you think?

Reddebrek

2)

Getting a little ahead of yourself there again aren't you, what happened to 1) ?

Reddebrek

factvalue

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

Again you personally are stating that the Jews (again note the Jews) are "disproportionately" well connected in e.g. media and publishing.
So yes you are stating that the Jews(as a group) control the media, that is literally what you're saying. If you don't believe that Jews are a group working in concert then this statement just doesn't make sense, how does the existence of powerful and influential individuals reflect on a group they're nominally connected too? Does the Murdoch family prove that the Australians (as a group) are disproportionately well connected in global media and publishing? If not why not.

Reddebrek

So yes you are stating that the Jews(as a group) control the media, that is literally what you're saying. If you don't believe that Jews are a group working in concert then this statement just doesn't make sense

Wrong again but my goodness you’d better be careful, in your leap of prejudice you’re reaching so elliptically you’re in danger of impaling yourself on your lance. My source for the media comment was Abe Foxman, the recent head of the Anti-Defamation League. I’m asking if Abe and Co. should be allowed to push the urgency of the need for extreme vigilance and paranoia within a society where such things as successful Jewish people are simple matters of fact, as well as asking what the purpose is of the deliberate raising of the level of fear among Jews which is the bread and butter of things like the ADL. If you didn't like an implication you perceived in the quotation take it up with Abe, he said it.

Reddebrek

how does the existence of powerful and influential individuals reflect on a group they're nominally connected too? Does the Murdoch family prove that the Australians (as a group) are disproportionately well connected in global media and publishing? If not why not.

Irrelevant straw wrt the issue I’m addressing, try feeding it to your horse.

Reddebrek

3)

We've already covered this,

..with straw, more for the old nag before your next charge Don Reddebrek de la Mantra

Reddebrek

factvalue

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,

Again we have the monolithic Jew. First you state that Israel represents the Jewish people, and that this implicates the Jews collectively in its crimes. You don't question the validity of this representation at all. On the contrary you support this link.

Ah yes, repetition, the life blood of advertising. What I’m asking is: if this linking oneself to Israel is really such a good idea, given the terms and conditions imposed by the Israeli state merely as a concomitant of its existence. I’m not implicating anyone, for the simple reason that I don’t believe that Judaism and Zionism are implicate, since they aren’t. Is it so easy to make the same case for that part of international Jewry that is zionist, particularly while Israel describes itself as 'The State of the Jews' as it wades through Palestinian blood, and while its prime minister is busily claiming to represent all Jews everywhere? Is that too much for you?

Reddebrek

factvalue

If you really need to get into caricature to discuss anything then we've really nothing to say to each other, these are tabloid headlines, not arguments.

Yes they are tabloid headlines but unfortunately they are your arguments not mine. I notice despite all your harrumphing you've not actually been able counter any of my allegations. The best you've done is tried blanket denials which are easy to debunk.

That's dismal, sure you're not even trying (I hope). But then I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised, after all you did begin with “Here’s my position, what you say simply doesn’t matter!” I can just hear you now: “???? When did I say that?!!!” You’re just very crudely demarcating a subject area and reacting to any encroachment by galloping off to the big anti-semitic windmill on your own round at the fantasy end of the playground with the child friendly surfaces where you can continue to fulminate about anti-semites under the bed without that pesky comprehension thing nagging away at you. You’re a perfect example of everything I’ve been going on about.

Reddebrek

factvalue

I rarely get reduced to this but here goes: try looking at the quotations again, if you feel so strongly, but without prejudice this time. Good luck.

I did actually, and no your arguments haven't gotten better with age.

Oki-doki, but at least they could be classified as arguments. On the other hand they are magnificent, how dare you sully their honour with this filth!

Reddebrek

factvalue

Thanks for the wee tutorial but I kind of knew all that already. It's not exactly rocket science nor is it relevant to the issue I'm concerned with at the moment

If you really did know all this then why are you constantly and still referring to Jewish people as if their a monolithic entity, and if it isn't relevant then why on earth did you bring it up? Oh a I get it once someone takes issue with what you say it's no longer relevant, right.

..erm…..the subject of th…fuck me this is heavy going..ah...’anti-semitism’ (is kinda monolithic) (?), (hello?!).. I need a drink.

Reddebrek

factvalue

What interests me, and I really don't know how this could have escaped your notice, is whether or not ALL of these people should feel warranted in a belief that we are in the middle of a massive rise in anti-semitism.

??????
Okay, then where is your proof that these people that you brought up do actually think that? I've read your comments again and I don't see where these privileges media controlling types think this, did you cut an extract a bit too short?

Then, ahem, you need to read it again (are you drunk or something? your mind is like some rusty old mangle with a pair of underpants hanging on it) because I don’t claim that any media controlling groups think anything. For several reasons really, such as that I don’t think a ‘media controlling group’ exists in the first place although Abe Foxman, who made the original statement, seems to think along these lines, and also because what I’m actually saying is that the ADL and Co. would need a lot more evidence than they seem to possess if they were going to convince ALL Jews (they don't distinguish) that they should believe that another holocaust was just around the corner.

Reddebrek

Oh wait, by ALL did you mean the entire Jewish population? Because if so then you really were wasting time on anti-Semitic caricatures. The existence of a privileged group within a group does not negate the experiences of the rest. I don't honestly understand why you would think it would.

I don’t. What I claim is that a society simply can not be as seriously anti-semitic as the ADL would have everyone believe if such successes are possible within it. Is it legitimate for the ADL to suggest to ALL these people (they don’t discriminate..) that they need to always beware an imminent holocaust, or is it seriously fucking reprehensible?

Reddebrek

factvalue

which does not distinguish between any of them,

So you actually are talking about the Jewish population as a monolithic entity, without qualification or distinction. So I guess your complaints about me being unfair to you were just hurt feelings.

O dear o dear, ah,…’ANTI-SEMITISM DOES NOT DISTINGUISH. ANTI-SEMITISM, NOT ME, ANTI-SEMITISM!! HELLO!! But yeah, you’re right, you’ve pierced my straw deeply comrade, I don’t know how I’m going to pick up the pieces, your horse could probably do with them after so many charges, now where did I leave my copy of the Protocols?

Reddebrek

factvalue

This is a sensitive subject full of hazards and difficult to explore patiently while avoiding giving offence or anticipating subject positions to the point of stereotyping and closing our minds. It is also a very relevant and interesting issue, certainly to me, which demands discussion on these forums.

Really, that's funny I'm discussing this with you, so far all you've done is moan and declare you're refusing to talk further.

This is looking clinical. Sorry mate, it's not me you need to be talking to if this is truly your understanding. But that’s what a fundamentalist mind-set breeds, an identity logic that’s second to none.

Reddebrek

S. Artesian

This by Reddebrek
Quote:

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
is garbage

Gee I guess reading comprehension isn't your strong suit hey buddy.

Well guessing does seem to be your precision analytical tool of choice.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oi veh, what a spieler:

Why did you decide to leave out the end of this quotation, which reads ‘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'? The whole question, written in this way, with this context, with this meaning, was put to Ed in the hope of getting his opinion, but as with all other questions from me to Ed it remains unanswered as yet. He did suggest that I needed to back up my entirely uncontroversial claim that Israeli atrocities have some connection with genuine (as opposed to fabricated) upturns in anti-semitism but presuming Ed doesn’t want to discuss the datum I’ve offered (from the Kantor Centre itself no less) then if you read the paragraph above again (!) you may notice the phrase ‘Does Israel NOT REPRESENT ITSELF AS the State of the Jewish People' (it doesn't distinguish) and thereby implicate Jews collectively all round the planet in its massacres.? Go ahead, have another look…. Do you see it yet? That was me pointing out that when Israel does this, it implicates Jewish people everywhere in its massacres (particularly in the minds of those who are hard of thinking) while they are in turn are, however unintentionally, unavoidably linking themselves to these massacres through their support for zionism in such a context, if what Ed reported was correct... That's dismal, sure you're not even trying (I hope). But then I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised, after all you did begin with “Here’s my position, what you say simply doesn’t matter!” I can just hear you now: “???? When did I say that?!!!” You’re just very crudely demarcating a subject area and reacting to any encroachment by galloping off to the big anti-semitic windmill on your own round at the fantasy end of the playground with the child friendly surfaces where you can continue to fulminate about anti-semites under the bed without that pesky comprehension thing nagging away at you. You’re a perfect example of everything I’ve been going on about...

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oi Schmoopie, why have you stuck together two paragraphs to make a longer one and then started shouting about how long it is?

Ed

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So I've been really busy and I've kind of lost track of the thread of this discussion so I'll do my best here.

Firstly, I think the factvalue has gone off on a complete tangent and started talking about 'how are Jews succeeding in the supposed sea of prejudice?' or whatever.. the discussion here isn't whether Jews are the most persecuted ethnic group in society, it's not about whether we live in 1930s Europe, it's not about whether America is virulently anti-semitic.. what we're discussing is whether the pro-Palestine movement (as a movement within the trad territory of the left/anti-war movement), which I think to various degrees we have all been involved in, has a significant tendency to slip into using anti-semitic arguments, imagery etc.. and more so than most (if not all) other left-wing movements/campaigns..

If I may quote my old friend S. Artesian here (assuming I've understood him properly, as we've ascertained I'm not great with details):
S. Artesian

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.

He then goes on to explain (well, imo)
S. Artesian

I think that people are reacting to the implication, which you don't intend to make, that these higher numbers provide "Jews" with a disproportionate influence on policies, programs, and politics in the US, and not just disproportionate based on numbers, but disproportionate based on an assumed shared, special interest attached not to economic position but to "Jewishness." This is where it all gets really difficult, and tropes, memes, stereotypes, codes, etc. are perceived even where and when you think there are none.

I mean, we obv still have our differences but I think those quotes sum up quite nicely the issue with what's wrong with factvalue's argument (and I'd also note that you haven't responded to S. Artesian on these either). Do you think these wealthy/powerful US Jews hold America to a foreign policy against its interest? If not, then what is your point?

I would also add that the context you wrote it in also raises eyebrows. If the argument is about how the left repeats anti-semitic tropes, such as about having 'tentacles everywhere in society', and your response is to start a tangentially-related discussion about how Jews being disproportionately represented in the higher strata of society, then that does make you look like you're giving credibility to the argument that Jews in high places pursue a 'Jewish agenda' over, above and against the interests of the non-Jews (of any class) in that society. At best, it makes it look like you think using anti-semitic arguments isn't a big deal because Jews don't need protecting..

factvalue

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.

Well, no, I'm not. If he had said, 'we want to make Bradford an Israel-free zone' and then only specified products, companies and institutions then he'd have been on much more solid ground. The point is he specified individual Israelis coming in a non-military, non-institutional capacity i.e. tourists just having a fucking look around Bradford! That is not attacking Israel, that's attacking Israelis even in their most benign capacity. The question then becomes: why the most benign Israeli but not all Jews? Why even an anti-Zionist Israeli but not an Israel-sympathising British Jew? Even you make the swift slip from one into the other when you ask:

factvalue

And if these same Jewish people, as you have said, overwhelmingly support zionism, don't they also automatically support racism

Because here you seem to be implying that it would be okay to say 'Jews aren't welcome in Bradford', as there is significant support for Zionism in the Jewish community and support for Zionism is support for racism. Would it be acceptable to say Jews aren't welcome in Bradford? Why is it any different from saying Israelis aren't welcome?

And since when did we blame individuals for the actions of their governments? The overwhelming support for Turkish nationalism in Turkey doesn't lead us to the same conclusion regardless of what the govt does to the Kurds, or the fact that many Turkish people don't recognise the Armenian genocide or the oppose the occupation of Cyprus. Similar with the overwhelming support for Chinese or Russian nationalisms, or Serb nationlism, regardless of their atrocities..

Anyway, I'm done, going to bed.. will try to keep up with this as best I can..

radicalgraffiti

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Its obvious that Israeli colonialism will make anti Semitism more acceptable to people than it would otherwise be, but atrocities by Israel don't convince people of anti Semitic tropes like Jews control the banks, or Jews control government policy behind the scenes, if someone based there entire view of Jews on Israeli they might think Jews where violent fanatics who picked on weaker people, but they wouldn't conclude that they secretly ran the media. Israeli violence doesn't explain anti Semitism, anti Semites learn anti Semitism from other anti Semites, Israeli treatment of Palestinians only makes that easier.

Attempting to dismiss anti-Semitism within anti Zionism or the left helps anti Semites and makes claims for Israel supporters that all criticism is motivated by anti-Semitism appear more legitimate.

the claim that a large proportion of anti proportion of anti-Semitism is faked is at best exceedingly dodgy bullshit, and bringing up these claims when people are talking about anti Semitism they have encountered, and not claims of anti-Semitism made by pro Israeli organisations looks like its motivated by anti Semitism

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oi Schmoopie, why have you stuck together two paragraphs to make a longer one and then started shouting about how long it is?

To demonstrate what a spieler you are, factvalue. I just haven't figured out what you're flogging.

...what we're discussing is whether the pro-Palestine movement (as a movement within the trad territory of the left/anti-war movement), which I think to various degrees we have all been involved in...

We have never been pro-Palestine or pro-Israel. We have only ever been pro-working class.

FOR THE WORLDWIDE INTIFADA! TO SHAKE OFF THE YOKE OF THE BOURGEOISIE!

Alf

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OK, I failed to divert this thread again.

But consider this: a discussion about anti-semitism is necessarily a discussion about personalisation, about the need to look for the evil face that embodies the abstract, apparently mysterious force of capital, a power which communists recognise to be founded on a social relationship, a relationship between classes.

And it would help if the debate on his thread was also less personalised, as several comrades have already pointed out.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Perhaps you should explain then what you mean by disproportionate representation in fields like publishing, or law. Do you simply mean a ratio greater than that which appears in relation to the general population? If so, then why the connection of that frequency to Zionism?

And

S. Artesian

factvalue

Do virulently anti-semitic societies produce numbers anything like those Finkelstein was readily able to cherry pick?

No, not at all. Did someone claim the US was a virulently antisemitic country? If so, I missed it.

The fact that Jews (of all classes and persuasions) make up 2% of the US but are represented in many different fields in much higher percentages lends some much-needed perspective to the contrived hysteria which in recent times led to, for example, the huge pressure to convict numerous professors who were alleged to have been part of a cabal of Jew-hating academics at Columbia, a university supposedly rife with anti-semitism, but who were later exonerated by the final report, which did find that there had been one case in which one of these crazed madmen had 'responded heatedly' to a student's question at the time of the massacre at Jenin, not exactly Krystallnacht but apparently sufficient to accomplish the fear-mongering at the heart of this ideological gambit.

Or indeed to let loose almost any of the fabricated nonsense in Commentary Magazine about Jews being targeted for murder or the worrying upsurge of antisemitism on university campuses generally which is currently being used to crush BDS, besides influencing state governments to refuse to do business with companies engaging in BDS. A periodic extravaganza of 'new anti-semitism' is announced by the ADL every fifteen years or so, usually in tandem with a book launched with the same title, with the 'new' variety taking the old form of any criticism of Israel, and it works quite well for those whose memories go back no further than a week, which is fine although I prefer to see anything I'm looking at in some kind of historical context if it's available.

S. Artesian

I think that people are reacting to the implication, which you don't intend to make, that these higher numbers provide "Jews" with a disproportionate influence on policies, programs, and politics in the US, and not just disproportionate based on numbers, but disproportionate based on an assumed shared, special interest attached not to economic position but to "Jewishness." This is where it all gets really difficult, and tropes, memes, stereotypes, codes, etc. are perceived even where and when you think there are none.

Sure, it's a mine field, never mind the idea of using the 'J' word so often on an anarchist communist forum and potentially sounding like the fash. But on the other hand I thought I'd already covered all this earlier when I wrote:

factvalue

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.

Ed

Firstly, I think the factvalue has gone off on a complete tangent and started talking about 'how are Jews succeeding in the supposed sea of prejudice?' or whatever.. the discussion here isn't whether Jews are the most persecuted ethnic group in society, it's not about whether we live in 1930s Europe, it's not about whether America is virulently anti-semitic.. what we're discussing is whether the pro-Palestine movement (as a movement within the trad territory of the left/anti-war movement), which I think to various degrees we have all been involved in, has a significant tendency to slip into using anti-semitic arguments, imagery etc.. and more so than most (if not all) other left-wing movements/campaigns..

'the factvalue', yes indeed, I liked that, yeah!, but the 'or whatever' didn't fill me full of hope. 'Anti-semitism' abstracted from all context, not context which excuses but rather enriches understanding, is of no more use to me than saying 'we're concerned here to discuss whether or not certain people have a tendency to use 'offensive' language'. Well, yes, I'm sure they do, so? What about it? I'm interested in exploring the nature of exactly what it is that we're discussing and why we're discussing this subject in this way at this time. Is the labour party anti-semitism production being put on now from any perspective other than a timely party electoral one? Just look at how easy it is to do this to any group or anyone. Not because I give a shit who gets in but what's actually taking place, and by what means is it achieved?

Ed

I mean, we obv still have our differences but I think those quotes sum up quite nicely the issue with what's wrong with factvalue's argument (and I'd also note that you haven't responded to S. Artesian on these either). Do you think these wealthy/powerful US Jews hold America to a foreign policy against its interest? If not, then what is your point?

See the comments above about tails wagging dogs quoted from an earlier post. I think they have a far more controlling and destructive influence on Israeli foreign policy than on the US, and they are a disaster that has befallen all of the people of the region. This was from my post immediately after your 242:

factvalue

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.

Ed

I would also add that the context you wrote it in also raises eyebrows. If the argument is about how the left repeats anti-semitic tropes, such as about having 'tentacles everywhere in society', and your response is to start a tangentially-related discussion about how Jews being disproportionately represented in the higher strata of society, then that does make you look like you're giving credibility to the argument that Jews in high places pursue a 'Jewish agenda' over, above and against the interests of the non-Jews (of any class) in that society. At best, it makes it look like you think using anti-semitic arguments isn't a big deal because Jews don't need protecting..

For a start, and with respect, your argument is more impartially speaking about WHETHER OR NOT the left (all of it?) - however defined - repeats anti-semitic tropes. Again, although I've encountered the phenomenon you are engaged with, I'm much more interested in why this discussion is taking place at all at this time and what social forces and actors are moving it. And, recognising the inherent potential for misinterpretation resulting from the massive brainwashing time that has been put in to confuse what should be straightforward, namely that anti-Zionism is anti-dispossession and anti-ethnic cleansing, there's nothing tangential about a simple syllogism (the immature part of me still titters when I use that word, damn it!): 1. As stated by you, most ('overwhelmingly') of the Jewish community are Zionist 2. Jews are extremely well represented (in proportion to their population size) in positions of influence 3. Therefore Zionists are well represented in such positions. No moral is being drawn here, it's just an empirical observation. You can take a view on why the person said it, but you can also, I was contending, interpret it quite differently. That's all. And what is so surprising about people who have similar points of view on certain issues or familiar cultural referents having an influence on things where they are? One of the problems for me is that since the '67 war the holocaust argument – unique suffering, therefore can't be held to account by standard means – accompanied by the 'worrying rise in anti-semitism' gambit have been played so often and with such success that they have skewed and obfuscated all discussion. I'm not hiding any of the Elders of Zion in my attic because before June 1967 Israel was of no interest to western Jews, and the holocaust was not spoken of, because in the post-war era such things as the kibbutzim etc. would have been offensive to our new allies, the former nazis running West Germany, and then there was the ever-present threat of being seen as a nation state within the state, as with the third reich. That all changed when Israel acquired strategic asset status.

Where does that last sentence of yours come from? Do you believe Jews need protecting any more than any other section of society? Why is that?

Ed

The question then becomes: why the most benign Israeli but not all Jews? Why even an anti-Zionist Israeli but not an Israel-sympathising British Jew? Even you make the swift slip from one into the other when you ask:

factvalue

And if these same Jewish people, as you have said, overwhelmingly support zionism, don't they also automatically support racism

Because here you seem to be implying that it would be okay to say 'Jews aren't welcome in Bradford', as there is significant support for Zionism in the Jewish community and support for Zionism is support for racism. Would it be acceptable to say Jews aren't welcome in Bradford? Why is it any different from saying Israelis aren't welcome?

Are Israelis all Jews? Should that be? If Israel stopped calling itself the Jewish state wouldn't that help protect Jews around the world each time it got dark behind its eyes again and it just had to rush off and commit yet another slaughter in Gaza, to show them who's boss in that giant open air prison, where 80% are refugees and 60% are children? A quotation from the doyen of Israeli historians Benny Morris completes that last sentence you quoted from my post, just after the word racism (do you think 'Zionism' is a useful word any more, what do you mean by it?) to the effect that ethnic cleansing was inevitable and built into Zionism from the beginning. He thinks that this is a positive thing, in the same way he thinks that the Native American genocide was positive, to make way for the wonders of modern America. Did American Indians resist it because of their inherent anti-Europeanism? They certainly committed atrocities later having learned anti-Europeanism the hard way. I've never agree with Galloway on anything but I can understand what might motivate such an outburst. Can you not?

Rurkel

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If we are talking about polls in regards to how USA Jews view Israel, there's this:

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/10/01/chapter-5-connection-with-and-attitudes-towards-israel/

Obviously, it's important to remember that the phrasing and the presuppositions of questions affects answers, and there're certain questions Pew won't ask in the first place.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sure, it's a mine field, never mind the idea of using the 'J' word so often on an anarchist communist forum and potentially sounding like the fash.

Fair play factvalue. I feel at ease now to get it off my chest:
Jew Arab Jew Jew Jew Jew Arab Arab Arab Jew....
Long live the civil war of the proletariat against the BOURGEOISIE!

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

OK, I failed to divert this thread again.

But consider this: a discussion about anti-semitism is necessarily a discussion about personalisation, about the need to look for the evil face that embodies the abstract, apparently mysterious force of capital, a power which communists recognise to be founded on a social relationship, a relationship between classes.

And it would help if the debate on his thread was also less personalised, as several comrades have already pointed out.

Alf, are you suggesting something similar to the 'socialism of the fool'?

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://cst.org.uk/data/file/5/5/Incidents-Report-2014.1425053165.pdf

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/israel-gaza-conflict-anti-semitic-incidents-up-500-in-uk-since-start-of-bombardment-of-gaza-9681324.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/05/antisemitic-attacks-uk-community-security-trust-britain-jewish-population

In the Jewish community in the UK, the Community Security Trust provides advice on security and volunteer marshals for Jewish community events as well as a reporting mechanism for antisemitic incidents that has a stable and well thought out methodology for evaluating incident reports to ensure that they are properly classified as antisemitic, and for categorising them. Its annual incidents report is the most authoritative information available on the scale of actual antisemitic activity (as opposed to antisemitic thinking) in the United Kingdom.

With respect to the globalisation of Israel-Palestine, the CST takes the unambiguous view formed as a result of collecting data for many years, that there are clear correlations and patterns of spikes in anti-semitic attacks whenever there is a “trigger event” overseas involving Israel.

On page 11 of the linked report for 2014, it mentions the conflict with Lebanon in 2006, the Gaza conflict of 2009 and the Gaza conflict of 2014 as trigger events, each of which led to a significant increase in antisemitic incidents in the UK.

But then comes the usual, unsettling (and quite possibly unconscious) fraud. After demonstrating that there is a massive spike beginning in July of that year, following the onset of Operation Defensive Edge (8 July – 26 August) it asserts that 2014 is a record year for such incidents, suggesting that anti-semitism is on the rise. This would be true if you didn't take into account that CST has only operated an incident exchange programme with Greater Manchester Police since 2011, and since 2012 with the Metropolitan Police in London.

So for example comparing the 931 incidents in the UK during the 2009 Israeli operation in Gaza with the 1,168 during the 2014 Gaza operation, it looks like things are getting much worse, but subtracting the 349 incidents received from the police via the information exchange programme which didn't exist in 2009, you get 819, i.e. a reduction, rather than a massive increase. Unfortunately such numbers have been used by all kinds of media to present a systemic rise in anti-semitism as an established 'fact'.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Good last post

Alf

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jef - yes, that's exactly it - Bebel's "socialism of fools". It's extremely widespread, though not always in an overtly antisemitic form: the deformation of class consciousness into an incoherent hostility against 'the elite' is central to the current wave of populism.

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://libcom.org/forums/announcements/antisemitism-%E2%80%93-shortened-critique-capitalism-london-11112010-20102010

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Zionism – nationalist movement of the ‘Jewish People’. Although Israel is described as the ‘Zionist State of Israel’ in our bulletin we do not see the Israeli state as simply the offspring Zionist ideology for ‘it has functioned throughout according to the logic of capitalism’. For example, the expulsion of Palestinians from the land and their transformation from peasants to proletarians is best understood as a form of primitive accumulation. This process of looting and land grabbing has been a feature of capitalist development everywhere (see, for instance, the highland clearances in Scotland in the Nineteenth century). It is not enough, however, to attack particular frameworks for exploitation such as Zionism; we need to attack the whole basis of these phenomena – capital and the state.

Worldwide Intifada, #1

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/01/14/french-have-positive-views-of-both-jews-muslims/

factvalue

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This film,The Lab, illuminates the value of 20% of the Israeli economy contributed by the iterative 'operations' (experiments) carried out by the IDF in Gaza (the lab) using interviews with those most directly involved, the ex-officers who are now contractors, mercenaries and sought after trainers of other armies and police forces around the world. In tandem with the spikes in anti-Semitic attacks with each new 'experiment', Israeli weapons sales peak as well.

freemind

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Saw Finkelstein speak on Israel/Palestine in London a few years ago and he was excellent-also describes himself as a Communist

Alf

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a passage from the memoirs of Aghis Stinas, the Greek revolutionary who, in the 1930s and 40s, was one of the few militants of the time to stand against the vast tide of democratic and nationalist deception, and to oppose the second imperialist war without any compromises, above all about the character of the anti-fascist Resistance.

I cite it here because he expresses in very lucid terms certain basics of the communist position on anti-semitism and the trajectory of Zionism (and, by implication, its mirror image, anti-Zionism).

I will try to come back to some of the points raised by Stinas in another post.
The English translation of the memoirs is in the libcom library. https://libcom.org/history/revolutionary-defeatists-greece-world-war-ii-aghis-stinas

The extract, on p 41 and 42, comes in the opening chapter, giving an account of the impact of the international revolutionary wave on Greece, and the formation of the Greek Communist Party. He gives numerous examples of the high level of class consciousness among the workers in Greece in those years, and one, referring specifically to events in Thessaloniki between 1917 and 1921where he was active, shows that the most combative parts of the working class had a very good grasp of the Jewish question, opposing both Zionism and anti-Jewish pogromism from the only standpoint that really can offer a way out of this dilemma – the standpoint of working class internationalism.
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"I want to emphasise some events which illustrate the high level of class consciousness of the workers of Thessaloniki.

We knew about the “Balfour declaration”, the official promise made to the Jews by the British government during the First World War that it would set them up on the soil “of their fathers”. The Jewish community and the Thessaloniki synagogue had called the Jews together to celebrate the news. The gathering took place in the morning, and behind closed doors. The afternoon of the same day masses of Jewish workers and intellectuals took to the streets, waving red flags, with these slogans: “It is not in the state of Israel but in the world socialist society, united fraternally with all the peoples of the world, that we, the Jews, will guarantee our lives, our security and our well-being”, “Long live the world socialist revolution”, “Down with Zionism”.

There is something we should note here. It was not only the Jews of Thessaloniki but millions of Jews across the world who put all their hope in socialism and struggled for it. The socialist and revolutionary parties could count within their ranks a large number of Jews, out of all proportion to their numbers in the population. The greatest theoreticians of Marxism, Marx, Luxemburg, Trotsky, were Jews.

How can these same Jews, the most authentic internationalist revolutionaries, have been metamorphosed into nationalists? How could Zionism, originally an insignificant sect of religious fanatics, transform itself into a mass movement? How could millions of Jews who lived with the grand vision of a world society of free producers decide to make the creation of a little national state their aim in life? Were those who employed a language against Israel little different from that of Goebbels ever able to ask these questions?

The movement for the foundation of the state of Israel, which at the start only gathered an insignificant number of fanatical bigots in quest of a utopia, became a matter for large masses of Jews in the years before the Second World War and the Hitlerian genocide. When already the hope of a social emancipation within a global community had begun to evaporate. When it had become clearer that the realisation of the age-old dream of the oppressed of the whole world looked more like a hideous nightmare. Then came the war, and the camps, the crematoria, geno-cide, the holocaust of Warsaw with the benevolent neutrality of the Russians, the disgraceful attitude of France and Britain towards the refugees. The whole world participated in the pogrom. In an era when the socialist ideal had drowned in a sea of nationalist hatred, how can we not understand that all of the Jews should fix on the aim of finding a corner of the planet where they
could settle, or at least die defending themselves with guns in their hands. But people already lived in the place where they settled, poor people like them, workers and peasants. Thus, with the blessing of the two superpowers, the conditions were created for a permanent war between Jews and Arabs. Can’t those on the left who call for the destruction of Israel, that is to say the achieve-ment of the work of Hitler, not imagine another politics? Haven’t they ever thought about the fraternisation of peoples, their common struggle against their respective governments and for the republic of workers’ councils in the Middle East?"

"......One morning in February 1921, we were told at the union centre that a pogrom was being prep-ared against the Jews. Word had gone round that they had kidnapped a little Christian girl with the aim of killing her and using her blood in their religious rites. The criminals, adventurers and bigots had begun to gather, to shout, to insult the Jews, and were openly pushing for a pogrom. The union centre buglers sounded the alarm and called the workers to stop work and to get together. It was an alarm known to the workers, and when it rang out they had to immediately stop whatever they were doing, arm themselves with whatever came to hand and rush to the union centre. Some young people headed for the factories and the workers’ neighbourhoods. In less than half an hour, thousands of workers had assembled in front of the union centre and an enormous human mass set off in the direction of the pogromists, with a sign at its head: “Hands off the Jews”. The whole bunch of vagabonds, thugs and cretins, along with the traders and priests who had stirred them up, scattered at the sight of the popular torrent. Following this we formed a committee and demanded that the Governor General arrest the instigators. They were arrested and imprisoned. Two months later, we met them again in the new prison, when it was our turn to be granted its hospitality".

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

The union centre buglers sounded the alarm and called the workers to stop work and to get together. It was an alarm known to the workers, and when it rang out they had to immediately stop whatever they were doing, arm themselves with whatever came to hand and rush to the union centre. Some young people headed for the factories and the workers’ neighbourhoods. In less than half an hour, thousands of workers had assembled in front of the union centre and an enormous human mass set off in the direction of the pogromists, with a sign at its head: “Hands off the Jews”.

If only we had that kind of organisation and solidarity
Thanks Alf

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thus, with the blessing of the two superpowers, the conditions were created for a permanent war between Jews and Arabs. Can’t those on the left who call for the destruction of Israel, that is to say the achieve-ment of the work of Hitler, not imagine another politics? Haven’t they ever thought about the fraternisation of peoples, their common struggle against their respective governments and for the republic of workers’ councils in the Middle East?"

.

Come on, opposing the existence of Israel is NOT "achieving" Hitler's "work," or goal or purpose. That's just playing the Holocaust card. I certainly can imagine another politics. I certainly have thought about the fraternization of peoples, and a republic of workers' councils in the Middle East. But I can't imagine those things, think those relations are possible as long as Israel exists, no more than such relations were possible as long as the apartheid state in South Africa existed. Yes, the overthrow of the white apartheid state in South Africa, and the overthrow of the zionist/religious state of Israel are necessary. No, they are not sufficient. But you're not getting anywhere as long as Israel exists as Israel, as an homeland "exclusively" for Jews, i.e. meaning expropriating and exploitating other ethic groups and the basis of an enforced ethnicity.

. In less than half an hour, thousands of workers had assembled in front of the union centre and an enormous human mass set off in the direction of the pogromists, with a sign at its head: “Hands off the Jews”. The whole bunch of vagabonds, thugs and cretins, along with the traders and priests who had stirred them up, scattered at the sight of the popular torrent.

Indeed. And how many Zionists assembled at the union centre at the sound of the alarm? In 1921? Clearly it's the defeat of the workers' revolution that makes extermination an economic policy, and makes Zionism appear as the "humanitarian" alternative.

And this:

Following this we formed a committee and demanded that the Governor General arrest the instigators. They were arrested and imprisoned

.

Gets you to this, and always gets you to this:

Two months later, we met them again in the new prison, when it was our turn to be granted its hospitality".

If you were able to form defense militias to suppress the assault, then the step is not to demand that the existing government incarcerate the goons, but that the militias arrest the goons themselves, and that goons be subjected of revolutionary tribunals, not government prisons, where you will undoubtedly wind up, and remain, long after the goons are released.

Alf

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Artesian is right to criticise the demand made to imprison the pogromists. But that's not the main point. The point is that the working class in 1921 had sufficient sense of its class needs to organise against the pogromists on its own terrain, not the terrain of the ruling class. This was very far removed from the later descent into democratic anti-fascism, which was indeed a product of the defeat of the revolution.

Regarding the destruction of Israel: what Stinas, the thoroughgoing defender of 'revolutionary defeatism' against all imperialist war, is surely saying in his criticism of the 'left' is that it supported the military destruction of Israel in an imperialist war against the surrounding Arab states. And that this went in completely the opposite direction to the proletarian conception: that the goal of the working class is neither the military victory of the Arab states over Israel, nor some transitional regime in which Israel remains capitalist but not Zionist, but the destruction of all the states in the region, whatever national or religious flags they drape themselves in, by the revolution of the workers' councils. It is moreover impossible to imagine such an overturn of the present status quo in the Middle East without the inspiration of a proletarian revolution in the centres of world capitalism.