Why people on the far-left are very anti Israel?

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Drakula25
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Feb 25 2014 11:11
teh wrote:
Drakula25 wrote:
Wow, now even the people Black Badger is quoting from are anti-Semites. I guess I'm in good company.

For the record, Max Blumenthal's book is an amazing analysis and I would highly recommend it, especially considering it now has the Zio-leftist seal of quality.

I don't think you're an Anti-Semite. I think you respond to Jewish Nationalism with Anti-Jewish Nationalism instead of prole internationalism.

Zionism is not "Jewish nationalism," it is settler-colonialism. Failure or active refusal to single out Israel for this reason, amid others, means effective support/whitewashing for settler-colonialism. Suggestion that singling it out is "anti-Semitic" is baseless and something that Zionists like *some* of the posters above can (and do) allege against virtually anyone, from Hugo Chavez to Noam Chomsky to the Black Panthers.

If Zionism were actually just nationalism with a Jewish flavor I would not really think it was more or less important than any other nationalism. I'd still oppose it as nationalism but if they want to give everyone Hannukah off from work or whatever I wouldn't give a shit

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Khawaga
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Feb 25 2014 14:01

Literally all states were, at one point or another, settler-colonialist. That's what states are: racist institutions. This is the elementary fact you don't get, and this is also the elementary fact that makes Israel just one state among many other.

Drakula25
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Feb 25 2014 14:16
Khawaga wrote:
Literally all states were, at one point or another, settler-colonialist. That's what states are: racist institutions. This is the elementary fact you don't get, and this is also the elementary fact that makes Israel just one state among many other.

lol

Even if this wasn't completely stupid, Khawaga's repeated Zionist talking point -- that singling out/exceptionalizing Israel is "anti-Semitism" -- is still a logic leap and a slanderous attack on anti-racist activism against Israeli settler-colonialism and its particularities (lobby/influence, ongoing rather than historical colonizing, nukes, etc).

If he doesn't see what the particularities are and chooses to equate Zionism/settler-colonialism with nationalism in general, that is his own ignorance and a telling feature of how dismissive he is of the plight of the Palestinians in particular.

It is LITERALLY no different from someone dismissing the struggle of the Oromo/Darfur people against Sudan because of anti-black racism, ignoring Apartheid in South Africa because of British massacres of Boer peoples, ignoring/minimizing Nazism over anti-German racism, etc. The fact is, nobody in their right mind would say that all states are carbon copies of each other. There are reasons why particular states are singled out, including Israel. To arrogantly dismiss those reasons and cry wolf about "anti-Semitism" (or anti-Germanism, or anti-Boerism, etc) is a pretty clear indication of racism on the part of the wolf-crier. I do not know why this concept is so hard to grasp.

Fleur
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Feb 25 2014 15:28

I really can't decide whether it must be nice and cozy and comfortable or as confusing as hell in your head, with your completely black and white, tolerate no disagreement, you're either with me or against me attitude.
Absolutely no-one on this thread has said anything pro-Israel, nor has anyone been dismissive of the struggle of the struggle of the Palestinians. However, when people have disagreed with your opinion you've spat back "Zionist!" in your wall of text tantrums. Hats off to anyone who has the patience to argue with you.

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Feb 25 2014 16:14
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It is LITERALLY no different from someone dismissing the struggle of the Oromo/Darfur people against Sudan because of anti-black racism, ignoring Apartheid in South Africa because of British massacres of Boer peoples, ignoring/minimizing Nazism over anti-German racism, etc. The fact is, nobody in their right mind would say that all states are carbon copies of each other. There are reasons why particular states are singled out, including Israel. To arrogantly dismiss those reasons and cry wolf about "anti-Semitism" (or anti-Germanism, or anti-Boerism, etc) is a pretty clear indication of racism on the part of the wolf-crier. I do not know why this concept is so hard to grasp.

Again, if this is what you take from my posts, I have to ask if you passed remedial English, or if you were taught to read by a sect of Althusserians that took symptomatic reading to a level of mentalness.

Drakula25
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Feb 25 2014 17:28
fleurnoire-et-rouge wrote:
I really can't decide whether it must be nice and cozy and comfortable or as confusing as hell in your head, with your completely black and white, tolerate no disagreement, you're either with me or against me attitude.
Absolutely no-one on this thread has said anything pro-Israel, nor has anyone been dismissive of the struggle of the struggle of the Palestinians. However, when people have disagreed with your opinion you've spat back "Zionist!" in your wall of text tantrums. Hats off to anyone who has the patience to argue with you.

Ohhhhh, okay. My mistake!

jolasmo
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Feb 25 2014 18:05

Yeah, some pretty amazing stuff here. Particularly the deployment of privilege theory. I mean I'm used to seeing some pretty ludicrous stuff from the left on this topic, but I've never heard the the mystical Jew-power of Israel articulated as "Jewish privilege" - that's a new one on me.

Personally I'm pretty astonished that Drakula can whine on at such length about "whitewashing" after claiming there's "zero evidence" of antisemitism on the left, that any claims tithe contrary are Jewish people "playing the race card", "crying wolf", etc. I mean this is pretty standard stuff not just for white racists but for defenders of privilege generally - compare attacks on survivors of sexual violence for "crying wolf" and so on. As people have pointed out above, this is the language of privilege disciplining the oppressed, and if you find yourself comig out with such boilerplate reactionary canards it really should give you pause for thought.

~J.

Drakula25
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Feb 25 2014 19:53
jolasmo wrote:
I mean this is pretty standard stuff not just for white racists but for defenders of privilege generally - compare attacks on survivors of sexual violence for "crying wolf" and so on.
~J.

A more accurate comparison would be how anti-feminist groups similarly cry wolf about how women are oppressing them or how white people are "oppressed" because of affirmative action, or how the rich claim they are the victims because of welfare programs.

Rape victims might not cry wolf, but racists do -- all the time.

The arguments being made above by Zio--sorry, I mean "anti-Zionists"-- about finding "anti-Semitism" where there is no evidence are being used in such a way that important distinctions about Israel's brutal campaign of racist settler-colonial subjugation and the impunity it nets cannot be discussed (see Khawaga's absurd comment that "all nations are settler-colonial" which is a lie). If that's not whitewashing then I don't know what is.

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laborbund
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Feb 25 2014 23:26

This reminds me of that huge argument we had about the Republic of Lakotah.

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laborbund
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Feb 26 2014 00:10

dp

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laborbund
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Feb 26 2014 00:10

dp

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Feb 25 2014 23:39
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important distinctions about Israel's brutal campaign of racist settler-colonial subjugation and the impunity it nets cannot be discussed

What the fuck are you on about? It is being discussed, here, has been discussed plenty before. Happens on a daily basis. Sure, it's not done in the way you want to, and therefore you cry bloody murder because people see through your reactionary crap. In fact you're the one trying to shut down discussion about anti-semitism on the left because it doesn't fit in your perfect little black and white world (in which Jews have magical powers to control everything apparently).

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Feb 26 2014 05:04

Drak - would you agree that Israel basically functions as a satellite state for the US and other neoliberal powers, or do you think it's more a case of Israel manipulating the US into backing it (like through AIPAC and so on)?

Khawaga - would you agree that accusations of anti-semitism are often used in public discourse to discourage legitimate criticism of Israel, even and especially when that criticism comes from Jewish people?
(I don't think that's what you're doing in this thread, and I do think it's important to talk about anti-semitism - I'm just unclear about whether you think that's a real phenomenon)

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Feb 26 2014 07:58
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would you agree that accusations of anti-semitism are often used in public discourse to discourage legitimate criticism of Israel

No one is denying this, even in that article I posted by Moishe Postone who Drakula25 said was a Zionist!

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even and especially when that criticism comes from Jewish people

I don't think that it matters whether Jewish people are saying it. That strikes me as a highly problematic thing to say.

On the subject of singling out Israel. Here is a good comparison. In racist discourse against people from the Middle East, Islam is constantly singled out as so much worse than Christianity or any other religion. It is described as the most vile, pernicious and inhuman faith in the world today. This is obviously done to create stigma and bigotry that justifies Western foreign policy in the Middle East and to scapegoat social problems onto immigrants locally.

Now does pointing out that this discourse of singling out Islam, this Islamophobia, is thinly veiled racism mean that I support Islam? Or that any critique of Islam is racist? Of course not! And yet Drakula, you claim that singling out the state of Israel is not racist and that any critique of this singling out is racist! Why? What is the difference?!

Drakula25
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Feb 26 2014 10:58
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I don't think that it matters whether Jewish people are saying it. That strikes me as a highly problematic thing to say.

For ONCE, I thought you and I had some common ground, but then you had to go off about Islam.

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**Hateful reductionism about Islam** Why? What is the difference?!

The fact that you would even ASK this kind of ridiculous question or make such an obnoxious comparison -- between a 2 billion member religious tradition that varies not only between countries but between individual communities, classes, and even individuals -- and a racist settler-colonial regime is EXACTLY the kind of ignorance one can expect from an apologist for Israel.

The idea that "Islam" is a political organization/entity -- like a state -- is a great way to simplify nearly 2 billion people. Completely orientalist thing to say. I'm astonished, I did not think that this circlejerk would get to that point.

But to answer your offensive question, if you would single out "Islam" as a culture at all -- as opposed to, say, a regime that claims to be acting in the broad tradition of Islam, such as Saudi Arabia -- then yeah, you're pretty much a racist. You're attributing some kind of enormous power to what is basically a broad set of cultural/religious traditions, rather than political entities like states.

If, on the other hand, you emphasize the need to challenge Saudi Arabia because its version of Islamism is not only far worse, but in fact a means of justifying a brutal tyrannical dictatorship that is not only far worse than other regimes in the region but throughout the world, and has a very serious role in American imperialism, then, no, I do not think you would be "Islamophobic" and if someone accused you of this I would assume that they are likely an apologist for Saudi Arabia.

Drakula25
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Feb 26 2014 11:00
Khawaga wrote:
your perfect little black and white world (in which Jews have magical powers to control everything apparently).

For the record, not only did Zionist Khawaga asked that I be banned for my comments about Israel, he also believes that race privilege for Jewish people (presumably also for white people more generally) is the same as "magical powers". Almost as sad as the comment that white supremacy is some kind of international conspiracy theory.

Drakula25
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Feb 26 2014 11:07
Fnordie wrote:
Drak - would you agree that Israel basically functions as a satellite state for the US and other neoliberal powers, or do you think it's more a case of Israel manipulating the US into backing it (like through AIPAC and so on)?

I think it is a false dichotomy, US imperialism depends on its client regimes, which, depending on how important they are, are able to have greater sway in the direction of policy (which is why Israel and Saudi Arabia command more support and influence -- they are simply seen by influential ruling class elements as more important).

AIPAC is simply a manifestation of that influence within the scope of US imperialism. I see AIPAC as a domestic, US-based lobby for the imperial powers, it simply represents the faction that believes US imperialism is best served by satiating the demands Israel makes. This alone should make Israel stand out -- and worthy of being singled out.

The reason there isn't a synonymous Saudi lobby in Congress is slightly more complicated, but basically I think it's because Islamophobia in the United States, legitimate fears about Saudi Arabian elites being involved in terrorism, and the fact that the Saudis have other cards to play besides harassing Congress (oil, Mecca). After 9/11, apparently some elements in Saudi Arabia tried lobbying but the initiatives were simply closed down because nobody wanted to hear it.

radicalgraffiti
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Feb 26 2014 13:46
Drakula25 wrote:
jolasmo wrote:
I mean this is pretty standard stuff not just for white racists but for defenders of privilege generally - compare attacks on survivors of sexual violence for "crying wolf" and so on.
~J.

A more accurate comparison would be how anti-feminist groups similarly cry wolf about how women are oppressing them or how white people are "oppressed" because of affirmative action, or how the rich claim they are the victims because of welfare programs.

Rape victims might not cry wolf, but racists do -- all the time.

The arguments being made above by Zio--sorry, I mean "anti-Zionists"-- about finding "anti-Semitism" where there is no evidence are being used in such a way that important distinctions about Israel's brutal campaign of racist settler-colonial subjugation and the impunity it nets cannot be discussed (see Khawaga's absurd comment that "all nations are settler-colonial" which is a lie). If that's not whitewashing then I don't know what is.

So, you deny antisemitism is an issue and justify this by comparing antisemitism with the idea of discrimination against white people, ie obviously ridiculous. Does this mean that you think that the power relationship between Jewish people and white people is like the power relationship between white people and black people?

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laborbund
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Feb 26 2014 13:50

Are you there Omen? Its me, libcom.

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Feb 26 2014 14:27
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Khawaga - would you agree that accusations of anti-semitism are often used in public discourse to discourage legitimate criticism of Israel, even and especially when that criticism comes from Jewish people?
(I don't think that's what you're doing in this thread, and I do think it's important to talk about anti-semitism - I'm just unclear about whether you think that's a real phenomenon)

I used to hold that view actually, but from my particular, situated experience I've not seen it happen that often but from the state of Israel and various rabid Zionist groups in the US and Europe. And from time to time I'll read that argument in a newspaper, see it on TV and such, so it is out there, but it's just not such a big problem in my experience. Then again, if I'd been on some US campuses I'd likely say something different.

But why why does it matter if that person is Jewish or not?

Quote:
Khawaga asked that I be banned for my comments about Israel, he also believes that race privilege for Jewish people (presumably also for white people more generally) is the same as "magical powers"

I didn't ask for your banning, I said that you'd likely get banned for being an anti-semite... It has all happened before, and will happen again. And here's what I don't get with you either, and others have pointed it out, you homogenize Jews. Ask an Ethiopian Jew about their privilege, or for that matter a Sephardic Jew. But I guess for you, it is only the white-looking ones that count since they fit into your world view. And the magical powers I point to is not privilege (again I question your ability to read), but this belief that Jews are all-powerful, control the US government and has a master plan of world domination, i.e. in other words all the anti-semitic tropes you've been pushing on this thread.

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Feb 26 2014 16:20
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The fact that you would even ASK this kind of ridiculous question or make such an obnoxious comparison -- between a 2 billion member religious tradition that varies not only between countries but between individual communities, classes, and even individuals -- and a racist settler-colonial regime is EXACTLY the kind of ignorance one can expect from an apologist for Israel.

The idea that "Islam" is a political organization/entity -- like a state -- is a great way to simplify nearly 2 billion people. Completely orientalist thing to say. I'm astonished, I did not think that this circlejerk would get to that point.

First, I never said that Islam was a political organisation or entity. I was simply pointing out that focusing on a fragment rather than the totality enters very nicely into creating a false representation of reality that serves nefarious, racist political purposes. I cannot understand how you can group me in with the Orientalists and Islamophobes when it is obvious that my comment was a critique of these people. The fact is that you are like them, not me. This was my point. Secondly, in this vein you separate a critique of the Israeli state from the totality of the system of which it is a part. No critique of Israel can be separated from a critique of all states, and indeed all social categories and their history, just as no critique of any one religion can be separated from the critique of all religions and their history. Nor can you separate a critique of colonialism of any kind from a critique of the entirety of capitalist society.

Let me put it this way. The oppression dealt out by the Israeli state can only be fought by struggling against all capitalist social categories. It cannot be aimed at colonialism alone, nor at Israel alone. Colonialism itself is driven by far vaster historical and social forces than a conspiracy simply dreamed up by nasty Westerners or white supremacists. It is one aspect of an inhuman civilisation driven by abstract fetishistic necessity. I don't know how this should concretely translate onto the ground in Israel/Palestine. That is really for people there to decide for themselves. I'd say rejecting religion, rejecting work, rejecting any kind of nationalism and state would be a good start. In practice this would mean Israelis and Palestians taking over the means of subsistence and running it together as human beings with concrete needs and desires rather than as agents of this or that capital or national indentity.

You seem to me to be someone driven by resentment rather than any genuine desire to abolish contemporary social relations and establish this kind of non-capitalist society. You are blinded by hatred. The fact that you immediately dismiss anyone who even suggests that there could be antisemitism on the left or that some criticism of Israel is antisemitic shows that you are not even willing to enter into a reasoned debate. You are just trying to bully people into believing what you believe. Honestly, the only reason I've been so engaged in this conversation is that you scare me. I cannot see how any dialogue between Israeli people and Palestinians about rejecting capitalist society can take place on the basis of anything you have said. On the other thread you seemed to agree with the statement that the erasure of the presence of the Israeli people from the Middle East was a prerequisite for world peace and harmony,

Me:

Quote:
But 'abolish Israel' can mean two radically different things from different people. If it means "abolish the totality of capitalist social relations so that we can live in peace and harmony", then so be it, but if it means any shade of "destroy the nasty and malicious Israelis, bulldoze their cities and erase their peculiarly pernicious presence in the middle east" then that is antisemitic.

You:

Quote:
The latter is simply a particular and exaggerated-sounding version of the former.

Even a less "exaggerated" version would be "erase the presence of the Israeli people from the Middle East". And so the logic of the final solution reveals itself: you are essentially calling for ethnic cleansing.

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Feb 26 2014 18:18

This whole thread is really horrendous, and Drakula I believe your behavior is really to blame. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is truly horrible, and Israel and the West bear the lion's share of responsibility for this. But really what can be learned about this conflict, when one really digs deep into the history, is that this is a story of innocents suffering because of the actions of the powerful. Really it's just war, as it always has been and will be. The strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must.

I truly hate to just ramble on this subject. There's a lot to say. But to sum up my thoughts I just want to say that as someone who believes that the natural functions of states and capitalism are responsible for the wars of the world, I think the only thing that should be taken away from this conflict is the fact that no matter how many commercials try and convince us otherwise, this is the reality of capitalist democracy

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cantdocartwheels
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Feb 26 2014 18:45

personally I think if you say you are ''alienated'' from the left because its ''dominated'' by ''priviliged'' jews you're obviously an anti-Semite, I have little time for that sort of poisonous shite.

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Feb 26 2014 21:00
Malva wrote:
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even and especially when that criticism comes from Jewish people

I don't think that it matters whether Jewish people are saying it. That strikes me as a highly problematic thing to say.

Why?

It shouldn't matter who's saying it, but unfortunately it does - we live in a racist world. My ex girlfriend was Jewish; I remember one Passover dinner when one of her more left-leaning family members said something sympathetic about Palestine. The more conservative folks scolded him for being self-hating.

Neturei Karta is a Jewish organization that's opposed the existence of Israel since 1948, on religious principles. Zionists accuse them of being "self-hating Jews" all the time.

Khawaga wrote:
I used to hold that view actually, but from my particular, situated experience I've not seen it happen that often but from the state of Israel and various rabid Zionist groups in the US and Europe. And from time to time I'll read that argument in a newspaper, see it on TV and such, so it is out there, but it's just not such a big problem in my experience. Then again, if I'd been on some US campuses I'd likely say something different.

Fair enough. Maybe I've just been disproportionately exposed to those kinds of arguments, I don't know. It's almost a No True Scotsman thing: "any Jew who doesn't support Israel isn't a real Jew"

The main point is that Zionism is a racist phenomenon, similar to fascism in that it attempts to make one state the representative of an entire ethnic group. It wants there to be no distinction between Judaism and Zionism. On this point, Zionists agree with Nazis and other anti-Semites.

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Feb 26 2014 21:23

For the record, I think anyone in this conversation is neither a Zionist nor an anti-Semite. I think we have different understandings of what those things mean, but I'd like to talk about those differences without a fuckload of rhetorical mudslinging.

Personally, I think it makes sense to "single out" Israel because it's a settler state actively waging a campaign of genocide and displacement - not because it happens to be populated by Jewish people. I agree that it's hardly the only state to have ever committed those atrocities; in fact those things are intrinsic to any settler state.

From a PM:

Black Badger wrote:
The policies of the State of Israel are fucked up, but they didn't descend from the sky; they were learned through the confluence of experiencing Turkish and then British colonialism. Indeed, many Zionists saw themselves as anti-colonialists, and if you look at the success of Zionist state-building only through that particular lens, you can draw analogies with other successful national liberation struggles -- with the exception that most of the Zionist establishment from the 1920s through the 1950s were immigrants.
But the salient feature of the State of Israel for anti-statists is that the Israelis learned how to govern by watching other governments (and perhaps especially the British during their so-called Mandate; indeed, many of the laws used to oppress Palestinians are copied directly from the martial law decrees of the British). Israeli laws and policies are oppressive because government is an oppressive set of interlocking institutions -- not because their formulators and enforcers are Jews. To say otherwise is to drift into antisemitic tropes.

So - let me ask you point blank, Drak: Is Israel inherently oppressive only because it's a racist, settler-colonialist enterprise? Or do you think the fact that the settlers are Jews makes it more oppressive?

omen
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Feb 26 2014 22:52

Did someone mention my name?

(As usual, click for biggsies!)

(Sorry for the delay and everything, but for future reference, to summon me officially you have to say my name ten times while looking in a mirror, and then I appear with a new cartoon, or I stab you with a giant hook or something. Probably one of those two. Try it and find out.)

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laborbund
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Feb 27 2014 01:18

Fuck yes.

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Feb 27 2014 01:39

Ah man, priceless.

omen
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Feb 27 2014 14:04

He's not been back yet today, but I did another one anyway.

I have an idea for one more, but I haven't drawn anything yet. If he comes back again I probably will.

Drakula25
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Feb 28 2014 20:33
Quote:
So - let me ask you point blank, Drak: Is Israel inherently oppressive only because it's a racist, settler-colonialist enterprise? Or do you think the fact that the settlers are Jews makes it more oppressive?

Not only did I never even suggest that it was "because they are Jews," this was actually the line of thinking of the "anti-Zionists" in this thread who believe that any singling out of Israel is "anti-Semitic". If you think any singling out of Israel is anti-Semitic, then you, not the singler-outter, is the one turning into a "Jewish" thing. Which is my point -- I think the defense of Israel on these terms, both inside and outside the left, is about race privilege, and the support for Zionism is a way to extend white supremacist race privilege to an abstract category of "Jewishness" -- which, as other posters have correctly pointed out, doesn't even make sense because there are many Jews who are African, Arab, etc.

So, no, I don't think it matters that they are Jewish, but Israel and its defenders do, which is why they believe Jewishness gives Israel the right to violently and genocidally colonize land from the Palestinian people. I think that's blatantly racist and it is happening in circumstances where it SHOULD be treated as exceptional, and I'm sick of people trying to make excuses to not single it out when it should be.