Trending Topics:

Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 83 (since 2010-05-22 14:53:17)

Tony Greenstein

Tony Greenstein is a longstanding Jewish anti-Zionist and an anti-fascist activist from Brighton. In 1982 he was a co-founder of Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Tony was suspended from the Labour Party a year ago as a result of the Anti-Semitism witch-hunt. Tony is the author of The Fight Against Fascism in Brighton and the South Coast. He has written extensively on Palestine and Zionism for, amongst others, the Guardian’s Comment is Free, the Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies, Tribune and the Weekly Worker. Tony was the child of an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and when young a member of the religious Zionist Bnei Akiva, now part of the Greater Israel movement.


Showing comments 83 - 1

  • Natalie Portman says, Enough!
  • Clashing with the Jewish state: ultra-Orthodox Israelis who reject Zionism
  • Memo to 'NYTimes:' Go to Ahed Tamimi's village in Palestine and report the truth
    • Jackdaw entirely misses the point. The fact that the village spring was stolen and the settlers are still in possession of it is what matters. That fact alone proves that contrary to what they assert, Israel is not a state of law but a robber state with a thin veneer of law

  • Rabbi Cardozo: outlawing circumcision would 'end the state of Israel'
  • Pallywood
  • After 30 days in jail, Ahed Tamimi's detention is extended indefinitely
  • Israeli Jews will never accept Palestinians as equals -- Klutznick, chair of Americans for Peace Now
    • Phil says that 'If Klutznick really sees the two sides that way– one society will never support civil rights and equal rights — maybe Americans for Peace Now is working for the wrong side! '

      With respect, Peace Now has ALWAYS been advocating for the wrong side. Back in 1982 when it was formed it was put up against us anti=-Zionists on campuses as evidence of the democratic nature of Israel. Peace Now has never been an ally.

  • New Israel Fund's Daniel Sokatch exposes the bankruptcy of liberal Zionism
    • This is the cold war version of what Niemellor wrote. It is the version in the US Holocaust Museum and it's wrong The first line was
      'First they came for the Communists and I did not speak out

      Because I wasn't a communist'

      More generally. There is some truth to what Sokatch says but with one caveat. Israel has never been democratic for Arabs. They lived under military rule until 1966 and still they are tolerated, gastarbeiters.

      WHat he means is that the democracy for Jews is also going. It was the same in South Africa. As Apartheid progressed so democracy for Whites was whittled down. So too in Israel.

  • Video: Israeli soldiers harass Palestinian elementary school teachers and students in Hebron
    • There are 400 million Arabs and over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today. There is one Jewish state with about 6.5 million Jews (about 0.5%)

      No Emmet is right. There is only one Jewish state just as there was once only one Aryan state. In fact there is only one Apartheid state too in the world and it also happens to be the only Jewish state.

      Of course there are some people who, no matter how terrible the repression, can always find some justification for the oppressor. I am reminded of Viscount Rothermere, owner of that esteemed British newspaper the Daily Mail (& then also the Daily Mirror) who took a trip to Germany in 1933 to meet his good friend one Adolf Hitler (who at that time was considered a 'moderate' in the Nazi Party!) and wrote articles on his return about how the violence against the Jews was much exaggerated and got up by that nasty left press. Plus ca change.

  • The Holocaust in the service of Israel
    • thank you for this. I don't have the figures to hand but after 1921 the amount of immigration to the US was massively cut. What you are talking about are percentages of Jewish immigration of vastly reduced numbers. The example of the St Louis that was forced to return from Cuba having been refused admission to the US is one such.

      The figures of Jewish immigration had been fraudulently reported by an Assistant Secretary of State Breckenbridge Long, an undoubted anti-Semite who was also strongly pro-Zionist. He was removed after Henry Morgenthau, the Treasury Secretary helped expose him.

      Because of the work of anti-Semites at the State Department much of the quota for Jewish refugees was not even taken up. I therefore do disagree with your implication that US quotas for Jews (or indeed other refugees) were generous

  • Liberal Israeli leaders were contemplating genocide in Gaza already in 1967
    • I disagree with Rashid Khalidi. There are very many valid comparisons between Zionism and Nazism, most notably that both are a form of ethno-nationalism.

      The concept of Aryan was defined so as to exclude Jews, Roma and the biologically 'unfit' - Israel defines a Jew racially, the product of a Jewish woman, the product of a blood line.

      Zionism is certainly a Jewish volkish movement, attached to blood and soil.

      See my Why we should not hesitate to compare Zionism and the Israeli state with the Nazis

  • AIPAC and Federation officials criticize Israeli leaders for being clueless about U.S.
  • Despite angry protest, Massachusetts screening of anti-occupation doc gets positive response
    • One reason that the number of Christian Palestinians has decline from around 10% in Palestine under the Mandate is because of the actions of Israel in ethnically cleansing Palestine. Its occupation has borne down particularly heavily on Bethlehem the capital of Christian Palestine, strangling its economy and surround the town on 3 sides with its hideously ugly wall. Palestinian Christians, who were often the traders and better off then Muslims have been driven out by the Occupation either to other countries in the Middle East or to Europe and the USA.

      In any case the lie that Palestinian children are raised from childhood to hate Jews and Christians is a lie. But I guess Christian Palestinians like so much about Palestine is invisible to settlers

  • Cartoon of Dershowitz mingled appropriate satire and anti-Semitic imagery
    • As Shakespeare put it 'much ado about nothing'. There is an almost total lack of perspective here. If you want to seen an anti-semitic cartoon go visit the scribblings of Yair Netanyahu depicting George Soros as the lizard controller. But our Zionists, eager to sniff out 'anti-semitism' aren't so eager when it comes to genuine anti-semitism.

      I didn't see Dershowitz, who I agree is politically ugly and repellant and therefore its fair to depict him as physically ugly and repellant, as a spider. Sorry I saw a man putting his hands and limbs behind himself and saying one thing and doing another. Silly me, I must have interpreted it wrong.

      But in any cases is it wrong to dehumanise our enemies? Is it always wrong to portray human beings as animals if they deserve it? Is Trump not a vicious dog or Bush a rottweiler etc.? There is no comparison with the Nazi depiction of Jews, an oppressed and despised racial minority who had no power in Germany and the portrayal of someone who is very powerful.

      This is a typical case of bleeding heart liberals.

  • The Balfour centenary is also the centenary of the Zionist lobby
    • It's an interesting essay, though I think it over credits Zionist/Jewish power and underestimates strategic reasons for the Balfour Declaration e.g. the competition between France and Britain in the Middle East.

      However Phil is wrong to say that '” Zionism is an ideology about Jewish safety based on separatism and nationalism that answered the long-debated Jewish question in Europe.”

      No Zionism was first and foremost a racial movement that sought to transform what it meant to be Jewish from a religion to a nation/race. It was a settler colonial movement that sought to create a 'new Jew' not save the old one. THis came out most clearly in WW2 with all the deals with the Nazis but it was there all along. Jabotinsky's alliance with Petlyura and Herzl's traipsing after Edouard Drumont.

      Zionist was NEVER about rescue and indeed it fought tooth and nail during WW2 to stop Jews going anywhere but Palestine.

  • Smear campaign is defused as Tom Suarez speaks at UMass
    • People may be unaware of Jonathan Hoffman, who is a former co-Vice Chair of the British Zionist Federation, but he is an expert in anti-Semitism. having studied it at close quarters.

      In this blog there is a famous picture of the Ahava demonstration in London (an Israeli shop were closed down in Covent Garden) where Hoffman is pictured dancing down t he street with Roberta Moore of the Jewish Defence League. In the background in fatigues are members of the fascist English Defence League who, like most anti--Semites these days don't like Jews but do love Israel and Zionism.

      Hoffman incidentally responded to this photo by saying it was 'photoshopped'. After the photographer, David Hoffman (no relation) threatened to sue for libel Jonathan was forced, not for the first time in his life, to issue a grovelling apology.

      In July this year the biggest Palestinian politico/cultural festival was held in Europe at the South Bank Centre in London. The far-Right section of the Zionists - the Campaign Against Antisemitism/Jewish Human Rights Watch and Hoffman and friends bitterly objected to this Jew hatred festival. So opposed was Hoffman to this orgy of ''antisemitism' that Hoffie held a small demonstration outside. Who was on this demo? None other than the 'Intelligence' Officer (I use the word advisedly) of Britain First, the fascist group held responsible for the assassination of Joe Cox MP. It of course combines hatred of Jews, holocaust denial and love of Zionism into quite a heady brew. Also present was an open Hitler admire the defrocked priest Neil Horan.

      EXCLUSIVE – Lifting the lid on Collaboration between the Far Right and Zionist Activists
      Zionist Demonstration Outside Palestine Expo 2017 included neo Nazi group Britain First’s Intelligence Chief Paul Besser and Jonathan Hoffman

      so yes, we should take Jonathan Hoffman very seriously when he says something is anti-Semitic!

  • Miko Peled on free speech and Zionism
    • The longer this 'debate' goes on the more heat than light is generated. In essence Jonathan and Miko are arguing not with each other but over each other.

      I will concentrate on Miko's article.

      There is no such thing as 'free speech' in the abstract. All speech carries a cost. Freedom of speech for someone to say they want to kill me might mean an end to my free speech. Freedom of speech for Nazis ends up in Charlottesville with the death of an anti-fascist woman. So I'm definitely NOT in favour of free speech for fascists and neo-Nazis.

      Robert Tawney, a social democrat put it best when he said that 'Freedom for the pike means death to the minnow.'

      Miko becomes even more confused when he says of holocust denial that it 'is not a crime or a reason to vilify.' No it isn't a crime in the sense of an infringement of the law, at least in the UK or America, (it is in Germany and Austria) nor should it be. But politically I consider holocaust denial or indeed Nakba denial a crime. And I definitely want to villify all those who propose such ideas.

      Miko says that he 'would argue that denying current and impending disasters and crimes against humanity is far more serious.'

      Again this is an absurd counterposition. Why not both? I see opposition to holocaust denial and neo-Nazi ideas as entirel compatible with condemnation of Zionism. It is Zionism which is now hand in glove with the far-Right alt-Right,which includes holocaust deniers or minimisers.

      Miko also says that 'the label “holocaust denier” is thrown at people by those who would have a monopoly on the discourse, on the discussion re the holocaust and that, I believe, is problematic.' It would indeed be problematic if anyone considered they had a monopoly on the holocaust. Zionism of course does claim ownership of the holocaust that they did nothing to help alleviate or prevent. To it the holocaust is unique, beyond history or in the words of Yehuda Bauer 'inexplicable'.

      I believe that we should use the holocaust in our anti-Zionist politics and not shy away from it. Miko says that he did not 'by the way, compare Israel to Nazi Germany as was reported at one point.'

      That demonstrates his confusion. People should compare Nazi Germany to Israel and Zionist ideology. There are many comparisons. The idea of the master race and untermenschen for a start. The belief that miscegenation should be outlawed. The belief in segregation. The fact that Israel's own Palestinian citizens are not nationals of the Jewish state unlike Jews. The pogroms on the street etc. etc. Of course Israel is not the same as Nazi Germany. That is obvious. It is not, yet, a fascist state but it is an extremely repressive and racist state, especially for non-Jews.

      Miko also speaks about 'a tendency to create spaces for and sow tolerance toward people who support Zionism and the state of Israel and allow them to express their point of view in an effort to show balance. My comment was, would we allow the KKK to do the same?'

      I'm not aware that anyone is in favour of creatin space for Zionists. The problem is we are fighting for such space for ourselves against the Zionists, hence why Miko spoke at a meeting organised by 'Free Speech on Israel'!

      I don't want to comment on Jonathan's response except to say I agree with Joseph Massad. Holocaust Denial is not one single phenomenon. In the West it was the creation of the neo-Nazis in order they could gain some legitimacy again, though now it has gone beyond that. In the Arab world it is instrumental, a product of Israel's use of the Holocaust to justify itself. It is politically stupid but not antisemitic in the traditional sense. The social roots of antisemitism in the Arab and European spheres is entirely different.

  • The problem with Miko Peled's 'Holocaust: yes or no'
    • I find this very difficult because I am on both sides of the fence. I agree with some of Jonathan's points but on the other hand I disagree with the criticism of Miko.

      Let's be clear that the Zionists wanted something to 'prove' that the supporters of the Palestinians were 'anti-Semitic' at the Labour Party conference and they would have run with anything For that reason Miko should have been more careful not to give them the raw meat that Jonathan mentions. But on the other hand his remark was ambiguous.

      The important thing is that when Miko was challenged he made it quite clear in the Guardian that he was no holocaust denier, so the question is whether or not the holocaust is a validl subject for debate.

      Firstly the holocaust is debated, continuously. How many died, why did it happen, why did the Nazis prioritise extermination over mililtary priorities, was it planned from the start or a product of the German war machine (intentionalism v functionalism) how many survived etc. The question of whether or not there was a holocaust is essentiall trivial. It is like debating whether the Earth is flat or if water is wet!

      Holocaust denial began with neo-Nazis who saw it as essential to deny the crimes of the Nazis if they were to have a chance of repeating them. People like Arthur Butz's 1976 Hoax of the 20th Century, Paul Rassinier's 1964 Dram of the European Jews and in Britain Richard Harwood/Verall's Did 6 Million Really Die?

      However holocaust denial has now gained far wider support and isn't still confined to the neo-Nazi fringe. The reason for this, let us be quite clear is Zionism and the State of Israel. It is the Ahmedinajad reaction. In essence the more stupid opponents of Israel, who are NOT anti-Zionists, took the position that if Israel claimed its legitimacy from the Holocaust then all that was needed was to deny the Holocaust and hey presto, Israel had no legitimacy.

      Not only is holocaust denial widespread in the Arab and Third world, as a result of Israels deployment of it but it is widespread amongst the circles of conspiracy theorists who are also convinced that 9/11 didn't happen.

      There is only one thing wrong with this conjuring trick. The Holocaust did happen, it is provable beyond any doubt. Hence was these deniers to is in fact reinforce the legitimacy of the very thing they oppose.

      But this doesn't answer the question of whether or not Miko was right to say everything must be discussed, 'holocaust yes or no'. I certainly don't think we should debate holocaust deniers because that will give them legitimacy but on the other hand we cannot shrink from debate either. Many is the time I have challenged holocaust deniers on Facebook and point out the absurdity of their views. If we take the view that you don't ever debate holocaust deniers or call them out then you must never challenge them either.

      Indeed it is dangerous to suppress or make holocaust denial illegal. For a long time I wasn't sure about this and I weep no tears if Ernst Zundel gets 5 years in Germany, but we have to say that making holocaust denial illegal doesn't make it illegal it simply drives it underground. If anything it becomes the forbidden fruit and more attractive. Germany has made it illegal and they now have a far-Right party, AfD, with holocaust deniers prominent in it, as the 3rd party in the Bundestag.

      In Austria, the candidate of the Freedom Party, a party set up as a neo-Nazi party that failed to get their candidate elected by a whisker to the Presidency. In Austria David Irving served time for holocaust denial. Is this a model?

      There is no doubt that Israel and Zionism are primarily responsible for the spread of holocaust denial from the fringes to almost mainstream far-Right politics.

      I also don't seem to have a great problem with Miko's comment about Jews having a reputation as sleazy thieves. It is a fact that the stereotype of Jews as mean, dishonest, financially greedy etc. is still fairly common. We had Owen Smith in the Labour Party leadersip debate with Jeremy Corbyn saying that Jews were good entrepeneurs!

      It is a fact that Zionism is happy to substantiate anti-Semitic tropes and stereotypes. Another stereotype they further is the idea that Jews owe a dual loyalty to the state where they live and Israel. Indeed Zionism demands that Jews are loyal to Israel and Zionism. That is why Jewish anti-Zionists are called traitors. We are and can only be traitors to Israel is we owe a loyalty!

      I should also recall the comments of Raul Hilberg, Professor of Holocaust Studies at Vermont University and author of the seminal work The Destruction of the European Jews. He said that we, that is researchers and students of the Holocaust could learn things from holocaust deniers. Why? Because in their attempt to prove that we are wrong they point to flaws and weaknesses in our own understanding and arguments. He is right. We have nothing to fear from holocaust denial, quite the contrary.

      But above all we should remember that it is the supporters of Israel who bear the brunt of the responsibility for this pernicious phenomenon.

  • As battle rages in UK Labour Party, Moshe Machover expelled after asserting 'Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism'
    • Jeff B employs the same circular racist tropes and assumptions that most Zionists do, though with even less logic.

      He speaks about ‘Jewish interests’ without ever defining what they are. He says that ‘British Jews believe...’ He could be an anti-Semite who believed in an all-embracing and powerful Jewish conspiracy where Jews are of one mind and have one particular set of interests. In other words he operates in a racist paradigm with a racist mentality.

      No one is suggesting that Israeli Jews should be forced to emigrate or even the vast majority of Jewish settlers on their Jewish only settlements though there is an overwhelming case for the proto-fascist American settlers like Baruch Marzel and Naftali Bennett to be sent back to their real homes.

      Despite repeating the phrase ‘Jewish interests’ not one does Geoff B explain what these interests are. He repeatedly confuses the British Jewish community with Israeli Jews, which is again an anti-Semitic trope.

      Jeff speaks about those who call Jews ‘Christ killing kike bastards’ whilst forgetting that those who do use this language, Andrew Anglin of the The Stormer, Richard Spencer of the alt-Right and David Duke of the KKK also happen to be some of the foremost admirers of Israel’s hostility and hatred of Muslims. It is a fact that nearly all Europe’s far-Right and anti-Semitic parties are signed up supporters of maximalist Zionist. It is no accident that the neo-Nazi Richard Spencer describes himself as a White Zionist.

      We can thus unpack the repetitious lies and disingenuous statements of Geoff B. Somewhat stupidly he asks, parroting the normal hasbara what have ‘real anti-Semites’ as opposed to anti-Zionists done over the last two generations. It is rather simple. Anti-Zionists have given solidarity and support to the Palestinians whereas the former have done their best to make Jews uncomfortable in the diaspora in order that they can emigrate to Israel. Although he is politically blind, to any normal and rational person these are polar opposites.

      In the process he engages in a bit of logic chopping in order to confuse and blind people.
      He says that ‘the issue of trying to separate antisemitism from anti-zionism’ ‘isn’t working and mostly can’t work.’ Again he is wrong. In his own mind nothing will work which contradicts his own assumptions, but that is the product of a circular and closed mind. Anti-Zionism was, as A B Yehoshua, the famous Zionist novelist wrote, a product of Jews not non-Jews. On the contrary it is the non-Jewish anti-Semites who have always wanted to be rid of the Jews in their midst by exporting them to the ‘Jewish’ state.

      He asserts without ever going to the trouble to explain, that ‘these populations are the same’. Presumably he means Israel’s Jewish population and that of Britain. The latter community is not a community largely made up of racist bigots whereas the former certainly is (e.g. the Report Israel’s Religiously Divided Communities which shows that a plurality of Israeli Jews favour the physical deportation of their Arab citizens). Most British Jews would like to see an end to the settlements. 31% don’t define themselves as Zionist as opposed to 59%, a drop of 12% in five years, who do. [The Attitudes of British Jews Towards Israel, City University London,

      Unable to look at the situation of Jews in Britain rationally and unable to distinguish or separate them from Jews in Israel, not surprisingly he can’t understand that far from his opponents harbouring anti-Semitic assumptions the sin is all his.

  • Lessons from Finkelstein: a response to Seth Anderson
    • I'm not sure I understand Nathan's point. I only referenced Joan Peter's revisionist history in so far as I was pointing out Finkelstein's brilliant demolition of her book. I stated that:

      'There is no one who did a better job in deconstructing and destroying Joan Peter’s fraudulent From Time Immemorial, which claimed that the Zionists colonised an empty Palestine.' why should I need to quote what Peters said when I had accurately summarised her argument? Is anyone disputing what I said? I only reference NF's article in order that people could (& should) go to it. I would not recommend anyone reading Peter's turgid forgery.

      As for the last sentence I think Nathan has got the wrong end of the stick. No one to my knowledge who knows anything about the conflict or struggle, to be more accurate, would suggest that Palestine was an empty land.

  • Why I am leaving Israel
  • Debunking the 2 claims: anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, and BDS unfairly singles out Israel
    • Nathan is muddled at best and disingenuous at worst. He says:

      'When one raises the question if “anti-Zionism is an expression of anti-Semitism”, generally the context of the question is western society. In other words, are European (or American) anti-Israel activists motivated by anti-Semitic sentiments? That, obviously, is the issue at hand.'

      No it's not the issue at hand. The context is both outside and inside Palestine. I have never met an anti-Zionist activist motivated by anti-semitism. There are of course some anti-Semites who use support for the Palestinians as a cover for their racism. But they are far outweighed by anti-Semites who are pro-Zionist and use their support for Israel as a cover for their anti-Semitism.

      People like Pastor John Hagee, Steve Bannon of Breitbart and Trummp, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Glenn Beck, Marine Le Pen - indeed most anti-Semites are pro-Zionist and what is worse Israel fetes them. Glenn Beck who uses the Christ Killer trope was feted by being allowed to address the Knesset and was given a raptorous reception.

      You see Nathan's dishonesty, which is typical of most Zionists in his statement that 'The Palestinians are in a conflict with the Jews'. No they are not. I'm not in conflict with them nor are diaspora Jews. Israeli colonists and the Israeli state is in conflict with them, not because the colonists are Jewish but because they are usurpers of the indigenous population.

      In other words Nathan has a racist mindset. Perhaps he would have described the Anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa as being a 'conflict with Christians' rather than White Europeans?

      More generally, the anti-Zionism=anti-Semitism smear assumes all Jews support Israel and Zionism. That is a typically anti-Semitic stereotype but then again Zionism has never had a problem with genuine anti-semitism

  • Avishai's prophetic 'Tragedy of Zionism' was denied by Jewish community 32 years ago
    • It is an interesting essay but it is wrong in so many ways. It abandons the settler colonial model and posits a uniqueness for the Jewish religion's role. It fails to understand that any state where religion defines citienship and one's rights is going to be racist, especially in a settler colonial context.

      Avishai's understanding of Labour Zionism and Histadrut is abysmal. The Histadrut was not generally democratic - see Zeev Sternhell's excellent Founding Myths of Israel for details of the corruption, not least Ben Gurion's and its abysmal democracy - conferences every 7 years where no power resided in democratically elected delegates.

      Avishai fails to see that Zionism arose in the maelstrom of racial nationalism in Europe and that that was its defining characteristic. The attacks on miscegenation by Lehava now were prefigured by Labour Zionism with its attacks on women who had relationships with non-Jews in the 1930s (pouring chilli sauce in the vagina etc.).

      The complete mischaracterisation of what happened after 1948 with the 'infiltrators' so-called is best dealt with by Tom Suarez's book.

      There is a wholesale failure to understand Zionism going right back to Odessa and Haskalah. There is no class analysis in any of this and it offers no guide to why e .g. Israel has no constitution. It is not for abstruse reasons but because in a Jewish state based on racial supremacy you cannot have a bill of rights or constitutional equality. This book is anything but impressive.

  • Yakov Rabkin's devastating critique of Zionism: it is opposed to Jewish tradition and liberalism
    • 'Rabkin links the rise of Zionism with the secularization of Jewish identity in modernity'. Clearly this is true to some extent but it is also the FAILURE of secularisation that led to Zionism. When Haskalah, the Hebrew Reformation failed in Odessa and the Pale of Settlement because of the pogroms and anti-Semitism then Zionism was born with Pinsker and Hovvei Zion.

      Zionism was a reaction to Emancipation and a rejection of it. Both Herzl and Nordau hated it. Emancipation meant the individualisation of Jews not their formation as a nation.

      Yes Zionism was a rejection of Judaism BUT it also norowed from it - its flag and its idea of the centrality of Jerusalem. It used the religious attachment as a means of building a political movement and in that sense it both adopted and rejected the religion. It also changed Judaism in the process.

  • Start 'Birthright' earlier and hire conservative professors-- to stem 'national security issue' of Jewish kids abandoning Israel
    • People are being very negative about Fern Oppenheim's excellent talk. It can only be another example of the all pervasive antisemitism we are experiencing these days

      I particularly like the idea of starting Birthright earlier. As the Jesuits used say, give me a child until he is 7 and we will have a child for life. I know some of u antisemites will cry "indoctrination' but I expect no better. Indeed the rabbis should make it compulsory to make a visit to Israel part of the circumcision process.

  • Leonard Cohen song is anthem of Jewish exclusivists
    • I also love Leonard Cohen's music. We have to separate the artist from what s/he produces. There are many great works, poetry/music/art yet the artists/poets/musicians were often reactionary, even racist and fascist.

      T S Elliot's the Wastelands is a case in point. Dylan went to the right. Salvador Dalli, Jack London.

      A piece of art/music etc. once it has been completed is fixed. It is the product of unknown impulses, often to the artist. We should not subscribe to the stalinist concept of art!

  • Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me – the 'merchant of JVP'
    • Jonathan Ofrir is absolutely right to refuse to engage with Atzmon's anti-Semitic obsessions. They do nothing whatsoever to help build support for the Palestinians or opposition to Zionism.

      Instead they concentrate on Jewishness and being Jewish and effectively end up supporting the Zionist claim that Zionism is a logical continuation of Judaism. It is a fact that Orthodox Jewry was almost wholly opposed to Zionism when Theodor Herzl first appeared on the scene.

      It is also the case that with the advent of state power and the effective seizure of power by the Zionist in Jewish communities throughout the world, that the very nature of Jewish identity, or 'Jewishness' as Atzmon calls it, has also changed.

      Keith selectively quotes Israel Shahak who would have dispatched Atzmon with a flea in his racist ear. He quotes from Jewish History, Jewish Religion. In fact Shahak was particularly critical of the Zionist myth that there was a seamless Jewish history extending back into time. He wrote (p.50) from JHJR that:

      'there has been a great deal of nonsense written in the attempt to provide a social or mystical interpretation of Jewry or Judaism as a whole. This cannot be done, for the social structure of the Jewish people and the ideological structure of Judaism have changed profoundly through the ages.'

      The two are not incompatible. Shahak is talking about Rabbinical or Orthodox Judaism and Zionism as an opponent of an open society. Correct but they are not and were not the only forms of Judaism. In the modern era, Jewish Socialism in its many forms from Bundism to Communism and Social Democracy. But Atzmon has bought into the lies of the neo-Nazis that there was a form of Jewish Bolshevism.

      Atmon is an incorrigible reactionary. The fact that he sees BDS, which comes from the call of Palestinians not Jews, as part of a Jewish conspiracy says everything.

      People like Jonathan and myself are interested in how best to support the Palestinians and bring down Zionism. Not engage with anti-Semites and their apologists, some of whom are on this discussion, who play into the hands of Zionists whose main theme these days is that support for the Palestinians = anti-Semitism.

      Atzmon is a fringe anti-Semite. we have no need to build his already bloated ego. Nothing he says if of the slightest interest. He believes that Jews possess racial characteristics whereby they are hostile to non-Jews and exploit them such that they bring the holocausts upon them. He is entitled to his holocaust justification positions but anti-racists should best ignore this man.

      I have written a summary of Atzmon's anti-Semitic nonsense on my blog.

      It is no accident that Atzmon attacks the main weapon that Palestinians have today, BDS. As he once said, the Academic Boycott is 'book burning'.

      Those fools who think they are being clever in supporting Atzmon are doing the work of the Zionists.

  • Gerald Kaufman – From Labour Zionist to Israel's bitterest critic
    • Like everyone of us Gerald had personality flaws but weighed in the balance his good points far outweighed his bad points. He was almost alone in standing up to the vicious attacks on the Palestinians and offering them real support. That is what we must remember him for, not whether he was offhand, standoffish or even hurtful to friends. Even I am not perfect!

  • The 'New York Times' is dead set on marginalizing Jewish anti-Zionism
    • CitizenC's arguments remind me of the well known anti-Semitic Jazzman, Gilad Atzmon.

      His phrase 'It will be news when it stops being a “Jewish debate” and the Jewish critics start acting as secular citizens.' Is a give away. I don't know whether he is Atzmon or just a false flag.

      The term 'Judaic' is another give away.

      Jewish anti-Zionism is very much a secular current. That is the point. It is not the Neturei karta religious opposition to Zionism. I respect NK though they are politically stupid (Tehran conference on Holocaust, demonstration in support of Jobbik in London) but of course they are not secular.

      As a Jew I oppose Zionism on political not religious grounds. How, I hear asked, can I define myself as a Jew if I'm not religious? Probably the same way as the Jewish workers of the East End who invaded a synagogue in protest at the attacks on their strike by a Rabbi did. Being Jewish has never meant just the religion. The religion reflected what Jews did, it didn't, despite the religious myths, define the Jews. So the Bund were vehemently secular and anti-fascist and socialist but they weren't religious.

      Today many Jews, especially the young, define their Jewish identity in opposition to Zionism whilst try to live out the anti-racist traditions of diaspora Judaism.

      Citizen C, who is an anti-Semite i.e. an anti-Jewish racist, will understand none of this because his paradigm is attacking Jews not supporting Palestinians.

  • On Jewishness and criticism of Israel
    • As regards different Zionisms. It reminds me of when Ben Gurion asked the binationalist Zionist Martin Buber whether he had immigrated to Palestine with the support of or against the wishes of the indigenous Arabs.

      The fact is that even the most enlightened Zionist has settled the country against the wishes of the indigenous population.

  • US media fail to report video of soldiers shooting desperate Palestinian girl holding knife overhead
  • An apologia for Ken Livingstone (What would Buber say?)
    • It is an interesting article but nonetheless superficial in parts. It never asks the obvious question, why now? Why the anti-Semitism row at this particular time? Whose interests does it serve? Why did up 2 year old tweets?

      If you are a socialist you might ask these questions and also come up with some answers. 'Anti-Semitism' has been weaponised as a means of attacking the left leadership of Corbyn. Trivial, humorous, idealistic and fantastic comments about moving Israel to the USA, based on a Jewish virtual library cartoon, are evidence of atavistic anti-Semitism? Give us a break.

      Buber is an interesting character but he subscribed to Volkish Zionism. he was a blut and bloden Zionist who recoiled from the consequences. The most interesting anecdote about him was when he met Ben Gurion and Ben Gurion asked him whether he had moved to Israel with the permission or against the wishes of the Palestinians.

      There is also no mention of the fact that Zionism historically had utter contempt for the Jewish diaspora and accepted all the anti-Semitic characterisations of them. That is the context for today's discussions on anti-Semitism

      As for LIvingstone. The holocaust is also instrumentalised, a weapon against those who deny Israel's right to exist as a racist state. It is quite understandable, even if he got some things wrong, to point out the collaboration between the Zionist movement and the Nazi government.

  • Note to Ken Livingstone: The British Labour party has supported Zionism much more than the Nazis ever did
    • This is an objectionable and poisonous little article. Livingstone has always been in the forefront of condemning British imperialism and the British Labour Party's role in Palestine and the creation of Israel. How do I know? Because in the 1980's I was Chairperson of the Labour Committee on Palestine and the Labour Movement Campaign on Palestine. Livingstone was one of our earliest sponsors.

      There is a very good reason to raise this issue and we should be indebted to Ken for so doing. The Zionists continually thrust the holocaust in peoples faces to justify their settler colonial state. it is therefore right to point out a few truths including the fact that their movement was a quisling collaboration movement.

      The statement that 'the only truth Zionists have (or most likely, appropriated) is that some in the anti-Zionist movement are nothing but anti-Semites. A truth Ken Livingstone has provided credence to over the last week.'

      This is a nasty dirty lie. Nobody that I know of in the anti-Zionist movement is anti-Semitic. Anti-zionism and anti-Semitism are diametrically opposed.

      The fact that About Nu'man Abd al-Wahid has sought to give credence to the false allegations of anti-Semitism directed at ken and all the other people demonstrates how worthless his 'academic' credentials are when it comes to talking about Zionism.

  • No Escaping the 'Cohen': Nick Cohen is becoming a Jew (again)
  • Zionism is finally in the news, as officials seek to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
    • Yes anti-Zionism is a heresy to the practitioners of Judaism (or most of them) today. Baruch Spinoza was also accused of heresy. Who even remembers his detractors today?

      hophmi believes that
      'There’s one main reason people equate anti-Zionism with antisemitism, even though the two can technically be distinguished intellectually.'

      Yes that's true, albeit not for the reasons s/he thinks. When you can't defend the indefensible you have to cast aspersions on the motives of the accuser. It's very difficult to defend a state whose PM says that it is going to build wall around it to keep out the 'wild beasts' nor is it easy to defend Apartheid Israel in so many other aspects.

      Far easier to put it all down to anti-Semitism.

      The only problem is that t he most convinced and devoted of anti-Semites support a Jewish state - from the BNP in the UK to Breivik in Norway! Twas ever thus.

  • Sanders's outreach to Arab Americans on Islamophobia helped deliver Michigan surprise
    • The fact is that Sanders did oppose the Iraq war. He has also criticised what he has termed the excessive force used by the Israeli military and Netanyahu himself.

      Is he an anti-Zionist or a strong supporter of the Palestinians? No. Is he better than Clinton? Yes.

      He has succeeded in making the word socialism respectable again in the US. He has galvanised a radical constituency which will go beyond Sanders. He has challenged the US corporations and Walll Street who are the real determinants of foreign policy, inc. support 4 Israel.

      I don't think Sanders is responsible for Yemen etc. I'd put that down to Saudi Arabia and Israel of course secretly.

  • 'We wasted 40 years talking about nothing, doing nothing' -- Pappe demolishes peace process
    • I don't accept that Ilan Pappe is 'witless' because he doesn't accept the religious or holocaust narrative as an explanation for the US's support for Israel.

      On the contrary Israel is the one stable, pro-Western state in the Middle East. It has cemented alliances with the neighbouring state of Jordan and Egypt and wider afield with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, to say nothing of Turkey.

      Instability in the Middle East wasn't caused by Israel, except in Lebanon arguably but by the US itself. There is a belief, espoused by Philip Weiss that support for Israel goes against the US's interests. Why? In the words of Alexander Haig Israel is an unsinkable aircraft carrier and cheap at the price.

      The holocaust is a good ideological justification as is opposition to 'anti-Semitism' but they are not the reason. Imperialism has historically fastened on 'good causes' to support its depradations. Look at the British in India and their opposition to Suthi, the burning of Indian widows on the pyres of their husbands.

      In short Pappe is entirely right to employ a Marxist analysis rather than Philip Weiss's left democratic liberal version!

  • 'Barbarism by an educated and cultured people' -- Dawayima massacre was worse than Deir Yassin
    • Morris does indeed have some academic integrity even though he in the end justifies what was done in the name of creating a 'Jewish' State. Worse still he says that the job should have been finished and that no Arabs should have been left.

      However Morris still asserts that there was no overall plan to expel the Palestinians. It just happened and gathered its own momentum. Plan D did not envisage expulsion etc. In this he differes from Ilan Pappe and in this he is allowing his politics to contradict his academic research.

  • Saudi court overturns death sentence for Ashraf Fayadh; new sentence is 8 years and 800 lashes
    • One question I would ask about the barbaric treatment of Ashraf is why hasn't the President of the so-called Palestinian state spoken up about this travesty of justice? Why has Mahmoud Abbas kept his mouth shut? Just as he aids and helps the Israeli occupation so he helps and aids the Arab states when they oppress Palestinians.

      Whilst it is welcome that, for the moment, the death sentence has been removed, a sentence of 8 years and 800 lashes is barbaric in itself.

  • Another Netanyahu lie exposed: Hamas is not ISIS
    • No, don't be unkind to Max Narr. Just because he is unable to articulate what he said, doesn't mean that what he said isn't true.

      Max Narr is correct, FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE.

      We can take it that the said Narr is a Zionist and from a Zionist perspective ISIS is a far lovelier and nicer organisation. It after all fits in perfectly with the main theme of hasbara, that Muslims are savage blood thirsty barbarians. They are much easier to deal with and are extremely helpful to Israeli in perpetuating the idea that Israel is a bulwark against such savagery.

      Hamas, despite its Islamist politics, insists on defending its own people and running a semi-sane statelet. Despite its own incinations it hasn't forced adherence to Islamic ideology down all Gazans throats. Other factions like the leftist PFLP are able to operate. Can anyone imagine any form of socialist grouping operating in Raqah? Isis are fascist in their attitude to anything secular or left-wing. Any such group would be butchered.

      In other words Hamas doesn't play the role Israel sets for it, hence the need to continually step up the hasbara campaign.

      Yes Isis is far more preferable to Hamas. They play the part perfectly.

  • Why are American pro-Palestinian voices silent about the brutal war on Yemen?
    • No it doesn't distract from the priority of confronting Israel. It is part of that fight. Saudi Arabia is in a close military alliance with Israel. It might not be declared but it is there and should be obvious to anyone aware of the politics of the region.

    • I understand Steve's response but it is wrong. And for this reason. The liberation of Palestine will never happen in isolation. Because of the massive support for Israel from the Western ruling classes and because of demographic parity between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, the overthrow of Zionism and the Israeli state can only come from revolution in the Arab East and the overthrow of the existing ruling classes. Prime amongst these are those in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

      There should be no difficulty in deciding who to support in Yemen. The Saudis are everywhere enemies of freedom, both within Saudi society (e.g. the recent 47 executions) and without. Their bombing of Yemen's population and its blockade of Yemen are outrageous war crimes. The Yemenis have a right to determined their own future and government. The Saudis also act to uphold repressive governments throughout the Gulf, e.g. the use of their military to uphold the dicatorship in Bahrain in 2011.

    • What a strange formulation:

      'Many pro-Palestinian Americans are busy, and working tirelessly to reveal the head of the oppressive, imperialist, Zionist dragon hiding within the American rulling class, before calling for everyone to work together in slaying it.'

      Zionism doesn't hide within the US ruling class, it is an integral part of it. Support for Zionism is part and parcel of the maintenance of US interests in the Middle East. That is why US ruling class opinon swung decisively in favour of Zionism throughout the 1950's and 1960's. To suggest it is a cancer that can be cut out of the otherwise healthy flesh of the US ruling class is to misunderstand how that class has maintained itself politically and militarily.

      I suggest that you read up on what happened in Vietnam. Not many Israelis there but there was genocide and the use of chemical weapons.

    • Most conversations have to have one idiot troll.

      Why has the Palestine solidarity movement not condemned what is happening in Yemen? Probably because it is concentrated on what is happening in Palestine. Unfortunately solidarity campaigns tend to narrowly focus on their main area of interest. This is a mistake because overthrowing Zionism and dismantling the Israeli state will not take place without the overthrow of the Arab regimes and friends of US imperialism too.

      Israel, contrary to idiot's views, does overtly support Saudia Arabia and it does this militarily too by all accounts. So yes there are Zionists (don't read Jews) involved in Yemen.

  • How Zionism helped create the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    • ' don’t see Zionism as Zionism having anything to do with helping create Saudi Arabia, rather British ambitions in the region, only part of which was support for Zionist plans. British colonialism also worked its wonders in the Arab world where there was no Zionist plans, Iraq, Egypt, etc.

      Zionism or not, I believe the British would have backed the Saudis anyway.'

      This is the wrong way to look at it. Zionism was an instrument of the British. An instrument primarilyh to protect the route to India i.e. the Suez Canal. The creation of Saudi Arabia was clearly part and parcel of that project as was the colonisation of Iraq. Of course there were other interests not least the possibility of oil being discovered and exploitation of the resources of Egypt, cotton, etc. But Empire also has its own momentum.

      Transjordan was severed off from the Palestine Mandate in 1922 because it was thought useful to have a separate state between Arabia and Palestine, since there had been no Zionist colonisation there anywhere, despite the latter day protests of the Revisionists.

      But the main thesis of Numanal Wahid is quite compatible with this.

    • Iran is many things, not least a corrupt and oppressive theocracy. But if Iran were fascist then Israel would have no interest in taking it down.

  • New Jersey teenager threatened with legal action by high school over pro-Palestine activism (Update)
    • Your name is well chosen. Double standards is indeed your motif. The land of the free jumps down the throat of a 16 year old girl for having the audacity not to repeat the normal newspeak that pours forth from the corporate media.

  • Suddenly, comparing Jewish state to ISIS is OK
    • But that is the whole point. Most Muslims say the same about ISIS, that it doesn't represent Muslim theology. The truth is of course that it does represent a certain part of Muslim theology, namely the western sponsored Wahabism of Saudi Arabia.

      Likewise what the 'hilltop youth' and the Kahanists represent is a particular brand of Judaism, albeit a much more important segment than that Isis claims to represent. Support for the settlements and support for Israel as the Jewish Apartheid State is widespread amongst Jews and in particular the religious orthodox today. It is not a marginal phenomenon. When Kahane said that Israel could be a democratic state or a Jewish state but not both, he was expressing the truth that Zionism refused to acknowledge. Today it is clear to all but the blind that a Jewish state is a Jewish supremacist state. Jewish theology changes and has changed - for the worse.

  • Novel featuring Palestinian-Jewish romance threatens 'Jewish identity,' Israeli gov't rules
    • Well the Zionists may fear assimilation most in the 'Jewish' state but the place where it happens most is of course the diaspora. In Europe and the USA it is probably over 50% indeed in the USA it is well over 50% but only the bigoted and Orthodox (much the same) and Zionists object. In Israel it is 'national treason' etc.

      I just wonder what law the book was banned under? I wasn't aware that the Knesset had formally adopted the Nuremburg Laws of 1935 but I stand to be corrected!

  • Israeli ambassador flings Nazi label at Israeli leaders, after latest authoritarian step
    • I disagree. When you convert to Judaism you can certainly change your race. Why?

      Because race, like religion, is invented. Indeed I'd go further. There is no such thing, scientifically as race. It is a political and social construct. At least religious practice, which was effectively the Nazi definition of 'race' was grounded in fact. The racial biological definition as to who was Jewish or Aryan was based on religious practice in the end. Because it was impossible to define being Jewish in relation to an actual blood or genetic difference. Hence all those ludicrous attempts by the Nazis to find a 'scientific' basis to race by measuring the cranium and brain size etc. I say the Nazis but I should include Arthur Ruppin, the father of racial sciences and sociology and much else in Palestine.

  • A forgotten critic of Israeli society: The work of the social psychologist Georges R. Tamarin
  • Leading anthropologists group overwhelmingly passes BDS resolution at Denver conference
    • The difference is that the Rosenbergs were innocent and were framed by the McCarthyists and anti-Semites. They were principled communists.

      Pollard is traitorous scum who did his best to confirm the anti-Semitic canard of Jewish 'dual loyalty'. He should have been kept inside and allowed to rot.

    • It's not that the 'left' is in the Centre - the Israeli 'left' was always on the right - but that the right - Yesh Atid is considered 'left'.

      In reality 'left' and 'right' in Israel are meaningless terms except for the Joint List and anti-Zionists. The Zionist 'left' and 'right' both agree on the fundamentals i.e. a Jewish state and the need to keep the Arabs to a minimum. Every piece of repressive legislation from Netanyahu, the latest being to bar BDS supporters from Israel, but all the other stuff such as making Boycott a civil offence, Access to Communities Act etc. is supported by the Israeli Labour Party. Only Meretz has a muffled voice in opposition.

  • Theocratic Israel
    • You should change the headline introduction which says 'A rabbinical court in Jerusalem allows a woman who had intercourse with a non-Jew to marry non-Jews. The power of these religious courts over private life would be unimaginable in the U.S.' It should say '..... to marry Jews.' not non-Jews.

  • Rightwing Israelis celebrate murder of a Jewish activist (and NYT won't tell you so)
    • Yes of course Lakin was an Arab lover, just as many Germans were accused of being 'Jew lovers' (& anti-fascist Germans of being 'self haters') and as anti-racist Whites in the US were 'nigger lovers'. It comes from the same mentality that if you oppose the oppression of a particular group of people or nationality, you must 'love' them all.

      Palikari is just one more example of the stupidity of even the more 'liberal' Zionists - after all he doesn't identify himself as a right-wing Zionist. However I doubt if he is aware of the seminal debate between a genuine Jewish thinker & political theorist and philosopher, Hannah Arendt and Gershom Scholem, the Professor of Jewish mysticism at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

      Arendt had written her famous book Eichmann in Jerusalem - the Banality of Evil and Scholem, suitably angered had written to her accusing her of a lack of Ahabath Israel 'love of the Jewish people'. Arendt responded asking for the biblical source of this concept before explaining that she belonged to the Jewish people, that was a matter of fact, but that she had no love for a collectivity. She loved her friends and family. This idea of love of a whole people is a thoroughly racist one that belongs to the Europe of the 1930's.

      However I don't think we should concentrate on the obvious contradictions in Lakin himself. Between being a settler on the one hand and being an advocate of peaceful relations with the Palestinians. many people, including Palestinians, hold contradictory ideas in their heads at one and the same time. In Marxist terms it is false consciousness.

      What is noteworthy is that those who profess their love of the Jewish people can then engage in the most degenerate, racist and vile insults on someone who has just been killed through no fault of his own. Indeed his only fault in their eyes was that he was an 'Arab lover' and a 'leftist'.

      I've done a post on this particular incident.

  • (Update) This year for Halloween your child too can help defend the Israeli occupation
    • As the advert says, this is an essential part of the Jewish heritage, indeed the only part it would seem.

      Useful additions to this ensemble might be a whip and a leather coat and a German Shepherd Dog or Alsatian. Then we could have the perfect symbiosis of an SS officer and an IDF soldier. That would reallly be part of the Jewish heritage that Zionism claims for its own.

  • Did the BBC cover up the anti-Semitism of Gaza's children?
    • The Jewish Chronicle under its tabloid editor Stephen Pollard (he was editor of the Daily Express owned by Britain's biggest pornographer, Richard Desmond) has become little more than a Zionist propaganda sheet. Hence none stories like these.

      If someone comes to your house, kills your relatives, demolishes the house and does it all in the name of 'the Jewish people' then it is expecting a lot of a child to distinguish between Zionist and being Jewish when his/her elders often fail to.

      The fact is that Zionism goes out of its way to conflate being Jewish with being a Zionist. Most adults are taken in. Why should children living in the middle of the appalling catastrophe that is Gaza be expected to be politically sophisticated? As far as they are concerned it was 'the Jews' who did the evil. But notice that Max Blumenthall, who was based in Gaza, like Amira Hass, was not harassed or attacked because he was Jewish, unlike Arabs in the Jewish state.

  • Theodor Herzl wasn't Jewish, according to Israeli minister
    • Herzl was an archetypal assimilated Jew. His own son, Hans, was not even circumcised (the Zionist movement took care of that after his death). His original solution to the Jewish Question was the mass conversion of Jews to Catholicism. But that wouldn't have helped because anti-Semitism had changed from a religious to a racial antagonism, which met its ultimate obscenity in the phenomenon of Christian Jews under the Nazis - Christian by religion and Jewish by race.

      Zionism was therefore the solution, as someone has said, of collective assimilation. The Jews became like all others and being Jewish was transformed from a religious to a racial/national definition. The problem was that in order to define who was Jewish in the first place you had to go back to the Rabbis. They held the key to the treasury and it was they who were allocated by Ben Gurion with the responsibility for personal affairs - birth, deaths and marriage - in Israel. So Reform Jews are not Jewish and in Israel there is and will continue to be a third race - neither Jewish nor non-Jewish, just as in Nazi Germany there was the mixed race Mischlinge - who had one or two Jewish grandparents.

      In fact Israel has two definitions of being Jewish. One the orthodox definition for purposes of birth, marriage and death and the definition under the Law of Return as amended in 1970. This has caused immense problems because it casts the net even wider than the Nazi definition [you were Jewish if you had 3 or more Jewish grandparents in 1870]. Under the Law of Return as amended, you are Jewish if you are a child or grandchild of a Jew, a spouse of a Jew, or a child or grandparent of a Jew. So it has made Jews of the Russian Jews, many of whom are anything but Jews! It is about creating a definition of who is and who is not a settler and therefore privileged.

      It is therefore irrelevant whether Herzl or Ben Gurion were themselves secular atheists. What they proposed and implemented depended on the stamp of approval of the rabbis. They made a faustian pact.

  • California students resist authorities’ attempt to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism
    • Of course the Zionists, who realise they don't have a case any more (not that they ever did!) and find it increasingly difficult to convince anyone except fellow Republican and Conservative bigots, are desperate to restrict the free speech of supporters of Palestinians.

      They choose to use that old time-worn tactic of crying 'anti-semitism.' There are 2 points that need to be made.
      i. Like the boy who cried wolf, what they do in the process is legitimise real anti-Semitism because people become confused between fake anti-Semitism i.e. support of the Palestinians and opposition to Zionism and the genuine article. That is how people like Gilad Atzmon have gained a hearing. However the Zionist movement does't care about this because:

      ii. Zionism is and always has been a Jewish version of anti-Semitism. Whereas most people rejected the idea that Jews did not belong in the countries where they lived, were citizens of and were born, Zionism held that they were strangers who should go 'home' to their 'real home'. Hence the Law of Return in Israel allows me, as a Jewish person, to emigrate when I want to Israel and claim citizenship but denies the same right to Palestinians who were born there and expelled.

      Zionism historically adopted the same anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews, in the words of Jacob Klatzkin, Jews in the diaspora were hideous and deformed. Or as Pinhas Rosenbluth, Israel's first Justice Minister remarked, Palestine is an institute for fumigating Jewish vermin. [Studies in Israel 4, Journal of Israeli History 8]

      Alone of Jewish groups in Nazi Germany, the Zionists welcomed the Nuremberg Laws. In the words of Joachim Prinz, the Chairman of the German Zionist Federation 'it was everything we dreamed about'.

      Those interested in reading on Zionism's record on these matters can consult the free, on the web, book of Shabtai beit Zvi, Post-'Ugandan Zionism on Trial' or Ben Hecht's book Perfidy. Both are right-wing Zionists.

  • Israeli lawmaker wants to force foreign-funded NGO officials to wear stigmatizing i.d.'s
  • Jewish community must 'welcome' anti-Zionist, pro-BDS Jews, Beinart says-- but Shavit says, Excommunicate them
    • This is all very interesting but I wonder how relevant it all is? I barely know who Ari Shavit is. Maybe that's because I am in the UK.

      I became an anti-Zionist over 40 years ago, having been born into an Orthodox Jewish family (dad was a rabbi). Why? Because I became a socialist and my first political activity was the campaign to stop the South African rugby team, the Springboks, from touring Britain. I found socialism and universalism couldn't be reconciled with Zionism, which always asked how Jews benefited. I'm pleased to hear that Hannah Arendt, despite flirting with Zionism, was detested by people like Gershom Scholem because of her universalism. Zionism is narrow, parochial, self-centred. It failed to rescue anyone from the holocaust, prioritising building the state. 3-4 million survived because Jews had established links with non-Jews that were stronger than the Nazis' anti-Semitism.

      Historically there have been many Jewish identities - the identity of the trader, the money lender, the revolutionary and working class activist and now Zionist. I suspect that Zionism is the last Jewish identity. There is no longer a material basis for a separate Jewish existence and today you are Jewish, either because you identify with Israel or conversely because you don't identify with Israel. This is why the idea of the Jewish community welcolming in the BDS Jewish supporters isn't going to happen. Zionism has colonised the Jewish communities. It may be less effective today than 30 years ago, but Jewish identity today is not based on any material differences but on a political identity of extreme and narrow nationalism.

      We are the Jews of conscience whereas Zionism has no conscience. It tricks asylum seekers in Israel in to leaving the State and they are termed 'infiltrators' who are a threat to the racist Jewish nature of the State. Israel today is the logical outcome of a State that defines itself on ethnic/volkish lines rather than on the territorial principle. It is no surprise that Israel's friends in the region are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, not forgetting al-Nusra and Isis.

      Israel will not last forever and when it has gone I suspect much of what is termed Jewish identity will have gone too.

  • 'You have dual citizenship with Israel' -- NPR host hits Sanders with internet canard
    • Yes dual-loyalty is a classic anti-semitic trope or characterisation of Jews. Unfortunately, like a number of other such tropes. Zionism does its best to legitimate that use. Eg Zionism believes that Jews are strangers in any land outside Israel, so do the anti-Semites. Hence why the Nazis followed a policy of favouring Zionist organisations from 1933-41 in Germany & Austria above 'assimilationist' groups who ran counter to their idea that Jews were apart from Aryans.

      Israel lays claim to all Jews. It is the State of the Jewish People and as Netanyahu recently said, the 'real home' of Jews is in Israel. Zionism has never resiled from one of the founding themes of the movement, the Negation of the Diaspora (I'll leave u to look that one up).

    • If dual citizenship and dual loyalty are a canard in respect to American or British Jews, then the fault lies with the Israeli State and Zionism.

      Israel defines itself not as a state of its own citizens but as a state of the Jewish people, wherever they may live or be found. And that includes Sanders. So does Bernie Sanders reject this claim by Israel which is integral to the reason why there is no Israeli nationality.

  • Goldberg predicts 'civil war' between American and Israeli Jews as Israel is 'defined as an apartheid state'
    • Goldberg may see US policy in relation to Israel as a product of Obama's philo-Semitism or whatever, but Obama represents the interests of the US Corporate class, the Military/Industrial complex that Eisenhower referred to. Of course he may represent a different wing to that of Bush and Cheney, he may prefer cooption rather than confrontation, but he serves the same master, which is why he tends to the same solutions in the end.

      More interesting is the way that US policy is collapsing under the weight of its own contradictions in Iraq. You can't be best friends with the Saudis and then oppose their bastard offspring ISIS whilst at the same time confronting the only power that is capable of confronting them, Iran and not knowing who you are allied with in Syria.

    • I'm not sure what you are saying. Arlossorof was assasinated in June 1933 He was up to his eyes in negotiations for Havarah, the Nazi-Zionist trade agreement that would destroy the International Boycott of Nazi Germany, which was the main hope of those who sought to remove Hitler from power while he was weak. So no tears for him.

  • Netanyahu eulogizes settler movement founder convicted of manslaughter
    • Zionism feels less and less need to pretend that it stands for peace, equality etc. as the logic of what a Jewish state and a colonial occupation come to the fore.

      Of course if Levinger had been an Arab then we would have heard he had 'blood on his hands' was an Arab Haman etc.

      Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first drive mad.

  • The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity
    • I have severe doubts with this.

      For a start Ariel Sharon and the Israeli government was none too keen on the Iraq war. Iran was their main enemy not Saddam.

      Secondly this article mistakes rhetoric for reality. Wolfowitz et al may have justified the attack on Iraq in terms of defence of Israel, but that isn't necessarily true. It could be and I believe it is a good camouflage.

      The key explanation is indeed energy policy and oil. It was outlined in the Bush Task Force Report 'Strategic Energy Policy - Challenges for the 21st Century' which led to the Future of Iraq Project and the report of its Oil and Energy Working Group, which details the restructuring of the Iraqi oil company and the insertion of the international oil companies into that industry.

      I refer to a show by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC 'Why We Did It' for more details but the case is pretty convincing.

      Those arguing for Israel being the cause make a major mistake, w hich Walt and Mersheimer also do. Israel is an alibi, Israel is a good talking point, the Israeli lobby is a convenient explanation BUT it's not the real reason that the US acts as it does, including the invasion of Iraq.

      The US supports Israel because it is in its, the US's interest, not because of out of some altruistic desire to help Israel. If supporting Israel was against US interests then the US would begin to dissociate itself from Israel, it would raise - as Reagan did over the AWACs sale to Saudi Arabia - the issue of a dual loyalty. People need a little imagination. Don't mistake the effusive expressions of concern for Israel with the genuine article.

      Israel is loved as long as it is in the US's interests to love it. But US imperialism is a fickle creature.

  • In Israel, racism is standard procedure
    • The problem with referring to Israeli Arabs as Palestinians is that it reinforces those who say that if they are part of a different nation then they should go and be part of that nation's state in the event of a 2 state solution. That was what Tsipi Livni argued at the 'peace negotiations' to hive of Umm al Fahum and The Triangle into a fledgling Palestinian state.

      Of course Zionism isn't going to agree to such as state but we should be arguing that Israel constitutes one Israeli/Palestinian nation.

  • Netanyahu deputy charged with administering Palestinians says they are 'beasts, not human'
    • Clearly he did believe Jews were less than human. Jews were regularly described as 'human cattle' a 'bacillus' 'vermin' etc. I doubt Eli Ben-Dahan is any worse than Hitler in what he says and so far hasn't been able to emulate his hero either.

  • Rudoren covers up Shaked's genocidal statements in 'NYT'
    • This is a good example of how Zionism makes people into anti-Semites. It says all Jews are Zionists (except for a small group of 'self haters') and therefore the assumption is that a journalist or whoever is pro-Israeli.

      In fact the responsibility for placing supporters of Zionism in the Jerusalem bureau of the NYT is that of non-Jews as much as Jews. Indeed their religion is irrelevant. They are there because of their politics.

      If Max Blumenthall or myself were in that position then the NYT's Jerusalem bureau chief would not be apologising for genocidal murderers. It would have nothing to do with our being Jewish but our politics, which are anti-Zionist.

  • Netanyahu appoints Ayelet Shaked—who called for genocide of Palestinians—as Justice Minister in new government
    • Re this nonsense that someone called JeffB apparently said, viz. '“The Holocaust justifies the Nabka completely. Had Zionism been successful a decade earlier a huge chunk if not all of the six million who died would have lived.” - I don't know where it apparently appears but it is something that Zionists do often say.

      The truth is the exact opposite. If Zionism had not existed, then at least half a million to a million Jews who died in the Holocaust would have survived. They were indirectly responsible for Hungary's half a million Jews remaining in ignorance about the destination of the deportations, through having sat on the Vrba-Wetzler Report. As Counsel for Rudolf Kasztner, Chaim Cohen argued in the Appeal Hearing in Israel, it is our Zionist tradition to select the few out of the many. In this case 1684 of the Zionist and Bourgeois Jewish elite.

      Couple this with the Zionist movement lobbying the Nazi government between 1933-39 not to allow Jewish emigration to any other place but Palestine, the sabotage of any other destination but Palestine (San Domingo, Sweden, Freiland, Guyana and England) and one can see what a disaster Zionism was for the Jews. The 'logic' of the Zionists was that if other places bar Palestine could take Europe's Jews, the Zionist project would be a white elephant. What they termed 'refugeeism' (saving Jews whatever the destination) had to be fought.

  • Is there room for liberal Zionists in an anti-Zionist movement?
    • There is of course an easy answer to the question whether there's room in an anti-Zionist movement for liberal Zionists. And that is 'no'. By definition liberal Zionists are not anti-Zionists. Of course there's room for them to cross over, we should be happy to debate them but their illusion, that it is possible to have a democratic and a Jewish state is a dangerous one which in practice has led to a reinforcement of a very undemocratic Jewish state.

      Of course in Israel it is different and there may be co-operation between anti-Zionists and Meretz. But even the Joint List, with Hadash in a minority, refused to have a vote sharing agreement which might have saved Meretz if it had fallen short of the 3.2% threshold for getting into the Knesset.

      But I've found on British campuses that it was the liberal Zionists who were most effective in whitewashing Israel and its war crimes.

  • Dead End
    • If Israel wants to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day then there is no better way than to lift the Holocaust survivors out of poverty. But of course HRD has nothing to do with those who survived, or indeed those who perished, in the Holocaust.

      As yesterday's article in Ha'aretz makes clear, holocaust survivors are still being deprived of the reparations Israel stole on their behalf.
      Thousands of Israeli Holocaust survivors still living in poverty, fighting for recognition
      Seventy years after the end of WWII, some 20,000 aging Holocaust survivors receive little or no support from Israel, and 45,000 live under poverty line.

      And during the Holocaust the record of the Zionist movement was abysmal. From denying, repeatedly that there was a holocaust (citing articles in the Nazi press as proof) to blocking information about the holocaust to collaboration with the Nazis as in the Kasztner affair.

      HRD is about creating the moral basis for Israeli racism and aggrandisement, for underpinning further genocide and racism. That is why non-Jews play no part in it, despite 3 million Poles having been exterminated and a like number of Russian soldiers, to say nothing of the murder of thousands of German and other socialists, trade unionists etc.

      Ayman Odeh takes the path of least resistance rather than challenge the Zionists' misuse of the Holocaust. It is a product of his and his party's Stalinist politics.

      As for Yariv Oppenheimer doing his 'guard duty' in the West Bank, this is despicable. Peace doesn't come from serving as a soldier in the occupation. That is why Peace Now is dead in the water in Israel, totally and utterly irrelevant as was the 'left' Zionism that gave birth to it.

  • Separating anti-Semitism from anti-Zionism
    • The racists and the Right always take our slogans and misuse/distort them. So it is with 'Never Again'. In Britian this is the slogan of anti-fascists and applies to fascism. Never again will we tolerate what has happened. Zionism and its propagandists have perverted it - for Netanyahu and his ilk, 'never again' means never again will anything horrible happen to Jews.

      And how will he achieve his state of 'never again'? By standing up to that tiny minority of anti-Semites who hate Jews? No by running away from them to the 'real home' of Jews. Behind the Zionist 'never again' is a concession to anti-Semitism.

      Of course they are not talking about anti-Semitism but anti-Zionism for 99% of the time. Attacks like that in Paris or Denmark are manna from heaven. For them anti-Zionism i.e. opposition to one of the most militarised/right-wing states in the world is 'anti-Semitic' is in itself anti-Semitic.

      But this doesn't convince people who have their own brains and means of understanding. We are living through a golden period of tolerance for Jews. It is sickening to compare the Vel d'Hiv in Paris, wheren over 12,000 Jews, including 1,000 children, were rounded up for Drancy and then Auschwitz. The pinprick attacks of disenfranchised young Muslims, the leftovers of the 'war against terror' are simply no subsistitute.

      We need to be bolder

  • Diaspora Jews are not in 'exile,' they are at home
    • What Netanyahu and Labour Zionist politicians have done before him is to try and fulfill the dreams of Adolph Hitler, to make Europe Judenrein. As Isaac Deutscher wrote in the non-Jewish Jew and Other Essays

      'the most fanatical enemies of Zionism were precisely the workers, those who spoke Yiddish... they were the most determined opponents of the idea of an emigration from East Europe to Palestine... in the idea of an evacuation, of an exodus from the countries in which they, had their homes and in which their ancestors had lived for centuries, the anti-Zionists saw an abdication of their rights, a surrender to anti-Semitism. To them anti-Semitism seemed to triumph in Zionism, which recognised the legitimacy and the validity of the old cry ‘Jews get out!' The Zionists were agreeing to get out.'

      See Completing Hitler’s Goal – Netanyahu Seeks to Make Europe Judenrein

  • 'With God’s help, the journalists at Haaretz will be murdered just like in France': Death threats follow publication of cartoon in Israeli newspaper
    • I'm not sure that the reference to Jewish tribal unity is at all helpful. Im Tirzu's attack on Ha'aretz journalists owes more to McCarthyism than Jewish solidarity. Shoval's defence of racism and Zionist colonisation will, of necessity, involve an attack on Jewish dissenters. It was the same in South Africa, Algeria and any settler colonial outpost.

      Western capitalist elites and their satellites in the developing world will always try to stifle free speech but that is different from the millions who marched in France, who were indeed opposed to attacks on basic democratic rights. We saw this divergence with the presence of leaders from Egypt, Turkey and of course Israel, all of whom lock up and murder journalists.

      The other clear distinction that needs to be made is between the right to criticise religion, the fundamental right of any secular society and criticism of the adherents of a religion, which is racism not free speech. Portrayal of an innane rabbi, a stupid mullah or a backward fundamentalilst preacher has nothing to do with racism and is indeed about free speech. Criticism of a particular religion as backward and the imputation of backwardness to the followers of that religion is racist.

      Fascist or racist ‘free speech’ is intended to incite hatred and hurt its targets. It has nothing to do with free speech. Printing cartoons of Allah seems to me to be the quintessential example of free speech.

  • John Judis's Truman book is a landmark in anti-Zionism
    • Not having read the book it may indeed be impressive, but that doesn't mean it has got it right.

      What the review is endorsing is the idea that the Zionist lobby is responsible for US support for a Jewish state as opposed to..... It may well have played a part in that decision but as one amongst a number of factors. I don't buy the idea that it was down to a $100,000 donation. If the decision to support the UN partition plan had been against US interests then no matter how big the bribe it would have been turned down.

      The issue of a religious state in the Middle East is simply wrong. Saudia Arabia was already a religious state in the region. Iran has joined it since and other countries, e.g. Sudan have sharia law. This is where the weakness of not having a Marxist or materialist analysis comes into play.

      Israel is not a religious state. It is a settler colonial state. A state in which the settlers oust the indigenous population, excluding them from the economy and the land. Their ideological justification is religion and because of that the rabbis have occupied a central part in the state in terms of the definition of personal status i.e. the racial definition of the privileged. But it is not a theocracy although it has trappings of such a state.

      Saudi Arabia and Iran are religious states but they are not settler colonial states and in those states religion serves a different function. Not to justify the oppression of another group or people but to justify the repression of their own citizens and in the Saudi case, foreign workers. Once you adopt this analysis much more fits into place.

      Truman was an unprincipled self-serving mass murderer. His decision to murder over 200,000 people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to say nothing of those horrifically burnt and injured was a huge war crime. That is how his decisions should be treated. No doubt he was also corrupt and venal but his primary interest would always have been US imperial interests in the Middle East and if that meant war and conflict in the long term, well in the long term we are all dead anyway.

      Likewise Walt and Mersheimer were equally wrong. The Iran treaty shows the limits of their power when they come up against what is perceived as US interests, despite a large faction of the US ruling circles opposing the treaty.

      As for Stephen Wise and Abba Silver they both followed the Zionist policy of opposing the saving of Jewish refugees from the Nazis if they didn't go to Palestine. Wise in particular waged a war against anyone who did want to save Jews, in particular Peter Bergson and the Emergency Committee to Save the Jews of Europe which was responsible in January 1944 for the setting up of the War Refugee Board.

      The review says that the book 'forces one to consider how much violence stems from the west’s decision to establish a religious state'. But the West has always been in favour of much violence if it is necessary to secure its interests. Syria today is a good ex ample of that and Iraq is too. That is no concern to the masters of war in Washington.

  • 'Nobody knew where I was, nobody… I was simply disappeared': An Italian tourist's Ben Gurion nightmare
    • No doubt they would be astounded at Andrea Pesce's treatment. This is always the way with repressive states. People visited South Africa and Nazi Germany and came away convinced that Blacks were fine and the stories about Jews being attacked were 'atrocity propaganda.'

      A good example is Lord Rothermere, owner of the British Daily Mail writing on 4th September 1933.
      '‘They have started a clamorous campaign of denunciation against what they call 'Nazi atrocities,' which, as anyone who visits Germany quickly discovers for him self, consists merely of a few isolated acts of violence.’ Rothermere saw what he wanted to see, just like our four tourists.

  • 'Hath not a Palestinian eyes?': Protesters disrupt Habima performance at Globe
    • I think enough attention has been paid to Fredbloggs. No doubt his hasbara trainer will be explaining to him where he went wrong.

      Of course the King David Hotel bombing was an act of terrorism, but of course even it was as nothing compared to Tantura, Lod, Duweimah, Deir Yassin and many other acts of butchery that were committed during 1948-9.

      Being Jewish I make no apology for being consistent in my opposition to racism. I began political campaigning against the Springbok Rugby Tour when the Fredblogss of that era said sport and politics didn't mix. Well we proved them wrong then and we will do so again.

      Equally performing a play written some 500 years ago is not an act of free speech and if it is then interjecting with comments as to the context is equally an act of free speech. Freddie may not like it but that's how it is.

      Free speech in Israel can get you administrative detention - on security grounds of course - and part of that freedom is not even knowing or seeing the evidence.

      As someone who has now participated in 4 such demonstrations against the Jerusalem Quartet (twice), Habima and the IPO is this. Would it have been right to disrupt the performances of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and its conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler in the 1930's. They were technically brilliant performers (Habima were pretty mediocre in fact) but they represented the normalisation of Nazism. People did indeed support the boycott of Nazi Germany (the Zionists didn't but that's another story) or would it have been affront to Freddie's morals?

      And would he unreservedly condemn similar demonstrations against Soviet culture, including the Bolshoi Ballet in the 1970's and 1980's over Soviety Jewry? I can't remember many Zionist denunciations at the time.

      It is irrelevant whether the US has free speech. With the latest adornment to the Patriot Act this is a very arguable proposition since the military now has the power to detain civilians indefinitely and habeus corpus and free speech are inextricably linked.

      Of course Fred reaches for the last weapon in the arsenal. Why not China etc. Leave aside that BDS is most effective against settler colonial states where there is a whole society of settlers complicit in the oppression of another people, so where the state is merely repressive against its own BDS is rarely called for because it is ineffective, the fact is that Israel maintains sanctions and siege against Gaza and of course Iran is a prime object of such.

      By entertaining the settlers of Ariel and signing a contract to represent Israel culturally as its ambassadors Habima has established itself as Israel's cultural propaganda arm. I am proud to have taken part in the demonstration and have nothing to regret.

      I just hope I would have done so in the 1930's against another racist regime (a time when extermination was not talked about or considered likely). No doubt may apologists for Nazi culture would have salivated at the protesters being tasered if they had developed such enlightened methods of control at that time.

  • BDS interview fallout: Finkelstein 'showed his own fear of the paradigm shift in discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict'
    • Thank you for your kind comments. However you believe I've been too categorical in my criticism of Norman Finkelstein. Let me explain why I disagree.

      Firstly we need to identify what the problem is in Israel/Palestine. According to the most dishonest Labour Zionists, best represented by the Union of Jewish Students and Peace Now, the problem is a psycho-personal one. Jews and Arabs just don't get on hence why they must separate. And two states provides the answer.

      The right-wing Zionists were always more honest. A Jewish state means expelling the Arabs or confining them beyond the Iron Wall. That this logic is now suffusing through the mainstream of Zionism is exemplified by this posting on the Jewish Chronicle blog today.

      The two state solution, a solution that only imperialism can create, in reality a state and a reservation policy, because no one imagines a Palestinian state will be independent in anything but name, will provide the ideal opportunity for people like Clive Wolman to implement another 'transfer' - this time of the bulk of Israel's 1.5 million Arab citizens. And sooner or later there will be another 'transfer' - this time across the Jordan when circumstances and a war permit.

      Partition in Ireland, also seen as a practical solution at the time by Republican leaders like Michael Collins, in retrospect paved the way for a coercive confessional state in the South and a police statelet in the North for 50 years and a war for nearly 30 years after 'the troubles' in 1969. And in Ireland, the Unionists power had already started to wane. Not because of a demographic time bomb as Wolman states, but because of the diminishing importance of the Loyalists of the North of Ireland to Britain's geo-strategic and economic interests.

      By way of contrast the Palestinians are weak and Israel is strong, hence why a 2 State solution is unattainable, except in the most abstract of forms. Yet now is the time that NF devotes his lecture tours to arguing the case for 2 States, using maps that are ludicrous as his stage props, simply ignoring that the settlers control 60% of the West Bank and are not going to be dislodged. And as part of this act, NF belabours and attacks the movement for BDS - much to the delight of last week's Jewish Chronicle amongst others.

      Ireland and Palestine have followed a very similar path. The first Military Governor of Jerusalem, Sir Ronald Storrs, in his auto-biography 'Orientations' called Jewish Palestine 'a little loyal Ulster amidst a sea of hostile pan Arabism.' Churchill was the Colonial Secretary who presided over Partition and the rise of the Mandate.

      If a United Ireland is a precondition for peace in Ireland, as opposed to the sticking plaster of the Good Friday Agreement, then that is doubly true in Palestine. Without dealing with the cause, the ethno-Jewish nature of the Israeli state, with all the consequences of apartheid, discrimination etc. which follow, then all 'solutions' are mere palliatives.

      Indeed I would go further. 2 States is not on the horizon nor will it be. But even if it were I would be opposed. It would create a yet more racist Zionist state on one side and an even more repressive Palestinian statelet than the current junta in Ramallah presides over. There would no justice for any Palestinian beyond the current business mafia. Torture would continue to be the norm in the jails of the PA. There would certainly be no liberation. That was the false dawn of Oslo and it should not be repeated because that led to the Palestinians policing themselves at israel's behest, which is exactly what I predicted nearly 20 years ago now.

      NF may be a brilliant scholar but he disregards the importance of Zionism, as the founding ideology of the Israeli state. Whereas the nationalism of the 19th century at its most progressive was integrative - to the Jews as individuals everything, to the Jews as a nation, nothing (Conte de Clermont-Tonnerre), nationalist political movements, Volkish and racist, grew up whose goals were an ethnic-nationalism. Just as Edouard Drumont conflated Catholicism with French nationalism, so others saw 'race' and nation as indistinguishable. Zionism was of this ilk and today Jews are defined by the rabbis as a race with the consequent privileges.

      To NF, none of this matters. Pragmatism is all. But the price for NF's pragmatism will be paid by the Palestinians as NF makes it clear that he is growing old and weary and impatient.

  • Israel isn't good for the Jews anymore
    • A very good and interesting article. A few comments. Zionism is a political system and ideology. It serves a purpose. Herzl wrote words to the effect that it would be a European outpost on the ramparts of Asiatic barbarism.

      Israel is the guard dog and protector of western interests in an area that is vital strategically. It is a stable settler-colonial state and the $3 billion it receives is cheap at the price. And it has fractured Arab politics, both directly against Nasserism and indirectly in support of the most reactionary forces in the Arab world whose anti-Israeli rhetoric covered their own collaboration.

      When the British established their Empire they didn't say, we are coming to destroy the handlooms of India in order that we can create a cotton industry in England and turn the Indians into supplies of raw materials. They talked about 'civilisation' 'education' - it was the rhetoric of MacCaulay and Bentinck who railed against Sutthi, the burning of widows on the pyres of their husbands. Barbaric to be sure, but insignificant compared to the starving to death of 2.5 million in Bengal alone as the price of free market economics.

      Likewise the US ruling elites use the holocaust and 'anti-semitism' as the cover for their interests, just as the war in Iraq was fought for 'democracy'. So it is good to know that some US Jews and hopefully more as time goes by are distancing themselves from Israel and Zionism. But we are not living in the separate communities of feudalism behind ghetto walls. Today there is no material basis for the separate existence of Jewish communities. It is a fact that Jewish communities nearly everywhere bar Germany (ironically) are declining as half their Jews 'marry out'. This is a process of free choice not compulsion but Zionist and Orthodox leaders have compared the 'lost' souls of those who marry non-Jews to the victims of Hitler.

      But those with a sense of history will recall that Zionism was first and foremost a Christian Evangelical cause. It was the Lords Shaftesbury and Palmerstone, Disraeli and Ernest Laharanne (Napoleon III Secretary) and an assorted group of anti-Semites who were most in favour of Zionism. When Herzl wrote his 'Judenstaat' he took his pamphlet round to Eduard Drumont, editor of the anti-Semitic paper 'La Libre Parole' and an MP for Algiers. Drumont was the foremost anti-Semite and anti-Dreyfusard which gives the lie to the fairy story that Herzl was motivated by the injustice to Capt. Dreyfuss.

      Yes Israeli Jews are destined to part company with the rest of world Jewry. Their interests are different, especially American Jews. But they cannot form a nation of their own as the only reason for so doing would be to separate from Palestinian Arabs. Their fate is that of white South Africans which is to form one nation with those they have oppressed. True there will be 2 languages and culture and it is also the case, as with South Africa, that Israeli Jews will be more prosperous. And unlike South Africa there is already rough demographic parity between Israeli Jews and Palestinians. But the only solution which won't entrench existing racist privilege is a single nation on the common territory of Palestine between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river.

  • Pappe on why Palestinian Israelis are 'second-rate citizens'
    • I think the title should be changed to -second CLASS' citizens. Second-rate implies that Palestinians are not as good citizens as Israeli Jews.

      Richard Witty suggests 'the rights are conferred parallel to the US GI bill following WW2'. Not so. Every right and privilege depends on this, but even so Druze and Circassians do not get equality e.g. they are still excluded from 93% of the land as the JNF/ILA do not accept them.

      I'm not sure Tree is right re it depends on eligibility rather than actual service. The reason I say this is that under the discharged soldiers amendment act 1968 Haredi ultra orthodox do not serve and are therefore not eligible for welfare benefits at a higher level BUT to ally this, since they have the largest no. of children, a special grant has always been made to the Ministry of Religion to cover the cost of paying the child benefit in question.

      Israel is the only state in the world to deliberately use what we would term indirect discrimination (where a neutral provision, criteria or practice applies to all equally, but affects one group more than another). The UK state, despite its racism, has attempted to eliminate racism in society via Race Relations/Equality Acts. Israel perpetrates racism and increases it.

Showing comments 83 - 1