No Mooser, I wasn't suggesting you turn to Dylann Roof for "advice," I was using Dylann's words as, "a more recent example of how hatred of Jews can be part of a lethal mix."
Not sure how I could make that more clear.
Hi Annie, yes, we agree about Israel's policies being about colonization.
I cited another occupation because it relates to Western imperialism, which has also been discussed at points in this thread, and it's something that a focus (like Weir's) on "U.S. national interests" doesn't address or consciously avoids.
It also relates to Weir and Blankfort's emphasis on the Israel lobby, which also deflects from Western imperialism. I often bring up the actions of U.S. client states, and its own history of slavery and genocide; not to "make excuses" or engage in "whataboutery," but so U.S. citizens are aware that the state terror of Israel, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, the Philippines and others are connected to long-standing policies of the West and the corporate and military interests it serves. "If Americans knew" that, I think that would be helpful. For more on that, I'd recommend the work of the person that Weir and friends try to discredit, Noam Chomsky. In this classic debate, Chomsky dismantles Richard Perle.
For decades of my activism, anti-Semitism hasn't been a concern. I bring it up in this thread because the topic is JVP and ETO's decision to distance themselves from Weir because they feel she didn't challenge the bigotry of Clay Douglas, and had brought up the "blood libel", and so forth. My feeling is that JVP and ETO could've brought up Weir's staunch support of Atzmon.
Anti-Semitism isn't their focus either, but I think the letter signed by Abunimah, Barghouti, Hijab put their concern about it well,
As did the letter signed by Blumenthal, Sylvia Posadas, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and so many others, http://threewayfight.blogspot.com/p/atzmon-critique_09.html
The emphasis of this particular thread notwithstanding, my focus has been criticizing U.S. and Israeli policies, and challenging Islamophobia - spending countless hours on Facebook and message boards, writing several letters to editors and Amazon reviews, making calls into right-wing & progressive radio shows, marching, and so forth. I've distributed hundreds of copies of DVDs like "Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land", and copies of "The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs." As with most activists on these topics, I've seen and received false charges of anti-Semitism. I've been called a nazi, and have received messages from "supporters of Israel" saying that they hope I die in a fire. Several years ago when I was working for a radio program that aired a Chomsky lecture on the Middle East - I was absolutely inundated with angry calls and got a quick lesson as to why there would be security at his Middle East talks.
But, as I mentioned, I had the experience of seeing a usually progressive person here in Denver start posting the material of a militia-advocating, David Duke-supporting, Jew-hater - and I decided I needed to put some attention into the material that was influencing him. While the material has been a disturbing realm to explore, it was something I needed to learn about and speak out against.
I think Naomi Klein makes a good point in this article from several years ago, how people concerned about the Palestinians should counter anti-Semitism,
"It’s easy for social justice activists to tell themselves that since Jews already have such powerful defenders in Washington and Jerusalem, anti-Semitism is one battle they don’t need to fight. This is a deadly error. It is precisely because anti-Semitism is used by the likes of Sharon that the fight against it must be reclaimed.
When anti-Semitism is no longer treated as Jewish business, to be taken care of by Israel and the Zionist lobby, Sharon will be robbed of his most effective weapon in the indefensible and increasingly brutal occupation. And as an extra bonus, whenever hatred of Jews diminishes, the likes of Jean-Marie Le Pen shrink right down with it."
And, as another historical example of anti-Jewish oppression, I recently learned that the Jewish left was targeted by the Argentinian military during its "dirty war."
"Jaime Stiuso entered what was known for decades as the Secretaría de Inteligencia de Estado, or SIDE, in 1972 at the age of 18. When the "dirty war" began in 1976, SIDE became an arm of the Argentine military dictatorship, deployed against domestic leftist enemies. Thousands were killed, and thousands more disappeared during the war, which targeted Jewish intellectuals based on an anti-Semitic theory prevalent in the Argentine military and intelligence services."
(brings to mind the crap Atzmon and others write in, "Veterans Today: A Journal of the Clandestine Community", and the sort of narratives radio hosts like Jeff Rense circulate, https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2015/04/28/used-canard-salesman).
I'm not a Christian either; still, I found the topic of Christian hegemony to be worth considering, especially when there are so many efforts to persuade Americans that either the Jews or the Muslims are plotting to take over the world. It's a concept I picked up from Paul Kivel in his book, "Living in the Shadow of the Cross."
I'd agree that the killing of Berg is not reflective of a trend; but, someone had asked me for examples of attacks on Jews, and I'd be remiss not to mention one that took place here where I live. As April Rosenblum mentions in her piece, it is anti-Arab racism that is definitely the more pressing issue; but, I also agree with her when she says anti-Jewish narratives "endanger Jews, corrupt our political integrity, and sabotage our ability to
create the effective resistance our times demand."
For a more recent example of how hatred of Jews can be part of a lethal mix, maybe I should've cited Dylann Roof: "In my opinion the issues with jews is not their blood, but their identity. I think that if we could somehow destroy the jewish identity, then they wouldnt cause much of a problem. The problem is that Jews look White, and in many cases are White, yet they see themselves as minorities. Just like niggers, most jews are always thinking about the fact that they are jewish. The other issue is that they network. If we could somehow turn every jew blue for 24 hours, I think there would be a mass awakening, because people would be able to see plainly what is going on."
And, speaking of Michael Savage:
"Though racism, sexism and immigrant bashing have long thrived on American radio, one had to go back to the days of Father Coughlin and Gerald L.K. Smith in the 1930s to find mainstream broadcasters railing against the Jewishness of their political enemies.
But no longer. Welcome to the Savage Nation, the radio show hosted by Michael Savage.
Well-known for his bigotry against non-whites, immigrants, women, gay men and lesbians (see Extra!, 3-4/03), Savage is virtually the only national talk jock targeting progressive Jews with ugly ethnic slurs and stereotypes."
Yes, as with the U.S. Air Force, I am concerned about religious bigots in the IDF.
I'm also concerned about religious bigots in the Indonesian military. Indonesia, the most-populous Muslim country in the world, has carried out two of the most brutal invasions and occupations of the contemporary period - that of East Timor (which killed a quarter million people), and that of West Papua, which has killed half a million people and is on-going.
What I wouldn't do is attribute Indonesia's crimes to some inherent flaws of "Muslimness;" as with theorizing about "Jewishness," that would be a bigoted misdirection.
There are reactionaries who do attempt to make Islam (or Judaism) the issue, and who provide cover for Western imperialism, militarism and corporatism. The style of the Islamophobic website I link to below should be familiar to those who have reviewed material that cultivates Judeophobia.
It's interesting how Judeophobia and Islamophobia (and other bigotries) mirror each other.
"There are right-wing websites and blogs warning that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, hordes of scheming fanatic Muslims plan to impose Sharia law and turn America into a totalitarian socialist/Nazi theocratic state. Other websites and blogs warn that Obama is a tool of perfidious Jewish agents, a conspiracy theory that takes right-wing, left-wing and incomprehensible forms, although the neo-Nazi version is predictably the most elaborate." - Chip Berlet
To your question regarding David Icke and whether he actually talks about blood-drinking lizards taking over the world - yes, he actually talks and writes about that. Some argue, understandably, that his "lizards" are metaphors for Jews.
Icke also routinely talks about Jewish bankers controlling the world, namely the Rothschilds. I see Icke memes on that topic reposted on Facebook regularly.
Making matters worse, a person has to dig around to find an article that challenges that narrative, and articles that challenge it don't have the reach of the Ickes' network.
On Weinstein's work on anti-Semitism (and homophobia) in the U.S. Air Force,
I came across this article from last April,
I don't think I was clear in my earlier comment on a progressive person becoming a bigot - the progressive person I saw change wasn't Ken O'Keefe, it was a local activist who started posting Ken O'Keefe material. Later I learned that Atzmon has been this activist's major influence.
Like many, the local activist I know was impressed with Ken's story of being on the Gaza flotilla. But Ken has done several things that normally progressive people would find problematic. For instance, O'Keefe has embraced David Duke as a political ally.
Greta Berlin, who was on the boat with O'Keefe, came to see Ken as a liability and no longer wants anything to do with him. For more on that, there was a story at Palestine Think Tank, but the only remaining record of Berlin's criticism of O'Keefe is on this awful site (still an important account from someone who was on the boat with Ken).
Moreover, as with Atzmon, a variety of activists have been distancing themselves from O'Keefe.
The pamphlet covered some instances of attacks on Jews.
I live in Denver, some people may be familiar with the assassination of the liberal radio host Alan Berg by a white nationalist group called "The Order."
Also, that attack on the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City resonated since I was a member of the Jewish Community Center in Omaha (I'm not Jewish, but the J.C.C. was a place that welcomed my broke, single mom with a couple of kids who wanted a place to swim).
Rosenblum could write an entire additional pamphlet on the anti-Semitism going on in Colorado Springs at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has some troubling stories about what's going on there among the Christian crusaders.
Atzmon's recent piece in "Veterans Today" was pretty awful. He goes so far as to suggest that Rabbi Alisa Wise of Jewish Voice for Peace deserved to be "lynched. . . on the spot."
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/07/01/362917/ His violent ideations, delivered in a publication like "Veterans Today: A Journal of the Clandestine Community," are repulsive, and Weir should reconsider her staunch support of him.
Here is the perfectly reasonable talk by Rabbi Wise that so enraged Atzmon. It's entitled, "There for Each Other: On Anti-Semitism, Christian Privilege and Palestine Solidarity."
Thanks for the links to the Kalle Lasn letters to the New York Times. I'm a reader of Adbusters. Glad you read the pamphlet. Like you, I disagree with aspects of it; but still found it to be an important counterpoint to endless waves of anti-Semitism I see being disseminated. I imagine, although you didn't mention them, there were probably some things in that pamphlet that you learned or agreed with. Or maybe not.
Maybe you think concerns around anti-Semitism should be entirely dismissed, or ignored. That's your prerogative, but I think there are more than a few ideas that people who are genuinely interested in the topic could pull from Rosenblum's piece.
I learned that "anti-Semitism's job is to make the ruling classes invisible." For instance, there's the missing analysis of capitalism that often goes on, and then there's also the way a focus on Jews conceals the Christian hegemony we live in. http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/challenging-christian-hegemony-in-the-united-states
There's also that segment on "How Could Jews Be Oppressed?" that makes some good points. Rosenblum also discusses some important history, like how McCarthy targeted the Jewish left, and how anti-Semitism often manifests when social movements are growing.
In addition to learning from the pamphlet, there were parts of the pamphlet that simply reflected some reactionary politics I've seen going on first-hand. For instance, I've seen a usually progressive person absorb a lot of unchallenged anti-Semitic political theorizing, and the next thing I knew this person was posting support for an advocate for the Oath Keepers militia, who openly embraces David Duke, and gives lectures where he talks about "the fuc*ing Jews."
It was a transformation that I wouldn't have believed possible if I didn't watch it transpire. So, this passage from the pamphlet resonated with me: "Inside our movements, overlooking attacks on Jews will lure us into alliances with Far Right movements and visions. We will lose effectiveness at challenging the global systems we’re up against, as our perceptions of new social developments are clouded by misjudgments of who are our allies and enemies. New activists, and people on the edges of our movements, will be allowed to hold onto wrong analyses of who has power in this world and where problems stem from. "
To your first question regarding how some can see Mel Gibson's film "The Passion"
as being anti-Semitic - I found a few articles that argue that.
"Gibson’s film is disgustingly brutal, perhaps unlike any other widely distributed film before it. For two hours, virtually non-stop, a man is beaten, punched, spit upon, whipped, scourged, tortured and finally nailed to a cross. All the bloody, horrifying details are lovingly filmed. The Passion of the Christ is also profoundly anti-Semitic in its imagery and narrative thrust. The entire frenzied, violent work is oddly unaffecting."
To the second topic you bring up, I hadn't heard of Jewish resistance fighters facing oppression from others, and I don't know what her source is. You may want to try dropping Ms. Rosenblum a line about that.
The organization that posted this pamphlet, Political Research Associates, does some really important work. For instance, from several years ago, there's this article that raises legitimate concerns regarding the narratives that David Icke is disseminating on a large scale.
"On the face of it, few people would credit a retired soccer player who rants about a world takeover by blood-drinking lizards from outer space as being much of a threat to democracy. And as a general rule, they would probably be right.
David Icke, however, is an exception to that rule. "
Regarding your last comment about, "either a right of return or some other form of settlement that they agree to" - here's a related part of the JVP mission statement:
"The plight of Palestinian refugees needs to be resolved equitably and in a manner that promotes peace and is consistent with international law. Within the framework of an equitable
agreement, the refugees should have a role in determining their future, whether pursuing return, resettlement, or financial compensation. Israel should recognize its share of responsibility for the ongoing refugee crisis and for its resolution. "
It's from a few years ago, but being from Ireland, you might find this piece on British imperialism interesting.
"It is no surprise that the Israelis should be using the tactic of “divide and conquer,” the cornerstone policy of an empire that dominated virtually every continent on the globe save South America. The Jewish population of British-controlled Palestine was, after all, victim to exactly the same kind of ethnic manipulation that the Sharon government is presently attempting in Northern Iraq.
Following the absorption of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the British set about shoring up their rule by the tried and true strategy of pitting ethnic group against ethnic group, tribe against tribe, and religion against religion. When British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour issued his famous 1917 Declaration guaranteeing a “homeland” for the Jewish people in Palestine, he was less concerned with righting a two thousand year old wrong than creating divisions that would serve growing British interests in the Middle East.
Sir Ronald Storrs, the first Governor of Jerusalem, certainly had no illusions about what a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine meant for the British Empire: “It will form for England,” he said, “a little loyal Jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism.”
Storrs’ analogy was no accident. Ireland was where the English invented the tactic of divide and conquer, and where the devastating effectiveness of using foreign settlers to drive a wedge between the colonial rulers and the colonized made it a template for worldwide imperial rule."
This issue is being clarified, mtorres; but in different ways for different people.
As I look further into it, I'm realizing that if JVP and the US Campaign wanted to,
they could write a letter critical of Weir and her allies such as Atzmon and Blankfort (who routinely attempt to hurt activists and organizations) that would get 10,000 signatures.
Such a letter could also clarify where their political analysis differs, such as on the issue of the Israel lobby. Weir applauds Blankfort as he exploits those differences to smear Chomsky, Phyllis Bennis, Amy Goodman, Stephen Zunes and others as "gatekeepers," (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB2lDJJr3lE). But I think many people in the movement recognize that label as a slander, and see the importance of placing the Israel lobby's relative power in the context of the American empire.
"The Walt & Mearsheimer (and Weir's and Blankfort's) thesis is profoundly flawed. The notion of a client state seizing control of the military and foreign policy apparatus of an empire has no remote analogue in human history." - Bill Weinberg