March 03, 2008

Engage on zionist collaboration with antisemitism

In the previous post, indeed in a few previous posts, I mentioned how the truth seems to be at best an irrelevance at Harry's Place and at worst an inconvenience. The latest instance that I noticed was their promoting of a talk by a serial liar called Michael Ezra. Well, Engage is promoting the same talk. Is the truth irrelevant at Engage too? Never mind. They certainly seem to have an issue with logic there. See this from a post by a Mira Vogel:
In the history of the Marxist anti-Zionism, there has been has been a continual attempt to associate Zionism with antisemitism. The argument is an old one. The perverted logic is along the following lines, if someone were to say that all Jews should go and live in Palestine, there are only two possibilities, that person is either an antisemite or a Zionist. This therefore leads to the conclusion that Zionism is the mirror image of antisemitism. This logic has as much weight as the old argument 1. All cats are mortal 2. Socrates is mortal 3. Socrates is a cat. Not only do some Marxists try and associate Zionism with antisemitism via this this method but it is extended to suggest that Zionists collaborate with antisemites. One of the main arguments for this is the allegation that Rudolf Kasztner, a Zionist leader in Hungary during the Holocaust, collaborated with the Nazis.
Now I could argue about whether or not the Kasztner case is one of the "main arguments" for saying that zionism and antisemitism are bedfellows. I could say that it was actually Herzl who said that antisemites have the strongest reasons to support his fledgling zionist movement. I could point to the collaboration between himself and Von Plehve. Or how about Jabotinsky and Simon Petliura? Or the transfer agreement. I also read something somewhere about Ben Gurion's dealings with antisemitic French generals during France's suppression of resistance in Algeria, but I can't find it right now so can't point to that. But then there's Israel supplying arms to and covering up for the antisemitism of the Galtieri regime in Argentina. I could bring that up.

But no, I want to focus on Ms Vogel's bizarre logic here. Let's have a smaller chunk of the chunk above:
The perverted logic is along the following lines, if someone were to say that all Jews should go and live in Palestine, there are only two possibilities, that person is either an antisemite or a Zionist. This therefore leads to the conclusion that Zionism is the mirror image of antisemitism. This logic has as much weight as the old argument 1. All cats are mortal 2. Socrates is mortal 3. Socrates is a cat.
This is downright stupid. If a gentile politician stands up in a parliament and says "I want all Jews to go to Palestine" that politician is antisemitic. If a Jewish politician stands up in the same parliament and says "I want all Jews to go to Palestine" that is zionist. There is a clear common interest between the two and as we have seen through many episodes there is plenty of scope for collaboration. And that's without getting into the grotesqueries of the "negation of the diaspora".

By all means isolate the theory of zionist collaboration with antisemitism in order to ridicule the idea. Then take just one example out of many and play up the elements that are in dispute. But that would mean ignoring many other examples of collaboration with antisemitism and as a self-styled resource against antisemitism, I can't imagine why Engage would want to do that.

0 comments:

Post a Comment