January 31, 2007

David Hirsh confirms Israel's child-killing and then denies it

Something like that. Look:
“Israel does kill children. That is not made up,” Hirsh said. “But to label Israel a child-killing state … is myth created out of truth.”
The whole Jewish Telegraphic Agency article, like most allegations of antisemitism, is quite ludicrous but don't just take my word. There's some choice stuff from Anthony Julius too. The conference at which both spoke took place in San Francisco. Who pays for these ridiculous conferences?

Parliamentary committee dons veil to criticise Israel and the UK government

What's that about a veil? Well look. According to Ian Black in the Guardian:
Rapidly deteriorating conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip risk blocking the creation of a viable Palestinian state, MPs warn today in a thinly veiled attack on British policy in the Middle East.

The report by the all-party International Development committee criticises the UK-backed financial boycott of the Palestinian Authority and says that this is drawing Palestinians closer to Iran. "The committee doubts whether this is a development the international community would have intended," it adds.
Why the veil? Why did they have to veil (thinly or otherwise) the idea that adding to the misery of the Palestinians by participation in a starvation policy against Palestine is somehow not nice?

There's also a Comment is free piece by War on Want's John Hilary calling for sanctions against Israel.
You know that things are serious when a parliamentary select committee puts out a call for sanctions against another sovereign state. Doubly so when that state is supposed to be one of Britain's key allies in the Middle East. Yet today the House of Commons international development committee is calling on the Labour government to press for sanctions against Israel over its treatment of the Palestinian people. Things must be pretty bad.
That's bad?

Keep on tracking!

These tracker things are getting very clever nowadays. I've got sitemeter which is open to the public and statcounter which isn't. But there's also a site I was shown recently called DNS Stuff which gives lots of information about any given IP address, even whether they are genuine or not.

Well I got roughly the same comment today on two posts about Gilad Atzmon from someone claiming to be Abraham Weinberger. Who knows? they may even be Abraham Weinberger. The IP address is Click on the address and have a look at the info. See what it gives? Company name, address, telephone number and even a contact name. Obviously if it's a company the name might be the ICT manager or some such. There's not much on google about the company but it seems to be connected with publicity and marketing. The last time I had someone with a strongly Jewish name doing something like this it was from another marketing type or PR company. Funny that. The name was "Jacob Rosenkrantz" and the comment was also about Atzmon. The IP was

It does show that whenever you surf you are trackable. Bad news for some, I'd say. Honesty is the best policy.

January 30, 2007

But why sue Sue?

Lots of people say that Gilad Atzmon is some kind of nazi or antisemite. Some will be appalled by his anti-Arab stereotyping on the Peace Palestine site under the name "Jihad Abu az Zamman." The man makes enemies.

He didn't draft the "Palestinians are the priority" petition though its lack of coherence and self-contradiction certainly bears his bootprints.

He gets flak from zionist sites like Harry's Place and Engage. They even condemned him at the Jewish Chronicle until they noticed he really was antisemitic so they mostly left him alone. I've denounced him here. Tony Greenstein has denounced him from many platforms. Two things stand out here.

First up, Gilad is a Jew hater. All of his articles denounce Jews in general with certain exceptions. There is no consistency to his argument and he has doctored people's writings to make a case against them. Most recently he did this on Counterpunch with Michael Rosen as the target.

Secondly, he claims to believe that "Palestinians are the priority."

So why is he having a lawyer threaten a non-Jewish high profile Palestine solidarity activist? It doesn't tally with his Jew-baiting or his professed position on the Palestinian cause.

Many people believe that the online antisemitic activity dressed up as anti-zionism is being manipulated by Israel. We tend not to say it openly but this is what we believe. It really isn't the point. We don't oppose wrongness because it's Israel but because it's wrong. In this case we feel that antisemitism helps zionism. No one though takes the view that Atzmon is in the pay of the Israelis. He's too stupid and unreliable. Discrediting Sue would certainly be a service to Israel but Israel isn't calling the shots on this one.

What else do we know about Atzmon that might make him attack this woman? There are rumours that he bullies women, that he is a misogynist. When I caught him using a woman's name in my comments section to praise his own work and deny its antisemitic content, he suggested that it was an insult to be called a woman. And check that "Jihad" post above. That might explain his professed support for Neturei Karta but surely he wouldn't go to the expense of threatening Sue simply because she is woman.

What about the fact that she's not Jewish? Is this significant? Could it be that for a Jew to call a Jew baiter a nazi is fair comment but not for a non-Jew to say it? There might be something in that. Also, if he launched yet another attack on yet another Jew the courts might just think that he's using them to give vent to his antisemitism. Attacking Sue couldn't be called an antisemitic attack. Maybe it's that.

How about the timing? Why now? Did he think he was on a roll because the SWP has recently issued yet another cover up for him? Though Lyndsey German's letter to the Socialist Worker was a little less than praising his position. She merely said that swatting him now wasn't a priority. (If not now, when?) Counterpunch will publish anything he writes even when a glance at a source shows what he has written is a complete pack of lies. Does he think the courts work like Counterpunch? He can't do. I'm trying to get my bearings by reference to my own blog. I didn't post anything last week on Atzmon. I posted a nice post about a woman he has worked with. It was headed What you can't take away from Reem Kelani. He wouldn't lose it over that. It was nice and he's worked with her, she's Palestinian and, after all, Palestinians are the priority.

Nope, it's all a bit of a mystery why this neo-nazi sympathiser and antisemite is threatening Sue Blackwell. I should have more of this soon enough.

So remember folks, Palestinians are the priority but be profoundly suspicious if you are asked to sign a petition to that effect.

Gatekeeper Gilad's gagging gamble update

We have a winner! Someone in the comments has guessed that the woman who Gilad Atzmon is threatening to sue has the initials S.B.

I already gave the clue that she is not Palestinian but she is a doyen of the Palestine solidarity movement.

So who is Gilad trying to gag and why?

Well she is none other than Sue Blackwell. Seasoned Palestine solidarity capaigners will know that Sue has been a tireless campaigner for the Palestinian cause for many years. She really does take the view, as all principled anti-zionists do, that Palestinians are the priority. She doesn't just use that slogan as a way of installing neo-nazis and other antisemites in the heart of the anti-zionist movement as, for example, Gilad Atzmon and some of his friends have done. For this reason her work against antisemitism and neo-nazism may have gone unnoticed. Gilad Atzmon has got a firm of solicitors to threaten her with an aktion unless she removes his name from a web page headed "Nazi alert."

This is very strange given the fact that Atzmon has given such vocal, some would say shrill, support to neo-nazis like Israel Shamir and Paul Eisen. It was his support (I think he called it "love") for Israel Shamir that had him attacking various anti-zionist Jews as "under-cover" zionists and it was his belief that Paul Eisen was acting in the finest "Talmudic" traditions when he claimed to only have "slight" differences with an article titled "Holocaust Wars" that expressed fulsome praise for Ernst Zundel's work in claiming that the holocaust is largely a myth. Now some people may support Atzmon in that but that doesn't mean that it's not fair comment to include him in a "nazi alert."

In fairness I should point out that, for all his writing, Gilad isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. It could be that he isn't objecting to Sue including him on a page headed "nazi." It might be the word "alert" he thinks is defamatory. Given his support for Shamir and Eisen, his attacks on their detractors, his antisemitism and his grotesque false propaganda against Jews, he might actually think that nazi is a compliment. It certainly gives him the recognition he deserves.

This isn't the first time that Gilad Atzmon has threatened legal aktion. He's threatened Tony Greenstein but then backed down. He got a friend of his, a Sarah Gillespie, to make the most ludicrous threat against me in the comments box here and I heard no more about when I called him on it. So I expect this threat to be equally hollow. In other words I assume that Gilad "Palestinians are the priority" Atzmon is lying yet again.

Palestinians are the priority
so get behind them Gilad and stop being a buffoon!

Gatekeeper Gilad's gagging gamble!

It must be all the talk of supercasinos but it's true! The great Truth Seeker, Gilad Atzmon, has got a lawyer to write to threaten somebody into removing his (that's Atzmon's) name from a web page on the net.

I'm in real hurry to go out now so I can't actually say too much about it right now.

But guess who it is. Here's a clue. You know how, for Gilad, whilst he claims that "Palestinians are the priority," he only seems to write articles defaming anti-zionist Jews and making nasty anti-Jewish stereotypical remarks at the Peace Palestine site. That's when he uses his own name. Don't worry though he also uses Arab sounding names to stereotype Palestinians. That's balance for you!

Now where was I? Oh yes. Try and guess who this lying antisemite is trying to silence. I'll give you a clue. You know how some Jewish boys who only want to marry a Jewish girl try pre-marital sex with a non-Jewish girl? Well Gilad is trying his lawyer's threat on a non-Jewish woman. She's not Palestinian but she is certainly a doyen of the cause.

So go on, while I'm out, see if you can guess. I'll try to have the answer up by midnight UK time .... if that lying racist buffoon doesn't gag me in the meantime.

Bye for now

Updates here and here.

This post too is updated and I have inserted some links that weren't in place when I first posted the article.

And the answer is Sue Blackwell, the Palestine solidarity campaigner who organised the first UK academic intifada against Israeli universities.

January 29, 2007

US doesn't attack child killers of Israel

Strange headline. Not exactly news. Israel kills lots of children and the US says little or nothing. But that wasn't the headline. Not in the Independent anyway. The headline is US attacks Israel's cluster bomb use. It's not a very long article. Here it is in full:
The controversy about Israel's use of cluster bombs during its conflict with Hizbollah in July last year will reopen today when the US State Department publishes its draft report, which concludes that the American-made weapons were misused in civilian areas.

Israel received widespread condemnation last year after it was accused of littering Lebanon with thousands of unexploded bombs in the final hours of its war.

At the time Chris Clarke, the United Nations official in charge of bomb disposal in southern Lebanon, said his staff had identified 390 strikes by Israel's cluster munitions. "This is ... the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen," he said.

The State Department will reportedly say that Israel breached agreements with the US over its use of the weapons, which can kill or injure a disproportionate number of children when they fail to explode and then are picked up or trod on.

A congressional investigation found Israel improperly used US-made cluster bombs during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon. President Ronald Reagan's administration imposed a six-year ban on sales of the weapons to Israel. However, the country also makes its own cluster munitions.
Now go back and read the report again and find the bit where "US attacks Israel's cluster bomb use." Maybe you had more luck than me but I couldn't find it anywhere. So I googled "state department" israel "cluster bombs". Top of the list is the International Herald Tribune.
Israel likely misused American-made cluster bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon during the war against Hezbollah last summer, the State Department said Monday.

Spokesman Sean McCormack said a preliminary report has been sent to the Congress on a U.S. investigation of the issue.

It is up the Congress as to whether the issue will be investigated further.
It's up to Congress. No further investigation in the offing then. But read the whole article. It's appalling.

Let my people go!

I just got this Canadian Globe and Mail story from a friend in Ireland. Apparently increasing numbers of Jews are seeking refuge, not in but from, Israel.
Canada is granting residency to growing numbers of Israeli asylum seekers, including ethnic Russians, ultra-orthodox Jews and political dissidents who say they are victims of political or religious persecution in Israel.

This is upsetting Israeli authorities and members of the Jewish community in Canada. They say the refugee claimants are smearing the image of the Middle Eastern state as one that offers a haven to persecuted Jews the world over.
Now Israel hasn't been averse to endangering Jewish communities so that Jews will come to Israel to help with the "demographic threat" but how does causing Jews to "have a well-founded fear of persecution" in Israel help? And why is the presence of more Jews in Canada "upsetting .... members of the Jewish community in Canada?"

And how's this for Jewish solidarity?
Shimon Fogel, of the Canada-Israel Committee, said these refugee claimants sometimes draw contempt from established Jewish community members in Canada. Mr. Fogel qualified the claimants as opportunistic migrants seeking a shortcut into Canada's immigration system.
Pull up the ladder Shimon, your Jewish brothers and sisters are coming!

Putting the kibush on the occupation

There's a site called Kibush that has lots of useful resources on zionism and the occupation. It was started up some time ago and I'm fairly sure I did a post on it back then. I keep hearing about it lately so I'm just doing a quick post to draw attention to it now.

January 28, 2007

How far will Brown follow Gandhi?

British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, has been in India lately, mostly to watch Big Brother but also to lay down some Prime Ministerial credentials on the world stage. You see when the UK had this fangled democracy thingy we used to elect a parliament from parties with leaders. The leader of the party with the most parliamentary seats would then become Prime Minister. We're not going to do that any more. Tony Blair, the incumbent Prime Minister, is handing the job over to Gordon Brown, who is Scottish. Gordon Brown is then going to hand it to an English chap called David Cameron and David Cameron is going to hand it back to another Scottish chap. We call it the Act of Union.

Now, the point of the post. Brown's just mad about Mahatma Gandhi it seems. It's true look:
"I could never compare myself to Gandhi or those other heroes of mine but I do take inspiration from the way that they dealt with the challenges they faced when I think about how I will deal with the challenges the country and the world faces, including the security challenge," he said. "That means especially having the strength of belief and willpower to do what is difficult and right for the long-term, even when there are easier short-term options on offer."
Mahatma Gandhi must be thrilled at what is clearly an offer to abolish the State of Israel and with it antisemitism:
Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians born in France are French.
Now this was said in 1938 on the eve of World War II. Hitler wasn't actually available for comment on Brown's Gandhian worldview but he was none too impressed with the Mahatma, I can tell you:
I as a man of Germanic blood, would, in spite of everything, rather see India under English rule than under any other. Just as lamentable are the hopes in any mythical uprising in Egypt ... As a volkish man, who appraises the value of men on a racial basis, I am prevented by mere knowledge of the racial inferiority of these so-called “oppressed nations” from linking the destiny of my own people with theirs.
So there we have it, with Hitler out of the way and a Gandhi inspired, PM in the UK, it could be peace for our time! Hurrah and Huzzar!

Johng's contribution:
"What do you think of British Civilization?"

"we welcome the challenge which we in new Congress are enthusiastic about meeting, and want to move away from tired kneejerk forms of anti-imperialism. Its very important that Britain, as the premier world power, does not retreat from the world scene".

It doesn't quite have the same ring as "I think it would be a good idea". Also one wonders how Brown squares his praise for Gandhi with demands that we teach people to be proud of the British Empire, as opposed to being proud of our collective humanity that those days are long gone. Or perhaps ought to be.

January 26, 2007

Lenni Brenner goes to the kirk

And the night after courtesy of Scottish Palestine Solidarity:
Lenni Brenner is talking on Zionism and Anti-Semitism:


Saturday 27 January, 2pm St Stephens Church Bath Street (nr Kings Theatre)


Sunday 28 January, 2pm Augustine Church George IV Bridge
What is going on? If you're in Glasgow or Edinburgh over the weekend, you'd better go see.

Zionist antisemitism

I'm posting this because it came up in the comments in discussion about how it is that Gilad Atzmon's antisemitism is so similar to that of overt zionists. Many thanks to Hulkaard in the comments for finding it here:


By Les Levidow, publ. in RETURN (London), Dec. 1990

Zionism has always purported to be the prime or ultimate protector of Jews from anti-Semitism. The proposed solution has been mass emigration to what the Zionist's term Eretz Israel, ('the Land of Israel'), a term which means possession of the region for the Jews; this territorial notion corresponds to Biblical myths rather than to any clear geographical boundaries. The emigration itself has been termed aliyah ('ascent'). The term originally described Jews' pilgrimage to Palestine as a duty of Orthodox Judaism. Zionism appropriated the term for secular-settler purposes: through Aliyah, Diaspora Jews, regarded as mere 'human dust' elevate themselves to the status of human beings. As Israeli citizens, the Jews claim their rightful place as 'nation among (European) nations'.

Many critics have shown how advocacy of this solution has undermined any struggle against anti-Semitism. Some critics have even shown how Zionist leaders have collaborated with anti-Semitic persecutors for the sake of that aliyah (as in Nazi Germany), or for the sake of Israel's arms sales (as during the Argentinean junta).

This essay takes the argument further, to the cultural field, by arguing that the Zionist mission involved suppressing or denying all Jewish identities other than the 'New Jew' who conquers Palestine.

In practice, this has meant that:

* Zionist culture 'assimilated' European anti-Semitism from the very start;

* the State of Israel eventually extended that discrimination to Oriental Jews, seen as a Jewish-Arab (or 'Levantine') threat, within a wider framework of Western colonial racism;

* the anti-Arab racism endemic to Zionism incorporates aspects of European anti-Semitism; and

* Zionist paranoia towards Palestinians expresses internal anxieties about the disintegration of Jewish identities which Zionism itself has helped to destroy.

'Assimilating' anti-Semitism

As largely or potentially assimilated Jews, the early Zionists of Western Europe came to doubt the possibility - or even desirability - of their full assimilation, as they encountered prejudice and barriers. They came to accept anti-Semitic racial concepts of the Jews as inherently incapable of integrating into the Western nations as full citizens. This fatalism was expressed by doctor Leo Pinsker, with a suitable medical metaphor, when he declared that 'Judeo-phobia is a disease; and, as a congenital disease, it is incurable' (in Hertzberg, 1966).

Early Zionists also accepted - implicitly or explicitly - prevalent stereotypes of backwards and/or subversive East European Jews, whose migration to Western Europe (or the USA) they regarded as a threat to their own hard-won social status. This perceived threat acted as a motive for affluent Jews in Western Europe to channel the migration of East European Jews elsewhere. Moreover, many Zionists perceived their own interests as coinciding with the domestic interests of Europe's imperial rulers. When Theodor Herzl lobbied the Tsar's Minister of Interior, who had been responsible for anti-Semitic pogroms, Herzl argued that Zionism would weaken the revolutionary movement in Russia.

At the same time, Zionists justified themselves in terms of uplifting the backward East European Jews. Moses Hess, describing the economic structure of East European Jewry as 'parasitic', described the future Jewish state as 'the basis on which European Jewry will be able to climb out of the dustbins' (quoted in Halevi, p.153). The alliance which Zionism sought with European imperialism arose from the cultural chasm which they perceived between Western and Eastern Jews.

Indeed, locating their solution in a Jewish state based on European models, Zionist leaders regarded the Eastern European Jews' culture as an obstacle. David Ben-Gurion referred disparagingly to their 'Diaspora mentality' and 'Jewish cosmopolitanism'. With the rise of fascism in the 1930s, the term 'cruel Zionism' described those who justified sacrificing the many - especially East European Jews - for the sake of the few who would establish a Jewish state. Chaim Weizmann (1937) promoted such a mentality with his poetic flair:

The old ones will pass; they will bear their fate, or they will not. They were dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world...

Thus, although Zionism arose in response to anti-Semitism, it did so by assimilating crucial elements of anti-Semitism, while appropriating the religious connotations of 'human dust' in racist terms.

Zionism defined a secular Jewishness negatively, in terms of the Jews' eternal persecution by anti-Semitism, seen as the world's main evil, and eventually epitomised by the Arabs. Just as this ideology saw anti-Semitism as a normal, expected reaction to the presence of Jews out of place in the Diaspora, so it saw the Jewish state as fulfilling the normal division of the world's territorial spaces according to ethnically defined national groups. [Emphasis - E.D.] Moreover, it incorporated anti-Semitic myths of the Jews as defined by race or language, and turned these into counter-myths defining the Jewish nation that needed to be built (see Halevi, chapters 5-6).

Within this framework, racist distinctions among Jews were extended into Palestine itself, where the Zionist movement sought to replace immigrants' Yiddish culture with a literally fabricated one. As Amos Oz [Israeli author] describes the state's acculturation mission:

Even new lullabies and new 'ancient legends' which were synthesised by eager writers...Folk song and dances that require the officially trained guides who.... are teaching the folk how to sing and dance properly! (translated in Bresheeth, p.130

Jewish Arab threat

Shortly after the state of Israel was created, the task of Zionising European immigrants became overshadowed by the 'problem' of the Oriental Jews. Nearly two million Israelis, who now constitute a majority of the country's population, were culturally Arabs in all but religion; indeed, they were Arab Jews in all but name. The Zionist project necessarily fractured that reality into two opposed identities - Arab versus Jew. It likewise identified Jew with Zionist, in turn meaning the assimilated Ashkenazi European type of Jew.

When the Israeli government realised in the early 1950s that few Jews would emigrate from Western countries, it resorted to inducing Oriental Jews to do so. It then used them to populate dangerous settlements along cease-fire lines to consolidate Israel's claims to the disputed territory, and it assigned them to the low-paid, menial jobs otherwise done by Palestinians. By engineering this physical and economic conflict between Oriental Jews and Palestinians, Israel manufactured the former's anti-Arab feeling, which Zionism officially attributed to the persecution that most Oriental Jews had supposedly suffered in Arab countries.

Although the mass emigration of Oriental Jews served several Zionist purposes, the Ashkenazi establishment saw it as a potential cultural threat. Israeli publications have abounded with racist language - animal metaphors, 'savages', 'superstitious', 'diseased', etc. - describing the Oriental Jews. Official Israeli language bans the Yiddish term 'Schwartze' commonly used in conversation to disparage Oriental Jews as 'blacks'. Yet the official euphemism for them, Jewish 'people of African and Asian origin', excludes South African Jews, who are instead categorised along with Jewish 'people of European and American origin' (Halevi, p.207). That anomaly reveals the racial, rather than geographical, basis for the Zionist categorisation of Jews. Halevi further notes the irony that Israel denounces its Jewish critics as 'self-hating' yet attempts to integrate the Arab Jews through a 'system of ideological control and cultural domination wholly built on the self-denial of Arab Judaism, and on a colonial-style mass psychology' (p.220).

The Ashkenazi perception of internal threat has been insightfully analysed by Ella Shohat (1988). She quotes Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, whose 1964 book described the Oriental Jews as lacking 'the most elementary knowledge', 'without a trace of Jewish or human education'. Similarly, Abba Eban warned that Israel must infuse them 'with an Occidental spirit, rather than allow them to drag us into an unnatural Orientalism'.

Shohat describes the Zionist project of turning the Oriental Jews into true Ashkenazi Israelis: By distinguishing the 'evil East' (the Moslem Arab) from the 'good' East (the Jewish Arab), Israel has taken it upon itself to 'cleanse' the Orientals of their Arab-ness and redeem them from the 'primal sin' of belonging to the Orient. (pp.7-8). Despite official proclamations about Jews as 'one people', the Orientals' different culture "threatens the European ideal-ego which phantasises Israel as a prolongation of Europe 'in' the Middle East but not 'of' it. (p.23).

The grand project of assimilation has succeeded in constructing a putatively eternal antagonism between Arab versus Jew, particularly erasing the memory of the original Palestinian Jews. Likewise it has generated a syndrome of self-hating Oriental Jews, who can win acceptance only by disavowing their previous cultural identity. For them, Shohat argues, "existence under Zionism has meant a profound and visceral schizophrenia, mingling stubborn self-pride with an imposed self-rejection, typical products of a situation of colonial ambivalence...In fact, Arab-hatred, when it occurs among Oriental Jews, is almost always a disguised form of self-hatred." (p.25)

Thus their resentment against Palestinians expresses an internalised Western racism. When some Orientals formed the Black Panthers in 1970-1 and declared their solidarity with the PLO, the Israeli government attacked the movement as an expression of 'neurosis' or 'maladjustment'. That is, precisely when Oriental Jews attempted to overcome the psychopathology induced by Zionist anti-Semitism, their attempt was labelled pathological and suppressed.

Eventually their resentment became decisive in Israeli politics. Having been treated as second-class citizens by the Histadrut (Israel's second largest employer doubling as a 'labour movement'), Oriental Jews directed their hatred against 'socialism' and the Labour Party in particular, to the point of largely voting for Likud alignment in the 1977 election. Although Oriental Jews apparently support harsher measures against the Palestinians, the repressive vanguard among the army and settlers has always had an Ashkenazi leadership. While colluding with the latter, the Labour Party (and others) conveniently blame the 'backward' Oriental Jews as a major obstacle to peace.

As Shohat argues, this blaming "has the advantage of placing the elite protesters in the narcissistic posture of perpetual seekers after peace", who must bear the hostility of the government, the right wing, the Oriental Jews and recalcitrant Palestinians. In that way, even the most enlightened Ashkenazi Zionism can absolve itself by blaming less civilised Semitic peoples for perpetuating irrational conflicts. At the same time, Zionism conceals the institutional racism which engendered that conflict.

Palestinians as persecutors

Zionism often portrays the Palestinians as agents of an international Arab conspiracy dedicated to destroying Israel. This mentality can be understood by analogy to other colonial episodes in which the colonisers experienced the colonised as persecutors. In the case of Zionism, Haim Bresheeth (1989) describes how the social identity of the 'New Jew' was created in the image of the European neo-colonialist model, except that Palestine's original inhabitants (if acknowledged to exist at all) were to be expelled rather than merely exploited.

Moreover, Zionist paranoia bears parallels to European anti-Semitism, in two senses. Palestinians are almost racially defined as anti-Jewish, as persecuted German Jews were labelled 'anti-German'. And their anticipated attacks on Jews help displace subconscious guilt about Israeli pogroms committed against Palestinians.

This displacement or projection of persecution can be seen in the portrayal of Arabs in Hebrew-language children's literature, as analysed by Fouzi al-Asmar (1986). In these stories Israelis face a mortal threat from Arabs who vent a racial hatred for the Jews, as a result of being incited by agitators sent by Arab governments. Of course such fictional Arab characters make no distinction between Jews and Israelis. Somehow the State of Israel always escapes imminent annihilation because the irrational Arabs lack effective organisation, and because Israeli supermen-soldiers (or even children) heroically protect the country from the threat. Despite such reassurance, the threat should be considered paranoid by virtue of projecting aggression and potential guilt upon the Arabs, as well as containing anxieties about the Israelis' national identity.

El-Asmar observes a change in demonological terminology according to the period being described. In these stories, pre-1948 Arabs are portrayed as mainly nomadic Bedouins with no particular attachment to Palestine; other Arabs, likewise primitive, diseased and dirty, are often thieves and murderers. The Arab-Israeli conflict arises only because Arabs refused to live in peace with Jews; given their refusal and subsequent (unexplained) 'flight', they lack grounds for claiming Palestine as a homeland.

After the 1948 war and the establishment of the state of Israel, Arabs are portrayed as fedayin 'infiltrators' - in a period when many of the million expelled Palestinians attempted to harvest their crops or reclaim other abandoned property. After the 1967 war, Arabs are portrayed as 'saboteurs' - in a period when Israel sabotaged Palestinian agriculture in the Occupied Territories through an array of legal restrictions. After the 1973 war, Palestinian characters became 'terrorists' operating world-wide.

In all cases, this children's literature portrays Arab attacks as seeking only to raid, steal and kill. Apparently they are motivated by jealousy against Jews who have brought 'human standards' and modern prosperity to the Land of Israel. A 'good Arab' character is portrayed as lamenting that "these Jews came to a desert and they made out of it a paradise, and here we come and convert that paradise into a desert" (p.70). This portrayal lends legitimation to any Israeli measures taken against Palestinians. Thus systematic Zionist expropriation and killing is concealed or justified by attributing the real barbarity to its victims.

While the Israeli characters ultimately triumph in these children's stories, the omnipotence fantasy becomes somewhat dented by the 1973 war. In one story a child is taking cover from a MIG bombing. He hears a terrible noise "as if I were a loyal grain ground between huge millstones, as if the land is trembling under me and I will soon fall into a deep and black pit" (p.119).

In that fantasy of being reduced to nothingness, the child expresses a widespread 'victim complex', whereby Israelis imagine themselves as facing a perpetual threat of annihilation, from which they are saved by superior moral character and/or military defence. The fantasy serves at least two crucial functions. It displaces subconscious guilt about the persecution of Palestinians; and it externalises the internal threat to Jewish identity by the Zionist project itself. The displacement involves a psychic continuum, in which anxiety over social identity is experienced as a threat to one's physical existence - "falling into a deep and black pit". The unavoidable anxiety arises in turn from Israel's failed attempt to replace a religious Jewish identity with a secular Jewish culture (as analysed by Akiva Orr in The unJewish State).

Having constructed the 'New Jew' as the born-again goy, Hebrew-speaking gentile, Zionist has further constructed the Palestinian Arab on the stereotypical model of the European Jew. Even a humanist, left-Zionist writer like Amos Oz (1983, pp.157, 164) found himself likening the office of Al-Fajr [a Palestinian East-Jerusalem newspaper - E.D.] to that of an Eastern European Yiddish newspaper. And in all seriousness he saw the paper as a sinister front for an anti-Zionist, Islamic, Soviet Communist conspiracy. Thus Arabs are despised not simply as the enemy 'other', but as a reminder of a hated and abandoned Jewish identity, 'the suffering Jew'. Moreover, European anti-Semitic conspiracy theories find their counterpart in Israeli fears of Palestinians: the persecuted are experienced as the persecutors.

Projecting Zionist anti-Semitism

A Jewish Israeli academic, educationalist Dr. Adit Cohen (Ha'aretz, 30.6.76) once warned about this racist portrayal of Arabs as "it was in this way that the image of the Jew was presented in anti-Semitic Christian literature" (quoted in El-Asmar, p.125). Certainly an historical parallel can been drawn between Zionist paranoia and its anti-Semitic antecedents. As capitalist market relations destroy autonomous cultural identities, "people begin not to know who they are" (Kovel, p.238). As a psychic defence against this threat, modern racism must go further than to project onto the victim; to protect the self from annihilation, this racism tends towards physically removing or destroying the victim.

Given that the Holocaust and then Israel served to destroy 'Diaspora' Jewish identities, in favour of the New Jew, the Palestinians came to represent a psychic threat to the very existence of Jews. "We were better off in the ghetto, where we knew who we were" laments a semi-fictional character of novelist Simon Louvish (1985, p.144). That wistful nostalgia, apparently innocuous, provides a way into understanding the persistent demonising of Palestinians as an external threat to Jewish existence, whose Jewish cultural basis has been suppressed by Zionist nationalism itself.

In conclusion, then, Zionism attempted to substitute a European nationalism for the traditional religious basis of Jewish identity, as well as for the diverse 'Diaspora' cultures which European racism denigrated. While claiming to protect Jews from anti-Semitism, Zionism actually undermined the basis for any coherent Jewish identity, while attributing the threat entirely to external enemies of the Jews. Thus, through a self-perpetuating illogic, Zionism presents itself as the only saviour from a malaise which it brought about and sustains.


* Bresheeth, H. (1989). Self and Other in Zionism. Palestine and Israel in recent Hebrew literature, in Khamsin, 14/15. Palestine: Profile of an Occupation, London, Zed Books, pp. 120-52

* El-Asmar, F. (1986). Through the Hebrew Looking-Glass: Arab Stereotypes in Children's Literature, London, Zed Books

* Halevi, I. (1987): A History of the Jews, London, Zed Books

* Hertzberg, A. (1966). The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader. New York, Atheneum; includes a reprint of Leo Pinsker, Auto-emancipation

* Kovel, J. (1983). Marx on the Jewish Question. Dialectical Anthropology 8: 31-46; reprinted in Joel Kovel, The Radical Spirit: Essays on Psychoanalysis and Society, London, Free Association Books, 1988, pp.226-50

* Louvish, S. (1985) The Therapy of Avram Blok. London, Heinemann.

* Orr, A. (1983). The unJewish State: The Politics of Jewish Identity in Israel. London, Ithaca Press

* Oz, A. (1983). The Dawn. In the Land of Israel. London, Fontana

* Shohat, E. (1988). Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the standpoint of its Jewish victims. Social Text 19/20: 1-36; available from P.O. Box 1474, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10011.

* Weizmann, C. (1937) Dr. Weizmann's Political Address - 20th Zionist Congress, New Judea, August, p.215

Israel's anti-apartheid style campaign

Unbelievable! According to the Guardian, Israel is launching a boycott campaign against Iran.
Pressure will be applied to major US pension funds to stop investment in about 70 companies that trade directly with Iran, and to international banks that trade with its oil sector, cutting off the country's access to hard currency. The aim is to isolate Tehran from the world markets in a campaign similar to that against South Africa at the height of apartheid.
But the world's turned upside down since then.

This reminds me of Engage's professed position on boycotts generally. I haven't posted anything about Engage lately. This is the site that smears campaigners against Israel and generally seeks to protect Israel from criticism by falsely raising the spectre of antisemitism. Anyway, they ran an article by a zionist called Eric Lee saying how he (that is they) would oppose any boycott of Palestinians. There has been a worldwide boycott of Palestinians and unlike the boycott proposed by anti-zionists and Palestine Solidarity activists, the boycott of Palestinians is causing starvation and disease. Engage has never rescinded its grotesque joke about starving the Palestinians. It's here. So maybe now Engage will speak out against a boycott of Iran. After all, unlike the murderous boycott of Palestine, any boycott of Iran will presumably have an adverse affect on its Jewish community.

What you can't take away from Reem Kelani

Here's an article about Reem Kelani from the Financial Times site from last week. I don't recall seeing it in the print edition.
“Cultural appropriation,” she insists, “is a lot more dangerous than dispossessing people or demolishing their homes. How can someone from Poland tell me that falafel and hummus are Jewish foods?”

She is resistant, however, to Palestinian radical chic. “People said: ‘Why don’t you have a cover with a child throwing stones?’ but I can’t stand that kind of emotional pornography. I didn’t even have a flag on the front cover. Those flowers there” – pointing to the yellow flowers that border the CD – “are rue. A purely Galilean plant. We eat black olives pressed in rue, that’s our native culture. No politician, no neocon, can take that away from me.”

“People said: ‘Why don’t you have a cover with a child throwing stones?’ but I can’t stand that kind of emotional pornography. I didn’t even have a flag on the front cover. Those flowers there” – pointing to the yellow flowers that border the CD – “are rue. A purely Galilean plant. We eat black olives pressed in rue, that’s our native culture. No politician, no neocon, can take that away from me.”

This suspicion extends to the current vogue for the arabesque. “What a lot of people think of as Arabic music is pastiche, orientalism. It’s white man’s music. There are no quarter tones, no melodic modes.”

She scorns the notion of a clash of civilisations based on religion. “I am a Palestinian first and a Muslim second. I refuse the Islamicisation of the Palestinian question. I believe in an ecumenical Palestine, with room for all three faiths, without either Zionists or radical Muslims. It probably won’t happen in my lifetime, but what a goal to work towards.” Even so, Kelani refuses to appear on stage with Israelis and has joined the call for a cultural boycott of Israel. She complains about her work not being played on the radio unless it is “neutralised by being played with Israeli artists”.
That stuff about hummus and falafel recalls one of my favourite blog posts.

January 24, 2007

It's those DAM Palestinians again

I've just been sent this video by the Palestinian hip hop band, DAM. I'm neither very hip nor hop nor both but this is the second time they have come to my attention. It's in Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles:

My first intro to their stuff was by Sue Blackwell on the Just Peace list. It gets a bit weird at this point because if you follow Sue's link you get this:

This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.

Pity that because I knew it must be good because Engage gave Sue a slap wristy over that one back in the summer. Ah, the summer. It's been snowing here overnight. Anyway here's Meen Erhabe, meaning, Who is the terrorist?


It too has English subtitles.

I was just looking for the Engage link and there seems to be a clue as to why the youtube version Sue Blackwell linked to was pulled. I can't quite make it out but if you're interested here's one of the Engage comments:
The video Sue Blackwell provided a link to is called "Meen erhabe" (who's the terrorist) by the Palestinian Israeli group DAM. The video is make by Palestinian-American filmaker Jackie Salloum, who has no control over who takes it and posts it in youtube. That seemed a cheap attempt to associate the video/Blackwell w/anti-Semites.
I think that's a clue.

Anyway, thanks to Yaman in the comments for this link to the DAM site.

January 23, 2007

Israel changes the habit of a lifetime and builds an Arab city

Now this is news, not that I'm first with it. A report in the Jerusalem Post says that Israel is building an Arab city. Yes, Israel. You know, that nasty racist state with the genocidal ideology and project known as zionism. The Israel that has destroyed Arab villages and towns is now building an Arab city:
The mock city is located in the southern Tze'elim military base. From a distance, it looks like any Arab urban center.

Around 500 structures were built for a maximum capacity of 5,000 residents. "Just like in every real city we built mosques, a Casba and even a refugee camp," said Lt.-Col Arik Moreh, the second in command of the Tactical Training City (TTC), part of the [Urban Warfare Training Centre] UTC, following a large urban warfare training exercise Monday morning.
Ah there, I spoiled it. It's only a mock city and it's being built to train the army how to destroy Arabs and their cities in future.

Zionists prohibiting life in Palestine

Just to show that when they're not publishing ludicrous lies by Gilad Atzmon, Counterpunch can still deliver the relevant goods on Palestine. Here's Amira Hass on zionist imposed dos and don'ts for Palestinians under Israel's occupation:
Standing prohibitions

* Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are forbidden to stay in the West Bank.

* Palestinians are forbidden to enter East Jerusalem.

* West Bank Palestinians are forbidden to enter the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing.

* Palestinians are forbidden to enter the Jordan Valley.

* Palestinians are forbidden to enter villages, lands, towns and neighborhoods along the "seam line" between the separation fence and the Green Line (some 10 percent of the West Bank).

* Palestinians who are not residents of the villages Beit Furik and Beit Dajan in the Nablus area, and Ramadin, south of Hebron, are forbidden entry.

* Palestinians are forbidden to enter the settlements' area (even if their lands are inside the settlements' built area).

* Palestinians are forbidden to enter Nablus in a vehicle.

* Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are forbidden to enter area A (Palestinian towns in the West Bank).

* Gaza Strip residents are forbidden to enter the West Bank via the Allenby crossing.

* Palestinians are forbidden to travel abroad via Ben-Gurion Airport.

* Children under age 16 are forbidden to leave Nablus without an original birth certificate and parental escort.

* Palestinians with permits to enter Israel are forbidden to enter through the crossings used by Israelis and tourists.

* Gaza residents are forbidden to establish residency in the West Bank.

* West Bank residents are forbidden to establish residency in the Jordan valley, seam line communities or the villages of Beit Furik and Beit Dajan.

* Palestinians are forbidden to transfer merchandise and cargo through internal West Bank checkpoints.

Periodic prohibitions

* Residents of certain parts of the West Bank are forbidden to travel to the rest of the West Bank.

* People of a certain age group - mainly men from the age of 16 to 30, 35 or 40 - are forbidden to leave the areas where they reside (usually Nablus and other cities in the northern West Bank).

* Private cars may not pass the Swahara-Abu Dis checkpoint (which separates the northern and southern West Bank). This was cancelled for the first time two weeks ago under the easing of restrictions.

Travel permits required

* A magnetic card (intended for entrance to Israel, but eases the passage through checkpoints within the West Bank).

* A work permit for Israel (the employer must come to the civil administration offices and apply for one).

* A permit for medical treatment in Israel and Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem (The applicant must produce an invitation from the hospital, his complete medical background and proof that the treatment he is seeking cannot be provided in the occupied territories).

* A travel permit to pass through Jordan valley checkpoints.

* A merchant's permit to transfer goods.

* A permit to farm along the seam line requires a form from the land registry office, a title deed, and proof of first-degree relations to the registered property owner.

* Entry permit for the seam line (for relatives, medical teams, construction workers, etc. Those with permits must enter and leave via the same crossing even if it is far away or closing early).

* Permits to pass from Gaza, through Israel to the West Bank.

* A birth certificate for children under 16.

* A long-standing resident identity card for those who live in seam-line enclaves.

Checkpoints and barriers

* There were 75 manned checkpoints in the West Bank as of January 9, 2007.

* There are on average 150 mobile checkpoints a week (as of September 2006).

* There are 446 obstacles placed between roads and villages, including concrete cubes, earth ramparts, 88 iron gates and 74 kilometers of fences along main roads.

* There are 83 iron gates along the separation fence, dividing lands from their owners. Only 25 of the gates open occasionally.
Woops sorry, I said "dos and don'ts," they are of course mostly don'ts.

January 22, 2007

"Chide" tested by Canadian Globe and Mail

What does chide mean? I thought it meant to tell someone off or something. Then I saw this headline in the Canadian Globe and Mail: MacKay chides Israel's Livni over barrier. I'm suspicious when western governments "chide" Israel when they have never done anything that they could do to hinder whatever it is they are "chiding" Israel over. So I had to read (and then re-read) the article. I then looked up the word "chide" on dictionary.com. Ok so here's the closest Mackay gets to chiding Livni.
"The barrier itself came about born of concerns of security, born of concerns of protecting Israeli citizens. I understand that. Where Canada has concerns . . . is over the route," Peter MacKay told journalists last night in an otherwise warm joint news conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. It took place in Jerusalem on the third day of his four-day trip through Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories.
But then:
Mr. MacKay also spoke of the friendship he'd forged with Ms. Livni last summer, defended Canada's support during Israel's recent war with Lebanon's Hezbollah militia and praised his host as a likely "central actor" in final negotiations for a Palestinian state.

He also nodded thoughtfully as she spoke of a two-state solution that would not give Palestinian refugees the right to return to homes they had left in modern-day Israel.

That fuelled questions as to whether he, too, agreed with that position -- leading to a quick retort from Ms. Livni, some fumbling from Mr. MacKay and an abrupt end to the news conference. Officials later clarified Canada's policy that Palestinians' right of return is still to be negotiated.
So now for the definition of chide:
1. to express disapproval of; scold; reproach: The principal chided the children for their thoughtless pranks.

2. to harass, nag, impel, or the like by chiding: She chided him into apologizing.

3. to scold or reproach; find fault.
Does the article really justify the headline?

January 21, 2007

Shot three times in the back....in self defence

There's a story in Ha'aretz about a Negev farmer who killed an Arab by shooting him three times in the back. The Israeli farmer is claiming self defence. The police are sceptical. But here's what makes this story relevant to an anti-zionist blog:
Be'er Sheva Magistrates Court on Sunday ordered that a Negev farmer suspected of murdering a rustler be released to house arrest with certain restrictions.
Now can anyone imagine an Arab under Israeli rule, accused of shooting and killing a Jew, being released to house arrest? Maybe we don't have to imagine. Maybe there is such a case. In which case perhaps someone could find details of it.

Fatah could get the Palestinians' money and still lose an early election

There have been many reports now on Israel handing $100 million to Mahmood Abbas to help him outmaneuvre the elected Hamas government. Here's Ha'aretz:
Israel transferred $100 million to the Palestinian Authority on Friday. The funds are part of the Palestinian tax revenues that have been frozen since the Hamas-led government came to power in the PA.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised the fund transfer to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last month, but it was delayed until a "Hamas bypass route" was devised.
Meanwhile Abbas has said that Hamas could still win an early election:
According to Abbas, if the latest round of unity government talks with Hamas fails, he will call early elections. Abbas acknowledged, however, that Hamas could emerge the victor once again.

"We say either there is a [unity] government or elections," he said after a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "Elections don't mean we want to throw Hamas into the sea. It has been elected and can be elected again."
Now most commentators have put the initial victory of Hamas down to Israeli oppression or Fatah corruption or some combination of the two. Israel's handing of $100 million to Abbas to help him outflank Hamas is an example of both: Fatah taking money from Israel and Fatah using that money to thwart Palestinians' democratic choice. I'd say Hamas could well win elections on that basis.

January 20, 2007

America's powerful but dumb Israel lobby

Here's Alexander Cockburn in Counterpunch on how the Israel lobby in America has tried to suppress Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.
Suppose the movers and shakers in the Israel lobby here -- Abe Foxman, Alan Dershowitz and the rest of the crew -- had simply decided to leave Jimmy Carter’s Palestine Peace Not Apartheid alone. How long before the book would have been gathering dust on the remainder shelves? Suppose even that Dershowitz had rounded up his unacknowledged co-authors in all their tens of thousands and sallied forth to buy up every copy of Carter’s book and toss each one into the Charles River, would not that have been a more successful suppressor than the blitzkrieg strategy they did adopt?

Of course it would. For weeks now the lobby has hurled its legions into battle against Carter. He has been stigmatized as an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier, a patron of former concentration camp killers, a Christian madman, a pawn of the Arabs who “flatly condones mass murder” of Israeli Jews. (This last was from Murdoch’s New York Post editorial, relayed to its mailing list by the Zionist Organization of America.)

Any day now I expect some janitors at the Carter Center to resign, declaring that they can no longer in all conscience mop bathrooms that might have been used by the former President, their letter of protest duly front-paged by the New York Times, just like the famous fourteen members of the Carter Center’s Board of Councilors. Actually there were, at the time of resignations, 224 people on this board, where membership is mostly a thank you for a financial donation to the center. So the headlines could be saying, “Nearly 95 per cent of Carter Center Board Members Back Former President.”

But the assault on Carter is all to no avail. With each gust of abuse, Carter’s book soars higher and higher on the bestseller lists, reaching number 4 on Amazon itself. This doesn’t prove the lobby has no power. It proves the lobby can be dumb. Adroit lobbying consists in preventing unpleasing material reaching the light of day. Lobbying thrives in furtive darkness: slipping language into a bill at the last moment, threatening to back a campaign opponent, making quiet phone calls to the Polish embassy. Pressure is now being exerted on Farrar, Straus and Giroux to abandon its impending publication of Mearsheimer and Walt’s attack on the lobby.

The Israel lobby retains its grip inside the Beltway, but it’s starting to lose its hold on the broader public debate. Why? You can’t brutalize the Palestinian people in the full light of day, decade after decade, without claims that Israel is a light among the nations getting more than a few serious dents. In the old days, Mearsheimer and Walt’s tract would have been deep-sixed by the University of Chicago and the Kennedy School long before it reached its final draft, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux wouldn’t have considered offering a six-figure advance for it. Simon & Schuster would have told President Carter that his manuscript had run into insurmountable objections from a distinguished board of internal reviewers. But once a book by a former president with weighty humanitarian credentials makes it into bookstores, it’s hard to shoot it down with volleys of wild abuse.
Without getting into the sheer political infantility of describing any American president's "weighty humanitarian credentials" I must say I am enjoying the discomfiture of the zionist movement over these US foreign policy establishment spats.

If you want a critical look at Jimmy Carter's belated crisis of conscience over Palestine go to Ernie Halfdram's place, the Bureau of Counterpropaganda. He even slags me! Imagine! Alright don't imagine, look!
Carter is getting more and more support. And not just from the JVP wankers. From people who you’d expect to know better, like the usually antiZionist Jews sans Frontieres.

Lapid likens zionists to nazis...again

Yosef "Tommy" Lapid has likened the behaviour of Jewish settlers to the nazis according to Ha'aretz:
The head of Israel's central Holocaust memorial on Saturday assailed Jewish settlers who harass Palestinians in a tinderbox West Bank city, saying the abuse recalled the anti-Semitism of pre-World War Two Europe.

Yad Vashem chairman Yosef Lapid's unusually fierce and public attack was prompted by Israeli television footage showing a Hebron settler woman hissing "whore" at her Palestinian neighbour and settler children lobbing rocks at Arab homes.

The spectacle stirred outrage in Israel, where many view the settlers as a movement opposed to coexistence with a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Lapid, a Holocaust survivor who lost his father to the Nazi genocide, said in a weekly commentary on Israel Radio that the acts of some Hebron settlers reminded him of persecution endured by Jews in his native Yugoslavia on the eve of World War Two.

"It was not crematoria or pogroms that made our life in the diaspora bitter before they began to kill us, but persecution, harassment, stone-throwing, damage to livelihood, intimidation, spitting and scorn," Lapid said.
This isn't the first time that Lapid has likened zionists to nazis. Here's a Guardian report from May 2004:
Israel's justice minister, Tommy Lapid, told a weekly cabinet meeting that the house demolitions were inhumane. The minister, the only Holocaust survivor in the government, said television images of an old woman picking through rubble for medicine had reminded him of his grandmother, who was killed by the Nazis.
Lapid's not my cup of tea but it is refreshing when a first hand witness to WWII or to the holocaust itself is so up front about his instinctive view of zionist conduct towards the Palestinians.

January 18, 2007

Last king of Scotland crowned by Israel

Well well! According to Richard Dowden in the Independent, the widespread belief that the Brits organised the coup that brought Idi Amin to power in Uganda in 1971 is wrong. Dowden's beef here is that this erroneous belief is now being promoted by the film, The Last King of Scotland. So whodunnit?
If the British did have a hand in the events of 25 January 1971, the plotters neglected to tell the British high commissioner in Kampala, Richard Slater. Foreign Office telegrams reveal a man shocked and confused at reports of shooting in the streets. As the day rolls on, Slater reports that the man who knows all about the coup is Colonel Bar-Lev, the Israeli defence attaché - the ambassador was away. Quoting Bar-Lev as the source, Slater reports: "In the course of last night, General Amin caused to be arrested all officers in the armed forces sympathetic to Obote ... Amin is now firmly in control of all elements of [the] army ... the Israeli defence attaché discounts any possibility of moves against Amin."

In the following days, the Israelis take the lead. Bar-Lev is in constant contact with Amin. Slater tells London that Bar-Lev has explained to him "in considerable detail [how] ... all potential foci of resistance, both up-country and in Kampala, had been eliminated." How does he know this? The Uganda military radio network had been provided by the Israelis. Soon afterwards, Amin made his first trip as president - to Israel.

At the time of the coup, Slater had recently declared that Amin had "just enough intelligence to realise he couldn't run the country". He also said that he was fed up with the president, Milton Obote, who had taken a strong stand against British arms sales to South Africa, and was threatening to nationalise British companies in Uganda.

The suspicion at the time was that the British prime minister, Edward Heath, wanted Obote out of the way at the Commonwealth Conference then taking place in Singapore, where arms sales to South Africa would be a hot topic. But elsewhere in Africa, Britain tolerated critics. In Tanzania, President Julius Nyerere had nationalised British companies and was even more anti-apartheid than Obote. But when he had been threatened by a coup, the British sent in the Marines to keep him to power. The British never tried to remove President Kenneth Kaunda in Zambia, despite his critical stance on South Africa.

But why should Israel be interested in Uganda? Slater never directly accused Israel of being behind the coup, but he did explain why they might have been. In the Six-Day War, Sudan had backed the Arab cause, and Israel wanted to take the fight to its enemies. They were supporting rebellion in southern Sudan, supplying the Anya-Nya fighters with weapons. As Slater said: "They do not want the rebels to win. They want to keep them fighting."

Obote had been trying to make peace in Sudan, but, unknown to him, Amin, then head of his army, had been secretly supplying the Israeli weapons to the rebels. Amin had good friends in Israel, and suddenly the Israelis had the opportunity to remove the man who was trying to broker peace, and put their man in power.
Of course Amin would later try to bite the hand that fed him and he ended his days in Saudi.

January 17, 2007

Israel loses a war then a general

According to the BBC, Israel's Lt Gen Dan Halutz has resigned his position following Israel's defeat at the hands of Hizbullah last year.
The military leadership has been criticised for poor planning, poor strategy and poor execution.

In particular, Gen Halutz is accused of relying too heavily on air power and waiting too long to send in ground troops.

When they were sent in, many complained of being poorly equipped.

Gen Halutz said he has decided to step down now because military inquiries into the conduct of the war had been completed.....

Israel attacked the Lebanon-based Hezbollah after the group captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid last July.

But Israel failed to free the soldiers or soundly defeat Hezbollah before a ceasefire ended the fighting in August, with Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah claiming a strategic victory over Israel.

The Israeli army lost 116 soldiers. Forty-three Israeli civilians were also killed by more than 4,000 Hezbollah rocket attacks.

About 1,000 Lebanese were killed in the conflict, mostly civilians in Israel's vast bombardment of the county and land invasion in the south.

The war caused extensive damage to Lebanon's infrastructure.

A former air force head, Gen Halutz became chief of the armed forces in June 2005.

Several other senior army commanders have resigned over the handling of the war.
So Israel lost a war and it's losing senior soldiers. Perhaps they'll start losing civilian leaders soon.

January 14, 2007

BBC's MidEast chief offends "Jewish leaders"

According to the Jewish Chronicle [subscription only], the BBC's Middle East editor has offended "Jewish leaders" by issuing a memo in which he blames Israel for the violence in occupied Palestine:
A leaked memorandum from BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen to the corporation’s top news-gatherers blames Israeli actions and financial sanctions against the Hamas-led Palestinian government for causing violence in the territories.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is dismissed as a “lame duck”, exuding “an air of incompetence”.

In the face of strong criticism from Jewish leaders, Mr Bowen has defended the document, insisting that it does not reflect BBC policy, but was produced to inform senior journalists about anticipated stories.

The memo, seen by the JC, was addressed to, among others, BBC deputy director-general Mark Byford and the corporation’s editorial board.

Mr Bowen wrote: “What is new... is the way that Palestinian society, which used to draw strength from resistance to the occupation, is now fragmenting. The reason is the death of hope, caused by a cocktail of Israel’s military activities, land expropriation and settlement building.” The problem was aggravated by financial sanctions which were destroying Palestinian institutions.

Mr Bowen said that such memos were part of his job, and did not accept that he had singled out Israel for criticism. “I think it is a dangerous time in the Middle East. Ehud Olmert is looking for ideas and meanwhile the Palestinians have internecine violence.”

Board of Deputies boss Jon Benjamin said the memo could be construed as “revealing a lack of evenhandedness”.
On the subject of "Jewish leaders," the JC leader is quite revealing:
Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s experienced and journalistically respected Middle East editor, will doubtless be vexed to discover himself at the centre of the story. Yet his “mini briefing on the Israeli [sic] and Palestinians”, emailed to senior corporation executives and editors last Friday, was bound to leak out and cause his own impartiality to be questioned. No matter how internally focused his purpose, no matter how considered and reasoned his foreign-policy analysis, Bowen ought not to be surprised that his personal opinions are being taken to reflect BBC policy. He dismisses Ehud Olmert as a “lame duck” exuding “an air of incompetence”; he sees a “death of hope, caused by a cocktail of Israel’s military activities, land expropriation and settlement building”; he notes Israel “destroying Palestinian institutions” and highlights the “non-stop pressures of the Israeli occupation” on Palestinians. If this is how the BBC truly thinks when the curtain of impartiality is thrown open, it is no wonder that it is terrified of releasing the Balen report into its coverage. To restore any credibility among Jewish viewers seeking balanced coverage of Israel, director-general Mark Thompson must release the Balen report without delay.
Hmm, the Balen report? Why is the JC so eager for a report on the BBC that was supposed to be impartial? And why is it so difficult for "Jewish leaders" to get a copy when they can get their hands on an internal BBC memo.

I said when Balen was appointed by the Beeb that he was a zionism tsar. It looks like the JC thinks so too.

Anyway, back to Bowen. Check out this article in today's Independent:
The pivotal moment in his career - "in my life", he corrects - was the Israeli tank attack on the Mercedes car in which he and two colleagues were travelling through southern Lebanon in 2000. At the moment of the attack, Bowen and his cameramen Malek Kanaan were a short distance away doing a piece to camera. Their fixer and driver Abed Takkoush had remained in the vehicle to make a phone call to his son.

With the car in flames, the tank's machine gun prevented Bowen from going to his friend's aid. "I felt like a coward," he writes. "I decided I could not save him and that I had to save myself. The ending was not happy. Life is not a film."
Now to be even-handed, it could have been the driver's fault for sitting in the car but it does look like yet another straight forward case of an Israeli war criminal killing an innocent man.

January 13, 2007

Compare and contrast the SWP with the SWP

Labournet has published an open letter by Lenni Brenner to the Socialist Worker newspaper in response to a letter from Barrie Levine and Henry Maitles criticising Scottish Palestine Solidarity for showing the play Perdition on Holocaust Memorial Day. According to the letter the play Perdition:
is fiercely critical of the role played by Zionists in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War Two and should be seen widely.

However, we would argue that to counterpose Perdition to other Memorial Day events is a mistake by the SPSC.

There are weaknesses to Holocaust Memorial Day, but the key point is to find ways to engage with those involved in the events, rather than cutting off debate and alienating potential allies.
Now here's Lenni Brenner's response:

After reading Barrie Levine and Henry Maitles letter to your publication, I must candidly condemn their attack on the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign for scheduling performances of Jim Allen’s Perdition during the Holocaust Memorial Day season. They don’t fault Perdition. But how dare SPSC perform a holocaust play on Holocaust Memorial Day! Their arguments gallop downward from there.

They admit that “there are weaknesses to Holocaust Memorial Day,” but don’t give us even one of them. What are they? Have they complained to the HMD organizers about them? If not, why not?

They concede that “the horrible irony of the Israeli state justifying its actions with reference to the Holocaust needs to be exposed.” But have they challenged HMD folks to do so?

They trot out the standard cliche rendered on such occasions: “There is a growing need to learn the lessons of the Holocaust itself.” But doesn’t Perdition teach one of those lessons? In the 1950s, its villain, Hungarian Labour Zionist Reszo Kasztner, had Israel prosecute another Hungarian for libel re calling him Eichmann’s collaborator. In return for his silence, the Nazi let Kasztner pick a few hundred Jews to escape to Switzerland. Yet the prosecutor brazenly insisted that

“Kasztner did nothing more and nothing less than was done by us in rescuing the Jews and bringing them to Palestine... You are allowed – in fact it is your duty – to risk losing the many in order to save the few... It has always been our Zionist tradition to select the few out of many in arranging the immigration to Palestine. Are we therefore to be called traitors?”

Levine and Maitles proclaim that the establishment “Holocaust Memorial Day... provides an opportunity for antiracist activists to unite with wider sections of society and learn the lessons of how to fight fascism,” i. e., “the British National Party.”

They fool themselves. You don’t need a biblical prophet to predict that the majority of young Jews they hope to recruit against the BNP won’t be at HMD events. They are highly educated. Consequently, in every country except Israel, they reject Judaism and marry gentiles. Most intermarried become atheists. As kids they had to endure “there is a growing need to learn the lessons of the Holocaust” at least 20 zillion times from rabbis they grew up to scorn as fools. They know that they would learn nothing they didn’t already know about it from holocaust commemorations supported by the Jewish establishment they reject.

On the other hand, some would come to famously controversial Perdition if they hear that its being performed in their town. Ken Loach directed it when Zionist pressure drove it out of the Royal Court Upstairs in 1987. Everyone knows that everything he directs is high quality.

That it is anti-Zionist would only make it more attractive. Again, they identify Zionism with stupid rabbis raging against mixed marriage, i. e., against the adults they grew up to be.

Levine and Maitles want to bring better elements involved in the officially anointed HMD into struggle against the BNP. But muting anti-Zionism to please anyone isn’t how to do it. Socialist Worker and the SPSC should unite with other lefts to call an antifascist conference for 4 October, the anniversary of the celebrated 1936 battle of Cable Street, when 100, 000 Jews and lefts drove out a Mosleyite march thru a Jewish neighborhood. Invite the HMD authorities, the Jewish Chronicle, Zionists, the British Islamic community, Labour, the TUC and other forces concerned about the BNP. “Dogs fight dogs but they unite against the wolf” should be the reigning proverb. All can go on barking at each other as they bite the BNP to death and bury it.

Let’s see who shows up. In 1936 the British Zionist Federation opposed resisting Mosley until after the Jewish masses ignored them. They had to reverse themselves, at least in words, and some rank and filers fought that day.

Now lets see what today’s Zionists have learned. Propose that this time we unite for a march thru a BNP stronghold. If their leaders march with us that’s more numbers intimidating the fascists. If they don’t, be sure that many of the minority of youths still with them will go over to us. In either case the BNP loses and the British public will see the anti-Zionist left as the most consistent opponents of racism and religious bigotry in Britain, the Middle East and the world.

Lenni Brenner
This is an example of where the SWP is far too precious about what they see as Jewish sensibilities. They have also been critical of Norman Finkelstein over his book The Holocaust Industry.

Now the compare and contrast bit. How different their stance on the antisemitic saxophonist, Gilad Atzmon. Two letters criticising Michael Rosen in the latest edition of Socialist Worker were headed Gilad Atzmon is not racist. That now is the party line and it seems that no one in the SWP will publicly disagree with it. Time was when a well visited SWP blog, Lenin's Tomb could draw attention to Atzmon quotes like this:
Let me assure you, in Clinton's administration the situation was even worse. Even though the Jews only make up 2.9 per cent of the country's population, an astounding 56 per cent of Clinton's appointees were Jews. A coincidence? I don't think so.

We have to ask ourselves what motivates American Jews to gain such political power. Is it a genuine care for American interests? Soon, following the growing number of American casualties in Iraq, American people will start to ask themselves this very question.

Since America currently enjoys the status of the world's only super power and since all the Jews listed above declare themselves as devoted Zionists, we must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously.
And comment that
It was a mistake to invite Atzmon to speak at Marxism, and it is a relief to hear that he was roundly denounced and derided for offering such views.
That was back in 2004 and nothing about Atzmon's views has altered since then, though he has doctored his website to try to make his detractors out to be liars. He hasn't quite mustered the gumption to call Lenin of the Tomb a liar but Lenin is a well known SWP activist and blogger and the SWP is now the main branch of Atzmon's marketing and publicity in the UK.

Vagina monologue in Palestine?

I first saw this on Ynet and searched the net to get a bloggable format. I found it on Sabbah's blog and got it from Youtube. Be sure to check out the comments on Youtube.

January 12, 2007

Apartheid Israel plagued by fig-leaf

From the Scotsman:
ISRAEL'S first Muslim cabinet minister received a baptism of fire yesterday as an extremist Jewish coalition partner termed him a "plague" and hard-line Arab nationalists denounced him as a "fig leaf" for apartheid.

Esterina Tartman, an MP from the Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home) party said that the appointment of Ghaleb Majadale to the post of science, culture and sport minister harms Israel's character as a Jewish state.

"We need to burn this plague out of our midst and god willing, the lord will help us with that," she told Israel Radio....

Amir Peretz, the defence minister and Labour party leader whose popularity has plummeted since Israel's failure to win last summer's war with Hezbollah, is believed to have made the appointment in order to secure the support of Mr Majadale and Arab Labour party members for his June bid for re-election as party chairman....

And a commentary on the Arab nationalist Arabs 48 website yesterday slammed Mr Majadale's appointment, terming it a "fig leaf with a hole in it".

"This is intended to beautify the picture of the apartheid state with a minister they can say is Arab, so they can claim it is a country of equality and democracy. How can Majadale accept sitting with the fascist Lieberman after a Zionist minister refused to do so?"
The significant part of this article isn't the reaction of Yisrael Beiteinu which was to expected, nor the response of the Arabs 48 website. It's the fact that Peretz made this appointment to get the backing of Arab members of Israel's Labour Party to maintain his position. It seems like only last year he needed Arabs dead to secure his position. Now he needs them alive.

Israel to refine or redefine its racism?

According to Ha'aretz, there's been a proposal by an Israeli Supreme Court candidate for Israel to refine its racist law of "return" to exclude mostly Ethiopians.
The proposal is apparently intended to revoke the right to immigrate from the Falashmura, who are the descendants of Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity, as well as some of the children and grandchildren of Jews from former Soviet states.

According to Gabison, limits on the immigration of Jews from "a different culture" must be considered. "Serious thought must be given to the immigration of large groups of people from a different culture," she wrote. "This is seen in a dramatic manner in the difficult absorption of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel."
I can't find a quote from this Gabison character about people from former Soviet states.

January 11, 2007

Hamas to recognise Israel?

Is this new? According to the Guardian, Damascus based Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, has said that Hamas accepts Israel's existence but won't recognise it just yet. Here's a piece of the article:
speaking in Damascus, Mr Meshal said: "As a Palestinian today I speak of a Palestinian and Arab demand for a state on 1967 borders. It is true that in reality there will be an entity or state called Israel on the rest of Palestinian land. This is a reality but I won't deal with it in terms of recognising or admitting it." Changing the Hamas charter was also a matter for the future, he said. "The distant future will have its own circumstances, and positions could be determined then," he said.

Past concessions by Palestinian negotiators went unrewarded, he argued, and Hamas would drive hard bargains over issues such as recognition. "For Israel to suck us into bargains in stages and in packages - this road constitutes an attempt to weaken the Palestinian position."

Mr Meshal's comments caused some surprise among Hamas officials in Gaza, although they were quick to point out there was little substantial divergence from other Hamas statements.

Ahmed Yusuf, an adviser to Mr Haniya, said that Hamas recognised Israel's de facto existence but was not going to recognise it officially. "Israel is there, it is part of the United Nations and we do not deny its existence. But we still have rights and land there which have been usurped and until these matters are dealt with we will withhold our recognition," he said.
So what's new here? I think what might be new is the fact that it's Meshal who is saying this. Apart from that, nothing.

January 10, 2007

No comment!

I'm having trouble with haloscan, the comment facility. I have moderating enabled which means that I have to "approve" comments before they appear below the post to which they relate but I can't access it right now for some reason.

There is now a facility at the bottom left hand corner of the comments box called Co-Comment whereby threads can be tracked and the comments appear there whether I approve them or not so if you want to leave a comment and track a conversation go ahead. Of course I still might delete it but you can still see it on Co-Comment.

January 07, 2007

May Teddy Kollek's obituaries rest in peace

I read obituaries for the late former Jerusalem mayor, Teddy Kollek, with increasing dismay until a zionist commentor drew my attention to the one by Gideon Levy in Ha'aretz. As is my habit I am skipping to the end:
Societal neglect, piles of garbage, no playgrounds or community centers, no sidewalk and no streetlights. Gaza in Jerusalem, all on the basis of abominable ethnic discrimination. This did not begin with Ehud Olmert nor with Uri Lupolianski. This began with the wily Kollek. A city whose rule in the Palestinian section is conducted through the strength of arms, with surprise checkpoints and hundreds of violent Border Policemen routinely patrolling the streets, and whose residents are subject to prohibitions that violate their fundamental liberties, is not a "unified" city. Teddy is responsible for this.

The history of the occupation, which has already lasted more than twice the amount of time than the years the state existed without it, is full of "men of peace" from the "left" who are responsible for this injustice. What would the settlement enterprise be without Yigal Allon and Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and Yisrael Galili and, of course, Shimon Peres? Kollek must now be added to them, belatedly. He brought the wide world to Jerusalem but only to its Jewish part. He loved his city very much, and built and developed it in an impressive way, but on the downtrodden back of half of its residents. Moshe Amirav wrote in his article on Thursday ("Division, where unification failed") that Kollek said to him in his waning years: "We failed to unify the city. Tell Ehud Barak that I support dividing it." Better late than never, but why did we not hear a word about this in the lofty eulogies?
That's the stuff. Now read Eric Silver in the Financial Times and weep.

January 06, 2007

Carter, Israel and apartheid

Here's an article by a George Bisharat on Jimmy Carter's taboo breaking book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. A little too fulsome in its praise for someone who surely could have spoken out sooner than he did and when he could have had more people listen:
The word apartheid typically evokes images of former South Africa, but it also refers to any institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another. Carter applies the term only to Israel's rule of the occupied Palestinian territories, where it has established more than 200 Jewish-only settlements and a network of roads and other services to support them. These settlements violate international law and the rights of Palestinian property owners. Carter maintains that "greed for land," not racism, fuels Israel's settlement drive. He is only partially right.
He's only partially right alright. Apartheid applies to the whole state and racism does fuel Israel's settlement drive throughout Palestine. But of course it's not just Carter's use of the A-word that breaks a taboo but also his use of the P-word, Palestine. I wonder if Carter ever used that word in all of his dealings with Begin and co at Camp David back in the day.

Finkelstein on Dershowitz on Carter

I'm posting this Counterpunch article largely because I haven't posted anything on Jimmy Carter's new book titled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid and also I enjoy Norman Finkelstein taking the occasional swipe at Professor Alan Dershowitz. In the article, titled Slime Throwing as "Debate" - The Dershowitz Treatment, Finkelstein exposes the sheer hypocrisy of Dershowitz in denouncing Jimmy Carter for refusing to "debate" him at Brandeis University.
As Beyond Chutzpah was going to press and after its publication Dershowitz embarked on an unremitting campaign of defamation, hurling wild and, frankly, obscene ad hominem calumnies. Disseminating these slanders under such juvenile titles as The Committee to Expose Norman Finkelstein's Close Connections to Neo-Nazism, Holocaust Denial, and His "Big Lie" of an "International Jewish Conspiracy," he asserted that this writer was a "notorious Jewish anti-Semite" and "Holocaust revisionist," had "praised" Osama Bin Laden, and had been let go from a teaching post due to "mental instability." He even threatened to show up during the tenure process at the university where this writer teaches at his--Dershowitz's -- "own expense" to "document the case against Finkelstein." Although he hasn't yet acted on this particular threat, Dershowitz is currently inundating the university's faculty and administration with lurid allegations to block this writer's tenure.

Dershowitz posted on Harvard Law School's official website the insinuation that this writer's late mother was a "kapo" who had been "cooperating with the Nazis during the Holocaust." Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan held that Dershowitz's gross defamation fell within the parameters of what was permissible to post on its website. For the record, this writer's late mother was a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, Maidanek concentration camp and two slave-labor camps, lost every member of her family during the war and after the war served as a key witness at a Nazi deportation hearing in the U.S. and at the trial of Maidanek concentration camp guards in Germany.
There's another article by Finkelstein on the Carter book here and a round up of the whole Finkelstein/Dershowitz saga here.

Tali Fahima, a good Jew in spite of three offences

From the Guardian:
They said they wanted to teach her to be a "good Jew" as she sat with her arms handcuffed to the legs of her chair for 16 hours a day.

But if Tali Fahima was not prepared to be a good Jew then Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service, was determined to put her in jail for as long as possible regardless of what she did.

Ms Fahima, 30, was released from jail on Wednesday after serving almost 30 months in jail for travelling to the West Bank, meeting an enemy agent and translating a simple army document.

"My first crime was that I refused to work with Shin Bet, the second was that I insisted on going to see the Palestinians and the third was that I protested against the Israeli policy of assassination," Ms Fahima told the Guardian in her first interview since her release.
Expect the Vanunu treatment for a good while now.

January 05, 2007

Deborah Maccoby responds to Atzmon on AMIN

Deborah Maccoby has responded to an attack on her by Gilad Atzmon on the AMIN - Arabic Media Internet Network - website. Atzmon's article is here and here's a taster:
It didn’t take long before Tribal Jewish activist Mark Elf, the man behind Jews Sans Frontieres joined forces with someone who critiques Goys habitually, Deborah Maccoby, in a total dismissal of the entire Christian religious narrative. Seemingly, some ethnic Jewish campaigners indeed lack Frontiers, they even lack a minimal tolerance towards other people’s beliefs.
Here's the final paragraph of Deborah Maccoby's response:
No doubt Atzmon will present this article as yet another vicious "defamation" of him by a "Jewish Gatekeeper". He will claim I and other practitioners of "Jewish Power" - ie the Jewish world conspiracy – are trying to silence him and his allies. But we're not trying to silence them; we simply want to reply to their attacks and defend ourselves. Our very efforts to defend ourselves become, in their twisted and deluded thinking, proof of our sinister "Jewish Power". I will end by asking readers of both articles to decide who is doing the defaming, and I appeal to Palestinians and their supporters to resist this attempt to divide and undermine the Palestinian solidarity movement from within.
I'm glad that AMIN had the decency and the sense to publish Deborah's reply. Atzmon may actually believe he is hurting Jews with his absurd antics but most Jews think he's a joke and what's worse is that zionists are laughing the loudest.

Michael Rosen on Cultures of Resistance

Michael Rosen has a letter in this week's Socialist Worker criticising the inclusion of lying racist, Gilad Atzmon in the Cultures of Resistance programme:
Great news about the Cultures of Resistance musical programme, but I have to say I’m mightily dismayed that you have saxophonist Gilad Atzmon on board.

He is someone who has frequently expressed racist ideas and surely we have always said that you can’t fight racism with racism? I fear that the racism he expresses is seen by some in the liberation movements as a racism that doesn’t matter as much.

That’s to say, it’s said by some that racism towards peoples from countries oppressed and exploited by the West is the main racism we’re fighting, but a racism directed towards peoples seen as heavily implicated in the West’s oppression matters less.

Thus, antisemitism in the 21st century is seen perhaps as “mistaken” within the liberation movement, much as we might say that going on about Rupert Murdoch being Australian is “mistaken”.

This is a disastrous route to go down. Antisemitism imagines the removal or elimination of a group of people from the world system.

All we have to ask ourselves is: 1) would eliminating that group change the system for the better? 2) what ghastly processes would a state create in order to do the removing and eliminating?

I think Cultures of Resistance is making a great mistake taking Atzmon on board with them and this will undermine and weaken what we are all trying to do.
I wonder if the SWP will be platforming responses from Atzmon and/or his antisemitic cohorts.