August 07, 2015

Scottish PSC reaffirms commitment to anti-racism while CounterPunch reaffirms commitment to antisemitism

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has sent an open letter to the US Campaign to End the Occupation supporting the latter's disassociation from certain white supremacist and antisemitic elements who seek to legitimise themselves by cosying up to the Palestine solidarity movement.

Here's a chunk, indeed the gist of SPSC's letter:
Across the whole range of Palestine solidarity groups and networks in the UK, none could write or appear even once in White supremacist newspapers or social media; it is unthinkable. Any association with any brand of extreme right, racist formations would disgust and repel all those who currently give us active and passive support. It would be madness. 

The back story to the controversy mostly in the US between Palestine solidarity activists who believe the movement must be anti-racist across the board and those who believe that the movement should be so broad as to accommodate racists has become a little complex now but it began with Jewish Voices for Peace writing privately to a fairly high profile antisemite, Alison Weir, stating their disapproval of her approach and her associations.  She went public on the spat and far-rightists seem to have taken the opportunity to try to steer the movement their way.  Here's the take of the US Campaign to End the Occupation.  I'll just provide the intro here:
The following statement, issued by the Steering Committee of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation 

1. summarizes our receipt of a complaint against Alison Weir and the organization If Americans Knew and our subsequent action following that complaint, 

2. provides further discussion of our position on the political issues that this case touches upon,  

3. and provides evidence and documentation that undergirds the decisions that have been made by the organization. 
Among many issues raised regarding Weir was a clearly antisemitic article she had published in CounterPunch where she reran the allegation that Israel hunts people down and kills them specifically to take their internal organs (the kernel of truth being that Israel, in common with several other states including the UK, has indeed taken organs from the dead) and she linked this to the allegation that Jews killed Christians in medieval times to use their blood for ritual purposes.

Support for the far-right came from an unexpected quarter when Louis Proyect, a high profile former leftist published an utterly bogus defence of Alison Weir and an attack on JVP on his blog which he still calls Unrepentant Marxist.  Subsequently he also posted some kind of petition to support Alison Weir that he hasn't actually signed himself as far as I could see last time I looked.

Well I was wondering when CounterPunch would host something in support of their antisemitic occasional (but by no means isolated) guest. I assumed they would come up with something denying the antisemitism but I was wrong.  They've posted something openly antisemitic.  Certainly the article by a Jack Dresser repeats all the lies and glossovers you can see on Louis Proyect's blog and which are ably exposed in US Campaign's statement but Dresser introduces a real howler:
Alison’s politically incorrect policy has been to disseminate salient facts to anyone, anywhere to achieve the broadest possible reach among American citizens, without political discrimination. The expelling organizations undoubtedly fear that the knowledge will feed anti-Semitism. Maybe it will, but the appropriate remedy would be a collective demand by the Jewish diaspora to end the Zionist project, make reparations to its victims, and establish a democratic state, not to withhold information from people who might use it to make Jewish Americans uncomfortable.[emphasis added]
Ok, let's leave aside the guy's ignorance of the fact that many zionists are antisemitic and vice versa but how do Jews issue a collective demand?  Really, unless you believe there is such a thing as a worldwide Jewish conspiracy to which all Jews are party, how can you believe that Jews are capable of issuing a collective demand?

Now I have to say, from what I have seen of CounterPunch over the years this kind of thing is by no means atypical.

I blogged about Elise Hendrick's post titled CounterPunch or Suckerpunch where using samples of posts from CounterPunch she demonstrated that the motivation of the editors appears to be the promotion of some kind of red-brown alliance given the ratio of far-right posts to leftist posts.  All the various supporters of CounterPunch have managed to do so far is quibble over her arithmetic.

The idea that CounterPunch is bona fide leftist publication is no longer tenable (if it ever was) unless essentialising bigotry aka racism is part of the leftist credo.