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Archive for the ‘Dissident Jewish Voices’ Category

The Blacklist Continues:

Emma Rosenthal & Andy Griggs are once again under attack by those who don’t support their work in Palestine solidarity.

As owners of DragonflyHill Urban Farm, they recently experienced a barrage of 1 star reviews from over 1700 people who had never been to DragonflyHill Urban Farm but were upset with a review left by DragonflyHill Urban Farm on an Amazon page.

People who had never been to their urban farm pretended they had, making outrageousImage of two hands holding each other. Text: If you're truly intersectional in your activism and advocacy you're going to make a lot of enemies. claims about filth and vermin, others claimed that the hosts discriminated against Jews and Iraelis. Others wrote hate speech and threats, while others simply posted in their 1 star review Am Yisroel Chai  in both Hebrew letters and in transliteration (Long Live Israel.).  (How the hosts could have had so many Israeli & Jewish guests and were simultaneously discriminating against them, is a mystery best solved in the conclusion that it just isn’t possible for this small business to have even had 1700 clients in the course of 2 days, especially considering that their Aibnb profile provides 275 reviews collected over a 2 year period. (Airbnb reviews can only be left by people who have stayed with the host through Airbnb. Facebook reviews have no similar burden of proof. Anyone can post a false review. )

The full account of those events can be seen here on the DragonflyHill Urban Farm blog, and here on the facebook page of Emma Rosenthal.

image of a DM from Michelle Mendelovitz, to Emma Rosenthal. text: JUN 25TH, 2:36PM Michelle Mendelovitz Kappo getting what you deserve!!!!!!! AM ISRAEL CHAI!!!!🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱 Cant wait until your out of business😂😂😂😂😂

Image of a direct message sent to Cafe Intifada’s Emma Rosenthal.

After about 2 days of this attack, people supportive of Palestinian human rights started to strike back and responded with messages and reviews of support. Some of the people supporting this tenuous and tiny business were people who have known the activists associated with this space, and others were people who simply were outraged that the establishment had been targeted in such an unscrupulous manner.

Enter White Supremacist Opportunists

Emma Rosenthal, one of the owners of both Cafe Intifada and DragonflyHill Urban Farm has long been targeted by both zionists and  white supremacists (with the popular racist argument “Your name is Rosenthal” as if that explains her point of view, simply because she has an Ashkenazi Jewish name).

After a handful of reviewers used the DragonflyHill facebook page to launch their own racist agenda, and DragonflyHill Urban Farm responded by stating that support for white supremacist anti-Jewish opportunism within Palestine solidarity was not welcome any more than supporters of Israeli brutality and zionist racist assertions that Palestinians do not exist, they then started to turn their attention against DragonflyHill Urban Farm, blasting them with comments to other supporters, that DragonflyHill Urban Farm is zionist. The definition of zionism IS NOT anyone who disagrees with white supremacist opportunists.

The delineation between white supremacist opportunists in Palestine Solidarity and true Palestine solidarity activism, in support of actual Palestinian liberation and human rights, is best summarized in Rosenthal’s essay:  Guilt by Disassociation: The Landscape of American Exceptionalism in the Guise of Palestine Solidarity

In response to these attacks by Christian identity white power advocates, DragonflyHill issued the following statement, with a link to Rosenthal’s powerful essay.

“We are now coming under attack by some of the people who used our platform to attack Jews and conflate zionism with Jews and Judaism. They initially gave us 5 stars and are now using our review platform to tell people we are zionists simply because we won’t go along with their white supremacist, U.S. settler colonialist platform.

We are not zionists, but we are clearly NOT white supremacists, a truly ugly appropriation of Palestinian solidarity. Jesse Higuera who initially gave us 5 stars is upset that we don’t embrace his racist attitude toward Jews. supporting Palestine has nothing to do with Jews and Judaism. Zionism is not Judaism. Most zionists are not Jews, they’ re christian fundamentalists and many many Jews are not zionists. It is racist to conflate the two.

We do not need or want the support of white supremacist opportunists who support Palestine, simply because they hate Jews more than they hate Arabs and Palestinians. We support universal human rights and we are against racism including antisemitism.

“There are two basic tendencies within what is broadly known as Palestine solidarity with implications in regard to U.S. global policy and social activism as well. One tendency, and the one that I identify with, comes from a tradition of anti-racist, anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist work, which often includes a critique of capitalism at its root. In no context does it see the U.S. as a neutral party, an agent of benevolence or the Great White Hope. It views Western support for Israel as an extension of and consistent with western imperialism, colonization and conquest. This tendency doesn’t deny the power of the zionist lobby (The Lobby), but sees that power not as an exception but rather as functioning well within the lobby system itself and the entire infrastructure of U.S. empire and capitalism. Many of the members of this tendency, myself included, have been attacked, surveilled and blacklisted by the The Lobby and the zionist establishment. The problem isn’t with The Lobby in particular, but rather with the political structures that allows for powerful corporate lobbies to exist at all and with how The Lobby exists to support those systems. This perspective asserts that The Lobby doesn’t just consist of Israel, its Jewish U.S. supporters or the self proclaimed “Jewish” organizations (the ADL, Stand with Us, AIPAC). It also includes the vast number of Christian zionists and the Christian fundamentalist churches, the oil industry, the construction industry, the security industry and by no short measure, the arms industry, all of which profit quite favorably from escalating Israeli militarism. (In the U.S., While there are less than 6 million Jews, zionist and anti-zionist, there are over 40 million Christian zionists.) Israeli brutality and militarism is consistent and in dialogue with, and developing alongside the growing militarization of police forces within U.S. cities, the prison industrial complex, and urban warfare as well as the militarization of the border with Mexico and U.S. empire.”

https://emmarosenthal.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/guilt-by-disassociation-the-landscape-of-amerikan-exceptionalism-in-the-guise-of-palestine-solidarity/  “

One Jesse Higuerra initially posted support for DragonflyHill Urban Farm, giving the small business a 5 star review, but including with his review his own racist agenda. When DragonflyHill responded with a statement distancing itself from that agenda and requesting the Higuerra remove his review, that his particpation was not appreciated, Higuerra started to spam other reviews with attacks on DragonflyHill.  While DragonflyHill can monitor comments and posts to its page, the review process on facebook allows all sorts of abuses to go unchecked, both in the initial review and in the comments, leaving DragonflyHill no recourse but to denounce the reviews that would pretend to support DragonflyHill with values totally in contradiction with their positions on social justice and anti-racism.

 

DragonflyHill made quite clear that Fry’s claim to have attended a shabbat service at their home was indeed false.  “Jimmy Fry has never been here”

Higuerra whose facebook profile can be found here:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014187885637&fref=ufi 
Continued to post similar attacks on many of the supportive reviews. Strangely though, part way through his sabotage he liked a 1 star review that stated “Israel Forever”. Though he did seem to qualify it with an assertion that Israel killed 6 million people in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

screenshot of a facebook review Text: ‎מלך השטיחים‎ reviewed DragonflyHill Urban Farm Community — 1 star 9 hrs · Israel is forever! DragonflyHill Urban Farm Community 2 Comments 1 Jesse Higuera LikeCommentShare Comments Jesse Higuera Jesse Higuera Well, f israel, but these people are really stupid, and deserve less than one star. Like · Reply · 7 hrs Jesse Higuera Jesse Higuera Image may contain: text

In Response:

In response to these attacks, DragonflyHill Urban Farm is asking people to support them in the following ways:

  1. Support their business and avail oneself of the many services they provide their community.
  2. Like their facebook page. It is their goal to raise the number of “likes” to 1700, one for each of the bad reviews. (Facebook has already begun to delete some of the reviews.)
  3. Donate to their nonprofit: The WE Empowerment Center which supports grassroots organizing and creative efforts in their community and beyond.For disclosure purposes, Cafe Intifada is a project of the We Empowerment Center, combining art with activism.

 

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May4LN-blog480Image of 4 young people, martyrs of the Kent State Massacre

By Emma Rosenthal
(bold text by Neil Young)

“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I heard the drumming
Four dead in Ohio.”

Tin soldiers are marching again
bayonets pointed at the multitude
Nicaragua
Vietnam
Grenada
Cambodia
Iraq
Afghanistan
El Salvador
Chile
Kent State
Jackson State

Tin soldiers point their weapons at the tender flesh of the outspoken
there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform
so the tin soldiers, eyes glazed and without vision
at the command of the generals take aim
point their state of mind
their point of view
the eyes of the state
the words of the state
the will of the state

and

four lives hit the floor
thirteen lives hit the floor
one hundred lives hit the ground
three thousand lives are swallowed by the dust
one hundred lives disappear behind prison walls
two million lives are swallowed by the state
six million lives are burned at the stake
are thrown into ovens
are tossed into ditches
are chained to the gates are lost for the ages
are hidden in attics and temples
are thrust behind the guns
are transformed into tin soldiers
are lulled into passivity
are hiding behind night clubs
this year’s fashions
the evening news that tells you nothing
the elections no one votes in
the television that doesn’t tell you your story
the latest horror movie about government conspiracy

But it’s just a story so don’t worry
it could never happen
someone would say something
and the government would never destroy a whole town
a whole village
just ask the indigenous of the Americas
Mai Lai
Love Canal
Three Mile Island
Santiago
Baghdad
South Central

CIA drug sales while whole generations are thrown into jail
in the war against drugs
unless the drug can fund the war against the rising multitudes
and incarcerate a whole village here at home.

 

“Four dead in Ohio”
“Four dead in Ohio”
“What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground
How could you run when you know?”

Could you watch her tiny form as it fell
could you call to the heavens and pray for her vision
to continue to dwell amongst us
could you watch her spirit as it lingered for a few seconds
as it rose to the clouds and left us forever
four dead
ten dead
hundreds dead
thousands dead
millions dead.

What does the loss of a hundred thousand souls sound like?
What does the loss of a hundred thousand souls feel like?
What wealth have we lost
as the tin soldiers march and mark their territory in the blood of the forgotten?
Where are the paintings?
the stories
the poems
the discoveries
the cures
the embraces
the children running in the streets
playing amongst burned out cars, bombed out buildings
and land mines
that mark the territory and say
don’t walk here
don’t tread on this free soil
it has been apprehended from you
it is no longer a field of grain and sustenance
it is a land of horror and devastation?

“What would you do if you found her dead on the ground?
How could you run when you know?”

And when they catch you in the cross hairs of their high powered rifles
or in the cross hairs of a phone tap and the clicks on the line get louder
or your mail starts arriving already opened for you
or a stack of evidence is piled up against you for a crime you did not commit
for a crime that may not even be a crime

Will you run?

Will you name names? Elia Kazan

Will you rot in jail or twist and turn at the hands of your torturers
at the executioner’s swing of the ax or turn of the knob

Dalton Trumbo
Julius and Ethyl
Sacco and Vanzetti
Ashata Shakur
Mummia Abu Jamal.

Where will you go?

Will you hide out in suburbia?
will you pack you brief case and kiss your vacant wife?
will you pack his vacant brief case with tuna fish sandwiches on white bread
and mayo and cut off the crusts for him
and be his vacant wife?
will you scream about having your own life
but never really get one?
will you cry behind the wheel of the Mercedes Benz
you used to croon about with Janis Joplin
and swear you’d never become what you are today?

Will you sit with your friends and insist that it’s all just too far away
to do any thing about?
and remember her broken body as her red blood
spilled onto the pavement
and left her pale and lifeless
and forget that you ran because it was
too close

It isn’t too far away
it’s right here
it isn’t gone
it hasn’t moved
the tin soldiers are poised and waiting to attack
their eyes are glazed over with the threads of disbelief
with the fog of discontent
with the need to belong
which is like food for the hungry

They are poised and ready
they are in your back yard or the park by your home
what would you do?
she is lying on the ground
will you hurl her into the bushes of your memory?

Will she rot behind the azaleas and the camellias?
will you bury her in peat
and water her daily
and let everyone tell you what at beautiful garden you have
while you forget that she is even there?

Will you fight?
speak your mind against the multitudes of the opiated?
will you raise your voice in protest to the destruction of the sacred
or will you run and hide and pretend you never knew?
pretend it was all about the next top album and sex and who had the best stash
or will you stand still and let them build a monument to the veterans
of the destruction on the graves of those who died
that day many years ago?

 “How could you run when you know?”

How could you stand still over her body
while the guards circled and dug her grave and planted new grass
and erected a monument to their own perpetuity

How could you?

How could you not say something
were the gun pointed at you?
or was the next technological innovation
the next breath you wanted to breath?

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?
have they taken you hostage behind the picket fence of your imagination?

 “How could you run when you know?”

How could you hide from the destruction all around you
and bury your life in the television of the visionless?

Tin soldiers point their weapons ant the tender flesh of the outspoken
there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform
so your eyes glaze and are without vision

The command of the generals takes aim
points their state of mind
at your state of mind

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?

Do you tell your self
it’s just a story so don’t worry?
it could never happen
someone would say something?

 

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Open Hillel is promoting the film “70 Years Across the Sea: American Jews and 21st Century Zionism”, about the divide in the Jewish community over models of zionism and the current State of Israel.
 
But the film thesis is very problematic, ignoring the deeper issues of power, class and imperialism, and centering the discussion on Jews and not Palestinians.
 
Gratefully the film (trailer) didn’t repeat the tired old argument that this is a generational divide, which further obscures the power basis of Israeli hegemony. The thesis of this film, though, at least according to the trailer, is very dangerous, repeats stereotypes of Jewish power, obscures the power of U.S. empire and its appropriation of Jewish suffering and the Jewish narrative.
 
It repeats the false assertion and stereotype of diaspora Jews as weak and passive, and Israelis as strong and active. The resistance to the Nazis, to the pogroms, to injustice in general is a disapora narrative that is obscured by the zionist narrative. We cannot fight for a free Palestine, and justice for Jews in the diaspora if we perpetuate these harmful stereotypes that locates Jewish strength in occupation , assimilation and as agents (or worse, as the controlling operatives ) of U.S. empire and locates Jewish weakness in ethnic identity and resistance/passivity in the diaspora.
 
The Israeli occupation isn’t a liability, it’s genocide, and it didn’t start in 67, it started in 48. Calling it a liability assumes that there is a just zionist solution, and centers the occupation of Palestine, around a zionist and imperialist narrative and seeks a compromise with a fair and just society that grants equal civil and human rights to all and not within a neoliberal or neoconservative debt dependency structure of the U.S.
 
The “power” of UhMurikan Jews is a narrative of upper middle class and wealthy Jews, and white supremacist ideology, and doesn’t apply to all Jews in the U.S.. That power to the extent that it exists, is predicated on support for Israel, and support for U.S. empire in general. It’s also a delusion, a fragile membership of court Jews and house Jews.
 
The real power of U.S. support for Israel comes from the Christian zionists, who number in the tens of millions, which explains why organizations like the ADL and the Simon Weisenthal Center, and Stand With Us can ignore the Jewish community and support a zionism to the right of most Jews, including most zionist Jews.
 

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Cafe Intifada has been covering the issue of anti-Jewish racism for some time, and the growing normalization of white supremacist ideology of Counterpunch Magazine, Paul Craig Roberts, Alex Jones, Gilad Atzmon, Ron Paul, Greta Berlin, Alison Weir, David Icke David Duke, If Americans Knew,  etc. It is our belief that the now visible normalization of extreme right wing, ideological white supremacy, had its initial inroads in the left in the form of these popular white supremacists.

There have been threats to Jewish organizations, desecrations of cemeteries and synagogues forever, but people are both more aware of these terrorist acts, and they are also increasing in frequency and intensity.

The most terrifying are reports of multiple bomb threats of Jewish community centers, which for the most part, are places for families to gather, leave children for day care, senior citizen activities, hold cultural and creative classes. JCCs are not a location of political action or religion, for the most part. These treats are a treat against Jewish children. Targeting children is the work of those who see the entire population as a threat. It is the work of those who advocate if not carry out genocide.

The Anne Frank Center For Mutual Respect in New York has done wonderful work on twitter and facebook making known these outrageous threats, and making important connections between racism in general and antisemitism specifically.

Karen Rago, on facebook has provided links to these events and her own commentary:

“I saw a friend today who’s not on Facebook. She had NO IDEA about all the bomb threats, the synagogue classroom being shot, the man being arrested with weapons for planning a massacre at a synagogue, or the Jewish cemeteries being desecrated.
“Which I think is pretty weird considering Jews control the media.”

“Justification I saw as to why they need to catch the person/people responsible for the Jewish bomb threats: “Not just Jewish people go to Jewish Community Centers.”
I’m so fucking done.”

“Two more bomb threats this morning at a Jewish senior center and a Jewish Community Center. They’ve escalated to daily. Still not making mainstream news. CNN has a front page story about Emma Watson blushing, though.”

“If you really want to bring terror on a group, go after their kids.#JewishBombThreats

And this more personal threat to her own safety and well being:

“My inbox is going to be the end of me.

This Christian guy asks me for an “accurate number of Jews killed in concentration camps.” I think he wants an education.

No, he wants to know because he’s “been itching for a new tat” and is considering making that 6,000,000 into a concentration camp-looking number tattoo for his forearm.”

Some days, y’all, I can’t even stand to look and see what ridiculous or hateful thing is going to show up in my inbox.”

And the Huffington Post is tracking the threats to JCCs, Jewish Cemeteries and synagogues, here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jewish-community-centers-bomb-threats-map_us_58b091efe4b060480e07cdfc

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From my other blog, because once my DISability was established as an acceptable target and my (and yes, and yet she persisted) persistence held against me, the abuse didn’t stop. Once a target, you’ll be blamed for the abuse: the classic “She asked for it.”

Resurrecting Assassinated Characters
https://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/resurrecting-assassinated-characters/

And this important article by a young Palestinian activist, because the attacks on me are not personal. It’s part of an over all pattern, because if they can target you personally, they don’t have to actually address the issues you’re raising.

Character Assassination as a Tool to Silence a Palestinian Woman
https://medium.com/@MalakaMohammed/character-assassination-as-a-tool-to-silence-a-palestinian-woman-8a8da38740b6#.2cavbkh3x

And a reminder that women are often the targets of cyber abuse:

Dangerous Neighborhoods: Cyber abuse, harassment and threats: Women online.
https://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/dangerous-neighborhoods-cyber-abuse-harassment-and-threats-women-online/

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By Emma Rosenthal

An important discussion has inadvertently come to a head within the Palestine solidarity movement that focuses on the nature of solidarity, agendas within movements, white savior syndrome, the nonprofit industrial complex and alliance building and accountability. While the differences exposed by this discussion have been an issue within the movement for sometime, the discussion is long overdue. 

This all came to a  head when Alison Weir, founder of If Americans Knew, (IAK), and president of the Council for the National Interest, (CNI), responded publicly to the internal decisions, communicated to Weir in personal letters,  of two other Palestine Solidarity organizations; Jewis Voices for Peace (JVP)   and The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO)  that it was inconsistent with their anti-racist human rights agenda to work with Weir or her organizations. Weir and her supporters were outraged over the decision by these two groups to dis-associate from her.

What is curious is the response of Weir and her supporters here  and here  including assertions that this was:  the act of zionist infiltrators,  McCarthyism,and that Weir was being silenced, censored and attacked (“by zionists”).  Most notable in the responses to these internal documents is that in calling out what both organizations believe to be in contradiction to their anti-racist principles, they were being “divisive” and “playing into the hands of the zionists.”

No one is silencing Weir. Not working with Weir isn’t silencing her. She is not entitled to every panel, conference and coalition. The definition of zionism* isn’t “disagreeing with Alison”.

With public recognition comes public scrutiny.  At the very least, books get reviewed, and to disagree with a particular author or to choose not to create a forum with or for that author isn’t McCarthyism or a personal attack or censorship.  Despite the protestations of her followers, no one is infringing on Weir’s employment, ability to travel outside the U.S., arresting her, blacklisting her,  keeping her from other forums or from creating forums of her own. She is not at risk for imprisonment, deportation or execution.  (THAT would be McCarthyism, a movement that singled out Jews and Blacks disproportionately.) In pointing that out, I would hope we could focus on fair and honest argumentation and avoid insults, ad hominem and strawmen. We should avoid terms that define a person in ways that they would not define themselves  and instead identify ideas and actions that are racist, white supremacist and zionist and explore their impact and significance.   In that context, a person who is truly anti-racist would want to check themselves out of concern that unintentionally they may have done harm. “I’m not racist but…” is not the response of accountability.  Furthermore “Alison doesn’t have a racist bone in her body” obfuscates the issue and avoids actual accountability.

It was Weir that made this discussion public,  but it is much bigger than her, or her organizations with implications for social justice activism and advocacy in general.  I hope in this article to inform that discussion in a deeper way than has been offered up until now, and I expect in its wake will come even more discussion and understanding, as well as unfortunate insults, ad hominems, strawmen and abuse. I would hope those who believe in their positions would chose to articulate  them in ways that add to our greater understanding and leave insults and derailing obfuscations to those whose positions have little substantiation beyond their own opportunism and bigotry.

This article will not focus on Weir in particular, but rather on the key issues, ideologies and contradictions  that fuel the differences of the current dialogue. Notably this discussion involves core assumptions and entitlements. Without the willingness to explore the root of these premises no one is qualified to then assert that racism isn’t an underlying factor, regardless of all good intentions and “better judgement.”

Divisiveness: or don’t talk about the elephant.

The assertion that those who raise the issue of racism (sexism, ableism etc) are divisive is a common defense against and a way of derailing any discussion of racism and oppression within social justice activism. But discussing already existing divisions doesn’t create them. Denial doesn’t make differences go away. A healthy movement should be able to air differences and account for them, determine which differences are deal breakers for forging alliances and which are healthy in that they allow for a diversity of opinions, experiences and voice.

Discussing Differences: Two Major Tendencies

There are two basic tendencies within what is broadly known as Palestine solidarity with implications in regard to U.S. global policy and social activism as well. One tendency, and the one that I identify with, comes from a tradition of anti-racist, anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist work, which often includes a critique of capitalism at its root. In no context does it see the U.S. as a neutral party, an agent of benevolence or the Great White Hope.  It views Western support for Israel as an extension of and consistent with western imperialism, colonization and conquest.  This tendency doesn’t deny the power of the zionist lobby (The Lobby), but sees that power not as an exception but rather as functioning well within the lobby system itself and the entire infrastructure of U.S. empire and capitalism.  Many of the members of this tendency, myself included,  have been attacked, surveilled and blacklisted by the The Lobby and the zionist establishment.  The problem isn’t with The Lobby in particular, but rather with the political structures that allows for powerful corporate lobbies to exist at all and with how The Lobby exists to support those systems.  This perspective asserts that The Lobby doesn’t just consist of  Israel, its Jewish U.S. supporters  or the self proclaimed “Jewish” organizations (the ADL, Stand with Us, AIPAC). It  also includes the vast number of Christian zionists and the Christian fundamentalist churches, the oil industry, the construction industry, the security industry and by no short measure, the arms industry, all of which profit quite favorably from escalating Israeli militarism.  (In the U.S, while there are less than 6 million Jews, zionist and anti-zionist, there are over 40 million Christian zionists.) Israeli brutality and militarism is consistent and in dialogue with, and developing alongside the growing militarization of police forces within U.S. cities, the prison industrial complex, and urban warfare as well as the militarization of the border with Mexico and U.S. empire.

Within this tendency though, and Weir points this out to JVP,  is the tolerance by some of “soft zionism”.  JVP should address internally as well as publicly its refusal to denounce zionism if it’s going to be consistent with its assertion that it does not work with racists. The attempt by “soft zionists” to present zionism as somehow consistent within a larger human rights narrative is impossible.  In my opinion, Weir is quite correct in this assertion.

The other tendency’s ideology is based in white supremacist assertions and ideology. This tendency sees the problem as an ethnic/foreign one, with one outside agent (Israel) with its internal agents (usually diaspora Jews, with little or no discussion of the vast number of Christian zionists) having “undue influence” via The Lobby, on the U.S. government. This tendency breaks down into two groups:  The first group espouses  outright ideological white supremacy: KKK, Nazis, David Duke, Stormfront, Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, David Icke, Gilad Atzmon, among others, who identify particular Jewish qualities as the core issue and envision themselves engaged in an existential struggle against “World Jewish Domination” and the rising numbers of people of color. Generally they openly fear the growing number of people who are not white, both within occupied Amerika and the world at large, and are overt in their concern for the “eventual extinction” of white people.  They don’t actually care about Palestinians. They just hate Jews more and see Palestine as the front line of a global struggle against white annihilation. They use terms like Jewish power, Jewishness, ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) and  the Hollowcause;  they doubt that there ever was a Holocaust but assert that if there were it was because the Jews brought it upon (them) (our) selves.

Then there are the neo-liberal/neo-colonialists, whose premise is also white supremacist,  in that they support ruling class interests that favor and promote white power and privilege.  They include Mearsheimer and Walt, Jimmy Carter, Kathleen and Bill Christison, Paul Findley, Anne Wright and Ray McGovern. Their concern is with particular market interests and U.S. foreign policy strategy.  They frame their concern in terms that are white supremacist because they assume U.S. largess and exceptionalism, like “American interests”,  “American core values, “American founding principles”,  “America’s good name and good will”  and the need to “appeal to middle (aka white) America”.  While Weir and her supporters painted all those who call out this inherent racism, as zionists, interestingly, zionism is not so much of a problem for most of this group, but rather the extent of Israeli (perceived) power and disobedience as a client state.  Many of the neo-liberals (including Paul Findley–who, as a U.S. congressman, never opposed South African apartheid, U.S. intervention in South and Central America or the Vietnam War) qualify their critique of Israel with support for a two state solution that would include a specifically Jewish state, run by and with particular advantage to Israeli Jews.  (In case you missed that, it’s essentially zionist, unless by zionist, one mean “Jews”.)  While The Lobby advocates a war economy, the neo-liberal objective is to create markets and promote industry and debt dependency,  which is difficult under extreme military conflict. We could refer to this group and their two state solution as Maquiladora (sweatshop) labor and Halal McDonalds. However to expand markets the neo-libs need the absence of war. They need a passive population to serve the interests of multinational corporations.

The adherents to ideological white supremacy and neoliberalism focus on what they see as the undue influence of Israel on U.S. policy and in many cases present the U.S. as the victim, even the ultimate victim of zionist brutality and aggression.  They are not, for example, offended or concerned that a U.S. spy ship  (the U.S.S. Liberty) was in the Mediterranean spying on Israel and Egypt,  because they recognize that as a significant right of “American” exceptionalism.  They don’t concern themselves with the fact that this was a military target and as such, not innocent, in the way civilians are innocent. They are offended that the ally they gave “so much money to” (bought and paid for) would bomb “our” spy ship.  They are not offended by settler colonialism, racism, apartheid, manifest destiny. The concern of this tendency isn’t with imperialist power, capitalism, hegemony or settler colonialism per se, but rather with what they see as the threat: Israel and by extension,  the Jews. Those who harbor ideological white supremacy locate Jews and Jewishness, as the problem. The neo-liberals focus on Israel: a foreign power, that exercises these systems of oppression outside of what they identify as (their) U.S. interests.

This is to say these two tendencies represent very different ideologies and motivations. One is a movement against racism, imperialism, capitalism and empire. The other sees Israel as an obstacle to imperialism, capital and empire, and rejects any suggestion that this agenda might be fundamentally problematic, supremacist and unjust. This is the root of the objection to Weir, IAK and CNI.  It isn’t personal, it isn’t McCarthyism (which requires the power of the state!). It’s simply a different and opposing politic.

White supremacist opportunism has colonized this movement, columbused* this movement, taken it on as its own, framing it in Amerikanisms, as if the Palestinians were superfluous to their own struggle. Senior Editor Gordon Duff of “Veterans Today”’ referred to Palestinian activists  as “Supposed Palestinian Activists.   Greta Berlin referred to Ali Abunimah, as “Ali Ayatolah,”  Atzmon referred to Palestinian activists  en masse as demonstrating “intellectual intolerance” and to Ali Abunimah as a Sabbath Goy answerable to his Jewish masters.  And many  Gilad Atzmon and Greta Berlin supporters disregarded a widely diverse call from Palestinian activists and scholars, that racism, including antisemitism* has no place in the Palestinian movement here and  here; as if Palestinians had no right to direct the message and the terms of their own struggle.

If Americans Knew, according to its own web page, states:  “she (Weir) founded an organization to be directed by Americans without personal or family ties to the region who would research and actively disseminate accurate information to the American public.”  This false and entitled “objectivity” disregards the politics of experience and pretends that only those not directly impacted negatively can be trusted to come to rational or objective conclusions and make legitimate assertions, or at the very least, to run and direct an organization intended to inform “Americans”. This is so essentially supremacist and in this regard, IAK provides the most ideological framework for stripping the Palestinian struggle of Palestinians and for disregarding the insights of Jewish anti-zionists when it comes to  navigating the distinction between real anti-Jewish racism and  false accusations of antisemitism against any and all critiques of Israel and zionism. One can scroll the pull down menu at the top of the IAK web page and barely find any mention of Palestinians at all. It’s truly striking and offensive – Palestinian struggle without Palestinians, where Palestinians, little more than statistics, with their “personal or family ties” aren’t to be trusted to direct the movement or present “objective” viewpoints. This is the job for the fair-haired Amerikan saviors.  who “read dozens of books on the topic.” 

In one recent statement Weir defends this segregated approach to organizing, citing the value of ethnic-specific organizations, though she doesn’t think anti-zionist Jews or Palestinians know what antisemitism is as she has yet to call out anything within the movement as antisemitic including Atzmon and a host of Holocaust deniers with whom she is closely affiliated and in Atzmon’s case, has publicly defended (against the better judgement of Palestinian activists). She claims that the ethnic makeup of her organization is important to reach a particular constituency. NO DOUBT!  and that’s pretty much the point. Unless one is reaching out to white Amerika to confront their racist entitlement,  from an anti-imperialist anti-racist perspective, one is just reinforcing their entrenched bigotry to the benefit of the ruling class,  especially if one uses language that reinforces that hegemony.

Opportunistic white supremacy advances an agenda in which the Palestinians are superfluous to the struggle and the movement. It pretends that since zionist organizations assert that all and any critiques of Israel and zionism are antisemitic, then nothing is. It uses the Palestinian struggle and other popular concerns to normalize and advance a U.S. imperialist agenda that is racist to its core, and to normalize it, even on the left, significantly on the left.  It is not only anti Jewish,  it is anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-Native American, anti-Asian, anti-the global south, anti-Arab, anti- everyone the U.S. foreign and domestic policy has hurt, attacked, stolen from and killed, over the last hundreds of years.  Hiding behind scapegoats and particularly Jewish stereotypes to perpetuate an exceptionalism it only opposes when those who embody it are Jewish or “foreign”. The problem with Israel in this context obviously isn’t settler colonialism, or racism, or imperialism, or genocide. It’s the understanding that it is carried out by and for Jews.

But it isn’t. It’s being carried out by U.S. empire– a reality which is easily eclipsed by focusing on  Israel and the Jews, as if in the fight for human rights, U.S. interests were in any way noble. As if the U.S. had a good name to destroy, had core values that were virtuous, as if the U.S. ruling class had suddenly lost the ability or the will to advocate for itself. The appeal to middle (aka white) Amerika betrays and abandons every other movement for liberation and justice.  And this is a key difference: One tendency joins the Palestinian struggle to global struggles for human rights and the other tendency, to white Amerikan entitlement and empire. This is not a minor difference and in recognizing these fundamental contradictions one is not divisive. The existing division is wide, deep and longstanding.

That members of this second tendency may be Jewish or Black or from a group targeted by white supremacy, doesn’t preclude them from espousing and advocating white supremacy. White supremacy is an ideology, and as such can be advanced by anyone. Jewish and Black white supremacists provided a greater illusion of objectivity to the racist assertions.

To be clear, I am not saying we must work on every issue and for every cause. I am not calling out specialization and specification. Yet surely in deciding to devote our attention to one particular cause, we must not sell out others or sell short the larger issues of social justice and we certainly should not colonize causes for what is basically an imperialist objective.

Those within the second tendency have colonized this movement for their own white supremacist agenda, with no concern for the consequences of their analysis and refusing to consider the racist implications of their assertions. White Amerikans will not bear the brunt of any association of Palestinian liberation with anti-Jewish stereotypes and ideology. Victims of U.S. empire will, targets of white supremacy will, Palestinians and Jews will.  Palestinians most of all.

Zionism is racism not only because of the relationship it establishes regarding Jews and Palestinians, it is racist because it is a settler colonialist enterprise of U.S. and western empire.

Between ideological white supremacy and the neo-libs there is incredible overlap in both ideology and endorsement as well as in underlying core assumptions.  That members of these two groups not only express their entitlement to the support of the anti-imperialist tendency, but that they rely on and align with each other is not insignificant.

And there are a few leftist cheerleaders, or those who would have us think they are leftists, for example, Counterpunch magazine,  James Petras,  Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan who either advocate a Lobby exclusivist perspective or promote those who do to the exclusion of other points of view. These leftists also tend to promulgate conspiracy theories, many of which are rooted in traditional antisemitism and distract activists from supporting human rights and opposing U.S. empire. The promotion of unsubstantiated conspiracies as fact, makes addressing documentable grievances more difficult, as they get caught in the cacophony of the unbelievable. Conspiracism as a ruling class tool,  abandons documentation and material dialectics and replaces them with unsubstantiated accusations,  magic secret societies and outright lies. When Sheehan granted Mckinney and Atzmon quarter on her soapbox she not only refused to allow any other voice to counter Atzmon and the racism that Palestinians have rejected, she blocked and unfriended those of us who attempted a dialogue and critique in the form of comments.

European Christian Origins of Zionist Ideology

In response to two organizations declining to work with Weir, several of her supporters signed a petition defending her.   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1oyHWpfZtMvDez5XThztcbRMbgzQqMnCibkVk4Rjh3Hw/viewform  Many of the leading names on the petition were predictable, and include many Holocaust deniers, former U.S. governmental officials and CIA and miltary operatives. If Weir doesn’t appreciate their support she needs to disassociate from them (and in some cases, endorsing them).  Endorsement is more than “guilt by association” it is complicity by affiliation and alliance.

I was especially surprised to see Lawrence Davidson’s name among the signatories. Davidson has done deep and considerable work documenting the European Christian fundamentalist origins of zionist ideology.  and   He documents that European Christians envisioned a Jewish state in historic Palestine centuries before Hertzl’s first pen or the founding Zionist Congress and well before the Irgun or Stern Gang set off their first bombs.  Davidson demonstrates how the European Christian interpretation of the Biblical texts has been used to justify western colonization and imperialism: manifest destiny, conquering the wilderness, Pilgrims, the promised land, a city on the hill.

It wasn’t Jews who named Zion National Park, who named Amerikan cities Hebron and Bethlehem.  zionism is essentially a Christian ideology, not a Jewish one. t is settler colonialism, arising as political zionism in the context of 19th century nationalism and imperialism, then promoted decades later to a desperate people after a genocide of catastrophic proportions. Zionism is simply one element of Amerikan empire. Israel’s conquest and domination of Palestine is one more notch on the bedpost of U.S. enterprise.

Follow the money. Just follow the money. I know, I know, the whole rich Jew thing makes that sound silly, but put that stereotype aside and FOLLOW. THE. MONEY. While it is my considered belief that there is no form of political zionism that is not racist, the extreme example we have today is the zionism of empire (Western and Amerikan), bought and paid for. To assert anything else, is only believable because of stereotypes of the powerful Jew, Jewish dominance and Jewish money. To keep asserting these is to give cover to empire, which in turn gives cover to settler colonialism, capitalism, apartheid and racism on a global scale.

A Call for Accountability

Could the neo-liberals at least dis-associate from Ideological white supremacy and admit that there may be SOME sectors of the Amerikan ruling class that benefit from this arrangement and that at the very least campaign finance and the lobby system are systemically, and not specifically flawed?  Could they argue their position vis a vis U.S. foreign and economic policy within the context of U.S. government? Fundamentally that’s rhetorical and unlikely, because their entire premise is one of exceptionalism, empire and obfuscation.

When Lobby exclusivists claim there are no U.S. interests they are hoping we don’t notice the blood money of criminal “justice” system, security, construction, oil and arms; (where 75% of the ‘aid’ money donated by empire to Israel must be spent on US defense product and the other 25% goes to Israeli companies which are floated on the NASDAQ).

“U.S. interests” is a corrupt and outrageous basis for human rights advocacy.  If we are concerned for Palestinian human rights, it must be unconditional and not dependent on entitlements, not zionist entitlements, and not Amerikan entitlements. IAK and CNI should be honest that within the ruling class they represent a sector that may not benefit from (current levels of)  U.S. support for Israel. But to deny any interest is just columbusing* the whole discussion; “We is smart, we is kind, we is important” and thus can retell and untell any story  to make “us” look righteous. But it’s not righteousness. A society that is founded on empire and conquest is hardly the moral authority nor is its support for a smaller version of itself so surprising. U.S. support for Israel is totally consistent with U.S. policy in general: to support those regimes that support U.S. corporate interests.  And this is the basis for those who make this challenge: IAK’s premise is racist on face, not just because of anti-Jewish rhetoric or stereotyping, though the whole assertion of its premise is believable because of anti-jewish stereotypes of Jewish power, money and control; it is racist because it ignores and denies the fundamental and racist similarities between these two settler colonialist societies, and abhors the smaller while vindicating the larger.  It asserts in its very name that IF AMERIKANS KNEW they would do the right thing. But Amerikans do know. They know about slavery, Jim Crow,  police brutality, racism  reservations, immigration laws, and the growing prison system. They know about cuts to welfare, education and social services. They know about drone warfare and “honoring the troops”.  A huge sign is visible from the 5 freeway in San Diego County at the Pendleton Marine Base that proudly states “No Beach Out of Reach.” Does that not offend most Amerikans driving by, or does it fill them with pride? Who could appreciate such an arrogant and murderous imperialist attitude toward all the beaches in the whole world?  Do Amerikans not know that?  At the very least, the powerful funders and founders of IAK and CNI know. The Christisons and Ray McGovern, CIA operatives for many years, have known.  So on what basis do we believe that IF AMERIKANS KNEW about U.S. support for Israel, that (middle) Amerikans would do the right thing, would act any differently than they have on any other issue of Amerikan racist entitlement? Perhaps in pointing fingers and blaming a fifth column of (Jewish) outsiders, they assuage their guilt and reinforce their white savior syndrome. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/  When these organizations lead with “U.S. interests” how much confidence can we have in what “the right thing” might actually be? And if (middle) Amerikans really don’t know, how opportunistic is it to obscure U.S. historic and ongoing hegemony while calling on (middle) Amerikans to take on Israeli iniquity?

If settler colonialism is wrong, it is wrong. If stealing the best land, genocide, displacement, brutality, exploitation and militarism is wrong, if apartheid is wrong and Bantustans (modeled after Native American reservations) and extra-judicial executions, and false imprisonment, and lack of due process is wrong, if racism is wrong, if apartheid and border walls are wrong,  then there is no anti-racist basis for holding up the U.S. as a beacon, an example of magnanimity, as a paragon of justice. A human rights agenda that begins with Amerikan interests and harkens to some mythological and historically dishonest Amerikan goodness is a racist agenda on a racist premise, in its entirety, from the initial conquest, to ongoing policies toward indigenous Native Americans, to the racist criminalization system, wherein more people are currently incarcerated (in what is considered by many to be the new slavery—the privatized prison system) than were ever enslaved under Amerikan chattel slavery.  The focus on “the Jews” or on Israel, or The Lobby,  separate from or in contradiction to its benefactor, serves to obscure and exonerate capitalism and imperial predation. The racist impact and significance is much deeper and broader than antisemitism.

If their appeal to “middle America” is strategic, then they are lying to the “American people”, and appealing to their racist and jingoistic assumptions. If  the intention is truly to assert Amerikan exceptionalism, the basis is racist: It might be colonialist, it might be neocolonialist. Regardless of the motive, as long as the basis is western interests over regional self-determination  then  they are fighting racism with racism, and the result will always be racist.

If Weir and her supporters aren’t racist, then they as must we all, need to challenge entitlement, comfort, and the belief in their de facto goodness and rightness:  as white people, as Amerikans. If they expect Israel to be held accountable for systemic racism, then so too must Amerika.  For those who won’t, your double standards are showing, and yes, the words for that are entitlement, racism and supremacy.
______________________________

*Lexicon:

*Amerikan: I use this spelling to distinguishes between the U.S. and the American continent which consist of several nations and peoples. The U.S. is a settler colonialist entity, founded on a religious based doctrine of conquest and manifest destiny, contingent on massive and ongoing genocide, slavery and exploitation.

*Columbusing:  Staking claim to land and territory and then changing the narrative so that you’re a hero.

*Antisemitism: Racism against Jews, including Jewish magic, power, undue influence and wealth, Jews as outsiders, pariars. Antisemitism is an important (and ideologically central) aspect to ideological white supremacy and serves to distract the population at large from the problems of capitalism (wealth, undue influence, power) and blames those problems on the Jews.   Joseph Massad explains in detail. 

*Zionism: While the Second tendency (as described in this article) often define zionism along ethnic terms, or as anyone who calls out antisemitism, it actually refers to the belief in a specifically Jewish state, regardless of the ethnicity of the person who provides that support.

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Comments on an article, because there’s so much more to say on the topic.
By Emma Rosenthal

When an article was recently posted on  Christian “Privilege”   and then circulated on Facebook, I added a few of my own observations and experiences.  I kept coming back to the article to as more and more examples of Christian entitlement came to me.  So I decided it was time to put them into my own list.

This sort of bigotry is very much rooted in white supremacy, manifest destiny, imperialism and conquest. This isn’t really about “faith”, as the article that inspired my list, suggests. It’s very much about culture and domination.  Christian privilege extends to secular life and nonreligious practices. The article itself embodies Christian privilege, in asserting that non-Christians’ faith is the subject of marginalization.  One often does not escape these marginalizing attitudes simply by converting. Often persecution is cross generational, ethnic and racialized.

1. Tests, classes, schedules, the beginning of the school year, programs  will be considered  in scheduling in academic calendars so as not to conflict with your holidays and important events.

2. Negative opinions of your faith aren’t translated into actual policy or institutions that limit you or your access to opportunities and services.

3. The cultural aspects of your faith, or the faith aspects of your culture won’t be minimized, conflated or dismissed.

4.  You won’t be racialized and subjected to systemic racism (including government harassment, profiling, incarceration, genocide) because of your faith or lineage.

5. You won’t be assumed to be a 5th column, loyal to an outside entity.

6. Your religious identity or affiliation will be seen as an indication of virtue and not as dangerous, mysterious, magical, exotic, heretical, dishonest or untrustworthy.

7. If you are a teacher, you won’t be told “i don’t know how you can teach my child.” (i actually have had children pulled out of my class by their parents for this reason, and i’ve heard other Jewish teachers say the same thing. )

8. Your children won’t constantly be told by classmates that they are damned for all eternity and will burn in hell.

9. Because of your faith, you won’t be assumed to be good at some professions, dominating some and untrustworthy in others.

1o. (Despite evidence to the contrary, when it comes to global conquest) you won’t be accused of attempting  world domination and imposing your values, beliefs and religious mandates on the whole world.

11 People who carry out violent acts, won’t be assumed to be from your religious group, even when they are, and when they are, even when religion is the motivator for the act, it won’t be held against you and your entire group.

12. You can use the word crusade like it is a good thing, a generic word simply in reference to an impassioned campaign, as if it has no historic reference to brutality, murder, conquest or genocide.

13. No one asks you where your horns and tail are. (yes. that.)

14. You won’t be seen as a foreigner or outsider, no matter how many generations your family has lived in a particular geography.

15. Your secular appreciation of your holidays, traditions and events aren’t considered superfluous, extraneous or insincere.

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