Antisemitism: to be or not to be

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Antisemitism: to be or not to be

Antisemitism: to be or not to be

 

 

2016-08-28

by abraham Weizfeld Ph.D.

Administrative Secretary of the

Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians

 

SUMMARY and OP-ED

 

 

            The sense of the various letters published by the Toronto Star August 27th, in response to Linda McQuaig's op-ed defence of the BDS campaign seem to lack some essential point, which is, the way to a resolution of the conflict that meets all the legitimate concerns from the conflicting points of view.

            The return of the Palestinian refugees to at least legal status, some 7 million, will overwhelm the Jewish-Israeli population in the typical democratic state, with citizen rights only. However this is not Antisemitic, it is simply demographics.

            This is evident and the concerns that the Palestinian Right of Return raises are ignored by many BDS advocates. The matter then becomes how to recognize the Jewish-Israelis as a Nation, which it is, as well. That is why the Federation of the Kana'an is necessary with one country for two Peoples that would accommodate the National-Cultural Autonomies of each People with their own government, language, schools and religion, etcetera., in effect their identity. The right to a cultural identity is what the Palestinians are seeking, as well as their liberation from a third class status as ‘hewers of wood and porters of water’, if one is even granted a permit to seek work.

            The case of whether Antisemitism exists or not in Canada around the issue of the State of Israel has become as hot as the summer was in Montréal this year. With the World Social Forum (WSF) in town the fuse ignited and blew off three of the workshops that had been accepted for inclusion in the mega-programme. The rejection of an obvious caricature of an Antisemitic stereotype nonetheless represented the initial error; as if the 19th Century Tsarist propaganda machine was still in full operation. With its insanely fabricated scenario of a Jewish conspiracy to maintain control over the entire world promoted by the publication ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, some Anti-Zionist propagandists believe that they have stumbled across the fountain of truth. This is how the treatment of the Zionist lobby becomes the ‘Jewish Lobby’, for those with little discretion or who suffer from the persistence of their imagined Jewish idea, as if it were stuck to the back of their mind with crazy glue. The WSF activities actually cancelled upon reflection by the organizing committee had “a session that had been scheduled to show how Islamist terrorists are “in the service of world Zionism-capitalism.” ”.

            Another indication of a Judaeophobic mentality was the exclusion of my own WSF activity workshop entitled ‘49 years of Palestine solidarity’  from the mini-programme put out by the WSF Palestine Solidarity Committee. This act was a replication of my expulsion from the steering committee immediately following the Jewish opposition conference in 2008 at Toronto that formed the Independent Jewish Voices (Canada). That expulsion basically took place due to my objection to the use of the term ‘Holocaust’ in describing the siege of Gaza.

            Nowadays the Zionist talking-heads raise their voice against any resemblance of Antisemitism found in the various ambiguous remarks of the populist supporters of the seven million Palestinian refugees scattered throughout the western Orient amongst some Arabic countries alone. Meanwhile the Zionist forces of today harbour their alliance with the Christian right-wing populists in their back-pocket as if that kind of Antisemitism does not disturb the Zionist ideology in the least.

            The generalized condition of Antisemitic stereotypes had previously created the inflated language which found its expression in Toronto on two occasions, when the spokesperson for the Palestine House insisted that all Israelis leave Palestine within 4 minutes or otherwise they would be subject to execution. The following year again that time-line was reduced to two minutes. At Toronto’s Al-Quds Day commemoration in 2016 the right to self-defence was invoked while at the same time Nadia Shoufani affirmed that we should support resistance "in any form that is possible". This is an error if only for the reason that there is no limit on the degree of physical defence that is utilized. To fail to mark a difference between a soldier and an Israeli civilian is the problem. One hears some claiming that all the civilians have been or will be soldiers as if this were an excuse, or that all Israeli civilians have a better life as a result of the occupation of Palestine, even though there are the Jewish poor in the Zionist State as well. The fact is that more than half of the conscripted Israeli youth do not do military service, by choosing social service duties or outright refusing to be conscripted, like the ultra-Orthodox Satmar in Jerusalem and yet it is virtually unknown that 53% of Jewish –Israelis support an independent State of Palestine. Many people who do not know much of what the Israelis are or who Jewish people are, nonetheless denounce Israeli terrorism, Israeli colonialism, Israeli Apartheid and the Israeli State even though it is the Zionist State that is responsible. The choice to tolerate an attack on Israeli people is the error that blocks any further consideration by the Canadian and Jewish public of the merits of the Palestinian cause for liberation, for BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions), for the return of the refugees and for peace. The Palestinian Civil Society initiated the BDS campaign on Israel not anything ‘Israeli’ and yet some will still prefer to use the term ‘Israeli’ instead of Israel.

            Of course the use of ‘Israeli’ instead of Israel as the focus of attention, is an ambiguous term that it is claimed refers only to the object mentioned, which is not the case since Israeli also refers to the people, who are merely citizens of the State of Israel. The carelessness with which such ambiguous formulations are used points to the lack of recognition for the population involved and the promotion of right-wing populist hysteria, in a pathetic attempt to feign support for the Palestinians.

 

* * *

 

2016-08-28

by abraham Weizfeld Ph.D.

Administrative Secretary of the

Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians

Top of Form

 

 

 

Complete text with references of proof

 

            The case of whether Antisemitism exists or not in Canada around the issue of the State of Israel has become as hot as the summer was in Montréal this year. With the World Social Forum (WSF) in town the fuse ignited and blew off three of the workshops that had been accepted for inclusion in the mega-programme. The rejection of an obvious caricature of an Antisemitic stereotype[1] nonetheless represented the initial error; as if the 19th Century Tsarist propaganda machine was still in full operation. With its insanely fabricated scenario of a Jewish conspiracy to maintain control over the entire world promoted by the publication ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, some Anti-Zionist propagandists believe that they have stumbled across the fountain of truth. This is how the treatment of the Zionist lobby becomes the ‘Jewish Lobby’, for those with little discretion or who suffer from the persistence of their imagined Jewish idea, as if it were stuck to the back of their mind with crazy glue. The WSF activities actually cancelled upon reflection by the organizing committee had “a session that had been scheduled to show how Islamist terrorists are “in the service of world Zionism-capitalism.” ”.[2]

 

            Another indication of a Judaeophobic mentality was the exclusion of my own WSF activity workshop entitled ‘49 years of Palestine solidarity’ [3] from the mini-programme put out by the WSF Palestine Solidarity Committee[4]. This act was a replication of my expulsion from the steering committee immediately following the Jewish opposition conference in 2008 at Toronto that formed the Independent Jewish Voices (Canada). That expulsion basically took place due to my objection to the use of the term ‘Holocaust’ in describing the siege of Gaza.

 

            The exclusion and expulsion of the Jewish identity from the Marxist-oriented Jewish Left is reminiscent of the initial expulsion of the Jewish socialist Bund[5] anti-Zionist movement by both the Menshevik and the Bolshevik factions in the opening session of the 1903 Second Socialist International Congress. As bizarre at it may seem this legacy of Marx’s pamphlet ‘On the Jewish Question’ from 1848 still haunts the corridors of the Left in 2016. And yet the Jewish activists of today have formed a 200,000-strong very well-known movement now called Jewish Voice for Peace. A number of Jewish identified organizations world-wide have endorsed international declarations to affirm their support for BDS, in support of Palestinian administrative detention prisoners on their prolonged hunger-strike and against Extra-juridical killings, in spite of the threats by the Zionist State and its allies in Europe, the USA and Canada and in spite of the opposition to Jewish identity coming from right-wing populists.

 

            The Jewish Bund was a socialist pluralist labour movement organized in Poland and Russia that refused to abandon the native countries of the East-European Jewish political culture and so struggled against Antisemitism, its capitalist breeding ground and the counter-revolutionary fascist parties that were sustained by the bourgeoisie and the remnants of the aristocracy. European civilization though became fascist, the ultimate result of the Hegelian Nation-State and its mono-culture. The replication of this Nation-State concept by the Zionist movement claiming to be the national self-determination of the Jewish People led to its alliance and collaboration with the very social forces that sought to eliminate the Jewish presence in Europe. Nowadays the Zionist talking-heads raise their voice against any resemblance of Antisemitism found in the various ambiguous remarks of the populist supporters of the seven million Palestinian refugees scattered throughout the western Orient amongst some Arabic countries alone. Meanwhile the Zionist forces of today harbour their alliance with the Christian right-wing populists in their back-pocket as if that kind of Antisemitism does not disturb the Zionist ideology in the least. Playing with fire, the Zionist government moves further into its fascist mode with three such ministers in the government of the Apartheid State of occupation, which carries out extra-juridical killings of protesting Palestinians on a regular basis calculated to a level fine-tuned to maintain the maximal level of support amongst the Jewish communities also internationally and for the sake of the game of geo-political manoeuvrings. After all, the 3.5 billion US dollars annually provided for Israel to subsidize the US military-industrial complex represents the Zionist claim to a strategy of combating Antisemitism, even while it deals with some of the same corporations that rearmed the Nazi regime.

 

            In a similar vein of thought, the Arabic and Persian political-cultures are still infused with Nazi references to the stereotype of the Jewish People as Zionist imperialists coming to take over Palestine. That propaganda machine left its marks in Arabic populist thought just as the Japanese propaganda claimed to be occupying China to protect Asians from Western imperialism. What a tangled web is weaved to entrap the naive oppressed masses and yet it continues with the Zionist claim that Arabic hostility to the Zionist State of Israel is solely an expression of Antisemitism. Accordingly the Zionist indoctrination of the current Jewish political-culture has proceeded in the post-Holocaust period absent the lost Bundist members, until the Jewish youth reach their university education to discover how they have been lied to in their previous educational experience and so discover the developing Jewish opposition to the Zionist parties.

 

            Meanwhile the Marxist Left continues to operate as if the Holocaust had never happened and dismisses the Jewish identity as a vestige of a feudal mentality even while upholding the national liberation struggles of not only the Palestinians but so many other minority social cultures such as the Black Lives Matter coalition, or the Québécois francophone minority in Canada. The Marxist mentality parades itself as if each partisan were the living incarnation of good old Karl who became the prophet of its new religion. With the same old ‘same old’ ideology that failed in the experience of the Russian Nation-State controlled by the Communist party which provoked all the national minorities of the Tsarist Empire to turn against the centralized State, the Left has still to conceive of a direction to advance with, in order to overcome the current capitalist economic Great Recession which continues on since 2008 plodding on for the last 8 years. At the same time the Anarchist Left has yet to learn that people value their culture as much as their own lives and define themselves in terms of cultural intelligence and not only as the individualist strivings of the ego. The right to a cultural identity is what the Palestinians are seeking, as well as their liberation from a third class status as ‘hewers of wood and porters of water’, if one is even granted a permit to seek work.

 

            The generalized condition of Antisemitic stereotypes had previously created the inflated language which found its expression in Toronto on two occasions, when the spokesperson for the Palestine House insisted that all Israelis leave Palestine within 4 minutes or otherwise they would be subject to execution. The following year again that time-line was reduced to two minutes. At Toronto’s Al-Quds Day commemoration in 2016 the right to self-defence was invoked while at the same time Nadia Shoufani affirmed that we should support resistance "in any form that is possible".[6] This is an error if only for the reason that there is no limit on the degree of physical defence that is utilized. To fail to mark a difference between a soldier and an Israeli civilian is the problem. One hears some claiming that all the civilians have been or will be soldiers as if this were an excuse, or that all Israeli civilians have a better life as a result of the occupation of Palestine, even though there are the Jewish poor in the Zionist State as well. The fact is that more than half of the conscripted Israeli youth do not do military service, by choosing social service duties or outright refusing to be conscripted, like the ultra-Orthodox Satmar in Jerusalem and yet it is virtually unknown that 53% of Jewish –Israelis support an independent State of Palestine.[7] Many people who do not know much of what the Israelis are or who Jewish people are, nonetheless denounce Israeli terrorism, Israeli colonialism, Israeli Apartheid and the Israeli State even though it is the Zionist State that is responsible. The choice to tolerate an attack on Israeli people is the error that blocks any further consideration by the Canadian and Jewish public of the merits of the Palestinian cause for liberation, for BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions), for the return of the refugees and for peace. The Palestinian Civil Society initiated the BDS campaign on Israel [8] not anything ‘Israeli’, and yet some will still prefer to use the term ‘Israeli’ instead of Israel as if it were an American State.

 

            Even the US President Truman refused to recognize the Zionist State as a ‘Jewish State’ and crossed out those words in his letter of recognition in 1948. [9] Of course the use of Israeli instead of Israel as the focus of attention is an ambiguous term that it is claimed refers only to the object mentioned, which is not the case since Israeli also refers to the people, who are merely citizens of the State of Israel. The carelessness with which such ambiguous formulations are used points to the lack of recognition for the population involved and the promotion of right-wing populist hysteria, in a pathetic attempt to feign support for the Palestinians.

 

            The Israeli liberal journal Haaretz came out with Gary Spedding ‘s article aptly and amply entitled, ‘We in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement Have a Problem With anti-Semitism’ and summed it up in the subtitle saying, “Toxic conspiracy theories, group-blame and stereotyping are becoming a serious problem in the Palestine solidarity movement – and it’s undermining our struggle”.[10] Being a ten-year activist with the United Kingdom Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Spedding “pledged to support an intersectional struggle, where the concerns of Jewish individuals and communities are taken seriously and anti-Semitism is not dismissed out of hand or ignored”.

 

            Likewise Martin Kaminer points out as well, “So it seems that the non-Zionist Jews of the previous century were right to worry: the conflation of Jewishness with Zionism puts Jews everywhere in danger.”[11] Then there is Neil Macdonald writing for CBC News who affirms “The conflation of all supporters of BDS with Jew-hating is as scattershot and sweeping as the conflation of all Jews with Israel”.[12]

 

            When will they ever learn is a question that is fundamental not only to the state of the Left and prospects for an actual social revolution to replace the authoritarian economic and political superstructures of the day. It is also a question that will determine whether the Palestinian People have to struggle on for another decade or two or more before being liberated from the confines of the Zionist Nation-State.

 

See also : ‘Israel: A Jewish Nation-State?’, Peace Magazine, Toronto, Oct-Dec 2014, < https://www.academia.edu/8831171/Israel_A_Jewish_Nation-State >

Arabic translation published by Donia al-Watan, Palestine, 2015-12-17, < https://www.academia.edu/21888433/English_original_Arabic_translation_Is_Israel_a_Jewish_Nation-State >

 

Note : Linda McQuaig Op-Ed, 'Elizabeth May shouldn't run away from BDS: McQuaig', Toronto Star, 2016-08-22,

< https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/08/22/elizabeth-may-shouldnt-run-away-from-bds-mcquaig.html > &

‘BDS, May and Israel’s Occupation’, 2016-08-27,

< https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/08/22/elizabeth-may-shouldnt-run-away-from-bds-mcquaig.html >

 >

 

 

* * *

 

Dr. abraham Weizfeld

PhD UQÀM,  MA York U.,  BSc UdeW

saalaha@fokus.name

514 284 66 42

Montréal

 

Nation,  Society  and the State :

the reconciliation  of  Palestinian and  Jewish Nationhood

 

http://www.archipel.uqam.ca/7308/1/D2843.pdf

 

http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000425888/NATION--SOCIETY--AND--THE-STATE.aspx

 

 

 

https://independent.academia.edu/AbrahamWeizfeld

 

Skype/Yahoo/Twitter/YouTube : eibieman

 

FaceBook : Abraham Weizfeld

 

 

 

 

[1]           < http://www.israellycool.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/World-Social-Forum-Photo-screenshot.jpg > & < http://wpmedia.news.nationalpost.com/2016/08/cartoon.jpg?w=325&quality=65&strip=all&h=338 >

[2]           Aussi Dave, ‘World Social Forum’s Antisemitic Workshop Cancelled After Canadian Government Steps In’, Israellycool, 2016-08-02, < http://www.israellycool.com/2016/08/09/world-social-forums-antisemitic-workshop-cancelled-after-canadian-government-steps-in/ >

[3]              Forum Sociale Mondial -World Social Forum 2016, Montréal, 2016-08-9-08-14, p. 35,  ‘49 years of solidarity with Palestine’, DSTT CULTURE COMITÉS : COMITÉ SOLIDARITÉ PALESTINE — PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE Intervenants : Abraham Weizfeld Ph.D. CÉGEP DU VIEUX MONTRÉAL, 881, < https://fsm2016.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/F_S_M_2016-programme_FINAL_web-B-1.pdf >

[4]              FSM Comité solidarité Palestine – Palestine solidarity committee, < https://fsm2016.org/en/groupes/comite-solidarite-palestine-palestine-solidarity-committee/members/ >

[5]              http://www.bundist-movement.org/

[6]           Jillian D’Amours, ‘Canadian teacher under investigation for pro-Palestine comments’, Middle East Eye, http://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/news/canadian-teacher-under-investigation-pro-palestine-comments-280276977, with Nadia Shoufani presentation < https://youtu.be/w9OnPgt1bMc >

[7]           < JPLO Note :  This poll of Israeli Jewish and Palestinian citizens reveals 53% of Jewish Israelis for recognition of Palestine State.  However the link to the Daily Mail site now does not contain the same report. The poll being suppressed by the Daily Mail is also found at the (AP) site < http://bigstory.ap.org/article/dae99c74e08a4c4082e8c2387ad656d8/poll-shows-most-israelis-palestinians-still-seek-peace >.

‘Poll shows that most Israelis, Palestinians still seek peace’,

JERUSALEM (AP) 22 Aug -- A new poll of Israelis and Palestinians released on Monday found that a slim majority on both sides still favor a peace settlement establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel, despite years of conflict and deadlock in negotiations. ... Tamar Hermann, an Israeli political scientist ... conducted the survey with Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, ... The poll found that 51 percent of Palestinians and 59 percent of Israelis still support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the Apartheid Israel Occupation side, 53 percent of Jews support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Among Israel's Arab minority, the number is much higher, at 87 percent. Conversely, just 34 percent of Palestinians and 20 percent of Israelis support the idea of a single shared state where they are both citizens with equal rights. After two decades of failed peace efforts, and nearly a year of low-level violence, distrust is strong. The poll found that 89 percent of Palestinians feel Israeli Jews are untrustworthy, while 68 percent of Israeli Jews held similar opinions toward the Palestinians. It also found that 65 percent of Israelis fear Palestinians. In contrast, just 45 percent of Palestinians fear Israelis....

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3752576/Poll-shows-Israelis-Palestinians-seek-peace.html

 

[8]           Palestinian Civil Society, ‘Palestinian Civil Society Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights - 9 July 2005’, < https://bdsmovement.net/call >

[9]              http://www.archives.gov/global-pages/larger-image.html?i=/education/lessons/us-israel/images/recognition-press-release-l.jpg&c=/education/lessons/us-israel/images/recognition-press-release.caption.html

[10]         Gary Spedding, ‘We in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement Have a Problem With anti-Semitism : Toxic conspiracy theories, group-blame and stereotyping are becoming a serious problem in the Palestine solidarity movement – and it’s undermining our struggle’, Haaretz, 2016-07-23, < http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.732735?link_id=1&can_id=d26561b5293d8ee6528d6eab5351bdab&source=email-what-were-reading-confronting-anti-semitism-in-the-palestine-solidarity-movement&email_referrer=what-were-reading-confronting-anti-semitism-in-the-palestine-solidarity-movement&email_subject=what-were-reading-confronting-anti-semitism-in-the-palestine-solidarity-movement >

[11]         Martin Kaminer, ‘Conflating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism endangers both Palestinians and Jews’, Middle East Eye, 2016-05-13, < http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/we-must-re-establish-distinction-between-anti-zionism-and-anti-semitism-533213389 >

 

[12]         Neil Macdonald , ‘Has the activist left decided anti-Semitism doesn't exist?: History, detail and nuance often ignored in modern political discourse’, CBC News, 2016-06-14, < http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/social-activism-anti-semitism-bocott-divestment-sanctions-1.3633252?cmp=googleeditorspick&google_editors_picks=true >