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JEWS AND THE LEFT
(from an Israel Shamir discussion group, circulated on the Internet)

From: Israel Shamir
My Groups |
shamireaders
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Introduction

My good friend and a friend of Palestine, Abe Hayeem from England, wrote to me saying:

Jews are in the forefront of resistance movements, leading lights in protest and environmental movements (witness the Anti-Apartheid struggle, and Civil Rights struggle in the 60s in the US) and also the various peace and activist groups in Israel/Palestine. It took me time to consider these words.


Clearly Abe wished to say something positive about Jews. But was reality as good as he presented? I had no answer until I had received an eye-opening interview by Dennis Bernstein of Dr Francis Boyle, printed in CovertAction Quarterly No. 73 (summer 2002).

Dr Boyle said:

Amnesty International, and other human-rights-NGOs, derailed discussion and condemnation of Jenin massacre, as previously they blocked condemnation of Israeli massacres in Lebanon. 'None of them said or did absolutely anything at all about 20,000 dead Arabs in Lebanon'. Whoever insisted was 'knocked off the ballot by pro-Israel members of the board'. For twenty years the NGOs 'avoided using the term 'war crimes' when it comes to Israel'. Amnesty supported the infamous Kuwait baby incubator story that swayed the US public opinion in the Gulf War. On board of directors of Amnesty there are large numbers of people who are pro-Israel and do everything possible to prevent, sabotage, obstruct effective work on Israel.

Boyle goes further:

The Israel Lobby plays the very powerful role on Amnesty International USA. They apply enormous pressure and Amnesty pretty much kowtows to them.

We must give a thought to the uncanny coincidence of 'Jews being in the forefront', as Abe Hayeem put it, and of sad record of 'sabotage and obstruction of effective work on Israel' in words of Francis Boyle.

A comparison is offered by the recent book about Robert Maxwell, the late Mossad agent and thief. There are interesting pages on penetration of Zionist forces into the heart of Communist Russia and other East European countries. These ostensibly friendly forces eventually brought Communism to its collapse in 1991. We should be aware of danger of Zionist penetration into the heart of progressive forces in the West as well.

Powerful, emotional and inspired letter of Dave Kersting reminds us of urgent need to de-Zionise the Peace movement in the US and in Europe. We should comb our own hearts to 'seek and destroy' any vestige of Jewish chauvinism, and be grateful to our friends if they point it out to us. On the other hand, the presumption of 'innocent until proven guilty' has not been cancelled. Many of our comrades of Jewish origin succeeded to overcome the nationalist brainwash, that is why 'Virtually All of Them' of Dave Kersting should be considered as poetic hyperbole.
Shamir

John Wheat Gibson asks:

Who are the "Zionist dominated" leaders of the anti-war movement? I never have met one.

Dave Kersting replies:

Virtually all of them during the Vietnam years - when it was generally considered "anti-Semitic" to say that Abba Eban had stood up in the UN and admitted that Israel had launched the actual, initial attacks in the 6-day war (as he had). In those days "everyone knew" that "the Arabs" had attacked Israel, and only an anti-Semite would suggest that Israel was morally capable of such a bad thing.

Virtually all of them, in the 1970s, when the lack of interest in our tax-financed ethnic-cleansing of Palestine, allowed no reason for an anti-war movement even to exist. Virtually all of them in 1982, when no one objected to financing the slaughter in Lebanon. When Ariel Sharon came to San Francisco, a few weeks after Sabra-Shatila, the organizers of the small protest explicitly banned any signs or leaflets that contained any criticism of Israel or Zionism. We were all supposed to pretend that Sharon was a renegade, and that unkind actions were not inherent in the ethnic-cleansing of Palestine or in the perpetuation of that ethnic-cleansing.

Virtually all of them, throughout the 1980s, when openly racist statements against "the Arabs" could be found on the information-tables of the "Jewish Student Board" and "Hillel Students" at UC-Berkeley, every single day, and no one seemed to notice or care - despite the national news that could have been made if a proper campaign had been arranged to expose this open racism. No one, in any of the leftist or progressive groups, wished to discuss any such campaign. The consistent position of CISPES (Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) was that "Israel is different," and further attempts to discuss this were met with the obscenities normally reserved for General Foods.

Virtually all of them, in the late 1980s, when Israel established the once-controversial (but now accepted) policy of using live ammunition against stone-throwing children, in the First Intifada, and no peace activists or ethnic equality activists wished to reverse the voluntary nature of their tax support for those actions, by audibly objecting to them.

Virtually all of them in 1991, when Saddam Hussein offered to leave Kuwait, on the one condition that Israel would also be asked to honour UN resolutions, regarding Palestine, equivalent to the UN resolution that the US-led coalition was ostensibly enforcing - and thousands of "anti-war" activists appeared out of nowhere, pretending that they had NOT been murdering Arabs voluntarily, for decades, and perpetuating that myth with the specific myth that attacks against Iraq were NOT made as a specific rejection of holding Israel accountable, but were instead about "oil." (Please note that we did not take the oil-producing regions, afterwards, though our victory was every bit as complete as it could have been.) At the first "No Blood for Oil" festivals, the Palestine problem, and the direct Palestine linkage were neatly hidden by "anti-war" leaders, under that 1930s-socialist theme: the blood of our working-class troops, for the oil-profits of the capitalists. None of the anti-war leaders ever raised any objection to spilling ARAB blood, through our massive financing of openly racist Israeli policies, and Israel was not mentioned by the speakers, except when they were praising the crowds for their lack of "Israel-bashing."

Virtually all of them, during the first four months of the "Second Intifada," as Israel and its unprotesting American financiers (including virtually all - unprotesting - anti-war leaders) murdered 84 Palestinian children, before the first Israeli child was killed by a Palestinian renegade. We who tried to raise discussion of this issue, among those anti-war leaders who would talk to us, found many of them - not just "Zionist dominated," but forthrightly ZIONIST, in their refusal to support the Palestinian right of return (their demand for continuation of the racist violence by which displaced Palestinian families are prevented from returning to what's left of their homes), in their open support for a "two-state solution" wherein Jewish ethnic-supremacy would be violently maintained, against the human rights of the unwanted Palestinians, in most (or all) of Palestine, in their refusal to make any protest at all.

Virtually all of them, in the months before 9/11, as the escalating horrors in Palestine continued, without audible protest, except by small, isolated groups of (genuine) peace activists.

Virtually all of them, in the months after 9/11, as "war protests" were isolated to the Afghanistan issue, despite the constant Palestine linkage made by Osama bin Laden (the ostensible target of our military effort). The constant themes of those protests were Stop the war (but only in the area of Afghanistan), Stop the ethnic profiling (but only in the US), and Stop the attacks on civil liberties (but only the attacks on OUR civil liberties: the anti-war people refused to object to financing infinitely worse attacks on the civil liberties and human rights of Palestinian Arabs, due to their being ethnically unsuitable for our Jewish state on their lands). Throughout those protests, the most common protest signs said "Justice not Vengeance," as if to imply that the uneducated public preferred vengeance, not justice.

Equal-rights activists would occasionally show up with signs addressing the fundamental cause of all these spin-off wars - the overtly racist atrocities against Palestine - and we would be shunned by the mainstream peaceniks, who felt that calling for an end to the most openly-observed campaign of violent state-racism in history was a "confrontational" or "too radical" position. The simple-minded public - simply opposed to racism, and not trained to accept progressive Zionist relativism - responded much better to OUR signs than they did to "Justice not Vengeance."

In my area, progressive Marin County, California, equal-rights activists who tried politely to discuss the need to stop voluntarily supporting Israel's violent state racism - and to include it in protests against war on Afghanistan, and later, on Iraq - were threatened by anti-war leaders, assaulted by one anti-war leader, and spuriously accused of anti-Semitism by various anti-war leaders. Wherever Zionism IS criticized the "anti-Semitism" slander is scorned as a low Zionist trick, but anti-war leadership itself is a primary source of that slander.

Attempts to discuss the need to include the Palestine issue, as essential to the argument against war on Iraq, have been systematically ignored by virtually all the leaders of the current effort, and Richard Becker himself, representing the IAC and ANSWER truncated one such discussion by declaring that it is "anti-Semitic" to say that Zionists have undue influence on US government. It is easy to show that Israel's undeniable and undisguised racist horrors against Palestine are the one ethically hopeless chink in the entire US-Israeli war ideology toward Iraq, but those arguments have not been tolerated by current anti-war leadership.

For decades, the Zionists managed to muddle the realities and the significance of the Palestine Catastrophe, in the constant "Arab-Israeli" wars. Those terribly few anti-war activists who were not labouring under Zionist mind-control knew that it was just a matter of time, until the basic reality of Israel's ethnic-cleansing - the officially Jewish, self-avowed "settler-state" forced into multi-ethnic Palestine - would emerge from the obfuscations. We always assumed that when this wrong came to light - providing an ineluctable ethical argument far beyond anything we have ever had to say about Vietnam, Central America, etc - the anti-war movement would HAVE TO recover from its moral coma, and protest.

We never dreamed that Zionist training and conditioning would seep so deep into anti-war leadership that, when the time finally arrived, as it did two years ago, that Israel would be free to murder as many civilians as it pleases, right in the midst of an OFFICIALLY racist scenario, which includes the actual building of a racist wall, and our anti-war leaders would maintain a discreet silence. I know a few local anti-war leaders, able to gather forty or fifty people together to protest racist murder of children, and so on, and it is true that they are not Zionist-dominated.

Yesterday, January 18, we were virtually invisible, in a sea of protest, organized by anti-war leaders who saw fit to make sure that the Palestine issue would appear on perhaps one half of one percent of the signs and leaflets. Not one of the speakers mentioned Israel's racism - THE ENTIRE PROBLEM - and the weakest link in the whole Iraq-war ideology.

The last two letters of the ANSWER acronym stand for "end racism," but that apparently does not apply to the eight million dollars a day paid by US taxpayers to impose racist atrocities on Palestine. Keep in mind that an occasional obligatory statement or comment against Zionism or Israel is not enough to show real opposition. Even a professionally-planted Zionist mole, on the Mossad payroll, would have to do THAT much, in order to make his general, real-world silence all the more effective in persuading potential REAL peace activists that the Palestine issue is not REALLY worthy of concern.

Among anti-war or pro-peace bumper-stickers in your area, for example, what percentage would you say pertain to Israel-Palestine? Here in the SF Bay area it is something like .02% - my own and my brother's being the two out of ten-thousand. That too, statistically, evinces a Zionist-dominated anti-war leadership. Which anti-war leaders do you know who audibly protest Zionist racism, and how many people are they able to gather together? However weak and isolated we may be, we should make sure we get in touch and work together as effectively as possible. Maybe the main leaders will be forced then to follow. If you would LIKE to meet a Zionist dominated anti-war leader, just approach the stage at the next anti-war festival and introduce yourself.

Dave Kersting

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shamireaders/

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