Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Anti-Zionism and Anti-War Activism in Canada

In the on-line journal Z-Word today, I've written a lengthy assessment of Canada's "anti-war" movement and its accommodation of a virulent anti-Zionism and and its first cousin, antisemitism. This tendency is part of a larger phenomenon that has subsumed left-wing activism to forces that are arrayed against progressive Muslims - and as always, against the Jews - both in Canada and abroad.

UPDATE: Podcast here.

Whenever I write along these lines, I am routinely accused of attacking the left and smearing the so-called "peace movement." This is not merely untrue. It's infantile. But it's persistent, so let's get a couple of things straight.

First, without any help from me, the "anti-war" leadership has "smeared" real anti-war activism by its practice of putting the "peace movement" to the service of some of the most reactionary and antisemitic elements at large in the world today.

Second, as for attacking the "Left," I don't consider the phenomenon I have tried to document to be in any legitimate way an expression of the politics of the progressive left. The politics the anti-war movement has embraced are anti-worker, mysogynistic, parochial, homopohobic, and reactionary.

A thing that tends to get missed in these inquiries, besides, is that it is from observers on the left itself that you'll find some of the most caustic assessments of the blackshirt politics that have found their most efficient entry into respectibility via "ant-war" activism.

On these and related questions, for Marxists who haven't lost their damn minds, see:

The Alliance for Workers Liberty.

The Hamburg antifascists.

That's just for starters. As for the 1st Cairo conference that I cite in my Z-Word essay as the crucible of contemporary "anti-war" politics, even the Iraqi Communist Party called the affair “a conference of solidarity with Saddam Hussein’s regime.”

For a glimpse of what a real peace movement in the Middle East looks like, have a look here.

For progressive Zionism, see this. And this. And this. For progressive Muslims in Canada, visit these good people.

For antisemitic influences that have crept into certain corners of Trotskyist thinking, see this, and for the wellspring of contemporary pseudo-Trotskyist apologetics for Islamism see this.

For the Nazi affinities of contemporary Islamic antisemitism, pay attention to Matthias Kuntzel - read this, and this. The Islamist politics of the Muslim Brotherhood, its Palestinian wing (Hamas) and Hezbollah would be rotten and reactionary without the Nazi influences that shaped their histories, but those influences shouldn't be overlooked, either. So here's a wee film below.



Blogger Timothy said...

Absolutely correct! Prof. Glavin seems ot be among that snall community of sensible people who are also leftists, but then I am prejudiced.

12:27 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

In case you’re wondering what the more extreme (I hope) of the self-proclaimed lefties think of Terry’s evidence, here’s the infamous Greg Felton:
“The Grand Mufti drone is standard disinformation. Yes, the Mufti met with Hitler, but only to see if the Nazis would join in an anti-British campaign, but Hitler declined. The Mufti made a few stupid speeches and that was it. In the end the episode was a virtual non-event and did not in any way further the Nazis’ ambitions.
The same CANNOT be said for the efforts Jewish Nazi collaborators like David Green (ben Gurion) Yitzhak Yezerenitzky (Shamir) Joseph Weitz, Kurt Blumenfeld and Chaim Weizmann who helped the Nazis exterminate Yiddish culture and keep the economy from collapsing. I guess you have no problem with actual war criminals.
Felton also claimed that “Ben Gurion supported the Nazi regime, and that the Grand Mufti’s abortive dalliance wiht Hitler came to naught. I could also have cited Yizhak Yezernitsky (later “Shamir”) who as a member of the Stern Gang met with Hitler in Bergtesgarten to try to forge a zionist-Nazi alliance. I could also have cited Rabbi Joachim Prinz, as I did in my talk, who openly praised the Nazi regime and condemned Jews who “resented” the Third Reich.”

So he pooh-poohs the Mufti's clear Hitler ties and conflates ... well, nothing... into some wacko zionist conspiracy with the Nazis to rid Europe of its Jews. When I repeatedly asked him for cites for his so-called proof, but of course that was never forthcoming; all he was able to point to was remarks by Shamir about terrorism (never in question) and by BenGurion that indicated he was not as concerned about the fate of European Jews who didn’t come to Palestine as he should have been, though this too is highly questionable. His remarks about Prinz are the diametric opposite of what the historical record shows.
Nonetheless, he continued to maintain that none of his “facts” were in question, that no proof was provided to the contrary, etc. etc. blah blah. An extreme example perhaps, bit unfortunately, this nasty, stupid, ill-informed and rabidly obsessed man represents at least part of the same group of so-called progressives Terry has been talking about.
If you’re interested and have the stomach for it, you can read the complete text of my exchange with Felton at: Please believe me, this isn’t self-promotion. I just want as many people as possible to see what we’re up against and how stupid and yet pervasive it can be.

1:47 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Funny story about Felton. Last Saturday, some Palestinians and disturbed Jews hosted a talk at the Vancouver Public Library by a guy named Ilan Pappe, who is a far left anti-Israel Israeli "story faked but nonetheless true" "historian".

Anyway, Felton was seen in the line up to get in the door, no doubt keen to pick up some intellectual tips on how to make Jews feel guilty. But they were asking "donations" of $10-20 to get in the door. Felton was then seen heading back up the stairs and making his way to the bank machine before going back down.

So, either he forgot he had no money. Or, more likely, Felton has grown accustomed to the idea that the library is a place for nutty anti-"Zionist" conspiracy mongers to be given free rooms. Or, perhaps, he was just surprised that anyone, no less someone of his stature, would be asked to pay to listen to this drivel...

Terry, keep up the fight! Great work.

11:57 PM  
Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

I don't get the story about Felton and the money. What's it supposed to say about the man?

All I needed to know is the way he expresses himself when his ideas are challenged:

"Now, that you addle-pated bottomfeeders have filled the blogosphere with your odiferous effluvium, perhaps you should be deemed an enviromental hazard. Anyone who takes Glavin's libel at face value has clearly been inhaling fumes."

Scatological antisemitism is the most uninteresting kind, and the most incurable. It's absolutly wonderful to see Dr. Pappe attracting this kind of attention. Nothing could speak more loudly about the worth of his anti-historical narratives than the kind of people who consume them.

9:46 AM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Of course the story tells you nothing definite about Felton, except that he was surprised by the request to pay for Pappe. It just appeals to my sense of black humour to guess that he may still take it for granted that this kind of talk (or his kind of person) is what the library (or its clients) puts on for free, notwithstanding all the protests of his own free ride on the public dime.

12:17 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

"clients"? did I mean patrons? I'm not sure..

12:20 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

So glad you mentioned Ilan Pappe. Here is a short concise critique of Pappe that is so to the point, there is little more to say. The subject in this case is Pappe's views on "transfer," i.e. the Palestinian/Arab exodus in 1948, but no doubt it applies to all aspects of Pappe's work, as well as to most of Israel's virulent critics.

"Ilan Pappe [is] another Israeli who has now made his home at an English university. He has written a book characterising the two-way, mostly forced transfer of populations during the 1947-1948 fighting between Jews and Arabs as a one-way plan, devised by the Zionist movement in advance of hostilities and executed under cover of war [41]. Surely Mark Lilla is correct when he writes that all political foundings are morally ambiguous enterprises, and that the moral balance-sheet of Israel's founding, which is still being composed, must be compared to those of other nations at their conception, and not to the behaviour of other nations after their existence was secured [42]. But such a perspective, scrupulous and nuanced, is not for Pappe. On the contrary, Every Zionist reference to "transfer" is treated as evidence of the plan; every Zionist disavowal of transfer is treated as an act of dissembling. Every Arab declaration of war against the Jews is treated indulgently, as mere rhetoric; every Arab claim of persecution is accepted without challenge. Every Zionist atrocity is treated as part of their transfer plan; every Arab atrocity is treated as a defensive response to Zionist aggression (or is airbrushed from the history) [43].The Palestinian refugees from Israel are represented as the victims of an historic injustice, and the pathos of their unsought and undeserved condition moves Pappe to indignant eloquence; the many hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, on the other hand, displaced by a combination of coordinated action by the League of Arab States, of state-sanctioned discriminatory and repressive measures, and of popular violence, barely figure at all in his narratives. The immoderation of Pappe's thesis, so plainly indifferent to the complexity of the historical record (when indeed it is not positively misrepresented), invites not so much a refuting response as the dismissive acknowledgment that one is in the presence of a partisan, angered into the traducing of the motives and actions of one political movement in advocacy of the interests of its adversary movement."
--Anthony Julius, from Jewish Anti-Zionism Unravelled: The Morality of Vanity
From “Z-word,” the same online blog that ran Terry’s article.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:44 AM  
Blogger truepeers said...

What have they done to the Palestinians? Encouraged them to make children's cartoons in which there really are Nazi-type crematoria, but it is the Jews who are running them and feeding them with Palestinian children?

I mean, if the Jews really are the new Nazis, how come there are so many Palestinians around? Why are the Jews so incompetent or cowardly?

Why don't you ask "what have the Arabs done to the Jews"? i.e. refused to acknowledge the existential reality of Israel, of Jewish people in the Middle East, and rather chosen to be at war with this existential reality since its founding. In this context, what are the Israelis to do except defend themselves? and given their military capability, if fully used, one can't seriously argue that they are seriously out to destroy their enemy. If they really wanted to (and if the Americans were really their allies come hell or high water), they could wipe out the Palestinians in a few weeks. But no, Israel actually has some respect for existential realities and has actually tried to come to peace with the Arabs. It is the latter who can't come to peace with a Jewish power, because this contradicts something their religion holds sacred: the necessary preservation of everything claimed as dar-al-Islam

vildechaye: thanks for that quote on Pappe, excellent; canuckistani, can you appreciate it?

11:01 AM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

Terry: have you heard of "disemvowelling"? During my "debate" with Felton at the Libarary web site i mentioned previously, Felton's last post -- since removed -- came across without vowels and was basically incomprehensible without a lot of effort. I thought he had done it, but i contacted the moderator (for another reason), and she told me that she had "disemvowelled" Felton because he was being a rude obnoxious jerk -- well not in so many words, but no doubt that is what she meant. Anyway, she said if i hadn't heard of it, to look it up. I did, on wikipedia, and it seems it is a technique by moderators to take the "sting" out of stupid posts. You can still make out what they're saying, but the dramatic impact is lessened considerably by all the work you have to do to read it. There are programs that do it, so you don't have to do it manually. An alternative to deleting posts, perhaps? Just thought you'd like to know. VC

7:53 PM  
Blogger Ojalanpoika said...

Salaam & shalom,

I wonder if I got my facts straightened out for this:

It's about statistics on the expulsion of the Jews from the Moslim and European ("semi-Christian", so to say) countries. It is STATISTICS, not Zionism.

Be blessed,
Pauli Ojala

1:18 PM  
Blogger Steve Holt said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

"Anarchore" is a filthy antisemite and will not be tolerated here.

5:27 PM  

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