No, anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism

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No, anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism

Postby GM Citizen » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:30 am

Surely, an intelligent crowd such as that found in here, can discuss this type of issue without getting thuggish over it. Heck, I think even Doodad might agree with this one.

I think this article explains the difference a bit clearer than most:

No, anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism

As an idea, a Jewish homeland was always controversial. As a reality, Israel still is - and it is not anti-Jewish to say so

Brian Klug
Wednesday December 3, 2003
The Guardian

From the beginning, political Zionism was a controversial movement even among Jews. So strong was the opposition of German orthodox and reform rabbis to the Zionist idea in the name of Judaism that Theodor Herzl changed the venue of the First Zionist Congress in 1897 from Munich to Basle in Switzerland.

Twenty years later, when the British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour (sponsor of the 1905 Aliens Act to restrict Jewish immigration to the UK), wanted the government to commit itself to a Jewish homeland in Palestine, his declaration was delayed - not by anti-semites but by leading figures in the British Jewish community. They included a Jewish member of the cabinet who called Balfour's pro-Zionism "anti-semitic in result".

The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 has not put an end to the debate, though the issue has changed. Today, the question is about Israel's future. Should it become a "post-Zionist" state, one that defines itself in terms of the sum of its citizens, rather than seeing itself as belonging to the entire Jewish people? This is a perfectly legitimate question and not anti-semitic in the least. When people suggest otherwise - as Emanuele Ottolenghi did on these pages last Saturday - they simply add to the growing confusion.

Ottolenghi contends that "Zionism comprises a belief that Jews are a nation, and as such are entitled to self-determination as all other nations are". This is doubly confused. First, the ideology of Jewish nationalism was irrelevant to many of the Jews, as well as non-Jewish sympathisers, who were drawn to the Zionist goal of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. They saw Israel in purely humanitarian or practical terms: as a safe haven where Jews could live as Jews after centuries of being marginalised and persecuted.

This motive was strengthened by the Nazi murder of one-third of the world's Jewish population, the wholesale destruction of Jewish communities in Europe, and the plight of masses of Jewish refugees with nowhere to go.

Second, you do not have to be an anti-semite to reject the belief that Jews constitute a separate nation in the modern sense of the word or that Israel is the Jewish nation state. There is an irony here: it is a staple of anti-semitic discourse that Jews are a people apart, who form "a state within a state". Partly for this reason, some European anti-semites thought that the solution to "the Jewish question" might be for Jews to have a state of their own. Herzl certainly thought he could count on the support of anti-semites.

What is anti-semitism? Although the word only goes back to the 1870s, anti-semitism is an old European fantasy about Jews. The composer Richard Wagner exemplified it when he said: "I hold the Jewish race to be the born enemy of pure humanity and everything noble in it." An anti-semite sees Jews this way: they are an alien presence, a parasite that preys on humanity and seeks to dominate the world. Across the globe, their hidden hand controls the banks, the markets and the media. Even governments are under their sway. And when revolutions occur or nations go to war, it is the Jews - clever, ruthless and cohesive - who invariably pull the strings and reap the rewards.

When this fantasy is projected on to Israel because it is a Jewish state, then anti-Zionism is anti-semitic. And when zealous critics of Israel, without themselves being anti-semitic, carelessly use language, such as "Jewish influence", that conjures up this fantasy, they are fuelling an anti-semitic current in the wider culture.

But Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is no fantasy. Nor is the spread of Jewish settlements in these territories. Nor the unequal treatment of Jewish colonisers and Palestinian inhabitants. Nor the institutionalised discrimination against Israeli Arab citizens in various spheres of life. These are realities. It is one thing to oppose Israel or Zionism on the basis of an anti-semitic fantasy; quite another to do so on the basis of reality. The latter is not anti-semitism.

But isn't excessive criticism of Israel or Zionism evidence of an anti-semitic bias? In his book, The Case for Israel, Alan Dershowitz argues that when criticism of Israel "crosses the line from fair to foul" it goes "from acceptable to anti-semitic".

People who take this view say the line is crossed when critics single Israel out unfairly; when they apply a double standard and judge Israel by harsher criteria than they use for other states; when they misrepresent the facts so as to put Israel in a bad light; when they vilify the Jewish state; and so on. All of which undoubtedly is foul. But is it necessarily anti-semitic?

No, it is not. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a bitter political struggle. The issues are complex, passions are inflamed, and the suffering is great. In such circumstances, people on both sides are liable to be partisan and to "cross the line from fair to foul". When people who side with Israel cross that line, they are not necessarily anti-Muslim. And when others cross the line on behalf of the Palestinian cause, this does not make them anti-Jewish. It cuts both ways.

There is something else that cuts both ways: racism. Both anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim feeling appear to be growing. Each has its own peculiarities, but both are exacerbated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the invasion of Iraq, the "war against terror", and other conflicts.

We should unite in rejecting racism in all its forms: the Islamophobia that demonises Muslims, as well as the anti-semitic discourse that can infect anti-Zionism and poison the political debate. However, people of goodwill can disagree politically - even to the extent of arguing over Israel's future as a Jewish state. Equating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism can also, in its own way, poison the political debate.

· Brian Klug is senior research fellow in philosophy at St Benet's Hall, Oxford, and a founder member of the Jewish Forum for Justice and Human Rights

http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/commen ... 25,00.html
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Postby Doodad » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:52 am

"Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism"
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
". . . You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--this is God's own truth.

"Antisemitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently antisemitic, and ever will be so.

"Why is this? You know that Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land. The Jewish people, the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the Holy Land. From this they were expelled by the Roman tyrant, the same Romans who cruelly murdered Our Lord. Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them.

"The Negro people, my friend, know what it is to suffer the torment of tyranny under rulers not of our choosing. Our brothers in Africa have begged, pleaded, requested--DEMANDED the recognition and realization of our inborn right to live in peace under our own sovereignty in our own country.

"How easy it should be, for anyone who holds dear this inalienable right of all mankind, to understand and support the right of the Jewish People to live in their ancient Land of Israel. All men of good will exult in the fulfilment of God's promise, that his People should return in joy to rebuild their plundered land.

This is Zionism, nothing more, nothing less.

"And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is antisemitism.

"The antisemite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the antisemite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerade! He does not hate the Jews, he is just 'anti-Zionist'!

"My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate antisemitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled--as others have been--into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share.

Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--make no mistake about it."

From M.L. King Jr., "Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend," Saturday Review_XLVII (Aug. 1967), p. 76.
Reprinted in M.L. King Jr., "This I Believe: Selections from the Writings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr


http://christianactionforisrael.org/ant ... _king.html

If it's good enough for MLK, it's good enough for me.
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Postby Jeff » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:54 am

No, it's not.

But words can be code, and it's a fool or worse who thinks "anti-Zionist" is not also used to mean "anti-Jew."

It's been done here. Here's an interesting thread I just discovered tonight over on Neo-Nazi Stormfront:

To be completely honest, I'm very paranoid about posting on this site. I plan to get some anonymous proxy software but haven't done it yet. Is Anonymizer good? I tried using Shadowsurf for a bit, but it stopped working for some reason on this site.

That said, I invite everyone to have a look at another site that is not overtly WN but deals with this question to a lot to a broader audience. I don't post much there (same paranoia...and I think he can track IP addresses of posters, so do whatcha gotta do) but there are many threads tying in Zionism with the state of the world. I've only seen one person get banned, and he had the name "Free Zundel Now" or something like that, but if you aren't that overt you can pretty much say what you want. Zionist control of the media, congress, etc . While talking about "Jewish power" will get someone banned (maybe...maybe not, I'm not really sure and haven't attempted it) the discussion board is very, very anti-Zionist and anti-Israel but reaches a LOT of people. In fact, more recently since Zundel was banned, there was a thread very sympathetic to Zundel which was not even locked. You have to register to post but not to read. Registering to post simply requires a nick and an email to insure you aren't a spambot.

I believe in this kind of net activism. The blog attached to this site has gotten millions of hits. It deals with a lot of other stuff like conspiracy, occult, etc but the discussion board always has a bunch of threads about Jewish power and influence in the world. I'll link directly to one thread but have a look around. The blog is called "rigorous intuition" and you can link to the discussion board from there. Here's a link to one such thread.

http://rigorousintuition.ca/board/vi...ays=0&start=50

I didn't post this as an active link b/c I can't remember if I'm allowed to do that yet. Plus, if you go there by clicking, the mods might be able to track you back here...not sure about that.

That one is called "Zionists vs. truth". Currently, the other good anti-Zionist threads have dropped down several pages but there are always several of them. Note that there are some liberals and leftists who post on the board, but that's the point of going there...they aren't coming here. Most don't buy into "left vs. right" anyway. I think, with Israel now cheerleading us into a war with Iran, WHERE DUKE JUST ATTENDED THAT CONFERENCE, it is essential to start getting the message out. We may not have much time.


Hand's up, anyone, engaged in this kind of "net activism"?

I didn't think so. Only good "anti-Zionists" here, I'm sure....
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Postby GM Citizen » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:18 am

Jeff wrote:No, it's not.

But words can be code, and it's a fool or worse who thinks "anti-Zionist" is not also used to mean "anti-Jew."

I didn't think so. Only good "anti-Zionists" here, I'm sure....


Not sure what to make of your post, Jeff. I thought the article explained clearly what might constitute the difference between anti-zionist and anti-semitic. I thought this could be a basis from which to move forward in discussions pertaiing to aspects of this issue.

But you equate anti-zionism with some nazi, or neo-nazi, thugs. Why did/do you do that?

Are we somehow intellectually, or morally, inferior, in that we might not know the difference? Are we not to be trusted in knowing the difference?

Lemme see now...a person can be anti-zionist, pro-jewish, and a neo-nazi all in one. Methinks this is a tad confusing.
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yes

Postby smiths » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:22 am

i agree, i am not sure what to make of this

jeff, can you explain what part of the original article is inaccurate, unfair or possibly racism in sheeps clothing

or are we at the point where any commentary regarding zionism or israel is in fact anti-semitism, but on the flip side writing negative things about arabs still seems to be acceptable

i am really confused

i have got some very mixed signals from this board today
Last edited by smiths on Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jeff » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:25 am

GM Citizen wrote:Not sure what to make of your post, Jeff.


What could be clearer? Neo-Nazi antisemites are flying under the radar by adapting their language, and they're telling their pals to do it here.
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Postby GM Citizen » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:28 am

Doodad wrote:

If it's good enough for MLK, it's good enough for me.


Keep up your good work. Carry on.
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Postby yablonsky » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:36 am

yablonsky
 

Postby Doodad » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:40 am

Jeff wrote:
GM Citizen wrote:Not sure what to make of your post, Jeff.


What could be clearer? Neo-Nazi antisemites are flying under the radar by adapting their language, and they're telling their pals to do it here.


The post is from January 16, 2007. Wonder how many followed his advice.
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Postby GM Citizen » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:47 am

Jeff wrote:
GM Citizen wrote:Not sure what to make of your post, Jeff.


What could be clearer? Neo-Nazi antisemites are flying under the radar by adapting their language, and they're telling their pals to do it here.


Are you saying that I am one of these people?

Nothing in that article I referenced is neo-nazi or anti-semitic, in my opinion. I believe the author may have been jewish, not that it should matter one way or the other, because he made good, common sense in what he wrote.

Let's look at an example here. Cotler, from Doodad's thread, is a self-avowed Zionist. He has won Zionist awards. To criticize his latest gambit, in terms of modern day Palestinian refugees versus Jewish refugees from 60 years ago, and pointing out his Zionist wonts, how is that being a neo-nazi?

It is not being a neo-nazi.

But if the argument is framed as "anti-zionists are clearly nazis and anti-semites", then it merely stifles the debate, and forces us to look past relevant facts that should not be glossed over.

It becomes easier to dismiss someone/something because of the convenience of a derogatory label rather than to address the reality of a given point/situation.

It may be akin to US troops in Iraq dehumanizing Iraqi citizens with derogatory labels....cuz it's easier to kill 'em that way and not get a conscience about it.

I found this board shortly after 9/11, and I read it for all these years. I have read much stuff in here, most of it great, some of it good, a bit of it really bad, but I always saw a great deal of intelligence and thought in the vast majority of postings in here. Hell, even some of whom I consider to be shills in here are quite intelligent.

Do you not agree that most people in here are intelligent enough to make up their minds for themselves on this issue?
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Postby GM Citizen » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:54 am

Doodad wrote:
Jeff wrote:
GM Citizen wrote:Not sure what to make of your post, Jeff.


What could be clearer? Neo-Nazi antisemites are flying under the radar by adapting their language, and they're telling their pals to do it here.


The post is from January 16, 2007. Wonder how many followed his advice.


It is a website I did not know about. If you and Jeff hadn't visited it, I wouldn't have known.

I wonder what MLK would have said......
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Postby Jeff » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:57 am

My first statement in this thread was "No, it's not." Certainly someone can be an anti-Zionist without being an antisemite. But I'm also saying the meaning of words are being intentionally subverted to soft-sell hate. So a dictionary definition alone is inadequate these days when trying to parse "anti-Zionism."
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Postby Doodad » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:57 am

GM Citizen wrote:
Doodad wrote:
Jeff wrote:
GM Citizen wrote:Not sure what to make of your post, Jeff.


What could be clearer? Neo-Nazi antisemites are flying under the radar by adapting their language, and they're telling their pals to do it here.


The post is from January 16, 2007. Wonder how many followed his advice.


It is a website I did not know about. If you and Jeff hadn't visited it, I wouldn't have known.

I wonder what MLK would have said......


Well I didn't say you did. I don't think you are a neo-nazi; just somewhat confused.
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Postby Jeff » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:03 am

Something more, from this old blog post:

...it's no exaggeration to say Nazis are throwing their thought-bombs at us, attempting to make their cause respectable and infiltrate our side and - worse - our minds. On the "White Nationalist" board Stormfront, a recent post from "Free Zundel Now" spoke of success spreading a "stealth article" calling for Bush's impeachment on "forums that ordinarily won't take our kind of subject matter." "Free Zundel Now" tried it on the RI board, and the Nazi spamming was exposed.

From Stormfront's "Celtic Nation," advice on infiltration:

"...you have to speak a language they will hear, and speak to what they will hear, and as you said, point out racial realities. The constant drone of Jew bashing will start to turn people off. It does make WN's look like kooks and conspiracy theorists, and hearkens people back to nutty stereotypes of Col. Klink from Hogan's Heroes, and paranoid conspiracy theorists who are mentally off-center.

"When I discuss Israel and the Jews, I try to talk of the evils of the state of Israel, and if they are ready for it, introduce more. The fact is that most of what we struggle against is the big picture - the superstructures in place by the Jews in power."

Sometimes Israel means Israel, sometimes Zionist means Zionist. But sometimes it means something else. We need to know this, we need to become sensitive to the sometimes encrypted message, if we are to meet and defeat the true enemy. Because in every instance, Nazi means Nazi.
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Postby GM Citizen » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:25 am

Doodad wrote:
GM Citizen wrote:
Doodad wrote:
Jeff wrote:
GM Citizen wrote:Not sure what to make of your post, Jeff.


What could be clearer? Neo-Nazi antisemites are flying under the radar by adapting their language, and they're telling their pals to do it here.


The post is from January 16, 2007. Wonder how many followed his advice.


It is a website I did not know about. If you and Jeff hadn't visited it, I wouldn't have known.

I wonder what MLK would have said......


Well I didn't say you did. I don't think you are a neo-nazi; just somewhat confused.


So I am not a zionist or a nazi then. Cool. I knew you could see it and say it in your own unique way. Good boy.
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