'Anti-Semitism' slander ridiculous

A counter-protest against those calling for a boycott of Max Brenner involving members of the facist Australian Protectionist Pa

Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alliance and other left-wing groups, have received more attention than normal in recent weeks in the mainstream media and even in state and federal parliamentary debates.

This attention has mainly been in response to the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid and has mostly consisted of nasty allegations of anti-Semitism, with endless colourful references to Hitler and the Nazi’s Holocaust.

There is nothing new in opponents of Israel being slandered as anti-Semites. Since its foundation, Israel has claimed to be the state for all Jews and dismissed any opposition as Jew-hatred.

The recent attacks on the left and the BDS movement in Australia are part of a broader campaign by the Coalition and the Murdoch media aimed at smearing and dividing the Greens.

Misuse of the term “anti-Semitism” is getting ridiculous, and not just in Australia.

I realised this at the September 10 protest that marched to the Newtown, Sydney outlet of Max Brenner, the chain of chocolate and coffee shops targeted by the BDS movement because of its public sponsorship of elite Israeli army units.

Outside the Max Brenner shop was a counter-protest. Presumably some of the mainstream political parties and Zionist organisations who have been vocally denouncing BDS actions were represented, but those visible on the street were members of the small “white nationalist” outfit, the Australian Protectionist Party (APP).

And they were calling us Nazis.

Even if they weren’t identified by signs and T-shirts, we would have known who they were.

Many of the 70 BDS protesters were people involved in the campaign to free refugees from detention, including protests outside the Villawood detention centre.

APP members have held counter-protests, where they drive past us yelling: “Gas the refugees.” But now, outside Max Brenner, they were calling us racists.

The APP is not alone in denouncing the BDS protesters’ “racism” from shaky ground.

Responding to Liberal MP David Clarke’s September 15 NSW upper house motion condemning the Max Brenner protests as anti-Semitic, Greens MPs John Kaye and David Shoebridge pointed to some of Clarke’s past associations.

Kaye said that in 2005 and 2007 Clarke went to functions held by supporters of the Croatian fascist Ustasha movement, which became the puppet government in Nazi German-occupied Croatia.

Shoebridge said that early in his political career, Clarke had been an ally of Lyenko Urbanchich, a right-wing Liberal power broker who during World War II had been a senior member of the administration of Nazi-occupied Slovenia.

I have an easy answer to charges of anti-Semitism: my Jewish ancestry. I’m hardly unique in the Palestine Solidarity movement in this regard.

Jews Against the Occupation have had speakers at all the Sydney Max Brenner protests, and one of the other speakers on September 10 also identified as Jewish. Some of the best-known international critics of Zionism are Jewish.

But that is not the point. The Max Brenner protest was small, and it was in Newtown. Therefore it was very much the “usual suspects”.

The non-Jewish protesters included socialists (from at least four different groups), anarchists, pacifists, queer rights activists, feminists, trade unionists and activists from ethnic and religious minorities — exactly the sort of people the Nazis persecuted along with Jews.

The reason is simple. BDS is a progressive, anti-racist movement. The struggle for rights for Palestinians is no more aimed at persecuting Jews than the struggle for non-white South Africans’ freedom from Apartheid was aimed at persecuting whites.

For 60 years, Palestinians have been punished for an event in European history that they played no part in.

The redefinition of the term “anti-Semitism” has had a pernicious effect undermining solidarity with the Palestinians.

Where this has been most explicit has been defining opposition to “Jewish self-determination”, where “Jewish self-determination” is defined in terms of the existence of a Jewish nation-state (Israel) in Palestine.

It is a strange type of national self-determination that gives an Australian, with European Jewish ancestry, more legal right to live in Palestine than a Palestinian.

Yet, the US and European Union both define anti-Semitism this way.

This concept of “Jewish self-determination” rules out the possibility of a single state in which Jews and non-Jews have the same rights, because Jews would not have a guaranteed majority in such a state (particularly if Palestinian refugees return) so if the state were democratic it would be multicultural, not Jewish.

This is why in both the media and parliament the chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” was specifically cited as evidence of anti-Semitism.

Unlike supporters of freedom for Palestine, anti-Semites do not support Jews and non-Jews having the same rights.

In determining who has a right to immigrate, Israel uses the same definition of Jew that Nazi Germany used to determine who should be exterminated. No other state has classified people this way.

Yet such is the fear of being tainted with anti-Semitism that even some supporters of Palestinian rights, such as Greens Senator Bob Brown, feel compelled to publically recognise Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, despite this being impossible without continuing apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

Anti-Semitism is an ideology based on persecuting Jews. Zionism (support for Israel as a specifically “Jewish” state) is an ideology based on Jewish privilege, but they share a number of assumptions and a parallel history.

Both emerged in late 19th century Europe, where racist nationalism was the dominant ideology.

Racism is a historically recent phenomenon. It developed simultaneously with Europeans invading the Americas and using African slaves to work there. The slave plantation economy was essential to the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution.

The convergence of slavery and racism happened slowly. Initially European and African slaves laboured together and often rebelled together. During the 1600 and 1700s, in response to rebellions, colonial legislation increasingly differentiated between African slaves and European “indentured servants”.

The racism born in the slave plantations was both a justification for, and greatly reinforced by, the global Western empires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Zionists claim the Nazi holocaust was unique. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The history of Western colonialism and neo-colonialism is a history of holocausts — from the 13 million murdered by the Belgians in the Congo at the end of the nineteenth century, deliberate famines in Ireland and India and the genocide of Aboriginal Australia, to today’s occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, coltan wars in the Congo and International Monetary Fund-imposed preventable deaths across the Third World (to pick just a few examples).

Racism played a role in all these holocausts.

Anti-Semitism is an unusual form of racism in that it’s not actually based on race. Traditionally Jews had been persecuted in Europe for not being Christian.

The secularisation of Europe that spread unevenly across Europe after the 1789 French Revolution was accompanied by the lifting of legal sanctions against Jews. For conservatives, the emancipation of Jews was identified with a number of unwelcome social changes related to the end of feudalism.

Anti-Semitism combined traditional religious prejudice with racism (at the time justified by dodgy, but accepted, science). The term “anti-Semite” was adopted as a self-definition reflecting the baseless assertion that Jews belonged to a separate, non-European race.

There were, of course, Jews who did belong to non-European races. Many even spoke a Semitic language, Arabic. But anti-Semitism was directed against European Jews.

Zionism arose in Europe as a movement for the establishment of a Jewish “national homeland” outside Europe, basically accepting the anti-Semitic redefinition of Jewish, although Zionists tend to talk of a Jewish nation rather than race.

Because of its accommodation to anti-Semitism, Zionism was initially unpopular among European and North American Jews. Its social base was among Jewish capitalists.

Left-wing movements provided a far greater pole of attraction for most Jews, who shared the concerns of other workers but also had to fight anti-Semitic discrimination and violence.

Jews generally wanted full rights in their own countries rather than a new, faraway homeland.

For some this meant the right to practice their religion. But for increasing numbers of non-religious Jews in the first half of the twentieth century, the struggle against anti-Semitism meant the struggle against an imposed identity.

Both anti-Semites and Zionists were obsessively opposed to Jewish assimilation, but to assimilate is what most European Jews wanted to do.

It was the British invasion of Palestine in 1917 that rescued Zionism from obscurity. The Balfour Declaration (Balfour was the anti-Semitic British foreign minister at the time) set aside Palestine as a Jewish “national home”, although the initial intention was for a British protectorate with European Jews being loyal intermediaries between the British and the Palestinians.

The Zionists gained ideologically from the Nazi holocaust as it seemed to confirm the claim that assimilation was impossible and persecution the norm.

Furthermore, the large number of Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe made Israel’s creation possible.

Zionists lobbied anti-Semites in the political establishments of countries like Britain, the US and Australia to restrict Jewish immigration, so these countries wouldn’t compete with Palestine as a place of refuge.

The APP are not the only fascists to have changed their opinions about Jews. In Britain, the English Defence League carry Israeli flags at marches and the British National Party are also pro-Israel. In fact, throughout Western Europe, fascist groups are supporting Israel.

This is not surprising. Anti-Semitism is not intrinsic to fascism. Successful fascist movements base themselves on the racist ideologies dominant in the mainstream political establishment.

In Europe in the first half of the 20th century one of these was anti-Semitism. In the 21st century West this is no longer the case.

Today, racism in the West is mainly directed at the Third World immigrant communities. Since the end of the Cold War, particularly since the terrorist attacks on the US in 2001, this has become associated with Islamophobia, which is also used to justify aggression overseas.

In much Islamphobic writing, if you substitute the word Jew for Muslim, the result would be indistinguishable from the anti-Semitism of a century ago.


What a load of dribble. What exactly is "Israeli apartheid"? Does it have a definition??
The fact that so called human rightists ignore the Nazi style antisemitism in the Official state controlled Moslem world and Palestine media can only mean you accept it.Lets not pretend you do not know about it. "Zionism" is an excuse, as inter alia the Safed and Hebron massacres proved.Shooting Jews because their prayers at the Wall was an insult to Islam is not "anti Zionism". Here is what a simple search brings up:- Comparing Islamic anti-Semitism to Nazi Germany at its worst ...www.haaretz.com/.../comparing-islamic-anti-semitism-to-nazi-germa...Cached - Similar You +1'd this publicly. Undo 4 days ago – West largely turns blind eye to likely genocidal consequences of such a culture of hatred, much as it did 70 years ago. -"The scale and extremism of the literature and commentary available in Arab or Muslim newspapers, journals, magazines, caricatures, on Islamist websites, on the Middle Eastern radio and TV news, in documentaries, films, and educational materials, is comparable only to that of Nazi Germany at its worst. "--
"The history of Western colonialism and neo-colonialism is a history of holocausts — {...} the genocide of Aboriginal Australia, to today’s occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq {...} Racism played a role in all these holocausts." That is a ridiculously evil thing to say. Was there a widespread, systematic, state-funded extermination of indigenous Australians? Is there any evidence that we removed Saddam's totalitarian regime from power in order to cleanse a specific race or religious group? Perhaps you remember the near eradication of the Kurds by Saddam's fascist army? That was a genocide. A genocide which we stopped. Lying is neither radical nor entertaining.
I really like it when men and women arrive with each other and share opinions, wonderful website, hold it up.
"Was there a widespread, systematic, state-funded extermination of indigenous Australians?" Yes. It's a shameful testament to the strength of denial of the (ongoing) genocide of Aboriginal people in Australia that anyone could even ask this question.
Jewish ancestry wouldn't have worried Toquemada because his anti-Jewish ideology was religious not racial. Of course, Toquemada's victim's who could get away mostly found refuge in Muslim-majority societies, in which Jews had lived peaceably for hundreds of years and continued to do so for hundreds of years afterward. Why did anti-Jewish sentiments only develop in the Middle East after 1917 and take off after 1948, I wonder? Also, learn to distinguish between corporate media articles and evidence. Two quite different things.
"Was there a widespread, systematic, state-funded extermination of indigenous Australians? Is there any evidence that we removed Saddam's totalitarian regime from power in order to cleanse a specific race or religious group?" The decimation of the Indigenous Australian population is catagorised as 'genocide', you can even ask the UN! And yes you are right, Saddam's killing of the Kurds was also genocide. Is there a limit on the amount of events that can be named genocide? Maybe you should look up the criteria of genocide? This is taken from the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948. In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
a thousand years ago ! Safed 200 years ago long before the Zionist excuse. 1. "Myths & Facts -The Treatment of Jews in Arab/Islamic Countrieswww.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf15.htmlCached - Similar You +1'd this publicly. Undo “Jews who lived in Islamic countries were well-treated by the Arabs. ... 2. Pogrom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaen.wikipedia.org/wiki/PogromCached - Similar You +1'd this publicly. Undo The 11th century, however, saw several Muslim pogroms against Jews; ... which played a key role in the massive emigration from Arab countries to Israel. Jews fleeing Spain went all over including Holland Britain and yes Palestine(the name change from Israel being by the Roman conquerors) Being better than others does not make it good. Are you denying Moslem world antisemitism ? Yes anti semitism not the catch all excuse "only anti zionist". If not what do you intend to do about it?
Actually anti-Jewish sentiments go back to when Mohammed moved his army from Mecca to Medina, which was full of Jews, and he massacred, tortured and generally oppressed them, and propagandised about it in the Quran. Zionism is only part of the problem, the other part is Islam.
He got rid of them when he had no further use for them Religion or ideology both can are used to commit genocide Ignoring Arab neo Nazi propaganda and their millennia history of pogroms just covers up uncomfortable truths that conflict with ideological dogma
Anonymous seems to be deliberately ignorant of the extermination of tasmanian aborigines, the stolen generation, the poisoned water holes, poisoned flour, hunts organised to kill aborigines. Aborigines communities have been exterminated in their regions and are confined to city slums and a few isolated settlements. Action aimed at total or partial extermination of a national, religious, cultural, ethnic group is genocide.
Anonymous! Aparthied is the legalised segregation and dicrimination aganist a group. Palestinians expelled through massacres are not allowed to return to their homes. Jews anywhere in the world can become Israeli citizens. Palestinians in the West bank cannot drive on Israeli only roads, are subject to military law while Jews in the same place are subject to civil law, have citizenship and vote. This is to expose just one example of Israel's aparthied.
I agree with your point but just need to add that Tasmanian Aboriginals were not exterminated. They continue to exist and have strong ties to their traditional land, language and culture.
If you are going with that as your standard, look at Malaysia, with very clear laws applying to Chinese and Indians. Maybe we can get protests outside the local Malaysian restaurant, it would make as much sense as blockading a hot chocolate shop.
There is no ethnically or religiously specific road system in Malaysia, as far as I know. But there is systemic ethnic discrmination in Malaysia that resembles apartheid in some aspects, one of many undemocratic things. Which is why Green Left Weekly has been in the forefront of solidarity with those struggling for democracy in Malaysia — something which makes us very different from the ALP, the Coalition, the Murdoch-dominated mainstream media, alll Zionist organisations in Australia, the APP and all the others attacking us for supporting BDS, who either support the status-quo in Malaysia or are totally indifferent to that country. "Maybe we can get protests outside the local Malaysian restaurant" Why? Find me a Malaysian restaraunt whose owner's website proudly boasts it has adopted military units that commit massacres. No democratic rights activists in Malaysia have ever called for a boycott of Malaysian restaraunts overseas, and why would they?
Then write something that actually relates.
In the Old Testamant, when the Hebrews arrive in the promised land God gives them permission to ethnically cleanse the place. To use this as evidence that there is something inherantly Jewish about invasion & ethnic cleansing would be stupid (and racist). However, not surprisingly Zionists are rather fond of these passages. Even secular Zionists often fall back on the "God gave it to us" argument. It would be a mistake, however, to see Zionism as a result of wacky religious ideas. As the article explains, its ideologocal origins are European and 19th century. "Zionism is only part of the problem, the other part is Islam." No. Zionism is an ideology based around the colonisation of an already inhabited country, Palestine. That Islam is the religion of many (but far from all) Palestinians is entirely irrelavant. Were they Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians, they still would be less than happy about being ethnically cleansed.
I take it from your incompetant style of copying & pasting (leaving in stuff like "You +1'd this publicly. Undo") that you are "Anonymous on Tue, 27/09/2011 - 4:47pm" 1. I asked you to re-read the article, for a reason. None of the racist attitudes and historical untruths in your first reply were any more relavant to what you were supposedly replying to than the formatting you inadvertantly copied. Likewise with your 2nd reply. "You +1'd this publicly. Undo" is as relavant to the original article as anything else you wrote. 2. "Myths & Facts -The Treatment of Jews in Arab/Islamic Countrieswww.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf15.html" That a site dedicated to spewing out pro-Israel propaganda provides you with pro-Israel propaganda doesn't say very much. 3. "Jews fleeing Spain went all over including Holland Britain and yes Palestine". alot went to Holland but the majority went to places in the places in the Muslim-majority Ottoman Empire. Palestine was just one of these. 4. "Are you denying Moslem world antisemitism ? " Read the article. 5. "Palestine(the name change from Israel being by the Roman conquerors)." What a stupid thing to say! Do you know any actual history at all or just a stupid, counter-factual narrative created to justify oppresion in the present? But even if events in AD70 were exactly as the Zionist claim, this would not one iota justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestine or the apartheid state of Israel.
yet again, none of the green-left supporters have failed to explain how the invasion of iraq was any reasonable form of "holocaust". probably because they can't.
Over a million dead and a society destroyed and you deny it's a holocaust?
Tony, The passages you refer to are actually not about ethnic cleansing. All the archaeological evidence, as well as social science modelling, and the fact that Hebrew and Canaanite are both very closely related languages, point towards the Israelites and Canaanites having the same racial origin. Once you re-read the Old Testament with that realisation, and note that the Canaanites had ploughs, chariots etc., and the Israelites (ie. the military leader David) were 'tending the flocks', you realise the "canaanite genocide" was actually a popular uprising of hired workers against land-owning peasants. Also, if you read the book of Joshua (conquest of the Canaanites), with a map, you'll notice that the children of Israel were carrying out geurilla warfare. They start in decentralised pockets in the hillsides and start to take over the cities. That implies they are not a conquering army, but that they were already there. When David conquered Jerusalem, the Capital, and installed the Mosaic Law as constitution (which guarantees inalienable land rights and bans lending for interest) a revolution had effectively taken place. So, "God gave the land to the children of Israel" is correctly interpreted as "God gave the land to the poor." And of course you're right... Zionists (both the Jewish ideology and the Christian fundamentalist one) misinterpret these passages, and carry out acts of imperialist conquest, and ultimately genocide :-( They have become the Canaanites.
At Bumiputra,the blasphemy and apostate laws for starters. Then you could protest the occupation of Kurdistan,Cyprus and Tibet and the assosciated apartheid. Your denial of Arab pogroms in and outside Palestine for centuries,long before the "zionist" excuse for everything is interesting.Yes there were Jews there continuously,long before the Arab invaders came along. Instead of attacking the messenger why not factually disprove their historically proven reports of pogroms in the Moslem world. Ethnic cleansing?? The Arab population in Israel the WB and Gaza has INCREASED many fold. The Jewish population in the whole Moslem world numbers in the tens of thousands.The million Jews living there were subject to pogroms expulsion and property confiscation. I have first hand reports from my family formerly in Egypt of the Crystallnacht Arab style when Jewish properties were torched etc.They even demanded the wedding rings as the Jews boarded ships to leave. BTW Israeli Arabs and Jews both use the WB roads.The seperate roads came AFTER drive by shootings,suicide bombings etc,not the other way around.The vast majority of those targetted, being Israeli civillians,one of the hallmarks of terrorists
Today I was at a protest against the killing of Hazaras in Pakistan. Were you? No, of course not. During the recent crackdown in Malaysia I was at a protest outside the Malaysian airlines office (there's no embassy in Sydney). Were you? Of course not. Likewise with Kurdistan. Most of those slandering the BDS movement as anti-Semitic also slander the PKK as terrorists. Where does Turkey get its weapons from? The West (including Israel until very recently). I guess the break in military relations between Israel and Turkey is good news for Kurds. I've also written several articles opposing the occupation of Tibet. So I don't need a hypocritical pro-imperialist troll telling me what I could do. *** "Yes there were Jews there [in Palestine] continuously,long before the Arab invaders came along." So you agree with Shlomo Sands that the Romans didn't expell all Palestine's Jews in AD70? Do you also agree that many converted to Christianity and Islam, their descendants being part of today's Palestinian population? "Ethnic cleansing?? The Arab population in Israel the WB and Gaza has INCREASED many fold." The majority of the population of the West Bank and Gaza are people ethnically cleansed in al-Nakba in 1948 and their descendants. That Gaza is the most densely populated place on earth is precisely the result of ethnic cleansing. "I have first hand reports from my family formerly in Egypt of the Crystallnacht Arab style when Jewish properties were torched etc." The events you described occured after the establishment of the State of Israel. Incidentally, that some imperialist-controlled Arab governments responded to the establishment of Israel by expelling their Jewish population was not only a crime against those they expelled but also against the Palestinian people, boosting Israel's Jewish population to replace the ethnically cleansed Palestinians. BTW Since 2000, for every Israeli child killed by Palestinians, 12 Palestinian children were killed by Israelis. In the same period 6 times as many Palestinians as Israelis have been killed. The majority of Israelis casualties are military, the majority of Palestinian casualties are civilian. This is the case even though all armed Palestinians are classified as fighters while the armed West Bank extremist Jewish settlers are classified as civilians. *** It is well known that there are Zionists who trawl through the internet looking for articles on Palestine so they can regale us with the lies that the corporate media monopolies ram down our throats every day. Can I suggest that these trolls check out the rest of Green Left Weekly so they stop embarrassing themselves by belligerantly demanding we oppose regimes we already very actively oppose. At least in this instance, because in the article I made reference to the ethnic cleansing of Australia, they haven't upbraided us for being silent on the oppression of Indigenous Australians. Under other articles we've run on Palestine they have — clearly showing that the only articles in GLW they look at are the ones on Palestine.
If you're going to cry poor about being supposedly mis-labelled, it doesn't help your argument to call your opponents fascists.
I found this article very informative and appreciate it. And I am so grateful there are Jewish people like you. Regarding these APP types doing this - I just don't get it. Pro-Zionism? Surely one of them at least has noticed David Duke on Youtube, or American conservative alternative media sites such as Alex Jones, Infowars, or the Jeff Rense Programme. What is it with them? It's just retarded. I find the use of 'anti-Semite' rather like the sleight-of-hand trick done by Uncle Charlie. It's not that everybody's worked out how how he does it. It's just that they've seen it so many times their totally over it. Old, tired, worn out. Zionists are going to have to get some new tricks in their bag.
"Racism is a historically recent phenomenon. It developed simultaneously with Europeans invading the Americas and using African slaves to work there. The slave plantation economy was essential to the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution." This actually made me laugh out loud; perhaps you should pick up a history book and test this theory of yours. Then again, you Leftists never let historic accuracy get in the way of your hackneyed and predictable "blame Europeans for everything" ideology. Racism has been around for centuries, it exists wherever people exist; find me a country anywhere in the world without any racist attitudes present, even at small levels, among the populace. Go on. I'll just wait here until you find one...
One good history book that discusses the topic I'd recommend is The Many Headed Hydra. Racism does not exist wherever people exist, if by that you mean its a natural human prejudice. Before the rise of capitalism, discrimination based on skin colour was very rare in Europe for example (although discrimination based on religion was widespread)
So what evidence are you using to support this outrageous claim? Typically ignorant response conversant with the Leftist mentality of ignoring that which does not support the anti-Western world view. You cannot seriously believe that racism began with the Industrial Revolution. Step outside your narrow criticisms of Europe for a moment and look around the world... you will not find anywhere in the world where people are without at least some level of prejudice or preference for their own kind.
Simon cited a scholarly book as evidence, unlike yourself, who has presented zero evidence to support your argument. You're doing a pretty good job of ignoring that which does not support your worldview.
Usually you would be right, but in this case - where they are organised members of far-right racist groups or politicians who attend commemorations for fascist governments - its hard to come up with a more accurate term.
1. Simon provided evidence: he cited a book. You ignore this but repeat your non-evidence based assertion. 2. The article & the book Simon cites dates the origins of racism to the rise of capitalism not the industrial revolution. 3. Capitalism is a global system, making your demand for an example of a country without racism today evidence of your stupidity. 4. If you want an example of a society without racism: the Roman Empire. Both slaves and slave owners could be black or white.

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