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Related Categories: Palestine | San Francisco | Anti-War
Anti-War Counterprotesters Make Convincing Argument That Zionism Is Racism
by afds
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 5:36 PM
Israel supporters counter-protested the ANSWER antiwar rally today. In the past, they have focused on ANSWER's exclusion of Michael Lerner and others as speakers, but this time the message was much more about demonization and bigotry.
As Native American activists and leaders of unions spoke from stage, proIsrael counterprotesters equated all protesters with Al Qaeda, celebrated Israeli bombings as "peace from above", and dressed as fake suicide bombers in what would be seen as an unseemly form of "black face" had the targetted ethnic group been any other than Arab. Several of the counterprotesters were members of Berkeley College Republicans while others were from non-partisan groups that in the past claimed to be antiBush but proIsrael so its not clear how much the far right messages were agreed with by all protesters but the noticible increase in the bigoted nature of the message every year should be of concern.If the desire to pull US troops out of Iraq means one supports Al Qaeda that would mean that most Americans support Al Qaeda (since support for an immediate pullout is now the majority view even among pragmatic conservatives like those who worked with Bush Sr)

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by skippy
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 6:10 PM
There was more than one group present and with differing agendas. As always, the largest contingent was the non-partisan San Francisco Voice for Israel. Almost all of the photos shown are of the Berkeley College Republicans and Protest Warriors who, unlike San Francisco Voice for Israel, are pro-war. At this event, far more people from the college Republicans were there than ever before, hence, the apparent rightward tilt. The pro-peace signs of the Zionist contingent should tip you off that the views of the Republicans are not shared by the Zionists.
by shut the fuck up
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 6:12 PM
Stop trying to defend the indefensible.
by Scotsman
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 6:23 PM
How sane conservatives respond:

THERE can be few supporters of the decision to invade Iraq who, if they are honest, have not found themselves wondering from time to time if toppling Saddam was not a grievous, ghastly blunder the costs of which, in blood and money, outweigh its benefits.

Equally, I hope that those who opposed the war can admit that those of us who supported its prosecution did so in good faith and that leaving Saddam in power carried risks of its own too. Containment was falling apart, ensuring that we would, once again, have been forced to confront the Iraqi dictator at some point in the future. Better to do so at a moment of our choosing rather than his.

How conservative Berkeley students respond:
(see photos above)

Whether you are a liberal a conservative or a radical you have to admit that the quality of conservatives we have in the US has been going down hill for awhile. They are less educated, make less convincing arguments and appeal to hatred rather than making thought out arguments. Its hard to believe those pictures above are Berkeley students but anyone who attends Berkeley has seen many those carrying the worst signs above sitting at the Berkeley College Republican's table.

While the students in the photos are too young to remember, the build up in Islamic fundamentalism worldwide was a well thoughtout policy of Reagan in his war against the USSR. When Reagan announced Afghanistan Day he essentially came out and said how much he loved Osama ( ); religuous fundamentalism was seen as a force that could stave off "godless" Communism in Middle Eastern countries and heavy weapons not only went to people like Hekmatyar but even Bin Laden himself. Protesting Socialist antiwar protesters with signs about Bin Laden are perhaps an effort to make up for past guilt? Probably not, but with the Bush now supporting Hakim, SCIRI and DAWA in Iraq it will be interesting to see if Republicans turn and denounce the left again for opposing a war against the future Islamic state or Iraq once it starts to act against US interests.

Polarization in the US is partly because the left lacks a partner to debate. Simple Fox News slogans mixed with Ann Coulter style snide remarks doesnt make for a real discussion.
by Talk about low numbers!!
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 6:27 PM
If the antiwar folks think their numbers are low, check out, what, all 12? of these pro-war people.

Makes ya wonder why they're here, and not off in Eye-raq. Love the war? Great! Go die in it.
by Pro-Peace, Pro-Israel
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 6:33 PM
Thanks, Skippy. Only on Indybay would someone holding a "Pro Israel Pro Peace" sign be labeled racist.

Notice the old lady holding the anti-war sign? She was one of many who came over to the true side for peace. At this rally, we had many cross-overs, whom all resented how the anti-war movement had been hijacked into a catchall for every leftist with an agenda. Thats why the true side of peace grows with every event, while the ANSWER side decreases.

Sign me,
Pro-Peace, Pro-Israel
by um
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 6:58 PM
"Almost all of the photos shown are of the Berkeley College Republicans and Protest Warriors who, unlike San Francisco Voice for Israel, are pro-war."

At a giant ANSWER demo it makes sense that one may march in the same protest as people with signs you disagree with as long as you both oppose the war (in past protsts one saw both Nader and Kerry signs as well as signs for a variety of even smaller alternative political parties). But with all the space around the Civic Center it doesnt seem credible that the mixture of people with racist sigs and people with Israeli flags (and many with both) was just coincidental.

If the signs equating opposition to war with support for Bin Laden were aimed at all war opponents and the people with "ProIsrael ProPeace" signs were not displaying a similar sentiment to the "Peace From Above" sign, then the Protest Warriors and Republicans were demonizing the Israel supporters too... but the groups seemed to get along pretty well and while there was a grouping of the most racist Berkeley Republicans in the center of the line many other anti-anti-war signs were sprinkled among the proIsrael flags in a way that suggested general agreement. Jewish Voice For Pace and Women in Black both took part in the actual anti-war demonstartion so I am pretty skeptical about SFVoiceForIsrael's real agenda (and I dont just mean in terms of Israeli/Palestinian politics but in terms of US politics too since they seem to act more as a Republican front group than just a group that disagrees with ANSWER over the future status of the West Bank).

As for the person asking what was racist, think about how things would look if instead of proIsrael protesters dressed up as Palestinians the counter protest consisted of antiIsrael protesters dressed as Hasidic Jews but with feature accentuated to make them seem evil. Or imagine if the "I want virgins" signs were being held up by an opponent of integration during the Civil Rights struggle and the signs said "I want white women"? Racism againt minority groups always seems to come along with a view about mistreatment of women and while mistreatment does exist in all cultures the underlying message of oversexualizing a foreign "enemy" culture and claiming they want to rape women is just an easy set of strings to pull for those trying to enflame hatreds (I think the Nazis used similar propaganda against Jews trying to protray Jewish men and women as over sexualized, but one also sees a similar although less overtly racist view of foreigners in Japan and Europe)
by @
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 7:01 PM
Racist themes, pro-violence, anti-free speech, ...
by Maya
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 7:38 PM
Hey, you pro-war, pro-zionist fanatics, Osama is dead and even if he was alive today he would tell you that for most of his life he was a CIA asset from way back to the days of fighting the Russians and the Serbs. Most of the armaments that supported the mujahideen, the Taliban and the KLA (a muslim terrorist group) were financied by U.S. taxpayers via the ISI (Pakistani's military intelligence) which brought the arms directly to these groups. And, in case you didn't know, the ISI was connected to the financing of Mohamed Atta, the alledged mastermind of the 911 hijackings, by a general Ahmed Mosoud who wired Atta 100,000 the day before 911. He was also meeting with CIA director George Tenet on Sept 10, 2001. Oh, but I am sure that was just a coincidence. Yeah, right...

Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 8:53 PM
Let's all give a horray to SF protestwarrior, Freerepublic, and the Voice of Israel. They Owned you all over the place.
by Re:
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 9:06 PM
So you are admitting the SF Voice For Israel is a Republican front group and doesnt really represent most of the SF Jewish community or even a majority of those who support Israel's views?
by observer
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 9:19 PM
Could anybody here just check a dictionary for the definition of the word "racism", you are using so often? You will be surprised.
by is the voice of peace
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 9:30 PM
"SF Voice For Israel is a Republican front group"

Absolute trash. We are a non-partisan, intergenerational group united solely by our love of Israel. Anyone who loves peace and loves Israel can join:

Note, please, this very important statement rgarding todays rally:

Please bring your noisemakers, flags, and signs. As always, feel free to make your own signs but please no signs or graphics offensive to any racial or ethnic group including but not limited to Arabs, Islam, or Palestinians.

by Art Altman
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 10:23 PM
The fellow who comments that "San Francisco Voice for Israel is a Republican front group" gave me a good laugh. I know a number of people in SFV4I and they could not possibly be more diverse, from gay, anti-war, left wing to pro-Bush. They also have widely varying opinions about Israel's politics and behaviors. What motivates SFV4I, the common thread of the group, is concern for the safety and security of Israel, and concern about the way Israel is misrepresented in the media.
by TW
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 10:43 PM
"...concern for the safety and security of Israel ... the way Israel is misrepresented in the media"

zio-liars are passe here. At this point, anybody whose foremost concern is for Israel's "safety and security" can justly be described as a throat-slashing bigot. Go away.
by Re:
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 10:59 PM
Perhaps that's true about the larger group but the people at the protest are working very closely with some of the more nasty of the Republican smear groups. Protest Warrior and College Republicans are a bit more than just conservatives. Scroll up and looks at the photos equating pacifism with terrorism and ask yourself if you think the person holding the sign really believes that. If not, what is their motivation for the sign? There is a bit of Rove's dirty tricks in the drive to split off Jewish groups from the left and while some of the motivation may be sophmoric disrespect for serious issues I doubt that's all there is to it. SF Voice For Israel may contain people who think their sole motivation is fighting antiSemitism but at least a few of those organizing and working with the protests seem to have a very different agenda (and one which if voiced explicity from Rove's mouth would sound like a very antiSemitic agenda) Republican use of Evangelicals starting with Reagan had some similarity; while everyone now assumes the partisan stuff comes after the fundamentalism, it really came from pragmatic partisan types having realized that it was a way to broaden the appeal of a party that had only appealed to the rich East Coast business community before Reagan.
by observer
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 11:17 PM
"Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one."

Whose words? Yes, it's George Orwell, who was a left-wing democratic socialist.
by Thank the Police
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 11:29 PM
All the counter protestors were put in one location for safety purposes by the police.

That the counter-protestors were not ripping each other limb from limb is not a sign of agreement or collusion, it is a sign of civility.
by some person
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 11:30 PM
the guy with the mohamad sign is the republican party member that goes to schools on heavily censored "political fair" days
by clue time.
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 11:30 PM
"They Owned you all over the place."

People don't "own" people in this country anymore. It was, why, your party! did away with that in the early 1860s, see...
by We stand for Israel
Saturday Mar 18th, 2006 11:51 PM
"All the counter protestors were put in one location for safety purposes by the police.

That the counter-protestors were not ripping each other limb from limb is not a sign of agreement or collusion, it is a sign of civility."


Oh, look! A smart person. Thank you. How refreshing.

At the last rally, the pro- Israel contingent had our elders knocked down, and our organizers were physically and verbally harrassed. (Yes, they called it a "peace rally" then, also.)

Certain decisons were made to protect the safety of the participants. Thats the way it goes. You want to know what SF Voice for Israel stands for- look at the website. They stand for for Israel. They stand for peace. Its simple. SF Voice for Israel is grassroots, inter-generational, and diverse. Ask us if you have any questions. Join us if you like what we say.

Prior to the Six-Day War, most politically active Jews in the U.S. 1) leaned strongly to the left, including communism, and 2) were not obsessed 24-7 with Israel. Then in '67 Egypt and Syria threatened to put Israel in a vice using their RUSSIAN-equipped, RUSSIAN-trained, RUSSIAN-aligned armies, whereupon US Jews rather mindlessly bolted to the opposite extreme of the political spectrum, i.e. into **REVISIONIST ZIONISM**, a.k.a. zionist fascism. More than a few US Jews (e.g. Wolfowitz, Perle) subsequently became the most rabid and committed anti-communist / US imperialist whack-jobs ever seen.

The zionist variant of fascism was first advanced by the original zio-terrorist, Ze'ev Jabotinsky. Mussolini's big pal in the Middle East, Jabotinsky was a frank fascist sympathizer during the initial fascist blossoming of the 1920s, when it was clearly a right-wing reaction to the Bolshevik revolution. For Jabotinsky, fascism’s appeal had much to do with his hatred of Russia's endemic anti-Semitism. Anyone out to rip Russia's guts out was therefore Jabotinsky's good friend -- including the Axis of course. The zionist variant of fascism has always featured this hate-driven knee-jerk anti-Russian / anti-communist reactionism, usually centered on Stalin...

Avraham Stern, one of Jabotinsky’s most fanatical followers and leader of the infamous 'Stern Gang' of zionist terror-psychos, was another forthright fascist who kept trying to ingest Hitler's love-goo during the first half of WWII.

Meanwhile in New York, a little boy named Martin David Kahane (later Rabbi Meir Kahane) was destined to become Jabotinsky's most important US disciple. He actually knew Jabotinsky in person, although as a tender urchin no older than seven (the prime brainwashing years, of course). The Hitler of Palestine was a frequent guest at the Kahane family home in NYC, where he paid visits to Meir's prominent zionist terror-whacko father, Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Kahane. Little Meir would bounce on old Ze’ev’s knee, spellbound by his undeniable charisma.

Jabotinsky was a terrorist mastermind by any definition, and it was in association with the elder Kahane that he launched the earliest zionist terror activities in the US, way back in 1940 when Irgun recruiting camps and gun-running activities first became an underground rage in the New York area. It was at an Irgun camp in the Catskills that Meir Kahane began his terrorist metamorphosis in 1946 at age 14. Only a year later he would launch his lifelong terrorist career by stalking and assaulting British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin at a vegetable market in NYC. This resulted in Kahane’s first arrest.

As is so often the case with terror practices now associated with Palestinian “villainy,” the use of teenagers to perpetrate terrorism was a thing the zionists did FIRST.

from Robert I. Friedman,
The False Prophet: Rabbi Meir Kahane;
From FBI Informant To Knesset Member
p. 33:


"Meir Kahane's militancy eventually found an outlet in Betar, the youth wing of the Revisionist Movement, which he joined shortly after his Bar Mitzvah in 1946. With its emphasis on violent street demonstrations, paramilitary training camps, torchlight parades, and myths of Old Testament heroes, Betar would be the model for the JDL.

"Ze'ev Jabotinsky had organized Betar in Riga, Latvia in 1923, in response to the spread of virulently anti-Semitic European nationalist movements. Its twofold purpose was to train Jewish youth in self-defense and to prepare them for the fire-and-blood struggle that would transform Palestine into a Jewish state.

"The Betar youth movement in America was incorporated on June 10, 1940, in New York City. That same year it opened a paramilitary training camp in the Catskill Mountains near Hunter, New York in a run-down hotel that was donated by a supporter. Jabotinsky died on August 3rd during a visit to the camp shortly after it opened. By the early 1940s, Betar claimed several hundred members in the New York area. One of its first U.S. leaders was Moshe Arens, who in the 1980s became Israel's ambassador to America and Israel's foreign minister.

"Betar's most urgent activity was smuggling weapons to the Irgun. In the 1940s, Irgun's leader Menachem Begin sent several deputies to America to procure arms. Eli Tavin, Irgun's overseas intelligence chief, supervised the operation, using his position as educational director of the World Zionist Organization as a cover. In all, Tavin set up weapons procurement networks in twenty-three countries, as well as a number of self-defense units, including one in Shanghai to protect Jews still in Chinese displaced persons' camps following the Second World War. Tavin also masterminded Irgun's terrorist campaign against the British in Europe. On October 31, 1946, for example, he engineered the bombing of the British Embassy in Rome."


Lots more juicy stuff here:

After obtaining legal and rabbinical credentials, Meir Kahane spent the mid-‘60s exhorting other Jews to support the US imperial conquest of southeast Asia, which was already hacking its way through whopping huge piles of commie rice-farmer men, women, and babies – a very beautiful thing. It was the sudden US Jewish flight to the right following the Six-Day War that caused his popularity to suddenly explode. Within a year, Kahane was regurgitating his early 'Jabotinsky Youth' fascist programming, following Jabotinsky's formula verbatim, setting up the first of several JDL terrorist training camps in the Catskills (Camp Jedel) and launching terror operations in both the US and the West Bank by 1970. The vast majority of Kahane's targets in the US were Soviet-associated diplomatic missions and businesses.

Fascism is the ruling mafia’s direct point-by-point rebuttal to communism, and frothing, bug-eyed hatred of communism, of the sort constantly being displayed by thuh Yidiot, continues to be one of fascism's main diagnostic symptoms, arguably its very essence. Ever since his death in 1940, Jabotinsky's core fascist ideology has been kept in tip-top shape by his direct ideological descendants, who have dominated Israel's top political leadership continuously ever since '48. This is just one facet of the way Jabotinsky's ideology has dominated pro-Israel extremism for 80 years, and it's just simple straightforward textbook fascism. The zionist step’n’fetchit boyz for the present fascist regime in Washington, for example, all follow Jabotinsky as much as they do Leo Strauss.

What Indybay ant-zionists including myself keep referring to as “zionism” is more properly called ***Jabotinskyism***
by Let us take a look
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 9:55 AM

I believe that your example of "places you love" contains a serious flaw. You want us to believe that the first four items on your list are, essentially, the same as the fifth (categorically). But they're not. In fact, they're radically different.

Yosemite, Denali, the Eastern Sierra, the Grand Tetons... they are amazing because of their immutable physical beauty. They were amazing prior to the arrival of people. They were amazing prior to the existence of the United States. And they remain so regardless of the name we might choose for them, regardless of the government currently in power, regardless of humans altogether.

But Israel has no such inherant beauty, because "Israel" is merely a name, a word, an artificial human construct. It does not exist outside of human conception.

And the core of the concept of "Israel" is that a particular area of land must be posessed, controlled, owned by a particular group of people.

But perhaps I misunderstand you. Perhaps what you are saying is that you love the land, the place that currently arbitrarily happens to be called Israel. It wouldn't matter to you what the name was or whom else was there. What you love is the land, the physical place regardless of the people. Is that it?

Tia said:

I love Yosemite.
I love Denali.
I love the Eastern Sierra.
I love the Grand Tetons.
I love Israel.

Get the point? Yes, you can truly love something and not feel the need to "possess" it or "encompass" it or "own it". As for me, I am "not yet" in Israel, but will be, soon.
by they're both pathological liars
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 12:52 PM
"Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist" coming from "observer" (an apologist for Jewish Nazism) is obviously just a slip-slidey way of saying "pacifists are fascists."

Huh, you don't say! Let's see what Mussolini says

"Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine of Pacifism -- born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face of sacrifice. War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it."
by um
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 1:24 PM
"There was more than one group present and with differing agendas. As always, the largest contingent was the non-partisan San Francisco Voice for Israel."

Unless the Voice for Israel group was also carring signs equating pacifism with terrorism, there were fewer of them counterprotesting than college Republicans. While most counter protesters were carrying Israeli flags I can only counts around 8 people with flags who are not part of the Republican groups and maybe 15 who are from the various college Republican groups. Im guessing there was a lot of overlap so most counter protesters were both from Voice for Israel and college Republians but that would contradict the assertion that Voice for Israel is nonpartisan.... there may be nonpartisan people in Voice for Israel but the coordination between Protest Warriors and Voice for Israel wasnt just a result of police asking counterprotesters to gather in a single space. Many protests warriors are openly members of Voice for Israel and I would guess help coordinate protests on their email lists.

The ANSWER protest itself focused more this year on the Phillipines, Cuba and Iran than Israel but no nationalist groups that disagreed with the speakers on those topics showed up to counterprotest (since Im guessing they are smart enough to know the consequence of their actions... counterprotesting with signs that all viewers will find offensive is an effort to push people away from a cause not draw people towards a cause) Groups critical of Iran actually took part in the march and didnt set themselves up as sounding proWar just becasue their concen over theocracy and Iranian nukes was the main focus of their signs.

But perhaps for the Republicans in the groups the message was inentional since no protesters are going to vote Republican but if a conflict can be created between proIsreal groups and the left in the right way, fringe leftists' hyperbole will likely start to sound antiSemitic and then those issolated incidents can be hyped in publications like Campus Watch to start recuiting centrist Jewish Americans to be scared into a Republican vote (and while the overall size of the vote is small it could be enough to swing several electoral votes in a Presidential election)

If the Republican groups were even indirectly encouraged to show up by the Republican leadership then I would say that the motivation of sending antiwar activists a message that Jewish groups are proWar (to create a backlash and divisions that will make Republican recruitment easier) was itself antiSemitic. The Republican group with the offensive signs were also carrying Israeli flags so the message seemed very intentional.
by Disgusted
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 2:45 PM
The ANSWER Rally was nothing like a "Peace Rally". There was one element that was highly pro-War, vocal and threatening.... but against Israel. What does their war mongering have to do with "peace."
by um
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 2:54 PM
"There was one element that was highly pro-War, vocal and threatening.... but against Israel. "

Which element was that? The main prowar antiIsrael group I saw was SF Voice For Israel.The Palestinian speakers all were supporters of a two state solution and recognize the Israeli state but those who refuse to recognize the right for a Palestinian state to exist seem to only aim for more fighting... and thats ultimately bad for both Israelis and Palestinians so its not a stretch to call such views antiIsrael

I guess It's not that surprising the Republicans use Orwelian language to equate war with peace and freedom with slavery. SF Voice For Israel could probably be compared to the Swiftboat Veterans who also claimed to be nonpartisan, but it is a little disturbing that unlike that group many left leaning Bay Area residents have failed to see SF Voice For Israel's real agenda and their names and political affiliations can be pointed to in order to give Swiftboat Veterans For Israel some sense of legitmacy.
by blech
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 3:52 PM
The Republicans /proIsrael Counterprotesters like to demonize ANSWER for supporting Palestinian militants but which group would the WWP actually support (or more appropriately which group would Socialism and Liberation support since the WWP is definitely on the outs with ANSWER these days)
Nationalists have tended to support Fatah and Communists have tended to support the PFLP. Both groups are at odds with Hamas and the PFLP is Marxist (and founded by an ethnic Christian) and thus openly opposed to religion in general. I wouldnt be that surprised if ANSWER sides with Fatah (since they take some strange stands on 3rd world nationalism) but lets assume that like most Trots they support the PFLP.

Here is what is on the Wikipedia page about the PFLP:
"The current PFLP draws its support from bourgeoise, urban, usually university educated Palestinians of varying ages who lead a more secular lifestyle and therefore hold liberal beliefs in reference to social issues, and socialist views on economic ones. Whereas Hamas completely dominates the slums of Gaza, Qalqilya, and Hebron, the PFLP has its roots among the urban middle class, often Christians like their founder George Habash who fear Islamisation of the Palestinians and the erasure of the rights of minorities within a Hamas theocracy."

Now the PFLP isnt nonviolent and did assasinate people but none of the signs held by the proIsrael side to demonize ANSWER were really about violence (except the one glorifying bombing campaigns as bringing peace). Insteadt he focus was on islam as an evil with Bin Laden, talk of virgins for suicide bombers (no member of the PFLP would believe such a thing) and references to how pacifism makes on equal to Al Qaeda (since the PFLP isnt pacifist I guess they are not like Al Qaeda but the ISM and Quakers are since they are nonviolent??)

What is truely strange is how the proIsrael groups like to focus most of their anger at groups like the ISM that are openly nonviolent and at an antiwar demo the proIsrael attack in ANSWER take the form of accusations of support for Hamas and/or support for pacifism when the Communist groups that are behind many of ANSWER's leaders support neither. The whole proIsrael stance is full of double speak and outright lies since peace from Israel is equated with a wall inside the green line, assasinations of Palestinian leaders, ocassional military incurrsions, construction of nukes and even things like the invasion of Lebanon while vague accusations of support for violence are tossed at people like Rachael Corrie, the ISM, and other nonviolent supporters of Palestinian freedom since any sympathy for the plight of Palestinians is violent antiSemitism.
by haven't you heard?
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 4:22 PM
War is Peace.

And permanent war is......
by observer
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 5:14 PM
*** "Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist" coming from "observer" (an apologist for Jewish Nazism) is obviously just a slip-slidey way of saying "pacifists are fascists." ***

That's nice and funny!:))
You are completely lost in contradictions. Actually, there is no sense to argue - you expose your lack of logic without help from outside :).
Well. I'm a realy peace-loving person. :) Tell me, how do you make your conclusions
- about me
- about Orwell (oh, by the way, did you ever read his books or just something longer than a slogan on a banner)
- what do you mean by this "disarming" label "Jewish Nazism"?
by um
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 5:34 PM
"oh, by the way, did you ever read his books or just something longer than a slogan on a banner"

Orwell's early stuff was pretty good but he sliped into British chauvanism (and antiSemitism Ive been told) in much of his later writings (down and out in Paris and London has some mildy antiSemitic themes at various points but also showed clear signs of some of Orwell's paternalistic views towards those who are not British). While his books in general are really good I wouldnt hold Orwell up as some model of political corectness and moral purity.

Orwell fought against the fascists in Spain but if anything became disillusioned with war as a result. WIth the danger of worldwide Nazi domination I wouldn't be that surprised if he did write the line you attribute to him but to equate opposition to any war with support for the enemy is obvously insane.

Most Republicans opposed Clinton's wars in Somalia and Yugoslavia but does that mean that those Republicans supported Somali warlords and Molosovic? Just about everyone opposes a conflict with N Korea but thats becase the risks are too great and it doesnt mean that those who oppose the war (since it could mean the deaths of millions in S Korea or even Japan) support the government of N Korea.

The appropriate Orwellian view when it comes to your take on pacifism being support for the enemy would be Orwell's portrayal of Emanuel Goldstein in 1984 and how the government used fear of the enemy to justify totalitarianism. The signs of the proIsrael demonstators equating Native American activists and unions groups opposed to Iraq with Al Qaeda are almost directly from that novel (especially since the war in Iraq strengthened Al Qaeda since Saddam was also opposed to fundamentalists). This type of fear mongering and demonization of dissent may have worked right after 9/11 but with most of the US now opposed to the war (and signs that most of the miiltary opposes the war even more than the US public does) your not going to get much traction.
by observer
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 5:47 PM
*** some model of political corectness and moral purity. ***

Who is your model of political correctness (BTW, what's that in your opinion?) and moral purity?
by um
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 6:19 PM
" Who is your model of political correctness (BTW, what's that in your opinion?) and moral purity?"

I have no idea. I was mainly pointing out how irritating it is for people to hold up some celebirty or historical figure and use quotes form them as if they hold more weight than is found in the words themselves.

One would like to think that if Orwell were alive today he would be opposed to the war in Iraq. But the truth is that while he comes across as a lovable figure in his novels he was a product of his time and if still alive today could seem like the type of person nobody would want any association with for out of date views that everyone on the right and left would find offensive. This would more obviously be true of someone like Washington or Jefferson and thats probably one of the larger dangers of the Scalia way of viewing the US Constitution.

Orwell's vision of 1984 with slogans like war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength are relevent in our modern age when lies are told by governments about the need to defend against WMD and Al Qaeda while Bin Laden is left to roam free in Afghanistan. Fox News tends to sound a lot like the newscasts in Orwell's feared future and post9/11 fear-mongering definitely is playing out in a similar fashion to the book (especially in the bait and switch used to justify a war in Iraq which predictably made Al Qaeda stronger).

But Orwell himself is probably not relevent in our modern age any more than quoting Einstein's views on quantum mechanics or Marx's views on history make sense given things we have learned in the time that has past since they made their statements.

Returning for a last time to the quote in question. Do you really think that an out of context quote with that can be applied to opposition to the US occupation of Iraq? Do you personally believe that wanting the US out of Iraq is the same as supporting Bin Laden? The current US backed government of Iraq is composed of Shia fundamentalists with a lot of ties to Iran. The US is training an army that is essentially an extension of the Iranian Republican Guard to supress a Sunni uprising and if the US stays a year or 5 years the end result will likely be a breakup of the country with the Kurds going one way and the Shias cracking down hard on the rest of the country. Perhaps Sunni fundamentalists will gain a bit in Central Iraq due to the likely bloodbath that will come when the Badr brigade is fully trained and armed by the US, but US actions in the past few years have made that more rather than less lkely. Before the war in Iraq support for the US worldwide was at an all time high (remember when even in Paris leaders were saying that "we are all Americans"); now the US is more hated and has its military more overextended than ever before. Bush gave Bin Laden everything he asked for (although I would guess that Bin Laden wanted the quagmire to have been in Afghanistan) and now you accuse those who question Bush's war with supporting the only group that was rewarded by Bush's foreign policy mess? Not wanting to admit you made a mistake isnt a foreign policy and repeating old Fox News slogans about how those who dissent with Bush are equivalent to terrorists seems a bit late in the game considering how the new talking point seems like it will soon be that nobody warned him about the mistake he was making (and Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld almost certainly already privately admit it was a horrible mistake).
by just ask
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 8:18 PM
"The main prowar antiIsrael group I saw was SF Voice For Israel.The Palestinian speakers all were supporters of a two state solution and recognize the Israeli state but those who refuse to recognize the right for a Palestinian state to exist seem to only aim for more fighting... and thats ultimately bad for both Israelis and Palestinians so its not a stretch to call such views antiIsrael"

Uh- the goal of SF Voice for Israel is a safe and secure Israel. Some of us believe in a two state solution. Some of us don't. We all believe in an end to the double standards and demonization of Israel. If you want to know what SFV 4I stands for, look at the website. Or ask. Why is that so hard? As a group, we do not take a stand on the war in Iraq. It is wrong to call us pro-war.

"SF Voice For Israel could probably be compared to the Swiftboat Veterans who also claimed to be nonpartisan...."

Some of us are Republican. Some of us are Green. Some of us are Democrats. Some of us are anarchists. Some of us haven't voted in years. And some of us aren't old enough too vote.

"but it is a little disturbing that unlike that group many left leaning Bay Area residents have failed to see SF Voice For Israel's real agenda "

Look at our signs. Pro- Israel. Pro-Peace. Look at our website. Ask us. Our agenda is not mysterious.

and their names and political affiliations can be pointed to in order to give Swiftboat Veterans For Israel some sense of legitmacy.

Yes, you'd like that, wouldn't you? If you spend about 10 minutes on the Google, you can figure that out.
by um
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 8:32 PM
"We all believe in an end to the double standards and demonization of Israel"

But you seem to have no problem organizing with the far right wing of the Republican Party that equates pacifism with support for terrorism? Hold a sign saying Israel believes in peace as a counter protest to an antiwar protest isnt exactly the most intelligent thing to do if you want people to think you stand for peace. Waving American flags along with Israeli flags and allowing signs equating peace with aerial bombing and protesters with al Qaeda is a little beyond what I can believe any thoughtful person would do if their goal really were to convince people that their sole goal is an end to the "demonization of Israel". In fact having Israeli flags in the middle of a far right group hate hate mongerers seems to be a form of demonization of Israel when done on a left leaning city....
by assumptions?
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 8:50 PM
"We all believe in an end to the double standards and demonization of Israel"

Um: But you seem to have no problem organizing with the far right wing of the Republican Party

Where does that gigantic leap come from? Its a lie. Why do you feel the need to lie? There was no organization with anyone.
SF V 4 I is a grassroots group. We stood with the other counterprotesters because the police told us to. It was for personal safety. In September some of our elders were knocked down and harrassed. That is unacceptable. We were sharing sidewalk space. There is no wider conspiracy.

Um: that equates pacifism with support for terrorism? Hold a sign saying Israel believes in peace as a counter protest to an antiwar protest isnt exactly the most intelligent thing to do if you want people to think you stand for peace.

ANSWER has hijacked the anti-war message and diluted its meaning. If this were a straight anti-war rally, rather than yet another opportunity at Israel bashing, I would have stood on the other side of the street, with you.
BTW, do you know how this rally was "marketed to the Arab community? It was billed as a rally to end anti- Islamic discrimination.

by um
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 9:14 PM
Protest Warriors and Freepers are on the far right of the Republican party and you always show up at the same protests at the same time... If you arent one and the same you are at least coordinating on the same email lists.
by observer
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 9:57 PM
No, I don't idolize quotes in any way:). Though if somebody managed to find sharp, accurate wording, it's always attractive. In reality shape says a lot about content. And, yes, words, said by a person I know (doesn't matter personally or by his/her works, books), weigh more for me.
Talking about Orwell, I deeply respect him, in spite of his socialist views. He was one of very rear western leftists, who somehow wasn't fooled by the soviet propaganda and he had a touch of a prophet gift too.

In this particular situation I used Orwell's quote just because there are obvious parallels. Your ANSWER crowd with mutually exclusive slogans. Communism and pacifism are incompatible. Your common ground is ... let's avoid the word "ignorance", since I don't want to offend you... let's say "lack of real life experience".

I didn't say that pacifism equals fascism. Actually I'm against this manner to glue the fascism label to everybody. That's silly. But your pacifism inevitably helps your enemies. You are manipulated, and don't realize it. A Holocaust survivor said once:"When someone says he is going to kill you -- believe him". You don't believe. I do.

Now about Iraq. I don' think indymedia forum can be a right place for serious debates. That's why very briefly: I don't like their current situation (though I suppose it was predictable), but I find it being much better than Saddam's regime, for both Iraq people and the world. Have you ever live under tyrannical regime? Well, you sounds like a young person. Your parents?

*** remember when even in Paris leaders were saying that "we are all Americans"***
Are you kidding? You sounded like a young, naive person, but I can't believe in such level of gullibility.

*** and Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld almost certainly already privately admit it was a horrible mistake***
Wow, you have "inside information", don't you?:))

And BWT, you didn't answer to my question. You wrote something like "Jewish Nazi" or so. That's why I decided you are an idiot first (I'm glad you aren't). Could you please explain yourself?
by observer
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 10:12 PM
***But you seem to have no problem organizing with the far right wing of the Republican Party that equates pacifism with support for terrorism?***

If you stop for a moment and think just a little bit, instead of repeating mantras, you will understand.
There is no crime in the PW's views. And you, so called pacifist was marching together open arab terrorists' supporters, who cheered, when children in Israel are murdered, who teach their own kids to hate and kill, who danced on 9/11; and with communists. Probably you are not aware that Communism is responsible for the biggest bloodshed in human history.
You seem to have no problem to be standing by them.
by um
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 10:40 PM
first lets give your quote some context:

"He was one of very rear western leftists, who somehow wasn't fooled by the soviet propaganda and he had a touch of a prophet gift too."
We were all taught to love Orwell in elmentary and middle school. His writings which were not anti-Communist (but instead just antiSoviet) were a key part of Cold War propaganda even though the logic behind its use in schools was a bit similar to the logic in his books (while the Soviet Union did loook a lot like 1984 the way the evil empire was constuctured for American gradeschoolers also had a touch of Emanuel Goldstein in it, not because it was a lie but because of its purpose).

"I used Orwell's quote just because there are obvious parallels."
WWII was about an expansionist regime that at the time of Orwell's writing had already taken over many countries. Iraq was a danger only to itself. Perhaps Bush believed in the WMD hoax but enough people in the CIA have stepped forward to speak out about the manipulation of intelegence that one would assume that Cheney and Rumsfled must have at least had a hint that they didnt exist.

"Your ANSWER crowd with mutually exclusive slogans."
I didnt see any such signs. There are plenty of posts on this site if you would care to point them out. ANSWER used to be closely tied to the WWP but isnt anymore and even then its hard to know what any of that means. CPUSA is about as mainstream as one can get (I think they endorsed Bore) yet somehow they are Communist and the official party that was allied with the former USSR.

"Communism and pacifism are incompatible."
One is an economic system the other a religious ideology. Perhaps you mean internationalism, in the Trotskyist form and NeoCon form that was heavilly influenced by Trotsky's views?

"But your pacifism inevitably helps your enemies. You are manipulated, and don't realize it. A Holocaust survivor said once:"When someone says he is going to kill you -- believe him". You don't believe. I do."
Saddam didnt have anything to do with 9/11. Can we at least agree on that? So where is this "they attacked us and you dont support us fight back" rhetoric come from. Bin Laden is in Pakistan (the border region of N Pakistan and Afghanistan really isnt that large) and the US is doing very little to arrest him. Instead we have armed former Republican Guard members to start a Shia fundamentalist state in one of the fomerly secular Middle Easter countries.

"Now about Iraq. I don' think indymedia forum can be a right place for serious debates."
In other words.... you have no argument.

"though I suppose it was predictable"
Damn right it was. Look back through old news magazines and newspapers for why US Generals and Bush Senior didnt overthrow Iraq after Gulf War I.

".. I find it being much better than Saddam's regime, for both Iraq people and the world."
Worldwide US power is at an all time low and perhaps that is a good thing (especially with an idiot in charge). As for the Iraqi people, life is worse for everyone who wasnt political before the war. That is to say that aside from the type of people who protest here (and you compare to terrorists) life is worse for normal Iraqis (less power, less water, less personal freedoms in many ways due to clerical rule, .... if you speak out against the new regime you are less lkely to get tortured... maybe... but only slightly less and probably a bit more likely to get executed without getting tortured...) Add up the daily number of execution style killings around Iraq probably carried out by the Badr brigade tied to the rulling SCIRI party and its hard to say if its higher or lower than in most years under Saddam.

"Have you ever live under tyrannical regime?"
Is Iraq tyranical now? What about Afghanistan? Afghanistan is probably better than under the Taliban but one can still get executed for converting to Christianity which sounds pretty tyranical:
(see its even form one of your right wing news sources so you cant deny it)

"remember when even in Paris leaders were saying that "we are all Americans" Are you kidding? You sounded like a young, naive person, but I can't believe in such level of gullibility."
The point wasnt that everyone loved the US but that feelings around the world were actually at an all time high in terms of views of the US in the first half year after 9/11 and Bush squandered it and kept squandering it until the US has become more hated worldwise than ever before. Since I tend to support Socialists I dont think its all bad since it means that S America seems to have dumped most of its right leaning leaders and is moving strongly to the left... but as a Rightie I figured you would have noticed....

"and Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld almost certainly already privately admit it was a horrible mistake. Wow, you have "inside information", don't you?:))"
Ok, maybe Bush is actually as stupid as he seems and doesnt realize whats up but I have to give Cheney and Rumsfeld some credit and asume they listen to military officials, the CIA etc...

Did you know that more than 2/3 of the US military in a recent survey said they wanted the US out of Iraq right away?
"The Zogby Poll of 944 soldiers, randomly sampled at several locations throughout the country, showed that 72% think the U.S. should exit Iraq in the next 12 months. It was the most controversial finding in the survey, and has been interpreted differently by different people across the nation, depending in part on their points of view on the war. Broadly speaking, the poll also contained both good news and problems for the Bush administration."
I would bet that if Rumsfeld has any sense at the morle of those under him(which maybe he doesnt because he is a bad leader) he already knew those result though internal polling that wasnt made public (all private companies at least try to gauge things like this so if the military doesnt have a sense of its own morale it says something just as bad about how its being run)

"And BWT, you didn't answer to my question. You wrote something like "Jewish Nazi" or so."
That wasnt me. I dont like Nazi comparisons since they seem cheap. Bush or even you (indirectly through your statement about the Orwell quote) may compare Saddam to the Nazis but not only was the scale of his brutality significant less than the Hollocaust but he also posed little threat to neighboring countries and in weakened state of things after years of sanctons it wasnt that surprising how quickly the Iraqi army gave in (a clear sign that even if they has wanted to invade Iran or Saudia Arabia or Kuwait again they knew they wouldnt have stood a chance and as we all now know they hadnt worked on WMD since the first Gulf War)
by suggestion
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 10:50 PM
"The Zogby Poll of 944 soldiers, randomly sampled at several locations throughout the country, showed that 72% think the U.S. should exit Iraq in the next 12 months"

Why dont all you Protest Warriors and Freepers take your "Bin Laden Loves you" signs and go rally in front of the returning troops. Since you seem to see opposition to the war as equivalent to supporting Al Qaeda it is the way tou think so why not take some real risk and instead of protesting peacful protesters who pose you no danger show your signs to soliders comming back from Iraq and see what they think?
by Got ya there.
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 10:52 PM
"In September some of our elders were knocked down and harrassed."

You can't attack people one time, and then blame them for not standing with you next time.

The SFV4I person has made a critical point here. What about antiwar pro-Israelis? What about anti-this-war Republicans?

Is the movement really big enough to include all elements of society, as it currently exists, to let people stand together despite everything else, to end this war?

And if a movement won't leave people enough room to change their mind, or even sustain a contradiction or not have other opinions at all, or whatever-- if not, can it really be called a movement?

What if the left tried just a little of the tolerance it's always preaching at other people?
by otoh...
Sunday Mar 19th, 2006 11:28 PM
"Probably you are not aware that Communism is responsible for the biggest bloodshed in human history."

Maybe. I'd guess the Roman Catholic Church (including anglican England), especially for what they did to the western hemisphere, but for all their other historical baggage too. Make the commies look like the pikers they are.
by observer
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 12:21 AM
*** We were all taught to love Orwell in elmentary and middle school.***
I couldn't be taught to love Orwell. His works were strictly forbidden:))).
That's funny and pretty typical. You read some theoretical books and/or listened to Berkeley professors, who in their turn had nothing more than "conceptual foresights". The words "communism", "tyranny", "war" etc. are made by letters for you, not by blood. What do you know about "the Soviet Union looks"?:) I had a luxury of both books and life experience.

*** Iraq was a danger only to itself. ***
Really? For example, $25,000 for each suicide palestinian terrorist's family. Does it count? Well, that's just an example.
You don't believe in WMD in Iraq. AFAIK, it's not so simple. Though was this weapon found or not, they were working on it. You prefer to deal with Iraq after they succeeded to create WMD, yes?
You referred to WWII a couple of times. It's amazing how your (I don't mean you personally, but the way you think) attitude is similar to those liberal thinkers' in 30-s.

*** One is an economic system the other a religious ideology. ***
What?! Well, there could be two explanations: or your political science professor was completely ignorant, or you was a bad student.

*** In other words.... you have no argument. ***
Come on, you don't believe it yourself. You know I have arguments. I don't have time. And also the indymedia's reputation is so low...

*** Damn right it was. Look back through old news magazines and newspapers for why US Generals and Bush Senior didnt overthrow Iraq after Gulf War I. ***

First, I do remember these explanations pretty well. They are not flawless. But I meant something different.

*** Worldwide US power is at an all time low and perhaps that is a good thing ***
Sorry, I can't believe you are serious. If you are... well, your political science professor is not guilty. :)

*** life is worse for everyone who wasnt political before the war. ***
Oh, my. The same was told by "theoricians" like you about Stalin times "he eliminated those, who were political". You understand nothing about tyrannical systems. It's a pity you (and your co-thinkers) can't live for a while, for example. in North Korea (but not as american guests - as natives).
And you care about Iraq people, yes? Can you imagine, what would happen there, if "our troops go home now"?

*** Afghanistan is probably better than under the Taliban*** (good! you got it)
*** but one can still get executed for converting to Christianity which sounds pretty tyranical***
And you expected Afganistan to transform magically into Sweden, didn't you?

*** The point wasnt that everyone loved the US but that feelings around the world were actually at an all time high in terms of views of the US in the first half year after 9/11 ***

Do you know languages? It was pretty interesting "in the first half year after 9/11" to read not official speeches, but non-English Internet forums. Very eyes-opening experience.

*** "The Zogby Poll of 944 soldiers...***
I clicked on your link. What do we see there?
"The poll was conducted in conjunction with the Center for Peace ..." :)))) Everything is kept confidential "for security purposes", and two paragraphs of excuses, because of the suspicious reputation of Zogby International. And the article itself is writtend by the director of communications of this company, and he didn't hide his political bias. My god! Are all your sources so reliable?

Well, um. I really don't have time for discussions on this level. You are, probably, a young person, and this gives some hope.

by observer
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 12:30 AM
Learn history.

Well, guys. It's like running in circles.
Looks like Americans really need to improve educational system. But I can's substitute it here on indymedia, so I'm resigning :)).
by TW
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 1:50 AM
"Tell me, how do you make your conclusions
- about me"

I've been watching you shoot your mouth off around here. It's pretty obvious you're a pro-Israel right-winger. As with most Americans who've been sucked into fascist politics lately but can't admit it to themselves, what **you** think you are is pretty much irrelevant. Fascist lemmings never understand themselves as such. They're delusional about everything under the political sun, and this particular delusion is numero uno.

- "about Orwell (oh, by the way, did you ever read his books or just something longer than a slogan on a banner)"

I've read his most famous stuff, Animal Farm and 1984. Both corroborate my impression that the term 'Orwellian' is usefully applied to Orwell himself -- an anti-Soviet ideologue who wrote pro-British anti-Communist propaganda professionally for the British government and whose best-known works are alarmist anti-Soviet propaganda, though everyone seems to have forgotten this now. The guy came out of the Spanish Revolution twisting words and meanings freely and never looked back. That's what made him such an expert on the subject. He was quick to use the term 'reactionary' to dismiss leftists more ardent than himself, both in Spain and elsewhere. Like many Westerners who call themselves things like "left-wing democratic socialist," he was privileged, pretentious, and compromised

- what do you mean by this "disarming" label "Jewish Nazism"?

I guess you missed it. By "Jewish Nazism" I mean zionism, and I developed the historical case for this right here in this thread

"Who is your model of political correctness (BTW, what's that in your opinion?) and moral purity?"

Diogenes of Sinope. He held morality and truthfulness to be of supreme intellectual importance, and it was from this basis that he realized "civilized" "sophisticated" humans are hopelessly devious weaklings and moral lepers from hell, and developed a damning case to this effect. His was one of the more outstanding intellectual accomplishments of the ancient Greeks, but of course no Western urbanite boob-feeder wants to hear it so he's been maligned for most of the time since his death (much like Thomas Malthus). The name of his philosophical sect -- the Cynics -- has been twisted into an antonym of its original meaning, as has that of another sect, the Sophists, a la 'sophisticates'. The latter (those skilled in the construction of grease-coated lies) has of course developed a positive connotation, which only vindicates Diogenes. The strategic inversion of words and meanings is hardly a new phenomenon.
"Actually I'm against this manner to glue the fascism label to everybody. That's silly. But your pacifism inevitably helps your enemies. You are manipulated, and don't realize it."

What a typical scramble-brained Western boob! Here's a guy who obviously bought into communist demonization whole hog back in the day, has bought into all the War on Terror / Arab demonization bullshit just as devoutly, is totally oblivious to the mass-murdering planet-devouring evilness of his own 'side,' because of all this is a stereotypical fascist lemming, and yet he thinks the fascist epithet is thrown around too freely. Gee, I wonder why.
by um
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 6:36 AM
" *** life is worse for everyone who wasnt political before the war. ***
Oh, my. The same was told by "theoricians" like you about Stalin times "he eliminated those, who were political". You understand nothing about tyrannical systems. It's a pity you (and your co-thinkers) can't live for a while, for example. in North Korea (but not as american guests - as natives).
And you care about Iraq people, yes? Can you imagine, what would happen there, if "our troops go home now"? "

I wasnt saying that things under Saddam were good, but to say the war was justfied because peopel had little freedom then ignores the fact that most Iraqis lack freedom now. Iraqi university students now face religious police wheras before they faced Saddam's police. Today if you speak out for the US you are likely to get assissinated by Sunni insurgents and if you denounce the US/Iran backed government you are likely to be taken out and shot by a Shia militia. Saddam's totalitarianism was more monolithic but was it really that much worse? People in Iraq unquestionably live in more far now than before.

The reference to the main victims before being political refered to the strange hypocracy of the Republican rights. You guys go on and on about how horrible others countries are for cracking down on protests and how nobel it is for peopel to protest other governments but then you equate protesters here with Al Qaeda, cheer when people like Rachel Corrie get killed, act defensive about events like Kent state and defend the actions of police when they use thousands of rounds of pepper balls at antiglobalization protests in Miami, and always side with the police in police brutality cases here. People should have the right to protest and dissent everywhere in the world (be it the US, Iran, China or France) and one really has to look critically at teh agenda of Righties/Stalinists who question that. Take "observer"s views and tranfer them to Soviet Russia and you have the words of the strongest defenders of Stalin, tranfer then to China and you have the words of those who justify the murder of innocent protests at Tianamen. Its not just the case that the aims of the protests there and here are similiar but in some cases we are the same people (Iranian opposition groups take part in most antiWar protests here with signs focusing on the dangers of theocracy and nukes) and many Iraqi opponents of Saddam (not the leaders who made deals but the normalrefugees) in the US are also major war opponents.

The right loves to compare ANSWER to Stalinists but the real ideology of Stalin was to compare dissent with support for the enemy and use that to justify attrocities. The RIght so far just just jusfies arbitrary detentions (Gitmo and the new "enemy combatant" status that gets rid of the right to trial or POW status in favor of the executivebranch being the judge, jury and executioner) and the use of wooden and rubber bullets by the police against peaceful antiwar demonstrators (in Oakland, Miami, Colorado Springs,...)
, but if the government went farther they would be the first to cheer it on (the similarities between Fox News and Soviet TV broadcasts us unnerving).
Iraq's missing billions
How did the American led interim government spend over $20bn, yet leave Iraqis with less electricity, less clean water and even worse hospitals than under Saddam?

In memory of those who have died in Iraq
No official organisation has collated the Iraqi dead. Here we list the 3,000 people known to have died - just one tenth of the most conservative estimates

Iraq is a country paralysed by fear. It is at its worst in Baghdad. Sectarian killings are commonplace. In the three days after the bombing of the Shia shrine in Samarra on 22 February, some 1,300 people, mostly Sunni, were picked up on the street or dragged from their cars and murdered. The dead bodies of four suspected suicide bombers were left dangling from a pylon in the Sadr City slum.

The scale of the violence is such that most of it is unreported. Iyad Allawi, the former prime minister, said yesterday that scores were dying every day. "It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day, as an average, 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more," he said. "If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is."

Unseen by the outside world, silent populations are on the move, frightened people fleeing neighbourhoods where their community is in a minority for safer districts.

Al-Hayat reports [Ar.] that the (Sunni hardline) Association of Muslim Scholars said that it "deeply resents and takes offense" at the idea that the 'forces of Occupation' (the United States) and Iran would hold talks about Iraqi internal affairs. Its communique said, "Iranian intervention in Iraqi affairs is not new, and has reached an apex of harmfulness. But what is new is the attempt to legitimize this interference and to provide it with an international cover, while completely ignoring the sovereignty and the governmental administration of Iraq itself." Sunni Arab Iraqis have long been distrustful of Shiite Iran.

The US-Iran dialogue on Iraq comes after the Iraqi Shiite cleric Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, called last Wednesday for Tehran to talk to Washington. Al-Hakim was a guest of Iran's ayatollahs for nearly a quarter century, but also has an alliance of convenience with the Bush administration.

Here, let us examine the top disasters of the third year in American Iraq.

1. The Shiite religious parties, having won a majority in parliament, took over the Ministry of the Interior and drew, for its special police commandos, on members of the Badr Corps. Badr is the paramilitary of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and it was trained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards. These special commandos set up secret prisons and tortured Sunni Arabs they suspected of being in the guerrilla resistance to the new order.

2. The constitution drafted by the elected parliament enshrines Islam as the religion of state and stipulates that the civil parliament may pass no legislation that contravenes the established laws of Islam. It hints that clerics and ayatollahs will be appointed to court benches. The constitution has brought Iraq to the brink of being an Islamic Republic, with potentially harmful effects on the rights of women, gays, Christians and others. Since the Shiite religious parties had won the January 30, 2005 elections, this outcome was predictable.

3. The constitution allows provinces to establish provincial confederacies. This provision reflections the model adopted by the Kurds in the north, which is now attractive to Shiite parties in the south. These confederacies can claim 100 percent of the revenues from all future petroleum, natural gas and other natural resource finds. The loose, weak federal government, like the early American state under the Articles of Confederation will be robbed of sovereignty (and income) by ambitious provincial elites. It is possible that these provincial confederacies may break up the country.

4. The US military used Kurdish and Shiite troops to attack the northern Turkmen city of Talafar in August. Kurdish troops, drawn from the Peshmerga militia, were allowed to paint lasers on targets in the city, which were then destroyed by the US air force. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed, and much of the population was displaced for some time. Shiite troops and local Shiite Turkmen informants were used to identify and interrogate alleged Sunni insurgents. Turkey was furious at the attack on ethnically related Turkmen and threatened to halt its cooperation with the US. Although the attack was allegedly undertaken to capture foreign forces allegedly based in the city, only 50 were announced apprehended. The entire operation ended up looking like a joint Kurdish-Shiite attack on Sunni Turkmen, backed by the US military. Turkmen and Kurds do not generally get along, and Turkmen accuse Kurds of wanting to ethnically clense them from Kirkuk. The entire operation was politically the worst possible public relations for the US in northern Iraq, and seems unlikely to have put a signficant dent in the guerrillas' capabilities.

5. All three Sunni Arab-majority provinces rejected the new constitution by a sound margin, two of them by a two-thirds majority. The Kurdish and Shiite provinces overwhelmingly approved the charter. Iraq thus has a permanent constitution that is absolutely unacceptable to the country's most powerful minority.

6. British government leakers revealed that George W. Bush told British PM Tony Blair in April, 2002, that he was seriously considering bombing the HQ of the Aljazeera satellite news channel. Bush's reputation, already low in the Arab world, took another hit.

7. Iraqi petroleum exports fell to an average of only 1.8 million barrels a day during the past year, down from 2.8 million barrels per day before the war. In recent months the exports have been as low as 1.1 million barrels a day.

8. Guerrillas have managed to surround and cut off Baghdad, the capital and a population center with 1/4 of the country's inhabitants, from much fuel and electricity.

9. Widespread hopes, fanned by the Bush administration, that Sunni Arab participation in the parliamentary elections would lead to a reduction in guerrilla violence proved completely untrue. The various Sunni Arab lists garnered 58 seats of 275. The Sunni Arabs have now adopted a two-track strategy, working in parliament to play the Kurds and the Shiites off against one another while its paramilitary wing continued to blow things up with unrelenting ferocity.

10. Guerrillas in Samarra on February 22 blew up the Askari Shrine, holy to Shiites because of its association with the hidden Twelfth Imam, whose Second Coming many await. The Sunni Arab guerrilla movement has been trying to provoke popular attacks and sectarian reprisals, but this is the first time it met with a measure of success. Enraged Shiites attacked 100 mosques, damaging between two and four dozen, killing some Sunni clerics, and murdering hundreds of Sunnis. Iraqi clerics, both Shiite and Sunni, helped bring Iraq back from the brink of hot civil war. The US troops in the country proved generally unuseful in this crisis.
by war is peace
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 6:56 AM
Mr Bush's place in history will be determined by his decision to invade. Back in March 2003, his approval ratings stood at 70 per cent. Now they have dropped to less than 40 per cent. Two-thirds of the public believes the country is "on the wrong track". Iraq sweeps every other issue off the table.

This November's mid-term elections meanwhile may well turn into a referendum on Iraq, and the Republican Party may lose control of either the House of Representatives or the Senate, conceivably both.

Even among the Republican faithful, support for Mr Bush is starting to erode. "If you demand complete victory, you'll never leave," Senator Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska Republican who is mulling a 2008 White House run, said yesterday.

The war, he declared, was helping to bankrupt the country. "And if you ask, are we better off, is the Middle East more stable than three years ago, the answer is, 'Absolutely not'."

by BBC repost and thoughts
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 7:26 AM
If you see a US patrol, you should brake sharply and keep away from it. The gunners on the vehicles kill people every day for getting too close to them. Every Iraqi has a horror story about a friend or relative who misunderstood an instruction, often in English, and was shot at.

But there's one unquestioned success for the coalition: every available wall has a tattered election poster on it. True, three months after the last election Iraq still has no government, but the old terror of authority has evaporated.

There are dozens of newspapers, plenty of television channels, and hundreds of thousands of satellite dishes: under Saddam Hussein, you could be jailed for having one.

Nowadays, though, people are terrified of crime. There have been more than 10,000 kidnappings, of which at least 1,000 ended in murder.

Having a good job is particularly dangerous. Kidnappers have attacked 76 schools, killing more than 300 schoolteachers in the process.

About 200 university lecturers have been murdered since the invasion. After the murder of a television boss a week ago, the journalists' union formally asked the government to allow journalists to carry weapons.

Few Iraqis will even think about the anniversary of the invasion. Many are still glad that Saddam Hussein was taken off their backs.

But there is a real, abiding anger that the richest nation on Earth should have taken over their country and made them even worse off in so many ways than they were before.

Are Iraqi's more free now than before? A recent NPR Talk Of The Nation interview with an Iraqi student last week was interstig in that the question "well at least they can teach more now" was reponded to with talk of burnt libraries and nothing about more freedom to dissent. Iraqi women at the universities are now getting physically attacked for not wearing headscares when that was never required before.

Are things better or worse? I think they are definitely worse and the risks of terrorism are higher everywhere, but even if you supported the war and think Saddam was so bad the mess now is better, can you really have strong feelings against war opponents considering the state of things? Most Iraqis and most of those in the US military want the US out now, some dont fearing a civil war will get worse without the US (but its getting worse with the US so...), but you would be hard pressed to find a member of the US military or an Iraqi civilian who would feel anything but repulsion if they saw the simple minded hatred in the Protest Warrior and College Republian signs above that take a Stalin like line in equating dissent with support for terrorism.
by um
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 8:35 AM
" I couldn't be taught to love Orwell. His works were strictly forbidden:))).
That's funny and pretty typical. You read some theoretical books and/or listened to Berkeley professors, who in their turn had nothing more than "conceptual foresights". The words "communism", "tyranny", "war" etc. are made by letters for you, not by blood. What do you know about "the Soviet Union looks"?:) I had a luxury of both books and life experience."

Ah, I was trying to figure out where you were comming from. Most fans of Orwell here right and left like him because his British aristocratic tone has the appeal of a Kippling in it with the politics almost secondary for a longing for the "better days" of colonialism and noblese oblige.

In your case it sounds like your experience in the USSR shaped your views with the appeal of Orwell being roughly the equivalent of that of Communist literature to the early 60s radical movement when it was brewing under the repression of the Red Scare. Or in more modern day terms, it would be the appeal of a Chomsky (although his books are not yet banned) in that it exposed the horrors that the Fox/Pravda descriptions of the world left out.

If you really take a look at your self and your anti-dissent views in the US context you would realize that you are little different from those Americans who went to the USSR dueing the Cold War and attacked Soviet dissidents. You are taking "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" one step further and equatiing the enemy of the enemy of your enemy with your enemy. I wonder what your views on Kent state are and if you would be as defensive of that as US Communists were of the repression in your country at the same time. For a young American radical visiting the USSR, things looked great and they were shown only the good sides and told about how dissidents were trying to undermine all that was good. It may seem strange that one could viist a totalitarian country and not notice the truth with secret police and military all around but you live in the US and see cops all the time and probably have a fond view of them. The cops are much less repressive than in the USSR (to political dissenters but maybe not towards minority populations if you look at the total number of police shootings a year) but as someone new to the US not active is the politics of dissent you really would have no way of knowing.

But.... the Cold War is over and has little chance of ever comming back. ANSWER and other Communist groups exist but only have appeal when they focus on issues and would draw only a handful of people if the purpose of the protest became a promotion of their ideology. The new war we face is much the same as the one the Soviets faces in Afghanistan. Not only is the ideology the same but many of the faces are the same too (Hekmatyar, Bin Laden, Dostum....). The US spent a lot of money building up Islamic fundamentaolism in Afghanistan, arming it through Pakistan's ISI and setting up recruiting centers thoughout the world. The recuitment centers in England at least were the same as the pre9/11 recuitment centers for Al Qaeda and its likely that many of the alienated youth the CIA got to fight the Soviets back then are leaders of Al Qaeda today. But Al Qaeda is now opposed to the US (just as Saddam turned against the US despite Reagan's supporting of his gassing of the Kurds and his essential veto of any investigation into it). Conservatives who once accused anyone qustioning the herosim of Afghan freedom fighters with supporting godless Communism are now at the forefront of accusing the same people on the left of suporting fundamentalist for opposing the war in Iraq.

But whats really strange about the whole thing is that the war in Iraq objectively had little to do with 9/11. Even the most conservative studies of the prewar situation say that Saddam has almost no contact with Al Qaeda, was cracking down hard on Islamic fundamentalists and wasnt able to reconstitute any of the WMD programs that were destroyed by the US (and/or put under guard) after the first Gulf War. If the justification for the war was that Saddam was a bad person, one would have to ask "why Iraq". Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe and other countries are just as repressibe and the death toll in Sudan now is much higher than it ever was in Iraq under Saddam. The same conservatives who have always opposed nation building and questioned the wisdom of US actiosn against the Serbs when they were comitting genocide now pretend that they support wars to save oppressed people? Perhaps as a former Soviet citizen you are more in line with Blair and really do think that such interventions are justfied, but that a minority view among conservatives. Getting back to Iraq, who exactly is the enemy? Is it the Sunni insurgents, just those insurgents tied to Al Qaeda, Iranian back militias, Sadr's militias, Kurdish groups that want independence, or groups like DAWA that were once on the US list of terrorist organizations? Do you think Iraq is the same war the US fought in Afghanistan and if so can you explain why things there have gotten a lot worse in the last year almost solely as a result of Iraq (those using IEDs in Afghanistan now appear to have gotten training by fighting in Iraq)?

I'm guessing you has to leave Russia after the USSR's collapse due to antiSemitism that came in the wake of the instability of the first few postSoviet years? But you do still feel its better for most than under totalitarianism even if it may be more dangerous for yourself personally?
Perhaps thats not true, but I would wonder if your talk about Iraq being totalitarian under Saddam and US policy being so great would stand up to an actual visit to either AFghansitan or Iraq. If you are Jewish, see how safe it is today to be openly Jewish in those countries and try telling me how great and free they are today (Iraq is probably the most dangerous country on earth to be openly Jewish in from what Ive heard).

by Period
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 11:46 AM
Zionism as a Racist Ideology

During a presentation on the Palestinian-Israeli situation in 2001, an American-Israeli acquaintance of ours began with a typical attack on the Palestinians. Taking the overused line that "Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity," he asserted snidely that, if only the Palestinians had had any decency and not been so all-fired interested in pushing the Jews into the sea in 1948, they would have accepted the UN partition of Palestine. Those Palestinians who became refugees would instead have remained peacefully in their homes, and the state of Palestine could in the year 2001 be celebrating the 53rd anniversary of its independence. Everything could have been sweetness and light, he contended, but here the Palestinians were, then a year into a deadly intifada, still stateless, still hostile, and still trying, he claimed, to push the Jews into the sea.

It was a common line but with a new and intriguing twist: what if the Palestinians had accepted partition; would they in fact have lived in a state at peace since 1948? It was enough to make the audience stop and think. But later in the talk, the speaker tripped himself up by claiming, in a tone of deep alarm, that Palestinian insistence on the right of return for Palestinian refugees displaced when Israel was created would spell the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. He did not realize the inherent contradiction in his two assertions (until we later pointed it out to him, with no little glee). You cannot have it both ways, we told him: you cannot claim that, if Palestinians had not left the areas that became Israel in 1948, they would now be living peaceably, some inside and some alongside a Jewish-majority state, and then also claim that, if they returned now, Israel would lose its Jewish majority and its essential identity as a Jewish state.*

This exchange, and the massive propaganda effort by and on behalf of Israel to demonstrate the threat to Israel's Jewish character posed by the Palestinians' right of return, actually reveal the dirty little secret of Zionism. In its drive to establish and maintain a state in which Jews are always the majority, Zionism absolutely required that Palestinians, as non-Jews, be made to leave in 1948 and never be allowed to return. The dirty little secret is that this is blatant racism.

But didn't we finish with that old Zionism-is-racism issue over a decade ago, when in 1991 the UN repealed a 1975 General Assembly resolution that defined Zionism as "a form of racism or racial discrimination"? Hadn't we Americans always rejected this resolution as odious anti-Semitism, and didn't we, under the aegis of the first Bush administration, finally prevail on the rest of the world community to agree that it was not only inaccurate but downright evil to label Zionism as racist? Why bring it up again, now?

The UN General Assembly based its 1975 anti-Zionist resolution on the UN's own definition of racial discrimination, adopted in 1965. According to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, racial discrimination is "any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life." As a definition of racism and racial discrimination, this statement is unassailable and, if one is honest about what Zionism is and what it signifies, the statement is an accurate definition of Zionism. But in 1975, in the political atmosphere prevailing at the time, putting forth such a definition was utterly self-defeating.

So would a formal resolution be in today's political atmosphere. But enough has changed over the last decade or more that talk about Zionism as a system that either is inherently racist or at least fosters racism is increasingly possible and increasingly necessary. Despite the vehement knee-jerk opposition to any such discussion throughout the United States, serious scholars elsewhere and serious Israelis have begun increasingly to examine Zionism critically, and there is much greater receptivity to the notion that no real peace will be forged in Palestine-Israel unless the bases of Zionism are examined and in some way altered. It is for this reason that honestly labeling Zionism as a racist political philosophy is so necessary: unless the world's, and particularly the United States', blind support for Israel as an exclusivist Jewish state is undermined, unless the blind acceptance of Zionism as a noble ideology is undermined, and unless it is recognized that Israel's drive to maintain dominion over the occupied Palestinian territories is motivated by an exclusivist, racist ideology, no one will ever gain the political strength or the political will necessary to force Israel to relinquish territory and permit establishment of a truly sovereign and independent Palestinian state in a part of Palestine.

Recognizing Zionism's Racism

A racist ideology need not always manifest itself as such, and, if the circumstances are right, it need not always actually practice racism to maintain itself. For decades after its creation, the circumstances were right for Israel. If one forgot, as most people did, the fact that 750,000 Palestinians (non-Jews) had left their homeland under duress, thus making room for a Jewish-majority state, everyone could accept Israel as a genuine democracy, even to a certain extent for that small minority of Palestinians who had remained after 1948. That minority was not large enough to threaten Israel's Jewish majority; it faced considerable discrimination, but because Israeli Arabs could vote, this discrimination was viewed not as institutional, state-mandated racism but as the kind of discrimination, deplorable but not institutionalized, faced by blacks in the United States. The occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, with their two million (soon to become more than three million) Palestinian inhabitants, was seen to be temporary, its end awaiting only the Arabs' readiness to accept Israel's existence.

In these "right" circumstances, the issue of racism rarely arose, and the UN's labeling of Israel's fundamental ideology as racist came across to Americans and most westerners as nasty and vindictive. Outside the third world, Israel had come to be regarded as the perpetual innocent, not aggressive, certainly not racist, and desirous of nothing more than a peace agreement that would allow it to mind its own business inside its original borders in a democratic state. By the time the Zionism-is-racism resolution was rescinded in 1991, even the PLO had officially recognized Israel's right to exist in peace inside its 1967 borders, with its Jewish majority uncontested. In fact, this very acceptance of Israel by its principal adversary played no small part in facilitating the U.S. effort to garner support for overturning the resolution. (The fact of U.S. global dominance in the wake of the first Gulf war and the collapse of the Soviet Union earlier in 1991, and the atmosphere of optimism about prospects for peace created by the Madrid peace conference in October also played a significant part in winning over a majority of the UN when the Zionism resolution was brought to a vote of the General Assembly in December.)

Realities are very different today, and a recognition of Zionism's racist bases, as well as an understanding of the racist policies being played out in the occupied territories are essential if there is to be any hope at all of achieving a peaceful, just, and stable resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The egg of Palestine has been permanently scrambled, and it is now increasingly the case that, as Zionism is recognized as the driving force in the occupied territories as well as inside Israel proper, pre-1967 Israel can no longer be considered in isolation. It can no longer be allowed simply to go its own way as a Jewish-majority state, a state in which the circumstances are "right" for ignoring Zionism's fundamental racism.

As Israel increasingly inserts itself into the occupied territories, and as Israeli settlers, Israeli settlements, and Israeli-only roads proliferate and a state infrastructure benefiting only Jews takes over more and more territory, it becomes no longer possible to ignore the racist underpinnings of the Zionist ideology that directs this enterprise. It is no longer possible today to wink at the permanence of Zionism's thrust beyond Israel's pre-1967 borders. It is now clear that Israel's control over the occupied territories is, and has all along been intended to be, a drive to assert exclusive Jewish control, taming the Palestinians into submission and squeezing them into ever smaller, more disconnected segments of land or, failing that, forcing them to leave Palestine altogether. It is totally obvious to anyone who spends time on the ground in Palestine-Israel that the animating force behind the policies of the present and all past Israeli governments in Israel and in the occupied West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem has always been a determination to assure the predominance of Jews over Palestinians. Such policies can only be described as racist, and we should stop trying any longer to avoid the word.

When you are on the ground in Palestine, you can see Zionism physically imprinted on the landscape. Not only can you see that there are settlements, built on land confiscated from Palestinians, where Palestinians may not live. Not only can you see roads in the occupied territories, again built on land taken from Palestinians, where Palestinians may not drive. Not only can you observe that water in the occupied territories is allocated, by Israeli governmental authorities, so inequitably that Israeli settlers are allocated five times the amount per capita as are Palestinians and, in periods of drought, Palestinians stand in line for drinking water while Israeli settlements enjoy lush gardens and swimming pools. Not only can you stand and watch as Israeli bulldozers flatten Palestinian olive groves and other agricultural land, destroy Palestinian wells, and demolish Palestinian homes to make way for the separation wall that Israel is constructing across the length and breadth of the West Bank. The wall fences off Palestinians from Israelis, supposedly to provide greater security for Israelis but in fact in order to cage Palestinians, to define a border for Israel that will exclude a maximum number of Palestinians.

But, if this is not enough to demonstrate the inherent racism of Israel's occupation, you can also drive through Palestinian towns and Palestinian neighborhoods in and near Jerusalem and see what is perhaps the most cruelly racist policy in Zionism's arsenal: house demolitions, the preeminent symbol of Zionism's drive to maintain Jewish predominance. Virtually every street has a house or houses reduced to rubble, one floor pancaked onto another or simply a pile of broken concrete bulldozed into an incoherent heap. Jeff Halper, founder and head of the non-governmental Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), an anthropologist and scholar of the occupation, has observed that Zionist and Israeli leaders going back 80 years have all conveyed what he calls "The Message" to Palestinians. The Message, Halper says, is "Submit. Only when you abandon your dreams for an independent state of your own, and accept that Palestine has become the Land of Israel, will we relent [i.e., stop attacking Palestinians]." The deeper meaning of The Message, as carried by the bulldozers so ubiquitous in targeted Palestinian neighborhoods today, is that "You [Palestinians] do not belong here. We uprooted you from your homes in 1948and now we will uproot you from all of the Land of Israel."

In the end, Halper says, the advance of Zionism has been a process of displacement, and house demolitions have been "at the center of the Israeli struggle against the Palestinians" since 1948. Halper enumerates a steady history of destruction: in the first six years of Israel's existence, it systematically razed 418 Palestinian villages inside Israel, fully 85 percent of the villages existing before 1948; since the occupation began in 1967, Israel has demolished 11,000 Palestinian homes. More homes are now being demolished in the path of Israel's "separation wall." It is estimated that more than 4,000 homes have been destroyed in the last two years alone.

The vast majority of these house demolitions, 95 percent, have nothing whatever to do with fighting terrorism, but are designed specifically to displace non-Jews and assure the advance of Zionism. In Jerusalem, from the beginning of the occupation of the eastern sector of the city in 1967, Israeli authorities have designed zoning plans specifically to prevent the growth of the Palestinian population. Maintaining the "Jewish character" of the city at the level existing in 1967 (71 percent Jewish, 29 percent Palestinian) required that Israel draw zoning boundaries to prevent Palestinian expansion beyond existing neighborhoods, expropriate Palestinian-owned lands, confiscate the Jerusalem residency permits of any Palestinian who cannot prove that Jerusalem is his "center of life," limit city services to Palestinian areas, limit development in Palestinian neighborhoods, refuse to issue residential building permits to Palestinians, and demolish Palestinian homes that are built without permits. None of these strictures is imposed on Jews. According to ICAHD, the housing shortage in Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem is approximately 25,000 units, and 2,000 demolition orders are pending.

Halper has written that the human suffering involved in the destruction of a family home is incalculable. A home "is one's symbolic center, the site of one's most intimate personal life and an expression of one's status. It is a refuge, it is the physical representation of the family,maintainingcontinuity on one's ancestral land." Land expropriation is "an attack on one's very being and identity." Zionist governments, past and present, have understood this well, although not with the compassion or empathy that Halper conveys, and this attack on the "very being and identity" of non-Jews has been precisely the animating force behind Zionism.

Zionism's racism has, of course, been fundamental to Israel itself since its establishment in 1948. The Israeli government pursues policies against its own Bedouin minority very similar to its actions in the occupied territories. The Bedouin population has been forcibly relocated and squeezed into small areas in the Negev, again with the intent of forcing an exodus, and half of the 140,000 Bedouin in the Negev live in villages that the Israeli government does not recognize and does not provide services for. Every Bedouin home in an unrecognized village is slated for demolition; all homes, and the very presence of Bedouin in them, are officially illegal.

The problem of the Bedouins' unrecognized villages is only the partial evidence of a racist policy that has prevailed since Israel's foundation. After Zionist/Israeli leaders assured that the non-Jews (i.e., the Palestinians) making up the majority of Palestine's population (a two-thirds majority at the time) departed the scene in 1948, Israeli governments institutionalized favoritism toward Jews by law. As a Zionist state, Israel has always identified itself as the state of the Jews: as a state not of its Jewish and Palestinian citizens, but of all Jews everywhere in the world. The institutions of state guarantee the rights of and provide benefits for Jews. The Law of Return gives automatic citizenship to Jews from anywhere in the world, but to no other people. Some 92 percent of the land of Israel is state land, held by the Jewish National Fund "in trust" for the Jewish people; Palestinians may not purchase this land, even though most of it was Palestinian land before 1948, and in most instances they may not even lease the land. Both the Jewish National Fund, which deals with land acquisition and development, and the Jewish Agency, which deals primarily with Jewish immigration and immigrant absorption, have existed since before the state's establishment and now perform their duties specifically for Jews under an official mandate from the Israeli government.

Creating Enemies

Although few dare to give the reality of house demolitions and state institutions favoring Jews the label of racism, the phenomenon this reality describes is unmistakably racist. There is no other term for a process by which one people can achieve the essence of its political philosophy only by suppressing another people, by which one people guarantees its perpetual numerical superiority and its overwhelming predominance over another people through a deliberate process of repression and dispossession of those people. From the beginning, Zionism has been based on the supremacy of the Jewish people, whether this predominance was to be exercised in a full-fledged state or in some other kind of political entity, and Zionism could never have survived or certainly thrived in Palestine without ridding that land of most of its native population. The early Zionists themselves knew this (as did the Palestinians), even if naïve Americans have never quite gotten it. Theodore Herzl, father of Zionism, talked from the beginning of "spiriting" the native Palestinians out and across the border; discussion of "transfer" was common among the Zionist leadership in Palestine in the 1930s; talk of transfer is common today.

There has been a logical progression to the development of Zionism, leading inevitably to general acceptance of the sense that, because Jewish needs are paramount, Jews themselves are paramount. Zionism grew out of the sense that Jews needed a refuge from persecution, which led in turn to the belief that the refuge could be truly secure only if Jews guaranteed their own safety, which meant that the refuge must be exclusively or at least overwhelmingly Jewish, which meant in turn that Jews and their demands were superior, taking precedence over any other interests within that refuge. The mindset that in U.S. public discourse tends to view the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from a perspective almost exclusively focused on Israel arises out of this progression of Zionist thinking. By the very nature of a mindset, virtually no one examines the assumptions on which the Zionist mindset is based, and few recognize the racist base on which it rests.

Israeli governments through the decades have never been so innocent. Many officials in the current right-wing government are blatantly racist. Israel's outspoken education minister, Limor Livnat, spelled out the extreme right-wing defense of Zionism a year ago, when the government proposed to legalize the right of Jewish communities in Israel to exclude non-Jews. Livnat justified Israel's racism as a matter of Jewish self-preservation. "We're involved here," she said in a radio interview, "in a struggle for the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jews, as opposed tothose who want to force us to be a state of all its citizens." Israel is not "just another state like all the other states," she protested. "We are not just a state of all its citizens."

Livnat cautioned that Israel must be very watchful lest it find in another few years that the Galilee and the Negev, two areas inside Israel with large Arab populations, are "filled with Arab communities." To emphasize the point, she reiterated that Israel's "special purpose is our character as a Jewish state, our desire to preserve a Jewish community and Jewish majority hereso that it does not become a state of all its citizens." Livnat was speaking of Jewish self-preservation not in terms of saving the Jews or Israel from a territorial threat of military invasion by a marauding neighbor state, but in terms of preserving Jews from the mere existence of another people within spitting distance.

Most Zionists of a more moderate stripe might shudder at the explicitness of Livnat's message and deny that Zionism is really like this. But in fact this properly defines the racism that necessarily underlies Zionism. Most centrist and leftist Zionists deny the reality of Zionism's racism by trying to portray Zionism as a democratic system and manufacturing enemies in order to be able to sustain the inherent contradiction and hide or excuse the racism behind Zionism's drive for predominance.

Indeed, the most pernicious aspect of a political philosophy like Zionism that masquerades as democratic is that it requires an enemy in order to survive and, where an enemy does not already exist, it requires that one be created. In order to justify racist repression and dispossession, particularly in a system purporting to be democratic, those being repressed and displaced must be portrayed as murderous and predatory. And in order to keep its own population in line, to prevent a humane people from objecting to their own government's repressive policies, it requires that fear be instilled in the population: fear of "the other," fear of the terrorist, fear of the Jew-hater. The Jews of Israel must always be made to believe that they are the preyed-upon. This justifies having forced these enemies to leave, it justifies discriminating against those who remained, it justifies denying democratic rights to those who later came under Israel's control in the occupied territories.

Needing an enemy has meant that Zionism has from the beginning had to create myths about Palestinians, painting Palestinians and all Arabs as immutably hostile and intransigent. Thus the myth that in 1948 Palestinians left Palestine so that Arab armies could throw the Jews into the sea; thus the continuing myth that Palestinians remain determined to destroy Israel. Needing an enemy means that Zionism, as one veteran Israeli peace activist recently put it, has removed the Palestinians from history. Thus the myths that there is no such thing as a Palestinian, or that Palestinians all immigrated in modern times from other Arab countries, or that Jordan is Palestine and Palestinians should find their state there.

Needing an enemy means that Zionism has had to make its negotiating partner into a terrorist. It means that, for its own preservation, Zionism has had to devise a need to ignore its partner/enemy or expel him or assassinate him. It means that Zionism has had to reject any conciliatory effort by the Palestinians and portray them as "never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity" to make peace. This includes in particular rejecting that most conciliatory gesture, the PLO's decision in 1988 to recognize Israel's existence, relinquish Palestinian claims to the three-quarters of Palestine lying inside Israel's pre-1967 borders, and even recognize Israel's "right" to exist there.

Needing an enemy means, ultimately, that Zionism had to create the myth of the "generous offer" at the Camp David summit in July 2000. It was Zionist racism that painted the Palestinians as hopelessly intransigent for refusing Israel's supposedly generous offer, actually an impossible offer that would have maintained Zionism's hold on the occupied territories and left the Palestinians with a disconnected, indefensible, non-viable state. Then, when the intifada erupted (after Palestinian demonstrators threw stones at Israeli police and the police responded by shooting several demonstrators to death), it was Zionist racism speaking when Israel put out the line that it was under siege and in a battle for its very survival with Palestinians intent on destroying it. When a few months later the issue of Palestinian refugees and their "right of return" arose publicly, it was Zionist racism speaking when Israel and its defenders, ignoring the several ways in which Palestinian negotiators signaled their readiness to compromise this demand, propagated the view that this too was intended as a way to destroy Israel, by flooding it with non-Jews and destroying its Jewish character.

The Zionist Dilemma

The supposed threat from "the other" is the eternal refuge of the majority of Israelis and Israeli supporters in the United States. The common line is that "We Israelis and friends of Israel long for peace, we support Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, we have always supported giving the Palestinians self-government. But 'they' hate us, they want to destroy Israel. Wasn't this obvious when Arafat turned his back on Israel's generous offer? Wasn't this obvious when Arafat started the intifada? Wasn't this obvious when Arafat demanded that the Palestinians be given the right of return, which would destroy Israel as a Jewish state? We have already made concession after concession. How can we give them any further concessions when they would only fight for more and more until Israel is gone?" This line relieves Israel of any responsibility to make concessions or move toward serious negotiations; it relieves Israelis of any need to treat Palestinians as equals; it relieves Israelis and their defenders of any need to think; it justifies racism, while calling it something else.

Increasing numbers of Israelis themselves (some of whom have long been non-Zionists, some of whom are only now beginning to see the problem with Zionism) are recognizing the inherent racism of their nation's raison d'etre. During the years of the peace process, and indeed for the last decade and a half since the PLO formally recognized Israel's existence, the Israeli left could ignore the problems of Zionism while pursuing efforts to promote the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that would coexist with Israel. Zionism continued to be more or less a non-issue: Israel could organize itself in any way it chose inside its own borders, and the Palestinian state could fulfill Palestinian national aspirations inside its new borders.

Few of those nettlesome issues surrounding Zionism, such as how much democracy Zionism can allow to non-Jews without destroying its reason for being, would arise in a two-state situation. The issue of Zionism's responsibility for the Palestinians' dispossession could also be put aside. As Haim Hanegbi, a non-Zionist Israeli who recently went back to the fold of single-state binationalism (and who is a long-time cohort of Uri Avnery in the Gush Shalom movement), said in a recent interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, the promise of mutual recognition offered by the Oslo peace process mesmerized him and others in the peace movement and so "in the mid-1990s I had second thoughts about my traditional [binational] approach. I didn't think it was my task to go to Ramallah and present the Palestinians with the list of Zionist wrongs and tell them not to forget what our fathers did to their fathers." Nor were the Palestinians themselves reminding Zionists of these wrongs at the time.

As new wrongs in the occupied territories increasingly recall old wrongs from half a century ago, however, and as Zionism finds that it cannot cope with end-of-conflict demands like the Palestinians' insistence that Israel accept their right of return by acknowledging its role in their dispossession, more and more Israelis are coming to accept the reality that Zionism can never escape its past. It is becoming increasingly clear to many Israelis that Israel has absorbed so much of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem into itself that the Jewish and the Palestinian peoples can never be separated fairly. The separation wall, says Hanegbi, "is the great despairing solution of the Jewish-Zionist society. It is the last desperate act of those who cannot confront the Palestinian issue. Of those who are compelled to push the Palestinian issue out of their lives and out of their consciousness." For Hanegbi, born in Palestine before 1948, Palestinians "were always part of my landscape," and without them, "this is a barren country, a disabled country."

Old-line Zionist Meron Benvenisti, who has also moved to support for binationalism, used almost identical metaphors in a Ha'aretz interview run alongside Hanegbi's. Also Palestine-born and a contemporary of Hanegbi, Benvenisti believes "this is a country in which there were always Arabs. This is a country in which the Arabs are the landscape, the natives.I don't see myself living here without them. In my eyes, without Arabs this is a barren land."

Both men discuss the evolution of their thinking over the decades, and both describe a period in which, after the triumph of Zionism, they unthinkingly accepted its dispossession of the Palestinians. Each man describes the Palestinians simply disappearing when he was an adolescent ("They just sort of evaporated," says Hanegbi), and Benvenisti recalls a long period in which the Palestinian "tragedy simply did not penetrate my consciousness." But both speak in very un-Zionist terms of equality. Benvenisti touches on the crux of the Zionist dilemma. "This is where I am different from my friends in the left," he says, "because I am truly a native son of immigrants, who is drawn to the Arab culture and the Arabic language because it is here. It is the land.Whereas the right, certainly, but the left too hates Arabs. The Arabs bother them; they complicate things. The subject generates moral questions and that generates cultural unease."

Hanegbi goes farther. "I am not a psychologist," he says, "but I think that everyone who lives with the contradictions of Zionism condemns himself to protracted madness. It's impossible to live like this. It's impossible to live with such a tremendous wrong. It's impossible to live with such conflicting moral criteria. When I see not only the settlements and the occupation and the suppression, but now also the insane wall that the Israelis are trying to hide behind, I have to conclude that there is something very deep here in our attitude to the indigenous people of this land that drives us out of our minds."

While some thoughtful Israelis like these men struggle with philosophical questions of existence and identity and the collective Jewish conscience, few American defenders of Israel seem troubled by such deep issues. Racism is often banal. Most of those who practice it, and most of those who support Israel as a Zionist state, would be horrified to be accused of racism, because their racist practices have become commonplace. They do not even think about what they do. We recently encountered a typical American supporter of Israel who would have argued vigorously if we had accused her of racism. During a presentation we were giving to a class, this (non-Jewish) woman rose to ask a question that went roughly like this: "I want to ask about the failure of the other Arabs to take care of the Palestinians. I must say I sympathize with Israel because Israel simply wants to have a secure state, but the other Arabs have refused to take the Palestinians in, and so they sit in camps and their hostility toward Israel just festers."

This is an extremely common American, and Israeli, perception, the idea being that if the Arab states would only absorb the Palestinians so that they became Lebanese or Syrians or Jordanians, they would forget about being Palestinian, forget that Israel had displaced and dispossessed them, and forget about "wanting to destroy Israel." Israel would then be able simply to go about its own business and live in peace, as it so desperately wants to do. This woman's assumption was that it is acceptable for Israel to have established itself as a Jewish state at the expense of (i.e., after the ethnic cleansing of) the land's non-Jewish inhabitants, that any Palestinian objection to this reality is illegitimate, and that all subsequent animosity toward Israel is ultimately the fault of neighboring Arab states who failed to smother the Palestinians' resistance by anesthetizing them to their plight and erasing their identity and their collective memory of Palestine.

When later in the class the subject arose of Israel ending the occupation, this same woman spoke up to object that, if Israel did give up control over the West Bank and Gaza, it would be economically disadvantaged, at least in the agricultural sector. "Wouldn't this leave Israel as just a desert?" she wondered. Apart from the fact that the answer is a clear "no" (Israel's agricultural capability inside its 1967 borders is quite high, and most of Israel is not desert), the woman's question was again based on the automatic assumption that Israel's interests take precedence over those of anyone else and that, in order to enhance its own agricultural economy (or, presumably, for any other perceived gain), Israel has the right to conquer and take permanent possession of another people's land.

The notion that the Jewish/Zionist state of Israel has a greater right to possess the land, or a greater right to security, or a greater right to a thriving economy, than the people who are native to that land is extremely racist, but this woman would probably object strenuously to having it pointed out that this is a Jewish supremacist viewpoint identical to past justifications for white South Africa's apartheid regime and to the rationale for all European colonial (racist) systems that exploited the human and natural resources of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia over the centuries for the sole benefit of the colonizers. Racism must necessarily be blind to its own immorality; the burden of conscience is otherwise too great. This is the banality of evil.

(Unconsciously, of course, many Americans also seem to believe that the shameful policies of the U.S. government toward Native Americans somehow make it acceptable for the government of Israel to pursue equally shameful policies toward the Palestinians. The U.S. needs to face its racist policies head on as much as it needs to confront the racism of its foremost partner, Israel.)

This woman's view is so very typical, something you hear constantly in casual conversation and casual encounters at social occasions, that it hardly seems significant. But this very banality is precisely the evil of it; what is evil is the very fact that it is "hardly significant" that Zionism by its nature is racist and that this reality goes unnoticed by decent people who count themselves defenders of Israel. The universal acceptability of a system that is at heart racist but proclaims itself to be benign, even noble, and the license this acceptability gives Israel to oppress another people, are striking testimony to the selectivity of the human conscience and its general disinterest in human questions of justice and human rights except when these are politically useful.

Countering the Counter-Arguments

To put some perspective on this issue, a few clarifying questions must be addressed. Many opponents of the occupation would argue that, although Israel's policies in the occupied territories are racist in practice, they are an abuse of Zionism and that racism is not inherent in it. This seems to be the position of several prominent commentators who have recently denounced Israel severely for what it does in the West Bank and Gaza but fail to recognize the racism in what Israel did upon its establishment in 1948. In a recent bitter denunciation of Zionist policies today, Avraham Burg, a former Knesset speaker, lamented that Zionism had become corrupted by ruling as an occupier over another people, and he longed for the days of Israel's youth when "our national destiny" was "as a light unto the nations and a society of peace, justice and equality." These are nice words, and it is heartening to hear credible mainstream Israelis so clearly denouncing the occupation, but Burg's assumption that before the occupation Zionism followed "a just path" and always had "an ethical leadership" ignores the unjust and unethical policy of ethnic cleansing that allowed Israel to become a so-called Jewish democracy in the first place.

Acknowledging the racist underpinnings of an ideology so long held up as the embodiment of justice and ethics appears to be impossible for many of the most intellectual of Israelis and Israeli defenders. Many who strongly oppose Israel's policies in the occupied territories still, despite their opposition, go through considerable contortions to "prove" that Israel itself is not racist. Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the Jewish magazine Tikkun and a long-time opponent of the occupation, rejects the notion that Zionism is racist on the narrow grounds that Jewishness is only a religious identity and that Israel welcomes Jews of all races and ethnicities and therefore cannot be called racist. But this confuses the point. Preference toward a particular religion, which is the only aspect of racism that Lerner has addressed and which he acknowledges occurs in Israel, is no more acceptable than preference on ethnic grounds.

But most important, racism has to do primarily with those discriminated against, not with those who do the discriminating. Using Lerner's reasoning, apartheid South Africa might also not be considered racist because it welcomed whites of all ethnicities. But its inherent evil lay in the fact that its very openness to whites discriminated against blacks. Discrimination against any people on the basis of "race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin" is the major characteristic of racism as the UN defines it. Discrimination against Palestinians and other non-Jews, simply because they are not Jews, is the basis on which Israel constitutes itself. Lerner seems to believe that, because the Palestinian citizens of Israel have the vote and are represented in the Knesset, there is no racial or ethnic discrimination in Israel. But, apart from skipping over the institutional racism that keeps Palestinian Israelis in perpetual second-class citizenship, this argument ignores the more essential reality that Israel reached its present ethnic balance, the point at which it could comfortably allow Palestinians to vote without endangering its Jewish character, only because in 1948 three-quarters of a million Palestinians were forced to leave what became the Jewish state of Israel.

More questions need to be addressed. Is every Israeli or every Jew a racist? Most assuredly not, as the examples of Jeff Halper, Haim Hanegbi, Meron Benvenisti, and many others like them strikingly illustrate. Is every Zionist a racist? Probably not, if one accepts ignorance as an exonerating factor. No doubt the vast majority of Israelis, most very good-hearted people, are not consciously racist but "go along" unquestioningly, having been born into or moved to an apparently democratic state and never examined the issue closely, and having bought into the line fed them by every Israeli government from the beginning, that Palestinians and other Arabs are enemies and that whatever actions Israel takes against Palestinians are necessary to guarantee the personal security of Israelis.

Is it anti-Semitic to say that Zionism is a racist system? Certainly not. Political criticism is not ethnic or religious hatred. Stating a reality about a government's political system or its political conduct says nothing about the qualities of its citizens or its friends. Racism is not a part of the genetic makeup of Jews, any more than it was a part of the genetic makeup of Germans when Hitler ran a racist regime. Nor do Zionism's claim to speak for all Jews everywhere and Israel's claim to be the state of all Jews everywhere make all Jews Zionists. Zionism did not ask for or receive the consent of universal Jewry to speak in its name; therefore labeling Zionism as racist does not label all Jews and cannot be called anti-Semitic.

Why It Matters

Are there other racist systems, and are there governing systems and political philosophies, racist or not, that are worse than Zionism? Of course, but this fact does not relieve Zionism of culpability. (Racism obviously exists in the United States and in times past was pervasive throughout the country, but, unlike Israel, the U.S. is not a racist governing system, based on racist foundations and depending for its raison d'etre on a racist philosophy.) Many defenders of Israel (Michael Lerner and columnist Thomas Friedman come to mind) contend that when Israel is "singled out" for criticism not also leveled at oppressive regimes elsewhere, the attackers are exhibiting a special hatred for Jews. Anyone who does not also criticize Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong Il or Bashar al-Assad for atrocities far greater than Israel's, they charge, is showing that he is less concerned to uphold absolute values than to tear down Israel because it is Jewish. But this charge ignores several factors that demand criticism of Zionist racism. First, because the U.S. government supports Zionism and its racist policy on a continuing basis and props up Zionism's military machine with massive amounts of military aid, it is wholly appropriate for Americans (indeed, it is incumbent on Americans) to call greater attention to Zionism's racism than, for instance, to North Korea's appalling cruelties. The United States does not assist in North Korea's atrocities, but it does underwrite Zionism's brutality.

There is also a strong moral reason for denouncing Zionism as racist. Zionism advertises itself, and actually congratulates itself, as a uniquely moral system that stands as a "light unto the nations," putting itself forward as in a real sense the very embodiment of the values Americans hold dear. Many Zionist friends of Israel would have us believe that Zionism is us, and in many ways it is: most Americans, seeing Israelis as "like us," have grown up with the notion that Israel is a noble enterprise and that the ideology that spawned it is of the highest moral order. Substantial numbers of Americans, non-Jews as well as Jews, feel an emotional and psychological bond with Israel and Zionism that goes far beyond the ties to any other foreign ally. One scholar, describing the U.S.-Israeli tie, refers to Israel as part of the "being" of the United States. Precisely because of the intimacy of the relationship, it is imperative that Zionism's hypocrisy be exposed, that Americans not give aid and comfort to, or even remain associated with, a morally repugnant system that uses racism to exalt one people over all others while masquerading as something better than it is. The United States can remain supportive of Israel as a nation without any longer associating itself with Israel's racism.

Finally, there are critical practical reasons for acknowledging Zionism's racism and enunciating a U.S. policy clearly opposed to racism everywhere and to the repressive Israeli policies that arise from Zionist racism. Now more than at any time since the United States positioned itself as an enthusiastic supporter of Zionism, U.S. endorsement, and indeed facilitation, of Israel's racist policies put this country at great risk for terrorism on a massive scale. Terrorism arises, not as President Bush would have us believe from "hatred of our liberties," but from hatred of our oppressive, killing policies throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds, and in a major way from our support for Israel's severe oppression of the Palestinians. Terrorism is never acceptable, but it is explainable, and it is usually avoidable. Supporting the oppression of Palestinians that arises from Israel's racism only encourages terrorism.

It is time to begin openly expressing revulsion at the racism against Palestinians that the United States has been supporting for decades. It is time to sound an alarm about the near irreversibility of Israel's absorption of the occupied territories into Israel, about the fact that this arises from a fundamentally racist ideology, about the fact that this racism is leading to the ethnicide of an entire nation of people, and about the fact that it is very likely to produce horrific terrorist retaliation against the U.S. because of its unquestioning support. Many who are intimately familiar with the situation on the ground are already sounding an alarm, usually without using the word racism but using other inflammatory terms. Israeli commentator Ran HaCohen recently observed that "Israel's atrocities have now intensified to an extent unimaginable in previous decades." Land confiscation, curfew, the "gradual pushing of Palestinians from areas designated for Jews" have accompanied the occupation all along, he wrote, but the level of oppression now "is quite another story.[This is] an eliminationist policy on the verge of genocide."

The Foundation for Middle East Peace, a Washington-based institution that has tracked Israeli settlement-building for decades, came to much the same conclusion, although using less attention-getting language, in its most recent bimonthly newsletter. Israel, it wrote, is "undertaking massive, unprecedented efforts beyond the construction of new settlement housing, which proceeds apace, to put the question of its control of these areas beyond the reach of diplomacy." Israel's actions, particularly the "relentless" increase in territorial control, the foundation concluded, have "compromised not only the prospect for genuine Palestinian independence but also, in ways not seen in Israel's 36-year occupation, the very sustainability of everyday Palestinian life."

It signals a remarkable change when Israeli commentators and normally staid foundations begin using terms like "unprecedented," "unimaginable in previous decades," "in ways not seen in Israel's 36-year occupation," even words like "eliminationist" and "genocide." While the Bush administration, every Democratic presidential candidate (including, to some degree, even the most progressive), Congress, and the mainstream U.S. media blithely ignore the extent of the destruction in Palestine, more and more voices outside the United States and outside the mainstream in the U.S. are finally coming to recognize that Israel is squeezing the life out of the Palestinian nation. Those who see this reality should begin to expose not only the reality but the racism that is at its root.

Some very thoughtful Israelis, including Haim Hanegbi, Meron Benvenisti, and activists like Jeff Halper, have come to the conclusion that Israel has absorbed so much of the occupied territories that a separate, truly independent Palestinian state can never be established in the West Bank and Gaza. They now regard a binational solution as the only way. In theory, this would mean an end to Zionism (and Zionist racism) by allowing the Jewish and the Palestinian peoples to form a single secular state in all of Palestine in which they live together in equality and democracy, in which neither people is superior, in which neither people identifies itself by its nationality or its religion but rather simply by its citizenship. Impossible? Idealized? Pie-in-the-sky? Probably so but maybe not.

Other Israeli and Jewish activists and thinkers, such as Israel's Uri Avnery and CounterPunch contributor Michael Neumann, have cogently challenged the wisdom and the realism of trying to pursue binationalism at the present time. But it is striking that their arguments center on what will best assure a decent outcome for Palestinians. In fact, what is most heartening about the newly emerging debate over the one- versus the two-state solution is the fact that intelligent, compassionate people have at long last been able to move beyond addressing Jewish victimhood and how best to assure a future for Jews, to begin debating how best to assure a future for both the Palestinian and the Jewish people. Progressives in the U.S., both supporters and opponents of present U.S. policies toward Israel, should encourage similar debate in this country. If this requires loudly attacking AIPAC and its intemperate charges of anti-Semitism, so be it.

We recently had occasion to raise the notion of Israeli racism, using the actual hated word, at a gathering of about 25 or 30 (mostly) progressive (mostly) Jews, and came away with two conclusions: 1) it is a hard concept to bring people to face, but 2) we were not run out of the room and, after the initial shock of hearing the word racist used in connection with Zionism, most people in the room, with only a few exceptions, took the idea aboard. Many specifically thanked us for what we had said. One man, raised as a Jew and now a Muslim, came up to us afterward to say that he thinks Zionism is nationalist rather than racist (to which we argued that nationalism was the motivation but racism is the resulting reality), but he acknowledged, with apparent approbation, that referring to racism had a certain shock effect. Shock effect is precisely what we wanted. The United States' complacent support for everything Israel does will not be altered without shock.

When a powerful state kills hundreds of civilians from another ethnic group; confiscates their land; builds vast housing complexes on that land for the exclusive use of its own nationals; builds roads on that land for the exclusive use of its own nationals; prevents expansion of the other people's neighborhoods and towns; demolishes on a massive scale houses belonging to the other people, in order either to prevent that people's population growth, to induce them "voluntarily" to leave their land altogether, or to provide "security" for its own nationals; imprisons the other people in their own land behind checkpoints, roadblocks, ditches, razor wire, electronic fences, and concrete walls; squeezes the other people into ever smaller, disconnected segments of land; cripples the productive capability of the other people by destroying or separating them from their agricultural land, destroying or confiscating their wells, preventing their industrial expansion, and destroying their businesses; imprisons the leadership of the other people and threatens to expel or assassinate that leadership; destroys the security forces and the governing infrastructure of the other people; destroys an entire population's census records, land registry records, and school records; vandalizes the cultural headquarters and the houses of worship of the other people by urinating, defecating, and drawing graffiti on cultural and religious artifacts and symbols ­ when one people does these things to another, a logical person can draw only one conclusion: the powerful state is attempting to destroy the other people, to push them into the sea, to ethnically cleanse them.

These kinds of atrocities, and particularly the scale of the repression, did not spring full-blown out of some terrorist provocations by Palestinians. These atrocities grew out of a political philosophy that says whatever advances the interests of Jews is acceptable as policy. This is a racist philosophy.

What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is not genocide, it is not a holocaust, but it is, unmistakably, ethnicide. It is, unmistakably, racism. Israel worries constantly, and its American friends worry, about the destruction of Israel. We are all made to think always about the existential threat to Israel, to the Jewish people. But the nation in imminent danger of elimination today is not Israel but the Palestinians. Such a policy of national destruction must not be allowed to stand.


* Assuming, according to the scenario put forth by our Israeli-American friend, that Palestinians had accepted the UN-mandated establishment of a Jewish state in 1948, that no war had ensued, and that no Palestinians had left Palestine, Israel would today encompass only the 55 percent of Palestine allocated to it by the UN partition resolution, not the 78 percent it possessed after successfully prosecuting the 1948 war. It would have no sovereignty over Jerusalem, which was designated by the UN as a separate international entity not under the sovereignty of any nation. Its 5.4 million Jews (assuming the same magnitude of Jewish immigration and natural increase) would be sharing the state with approximately five million Palestinians (assuming the same nine-fold rate of growth among the 560,000 Palestinians who inhabited the area designated for the Jewish state as has occurred in the Palestinian population that actually remained in Israel in 1948). Needless to say, this small, severely overcrowded, binational state would not be the comfortable little Jewish democracy that our friend seems to have envisioned.

by Open to ONE point of view
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 12:49 PM
Indybay is only open to ONE point of view. We get this re-cycled, re-posted anti-zionist spam (if you read it closely, all it says is "The Arabs should have won, wah, wah, wah.") We get articles from Arab media only, like Electronic intifada, Islam on Line. Indybay deletes any pro-Israel comments and articles all while crowing that this is an "alternative to the mainstream media."
by and a balance
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 12:52 PM
We get your point of view in the commercial media.
by Nonsense, same whiny stuff
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 2:04 PM
Nonsense, this is the same whiny stuff we see in the supposed "main stream media." Same Palestinian photographers, "sopb sister" stories, teddy bears tossed onto debris to make a "better" photo op. The only difference is that sometimes the Chron will allow a dissenting voice in the letters to the editors. Indybay permits no dissent.
by TW
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 2:19 PM
"Nonsense, this is the same whiny stuff the Mainstream media thrives on"

Where is that? Show me a single **US corporate mainstream** (note every word of emphasis, zio-slime) news item that **explicitly develops** (note every word of emphasis, zio-slime) the position that Israel and zionism have come to represent "racist ideology" or "Jewish Nazism." I will chew up, swallow, and shit my fucking hat into a bowl and then do it again while it's still nice and steamy. Such interpretations are staunchly suppressed by mainstream US propaganda machines.

That is a direct contemptuous challenge. Put up or shut your screaming bullshit holes for once. You will observe every fucking word emphasized above or it will not pass muster. RAT-LIKE AD HOM EVASIONS WILL NOT PASS MUSTER

Yes, I know all your favorite stunts

Of course if Indybay's editorial viewpoint is not to your taste, the sensible thing would be for you to take your tastes elsewhere. Ah, but this would not suit your REAL motive in coming here, which is to gatekeep and scream down **any** criticism of these things -- to effect a Stalinesque suppression of such commentary -- according to directives handed down to you by zionist culture and the zionist PR machine (the David Project, etc.) You people are a PR firm's wildest wet-dream come true: an army of eager beaver PR volunteers who just sop up and puke doctrine and **never** think critically about their own bigotry, cuz hey you're just simply extreme bigots. It gets more obvious every day. You're so mindless and programmable you're not even aware of how totally used you are.
by Support the lies
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 2:27 PM
But we knew that. You will never see somehting like that posted in the mainstream corporate media. That is precisely why this site serves to balance that.
by facts
Monday Mar 20th, 2006 8:14 PM
The US government is clearly biased towards the Israelis in ways that are objective. The US allows Israel to have nukes but would act to prevent Palestinians from getting nukes. The US would condemn any Palestinians attempts to send soliders into Israel but frequently backs Israeli soliders in Palestinian areas. This isnt something one can argue about, one can only argue about the morals of it. If you are proIsrael you could try to argue that all else equal there would be bias against Israel but given the way groups or individuals have acted ad bias should exist towards Israel more than the media government currently gives. But you cant argue there isnt bias by the government.

As for the US media one can see somewhat similar bias if you look at how Iranian nukes and Israeli nukes have been dealt with if you assume the US media would treat Palestinian nukes in the same way as Iranian ones. You can argue that the media should be biased against Iran or the Palestinians more than it is but there is no way to argue there is not such a bias.

The US media tended to be baised towards England and against the Nazis during WWII, and completely justifiably so. During the Cold war the US media was biased towards US allies and against Soviet alies. Bias isnt always a bad thing, but its a bit unseemly to deny bias towards Israel when its so readilly apparent (thats doesnt mean the US media is never critical of Israel but if a Palestinian assasinates an Israeli leader one knows that every US media outlet will be critical whereas when the opposite happens it depends on the exact circumstances to determine how the story is covered). Now you can argue that the amount of coverage of lesser incidents has bias in the other direction and point at those numbers (which definitely depend on the media outlet) but just looking at nukes, assasinations, military incursions, and the like one ends up with a clear bias that is undeniable in just about every US media outlet.
by to &quot;learn history&quot;
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 1:05 AM
Well... I know a bit about history. That's why I know western Christianity beat Communism hands-down on the atrocity front. Especially when it came to "discovery" of the "new world," but not only then and there.

Maybe you should learn a history other than your own.
by Communism killed far more
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 9:36 AM
In terms of sheer numbers, Communism killed far more people. The Cultural Revolution in China, Pol Pot (Chomsky's favorite) Stalin, Hoxha, the list just goes on and on. It seems that the old Communists never learn though and nowadays, for reasosn having nothing to do with the Palestinians, support the Palestinians, sort of. Its very odd and if the Palestinians were aware, they would be very cautious about dealing with the ever duplicious Bolsheviks.
by peas in a pod
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 10:30 AM
Either way, they're dead.
by TW
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 3:14 PM
First there was Mussolini, Hitler, Tojo, Franco, and Salazar. Between them they killed, what, 60 million? But then the American and British fascists came up strong right behind them and killed, shit, probly 15 million more since then, not including all the third-world puppet fascists we installed everywhere who've easily racked up this many again. And then how many have we killed passively, e.g. starved to death, with our monstrous international policies? Throw on more tens of millions. Killing of course isn't the only way to destroy people's lives and societies. There's also de facto enslavement as seen in most places outside this boob-feeder la la land here, which, mind you, is the MAIN BENEFICIARY of said enslavement -- oh yes it is; it's called C-O-L-O-N-I-A-L-I-S-M -- so lets just throw on a couple a billion more. All in all, the biggest villains in history by far are the Western fascist psychos: Germany, Britain, Italy, France, the US, Japan, etc. etc.

This has been a fascist country ever since Truman introduced the National Security state and unleashed McCarthyism. That's what that really was. Kennedy put up a fight to take the wheel back, so the Thiessens and Krupts of America the Wunnaful had his fucking brains blown out of his head. Ever since, everybody who's anybody has known not to fuck with them, just grovel at their feet, they won hands down.

That's the way it is. Wake up.

Of course the amen corner will consider all this apostasy, but remember how I said fascists never understand what they are?

Oh, I'll tell you what they are: they're people who spew pathetically brainwashed screeching commie-hatred like this:

"In terms of sheer numbers, Communism killed far more people. The Cultural Revolution in China, Pol Pot (Chomsky's favorite) Stalin, Hoxha, the list just goes on and on."

This is an excellent, rock-solid working definition of a fascist

This asshole had three real names to drop, then had to pull some bullshit like Enver Hoxha out of his hat. I could easily reel off ten times as many fascist mass-murderers who made Hoxha look like a fuckin piker. Take any US president from Truman onward, for example.

The US fascist amen corner LLLUUUUUUUVVS to bring up Pol Pot, while also conveeeeeeniently forgetting that the Land of the Free and its sycophants like Diem killed AT LEAST as many for reasons just as criminally insane, while doing WAAAY more damage environmentally and sociologically. All Pol Pot had to play with was bullets, not thousands of giant planes loaded with cluster bombs, napalm, Whiskey Pete, and some of the deadliest chemicals known to man.

As a matter of fact, if it hadn't been for our spooks conspiring to topple Prince Sihanouk and install Lon Nol in his place (so we'd have a green light to invade and bomb the holy fuck out of the upper Mekong delta), Pol Pot would have stayed on the fringe of Cambodian politics. Once we got our fascist boy Lon in place, though, Cambodians turned to what they thought was the lesser evil. Also, the US bombing destroyed the agricultural base and brought a famine down on Cambodia that killed hundreds of thousands even before Pol Pot entered the picture. Therefore, what transpired under Pol Pot was in part a consequence of US imperial arrogance!

OO, OO, but here's the kicker: when Vietnam invaded Cambodia and drove Pol Pot into Thailand, guess who we started supporting as an international terrorist making Contra-style cross-border raids into Cambodia? Guess whose cronies we kept in place in the UN General Assembly? That's right, our new buddy Pol Pot!

The US fascist cheering section never remembers stuff like this, do they? That's because they're 1) brainwashed assholes and 2) murderous criminals themselves, just like the Americans who made nutsack tobacco pouches from the helpless Cheyenne they massacred at Sand Creek, etc. People with good souls will take it upon themselves to figure out what history has really meant, but there seems to be a real paucity of such people in America. They just want to preen in front of a mirror.

You wanna see a demonic country ruled by psychopaths? Look outside your window. When it comes to who has killed / is killing who, mind your own fucking skeletons
by All So True.
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 3:54 PM
Also, for the pathetic anticommie above:

Try a little book called "Guns, Germs and Stell" by a fella named Jared Diamond. Then get back to us with that "Commies were the worst thing ever in history" bullshit.

Also... the commies are why Hitler didn't win. I for one won't ever forget that.

by Whiny,&quot;they did it too&quot;
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 5:02 PM
TW, Communist appologist, what does it matter if you whine,"they did it too"? No one here is pro-facist, we were talking about the endless list of Communist atrocities. Don't try to deflect by changing the subject. You've been caught, again.
by you know it
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 5:36 PM
If it wasnt for Republicans, Bin Laden would have been arrested soon after 9/11, but you wanted to use the short lived change in public opinion to help US oil companies.
That was only one century. Christians had a millennia and a half head start on them.
by Don't change the topic
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 5:57 PM
TW, Communist appologist, Don't try to deflect by changing the subject. You've been caught, again.
by the USSR is dead....
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 6:35 PM
"Communist appologist"

The only people left worrying about Communists are the same people who also worry about who shot Kennedy, weather modification, chemtrails and UFOs.

ANSWER may draw 100,000 to some of their largest protests but only 10-20 people probably agree with the WWP ideology and the rest just agree with the antiwar stance of the demo.

Considering sheer numbers of people who believe is such things, it would make more sense to worry about SCA people taking over and making the US look like a Ren Fair or Trekkies taking over and forcing you to learn Kilingon.
by the equal-opposite game.
Tuesday Mar 21st, 2006 11:10 PM
Anticommunists have this thing they like to do, in which communism equals fascism in an equal-opposite way. Then, corporation-dominated so-called "free-market capitalism" becomes the reasonable-- and innocent-- middle ground between two "bloody" extremes.

In fact, fascism is capitalism when it lets its hair down. The USA spent almost 20 years playing cozy with fascists of various stripes and ilks, while communists-- whatever else they said, did, or believed, laid down their lives, moved mountains &c to stop fascism-- something it eventually did, with the reluctant help of the west.

Anything else is a lie designed to cover up the tracks of the bloodiest murderers in history-- republican democracies, and the capitalist interests that own and control them.

They do it for profit.
by TW
Wednesday Mar 22nd, 2006 12:58 AM

You just **think** you're not fascist dupes cuz your understanding of what fascism means is severely flawed. You think it means being a skinhead or not liking Jews or some shit. In fact, 'equal-opposite game' had it exactly right:

"fascism is capitalism when it lets its hair down"

Greedy middle-classholes who've become like petty aristocrat wannabes, i.e. who've adopted the pursuit of profit, wealth, privilege etc. as their private religion and thus eagerly support ANY policy initiative that feeds into it have ALWAYS been the backbone of popular fascist rule. Guess what America consists of now? Congratulations, O 'Land of Opportunity.' Yeah, you've made it all right.

Another key ingredient in the fascist formula is the creation of racist scapegoats as a way to whip up hatred and get everybody pumped for wild rampages of national bloodlust. Who would that scapegoat be in the present American version? Why, Arabs and Moslems, of course. And who has the biggest stake in whipping up hatred of this party? Here's a hint.

"TW, Communist appologist, Don't try to deflect by changing the subject. You've been caught, again."

That's right, hate-crazed zionist fanatics, who are in fact the vanguard of present-day American fascism
by To the Guy Who Called Me a Traitor
Wednesday Mar 22nd, 2006 6:34 AM
I haven't heard from you for a while. Three years ago you called me a "traitor", just before the invasion of Iraq. You also wrote, "Your voice against our elected government is a voice against its people, a voice against this nation."

I guess I must have set you off with my skepticism about an Iraqi nuclear weapons program and other nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, not to mention the highly dubious claims being made that Iraq was involved with 9/11 or Al Qaeda.

I am sure that you had every intention to contact me and apologize since you were so utterly wrong about, well, everything. But I suppose you were busy.

As the third anniversary of the war approaches, let's review the fine mess that you've gotten us into.

The war in Iraq has become a horrendous drain of American lives and treasure. With no end in sight, we have already lost over 2300 U.S. soldiers and will spend more than $315 billion through 2006. At least 18,000 American soldiers have suffered devastating wounds, and another 50,000 show signs of acute psychological distress.

Iraqi losses have been staggering. Over the last three years, at least 100,000 have died--most killed by U.S. forces. It is estimated that U.S. troops kill three Iraqi civilians for each insurgent dispatched. As bad as Saddam's regime was, under Bush & Company Iraq has gone from being the one of the most developed and educated countries in the region to a failed state.

The insurgency rages unabated, and civil war looms; coalition forces control only the ground upon which they stand. Amnesty International reports that U.S. troops have detained thousands of Iraqis; many are innocent and many have been abused--all of which further inflames the insurgency.

Wealthy Americans, meanwhile, have been asked to sacrifice precisely nothing. The Bush administration has cut their taxes and put the entire cost of the war on the national tab. Our children and grandchildren will pay the bill. Meanwhile, Haliburton continues to rake it in--$16 billion in Iraq war contracts so far.

From the Geneva Conventions to the UN Charter to the Treaty on Torture, the Bush regime has left the fabric of international law in tatters. Our country has become an international pariah.

And the troops have had it. A large majority of U.S. soldiers in Iraq now say it is time to leave: 72% "think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately." (Le Moyne College/Zogby International, 2/28/06)

Many of us saw it all coming. But we were censured and ridiculed, our competence and integrity questioned, and in some cases our careers were damaged.

But I should not complain. When you denounced me, I joined a distinguished group that included generals Tony Zinni and Bill Odom, hard working UN weapons inspectors, and regrettably, too few brave journalists and academics. Let's salute all who refused to be intimidated.

During another war at another time, Theodore Roosevelt put it well, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president . . . is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

But you, on the contrary, readily gave in to the orchestrated campaign of mass hysteria that was used to manipulate the American public into supporting an unnecessary and illegal war. You choose to give your support to an administration that "went to war without requesting--and evidently without being influenced by--any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq," according to Paul Pillar, recently retired from the CIA.

In blindly following incompetent leaders, you abetted taking our country into what Gen. Odom calls "the greatest strategic disaster in US history". By choosing to be an unthinking disciple you abandoned your responsibilities as a citizen in a democracy.

To the guy who called me a traitor: The one who betrayed our country was you; and the hands stained with the blood of the innocent are yours.
by Another topic change
Wednesday Mar 22nd, 2006 10:43 AM
Another topic change. Just can't acknowledge that more people were killed under Communism than any other ideology, can you?
by Tia
Wednesday Mar 22nd, 2006 11:13 AM
The history of our beautiful world is humanity being nasty to one another. Every single nation, political ideology, and religion has played a role in this. We are all guilty. Why the obsession over who killed more? Where does this discussion get us? Anybody interested instead on figuring out how to get off this path of self-destruction?
by bunk logic
Wednesday Mar 22nd, 2006 7:07 PM
>Just can't acknowledge that more people were killed under Communism than any other ideology, can you?

(1.) It can't be acknowledged because it isn't true. It's also off topic.

(2.) What you're calling "Communism" isn't communism. It's state monopoly capitalism. It's off topic, too.

>Anti-War Counterprotesters Make Convincing Argument That Zionism Is Racism

This is a self evident fact. I wonder which logical fallacy the Zionist propaganda mill will use to try to distract you from it next. Or will they flood the thread with noise to drown the fact out?
by just ask
Wednesday Mar 22nd, 2006 7:26 PM
>Anti-War Counterprotesters Make Convincing Argument That Zionism Is Racism

This is a self evident fact. I wonder which logical fallacy the Zionist propaganda mill will use to try to distract you from it next. Or will they flood the thread with noise to drown the fact out?

What is racist?

"The State of Israel wishes you a terror free day"
"Pro-Israel Pro-Peace".

No racism there. We can't help who choses to stand next to us. We specifically stated on our website

"Please bring your noisemakers, flags, and signs. As always, feel free to make your own signs but please no signs or graphics offensive to any racial or ethnic group including but not limited to Arabs, Islam, or Palestinians."

Why do you feel the need to lie about our motives? Is it because the truth is beyond your comprehension? Sure seems that way.
by since you asked . . .
Wednesday Mar 22nd, 2006 8:35 PM
"Racist" is the belief one ethnic group should have more land, water, weapons, and power than other ethnic groups, and the means by which it is put into practice. I

srael is a prime example of a racist state. So was it's mentor, the Third Reich. Like their Nazi employers before them, are also militaristic and expansionist as well as being ethnic supremecists. A nut never falls far from the tree. They even have their very own “Drang nach Osten”
by yep
Wednesday Mar 22nd, 2006 10:35 PM
Equating a whole religion with fascism seems to pretty clearly fit most definitions of bigotry. You can argue Islamofascist only refers to fundamentalists but its used both to refer to fundamentalists when the issue is actions of individuals and whole groups of people when the issue is immigration or creating blood libel myths against all Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians etc...
by racists are racists
Wednesday Mar 22nd, 2006 10:44 PM

"Equating a whole religion with fascism seems to pretty clearly fit most definitions of bigotry."

Nobody equated an entire religion with facism. See for yourself. Scroll up. A certain aspect of a religion was targeted.

"You can argue Islamofascist only refers to fundamentalists but its used both to refer to fundamentalists when the issue is actions of individuals and whole groups of people when the issue is immigration or creating blood libel myths against all Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians etc..."

In hte context of the above post, it clearly refers to fundamentalists- to the same fundamentalists that deprieve people of their basic human rights, because of the color of their skin, their gender, their sexual orientation, or their religion.

Alas, the voice of moderate Islam is growing weaker.
by R. MK. ZTL
Thursday Mar 23rd, 2006 12:35 AM
Dear World,

It appears that you are hard to please. I understand that you are upset over us here in Israel. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry and outraged. Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset over us. Today, it is the brutal repression of the Palestinians; yesterday, it was Lebanon; before that it was the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Baghdad and the Yom Kippur War campaign. It appears that Jews who triumph, and who therefore, live, upset you most extraordinarily.

Of course, dear world, long before there was an Israel, we the Jewish people upset you. We upset a German people, who elected a Hitler and we upset an Austrian people, who cheered his entry into Vienna and we upset a whole slew of Slavic nations - Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians, Romanians.

And we go back a long, long way in history of world upset. We upset the Cossacks of Chmielnicki, who massacred tens of thousands of us in 1648-49; we upset the Crusaders, who on their way to liberate the Holy Land, were so upset at Jews that they slaughtered untold numbers of us. We upset, for centuries, a Roman Catholic Church that did its best to define our relationship through Inquisitions. And we upset the arch-enemy of the church, Martin Luther, who in his call to burn the synagogues and the Jews within them, showed an admirable Christian ecumenical spirit.

It is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear world, that we decided to leave you - in a manner of speaking - and establish a Jewish State. The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers in the various countries that comprise you, we upset you, irritate you, and disturb you. What better notion, then, than to leave you and thus love you - and have you love us? And so we decided to come home, to the same homeland from which we were driven out 1,900 years earlier by a Roman world that, apparently, we also upset.

Alas, dear world, it appears that you are hard to please. Having left you and your Pogroms and Inquisitions and Crusades and Holocausts, having taken our leave of the general world to live alone in our own little state, we continue to upset you.

You are upset that we repress the Palestinians. You are deeply angered over the fact that we do not give up the lands of 1967, which are clearly the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Moscow is upset and Washington is upset. The Arabs are upset and the gentle Egyptian moderates are upset.

Well, dear world, consider the reaction of a normal Jew from Israel. In 1920, 1921 and 1929, there were no territories of 1967 to impede peace between Jews and Arabs. Indeed, there was no Jewish State to upset anybody. Nevertheless, the same oppressed and repressed Palestinians slaughtered hundreds of Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Safed and Hebron. Indeed, 67 Jews were slaughtered one day in Hebron in 1929.

Dear world, why did the Arabs - the Palestinians - massacre 67 Jews in one day in 1929? Could it have been their anger over Israeli aggression in 1967? And why were 510 Jewish men, women and children slaughtered in Arab riots in 1936-39? Was it because of Arab upset over 1967? And when you, World, proposed a U.N. Partition Plan in 1947 that would have created a Palestinian State alongside a tiny Israel and the Arabs cried and went to war and killed 6,000 Jews - was that upset stomach caused by the aggression of 1967? And, by the way, dear world, why did we not hear your cry of upset then?

The Palestinians who today kill Jews with explosives and firebombs and stones are part of the same people who - when they had all the territories they now demand be given them for their state - attempted to drive the Jewish State into the sea. The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of "idbah-al-yahud" - "Slaughter the Jews!" that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream - destroy Israel.

What they failed to do yesterday, they dream of today - but we should not "repress" them. Dear world, you stood by the Holocaust and you stood by in 1948 as seven states launched a war that the Arab League proudly compared to the Mongol massacres. You stood by in 1967 as Nasser, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Arab capital in the world, vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. And you would stand by tomorrow if Israel were facing extinction.

And since we know that the Arabs-Palestinians daily dream of that extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own land. If that bothers you, dear world, well - think of how many times in the past you bothered us.

In any event, dear world, if you are bothered by us, here is one Jew in Israel who could not care less.
by see what i mean?
Thursday Mar 23rd, 2006 8:36 AM
This is racism. A Jew in Israel who only cares about Jews in Israel is no different from an Aryan in the Third Reich who only cares about Aryans in the Third Reich. The ideology is exactly the same. Only the name of the ethnic group varies.
by Original
Thursday Mar 23rd, 2006 9:52 AM
Here's a good website, too:
by racism
Thursday Mar 23rd, 2006 10:36 AM
"A Jew in Israel who only cares about Jews in Israel..."

This simply the statement of an individual. It is not reflective of Jewish society in general, nor of Israeli society. To assume that the statement of one individual condemns an entire ethnicity is racism.

http://www.ifamericanKKKnew.... Toady, this site has been debunked so many times I've stopped counting. BTW Toady, did you know Alison Weir has had one her articles featured prominately on David Dukes website, along with a glowing introduction by the former head of the KKK himself?
I asked her about it in person, and she shrugged it off. She didn't care, Toady. What does that say about her?

by knows how to read
Thursday Mar 23rd, 2006 10:53 AM
""This is racism. A Jew in Israel who only cares about Jews in Israel is no different from an Aryan in the Third Reich who only cares about Aryans in the Third Reich. The ideology is exactly the same. Only the name of the ethnic group varies.""
The last line said that the author could not care less about what the descendents of those mentioned in the article think about Israel. It's time to take a reading course, also, the main part of that essay is not the last line, but what precedes it.

by Al-Ahram Weekly (reposted)
Thursday Mar 23rd, 2006 5:01 PM
With Salman Rushdie's signature at the bottom of a statement declaring a global proclamation against "Islamic totalitarianism", in the aftermath of the Danish cartoon row, we have entered a new phase in what might be termed "Islam and globanalisation" -- a twilight zone of uncertainty where we are all at the mercy of fastidious knowledge produced about bugbears of nightmarish proportions, in this particular case what Rushdie and his associates curiously call "Islam".

"After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism", Salman Rushdie and his colleagues have declared, "the world now faces a new global threat: Islamism." How so, and by what authority? One looks in vain in the list of the statement's twelve signatories allied with Rushdie for someone with the remotest sense of demonstrable knowledge about this goblin of their perturbed imagination that they keep calling "Islam" -- and yet they do declare and designate this "Islam" as a global threat, next and akin to "fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism". The world is now at the mercy of such proclamations -- and Rushdie's name does carry, what Kent detected and declared in Lear and called, "authority". By what authority, how, when, what, and "who gave thee this authority" to declare such things -- no one dares to ask.

"We, writers, journalists, intellectuals", announce Salman Rushdie and his associates, "call for resistance to religious totalitarianism." They can of course call for whatever they wish -- but we are also entitled to ask "writers, journalists, intellectuals" of what particular and combined learning and erudition, knowledge and audacity, about the ghostly apparition that has disturbed their slumber. And why should the world attend and heed such proclamations? Is this thing they call "Islam" the faith of millions of people around the globe, or the bugbear of a band of neocon artists? It's hard to tell.

The case of the Danish cartoon row, in the furious rapidity of world events already an old issue, might be considered as perhaps the best example of how a boisterous banality now governs the principal mode producing public knowledge and thus perceiving Islam and its contemporary historical whereabouts. The row has a history, and the domain of its import implicates Europe in its entirety. It is not just the Danish paper Jyllands- Posten that initially commissioned and published these cartoons. Editors of newspapers and magazines throughout Europe, in print and on the Internet, jubilantly joined their Danish counterparts in massively distributing these cartoons and thus registering their European solidarity in the matter. One such incident after another adds fury and momentum to the way an increasingly globalised audience, Muslim and non-Muslim, conceives and disposes of "Islam".

Selected scenes from scattered Muslim reactions to the publication of these cartoons, pictorially staged and carefully choreographed by the leading European press to sustain their historical record of showing Muslims in the worst possible angle ever seen through a camera have been systematically characterised as yet another sign of a fundamental discrepancy between (this the most enduring binary opposition manufactured by Orientalists in the course of their prolonged services to colonial modernity) "Islam and the West": clean-shaven, civilised white men properly attired in business suits posited against poor, enraged, and furious Muslims.

That some Muslims around the world are outraged and multitudes of them have gone out on a rampage is yet another example of how they misread the domestic affairs of Europeans and Americans and take them for a global assault on themselves. The primary and principal target of these cartoons, with the denigration of Muslims they entail, is in fact labour immigrants of Muslim descent suffering the racism of their host country in one shade, shape, and form or another. A similar misreading was exactly the case when Samuel Huntington issued his own proclamation a few years ago, positing Muslims and Islam as the principal threat to what he still insists on calling, "Western Civilization." On that occasion too, Muslims around the world took Huntington's prognostication to heart and thought he was talking to them, while he, along with a band of like-minded neocon artists like Francis Fukuyama and Alan Bloom, was in fact deeply troubled by massive demographic changes within the United States. By proposing that "Islam" posited a civilisational threat to "the West," Huntington and Co sought to silence massive bodies of old and new, Arab and Muslim, immigrants to the United States demanding a pride of place in terms domestic to their cultural heritage and moral authority.

That the immediate target of the Danish cartoonists was not a remote abstraction called "Islam", but an immediate leviathan appearing in the shape of immigrant communities of Muslim background in their own midst there is no doubt. What remains a puzzle is why leading European opinion-makers, led by a group of yuppie racist journalists, continue to be in a dire need of reminding themselves that they are God's gift to humanity and that Jews and Muslims, the flipped sides of the same coin, or by extension Africans, Asians, or Latin Americans, have no place among them. It is here, and in the immediate vicinity of that question, that lapsed Muslims like Salman Rushdie become handy.

The leading European press (but by no means all) is now having an all-out orgy with its journalistic ethnic cleansing -- and the bravura cannot be entirely explained by the fact that certain kinds of Europeans, carrying their Christianity up their sleeves or else brandishing their "Laïcité" like a saber of unmerciful certainty, do not wish to see any Jews or Muslims, Africans, Asians, or Latinos, among them. With some bizarre sense of irony, the colonial history of Europe, having plundered the globe many times over, has now brought millions of Muslims from Asia and Africa home to roost -- and it would seem that some white Christian Europeans are frightened out of their wits. Oriana Fallaci is now chief among European soothsayers demanding the ethnic cleansing of her Europe. Between Fallaci and Berlusconi, the legacy of Mussolini's fascism is no history -- and Rushdie's "Islam" no substitution.

In the midst of this row -- militant Muslims and racist Europeans at each other's throat -- one cannot but wonder, with a modicum of reason, what is behind the quarrel. What we are dealing with here is the intersection of medieval signs and modern sensitivities, both brought to bear on a brutalised malignancy that resembles two belligerent and silly school children going at each other. To put things in perspective, one can of course begin with the inhibition of figurative representation in Islamic doctrinal disposition -- a fact very much compromised by the range of Persian, Indian and Turkish miniature paintings, and by the effervescence of figurative royal paintings in the 18th and 19th centuries throughout much of the Muslim world.

Against the doctrinal inhibition of figurative painting, such paintings do in fact abound in Islamic art. This inhibition assumes a particularly curious turn when it comes to the figural representation of Prophet Muhammad that it might be quite instructive to know at this point. When the late Syrian filmmaker Moustapha Akkad, tragically killed in the course of a suicidal violence in Amman late last year, made a feature film on the career of Prophet Muhammad, The Message (1976), he opted, out of respect for Muslim sensitivity, not to show the face or figure of the Prophet and simply suggested his presence.

The evident presence of this doctrinal inhibition does not mean that pious Muslims the world over do not look for and produce pictorial representations of their holy men, including their Prophet. The Shias, in particular, have absolutely no qualms whatsoever having the images of Prophet Muhammad and their Imams depicted -- painted on a canvas or woven into a decorative carpet -- and sold in the markets of Najaf, Mashhad, Qom, or Beirut. Pious and believing Muslims buy these pictures and hang them proudly and reverentially in their homes or in public without any hesitation.

The question then is why when a Danish newspaper depicts Prophet Muhammad in a ludicrous manner, or previously when a Pakistani author goes on a fictive rampage denigrating the sacrosanct moments of a people's history, some Muslims, particularly those suffering the terror of tyrannical rulers at home or else the indignities of labour migration abroad, are outraged. Career opportunist novelists or talent-less cartoonists, trying to make up for their lack of creative talent with scandalous marketing ruses, are of course entirely, unconditionally, and ipso facto entitled to make any fool out of themselves, for such acts of juvenile superciliousness are entirely within their civil and human rights, and no one is even in a position to grant or deny them such inalienable rights. But whence the anger, and whereby the fury?

This obviously is a clear case of the context and not just the text -- when you have a representation of a prophet with headgear that looks like a bomb and a nose straight out of the old European racist apothecary boxes, and lay him out thick against the background of a systematic record of white supremacist, masculinist, and European racism against Jews and Muslims, then you have a different story on your hand.

The current anti-Muslim plague, running loose throughout Europe and the United States, banks on the white Christian repertoire of anti- Semitism that has now shifted its focal attention away from the Jews and re-directed itself towards Muslims. Under the guise of the freedom of expression, and positing their racist prejudices in colourful colonial Enlightenment shades, prominent European opinion-makers, as fully evident in their leading newspapers and magazines, are letting loose their racist bigotry in ways unprecedented since the horrid records of European pogroms that ultimately led to the Jewish Holocaust, as is exemplified in the Prophet Muhammed cartoon row or the front covers of The Economist and most other right-wing papers and magazines up in arms against "gypsies" swamping "their lands", loudly declaring that "9 out of 10 asylum seekers are conmen," and that they ought to be "kicked out".

Read More
by Same Time
Thursday Mar 23rd, 2006 11:35 PM
> Protest Warriors and Freepers are on the far right of the Republican party and you always show up at the same protests at
> the same time... If you arent one and the same you are at least coordinating on the same email lists.

Interesting fiction here. SFV4I showed up much earlier than the Freepers and PW and much, much earlier than the College Republicans.

There is no coordination although we let them (and you, for that matter) know of our plans. That's the extent of the relationship.

by of peace
Friday Mar 24th, 2006 1:40 PM
but the noticible increase in the bigoted nature of the message every year should be of concern...

Say what? The signs say "Israel wishes you a terror free day"
"Pro-Israel Pro Peace"
"If the Arabs laid down their arms there would be no war- If Israel laid down their arms their would be no Israel"

Why is this bigoted? Why is "Smash the Jewish state" a message of peace? Careful now, your prejudice is showing
by a racist is a racist is a racist
Friday Mar 24th, 2006 5:05 PM
For the same reason "Smash the Aryan state" is a message of peace. There can be no peace while aggressors live.
by not a happy vision
Friday Mar 24th, 2006 7:46 PM
There will always be aggressors, then, and we are doomed to a world at war.

If the Israelis are gone, the Palestinians will oppress the Christians. When the Palestinians are gone, whom will the Christians oppress?

How do you end the cycle of violence?
by not a happy vision, either
Friday Mar 24th, 2006 7:57 PM
Want a happy vision? Take Prozac. Want an end to aggression? Fight back. When enough people fight back, often enough and successfully enough, aggression will cease, not one day sooner.
by The will be smashed
Tuesday Mar 28th, 2006 10:17 AM
And your propaganda efforts will fail, as they do here.
by We are the chosen ones..blah blah blah
Wednesday Mar 29th, 2006 1:13 PM
Heard it before, wacko.
by Our struggle is in our minds
Thursday Mar 30th, 2006 4:18 PM
Our struggle is over, but we keep on whining!
Shalom Shazzbot Chaverim Idiots!
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