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An Open Letter to Norman Finkelstein, and Barbara Lubin of MECA in Berkeley, et al
by Joseph Anderson, Berkeley, CA
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 3:39 PM
Norman Finkelstein's (anti-)intellectual abusivenes --now a beaten down anti-Zionist, who's going to decide *for* the Palestinian people and damn what they think otherwise-- indirectly contributed to brouhaha at the February 13, 2008, even‏t in Berkeley, CA. Now, he -- like his mentor, Noam "The Great White *Hype*" Chomsky -- is doing what white (closet) liberals (and 'liberal/progressive Zionists' -- a *contradiction* in morality and terms) always do: tell everyone to go do something totally symbollic and totally ineffectual from the outset as a practical matter; they give you namby-pamby, pointless, dead-end *busy-work* to distract you and take up your time and all your political energy, but let you feel good.

RE: Dr. Norman Finkelstein in Berkeley, CA!: "The Coming Break-up of American Zionism"

An open letter from Joseph Anderson

by An open letter from Joseph Anderson
(slightly punctuation-/word-edited for clarity)

Thursday Feb 14th, 2008, 11:08 AM

Dear Norman and other friends,

[Please, in advance, forgive the long email.]

At the outset, I again apologize to Barbara Lubin for my resulting outburst at yesterday's, 2/13, Finkelstein event.

Newspaper writing says that you put the most important or highest priority writing first. So, let me say, first, that I believe that Norman Finkelstein's *UNPRINCIPLED* RIDICULE -- as well as his *DEMAGOGUERY* (which I, afterwards, politely told Norman that I thought was beneath him) -- of certain -- like my -- questions (including his dodgey mischaracterization of the separate two of them, as "a conflation of many issues"), as well as my other principled disagreements with him, *contributed* to the self-assumed abusive license of the microphone monitor -- whom I don't even know and don't even know why he has a chronic bug up his butt against me (because he's not man enough to tell me) -- to *again* abuse me in a provocative and hostile manner. This, as well as others to carrying on and *INDEFINITELY EXTENDING* his abuse -- LONG AFTER I WAS READY AND QUITE WILLING TO SIT DOWN -- AS I COMMITTED MYSELF TO DOING SO -- WHEN THE MONITOR FINALLY GOT OUT OF MY FACE.

Indeed, the only person who seemed to know how to respectfully defuse and de-escalate the situation, in a way respecting my dignity, was Beverly -- whom I'm also sure used her, even direct *physical*, interposition and status as a white woman to keep me from being arrested by 2 'trigger/truncheon happy' cops -- BPD's cocaine-stealing 'finest'. (And I'm sure that Barbara Lubin, for whom I am also quite appreciative, kept me from being arrested too -- even though I rhetorically challenged them to arrest me.) And I thank Aaron Aarons, of Berkeley, for challenging Norman's intellectual abuse of my question and anyone else who had a different progressive moral or political perspective from him (Norman).

Finkelstein's intellectual behavior, last night, was a long way from the very first time I asked Finkelstein a question a number of years ago at Boalt Law School, at UC Berkeley, when Finkelstein opened the Q&A, after his lecture, by saying, "First, I want anyone who *disagrees* with me to ask me a question" -- *unprecedented*, I'd bet, in the history of American lecture icons. I was truly impressed.


Now if the monitor did that in the 'hood or in downtown Oakland, the monitor would just get 'a cap' in his ass or a quick beat down -- and that would probably end it faster than all the white folks trying to verbally pile onto me one by one, drawing the altercation out, doing much more harm than good, instead of the organizers just getting him outta my face and letting me be!: prior knowledge and experience of my usual politeness (when not wrongfully provoked), consideration, thoughtfulness and intelligence obviously count for *nothing*. But, as Thomas Kochman wrote in his book, "Black and White Styles in Conflict", white people usually respond to the *reaction*, especially when the 'victim' is Black, more that the *instigation* -- and especially to maintain 'decorum'.

And I'll bet that leftist organizers of East Bay events, even by yesterday's sponsor(s), will let the monitor work again, with not even reprimand, at their events. So, I've been putting everyone on notice: Joseph Anderson has stopped being 'the good negro' and stopped taking sh*t anymore -- homie don't play that no mo'. Or, maybe I'll just start coming to these events with a couple of tall Black friends of mine from tha 'hood (not that they'd be interested: they know what most of what white progressive gala events amount to -- or even Black progressive gala events -- as they know it's all mostly entertainment).

But I bet if some white girl [additionally, especially, one well-known for intelligence and general politeness] told some Black guy to get out of her face, the white assumption of guilt ["*what* did he *do* to her!!?"] would have gone straight to the Black guy [all the whites would have backed *him* down] -- not to *her* for violating decorum. The Black guy would have been questioned, by organizers and everyone white, for his instigating behavior and possible abuse.

I wasn't going to attend Norman's award event, Wed, Feb 13, [although I posted it a month in advance at the Indybay and Global Exchange calendars and sent an announcement out to my email list of about 200 names], because I knew that I disagreed with his latest interview (written by someone else) in Counterpunch []. Indeed, I thought that he had backslid, as well as slid into namby-pamby liberalism (indeed, a 'liberal Zionism', somewhat back to the Chomsky line -- that 'Great White Hope[/*HYPE*]' for Palestinian people -- of a functional Zionist) in the latest interview article on Finkelstein in Counterpunch. I think Norman deserves high respect for his past work, but I *didn't* even think, based on that Counterpunch *interview* article, and subsequently based on his lecture last night, and particularly the Q&A, that he even morally or intellectually deserved such an award anymore -- although I think he deserved the event per se.

But, I wanted to add to the numbers in attendance that honored Norman; to add to the numbers in attendance who, in effect, were protesting his tenure denial; and I wanted to contribute my financial contribution share (whenever possible) to MECA, especially when it has a benefit event. And I knew that everybody would be asking me, "Where *were* you?: I didn't see you at the Finkelstein event."

(Btw, I prominently signed the online petition for his tenure. I think I was 1376, although I have the exact entry number in my records.)

And while $15 certainly wasn't a strain on my budget, and not as much as other iconic events often are ($20/$25), I've discovered that the more one pays, the less intellectually worthwhile the event is: the more one pays, the more the event becomes, slightly more or less, mere leftist entertainment. So, I almost never go to events over $15. I realize that for more than about $15 -- what then inevitably amounts to leftist entertainment events -- and the more one pays -- the more the organizers want to tightly control everything and keep all the questions lite and intellectually unchallenging, let alone intellectually unthreatening.

The organizers of major events usually want a strictly question and unchallenged *oracle* answer format -- the questioner is to immediately move away from the mic and sit down -- and the oracle can throw out, unchallenged, any ole answer they feel like --even for the most evasive, let alone unprincipled, answer. Decorum -- i.e., nothing intellectually challenging to the oracle -- becomes more important than true discourse. To really protect the oracle -- if there is even a Q&A at all -- tiny index cards [like at JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace) events] are used so that difficult questions can be censored and only the simplest, one or two sentence, questions asked. For the more expensive events, it all just becomes a gala social event. The left's equivalent of some Hollywood/entertainment celebrity event -- to see and be seen at.

After going out to the same restaurant Norman ended up at (but not at the same table), I was up late at home reviewing Finkelstein's lecture and his answer to me with my often-alluded-to *brilliant* attorney housemate. She almost never attends such events --whoever the icon is-- because she says that if they didn't say it in their book/s (if they've penned any), or if they didn't say it on the radio (if they get regular opportunities), then they probably have nothing to add at an in-person lecture -- and she can just read their book (in the comfort and convenience of her own home and time) if she's interested.

Furthermore, she believes that if someone normally, intellectually incisive like me is going to bring something up that the icon has not covered in their books, articles and radio/TV interviews, they probably haven't ever thought about, let alone considered, what someone incisive has to say anyway, and would either pointedly not answered the question -- BECOME EVASIVE -- or ridicule the question and/or questioner, or even lash out at the questioner (especially someone who wasn't intellectually shaken).

Indeed, she also thought it was remarkable that Norman didn't seem to care *what* the victims, the Palestinians, think! -- who he *professes* to care about! So, Finkelstein has become another 'Great White Hope' for the Palestinian people. She called Finkelstein "arrogant" (as well as "absolutely delusional" about int'l rulings, in the face of U.S. vetoes) -- not only for that, but also for his *RIDICULE* and *DEMAGOGUERY* of me, and/or my question, as well as others with similar perspectives. (And he and I are supposed to be casual *friends* -- at least kindred spirit friends.)

A couple of women once paid $50 to attend a private reception for Norman --obviously supporters of his if they were willing to pay that much -- and they told me right afterwards (and after he left) that they were quite disappointed because they were told in advance not to ask him any potentially difficult, critical questions: they rhetorically asked me [approx. quote], "What did we pay $50 for? -- if we can't ask him deeper questions, have a true dialogue, and find out what he thinks in response: maybe contribute to the development of thought on the issue, and maybe learn something new."

Appreciatively, several [actually, *numerous*] people came up to me afterwards [and later] -- and, amazingly, given my outburst -- and highly complimented me on my two questions to Finkelstein.

I guess Finkelstein, who once -- out of the sheer blue -- called Michael Eric Dyson "a minstrel show" -- without even asking me what *I* thought -- and said that Blankfort "wasn't worth reading" (which in major part is why I intellectually --and quite independently -- took Norman apart in my Dissident Voice article, without even telling Jeff why, for a long, long time), is becoming as morally slimey, squiggly and equivocal as his good friend and *mentor* Noam Chomsky (not a very good mentor).

My time permitting, I hope to write another (DV?) article again intellectually tearing Norman to shreds based on his lecture or (for less work and a shorter article) his answer (which encapsulated the major points of his lecture) to me.

But, we need to get those 'liberal Zionists', functional Zionists, latent Zionists, de facto Zionists, beaten down "anti-Zionists", [closet Zionists], and other liberal white-supremacists out of the Palestinian human rights movement. As an African American friend of mine once said --and I'll always remember -- there's a *reason* the Israeli "peace" movement calls itself "Peace Now", but not "*Justice* Now".

Thank you very much for your forebearance in this email if you got the end.

All Together in The Struggle,



More Context

by from Joseph Anderson

Thursday Feb 14th, 2008 6:03 PM
(slightly punctuation-/word-edited for clarity)

My two separate questions were, essentially -- otherwise, regarding Finkelstein who more recently (at least since his May 1, 2006, Counterpunch article, "It's Not Either/Or") has been saying just that (except when it's too intellectually inconvenient):

1) Finkelstein said, in the interview below, that he was opposed to boycotts/divestment/sanctions against Israel; that he preferred to take "the course of least resistance", which he thought was the Palestinians gathering shovels, and chisels, and pick axes, and whatever, and going out to hack away at and bring down the (no doubt rebar reinforced wall). This, he said, "is sure to get a lot of Palestinians killed", but that is the better course, rather than boycotts.

So, I asked him, "Why would you recommend a course of action that you said would surely get a lot of Palestinians killed, instead of a nonviolent int'l course of action -- boycotts/etc. -- that wouldn't get *any* Palestinians killed?"

[And I forgot to tack on, that he otherwise says it's not either/or, so why is it either boycotts *or* tear down the wall, instead of *both*. (Although, if I imagine myself a Palestinian, I wouldn't let Israel kill me pick-axing at some wall, rather than over my engaging in armed struggle: I'd want to take at least one/some of those Israelis with me).]

2) I asked him that, "*Since* you are proclaiming the present breaking-up of Zionism anyway, and since a two-state solution with a viable Palestinian state is just about at least as remote -- and Edward Said said it was *more* remote -- as a reunified secular democratic Palestine with equal rights for all regardless of ethnicity, then since when do leftists, communists [as N.F. calls himself], Marxists, and Anarchists(as Chomsky calls himself) stop calling for justice and what's moral, because it's supposedly 'not practical or realistic'?"

[And, as a *practical* matter, and as any good lawyer could tell him, it's a very bad negotiating position to give that up!]

I interjected [in the context of Chomsky opposing boycotts against Israel or a reunified secular democratic state in Palestine] that, "I'm glad that Chomsky wasn't an Abolitionist during American slavery."

[Chomsky would have opposed economic and cultural boycotts, sanctions and divestments against slave plantation owners and the South, not so incidentally being a 'former' ideological adherent and former resident of the South himself; he'd say that it was *unrealistic* to call for the immediate abolition of slavery, and therefore progressive/leftist "purists" *shouldn't*].

Finkelstein basically ridiculed anyone who would call for a reunified secular democratic state in Palestine as (close appoximate quotes/characterizations) ridiculously internecene, battling, holier-than-though purists; as wanting a utopia; as wanting to establish a *communist* utopia in Palestine and all over the world first; as "a bunch of 1960's sectarian, internecene intellectual [in effect] masturbators, when real lives were not at stake in the '60's"; as "willing to do anything to destroy the chances for the Palestinian people for 'the prize' of their own state, when 'the prize' is virtually [very 'virtually', as in illusory at the greatest] at hand".

I don't know where he gets that imminent "prize" from -- but, he says "from all those, now, coalescing int'l court rulings against Israel" -- 'it's tha (int'l) *law*' -- 'they (i.e., the U.S. and Israel) *have* to obey'. [I guess that such faith -- in the face of the realities of U.S. govt vetoes in the UN Security Council and the face of the U.S./Israeli "might makes right" military -- and such total reliance on the White Man's "int'l law" is just like a the proverbial ivory tower white academic, like the self-important, legal pie-in-the-sky, University of Illinois professor Francis Boyle.] Even though, more and more Palestinians -- except for probably the corrupt Mahmoud Abbas leadership -- realizing that they are not going to get a viable 'Palestinian state' anywhere in the foreseeable future, which many of them might have/still settle/d for -- are no closer to one now that they were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago -- are now calling for a reunified state.

Furthermore, I think I stated that Israel would be fighting 'forever' over things like where the [squiggly] borders would be, and who would control them, and what settlements wouldn't or might come down or be evacuated, and what the economic independence or lack thereof would be, and arguing over the all-important water resources, and all the dilatory minutiae that would keep this tied up for years and years and years of 'negotiations'.

Finkelstein engaged in a bunch of other red-herring strawmen -- when not at least borderline demagogic -- accusations. I recorded the event, so if/when I get around to writing an article (for, like my previous one, "THE LEFT AND THE ISRAEL LOBBY"), I'll have the exact relevant quotes (or I can look them up later for you).


Add a Comment

Well, I didn't post the open letters, but I thank whomever did. -- Joseph Anderson
by JA
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 2:09 PM

Well, I didn't post it, but I thank whomever did,

-- Joseph Anderson
by estes
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 3:49 PM
It is quite amazing. The less contact that you have with anyone involved with Palestine, the easier it is to come to the logical conclusion: a secular state solution where everyone has equal rights and privileges (leaving the socioeconomics to the capitalists, the Marxists, the anarchists and the socialists to fight over after the fact).

It is only when you start engaging the scene that everyone starts telling you how "complicated" it is, and how perspectives that would normally be considered quite rational (from a left perspective) somehow don't make any sense. The number of apparent anti-Zionists who remain chained to the "two state" solution is remarkable. The real "communist utopia" [alluding to Finkelstein's ridicule of JA's question] was, of course, a separate, state socialist, Palestinian state, with Arafat serving as a scaled down version of Assad or Hussein.

Contrary to what Finkelstein said to you, the "communist utopia" was not a secular Palestine, but, rather, a separate Palestinian state which could thereafter model itself after Syria and Iraq. In other words, the communist view was nationalistic and not secular and multicultural, based upon the categorization of the Palestinians as a separate people with a separate national identity. Which was also consistent with the recognition of Israel by the USSR. But, I could be wrong, I'm relying upon old impressions here. I'm sure that you know quite a number of people who could address this much more thoroughly and intelligently. It is, however, interesting that Finkelstein went off on this diatribe, when, as far as I know, communist doctrine did not call for the creation of a state called Palestine where Israel and the occupied territories are now located. But then, he's the academic, not me.
by JA
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 5:24 PM
The USSR wanted to get the British (imperialists) out of the Middle East -- or at least politically *oppose* the British there -- so, ironically, that's why the USSR supported the new *religio*-ethnic state of Israel (the Zionists had become anti-British -- even shooting and hanging capture British soldiers and blowing up British buildings/installations -- it's called *terrorism*, what Israel was *founded* on -- as well as an entire wing, from top to bottom, of a major 12-story hotel in Palestine, then The King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, killing over 100 people, as well as assassinating UN officials and envoys. (Can you just imagine what the U.S. and Israel would do to the Palestinians, and what the West would just stand by and watch the U.S./Israel do, if the Hamas or Hezbollah did that?)

Israel: whch *turned against* the British, just like Israel might turn against the U.S. one day, if the U.S. ever completely helped Israel eliminate all of Israel's Mideast political rivals -- or any *potential* political rivals -- like, before, Iraq and, today, Iran and, in the meantime, the Hezbollah armed resistance movement in Lebanon -- and completely dominate the Mideast. This, as per Israel's and the neocons, "Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," 1996, paper and project (the 'PNAC' for Israel).


See, "A War for Israel", by Jeffrey Blankfort:

In the meantime, all the white 'liberal/progressive/left Zionist' icons would have/promote white leftists automatically thinking that --as the beautifully ultimate *COVER STORY*-- the war in Iraq was *solely* for oil (or control of oil, as is the white leftist icon's fallback position), since the U.S. gets most of its oil from Africa and Latin America.

(I specify "white leftists" because we Blacks are not in *denial* over Israel and, especially, the power of the Israel lobby and its powerful constituent, even semi-governmental, organizations -- like JINSA, the precursor of the more well-known neocon-dominated "Project for a New American Century" that wants the U.S. to engage in *permanent militarism*, ...for whom/what?)

But, when I publicly asked *SCOTT RITTER* at his packed-auditorium event in Oakland, before, if he thought a major part of the war in Iraq -- and *even* progressive Zionist Phyllis Bennis, on the Pacifica radio program Democracy Now, had to admit the U.S. saber-rattling and *aching* for war against Iran-- was due to Israel and the Israel lobby -- Ritter was honest enough to say (with additional explication), "Of course!"

Joseph Anderson
Berkeley, CA
by a friend
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 6:37 PM
So now you've gotten thrown out of Walt and Mersheimer, and thrown out of Finkelstein. What are you doing for an encore Joseph? Wanna get thrown out of the Rachel Corrie play, too?
Two for two, Joseph
by a friend
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 6:37 PM
So now you've gotten thrown out of Walt and Mersheimer, and thrown out of Finkelstein. What are you doing for an encore Joseph? Wanna get thrown out of the Rachel Corrie play, too?

Wronggg again, _NA_tionalist _ZI_onist: I *walked* out of the M-W event -- because the *liberal Zionist* moderator was, ahem, *blacklisting* me.

But, that's okay, M & W have accepted my phone calls at their respective offices. They recognize courage, intelligence and intellectual incisivness. And I sat down and had an amiable conversation with both of them after both of their Berkeley events. This so: including my disagreements with their acquiescing to a Jewish-supremacist state -- and stupid of them, because it doesn't make you ZIONUTS like M&W any moreso. But, it's, no doubt, a bone M&W throw out to you ZIONUTS so you JDL/Mossad wanna-be's don't try to assassinate them -- which, hmmm, they took *no* objection to my publicly, as well as telephonically, calling Zionism a *rrracist* ideology and Israel a *rrracist* state. (When's the last time M &/or W have ever taken one of *your* phone calls at their office and respectively talked for about 20 minutes each. Hmmm...?
by JA
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 7:26 PM
That'd be news to *him* and *anyone* else who was actually *there*.
by we are Santas elves
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 9:13 PM
As I recall, the police man escorted you out, while in your best Amos and Andy voice you whimpered "Don't taser me, bro...."

I suppose that not being "thrown" out- thats being "escorted" out.

by anon
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 9:18 PM
you are insane. do they pay you to bring all the middle east events in berkeley to a dramatic end?
by Not a pro-israeli racist
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 11:38 PM
by we are NAtionalist ZIonistS
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 12:54 AM

_NA_tionalist _ZI_onist: "As I recall, the police man escorted you out..."

...anyway, Palestinians aren't people!

The dum Jewish NAZI can't even tell when JA was making FUN of the cops.
"do they pay you to bring all the middle east events in berkeley to a dramatic end?"

It does make them memorable doesn't it.
"Finkelstein said, in the interview below, that he was opposed to boycotts/divestment/sanctions against Israel; that he preferred to take "the course of least resistance", which he thought was the Palestinians gathering shovels, and chisels, and pick axes, and whatever, and going out to hack away at and bring down the (no doubt rebar reinforced wall). This, he said, "is sure to get a lot of Palestinians killed", but that is the better course, rather than boycotts."

Finkelstein is willing to have the _Palestinians_ go pointlessly commit suicide, without, as JA says, even taking any of the enemy with them. Is Finkelstein going to go over there and sacrifice _HIS_ life chipping at the wall with the Palestinians?
by ^
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 6:12 AM
The correct title of the event was :"A Farewell to Israel: The Coming Break-up of American Zionism" We can and should boycott Israeli goods, but most of our goods are not made in Israel. Read the labels on your clothing and everything else. We can and should demand No US aid to Israel but as with capitalist South Africa, the Israeli apartheid state will cease to be the nightmare it is when the US domestic scene changes. The reality is that the Zionist state of Israel will end when US imperialism cannot afford it, and that time is now. The American economy will decide Israel's future existence as Israel is just a US military base to protect US oil profits in the Middle East. The cutbacks to education and social services at home while the war machine eats up our resources will provoke the resistance necessary to end American imperialism, which will end the existence of the Zionist-US puppet government in the miserable hellhole of 4 million Zionists called Israel. All politics are local.
by Boycotts
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 8:01 AM
"We can and should boycott Israeli goods, but most of our goods are not made in Israel."

Of course, that would mean given up our solar energy, drip irrigation, cell phones, Google, internet firewalls, and the only medication for MS thats been proven to work, but priorities, people, priorities.

Do you know the best place to buy Israels consumer goods is in the small Arab stores? I've often wondered- why is that? Don't you think they'd be the FIRST to give up Israeli products?

Actually, its easier than ever to find Israeli consumer goods all over Berkeley and San Francisco. There is a free trade, organic vegan Israeli chocolate that is all the rage, and is widely available. Israeli wines are big business, too. One store recently opened up that specializes in Israeli products- its packed all the time- I particularly love the Israeli goat cheeses.
by luci
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 9:44 AM
I think they probably say peace now instead of justice now because it's obvious what peace is, but justice is a very subjective term. What is justice? The worst part about that word is that it doesn't just depend on whose viewpoint you're looking from, but also what the specific situation is that justice would be applied to.

by ^
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 10:17 AM
Drip irrigation, solar energy, specialty chocolates, specialty wine, goat's cheese and specialty stores have nothing to do with boycotts by most of us, the 80% of the population who sell our labor for less than $80,000 a year, usually much less, commonly known as the workingclass. I have been told by those who drink alcoholic beverages that California has very good wine; there is certainly no need for any wine imports from Israel. There is more than enough chocolate from the rest of the world and the cocoa cannot come from the Mediterranean climate of Israel, but rather Africa and South America, within 20 degrees north and south of the equator, and 70% of the cocoa is from West Africa; they may process the cocoa in Israel, and we can do that here as well and we certainly do not need more chocolate in the US. Most of us have the good sense not to shop in expensive specialty stores, do not eat goat's cheese, are not vegans, do not have solar energy in our rented apartments or owner-occupied old houses, and since this society is about 80% urban, have nothing to do with making decisions as to drip irrigation systems. There are exceptions to all rules, but generally speaking, most of us go shopping at large supermarkets and buy our clothes, shoes, entertainment apparatus, cars, basic hardware items and the like from major stores. The clothing is made mostly in Latin America and Asia; the entertainment goods are mostly from China and its surrounding Asian neighbors, and the cars are either second hand or very old, and in either case, when new, the car most likely was an import, which may have been assembled here. The point of all of this is that for most of us, boycotting Israeli goods is just a slogan. On the other hand, organizing the unorganized, commonly known as labor organizing or supporting same, is well within our ability and that is the kind of activity that will bring an end to the American empire and its primary goal of maximizing profits, which is the cause of all these wars, of which Israel is a puppet supporter of US imperialism, the primary terrorist of the world, as war is terrorism.
by The Golden Rule
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 12:48 PM
[ what is justice?
by luci
Saturday, Feb 16th, 2008 9:44 AM
I think they probably say peace now instead of justice now because it's obvious what peace is, but justice is a very subjective term. What is justice? The worst part about that word is that it doesn't just depend on whose viewpoint you're looking from, but also what the specific situation is that justice would be applied to. ]


estes (Friday, Feb 15th, 3:49 PM): "It is quite amazing. The less contact that you have with anyone involved with Palestine, the easier it is to come to the logical conclusion: a secular state solution where everyone has equal rights and privileges . ... It is only when you start engaging the scene that everyone starts telling you how "complicated" it is, and how perspectives that would normally be considered quite rational (from a left perspective) somehow don't make any sense."

Martin Luther King Jr. -- "Peace is not merely the absence of violence, it's the presence of justice."

See: "Zionist Claim To Israel: Modern-Day Apartheid
- by Joseph Anderson (repost)

under parent article: "THE LEFT AND THE ISRAEL LOBBY" – by Joseph Anderson


Martin Luther King, Jr. often spoke of "the Dream" of "The Promised Land" for African Americans, as Zionists respectively do for themselves. But, King did not speak of African Americans going back to West Africa, our "Motherland," after almost half a millennium, to find "our land" and dispossess continuously indigenous Africans of theirs. He never talked about seizing someone else's land at all! The "Motherland" we were taken from 400 to 500 years ago is, of course, just not for us the same motherland that exists at all anymore: we cannot point to "our house," or "our property" — not even "our village."

When King spoke of "the Promised Land," after all this historical time, he meant for us to create a country — a land — and a society of human rights, dignity, social justice, equality for all and a love for all humanity. He meant for all of us Americans — and all of us indeed — to create "the Promised Land" starting in our hearts. King's vision was not chauvinistically nationalistic, not long-desired-for real estate, but ultimately a concept of humanity — a place in the heart! This is the idea that modern-day Zionists miss. This is the idea that Zionists could have taken from their tragedies and holocaust, as King took from ours. This lack of consciousness is the flaw in "the dream" of modern-day Zionism's "promised land," it takes and subjugates the land of others — it's Israeli apartheid.
by The Golden Rule
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 12:58 PM
"'NEVER AGAIN' OVER AGAIN" — Joseph Anderson on Holocaust Remebrance Day
by JA


"As a member myself of an often oppressed minority whose religious traditions have identified with the Biblical story of the Jews’ oppression, it saddens me to see many pro-Israel Jews oppress others via a foreign state that would claim to embody Jewish values. For African American ideals, “The Promised Land” is not a land to be "reclaimed" after hundreds, or even thousands, of years, citing God as the real estate agent. The Promised Land doesn’t echo the injustices of the past by, in part, replicating them upon others. The Promised Land is the creation of a just society with an appreciation for the diversity of all humanity and equality for all."
by to closet liberal Zionist
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 7:08 PM
Boycotts by the Workingclass; Labor Organizing needed now
by ^
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 10:17 AM:

"The point of all of this is that for most of us, boycotting Israeli goods is just a slogan."

-- Like the international sanctions, huge divestment campaigns and boycotts (cultural, commercial, academic and athletic) against then apartheid South Africa? Me thinks thou doth protest this too much: boycotting Israeli goods.

"The point of all of this is that for most of us, boycotting Israeli goods is just a slogan. On the other hand, organizing the unorganized, commonly known as labor organizing or supporting same, is well within our ability and that is the kind of activity that will bring an end to the American empire."

-- Let us know when you abolish the Empire: yeah, "well within our ability". In the meantime, we'll just work on abolishing Zionism and Israeli apartheid -- Israel, the last ideologically racist apartheid state of its kind in the world, after then apartheid South Africa (Israel's then great ally).
It's not that Finkelstein's, February 13, 2008, Berkeley lecture had no good points; he'd look totally ridiculous and reactionary without incorporating them. BUT, the Zionist browbeaten, Chomsky mentee, Norman Finkelstein is now _covering_ for Zionism and Zionist American Jews and has now become, in effect, a Zionist apologist himself. This, while _pretending_ to be a champion of Palestinian human rights. And Finkelstein easily, lately, prescribes sending _Palestinians_ (but not, of course, himself with them) to effectively pointless, open mass or group suicides, and as JA says, without taking a single Israeli with them. See Let's see how many Palestinians take Finkelstein up on his prescription for them.

Finkelstein is now increasingly showing the intellectually and morally terminal flaws, upon deeper than surface inspection, that his mentor, the Jewish tribalist (blood is apparently thicker than justice) and the increasingly intellectually and morally threadbare Chomsky, is showing when it comes to historic Palestine and Israel (especially when it comes to sanctions, boycotts and divestments). Although, Amy Goodman is still protecting, by paying regular Democracy Now homages to, Chomsky and protecting him from leftist debate or criticism regarding his positions on historic Palestine, Zionism, Israel and its lobby, in trying to keep him propped up as a leftist cult icon.

This, regarding Finkelstein, was especially revealed during Q&A by Berkeley's Joseph Anderson's two penetrating questions to him. (Questions of the same penetrating quality that intellectually demolished now raving right-wingers David Horowtiz or Christopher Hitchens, respectively, the latter invited by _Lynne Hollander Savio_, at UC Berkeley. May Mario Savio rest in peace nonetheless. See "Hitchens Protester Speaks", online.)

This time, the moderator, the liberal Zionists who usually control such fora, couldn't censor the no-nonsense penetrating JA by purposely not calling on him, as there was a Q&A queue in which he was third.

Finkelstein spent most of his lecture politically covering for "American Jews" (as though truly _anti-Zionist_ Jews morally need any cover), vs. Israel's increasingly uncensorable (thanks to the alternative media), obviously racist, and absolutely atrocious human rights record (like any racistly brutal state) against the indigenous Palestinian people.

But, Finkelstein didn't mention _THE ISRAEL LOBBY_, _THE ZIONIST JEWISH NEOCONS_, or the militarist, permanent war, Zionist, so-called, "think tanks" (political advocacy organizations) like _JINSA_ -- regarding their roles in U.S. foreign policy and domestic, especially, Congressional politics -- even once!

See, "The Left and the Israel Lobby", by Joseph Anderson, where he takes on Norman Finkelstein and, implicitly, Noam Chomsky:

But, to borrow from Twain, I think that Finkelstein's news of the imminent death of Zionism (on its own, without organized international opprobrium, boycotts, sanctions and divestments) is greatly exaggerated -- and quite premature.

Now see Joel Kovel's new book, _Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine_ and -- what a difference two days can make -- check with YouTube and Google Videos where a video of Joel Kovel's, February 15, 2008, Berkeley lecture is expected to be made available and posted online in the near future.
by ^
Sunday Feb 17th, 2008 7:54 AM
It was the massive labor general strikes that ended the apartheid system in South Africa. However, labor did not go far enough and now conditions are worse than ever for the black majority. Labor has to put an end to the capitalist system for there to be a real end to apartheid. This writer never bought anything from South Africa and never had to worry about it as none of the things most of us buy are made in South Africa. The divestment campaign was a good publicity campaign but it cannot bring done an entire profit making system; only labor can do that.
by i.d.'ing john jackson
Sunday Feb 17th, 2008 8:14 AM
the microphone monitor at the Finkelstein event was John Jackson.

John Jackson has a history of repeatedly harassing Joseph Anderson before at AK Press and the Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship.

John Jackson should be excluded from any official duties at any bay area progressive events and indeed he shouldn't be allowed on the premises if he's going to repeatedly harass someone.

it should be no surprise that some people are indeed targeting and for omission singling out Joseph, even some event hosts, moderators and microphone monitors, from UC Berkeley CMES director Nezar AlSayyad, to Michael Lerner at the First Presbyterian Church auditorium in Berkeley, to Saba Mahmood at the Mearsheimer & Walt event at Boalt hall's Booth Auditorium, to (indeed very provocatively and blatantly) a anti-war teach-in moderator at Dwinelle hall, to even certain highly sectarian members of the bay area ISO, for Joseph's unequivocal and eloquent verbal and written support for Palestinian human rights and liberation.

from some people's perspective, Joseph asks, too deeply, the 'wrong' questions.
by Aaron Aarons
Sunday Feb 17th, 2008 8:05 PM
Israel's main exports these days are armaments and "security" tools and services, and indybay readers are likely to "boycott" those by default. And in any boycott or embargo, one generally makes an exception for medicines and related necessities of life when they aren't otherwise available. But only a Zionist or a person who puts their own individual interests above considerations of human solidarity would consume or sell Israeli chocolate or luxury items, as well as food products and other non-luxury items that can be replaced or substituted from other sources.

And labor activists in particular should be fighting for another kind of boycott. Unions are among the main purchasers of Israeli bonds -- a significant economic prop to the Zionist state! Anti-imperialists and all anti-racists in the unions should demand that the unions divest themselves of these bonds. Such a campaign, moreover, can't even be accused of "singling out" Israel, since it is the buyers of such bonds who are according Israel special treatment.

I also strongly believe that we in the U.S. should be supporting the nascent worldwide boycott of U.S. products as well, but that is a matter for another discussion.
by Aaron Aarons
Sunday Feb 17th, 2008 8:30 PM
[...] Finkelstein, who once -- out of the sheer blue -- called Michael Eric Dyson "a minstrel show" [...]

That's too serious a transgression to just be mentioned in a parenthetical remark. Please, JA, post the entire quote from Finkelstein and where it's from!
by to zionist rewriting history
Monday Feb 18th, 2008 1:04 AM
Labor general strikes ended apartheid S.A.
by ^
Sunday Feb 17th, 2008 7:54 AM:

"It was the massive labor general strikes that ended the apartheid system in South Africa."

-- So, black labor strikes ended it _all by themselves_? So, then why didn't black labor end South African apartheid, when it transformed from unofficial to official government ideology and policy, back in the '40's? And why did the ANC and and other black African resistance groups move to ARMED STRUGGLE after the apartheid government's Sharpeville massacre of 1960. And why did the black South African leadership champion the international divestment movement? Only a zionist would want people to ignore the indigenous black _ARMED RESISTANCE_ movement and the _INTERNATIONAL_ CAMPAIGN to end South African apartheid, as well as ALL the other resistance measures, including labor strikes (against which apartheid South Africa often just imported labor).

-- And, since Israel largely does not use Palestinian labor anymore (labor which never worked in industrial mines) to do Israel's shit work -- having penned Palestinians in behind massive towering ghetto walls (Israel's 'Warsaw' ghetto walls, that would have made the Nazis blush, or in awe) and within mega-mass concentration camps (like, now, the Gaza strip, that would have also made the Nazis blush, or in awe) -- and since Israel has imported other poor people of color (especially a lot of desperately poor and grossly exploitable Asian women) to do Israel's menial, household domestic and other shit work, how are Palestinians supposed to use "massive labor general strikes" to abolish Israeli apartheid?


"Labor has to put an end to the capitalist system ...[and the]...entire profit making system..."

-- Well, then why don't YOU get right on it!!?

-- (You obviously understand it so well.)

-- But don't forget that first you still have to abolish _the Empire_: as you said before, "well within our ability".
by clever, no?
Monday Feb 18th, 2008 1:45 AM
Aaron: "Unions are among the main purchasers of Israeli bonds"

Tom Lantos, that late ultra-arch-zionist and "great human rights champion", as the corporate mainstream news keeps calling him, really pushed such purchases that, especially for California unions, state pension plans and The State of California, including the University of California and the California State Universities investment systems.

"-- a significant economic prop to the Zionist state! Anti-imperialists and all anti-racists in the unions should demand that the unions divest themselves of these bonds."

Israel has, successfully, basically been trying to integrate (or loop in) the U.S. economy or financial system (including the financial instruments of the American securities and pension systems), as well as major American technology corporations, into the Israeli economy, so that Americans will feel that their (U.S.) economy (including pension systems, for even the ordinary American) is dependent, to a major extent, upon the Israeli economy: so that Americans would want to _oppose_ any international sanctions against Israel (especially when told it could affect their pensions). It's a way of ZIONIZING our economy. Clever, no?
Lantos, that "great humanitarian", was also A MAJOR HAWK for the US war in Iraq, until it turned into a major quagmire; then he started to heavily criticize only the _conduct_ of the war.
Having been very involved in the anti-apartheid movement in Berkeley and the Bay Area from the mid-1980's, and having paid a lot of attention to what was going on in South Africa at the time, I have little doubt that it was primarily the strength and militancy of the Black labor movement that made the South African ruling class and its international backers seek a deal with the ANC that installed the latter as Black front men for white capitalist rule.

Unfortunately, thanks to the influence of the ANC-allied South African Communist Party, the working class has not so far been able to fully break from the ANC, and workers' struggles have not reached the levels they reached under more open white rule in the 1980's, even though the material conditions of the Black workers are worse!

To the extent that armed struggle played a significant role in forcing the changes in the forms of rule in South Africa, it was primarily the Cuban-led defeat of the South African army in Angola that did it, and secondarily it was probably the struggle of SWAPO in Namibia. I'm sure that historians with far more expertise than I have will have a variety of opinions on the specifics, but I doubt that many of them will assign much importance to the armed struggle inside South Africa.
I'm glad that I'm not A ONE-NOTE IDEOLOGUE.

And once again, as I wrote in my "The Left and the Israel Lobby" Dissident Voice article, "I never understood the apparent proclivity of many in the Left not to be able to hold more than *one* factor in their minds at the same time: it, indeed, seems to always be either-or, instead of possibly both-and."

Aaron: "I have little doubt that it was primarily the strength and militancy of the Black labor movement that made the South African ruling class and its international backers seek a deal with the ANC..."

The Black South African masses certainly made the ultimate sacrifice and deserve the greatest credit in the anti-apartheid movement. (Although, economic apartheid, except for a small % of Blacks that largely beneift from, as Aaron says, being political front men for white capitalist rule there, is still in full force -- perhaps even *greater*.) But anytime a brutal regime (or imperialist puppet regime) or state (or client state) has brutally OVERWHELMING military, economic and political power -- and no internal compunction at all about brutally excercising it -- then there is little chance that any purely internal resistance movement alone is going to -- on its own -- stop, overthrow or defeat that state WITHOUT (GAINING) EXTERNAL SUPPORT AND PRESSURE -- or unless there some tectonic shift in the external geopolitical situation (like, significantly, the Cuban-led defeat of the South African army in Angola). With the state having such OVERWHELMING internal power, neither apartheid South Africa nor apartheid Israel (including in Israel itself) would have any reason -- especially if they don't have to -- to abolish its oppressive systems and give in to anyone -- and especially since neither countries (unlike the U.S. during the Black-American Civil Rights Movement) were trying to pretend that they were "leaders of the free world".

There is no one isolated component -- especially no one internal component of the struggle -- that will achieve "victory". If the Black South African resistance movement didn't believe that, then they wouldn't have CALLED FOR *INTERNATIONAL* sanctions, boycotts, and divestments against apartheid South Africa, as well as direct *INTERNATIONAL* political and financial support of the resistance movement, as a MAJOR and INTEGRAL tool of their struggle.

Aaron, you (and your commie friends [smile]) need to STOP inadvertantly helping the Zionists *'cover their tracks'* by trying to ward off international boycotts, divestments and sanctions -- with all your romanticizings about "The Workers", and especially your (and my) 'commie' friend's absolutelypsychedellic delusions about the Israeli working-class joining hands with the Palestinian workers to overthrow the Zionist state, the American Empire, and World Capitalism. Get off tha pipe! -- and "just say *NO*" to crack!


Btw, Aaron, you asked Finkelstein a *GREAT* question (I'LL TRANSCRIBE AND POST IT BELOW LATER) -- and you should have *left THAT GREAT QUESTION alone*!! -- so Finkelstein would have had to answer it!! -- or obviously evade it -- until you COMPLETELY *SQUANDERED* your *GREAT* question (maybe I'll address it in my upcoming article) with your little tack-on one-liner question: "Why do you still call yourself a communist?"-- which made it embarrassingly simple (like the very question itself was -- 'OHHH, NNNNO...!!') for Finkelstein to *TOTALLY EVADE* the *MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT* great question.

Tactically, that's very bad of you in your questions: if you are going to ask a speaker two prominent and intellectually *STRONG* questions, LIKE *I* DID, then that's good. But you don't ask a speaker an intellectually *strong* question and then a *weak* question. This is because then the speaker (like Finkelstein, or *much worse*, Chomsky, Bennis, Zunes and the like) will just *ignore* the *GOOD/GREAT* question and just answer the completely *weak* question -- and then often dismissively, even semi-satirically/-sarcastically, looking for laughs from the audience to cover themselves, while all the white 'liberal' Zionists applaud. This so, as Finkelstein did with his answer to you, Aaron -- and your *weak* question was *very, very* weak. Next time, leave GREAT enough alone.
by JA
Monday Feb 18th, 2008 1:52 PM
Some of you Zionists (conservative, orthodox, reform or liberal) would just *CRY* over *ALL THE COMPLIMENTARY EMAIL* and *COMPLIMENTARY WORDS* I've gotten!

by Joseph Anderson, Berkeley, CA
Monday Feb 18th, 2008 6:02 PM
Aaron Aarons
Sunday Feb 17th, 2008 8:30 PM

quoting JA: [...] Finkelstein, who once -- out of the sheer blue -- called Michael Eric Dyson "a minstrel show" [...]:

Aaron: "That's too serious a transgression to just be mentioned in a parenthetical remark. Please, JA, post the entire quote from Finkelstein and where it's from!"

It's from my prior, *personal*, *private* email discussions with Norman, so I *WON'T* reprint it here, elsewhere or, otherwise, make it public in print. But, you can ask him yourself. I'm sure that he won't be proud of it, but I also don't believe he'll deny it, although he'd probably refuse to comment on it (which would be a non-denial decline).

And, even then he was being a hypocrite, because he said that he didn't like what I was saying about his good friend Chomsky (that "I'm glad that Chomsky wasn't an Abolitionist back during American slavery", or that "Chomsky is morally squiggly", etc.. But, at least, I could/can intellectually and morally *back up* what *I* said. Norman just threw that gross insult against Dyson out there in the last sentence or two of some email exchange with me -- without at least saying why he felt that way -- and without even asking me *my* (either personal or intellectual or sociologically as my being a Black man who *is* intellectual and has formally written about national Black issues) opinion about *my* good and highly valued friend Michael Eric Dyson -- and instead treating me like *a potted plant* the way so many white folks *do* when they want to just *vent* about someone Black, or about some Black issue/topic, or about Black people in general -- yet don't really know a damn thing (and *demonstrably* so, if they ever really cared to ask) about the issue or topic or Black people (beyond stereotypes, popular white 'wisdom', and the surface). I'm going to publicly ask Tim Wise about this prevalent and persistent white social phenomenon when he's speaking here in town the last week of this month: check

I didn't want to deal with Norman's comment at the time because:

(1) the statement was *so damn ignorant* -- like when he just said that "[Jeffrey] Blankfort is not worth reading" -- that I just dismissed the statement per se (and then later I, in effect, said, 'well, then read *this* -- *my* article intellectuall and analytically tearing Norman apart on his denial of the Israel lobby: I sent him a copy and asked him if he could intellectually refute it, and, of course, he couldn't -- he weakly said, "Honest people can disagree", which is not intellectually valid, but is, nonetheless, itself is a *MAJOR* depart from Chomsky.);


(2) Norman was in the height of his tenure battle then, so I didn't want to then deal with or debate some incredibly stupid (and intellectually unsupported and unsupportable) statement that he made. In other words I had *compassion* for what he was already going through that was a lot more important than some ridiculously stupid statement he made in the heat of personal interacademic jealousy or whatever.

Let's just say this: there's a lot of negativity and dishonesty in the whole advanced academics process (especially in the tenure process) -- which is often very psychologically adversarial, long-suffering and oppressive -- especially when you're intellectually trying to say something that other people (the usual white ole boys' club establishment) don't want to hear -- and then there's a whole lot of inter-academic envy, jealousy, or fear and some more double standards in the national professoriat mileu. Opposing *lawyers* can get along *much* better.

In fact, one academic friend of mine once told me that the tenure and even the doctoral process is more of a *political* (or even more like a *dating or courtship* for marriage) process -- of course heavily weighted in favor of pro-establishment (usually white) academics (suitors) -- people the white good ole boys club want to 'kick it' with in the faculty lounge -- than an intellectual/academic process -- and actually has much less to do with distinctions in meritocracy per se than whether the good ole white boys' club or establishment just *likes* you (and/or if you don't intellectually/politically threaten them in your work or academic position).

And then when someone like l'il *me* --i.e., *without* any advanced degrees from elite universities -- can intellectually corner, checkmate and take down one of those academics on some bullshit of theirs -- most of those people have some really subjective position -- then the Jewish tribalist (and closet, functional Zionist) Chomsky's, the beaten-down Finkelstein's (surprisingly), the progressive-posing and slimey Stephen Zunes's ("I'LL STOP BEING *ZIONIST* [ANTI-PALESTINIAN RACIST] WHEN THERE ARE NO MORE ANTI-SEMITES IN THE WORLD!!" -- 'well, I''ll stop being an abusive misogynist when there are no more racist white women in the world', if *that's* the moral standard), the morally mealy Bennis's, and even my highly-respected, longtime casual friend (I hope still so) Joel Beinin, really do get (surprisingly to me) evasive, insecure, *UNEMBARRASSINGLY DECEITFUL* -- or they FILIBUSTER answers to try to run out the clock. This is typically because they have *control of the microphone* (so, *sometimes* they morally force one to shout, as politely and *brief* as one should try to be about it, or the uninformed will think that one morally *agrees* with them), as well as have their glassy-eyed groupies (for leftist cult guru Chomsky) or blind supporters in the audience, and can get away with it -- and even (except for Beinin) LASH OUT with scathing ridicule: the staid intellectual professorial demeanor is suddenly *GONE*!

I wasn't even going to say anything about Norman's comment against Dyson, but if Norman was *SUDDENLY* going to go the *lllowww* road and go at least borderline *demagogic* on me and others with a similar perpsective, instead of him at least attempting to respond intellectually, and since he was suddenly otherwise suddenly getting all unfriendly and taciturn on me afterwards, not to mention his letting the *pigs*, errr, cops dog me like I was a physical threat to or harassing him, then I thought I'd also reveal his OTHER demagogic and unkind behavior too.


Joseph Anderson

Berkeley, CA
by reader
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2008 1:42 PM
>>As I recall, the police man escorted you out, while in your best Amos and Andy voice you whimpered "Don't taser me, bro...."

I love those scenes . . . hilarious . . . sorry to have missed it. This is *why* we live where we do, to speak up in such ways, act out if necessary, no matter how "perfect" the star is at the mic.

Thanks for all this on NF -- I had heard about him awhile back and people were praising him, so I thought he must be good, but hadn't looked into his specific positions, so it's good to see the problem positions pulled out and examined.

And yes, Israel's main export is security procedures, fascist tactics, etc. The cops and military of "democracies" are their main customers.
by since you asked
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2008 2:13 PM
Actually, Israel's main export is tech-, both hardware and software, including omputer software and related hardware as well as medical electronics equipment and telecommunications systems.
Green technology (solar, drip irrigation, etc) is also a major export.
by HEIL the CHOSEN people!
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2008 5:19 PM
[ Boycotts
by Boycotts
Saturday Feb 16th, 2008 8:01 AM

"We can and should boycott Israeli goods, but most of our goods are not made in Israel."

Of course, that would mean given up our solar energy, drip irrigation, cell phones, Google, internet firewalls, and the only medication for MS thats been proven to work, but priorities, people, priorities.

Actually, its easier than ever to find Israeli consumer goods all over Berkeley and San Francisco. There is a free trade, organic vegan Israeli chocolate that is all the rage, and is widely available. Israeli wines are big business, too. One store recently opened up that specializes in Israeli products- its packed all the time- I particularly love the Israeli goat cheeses. ]

-- That should make it all the easier to boycott israeli goods (organize boycotts and check those labels!).

But, ahh, YES, the _SUPERIOR_ race! "The _CHOSEN_ people." Yes, it's much much better to brutally oppress, kill and ethnically cleanse away generations upon generations of millions upon millions of men, women and children for nearly a _century_ now, since 1917, who's despicable crime was not being born JEWISH -- so we can keep the toys, luxuries and trappings of _civilization_. Yes, "priorities, people, priorities"!!
by Joseph Anderson
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2008 7:57 PM
No Justice, No Peace!
by Tia
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2008 10:16 PM
No peace, no state!
by In *Newww* *Yorrrk* *City*???!!!
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2008 11:49 PM
NEW YORK *AND* LONDON protesters call for Valentine’s boycott of Israeli Zionist Leviev's jewelry store, over Israeli settlements.

*NEW YORK*, NY, Feb 9, 2008 – Forty-five protesters called on Madison Avenue shoppers to boycott the jewelry store of Israeli billionaire and settlement magnate Lev Leviev this Saturday, the last major shopping day before Valentine’s Day. The protest was the *SEVENTH* organized by the New York activist group Adalah-NY since Leviev’s store opened in mid-November.

*LONDONERS* also joined the campaign to boycott Leviev, with 25 human rights activists picketing outside Leviev’s Old Bond St. (fashionable shopping street) store (in London) Saturday. The protesters in NEW YORK *and* LONDON oppose Leviev’s construction of Israeli settlements on Occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law, as well as his abuse of marginalized communities in Angola, where he mines diamonds, and in New York City where he develops real estate.

Facing the shop window at LEVIEV New York which was emblazoned with the words “Celebrate Love with Leviev” in pink, the New York protesters carried red, heart-shaped signs saying “Settlements are Heartless,” “Have a Heart Leviev” and “Won’t You be Just.”

Protesters sang a parody, vaudeville-style version of “Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend,” including the lyrics:

“Lev grows bold,
With billions sold,
And Palestine starves while you spend,”

“No matter what they say,
Apartheid's the endgame,
Lev's diamonds are a crime's best friend.”

Lev explained, “Lev means never having to say you’re sorry.”

See photos and full story:

Lev's Diamonds Are A Crime's Best Friend
See NYC video:

"Oh Boycott! Boycott! Boycott!" Caroling against Leviev
See NYC video:

"Boycott Leviev.Stop Israel building settlement in Palestine."
See London video:

(Thanks for stopping by, Tia! Without you I wouldn't have thought to post this here! You come back now, YA HEAH!?)
by Joseph Anderson, Berkeley, CA
Wednesday Feb 20th, 2008 1:42 PM
HOW CHOMSKY LIES -- actually TO PROTECT ISRAEL as an ideologically Jewish/Zionist state:


>September 29, 2006
>Rose Aguilar
>Your Call Radio program
>KALW radio station
>San Francisco, CA
>Matt Martin
>General Manager
>KALW radio station (91.7-FM)
>San Francisco, CA
>Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 11:42:40 -0700
>Dear Rose & Matt:
>I just wanted to follow up just for your own information (if helpful),
>regarding the KALW "Your Call Radio" program interview with Noam
>Chomsky on Tuesday, September 26, 2006, and my call to your show at 31:48 after the hour.
>Since, as my being a mere caller, I was at a distinct inherent
>disadvantage regarding Chomsky's ability to, frankly, just lie in
>response to my question about his opposition statements to a
>sanctions, boycott or divestment campaign against Israel for its
>continued brutal oppression against the Palestinian people, I wanted
>to follow up here if you don't mind.
>I want to regretfully say that Chomsky lied when he said that he
>never said that he opposed a divestment movement against Israel
>because (quote), "the majority of the population opposes it"
>(meaning, of course Israeli Jews). I said in my question beforehand
>that human rights activists don't first ask the *oppressors* if they
>would accept sanctions and accede to the *oppressors'* inevitable
>Anyway, in addition to his speeches, Chomsiky said this in a May 10,
>2004, published interview with Harvard Professor Christopher J. Lee
>in "Safundi", a South African scholarly journal, an interview
>republished in Z Magaine in May, 2004. This was also documented
>and covered in detail in Jeffrey Blankfort's article, "Damage Control:
>Noam Chomsky and the Israel-Palestine Conflict" [available online].
>Chomsky also said that a sanctions movement would be "a gift to the
>utlra-right-wing" in Israel and the U.S., and would hurt the victims.
>But the *victims* -- the Palestinians -- *are* calling for an
>international sanctions/boycotts/divestment campaign against
>Israel. So, Chomsky is opposing what the victims themselves are
>asking for to help eliminate their oppression. In addition, Chomsky's
>colleague and sometimes co-author, Ed Herman, whom Chomsky
>alluded to in your interview, OPPOSES Chomsky's views on sanctions
>(and on Chomsky's dismissal of the Israel lobby) and finds
>Chomsky's views on these issues logically and morally inexplicable.
>opposition to sanctions, boycotts and divestments; Chomsky's
>opposition to a secular, democratic, 1-state, re-unified historic >Palestine, with equal rights and privileges for all regardless of
>religion and ethnicity, solution; Chomsky's opposition to an all-but
>-token Palestinian Right-of-Return; Chomsky's willingness to see the
>85% of historic Palestine that Israel has directly taken over for Jews
>finally ethnically cleansed of its approximately 1 million Palestinian
>citizens; and Chomsky's (the "Anarchist") willingness to see that
>85% of historic Palestine that was violently taken over by the
>Zionists -- largely through Zionist *Jewish* terrorism -- remain a
>Zionist state; as well >as other strong disagreements with Chomsky.
>Yet, icon AMY GOODMAN of, the generally very good, Democracy
>progressive media 'empire' and left gate-keeping -- JUST AS KPFA GENERALLY PROTECTS STEPHEN ZUNES -- never mentions
>such very strong disagreements when she pretends that there were
>none between Chomsky and Said, since, I guess, for her, Said has
>safely passed on (and therefore can be "beloved" by her and
>Chomsky without any 'problems'). And so, the false history re-writing
>begins or continues by some of the gate-keeper icons.]
>Actually, it's Chomsky's, as America's leading leftist guru, opposition
>to sanctions and his dismissal of the Israel lobby that is "a gift to the
>ultra-right-wing" in Israel and the U.S. government.
>Finally, I regret to say that Chomsky also lied about the history of
>the, then, American anti-apartheid divestment movement against
>South Africa, when he said that some great public consensus had
>been built up and established *before* the American divestment
>campaign was begun.
>The anti-Apartheid sanctions/boycott/divestment campaign against
>South Africa was not begun ONLY *AFTER* some huge American
>public consensus had been established: it started out *very small*;
>it often started out in places (actually most of the country then)
>where most people didn't know all that much, if anything, about
>South African apartheid and its racial system of laws and
>restrictions; and the campaigns, along with the mock shanty towns
>on many campuses (often in small campustowns/cities), were used
>as an educational and consciousness-raising tool (precisely what
>Chomsky calls for with regard to Israel's oppression) to *BUILD UP*
>public awareness and support for economic divestment. And we
>activists certainly weren't able to change U.S. government policy first
>(Reagan was a *friend* of apartheid South Africa). In one sentence:
>The anti-Apartheid divestment movement against South Africa was
>*itself* a basis of the groundwork to build up and establish an
>international political anti-Apartheid movement in support of the
>oppressed black South Africans.
>The big establishment politicians that Chomsky claimed were all
>lining up to get arrested in protests (like in front of the White House)
>mostly happened toward the *end* of the divestment movement
>(when it was, of course, politically much safer in their perceived
>situation), *not* at the beginning.
>[Even Congressman Ron Dellums constantly opposed language criticizing Israel's alliance with the apartheid South African
>If a divestment campaign against Israel would be seized upon as
>"anti-Semitic", I remember when the divestment campaign against
>apartheid South Africa was seized upon by many politicians and/or
>the mainstream media as "communist" and "supporting terrorism"
>and ironically "racist" (against *whites* in apartheid South Africa!),
>and that the black South Africans would have an anti-white bloodbath
>and throw all the white South Africans into the sea if apartheid fell --
>whites who claimed that, "Unlike Israeli Jews, we [whites] have no
>other place to go (have no American or >European suburbs and
>cities to go back to)."
>Since I was at a distinct inherent disadvantage as a caller, I hope
>that in some future interview with Chomsky or anyone else --
>especially anyone Palestinian -- on some related issue, I hope that
>you bring this up so that someone can correct Chomsky's protecting
>Israel (from an article of the >same name, "Protecting Israel:
>Chomsky’s Way"). I'm sure that it's not the first time that a white
>Western intellectual has become quite disengenous, diversionary,
>and inconsistent, and even immoral (Chomsky claims that Israel is,
>in effect, "just following orders" from the U.S. government -- where
>have we heard *that* echo before) when it hypocritically comes too
>close to home for the ethnic privileges of either him, his friends or
>relatives and/or *his* ethnic group. (And Chomsky has ducked
>*any* public debate, on the radio or in person, on this issue
>because he knows that he wouldn't just be able to cast off these
>kinds of lies and logical or moral inconsistencies, without being
>directly challenged.) Sad, but true.
>(Also see, "Gnome Chomsky" -- a *GREAT* little poem!,
>, which
>nicely encapsulates Noam Chomsky on Israel.
>Joseph Anderson
>Berkeley, CA
by Noam Chomsky quote
Wednesday Feb 20th, 2008 5:23 PM
"I am opposed and have been opposed for many years..., in fact, I’ve probably been the leading opponent for years of the campaign for divestment from Israel and of the campaign about academic boycotts."

-- Noam Chomsky.
by to world's biggest hypocrites!
Friday Feb 22nd, 2008 12:25 AM
are these the same zionists who are always screaming about "rampant anti-semitism"?
by reader
Saturday Feb 23rd, 2008 10:31 PM
Why do you assume that anyone embarrassed by joseph's behavior is Zionist?
The audience was filled with anti-Zionists. joseph was agressive, arrogant, impolite and offensive.
Zionist: "joseph was agressive, arrogant, impolite and offensive."

listen to the Audio of Norman Finkelstein's talk:

Joseph was cordial towards Finkelstein, he asked his two prepared questions calmly and politely, they were brief and well-composed, he was no longer than the average questioner, and he calmly and politely let Finkelstein snidely answer without any interruption whatsoever. Joseph even received some applause from the audience in response to his question and I saw a number of people warmly approach and compliment him afterwards.

There was no problem until the overly aggressive moderator (John Jackson) started the problem. Joseph repeatedly agreed to sit down when the moderator (who apparently has a history of harassing Joseph) backed off. The organizers should have immediately instructed the moderator to back off and the problem would have ended then.

Actually, it was Finkelstein who was arrogant, impolite and offensive to anyone who disagreed with him and, as comment poster Aaron Arrons, above, said at his posted audio of the event, with "his [Finkelstein's] arrogant dismissal of the fight for a single secular state in Palestine and his support of world imperialism's apartheid two-state "solution"."

So commenter, "I was there, thank you" (Feb 23rd), Joseph's friends are still his friends, he's still intellectually widely respected, and nobody cares what you have to say anymore. Got it?
by Raquela
Sunday Feb 24th, 2008 10:49 PM
I'm skeptical- I saw him disrupt Walt and Mersheimer, and I saw him disrupt a college of Marin event.
I wouldn't be surprised if he were a Zionist stooge meant to make us look bad.
by me thinks I smell a zionist stooge
Monday Feb 25th, 2008 11:37 AM
Why don't you take a few sentences to tell us why?

Is it because you think that zionist Jews are a population of big racist hypocrites among other things? And what other things? Also do you think that Israel is a brtual and often ruthless apartheid state? Do you think that Israel commonly commits widespread atrocities and other mass human rights violations? What did you think of Israel's last war on Lebanon? Is Hezbollah a terrorist group or an anti-Israeli agression and occupation resistance group in Lebanon? Feel free to to briefly answer these questions, some even with just a yes or no, and then add more at your discretion with your own words. It would be nice to have more womens' opinion around here.
by hmmm???
Wednesday Feb 27th, 2008 10:20 PM
Where ARE you?
by Mario Savio
Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 9:25 AM
not necessarily polite."
by history repeats itself
Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 11:16 AM
1) both Nazism and Zionism were/are based on supposed purity of blood.

2) both based on supposedly universally reuniting some religioethnic diaspora under one state.

3) both attempt/ed to revive some supposedly "glorious ancient kingdom" -- some "glorious ancient Teutonic kingdom" for the Nazis; some "glorious ancient Judaic kingdom" for the Zionists.

4) both invented their own race: Aryans, by the Nazis; and Jews, constructed as a _race_, by the Zionists.

5) both established a state that was culturally, legally, economically and religiously based to exclusively benefit one such ethnic/racial group.

6) both based on violent racist exclusion and a highly intricate complex of racial exclusion laws (like Israel's anti-miscegenation and other exclusionary racial 'Nuremberg-style laws').

7) both based on creating a founding mythology -- like, for Zionist Jews, "a land without a people".

8) both based on eliminating some other unwanted and supposedly inferior race/s -- "ethnic cleansing" -- and, in the case of Zionism, removing those unwanted people who supposedly didn't exist.

9) both engaged in collective punishment and widespread torture (even inventing new sadistic torture methods), as well as the mass imprisonment of unwanted races without trials.

10) both enclosed unwanted races in walled-in ghettos and concentration camps -- only the Zionists made the walls many times higher and the concentration camps many times larger (like Gaza, the world's largest open-air concentration camp).

11) both tried out new weapons on civilian populations.

12) both sought to erase existing countries -- like the Nazis wanting to wipe Poland off the map and take parts of other countries; the Zionists wanting to wipe Palestine off the map and take parts of other countries.

13) both were violently and militarily expansionist.

14) Zionist Israeli Jewish military forces even studied and used Nazi methods for urban and ghetto warfare.

15) both Nazism and Zionism claimed to be based on "God's will".


Since both ideologies and systems were/are based on the same concepts, I'm sure there are other historical parallels between Nazism and Zionism, and people should feel free to add to the parallels above.
Another parallel of Zionism w Nazism:

Israeli minister warns of "Holocaust" for the Palestinians


Israeli minister warns of Holocaust for Gaza if violence continues


The Guardian
the International section
Saturday March 1 2008

Israel's deputy defence minister yesterday warned his country was close to launching a huge military operation in Gaza and said Palestinians would bring on themselves a "bigger shoah," using the Hebrew word usually reserved for the Holocaust.

The choice of vocabulary from Matan Vilnai, an often outspoken former army general, was unusually grave - the word is not normally used for anything other than the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews.

. . .

In Gaza, Hamas leaders said, "They want the world to condemn what they call the Holocaust and now they are threatening our people with a Holocaust."
by Joseph Anderson, Berkeley, CA
Thursday May 7th, 2009 4:38 PM
From: joseph anderson
To: [list: deleted for privacy]
Subject: *CORRECTION*!!: It was Cornel, not Dyson!! -- i.e., Finkelstein's 'a minstrel show' remark
Date: Thu, 7 May 2009 16:19:13 -0700

GEE IS MY FACE RED...!! It's a good thing that I never told Dyson what I *thought* Finkelstein called him -- because I just didn't want to 'burden' Dyson with that nonsense and distraction:

I was just looking up my past email debate with Finkelstein, to best characterize my answer to your question -- where I checked (as in chess) and checked and checked him at every intellectual turn until he was checkmated, because NF's (and Chomsky's) position was just intellectually indefensible, but they get their specious arguments past most white leftists. But, I think that with everyone else Israel lobby denial just makes these people look foolish.

Anyway, and this is really *embarrassing* (I'll have to clear this up with all my white leftist friends and associates): Finkelstein called *CORNEL WEST* a 'money-grubbing' minstrel show; *NOT* Dyson -- not that *that's* any better, it's actually even *worse*, especially since Cornel's status and venerableness is even higher than Dyson's. But, at any rate, NF certainly doesn't think much better about Dyson (and NF himself didn't correct me when I mistakenly asked him, in person, why he called Dyson a minstrel show): NF called Dyson an 'irresponsible' university class-cancelling jet-setter.

Again (and this is when we had basically wrapped up a strenuous --for NF-- debate about the Israel lobby, although I was very polite and amiable), NF didn't explain (literally not a single sentence) *why* he thought that Cornel was a minstrel show -- and (as I said, like ALL whites who say thes kinds of things to me) he didn't ask me my opinion AT ALLL! As I said, it was some white person *venting*, while I was supposed, or circumstantially constrained, to remain 'a potted plant': they obviously didn't care about my opinion, and left no space for it unless I wanted to force my response (and look all 'militant').

While I won't share private email (unless given permission) -- and originally, for a longgg time, I didn't even make this public. But I went public in characterizing it (though I had the wrong name), after NF, at the microphone during Q&A, publicly acted like A MAJOR ASS against me -- scathingly ridiculing me, *right after* he commmited himself to answering my question seriously, although he said that he disagreed with it -- when, at NF's Feb 2008[?] lecture in Berkeley, I *POLITELY* and analytically challenged his and Chomsky's liberal racism against the Palestinian people. [Sorry about any long, unweildy sentences.] But, I caught heat from most -- though certainly not all -- of the white folks in the audience for challenging Finkelstein -- although Palestinians/Arabs commended me afterwards.

This heat was including from my good and personally respected friend (at least that's how I think of her) Barbara Lubin who gave him an award on behalf of her organization, MECA -- although I don't doubt that she has 2nd thoughts by now (well, she *should* have). I then asked Barbara Lubin as to how much intellectual and moral trust she had in someone who would call Dyson [my being in error about the name] a minstrel show. I guess that when NF is in an intellectual and moral corner -- unable to elide that "left Zionist apologist", specious, and at least implicitly racist, bullshit past me in his lectures -- anti-Palestinian racism that even most white (Jewish or gentile) progressive/leftist audiences in the Bay Area don't seem to hear (and apparently, the few Palestinian/Arab members in the audience are afraid to publicly challenge at these events) -- then NF emotionally lashes out.

You know, I had more *concern* for NF than he apparently has for me: I also didn't publicize his minstrel show remark [confusing West with Dyson] at the time because NF was deep in the middle of his tenure battle at DePaul, and I didn't want to morally discredit him with what I felt was a rash (however stupid, and certainly intellectually unsupported) remark he made that I surmised was made out of academic jealously. Having said that, I know other things about NF that I won't even share verbally (unless he makes them public first, which he has to some degree), like what he personally owes Chomsky, that I lightly characterized as "mentorship", but it's much more than that: it goes deeper than that).

NF didn't tell me it (what goes deeper) was confidential, but I decided to treat it that way, because I felt it was in a moment of considerable openness (and, especially, confession) as to why he was maintaining an intellectually indefensible position (against anyone who is an *independent* thinker, not beholden to ideology or other's celebrity, and thus willing actually critically examine what he says). And it's NF's 'mentor' Chomsky's position at that: essentially/near denial of the Israel lobby -- and Amy Goodman won't even have anyone on Democracy Now to challenge Chomsky's denial, so I figure that Chomsky (who *is* supposely a millionaire, unless he took a big hit on, at least, his investments) is dropping mucho donation bucks to Democracy Now (Amy keeps *repeatedly* doing these homages to Chomsky; you'd think that Chomsky was terminally ill or already dead).

As it is (if I didn't tell you before), it was only after my long email exchange debate with NF that he shifted his position 30% on the Israel lobby, by saying that, 'At least when it comes to Palestine, the Israel lobby makes a crucial [negative] difference in the Palestinian situation and thus in the lives of the Palestinians, but not when it comes to the rest of the Middle East or anywhere else.' Well, that 30% is actually a very significant shift from absolute denial.

Another thing: I don't think I've had occasion to mention this before, but I am REALLY SURPIRSED at some of the at least implicitly (anti-Palestinian) racist things that some "leftist" Jewish-American icons (or American born, but now Israeli or dual citizenship) can get away with saying to white audiences and never be challenged on their anti-Palestinian racism.

The very few Palesinians in such an audience won't openly challenge such Jewish "liberals'/leftists'" implicit racism, because I guess they (the former) don't want to look ungrateful and militant, especially for the "liberal/leftist" Jewish conditional (I call them anti-Occupation *Zionists*) 'support/anti-racism' -- for a geographically corrupted, and probably politically unviable, rump, totally controlled, so-called Palestinian "state": 15% of the land, 10% of the water, 5% of the economy, and 0% of the borders, for about (maybe even still just over) *HALF* the population of historic Palestine [and that doesn't even include the Palestinian *exiles*, external refugees, and other diaspora], and call that "fair & square" and a day! ('Oh, thank you massa, you ssso goood to me!')

And the usual Jews (maybe anti-Occupation Zionists feel they're in enough hot water with their families and the Zionist Jewish community) and white gentiles in the audience that I *know* should be capable of challenging the implicitly racist remarks don't challenge them for whatever their respective reasons. Only then, I guess that it's up to me (I certainly can't sit quietly and listen to that stuff: I feel like vomiting). 'The conscience of Berkeley', one at least willing to publicly speak up, is a lonely position among all those good white "progressives/leftists".

But, the point is that I see that people are, for whatever respective reasons, *AFRAID* to publicly challenge racism -- well, I guess afraid to challenge *liberal racism* by an iconic (of some status/quarter) speaker. And all I could *safely* and briefly interject -- when NF said that '[he] *minored* in African American history, but that, "for the life of me", I could never understand what Jim Crow meant!' -- was "*I* can tell you!" I had to say *something*, however brief, just so that all the white people didn't think I acquiesced with such a denial.

I guess that everyone else in the audience was either too young, to remote from the South, not American-born, or too unread to understand the almost *intellectual depravity* of such a denial -- and especially at NF's age and, otherwise, ostensible intellectual station in life.

And the thing is NF would have *never* made such a remark in front of a predominantly, or even significantly, Black audience --unless he's "an educated *fool*", as older Southern Black folks would say. Anyway, I'm more and more realizing the phenomenon of "educated racists" (even advanced degreed racists -- something many older Blacks were/are deeply cognizant of), in my being exposed to "progressive/left Zionist", what I call "anti-Occupation *Zionist [I stress]*" Jews. I then think of all those Nazi-era anti-Semitic German (those who were anti-Semitic) gentiles with university, and even advanced, degrees. I slowly shake my head at both thoughts.

Take care,


P.S. If you're a glutton for more 'punishment', you can read this:

"An Open Letter to Norman Finkelstein, and Barbara Lubin of MECA in Berkeley, et al"

by Joseph Anderson, Berkeley, CA
Friday Feb 15th, 2008 3:39 PM

And you can *HEAR* for yourself and read this (toward the end of the Q&A is where my brilliant female housemate poses the question to NF's stipulation about "not using the words Zionism, apartheid, racism", applied to Israel, is where you can hear him make the Jim Crow comment):

Audio of Norman Finkelstein & John Dugard at UC Berkeley, 10/15/08
by Joseph Anderson
Thursday Oct 23rd, 2008 7:07 PM

As I said before, not only do Chomsky and NF not want to lift a practical finger [well, I sometimes say that they're lifting *one*] for even nonviolent support of the Palestinians (nonviolent support that most Palestinians are asking for), NC & NF even want to deny the Palestinians the practical verbal tools -- in their list of forbidden words -- of analysis and criticism of the settler-colonial system of oppression that the Palestinians have suffered under for well over a half-century now, and still counting.

(My question would have been shorter, but I was had to to work in a question, too, by a very good Arab American female friend of mine in Ann Arbor.)


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