Sunday, 28 July 2019

Labour, Anti-Semitism, and Jewishness

A guest post from @jake_srowland

If you’ve been living under a stone for the last few years you might have missed Labour's anti-semitism crisis. That Labour has a problem with this form of racism is undeniable, and there have been many members found to hold and share these repugnant views. Labour has never denied this is the case, and the party's educational leaflet for members, No Place For Antisemitism acknowledges a “number of Labour members hold antisemitic views and a much larger number don’t recognise antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories.” Labour has taken a long time to make its position clear, but isn’t action without serious thought beforehand dangerous? As Horkheimer made clear: “action for action’s sake is in no way superior to thought for thought’s sake, and is perhaps even inferior to it”.

Can the problems Labour has with anti-semitism be called a crisis? If here we were to take a leaf out of Stanley Cohen’s great book Folk Devils and Moral Panics, we learn ‘crises’ or ‘panics’ are not natural events. They are created when a “group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking people”. The hysterics most of the mass media have had since Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party must be argued to fit this bill, not just when it comes to the labelling of him and the movement that he fronts as anti-semitic, it also extends to the idea that Corbyn hates Britain or that his views run counter to "British values".

Though other parts of the establishment's four-year moral panic about Corbynism are easily dismissed as nonsense, the charges of anti-semitism cannot and should not be treated in this way. Doing so would further alienate the Jewish community from the left, which must be remembered fought side by side against Mosley’s fascists at Cable Street and the East End. How then can Labour renew this alliance and win back parts of the Jewish community turned off by the current crisis? Can this be done by uncritically accepting the demands placed on Labour by the Board of Deputies? Probably not. Could a political party survive having an outside, 'independent' body decide disciplinary issues for it? The demand for investigations to be done on a much quicker basis must also be rejected as what good does it do to rush into a decision only to have it revoked at a later date, as has too often been the case. Anyone demanding that any Labour member under the suspicion of anti-semitism must be kicked out of the party is hysterical. Much better to educate them on how “anti-semitism is the poor man’s socialism”, rather than write them off, as we have recently seen. However, if members are unrepentant or refuse to take direction, then they should no longer be welcome. With firmer rules, a better understanding of what constitutes anti-semitism, and more people working in the complaints process, because the crisis hasn't gone away than clearly something more than an administrative response is needed.

If this then is not the route to a better relationship between Labour and the Jewish community, what is? Some say the answer is to stick with domestic politics, because leftist critiques of foreign policy and international affairs tends to focus disproportionately on Israel, laying it open to charges of obsession and inferences of anti-semitism. That said, how can Israel not be critiqued from the left? One reason for the focus on Israel are the hypocrisies that arise from its famous claim of being ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’. When you consider how Palestinians live under a state of occupation, have their movements tightly policed, homes demolished, land stolen, the write to vote denied, and suffering punitive beatings, shootings, and have their protests raked with gunfire, you can understand why some see Israel as an apartheid state. As such plenty of Jews feel like the Jewish state does not represent their Jewishness, be it Jewdas, who describe themselves as an ‘alternative diaspora’, or the orthodox groups who struggle against the Israeli state from within, and the Israeli peace movement comprised of Jewish and Arab Israeli citizens. In Jewish communities outside of Israel you often find community leaders describing Jews who are critical of Israel as ‘self-hating Jews’. For instance. In my view, these luminaries are often just as anti-semitic as those they rail against in the Labour Party because they demand Jews should believe certain things simply because of their Jewishness. They stereotype the Jew and dismiss the Judaism and Jewishness of those who do not fit and are not "acceptable". And in this case, the official policing of Jewishness means forgetting how Zionism has always included left wing ideas. Like most national movements, it has a right and a left and leftism played an important role in the founding of the Jewish state: the Kibbutz and the historic strength of Israel's Labour Party were hugely influential on the polity.

The only real option for the Labour Party is for it to keep doing what it is doing. The party must keep its messaging clear and to continue to remove from the movement those that hold anti-semitic views. But it must do so without falling into hysterics and internal warfare as many would like it to, especially its enemies in the Conservative Party, who have made no concerted effort comparable to Labour to tackle the Islamophobia or, for that matter, the anti-semitism of its members. Even if it takes a few years for the Jewish community to see that the Labour Party is not a threat, Labour must remain resolute in its efforts to communicate with the Jewish community what it is doing to put this issue to rest.

33 comments:

Ian Gibson said...

Lot to contemplate in this post, but "you can understand why some see Israel as an apartheid state" quoting as justification the depredations that Palestinians suffer is simply not good enough. Peoples all over the world suffer depredations, 'man's inhumanity to man' being our greatest sin. What defines an apartheid state is differentiation of laws, rights and access to justice on ethnic or religious grounds. If you define the problem properly, you cannot fail to name it properly either, however uncomfortable that may be for those who associate themselves with that state.

Shai Masot said...

What a shit post.

Claire Short gets it:

(A letter in the Financial Times from Rt Hon Clare Short, London, UK, 25 July 2019)

I was very surprised by your unbalanced editorial (“Anti-Semitism in Labour disfigures British politics’’, July 23 – see below) on anti-Semitism in the Labour party. The root of this problem is the growing awareness of the injustice and suffering inflicted by Israel on the Palestinians. In the face of this, and given Jeremy Corbyn’s history on the question, supporters of Israel have worked to extend the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel. For example, the accusation of anti-Semitism is regularly thrown at people who support Boycott Divestment and Sanctions and argue that Israel should be held to the requirements of international law.

I think it is possible that some who feel strongly about the suffering of the Palestinians may make anti-Semitic remarks and should be held to account, but the research evidence is clear that anti-Semitism in the UK is rare and prejudice against Muslims is extensive, and both attitudes are concentrated on the right. What I have read of the reasons for suspension and expulsion from Labour in some of the notorious cases do not amount to anti-Semitism.

There is no doubt that Labour has handled the question in a muddled and hopeless manner. But no one, including the FT and those in the Labour party who hurl these accusations around, should allow the definition to be extended in this way. It is a false accusation when it extends to criticism of Israel. Its effect is to frighten people and prevent discussion of Israel’s cruelty to the Palestinians and grave breaches of international law and the geopolitical consequences of the west’s lack of commitment to international law on this question.

Rt Hon Clare Short
London, SW4, UK

Blissex said...

«Anyone demanding that any Labour member under the suspicion of anti-semitism must be kicked out of the party is hysterical.»

I guess that the obvious aim of any similar proposal (e.g. Tom Watson's) is to expel Jeremy Corbyn (who has been called by a Labour MP "a f*ucking racist and antisem*te") from Labour. Then a new leader must be elected, and since less than 15% of the PLP is part of the Labour wing of Labour (even if 65% of members are) no member of the Labour wing of Labour will be nominated this time, as any nomination still must have at least 15% of the PLP as sponsors. Job done!

Blissex said...

«That said, how can Israel not be critiqued from the left? One reason for the focus on Israel»

And here we go again and again: Israel is a state with very many different political opinions, and whose existence as a jewish state and its safety from terrorism and aggression is something that Jeremy Corbyn, a committed and long term zionist, has championed for many years, and that is the official policy of the UK Labour party too. Just as it is both Labour and J Corbyn's policy to have the same rights for a palestinian state, and for it to be safe from terrorism and aggression too.

Therefore criticism of Israel, part of which is a small but vigorous left that has the same aioms as the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn, while not being antisemitic is a stupid and even ridiculous idea, because it confuses the issue in a grave way.

The issue is not Israel, it is the far-right politics of Likud and similar parties (both inside and outside Israel), and while many likudniks make the (antisemitic) claims that they represent all israelis and indeed all jews, that's not something that should be endorsed by the left.

The left has every reason to criticize and oppose, like many israelis and jews do, the far-right politics of Likud, a party that is committed by its charter to reject the two-state-in-Palestine solution officially endorsed by the UK Labour Party, the UK governmment, the UN and even the USA. But that is far indeed from criticizing Israel.

Phil said...

What a shit response, Shai.

How does Short's comments in any way contradict the arguments made in this post?

Shai Masot said...

What a shit response to my non-shit response to this shit post, Phil.

Claire: "... the research evidence is clear that anti-Semitism in the UK is rare and prejudice against Muslims is extensive, and both attitudes are concentrated on the right. What I have read of the reasons for suspension and expulsion from Labour in some of the notorious cases do not amount to anti-Semitism."

Claire points out that *accusations* of antisemitism in Labour is low - amounting to 0.06% of members. She then - rightly in my view - expresses her view that the high-profile cases (i.e. many of these accusations) do not amount to cases of antisemitism when the clear coordinated attempt to conflate critisism of Israel and antisemitism is - again, rightly, in our shared view - repudiated.

Some "crisis". We have more flat-Earthers in Labour than genuine antisemites!

Anonymous said...

The classic successful response to a problem of this kind was Obama's response to the Jeremiah Wright controversy. Like in this case, his opponents set Obama the trap of having to choose between appearing a threat to white Americans, or appearing to 'go mainstream' and be no longer 'one of ours' to black Americans. He was silent on the issue for several days while the media accused him of ignoring it, but when he did respond, it was clear that he had spent the time thinking. He made an extraordinary speech, in which he showed that he cared about the hopes and fears of both sides, got both sides to see his moral dilemma, and settled the issue - having avoided the trap and kept both sets of supporters.
Even when Wright continued to shoot his mouth, and Obama had to repudiate him, he didn't lose what he gained in that speech.

Jeremy, by contrast, has been mealy-mouthed; attempted to waffle his way through. When he addresses the issue, it's a slightly impatient 'I can show you that I've been all-right all along'. What Obama showed was that you don't have to waffle when faced with a moral dilemma. If you lay out your principles but make it clear that they are fair to both sides, and that you care about both sides - then even people who don't agree won't see you as just a self-serving politician. Jeremy could have made a principled case stating the problems with the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and also used many opportunities to denounce antisemitic remarks.
He could have rejected hysteria, and also announced that the party would be relentless in rooting out antisemites in a just way. But he's left the strong impression that he just wants to sweep it under the rug. At this point, I don't think Labour will lose the taint of antisemitism in the public eye until he leaves, and that (and Brexit) may cost us the next election.

Phil said...

More merde, Shai. If there wasn't a problem, then this would have bounced off like so many other attacks. Remember when they tried to claim Corbyn was some kind of misogynist early on?

Is anti-semitism in Labour overstated for factional reasons? Obviously. And I've written plenty about this. But does that mean there isn't a small sub set of members and supporters who are, at best, ignorant about anti-semitism and at worst have swallowed its poison pill? Of course it doesn't.

Again, what Clare Short has said doesn't contradict anything in Jake's post. What it does demonstrate, unfortunately, is that you have more than a few blind spots of your own.

Speedy said...

I demurred from commenting upon this because there isn't much to say. There are idiots everywhere, including Labour (and some true ones on these pages) but that means nothing. Labour isn't institutionally anti-semitic.

However, seeing your exchange with Shai brings to mind a previous comment of mine - that regardless of the rights and wrongs, it was always Corbyn's weak spot so politically they had to be seen to harder than hard on this, instead they have been softer than soft, hence Short's comment: There is no doubt that Labour has handled the question in a muddled and hopeless manner.

The author's conclusion that, basically, everything is fine and Labour should carry on as it has been is utterly wrong and seemed more like yet another unreflective "line to take" from HQ than anything else.

Shai Masot said...

Phil. Nah, I'm still not convinced. I'm looking at the numbers. Moreover:

Luciana Berger was complaining in 2005 - back when she was dating Euan Blair - about AS in Labour. It wasn't an existential "crisis" for Blair Snr then. Maureen Lipman left Labour in 2012 over Ed M's sympathetic attitude towards the Palestinians. It wasn't a "crisis" for Ed back then either. Nor do we have a flat-Earther "crisis" now. Hell, even the noted Corbyn-hater Chuka Umunna - in his formal Home Affiars SC role - concluded back in 2016 that there is no evidence of an antisemitism problem unique to Labour. What's changed?

And:

Google searches involving "Corbyn" and "antisemitism" prior to 2015 = 0. Google searches involving these linked words after 2015 = through the roof. Just how did he manage to hide his supposed antisemitism so well for all those years, eh?

Yet more madness: Margaret Hodge and Tom Watson are both currently facing formal complaints of antisemitism. You couldn't make it up!

All I'm asking for is a sense of proportion and an end of the lazy and liberal (even, at times, gratuitous) use of hyperbolic and intentionally inflammatory language within the party in this context. "Issue", yes. "Problem", yes. "Crisis", no. If we do have a problem as a party it is one of endemic bad faith.

John Smith said...

You know what Phil, I thought better of you,
dissapointed that you would go against the facts and buy into the narrative.

Actually forget dissapointed, I am downright angry about this post.

Phil said...

What facts are in dispute, John?

Though this post isn't by me, there is no argument here I haven't made during the last four years. Even as recently as March.

And if you're angry about this, wait until you see what Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have been saying.

Dipper said...

Danny Finkelstien had a good explanation for anti-semitism in the Labour Party. The far left is committed to a conspiracy-theory view of the world; workers naturally generate enough wealth for a high standard of living, so failure to deliver a high standard of living is because of a conspiracy of wealthy people who are oppressing workers. Socialism will not work unless those wealthy capitalists who are oppressing workers are dealt with. A significant number of wealthy financiers and capitalists are jewish, hence a significant component of conspiracy amongst wealthy capitalists is a conspiracy amongst jews.For many on the hard left to stop believing theories of jewish conspiracy would require them to stop believing in all conspiracies of capitalism, which would need them to stop being hard-left.

It is easy to disconnect Israel from anti-semitism. When the left talk about Trump they don;t talk about 'The Amreican state', they talk about Trump. Hence its easy to stop talking about 'The Israeli state' and take about the Israeli government or similar. The fact they continue to take about 'the Israeli state' says it all.

Shai Masot said...

@Phil. "Was always going to happen. They fed the monster, and now it’s coming for them."

Correct position!

Sam said...

I think I agree with the post. In the face of this crisis anyone just arguing flat out that Labour is not antisemitic is playing in to the hands of the people who are weaponising anti semitism for factional gain. There is anti semitism within Labour (as there is within the UK) and even more than "outright" antisemitism there is ignorance or blindness about antisemitic tropes that lead to Jewish people feeling uncomfortable or offended or threatened. There is no "solution" to the crisis other than Labour being serious about ejecting anti semites and educating members on antisemitism. No solution other than ejecting Corbyn and the left that is, one could bet one's leg that the media would fall silent on the issue within 6 months of a centrist restoration.
There is no move that will neutralise the crisis other than the total abjugation of the left, so the only way forward is to do as Jake says.

John Smith said...

There are no facts in dispute, because you have provided none

and your'e conclusions are bullshit for the same reason.

You will make a good journalist for the MSM, the opinion you present is evidence free and they like that in the papers, good look with your future career in state propaganda

Phil said...

The facts are there to see. They are:

1) A small number of Labour Party members have anti-semitic attitudes. Some aren't consciously so, and indulge anti-semitic tropes.

2) These are blown up out of all proportion by opponents of Jeremy Corbyn and use it to defame the Labour Party.

3) The existence of 2) doesn't mean 1) doesn't exist.

How do you propose we go about addressing this issue, John? Throwing a childish tantrum because the real world isn't what you'd like it to be?

Again, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell acknowledge there is an issue. If it's good enough for them, why isn't it good enough for you?

Blissex said...

«He could have rejected hysteria, and also announced that the party would be relentless in rooting out antisemites in a just way. But he's left the strong impression that he just wants to sweep it under the rug.»

That seems to me the usual malicious point of view that he has tolerated and enabled AS in the country. In any case it is not the leader's sole responsibility to do so, but mainly the responsibility of the party's institutions, and the leader should not just ignore, Blair-style, the party organization.

«At this point, I don't think Labour will lose the taint of antisemitism in the public eye until he leaves, and that (and Brexit) may cost us the next election.»

Whether fortunately or unfortunately my impression is that is a delusion, as a lot of the public, especially among Labour voters, have understood that Labour and J Corbyn have always given the AS issue the high (but not extreme, given how rare it is) priority it deserves, and also that they understand that the AS issue has been turned by the Likud supporters among jews and gentiles into a party-political tool, mostly to taint discourse to ensure that Corbyn leaves. What is most sad to me is that I reckon that the likudniks by twisting the AS issue into a party-political tool have thus cheapened the fight against AS actions in the eyes of the public, and this is likely to greatly reduce the reaction of many to actual AS actions in the future.

Blissex said...

«1) A small number of Labour Party members have anti-semitic attitudes. Some aren't consciously so, and indulge anti-semitic tropes.
2) These are blown up out of all proportion by opponents of Jeremy Corbyn and use it to defame the Labour Party.
3) The existence of 2) doesn't mean 1) doesn't exist.
How do you propose we go about addressing this issue, John?
»

No doubt issue #1 exists, and it has been handled according to established procedures by the party machinery. There is no need to do much more than that. As another commenter said, that was entirely sufficient as long as "rabid trots" like E Miliband and J Corbyn were not leaders, and as long as I Nichol was general secretary...

There is not much need to do something about issue #2 either: most of the public are not stupid and understand well the party-political nature of the campaign managed by the likudniks.
If there is something to do about issue #2 is to remind the public that even if the current campaign is party-political, AS does exist, it is not entirely made up by propaganda, and Labour has a good record of fighting against AS both withing and outside the party. Which is what J Corbyn has done.

If there is something that I wish J Corbyn did more often it would be to restate that Labour and himself are two-state zionists, continue to support Israel as a state with an hebrew character, with citizens safe from terrorism and aggression, and the same for Palestine and its citizens. These are well known positions that he has had for decades, and they don't *need* restating, but it may be useful to do so often anyhow.

bbk said...

We're seeing now that similar accusations are being attempted as a political strategy to smear the left in the US. A big difference is Jewish voters vote Democratic by enormous margins. And attempts by the Democratic party leadership (ignoring gop attacks because no one except due hard US Likudniks take them seriously) to harm the party's left wing, represented mainly by women of color in Congress, have been hampered by the party's Clinton wing weaponizing identity to fight back Sanders in 2016. So attacking women of color was seen as unfair and "off brand" in a way.

But it is interesting how charges of as anti-semitism have become a trans-Atlantic weapon for the right to fight the left. I think as claims of being friendly to communism or socialism have lost their "punch", the right needed a new "ism" to accuse the left of supporting which still carries negative associations.

It's not some grand conspiracy hatched by a secret cabal. It's as simple as people seeing what has worked for other people with the same goals and then using the same tactic in their own political context.

What's especially frustrating is how the actual font of real impactful anti-semitism in western countries, the political right, have been able to pretend like they've always been the ones who are the best friends of the Jewish communities in their countries. And how the "centrists", in their internecine battle with the left, are helping to reinforce this ridiculous lie.

Ian Gibson said...

One other thing that gets missed in all this, and to my mind why some folk get defensive about any accusation of AS in the Labour Party, is the degree to which the current malicious weaponising of it is providing massive cover for real anti-semites - by which I mean actual, bona fide Jew haters, not folk opposing Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and 'slipping over the line.' So, to give an example, you tell me, when a Welsh Conservative councillor says something to the effect of 'It's time to round up the Jews,' how it is possible that the official response by the Welsh Conservative party is to 'disassociate' themselves from the remarks - and that's it. No further action.

Ian Gibson said...

"When the left talk about Trump they don;t talk about 'The American state', they talk about Trump. Hence its easy to stop talking about 'The Israeli state' and take about the Israeli government or similar. The fact they continue to take about 'the Israeli state' says it all."

This is eyebrow-raisingly dim. Trump and the American state are not the same thing, so if people are talking about Trump, of course they refer to Trump: if however, they are referring to the American State, then they will call it that - referring to that as Trump would be both asinine and dangerous. The (blindingly) obvious proof of that is, if you were to remove Trump, would the behaviour of America change more than superficially? Almost certainly not. And the 'American state' referred to in that way includes all actors of power, such as the MIC, which is a much bigger thing than just the government. The Israeli state is no different: for instance, it would include the influence of senior religious figures, who have considerable political influence, who would not come under any discussion which limited itself to the Israeli government.

Jim Denham said...

A reasonably sensible post, I suppose, but this: "In my view, these luminaries are often just as anti-semitic as those they rail against in the Labour Party because they demand Jews should believe certain things simply because of their Jewishness" about the mainstream (ie Zionist) Jewish leadership in the UK misses the point that much of the left does exactly the same but in reverse - ie is willing to accept Jews BUT ONLY ON CONDITION that they renounce Zionism and denounce Israel (not just Israeli government policies and/or the treatment of the Palestinians, but Israel's very existence). This is like the Christian anti-Semites of old, who were willing to accept Jews - so long as they converted.

The late Steve Cohen, a militant leftist and anti-racist wrote a brilliant pamphlet/short book on this, "That's Funny, You Don't Look Antisemitic".

Blissex said...

«much of the left does exactly the same but in reverse - ie is willing to accept Jews BUT ONLY ON CONDITION that they renounce Zionism and denounce Israel (not just Israeli government policies and/or the treatment of the Palestinians, but Israel's very existence).»

That "much of the left" seems to me a smear, or at least a gross misgeneralization; for example the current leader of the Labour Party, by far the largest party of the centre left, is a committed zionist and the Labour Party itself has been unswervingly zionist under him and Ed Miliband, while being opposed to the extreme far-right policies of Likud.

As to "Israel's very existence", advocating the dissolution of Israel and its replacement by a secular state seems to many a legitimate political position (some people don't like confessional states as a matter of principle), just one that Corbyn, the Labour Party (and myself) disagree with. Perhaps your perceptions have been twisted by the propaganda of the likudniks who misreport "dissolution of Israel" with "[physical] destruction of Israel".

Dipper said...

other views are available - such as this one

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/07/podcast-how-radical-islam-taught-the-progressive-left-to-blame-the-jews/

enjoy!

Kamo said...

This form of Anti-Semitism stems from the vulgar left's uncritical support for Palestinian activities, there's a mixture of moral relativism, cultural relativism and a half-formed understanding of historical imperialism and colonialism.

Morally relativistic in that Israeli Jews are westernised and therefore subject to higher standards than 'Orientals' who don't know any better than to fire rockets at civilians. Culturally relativistic in that Islamic/Arabic imperialism has no internal conception of its own existence even when its empirical reality is patently obvious, whereas Zionism fits squarely within the western obsession with imperialism. And as for the shaky grasp of history; well idiotic anti-Imperialists never seem to trouble themselves with the notion that Islamic/Arabic culture is not indigenous to the Levant.

It's the same basic stupidity at work when one sees comments comparing modern Western foreign policy to the Crusades. A series of intermittent, often short-lived, military adventures over a couple of centuries, removed from the context of five thousand years of polities from Asia, Africa and Europe displacing one another in waves of conflict and conquest.

Anonymous said...

Good points Kamo. You state "Culturally relativistic in that Islamic/Arabic imperialism has no internal conception of its own existence even when its empirical reality is patently obvious, whereas Zionism fits squarely within the western obsession with imperialism"

There are Arabs who view the Islamic Conquests as being colonial, and in Islamic history, the conquests are widely acknowledged as an event that happened, even if not described as 'imperialism'. When people make this point in relation to Israel and Palestine however, its not usually for some enlightening scholarly discussion, but instead a kind of 'whataboutism'. Its not that its untrue about some pro-Palestinians being selective about history and their use of terms like 'imperialism' but often when people make the counter point (ie but the Muslims/Arabs colonized 'insert territory') it flattens out history and Arabs so now Palestinians are representative and responsible for all Muslims/Arabs.

You also state "And as for the shaky grasp of history; well idiotic anti-Imperialists never seem to trouble themselves with the notion that Islamic/Arabic culture is not indigenous to the Levant."

Arabs are of the region and speak an Afroasiatic language so werent completely alien, unlike Europeans, and would of integrated into existing populations much more easily because of this. People in the Levant now are a product of this process.

DFTM said...

Interesting timing Anon, just as the IDF is Blitzkrieging Gaza.

I think the timing of your post, to provide an ideological justification for apartheid, colonialisation and ethnic cleansing is exactly why Kamo's 'arguments' are so beyond the pale and so obviously serving imperialist interests.

kamo's point that anti imperialists don't understand "the notion that Islamic/Arabic culture is not indigenous to the Levant" is simply a straw man, I know of no anti imperialist who doesn't recognise this. It is beside the point, it has nothing to do with the anti imperialist argument.

In fact unless we can pinpoint exactly the place where the human species began and then somehow genetically link humans who are alive today to this place, then we can say that no population is indigenous to any area they currently occupy. So what does that tell us? That we should not have opposed Cecil Rhodes, that Catholics in Ireland would simply have to suck up systematic discrimination etc etc etc? Seriously, why are the far right able to push this nonsense unchallenged?

What kamo has done is oh so typical of the witch hunters, they invent an argument, put that invented argument into the mouths and minds of the anti imperialists and then use this invented argument against them!

This tactic is a well worn one used by all lackeys of colonialists.

But let me thank anon for being able to point it out, I hadn't caught Kamo's crap at the time and shit likes this needs to be put straight.

Anonymous said...

@DFTM

"I think the timing of your post, to provide an ideological justification for apartheid, colonialisation and ethnic cleansing is exactly why Kamo's 'arguments' are so beyond the pale and so obviously serving imperialist interests."

You think my post was justifying apartheid and colonialism ?

DFTM said...

@Anon,

"You think my post was justifying apartheid and colonialism ?"

Absolutely, I mean you responded to something posted 2 years ago and just as the IDF were carrying out their latest killing fest.

But never mind, you did us a favour by reminding us what an colossal idiot and dishonest tosser Kamo is.

Anonymous said...

@DFTM - that doesnt makes sense, but ok.

@lurkers/Kamo - European colonialists used to view themselves, rather than Arabs as the true heirs of ancient civilizations in the Near East, and used this to justify colonial interventions in the region. Some (not all) Zionists share a similar mentality, and use this to legitimise the oppression of Palestinians. Theres a place to talk about Arab/Islamic supremacy, but when people are discussing the pitfalls of Zionism it appears as a way to derail conversation, and creates this flattened out Arabness, where we're all just a monolith, with no class or other differences, and Arab/Islamic genealogical imagination doesn't help.

DFTM said...

@anon

well coming from someone who promotes the outright dishonesty of Kamo, as I showed above, the fact you think I don't make sense is a compliment.

In fact your posts, 2 years after the last comment (does that make sense!), are so obtuse and abstracted I think they are literally designed to not make sense, but to confuse!

Anonymous said...

@DFTM - "well coming from someone who promotes the outright dishonesty of Kamo, as I showed above, the fact you think I don't make sense is a compliment."

You've not shown anything. All you've done is assert that Im apparently an "apologist for colonialism" based on the timing of my post, but not the content. If the contents also an issue for you, that's fine, but at least come up with a counter, and stop shifting the goal post. Merely declaring that people are "colonial apologists" isn't a rebuttal.

@lurkers - Kamo entered the thread with a slightly off topic post, the crux of which seemed to really be about selective Arab/Pro-Palestinian outrage. Despite him being slightly off-topic, the underling theme of his post did have some truth to it and has been pointed out by others, although as I stated it was also something that occasionally gets used to legitimise Zionist aggression towards Palestinians.