Bob Avakian on SNCC, Anti-Zionism & Anti-Semitism (2005)

One time through Eldridge [[Cleaver]] I got this issue of the SNCC newspaper and they had this cartoon portraying Nasser, who was the head of the government of Egypt at that time, going up against Israel, and the cartoon drew a parallel with how Black people had to deal with Jews who were exploiting them in the ghetto in America. This really bothered me. I was already learning about imperialism, partly from Eldridge, so I said to him: “Look, this is not right. The common enemy here is imperialism. What’s wrong with Israel is not the Jewish character of it; it’s the fact that it’s an instrument of imperialism. And the common cause of black people in the U.S. and people in Egypt is that they’re going up against imperialism.” Eldridge said, “Well, why don’t you write them a letter?” So I did. I made these arguments and I made the point that in writing the letter that I was a strong supporter of SNCC and of Black liberation, but this bothered me because it wasn’t the right way to look at the problem and to analyze friends and enemies, and so on. So they wrote back and said, “We take you at your word that you’re a supporter of Black liberation and let us make clear that we are not anti-Semitic and we don’t see Jews as the enemy.”

= = =

from Bob Avakian, From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey From Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist (Chicago: Insight Press, 2005), p 147.

RADICAL ARCHIVES NOTE: Bob was a member of SDS and the Revolutionary Union, and is the founder and chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP), a Maoist sect. The son of East Bay judge ‘Sparky’ Avakian, Bob has stated that “After the Holocaust, the worst thing that has happened to Jewish people is the state of Israel.” His follower Alan Goodman took this to heart and, after Israel’s 2009 attack on Gaza, Goodman held a banner with this slogan outside the ‘Museum of Jewish Heritage–A Living Memorial To The Holocaust’ in downtown New York City.

Despite its subtitle, the Museum of Jewish History is not a Holocaust museum; current exhibitions include an expose about the love of American Jews for Mah Jongg.

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