Archive for the 'Antisemitism' Category



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.”

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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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Judith Butler on Hamas, Hezbollah & the Israel Lobby (2006)

This is Judith Butler’s reply to a bundle of four questions asked in Q&A during a 2006 teach-in at UC Berkeley about the war between Israel and Hezbollah.  Audience members asked:

1. Since Israel is an imperialist, colonial project, should resistance be based on social movements or the nation-state?

2. What is the power of the Israel Lobby and is questioning it antisemitic?

3. Since the Left hesitates to support Hamas and Hezbollah “just” because of their use of violence, does this hurt Palestinian solidarity?

4. Do Hamas and Hezbollah actually threaten Israel’s existence, as portrayed in some media?

Judith Butler:

“Ok, well, I would just briefly say: I think its imperative to figure out what the mechanisms are of the various lobbies in the US – the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League – how they work to help to formulate US foreign policy toward Israel. I think there’s no question we need an honest, rigorous appraisal. I think there are some versions of it that strike me as perhaps a little too easily subscribing to conspiracy theories, and I think that there can be an antisemitic version, and there can be a really useful, critical version as well. I have no doubt it’s a very powerful lobby – I actually think of it as multifaceted – and I think we need more careful, rigorous analyses of it.

So you know the short answer is: one neither has to dispute the existence of such a lobby, or its power, to prove that one is not antisemitic; but neither does one have to accept every version of that, given that some versions are, I think, problematically bound up with conspiracy theories.

Similarly, I think: Yes, understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left, is extremely important. That does not stop us from being critical of certain dimensions of both movements. It doesn’t stop those of us who are interested in non-violent politics from raising the question of whether there are other options besides violence. So again, a critical, important engagement. I mean, I certainly think it should be entered into the conversation on the Left. I similarly think boycotts and divestment procedures are, again, an essential component of any resistance movement.”

[[ audience claps]]

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Thanks to Camila Bassi for pointing out this video in her essay “The Anti-Imperialism of Fools’: A Cautionary Story on the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard of England’s Post-9/11 Anti-War Movement”

NOTE: The questions start at 10:30 and Butler starts her answer at 14:55. [June 2012: video is no longer at original link, but is now available on youtube]

description from URL where video was originally available at:

(http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1054740516888584797#):

Berkeley Teach-In Against War – Part VI – Question and Answer Session

Concerned about the devastation currently being inflicted on the people of Lebanon and Palestine by the Israeli Military Forces and with the very limited and biased reporting on these conflicts presented by most American media networks, we have organized a teach-in on the UC Berkeley campus in order to give students, faculty, and the Bay Area community at large a chance to gain a greater understanding of these events and to participate in an open discussion on their significance for both Americans and the people of the Middle East. During the first hour of this two-hour event, four scholars with expertise in the Middle East will present short analyses (15 minutes each) of the historical and political dimensions of this conflict, focusing on the following themes:

1. The role US foreign policy has played in enabling and authorizing the Israeli bombardment;

2. The origins and historical development of Hezbollah, and the role of this movement within Lebanese social and political arenas;

3. The shifting political alignments within Israel, and their relation to the current war on Lebanon and to Israel’s role in the region more broadly;

4. The impact of Israeli military actions in Gaza and the West Bank on the lives of Palestinians and the political landscape of the Palestinian society.

The second hour of the teach-in will be reserved for audience questions and comments. Confirmed speakers are UC Berkeley Professors Judith Butler (Rhetoric and Comparative Literature), Beshara Doumani (History), Charles Hirschkind (Anthropology), Saba Mahmood (Anthropology), as well as Zeina Zaatari, Program Officer for the Middle East and North Africa, The Global Fund for Women.

The teach-in took place in 145 Dwinelle on September 7th

http://www.btiaw.org

Anarchist ‘Views & Comments’ on Hal Draper and the International Socialist League (ISL) (1956)

STALINISM WITHOUT STALIN

In spite of serious ideological and political differences with the Independent Socialist League, we have long considered their weekly paper, LABOR ACTION, to be one of the best radical publications in the country. The current series of articles by Hal Draper on “Stalinism Without Stalin” should be read carefully by every one interested in the recent switch inside the Soviet Union.

After giving considerable background material, much of which is already well known throughout the anti-Stalinist left, comrade Draper takes issues with those who see in the events in Russia changes of a fundamental nature in the regime itself. He declares that Stalinism continues intact without Stalin. He demonstrates conclusively, with a wealth of detail and examples coupled with sound reasoning, that the present “collective leadership” in Moscow is every bit as totalitarian as was the one-man leadership of Stalin. Numerous examples are given and the whole subject is done up brown – except for one important part, and this to us is decisive.

Continue reading ‘Anarchist ‘Views & Comments’ on Hal Draper and the International Socialist League (ISL) (1956)’

New World Liberation Front (NWLF) – 1977 article

RADICAL ARCHIVES note: Some readers will be particularly interested in the NWLF’s explicitly antisemitic “anti-Zionist” theories, as mentioned in the middle of the article.

NWLF: good hit, no pitch
Celine Hagbard

The New World Liberation Front, a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization which has carried out an uninterrupted urban guerilla offensive around the Bay Area and Northern California for almost three years, may well be the most tactically advanced guerilla group in the United States. As a result of recent theoretical pronouncements on anarchism, feminism, homosexuality and Zionism, however, they have made themselves the most controversial guerillas within the revolutionary left as well.

Continue reading ‘New World Liberation Front (NWLF) – 1977 article’

Skirda on “Jewish capital” and the Dreyfus Affair

In fact, the period was profoundly marked by that [Dreyfus] Affair: it gave rise to a confused turmoil in which a revolutionary cat would have had great difficulty identifying her kittens! The root cause of it all was the unjust conviction of a captain, (a millionaire and son of a millionaire in the francs of the day) on account of his Jewish faith. Many anarchists let themselves be dragged into this questionable episode; Sébastien Faure even set up a daily newspaper with the backing of Jewish capital, and good comrades wrote for it. It is questionable whether libertarians seized upon the issue the better to attack and discredit the army, the very army whose commanders had waded deep in the blood of the Communards. This, it was a sort of revenge from beyond the grave, albeit in a very roundabout fashion. But let us move on.

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from Alexandre Skirda, Facing the Enemy: A History of Anarchist Organization from Proudhon to May 1968, translated Paul Sharkey. (Edinburgh & Oakland: AK Press, 2002), p 70 footnote 5.


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