A Tangled Web
Sarah Glynn unpicks the fine lines between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

An organisation calling itself Jewish Human Rights Watch has just published a report that purports to show that the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is motivated, not by concern for the plight of the Palestinians, but by hatred of Jews. As a Jew who has campaigned alongside SPSC activists on many occasions, I have no hesitation in condemning this as a gross and politically motivated slur on a group of people who are driven by a strong and genuine concern for humanity (the fact that so much time has been spent putting together this report is a testament to SPSC’s success in promoting the Palestinian cause and in winning wider support.)

The report’s argument is demonstrably flawed and absurd, but while this must be dismissed for the propaganda it so clearly is, it would be foolish simply to ignore all the material collected as this can open the lid on much more insidious processes that could pose real danger to both race relations and progressive activist organisations.

Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) was established two years ago to fight against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which aims to isolate Israel economically and culturally for its treatment of the Palestinians in the same way as South Africa was isolated for apartheid. JHRW misrepresents BDS as an anti-Jewish boycott, drawing parallels with Nazi Germany – while itself campaigning for bans on Palestinian events. David Collier, the author of the report, and of an earlier similar report on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in England, describes himself as an independent researcher and blogger and a Zionist (i.e. a supporter of the existence of a specifically Jewish state in the biblical land of Israel).

His research consisted of trawling through the public social media posts of everyone he could identify as taking part or attending SPSC activities (not SPSC’s own posts or webpage) and recording all posts he deemed anti-Semitic. To appear in the report, the person had to have posted at least three examples during the two-year research period, though some posts selected are clearly dated even further back. However, although Collier claims that he set an ‘unnaturally high standard’ in defining anti-Semitism by excluding criticism of Israel, the majority of the posts he reproduces are conspiracy theories implicating the Israeli Secret Service, Mossad. In these posts, Mossad, sometimes alongside the CIA, is depicted as responsible for the perpetuation of Middle Eastern wars, the creation of ISIS, and organising major terrorist attacks – including 9/11 and the attacks in Paris. (In not counting other posts that criticise the Israeli state and Zionist actions against the Palestinians, Collier actually serves his own thesis, as it is these posts that demonstrate the real reason for activist campaigns.) All the people whose social media posts qualify them for inclusion in this report according to these criteria are automatically deemed to be motivated by anti-Semitism. Collier claims that the incidence of anti-Semitic postings is much higher than might be expected in the general population, so ‘The inevitable conclusion is that anti-Semitic tendency is a primary driver of anti-Israel activism.’ But correlation does not prove causation, and if there is a causative link, then why not the other way around, with awareness of Israeli atrocities increasing receptiveness to the proliferating web of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories? Collier’s predilection for jumping to the worst possible conclusions is highlighted by a revealing comment on a post advertising an event on ‘Empowering Palestinian Youth’ hosted in a church. He observes that ‘The Church has a 2000-year-old history of persecuting Jews and fuelling anti-Semitism’.

This is a report that had already decided its conclusion before it began; that knew what it was looking for and searched until it found it. It is a concentrated product of two years of trawling and sifting and of ignoring evidence of higher aims and ideals. It presents an extraordinarily biased view of all those it names, and imputes motives on no evidence. As an attack on SPSC it cannot be taken seriously, but it still makes for some uncomfortable reading.

The growth of unsubstantiated ‘news’ on the internet has vastly outpaced development of our critical faculties. We have learnt to approach government reports and stories in the mainstream media with a scepticism born of experience, and informal social media has helped us see through the official narratives. But alternative sources are often not treated with that same scepticism. Progressive activists, sickened by official propaganda and well-versed in the underhand machinations of outwardly respectable governments, are on the lookout for alternative sources of information and alternative explanations of the powers acting behind the scenes. We are only just beginning to realise the extent to which the internet has become a breeding ground for the confusions and deliberate deceptions of everyone who has a theory to propagate, a prejudice to share, or a political axe to grind. If a story appears to chime with known events it can be seized upon only too readily, especially if it has explanatory power. People with little previous political experience can prove particularly vulnerable. Many conspiracy theories contain an element of truth, and occasionally rather more, but they remain theories, untroubled by much evidence. Many are also harmless, but in others a combination of deliberate right-wing shit-stirring and more general political ignorance allows old prejudices, including anti-Semitism, to seep into the cracks.

We all know that people often ‘like’, or even share, posts on social media without reading them properly. We may agree with the general sentiment, and trust the person who has shared the post previously, or use the share as a convenient bookmark to isolate something we hope to look at later. Sometimes what might be shared as a simple anti-Zionist front page can hide overtly anti-Semitic arguments and images in the full document, of which the sharer is unaware. And sometimes items are shared not because we agree with what they say but because we want others to see what things are being said. But not all of the posts illustrated in the JHRW report can be argued away so easily. Too often they employ traditional anti-Semitic tropes and images that should be easily recognisable, even if relabelled as ‘Zionist’.

Old conspiracy theories about Jewish plans for world domination and a New World Order, so beloved of right-wing groups anxious to divert attention from the injustices of the actual political system, can morph into new plans for Zionist world domination. And legitimate fears about the impact of the ‘Israel lobby’ can become inflated to endow Zionists with extraordinary powers. These may be portrayed as enacted through the hate figures of the Rothschild banking dynasty, who (just as they have done since the nineteenth century) stand in for the evils of capitalism and a self-serving elite, which sees everything, including war, as a source of profit. And Holocaust denial is no longer constrained to the distant reaches of far-right propaganda, but can sometimes find a new niche as part of this imagined Zionist plan. Sharing of such material may constitute a genuinely ignorant and unintentional anti-Semitism, but it is dangerous stuff. It can also – as demonstrated by some particularly troubling examples in the report – open the door to overt anti-Semitic material, where it is ‘Jews’ who control the media and politicians. We even, in the few worst cases, find men with hooked noses chasing after money; that long-debunked Tsarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion; quotations from Hitler; and the argument that Jews, through their behaviour, are responsible for their own persecution. The fascist initiators of this anti-Semitic propaganda must be laughing, and Jews have good reason to fear the revival of these ideas.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is very clear as an organisation that ‘Anti-Semitism is a crime. Anti-Zionism is a duty’, and, unlike Jewish Human Rights Watch, it distinguishes criticism of settler colonialism and the concept of an ethnically defined state, from criticism of Jews as Jews. It is the people and organisations that claim to speak on behalf of all Jews while defending the Israeli state that make the new anti-Semitism inevitable – though, of course, never acceptable. But, as progressive activists in an internet age we all need to be careful about what we post and about what is posted by our comrades and acquaintances. This isn’t about being PC police, but about helping each other to develop a deeper and more critical political understanding, so our arguments can’t become polluted with charges of anti-Semitism, so our movements don’t become unwitting vehicles for spreading dangerous right-wing lies, and so we can direct our attention to the real forces behind this unequal and unstable world. German Socialists of the 1890s called anti-Semitism the ‘socialism of fools’ because it was used to divert criticism of the powers of capitalism into criticism of a mystical conspiracy. The posts selected and pulled together in this report tell us very little about the motivations of people attending SPSC events, but they can serve as a timely reminder of the dangers of being fooled and the importance of political education.
Original here  The National


 

By Leon Rosselson

In the current furore over supposed antisemitism in the Labour Party and the suspension of Ken Livingstone  for asserting that Hitler supported Zionism, the crux of the problem seems to have been somewhat obscured. Livingstone’s intervention was untimely, uncalled for and clumsily expressed (it’s never a good idea to bring Hitler into the discussion) but the collaboration in the 1930s between Zionist leaders and Nazi apparatchiks, like Eichmann, is a historical fact.  How was that possible? How could a Jewish ideology find common ground with a virulently antisemitic creed — and at a time when Jews worldwide were demanding a total boycott of Nazi Germany

JNFPortestAnyone who has been in a Zionist youth movement — Habonim or Hashomer Hatzair — will know that the job of Zionism is to persuade Jews that they don’t properly belong in the countries in which they have lived over the centuries and can only find their true home in a Jewish state. The Israeli political parties, Mapam and Mapai, didn’t send all those well-trained Zionist leaders over here just to teach Jewish boys and girls how to dance the Hora. As Ehud Olmert said, when addressing the World Zionist Congress in 2005, the Zionist project will not be fulfilled until every Jew in the world goes to live in Israel.Nowadays Zionist groups like the Jewish Labour Movement pretend that Zionist teaching has changed but they have to say that, otherwise they might have to ask themselves why they’re still living ‘in exile’ instead of in the Jewish state.

‘Money willingly we give there/Israel is our guiding star/Not that we would ever live there/Better worship from afar’.

Similarly when the celebrated Israeli novelist AB Yehoshua, interviewed by Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian, repeated the demand that all Jews should live in Israel and called Jewish life in the diaspora ‘neurotic’, Freedland maintained that this was ‘paleo-Zionism’, as if it belonged to an old ideology, now outdated. But as far as I know there aren’t 57 varieties of Zionism. There’s just Zionism, exactly as Olmert and Yehoshua and our ‘shlichim’ (emissaries) in Hashomer Hatzair expressed it.

So it is not difficult to understand how and why, before the death camps were thought of, the interests of Jewish nationalism and German nationalism converged. Both Zionists and Nazis were totally opposed to Jewish assimilation. To put it crudely, the Nazis wanted a Jew-free Germany; so did the Zionists, provided the Jews went to Palestine to provide the basis of a future Jewish state.

There existed in those first years, a mutually highly satisfactory agreement between the Nazi authorities and the Jewish Agency for Palestine — a Ha’avarah or Transfer Agreement, which provided that an emigrant to Palestine could transfer his money there in German goods and exchange them for pounds upon arrival…. The result was that in the thirties, when American Jewry took great pains to organise a boycott of German merchandise, Palestine, of all places, was swamped with all kinds of goods made in Germany. — Hannah Arendt Eichmann in Jerusalem.

There is no doubt that at that time, the Nazi party adopted a pro-Zionist agenda. So when Zionist emissaries from Palestine came to Germany to pick out young Jewish pioneers, they negotiated on equal terms with Eichmann and the SS in order to facilitate their transfer to Palestine. It could be argued that this was a way of saving at least some German Jews. But ‘the Palestine leadership refused to extend any help to emigrants whose goal was not Eretz Israel’. (Saul Friedlander, Zionist historian.) And Ben Gurion argued that in any conflict of interest between saving individual Jews and the good of the Zionist enterprise, the enterprise must come first. Consequently the Zionist leadership opposed the Kindertransport which brought 10,000 German Jewish children to England.

There has always been a symbiotic relationship between Zionism and antisemitism. Many antisemites support Zionist ideology and the state of Israel. Trump’s advisor, Steve Bannon, for instance. And Eichmann himself, according to Hannah Arendt, had read Theodor Herzl’s Der Judenstaat, the founding text of Zionism, and became converted ‘promptly and forever to Zionism’. Conversely, many Zionists are antisemitic, Herzl, for one. “The wealthy Jews rule the world “ he wrote in the German newspaper Deutsche Zeitung “…they start wars between countries and when they wish, governments make peace. When the wealthy Jews sing, the nations and their leaders dance along and meanwhile the Jews get richer.”

Like many educated, secular German-speaking Jews, Herzl despised the mass of Eastern European Jews. The first solution to the ‘Jewish problem’ offered by the founding father of Zionism was a mass conversion to Catholicism in Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral.  The one language that was forbidden to be spoken in Herzl’s ideal Jewish state was Yiddish.

Contempt for Jewish life outside a Jewish state has been an enduring feature of Zionism. In his interview with the Guardian, Yehoshua described Jews in the diaspora, like Freedland, ‘partial’ Jews, not proper Jews. Ben Gurion, in a conversation with Isaac Deutscher, echoed Stalin when he said, ‘They have no roots. They are rootless cosmopolitans. There can be nothing worse than that.’ It is no secret that the poorest, most marginalised Jews living in Israel are Holocaust survivors. Interviewed on Channel Four’s Unreported World, one survivor was asked why he thought they were treated so badly. ‘Shame,’ he replied. ‘They are ashamed of us.’

It seems to me that Zionism doesn’t like Jews much, which is why it wants to turn them all into Israelis. ‘In the Zionist school in Palestine,’ writes Uri Avnery, ex-Irgun, now peace activist and blogger, ‘we were taught that the essence of Zionism is the negation of the Diaspora (called Exile in Hebrew). Not just the physical negation but the mental, too. Not only the demand that every single Jew come to the land of Israel but also the total repudiation of all forms of Jewish life in exile: their culture and their language, Yiddish.’

So is Zionism antisemitic?

Leon Rosselson, Singer/songwriter, children’s author.

 

Israel and White Supremacy

the racial oppression of the Palestinian people is at the heart of the matter; all other things–land laws, religion, pass laws, racially designated roads and neighborhoods, etc.–are symptoms. This should not come as any surprise: the racial definition of the Zionist project existed from the very beginning. Theodor Herzel in his 1896 pamphlet “The Jewish State” wrote it would “form a part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism.” This is the same Herzel who stated that Zionist colonization would be “representatives of Western civilization,” bringing “cleanliness, order and the well-established customs of the Occident to this plague-ridden, blighted corner of the Orient.” Recall Chomsky memorably quoting Chaim Weizmann, first president of Israel, as saying of Palestine, “there are several hundred thousand negroes there but that this matter has no significance.”

jerusalem woman attacked...Much ink has been spilled bemoaning the Zionist lobby in the United States. The success of this lobby in the Washington and media establishment, in terms of its limited objectives, is no doubt spectacular. However, it is a strange success, which has made strange bedfellows when considering the history of anti-Jewish racism in the U.S. After all, how could such a lobby hold sway over the Christian Right, Waspish conservative think tanks and a Congress filled with southern gentlemen?

...Zionist Apartheid is seen as an old fashioned war on people of color and, as such is perfectly attuned to the historical psyche of white America. Rather than trying to “liberate” American foreign policy from Zionist influence, I think it would be much more fruitful to ask why Americans, particularly the political, business class, and certain sectors of the white middle class, love Israel so much.

...Micah Bazant has spoken of “the Jewish establishment” giving “tremendous lip-service to the concern of Jewish assimilation” but instead contributes “to assimilation of the worst kind.” He explains, “they claim to value real Jewish traditions of social justice and tikkun olam, but in fact they have sold out and assimilated to U.S. values of capitalism, racism and imperialism.”

Zionism developed in a time of reinvigorated white supremacy in the latter part of the nineteenth century when European states were busily dividing up the land of Africa and Asia. In the confrontation with the indigenous people of Palestine, its ideology belongs within the history of European racial theories and, like the Afrikaner ideology of Jan Smuts, has little problem with seeing itself in the forefront of democracy and civilization in the Middle East while at the same time implementing and justifying the complete and utter subjugation of...people.

However, to understand Israel/Palestine as defined systematically by racial oppression has yet to be elaborated on its own. This is odd, given that the racial oppression of the Palestinian people is at the heart of the matter; all other things–land laws, religion, pass laws, racially designated roads and neighborhoods, etc.–are symptoms. This should not come as any surprise: the racial definition of the Zionist project existed from the very beginning. Theodor Herzel in his 1896 pamphlet “The Jewish State” wrote it would “form a part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism.” This is the same Herzel who stated that Zionist colonization would be “representatives of Western civilization,” bringing “cleanliness, order and the well-established customs of the Occident to this plague-ridden, blighted corner of the Orient.” Recall Chomsky memorably quoting Chaim Weizmann, first president of Israel, as saying of Palestine, “there are several hundred thousand negroes there but that this matter has no significance.”

...That Israel should be in the vanguard of whiteness is actually a credit to the more than five decade old Palestinian struggle. The Palestinian struggle is on the fault-line of freedom and oppression and, as such, is in the forefront of the struggle against white supremacy and imperialism in the world today. Is it any wonder that the white supremacist imperialists holler the most when Palestine/Israel is brought up? It is exactly here that their “twisted contradiction” is most likely to be exposed. Apartheid Israel/Palestine is just another solution to the “problem of the color line.” It is a solution that did not begin in 1948 but some 400 years ago and is still with us very much today.

... the Zionist Apartheid project finds its force and appeal through its own conception of whiteness, not because Zionist organizations find better ways to get the ear of the white man. It is fully assimilated into this framework and all of its self-justification refers back to the matrix of white supremacy and empire. One cannot battle Zionism without battling white supremacy and the U.S. establishment–they are intimately linked. Seeking the ear of the establishment without speaking the truth about their racism underestimates their psychological and historical relationship with Apartheid. This means a solidarity built on an alliance with those who have been in the forefront of fighting white supremacy...

Extracts from peice by Aaron Michael Love
Counterpunch October 15 2002
He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The past few months have seen voices raised from within the media and Westminster establishment concerning the supposed culture of anti-semitism nurtured under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. This has reached a peak today with the suspension of former Labour Mayor of London Ken Livingston, from the party. But, what is anti-semitism and how does that relate to Zionism and the state of Israel? In this article, originally written for Italian newspaper Il Manifesto in 2004, Tariq Ali analyses the history of anti-semitism in light of the similar allegations of anti-semitism thrown towards critics of Israeli state policy in continental Europe twelve years ago. The same type of argument has now reached Britain.

tariq ali
1. Anti-semitism is a racist ideology directed against the Jews. It has old roots.

In his classic work, The Jewish Question, A Marxist Interpretation, that was published posthumously in France in 1946, the Belgian Marxist, Abram Leon, (active in the resistance during the Second World War, he was captured and executed by the Gestapo in 1944) invented the category of a ‘people-class’ for the role of the Jews who managed to preserve their linguistic, ethnic and religious characteristics through many centuries without becoming assimilated. This was not unique to the Jews, but could apply just as strongly to many ethnic minorities: diaspora Armenians, Copts, Chinese merchants in South East Asia, Muslims in China, etc. The defining characteristic common to these groups is that they became middlemen in a pre-capitalist world, resented alike by rich and poor.

Twentieth century anti-semitism, usually instigated from above by priests (Russia, Poland), politicians/intellectuals (Germany, France and, after 1938, Italy), big business (USA, Britain), played on the fears and insecurity of a deprived population. Hence August Bebel’s reference to anti-semitism as ‘the socialism of fools’. The roots of anti-semitism like other forms of racism are social, political, ideological and economic. The judeocide of the Second World War, carried out by the political-military-industrial complex of German imperialism, was one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century, but not the only one. The Belgian massacres in the Congo had led to between 10-12 million deaths before the First World War. The uniqueness of the judeocide was that it took place in Europe (the heart of Christian civilization) and was carried out systematically— by Germans, Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, French and Italians— as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Hence Hannah Arendt’s phrase, ‘the banality of evil.’ Since the end of the Second World War popular anti-Semitism of the old variety declined in Western Europe, restricted largely to remnants of fascist or neo-fascist organisations.

In Poland, a country where virtually all the Jews were killed, it remained strong, as it did in Hungary. In the Arab world there were well-integrated Jewish minorities in Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus. They did not suffer at the time of the European judeocide. Historically, Muslims and Jews have been much closer to each other than either to Christianity. Even after 1948 when tensions rose between the two communities throughout the Arab east it was Zionist provocations, such as the bombing of Jewish cafes in Baghdad that helped to drive Arab Jews out of their native countries into Israel.

Photo
2. Non-Jewish Zionism has an old pedigree and permeates European culture
.

It dates back to the birth of Christian fundamentalist sects of the 16th and 17th centuries who took the Old Testament literally. They included Oliver Cromwell and John Milton. Later, for other reasons, Rousseau, Locke and Pascal joined the Zionist bandwagon. And then for vile reasons the Third Reich, too, supported a Jewish homeland. The introduction to the Nuremburg Laws of 15 September 1935 state:

“If the Jews had a state of their own in which the bulk of the people were at home, the Jewish question could already be considered solved today, even for the Jews themselves. The ardent Zionists of all people have objected least to the basic ideas of the Nuremberg Laws, because they know that these laws are the only correct solution for the Jewish people.”
Many years later, Haim Cohen, a former judge of the Supreme Court of Israel stated:

“The bitter irony of fate decreed that the same biological and racist argument extended by the Nazis, and which inspired the inflammatory laws of Nuremberg, serve as the basis for the official definition of Jewishness in the bosom of the state of Israel” (quoted in Joseph Badi, Fundamental Laws of the State of Israel NY, 1960, P.156)

And Zionist leaders often negotiated with anti-semites to attain their objectives: Theodor Herzl talked openly with Von Plehve, the chief organiser of pogroms in Tsarist Russia; Jabotinsky collaborated with Petlura the Ukrainian hangman of the Jews; ‘revisionist’ Zionists were friendly with Mussolini and Pilsudski; the Haavara agreements between the Zionists organisations and the Third Reich agreed the evacuation of German-Jewish property.

Modern zionism is the ideology of secular Jewish nationalism. It has little to do with Judaism as a religion and many orthodox Jews to this day have remained hostile to Zionism, like the Hassidic sect which joined a Palestinian march in Washington in April 2002 carrying placards which said: “ZIONISM SUCKS” and “SHARON: PALESTINIAN BLOOD IS NOT WATER”. Zionism was born in the 19th Century as a direct response to the vicious anti-semitism that pervaded Austria. The first Jewish immigrants to Palestine arrived in 1882 and many of them were interested only in maintaining a cultural presence. There is no such thing as the ‘historical rights’ of Jews to Palestine. This grotesque myth (already in the 17th century, Baruch Spinoza referred to the old testament as ‘ a collection of fairy-tales’, denounced the prophets and was excommunicated by the Amsterdam synagogue as a result) ignores real history. Long before the Roman conquest of Judea in 70 AD, a large majority of the Jewish population lived outside Palestine. The native Jews were gradually assimilated into neighbouring groups such as the Phoenicians, Philistines, etc. Palestinians are, in most cases, descended from the old Hebrew tribes and genetic science has recently confirmed this, much to the annoyance of Zionists.

Israel was created in 1948 by the British Empire and sustained by its American successor. It was a European settler-state. Its early leaders proclaimed the myth of a ‘A Land without People for a People without Land’, thus denying the presence of the Palestinians. Four weeks ago the Zionist historian Benny Morris in a chilling interview with Haaretz (reprinted as a document in English in the New Left Review, Mar/Apr 2004)admitted the whole truth. 700,000 Palestinians had been driven out of their villages by the Zionist army in 1948. There were numerous incidents of rape, etc. He described it accurately as ‘ethnic cleansing’ not genocide and went on to defend ethnic cleansing if carried out by a superior civilization, comparing it to the killing of native Americans by the European settlers in North America. That too, for Morris, was justified. Anti-semites and Zionists shared one thing in common: the view that Jews were a special race that could not be integrated in European societies and needed its own large ghetto or homeland. The fact that this is false is proved by the realities of today. The majority of the world’s Jews do not live in Israel, but in Western Europe and North America.

3. Anti-Zionism was a struggle that began against the Zionist colonisation project and intellectuals of Jewish origin played an important part in this campaign and do so to this day inside Israel itself.

Most of my knowledge of Zionism and anti-Zionism comes from the writings and speeches of anti-Zionist jews: Akiva Orr, Moshe Machover,Haim Hanegbi, Isaac Deutscher, Ygael Gluckstein (Tony Cliff), Ernest Mandel, Maxime Rodinson, Nathan Weinstock, to name but a few. They argued that Zionism and the structures of the Jewish state offered no real future to the Jewish people settled in Israel. All they offered was infinite war. After 1967, there was a revival of the Palestinian national movement and many different groups arose, most of whom were careful to distinguish between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism. Nonetheless the role played by Israel undoubtedly fuelled popular anti-semitism in the Arab world. But these are not old roots and a sovereign Palestinian homeland or a democrat single state would soon bring this to an end. Historically, there have been very few clashes between Jews and Muslims in the Arab Empires.

4. The campaign against the supposed new ‘anti-semitism’ in Europe today is basicly a cynical ploy on the part of the Israeli Government to seal off the Zionist state from any criticism of its regular and consistent brutality against the Palestinians.

The daily hits carried out by the IDF have wrecked the towns and villages of Palestine, killed thousands of civilians (especially children) and European citizens are aware of this fact. Criticism of Israel can not and should not be equated with anti-semitism. The fact is that Israel is not a weak, defenceless state. It is the strongest state in the region. It possesses real, not imaginary, weapons of mass destruction. It possesses more tanks and bomber jets and pilots than the rest of the Arab world put together. To say that the Zionist state is threatened by any Arab country is pure demagogy. It is Israel that creates the conditions, which produce suicide bombers. Even a few staunch Zionists are beginning to realise that this is a fact.. That is why we know that as long as Palestine remains oppressed there will be no peace in the region.

5. The daily suffering of the Palestinians does not excite the liberal conscience of Europe, guilt-ridden (and for good reason) by its past inability to defend the Jews of central Europe against extinction. But the judeocide should not be used as a cover to commit crimes against the Palestinian people. European and American voices should be heard loud and clear on this question. To be intimidated by Zionist blackmail is to become an accomplice of war-crimes.

Originally published in il manifesto. 26 Febbraio 2004.
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The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not unique -- whatever the news media may suggest. Lorenzo Veracini argues that the conflict is best understood in terms of colonialism. Like many other societies, Israel is a settler society. Looking in detail at the evolution of other colonial regimes -- apartheid South Africa, French Algeria and Australia -- Veracini presents a thoughtful interpretation of the dynamics of colonialism, offering a clear framework within which to understand the middle east crisis.

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