8 Jun 2008

Today there is more dissent within Jewish communities over Israel/Zionism than at any time since Israel was created

I thought I would paste up this comment, I think it provides an intelligent response, I am definately concerned that opposition to the excess of Israel in Gaza is being attacked as anti-semitism as a way of bulldozing opinions just like houses of Palestinians are bulldozed...in turn anti-semitism has not gone away and mad racist conspiracy theories led to the holocaust and need to be resisted.

There is no contradiction between defending Palestine and challenging anti-semitism. I certainly think that Islamphobia is a bigger problem than anti-semitism in the UK but any form of racism is poison and anti-semitism has deep roots and has led to millions of deaths.

Of course there are plenty of Jewish socialist, anarchists, greens and others who are highly critical of Zionism and plenty of powerful nasty people of all ethnicities who want to arm Israel to the teeth so they can keep killing...Obama, McCain and Clinton come to mind. I guess there is no way other than employing a libel lawyer to stop some people shouting out anti-semite when I pass such opinions.

Any way keep the comments flowing (although please don't actually lie about me) and have a look at James' blog if you want to send some books to Palestine...

There are some misconceptions in the responses.
Isaac Deutscher did not become a Zionist after the Holocaust though he described himself as a "friend of the Israeli people" and his post-war opposition to Zionism as "more in sorrow than anger".

Few Bundists survived the Nazi genocide but small Bund groups re-formed in the countries they ended up in as refugees including Palestine/Israel. The first Bund conferences after the Holocaust - in Belgium in 1947 and the USA in 48 re-affirmed the Bund's historical opposition to Zionism, and rejected the idea of partitioning Palestine. They favoured a bi-national solution.

Those who have posted comments suggesting that antisemitism is insignificant or non-existent in Britain today are quite mistaken and do not help either the anti-racist movement or those opposing Zionism.

While other groups bear the brunt of direct discrimination, antisemitic incidents are nevertheless running at a serious level both here and in a number of other countries in Western and Eastern Europe. And despite the opportunism of far right groups like the BNP now pretending that they admire Israel, antisemitism remains at the heart of their worldview.

Zionists are past masters at exploiting the presence of antisemitism for their ends but if progressives don't acknowledge antisemitism and act against it - it leaves the field open for the Zionists.

Today there is more dissent within Jewish communities over Israel/Zionism than at any time since Israel was created. We should be challenging zionist racism and oppression of the Palestinians at the same time as, and not instead of, challenging antisemitism.


Anonymous said...

derek i would be very happy to see you and your expensive 'libel lawyer' in a capitalist court! If you think postings - such as a recent one you posted on the SU blog that claims american foreign policy is controlled by america's jews - isn't anti-semitic then i'd like to know what is?

Do not delude yourself that you can cow people with legal threats!

Leigh Richards

Derek Wall said...


I would urge all readers to click on it to see
a) whether the Green Party US have made an anti-semitic statement
b) Leigh may be getting over excited,

it would be great if people didn't lie....however there seems to be a bit of tendency on some peoples parts to shout 'anti-semite' at all those critical of Isreal.

I think this is unhelpful

Anonymous said...

Leigh is always over-excited on the topic of Israel. Over on the Socialist Unity website his comments are widely regarded as wearisome and boring.

The fact that the slur of anti-Semitism is directed at you Derek shows how desperate the apologists for Israel are becoming.

Derek Wall said...

I suppose he could be part of a conspircy to discredit the supporters of Isreal's action in Gaza, his comments don't seem aimed at persuading any one.

Unfortunately his comments make it more difficult to challenge anti-semitism....

Anonymous said...

I think you may have hit on something there, Derek. Leigh and 'Greens Against the Boycott' are obviously designed to discredit Israel, with their wild accusations of anti-Semitism hurled against reputable individuals and organisations like the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and their exaggerated willingness to excuse all forms of Israeli repression and human rights abuses.

ModernityBlog said...

Just to clear up the ignorance of anti-Jewish racist attacks, taken from the CST 2007 report:

Executive Summary.

o 547 antisemitic incidents were recorded by CST in 2007. This is the second-highest annual total since CST began recording antisemitic incidents in 1984.

o The total of 547 incidents is an eight per cent fall from the 2006 total of 594 incidents. However, this fall is not large enough to alter the long-term trend of rising antisemitic incidents in Britain since the late 1990s.

o The fall in the number of incidents in 2007 is due to the absence of ‘trigger events’ that can cause temporary increases in incidents. In 2006 there was a significant trigger event, the war between Israel and Hizbollah in Lebanon, which led to a large rise in antisemitic incidents in the UK.

o There were 114 violent antisemitic assaults in 2007, the highest ever recorded by CST. This included one incident that was classified as Extreme Violence, meaning that the victim’s life was endangered. Violent assaults were the only category of incident to increase in 2007 and make up an increasing proportion of antisemitic incidents in the UK, from 13 per cent of the total in 2002, up to 21 per cent in 2007.

o Incidents of Damage and Desecration to Jewish property fell by 11 per cent, from 70 incidents in 2006 to 62 incidents in 2007.

o There were 328 incidents of Abusive Behaviour in 2007, a fall of ten per cent from the 365 incidents recorded in 2006. This category includes verbal abuse, hatemail and antisemitic graffiti on non-Jewish property.

o September was the joint fourth-highest monthly total on record. Of the 78 incidents recorded during the month, 35 took place on the festivals of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when there are relatively large numbers of visibly Jewish people on the streets, walking to and from synagogue.

o In 59 incidents the victims were Jewish students, academics or other student bodies. This is a 228 per cent rise from 2006, probably because of increased reporting by students to CST. Out of 59 incidents, 31 took place on campus and 28 off campus. Six incidents occurred in the direct context of student political campaigning.

o In 282 antisemitic incidents the victims were individual Jewish people in public places. In 189 of these, the victims were visibly identifiable as Jewish.

o Synagogues were the target in 67 incidents, and congregants on their way to or from prayer were the targets in 64 incidents.

o Jewish schools or schoolchildren were the targets in 47 incidents, of which 31 were against Jewish schoolchildren on their journeys to or from school. There were six cases of Jewish or pro-Israel websites being hacked and defaced. In all six cases, the hackers appeared to be Islamist extremists based outside the UK.

o The lack of trigger events from the Middle East in 2007 meant the number of antisemitic incidents that included anti-Zionist discourse fell from 106 in 2006 to 46 in 2007, while the number that included neo-Nazi discourse rose slightly, from 125 in 2006 to 127 in 2007.

o In addition to the 547 antisemitic incidents recorded by CST in 2007, a further 488 reports of potential incidents were received by CST, but not included in the total number of antisemitic incidents as there was no evidence of antisemitic motivation, targeting or content.

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