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Friday, 6 July 2012

Norman Finkelstein continues to spread disinformation about BDS

Finkelstein - divorced from the movement and motivated by arrogance and petulance 
From a brilliant critic of Zionism to a supporter of a Jewish State

I am crossposting this excellent article and analysis of Norman Finkelstein’s attack on BDS from the Jewsansfrontieres blog.  It is written by my friend and sparring partner, the Yogi Bear style Gabriel Ash.   The only thing I would want to add is that this hypocritical attack on Omar Barghouti for studying at Tel Aviv University (presumably Israeli Arabs and Palestinians should self-segregate!) not only mirrors Zionist attacks on him but that of anti-Semitic opponents of BDS.

I refer in particular to Gilad Atzmon, for whom BDS is ‘book burning’.  Palestinians are there to boost his ego not people to give solidarity too.  Atzmon doesn’t like upsetting his luvvie friends and the most notorious anti-Semite and anti-gay bigot on  his ‘deliberation’ site, Laura Stuart is happy to run with this particular Zionist canard
‘For the B.D.S. campaigners, there has been more humiliation this week when it transpires that Omar Barghouti, leader of the B.D.S. movement whilst calling his disciples to an academic boycott attends Tel Aviv university. Omar Barghouti is a founding member of  P.A.C.B.I.  who have released a statement saying that Palestinians have no other choice than to sometimes study in Tel Aviv, however, Mr Barghouti gained his first degree in Electrical Engineering in Colombia University, so presumably could have studied in the United States or indeed in Egypt where he grew up.’
Laura Stuart isn’t only stupid (seriously so ) but also seriously ignorant.  She is also the most anti-Semitic member of Atzmon's coterie (and that's quite an accolade).  Her article was written in 2012.  As Gabriel points out this particular Zionist attack on BDS leader Barghouti occurred in 2009!  Slow witted or what?

Meanwhile Finkelstein continues in his attack on BDS to the delight of the Zionists.

Tony Greenstein

Finkelstein's Attack on BDS Continues

Norman Finkelstein continues to spread disinformation about BDS. In a new interview, by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Finkelstein repeated the accusation that "BDS is a cult," this time in a measured and composed way, not as an "outburst". Parenthetically, the interview itself, in its structure and the kind of questions asked and not asked, suggests that Finkelstein himself is fashioning his own persona as a cult leader. But let's get back to the specific accusation. Finkelstein claims that "[t]he movement is riddled with flagrant hypocrisy." He offers three examples:

a) a leader calls for the boycott of all Israeli universities while he himself studies at Tel Aviv University, (b) a leader claims that BDS doesn’t target individuals or an individual’s beliefs, only institutions, but he then calls for a ban on Daniel Barenboim, because Barenboim is a “Zionist,” c) BDS did not call for a ban on [the film] Five Broken Cameras although it was produced in conjunction with an official Israeli film society.

None of these three examples represent any shred of hypocrisy.


Finkelstein refers, strangely without mentioning the name, to Omar Barghouti, who is a citizen of Israel and a student at Tel Aviv University. One of the three demands of BDS is equality of Israel's citizens. BDS is not a call for segregation, and obviously opposes the variety of measures used by Israeli universities to make Palestinian students feel unwelcome at Israeli universities and to reduce their enrollment numbers. Access to higher education is a fundamental civil right. We are fighting, among other things, so that more Palestinians in 48 Palestine can go to universities and study without being harassed, isolated, silenced, etc. It would be plainly counter-productive for Palestinians to assist Israel in the denial of their rights by giving them up on their own initiative. Precisely because BDS is not a cult, but a movement organized on principles of rational strategy, that no such demand for students to boycott themselves exists.

Indeed, there is likewise no BDS call for Israeli Jewish students to avoid studying at Israeli universities. The BDS call against Israeli universities is a call for world institutions and academics, demanding that they sever institutional ties. Not only there are BDS adherents who are students at Israeli Universities, but there are some, like Koby Snitz and Anat Matar, who are professors there as well. To accuse students and professors of Israeli Universities of hypocrisy for supporting BDS is akin to demanding that workers picketing their employers must first quit their job in the name of "moral consistency." It is plain silly. Omar Barghouti is calling for other institution to boycott the university where he is a student on the basis of a certain demands. That is perfectly legitimate.

With this accusation Finkelstein is belatedly joining a smear campaign launched against Barghouti in 2009. At the time, PACBI issued a statement clarifying why this smear campaign was wrong on every count, noting that PACBI has never called upon Palestinian citizens of Israel and those who are compelled to carry Israeli identification documents, like Palestinian residents of occupied Jerusalem, to refrain from studying or teaching at those Israeli institutions. That would have been an absurd position, given the complete lack of alternatives available. Successive Israeli governments, committed to suppressing Palestinian national identity in their pursuit of maintaining Israel’s character as a racist state, have made every effort possible to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian university inside Israel. The only choice left to Palestinian students and academics in Israel, then, is to go to an Israeli university or leave their homeland to pursue their studies or academic careers abroad -- often not possible due to financial or other compelling reasons. In fact, the Israeli authorities have consistently worked to strip Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem of their Israeli ID cards and thus their residency rights while they study abroad, thereby prohibiting them from returning.(PACBI statement)

I find it hard to believe that Finkelstein is not aware of this statement, and either way, it is inexcusable that he ignores it.


In 2010, PACBI issued an opinion that Bareboim's WEDO orchestra was boycottable. This was a controversial question, because the case of WEDO and the role it plays politically is both marginal and complex, and there were conflicting views about it. The argument against WEDO, whether one agrees with it or not, was not about Barenboim's opinions, or indeed about Barenboim at all, given that WEDO is an institution in which people other than Barenboim hold decision making positions. It was a question of whether WEDO as an institution meets the criteria of the cultural boycott that have been laid down over a year earlier. PACBI's position was that it did:

Based on quotes from the Orchestra's own programmatic statements, PACBI concluded that WEDO's

...self-definition turns occupation and colonial oppression into a mere "problem" or “barrier” to be discussed between "traditional rivals" who hope to settle their "differences" and build "bridges" of understanding through music and dialogue to encourage "listening to one another" and to set "a good example of democracy and civilized living."

By promoting this false symmetry or balance between the "two sides," WEDO is indeed promoting normalization. The Divan refuses to even recognize, let alone oppose, Israel's ethnic cleansing, occupation and system of racial discrimination as the root causes of the Arab-Israeli colonial conflict, sanitizing the very real oppressive reality on the ground with benign terms that are intended to project symmetry between oppressor and oppressed and moral parity between colonizer and colonized. This conforms to the definition of normalization, a term used across the Arab World, especially in Palestine, to describe joint Arab-Israeli projects that ignore or bypass the reality of oppression altogether, and/or fail to contribute to the struggle to end it, hence presenting to the world a deceptive image of "civilized" coexistence despite Israel's patently uncivilized colonization and apartheid system (PACBI statement).

However one's personal tolerance for political views than one deems offensive, a question of temperament, it is an undisputable fact that the PACBI boycott guidelines, on which the case against WEDO was made, do not cite Zionism, or any other held belief, as a ground for boycott. While Finkelstein feigns not to be aware of that, anybody with an internet browser can verify it.

Finkelstein's claim that Barenboim was boycotted for his "Zionism" repeats without attribution Mariam Said's accusation against PACBI. In claiming that the issue was Barenboim's Zionism, Said paraphrased a PACBI statement to the Qatari government that is not available in electronic form. Therefore, I cannot say whether Said's paraphrase has substance. It doesn't bother Finkelstein to cite an unsubstantiated accusation, that PACBI subsequently denied, as if it were established fact. However, two more general points are worth making in that context.

First, even if Zionism isn't the criterion for boycott, the question of where institutional agents stand politically is certainly within the scope of a relevant analysis. For understanding better the political context in which this debate took place and Barenboim's opinion were cited, I recommend reading Raymond Deane's article about WEDO as an institution. However, if indeed the original statement was not as clear on the grounds for boycott as PACBI's subsequent clarification, the only conclusion one could draw from that legitimately would be one that every activist knows from experience. political positions, arguments and principles do not come down from heaven in a perfect state, but are constantly clarified and developed in the process of struggle itself. It is precisely because BDS is a political movement and not a cult that this is true of it.

Second, among all those who profess some kind of adherence to the BDS call there are, inevitably, different tendencies and interpretations. Part of the evolution of every political formation is a certain conflict within cooperation over those tendencies and interpretations. There are BDS supporters like Mariam Said and Virginia Tilley who want relaxation of certain anti-normalization criteria. There are others who want boycott of all Israelis based on nationality. The 2006 case of the boycotting of Juliano Mer Khamis by some activists raised a storm and was instrumental in building cohesion over the BDS attitude on Israeli artists. Mediating such conflicts creatively while building essential unity is part of the function of leadership, and the credibility of leadership is in large measure dependent of its ability to solve these contradictions in ways that are acknowledged by all parties as conducive for the movement's shared goals. Of course, this does not always involve compromise. Sometimes, it also involves taking a clear stand against misguided attempts that would derail these goals if they were to gain the upper hand.


The third accusation against PACBI, for failing to call for a boycott against the film Five Broken Cameras for being co-produced and co-directed with Israelis is the most bizarre. I haven't yet seen or studied the film, so what follows is preliminary. Obviously if an argument were advanced that a certain film should be boycotted, it would take some time to reach an informed decision, and Five Broken Cameras has barely been out. But on preliminary grounds, it seems quite obvious that the film is not boycottable for the exact same reason that WEDO is. The film is a work of resistance in itself, and a documentation of the resistance along the Apartheid Wall. Far from boycotting Israeli participation in Palestinian resistance, the BDS call "invite[s] conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace". The PACBI guidelines for cultural boycott specify this exception clearly:

All such events and projects that bring Palestinians and/or Arabs and Israelis together, unless the Israeli side is explicitly supportive of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and unless the project/event is framed within the explicit context of joint opposition to occupation and other forms of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, are strong candidates for boycott. (my emphasis)

Criticism can sometimes be harsh and uncompromising and yet valuable. Therefore, I wouldn't want to hold it against Finkelstein simply that he is very harsh. Yet I find it hard to belief that Finkelstein, who is known for reading everything and checking every un-dotted i and uncrossed t in what he reads, can be so egregiously unaware of the basic principles laid out by the people he criticizes. By this stage, I find it unavoidable to conclude that Finkelstein is engaged in a politically motivated campaign of disinformation aimed at destroying BDS, rather than any form of conscientious, informed criticism of it. Anyone who gives him a podium or interviews him without being prepared to challenge him when he is simply making stuff up is effectively helping such a disinformation campaign.


I picked on these accusations because they were the most malicious. There is a lot more in the interview that I disagree with, and I would like to briefly refer to two more points about BDS being "like a cult."

The movement functions in a cocoon world where the incantation of mantras – “BDS,” “One State” and “Israeli Apartheid” – has replaced a political analysis of what’s possible and likely to reach a broad public.

It would be indeed a problem if that were so. Yet this is no more than one biased outsider's impressionistic claim, backed with nothing. I'd rather be concrete with a counter example. BDS Switzerland, in which I am active, reached "a broad public" by two organized campaigns in the last year. In one, we got over 170 artists, including some of the most well known in the country, to join the cultural boycott on the basis of an explicit reference to the Right of Return. getting signatures was easier than expected and certainly does not back Finkelstein's claim that RoR is a non-starter with the public. In the second, we collected 12,000 signatures in front of supermarkets, calling the major chains to destock Israeli products. Our campaign pressured the largest local chain to begin labeling products as "produced in settlements." Although it was less than our full demand, it was an important achievement that raised and changed the tone of mainstream public debate. We constantly analyze the public arena in order to identify what is "politically possible." We never had a discussion of "one state," and we have no campaign advocating one state, regardless of our personal opinion regarding what is more or less desirable. While I won't vouch for the political maturity of every group that launches a BDS campaign, it is my personal impression that my experience of BDS is more widespread than Finkelstein's.III

The last point is more abstract, but worthy of discussion because it feels like it has some theoretical and experiential plausibility. Finkelstein claims that

Self-proclaimed leaders of the BDS movement claim to speak in the name of “Palestinian civil society” or “the Palestinian people,” although they have no basis to make such a claim. They then use this fraudulent claim as a club to silence any opposition to their diktat;

The reason this seems to be valid is because political representation is a fraught, contested, and constructed process, often misrepresented in the media as well as the political culture in general as a straightforward and objective relation. Thus, in liberal democracies, we have a number of institutions that function as "representations" of the populace, primarily through elections. By this stage in history, many people are keenly aware of how problematic the representative claims of even legally organized representative functions such as parliaments, elected presidents, councils, etc. are. Yet it is hard to deny that officially elected "representatives," however compromised, do carry a certain level of legitimacy that their draw from "representing" a people, faction, district, etc., through institutionalized elections. Thus one the one hand, it has become fashionable among some to reject any representational claim and insist that people only "speak for themselves." On the other hand, the legitimacy of liberal democratic representation is often contrasted in the public discourse with the lack of legitimacy of radical challenges to the political system, protesters, occupations of public spaces, revolts, strikes, etc., who are not backed by elections. Together, these two widely shared ideas contribute to weigh against any form of effective popular resistance to power.

It is both this liberal institutional discourse, which is crumbling around us, and the individualistic, existential riposte, that Finkelstein invokes implicitly when he denies the BDS organizers in Palestine the right to speak in the name of the "Palestinian people." In contrast, I would suggest an alternative conception of representation. To be active politically, that is, to make an intervention in the public realm regarding a collective choice, is inherently to claim representative status of the concerned public, either directly, or through a proxy reference (X is representative and I support X). Arguments about political claims are inherently invalid unless they represent a public as a collection of people with certain concerns that unite them behind that claim. Thus, it would be both impossible and inadmissible for anyone to make a political argument about Palestine without such an argument citing some representational power. Indeed, Finkelstein himself cites representational power when he defends his views as both widely supported by Palestinians and objectively in their interests.

The status of a political function as representative is always contested . For the same reason that a political claim cannot be effective without representing a "people", the best counter claim against one is often the demolition of its claim to represent. An essential part therefore of making political claims is establishing representational power in practice. For popular challenges, such actions involve organizing people in a way that affirms the representational power of certain claims. Thus, for example, calling a strike builds representational power to the extent that people actually strike. In Switzerland, the act of collecting 12,000 signatures buttressed our claim that de-shelving Israeli products is not the personal affectation of a few activists but a broadly shared public request that our petition legitimately represented. Elections are a mechanism construed for institutionalizing such representative claims. However, far from guaranteeing representation, liberal elections invariably create conditions in which representational claims can be advanced fraudulently more easily. BDS is not a party vying for elections, and the leadership of the BDS movement does not claim to represent Palestinians in a governing function. This, however, especially in the context of the failure of liberal democracy more broadly worldwide, cannot suffice to deny the claim of representation unless one accepts either that representation is impossible or that governing through elections are the sine qua non of political legitimacy.

It seems to me that the representational claims of BDS are essentially twofold, that the three demands of the BDS call represent the historical demands of the Palestinian people and are widely supported by Palestinians, and that the strategy of boycott, including an anti-normalization stance, is widely popular and widely perceived as appropriate. The test of these claims is not whether PACBI was elected or not or about how many Palestinians are hypothetically willing, as Finkelstein believes, to give up the right of return. The test is in actual organizing in which support for these representational claims is established or contested in practice.

The 2005 BDS call, signed by over 170 organizations, including both Fatah and Hamas, is an example of a successful political organization that established precisely the claims of BDS to be representative of the Palestinian people. The success in organizing the cultural boycott, including the success in denying boycott breakers platforms in Ramallah and other places in the Occupies Territories, even and indeed precisely because such actions require mobilizing people and building popular and public pressure on the undecided, are further proof of BDS's legitimate representational claims. The absence of any Palestinian political force that calls for the renunciation of the Right of Return and the abandonment of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, as Finkelstein advocates, further buttresses the claim that the three BDS demands are indeed elements of national Palestinian consensus. It does not follow that there are no debates and disagreements. Debates about both goals and strategies have not ended, and the Boycott National Committee does not have the authority to settle these debates by declarative fiat. There are, for example, those who want a more relaxed boycott, and those, like Sari Nusseibeh, who are willing to give up the Right of Return. The question in such cases is not whether BDS is officially representing the Palestinian people, but which of the different positions has a better representational claim. This is, of course, a question to be decided by Palestinians themselves through political means, not by solidarity activists and outside intellectuals. Finkestein's argument is fallacious when he deduces from the contested nature of representation and the non elected position of the BDS leadership that the set of imposed demands and principles they advocate does not represent the Palestinian people. It does precisely to the extent that Palestinians have effectively and with wide consensus organized around them.

This is not to say that the status of Palestinian leadership is resolved. There seems to be a widely shared sense of the need to rebuild institutions in order to restore the level of cohesion and authority that was lost with the demise of the PLO through the Oslo process. In no way does the recognition of the need for better representational institutions justify the kind of blank dismissal advocated by Finkelstein. What Finkelstein advocates in practice is nothing other than undercutting and declawing of one of the most effective forms of Palestinian organizing within the scope of the Palestine liberation struggle in recent years. No conscientious person should allow herself to be seduced by that.


Erwin said...

that's the fact, the world understand today,after the wave of Anti Israeli spew, that its all bull.
you will be the only one left with your dramas......

Richard said...

I guess you will love it
On Thursday, the largest Presbyterian group in the United States rejected a proposal to divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions......
you and your BDS are sinking.
Do the Corries or the rest of the BDS crowd have a problem with their beloved Palestinian Arabs buying equipment that they claim crushed the life out of her body? No, of course not! It doesn’t support their anti-Israel narrative, so they ignore it.

They support protests against Caterpillar in the US but won’t say a word about Caterpillar sales to Arab countries. Because they are hypocrites, who only care about demonizing Israel and not at all about Caterpillar.

You are doomed, your days are over.

Tony Greenstein said...

Why are Zionists like Erwin so incoherent. As for Richard. Obviously I'd have liked the vote to have been won but to come within 2 votes of winning one of the US's major churches shows which way the wind is blowing and it's not in your racist direction.

As you say you are doomed.

Rachel Corrie was killed by you murdering Zionists or have u forgotten. Yeah there is an 'anti-Israel narrative' I'm sure, just as there is an anti-Nazi narrative?

We are opposed to Caterpillah period, wherever they operate

Richard said...

You may be against Caterpillar, but The company that sold the equipment is proud of its Palestinian and Caterpillar
Palestinian Tractor is a truly Palestinian enterprise and is set to play a leading role in the country’s economic and industrial development, as well as training and development to its Palestinian staff.

So the Palestinians are proud to use Caterpillar......
But you who think are better then them, can sit down and close your you fight for whom...... the Palestinians, for sure not !

Tony Greenstein said...

Under the Israeli and US Quisling Abbas and his PA anything is possible. Most Palestinians understand that the quisling regime in Ramallah is part of the problem not the situation and their dealings with Caterpillah merely confirm that.

Richard said...

Read some documents...... the sales of Caterpillar to the Palestinians is an ONGOING process for the last 50 years......
Everyone is a quisling for you.....
Arafat too, as I mentioned you know what's better for the Palestinians, as usual.

Anonymous said...

at last the penny has dropped for finkl--he has come home to Israel......but
greenstein can stay in the wilderness to his last gasp for all the world cares

Tony Greenstein said...

Well I certainly know that Caterpillah is top of the Boycott list, given their armoured bulldozers carry out the demolition of Arab villages and houses that Anon & Richard don't give a toss about.

I think most Palestinians would agree that Palestinians ordering from them or trading with them are quislings.

As for Anon's observation about Norman Finkelstein, I couldn't possibly comment!

Richard said...

So for you All the Palestinians in the last 50 years are quislings.
..... Caterpillar dealership is in Gaza, so Haniya is a quisling too.
you know better what's good for the Palestinians.
Do you think they are stupid.... if they deal with Caterpillar, they know what's good for them.
Your BDS is good maybe for the "LEFTY" impotents in the UK, but it has nothing to do with what the Palestinians realy do.

You are completley disconected with reality.

Tony Greenstein said...

I know that Caterpillah is no. 1 on the PACBI boycott list and that is good enough for me. Yes there are many Palestinian quislings just as there were many Jewish collaborators, nearly all of whom of course were Zionists during Hitler's time.

Because Zionism is a quisling movement which always accepted Jews did not belong in 'non-Jewish' society

David Perez said...

Trying to force Israel to grant a right of return to Palestinian refugees is tantamount to requiring Spain to give a right of return to the descendents of the Arabs who were expelled from the country during the Christian Reconquista, which would ultimately turn Spain into an Arab country.
Is there anyone who is fool enough to make that kind of demand?
Of course not... except when it comes to Israel.
BDS is really a cult and outside the pro- Ahmadinejad extreme-left, no one supports the destruction of Israel.

Tony Greenstein said...

Unfortunately you spoil what might have been a passable, albeit threadbare argument, by engaging in the usual mindless chanting of the US & Zionist Right. I know of no one on the 'extreme left' i.e. not pro-capitalist, who supports Ahmedinajad. We supported the opposition but of course threats of war by Israel/US cement Ahmedinajad's base since in time of war nationalism destroys internal opposition movements or weakens them.

I notice you repeat NF's 'cult' argument without any explanation. I'm sure he's happy for you.

Spain expelled the Moors and Arabs who, unsurprisingly, came from Arabia. That what took their place was the normal Christian 'civilisation' of Torquemada and the Inquisition probably appeals to a Zionist like you but I'm not aware that any Arab today demands the 'right of return' to Spain. Palestinian refugees do demand such a right and it is only those who support the racist nature of the Jewish State of Israel who oppose it.

If Israel will be destroyed by being made to be a non-racist country then what does that say for its present structure? I want to see Zionism destroyed, the state, not the people who live within it.

Of course fascists like you David conflate people and the state.

David Perez said...

Really, the extreme-left does not support Islamists? Unfortunately, there is definitely an objective alliance between them (think of Carlos the Jackal, Hugo Chavez who is literally in love with Ahmadinejad, Judith Butler the ''feminist'' who cheered Hezbollah and Hamas...)

As for the return of the descendents of the Moors in Spain, you said that there is no reason to evoke this possibility since they don't ask for it. But what if they decide tomorrow to change their mind, the same way as pro-Palestinians decided to abandon the two state solution in 2005? Would that mean that Spain will have to become an Arab country?

By the way, Zionism is nothing but the Jewish national movement.
Why would the Jewish people be the only people on earth which does not have the right to have its own national movement and a state in which they wont be a minority? Because Israel dispossessed the Palestinians?
Well, French Canadians have a quite strong nationalist movement and yet they dispossessed the native population of Quebec.
Does that mean that Quebeckers have no right to self-determination?
Once again, your arguments are very weak.

By the way, thanks for calling me a fascist. I guess its just another catchword you use against all those who disagree with you.
Me too, I used to be an extreme-left militant in my youth, but I couln't stand being associated with anti-Western thugs who used these accusations against all those who did not belong to their sect and who felt that 9/11 was a good blow to ''imperialism''.
I'm sure you were one of them!

Tony Greenstein said...

You assume wrongly. 9/11 was perpetrated by those the US had created in its was against the Soviet Union.

The Jews are and always were people who followed a religion - there is no more a Catholic or indeed Islamic nation than a Jewish one. Since they are not a people they are not entitled to a state. Zionism claimed, as did the anti-Semites, that the Jews were a separate people and that they were a 'national' movement. But one shouldn't take anti-Semites or Zionists at their word.

Nope. I don't believe in Quebec self-determination. French Canadians were colonists, not a people.

Well the Jews are a majority in Israel and with its Zionist obsession of a Jewish majority they have the most racist state on Earth, perpetually at war, with Emergency Defence Regulations inherited from the British - which they called Nazi-like at the time - and an obsessive need to have some enemy or another.

As for the extreme-left supporting Islamists. Your examples are nothing of the sort. Carlos was not, from what little I know of him, in league with Islamic fundamentalists. He hijacked the Saudis and others at an OPEC conference.

The alliance of Chavez (who is not so much extreme left as an anti-imperialist nationalist who rejects US domination) with Ahmedinajad is one born of realpolitik. Just as the alliance of the secular Ba'athists in Syria and Iran is not an ideological one.

Sorry if you find it difficult to move from beyond your rhetoric.

Politics is based on what is, not what if. Maybe the Moors will demand to go to the moon - who knows - because there is a much chance of that as returning to colonise Spain. However I don't wish to disturb your fantasies.

I was always against 2 states because it left Zionism and its bastard child, Israel, untouched. The core of the settler-colonial project was not touched without which the same racism would re-emerge.

In fact Israel could not stomach an independent Palestinian state alongside, it would have challenged Zionist patrimony. Not only did it not happen but settlements thickened and the settlements became irreversible. That is why 2 States was abandoned. It had long fallen into disrepair, other than as a convenient fall-back for racist Labour Zionists who wanted separation, or rather a pretext for denying the Palestinians, the majority in Mandate Palestine, an equal say and vote.

Hence Israel in practice is no different from South Africa in that it denies any democratic rights to the majority.

But you can continue to witter your fantasies and what-ifs. But Israel's days are numbered and the numbers don't stack up for the world's only genuine apartheid state and ethnocracy.

C. Bendavid said...

Part 1
Really, Quebeckers have no right to self-determination because their ancestors were colonists? So every people whose ancesters dispossessed a native population has no right to self-determination? I don't think a lot of people would agree with that, and with this claim, you are just proving Finkelstein was right to call the BDS movement a cult.

As for the Jews, they are a people by the time they call themselves a people. Unless you rely on Stalin's definition of a people, there is no objective definition of what a people is.
Trying to disqualify a community from nationhood, only because she does not meet the traditional definition of a people, is very dangerous. Remember Golda Meir who denied the existence of the Palestinian people. You are doing exactly the same thing with the Jews.
As for those who say that a nationality cannot be based upon a religious identity, they are wrong. The Jews are not the only religious community in the world which evolved into a nation. The Serbs, the Croats, the Bosnians, the Pakistanis and the Druze did exactly the same thing.
A nationality created out of a religious identity has nothing to do with a theocracy.
Ernest Gellner, a renowned scholar of nationalism said that a Bosnian is a Serbo-Croat muslim who lost faith. When a religious community loses faith, it is not rare that she transforms her identity in order to adapt it to modernity.
And guess what? Even Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the father of modern nationhood invited the Jewish people to restore its sovereignty and to join the family of nations.

As for the settlements, they do not make the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 impossible. It's a strawman that can be easily debunked.
First of all, nothing prevents Jewish settlers to become citizens of a Palestinian state. The Palestinian authority already offered them several times to become Palestinian citizens (although Abbas said once that no Jew would be allowed to stay in a Palestinian state). Some of them, like Rabbi Foreman, have already expressed willingness to become Palestinian citizens.
Second, 80% of the settlers live in the settlement blocs which encompass around 5-6% of the West Bank. It would be very easy to proceed to a land swap in order to allow Israel annex some of these settlements without penalizing the Palestinians (Arafat agreed to this solution).

(Part 2 on the next post)

David Perez said...

Part 2

Finally, the idea that Zionists are racist because they want Jews to remain a majority in Israel is foolish. The purpose of every national movement is to turn a minority into a majority. Why do you think the Irish people, Quebeckers, Scots, Algerians, Kurds, Chechens and many other peoples have fought for their independence? For fun?!

Finally, when you say that Israel is the ''most'' racist state on earth you are not only wrong, you are hysterical. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the position of head of state is not reserved to a particular community.
Israel is also the only country in the Middle East where minorities benefit from affirmative action programs(more than 10% of the new jobs in the public sector are reserved to the Arab community and the Haifa University has a policy of recruiting at least 20% of Arab students).
In 2010, Arab municipalities were allocated more public funds than Jewish localities and even Jabotinsky, the historic leader of the Israeli right wanted the seat of Deputy Prime minister to be reserved to an Arab whenever a Jew would be appointed Prime minister and vice-versa. It means that he did not only want to reserve the position of Deputy Prime minister to an Arab, he also envisioned the possibility of having an Arab Prime minister. Haim Weizmann also predicted that one day, an Arab would be elected Prime minister. Not bad for the most racist country on earth!
Of course, Israel never appointed an Arab as President, Prime minister or even deputy Prime minister, but remember that there is a conflict in this region which has not ended yet. This is why Arabs are discriminated against in Israel just as we were discriminated against in the Arab world. Even Morocco which has always been the most tolerant Arab country towards minorities became quite unfriendly to us after the Six Day War. Thus, Israel's treatment of its Arab minority is not acceptable, it is even shameful, but calling Israel ''the most'' racist country on the sface of the earth is totally exaggerated. Israel's treatment of its Arab minority is actually quite similar to the treatment of the Catholic minority of Northern Ireland until 1980's.
It may not be acceptable, but its always better than Sudan, Sri Lanka or even Turkey.

And please, answer my question. What would you do if the descendants of the Moors demand a right of return in Spain. Politics is not just based on facts and contingent situations. It is also based on theory, procedural justice and universal justice (especially for people on the left).
If you can't answer, is because you have no clue.
And if you have no clue, is because your premiss is wrong.

It is quite strange that you oppose the self-determination right of Quebec. In the 1970's, the FLQ was trained by the IRA and the PLO because they fought ''Anglo-Canadian oppression'', heir of British imperialism in Quebec.
By the way, Europeans are not the only ones who have colonized. The Arabs have dispossessed the Berbers in North Africa. Does it mean that the Berbers are the only ones who deserve a right to self-determination?
Once again, you're totally inconsistent.

Tony Greenstein said...

If the Moors, whoever they are, wish to return to Spain that is fine by me. It was the gold age of civilisation in Spain, not least for the Jewish community.

The inhabitants of Quebec don't demand national self-determination so it's another red herring.

Zionism was different from the genuine national movements of Irish people, Kurds etc. They were European settlers. Their country wasn't invaded by colonists who deprived them of control. They were the invaders who came in under the protection of British bayonets.

As Lord Melchett said:

'The British High Commissioner's Garden Party in Jerusalem The advantages to the British Empire are obvious. The Suez Canal and air stations, the oil-pipe outlet in Haifa and its harbor, have become vital to our naval strategy in the Mediterranean. The security of the imperial complex of interests can be better assured by a large European population (Zionists) than by the few battalions that can be spared.'

Zionist strategy was always to work with British imperialism to protect them against the Arab majority until they could build up their forces. They are as much a national movement as the Afrikaaners. Settlers aren't a national movement. The majority of world Jewry always opposed Zionism and today Zionism has moved world Jewry to the right. But today Jews aren't oppressed and aren't a nation either. Zionism is a nationalist movement just as the Nazis, the Iron Guard, the Hlinka Party, the Nyilas were.

Your figures on Arab local authorities are junk. When 60% of Israeli youth want to remove democratic rights from Israeli Arabs and 75% of Jewish Israelis don't want Arabs as next door neighbours or as visitors in their home, don't tell me it isn't the most racist of countries. The confessionalist structure of many Arab states, (most don't have any confessional limitations on who is President) are a consequence as in Lebanon of imperialist imposition.

Please try and learn something and don't spout this nonsense. Israel is a gendarme of imperialism. Hence why it receives more US aid than any other country. Its mission is to divide and rule and it looks on Syria and Lebanon and sees how it can divide them.

As for Weizmann's and Jabotinsky's utterances, they were rhetoric. Today the debate is about transfer, as you well know, not about whether an Arab becomes the next Prime Minister. Look at the reaction of Yisrael Beteinu MK Esterina Tartman when Amier Peretz appointed the first Muslim Minister in Israel.

Or the mobs that chant 'death to the Arabs' or the recent near lynching of 3 Arabs in Jerusalem. Face it. Israel is an ugly state getting uglier.

Tony Greenstein said...

To Ben David

I don't agree with this subjectivism and moral relativism. Just because a group calls itself a people doesn't mean it is a people or nation. Abram Leon got it right when he called the Jews a people-class. They had elements of both, certainly in medieval times but capitalism destroyed their socio-economic role.

I don't accept that Pakistanis are a separate nation. It is precisely that acceptance, an acceptance of partition, which leads to an acceptance of the status quo at the moment. Pakistan was a bastard child of British imperialism. Parition does not a nation create, be it in Palestine or India.

How can oppressors, and the Quebeckers were oppressors, be a nation. It is absurd. National self-determination means nothing more than the right to be free of national oppression. Who is oppressing the Israeli Jews, the Quebecois, the Afrikaaner etc?

Saying it proves Finkelstein right to call BDS a cult is a non-sequiter.

Stalin's definition of a people made some sense. You have to have a contiguous national territory, a common economy, language and of course the political conditions such as a national movement. The Jews of Eastern Europe under the Bund did constitute a national minority of sorts, hence why they rejected Zionism.

Golda Meir's denial of the existence of the Palestinian people was the reaction of a colonist. My rejection of the idea that Jews are a nation has nothing in common with that. I'm British not a Jewish national.

In so far as I know anything about the Bosnians they were a mixture of religions, not just Muslims. The Druze are not a nation either.

I accept that religious identity should not be conflated with a theocracy. In particular the use of religion as a means of justifying oppression of those with the same religion is not akin to Israel where Judaism is used to legitimise the oppression of others who are not Jewish.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau may well have invited the Jewish people to restore its sovereignty and to join the family of nations but that only shows how misguided he was, since it never had any sovereignty to begin with.

I'm afraid the settlements do indeed make the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 impossible. the idea of them peaceably accepting a Palestinian state is a product of the same wishful thinking which leads Finkelstein to put his ego above that of the needs of the Palestinians. The settlements are the representative of the most avaricious aspects of Zionism today - the desire to ethnically cleanse Palestine. To pretend they can live side by side with the Palestinian peasant is a pipe dream, a piece of nonsense on paper that belies reality.

As you say, the Palestinian authority has already offered them several times to become Palestinian citizens. they are there to conquer not to come to terms with the indigenous population. A few settlers like Rabbi Foreman may have expressed willingness to become Palestinian citizens but one swallow does not make a summer.

I've just reviewed a book espousing similar nonsense, Yehouda Shenhav's 'Beyond the Two State Solution'. who also makes the same nonsensical points.

It is irrelevant if 80% of the settlers live in the settlement blocs of around 5-6% of the West Bank. They are there to enjoy the other 90% and the idea that they will confine themselves to that 6% is absurd. Labour Zionism long mapped out the annexation in all but name of the West Bank. These are pipedreams led by the pied piper himself, Norman Finkelstein. They have no basis in reality.

David Perez said...

First of all, it would be good if you could publish the first part of my post. You may disagree with it, but there is enough room on your blog for a dissenting voice (although I have to recognize that you never tried to censor me, which is quite rare on a blog)!

Second, you should read the constitutions of Arab countries before saying that non-muslims can be elected president.

Third, you seem to be saying that Arabs have a right of return in Spain. No problem, but we both know that it's not realistic.
And if the rest of the world knew that it's just a matter of time before you guys call for Spain to become an Arab country, (as soon as North African populations will ask for it) and extend the BDS campain to Spain if Spain refuses to become an Arab country, it would not take long before the BDS movement loses the little credibility it already has.

As for Quebec, you are wrong. 49.4% of Quebeckers voted for secession in 1995, and they have just elected a nationalist government a few weeks ago. By the way, Scottish nationalists have always referred to Quebec nationalists as a source of inspiration and Irish republicans have always actively supported the independence of Quebec (many French Canadians have Irish ancestry).

As for Israeli Jews, you say that they have no right to self-determination because their country was created by dispossessing a native population.
But as I said, most countries and most societies were created like that, including Spain and Quebec. You may refuse them the right to self-determination, but international law never said that former colonizers have no right to self-determination.
Self-determination is a natural right recognized to every people on earth. It is not reserved to those whose ancestors didn't engage in colonialism. If people knew that you don't recognize this right to the descendents of colonizers, BDS would attract no support.
By the way, Europeans are not the only ones to have colonized. I know it,s fashionable among neo-Trotskyists to believe that, but in North Africa, the Arabs were not natives, they were colonizers. We (Jewish and Muslim Berbers) are the true natives and none of us is fool enough to say that the Arabs have no right to self-determination (although they have always refused to grant Berbers cultural or political autonomy).

As for my ''junk'' here is the reference:

You will see that Arab local authorities were allocated 40% of the sums meant to enhance infrastructures even though they regroup only 20% of the population.
However, in that same article it says that the government has always hindered the natural expansion of Arab municipalities which undermined the economic opportunities of Arab cities.
You see, things are not cristal clear.
Yes, it is true that Israeli Arabs are discriminated against. And yes, it is also true most Israeli Jews despise Arabs. I can even tell you that this phenomenon reaches higher proportions among Oriental Jews (I can tell you about my own entouage).
However, you fail to mention that 70% of Turks are openly antisemitic, and more than 90% of Egyptians, Lebanese, Jordanians and other Arab populations are also antisemitic. Even Morocco which is known to be a tolerant country is quite antisemitic. In Morocco, Jews feel safe to walk along wearing a kippa only in very few protected neighborhoods. And without the king, we are doomed.
So please, don't tell me about Israeli racism. I have experienced Arab racism and I can tell you that it's much worse.
At least in Israel, leaders of the Arab community can openly support Hamas and Hezbollah. On the other hand, even in North Africa you cannot even be in favor of a 2 state solution without being insulted. So please, give a break.

David Perez said...

Part 2

By the way, did Catholics and Protestants like each other in Northern Ireland until the 1990's?
Do Turks and Kurds like each other today?
You know the answer.
So if you want racism to decline in Israel, you should give your support to liberal Zionists who are fighting the occupation of the Palestinian territories and who want to turn Israel into a just and tolerant society.
I'm always stunned to see that there are two antagonistic groups that celebrate the decline of the Peace camp in Israel, the irredentist right and radical anti-Zionists. Extremists on both sides are always objective allies.
Insteead of calling Israel an ugly place, you should take heed from Israeli Arabs. They are anti-Zionist but they recognize Israel as a colonial fact. They don't want to destroy Israel, they want to change it.

C. Bendavid said...

Ben David and Perez are the same person.
I'm using someone else's computer and his name (Perez) always comes automatically on the Name/URL space.

Tony Greenstein said...

As far as I'm aware David I've published everything you've sent but it may have been in the wrong order.
I certainly haven't censored you,. I only censor the (many) abusive posts I get.
The Arab countries constitutions, like much else, is a product of colonial occupation. Today they are for the most part regimes acting as the satraps of western capitalism. The Gulf regimes are an extension of the US oil industry. They have no real independence and are cut off from the peoples of Arabia.

No Arab 'racism' isn't much worse than Israel. Jews found refuge from Christian anti-Semitism in Spain in the Arab countries, e.g. Maimonedes, despite his appalling racism. I've found no racism amongst Arabs although there is a certain reflective racism like the Pan African Congress in South Africa.

In Israel supporting Hamas and Hezbollah for an Arab is a ticket to detention. Administrative detention is used even amongst Jewish dissidents never mind Arabs. You forget that 13 Arabs were killed on land day in 2000. The report from Electronic Intifada was thus:

'The significance of Land Day

In October 2000, Israeli police shot dead 13 Palestinian citizens of Israel, using live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets, during street demonstrations which took place in tens of Palestinian towns and villages in Israel. Hospitals and local clinics reported that about 1,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel were injured in clashes with Israeli police. Most of those slain and seriously injured were shot by the police with rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition in the upper body. The Israeli police also prevented ambulances from entering Palestinian towns in Israel, and attacked some ambulance drivers.

Israeli police arrested more than 400 Palestinian citizens of Israel during the clashes, both demonstrators and passersby. About 90 Palestinian citizens of Israel — adults and minors — have been indicted, and the courts, accepting the prosecutors’ recommendations, have ordered tens of these individuals detained without bail until the end of trial. By contrast, of 300 Jewish citizens arrested, only 10 have been indicted.'

Jewish demonstrators never meet with live ammunition. Jewish villages and towns are never 'unrecognised'. You cannot see the racism in Israeli society because you are a perpetrator. Instead u look to the reaction to that racism.

Zionism destroyed the Jewish communities in the Arab world and in Iraq its agents planted bombs in Jewish cafes and synagogues to simulate anti-Semitism. That is the real racism. Until Israel was formed Jews lived quite peaceably with Muslims and were considered part of the same society, albeit that colonialism by singling them out, as in Algeria, for special treatment had created some alienation.

Zionism was a disaster for Jews as well as Arabs.

Re local authorities, what you say is still junk. 'Poor Government Funding Allocations: Despite comprising nearly 20% of the country’s citizens, distribution of government monies to Arab-Palestinian localities are usually around 5%-10% of the total funding - or even lower - depending on the nature of the funding.' Heinrich Boll Stiftung

See also

Tony Greenstein said...

Or see the article on discrimination against Arab children and the apartheid education system in Israel DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PALESTINIAN ARAB CHILDREN IN THE ISRAELI EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

Or the host of new laws directed against Israel's Arab minority - from finding local authorities that commemorate the Nakba, to the Citizenship Law that bars Israeli Arabs living with a spouse in Israel from the Occupied Territories or the Admissions Committee Act that gets round the overt ban on non-Jews of the JNF and Israeli Lands Authority.

The racism and discrimination is legal but you turn a blind eye.

And since you cite Ha'aretz, then you can also read the article

'Study: Arabs may be poorer, but Jews get more welfare funds
According to Sikui Association, state spends 35% more on Jewish residents, even though Arabs are 3 times as poor.'

The article you cite from Ha'aretz is from a tame Arab from the Abraham fund, it cites promises of future investment and says it applies only to 1/3 of the Arab population. In other words the whole thing is speculative and partial.

As for Northern Ireland you tell me somewhere Protestants and Catholics don't like each other. The question is why not and the history of British colonialism and the Orange order might provide a clue. A Protestant State for a Protestant People as Lord Craigavon said.

Irish republicans also support the Palestinians, being an oppressed group whereas the Loyalists have always supported Zionism!

Sorry we don't agree.

Tony Greenstein said...

I've just posted ur comment on Ireland which seemed to get lost.

You say: 'did Catholics and Protestants like each other in Northern Ireland until the 1990's?
Do Turks and Kurds like each other today? You know the answer.'

Your whole political method and approach is wrong. It's not a question of individuals or groups 'liking' each other. It's a question of power and privilege - sheer naked racism and discrimination.

The Catholics of Ireland were trampled upon. There was a mini police state in Ulster for 60 years, apartheid in its own way. Gerrymandering of the voting system, the driving out of Catholics from the shipyards by pogroms and a refusal to hire them (just as there was with Jewish Labour in Palestine).

That was the cause of the rift between Protestant and Catholic, nothing about individual like. Jews and Arabs got on for thousands of years. The oldest Jewish community in the world was in Iraq, over two and a half thousand years old until Zionism came and destroyed it, literally with bombs they planted.

Zionism hated a Jewish diaspora - I assume you know enough about Zionism to know about the zionist concept of the 'negation of the diaspora'.

But your lazy and sloppy bourgeois method is empirical. You tell me the obvious but never ask the question 'why'. Why do Arabs and Jews apparently not get on now? Maybe it's because if I'm an Arab in Israel I can't get a good job because I've not served in the army which threw me off the land and murdered my relatives. In Britain it's called indirect discrimination, the imposition of a Provision, Criterion or Practice that is osensibly neutral - the requirement to serve in the army, but in practice affects just one section of the population.

Incidentally the same applies to welfare benefits too. Army service is a criteria. But the ultra-orthodox haredi also fail this test, but this was solved by just giving an extra grant to the Ministry of Religion. Or dejudaisation of the Galilee, Negev and Jerusalem.

What is the difference between this and deJewification in nazi Germany? Same principle it seems.

And no, in Ireland sectarian hatred is still as strong and sooner or later the dam will once again burst. Anyone who has been there recently knows it and there are now more 'peace walls' dividing the community than there were when there was no peace.

C. Bendavid said...

Part 1

First of all, some your sources are wrong.
Even Human Rights Watch is wrong when it says that the Israeli government allocates more funds to Jewish schools than to Arab schools. The reason most Arab schools have less funds is because Israel has a primitive taxation system and schools are largely funded by municipal taxes. And since Arab local authorities collect less money taxes, they have less money for their schools.

As for the military service which gives Jews (and Druze) privileges, it's true. But more and more Israeli Arabs perform the civil service which grants them almost the same advantages as the military service.

Now for the judaisation of Arab regions of Israel, it largely diminished,(except in Jerusalem and in some parts of the Neguev). The Judaisation of Galilee for example is complete failure.
But most of those who fight it are Zionists.
And please, stop with silly comparisons with Nazi Germany. Slovakia and Baltic countries also have a policy of reinforcing their ethnic majority and weakening the minorities, and I've never heard anyone comparing a the Arabization of Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan to Nazi practices.

Nonetheless, I never said that Israel's treatment of its Arab community is acceptable. I actually said that it was shameful.
However, changing Israel does not entail the abolition of this country.

By the way, we (Oriental Jews) did not dispossess the Arabs. And if most of us hate the Arabs (which is fortunately not the case for me), it has nothing to do with Zionism. It is because of their own deeds. Of course, in Islamic countries Jews were treated much better than in Europe (until the 19th century), but it does not erase the way Arabs treated us in the 1940's or the 1950's. And the Lavon affair or the bombs planted in a Baghdad synagogue are not responsible for the exodus of the entire Arab Jewry.
In Morocco, during the Six Day war, synagogues were protected by the army. And yet we left, because we felt despised by our neighbours who were always asking us silly questions, making cynical comments and we did not even have the right to answer. We were harassed and that was in the most tolerant Arab country.

There is something strange with third-worldist neo-trotskyists.
You apply a double standard policy to the West and to the Third world.
Let me give you a very simple example.
I met a group of anti-Zionists a few years ago. They were talking about Oriental Jewry with love and compassion, even though Oriental Jews are much more extremist than Ashkenazi Jews. Of course, they knew it. But they told me that we were not responsible for our extremist behavior. They told me that Oriental Jews became anti-Arab because they were ''psychologically colonized''by European Jews and that we were also victims of Zionism.
They probably picked up this explanation from Ella Shohat, but even Ella Shohat treats Oriental Jews as if they were children. Anyway, her explanation is flawed, she has never lived in an Arab country.
You see, according to the ''New left'' non-Westerners are never responsible for anything.
9/11 is because of ''imperialism''.
If more than 90% of Arabs hate Jews and if they have persecuted their Jewish minorities, is because of Zionism. And if Oriental Jews vote Likud ans Shass is because they were brainwashed, and so on and so forth.

C. Bendavid said...

Part 2

I remember after the genocide of the Tutsi population in Rwanda, the first thing the extreme-left said, is that racism between Hutus and Tutsis was caused by colonialism. As if it could excuse a genocidal behavior.

The extreme-left (and I used to be part of it) pretends to treat everyone equal, but the truth of the matter is that you replaced class-struggle by race-struggle and this has nothing to do with fighting for the poor.
You just hate your own society and you grasp on anything that is opposed to it.
It reminds me the Roman aristocracy which converted to Judaism as a way to express its rebellion against the existing order.
Your loving kindness vis-à-vis everything that is not Western reminds me Rousseau's attitude towards what he called the ''noble savage''.
You are not really anti-imperialist, you are actually a rebel looking for a cause.
Had you really been anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist, you would not trate non-Westerners like babies. You would not hold non-Westerners accountable for their deeds as well.

Irish republicans supported the Zionist movement when Zionists fought the British Empire in the 1940's. Back then, in people's minds, Zionism was synonym to anti-imperialism.
Yitzhak Shamir's nickname was Michael Collins.

Tony Greenstein said...

Unfortunately I don't have time to respond to your lengthy posts. Briefly. The Misrahi/Oriental Jewish hatred of Arabs is a typical 'poor white' mentality. I do not share this belief that they had the wool pulled over their eyes by the Ashkenazis, however appalling their treatment.

The relations between Arabs and Jews was much better until 1948, despite the attempts of the colonial empires to disrupt that e.g. by favouritising the local Jewish populations and in Damascus introducing the Blood Libel via Dominican friars.

You say that Judaisation is less important now and has even failed in Galilee. That is not true of the Negev where Al Arakhib has been demolished about 30 times, nor in Area C of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley and Jerusalem in particular. Merely the fact that there is such a word as 'judaisation' demonstrates the kind of state Israel is.

Your comparisons of 'strengthening the ethnic majority' in the Baltic countries and Slovakia is not a good example given the prevalence of open support for the Nazi collaborators in these countries. Lieberman entertained the Lithuanian foreign minister quite recently, a man who has been trying to resurrect the reputation of their pro-Nazi Prime Minister during the war.

I have no love or hate of Oriental Jewry. They are more open in their anti-Arabism in the same way as a German tramp harboured greater hatred of Jews. When you are the lowest in society having someone else to kick around is appealing.

It has nothing to do with their treatment in Arab societies otherwise the Ashkenazi would hate all Europeans given the holocaust.

You mention Morocco after the 6 day war but that proves my point. It was Israel's deeds, all in the name of all Jews, which caused the problems. I have relations by marriage from the Moroccan Jewish community so I talk with some knowledge.

No doubt some Irish Republicans did support the Zionists when they fought British imperialism. It's called ignorance. Just as calling Yitzhak Shamir Michael Collins was doubly ignorant since Collins was a free-stater, i.e. sold out the national struggle. Again I have an advantage over you because I was heavily into Republican politics in the 1970's and 1980's. And I visited the ghettos in Belfast and Derry many times and their support for the Palestinians was unequivocal just as their opposition to Israel was.

Yes of course the conflict between the Hutus and Tsutsis owed its origins to colonialism. It is no coincidence that 12 Belgian paratroopers were killed at the beginning of the genocide. To explain something is not to excuse what happened. Your hatred of the left means you have become politically blind. Far from my abandoning class struggle in favour of race struggle it is you who posit the unalterable clash of ethnicities. I say, get rid of Zionism and Apartheid state structures in Israel and you will have no material basis for a continuing conflict.