In What Interest?

David Hirsh’s article on the subject of the film ‘Defamation’  produced a mass of comments with two main themes. One of these was the old equation of Zionism with racism, together with its more modern variation of comparing Zionism to apartheid.
To comprehend how the UN arrived at that miserable Resolution 3379 back in 1975 – the only UN resolution ever to be revoked – it is essential to understand the behind the scenes workings at the UN as described, for example, in Harris Okun Schoenberg’s book ‘A Mandate for Terror; The United Nations and the PLO’. Suffice to look at the list of countries which sponsored the infamous Resolution 3379 in order to glean insight into the motivations behind it: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Cuba, Dahomey, Egypt, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, North Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately, the political and ideological motivations which brought about Resolution 3379 did not disappear with its revocation in 1991, as amply demonstrated in numerous comments on this thread.

Ercla
15 Jan 2010, 4:27PM
Zionism, which originally called for the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people can be defined as a racist ideology.
That is to say if we compare it to other ideologies that called for the establishment of a nation based on a people. Example italy could never say Italy is for the italian people or say Italy is only for christian catholics.
These are the issues we need to discuss and I would like the view of israelis as I know that Israel is a pluralistic society and that not all israelis are zionists.

Logic101
15 Jan 2010, 4:56PM
DPerrone99
To label Zionism as an inherently racist or paranoid ideology ignores the historical realities from which it emerged and oversimplifies an otherwise complex movement.
if you say so. Please justify how it is not inherently racist when It fits the textbook definition of institutional racism.
Ercla
15 Jan 2010, 5:17PM
@exiledLondoner
Because it called for the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people? That’s ridiculous. Racism is about exclusion rather than inclusion. It is not racist to say that Greece is the homeland of the Greek people – it is racist to say that Greece cannot be home to anyone else.
That is to say if we compare it to other ideologies that called for the establishment of a nation based on a people. Example italy could never say Italy is for the italian people or say Italy is only for christian catholics.
Bad example – if you knew anything about the history of Italy as a state, you would know that the romantic nationalism of Garibaldi, came from the same roots as the romantic nationalism that created Zionism (and many more movements). Italy was indeed created as a home for the Italian people – Germany too!
Garibaldi’s Italy and the notion of national identuity arose from the liberation of italy from Invaders. It was a war of independence calling for people of italy to rebel against austrian invasion.
Also Italy has moved from that definition of italy for italian and is today an iclusive society. can you say the same of Aprthaid-Israel?
Last time I checked Israel was not created to fight invading nations claiming land….quite the opposite actually.
Political movements, Zionism being one has to be dialectical and move with its time. The policies the Zionist ideology implements are unsustainable and racist. They are often compared to Aprthaid South africa.
Racism is about exclusion rather than inclusion
That is your definition which is very simplistic. I myself prefer the below definition:
Racism is the belief that race is a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or get preferential treatment.
Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, although anyone may be discriminated against on an ethnic or cultural basis, independently of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination.
Zionism belives in the Jewish people as the chosen people. it is thus a racist ideology.
Ercla
15 Jan 2010, 5:26PM
@Dperrone99
Let’s see…pogroms in Kiev, Baghdad, Auschwitz, Treblinka, the Wannsee Conference. Stop me if any of this might in some way justify a homeland.
Jenin, Beirut, Sabra and Shatilla, Palestinian refugee camps.
Does that justify a homeland?
Don’t get me wrong but doing to others what’s been done to you isn’t exactly a solution. This is why the best thing Israel can do today is vote a different political faction than zionist and start talking peace in real terms, with the palestinians and a 2 state solution, 1967 borders.
Alternative solution, keep the Apartheid-type solution Israel has at the moment, but don’t dare saying that it isn’t a racist society.
TwoSwords
15 Jan 2010, 5:34PM
exiledlondoner
It is racist to say Greece is the homeland of the Greek race. Zionism is the belief that there should be a homeland for the Jewish race. Hence it is racist.
Race is not a legitimate bais for loyalty or organisation in modern developed countries. Countries like Britain, France and the USA are today civic states. Israel is a racial state.
If Zionism was simply the belief that the State of Israel should exist as an entity then I would be a Zionist. I’m not because Zionism is the belief that Israel should be a state for the Jewish race.
TwoSwords
15 Jan 2010, 5:46PM
exiledlondoner
“Only in the sense that most nationalism is based on race and culture”
No. Most nationalism USED to be based on race and culture.
Now in the developed world it is based on civic loyalty and culture. It is non-racial.
Israel refuses to move in this direction – in effect Israel and its supporters want it to have the privilege of being racist. And if you criticise this exceptionalism, you are according to David Hirsh a racist.
TwoSwords
15 Jan 2010, 5:54PM
TawdryDog
“Look to the future. Not the past.”
translation “Forget the fact that we ethnically cleansed you and stole your land”.
“However, Israel will always remain a Jewish state. Not a Muslim one.”
translation “Israel will always remain a racial state. Not one where Arabs will be equal citizens.”
There won’t be peace until acknowledges its historic crime against the Palestinian people and provides compensation to them. Israel won’t be a legitimate country until it abandons its racial character and becomes a normal state “for” its own citizens, regardless of race or religion instead of being the state “for” a racial group.
TwoSwords
15 Jan 2010, 4:28PM
HebrewHammer
Israelis are in fear BECAUSE they are Zionists.
Paranoia is inherent to Zionism. It is a belief system based on the idea that the world is condemned to eternal racial war.
If Israelis weren’t afraid of Iran, they’d be afraid of Pakistan and then Indonesia say.
The mindset needs to change of there is to be peace.
FalseConsciousness
15 Jan 2010, 11:27AM
Indeed, there are some sensible Israelis that stand up against Zionist terror and they deserve praise, especially the draft evaders. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of these Israelis, the bulk of them are still reactionary.

The other dominant theme on this thread was that antisemitism is exaggerated by those of a pro-Israeli persuasion in order to curry sympathy and/or deflect criticism of Israel.

stevejones123
15 Jan 2010, 12:02PM
The problem with combatting conspiracy theories is that they do provide a reasonable description of events as far as the Arab World is concerned.
Taking them to pieces involves complicated explanations of the way things work, and it also does involve accepting the grain of truth that is there.
The ADL may not represent world domination but it does have nearly every US legislator in his pocket. The fact that they are not alone in this, as the lack of any attempt to control pharmaceutical cost in the US Health Care bill shows, doesn’t mean that there is not a concentrated effort to ensure no US legislator strongly opposed to Israeli policy gets elected. It is also true that the media in the US have a disproportionate (though perfectly understandable) number of Jews in high positions, and that there is a much higher burden of proof demanded for anti-Israeli storied than for stories that do the Israeli government’s line.
Yet if you suggest this the scream of anti-semitism comes up, does as it does if you point out that the Israelis planned and effected ethnic cleaning in 1947-1948 or that it is still on the agenda of some Israeli political parties.
It is all very well for Mr. Hirsch to say that it requires little courage to criticize Israel, but whilst that is true of a British sociologist it isn’t true of an aspiring American politician, or somebody who wishes to rise in many media outlets.
JonathanWest
15 Jan 2010, 12:39PM
ellymiranda
It can’t have escaped you that any criticism of the Israel government and the IDF is labelled with antisemitism. It is a way of shutting people up. And to defame them by associating them with nazis and such.
Agreed. It is the modern version of blasphemy, and done for the same reasons.
There have been various articles in CiF Belief over the last few days discussing blasphemy. If you read them, you’ll find the parallels striking.
And before the Israel-bots clamber all over this comment, that is not to say that real antisemitism doesn’t exist, or that it isn’t a noxious idea. I’m merely commenting that valid criticism of Israeli government policies is inappropriately labelled as antisemitism in order to suppress and de-legitimise it.
bergamo
15 Jan 2010, 1:54PM
Growing up in a provincial town in Northern Italy, I have been aware of racism for years. Once it was against Southerners, now against blacks and Muslims.
Since it seems that racism is as innate in human nature as solidarity towards one’s own, is there anything special about antisemitism?
Well, of course history. Of all forms of racism, antisemitism is the one with the longest history at least in Europe.
Also, the Holocaust. In Northern Italy, one jokes about extinguishing the Southerners — no pleasant jokes these, but they are only jokes.
Yet, looking at antisemitism now, I would say it is less ferocious in the West than fear and hate of the Muslims, the Roma, and the blacks. As a matter of fact, being a Jew in Europe is somewhat of a merit, it gives him a certain singularity, a special regard. In Northern Italy it is much more dangerous to be a black, a Muslim or a Roma than to be a Jew.
Antisemitism in Europe is an infrequent and relatively innocuous expression of the deplorable but very common virus of racism. Also, the insistence with which Jews identify themselves as such and the fear that they claim to possess towards the majorities in the midst of which they live contribute very significantly to spreading it. Raising the specter of antisemitism so often risks creating it where it did not exist to start with.
TwoSwords
15 Jan 2010, 2:56PM
Is Hirsh the one who used to have a beard a few years ago?
That programme put Hirsh in a much better light than he deserved to be. Hirsh is the frontline of the shrill attempts to prevent criticism of Israel on the grounds of it being anti-semitic.
Criticising Israel can be anti-semitic in the way that criticising Russia is anti-Russian racism and criticising China is anti-Chinese or anti-Han racism ie not at all.
Israel’s “jewishness” and “unique” status as the “only” Jewish state are total irrelevancies. Russia is the only Russian state; China the only Chinese state (or Han state). Is criticising Iran anti-Iranian racism? There aren’t other Iranian or Persian states in the world. Iran is unique. Pray tell why Israeli critcism of Iran isn’t anti-Iranian racism? Because such an approach is manifestly stupid and largely gets brought up by apologists for Israel.
Here’s another Hirsh special – everyone who wishes to express a view on Israel must first prove they are not anti-semitic by engaging in all other topics in the world unrelated to Israel first – the incredibly farcical “why are you singling out Israel” test.
David Hirsh’s schtick is effectively to reduce criticism of Israel in general and more specifically restrict it to a topic that only the zionist Jewish and Israeli left deal with it. Any attempt by anyone else to even express a view or involve themselves in this conflict is racism. The world should trust Hirsh and his ilk for a fair settlement with the Palestinians to be achieved.
In effect, Hirsh is arguing for a form of exeptionalism for Israel – and anyone who disagrees with this exceptionalism is a racist.
There is very little anti-semitism in Britain and that which exists is almost exclusive to certain ethnic minorities. And in those circles anti-Zionism isn’t a vehicle for anti-semitism – people are just plain outright anti-semitic. Anti-Zionism isn’t anti-semitic however much Hirsh would like to claim it is in order to shut people up. Criticism of Israel however much Hirsh would like to claim it is in order to shut people up.
Hirsh is simply the acceptable face of Geoffrey Alderman.
franek1
15 Jan 2010, 3:14PM
I found the part when Israeli kids travel to Poland,very disturbing and frightening.(apart from many other sinister statements).
Kids’ mindset is terrifying! Brainwashed into thinking there are neo-Nazis coming to get them and that Poles hate the Jew. And the way kids spoke about those three old men chatting with them is absolutely appalling. Those old men were very friendly to the kids, actually ,and what did they get in return,rude behaviour and calumny.They seem to forget a lot of non-Jewish Poles died in the camps too.
It’s a disgrace that the Holocaust is used as a Zionist agenda-to breed more hatred?instead of learning from history, Israelis became the oppressors of the innocent themselves. And this cannot be justified by the Holocaust .this is the reason people do not have high opinion of the Israeli state.
freepalestine48
15 Jan 2010, 6:21PM
David: do you not think zionism is anti-semitic??
i mean israel has occupied parts eygpt, still occupies parts of syria & lebanon (lets not forget the 2006 war either and the wars previous to that) and the continued occupation of palestine with all that entails.
why is it anti-semitism is exclusively used for comments against jews but not for the other semites of whom the arabs make up the largest sub-group??
i personally believe in this country anyway that jews are not really predjuiced against well certainly not in the same way as say muslims or afro-caribeans or africans or asians for example. how many jews are there in the cabinet? and how many other ethnic miniorities are in the cabinet?
i disagree wholeheartedly with your assertation that if the world was anti-zionist it would be anti-semitic (or something along those lines). zionism is a flawed ideology, why should a people of a particular religion be given a country at someone else’s expense?? fair enough if they lived there and where part of an ethinc group (e.g. kurds in iraq, turkey) but they are not. the persecution of the jews in europe was a great tragedy, and one that should never be repeated not only against jews but against any minority.
i believe we should be dismantling nations not creating them…..we need to be opening up the borders not building walls and fences….so i am afriad i take the opposite stance to you in that i believe zionism is racism and creates and supports racism. i.e. nick griffin on question time supporting the war in gaza

There are worrying aspects to the claim we repeatedly hear that antisemitism is being deliberately exaggerated and used to prevent criticism of Israel. The evidence on this subject gathered by bodies in the UK such as the CST and the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism indicate that antisemitism is on the rise and that it presents a definite problem for those who are serious about genuinely fighting racism and bigotry. In his book ‘Globalising Hatred’ the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denis MacShane MP wrote “[s]o a parliamentary inquiry into the specific fears and worries of some Jews in Britain has lead into deeper waters and to the conclusion that anti-Semitism is a defining ideology of the twenty-first century. It is international; it is disseminated across languages and cultures; it is supported by states. Antisemitism is the political programme of clever men who have a clear and specific goal.”
It is also a problem for individual Jews, as I have come to appreciate over the past three years which I have spent in England. Many incidents are not reported to bodies such as the CST or the police and whilst they may not make newspaper headlines, experiences such as those of an orthodox friend who has been verbally abused from passing cars, spat upon in the street on multiple occasions and turned down for a job because he cannot work on Friday evenings should not be happening in a civilised society to anyone of any race.
The erroneous claim that antisemitism is being used as a tool to deflect criticism from Israel effectively puts the lid upon any attempts to understand and combat the political use of antisemitism which is one of its more dangerous aspects. Those who wish to deny Jews the freedom and the right to control their own lives do not confine their aspirations to Jews alone; for the most part, supporters of rights for women, minority groups and gays they are not. To quote Denis MacShane once more: “[s]o today’s antisemitism is not just traditional Jew-hatred, nor can it be reduced to a variant of racism. It is a growing component element of international politics. Antisemitism is exported by a number of states and has an impact on geo-politics that should not be underestimated. It is part of the new anti-Occidentalism, a denial of values that arose following the Renaissance and Reformation, that were given full philosophical and political meaning in the Enlightenment years and that have been the guiding politics of all democracies and human rights campaigning since the middle of the last century and the creation of the United Nations.”
In what interest, therefore, would anyone deny the scope and scale of 21st century antisemitism?

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