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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Socialist writes against modern Leftist anti-semitism

An unusual op-ed from The Militant, a stridently socialist site:
The fifth annual “Israeli Apartheid Week” was held on campuses across the United States the first week in March. The activities are part of an international campaign to boycott businesses that have trade or other relations with Israel, and to sever ties between Israeli academic institutions and those in other countries.

The campaign has the backing of a range of groups that support the struggle of the Palestinian people against national oppression, including radical and socialist groups in the United States like the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and the Workers World Party.

The character of these activities—aimed increasingly at Jewish-owned businesses—is part of the deepening pattern of Jew-baiting and anti-Semitism in the middle-class left worldwide. It should be opposed.

At a February 10 panel discussion at Hunter College in New York, ISO leader Lichi D’Amelio appealed to students not to buy hummus produced by the company Sabra. After stating that the company gives money to the Israeli military, she also asserted that the chick-pea-based dip “is not even Jewish, but an Arab food.”

Starbucks, whose owner is Jewish, has become a target of this campaign internationally. On January 10 some 200 protesters looted a Starbucks coffee shop near the Israeli embassy in London and attacked a number of businesses in the area. One proud participant posted a video of the looting on YouTube under the header “How to really boycott Israeli products.”

Jew-hatred and anti-Semitism, a centuries old form of racism, has been used by ruling classes throughout history when their system faced a crisis. Modern anti-Semitism often comes draped in an anticapitalist and even socialist cloak. The real exploiters—the billionaire ruling families, whose great majority is non-Jewish—are replaced by a racist conspiracy that paints the Jews as the source of society’s problems.

The notion that Washington is a pawn of the Israeli lobby is a modern form of this anti-Jewish conspiracy theory. And those who promote it often use the term "Zionist movement" as a substitute for "Jew."

As part of Israeli Apartheid Week a meeting was held at New York University titled “NYU-Tel Aviv University: A Partnership in Occupation.” Students, academics and others are presented as a “partner in occupation” simply because they study or teach at Tel Aviv University. And, by that logic, why is studying or teaching at NYU less of a threat to the interests of humanity. It also produces scientists, politicians, and military leaders who advance the bloody course of U.S. imperialism—a far greater threat to humanity than the Israeli capitalist state.
He goes on to decry Leftist support of Hamas, which is hardly a socialist cause:
Support for the anti-Israel boycott effort among radicals—like the members of the Workers World Party and the ISO—often goes along with increasingly open support for Hamas. As ISO leader D'Amelio said of Khaled Meshal, the Hamas political bureau leader in Damascus, "There is little in what he says that I disagree with.”

The Hamas covenant, written in 1988, outlines the aims of that organization.

Speaking of the Jewish people, the document states, “With their money, they took control of the world media… . [T]hey stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution… . With their money they formed secret societies… . They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources.”

This has upset the truly hateful ultra-leftists.