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Against Anti-Semitism and foreshortened analysis of the Middle East conflict

Advocatus Diaboli | 25.10.2010 09:59 | Flotilla to Gaza | Analysis | History | Palestine | World

There is no easy way out

Recently the newsletter of a radical health NGO ( portrayed the current politcal situation in Gaza and the West Bank. It cites the Palestinian human rights organisation "Al Mezan":

"In front of our eyes, a once lively society that resisted the occupation as well as it's own political leadership (Hamas, Fatah whoever...) turns into a collection of individuals that retreat quietly and disillusioned to the private". It reports that the conflict between PA / Palestinian Authority (West Bank) and Hamas (Gaza) leads to a massive erosion of the health and education sector. In Gaza, the Hamas prohibits oppositional protests. In the West Bank, the PA sends armed thugs to violently disperse disliked gatherings. Thousands of respective political enemies were imprisoned by the two Palestinian authorities on the ground of vague "security reasons". Three of them were killed during this.

As it seems the Palestinian elites, nationalist thugs and religious fanatics fuck up "the Palestinians" (whatever kind of identity that is) similarly to the Israeli authorities.

Good takes from the U.K. on the issue can be found here:

An interesting solution proposal here:

If people were serious about challenging Anti-Semitism there is no ground on which to deny the very right of existence of some sort of self-defence, which in this case happens to be conducted by the state of Israel. To cut things (too) short: Israel it a crucial (maybe the only) safe space for Jewish people. Taking the strong Anti-Semitic currents in the sorrounding countries (Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Syria etc.), which openly deny the holocaust and call for mass execution of "the Jews" the dissolution of the Israeli state and the IDF would end in a massacre. Anti-Semitism is just as well, still raging in the Western world (German and other opinion polls on this are appalling). And "the Left" is no exception to that:

Here are two short but good analysis of this interconnection between anti-capitalism and anti-semitism:

"The anti-semitic ideology is usually embedded into a worldview, which ‘explains’ the evils of modern capitalist society. Capitalism in this worldview is not seen as a process, which arises following its own structural logic without a particular leadership, but rather as an exploitative project consciously put into effect by evil people. Historically, this way of thinking emerged in the 19th century in Europe in a time of to the rapid spread of capitalist society and the social upheavals this triggered. The anti-Semitic worldview thus consists of personification for non-understood economic and social procedures and draws upon the picture of the ‘Jewish capitalist’ that is deeply embedded in Western culture, which for centuries associated Jews with money. It can be displayed in talk of ‘the capitalists’ who ‘pull the strings’ from ‘the US East Coast’, ‘dominate the world’ and just can’t get enough with their ‘greed’."

from: "Make a foreshortened critique of capitalism history!"

Here is the Free Association's take on it:

"[...] it’s hard to re-compose that antagonism (between capital and "the exploited", the industrialised working class or whatever) without falling into the trap of personalising capital. [...] Naming capital (a social relation) as the enemy doesn’t offer an easy course of action; naming the rich simplifies the social field, offering us some grip on the world. But it does this by providing a scapegoat. This stand-in might be the aristocracy, the ruling class or investment bankers – any element that is seen as ‘parasitic’ or ‘unproductive’. And historically it has often been linked with violent anti-Semitism."

from: "Six impossible things before breakfast"

This conflict is much more complex than most Solidarity groups (on both sides) make it. There is no clear cut good or evil. And as long as we as anarchists have not created safe spaces and communities in which both anti-Semitism and anti-Islamic racism are constantly challenged by ourselves, our social control, in the Middle East and everywhere: There is no easy way out. We need an alliance of grassroots initiatives that challenge all reactionary authorities and resentments and work together
to build alliances to overcome _all_ statist imperatives with as little bloodshed as possible.

I feel like playing the devil's advocate, while formulating this critique. But maybe this already shows how strong the dubious discourses that I have described already are.

I wish love and rage to you all!

Advocatus Diaboli


Display the following 11 comments

  1. hmmmm — yaron
  2. e.g. — for example
  3. Why Judaism has a historical association with capitalism — anon
  4. Not just Muslims — Stroppyoldgit
  5. What is a semite? — jr hartley
  6. consult your local DNA — gentle reminder
  7. nope your full of crap — gentle reminder?
  8. ooops turns out you don't know what you're talking about — another gentle reminder
  9. eugenics and inbreeding is nothing to be proud of... — @theist
  10. what's not cool — reminder
  11. Crap analysis. — Bolus