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Zionist Bullying in the West Coast Co-op Movement

Several articles on deliberation.info have described the power of Zionism in corrupting progressive groups in Britain, e.g. Laura Stuart’s A Victory for Bullies Everywhere(2012). It’s the same in the USA.

In the summer of 2009, just as the west coast co-operative movement was gearing up to adopt a resolution boycotting Israeli goods, there was a sudden outburst of accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’. One individual in particular, a long-established co-op organizer in Portland, Oregon, and a defender of Palestinian rights, was accused of ‘Holocaust denial’ and ‘anti-Jewish organizing’. Let’s call him X. The ostensible basis for this allegation was that he invited a white nationalist to speak. Let’s call him Y.

I reject most of Y’s views, as does X, in particular, his Islamophobia. However, Y made some useful criticisms of American ‘anti-racist theory’, and helped us understand the reasons for the anti-racist obsession with ‘white supremacy’.

Y, who is Lithuanian, reminded me of something I’d discovered on visits to Eastern Europe. Many people in this area think Soviet dictator Uncle Joe Stalin was worse than Adolf Hitler. In the West, we all know the former was a bad guy, but are taught that the latter was the Devil.

Y refers to the German invasion as ‘the liberation’. This is shocking – we tend to think the American invasion of Nazi-occupied France in 1944 was liberation, and grudgingly give credit to America’s ally, the Soviet Union, but cannot imagine how anyone could use the same word about the expansion of the Third Reich. Of course, Hitler’s SS murdered many Lithuanians, especially Jewish ones. But Stalin’s NKVD also murdered many Lithuanians, and Jews were overrepresented in the top ranks of that brutal secret police force. It was, in part, a continuation of an ancient ethnic conflict, in which neither side emerges with much credit. A lot of effort has gone into persuading us that it’s not like that, that ‘we’, and our allies, were the good guys. But the USA won’t collapse if its inhabitants adopt a rigorously neutral view of World War II. Israel is another matter.

Some of X’s comrades, undeterred by Anti-Racist Action’s threats of ‘assaulting attendees’, decided to see David Irving, the alleged ‘holocaust denier’, speak in Portland. His talk wasn’t about the holocaust, but about code-breaking. Nevertheless, there was a contingent of Zionists and anti-fascists outside the hotel where the meeting took place, and some of them took our pictures, publicized details about us, tried to get us fired, posted threatening messages online, sent a death-threat, and wrote the graffito ‘X is a Nazi’ on X’s workplace.

X works in a co-op. Whereas the rest of us are merely oppressed by capitalists, he feels the pressure from the p.c. left. So he apologized for inviting Y. His apology included

“I don’t deny the horrors of WWII including the Holocaust and the many forgotten details of that time.”

An anti-fascist – let’s call him Z – responded this is “a classic Holocaust-denial strategy”. How can saying the holocaust happened be a way of denying it? Z explained that, if you mention the holocaust in the same breath as other crimes of World War II, such as the incineration of Tokyo, or the rampage of the Red Army, you ‘eviscerate’ the holocaust’s ‘historical meaning and importance’. The holocaust was special: it was a crime against special people.

As Laura Stuart wrote of the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s recent expulsions of ‘holocaust deniers': “like all acts of appeasement, it didn’t satisfy the Zionists one bit”.

The p.c. brigade demanded that X

  • cease involvement with groups that promote anti-Semitism and other oppressions;
  • agree to learn about anti-Semitism and other oppressions, especially in radical circles;
  • publicly apologize for promoting anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry;
  • resign from the Co-op Board in order to focus on unlearning oppression.

But by then, having learned that appeasement is futile, X had acquired a pair of balls, and he didn’t sign up for re-education.

In the process of trying to get X sacked, his opponents bombarded co-op members up and down the west coast with criticisms of his activity, including the following:

“And because local Palestine solidarity organizing is overrun with members of anti-Semitic groups like the 9-11 Truth Alliance and the Pacifica Forum, many anti-racists and radical Jews have been driven away from these movements.”

In other words, if only the Palestine solidarity movement would make itself more acceptable to Jews, they would join it. Can you imagine an anti-fascist group asking its black members (both of them) to tone down their anger a bit because it might deter white people from joining?

But when Jews claim they don’t support Palestinians because some of their supporters are allegedly anti-Semitic, they are taken seriously. This discrimination shows a pro-Jewish bias in the left. Palestine solidarity means trying to reduce that bias.

 

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2 Responses to Zionist Bullying in the West Coast Co-op Movement

  1. Laura Stuart March 13, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Scratch the surface of many on the left and you find Islamophobia something they share in common with zionists.

  2. Jay Knott March 24, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Laura – do you have any examples of Islamophobia on the left? At the time of writing, the British left’s no. 1 organization http://swp.org.uk/ still has a link, under ‘best of the web’, to a Guardian article which claimed that the recent murders in France were definitely carried out by white extremists spurred on by Islamophobic rhetoric. The SWP and the Guardian’s bias seems to be the opposite of what you predict.

    Your definition of ‘Islamophobia’ might be too broad.

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