Was: Spy plane crisis ; now Zionism = ?

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Mon Apr 16 21:06:45 MDT 2001

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From: Xxxx Xxxxxx [mailto:xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xxx]
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2001 7:04 PM
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Subject: Re: Was: Spy plane crisis ; now Zionism = ?

> > I noted that "real Jews" have historically been in the forefront of
> > progressive causes and have given their lives to save non-Jews and
> > to fight against various forms of despotism,

hi Jim! I agree, certainly. During the panel, I also told Finkelstein that
although I completely agreed that the use of  "holocaust industry" is
immunizing Israel from criticism and holocaust is _not_ unique to Jews
(that every assimilated group deserves reparation and recognition, not only
the _chosen_ ones), I also said that I was not happy with how he portrayed
Jews in his talk--"money seekers"). After all, how can the Jewish suffering
(or any suffering) be reduced materialistic desires of some Jewish elites?
If people want to feel some symbolic attachment with their past and keep it
alive, let them do so. It is also politically incorrect to criticize the
issue of repations endlessly given the _political context_ of reparations
in the US currently (Horowitz's racist add!!)   If I were an alien coming
from a different planet and wanted to learn something about the history of
Jews, I am sure Fink's book would give me a negative image of Jews. I also
reminded him to look at good examples. Jews in the South (US) fought
against black slavery. In South Africa too, they fought against apartheid
and were the founders of  the South African Communist Party. Last week,
somebody forwarded an article to the list about Cuban Jews. It was very
interesting to learn that Jews were involved in the founding of the Cuban
Communist Party. We should look at positive examples and avoid big

Nestor said: 

.>.. I would only comment: ah, if it only was true!

> > The super-Zionists went crazy over this approach; especially when I
> > mentioned Israel Shahaak, a victim of three of the nazis worst death
> > camps who has openly said that Zionism = naziism and NOT Judaism.
Nestor said: 
> The tragedy in the above is that BOTH Shahaak and Sharon _are_ Jews.

well, Shahaak and Sharon are bad examples. They are both Zionists and Jews.
I can understand that we can trace the origins of Zionism to Judaism, if
that is what Nestor is trying to hint, but after all, every religion is
based on myths and certain holistic suppositions. For this reason, I would
not say that Jews who believe in Judaism are automatically a Zionist. The
big question is whose interests religion serves for. Zionists seem to me
more like imperialist collaborators (Jew and non-Jews) who are involved in
the creation of the Israeli state. Anti-Zionist Jews are good
guys..Anti-Zionist/anti-Judaistic Jews are preferable but I don't think
that we should piss off Jews with the religion question that much. May be
the big question we should pose  is "can religion and national identity be
separable" when it comes to Jews? 

bye, Mine

> Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
> gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar
Response (Jim C)

Hi Mine,

Thanks for the thoughts. One correction--perhaps--is that although Israel
Shahaak is a Jew and lives in Israel, I believe that most would agree he is
not a Zionist, or if he is one, he is a strange kind of one. In Israel, to
quote Shahaak or offer him any kind of forum is against the law--he is a
"banned" person. Ariel Sharon, used to make a living writing children's
books. In one of his books, he asks why Israel Shahaak's face is so ugly (
Dr. Shahaak has facial scars from nazi torture in the three camps he was in)
and Sharon gives "the answer": "Because it is Arab work". Using a familiar
racist notion that "dirty" work = "Arab work" plus giving the impression
that Shahaak is "part Arab."

On the question of religion, I think that Marx was correct in noting that
although religion represents the longing, hope and cry for fulfillment of
all those desires left unfulfilled--and against those miserable conditions
generated--by capitalism, he argued that the attack against religion should
take place via an attack against capitalism rather than vice versa. In the
Blackfoot world, we have many traditionals who practice Blackfoot
spirituality and whose notions of Blackfoot spirituality drive them
inexorably--they feel-- to oppose Tribal corruption, the U.S. extermination
Government policies etc. I say whatever drives them, at this stage, welcome
to the fight. In the same way, we have some whose notion of "The Gospel"
drive/have driven them to oppose racism, exploitation and kidnapping of
Indian children etc; again I say welcome to the fight. If I am asked what I
think about religion being a kind of "opiate", I'll give my views--I agree
with Marx; I must say, that in the Blackfoot context, I do differentiate
between "spirituality" and religion as there are many traditional concepts
and practices in Blackfoot spirituality that make sense from the standpoint
of clean living, not tolerating exploitation of women, children and the
vulnerable, and survival of the People against awesome forces of repression
and genocide; at this stage, we need a broad-based, and yes principled
"united front" against imperialism, fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia,
national chauvinism/jingoism etc.

take care,

Jim C.

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