Dealing appropriately with Zionists (was: Re: [Marxism] Re: Raymond's Mail

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at
Thu Apr 22 07:54:44 MDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Macdonald Stainsby" <mstainsby at>
> But for now, I have no problem at all saying that Zionist racists should
> both exposed and expelled, with no less vigour than Afrikaners
> or KKK members.
> Are there people who think we should tolerate Zionists in a different
> than we should other racists? What do we then say to Palestinians who want
> to see that their situation is taken seriously by potential comrades?
> shit, let them say what they want, even in "revolutionary" space?
> We *must* do better.

In principle I agree but I think the application needs some thought.  We
want to keep our space clear of trolls, but we also want to engage people
who are new to Marxism and who are investigating what we have to say.  This
includes not only subscribers who are infrequent posters, but the people who
are exploring the archive.

If someone comes along and starts defending the Sharon line, I don't think
there is any reasonable argument for not tossing them out immediately.  But
Zionism also infects large sections of the movement, and even of
self-defined and subjectively sincere socialists, who are opponents of
Sharon's "policies" but who have bought into some variety of the "two-state
solution".  I am thinking of groups like Tikkun and the AFSC and even the
Communist Party - USA, not to mention independents who have been influenced
by that whole current.  Naturally I would agree that  North American
"two-state solution" adherents, and particularly those who have not
unconditionally endorsed the Palestinian right of return, are under the
influence of racist Zionism, but I think the tactical approach can be
different than with supporters of the Likud.  (Furthermore I am under the
impression that Palestinian liberation organizations think that too -
otherwise some of the large antiwar mobilizations would not have been
organized as they were.)

That is why I bothered to write the reply that I did, with references to
Xxxxxxxx's favorite webpage.  Not because I think she "deserved" a response,
or that "patiently explaining" for any finite length of time is going to
have any effect on Xxxxxxxx, but because there might be someone out there
who has "progressive instincts", but has not thought through the issues, and
who would go to the page and say, "but what is so bad about this?, and who
would benefit from "patient explanation."  People ought to know better, and
eventually they will know better, and an awful lot of people DO know better
already.  I will listen carefully to arguments that I went too far on the
liberal side.

This is of course not an argument for extending any great or small level of
liberal tolerance to professional "left-Zionist" trolls after their nature
has been made clear to every thinking person.

Lou Paulsen

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