[Marxism] How to answer these questions?

cleon42 at yahoo.com cleon42 at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 3 14:44:16 MDT 2006

--- Mike Friedman <mikedf at amnh.org> wrote:

> You know, I don't think Joaquin is arguing that the Zionist lies are
> true,
> just that (to challenge Yoshie's formulation) it would be ridiculous
> for
> us to criticize the Palestinian resistance for failing to make the
> distinction between Zionism and Judaism.

So we should just ACCEPT them as true, insofar as we shouldn't question
an incorrect view held by a Palestinian?

> It is certainly important
> for us
> to make that distinction within the solidarity and wider anti-war
> movement, in order to challenge the pervasive ideology that has been
> a
> roadblock to building an anti-apartheid movement around Palestine, as
> we
> did around South Africa. That is where leadership comes into play.
> But I question whether we should be pitching this point to the
> Palestinians.

So we should be free to correct these issues within the Palestine
solidarity movement, but not with actual Palestinians. No, that still
doesn't make any sense.

> Contrary to Yoshie, I don't think it is the best way to
> inspire confidence among Palestinian resistance fighters in the U.S.
> antiwar/solidarity movement, a movement that has been relatively
> ineffective with regard to Israel, and in practice greatly lacks
> participation by anti-Zionist Jews.

If you seriously think the wider antiwar/solidarity movement "greatly
lacks participation by anti-Zionist Jews," I can only assume that, like
Joaquin, you don't actually participate in said movement to any
significant degree. We lack money, we lack resources, in many groups we
lack participation by women, Blacks, or even Arabs and Muslims. But we
have never had a shortage of Jews.

> The best way to make this
> distinction,
> in my opinion and speaking AS a Jew (albeit a piss-poor one), is *in
> practice*, by building the solidarity movement and increasing the
> Jewish
> presence in that movement. It is incumbent on us to earn the trust of
> the
> Palestinian fighters. Then the movement can say, "look, there are
> many of
> us who are Jewish and oppose Zionism." At this moment, a weak
> Palestine
> solidarity movement criticizing a Palestinian resistance locked in
> life-or-death struggle with a Zionism that in practice enjoys
> widespread
> Jewish support, for failing to make the distinction between Zionism
> and
> Judaism, would smell awfully paternalistic, I think, and would do
> to bolster our credibility.

How can you say this with a straight face? We should sit back and
accept anti-Semitism *now*, and maybe later we can address it when the
movement gets stronger?

The idea that somehow we shouldn't be discussing these issues with
Palestinians is infinitely more paternalistic than anything Yoshie and
I are saying. It's ok to talk about it in the "wider" movement, but
Palestinians just don't know any better and we shouldn't discuss the
issue with them? Sorry--doesn't wash.

More to the point, you speak in theoreticals; "it would smell awfully
paternalistic," "it would do NOTHING to bolster our credibility..."
Those of us who actually *do* participate in this movement see these
discussions, participate in them, and see exactly the opposite. The
fact that we ARE actually building this movement, and that we DO bring
these subjects up--not as adversaries or some self-styled "vanguard,"
but as comrades in arms--not only bolsters our credibility, but also in
turn bolsters the credibility of the movement as a whole.


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