[Marxism] The "anti-semitism" of the oppressed, etc.?? (was: How to answer these questions?)

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Sat Aug 5 07:17:18 MDT 2006


On 8/5/06, Joaquin Bustelo <jbustelo at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> What I objected to was Yoshie's suggestion that the Left in the U.S.
> beat up on Palestinian movement or other Arab organizations (and in
> particular Hezbollah) for "anti-Semitism." I know, she didn't say "beat up"
> just criticize, but at a moment when the Palestinian and other Arab peoples
> in the region are under the massive military assault of the Zionist armed
> forces, I believe a little hyperbole on my part to make the point is well
> justified.

Obviously, it would have been much better to have criticized
anti-Semitism of some Arab and Muslim leaders _earlier, before a
moment like this_.  I've done a little preemptive* criticism of that
in the past (e.g., my criticism of the President of Iran, e.g.,
<http://montages.blogspot.com/2006/05/ahmadinejad-as-die-sonne.html> and
<http://montages.blogspot.com/2006/05/letter-to-ahmadinejad.html>),
providing my analysis of what I call "Holocaust envy" that motivates
some Arabs and Muslims to deny or doubt the Holocaust and to make
political space for white Holocaust deniers (e.g.,
<http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/pipermail/lbo-talk/Week-of-Mon-20060508/038013.html>).
 But I have seen few other leftists do so at any time, even in a
relatively calm time (though, to be fair, the Middle East has seldom
been calm).

*  Why the importance of PREEMPTIVE criticism?  Because preemptive
criticism allows you to criticize your friends' vices on your own
terms at your own convenience, not on your enemy's terms at your
enemy's convenience.

Now, take a look at this:

<blockquote> News Releases
Saturday, July 29, 2006

CAIR Condemns Attack On Seattle Jewish Center

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR CONDEMNS ATTACK ON SEATTLE JEWISH CENTER
Group says Mideast conflict must not be 'transplanted' to America

(WASHINGTON, DC, 7/28/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) today condemned an attack on a Jewish community center in
Seattle, Wash., that left one person dead and several more injured. (A
statement signed by representatives of the Seattle Muslim community,
including CAIR-Seattle, is attached below.)

A lone gunman who reportedly said, "I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry
at Israel," entered the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and began
shooting. The alleged gunman was later arrested.

In a statement, the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy
group said:

"We condemn this senseless attack on a religious institution and offer
sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed or injured. The
American Muslim and Jewish communities must do whatever is within
their power to prevent the current conflict in the Middle East from
being transplanted to this country. We also urge local, state and
national law enforcement authorities to step up security measures at
synagogues, mosques and other religious institutions of both faiths."

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices,
chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to
enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil
liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote
justice and mutual understanding.

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-Seattle President Arsalan Bukhari, 206-384-1565; Rami
Al-Kabra, 206-349-5995; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim
Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper at cair-net.org
<http://www.cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=2242&theType=NR></blockquote>

The Muslim man who shot Jews in Seattle is mentally ill, but mental
illness in itself does not make a mentally ill person target a
particular community like this -- it's an iniquitous ideology that is
tolerated at a particular time and at a particular place that makes
him.

Deliberate or even inadvertent conflation of Jews with Zionists, Jews
with Israel, Judaism with Zionism, etc. makes things worse, for Jews,
Muslims, all of us, so we must criticize wherever it raises its head.

Sayan's initial question concerned a translation provided by CAMERA:
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, a
right-wing pro-Zionist outfit:

From: "Sayan Bhattacharyya" <ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com>
> Some problems  that activists would  face in organising against the
> current war:
>
> 1) Hezbollah is not only opposed to the policies of  the state of
> Israel -- it seems also to be virulently anti-semitic.
> See: http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=11&x_article=1158
> Under the circumstances, it can be  difficult, I think, even for some
> progressive Jews, to oppose Israel's war against Hezbollah (in spite
> of the atrocities).

It would be better if we leftists had a decently funded organization
(that can employ people like Muhammad Abu Nasr, a professional
translator) dedicated to translating what Arabs, Iranians, Turks, etc.
are saying politically, good, bad, and ugly, into English, so we don't
have to find out things like this from the goddamn CAMERA.  We need
our own translation, so we can have more confidence in both our praise
and criticism.

-- 
Yoshie
<http://montages.blogspot.com/>
<http://mrzine.org>
<http://monthlyreview.org/>




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