[Marxism] New York Left (was The anti-Semitism workshop)

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Mon Aug 7 08:28:18 MDT 2006


The intensity of this discussion is somewhat mystifying. That anti-semitic
sentiments are expressed within non-Jewish groups is undeniable. That many
Jews harbour anti-Arab and anti-black prejudices is also undeniable.

The distinction between the racism of the oppressor and the racism of the
oppressed is not that one is "justifiable" and the other is not, but whether
the latter can be addressed in a tactful way - from within, by those
recognized as supporters - so as not to reinforce similar claims being made
from without, by opponents with a hostile intent.

At bottom, this reminds me a little bit of the old debate on the left about
the "appropriateness" of criticizing aspects of the internal regime and
foreign policy of the Soviet Union so as not to give aid and comfort to the
enemy. Ultimately, that also depended on the context within which such
criticisms were made, how they were made, and from what political
standpoint.

Clearly, there's  a difference between Adam discretely discussing the issue
with his Palestinian friends or reacting to a comment inside a meeting of
his solidarity group, and a public meeting called in New York City which
presupposes anti-semitism as a defining characteristic of the solidarity
movement by persons who in some cases do not appear to have much first-hand
experience within it.

Is this in dispute on either side of the debate? Are there no distinctions
allowed here?







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