[Marxism] Re: antisemitism in the movement

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Jul 15 18:19:48 MDT 2006

As for the meeting being held at Bluestockings, my impression is that
they have a very laid back attitude toward the use of their
bookstore/coffee shop for "movement" events which this claims to be and,
in some exotic and rather off-the-subject way, may actually be.  And
they are very reasonable.  I think they charge a nominal fee to make up
for the business they may lose by closing the shop for a meeting.
I think Bluestockings is clearly still a feminist/lesbian center
although the bookstore has expanded its reach considerably.  It is the
bookstore to check first on feminist and gay issues, in my experience.
Why is their this meeting in a month that meetings on more important
issues did not occur? Because this group asked. There have been meetings
on Islam-phobia there.
Of course, another aspect could be the widespread confusion about the
Middle East among feminists in the US (and in Europe, too, I believe).
Are the Islamic peoples, with their often backward ideas and
institutions, the enemy or is it US imperialism and its allies as the
foe of every step forward for humanity.  For instance, how many US
feminists are crystal clear about the need to get the US-organized
occupation out of Afghanistan?  My guess is that accurate polling would
be very mixed, and I do not know which position would predominate.
One reason that NOW now pays such modest attention to the deepening
oppression of women and the erosion of their legal rights (especially
abortion) in the United States is that it is up to its ears in NGO money
as a fighter against the burqa in Afghanistan.  NOW is on record both in
"opposition" to the Iraq war and for more US troops in Afghanistan.
Support for Israel and support for the occupation of Afghanistan are key
props of the support, weak as it is, for the war in Iraq.  Even the
opponents have to consider the effects of a "precipitate" (that is, not
half fast enough) US withdrawal from Iraq.
And of course, Israel attempts to pass itself off as a feminist paradise
as compared to its Arab neighbors.  
>From the standpoint of confusion among feminists, I think Yoshie has
made a tremendous contribution by her campaign against the demonization
of Iran, and her recognition that the "Islamic revolution", despite its
many contradictions and problems and oppressions, was still a real
popular revolution and not just the Taliban with nukes as it is
currently portrayed.
Fred Feldman

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