The US, Israel, and the ‘Anti-Semitism’ Fraud

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Yves here. It may seem that some independent sites and anti-Israel-genocide pundits are going on overmuch about the heavy-handed campaign to smear throughly warranted criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. Yours truly has to disagree. As long as the slaughter in Gaza and the ethnic cleansing in the West Bank continue, opponents need to keep up all their many forms of protest. And that necessitates forcefully (and it appears repeatedly) rejecting the anti-Semitism canard.

The Rob Urie post below has some acid phrase-making, as well as an interesting consideration of what makes for a religious state.

By Robert Urie, author of Zen Economics, artist, and musician who publishes The Journal of Belligerent Pontification on Substack

With Israel launching genocide 2.0 in Rafah (Gaza) as this is being written, the implied purpose of the violent police repression of protesters on college campuses last week, in conjunction with the media effort to label anyone who objects to the events unfolding as ‘anti-Semitic,’ is to provide political breathing room for the assault of Rafah. It won’t work. The implied logic is clear— the protesters must be cleared before the images of more murdered Palestinians light the world on fire. Missing from ‘the conversation’ is the self-reflection needed to understand that it is the genocide that is politically incendiary, not objections to it.

The same (state) media outlets in the US, including many of the same media personalities who promoted the Iraq WMD and Russiagate frauds, have been telling their rapidly dwindling audiences that it is hatred of Jewish people, rather than abhorrence of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza, that is motivating student protests in the US. Surely, the media based this charge on extensive interviews with the protesters to uncover their true motives, right? Well, no. In fact, the media’s failure to engage with the protesters is evidence that these outlets don’t want to know what the protesters’ true motives are.

Bizarrely, thousands, likely tens of thousands, of the protesting students have made clear through their protests what their goals are. The practice of the propagandist class of calling every person and institution that opposes American imperial slaughters abroad, including those by proxy in Ukraine and Gaza, pro ‘the enemy’ may work in the tit for tat idiocy in the DC bubble where bought and paid for official blather is a currency of sorts. But it is stunningly socially destructive. It’s almost as if the goal of officialdom is to keep us at each other’s throats to take the focus off of their own failures.

The Russiagate and Iraq WMD frauds are cited here for a reason. They were both politically motivated, state-sponsored, psyops. Their implied goals were to defraud the American public into supporting the foreign policy goals of the CIA. And the way in which they were advanced was to silence critics with fabulated, demagogic, drivel regarding fake threats to the nation.  And no one from the FBI or CIA has been arrested or charged for the Russiagate fraud.

Since the end of WWII at least, America has acted as a Wizard of Oz fronting for the Einsatzgruppen. There used to be clever and sincere operators working within the bowels of major state institutions. But the official line over recent decades has always, always, always, been fabulist bullshit put forward to kill, torture, starve, and maim, large numbers of people so that a few rich folks could pay for their 37th dream kitchen. And thoughtful and sincere opposition to these never-ending American slaughters has always been portrayed as support for whatever enemy-of-the-week the good Wizard has conjured.

In terms of political logic, the loaded charge of ‘anti-Semitism’ currently being applied to those who criticize the state policies of Israel reflects a category error that has been used by demagogues in the US and Israel for political benefit for several decades now. Some fair bit of the criticism of Israel’s state policies coming from American Jews is that the Israeli-right is overplaying its hand in slaughtering Palestinians, to the long-term detriment of Israel. While this view is critical of Israel’s state policies, the motive is to the ultimate benefit of Israel and Israelis. That the exterminationists in Israel lack the imagination to move their political vision forward without committing genocide makes them fascists.

A similar principle was at work in the US when the George W. Bush administration, acting in league with Congress, launched its misbegotten war against Iraq in 2003. While Mr. Bush and his minions were quick to claim that opposition to their war was ‘pro-terrorist,’ many of us who opposed it had concluded that gratuitously slaughtering a million Iraqis while lighting the rest of the Middle East on fire would diminish the US national interest, not improve it. In retrospect, Mr. Bush’s war was the beginning of the end of the US.

Within the terms of Mr. Bush’s political logic, the American slaughter in Iraq was a demonstration of America’s military might. Missing from this logic was that there were few in world at the outset of the war who doubted American military might. And few would have noticed if the US had ‘prevailed’ in Iraq. But it didn’t, demonstrating to the world that while the US is capable of killing a lot of people and destroying nations, it is incapable of the imperial management needed to sustain the empire.

Recall: while Mr. Bush knew that it was his father’s (and his own) business partners who attacked the US on 9/11, he lied to the American people and blamed the act on Iraq. To be clear, he didn’t just lie about Iraqi WMDs, he lied about who it was that perpetrated the 9/11 attacks for his own, and his family’s, benefit. This isn’t to suggest that Bush & Co. planned or participated in the attacks. In his letter to America, Osama bin Laden takes implicit credit for them. Nevertheless, missing from American discussion of 9/11 has been a single iota of truth regarding US military actions abroad, as well as al Qaeda’s true motives (bin Laden letter) for attacking the US.

Mr. Bush’s ‘they hate us for our freedoms’ was the ‘anti-Semitism’ (or ‘disinformation’) of its day, self-serving bullshit that flatters the malinformed public into psychologically reaffirming American empire. However, most Americans aren’t ‘privileged.’ Read Mr. bin Laden’s ‘letter’ (link above) to understand how insidious this unfounded belief in American ‘privilege’ really is. Living in a state that has a billionaire or two doesn’t make us all billionaires. And voting in a rigged system (the parties control ballot access) doesn’t mean that ‘we,’ the great unwashed, choose who governs us, or their policies.

With respect to Joe Biden, the Democrats have perfected their ‘powerless’ schtick in order to carry out heinous acts without angering their constituents. Despite Democrats holding the White House and both houses of Congress in 2021, Joe Biden was ‘powerless’ to enact his stated agenda. The Congressional bottle-washer (clerk) had the ultimate say, claimed Biden. Like Barack Obama before him, Biden has enacted one of the most audacious agendas of all time. He launched a pointless and gratuitous war against nuclear armed Russia in Ukraine for the benefit of ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs as he is sponsoring a full-blown WWII-style genocide in Gaza.

While it’s difficult to avoid blaming the Israelis when watching images of the carnage unfolding in Gaza, it is the Americans who are funding Israel, supplying it with weapons and materiel, giving Israeli bombers air and logistical support— including assistance in targeting Palestinians for death, and holding competing regional interests at bay. Here(starts 2:48) is US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stating that Israel’s attack on Palestine would end immediately if the US stopped supplying Israel with weapons. What will be revealed in coming months or years is that the Israeli genocide is a result of the long-term strategic ‘vision’ of the US. And all of the world except the American people knows it.

What makes Biden’s actual agenda so audacious is that it’s all Wizard of Oz-style bullshit. Of course, the killing is real. However, having participated in gutting the American manufacturing base (but not the military budget) as a neoliberal, neocon Senator, Biden is starting wars that the US can’t finish. Biden’s chosen targets, Russia and China, both have manufacturing bases with which to manufacture weapons and materiel. The US not only exported its industry starting half-a-century ago, it sent its engineers (knowledge base) to flip burgers at Mickie Dees until they died of old age.

While the impact of various state policies is always open to debate, the insistence that one side in the debate gets to claim the national interest for itself— in either Israel or the US, is the realm of demagogues, not legitimate political difference. This is why the US and Israeli governments are working so hard to delegitimate assessments of their policies that differ from their own. If legitimate differences with state policies are admitted, then the ability of particular state actors to define them unilaterally is diminished. Question: without ‘anti-Semitism’ to fall back on, what possible explanation could Israel give for its behavior in Gaza that would be deemed legitimate by outsiders?

Moreover, nation-states are political entities so organized to be able to conduct affairs of state with other nations. Given that all of the major religions have footprints that lie outside of any single national boundary, nations that claim state religions (e.g. Israel, Iran) don’t represent those religions politically outside of their national borders. In this way, criticism of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians in Gaza has no bearing on Jews living in Canada or Brazil. This, despite Israel calling itself a ‘Jewish state.’ No one holds Canadian or Brazilian Jews responsible for Israel’s state actions.

By analogy, the political right in the US has long claimed that the US is ‘a Christian nation.’ In terms of religious self-identification, this is most certainly true. Most Americans who are religious identify as Christian. Yet in all of my years of publicly opposing US foreign policy (1969 – 2024), I don’t recall being accused of being anti-Christian for doing so. A large contingent of the American anti-war movement during the Vietnam war was church-based, with prominent church leaders putting their lives and freedom on the line to end the slaughter.

The point here is that the political leadership in the US could have slandered American anti-war protesters of the era as ‘anti-Christian’ because the US , according to them, ‘is a Christian nation.’ But lots of Christians had already concluded that the war was an abomination. Israel is in a similar position today, with Zionists running the Israeli government. Many of the anti-genocide protesters in the US are Jewish. And for those who aren’t, there are multiple legitimate criticisms of Israeli and US state actions that bear no relation to the claimed religious status of Israel.

This latter point is crucial to the conception of how nation-states operate. When Venezuela negotiates legal arrangements with China, it is the nation-states that act as signatories. Religious communities within these nations may have input into the negotiations, but they aren’t the legal entities that act as signatories, and they aren’t the legal entities charged with enforcement. So, while history and religious passion may guide the tenor of state-to-state negotiations, every nation has internal interests acting behind the scenes.

Conversely, if some nations are religious-states, in the sense of being so governed, why aren’t religious entities (church, synagogue, mosque, etc.) the signatories to international agreements? For instance, since the Revolution in 1979, (the Islamic Republic of) Iran has had a hybrid secular – religious system of governance. While powerful religious figures (Ayatollahs) have significant say in the affairs of state, it is the nation-state of Iran with which international agreements are inked.

Within the Jewish community in Israel, half of Israeli Jews describe themselves as ‘secular,’ versus a combined maximum of around 25% who describe themselves as ‘orthodox’ or ‘ultra-orthodox.’ Secular Jews by definition aren’t interpreting scripture to determine state policies. This doesn’t mean that they are any less sincere in their religious beliefs than orthodox Jews. What it means is that the religious beliefs differ. They may all fall within the broad category of Judaism. But differences within the broad category make assertions that Israel’s state polices are ‘Jewish’ simplistic to the point of being misleading.

Again, by analogy, evangelical Christians in the US provide support for the political right to an extent that activist and political commenter Chris Hedges crafted the term ‘Christian fascists,’ to describe their politics. Conversely, variations on Liberation Theology inform the Christian ‘left,’ if such a descriptor can be claimed. Support by American liberals and the evangelical right for Israeli state policies with respect to the Palestinians is antithetical to the ‘secular’ Christian view that genocide is morally and politically repugnant. It was morally and politically repugnant to Israelis until the American MIC took over the West.

The commonly held view that evangelical Christians and orthodox Jews are ‘more’ Christian or Jewish, respectively, than other denominations is a denominational quibble, not religious doctrine. As the Spanish Inquisition and Irish orphanages illuminated, individual and institutional assertions of superior righteousness are often used to place evil people in charge of Christian institutions. This occasional rule by demagogues renders visible the political natures of both church and state. Religionists who act politically are politicians acting within the realm of state power.

Following each of the World Wars, maps of the world were redrawn by the victors with little concern for political, economic, cultural, and religious differences. Since WWII ended, part of the rationale for the US crushing movements for democracy around the globe has been the desire to ‘manage’ the resulting tensions through political repression. For instance, before he was ‘the new Hitler,’ Saddam Hussein (Iraq) was the CIA asset in Iraq put forward to quash ethnic tensions resulting from these externally drawn maps.

List: remarkably, five of the ten countries with the largest oil reserves have been governed by ‘the new Hitler’ in the last twenty years. Imagine, one Hitler in all of the twentieth century, but five in the last twenty years. In contrast to this Hitler-heavy concentration, four of the remaining countries, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, and the US, are liberal democracies (not). Readers are encouraged to read Osama bin Laden’s letter to America (link above) to understand how insidious fake liberal democracy (US) can be for we little people. Source: oilprice.com.

With respect to the timing of police violence against protesters coincident with the state media putting on its crazy pants to point and shout ‘anti-Semite,’ the likely reason is the resumption of the US / Israeli genocide Rafah. While the official lie coming from US / Israeli sources is that Hamas is ‘dug in’ in Rafah, the politicians of the Israeli right have spent recent months openly describing their genocidal aims. Their goal is to ‘clear’ Palestine of Palestinians. The nations surrounding Israel have stated publicly that they have no intention of absorbing Palestinians fleeing Israel.

While clever and knowledgeable people are (correctly) claiming that the police violence used against protesters was both unnecessary and excessive, the question back is: where in the hell have you been living? At the OWS (Occupy Wall Street) encampment at Zuccotti Park, the NYPD drove over protesters with their motorcycles. The NYPD soaked peaceful and compliant OWS protesters with pepper spray. In my first march against the Vietnam War at the tender age of twelve, boiling water was poured out of open windows onto us. I was threatened with being murdered twice by people with guns for my political views before my sixteenth birthday.

At Columbia University, an adjunct professor named Rebecca Weiner— who also works for the NYPD ‘anti-terrorism’ unit, coordinated the clearing of the encampment. In interviews after the campus was cleared, Ms. Weiner spoke in the conceptually-muddled techno-drivel of the ‘anti-terrorism’ industry. Ms. Weiner circuitously clamed that 1) free-speech wasn’t being suppressed because 2) it was a ‘change in tactics’ 3) with respect to the language, 4) used by the anti-genocide protesters, 5) that was shut down by the NYPD.

That Ms. Weiner’s political logic isn’t being reported as fallacious nonsense is likely a fashion issue particular to the industry that she works in. Briefly, a change in linguistic ‘tactics’ still leaves the actions of the students at the level of Constitutionally protected speech. If it hadn’t, legally actionable consequences unrelated to student speech would have ensued. But Ms. Weiner made no assertion that this was the case. What she did assert is that it was the change in tactics that rendered the protesters subject to legal sanction, not that illegal acts followed from doing so.

For example, my use of the term ‘industry’ to describe the ‘anti-terrorism’ industry is a tactic to place its motives in the commercial framework of political economy. In fact, the modern ‘anti-terrorism’ industry was created when George W. Bush put thousands of people to the task of ‘finding’ a very, very, small number of actual terrorists. The result: the FBI now exists to fabricate fake terrorist plots. What makes police entrapment a legitimate defense in criminal cases isn’t that the FBI thought about, or discussed (both are linguistic ‘tactics’), entrapping people, but that it actually entrapped them.

The problem that Ms. Weiner— as well as the Biden administration, the NYPD, and the exterminationist-right in Israel, are trying to overcome is that the protesting students have heard their explanations of the events in Gaza and come to different conclusions. Rather than trying to convince the students otherwise, the official response in the US has been slander, propaganda, censorship, and police violence. This is fundamentally different from making one’s views known as citizens regarding the affairs of state by protesting. Shutting down ‘free-speech’ isn’t its opposite. Coerced speech is. Shutting down ‘free-speech’ is political repression.

One illuminating / particularly troubling aspect of this police repression is that billionaires hired private militias to attack the protesters. The protesters didn’t attack these private militias, they were attacked by them (link above). At UCLA in particular, a private militia allegedly funded by Jessica Seinfeld (link above), wife of ‘comedian’ Jerry Seinfeld (listen to his stand-up and decide for yourself), had the look and presence of the Gestapo. Wearing masks to hide their identities, the ‘counter-protesters’ softened up the UCLA protesters for the violent police assault that followed.

To be clear, the ‘counter-protesters’ weren’t protesting anything. They are modern-day Pinkertons hired by Wall Streeters and ‘celebrities’ (links above) to commit violence against actual protesters. One of the defining characteristics of the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s was violence committed by private militias. This makes the claim that the counter-protesters are ‘fighting anti-Semitism’ morbidly ironic. The comment by Chanamel Dorfman, aid to Israeli Security Chief Ben Givr, that the problem with the Nazis was that ‘they killed the wrong people,’ suggests that he (Dorfman) knows who ‘the right people’ are.

Finally, Donald Trump’s value to the American people in 2016 was in bringing to light that political and economic power in the US is dug in like ticks, or possibly tapeworms. Now that he has officially joined the uniparty by telling House Speaker Mike Johnson to fund the campaign war chests of Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu with $91 billion in arms ‘purchases,’ he has gone full AOC as a fake renegade sheep-dogging for empire. Cobbled to his Reaganesque Republican policies, this makes him, like Joe Biden, the wrong person for the age.

This written, it is the US war against Russia in Ukraine that is more ominous for the world, and in need of being taken out of American officialdom’s hands very quickly. For details of the nuclear back-and-forth, here is Scott Ritter. Most frightening from Ritter is the abject stupidity of the American political ‘leadership.’ George H. W. Bush was the last American political leader trained in statecraft (his father was ‘banker to the Fuehrer’ during WWII, Prescott Bush). Following H. W. Bush, the requirement that American President’s be able to speak at least one language (George W. Bush didn’t, Joe Biden is a toss-up) was apparently deemed too onerous.

With Biden’s recent ‘major speech’ on the ‘dramatic rise in anti-Semitism in the US,’ the calcification and irrelevance of American ‘leaders’ on the world stage is sealed. What Biden and his minions conspicuously cannot comprehend is that we dogs are no longer eating the dogfood. This isn’t ‘revolutionary’ in any political sense. The powers that be can either stop lying or come up with better lies. But having the same people from the same three-letter agencies promoting the same lies eventually loses its potency as social engineering.

Listen to the Scott Ritter interview (link above) as you channel Jennifer Lawrence’s character in Don’t Look Up shouting ‘we’re all going to $#!?& die.’ Allowing one, two, or three morons in the basement (or Oval Office) of the White House to decide the fate of humanity is not reasonable. To Democrats— get a handle on your boy. You inflicted this genocidal jackass on the rest of us. To Republicans— get a handle on your boy. You inflicted this uniparty jackass on us. Then consider: with no political bench to draw from, possibly the problems are systemic. 

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63 comments

  1. ciroc

    The label of anti-Semitism means nothing and is not worth discussing. If all pro-Palestinian demonstrators were secret members of Hamas, would the IDF’s bombing of children in Gaza be acceptable?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Lansky

      I agree that the label is meaningless. But being the cornerstone of the current globalist dispensation, it should be interrogated, not waved away. I would say the same about “racism” — another scare word that is rapidly losing its power.

      The internet once said “Anti-semitism is when you believe what your ancestors said about Jews rather than what Jews say about your ancestors.”

      There may be some truth to this. A fifth of Genz Z apparently believes in a Holohoax, not a Holocaust. This number will almost certainly grow with time, despite the use of holograms to keep the gag going. If the 20% number is accurate, then it seems clear that the government-sponsored pyschological abuse of children via atrocity porn has not worked as well as intended. The internet also said “Nihlism is easy to start but hard to finish.” I think that is what we are seeing here.

      So what now? My suggestion, following on the tremendous success of America’s “national conversation about race” is that non-Jews revive the concept, with a scope narrowed to Semitism as such, and without Semite minders to control the dicourse.

      Reply
      1. vao

        Hajo Meyer — a Dutch physicist of German origin, survivor of Auschwitz, and extremely critical of Israel — is reported to have stated (in Dutch, IIRC):

        An antisemite used to be somebody who did not like the Jews. Nowadays it is somebody whom the Jews do not like.

        Reply
  2. Candide

    Been waiting for an adult version of the kid in The Emperor’s New Clothes.
    What a relief! We have some forwarding to do, ASAP.

    Reply
    1. GF

      Yes. I agree completely. Thank you Yves for posting this and thank you Robert Urie for writing it. I had not read OBL’s letter linked to in the article and found it very insightful.

      Reply
  3. vidimi

    the problem with constantly defending yourself from bad faith accusations of antisemitism is that it drains time and energy from the main task of stopping Israel. Citizens of every country should make it toxic for their governments to deal with Israel in any way. Second, even if every protestor was somehow antisemitic, antisemitism isn’t an iota as serious as genocide.

    Once we’ve accepted genocide we’ve accepted everything. There is no compromise.

    Reply
    1. Emma

      The empire is always going to do that anytime you question any of their narratives. With the antisemitism smear, simply say that you’re anti-Zionist and that they’re anti-semitic for equating Judaism with the genocidal ideology of Zionism. It’s way easier to respond to that compared to arguing about purported Putler or SeeSeePee evilness.

      If the other side has an ounce of humanity left in them, then you can have a hopefully fruitful discussion about the barbarity of Zionism and why it needs to end. More likely you’ll find out that there is no humanity in the accuser and can safely move on. They’re the minority and their visible ugliness and irrationality is thinning their ranks daily. However, I do hope that there will be a day after where they will be called to account (financially, socially, careerwise, and criminally in case of people like the Seinfelds and Bill Ackman) for the harm that they’ve done this day.

      Reply
      1. Emma

        BTW – the best way I have found to respond to anybody complaining about what’s happening in other countries is that it’s none of our business. America had such a horrible track record in its interventions abroad that lost any standing to act outside its borders. To do otherwise is like letting John Wayne Gacy wander into a Boy Scout jamboree, again.

        This includes on Israel – if US stopped propping up Israel for just an hour, it would collapse like a house of cards.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Boy Scout jamboree did you say? Tut, tut tut.

          ‘In a move towards rebranding and embracing inclusivity, the Boy Scouts of America announced this week that it’s changing its name to Scouting America.’

          But I agree with what you say. if the US dropped all support of Israel, the place would become poverty central and might be forced to make peace with their neighbours.

          Reply
          1. JOHN E HACKER

            Tut, tut tut, not until 2025. i, also oppose Zionist’s behavior. God’s as i recall for Mark Russell’s book “God’s Not Happy with You”, God let Israel dissolve 3 other times because it could cooperate with its neighbors…

            Reply
    2. Feral Finster

      “the problem with constantly defending yourself from bad faith accusations of antisemitism is that it drains time and energy from the main task of stopping Israel.”

      This is why the crybullies do it time and again. Because it works.

      For better or worse, under the rules of contemporary human discourse in the West, when a member of an officially designated victim group makes an accusation of bias, with or without evidence, the burden of proof them shifts to the accused to demonstrate that they are not biased.

      In other words, the accused has to prove a negative.

      Who gets to accuse whom depends on the relative victim status of the two parties. A garden variety white cishet Karen is entitled to relatively few Wokemon points, compared with, say, a genderqueer Native American who personally identifies as a fully vaccinated three-headed lesbian.

      And of course, none of these silly human games, the equivalent of pious and prissy arguments about how many LGTBQXYZPDQ+ can dance on the head of a pin, none of this changes real power relations, which in turn derive from how the economic pie gets sliced.

      Needless to say, even if every single protester around the world were motivated solely and by nothing other than antisemitism, that still doesn’t give Israel a license to commit genocide.

      Reply
      1. Dessa

        We’re discussing antisemitism, and the cynical accusations thereof vis a vis a genocide, not whatever racial or gender minority has been bothering you lately. Plenty of Native Americans have found solidarity with the native people of Palestine, and queer people by and large would soooner subject themselves to Trump than be used as a political pawns to justify a genocide. If you’re tired of defending yourself against accusations of bigotry, stop shoehorning your pet grievances into subjects where they don’t belong. You might even realize that we’re allies in this struggle.

        Reply
  4. Yaiyen

    If this continues i believe Israel will take not only Gaza but also West Bank. People on west Bank situation will be nightmare after Israel start to contrantrate on them in full force. What make Israel also very dangerous is mossad agents are every where in high education and entertainment industry. They also control USA police force.

    Reply
    1. Emma

      They have to win in Gaza first. Nasrallah clearly stated early on that if Gaza is ethnically cleansed, it would be a redline for Hezbollah and presumably other resistance groups. The Houthis have also declared a full naval blockade against Israel and we have seen them make good on their words in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.

      The Axis of Resistance has a lot of levers that they haven’t pulled yet and even Hamas has been fighting with one hand tied be behind their backs by only attacking military targets away from civilian concentrations and not attacking Israeli medevacs. They’re holding back because thus far and as heartbreaking as it is to witness, nothing is hurting Israel’s reputation and long term survival as effectively as day after days of kids getting blown to pieces, men being tortured to death, and settlers destroying aid convoys. And the resistance forces in the Gaza death camp, fighting with homemade weapons often scavenged from undetonated Israeli munitions, is exacting a pretty heavy toll on the IOF. Enough that families of IOF soldiers being sent into Gaza are now pleading for them to be withdrawn because they see occupation as a deathtrap.

      I don’t see a situation where Israel ‘wins’ long term, even if they kill a million people in Gaza and have the US pay Erik Prince to ship the other million off to camps in Cyprus or the Sinai. Iran, Syria, Ansarallah, and Hezbollah have all paid dearly in sanctions and lives for continuing to support the Palestinians. They have limited their escalation because they would prefer to limit the scope of war but they will not let Israel win.

      Reply
        1. Emma

          Ideally, they’re waiting for the world see Hamas beat the IOF without needing any outside help, without needing to start a regional conflagration and drawing in more belligerents.

          Reply
          1. NotThePilot

            I agree with your take, Emma. As brutal as it is, if you try to see past the fog of war and infer things, Hamas is winning and somehow (by the grace of God?) managing to sustain the population enough to endure the war at its current pace, despite the Israeli atrocities. Clausewitz even said that if one side is genuinely willing to end a war while the other insists on dragging it out, the one that’s willing to stop is probably winning (ending the war locks in victory politically).

            My personal suspicion is the Israeli government is fixated on Rafah because Hamas is smuggling civilian aid and war materiel through tunnels from Egypt. Haven’t really heard anyone mention the possibility, but it also implies things are afoot in the Egyptian military, with or without Al-Sisi’s approval.

            I think the implicit assumption even many sympathetic to the Palestinians are making is that the wider Axis of Resistance isn’t escalating because they’re afraid, but things add up more if it’s actually escalation management. They don’t want to if they don’t have to, but they’re not afraid if they must. Similar to Russia vs. NATO in Ukraine, Iran in particular has to walk a fine line to avoid certain spirals, thus the weirdly stilted, gentlemen’s duel dynamic around that missile attack.

            Reply
      1. B Flat

        Yes, Hamas Oct 7 tactic haves worked beautifully. It knew the attack would elicit a massive response from the Israelis, and the subsequent protests are long time coming. I can criticize Israel, it has much to answer for, while despising Hamas.

        Reply
        1. Emma

          Despise Hamas for what? For being the fairly elected representative of the Palestinian people? For consistent and principled resistance to the Israeli occupation force? For having every right to resist under international law? For engaging in active resistance after the horrible catastrophe of the Great March of Return and in contrast to the illegitimate collaborationist of the Abbas regime?

          Reply
          1. B Flat

            I don’t find Hamas willingness to sacrifice Palestinians for “a greater cause” respect worthy. Clearly, YMV

            Reply
        2. Emma

          Whether Hamas is despicable or not is for history and the Palestinian people to decide. What right do you (or I )who almost certainly live in a country that continues to provide material support and moral cover to Israel, to condemn them?

          Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        And the Sinai again. And part of Iraq. Plus the southern half of Lebanon. And when they have done that, they will declare-

        ‘This is the last territorial demand we have to make in the Middle East!’

        Now where have I heard something like that before? /sarc

        Reply
  5. ilsm

    I have heard that Jews protesting genocide are “jews in name only” and do not attend synagogue.

    I have heard that Sunni are the good Muslims and Shi’a are the bad Iranian kind. Which flies in the face of who did 9/11!

    The speakers are Christians! Whom should be preaching against the US’ grave sins!

    The disinformation and ill informed are rampant!

    Reply
    1. Emma

      I don’t even think they’re misinformed. They’re just sociopaths who enjoy lying and indulging in their self proclaimed victimhood status. The Zionists and the ‘anti-woke’ right wing Christians behave in exactly the same way. Anytime you point out their hypocrisy and lies and all they have is to hurl their canned words and phrases at you. That’s all they’ve got.

      The stupid self hating Jews argument is so clearly false since TorahJews are the most observant and Orthodox Jews around and firmly anti Zionist.

      Funny how Shi’a Muslims were totally fine until 1979. But don’t blame the Sunnis for 9/11. Bush Did 9/11 and I got the t-shirt to prove it. https://trueanon.com/products/bush-did-9-11-tee

      Reply
      1. Feral Finster

        Shia were supposedly the more inward-looking and quietist flavor of Islam, with Sunnis painted as the militant and aggressive strain – until 1979.

        That was when everyone at State lost their minds.

        Reply
        1. gk

          And the middle East is quieter today than it has been for the last few decades. According to Jake Sullivan, a few months ago. He still has his job.

          Reply
      2. steppenwolf fetchit

        About 9/11 . . . Canadian blogger Jeff Wells of Rigorous Intuition 2.0 did a series of blogposts on various aspects of 9/11. One he did was titled . . . The Coincidence Theorist’s Guide to 9/11. Here is the link. ( And from that link can be found the whole set of blogposts, plus his blogposts on other subjects.)
        http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2004/08/coincidence-theorists-guide-to-911.html

        And something I still find fascinating is . . . . how little discussion or even mention is given to the anthrax attacks which took place shortly after the 9/11 plane attacks. Those attacks are as unmentioned today as the Great Spanish Flu was for decades after it happened in 1918-1919.
        To me, those “deep state” anthrax attacks are a fine demonstration of terrorism . . . designed to terrorise the Senate into voting for the Patriot Act.

        Reply
  6. Emma

    One meme I would like to see picked up is asking AIPAC funding receiving GOP congresscritters why they are okay with taking money from the world’s biggest pimp and sex trafficker (when defined as selling sex across borders). Even if they believe supporting Israel will bring on the Rapture, why would their G-d count them amongst the righteous when they’re in bed with OnlyFans, Pornhub, and Casino owners?

    https://twitter.com/Lowkey0nline/status/1790142460728848788

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  7. zagonostra

    with no political bench to draw from, possibly the problems are systemic.

    You think!? Trying to see events through conventional “politics” is like looking through a glass darkly. I think a clearer perspective is needed, maybe one based on “parapolitics.” I’d love to know if Robert Urie is familiar with the works of Carl Schmidtt, who coined the phrase “sovereign is he who decides on the exception.”

    It would seem, then, that if there is something like a the dual state in the United States and other countries with nominally democratic institutions…it has emerged gradually and in unexceptional ways as a result of actions that have been implicitly approved by the majority of the citizens. Yet even as we mutely sanction the existence of a deep state behind or below the political state, this duality remains largely unperceived; which is to say that when actions which are undertaken at the behest of the deep state become visible, they seldom if ever disturb the political machinery at the surface—precisely because they are seen as abnormal and not the new norm.

    …In a land ruled by what is conventionally called a democratically-elected leader, those with access to the corridors of power have begun to monopolize the organs of governmental decision and do so without the leader’s consent or even full knowledge.

    The Dual State: Parapolitics, Carl Schmitt and the National Security Complex (edited by Eric Wilson, 2012 Page 338)

    Reply
  8. Pilar

    There is a great satirical podcast I listen to that helps me feel sane. Bad Hasbara with Matt Lieb (and Daniel Mate)

    Reply
      1. gf

        Thanks,

        Justin has some interesting points of view.
        He thinks that G Biden does not really care about the election (i agree).
        That the US and Israel have effectively merged ruling classes. Not the whole power of AIPAC thing.

        Reply
  9. DJG, Reality Czar

    Thanks for this spicy and well-organized summing-up of where we are, Rob Urie.

    I think that as to ethics, the central sentence of your argument is here: “In terms of political logic, the loaded charge of ‘anti-Semitism’ currently being applied to those who criticize the state policies of Israel reflects a category error that has been used by demagogues in the US and Israel for political benefit for several decades now.”

    Charges of antisemitism are a distraction. It is being used by the powerful to enforce conformity. Likewise, we say, Are you now or have you ever been a communist? Which had little to do with communism and much to do with oppression. Likewise, many of the Hillary Clinton diehards go on about misogyny, when the years since 2015 show exactly why so many would not vote for Hillary Clinton for president. And didn’t the U.S. congress just pass a resolution against “socialism”? As if any of them know what socialism might even be, or that the U.S. Constitution is agnostic as to economic organization–except for (the maligned) post office.

    What matters to critics should be the behavior of the Israeli government, as well as the U.S. government. Which doesn’t have anything to with “Zionism,” either. More than one country is poisoned by its toxic nationalism (ooops, that darn Azov Battalion / ooops, that darn Manifest Destiny), yet no matter how lunatic the form of nationalism, what matters is the actions of a government.

    My alma matter just sent an e-blast trying to dress up its violence against its own student protesters as “an intervention.” Of course, the Maroons also sponsor the Becker Friedman Institute, so respect for language and clear thinking isn’t high on the priority list. Raw power is what matters.

    Behavior and actions matter. In response to the final paragraph, I’d say that neither of the major, doddering, money-intoxicated parties is capable any longer of governing. The duty of a citizen is to withhold consent. If that means voting for some “third party” (another meaningless term), so be it.

    Reply
  10. Es s Ce Tera

    “While clever and knowledgeable people are (correctly) claiming that the police violence used against protesters was both unnecessary and excessive, the question back is: where in the hell have you been living?”

    The slow mission creep of years of cracking down on all forms of political dissent over various issues comes suddenly into the light when there’s a genocide going on and the dissent has a well-defined, valid, moral and legitimate cause but is violently put down by police like it’s Genoa 2001 or the Battle of Seattle or Miami 1968 or RNC 1972. Which leads us to conclude there is obviously no such thing as freedom in America, no political freedom, no freedom of the press, no freedom of association, no freedom of expression… It’s time the people understood that if you can’t protest a genocide, we’ve let things slide to a point where you can’t speak out against anything at all.

    Reply
  11. Buzz Meeks

    On April 9, Simplicius76 put up a piece “Yellen Dispatched to Beg China for Face Saving Slowdown” that Yves reposted here. I recommend reading section 1.

    “What makes this historic malappropriation of American funds most tragic is none of this came to the benefit of the American people. The entire operation was carried out by an ethnic cabal within the US government with loyalties to Israel, and no one else…”

    It’s pretty strong stuff and speaking of strong stuff it might be worth the readers time to look at Israel Shahak’s book Jewish History, Jewish Religon; the Weight of Three Thousand Years. Forward by Gore Vidal in which he tells a story JFK told him about Truman having a suitcase with two million dollars in delivered to Truman’s campaign train. Shortly after, Truman recognized Israel against the advice of his cabinet and advisors.

    Reply
  12. elissa3

    Nearly perfect analysis. Thank you for putting it all down. One could come to this in five years time and at least acknowledge that someone back then knew what was going on.

    Reply
  13. eduardo

    No one holds Canadian or Brazilian Jews responsible for Israel’s state actions.

    Robert Urie states the obvious : there is a dichotomy between a political entity, and a bunch of scattered people. Israel is one thing : it is a west-Asian state with its specific internal and external policies, interests, ambitions, challenges, affinities. Jews are something else : they are individuals, supposedly devoted to the Jewish religion, nevertheless living in a variety of communities, including in Israel, where they form the majority. The official ballyhoo could never acknowledge this distinctness, lest their “antisemitism”-based weaponry evaporates.

    Without ‘anti-Semitism’ to fall back on, – asks the author – what possible explanation could Israel give for its behavior in Gaza that would be deemed legitimate by outsiders?

    At the emotional level, someone may earnestly support Israel for geopolitical reasons (a kind of wedge splitting the Arab world), while disliking Jews for whatever reasons. Or the opposite : thinking the world of Jews, while loathing Israel for political and humanitarian reasons. Both are probably wrong. I couldn’t find any convincing arguments to justify liking or disliking people as a category. I may or may not be fond of Tom, Dick and Harry, but don’t have the vaguest notion about the “Chinese”, the “Christians”, the “Europeans”, or the “Jews” for that matter. Gauging individuals after preset categories is unequivocally wrong. Jacob L. Moreno, the father of sociometry, was indignant by meeting children and youngsters who strongly abhorred Blacks or Jews, before ever meeting a Black or a Jew. Categorizing people is a generative constituent of racism. Those who charge of “antisemitism” anyone who dares blame Israel for its genocidal policies are incurring in just that, sheer racism.

    Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. (IHRA, Working definition of antisemitism, https://holocaustremembrance.com/resources/working-definition-antisemitism)

    Protesting against the racist and genocidal policies designed by the Israeli government, and implemented by their henchmen, partisans and supporters is another thing altogether than blaming them for their creed or their parenthood.

    Netanyahu, his chums and the masses that support his policy did not gain the revulsion of the crowds because they might be Jews (that’s their choice, who cares?), but because they stole other people’s land, chased them from their homes, killed and maimed as many as they could with their weapons.

    If we want to remain alive, we have to kill and kill and kill, all day, every day. If we don’t kill, we will cease to exist.( https://t.co/il2oCQQG7O .)

    We loathe them because they do their utmost to terminate the survivors through hunger, exhaustion, and sickness.

    No water, no electricity, no fuel, no goods, no medicine. There is no obligation for anything, (https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-764212)

    Or because their predecessors have been doing likewise since 1948.

    Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole…which means inhumane acts committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups [, in violation of the] status of the Palestinians as a people entitled to exercise the right of self-determination. (Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid, report E/ESCWA/ECRI/2017/1 of 2017)

    Or because they insult our sense of decency by claiming that these horrors are

    a war between forces of light and forces of darkness, between humanity and animalism (Netanyahu, https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/netanyahu-to-knesse-t-fightwith-nazi-hamas-is-war-between-light-and-darkness/)

    – implying that light and humanity is on their side!

    And because anti-Palestinian racism is in the genesis of Israel properly. In 1938, Ben Yosef, an Irgun activist vowed to

    create a situation where the life of an Arab will not be worth more than that of a rat. That way, everyone will understand that the Arabs are shit, that we and not them are the real masters of the country(https://fr-m-wikipedia-org.translate.goog/wiki/Vladimir_Jabotinsky?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp )

    Come October 2023, the Israeli defense minister would echo the old rant :

    There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed, he said. We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly. (https://archive.ph/kORvK)

    I don’t expect campus demonstrations to win the fight against Israel, as protests against the Vietnam or the Iraq wars couldn’t defeat the US interventionists. Wars are won by the parties engaged in the theater of operations.

    But protests are extremely valuable to debunk the official propaganda attempting to forestall any criticism of Israel by throwing the “antisemitism” missiles against the dissenters – honor to them!

    Reply
    1. David Jones

      Superb article.Just one possible quibble.From dim memory I recall an article which stated that ‘W’ was fluent in Spanish as result of a childhood spent with Hispanics on his families Texan ranches etc.

      A long interest in foreign languages has left me with vague mental tick list of such an attribute.Sad bastard that I am!

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        my wife, the mexican/american spanish and esl teacher reckoned that he could converse in spanish well enough for the ranch or the cantina…but that was about it.
        one of her classes in college actually looked into this…watching videos of speeches and such he gave in spanish…most of which were not covered in msm at the time.

        oh, and his english wasnt too good either….
        i still reference putting food on my family, etc.

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        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          I remember once seeing a little CNN filmclip of Shrubya talking about something or other. It made me suspect that his TexSouthern accent might have been a politically motivated performance-skill.

          What made me suspicious? The way he off-handedly pronounced the word “rather”. He pronounced it ” raw-thuh” in a kind of New Enland elite prep school way, hardly Southern or Texan at all so far as I could tell.

          Of course I was never able to find a link to the bit of video. So people can either believe or not believe that I really heard it.

          Reply
        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          no, but Mr Urie did.
          i sometimes misplace comments in that manner, too.
          just roll with it.
          (and, i agree with you on everything you said)

          Reply
    2. gk

      > Working definition of antisemitism

      You’d thing that a “Holocaust remembrance” group would have figured out a real definition by now. This group seems to have a real problem with definitions. They also have a “Working definition of antigypsyism/anti-Roma discrimination”. “Gypsy”? Really? Why not “antikike/Antisemitism”?

      BTW, Russia is not a member of the IHRA so they have nothing to do with this nonsense.

      Reply
  14. Alice X

    Antisemitism as a product of Christendom, was a collective punishment. The Mizrahim, in their societies, did not experience it. Christian Zionists, insofar as they want all of the Jews to go to Israel whereupon with the second coming, they will either convert or burn in hell, are actually antisemitic.

    Zionism has hijacked Judaism. I am a religious non-believer, my disputes with religions are ontological. Disputes with those that call for collective punishment or extermination are political. I try to keep the distinction in mind. Zionism has always sought the exclusion of the Palestinians from their land. A land without people was never true.

    Reply
    1. gk

      A lot of the Mizrahims are descendents of Spanish Jews, who certainly did experience it. (It’s still a Christian issue, though, not a Muslim one)

      Reply
  15. Feral Finster

    IIRC, none other than Donald Rumsfeld commissioned opinion research of the Arab world. They did not hate us for our freedoms. In fact, they liked and admired our freedoms.

    If they hated us, it was for our slavish groveling before Israel and our outrageous double standards.

    Needless to say, that little honey got memory-holed, doubleplus quick.

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    1. Rob Urie

      Please read bin Laden’s ‘letter to America’ linked to in the piece.

      I was really, really, paying attention to events in the Middle East when the letter was delivered and I had never heard of it until the Tik-Tok imbroglio.

      Of my friends who have read it, everyone is stunned, not because they necessarily agree with what bin Laden says, but because of how egregiously misrepresented al Qaeda’s reasons were for the attacks.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        it was out there in the then wild west web, at the time…i wanna say i saw it on Information Clearinghouse.
        but youre right…it wasnt well distributed.
        i remember being sort of shocked that i pretty much had sympathy for his argument…and this was after all the rummaging around in FOIA, and NYT archives, etc and learning just where Al-Qaeda had sprung from.

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        1. Pat

          There was a lot that was ignored during that period. Too many people were down with the agenda to invade Iraq. So the scary crazy muslim terrorists who hated us for our freedoms was a good selling point. (It also made for easier soundbite journalism rather than the complicated not so US and Israel friendly history in the Middle East.)

          Funny how our narcissistic military misadventures in pursuit of either corporate profits and/or area dominance come back to bite us in the rear, over and over…

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        2. LawnDart

          It was on ICH (and two other sites about the same time– one’s on the tip of my tongue (a site hosted in Canada) but the other… oh hell…). I had it bookmarked on my old computer along with a lot of other good stuff, but I lost the hard-drive a few years ago.

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        3. tawal

          I don’t think I actually read this letter first, until like 2010. Pretty prescient that he said what happened in Afghan to the Soviets would happen to Americans too…

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    2. AG

      Another memory hole:

      #1
      Even scholars tend to forget that the invasion of Afghanistan by the US – judged on intern. law – was illegal.

      In order to invoke an Art. 51 case in the UN-SC you need to prove that you have been attacked by the other state.
      That proof however was never delivered because it doesn´t exist:

      Since, the argument of the Bush admin. was, the attacked country Afghanistan was involved in 9/11 which it clearly was not.

      In fact the Taliban hated Osama´s guts because he wanted to play War Games and the Taliban wanted to be left alone. They have enough square miles to take care of without conquering the rest of the world.

      And CIA conceded nothing other than this in its internal report saying basically: “we have no evidence for the Taliban´s involvement in 9/11”.

      So this is not some interpretation but a simple historic fact. Which made the entire decision in the UN-SC illegitimate and contradicting the UN´s own laws for conduct of going to war in the first place.

      #2
      Furthermore the Taliban even offered the US to capture and extradite bin Laden to the US. George Bush laughed at this not even thinking about it for a second because he knew that this would cost them an opportunity for a long desired war.

      Reply
  16. David in Friday Harbor

    I found Urie’s screed to be a painful expression of our powerlessness to prevent this genocide being carried out on behalf of Our Billionaire Overlords by the American Inverted Totalitarian regime.

    The propaganda justifying this genocide is a dress rehearsal for their answer to the coming mass migration induced by overpopulation and climate change. Urie’s frustration is because the brainwashing and lies are working.

    Urie does not need to “prove” that “the exterminationists” in Israel are fascists. One simply need read the history of Revisionist Zionism and Likud to understand that the Nut ‘n Yahoo clique are explicitly fascist. Ze’ev Jabotinsky was a sycophant of Mussolini who broke with Weitzmann’s World Zionist Congress; Begin and Shamir started out in his jackbooted Betar fascist militia in Poland before infiltrating Palestine and introducing terrorism and ethnic cleansing as the Stern Gang; Bibi’s dad was Jabotinsky’s personal secretary.

    Israeli intelligence knew the Hamas plan for a year — it was directed by them toward leftist and secular targets on October 7, who were then slaughtered mostly by the IDF acting under the Hannibal Directive in order to provide a justification for the planned liquidation of the population of Gaza (Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi’s strange resignation last month from command of Shin bet calls for a national commission of inquiry).

    This is historical fact. I was offended (yet again) by that carpetbagging grifter HRC on Sunday’s talk shows claiming the pro-Palestine movement is ignorant — while lying that this whole fiasco is because Arafat refused to give up a sliver of territory (while omitting that the sliver happened to be East Jerusalem and getting the dates wrong). They just lie with complete impunity.

    Urie expresses our powerlessness under Inverted Totalitarianism.

    Reply
  17. AG

    I don´t know if this was already discussed on NC:

    On May 10th THE INTERCEPT reported about a US bill that wants to label every publication in news media critical of Israel as “terrorist” with all it´s legal implications. This is serious shit if it makes it beyond the house floor.
    For now Senate has rejected. But a new attempt is prepared.

    “Criticizing Israel? Nonprofit Media Could Lose Tax-Exempt Status Without Due Process
    A new anti-terrorism bill would allow the government to take away vital tax exemptions from nonprofit news outlets.”

    https://theintercept.com/2024/05/10/terrorism-bill-nonprofit-journalists-israel-hamas/

    p.s. this of course tells you what the genocide and US position is truly about.

    I might be alone on this but I don´t believe the story that for real pro-Israel donors have leverage over US-politics.
    The US could shut down any of this in an instant. Be it the genocide and be it the domestic suppression.Were it contrary to its interests.

    They are using “Gaza” for a bigger scheme – destroying 1st amendment achievements and due process as we know it.
    Voluntarily so, and not by being pressured by some oligarchs. Of course interests here converge. But there is still an underlying order of power in place. Nobody forces the king to do anything he doesn´t find useful.

    On this I still share Chomsky´s 2006 criticism of Mearsheimer´s /Walt´s concept (re: their article which came before the book). I am not up to date on this as Chomsky is regarded. And I quote him since among serious scholars he is the only one who I know of who took seriously the thesis and engaged critically:

    “The Israel lobby? –
    Noam Chomsky responds to the work of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt and argues against the idea that a lobby of pro-Israel interests effectively controls US foreign policy.”
    2006, originally ZNET
    https://libcom.org/article/israel-lobby-noam-chomsky

    p.p.s. thanks for Urie´s piece!
    On “terrorism”, a great book still:

    “Western State Terrorism” (1991)
    Alexander L. George (editor)”
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3269057-western-state-terrorism
    (see the negative review there for some content)

    Reply
  18. Anthony Martin

    “…genocide is a gradual process and may begin with political disenfranchisement, economic displacement, cultural undermining and control, the destruction of leadership, the break-up of families and the prevention of propagation. Each of these methods is a more or less effective means of destroying a group. Actual physical destruction is the last and most effective phase of genocide”
    — Lemkin, Introduction to the Study of Genocide

    Who desecrates Judaism more, those collaborating on a genocide or those protesting it?

    The trickery that the US Congress is trying to perform is in joining “anti Judaism” with an Israeli state policy to expand its geographic territory by any means and then calling the combination sacrosant, i.e. protesting against the policy of genocide as conducted by Israel (and sponsored by the US) becomes a hate crime anti-semitism. The insidious assault on free speech and the butchering of the 1st Amendment, is that if Congress has its way, then anyone criticizing the political opinion of member of Congress (support Israel and ‘our’ US policy, or else)) might be guilty of breaking a federal law. and threatened with exile or worse. If TSA had its say, if one called a genocide a genocide, that could be s spreading disinformation (an idea not supported by the US) and one may be guilty of breaking federal law. The lack of discourse and critical analysis in the US is disturbing. In my opinion, except for a limited number of blogs, in general, in order to manipulate public opinion, news is openly manipulated in the US, both in what is headlined and in what isn’t discussed.

    Reply
  19. NotThePilot

    I liked the article, especially in that Rob dug a little more into the details of how different identities are in play throughout this: Christian Zionists, secular Israeli Jews, etc. That’s definitely a step in the right direction

    However, I still think there’s a deeper truth hiding in plain sight, and the way we’re even using the words obscures it. Is Jewishness still the old, European trinity of religion + culture + ethnicity? Or I guess the old Middle-Eastern paradigm was religion + caste + sometimes tribal alignment?

    If not and Jewry is just a nationality now (implicit in Israeli politics and policy), then are most people of diasporic, Jewish extraction no longer “Jewish” de facto? Even if they do practice Judaism? And if Zionism is now by definition settler-colonialism, where do the tendencies that saw Zionism more loosely as Jewish political agency fit in? Who would be “Jewish” in their eyes?

    I think a really radical break that arguably started centuries ago is culminating now, and it actually can meaningfully affect how people talk and organize against this war. I’m definitely interested in seeing if Rob or someone will finally put their finger on that.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      thats an interesting observation.
      ive never been a religious guy…save in my amorphous and thoroughly homegrown druidy way.
      but Jefferson taught me(when he wasnt boinkin the help, i guess) that freedom of religion is important, and is to be defended tooth and nail.
      this sentiment…never very universal among the people, high to low….has been lost.
      like other enlightenment Universalisms that i still regard as Very Frelling Important.
      after what you said, it occurs to me that this is part and parcel of the project of Neoliberalising Everydamnedthing…divide and conquer…but make it look like a Good Thing on Paper.
      hyperindividuals…not Citizens, but Enterprises….with no universal truths…and no narrative framework.
      just sad little kings, on sad little hills…set upon one another so as to distract from the really big crimes being committed.

      I am descended from Bohemian Jews(my pseudoracist grandad rolls in his grave)….likely forcibly converted sometime prior to 1760 or so(as far back as my research into that branch of my lineage as my resources, and language skills, can go(Czech is a bi%ch!)).
      and i have only known a few practicing Jews…and the only one i liked was Bernie Katz…of Katz’ Never Closes, there on west 6th street in austin.
      (the Knish was my fave…plus the Ruebens)
      the rest were rather off-putting in their mannerisms and attitudes…but whatever…i’d never take those particular a$$holes as representative of an entire people,lol.
      the whole current mess upsets me greatly.

      Reply

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