Yesh Gvul
Courage To Refuse
Shministim
Pilots
Free The Five
New Profile
Refuser Solidarity Network


Name: Antony Loewenstein
Home: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Comment Rules
About Me:
See my complete profile



Google
Web antonyloewenstein.blogspot.com
Sweat-Shop Productions
Sweat-Shop Productions
Sweat-Shop Productions



Blogs

Sites




Previous Posts



Powered by Blogger

 


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Convenient ideology

British commentator Nick Cohen recently wrote an essay in the New Statesman that claimed the Left is infected with anti-Semitism, Jew hatred is everywhere, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism and 2005 is 1933 Germany. It was hysterical and simplistic - and therefore appreciated by those who subscribe to the America/Israel/Western "axis of goodness" club.

A number of letter writers have responded in this week's New Statesman. A selection follows:

"Nick Cohen used his article on anti-Semitism (Essay, 10 October) as a crude bludgeon against the left. The article was illustrated by a picture of a couple of people holding up a banner equating a Shield of David with a swastika. Who were the banner-holders? How does he know they were from the left? What really seems to annoy Cohen is that the big anti-war march of 2003 was organised by a ragbag of Islamic fundamentalists, the Socialist Workers Party and "every other creepy admirer of totalitarianism". He adds that we should have talked with Saddam Hussein's victims. I did talk to Iraqi Kurds, and saw not a trace of fundamentalists, creeps of any stripe or members of the SWP. Why? The march was bigger in every way than whoever may have organised it. Anti-Semitism? I marched with contingents from several Jewish organisations, joined by the Arab Labour Group. I can't remember us being subject to a pogrom - though it was a bit embarrassing when one group applauded us."

Ross Bradshaw
Nottingham

"While it becomes increasingly impossible to defend Israel's policies, a new front has been opened by propagandists, namely Israel is singled out for criticism because of ongoing anti-Semitism. Nick Cohen fails to see that a country he lauds as a democracy is all the more culpable of human rights abuses, precisely because the inhabitants of that country, through the ballot box, are able to make the choice to oppress another people. He says that there is a free press, so Israelis do not have even the consolation of saying "we never knew", as often happens under dictatorships.

"It is indeed true that Israel is treated differently from other countries. It is allowed to occupy another people's land, confiscate their resources and build walls to imprison the population."

Diana Neslen
Ilford, Essex

"Nick Cohen's essay had some insightful points regarding anti-Semitism and the left. I am certainly no supporter of the state of Israel, but I agree that the left concentrates a disproportionate amount of time on criticising it. As Cohen points out, this is embarrassingly difficult to explain. However, I believe that Israel's policies in the occupied territories, and America's support for them and greedy colonial meddling in the Middle East, are responsible for much of the animosity in world affairs today. It is an unnecessary focal point. I further disagree that opposing fascism means supporting George Bush's warmongering. Some 25 million people across the world marching against a war that was a lie and is now a disaster suggests that the left is neither loony nor dead yet."

Matthew Kennedy-Good
London SE16

"To suggest that Hamas is at the centre of a multiheaded, anti-Semitic hydra is political paranoia. Israeli soldiers and settlers, with fists, boots and bullets, bulldoze the houses and crops of poor peasants, steal their water and land, kill their children and humiliate their elders, all in the name of the Jews. It is, after all, a Jewish state. Nick Cohen wonders why the illiterates of Hamas echo the absurdities of European anti-Semites? He muddles cause and effect and persists in looking down the telescope the wrong way."

Tony Greenstein
Secretary, Jews Against Zionism, Brighton

13 Comments:

Blogger anthony said...

British commentator Nick Cohen recently wrote an essay in the New Statesman that claimed the Left is infected with anti-Semitism, Jew hatred is everywhere, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism and 2005 is 1933 Germany. It was hysterical and simplistic - and therefore appreciated by those who subscribe to the America/Israel/Western "axis of goodness" club.

I think your criticism is a tad unfair, Antony.

Cohen makes a logical and well-founded argument. How is it possibly ‘hysterical’? You criticise his view that ‘2005 is 1933 Germany’ (not quite his argument), yet you seem to embrace Chris Hedges article on the ‘rise’ of American fascism.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 7:52:00 pm  
Blogger Human said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 1:45:00 am  
Blogger Human said...

"Fascism should be properly called the Corporation of Government.". So said the founder of Fascism, Benito Mussolini. How anyone can buy into the idea that the American left is fascist ignores reality. Further I note the recent false propagandists of the American Imperial Right are using the term "Islamo-Fascists". What a joke.

The idea that Israel's policies can not be questioned with out the label of anti-Semitism being thrown onto those who question smacks of, well fascist Authoritarianism.
your fellow Human

Sunday, October 16, 2005 5:57:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"Islamo-Fascists" seems to be the brinchild of left wing come right wing intellectual Christopher Hitchens. In spite fo the guys amazing mind, his logic falls to pieces when he talks about Iraq (which he supports) and the supposed motivatinos for the terrorist networks aroud he world. He, along with anyone else who was in favour of tte invasion, seem to be on a mission to convince the rest of us that US foreign policy and related injustices ahve nothgn to do with what motivates terrorist activities.

I guess it's all part of the PR campaign to distract peple from the fact that the US presence in Iraq preceeded the carnage, as opposed to following it.

Quite lame really.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 2:27:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Addamo_01 said...
""Islamo-Fascists" seems to be the brinchild of left wing come right wing intellectual Christopher Hitchens."

I thought it was invented by the Master of All that is Anti-intellectual, Daniel Pipes.

It would be good to pin the origins of this down for future reference.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 8:21:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Why? Do you think the coiner changes the exactness of definition? Does it have less meaning if Arafat invented it rather than Putin?

Sunday, October 16, 2005 10:23:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Actualyl it is significant, because it's definititon is what defines the dufferenbce between the Bush admonstration's complicitness in war crimes as opposed to defining it's efforts to defend it's people.

Defenders of the war, espeically Bush, Blair and Howard have a great steak in painting terrorim as driven by some evil ideology that aims to enslave the infidels, as oppsed to be fuelled by the gross sense of injustice shared amongst moslems.

Bush's hackery last Thursday was aneffort to dimiss any notion that US foreign policy has played any part in the blowback the Wesyt are now experiencing.

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:56:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

This gross sense of injustice stems from the fact that they are backwards and powerless and their attempts to terrorize are thwarted by those they feel are their lessers.

Monday, October 17, 2005 1:44:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

They do say that those with a sense of superiority are often afflcited with a sense of inferiority so your comment makes some sense Ibrahamav.

You also state correctly that terrorism is indeed the method of those who feel powerless.

Monday, October 17, 2005 2:29:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

The feeling of powerlessness does not justify terrorism. It is njot the same as stealing food when one is hungry and has no money.

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:58:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

I thought Cohen's article was very good, and more or less watertight. Still, we can't agree on everything, eh?

Monday, October 17, 2005 7:38:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Cohen's article makes fo superb readin, but I agree with some of the comments which on the page.

It's rediculous that Israel's defenders frame crticism of Israel as a challenge to Israel's legitimacy. It's a democractic country. It would seem pointless to challenge either Israel's legitimacy or that of it's leadership.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 10:32:00 pm  
Blogger Levi9909 said...

Did you see how Cohen responded to my criticisms on his blog? He assumed a new ID and ands accused me of self-loathing sophistry. http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com/2005/11/nick-cohen-playing-dissident-jewish.html

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 7:40:00 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home