The Zionist 1-2 Propaganda Punch

Article by Yoav Litvin
Artist credit Wonky Monkey
Another round of Israeli violence inflicted on Palestinians in Gaza resulted in devastating consequences: twenty seven dead, including Amani al-Madhoun, a young woman in her final month of pregnancy, as well as 3-month-old infant Maria al-Ghazali and 12-year-old Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Jadyan, both killed alongside their parents.

The flare up comes as Palestinians are routinely sniped at by Israeli military while they demonstrate within their open-air prison, subjected to ever-worsening misery and restrictions – medical, material, economic, environmental, transportation and otherwise.

Since US President Donald Trump’s ascendency to the White House, Israel has received unprecedented US backing, including the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem and Trump’s seal of approval for the illegal annexation of the Golan Heights.

Unsurprisingly, in response to the recent Israeli aggression, Trump reaffirmed his unwavering support for Israeli violence characteristically victim-blaming Palestinians on Twitter:

“….To the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace – it can happen!”

Meanwhile, in a ludicrous, knee-jerk response to Hamas’s retaliatory missile firing, Katrina Pierson, a Trump 2020 senior campaign advisor, tweeted a fake video of missiles fired in 2015 in Ukraine with an accusatory message toward progressive Democrat and Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar.

The ‘special relationship’ between Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the most recent expression of American Imperial support for Zionist settler colonialism and genocide. The only novelty of the contemporary version is its unabashed, grotesque racism and corruption.

This white supremacist alliance benefits both parties: the US maintains an imperial foothold in the Middle East, smooth cycling of taxpayer money through Israeli military aid back to the US ruling class and a loyal consumer of its goods, while Israel illegally continues to colonize Palestine as well as brutalize and steal valuable resources from its Indigenous population with impunity courtesy of its American benefactor.

In order to dismantle this colonizing coalition for the benefit of all victims of white supremacy, including Jews and Palestinians, it is crucial to understand the propaganda enabling it.

Zionist fallacies

Zionist propaganda depends on the promulgation of two major fallacies. First, it ahistorically equates Zionism and Judaism as interconnected since biblical days, instead of correctly presenting Zionism as a modern European movement with Christian roots. This false equation serves to foil resistance by regarding any criticism of Israeli policies towards Palestinians as an affront on all Jews, i.e. anti-Semitic. Further, it reframes a settler colonialist movement which oppresses an Indigenous population as an unsolvable religious “conflict” among two relatively equal parties.

Second, Zionists claim and appropriate Jewish victimhood and suffering, presenting them as exceptional. Modern white supremacist anti-Semitism is conflated with anti-Jewish religious bigotry and portrayed as an ancient form of human racism, which supposedly afflicts both left and right political spheres. This essentially anti-Semitic manoeuvre serves to whitewash Zionist criminality and its collaboration with right-wing anti-Semitic forces and attack those who call it out, such as Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar.

Zionist historical revisionism enables an erroneous presentation of Israel as accommodating a left-to-right political milieu, instead of accurately recognizing the entirety of Zionism, including its “liberal” sort, as inherently reactionary, settler colonial and genocidal.

Zionist revisionism

Zionists have weaponized the exceptionalisation of Jewish victimhood in concert with the false and manifestly anti-Semitic equation between Zionism and Judaism as an extremely effective one-two punch against critique of Israeli criminality.

Israeli propaganda frames the Nazi Holocaust as a particularly savage genocide in history, which entitles its primary targets – Jews – with a special status among victims. According to this rationale, as exceptional victims, Jews deserve certain privileges, discounts and allowances. Notably, Zionist revisionism often omits and devalues Nazi crimes against other groups, such as communists and socialists, Roma, disabled individuals, LGBTQI, and African-Germans.

As the supposed “Jewish state”, Israel has been the beneficiary of these favors and special relationships, which always come at the expense of Palestinians.

In addition, the Nazi Holocaust facilitated the Zionist project by vitalising Jewish immigration to Palestine, thus providing manpower to fight the British mandate and the Palestinian “demographic threat”.

The recently observed Israeli ‘holidays’ of Yom hashoah (Holocaust remembrance day) and Yom hazikaron (Memorial Day for fallen Israeli soldiers), well illustrate the Zionist attempt to link and justify Israeli colonization, militarism and violence with reference to past anti-Semitism. Today, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu continues to exploit and revise the memory of the Holocaust for propaganda purposes.

The Holocaust is one example of genocide carried out by white supremacists. The long list includes, among others, genocide of Indigenous groups and African slaves in the Americas, Aboriginal people in Australia, Belgium’s atrocities in the Congo, and the ongoing genocide of Palestinians at the hand of Zionists. None of these victims have received appropriate recognition or compensation for their trauma and oppression. What’s more, while Israel uses Holocaust survivors as propaganda tools, it has a history of abandoning them later in life.

Palestine awareness week at Stanford University – a case study

Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) at Stanford recently invited the political cartoonist Eli Valley to speak as part of Palestine Awareness Week (May 6 – 10) to be held on campus.

Valley’s witty cartoons, which have been featured in The Nation, The Village Voice, The Daily Beast and The Guardian, among other outlets, are effective in addressing the differences between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as well as in calling out the hypocrisies of American Jewish and non-Jewish Zionists and their role in perpetuating the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The event was advertised on fliers displaying Valley’s cartoons.

The images created an uproar among the Zionist community at Stanford. One of the students – Ari Hoffman – addressed these concerns in a passionate piece published in The Stanford Daily, in which he decried Valley’s cartoons as reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. At its conclusion, Hoffman claimed:

The cost of solidarity must never be so steep as to be bought with a hateful coin… Days ago, many of us mourned the murder of six million Jews. Just last week, at a Chabad in Poway, a life and a hand were blown away solely because Jewish blood flowed through them. Over 700 hundred missiles were launched by Palestinian terrorists at Israeli civilian centers last weekend, killing four Israelis. The Jewish vacation from history is over before it began. It is open season on the Jews, in word and deed. Everything is possible and permissible. Again.

And there you have it. Equating Zionism and Judaism in the above mentioned anti-Semitic propaganda manoeuvre, Hoffman deems Valley’s anti-Zionist cartoons as anti-Semitic, even Nazi-like, and utilizes the propagandist idea of exceptional Jewish victimhood to marginalize and villainize Palestinian victims of Israeli aggression, who are meant to be the primary focus of Palestine awareness week at Stanford.

Exceptionality versus intersectionality

Donald Trump has learned from fascistic movements, including Zionism. He effectively energizes his racist base with revisionist tales of exceptional American victimhood, which supersede, marginalize and propagate the oppression and targeting of immigrants, Indigenous people, Black and Brown groups, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQI and others.

In line with Umberto Eco’s seminal characterization of fourteen common fascistic attributes, Trump and Netanyahu present “others” as both strong and weak, thus perpetuating their own victimhood while promoting a vision of strength. This contradiction points to the irrationality and ultimate unsustainability of Zionist and imperial rhetoric. Eco wrote:

“By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”

The “special relationship” between Trump and Netanyahu perpetuates the age-old alliance between anti-Semitic forces and Zionism. Both Trump and Netanyahu use exceptionality of victimhood as a cudgel to beat down progressive agendas and opponents, while promoting their capitalist and expansionist goals.

In contrast, it is evident that an intersectional approach between marginalized groups, which galvanizes lessons of past anti-colonial movements and disregards hierarchies of oppression can disentangle the revisionist narratives of white supremacy, imperialism, and patriarchy, including attempts to exceptionalize victimhood. An acknowledgement of mutual oppressors reinforces solidarity and assists in principled grassroots movements, such as the Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

The recent questioning of the US-Israeli “special relationship” by progressive Democratic lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, as well as critique of Netanyahu by Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, among others, are welcome steps towards the ultimate dismantlement of this colonizing coalition. Regardless, a consistent refusal to quantify suffering and victimhood as part of propaganda which creates hierarchy and thus divides groups oppressed by white supremacy is essential for effectively combating all forms of oppression, en route toward a society promoting equality and justice for all, both in the US and Israel/Palestine.

The Antisemitic Hasbara of Zionism

Highlighting the new forum article in MERIP featuring Neve Gordon, Lynne Segal, Kristian Davis Bailey and Olivia Katbi Smith where Kristian Davis Bailey, co-founder of Black for Palestine, says:

‘It has often been sufficient for Israel’s defenders to merely allege antisemitism in order to marginalize advocates for justice in Palestine. This tactic has worked by representing anti-Jewish racism, and the Nazi Holocaust, as exceptional—hence non-comparable—phenomena. In this way, discussions of antisemitism have been largely separated from other forms of genocide, state-sanctioned violence and bigotry.

As a result, wide gaps have emerged between discussions of anti-Jewish racism, pogroms and genocide and discussions of the African slave trade, European colonial genocides in Africa, the Americas and Australia, as well as the Palestinian Nakba (when Zionist forces expelled the majority of indigenous Palestinians from historic Palestine in 1948) and the violence undertaken during the US-declared “war on terror” since 2001. The injustices inflicted upon Jews have become separated from these other histories, even though they often were intertwined. The exceptionalism of Jewish suffering in turn leads to the justification of Israel’s state violence against Palestinians. From this premise, Palestinians become subject to the particular terms and dynamics of Jewish history, rather than having the agency to narrate their own history in the context of anti-racism and anti-colonialism. The Palestinian struggle becomes annexed and subordinate to Jewish history.

Nonetheless, as the global interconnectedness of racism and colonialism has gained mainstream acceptance among academics and activists, these separations have become harder to maintain. When House Democrats attempted to censure Rep. Omar for her alleged use of antisemitic tropes, for example, activists forced the political establishment to concede that antisemitism is not wholly unique or separate from white supremacy or anti-Muslim bigotry and were compelled to pass a general condemnation of antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry rather than a resolution specific to antisemitism.’

To be or not to be a Zionist?

Article by Yoav Litvin

Art by Banksy

Jewish American progressives are falling for the oldest trick in the Zionist playbook: the conflation of Zionism with Judaism. The ultimate victims of this propaganda ploy are always Palestinians.

Sheldon’s Party

Last Sunday, Sheldon Adelson’s Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) welcomed President of the United States, serial sexual harasser and inspiration to murderous white supremacists worldwide – Donald Trump – as a god.

Members of the audience brandished “Trump”-embroidered Kippahs, enthusiastically clapped at the President’s overt incitement against Rep. Ilhan Omar and swallowed whole his anti-Semitic reference to Benjamin Netanyahu as “your Prime Minister” – a clear suggestion of dual loyalty.

In an act comparable to the ancient Israelites’ worshipping of the Golden Calf, Senator Norm Coleman, who once called Trump: “A bigot. A misogynist. A fraud. A bully,” led a Passover Dayenu chant in which he replaced “God” with “Trump”.

Moses, where art thou?

Still, a drama unfolded during Trump’s speech. Ten members of If Not Now, a nonviolent American Jewish organization aimed at ending US support for the 1967 Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, stood up and chanted in protest: “Jews are here to say, occupation is a plague.”

A press release soon followed:

10 young American Jews disrupted Trump’s speech at the National Jewish Republican Coalition (RJC) Pro-Israel Rally at the Venetian Ballroom in Las Vegas. As soon as Trump began to speak, they stood up and chanted, “Jews are here to say Occupation is a plague. Jews are here to say white nationalism is a plague,” a reference to the 10 plagues remembered in the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover. They then sang the Hebrew song Olam Chesed Yibaneh, “We Will Build This World With Love” as they were removed from the auditorium.

The Twitterati ask the wrong questions

Progressive American Jewish Twitter was abuzz about Sheldon’s party and If Not Now’s intervention. Several examples:

Yonah Lieberman (@YonahLieberman): Going after both #Birthright and Trump in 24 hours has got the Jewish right using Nazi rhetoric to try and intimidate the new Jewish Future.

Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev): there [sic] is nothing as contemptible to me as a jewish [sic] fascist. Nothing as myopic, as malleable, as cruel and shosrtsighted [sic]

Rafael Shimunov (@RafaelShimunov): Between Sheldon Adelson putting Trump’s name on his kippa [sic], and the @RJC replacing God with Trump in one our holiest prayers as Jews, Republican Jews have officially ______________?

The responses to Shimunov’s quiz included: sold out, Gone meshugganah and embraced extremism, among others.

However, these progressive American Jews do not implicate the real culprit.

In spite of its name and best efforts, the RJC is not a Jewish organization, but a Zionist one. Its members are not “the Jewish right” or “Jewish fascists”, but simply “Zionists”.

Only Zionists would worship an anti-Semite like Trump in return for unconditional support of Israeli apartheid, much like the vast majority of Zionist Israelis who adore Trump within the supposed “Jewish state” itself.

It is not Republican Jews who have “sold out” or have suddenly “embraced extremism”, but Zionists since the very inception of the movement, well before the establishment of the state of Israel and until today. In logical confluence, Neo-Nazis have been inspired by Israel’s policies and the term “white Zionism” has been used to describe the emerging “alt-right” neo-fascistic movement, the very one Trump spearheads.

Unsurprisingly, Ben Shapiro, a Zionist Republican who also happens to be Jewish, has inspired far-right Islamophobes, including the Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette.

Yet crucially, Zionist collaboration with anti-Semites and white supremacists crosses the aisle. For it was a Democrat, liberal Zionist Jew – Batya Ungar-Sargon of The Forward – who instigated the fallacious smear campaign against Rep. Ilhan Omar which she then used as a marketing tool to fundraise under the guise of a Jewish vanguard against anti-Semitism.

Ungar-Sargon’s smear was picked up by establishment Democrats, overtly racist Republican Zionists, the President’s son and Trump himself numerous times, including as a means to mock Rep. Ilhan Omar at the Sheldon Party.

The UK as a case study

The conflation of Zionism with Judaism serves to distract from the plight of Palestinians by focusing on a manufactured crisis within the “Jewish community”, downplaying the role of empire and other capitalist supporters of the Zionist project. The distinction between “Jewish” and “Zionist” here is crucial, and one only needs to glance across the pond at the United Kingdom to learn why.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has consistently shown solidarity with Palestinians and conveyed criticism toward Israeli apartheid in tune with socialist ideals, has been hypocritically vilified by Zionists for supposedly tolerating and even inspiring “anti-Semitism” within the Labour Party.

The campaign against Corbyn relies on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) highly controversial and flawed definition of anti-Semitism which in its examples, erroneously and opportunistically conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

What’s more, Jewish party members who support Corbyn and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, such as Jackie Walker, have been abused, suspended and even expelled. Meanwhile, Ella Rose, who was featured in the Al Jazeera documentary ‘The Lobby’ threatening Jackie Walker with physical violence is still a member and was recently elected by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) as its new “Network officer”.

Unsurprisingly, the Zionist smear campaigns in the UK against politicians and activists who convey support for Palestinians and BDS and resist Zionist settler colonialism, apartheid and genocide show a striking resemblance to the recent defamation of Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and members of the women’s march and as part of a larger effort against Senator Bernie Sanders.

Much like Ungar-Sargon’s The Forward claim of progressive Judaism yet real loyalty to Zionism, the UK Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) is supposedly affiliated with the UK Labour party supporting “labour values”, yet it is truly a liberal Zionist organization.

It does not require its members to be either Jewish or from the Labour Party, yet has recently passed a no confidence motion of Jeremy Corbyn based on discredited charges of “anti-Semitism”.

The Question

The focus must remain on Zionist criminality. And the only relevant dilemma for progressive American Jews remains – are you a Zionist or an anti-Zionist? As veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy recently wrote: “If you remain a Zionist, you can no longer be of the left; if you’re of the left, you can no longer be a Zionist.”

All those who claim to care about Palestinians, including progressive Jews and organizations such as If Not Now who in their broad umbrella avoid implicating Zionism or directly supporting BDS cannot continue to claim left wing universalist values while simultaneously serving as the “liberal” wing of the apartheid Zionist regime.

Only a consistent and unapologetic anti-Zionist framework is effective and congruent with leftist values.

Art by Sulaiman Mansour
Art by Sulaiman Mansour

Source

Cover art by Banksy, Bethlehem, Palestine

Related Links

Reminder that Gary Spedding whitewashes the zionist JLM.

Spedding whitewashes the zionist JLM

Invasion Day 2019

Crinum

Whitey Lament

I am not a bloody racist
Never comment to their faces
I have some very good black friends
You’re up a shit creek deadend
Can’t you see my smile
is politely nice and bright
I’m the genuine true blue article
from well-meaning #NotAllWhites
Intersectionally proud
of all my whitey cultures
What’s this crap you’re spinning
about capitalist social structures?
Who needs a republic
the mother ship gives us so much
All the lovely white things
sugar, flour, cotton and such
and why shift our Straya day
why do you want to #ChangetheNation?
We’re the lucky country, aren’t we?
be happy in your station.

January 2019

Updates

How could these barbarians do this to the memory of such a brave and noble British explorer!! Australia would be an empty wasteland without British colonialism, that great spreader of civilisation across the globe!! Mining and farming profits should not be taxed and used to extend even more civilised white British influence everywhere!!!

Racism toward courageous white exploiters of an empty land is intolerable!!!!

New Years in Australia

Umbrellas at the Lake

It’s come down to this
Tim Minchin sings Neil Finn
till the cows come home
You better be home soon
then video killed the radio star
We wave sparklers in the dark
in the singing forest and consider
No new Holdens off the line in 2019
in my mind and in my car
Gotta wonder about the Bathurst
this year without the local team
We’ll be ridin’ on the horses, yeah
And the NSW Lib gov charges
Sydneyites and hangers on
Fifty five bucks a seat
for the coathanger show
It’s come down to this –
a fireworks levy.
Relax, you can see it all on TV
till the scoundrel silvertails
kill off the ABC
Doing the eagle rock
yet we still call Lostralia home.

January 2019