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Uses and abuses of the word ‘Zionism’

The Labour right, in close coordination with pro-Israel propaganda organizations like BICOM has orchestrated this entire scandal out of thin air.
Former British PM Tony Blair [File photo]
Former British PM Tony Blair [File photo]

Be under absolutely no illusions about what is going on with the Labour Party’s fabricated “anti-Semitism crisis” right now. This is nothing less than a coup attempt aimed at ending the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn, of course, is a long-standing socialist and veteran Palestine campaigner. The embittered Ultras of the Blairite right will see the party go down in flames, sacrificing every election, before they allow a Labour government under Prime Minister Corbyn come to power.

In this entirely failed campaign to abort Corbyn’s spectacular election victory last summer, Blair himself was explicit: “I wouldn’t want to win on an old-fashioned leftist platform. Even if I thought it was the route to victory, I wouldn’t take it.” His remaining followers in the party – few in number but still entrenched in some key positions of power – seem to have taken this as rallying cry.

In Syria’s brutal civil war, one of the slogans supporters of President Bashar al-Assad are reported to have embraced is “Assad, or we burn the country.” The Blairite slogan seems to be “Corbyn-Out or we burn the party.”

The fact they have been entirely unable to produce a viable or unifying replacement leadership candidate only speaks to the total bankruptcy of the New Labour project.

The Labour right, in close coordination with pro-Israel propaganda organizations like BICOM (the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre) has orchestrated this entire scandal out of thin air.

This poisonous atmosphere of lies, dirty tricks, and fabrications in the media and political establishment is reminiscent of the worst days of 1950s McCarthyism in the US.

Such levels of hysteria are usually reserved for coup attempts against democratically elected governments that the governments of the US and the UK specialise in. In this case, a pre-emptive coup attempt is being launched years before Corbyn could even conceivably become prime minister.

A recurring theme has been endless repetition by Israel’s apologists that anti-Zionism is simply anti-Semitism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This preposterous notion, endlessly repeated by Israeli and pro-Israeli propagandists the world over is a vicious lie. What is more, it is in effect an anti-Semitic statement in itself, seeking as it does to falsely associate all Jews in the world with the violent colonial movement that in 1948 used terrorist militias to remove 750,000 or more Palestinians from their native land.

It gets worse. Michael Levy, the Labour Party peer and Tony Blair’s former “Lord Cashpoint” claimed on BBC Newsnight a few days ago that “using the word Zionist” is “another form of anti-Semitism”. Using the word. This is an astonishing new level in the attempt to crush dissent over Israel and designate thought crimes.

Of course, this hypocritical supporter of Israeli war crimes did not apply his logic to pro-Israel and Israeli organizations – many of whom describe themselves as “Zionist” (see the “Zionist Federation,” the “World Zionist Organization,” Israel’s main opposition coalition the “Zionist Union” – and many more).

Zionism, after all, is the foundational ideology of the state of Israel.

My colleague Ben White has written eloquently on the vital element missing from the laughable and shambolic debate being performed by the establishment media and the political elite in the UK over what Zionism really means: What Zionism has meant for Palestinians.

It has meant and still means: ethnic cleansing, regular massacres, bombardments of entire civilian populations, wars of aggression against every neighbouring Arab state, dispossession, exile, systematic racism and apartheid.

That is the historic and current reality of Zionism.

For Zionist hoodlums to try and decree any mention of their own ideology by their critics verboten is the most rank hypocrisy. It is also political cowardice, and a sign they know in their heart-of-hearts that their arguments are weak. Hence they try to limit the acceptable parameters of debate around Israel.

It is true that Jew-hating white supremacists and neo-Nazis sometimes use “Zionist” as a weasel-word for “Jew” as a sort of thin veneer for their racism. But other bigoted fascist groups in modern times have embraced an opportunistic form of Zionism – such as the English Defence League, who were notorious for carrying Israeli flags on their violent anti-Muslim street provocations.

Even the BNP’s Nick Griffin had a pro-Israel period – recall his infamous 2009 appearance on Question Time when he declared that the BNP was now “the only political party which, in the clashes between Israel and Gaza, stood full-square behind Israel’s right to deal with Hamas terrorists”.

It is also true that some politically naïve people are suckered by the propaganda, and take Israel at its word in its false (and anti-Semitic) claim to be the representative of “the Jews” of the world (my impression based on what I’ve seen, is that Naz Shah seems to have fallen into that category in 2014).

But to leap from that to then claim the word “Zionism” or “Zionist” is impermissible is ridiculous. Zionism is a political ideology, as such it must be open to opposition – as much as Israel’s apologists wish it were otherwise.

The Jewish Labour Movement (affiliated to the Labour Party, the Israeli Labor Party and the World Zionist Organization) is now proposing a rule change that (they argue) should outlaw “Zionism as a term of abuse.”

It is habitual for critics of a political ideology to use the self-descriptors of those ideologies as terms of harsh criticism – e.g. “Tory,” “fascist,” “Blairite” etc. If you’re bitterly opposed to a political ideology, it’s no surprise you’d want to use it as an insult.

Why should Zionism be exempt from this principle?

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist who lives in London and an associate editor with The Electronic Intifada.

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  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Jabotinsky gave a very good description of the reality of political Zionism. Everyone should read it for an understanding of a cause without one shread of caring about the vast injury done to others.

    The Iron Wall
    http://en.jabotinsky.org/media/9747/the-iron-wall.pdf

    • peepsqueek

      Islamism, also known as Political Islam is an Islamic revival movement often characterized by moral conservatism, literalism, and the attempt “to implement Islamic values in all spheres of life.” Islamism favors the reordering of government and society in accordance with Islamic Sharia.

      With the exception of Israel, all the Countries of the Middle East are signatories to the CAIRO DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS:

      Article 19: “There shall be NO crime or punishment EXCEPT as provided for in the Sharia.”

      Article 24: “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia.”

      Article 25: “The Islamic Sharia is the ONLY source of reference for the explanation or clarification of ANY of the articles of this Declaration.”

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        Look! the silly liar tries to blame the antagonism of suffering a savage invasion by the Zionist thugs on Islam. He forgets that the Zionist thugs also attacked the Arab Christians and Jews!

        • peepsqueek

          Considering that no system is perfect, you laid out what you believe is political Zionism, and I responded with the solid definition of what political Islam really is, and Islamist are very honest about their ambitions. Calling my a “silly liar” does not change the facts. The readers can clearly see that you have made a choice here.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Of course you’re a silly liar. You’re presenting “political Islam” as the reason for resentment against the Zionist assault on the indigenous people of Palestine. The readers here can see that you are trying to the fog the fact of political Zionism being country-stealing.

            Even Jabotinsky declares it so.

            http://i.ytimg.com/vi/-4Sd8lp_7aQ/maxresdefault.jpg

            The Iron Wall
            http://en.jabotinsky.org/media/9747/the-iron-wall.pdf

          • peepsqueek

            I repeat, from 1948–67, the West Bank and Gaza were under Arab rule, and no Jewish settlements existed there, but the Arabs never set up a Palestinian State. Instead, Gaza was occupied by Egypt, and the West Bank was occupied by Jordan. No demands for a West Bank/Gaza independent state were heard until Israel, after much Arab terrorism, took control of these areas in the Six-Day War. You know this is true, therefore, your position is bogus.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            With the ZioNazi invader-thugs looking for excuses to steal the rest of Palestine?

            Sorry, you’ve still failed to provide any justification for the predatory invasion of Palestine by the alien Ashkenazi-Khazars and the floods of crimes against humanity that they exercised:

            Over 750,000 people driven off their ancestral lands

            Over 600 Arab villages and towns BULLDOZED

            Ordered the attack on over 700,000 Arab Jews to drive them into conquered Palestine

            You don’t have a position other than merciless foreign bandits.

          • peepsqueek

            Again, Jordan is almost 80% of historic Palestine and the rest was to be divided up as written in the 1947 UN Partition Resolution, in which Jews accepted and the Arabs States chose war and they lost. Bad things happen when you chose war.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            You still have not furnished a morally justifiable reason for the European Ashkenazi-Khazar invaders stealing any part of Palestine, however you mendaciously define it.

            The Arabs didn’t choose war. The Zionists did by their long savage invasion then their proclamation of conquest on May 14, 1948.

          • peepsqueek

            Funny you should bring up the word “conquest” when it comes to the tiniest piece of real estate in the Middle East , which is how Islam spread to 57 declared Muslim States. Had collective Arab States accepted one tiny Jewish State in the Middle East, Palestinian Arabs would be celebrating 68 years of independent statehood today, with pre-1967 borders. Instead, they chose war. You don’t get to lose every war and then ask to go back to the status quo in the original UN Partition Resolution with each subsequence defeat.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Sorry, that’s a false narrative. The true one is that the Palestinians have been in Palestine continuously for over ten thousand years under many name, rulers, and religions, far longer than anything called Jewish even existed, including the last two thousand years, when the invader European Ashkenazi-Khazars certainly weren’t, if ever.

            Again, you run from the fact that by their savage invasion of conquest the European Ashkenazi-Khazars started every war. The Palestinians and the other Arabs had no choice than to fight back against the invading Zionist barbarians…

            “On 14 or 15 May [1948], a 12-year-old girl was raped by two Haganah soldiers; there were also a number of attempted rapes. There was widespread institutional and private looting by Haganah and IZL [National Military Organization or Irgun] troops and Tel Aviv citizens who infiltrated the town, there was robbery on the roads by patrolling Jewish troops and there was widespread vandalisation of property. In genera, the inhabitants complained, they were ‘being incessantly molested.’

            “The looting was so bad that Chizik appealed directly to Ben-Gurion, who on 22 May ordered the IZL and the Haganah to obey Chizik’s instructions. A senior Kiryati officer, Zvi Aurbach, made a point of washing his hands of any responsibility for property in Jaffa. On 25 May, on official reported:

            “‘During the whole day I walked about the streets…I saw soldiers, civilians, military police, battalion police, looting, robbing, while breaking through doors and walls…’”

            Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 210-211.

          • peepsqueek

            Before 1948, Jews in that area were known as Palestinians. They shared the British Passport Palestine. The Israeli newspaper, today called the Jerusalem Post, was then called the Palestine Post. The Jewish-founded electric company was Palestine Electric. The Palestinian Symphony Orchestra was Jewish. During World War II, the British army had a Palestinian Brigade made up of Palestinian Jewish volunteers. Before 1948.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            So what? The savage ZioNazi invasion and terror began in 1882. The Palestinian Jews were Arab Jews, not the utterly alien Ashkenazi-Khazar Zionist invaders of no demonstrable Semite ancestry.

          • peepsqueek

            Egyptians were not Arabs, nor did they speak Arabic. Syrians (Assyrians) were not Arabs, nor did they speak Arabic, Moroccans (Berbers) were not Arabs, nor did they speak Arabic, Iraqis were not Arabs not did they speak Arabic, Libya was not Arab, nor did they speak Arabic, the Sudan (tribal Africa) was not Arab, nor did they speak Arabic, Tunisia was not Arab, nor did they speak Arabic. Why are they all called Arab Countries, speak Arabic, and belong to the league of “Arab” Nations, and live under some form of Islamic Sharia, which is Arabian? Religious philosophy is one thing, but complete take over is another. Attempt to use a balance scale when citing history lessons. And what ever happened to the land of the Zoroaster? Or the land of the Buddha in today’s Pakistan? We know what happened to their Hindus and Jews.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            What does all that silliness you yammer matter? You sick Ashkenazi-Khazar thugs invaded and stole the land of the genuinely Semite indigenous people of Palestine.

            Leave! You sick colonialist thug! Like the Italians did Libya, the French did Algeria, and the British did Aden and Kenya!

          • peepsqueek

            Maybe Arabs will go back to Arabia, is that how it works.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Only ignorant and stupid people believe that Arabs are only from Arabia. Look it up, unless you want to keep us laughing at you.

          • peepsqueek

            I know, Arabs are from Judea and Samaria (sarcasm intended). No one ancient artifact dug up in Palestine has an Arabic writing on them.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Of course, they are. So are Arab Jews, many of whom converted to Christianity, then to Islam.

          • Jewish State of Israel ROOLZ

            What on earth are Arab Jews .. maybe you mean Jews who lived in Arab countries .. please don’t libel us with the adjective Arab.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            No, libeling Arab Jews would be calling them Ashkenazi-Khazar ZioNazi thugs.

          • Jewish State of Israel ROOLZ

            Koosimak to you.

          • peepsqueek

            All land brought under the Ottoman Empire had to be approved by the Islamic Courts, so stop the BS.

            It is important to note that the first enduring Jewish agricultural settlement in the Modern Palestine was founded not by European refugees, but by a group of old-time families, leaving the overcrowded Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the Turkish census of 1875, by that time Jews already constituted a majority of the population of Jerusalem and by 1905 comprised two-thirds of its citizens. The Encyclopedaedia Britanica of 1910 gives the population figure as 60,000, of who 40,000 were Jews.

            In 1878 they found the village of Petah Tikva in the Sharon Palin, a village that was to become known as the “Mother of Jewish Settlements” in Palestine. Four years later a group of pioneer immigrants from Russia settled in Rishon le-Zion. Other villages followed in rapid succession. All approved by Islamic Courts, as they brought prosperity to the region.

            Most of the land purchases involved large tracts belonging to absentee owners. Virtually of the the Jerzeel Valley, for example, belonged to only two people in 1897, the eastern portion to the Turkish Sultan, and the Western part to a rich banker in Syria, Sursuk the Greek. Most of the land had not be cultivated previously and considered uncultivable, This is supported by the Peel Commission Report.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            So what? The purchase of stolen land by alien Zionist thugs doesn’t mean they own it.

          • peepsqueek

            The Ottoman Empire only sold it to them for one reason. They brought prosperity to the region. Why did they not sell it to Arabs or other Muslims?

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            But the land was stolen, and nobody thought the ZioNazi thugs were good for prosperity.

          • peepsqueek

            The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income per capita indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. As of 2015, Israel ranks in the top 18 nations in the world on the UN’s Human Development Index

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            So what? The ZioNazi thugs are rich with stolen wealth.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Does it include ZioNazi crimes against humanity like these?

            Over 750,000 people driven off their ancestral lands

            Over 600 Arab villages and towns BULLDOZED

            Ordered the attack on over 700,000 Arab Jews to drive them into conquered Palestine

          • peepsqueek

            Who was it stolen from. The Ottoman Turks controlled that land for 400 years. Squatting does not amount to land purchase. I am part Native American, and the foreigner who bought the building where I live, decides who comes and who goes. That is how the world works today. Again- who’s land are you living on, hypocrite.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Here! Do a little reading from a good, decent, honest Ashkenazi person, instead of stupidly yammering ZioNazi delusions.

            http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/origin.html

  • bunnyswanson

    Take a seat. The world is overdosing on the tears coming out of the more successful nations economically, despite their attempts to persuade us to believe otherwise. 0.002% of the global population yet so fucking important I can’t read the news without seeing them begging for more in one clip and stealing land/resources in another. Enough.

  • Hal

    Bullshit Comrade. Antizionism is just another word for Antisemitism.

  • Jewish State of Israel ROOLZ

    Another British anti-semitic gentile trying to lecture Jews on Zionism. A Jew by definition is a Zionist .. read the bible you anti-semitic twerp. Thank God for the Jewish State of Israel – the Arabs can go to UK or any other Arab state.

  • Jewish State of Israel ROOLZ

    Since Islam is a political movement disguised as a religion, those opposing its hateful idealogy can use it derogatorily as the writer points out – you muslim piece of … or Islamic scum .. that’s ok then, by your logic?