Saturday, January 17, 2004


Before I post anything else, I felt like it was time to address this issue. As you know, there is a comments section after each posting and I don't have control over what comments people may leave there. This site also has as a premise that there are real conspiracies behind certain world events. Of course, the number one target of conspiracy theories throughout history has been the Jews. In fact, as an anti-fascist site, it would be an oversight not to note that anti-Jewish propaganda and belief in a powerful, world-dominating Jewish conspiracy has been at the heart of many fascist movements.

I have been in correspondence with one reader who seems rather left politically but does have the feeling that at the heart of much of the world's evils are the Jews, or at least Orthodox Jews. She does not confine herself to criticism of Israel or its government which is certainly fair game in my view, or even of Zionism as a political movement, trickier game, though still fair.'s the Jewish religion itself...inherently racist in her view, that is particular cause for her ire.

I bring this out, because I see a line that is crossed on occasion on many websites that seem to make the same generalizations, either explicitly or with a nod and wink to the reader "in the know." The Protocols of the Elders of Zion will simply not die.

I can start by saying what anti-Semitism is not. Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic. I'm very critical of Israel. I was less so when Rabin was PM...does that mean I was less anti-Semitic during his term, or does it mean I have a political disagreement with Israeli policies? This is clear. There are many Jewish publications and individuals who criticize Israeli policy. There are Jewish soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied territories. Clearly these are not anti-Semites unless you twist the term into something utterly meaningless.

Is it anti-Semitic to be anti-Zionist? I suppose it depends on what you mean by Zionist. If you mean by Zionist a worldwide plot of global domination by the Jews, then that would certainly be anti-Semitic and irrational. I can speak with confidence because I am certain that if there were a worldwide Jewish conspiracy for global domination my wife, Jewish by matrilineal tradition, would have told me. We have that kind of relationship. We don't keep important things like involvement in global conspiracies from each other. In addition, the arguments for such are intellectually lazy. For example, the fact that one finds Jews across the political spectrum from the far right, such as some of the current neo-cons, to the far left, such as Marx, is proof to the anti-Semite, not that Jews are like humanity as a whole in their diversity of beliefs, but that their plot is so all encompassing that they are responsible for all government actions AND all opposition movements to those government actions. In technical terms, this is called a "stupid argument". It's easy to do. Find something you don't like in the world and keep looking for connections to someone who is Jewish and voila, you have "evidence."

But that is not what anti-Zionist means to most. And although some Jewish writers are irresponsibly and I think even dangerously equating arguments against Zionism (a political movement to which many Jews were and continue to be opposed) with anti-Semitism, they are simply not the same thing. This was said much better than I could in the following article in the Nation. And while the author acknowledges that some (I'd say politically unsophisticated) anti-Zionist beliefs grow into anti-Semitism, it is simply not true that it is anti-Semitism that is at the heart of all or even most anti-Zionist beliefs. Here's the article: Myth of the New Anti-Semitism

Back to my correspondent. In what I think is telling, she sent me links to a site of someone she said was pointing out the inherent racism in Judaism, particularly Talmudic Judaism. I checked out these links, and though I haven't read them thoroughly, it certainly seems to be an attack on Israeli policy and Zionist ideology. Check it out for yourself: Shahak Interview He is not renouncing his Judaism, he's saying Zionism is racist, wrong and, ultimately, bad for Jews. She also sent me a link linkto a Jew, Israel Shamir, who converted to Christianity who goes on about the Zionist occupied government, or ZOG. The belief in ZOG is the belief that because there are Jews involved in the government, they control the government, and therefore you can go kill radio talk show hosts. Or something like that. He suggests that the Iraq war was simply to serve Israel. His evidence? Iraqi oil will not make America rich, therefore it must have been done to satisfy Israel. No...this is wrong. First off, documents were just released (on Sixty Minutes, no less) which show the plans for dividing up the Iraqi oil fields after the war. The fact that these plans were made before 9-11 is telling. Secondly, the U.S. doesn't just want Iraqi oil...they want it all, so Iraq is to be a permanent U.S. military base to keep an eye on all the OTHER oil. T

The ZOG argument is abohorrent and is also sloppy thinking, and his use of the term ZOG is frightening. A Jew, even one converted to Christianity, should know WHO uses that particular term and what they plan to do about it. I have, until Shamir's website, never seen that term used by an organization that was not far more concerned about the racial purity of America than they were about subtleties in U.S. foreign policy. Am I being too abstruse? Let me be clearer: the people who use the term ZOG want to kill Jews for being Jews. They are Nazis. I can't imagine what is going on in Shamir's head that he would embrace such a term.

This is not EVIDENCE, people. You can find someone to say pretty much anything. I'm sure, somewhere, there is a person of African descent who will justify slavery. In fact, there's probably someone like that on the U.S. Supreme Court.

All right, enough of this. I just wanted to explain that I'm aware that conspiracy theory can be fertile ground for TRUE anti-Semites but that we most also not confuse anti-Semitism with opposition to Israeli policies.


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