Taxi's Articles

Who Guards The Dog?

The American pro Palestine community is divided. Clearly, there is an aggressive attempt by a certain Jewish camp to dominate the narrative and set the boundaries of freedom of speech within the community. On the other hand, there are the resistors to this attempted domination.  I will not go into parsing the details of the JVP-Weir wars here, as they’re already known.  But I will say this:  to question authority using the sword of reason is healthy and in fact it is a necessary activity.

The pro Palestine community has two kinds of infiltrators:  the despicable antisemite and the despicable anti-gentile.  A Jewish contingency within the community, more specifically JVP, has taken it upon themselves to weed out the antisemite amongst us using McCarthy-like tactics and their fault-susceptible broad definition of an antisemite.   I understand the absolute necessity of weeding out undesirables – but it has to be done for non-personal and legitimate reasons – and the ousting must be agreed upon by both Jew and Gentile groups, and not just solely by one side.

To do this justly, only facts need be presented. In other words: facts, regardless of who presents them, should be the only measure and material used.

In a leaderless community, it is imperative that no group self-appoints itself as gatekeeper without the consent of the majority of other groups. Otherwise, the community risks falling into a dictatorship; or falling into hostile divisions where the shared good cause is consequently lost to the wind. Neither scenario is desirable for the Palestine community in the USA.

By now, it’s become a fact that JVP has used the ‘antisemite’ smear too many times against genuine and important pro Palestine supporters and without clear and detailed explanation – and unilaterally so. This pattern of behavior is now itself suspect and necessitates an examination of their agenda towards the suffering Palestinians. Are they in support of the Palestinian issue out of scratchy guilt or out of true universalism? Do they view a Palestinian in suffering through a Judaic prism or a Universalist one? Of course, they have every right to view it through a Jewish lens, but then this would render them myopic as central leaders to the cause and therefore unreliable in their judgment – abuse of power usually follows myopia, and it has.

Let me remind JVP here that the cause is about Palestine and not about American Jews and their sensitivities, real or imagined. Palestine is the primary victim we should be tending to here and not the American Jew. And if they insist on putting their Jewish issue above all else, then they expose their own narcissistic agenda and lose vital credibility to ‘lead’ other groups, or even to speak on behalf of Palestinians.

Let me also say that I doubt that a single Palestinian thinks that JVP-USA alone will actually deliver them justice either in congress or in the holy land – in any measure.  It behooves them therefore, if their concern for Palestine is genuine, to work with other gentiles and to do it on equitable terms and with no prejudice or personal vendettas involved.

What JVP have been doing and continue doing seems to me to the PR benefit of the American Jewish community and not to the primary and principled cause of Palestinian liberation. There is way too much kosher kabuki being performed and it is destructive as it is a serious distraction to the cause. Is this done on purpose for sabotage or is this a pathological addiction to drama? Whatever it is, it just has to stop!

JVP has created a poisonous wedge in the community and the Palestine cause is suffering for it. You cannot honorably lead by dividing – dividing is what dictators and colonialists and imperialists do. And that is not what the pro Palestinian community should be about. No single group should self-appoint itself as guard dog either. Because if they do, then who guards the dog?

Well, we the people should guard the dog when self-appointed leaders behave capriciously and vainly. Caring individuals should guard the dog and sound off the alarm when the dog barks at imaginary shadows in the night.

I encourage the readers to question the agenda of JVP as well as their alternative media affiliates. Due to their own divisive behavior, we now doubt them. We need to know for certain what these people are actually about and not just take them at face value just because they have a nice poetic name. We need to be assured that these people are not practicing covert anti-gentilism under the cover of pro Palestine. We need to weed them out, if indeed they are agents against change in Palestine, in the same manner that we weed out the anti-Semite. We do this with rigorous and unprejudiced examination of their actions and statements combined. We arrive at a determination through reason and through documented fact.

The jury is still out on the JVP issue, but their pattern of brutal hostility towards others who have a different experience and understanding of Jews and Zionism leaves us no other option but to question them and their motives in return. Abuse of the smear of ‘antisemite’ in the community and outside the community is never acceptable and it is not to be tolerated in any measure.

And anti-gentilism as a response to anti-Semitism, real or imagined, is never acceptable and is not to be tolerated in any measure either.

Who guards the dog? We do. We do. Us, the people do.

Time to start guarding the dog and closely examining every bark.

Neither antisemite nor anti-gentile is welcomed in the pro Palestine community. This, I hope, we can all agree on.

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5 comments:

  1. A very powerful piece of writing, Taxi!

    JVP is certainly suspect from all I have read so far (and I am no great historian), and by extension, Mondoweiss is suspect, without even having to use the guilt-by-association logic that they have used to excommunicate Allison Weir. It becomes confusing to people like me when it is hard to distinguish between zionists and anti-zionists based on their actions (and sometimes their words when caught off-guard). The oft-maligned Gilad Aztmon had this to say:


    Gilad Atzmon
    June 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    This is the thing … ‘anti Zionist’ doesn’t necessarily means pro Palestinian…All it means is a minor political dissent within the Jewish identity discourse. in practice there is a clear continuum between Zion and its Jewish opposition. I guess that for exposing it, i am one of the most hated people within the Jewish Left (as you wrote). Recently, i have started to enjoy it. I hope not to become addicted:)

    In history, heresy is often the battle cry of those who would silence dissenting voices in an attempt to preserve the power configuration. Galileo had to recant his scientific observations to the power of the church (which the church recently apologized for, far too late) or be doomed to hell on earth.

    You are exactly right: debates should be based on facts, provable facts, not ideological skirmishes, and certainly not personal attacks, as ad hominems are usually poor replacements for reasoned thought. Antisemitism and anti-gentilism are both ideological constructs to define people who pronounce judgement on another people without a rational basis, leading to gross generalizations and collective tarnishing, and we could do without such labels. On the other hand, when a segment of the population can provably be demonstrated to display actions and behavior patterns that are detrimental to the common good, whether it is the good of the US, which is my primary concern, or the good of Palestinians and other trampled victims of the world, I think that is fair game for debate.

    So here’s to guarding the dogs when they bare their fangs.

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    • what is anti-semitism though? I think we should boycott that stupid word.

      And Palestinians are only one victim group of “Zionism”, another stupid word meant to obfuscate, confuse, distract, and de-rail.

      It’s not Zionism that makes Wall Street oligarchs suck the goyim dry, or push through TPP, and it’s not Zionism or anti-zionism that makes them all under-report the TPP, or to intentionally fail to connect the dots between Palestine and what’s going on in Syria, Ukraine, Libya and a hundred other places.

      The Fact Is, JVP and mondoweiss and the rest already think we are all anti-semites. If you don’t think Alison Weir is an evil bigot, then you are one too.

      And that’s not zionism or anti-zionism that makes them all hate us the same.

      That dog is rabid, and doesn’t speak english.

    • “Antisemitism and anti-gentilism are both ideological constructs to define people who pronounce judgement on another people without a rational basis, leading to gross generalizations and collective tarnishing, and we could do without such labels.”

      Can you even dream up a culture more deserving of judgment than Judaism?

  2. JVP, BDS and Jewish Liberal Terror

    June 27, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

     

    Following my expose of the JVP campaign against the great American patriot Alison Weir, I was approached by Berta Schwartz, an American JVP activist. Berta is obviously a pseudo name. As with Ned Rozenberg, our dissident Liberal Jews are fearful of their ‘progressive’ synagogues. Expressing their thoughts in the open may lead to their social exclusion and even excommunication. While orthodox Jews are fearful of God, our Liberal Jewish are actually terrorised by their friends.  Before publishing this interview Berta asked me to hide her name and disguise the location of her JVP chapter. I followed her request.  

    Berta Schwartz: What do you think the hypothetical Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza or the refugee camp you spoke about want and what do they want the world to do?  

    Gilad Atzmon: At present there are several different and sometimes contradictory Palestinian discourses of liberation, resistance and even collaboration. Hypothetically I would think that in Gaza they may want a day without drones, and the ability to move about free from fear of an Israeli sniper or missile; in the West Back they may wish to drive from A to B on a straight road. In Yarmuk they probably can’t even picture a different future. In Lod and Jaffa Palestinians demand civil rights. It is clear that Palestinians don’t necessarily agree amongst themselves on their goals. But far more interesting is that this division is sustained by Israeli policies and legislation.

    Jewish domination of the Palestinian solidarity movement doesn’t help. Instead of fighting for the ‘Right of Return’ of the Palestinians that formerly united all Palestinians around a single ethos, the movement has been hobbled by convoluted terminology that is Judeo centric to the core. As I explain here, the new solidarity terminology (BDS, Colonialism, Apartheid, End of Occupation, etc.) is primarily concerned with the West Bank, because this is the only territory the liberal Jews directing the movement are interested in. In short, instead of a true solidarity movement concerned solely with Palestinian rights, the movement has devolved into an internal Jewish debate on ‘The Right to BDS’.

    BS: If Palestinians put out a call for international BDS, why shouldn’t other people support this 

    GA: There is nothing wrong with the call to boycott or sanction Israel. My issues with the ‘BDS movement’ are simple. I differentiate between an artist and tomato. I believe in freedom of speech and I do not think that making the Palestinians into opponents of the 1st amendment is such a clever idea. As early as 2005, I predicted that BDS would become a thought policing apparatus and unfortunately, I was right. We have seen the BDS campaign against George GallowayNorman Finkelstein, Ken O’Keefe, Silvia Cattori, Greta Berlin, Daniel Barenboim, Jacob Cohen, me, and other intellects. It has become clear that though the original principle of BDS is legitimate and may have helped the Palestinian cause, the movement is deeply corrupted. It now operates as a liberal Jewish thought policing apparatus. Norman Finkelstein was spot on describing it as a ‘cult.’

    Another issue I have with BDS is that it changed its goal statement in a shameless clandestine manner. It compromised the most precious Palestinian principle – It developed into a proxy stamp for the Jewish State and I explain this transition here.  

    Other than that, I support all forms of sanctions and possible measures against Israel and its Jewish Lobby.    

    BS: Do you think BDS has any value at all? Political? Educational? Awareness? etc.? 

    GA: I am not an activist and not a great believer in activism. It is very clear that BDS has a tremendous ability to unite the Jews of both the so-called ‘pro’ and the ‘anti.’  It removes the debate concerning Palestine from the Palestinians and transforms it into an internal Jewish debate. Let me tell you… This is very good for the Jews. I suppose it is also good for the few Palestinians NGOs that are corrupted enough to accept money from liberal Zionist George Soros and his ilk.

    BS: I read reports that Israeli officials and American Jewish organizations are fearful of the growing BDS movement and want to stop it. Do you think that is in an indication that it is a good strategy?

    GA: As I say above, you are right, it proves beyond doubt that Israel and Hasbara are determined to make the ‘Right To BDS’ into its prime propaganda battle. So here we are again, instead of fighting for the ‘Palestinian’s Right of Return, we let a few Jews debate the ‘Right to BDS.’ Is that good for Palestine or is it good for the Jews?   My opinion is that the BDS marched into an Israeli ambush and its leadership was and is too naive to read the map and this is not surprising. Following the continuous BDS/JVP purge against intellectuals,  what remains of the solidarity movement  is a beheaded activist network that lacks the brain capacity to think strategically and tactically while being critical of itself. It is a recipe for a disaster.       

    BS: What activist or political strategy do you think would be effective to change things in the region?

    GA: My job as a thinker is to refine the question rather than providing answers or agenda for ‘activists.’ I believe that when we are brave enough to face the meaning of the Jewishness of Israel and the power of Jewish politics, only then  we may be able to produce some different adequate answers. Rather than thinking  ‘activism’ we better stop and make sure we understand the ‘cause’. Is that such an outrageous suggestion? However, witnessing the current BDS/JVP’s purge  against Weir, Cohen, O’Keefe and myself, it is clear that our liberal  Jewish ‘allies’ are in a state of despair. They can’t conceal anymore their fear of the truth.   

    However, I believe that the Palestinians should liberate themselves, and our role is to back them up and support their resistance. At the moment we are doing the complete opposite. We invent some infantile ‘non violent’ imaginary tactics that only serve to make us to feel better at the expense of the Palestinians.   

    BS: Do you think that any activist organization with Jewish in their name is doomed to do only what is good for the Jews?  

    GA: It depends upon what we mean by the  ‘J word.’ Torah Jews see the Torah as the core of their humanist approach to the conflict. This is a legitimate call that I support and have praised through my entire career. However, the secular Jewish organizations such as IJAN, J-BIG and JVP are selling an ethno centric product. They celebrate Jewish exclusivism, their boards are purely Jewish and impervious to the notion of diversity they espouse. The Israeli Knesset, that has as its  3rd biggest party an Arab party, is far more diverse, pluralistic and tolerant than  JVP or any other Jewish progressive group.   

    BS: What about organizations in the US Civil Rights movement like Southern Christian Leadership Council or groups like Sabeel who are Christian – didn’t/don’t they do good work?

    GA: We are tapping here into a big and crucial distinction between Jewishness that is a nationalist, ethno centric and is associated with a religion (Judaism) and Christianity that is merely a belief system. As I said above, there is no problem with Torah Jews applying their belief system to the conflict and its resolution. Similarly, there is no problem with Christians doing the same. However, I do have a problem with secular Jews who build an exclusive ideology that is centred around their imaginary racial broyjerhood. What would you think of Aryan Voice of Peace, or White Solidarity with Palestine? Will such groups be kosher in your eyes?   

    BS: Do you think that Jews in the US saying “Not in My Name” can provide any positive political change or be used strategically in any effective way to counter the Jews and others who support the large amounts US tax money going to Israel?

    GA: ‘Not in my name’ is a banal escapist approach. It basically puts the blame on everyone else.  By saying not in my (Jewish) name you are conceding that the crimes in Israel are committed by the Jews and in their name. If this is what you want to achieve I can only congratulate you. I actually agree.

    BS: I confess that I love Jewish food, music, literature, Yiddish, holidays, and I am so happy I have a culture as compared to so many Americans with Mc Donalds as their culture. Wouldn’t a world without cultures be just like one big Mc Donalds? Isn’t it good for people to be able to have different cultures? 

    GA: To start with, I respect your love for Jewish culture and food but you must accept that chicken soup is not exactly a political argument. Would you try to liberate the Palestinians with matzah balls?    

    I love to live in and to be a part of a multi cultural society. I certainly do not want to rob you of your culture and heritage. Perhaps the Jewish choseness you celebrate in JVP is superior to ‘the culture of `McDonalds.’ So let me ask you, if it is ok for you to love your Jewish food, music, literature, and holidays, is it also kosher for Germans, Christians or even Wasps to love their food, music, literature and holidays? Would you be willing to accept that the love of your own culture could be a universal quality or is that a ‘Jew only domain’?  Can Whites love themselves? Can Dieudonne love himself being Black? I wonder, because the BDS movement excommunicated the prominent French writer Jacob Cohen for his association with Dieudonne.

    I guess that by the time JVPs and liberal Jews are brave enough to address these questions they may be intellectually and morally mature to give up on Jewish exceptionalism and Join humanity for real.  

     

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