Monday, January 31, 2005
1. Suggestion for the quarter million anti-appeasement protesters in
Jerusalem last night to oppose the Sharon-Mitzna plan. Adopt the
"There are Substantial Penalties for Early Withdrawal!"
Should be accompanied by a large photo of a box of Viagra.
Taking to the Streets in Jerusalem
By Judy Lash Balint
FrontPageMagazine.com | January 31, 2005
Is Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharons unilateral plan to uproot dozens
of Jewish communities in Gush Katif and northern Samaria in trouble?
If Prime Minister Sharon were to listen to the people, the answer would be
yes. An estimated 150,000 gathered outside Israels parliament building on
Sunday evening for a mass demonstration that organizers dubbed the mother
of all Israeli demonstrations.
Under the theme of Let the People Decide, the huge crowd waved placards
and Israeli flags and listened to speeches from a long line of politicians
and rabbis, all of whom berated the once right-wing leader for his about
face on giving away Israeli land.
Several speakers were from Sharons Likud party. They warned the prime
minister that if the so-called disengagement plan is carried out,
irreparable harm would be done to the fabric of Israeli society.
Popular Likud Knesset member, Uzi Landau railed against Sharons tactic of
bringing the leftist Labor party into the government. They call this a
unity government? he asked. Its a lie. Sharon threw out the parties who
didnt agree with him. This government has no mandate for a one sided
withdrawal, Landau concluded.
David Levy, a veteran Likud Knesset member, told his fellow Likudniks to
wake up! As the crowd roared its approval, Levy asked how the Likudniks
could sleep at night knowing that the plan they narrowly approved is
pitting brother against brother.
Levy warned that the withdrawal would endanger the whole country, as
terrorists will be emboldened and have closer access to Israels population
Cheers went up from the crowd, as National Religious Party leader, Effie
Eitam declared: "We are telling you Ariel Sharon you have no mandate to
expel Jews. "We are telling you you have no right to divide this nation.
Israels media repeatedly claims that a majority of the public supports the
Sharon plan, but actual poll figures are hard to come by. For protestor
Hannah Baum of Netanya, the ninety-minute drive to Jerusalem was
worthwhile, just to show that not all those who are opposed to the
uprooting of Jewish communities are over the Green Line settlers.
Months before Ukrainian democracy supporters started sporting orange, the
Gush Katif campaign decided to use the color as a symbol of the sun and
sand that marks their region. At the Sunday demo, every speaker on the
dais was decked out in orange scarves, and most demonstrators wore at
least one piece of orange clothing. At one point, officials asked for the
crowd to raise their orange placards over their heads, so that an entire
sea of orange would cover the streets directly in front of the Knesset
A centerpiece of the protest was a mass pledge to go to Gaza to prevent
the evacuation should it take place.
In a series of film clips, demonstrators viewed the before and after
Sharon. Before the last election, Sharon spoke out strongly against his
opponents ideas of dismantling Jewish communities.
Little more than a year after his election, the new Sharon announced his
As the last clip drew to a close, the chant of Arik, Go Home, swelled
through the streets. Speaker after speaker called on Sharon to hold a
referendum or go to new elections. This is not about our homes only, said
Gush Katifs leading rabbi, Yigal Kaminetsky, Its about our national home.
Golan Regional Council head Eli Malka, who pledged the assistance of Golan
residents for the anti-disengagement campaign, reiterated the theme.
Tens of thousands of mostly religious teenagers were on the streets in a
show of commitment to the country. Their representative, 14 year old Neve
Dekalim resident Smadar Golan, addressed the gathering. I was born in the
first intifada, she noted. I dont know what it is to live without terror,
she continued in a steady voice. She told the crowd that her community in
Gush Katif is the security fence for the whole country.
Speaking to Prime Minister Sharon on behalf of the demonstrators, Golan
honed in on what appears to have been one of Sharons worst political
moves. You didnt even come to talk to us to explain what was going to
happen, she complained. We had to hear about it through the mediaand you
portrayed us as obstacles to peace.
3. For those who thought I was kidding you:
4. For those who think Americans do not know anything about Islam or
5. Reason for optimism:
6. Anyone still sorry Kerry lost?
7. Ending the Liberal Myth about "Self-Esteem":
8. Know how the Euronerds claim the US is being "stingy" about Tsunami
9. Let's see the asslib Tikkun Olam Pagans use this!
10. Someone who does not like radical feminizts:
Sunday, January 30, 2005
1. Fast Current Events Quiz!
Q: What is the difference between the new liberated Iraq under Allied
control, and Israel ruled by Ariel Sharon?
A: In one country, the citizens of the country decide in the ballot box
the direction of their country in free elections initiated by the
governing leaders of the state. The OTHER country is governed by Ariel
2. Remember when Ehud Olmert was a Zionist?
"Israel Can't Do Business With Terrorists
Violence against civilians must be forcibly stopped, not forgiven. "
BY EHUD OLMERT , Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 3, 2002 12:01 a.m. EDT
3. Dartmouth and Totalitarian Leftism:
4. Colorado Professor of Stupidity:
5. Holocaust Denial:
6. Fighting back on campus:
1. The German High Constitutional Court ruled over the weekend that the
local German neonazi party may be banned under law. The curious thing is
that the nazis, who call themselves the "National Democratic Party" of NDP
also insist that they are a liberal democratic party.
I mention this because these neonazis are not the only anti-Semitic
fascists around claiming to be liberal democrats. Actually, most
anti-Semitic fascists today claim they are liberal democrats. They are to
be found in many places, and even Israel has a movement of anti-Semitic
fascists calling themselves liberal democrats. Many of these have tenure
on Israeli university campuses.
2. George Orwell said that there are some ideas that are so stupid that
you can only learn about them from university professors and lecturers.
Israeli university's are crawling with flaky pseudo-scholars. Take the
Op-Ed column in today's Haaretz by one Eran Neuman, a lecturer in
architecure at Tel Aviv University
(http://www2.tau.ac.il/person/art/researcher.asp?id=adfmigdjl ) who
insists that all
of architecture should be conscripted on behalf of political opposition to
"occupation" of the Palestinians, but not of course to the genocidal mass
murder of Jews.
There are many anti-Israel architects running around Israel, and two
years ago, two of the loopiest, Ayal Weizmann and Rafi Segel organized an
exhibition on "Architecure against the Occupation".
Their point was that the very design of Israeli buildings in the "occupied
territories" shows how Israel is a brutal colonialist evil racist entity.
Trust them, they are architects so who better to offer insights on the
After airing their "art" in Berlin, a place containing many people
with experience in liberating territories from Jewish occupation,
the Daffy and Bugs of Israeli architecture wanted the Israeli Architects
Association also to show their "exhibit" in the Association's building,
but they declined. They considered the exhibit blatant politics and
extremist politics at that, but not art nor design. Naturally, the Far
Left screamed censorship, since not allowing anti-Semites and
pro-terrorists to use your private property to promote their views is in
their opinion suppression of free speech.
Comrade Neumann in Haaretz Jan 30, 05 is all
upset because of this "censorship" and also over the fact that not all
architects have followed the example of Weizmann and Segel in promoting
the destruction of Israel through critical art and progressive
architecture. Comrade Neumann by the way teaches "Critical Theory"
(which means Marxist boilerplate) at Tel Aviv University. Why does Tel
Aviv University carry
courses in Marxism, after Marxism was thoroughly disproved 150 years ago
and discredited by the 100 million victims killed by communism in the
20th century? Maybe you
should ask the officials at Tel Aviv University
(http://www.tau.ac.il/administration-eng.html) or some of their donors!
Meanwhile, I am
sure these architects against occupation must have gone out and partied
all night long right after bin Laden filed his own protest against
buildings representing power and domination in New York and DC!
Ah, but Marxist architects for the destruction of Israel do not even
come CLOSE to this week's Israeli award winner for Dumbest Idea on Campus,
which must go to
Dr. Danny Kaplan, a sociologist at Hebrew University (you know, Baruch
Kimmerling's stomping grounds). He also teaches
"gender studies" at Bar-Ilan University and The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Community
Kaplan is featured in Haaretz Jan 30, 04 in a long interview by Dalia
Shahori, who in recent months spent a lot of her quality time celebrating
Ilan Pappe and the "Post-Zionist" and "New Historian" faculty members for
the destruction of Israel.
Kaplan recently published an article in "Theory
and Criticism," which is a brain-dead Marxist piece of manure edited by
Tel Aviv Univerity Marxist sociologist Yehuda Shenhav. You may recall
this "journal" as the one in which an education faculty member at Haifa
University published an article arguing that his own university's
architecure was nothing more than a large phallic symbol representing
oppression of Arabs. Really!
In the hot new issue of "Theory and Criticism," Kaplan develops a
theory according to which any time Israel mourns
for any of its soldiers who have been murdered by the Palestinian savages,
this mouring is in fact a form of eroticism and that all Israelis mourning
the dead soldiers are possessed with an uncontrollable form of
homosexual necrophilia. Military solidarity among soldiers in Israel is
erotic by its nature, insists Kappy.
Really. I am not making this up.
Kappy insists friendship and mutual support among Israeli soldiers is
homosexual and erotic, and that Israel's mourning murdered soldiers is
collective necrophilia and also homoerotic.
My guess is he did his research on this point while stroking
himself in the Hebrew University men's room while looking at photos of
Kaplan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, for many more horror stories about Israeli academia, stories
you should bring to the attention of any prospective donors to any Israeli
universities, please go to www.israel-academia-monitor.com !
from the Daily Telegraph
THEY DIED AND NOW WE SNEAR
By Leo McKinsry
The wind moaned gently in the nearby forest of the Vosges mountain. A
thick blanket of snow lay on the ground and on the thousands of white
crosses that marked the graves of US servicemen who had fallen in France
during the Second World War.
With my wife and her aunt Nancy from Pittsburgh, we had come to the
American military cemetery at Epinal in eastern France, where 5,200 US
soldiers are buried. We were paying tribute to one of those brave men,
Private Bill Anderson from Pennsylvania, Nancy's brother, who went through
D-Day and then died at the age of just 19 in November 1944 while on a
dangerous reconnaissance mission.
As we stood by the headstone, Nancy read out a heart-rending letter to
Bill that she had written before leaving America. Full of poignant
memories of their young life together, the letter captured the spirit of
heroic optimism that had led Bill to give his life for the cause of
freedom in Europe. Though I was born almost 20 years after Bill died, I
was overwhelmed with gratitude for the sacrifice he had made, a feeling
reinforced as I lifted my eyes from his grave towards the arch that
overlooks the cemetery. On it were carved words of remembrance for those
"citizens of every calling bred in the principles of American democracy".
To European intellectuals, the term "American democracy" is probably an
oxymoron. Though such sophisticated cynicism is contradicted by events in
Iraq, where just like in France 60 years ago US soldiers have been
sacrificing their lives to liberate a people from tyranny,
anti-Americanism is now written into the European psyche, the last
acceptable prejudice in a culture that makes a fetish of racial equality.
Indeed, as I walked through the cemetery, my sense of gratitude at Bill's
service was accompanied by deep, almost visceral, anger at my fellow
Europeans for their constant sneering at America and their gloating over
the body count in Iraq, despite all that the USA has done to free Europe
in the past from totalitarian dictatorships, whether they be Nazi or
Last week, the world marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of
Auschwitz. Although it was achieved by the Russian army, it would never
have happened without US intervention in western Europe, which forced
Germany to fight on two fronts. America's action was purely altruistic.
Whereas Russia was engaged in a life-and-death struggle for survival, the
USA was not directly threatened by the Nazi domination of Europe.
What sickens me is that we in Europe are fed a constant diet of
anti-American propaganda because of the USA's supposed aggression, greed,
imperialism or insularity. Yet, at the very same time, we are urged,
through the remorseless process of European integration, to embrace
Germany, the country responsible for most of the ills of Europe for the
past 140 years. Perhaps even worse is the way the experience of Nazism has
been used to promote the ideology of multi-culturalism.
Any objection to mass immigration or the destruction of traditional
Judaeo-Christian moral values is deemed as racist, akin to support for
fascism. As a result, in the name of multi-cultural tolerance, we have
allowed the creation of the brutal, anti-democratic monster of Islamism in
It is a bizarre paradox that the hysteria over Nazism has encouraged
Europe to be swamped by Islam, in which anti-Semitism appears to be an
integral part of the creed tellingly, the Muslim Council of Britain
refused to take part in the Holocaust commemorations. Instead of falling
under the sway of Islam and European federalism, it would be better if
Europe followed the values of America, a country that has always
understood the meaning of the word "freedom".
Friday, January 28, 2005
January 28, 2005
Unilateral withdrawal is irresponsible
By Michael Rubin
The Baghdad restaurant grew silent, all eyes on the television. It was
January 29, 2004. Every Arabic news channel had its cameras trained on
a Beirut runway, where a German transport plane was due to land.
Israel had just released Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid, once leader of
Hezbollah's southern Lebanon operations, after almost 15 years in an
Israeli prison. The group of largely pro-Western Iraqis had tears in
their eyes. "The first Arab victory over Israel was [the withdrawal
from Lebanon] in May 2000. This is the second," an Iraqi professor
Six weeks earlier, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had announced plans to
withdraw unilaterally from the Gaza Strip. A broad range of Israeli
politicians cautiously endorsed the move. While European diplomats
wrung their hands nervously, President George W. Bush called Sharon's
plan "historic and courageous."
Nothing could be more untrue. While Israelis might fear civil and
political strife if settlers are forced from their homes, Sharon's
plan will reinvigorate terrorism not only in Israel, but as an
international tactic of choice.
The power of television is tremendous across the Middle East. Arabic
satellite stations like the Qatar-based Al Jazeera, Hezbollah's
Al-Manar, and Iran's Al-Alam deluge their audiences with images of
American defeat: the 1983 U.S. withdrawal from Beirut, and the flight
from Mogadishu a decade later. Watching television on any Baghdad
evening, I would see American diplomats fleeing Vietnam. To the Iraqi
audience the message was clear: Bush may say America has staying
power, but it is weak. Al Jazeera mastered has information warfare. On
days without American casualties, the station simply rebroadcasts
images of the previous day's roadside bomb.
The Iranian government primes its audience with similar messages.
While critics rave about the latest Iranian art films, the normal fare
for ordinary Iranians is far different. Sitting among Iranian soldiers
packed into a Shiraz movie theater, I watched a Rambo-type film
pitting Hezbollah characters against hapless Israeli soldiers. I tried
to be inconspicuous as the crowd began to shout "kill the Jew" in
anticipation of events on screen. The message to the soldiers was
clear: Violence works.
Imagery can be equally powerful on Israeli television. More than 20
years later, older Israelis remember television pictures of residents
of Yamit battling soldiers during that settlement's 1982 evacuation.
But while such images will have a profound impact on the Israeli
electorate and their replication may cause some government ministers
to reconsider their support for Sharon's plan, far more damaging to
Israel and the United States would be the subsequent pictures. Images
of Hezbollah and Hamas flags flying over Jewish settlements like
Netzarim and Kfar Yam will torpedo hope not only of a comprehensive
Arab-Israeli peace, but also of an end to terrorism in Iraq, Turkey,
Kashmir and against the West in general.
Israelis and some in the Palestinian Authority may be sincere in a
desire for peace, but rejectionists abound, not only in Lebanese and
Syrian refugee camps, but also in Iraq's Sunni Triangle, Iran's
Revolutionary Guard bases and Pakistani seminaries. A Hamas flag over
Netzarim will justify 37 years of terrorism. The reasons for Israel's
withdrawal will be irrelevant on the streets of the Islamic world. If
terrorism can free Gaza, why not the West Bank, the Galilee, Indian
Kashmir or democratic Iraq? Why compromise if terrorism obviates the
need for concession? There is a limit to the West's stamina. Neither
Israelis nor Americans should assume their opponents would be
unwilling to pay the price of continued violence. As the Shi'ite
commemoration of `Ashura approaches, millions will commemorate the 680
martyrdom of Imam Husayn, ritually cursing Sunni leaders of the day,
as if Husayn's death was yesterday.
The price of continued terrorism and insurgency might be high, but
terror masters themselves often do not pay the price. Earlier this
month in Baghdad, I interviewed Iraqis fleeing violence in the
northern city of Mosul. Without exception, each said that the
insurgents who invaded the city were in their mid to late teens; they
complained that the insurgent leaders were using impressionable youth
as cannon fodder. But so long as oil-rich Arab states and Iran are
willing to subsidize incitement on television, in schools and in
mosques, there will be no shortage of recruits. Not only Israelis, but
also Iraqis, Indians, Turks, Americans and Europeans will pay the
Seeking peace is honorable, but Sharon is gambling. Whether motivated
by a sincere desire for peace or for an egotistical need to rewrite
his place in history is irrelevant. Unilateral withdrawal is
irresponsible. Should Gaza be part of a comprehensive deal, pictures
of Hamas flags over Gaza will be immaterial, for they can be
counterbalanced with images of Israeli embassies hoisting flags in
Damascus, Riyadh and Tehran. But if Sharon goes ahead with Gaza
disengagement, generations both inside and outside Israel will be
sacrificed upon the alter of his legacy.
Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute,
is editor of the Middle East Quarterly.
2. Ah the honor of being called "totalitarian" by America's chief
Stalinist, by the Khmer Rouge's favorite professor, and by the friend of
Holocaust Deniers everywhere:
From the UK Times Higher Education Supplement
'We have our eye on you...so watch out'
Published: 28 January 2005
Do websites such as Campus Watch seek balance or do they undermine
integrity? Michael North reports
Israeli academic Neve Gordon was not too bothered by the image of himself
transmuting into Hitler posted on Masada2000 - a website containing a
"hitlist" of 7,000 people it deems "enemies of the Israeli state". He
says: "I didn't take it seriously. It was totally pornographic."
More worrying, says Gordon, a professor of politics at Ben Gurion
University, is that such sites have the same audience as the less
sensational right-wing websites that target academics who express views
sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. They also share, he says, a myopia
about the nuances of the Middle East debate.
Campus Watch, in the US, and Israel Academic Monitor, in Israel, post
articles that attack academics' work, encourage donors to these academics'
institutions to withdraw funding and urge universities either to sack the
academics or to thwart their progress up the career ladder - all in the
name of free speech.
Gordon, who is on sabbatical at the University of California, Berkeley,
has been targeted by both websites. He says that the Israeli site, written
in English, is failing to have a big impact. "It is asking students to
become collaborators and to report professors, but it needs a broader
Hebrew audience." In contrast, Campus Watch, a slick site sponsored by the
Middle East Forum in the US, has, according to Gordon and other US
academics, strongly contributed to the post 9/11 campaigns to discredit
Joseph Massad, assistant professor in modern Arab politics at Columbia
University, New York, is at the sharp end of the pro-Israeli groups' zero
tolerance approach. His bid for tenure is being opposed. He says: "The
Campus Watch website appears to be the first salvo in a much larger
campaign targeting US universities and especially academics doing work on
the Middle East who have critical views of the policies of the state of
Israel and of US Middle East policy. Since then, there have been more
protracted campaigns, the latest of which is one targeting me that is
spearheaded by a Boston-based Zionist group called the David Project and
the right-wing newspaper the New York Sun. The campaign has led a
congressman to ask Columbia to fire me."
Rachid Khalidi, professor of Arab studies at the Middle East Institute at
Columbia and an American of Palestinian origin, has also been targeted by
Campus Watch. He has a taped phone message that says: "Khalidi, Columbia,
alumni love Campus Watch because they keep an eye on thugs like you. We
have our eye on you. You'd better watch out."
Khalidi believes the aim of Campus Watch is to have a "chilling effect" on
free speech - a term echoed by two other academics targeted by the
website, Eric Foner, professor of history at Columbia and Yvonne Haddad,
professor of the history of Islam at the Center for Muslim Christian
Understanding at Georgetown University. Foner says: "The purpose of these
sites is intimidation, not information. Encouraging students to report on
comments professors make that they deem unfair or unpatriotic could have a
chilling effect on education."
Khalidi adds: "There is a dearth of proper debate in the media and
politics about the Middle East. The only place where these views can be
found is in academia. They want to shut down this last window."
Khalidi claims Campus Watch is closely linked to a wider campaign of
actions against so-called pro-Palestinian academics. He cites the recent
attempt by some members of Congress to push through a law threatening
funding to universities whose faculties do not stick to the defence of US
government policies; changes in grant proposals demanded by rich
university funders, such as the Ford and Rockefeller foundations, to
affirm that beneficiaries do not support terrorism; and the back-door
(recess) nomination of Daniel Pipes, founder of Campus Watch, to the
government-funded United States Institute of Peace - an event, according
to Foner, that proved the US Administration "at least retains a sense of
Pipes, who is also director of the Middle East Forum, recently stood down
from the board of USIP, which makes key research grants to academics
working in Middle East studies, saying that "at times I felt frustrated".
Khalidi is delighted at the development and also pleased that key members
of the institute attacked Pipes publicly for objecting to the institute
hosting a conference with the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy
But Khalidi concedes that academics can do little against the power of
neoconservatives such as Pipes and the extensive and rich networks of
pro-Israeli groups, such as the new Israel on Campus Coalition.
Pipes, for his part, succinctly defends Campus Watch's mission to "alert
outsiders about the problems in Middle East studies and to challenge
Middle East studies specialists to think about their field". He says the
aim is "to improve and balance, not to cause anyone to lose a job". Asked
if he is fuelling an unhealthy bias in the US media, he says: "You must be
kidding", then refers to the website of the Committee for Accuracy in
Middle East Reporting in America, which gives examples of numerous
The driving force behind the Israel Academic Monitor website is more
forthcoming in his defence of his group's work. Steven Plaut, professor of
economics at Haifa University, refers to his crusade against "the crazies"
using the classroom "to impose their extremism on their students" and as a
"bully pulpit for their political agendas". And he names US academic Noam
Chomsky as an example of such people "who passionately hate their
To which Chomsky, professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, replies: "He is borrowing from the lexicon of
totalitarianism: Soviet dissidents were accused of 'passionately hating
their country' because of their criticism of state policies. For the
totalitarian mind, the state is identified with the country, its culture
and its people."
Gordon is suing Plaut for libel for, he says, alleging that he is a
Holocaust denier. Plaut denies libel and his supporters accuse Gordon of
censoring free speech.
However, Gordon and other Israeli academics say that debate in Israel is
far healthier than in the US. Khalidi comments that many Israeli
journalists would not be published in American newspapers.
Anat Biletzki, chair of philosophy at Tel Aviv University, says that only
a handful of radicals are really targeted by the Right, but adds that
there is self-censorship. She gives an example of such "undercurrents of
McCarthyism". "I was called to the dean when two students complained about
me sneaking politics into my teaching. The university constitution says we
are perfectly within our rights to talk politics in class. Two weeks later
the rector called me up to say he had heard I talked politics in class. He
said 'in times such as these we have to think twice about everything we
say'. I said 'in times such as these there are things that have to be
For now, European academics critical of Israeli government policies work
in a less intimidating environment. Anoush Ehteshami, director of Durham
University's Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, says the
debate is more polarised in the US than anywhere else. "I have lots of
contacts with colleagues here and in Finland, Germany and France. None of
them has complained of intimidation."
Ehteshami says the "poisoned atmosphere" in the US since 9/11 is deterring
UK academics from applying for posts across the pond. He knows two, but
refuses to name them. "They don't want pressure to be 'patriotic'," he
But he adds that resistance to the neocons is taking hold, a view
confirmed by Lynne Segal, professor of psychology at Birkbeck, London
University, and a member of the international group Faculty for
Israeli/Palestinian Peace as well as Jews for Justice for Palestinians in
Britain. Such groups campaign in the name of academics who find themselves
threatened, holding seminars and conferences and distributing their views
to a wide audience.
"I think intimidation is possible. These are very troubling developments
and we need to be watchful," Segal says.
Ehteshami says that, for now, inquiries by students about his political
views are just "inquiries, not a challenge". He adds: "This is a
witch-hunt that compromises academic integrity and freedom that,
ironically, in the past the US was very proud of. God forbid it happens in
1. "Disengagement or Appeasement?"
2. Openly Anti-Semitic Garbage at "Commondreams":
4. Is there still room for this asshole on Robin Island?
5. Still think the analogy with Munich is out of place?
6. Shame that the Holocaust gave Anti-Semitism a bad name:
7. Let us snip his baton!
Courtesy of the David Project
A still from the documentary, Columbia Unbecoming.
Barenboim comments spark anger
as controversy at Columbia builds
By Rachel Pomerance
NEW YORK, Jan. 26 (JTA) ? Its not oftenn that someone compares the
anti-Semitic German composer Richard Wagner to Theodor Herzl, the father
But at Columbia University on Monday ? the day the United NNations marked
the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz ? tthe
Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim reportedly did just that.
Barenboim, who sparked outrage several years ago by performing Richard
Wagners music in Israel, where it was taboo to play the work of Hitlers
favorite composer, excoriated the Jewish state at a memorial lecture for
his late friend Edward Said, the Columbia professor who was a member of
the Palestine National Council.
According to news reports and comments from audience members, Barenboim
compared Herzls ideas to Wagners; criticized Palestinian terrorist attacks
but also justified them; and said Israeli actions contributed to the rise
of international anti-Semitism.
The lecture is emblematic of an escalating crisis embroiling
Columbia, where faculty members in the Middle East and Asian Languages and
Cultures departments have been accused of intimidation by pro-Israel
In October 2004, the David Project, a pro-Israel advocacy group, screened
a documentary called Columbia Unbecoming, airing claims that faculty
members harass students who dont share their anti-Israel views.
Two months later, Columbia University president Lee Bollinger announced
the formation of an investigative committee, which is due to issue a
report by the end of February.
Pro-Israel students had complained of faculty intimidation before. In
2003, Bollinger responded by appointing another committee to assess the
matter. That group found no evidence of bias.
This time around, some are taking issue with the five committee members
chosen. Among them are faculty members who signed petitions urging
Columbia to divest its holdings in companies that do business with Israel,
as well as the former adviser of one of the faculty members accused of
Meanwhile, Columbias campus newspaper reported Wednesday on the second
instance of anti-Semitic vandalism in recent months: A swastika and racial
slurs were scrawled in a mens bathroom at the student union Monday.
In light of the ongoing concern among Jewish students on campus, Daniel
Ayalon, Israels U.S. ambassador, canceled plans to attend a Columbia
conference on the Middle East peace process scheduled for Thursday,
according to Israels consul general in New York, Arye Mekel.
Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who coordinated the conference, said he
would reschedule the event for September. In an e-mail to JTA, Mitchell
explained that several expected guests, including Palestinian Authority
Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, had faced travel difficulties that made the
Many Jewish students on campus say theyre distressed by the latest
Im feeling really worn out by the whole thing, sophomore Bari Weiss said.
At the same time, she said, the active Jewish students are committed to
being really unrelenting about this whole thing.
Weiss, who will represent herself and other students before the university
committee, is working with Columbians for Academic Freedom. According to
its Web site, the group is compiling student grievances to put a stop to
the abuse of professorial power in the pursuit of political ends.
Weiss just finished a course with Joseph Massad, one of the professors
accused of intimidation in Columbia Unbecoming.
Weiss said Massad had claimed that Zionism destroyed Jewish culture, said
Israeli schoolchildren killed in a terrorist attack were casualties of
crossfire, and made sarcastic comments about the ongoing investigation
into his conduct that silenced critical students. Massad could not be
reached as of press time.
I feel scared because I dont trust the committee, Weiss said ? but added,
We dont really have a choice at this point.
Bollinger, the university president, attended the Barenboim lecture,
applauded and failed to criticize his statements, according to several
Bollinger asked Barenboim what alternative perspectives must be
entertained in order to bring about the resolution we all desperately want
toward Israeli-Palestinian peace, according to Susan Brown, a university
As a university it is our responsibility to discuss the most controversial
and intractable issues of our day, and Columbia must be resolute in its
tolerance for those who express unconventional, unpopular and sometimes
even offensive views, with which we dont necessarily agree, in the course
of public debate, Brown said.
Publicist Shira Dicker and her husband, Ari Goldman, dean of students at
Columbias School of Journalism, were outraged by the lecture.
I have never encountered such intellectual dishonesty, said Dicker, who
wrote a letter of protest to Bollinger after the lecture.
Anybody who tries to frame the debate as academic freedom is out of their
mind, she said. Its bullying.
Goldman said he was booed when he asked a critical question of Barenboim.
He left before Barenboim played the piano following his speech.
Barenboims comments were very disturbing, especially in the charged
atmosphere at Columbia now over Israel, Goldman said. I know hes a great
musician, but when he started to play, I left. I couldnt listen to music
from someone who had such scary things to say about Jews.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
1. Dissent is a Leftist Magazine:
The Transformation of the Left into a
By Andrei S. Markovits
Dissent Magazine | January 27, 2005
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall the European-along with the much weaker
American-left has been in a crisis that has challenged its very identity.
In fact, this profound crisis predated the events of 1989; it was in full
swing by the time the Wall tumbled in good part because of the ineptitude
and moral bankruptcy of at least part of this left. Still, with the events
of 1989 and 1990, a period that began in the late 1860s and early 1870s
and entered its political salience in the 1880s came to a close. A
political manifestation and social formation that defined the very idea of
progressivism in the advanced industrial societies for exactly one century
collapsed. Some would say that the radicalism of this period, its
revolutionary potential to transform capitalism, ended with the tragedy of
1914. After all, it was then that the left realized that its
internationalism and perceived universal class solidarity had lost its
primacy to the much more powerful sentiment of particularistic
nationalism. The left's innocence was most certainly lost by the early
fall of 1914. Others would date the crisis from the end of World War I,
the events of 1918, which already pointed toward the coming of Stalinism
in the Soviet Union and National Socialism in Germany.
Still others see the death of a progressive alternative in the internecine
battle between social democrats and communists that contributed to-though
it wasn't responsible for-fascism's triumph, particularly in Germany. The
Hitler-Stalin pact, the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, a replay of
that in Czechoslovakia twelve years later, the Sino-Soviet altercations,
the war between China and Vietnam, the Cambodia fiasco with all its
implications- there were plenty of sobering experiences for the
progressive project in Europe. And yet, it was none of these political
events that initiated the fundamental transformation that was to be
completed in 1989. It was really a conjuncture of social, economic,
generational, and cultural shifts that changed the very identity of the
left over the last twenty-five years. At least in this instance, I will
argue for the primacy of economy and society over politics.
I argue that there have been four periods in the history of the left since
World War II that have affected the position of the left today. American
developments will be mentioned only when they were essential contributors
to the shaping of the left in all advanced industrial societies. Although
it is evident that "the left," as commonly understood, was predominantly a
European phenomenon throughout the late nineteenth century and all of the
twentieth century, the United States did contribute significantly to this
political formation precisely in the postwar period.
The Orthodox Period: 1945-1968
I have called the first era the orthodox period because it witnessed a
continuation, by and large, of the left's ideological and political
topography since the Bolshevik Revolution. Whereas 1945 represented a
major hiatus in the arrangement of global politics, it did not alter the
essential identity and topography of the left. Yes, communism seemed
ascendant vis-Â?-vis social democracy on account of the Soviet Union's
emergence as a global power. Communism was a serious contender for
governmental power in Italy, France, Greece, and Czechoslovakia before it
was defeated by American-sponsored opposition in the first three cases and
by Soviet tanks-twice-in the last.
But the political landscape of Western Europe, as delineated by Seymour
Martin Lipset and Stein Rokkan, still pertained. Two fault lines-both of
which had been "frozen" by 1920-defined the identity of "the left." The
first was the external line that separated it from the rest of the
political world, notably liberals, conservatives, fascists, clericalists,
and the representatives of "cleavages" other than the "owner-worker"
cleavage that defined the essence of the left as a whole.* And second was
the internal line that separated social democrats from communists. The
earlier relationship between these two was by and large resumed during the
postwar period. Where social democracy was the stronger of the two before
the war, it emerged so again afterward-and vice versa. The character of
left-wing politics, the culture of socialists and communists, was barely
changed by the war. The working-class-dominated milieus of the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries remained by and large what they
had been. Associations, colors, insignia, songs, tastes, and leisure
activities that had been institutionalized in the decades before the
Second World War- in many instances even before the Great War-continued in
a completely different world.
Whatever the actual reasons for the predominance of one leftist camp over
the other, there was an obvious North-South divide in Europe during this
period of orthodoxy. The countries north of the Alps (with Finland and
Norway being the useful exceptions proving the rule) exhibited a social
democratic identity, whereas their counterparts to the south embarked on a
communist path. These collective expressions of working-class identity
remained largely intact between 1918 and 1968. One of the most
characteristic manifestations of orthodoxy all over Europe was the
domination of the party over the unions. In the communist as well as the
social democratic version, the party was in charge of "big" politics; that
is, all matters pertaining to the state, society, economy, and culture,
whereas the unions' domain pertained almost exclusively to "small"
politics, the realm of industrial relations however defined. There is, of
course, the exception of the British Labour Party, whose identity and
policies were much more directly influenced by the party's constituent
unions than was the case for the continent's three social democratic
giants-Sweden, Austria, and Germany. To be sure, the big union
organizations were major players in these countries' social democracies,
but they took a back seat to "their" parties in politics.
No doubt, the party's primacy over the unions was much more pronounced in
the communist model than in the social democratic one. After all, Leninism
had designed the transmission-belt pattern of party-union relations
precisely in order to eliminate unions as autonomous actors-and thus
prevent syndicalist tendencies from developing as viable options for left
politics in advanced industrial societies (though they did develop in
semi-agrarian settings such as Spain, Italy, and southern France). But
even in the social democratic variant, where no concept equivalent to the
transmission belt existed, the party was hegemonic: it designed strategy,
took charge of the theoretical debates, and prevailed in shaping economic
policy. In short, it led, and the unions followed.
Of course, there were immense differences between social democrats and
communists in this orthodox period. The former had reached an
accommodation with capitalism, even if they had not quite accepted it yet;
whereas the latter still saw their raison d'Â?tre in fundamental opposition
to the dominant social system. As a consequence of this difference,
communists and social democrats also found themselves on opposite sides of
the cold war, then in a hot phase. All communists-without
exception-rejected the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, opposed the
United States, and favored the Soviet Union at least in some fashion,
whereas most social democrats were hostile to the Soviet Union, if
initially also guarded in their support for the West, NATO, and the United
States. This issue contributed to an open break within Italian social
democracy (between the Socialist Party [PSI] and the Social Democratic
Party [PSDI]), and similar fissures-without the ensuing break-opened in
German, British, Danish, and Norwegian social democracy as well. By the
mid-to-late 1950s, however, the "Westernizers" had carried the day. For
the ensuing thirty years, social democracy was unequivocally pro-Western.
John Maynard Keynes triumphed over Karl Marx, and the Godesberg platform
prevailed all over Western Europe-well beyond the immediate confines of
the German Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Still, the immense similarities between communism and social democracy
were more characteristic of the orthodox period than the obvious
differences. These in fact rendered them the unchallenged representatives
of a clear political formation that was known to itself and the rest of
the world as "the left." Here are some of these shared traits: both were
sociologically anchored in the male, industrial, mainly skilled working
class; ideologically, both were ardent advocates of growth at all costs;
politically, they were believers in collective arrangements countering the
inherent fragmentation of the market and liberal individualism;
strategically, both were hopeful about "mega" solutions-"mega" state,
"mega" bureaucracies, "mega" technologies, "mega" progress. This was a
time when the left, both social democratic and communist, placed its hopes
in the "clean" energy of nuclear power. The changes that came in the late
1960s were nothing short of revolutionary, though-in contrast to the two
subsequent periods-they still followed the major vectors of what it meant
to be "left."
The Heterodox Period: 1968-1979
It would not be an exaggeration to say that virtually all the tenets
defining the left during the "orthodox" period were substantially
challenged, if not superseded, by events during the legendary sixties.
Thus, it is not by chance that in Germany, France, Italy, and the United
States, the "'68ers" (achtundsechziger, soixantehuitards) have attained
near mythical status, and generated a considerable nostalgia, in the
postwar histories of these countries' left-wing politics. Be it the events
at Berkeley, Columbia, and the National Democratic Convention in Chicago
for the United States; "the events" in Paris; Italy's Hot Autumn; or the
politics of confrontation embodied by the Extra-Parliamentary Opposition
(APO) and the Student Socialist Organization (SDS) in the Federal
Republic, there developed a clear challenge to the existing lefts in each
of these societies.
For the first time in the history of the left, the essential impetus for
this development came not primarily from Europe but from the United
States. Concretely, these changes were anchored in two major struggles
that informed American politics at the time: the civil rights movement at
home and the Vietnam War abroad. Both of these developed into absolute
icons for all lefts in the world. Mainly carried by students and not by
the traditional subject of the left-that is, the industrial working
class-this massive transformation of the discourse of the left was deeply
anchored in the cultural climate of the United States, which the rest of
the world, particularly Europe's students and its young generally,
embraced with enthusiasm. One cannot understand the rise of the New Left
in Paris, Berlin, Milan, and London without understanding the massive
influence of American rock 'n' roll, folk music, protest songs and poetry,
and the civil rights movement's tactic of the "sit in." Posters of Bob
Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Jerry Garcia, Martin Luther
King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Allen Ginsberg adorned the homes of thousands of
European New Leftists alongside such other icons as Che Guevara and, of
course, Ho Chi Minh. On both sides of the Atlantic, this generation was
equally formed by the first seemingly democratic and impromptu rock
festival held in the muddy fields near Woodstock, New York, and by one of
Europe's foremost intellectual Â?migrÂ?s who, unlike others in his immediate
milieu, proudly remained in America while becoming one of this country's
most challenging critics. I am talking about Herbert Marcuse, whom many
have-quite rightly-called the New Left's most influential thinker. The
deep American roots of the New Left in Europe, both in form and substance,
are beyond debate.
In notable contrast to the subsequent time period, which entailed a
paradigm shift, the New Left challenge developed within the Marxist
paradigm-though it was profoundly threatening to the existing world of
socialist politics. If the subsequent era was to transcend socialism and
develop some sort of post-socialist politics, New Leftists in the period I
have labeled "heterodox" wanted a "true" socialism, freed from what they
viewed as related perversions: social democracy in the West and
Leninism/Stalinism in the East (though some New Leftists were mesmerized
by Leninism in its Maoist version).
The authority that parties of the established left enjoyed during the
orthodox period eroded in this decade of heterodoxy. On the intellectual
level, the New Left offered a radical critique of the politics of the
hegemonic parties. On the institutional level, there emerged small, but
intellectually influential parties to the left of the traditional social
democratic and communist parties in terms of their programs as well as
their strategic approaches. Though small in actual numbers, these parties
represented the legacy of the "68-ers" in the left's "party space"-a
standing challenge to the orthodox left. The Parti Socialiste UnifiÂ? in
France might perhaps be the best example of this genre: small in number of
voters, members, and officeholders, but important in intellectual
On the other hand, the relationship between parties and unions changed
substantially. Several points are worthy of mention in this context:
1. Everywhere in Europe there occurred at this time a clear politicization
of the unions. They expanded their horizons from the confined world of
industrial relations and shop-floor affairs to include issues of "grand
politics" hitherto left to the respective "sister" (or "mother") party.
Unions catapulted themselves into a position of quasi-equality with
"their" parties. On the one hand, they entered into various macropolitical
arrangements with employers and the state that gave labor an active role
in economic management. Even though often defensive in nature (and also
demobilizing), these neocorporatist arrangements signaled a new union
strength. In addition to this activism "from above," the unions also
engaged in an activism "from below." Largely propelled by a restive rank
and file that wanted to cash in on its superb position in a tight labor
market, the unions bargained for the most impressive "quantitative" and
"qualitative" gains attained by labor at any time in the fifty-plus years
of the postwar period. Even though these two activisms clashed with each
other, they emanated from the same optimism, power, and self-confidence
that redefined the role of unions inside the European left during this
2. This, of course, led the unions to distance themselves from their
respective parties. Nowhere was this more obvious than in Italy, where the
three union confederations (allied with different parties) discovered that
as many things united as divided them. Similar, though not as effective,
distancing maneuvers on the part of unions also occurred in Germany,
Britain, Sweden, and Austria. Only in France did the old transition-belt
model between the Communist Party (PCF) and the communist-dominated trade
union federation (CGT) remain largely intact. There too, however,
independent union power figured significantly in the discourse of the
left, particularly because the former Catholic union, sporting the new
acronym CFDT, shed its former clericalism and became one of the most vocal
advocates of the New Left.
3. Central to this activism was the role of hitherto marginal elements
within the labor movement. Although labor's core-that is, male, skilled,
industrial workers-also participated in the general mobilization, it was
often its lesser skilled, female, and foreign colleagues who were the
political vanguard at the grass roots and on the shop floor. Add to this
group a substantial presence of tertiary-sector "intellectual" workers,
and the new working class had become a politically meaningful reality.
4. There was also a noticeable "intellectualization" of the labor
movement. Through the influx of a large number of academic researchers,
many of whom were veteran "68-ers," the unions developed a more
sophisticated theoretical approach to problems that until then remained
largely beyond their purview. Union leaders always had a very ambivalent
relationship to left-wing intellectuals, but now a "march through the
institutions" on the part of New Left activists changed organized labor's
mentality to a noticeable degree.
But something wholly new also happened at this time: the rise of left
politics outside of any established institutions, parties, or unions. It
was in this milieu that the new meaning of "leftism" in Europe and the
United States was forged. It was at this critical juncture-the decade
between 1968 and 1978-that tendencies developed whose influence persists
to this day, in Germany especially, but also in Europe generally. In my
article "The Minister and the Terrorist" (Foreign Affairs,
November-December, 2001), I described four groupings that emerged at this
juncture within the New Left.
I call the first group the "Westerners." Germany's current foreign
minister, Joschka Fischer, is exhibit A. This group, though vehemently
against the war in Vietnam, totally supportive of third world liberation
movements, and bitterly opposed to Western-as well as West
German-capitalism, began to reorder the hierarchy of its negative
preferences. Crucial in this reordering was that tyranny rather than
capitalism was put at the top of the list. Put positively, at the top now
was not the emancipation of the working class or even the liberation of
third world peoples from imperialism, but rather democracy, due process,
constitutionalism, and human rights. For reasons that probably have more
to do with the personal psychologies and histories of the relevant
individuals than with macro-sociological factors such as class background,
education, religion, geographic origin, and gender, the Westerners
successfully differentiated between American culture (which they loved, as
is evident from Fischer's well-known admission that Bob Dylan had a
greater influence on his life than Karl Marx) and American politics in the
world (which they disliked). Above all, they did not develop a visceral
hatred of all things American. And they also began to look at the
Holocaust as a development sui generis and not merely as an epiphenomenon
of what the rest of the German left then still called-and continues to
call-"fascism" rather than National Socialism. As a consequence, the
Westerners committed a major blasphemy in the eyes of the rest of the
left. They argued that the United States and the Federal Republic of
Germany could-and did-on occasion produce good things, such as a stable
and democratic order in Germany and Europe; and that liberal democracy,
though capitalist, was indeed preferable to tyranny, even of the people's
republic kind. They saw the West also as an occasional force of liberation
and emancipation, not only as one of repression and exploitation. Lastly,
members of this group upheld the value of universalism-already at this
time a ready target for various relativizing particularisms that came to
define other groups on the left, to which I now turn.
The second group I call the "Third Worldists." They considered imperialism
the most important political issue of the day and rejected everything that
the developed world stood for, including Western values and industrial
modernization. The Third Worldists would later constitute the bulk of the
"Fundamentalist" (or "Fundi") wing of the German Green Party and fight a
bitter rearguard action against what they believed to be the sellouts by
Fischer and his "Realos." During the 1970s, the Third Worldists believed
that the Federal Republic was second only to the United States in its
objectionable character. They detested its parliamentary institutions,
disdained its market-based economy, hated its role as a driving force in
modernization's inevitable destruction of the environment, and feared any
manifestation of nationalism, which they saw as a harbinger of the
ever-looming "fascistization" of German politics and society. They were
vehemently anti-Zionist (although not necessarily anti-Semitic) and found
in the Palestinians an emblem of noble suffering and anticolonial
The third group were the "orthodox Marxists," who located the source of
the Federal Republic's ills not in industrial modernization but in
capitalism. In contrast to all other New Leftists, members of this group
considered the industrial working class not only a worthy ally but as an
"objectively necessary" part of any major social transformation. Adherents
of this tendency reached deep into the SPD and some German trade unions,
notably the metal workers', printers', journalists', writers', and bank
employees' unions. They also developed cozy relations with East Germany,
whose Marxist-Leninist system they regarded with tolerant admiration if
not outright enthusiasm. This group's strength explains why serious
criticism of "actually existing socialism" in the Soviet bloc was
unpopular in parts of the German left well into the 1980s-so much so that
the Polish Solidarity movement was often denounced by German unionists and
social democrats as retrograde and reactionary. (During his JUSO [youth
organization of the SPD] days, the current chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder,
was closest to this wing of the New Left.)
I call the fourth and last remaining group the "neo-Nationalists." The New
Left focused mainly on opposing the war in Vietnam, demonstrating
solidarity with developing-world liberation movements, and transforming
bourgeois society. But in Germany it also had a nationalist component
provoked by the country's division and limited sovereignty. Left-wing
nationalism has a long history in Germany (National Bolshevism and the
Strasser wing of the National Socialists are two cases in point), and it
is hardly surprising that such feelings were represented among the '68ers
as well. Nationalist sentiment grew over the controversy surrounding the
1983 deployment of American intermediate-range nuclear missiles on German
soil and was later intensified by German unification. By the mid-1990s, in
fact, a substantial number of '68ers had completed a journey from extreme
left to extreme right, with the constant factor being their hatred of the
West. Today, this antimodernist, anti-Western sentiment is alive and well
throughout Europe among those on the extreme right and left who invoke
nationalism in their opposition to globalization. The two most prominent
German radicals to undergo such a shift are Horst Mahler and Bernd Rabehl.
Along with two other prominent ex-leftists, Mahler-now the far right
National Democratic Party's official legal counsel-recently declared that
the '68er movement had been "neither for communism nor for capitalism,
neither for a Third-Worldist nor for an Eastern or a Western community of
values." Instead, it had been "about the right of every Volk to assert its
national-revolutionary and social-revolutionary liberation." In this view,
the Germans were no exception. Already then, the main root of Germany's
trouble lay in its solid anchoring in the West-controlled by that
double-headed evil, the United States and world Jewry. In marked contrast
to the Third Worldists, adherents to this path developed an anti-Zionism
that could barely, if ever, be differentiated from anti-Semitism.
This is also the period when the left's enmity against Israel, begun in
the wake of the Six Day War of June 1967, became a salient issue for its
politics, its identity, and also its internal divisions. Indeed, I would
argue that perhaps the most defining gauge of where somebody stood
politically, how she/he saw the world, was that ubiquitous triangle of
Israel, the Jews, and the United States. Roughly speaking, to the
Westerners, the plight of the Jews was a serious issue, which meant that
they developed a much more favorable view of Israel than did the other
three groups. To the Third Worldists and the orthodox Marxists, the plight
of the Jews-though real-remained unimportant, massively subordinate to the
plight of third world peoples (to the Third Worldists) and of workers (to
the orthodox Marxists). In the nationalist camp, by contrast, the plight
of the Jews was either never acknowledged or even viewed with outright
contempt. It is here that the nexus between the vÂ?lkisch left and the
vÂ?lkisch right, which manifested itself so vigorously in the streets of
many German and European cities in the spring of 2002 and again in 2003,
Paradigm Shift: 1980-1989
In this era most fundamental assumptions of the socialist project
underwent major challenges. Above all, the 1980s witnessed the weakening
-perhaps even severing-of an alliance that once had defined the left, with
the working class as subject of history and driving force of progressive
politics. From circa 1880 until 1980, the most fundamental dogma of social
democrats and communists alike was that the working class would be the
decisive carrier of social transformation beyond capitalism. Both
theoretically and empirically, there was a tight logical connection
between the working class and the left: not all workers had to be left,
but there could be no left without workers. All other movements, social
groups, and individuals were in principle subordinated to the working
class in the endeavor of attaining socialism. This changed drastically in
the course of the 1980s. Briefly put, the working class lost its position
not only as a theoretically compelling feature of all socialist
orientations but also as an empirical necessity of quotidian politics.
This radical change has three salient features.
1. The appearance of the new social movements and their political
offspring, the Green parties. In the course of the 1970s and increasingly
in the 1980s, progress began to mean almost the opposite of what it did
before. The term had always been associated with some sort of growth, but
now the desirability of growth was questioned, if not entirely rejected.
If being left and progressive meant building dams and steel mills during
the previous two eras, it now implied saving little fish and rare birds
from the destruction wrought by those very dams and mills. The
universalism of class as a primary political identity was superseded by
the particularism of groups. Faith previously placed in technology,
centralization, and the state was now conferred upon localism,
decentralization, and community power. The left moved from growth, state,
class, economy, and politics to identity, gender, empowerment, and
deconstruction. Tellingly, much of critical social science, formerly
engaged on behalf of a progressive agenda, was now superseded by an
increasingly philosophized Marxism, which in turn drifted toward literary
criticism and various other poststructural and postmodern intellectual
It had become clear by the mid-1980s that green was the left's
trendsetting color instead of the century-old red. Increasingly, also, the
color purple denoted the arrival and staying power of politically
meaningful women's movements in the public arena of all advanced
industrial democracies. Possibly no other change wrought by the New Left
had such a tangible impact on virtually all aspects of private and public
life as did the rise and establishment of the women's movements. In brief,
protecting the life-world, reclaiming lost intimacy, defending vulnerable
groups, extolling smallness-all this replaced the previous faith in the
liberating aspects of technology and the obsession with "mega" projects
that had dominated the European and American left's discourse for exactly
one hundred years.
2. The weakening of union power. If the 1970s was the decade of the
unions, the 1980s could be called the decade of union setbacks. Absolutely
crucial in these were the massive offensives led by hard-right governments
such as Ronald Reagan's administration in the United States and Margaret
Thatcher's in Great Britain. On every conceivable front and in every
country, organized labor suffered one defeat after another, leading to a
substantial weakening of its position in the political arena and the labor
market. The losses covered many areas: receding or stagnating membership;
failure to attain even the most meager compromises in collective
bargaining; seeing the arena and timing of conflict determined by
management; being unable to strike; facing serious problems with one's
"own" parties, be they communist or social democratic; confronting harsher
conditions of production; dealing with a hostile state preoccupied with
creating favorable economic conditions for an increasingly difficult
Interestingly, the losses were particularly severe in those countries
where labor had been the least "compromised" by corporatist arrangements
during the previous two decades. In other words, where labor's conflict
with capital remained the "purest" in the sense that it preserved the
market as the main arena and adjudics mattered, more important still were
the deeper social structures. Thus, for example, even though Helmut Kohl's
government in Germany was by most measures as conservative as Reagan's in
the United States and Thatcher's in Britain, it simply could never roll
back labor in Germany to the same degree. Wherever labor's struggle with
capital was mediated by various public or para-public institutions and
neocorporatist arrangements, the losses were less drastic.
3. Labor's inability to pursue a genuine policy of international
solidarity. Marx got it right: capitalism, an inherently depersonalized
and rootless form of productive relations, was indeed international in its
structure, and this international system of production exploited labor on
an international scale. But just as Marx the social analyst was more often
right than wrong, the opposite is true for Marx the normative thinker, the
revolutionary, the activist, the political man. He believed that because
capitalism exploited the working class internationally, the working class
would sooner or later realize the international dimensions of its
predicament and confront capitalism with its own internationalist
solidarity. Alas, we know from too many tragic events how erroneous this
wishful thinking was. If anything, labor has emerged as the most
nationalistic among all major social groups in advanced capitalist
countries. In the United States, Canada, Britain, France, and even in
supposedly "open" and export-oriented countries such as Germany, the trade
unions have consistently been active supporters of some sort of
protectionist measurject only to the laws of unbridled capitalism. This is
a very serious problem for organized labor and its progressive allies in
advanced capitalist societies because it fosters an especially problematic
Fragmentation and Polarization
With the collapse of Soviet communism and the green and purple challenge
to Western social democracy, the European left has lost the overall
coherence of modernist universalism that defined it for more than a
hundred years. On the one hand, one should rejoice in this development,
because Truth and Progress (with capital letters) were too arrogantly
defended by much of the left throughout the twentieth century. We will
most likely be spared any repetition of the horrors of the GULAG or the
genocidal mania of the Khmer Rouge-whose protagonists claimed to be acting
in the name of justice, equality, and progress. But there exists a more
fundamental problem. Although one can still identify many worthy causes
that qualify as progressive, one would be hard-put to identify a subject
of hof the death penalty, equality in marital arrangements and official
recognition of gay and lesbian couples by the state; progressive income
tax; economic and social justice; support for third world claims against
the rich first world; multilateralism as opposed to unilateralism;
legalization of marijuana; and on and on-opposition to Israel and America
figure at the very top. If one is not at least a serious doubter of the
legitimacy of the state of Israel (never mind the policies of its
government) and if one does not dismiss everything American as a priori
vile and reactionary, one runs the risk of being excluded from the entity
called "the left." There has not been a common issue since the Spanish
Civil War that has united the left so clearly as has anti-Zionism and its
twin, anti-Americanism. The left divided, and divides, over Serbia, over
Chechnya, over Darfur, even over the war in Iraq. There are virtually no
divisions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and over the essence of
the United States. If one has anything positive-or even non-derogatory-to
say about the United States or Israel, one always needs to qualify it with
a resounding "but."
I remember calling myself a Labor Zionist in the late 1960s and early
1970s. This was still possible in important circles of the German and the
American left. Being a Dissenter was still acceptable in the large tent of
the left. This has changed. To be sure, there are some small pockets among
the German Greens-though much less in the SPD's milieu-where Israel,
Zionism, and America have not become automatic terms of derision and
hatred. Few people will admit this, but the tone that makes the music is
pretty clear. The hegemonic discourse of the left on both sides of the
Atlantic features America and Israel as identity-defining issues that are
Finally, it remains an open question whether what is today called
"globalization" is truly unprecedented in its altering of social relations
and human life-as so many claim-or whether it is merely another of the
constantly changing and highly disruptive stages in the longue durÂ?e of
capitalism. This question lies beyond my scope here. I only want to
suggest that on virtually all the indicators dear to economists, the
restructuring that occurred at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning
of the twentieth centuries created dislocations far more massive than
those produced by capitalism today. The dislocations of those years
shattered the left's internationalism, led it to embrace centrifugal
particularisms, and then to watch its emancipatory dreams die on the
battlefields of Europe. History, of course, never repeats itself. But to
paraphrase a well-known political economist of the nineteenth century: it
appears first as tragedy, the next time as farce.
*Seymour Martin Lipset and Stein Rokkan, "Cleavage Structures, Party
Systems and Voter Alignments: An Introduction" in Seymour Martin Lipset
and Stein Rokkan, eds., Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-National
Perspectives (New York: The Free Press, 1967), pp. 1-64.
2. Islamofascist Holocaust Denial:
3. Thanks God for not Making all the Meshuganas Jewish:
4. Hiring a terrorist as professor (no, NOT at Ben Gurion University):
1. Israel's Attorney General, Menachem "Manny" Mazuz, is a far leftist
and a compatriot of Yossi Beilin, godmother of Olso. So naturally, when
Ariel Sharon needed an Attorney General, Mazuz was the guy he picked.
The Likud's main goal at the yop of its agenda is to install leftist
officials and implement the Left's agenda.
Yesterday Mazuz declared war on the Jewish National Fund. The Jewish
National Fund is a NGO (non-governmental organization) whose origins go
back to the early days of Zionism. It would collect kopeks and pennies
from Jews all over the world in little "pishka" tin cans and use the money
to buy lands that would then be leased out for Jewish enterprises and
farms. The lands being purchased were intended for the benefit of Jews
and the use by Jews in nation-building. JNF land is alloted for things
like settling new immigrants to Israel.
Yesterday Mazuz declared that the JNF, even though it is not a
state-agency but a NGO, cannot favor Jewish users and uses in allocation
of its lands and has to give equal priority to Arab uses and users. That
means that he wants to deny the right of all those little Jewish
contributors putting their kopeks in the pishka to earmark their donations
for other Jews. See http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/532493.html
Now just to put this into perspective, there is another NGO whose lands
allocation Mazuz is NOT going to direct or interfere in. That is the
Moslem WAKF, a NGO that holds lands for Moslem religious purposes and
explicitly discrminates against Jews and Jewish users.
In other words, the JNF is "racist" in Mazuz' view when it uses its
land for the benefit of Jews, but not the WAKF. There are other
state-owned lands in Israel owned by the Israel Lands Authority, but that
has long followed a policy of alloting these for general public uses
(Jewish and Arab). It should be noted that much of the land in Israel is
nationalized, something I as an economist oppose, but out of the
privately-owned land Arabs own a far greater proportion than their
percent in the population! For 1300 Jews were discrimated against by
Arabs in the Middle East and prevented from owning land. Hence one might
legitmately regard the JNF's previous policy of favoring Jewish users as
Mazuz' latest is a symptom of the "Post-Zionist" syndrome and its
increasing control over the Likud itself.
2. Who is to blame for the rise in Anti-Semitism? The British Media!:
and also http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,14173,1397726,00.html
(Of course, they forgot to mention the Israeli media)
3. How to make the stock market go up - catch terrorists!
4. Interesting piece:
5. Making the punishment fit the crime:
(Was the porno material - Haaretz?)
6. You know how the whiney Left has been screaming every time Israel
bulldozes an illegally built Arab house? Well:
Will th eFar Lefties be calling for a new international boycott of the
Caterpiller bulldozer company?
7. Israeli Feminazis for Terror:
Harvard Prez better not cite this:
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
1. Oh how embarrassing. The anti-Israel crowd, the Jew baiters, and the
tenured traitors were having a field day this morning. A 3 year old
Palestinian girl had been killed this morning in the Gaza Strip and it
looked like she was killed when Israeli troops returned fire at
Palestinian terrorists firing at THEM. Now that, you might say, would
mean the Palestinians are responsible for the girl's death, since they
opened fire, and they must be held accountable for any collateral damage
from Israel returning fire.
AH, but we know the real world does not work that way and the Jews are
always to blame when they shoot back.
So here we were witnessing the anti-Semites of the world having a
celebration without precedent of Israel being blamed for the 3 year old
girl's death - when the truth comes out. It was even more embarrassing
than when the truth came out that the PLO had killed the little boy
Mohammed al-Dura and not Israeli troops!
It was revealed this afternoon that the girl was NOT killed by Israeli
return fire. She was killed by a Kassam rocket. The Kassam rockets are
PLO weapons fired into Jewish civilian areas, and the PLO has been
continuing to fire tham at the Jews even during the current make-pretend
ceasefire. Except that the one fired this morning had a structural
default, and landed short, inside the Palestinian area of the Gaza Strip.
It blew the girl to smithereens.
2. Regarding that film by an Israeli "producer" glorifyiong suicide
bombers, which we discussed in yesterday's post, the evil Israeli in the
film is played by a .... Palestinian actor.
How Come? The Israeli producer Harel uses a "Palestinian" actor when he
wants to portray an "edgy...Israeli" who looks like a thug. Is that
racist typecasting - or what? Also, notice that this film was shown "in
association with the Consulate General of Israel (SF)?" Is this sick, or
what? An official sponsorship of this movie by the diplomatic services of
"Palestinian actor Salim Daw is striking as the edgy, underground Israeli
businessman. The Holy Land they inhabit is less the dream of milk and
honey than a reality of abuse and misfortune.
3. For the past few days, the Loony Left here has been whining about the
arrest of a Danish citizen suspected of espionage. No doubt one of those
"peace solidarity" people, Rachel Corrie wannabes. Well, now the details
have come out:
Dane under arrest is Hizbullah spy
Yaakov Katz and Margot Dudkevitch, THE JERUSALEM POST Jan. 26, 2005
The Danish citizen of Lebanese origin currently the focus of a joint
Police-Shin Bet investigation was identified Wednesday as a Hizbullah
recruited agent by the name of Iyad al Ashwah, 39, after a gag order on
the investigation was lifted.
Al Ashwah, originally born in Lebanon moved to Denmark in 1986 and
received Danish citizenship six years later.
Al Ashwah was arrested on January 6 while he was on a train from Nahariya
to Haifa after he raised a security officer's suspicions by videotaping
the passing scenery through the train window.
He was arrested by police and confessed that in July 2004 he had been
recruited into Hizbullah by relatives living in Lebanon. In his
interrogation, al Ashwah told police that he was ordered to travel to
Israel disguised as a tourist to collect security information and most
importantly to recruit Israeli-Arabs into the terror organization.
Two Israeli-Arabs have also been arrested.
In exchange for his work, al Ashwah was paid $2,000 by his Hizbullah
On December 29, al Ashwah arrived in Israel on a Turkish Airlines flight.
He entered Israel with a brand new passport which had been issued right
before his trip. During the six days leading up to his arrest, al Ashwah
succeeded in recruiting two Israel-Arab suspects. He told police that he
planned on renting a car and driving up north to locate security
installations. He said he understood his mission to be a "test" which
would be followed by a larger "more significant" mission.
The suspect further told police that he maintained close contacts with
relatives living in the Middle East and would visit Syria and Lebanon on
an annual basis. Over the past two years, al Ashwah was unemployed and
of a government stipend. He said that in Denmark he gave most of his money
to the Al Bureij Islamic charity association that maintains close ties
with the refugee camp of the same name in Lebanon.
"This suspect is just another example of the Hizbullah's growing interest
in acting against Israel," the police said. "This time, the Hizbullah used
an Arab with a Western passport to fool the Israeli security service."
Foreigners recruited by Hizbullah
This is not the first foreign national to be arrested by the Shin Bet
(Israel Security Agency) on suspicion of violating state security.
In October 2002, Fawzi Ayoub, 38, a senior Hizbullah official who entered
Israel on a forged US passport to carry out attacks in Israel and assist
terrorist organizations in the territories was arrested by the Shin Bet.
Ayoub, of Lebanese Shi'ite descent, participated in numerous attacks in
and outside Lebanon and operated in a special unit headed by Hizbullah
leader Hassan Nasrallah's deputy on military affairs, Amed Muaneh.
After undergoing training, Ayoub was sent to Canada, where he lived for a
number of years. He maintained contact with officials in Lebanon and
carried out a number of missions on their behalf. On returning to Lebanon,
Hizbullah recruited him to carry out a dangerous covert operation in
Israel. He underwent intensive military preparation and was then
dispatched to Europe where he received a forged US passport which he used
to enter Israel.
In January 2001 security officials arrested Hizbullah agent Jihad Shuman
who bore a British passport with the name Gerard Shuman, who had entered
the country in December 2000.
Shuman, who studied computers at the Beirut University, is a Lebanese
Shi'ite by descent and was ordered by his operators to travel to London
and leave his Lebanese passport in the country, where he was instructed to
purchase a cellular phone and fictitiously rent a mailbox and apartment,
which he was to give out as his address once he arrived in Israel. He was
told to locate a spot in Wadi Joz where certain items had been hidden for
him, and was arrested six days after arriving in Israel. When arrested by
security forces in his hotel room, Shuman had in his possession a kippah,
timers, large sums of money, and three cellular phones.
In November 1997, German citizen Stefan Josef Smyrek was arrested by the
Shin Bet on his arrival at Ben Gurion airport. Smyrek, a convert to Islam,
was recruited by the Hizbullah and sent to Israel to perpetrate a suicide
Tried and convicted in Israel, he was in the middle of serving a ten-year
jail sentence when he was released last year in a swap for the return of
the bodies of the three soldiers abducted and killed in Har Dov in 2000
and the release of Israeli businessmen Elhanan Tenenbaum.
In 1996, Hassin Makdad, who entered Israel on a British passport in April
of the same year, was wounded when a bomb he was preparing exploded
prematurely in his room at the Lawrence Hotel in east Jerusalem.
4. Down goes yet another "ceasefire" - until the next one:
5. The British Spectator Merges with Der Sturmer:
6. For Hebrew readers: nice piece on Jewish anti-Semitism:
7. Outting the Terrorhoids:
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Subject: Coming to a Cinema Near You!
You will no doubt think I am pulling your leg and posting yet another dumb spoof when I report to you that an Israeli movie producer is producing a film direct by a Palestinian that celebrates and romanticizes Palestinian suicide bombers. Yes, Amir Harel has decided that movie viewers need to ?understand? and identify with the just cause of Palestinian suicide bombers who mass murder Israeli children. The Jews for a Second Holocaust will be getting a movie in which they can at last feel comfortable. The tenured traitors can show it on campus and the Tikkun editors can give it a rave review. You just know it will be featured at the Berkeley Jewish Film Festival.
Amir Harel was until a few years ago a ?journalist? for Haaretz, the anti-Israel Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew. While maintaining his day job at the ?newspaper?, which is in fact no newspaper at all but rather a propaganda organ, Harel started producing a few highly forgettable B movies. (Ok, make those F movies.) Evidently Harel was able to do so on the basis of subsidies he got from an Israeli government film-producing fund (http://www.nfct.org.il/nfct/international1.htm and http://www.filmfund.org.il/ ), one of countless Israeli government agencies that should have been shut down and locked up decades ago. Before making anti-Israel films with Israeli taxpayer money, Harel?s greatest artistic achievement was making a web site about Seinfeld (http://www.geocities.com/a_harel/ ). Really.
One of the Harel films was about how an African guest worker suffers at the hands of the horrid insensitive racist Israelis (http://www.sffs.org/fest04/titleDetail.asp?title_id=22 ), who mistreat such workers. The mistreatment is so awful that today Africans by the tribe-load are knocking down the Israeli Embassy guards all over the continent to try to get temp jobs in Israel. The other Harel films were even worse and even stupider, which is why at least one got a prize from the Israeli Academy of Cinema, which is what Hollywood would look like if it were located on Saturn. One of these is about a German police agent named ?Axel? (Eddie Murphy ? sue his ass!!) and it celebrates sodomy and homosexuality in Berlin, along with its junior high school ?action? plot (http://www.eilatfilmfest.com/movieshebrew.htm ). That piece of garbage cost the Israeli taxpayer about 32000 Euros.
The new movie celebrating mass murderers of Jewish children was produced by the same Amir Harel, directed and co-written by a Palestinian pro-terrorist living in the Netherlands named Hany Abu-Assad (who previously made "Rana's Wedding" and ?Fort Transit?). The new Terror-is-Nice film is financed by a consortium of German, French and Dutch anti-Semites, and - incredible as it sounds - it was NOT funded by the Israeli government, which ordinarily can be counted on to finance the ?Jews as Nazis and Palestinians as their Victims? genre of cinema.
The new celebration of mass murder of Jewish children is getting rave reviews from the Beirut press (http://dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=4&article_id=11285 ). The official PLO web site also endorses the film as a great work of art:
http://www.palestinereport.org/article.php?article=386 . It is expected to the darling of the Berlin Film Festival next month, where there are many movie goers who know a lot about the art of murdering Jewish children.
My guess is that the ?New Likud? will grant the producer next year?s Israel Prize on Independence Day for the film.
Subject: Our World: Today's Jewish anti-Semites .... by Caroline Glick
Our World: Today's Jewish anti-Semites
Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST Jan. 25, 2005
In a recent poll, 62 percent of Germans said they were "sick of all the
harping on about German crimes against the Jews." Two thirds of Germans said
they believe Israel is waging "a war of extermination" against the Palestinians.
Jews often focus their attention on Holocaust sentiment among non-Jews to
gauge anti-Semitic feelings. But while feelings about the Holocaust serve as
an indicator of general sentiment about Jews, there are other indicators no
less important or revealing.
Sensitivity about the Holocaust may tell us what a person feels about Jews,
but it may also simply tell us what that person feels about dead Jews.
But let's say that most Germans did believe the Holocaust was a terrible
crime. Would the German rejection of the Holocaust mean that the majority
that believes Israel is today's Nazi Germany is less anti-Semitic? No, it
Yesterday the UN General Assembly for the first time held a special session
to commemorate the liberation of the Nazi death camps and the Holocaust.
Does this mean that the UN, which devotes some one-third of its resolutions
to condemning Israel, is no longer hostile to the Jewish people? No, it does
SINCE THE Holocaust, the rallying cry of Jews has been "Never Again!" But
the enormity of the Holocaust must not blind us to its present-day mutation.
Today the vast majority of anti-Semites are not calling for Jews to be
deported to death camps. They are calling for the destruction of the Jewish
state and, as was the case in previous generations, they are seeking out and
finding Jews like Karl Marx who share their hatred for the Jewish people and
willingly advance their evil agenda.
This agenda is to again reduce Jews to a state of powerlessness where we
will be at the mercy of the same world that either participated in or did
nothing in the face of the extermination of European Jewry.
Today this is done by striking out at the main safeguard against such
powerlessness â?? the State of Israel â?? criminalizing it as the modern-day
incarnation of Nazi Germany. The role of Jewish anti-Semites in this
campaign is to decouple the dead Jews murdered by the Nazis from the live
Jews who live in, or support, the Jewish state.
Such a Jew was found by the British conservative magazine The Spectator in
one Anthony Lippman. Lippman is actually an Anglican, not a Jew, but as the
child of Jewish Holocaust survivors, he will do.
In a recent article, Lippman writes hypnotically about his mother's
sufferings in Auschwitz only to explain that the job of Holocaust survivors
and their children is to speak out against... Israel.
In his words, survivors have "a terrible responsibility â?? to live well in
the name of those who did not live and to discourage the building of walls
and bulldozing of villages. Even more than this, they â?? and all Jews â?? need
to be the voice of conscience that will prevent Israel from adopting the
mantle of oppressor, and to reject the label 'anti-Semite' for those who
speak out against Israel's policies in the occupied territories."
ANOTHER such Jew is Tony Judt. Since the start of the Palestinian terror
war, Judt, a historian at New York University, has been outspoken in his
rejection of Israel's right to exist.
In a series of articles in The New York Review of Books, The Nation and The
New Republic, Judt has led the charge in claiming that "the depressing truth
is that Israel today is bad for the Jews," and that for Jews to feel good
about themselves again Israel must cease to be a Jewish state â?? that is,
Israel must cease to exist.
This perverse line of reasoning, whereby the only way for Jews to be happy
is for us to again be powerless, has brought Judt under attack by prominent
Jews who have exposed the anti-Semitism inherent in his argumentation.
In a new article in The Nation magazine, Judt takes a stab at responding to
his many critics. The article is a ponderous attempt to argue that there is
no relation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
On the one hand, he says that it is anti-Semitic to say that Jews control
the US. But on the other hand, Judt allows that "contemporary US foreign
policy is in certain respects mortgaged to Israel," adding, "To say that
Israel and its lobbyists have an excessive and disastrous influence on the
policies of the world's superpower is a statement of fact."
Judt allows that there has been a rise in anti-Semitism in Europe in recent
years, but he blames this on "the policies of Israeli government." Echoing
Anglican Lippman, Judt writes that for anti-Semitism to be dealt with in
Europe, "Jews and others must learn to shed inhibitions and criticize
Israel's policies and actions."
In Judt's view, "once Germans, French and others can comfortably condemn
Israel without an uneasy conscience, and can look their Muslim fellow
citizens in the face, it will be possible to deal with the real problem
Since the September 11 attacks Muslims have been called upon to decry the
preaching of hatred in their community. It is argued that until Muslims
themselves delegitimize the voices of hatred in their communities the
poisonous message of jihad will continue to attract thousands to its
The 60th anniversary of Auschwitz's liberation is a good time to call for a
similar Jewish condemnation of hate-filled Jews and those that use them to
advance their anti-Semitic agenda.
These are not legitimate voices. These are not legitimate views. They are
the views of deranged Jew-haters which, if listened to, will do nothing
other than pave the way to the next calamity.