The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 03-06-10

Posted on March 13th, 2010 at 8:37 am by

Does Anti-Zionist mean Anti-Israel? [We think so]

There are more and more Jewish “Anti-Zionists” these days, which might be a good thing, or might be more of the same Peace Now, Gush Shalom, JVP, New Jewish Agenda forms of Left-Zionism. But groups like International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network are telling us quite clearly that they are anti-Zionists. Can’t we read?

Let’s pose two questions: First, given a logic that equates the outcome of the Zionist project – the Jewish state of Israel – with the ideology that created it, doesn’t it follow that if one is anti-Zionist, then he/she is also anti-Israel? We think the answer is a resounding “Yes”, but don’t know where IJAN stands; they don’t define “Zionist”, so it’s hard to measure their “Anti-Zionist-ness”. A Zionist is one who supports Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish supremacist state in Palestine. [Note: this writer describes himself as “anti-Israel”, but since JWPF has not yet formed consensus on this issue, these opinions are his own, albeit shared by some in the group.]

The second question is, given that being anti-Zionist means one is anti-Israel, then where are IJAN demands for the peaceful dismantlement of the state of Israel, as the anti-Israel Neturei Karta rabbis have been demanding for as long as this writer has been in the business?

Now, the answer to the second question is clearly that there are no explicit demands to dismantle apartheid Israel from IJAN. Their website calls for a “dismantling” of Zionism, but no call to dismantle “Israel”. “Jewish supremacism”, another way of identifying the underlying ideology of apartheid Israel, is not mentioned.

So working backwards, we arrive at a point of confusion. Is IJAN truly anti-Zionist? That is, do they subliminally call for the end of Jewish supremacism in Palestine or would they argue some “pro-Israel” yet “anti-Zionist” position, ala J-Street’s blather about “Pro-Israel, pro-Peace”. Now that’s true malarkey, and if I were IJAN, I’d be right up there differentiating myself with the J-Street/AIPAC crowd.

Our conclusion, then – in the absence of further evidence and given the benefits of “Lawyer’s Logic” [a self-described term meaning to assume a solution, then see if that fits the evidence] – is that IJAN is not an anti-Israel group, and in the opinion of this writer, should be. One cannot be neutral on a moving train; one is either pro-“Israel” or anti-“Israel. For the sake of sheer honesty, Jews in the peace movement should be clear on this very basic issue. And Jewish groups, like IJAN, should do likewise; then they could leave their acronym alone as International Jewish Anti-Israel Network.

AACAW Calls for Obama Protest

The local Ann Arbor Coalition Against War, of which JWPF is a member, is calling for a protest of Barack Obama’s address at the University of Michigan’s Commencement of Graduates at the Michigan Stadium on May 1st from 9:00 – 11:00 AM. Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends will – for the second time in over six years – call off our weekly vigils at Beth Israel, so we can be there to protest Obama’s support for apartheid Israel, among his other travesties of office, like the continued militaristic imperialist ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, we thought would be “changed” by his administration. Everyone is invited to attend this event; signs will be provided, or bring ‘yer own.

DTE Protests

The Detroit-based Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs have called for weekly protests in front of the downtown DTE offices. Two JWPF members joined the Coalition to “Demand that Mayor (Dave) Bing and Governor (Jennifer) Granholm declare an immediate State of Economic Emergency and place a Moratorium on all Utility Shutoffs, Foreclosures and Evictions.”

These actions were prompted by the recent deaths of three Detroit children, who died in a fire caused by a faulty heater used just hours after DTE shut the gas off to their home. This tragedy could have, and should have been averted. Government intervention, in the face of cold-hearted corporate policy implementation, is required. See related article “Three children perish in Detroit house fire”.

Eight Vigillers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Challenging Jewish Power since 2003

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