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Supporting the State of Israel
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Caissa
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Supporting the State of Israel Reply with quote

Serious question: When did supporting the existence of a state of Israel become right wing? pre-1948? 1948? 1956? 1967? 1973? a more recent date? Always?
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No Yards
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caissa wrote:
Serious question: When did supporting the existence of a state of Israel become right wing? pre-1948? 1948? 1956? 1967? 1973? a more recent date? Always?


Why don't you fuck right off asshole?

This is exactly the kind of implied antisemitism that is tolerated over at babble, and we shouldn't have to put up with it at a real progressive board.
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Caissa
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serious question No Yards: There was strong left-wing support for the founding of a state of Israel; I'd like to know when the pendulum swung the other way.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caissa wrote:
Serious question No Yards: There was strong left-wing support for the founding of a state of Israel; I'd like to know when the pendulum swung the other way.


Intruding with your 'frame' practically guarantees conflict, as it does in the occupied territories. Some resolution might result if you asked "When did the attitude of rest of the world change from concerned pity to either scorn or placation?"

In contrast, your frame addresses irrelevancies as causal. That alone is justification to dismiss it and you as manipulative, or superstitious at the kindest. On top of this, insisting on such is simply attempting to dominate abusively; and as we have seen time after time, makes others mad as hell.
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Caissa
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah bshmr, No Yards salutation to me wasn't abusive? My frame is informed by my background as an historian. I provided what are considered important signposts in the life of the modern state of Israel because I felt my first sentence was too open-ended. I'm seriously interested in the evolution of thought on the Left. Left-wing thought has changed over time and never been monolithic. Is it impossible to have these sorts of discussions on left-wing discusion board? Are the only conversations we can have in relation to the State of Israel ones that run along the lines of condemning Israel. For the record, I don't support the Occupation.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since there are no mods for this section, I am asking one of the mods to ask Caissa to retract his suggestions of antisemitism, or failing that an appropriate penalty be applied.
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Caissa
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're reading way too much into my posts, No Yards. I hope you can back up your assertions or I think the mods may want to give you an appropriate penalty. Why don't we have a little chat with them and see whose posts are most egregious?
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al-Qa'bong
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
NoYards, I said I wasn't looking to cause hassles here, and I wasn't looking to get anyone banned, but I saw nothing in my own 'research' to alter my own suspicions and I can now say with some certainty that the guy is no leftist or anti-imperialist in the usual sense of the word. Whether he harbours any closeted anti-Semitic tendencies or not, it'll either come out here eventually as well, and dealt with in the usual manner, or it won't and the whole question is then moot. I won't say anymore about it unless he tries to accuse me again of some hidden agenda myself.


That's the second time I've seen you say you'd drop the subject.

Until now, EM has been free of the type of Inquisitors who have plagued babble.
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bshmr
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caissa apparently understood nothing in my response or choose to reply, impersonating Walter Mitty, with more irrelevancies.

Others, if inclined, are free to try to modify the irritating maladaption. That I will be fascinated by any substantive changes goes without saying <g>.

A thread in Banter or Topic other than Construction would be more approprate, BTW.
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Caissa
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it impossible to discuss the historical evolution of attitudes towards Israel? Apparently it is.
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thwap
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caissa,

Knowing your posts and posting style fairly well, I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

What are your thoughts on the emergence of the left-wing anti-Zionist consensus on Israel?
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Caissa
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for asking, Thwap. I don't know when this consensus began to emerge and as a historian. I like to have an event to use as a touchstone. The percentage of vote for the left in Israel has continued to diminish in every election since 1948. Probably each successive Government has become more conservative. In addition, the mainstream political spectrum has shrunk and moved to the right. I remember having a student in the mid-eighties who was active in Peace Now; there was really a sense that this movement would take off and a new consensus for a just peace would happen. I get the sense that 1967 was a watershed, when Israel "acquired" the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and Golan Heights. This lead to successive Israeli Government placing facts on the ground a major impediment to peace. The Oslo Accords were unsustainable and certainly stacked against the Palestinians. Even if Israel acted in good faith a country with two distinct non-contiguos geographical areas would be difficult to sustain.

Its interesting that a one state solution is now being proposed. If I remember correctly when Britain announced it was abandoning the L of N Mandate both a federal state and a two state solution were debated in UNSCOP.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, for one thing, I thought you were referring to the sentiments about Israel on the international left, not within Israel.

On the Israeli left, I suppose there was a lot of socialism, the stuff that led to the Kibbutzum (sp?) and to the creation of a humane, democratic state (for Jews anyway).

But it seems to me there is was, and is, a lot delusion and imperialism inherent in any form of Zionism.

Even a relatively sensible book, like Froomkin's A Peace to End All Peace, which accurately identifies British imperialism as the cause of the origins of the state of Israel, can't fail to pretend that the whole exercise itself was a super-humane project.

Supposedly, the reason that Palestinians were fired and left destitute from lands purchased by Israeli settlers (where the Palestinians had been agricultural labourers) was because the Kibbutz Israelis were "socialists" who didn't want to exploit labourers.

Yeah, "I can't bear the idea of exploiting you. Why don't you go starve somewhere?"
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No Yards
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thwap wrote:
Caissa,

Knowing your posts and posting style fairly well, I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

What are your thoughts on the emergence of the left-wing anti-Zionist consensus on Israel?


That's not the question he proposed.

The question he asked was "when did supporting the existence of a state of Israel become right wing?"

This directly implies that left wingers don't support the existence of an Israeli state.

Which is short hand for being an anti-Semite.

If the question were meant to be "why does 't the left no longer support Israeli occupation", then let him rephrase the question in those terms ... implying that the left wants Israel destroyed is a steaming pile of right wing bull shit and doesn't belong on a progressive board.
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Caissa
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We seem to missing each other No Yards. I get the impression on EM, Babble et al. that the consensus on the left is that the State of Israel should not have been established in 1948. I don't think this was the left-wing consensus in 1948. There seemed to be support for a two state solution to the former mandate. There now seems to be an emerging consensus of a one state solution in the area. I'm interested in how this evolution in thinking took place and when.

I think and individual can be opposed to Israel without being an anti-semite so my comments were definitely not meant as being a short-hand accusation of anti-semitism. I also used "a" instead of "the" intentionally in my original post; one can support a state of Israel without supporting the current state of Israel.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before we go on, maybe you should enumerate and clarify all the meanings you want derived from your statement?

Seems depending upon who is asking you change your story ... were you talking about, as you claim in your response to thwap, the internal Israeli left? If so then how would you be able to get that "consensus" from EM, babble et al?

If not, then are you claiming in your last post to be talking about the "international" left? If so where did you find this "left wing consensus" that Israel should not have been established?

There might be a left wing consensus that Israeli occupation, like any occupation by any nation, is wrong ... but turning that into a statement such as the one you made is completely ignorant, insulting, and .... did I say ignorant already?

And people supporting a single state solution is not a sign of not supporting a state of Israel ... except maybe the far right wing nut hardline Zionists that want to commit suicide by supporting a single Israeli state with only Jews, and where Palestinians are wiped off the map or sent packing to whatever Arab state they could escape to.

So take your BS and peddle it on somewhere else.
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Caissa
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How rude, No Yards. Do you think your last sentence furthers discussion or are you seeking to silence others?

I thought I was speaking about the consensus of the left; I used the example of Israel's politic spectrum's drift to the right as one of the possible reasons for the left's drift re. Israel. Sorry if that wasn't clear enough.

I assume a one state solution would be secular and since one of the early pillars of the current state of Israel was the Law of Return, a one state solution would have a different national name.

Maybe I'm reading what I perceive to be the "left wing" consensus all wrong.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As this has gone completely off the rails, I'm going to close this thread. Please feel free to start again in the appropriate forum.
edited to add: I've unlocked this thread and will split it into 2 - the latter part to go into the Middle East forum.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about the Left before I was born, but here, right now, I think it was illegitimate of the British to offer "Palestine" to the Zionists in World War I.

I think the Zionist homeland ought to have been carved out of some part of Europe during the redrawing of borders after World War II. (Of course by then it was too late.)

Here's an opinion piece about leftists and Israel from Canadian Jewish News.

I'm not sure about this:

Quote:
In 1948, upon Israel's founding, the international left - including Arab communist and socialist parties, particularly in Egypt - was supportive of Israel.


It basically says that the Left decries Israeli chauvinism (with good reason) but that the Left doesn't dispute Israel's right to exist within secure borders.

Quote:
Even the most ardent leftist critics of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's actions do not deny Israel's right to exist within secure borders. It is just that we cannot square Sharon's appointing of transfer-mongers to his government and his stated desire to destroy the Oslo peace process with our support for Israel.


and that Sharonite extremism is itself ugly:

Quote:
On the other hand, as many Jews close ranks to support Sharon, there has been a tremendous growth of openly expressed Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, if not Meir Kahane-derived attitudes, not only toward Palestinians but toward such "self-hating Jews" as Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun magazine, Israeli author Amos Oz and Labour MK Yossi Beillin.


I've recently been reading [url=http://www.alibris.com/search/search.cfm?qwork=725195&wauth=Hadawi%2C%20Sami&matches=24&qsort=r&cm_re=works*listing*title]Bitter Harvest: A Modern History of Palestine [/url] by Sami Hadawi, and it certainly gives no indication that the Arab world was happy with the imposition of the state of Israel on them.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is bullshit ... the question asked in this thread:

Quote:
Serious question: When did supporting the existence of a state of Israel become right wing? pre-1948? 1948? 1956? 1967? 1973? a more recent date? Always?


Is ignorant, ugly, and a blatant slander of antisemitism against the left.

If we are going to start to allow Macabee and ohara clones to infest this board with their implied antisemitism towards anyone who criticizes Israel violence against Palestinians, then we've lost all claim to being a progressive board.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This directly implies that left wingers don't support the existence of an Israeli state.

Which is short hand for being an anti-Semite.


I don't think so. I'm a Socialist, and I don't support the existence of the state of Israel. The only way the Israeli question has a chance of being settled peacefully is if Palestine becomes a bi-national state.

Quote:
Serious question: When did supporting the existence of a state of Israel become right wing? pre-1948? 1948? 1956? 1967? 1973? a more recent date? Always?

-----------
Is ignorant, ugly, and a blatant slander of antisemitism against the left.


Again, I disagree. It's been argued that 1967 was the turning point, when the USA realized that Israel was the local tough-guy, and would be a strong, reliable ally in the region. The Russians, who had initially been strong supporters of the Zionists, followed Cold War logic and were left with supporting the new enemies of the US - Syria and Egypt.

I think what turned many non-Soviet leftists against Israel was seeing the brutality at the core of Zionism during the first Intifada, when heavily-armed IOF troops were seen gunning down kids throwing stones.

Right-wingers, who fetishize strength and overt displays of power, naturally aligned with the Zionists.
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LawLibrarian
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has never been right-wing Caissa to support the state of Israel, despite what a few voices from the extreme left or the extreme right in the wider world may claim.

The broad left has always supported the legitimacy of the existence of a Jewish State. The broad left has also been supprotive of the aims of the progressive strands within Zionism. The problem, as far as I can see, is that those strands have been significantly weakened over time, most recently after the assassination of Rabin, perhaps the last embodiment of that more hopeful branch of Israeli/Zionist politics. There are still, of course progressive Zionists like Peace Now and various other civil liberties voices and associations inside and outside the State of Israel, but their voices are often drowned out by both the Israeli right and their supporters abroad and by the anti-Israeli extreme Left and the anti-Israeli rightwing Islamic fundamentalists.

My understanding, limited though it may be, is that debate surrounds the specific policies of this or that government in the State of Israel or where the specific national borders may be.

I feel perfectly comfortable being part of the wide international progressive movement that supports the fundamental legitimacy and right to existence of a Jewish State while being deeply disturbed by the occupation of the West Bank and frustrated by Israeli government policies.

I see no contradiction, and neither do the Socialist International, the United Nations, human rights movements worldwide, people like Noam Chomsky, Western progressive parties, the NDP, Greens, progressive Liberals etc...

I don't take the polarization that too often passes for debate on the issue that seriously. Most people are in the middle - 2 states, both sides to blame, everyone has to put a little water in their wine, step back from the overheated rhetoric. Unfortunately, too often the debate sounds like a Dershowitz vs. Finkelstein extreme wrestlng match and most people who would be willing to give it a try and support a reasonable compromise that would go some way towards accommodating all sides (while not giving anyone 100%, which is impossible any way in the real world) slink away dejectedly never to come back

But then again, this is not my issue (ANY MORE, I henceforth refuse to be screamed at by hateful people from any side of the issue I have never met before but who feel free to judge, berate, condemn and yell at me for not agreeing to their often maximalist ultimatums) and I try to spend as little time on it as possible. Like most people I know, when it comes to the nerver ending confusing, hopelessly violent and volatile Middle East conflicts within conflicts within yet again other conflicts, I usually turn to another page in my newspaper.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

al-Qa'bong wrote:
Quote:
This directly implies that left wingers don't support the existence of an Israeli state.

Which is short hand for being an anti-Semite.


I don't think so. I'm a Socialist, and I don't support the existence of the state of Israel. The only way the Israeli question has a chance of being settled peacefully is if Palestine becomes a bi-national state.


Which is fine, but that doesn't make the support of the existence of a state of Israel a right wing issue.

While it is arguable that the NDP is as far left as it should, I think you will find the policy is still supporting the existence of a state of Israel ... even THE state of Israel.

If Caissa wants to clarify his question to explicitly relate what the hell is is talking about I will be more than happy to ignore the old question, but as it stands now, the questions asked is simply a trolling question ... another form of "when did you stop beating your wife" ... It implies the left wants Israel destroyed, and pretends that there is no conceivable reason for why this would be so, so obviously it must be some form of antisemitism ... also note there is no honest attempt to even ask "why" ... it's just a given that the left hates Israel, the only question that remains is "on what date did this antisemitism reach its maturity?"

It's BS ... if it's not implied antisemitism, then there should be no problem rephrasing the question to take out any possible ambiguity?
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Caissa
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're the one reading into the initial post. How about you take it at face value? I've made adequate explanation in my other posts in the thread.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serious question: When did supporting the lives of children become a pro-life issue?


I suppose no one sees how something could be implied about the pro-choice side in that kind of statement? Would anyone believe the lame excuse when called on the implication of the question that I was "just wondering the date when the pro-life movement started?"

Yes, I will take the question at "face value" ... another piece of right wing slander that people take as serious debate.

ETA: And just so we understand how far he will go to obfuscate the issue when it comes to talking of Israeli violence.

When a supporter of Israeli apartheid asks the kind of question asked in this thread, I don't think it takes a genius to figure out what was really being implied.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Again, I disagree. It's been argued that 1967 was the turning point, when the USA realized that Israel was the local tough-guy, and would be a strong, reliable ally in the region. The Russians, who had initially been strong supporters of the Zionists, followed Cold War logic and were left with supporting the new enemies of the US - Syria and Egypt.


Yeah, the whole evolution of the Soviet attitude to the Middle East is pretty interesting. From what I've read, Stalin (who personally was an anti-Semite) saw Zionism as an effective way to end the influence of the "rootless Cosmopolitans" (Stalinist code for the followers of the purged Jewish Communists Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev). The always calculating Stalin felt that by shifting Jewish support over to Zionism rather than internationalism, it would remove a threat to him (and for Uncle Joe, everything was about threats to him). Stalin apparently also felt that the Arab states (in the late 40s they were all pro-Western and generally conservative) would never be amenable to socialism (he held the same views on the prospects for socialism in South Asia or Africa). So funnily enough, the early Soviet support for Zionism was motivated both by anti-Semitism as well as Eurocentric racism.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Serious question: When did supporting the lives of children become a pro-life issue?


Has the attitude of pro-lifers toward children changed noticably?

If not then you've used a bit of a bad example.

A better one might be "When did U.S. Democrats' attitude toward foreign wars change?" or "When did the NDP policy toward gun crime change?"

If you accept that things were once one way, and now they're the other way, asking when the change took place doesn't seem terribly loaded to me.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends how the question is asked ... if instead of asking when the NDP changed their opinion on gun crime I were to ask when did the NDP start supporting throwing away the key on criminals, you might well be correct in thinking I was trying to spin the topic into having NDPer defend something that wasn't exactly what they stood for.

Can you see the difference between asking a legitimate question and using a false question to make implied accusations?

The question could have been asked in a different manner ... it could have been apologized for and rephrased ... it wasn't.

When did you start aligning yourself with Apartheid supporters? See what I mean?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
if instead of asking when the NDP changed their opinion on gun crime I were to ask when did the NDP start supporting throwing away the key on criminals


Usually it's asked "When did the NDP start sucking up to the Neo-con lock-and-key vote?" or "When did the NDP start trying to beat Stevie Harper at his own game" or some similar. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Evil Twin wrote:
From what I've read, Stalin (who personally was an anti-Semite) saw Zionism as an effective way to end the influence of the "rootless Cosmopolitans" (Stalinist code for the followers of the purged Jewish Communists Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev). [...] So funnily enough, the early Soviet support for Zionism was motivated both by anti-Semitism as well as Eurocentric racism.


Stalin never supported Zionism. I don't know what you read, but you will never find a source or link that says that!

The Soviets didn't allow emigration of Jews (or anyone), and considered loyalty to Israel as treason to the Soviet Union.

They even created "Birobijian" as a Jewish autonomous region within the Soviet Union for voluntary settlement by Jews, as a way of siphoning off "national" sentiment that otherwise would have been translated into Zionism.

Stalin (or rather Gromyko - maybe Stalin too) supported partition in 1947, likely as a means to ensure Britain was turfed out of the Middle East and maybe because the Soviets too didn't have a clue about the Palestinian national movement. I've never understood that period very clearly.

But to say Stalin supported Zionism is just a misreading of something or other.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But to say Stalin supported Zionism is just a misreading of something or other.


I might have overstated it by saying that Stalin supported Zionism. Nevertheless , I did read that the USSR's recognition of Israel in the late 40's was due at least partly to Stalin's paranoia of "rootless cosmopolitanism". Mind you, I don't claim to be an expert on this matter since I can't even remember the authors of the article. It was an article in a reader (one of those bound reading lists that profs love to force undergrads to buy) in a undergraduate MidEast Politics course I took years ago. It was an examination of the changing Soviet attitudes to Israel, the Mideast and the wider Developing world from the 40s to the late Cold War.

Quote:
and maybe because the Soviets too didn't have a clue about the Palestinian national movement. I've never understood that period very clearly.


Me too. My take (as I said in my last post) was that the Soviets in this period saw the Arabs as being led by conservative, reactionary pro-Western elites and didn't see any revolutionary - or even leftist -potential among the Arabs or Palestinians (they held the same views about India and South Asia). It was only after the coups in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and the Algerian insurgency that the USSR started changing their calculations toward the mideast. Again this is my understanding. I'm open to corrections. Cool
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peterjcassidy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Evil Twin wrote:
Quote:
But to say Stalin supported Zionism is just a misreading of something or other.


I might have overstated it by saying that Stalin supported Zionism. Nevertheless , I did read that the USSR's recognition of Israel in the late 40's was due at least partly to Stalin's paranoia of "rootless cosmopolitanism". Mind you, I don't claim to be an expert on this matter since I can't even remember the authors of the article. It was an article in a reader (one of those bound reading lists that profs love to force undergrads to buy) in a undergraduate MidEast Politics course I took years ago. It was an examination of the changing Soviet attitudes to Israel, the Mideast and the wider Developing world from the 40s to the late Cold War.

Quote:
and maybe because the Soviets too didn't have a clue about the Palestinian national movement. I've never understood that period very clearly.


Me too. My take (as I said in my last post) was that the Soviets in this period saw the Arabs as being led by conservative, reactionary pro-Western elites and didn't see any revolutionary - or even leftist -potential among the Arabs or Palestinians (they held the same views about India and South Asia). It was only after the coups in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and the Algerian insurgency that the USSR started changing their calculations toward the mideast. Again this is my understanding. I'm open to corrections. Cool


Your probably saw stuff like this extract from Wikipedia:


Quote:
Establishment of the State of Israel
Without changing its official anti-Zionist stance, from late 1944 until 1948 Stalin had adopted a de facto pro-Zionist foreign policy, apparently believing that the new country would be socialist and would speed the decline of British influence in the Middle East.[1]

The USSR supported the establishment of Israel. During the 1947 UN Partition Plan debate on May 14, 1947, the Soviet ambassador Andrei Gromyko announced:

"As we know, the aspirations of a considerable part of the Jewish people are linked with the problem of Palestine and of its future administration. This fact scarcely requires proof... During the last war, the Jewish people underwent exceptional sorrow and suffering...
The United Nations cannot and must not regard this situation with indifference, since this would be incompatible with the high principles proclaimed in its Charter...
The fact that no Western European State has been able to ensure the defence of the elementary rights of the Jewish people and to safeguard it against the violence of the fascist executioners explains the aspirations of the Jews to establish their own State. It would be unjust not to take this into consideration and to deny the right of the Jewish people to realize this aspiration." [2]
This speech was not published in the Soviet media, tightly controlled by the state.

Soviet approval in the United Nations Security Council was critical to the UN partitioning of the British Mandate of Palestine, which led to the founding of the State of Israel. Three days after Israel declared independence, the Soviet Union legally recognized it de jure.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union_and_the_Arab-Israeli_conf...
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bshmr
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were reccognizable idelaistic communist/socialist groups of Jews pre-dating WW I. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibbutz

[ I was introduced to this by Bruno Bettleheim's 'The Children of a Dream', then Chomsky relating tales of Trotskites, ect.. ]
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Rufus Polson
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that within Israel, the massive US aid, particularly military, has had a strong impact on politics over time, pushing Israel to the right. And the occupation itself is by all accounts a very corrosive thing. It's like the American "War on Terror"--various values and responses are implied once you adopt that stance. For as long as they insist on continuing to occupy, that insistence pushes their other values to fall in line with what's required to do so. Ultimately, the ethical framework required to justify something like the Israeli occupation is fascism. They started out far from fascism, but they are not so far away now and they will get there in full-blown overt form sooner or later if a solution isn't found.

As to the international left--I do think the first Intifada had a significant impact. I think the invasion of Lebanon had a significant effect as well. But in part it's not a situation where you can point to specific dates. It's more of a drip, drip, drip as gradually, real information filters out. Back in the day, many Israeli narratives were just accepted--there was nobody saying different. So it was generally accepted that, for instance, the Arabs started the 1967 war, that much of Israel was empty or unused before Israelis came along and then they "made the desert bloom", that the Israeli army is very moral and most of the violence is done by Palestinians, and so on and so forth. Gradually, much of this has been exposed as propaganda among people who pay attention, although it's still fairly standard fare in the media, and the left have re-evaluated what side they're on accordingly.
Quite simply, you can only judge according to the facts you are aware of. If the facts you are aware of are essentially lies that flatter one side, you are more likely to be on that side. I don't think that the decline of leftist experiments like the kibbutzim in Israel have had much to do with the international response. If the left in Israel aren't doing anything about the soldiers and the settlers and the walls and the checkpoints and the killing and the economic strangulation and the humiliation and the torture, then from an international perspective it doesn't matter that much what else they're doing.

I think another change has been a broader evolution of values on the left, as the left continues to confront internal racism, particularly the implicit "some people's troubles matter more than other people's troubles" kind of racism. I suspect that back in the day, even much of the left didn't really give a damn about what happened to a bunch of brown people. As we educate ourselves, gradually that attitude goes away and we see the Palestinians (among others) as real people with real suffering. The internet I think helps, making information available that operates at an individual level where we can relate to the struggles and tragedies of real, specific Palestinian people.
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cueball
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:39 am    Post subject: Re: Supporting the State of Israel Reply with quote

Caissa wrote:
Serious question: When did supporting the existence of a state of Israel become right wing? pre-1948? 1948? 1956? 1967? 1973? a more recent date? Always?


1919.

By that time even Liberals such Woodrow Wilson had rejected the idea of colonial progressivness. The idea, bound up largley in concept of white western superiority (ala the white mans burden) was up until that time a given, even in the socialist left, where you found the main body of socialist organization such as the French socialist believing that they could bring socialism to the rest of the world through the vehicle of the French colonial mandate, in places like Conchin China and North Africa. Leninism, even, became exceedingly popular throughout the world because it clearely rejected the principle of colonialism, but even the moderate left, and Liberals such as Wilosn at lease theoretically embraced the idea of self-determination and the restructuring of the great European Empires.

Israel, is really a throwback to the 19th Century ideas of the west, and so it is completely to be expected that many of the kinds of racialist attitudes expressed by the Isreali state can be expected to conform to the ideas of the Dreyfuss era of Europe. Even the idea of removing the Jews from the everyday world of European social discourse, and packing them off to the Middle East as a means of solving the "Jewish problem" has more to do with the contemporaries of Emile Zola, than it does Tommy Douglas.

But yes, colonial expropriation as a means of expressing progressive aims has been dead in the serious left for a very long time.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Q-ball! Good ta see you back. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I was wondering where Q was at..?

The Continuum seemed pretty empty without you being around..! Wink
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Erik Redburn
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caissa, the shift away from supporting Israel on the left seems to depend on the point which individuals gave up hope that they were willing to negotiate in good faith, some came to that earlier than others obviously. The events since Sharon was elected has probably hardened the general perception.

AQ: "That's the second time I've seen you say you'd drop the subject.

Until now, EM has been free of the type of Inquisitors who have plagued babble."


Then don't drag me into this again, thank you.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there any leftists here who can give a testimonial, as in "Here's the point when I stopped supporting Israel"?

I've never supported Israel (when I was a kid I had a picture of Nasser that I cut out of the newspaper stuck in my wallet), so can't volunteer.
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TS.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

al-Qa'bong wrote:
Are there any leftists here who can give a testimonial, as in "Here's the point when I stopped supporting Israel"?

I've never supported Israel (when I was a kid I had a picture of Nasser that I cut out of the newspaper stuck in my wallet), so can't volunteer.

When I was younger (early teens) I was a supporter of Zionism, I am ashamed to say. This was largely a reflection of my reading Leon Uris, particularly his book Exodus, which presents a dramatically skewed picture of the foundation of Israel, painting the Palestinians as demons incarnate and the soon-to-be-Israelis as virtuous heroes. It took a depressingly long time for me to be disabused of this notion, but I think the key moment was when I encountered a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Parliament hill in Ottawa. I asked questions of one man who had fled Palestine, and was shocked by the answers. I think that was the point at which I stopped supporting Israel. To be presented with the evidence that my views were dramatically, obscenely, wrong was the tipping point in my perceptions of Israel.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Until I read Chomsky's Necessary Illusions at the age of 26. Up till then, I'd been raised on a steady of democratic, peace-loving Israel "responding" to the violence of crazed, Medieval-minded Arab terrorists.

Now, when I sit and hear someone like Colin Powell say "of course we'll have to allow for room for the natural expansion of the settlements" I realize that the whole situation is completely insane.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a student I wrote essays on Canada's immigration policy during the Holocaust, Canada's involvement in UNSCOP, Canad's response to the Six Day War and several other papers on the Holocaust and Fascism. My MA thesis was on the Canadian National Committee on Refugees and Victims of Political Persecution, a primarily gentile organization lobbying for the acceptance of Jewish refugees to Canada between Kristallnacht and 1948. Needless to say this is a topic that has interested me as an historian. I support the existence of a state of Israel; I do not support the policies of the current Government of Israel nor do I support the occupation. I think my disenchantment has evolved over the last decade.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I support the existance of a state of peace. Too bad the state of Israel seems dead set against it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hephaestion wrote: I support the existance of a state of peace

As do I.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peace is not possible without justice.
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LawLibrarian
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stopped being a strong supporter of Israel in 1982 - invasion of Lebanon.

But I have to add that I then later stopped being an unquestioning supporter of Palestinian nationalism around 1999-1991, when Arafat threw his support behind Saddam Hussein.

Both sides make many mistakes. Both sides also have many leaders whose behaviour is nothing short of criminal, the putschist Hamas being the most recent example on the Palestinian side, and the Israeli chief of defence staff in the 2006 Lebanon war being an example on the other side.

Today, if I support anyone, it would be groups like Peace Now and the Palestinian peaceniks who signed something I believe was called the Geneva Accord or Geneva Agreement. These are the 2 only factions that don't make me feel depressed about how inhuman and unforgiving people can be to each other.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LawLibrarian wrote:

Both sides make many mistakes.

agreed.

Quote:
Both sides also have many leaders whose behaviour is nothing short of criminal,

I can get behind that too.

Quote:
the putschist Hamas being the most recent example on the Palestinian side,

Say what?
They're the elected government. There is also a President, who is not from Hamas. But they have made no attempt to overthrow him. How can they be "putschist"? Since when is attempting to maintain the power the electorate gave you "putschist"? We're in "war is peace" territory here.

If anyone's putschist it would have to be the particular faction of Fatah that attempted, by many accounts with financing and weapons provided by Israel and the US, to overthrow their elected government. And, now, president Abbas, who dismissed the elected cabinet and appointed a new one, something there is no provision for in the PA's Basic Laws.
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al-Qa'bong
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Say what?


I'd say it is a Nazi analogy.

Didn't you get the memo? You're either an Israeli supporter or latent concentration camp guard.
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LawLibrarian
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, then it appears all the Palestinian factions are putschist against their rival factions. Why then should I support any of them? But yeah Hamas pulled a coup d'tat. I thought they were supposed to have some kind of national "unity" government. I never knew unity meant throwing people off the roofs of buildings, murdering rivals in their hospital beds or attacking the other faction with massive amounts of heavy weaponry.

I must have missed something in the translation.

Looks like a putsch to me.

It also apparently looks like a putsch to the UN, the Russians, the EU, etc.

Any way, Hamas = another argument that proves religions are criminal
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al-Qa'bong
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But yeah Hamas pulled a coup d'tat.


Hamas was elected. The Canadians, yanquis, Israelis and EU (in that order) however, didn't agree with a democratic process that selects the wrong people, and so subverted Palestinian democracy.

The US and Israel, along with their puppets in Egypt, the UAE and Jordan, actively arm Fat'h in their aim to further subvert Palestinian democracy. Are they therefore "putschists" as well? Incidentally, the closest thing to a Ludendorff in this scenario is Mohammed Dahlan, and he sure isn't Hamas.
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