Democratic Leadership dignifies disingenuous antisemitism claims

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Democratic Congressional leadership today condemned tweets made by Rep. Ilhan Omar that suggested that the degree of support for Israel's right-wing government and hostility toward the BDS movement in the US Congress is best explained by campaign contributions organized by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

https://readsludge.com/2019/02/11/heres-how-aipac-spends-money-to-influence-congress/

The New Yorker explained AIPAC's role in the late 1980s establishing allied pro-Israel PACs, which often had AIPAC leaders in charge and "looked to [AIPAC] for direction" regarding campaign contributions. AIPAC, which has generally been allied with the Republican Party, reportedly recruited individual bundlers, who would collect AIPAC members' donations to direct them to the campaigns of senators and representatives. "The goal was to develop people who could get a member of Congress on the phone at a moment's notice," wrote the New Yorker's Connie Bruck.

On its website, AIPAC details its "Congressional Club," a group of members who commit to donate at least $5,000 per election cycle "in a clearly pro-Israel context" to "pro-Israel politics." "The Congressional Club is designed to recognize politically active members of AIPAC who support pro-Israel candidates for the House and Senate," the group says.

Personally, I think the Democratic leadership's interests align with the GOP when it comes to the pro-Israel lobby: they're both paid by (among other wealthy interests) that very same lobby. To be able to condemn criticism of their corruption as antisemitic is convenient to their goals.

Of course, implicitly conflating Israel with Judaism or all Jews raises some red flags, and so does jumping from the claim that AIPAC (and other lobbies) influence Congress to "Jewish money" influences Congress. In any case, the Democratic leadership seemed to demonstrate the depth of that influence by leaping to AIPAC's defense after the most obvious, mild criticism was raised against it.

Pro-Israel Lobby Caught on Tape Boasting That Its Money Influences Washington

The Intercept:
... In November, Electronic Intifada obtained and published the four-part series, but it did so during the week of the midterm elections, and the documentary did not get a lot of attention then.

In it, leaders of the pro-Israel lobby speak openly about how they use money to influence the political process, in ways so blunt that if the comments were made by critics, they'd be charged with anti-Semitism.

David Ochs, founder of HaLev, which helps send young people to AIPAC's annual conference, described for the reporter how AIPAC and its donors organize fundraisers outside the official umbrella of the organization, so that the money doesn't show up on disclosures as coming specifically from AIPAC. He describes one group that organizes fundraisers in both Washington and New York. "This is the biggest ad hoc political group, definitely the wealthiest, in D.C.," Ochs says, adding that it has no official name, but is clearly tied to AIPAC. "It's the AIPAC group. It makes a difference, it really, really does. It's the best bang for your buck and the networking is phenomenal." (Ochs and AIPAC did not immediately return The Intercept's requests for comment.)

Without spending money, Ochs argues, the pro-Israel lobby isn't able to enact its agenda. "Congressmen and senators don't do anything unless you pressure them. They kick the can down the road, unless you pressure them, and the only way to do that is with money," he explains.

He describes a fundraiser for Anthony Brown, a Democrat running for Congress in Maryland, as typical. "So we want the Jewish community to go face to face in this small environment, 50, 30, 40 people, and say this is what's important to us. We want to make sure that if we give you money that you're going to enforce the Iran deal. That way, when they need something from him or her, like the Iran deal, they can quickly mobilize and say look we'll give you 30 grand. They actually impact," Ochs tells the reporter.

Such a claim is not so different from what Omar was describing, and for which she was roundly condemned. In the wake of Omar's tweets, the Washington Post, for instance, reported: "The American Jewish Committee demanded an apology, calling her suggestion that AIPAC is paying American politicians for their support 'demonstrably false and stunningly anti-Semitic.'" (On Monday, Omar apologized for her tweets but insisted that AIPAC and other lobbyist groups are harmful to U.S. politics.)

I don't think she was trying to be antisemetic similarly to how people who are deemed to be racist or this or that often aren't trying to and are lacking knowledge about the history of certain sayings or just form a sentence in not the best way, leaving themselves open to bad-faith criticism.

This is what we get when identity politics is left to become rampant. People will latch on to the littlest thing possible to make you seem as though you're against some group to minimize you and your opinions and then people who don't agree will still condemn you anyways just to avoid being marked themselves, which is what the democratic establishment is doing with her in this case.

It all is hollow and it all should go away.

Ilhan Omar Thankful For Colleagues Educating Her On Painful History AIPAC Lobbyists Have Had To Endure
https://politics.theonion.com/ilhan-omar-thankful-for-colleagues-educating-her-on-pai-1832540739

I read this yesterday.

At face value, it's nonsense. If simply pointing out there's a very considerable pro-Israel lobby group throwing money around in Washington gets you called an anti-Semite, help us all. Anyone's money flowing through the corridors of power is open for comment and criticism. If Ilhan Omar has a history of this sort of comment it's a bit trickier, but that I don't know.

Dreiko:
This is what we get when identity politics is left to become rampant.

This isn't identity politics. Identity politics is the tendency of demographic groups within a country to advocate for and align to their own in-group interests rather than the general wider outlook.

What this is, is plain and simple political pressure where Israel and the pro-Israel lobby aggressively suppress anything they don't like the look of, with anti-Semitism one of their favourite weapons. The argument is basically that as there's a harmful stereotype of Jews loving money, no-one's allowed to comment on the huge sums of money the pro-Israel lobby spends in Washington because that would be supporting the harmful stereotype. This sort of thing is hardly rare and only in the USA, either. Much of the assault on the UK Labour Party for anti-Semitism is not that the party is particularly anti-Semitic (e.g. compared to other UK parties or the general populace) but that it's leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is overtly sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians - and that is not to be tolerated.

Agema:

The argument is basically that as there's a harmful stereotype of Jews loving money, no-one's allowed to comment on the huge sums of money the pro-Israel lobby spends in Washington because that would be supporting the harmful stereotype. This sort of thing is hardly rare and only in the USA, either. Much of the assault on the UK Labour Party for anti-Semitism is not that the party is particularly anti-Semitic (e.g. compared to other UK parties or the general populace) but that it's leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is overtly sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians - and that is not to be tolerated.

Let's not exaggerate the "huge sums of money" here. Pro-Israel groups in 2018 payed politicians in the order of $15,000,000. The 2018 midterm ran close to $6,000,000,000 in election expenses. that's 1/400th of the money. It's like number 50 on the list of causes that people lobby for. And the bigger share of it is going to the party that more often criticizes Israel and defends the Palestinians.

If her apology for her statements is genuine, and not just politics, and someone did educate her on where she went wrong, it was the suggestion that it's all about money. It's one thing to criticize AIPAC for funding questionable people just because of their stance on Israel, it's another to suggest that the only reason anyone supports Israel is because they're paid to. I have a friend who's anti-Israel, who's go-to response whenever anyone defends Israel is "how much did they pay you to shill for them". I had to pull up statistics for him because he genuinely believed Jewish groups were the #1 campaign financiers in America, and he was unaware that nazi propaganda had snuck into his repertoire.

Criticizing AIPAC for funding politicians just cause they support Israel is fair game. Saying the only reason anyone supports Israel is because they're paid to do it is the problem.

Dreiko:
This is what we get when identity politics is left to become rampant. People will latch on to the littlest thing possible to make you seem as though you're against some group to minimize you and your opinions and then people who don't agree will still condemn you anyways just to avoid being marked themselves, which is what the democratic establishment is doing with her in this case.

I mean, as mentioned it's not really identity politics.

Some people actually do use criticism of Israel to mask anti-Semitic attitudes, and not just people on the right. There are plenty of left wing anti-Semites who publicly condemn racism but privately say things like "Jews have too much influence" (and they mean Jews, not Israel) or who blame "the Jews" for economic problems.

At the same time, the pro-Israel lobby does indeed use money (usually from Israeli funding) to influence the political process in other countries. It's not a secret. Pro-Israeli organisations also intentionally blur the line between attacking Israel and anti-semitism both by presenting themselves as general Jewish organisations and by pushing legislation which criminalises criticism of Israel as inherently anti-Semitic.

The Israeli political establishment is wholly unconcerned about anti-semitism when it doesn't relate to criticism of Israel's policy towards Palestinians. Likud, the right-wing current ruling party of Israel, actually has very close ties to far-right groups in Europe, including those with links to holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis and who pose a real threat to diaspora Jews. Israeli policy is often the opposite of identity politics, it's realpolitik intended to service the aims of the Israeli state by weaponizing the struggle against anti-Semitism (which as mentioned, does exist in some anti-Israeli politics) in order to shut down criticism.

This isn't about "identity politics", it's about the specific influence of bad actors (both anti-semites, who hide behind legitimate criticism, and the pro-Israel lobby who uses this to suppress legitimate criticism).

Dreiko:
I don't think she was trying to be antisemetic similarly to how people who are deemed to be racist or this or that often aren't trying to and are lacking knowledge about the history of certain sayings or just form a sentence in not the best way, leaving themselves open to bad-faith criticism.

This is what we get when identity politics is left to become rampant. People will latch on to the littlest thing possible to make you seem as though you're against some group to minimize you and your opinions and then people who don't agree will still condemn you anyways just to avoid being marked themselves, which is what the democratic establishment is doing with her in this case.

It all is hollow and it all should go away.

Identity Politics is when people say gays shouldn't marry or adopt. Identity politics is when Trump bans trans people from the military. Identity politics is when people pretend immigration is a problem and think a wall will fix it. Bigotry is identity politics. People who oppose bigotry are the people fighting against identity politics.

But if we want to use your definition of identity politics, then straight white men throwing a hissy fit over being told to be nice and having women in Battlefield V is also identity politics.

Is anyone surprised by this? They are trying to make it illegal to even participate in protests as simple as BDS. This is israel foreign-policy 101.

It is important to realize that most of the money for the Israeli lobby comes not from American Jews but from American WASPS who think that the creation of Israel was necessary to star the end times.

Go to any pro-Israel event in the USA (especially the midwest) and count the religious symbols on display for each faith group.

BreakfastMan:
Is anyone surprised by this? They are trying to make it illegal to even participate in protests as simple as BDS. This is israel foreign-policy 101.

Really burns my biscuits how they've manged to get these laws in place in so many places, and how people don't see an implicit loyalty oath to a foreign nation to be a bit weird as a requirement.

CM156:
It is important to realize that most of the money for the Israeli lobby comes not from American Jews but from American WASPS who think that the creation of Israel was necessary to star the end times.

Go to any pro-Israel event in the USA (especially the midwest) and count the religious symbols on display for each faith group.

BreakfastMan:
Is anyone surprised by this? They are trying to make it illegal to even participate in protests as simple as BDS. This is israel foreign-policy 101.

Really burns my biscuits how they've manged to get these laws in place in so many places, and how people don't see an implicit loyalty oath to a foreign nation to be a bit weird as a requirement.

Just came here to say it's just Zionist, but got swooped. Being helped by Zionist is like the US helping Afghanistan. Maybe some good can come out of it but it's unintentional. They're actually going in to destroy the Afgani people. They're not putting all the Jews is Israel to help the Israelis.

Also, what's BDS?

trunkage:

CM156:
It is important to realize that most of the money for the Israeli lobby comes not from American Jews but from American WASPS who think that the creation of Israel was necessary to star the end times.

Go to any pro-Israel event in the USA (especially the midwest) and count the religious symbols on display for each faith group.

BreakfastMan:
Is anyone surprised by this? They are trying to make it illegal to even participate in protests as simple as BDS. This is israel foreign-policy 101.

Really burns my biscuits how they've manged to get these laws in place in so many places, and how people don't see an implicit loyalty oath to a foreign nation to be a bit weird as a requirement.

Just came here to say it's just Zionist, but got swooped. Being helped by Zionist is like the US helping Afghanistan. Maybe some good can come out of it but it's unintentional. They're actually going in to destroy the Afgani people. They're not putting all the Jews is Israel to help the Israelis.

Also, what's BDS?

Stands for Boycott, Divest, Sanctions. Basically, don't buy products made in israel or made by companies based in israel, don't do business with israel-based companies, don't buy shares or otherwise invest in israel-based companies, etc.

CM156:

BreakfastMan:
Is anyone surprised by this? They are trying to make it illegal to even participate in protests as simple as BDS. This is israel foreign-policy 101.

Really burns my biscuits how they've manged to get these laws in place in so many places, and how people don't see an implicit loyalty oath to a foreign nation to be a bit weird as a requirement.

Part of it I think is people are dealing with so many other more important issues, that they don't have the time or energy left to notice/deal with this one. Basically, your classic shock doctrine tactics.

CM156:
It is important to realize that most of the money for the Israeli lobby comes not from American Jews but from American WASPS who think that the creation of Israel was necessary to star the end times.

This is a big part of it. Always remember non-Jewish lawmakers view Israel as DoomsDay Cult for God and Jesus to finally come back and bring about the end of the world.

tstorm823:
If her apology for her statements is genuine, and not just politics, and someone did educate her on where she went wrong, it was the suggestion that it's all about money.

In that case it's not anti-Semitic at all, because she's criticising largely non-Jewish politicians for wanting the money.

It's one thing to criticize AIPAC for funding questionable people just because of their stance on Israel, it's another to suggest that the only reason anyone supports Israel is because they're paid to.

Where did she say "only" reason? It only need be a significant reason.

It's not just direct donations, though, is it. AIPAC apparently has revenues in the order of $100 million a year:
https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/530217164

You're not telling me the sum total of AIPAC's political funding is that little: that's almost certainly just direct donations. It will undoubtedly be spending a great deal more. How about stuff like all expenses paid holiday educational, fact-finding trip to Israel? Grassroots campaigns and activism? Potentially also as mediators of direct contact between individual donors and politicians, assisting key individuals into key roles in think tanks, or simply the intimidation effect that the pro-Israel lobby could aggressively fund the defeat of politicians it didn't like (as it is believed to have done before).

* * *

Although to be honest, I think what's going on here is also that this woman is part of a more radical group of lefty types to have entered Congress, and the old guard want them nice and obedient. Like Ocasio-Cortez; the Democrats are happy to have the popularity she can mobilise, but they want her in a nice, safe box now she's in office, following their rules and way of doing things. They don't want genuinely radical ideas: they want some tamed radical figureheads to sound radical whilst pursuing their establishment aims. I expect that's how the Republican establishment viewed the Tea Party at first - attempting to co-opt the movement only to find they started rocking the boat quite unpleasantly.

Was gonna mention the majority of those dollars are from and for non-Jews who think they are investing in the End-Times but I see I was beaten to it.

I've just add then that the majority of Canadian-born Jews I've known really seem to dislike Israelis. For much the same reason, I assume, the majority of mainline christians hate visiting their evangelical relatives.

Agema:

This isn't identity politics. Identity politics is the tendency of demographic groups within a country to advocate for and align to their own in-group interests rather than the general wider outlook.

What this is, is plain and simple political pressure where Israel and the pro-Israel lobby aggressively suppress anything they don't like the look of, with anti-Semitism one of their favourite weapons. The argument is basically that as there's a harmful stereotype of Jews loving money, no-one's allowed to comment on the huge sums of money the pro-Israel lobby spends in Washington because that would be supporting the harmful stereotype. This sort of thing is hardly rare and only in the USA, either. Much of the assault on the UK Labour Party for anti-Semitism is not that the party is particularly anti-Semitic (e.g. compared to other UK parties or the general populace) but that it's leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is overtly sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians - and that is not to be tolerated.

I didn't say this is identity politics. I said this is what you get when you let identity politics run rampart.

By making such sayings an acceptable vector of criticism, you allow for other people to use this vector as well. A climate of overall general open-mindedness and a stance against hyper-sensitivity with regards to misstated or unintentionally discriminating language would prevent bad actors from feigning offense and using this approach against innocent people.

By using identity politics and totalitarian/group-based thinking in your approach, you make it acceptable for your opposition to feel ok with doing the same (overtly, not subconsciously, which is where the danger lies) so this will keep happening more and more. It's the same like with all those Virginia politicians who wore blackface back in the 80s and what have you. Now people are going to be looking into people's backgrounds to find these types of disqualifying things that I think a logical stance is shouldn't be taken as seriously nor be disqualifying.

Saelune:

Dreiko:
I don't think she was trying to be antisemetic similarly to how people who are deemed to be racist or this or that often aren't trying to and are lacking knowledge about the history of certain sayings or just form a sentence in not the best way, leaving themselves open to bad-faith criticism.

This is what we get when identity politics is left to become rampant. People will latch on to the littlest thing possible to make you seem as though you're against some group to minimize you and your opinions and then people who don't agree will still condemn you anyways just to avoid being marked themselves, which is what the democratic establishment is doing with her in this case.

It all is hollow and it all should go away.

Identity Politics is when people say gays shouldn't marry or adopt. Identity politics is when Trump bans trans people from the military. Identity politics is when people pretend immigration is a problem and think a wall will fix it. Bigotry is identity politics. People who oppose bigotry are the people fighting against identity politics.

But if we want to use your definition of identity politics, then straight white men throwing a hissy fit over being told to be nice and having women in Battlefield V is also identity politics.

I half agree with your analysis here, I agree those policies are also identity politics, which is why I think they're wrong. You don't right identity politics with more identity politics, cause then you have a correct statement about financing of political campaigns be interpreted as anti-semetic cause we have to believe oppressed peoples and questioning such a thing is taboo so malignant members of those groups will use their identity as a weapon against us. And yes, the implication here is that other groups of other communities are capable of doing the same, if Candice Owens can use being black to further her career so can Shawn King, if you can acknowledge one of the two you must also accept the possibility of the other.

Just because you're fighting the opposite identity politics doesn't mean you're not engaging in identity politics yourself. Just because you're sacrificing children to the good sun god and not to the devil god that will bring forth the end times doesn't make sacrificing children a good act.

In the end, you right those wrongs by being individualistic. By saying "well, is this transgender person a good soldier? yes? ok, this one stays, is this one a good soldier? no? gotta go!" and doing this on an individual by individual basis until you go through everyone, cis people included.

You don't fix this by saying "all transgender people are a higher caste that is beyond reproach by the criticism or commentary of this other caste due to X and if one dares to opine they ought to be decried and not given the same consideration as anybody else would be given". Even if your justification for it is based in good reasoning, the method poisons it ultimately and will never end up right.

Agema:

Where did she say "only" reason? It only need be a significant reason.

I know it's a song quote and was likely not meant to imply it this way, but when the comment is "It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans." And she responds "It's all about the benjamins", the implication is that political leaders wouldn't defend Israel if they weren't paid off. You can dig into the nuanced implications of lobbying and the criticisms thereof, but before you do that, I want you to think of all the special interest groups lobbying Washington, and all the political positions one could say were paid for, and then look that this criticism was placed on defending the Jewish State, and realize (as I suspect she did) how bad the optics on that are. How often do you see a position you disagree with and your natural response is "well someone paid them to have that position." It's not the right response in almost any situation, but it's really bad when the topic makes your accusation sound like a Nazi conspiracy theorist.

tstorm823:

Agema:

Where did she say "only" reason? It only need be a significant reason.

I know it's a song quote and was likely not meant to imply it this way, but when the comment is "It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans." And she responds "It's all about the benjamins", the implication is that political leaders wouldn't defend Israel if they weren't paid off. You can dig into the nuanced implications of lobbying and the criticisms thereof, but before you do that, I want you to think of all the special interest groups lobbying Washington, and all the political positions one could say were paid for, and then look that this criticism was placed on defending the Jewish State, and realize (as I suspect she did) how bad the optics on that are. How often do you see a position you disagree with and your natural response is "well someone paid them to have that position." It's not the right response in almost any situation, but it's really bad when the topic makes your accusation sound like a Nazi conspiracy theorist.

Agreed, she should've just told the truth and said that the support for Israel exists because the majority of Americans believe it needs to exist so Jesus can wipe them all out and torture them for eternity for rejecting him. Very little to do with money.

jademunky:

tstorm823:

Agema:

Where did she say "only" reason? It only need be a significant reason.

I know it's a song quote and was likely not meant to imply it this way, but when the comment is "It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans." And she responds "It's all about the benjamins", the implication is that political leaders wouldn't defend Israel if they weren't paid off. You can dig into the nuanced implications of lobbying and the criticisms thereof, but before you do that, I want you to think of all the special interest groups lobbying Washington, and all the political positions one could say were paid for, and then look that this criticism was placed on defending the Jewish State, and realize (as I suspect she did) how bad the optics on that are. How often do you see a position you disagree with and your natural response is "well someone paid them to have that position." It's not the right response in almost any situation, but it's really bad when the topic makes your accusation sound like a Nazi conspiracy theorist.

Agreed, she should've just told the truth and said that the support for Israel exists because the majority of Americans believe it needs to exist so Jesus can wipe them all out and torture them for eternity for rejecting him. Very little to do with money.

I don't think that would play well in middle America.

Even if it is true.

jademunky:

Agreed, she should've just told the truth and said that the support for Israel exists because the majority of Americans believe it needs to exist so Jesus can wipe them all out and torture them for eternity for rejecting him. Very little to do with money.

Hell, she could have said that they support Israel because they fear Muslims and want to keep nukes active in the Middle East and it would have played better.

tstorm823:

jademunky:

Agreed, she should've just told the truth and said that the support for Israel exists because the majority of Americans believe it needs to exist so Jesus can wipe them all out and torture them for eternity for rejecting him. Very little to do with money.

Hell, she could have said that they support Israel because they fear Muslims and want to keep nukes active in the Middle East and it would have played better.

No, it would've played badly nomatter how she phrased it. The phrase "sacred cow" gets thrown around a lot, however.....

tstorm823:

jademunky:

Agreed, she should've just told the truth and said that the support for Israel exists because the majority of Americans believe it needs to exist so Jesus can wipe them all out and torture them for eternity for rejecting him. Very little to do with money.

Hell, she could have said that they support Israel because they fear Muslims and want to keep nukes active in the Middle East and it would have played better.

Judging from the response on Twitter, American Jews were supportive of Ilhan Omar's remarks about AIPAC and were offended by the accusation of antisemitism because it implicated some harmful antisemitic ideas such as that Israel means or represents all Jews or that lobbying on its behalf is a matter of being pro-Jewish-- which is sensible, as there is nothing particularly Jewish about settler colonialism that engages in ethnic cleansing or sets up an apartheid system. That being said, generating headlines which suggest Ilhan Omar is an antisemite may have an effect on low information voters.

Mostly, the smaller accounts attacking Rep. Omar were saying disgustingly racist shit about Islam (#MAGA) or transparently gave less than a single shit about the suffering of Palestinians. These were, in general, not people Ilhan Omar was likely to win over anyway.

Seanchaidh:

Judging from the response on Twitter, American Jews were supportive of Ilhan Omar's remarks about AIPAC and were offended by the accusation of antisemitism because it implicated some harmful antisemitic ideas such as that Israel means or represents all Jews or that lobbying on its behalf is a matter of being pro-Jewish-- which is sensible, as there is nothing particularly Jewish about settler colonialism that engages in ethnic cleansing or sets up an apartheid system. That being said, generating headlines which suggest Ilhan Omar is an antisemite may have an effect on low information voters.

You know, calling Israel a colonial apartheid state without regard to historical and cultural context is about as accurate as calling affirmative action racist without regard to historical and cultural context.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Judging from the response on Twitter, American Jews were supportive of Ilhan Omar's remarks about AIPAC and were offended by the accusation of antisemitism because it implicated some harmful antisemitic ideas such as that Israel means or represents all Jews or that lobbying on its behalf is a matter of being pro-Jewish-- which is sensible, as there is nothing particularly Jewish about settler colonialism that engages in ethnic cleansing or sets up an apartheid system. That being said, generating headlines which suggest Ilhan Omar is an antisemite may have an effect on low information voters.

You know, calling Israel a colonial apartheid state without regard to historical and cultural context is about as accurate as calling affirmative action racist without regard to historical and cultural context.

How so?

Seanchaidh:

tstorm823:

You know, calling Israel a colonial apartheid state without regard to historical and cultural context is about as accurate as calling affirmative action racist without regard to historical and cultural context.

How so?

Well if you leave out the historical oppression of minorities, given them an advantage based on race sounds racist. Context matters. If you leave out that the majority of the "settler colonization" happened during the rise of Nazism in Europe, the mass migration there seems a bit suspect. If you leave out that many Arab Palestinians fled the newly created Israel because the Arab nations planned to militarily bulldoze it and lost, it does look like ethnic cleansing happened. If you leave out that the people treated as half citizens would dissolve the nation given the opportunity, it does sound kinda like apartheid. Context matters.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

tstorm823:

You know, calling Israel a colonial apartheid state without regard to historical and cultural context is about as accurate as calling affirmative action racist without regard to historical and cultural context.

How so?

Well if you leave out the historical oppression of minorities, given them an advantage based on race sounds racist. Context matters.

Mitigating an existing, unearned, and measurable disadvantage does not sound racist even without the historical context.

tstorm823:
If you leave out that the majority of the "settler colonization" happened during the rise of Nazism in Europe, the mass migration there seems a bit suspect. If you leave out that many Arab Palestinians fled the newly created Israel because the Arab nations planned to militarily bulldoze it and lost, it does look like ethnic cleansing happened. If you leave out that the people treated as half citizens would dissolve the nation given the opportunity, it does sound kinda like apartheid. Context matters.

Ethnic cleansing definitely did happen during and after the Nakba. Palestinians are being treated like half citizens (or, increasingly, subhumans); that makes it apartheid no matter what you imagine about their intentions if treated fairly.

Seanchaidh:

Mitigating an existing, unearned, and measurable disadvantage does not sound racist even without the historical context.

That's cultural context. Read, man.

By equating itself with Jews, AIPAC is being antisemitic.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Mitigating an existing, unearned, and measurable disadvantage does not sound racist even without the historical context.

That's cultural context. Read, man.

Sort of? Cultural context can explain why it exists, but apart from that it's merely an unearned disparity, and that is enough to motivate redress.

Dreiko:

You don't fix this by saying "all transgender people are a higher caste that is beyond reproach by the criticism or commentary of this other caste due to X and if one dares to opine they ought to be decried and not given the same consideration as anybody else would be given". Even if your justification for it is based in good reasoning, the method poisons it ultimately and will never end up right.

Good thing we aren't saying this fucking shit. We're saying everyone should be equal.

You need to get it out of your head that treating oppressed people equally to privileged people is the same as making us into a 'higher caste'.

To those with privilege, equality feels like oppression. Please really think about what that means.

The mainstream liberals are trying to pull the same shit in America that they've been doing to Corbyn in the UK for years. It's not going to work, it's transparently bullshit, and the way to get past it is to follow Corbyn's example and just ignore them, because if you respond to them then they are just going to feel emboldened.

And the people pushing this shit do not care about Israel and they certainly do not care about Jews or any other minority. Did they say anything to protect Bernie Sanders? Did they say anything to protect Daniel Biss? When Steve Bannon and those like him go around talking about the "globalist financial industry" or "central planners" or "controlled media", does the media call out any of that? No, they don't, because they don't care about Jews or minorities.

Political lobbying is an industry unto itself, it is concerned first and foremost with making money, and it will act to protect itself just like any other industry. For the first time in history there is a real movement in politics that legitimately threatens them and they are terrified of that.

America loves reboots. Can you reboot your government please?

Here Comes Tomorrow:
America loves reboots. Can you reboot your government please?

Can we reboot Israel back to Mandatory Palestine? Or at the very least, the 1967 borders? And also reboot their atomic weapons program?

Saelune:

Dreiko:

You don't fix this by saying "all transgender people are a higher caste that is beyond reproach by the criticism or commentary of this other caste due to X and if one dares to opine they ought to be decried and not given the same consideration as anybody else would be given". Even if your justification for it is based in good reasoning, the method poisons it ultimately and will never end up right.

Good thing we aren't saying this fucking shit. We're saying everyone should be equal.

You need to get it out of your head that treating oppressed people equally to privileged people is the same as making us into a 'higher caste'.

To those with privilege, equality feels like oppression. Please really think about what that means.

Nobody will be branded as a cisophobe or a misandrist or as an anti-white racist (by anyone serious) for offering a heartfelt disagreement based on different values or a differing world view, ones not based in bigotry but simple disagreement. You only get branded those things and get discredited through this branding by disagreeing with some people and not others, which is in effect a higher caste. There's no femsplaining, only mansplaining.

People will pick at minor unintentional or innocuous things to twist people's words or even their thoughts (and how can you disprove having "evil thoughts") into homophobic or trasphobic ones, merely to win an argument, despite these people not intending to be homophobic or transphobic.

This is the exact same thing happening here, it's just the other side using this tactic, because it has been normalized as an acceptable vector of criticism and now if someone tries to defend her they will be seen as also being anti-semetic similar to how someone defending someone accused of transphobia will be seen as also being transphobic.

This entire game, it's all wrong. It needs to stop. It wasn't ok when oppressed people did it either, even despite them being oppressed. If you find it distasteful only now but were fine with it earlier you're also to blame for this state of affairs.

I always thought it was wrong so I can be consistent with defending Omar in this case.

The above is quite principled.

I think I can see why Republicans (and immoral Democrats) want her off the foreign affairs committee.
There are, sadly, people who are angry over this, because apparently going after Abrams for, among other things, the war crimes that he brushed aside as 'communist propaganda' is also "antisemitic".

tstorm823:
You know, calling Israel a colonial apartheid state without regard to historical and cultural context is about as accurate as calling affirmative action racist without regard to historical and cultural context.

Israel pretty much exactly meets a definition "colony". It is overwhelmingly populated and dominated by people who recently moved there from other countries and their immediate descendents.

Apatheid state is not quite so accurate, due to the technicality that the discriminated against population are not Israeli citizens, although it's de facto apartheid as Israel has controlled their territory long-term and will continue to do so indefinitely.

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