New England Anti-American and Anti-Israel Group Complains About Jewish Power

The New England Committee to Defend Palestine , an organization that firmly opposes Israel’s right to exist and supports Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians (their first principle is- “Palestine is Arab land. We support the struggle of the Palestinian Arab people to liberate themselves from military occupation and colonial settlement in all of historic
Palestine. We affirm the right of Palestinians to reclaim their land and resources, to maintain their culture, and to free their land from occupation by soldiers and settlers by any means necessary.”), were left in an angry huff last this week when the Jewish Labor Committee convinced the director of Encuentro 5 not to allow a hate group to use their facilities. The following letter, filled with anti-Semitic stereotypes of pernicious Jewish control and tired anti-imperialist ranting, is their whiney response.

March 16, 2008

Jewish Labor Committee Attempts to Shut Down Boston Conference on Zionism

Zionists walked into a well-known center for left activists in Boston this
week and managed, with a single complaint, to take away an already
agreed-upon meeting space for an April conference on Palestine organized by
the New England Committee to Defend Palestine. Around March 9, the local
branch of a national group called the Jewish Labor Committee told the
director of Encuentro 5 and the landlord of the building that houses
Encuentro that the New England Committee to Defend Palestine is a “hate
group” and demanded that it not be allowed to hold the conference in
Encuentro’s meeting space. On March 14, the director of Encuentro informed
the conference organizers that he would have to accede to pressure from the
Jewish Labor Committee and UNITE-HERE (the Union of Needle trades,
Industrial and Textile Employees and Hotel Employees and Restaurant
Employees Union). UNITE-HERE is connected to a trust that owns the
multi-story brick industrial building in Boston’s Chinatown. Encuentro’s
space is on the 5th floor of this building and is held without a lease,
making it vulnerable to landlord threats.

Beneath the facts of the case lie a number of ironies:

* Attacks like this are exactly the subject of the disputed conference. The
purpose of the conference, whose title is “Zionism and the Repression of
Anti-Colonial Movements,” is to expose attacks on activists as they have
been carried out historically by zionist forces. Activists scheduled to
speak have been involved in the Native American struggle against European
genocide on the North American continent, the Black liberation struggle in
the US from slavery onward, the struggle against US imperialism in Central
America, the movement against apartheid in South Africa, the struggle
against US imperialism and genocide in Iraq, and the struggle against
US-Israeli genocide in Palestine.

* Encuentro bills itself as “a space for progressive movement building” in
Boston . Massachusetts Global Action — the organization that runs
Encuentro–argued the need for a “tactical retreat” and offered us $400 and
help finding another venue if we would consent to leave. We told them that
this would undermine the meaning of our conference, their own work, and the
movement as a whole. Our suggestion to Encuentro was to take this matter to
the activist community — to the people who use the space — to tell them
what was taking place and invite them to help organize a struggle to defend
the integrity of our collective work.

Zionist organizations like the JLC have more material and political power
than perhaps at any time in the past. But this power is increasingly hollow,
since it must increasingly assert itself by shutting down a discussion about
that power–a discussion that is growing and moving into the mainstream. The
JLC did not succeed by persuading Encuentro 5, but by threatening them
through the building’s owners. These are clearly threats that they have the
power to carry out–a fact that proves what critics of zionism are saying.

But this also demonstrates that while they have more material power than
ever before, they have less ideological support than ever before. The
legitimacy of the zionist project–the passive consent given to US support
for “Israel”–is collapsing. That collapse must come before the serious
fight over material power–a fight that is coming.

We are disappointed that Encuentro 5 and Mass Global Action decided that it
was not strategic for them to challenge this abuse of power now. We know
that the repercussions might well have been severe, and recognize that this
would affect a great deal of effort and work that has gone into building
their organization. We offer the following as a challenge–not so much to
them, but to the movement as a whole, since finally the question is not
about any of our specific, struggling organizations:

Can we build a movement against imperialism, or against social injustice in
the United States, if the limits of our discussion can be set by
organizations like the JLC–organizations that are committed to ensuring
that billions of dollars in US military and economic support are given
yearly to one of the most militarized colonial states in the world?

There is widespread discontent with zionist power. This discontent will not
turn itself into a meaningful response until it becomes organized around
specific battles. This can only take place if at some point people are
willing say “it stops here.”

* “Progressives” are not progressive. The “progressives” are the Jewish
Labor Committee, which calls itself “the Jewish voice in the labor
movement.” The JLC did not come in from the outside but actually has an
office in Encuentro’s own space. The Jewish Labor Committee’s web site
shows its president, Stuart Applebaum, standing proudly with war criminal
Shimon Peres in February in Jerusalem. The JLC has put out a statement
condemning the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions
against “Israel.” The JLC statement asserts that Israelis, who have brutally
occupied Palestine for 60 years, carrying out a program of genocide ever
since, should not be seen as “victimizers.”</https>

The progressives are UNITE-HERE, the brave union for oppressed garment and
hotel workers, which acted in this fiasco as a landlord bully threatening
to kick out tenants for political speech.

The progressives are leftists who support resistance in Palestine, but not
resistance that uses measures of a kind used by its enemy — namely, armed
struggle. The leadership of the resistance in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and
Afghanistan today is Islamic. Progressives in the US support secular
political movements, so they don’t support the people who are actually
carrying out the resistance in these countries which the US and “Israel” are
busy devastating. Support for resistance by oppressed people should be given
without qualification.

* The criminal has accused his victim of the crime. The real hate groups are
those who support genocide in Palestine. The Boston Jewish Labor
Committee’s accusation that the conference organizers are a “hate group”
comes right out of the manual of the Anti-Defamation League which has gone
to great pains to define political speech and action as good or bad in terms
favorable to the zionist project. The ADL is a “progressive” organization –
it seems to be for the right thing, except when it comes to criticism of
“Israel.” Criticism of “Israel” is anti-Semitism — that’s hate speech,
that’s against the law. The ADL was part of a recent attack on a mosque
being built in Boston. It was exposed for lobbying Congress against a bill
that condemns the Armenian genocide. During the late ’70′s and early ’80′s,
it spied on organizations in the U.S. that supported the struggle against
white supremacist apartheid in South Africa. This do-good “no place for
hate” organization is actually a front group for a racist foreign power.

The limits of political speech on the left are now being defined by the
very organizations who say they’re working for the good. There is no open
debate. The idea is to simply prevent political speech. Why is support for a
nasty racist state in occupied Palestine driving so much of US and
international politics? And the question goes beyond Palestine, since these
same organizations have the power to set limits on the discussion of “social
justice” and racism here inside the US. This includes a history of
demonizing black nationalists like Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, and the
Black Panthers as “anti-Semites.” In many cases people’s careers have been
ruined and their reputations smeared by forces who never came out in the
open. Joseph Massad, Tony Martin, Ward Churchill, and most recently
Catherine Wilkerson, are examples. Ward Churchill will be among the speakers
at the conference.

The New England Committee to Defend Palestine assures all those who have
been invited to and registered for the April 12 and 13 conference that we
have secured another venue and will be announcing it soon. We couldn’t have
provided a better example of zionist interference in anti-imperialist
activism than the one that just happened here. We have great speakers coming
from many different movements. We hope that supporters of the struggle in
Palestine, and all those who recognize the need to build a truly independent
opposition to oppression inside the US, will join us for this event.

7 Responses to New England Anti-American and Anti-Israel Group Complains About Jewish Power

  1. Richard says:

    Can I say… loonytunes? These people are just nutcases, simply crazy…

  2. Eliyahu says:

    actually, while the tone of this screed reminds me of the “ultra-left” screeching back in the 60s, their political purposes are not entirely from those of Zbig Brzzzki and Robert Malley of the State Dept and walt-mearsheimer. And their analysis of “Zionist control” sounds like W-M and the various “ultra-right” groups that rant about the “ZOG” [Zionist-occupied govt]. If they don’t like settlement of non-natives or non-native peoples, why aren’t they screaming about the United States itself, or Canada or Chile or New Zealand or Australia, etc etc?? Why don’t they protest the celebration of Thanksgiving Day which was supposedly founded by the Pilgrim Fathers, etc?? Why is it that they see fit to label Israel as “colonial” and no other state specifically??? Indeed, all of the Arab states outside of Arabia itself were founded as a result of the Arab conquest, or shall we say that they were arabized and/or Islamized as a result of that conquest.

  3. Eliyahu says:

    come to think of it, the Nazis in Germany considered the German Jews as aliens who didn’t belong in that country, even if their families had been there for centuries. In fact, the philosopher Kant called the German Jews “the Palestinians who live among us.” Jews were also considered alien in most other European countries, from England to Russia. Furthermore, those Europeans knew what foreign country or region the Jews had come from. Kant said it was “palestine.” D’Holbach wrote that the Jews in Europe were Asiatics. Hegel called them “Orientals.” Edward Said, are you listening??

    So today’s pro-Arab advocates, such as the New England gang of fanatics, have simply maintained the European Judeophobic attitude that the Jews are alien, not native to their countries, while transposing the locus of that alien nature from Europe to the Middle East where the old European Judeophobes used to say was where the Jews came from originally.
    At least let it be said to the credit of the old style Euro-Judeophobes that they were honest about where the Jews really came from, unlike today’s anti-Zionist fanatics. But the sentiment, the attitude that the Jews are alien, is the same.

  4. Rudi says:

    When I see on their list Carlos Latuff, I know enough! Latuff is a real antisemitic brazilian cartoonist, also participant at the Teheran holocaust cartoons festival.

    His antisemitic cartoons were widespread by some indymedia sites, those that are most antisemitic such as http://www.indymedia.be

  5. Eliyahu says:

    correction to #2 above:
    …not entirely DIFFERENT from those of Zbig B…

  6. fp says:

    eliyahu,

    and that is exactly what is reoccurring in the west. see my comment in the other thread about the west in decline.

    fp
    http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

  7. Well, they are nutty, but as things are going, the unhinged radical fringe will find a home in an Obama administration

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