Sunday, May 13, 2007

Jewish Socialist magazine, platform for dissenting voices

The launch of the Enough! coalition to oppose Israel's 40-year long Occupation of Palestinian territory seized in 1967 is greeted in the latest issue of JEWISH SOCIALIST magazine, which has just come out now. The coalition, in which Jewish socialists and peace campaigners have joined forces with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Muslims, Quakers, and NGOs like War on Want, is planning a big demonstration in London on June 9, as part of a global week of action backed by Israeli peace campaigners as well as the Palestinians.

An editorial in JEWISH SOCIALIST also welcomes Independent Jewish Voices(IJV), launched by writers, artists, intellectuals and community activists who are fed up with the way the Jewish Establishment, typified by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, tries to regiment the Jewish community behind Israeli governments, and to isolate or silence any dissidents.
Whether lobbying politicians or fostering a siege mentality among Jewish people, the Zionist machine relies heavily on a smear and fear technique in which criticism of Israel or Zionism is equated with antisemitism. Zionist lobbyists have been congratulating themselves recently on their apparent success in persuading European Union officials, British MPs and the National Union of Students to adopt a working definition of "antisemitism" which effectively equates opposition to Zionism with antisemitism (and would incidentally leave many real antisemites, who would say they only wanted the Jews to "go to their own country", free from the charge!).
Once they have that in place they claim it as authority.

Independent Jewish Voices(IJV) say antisemitism is an important issue - and that opposing it is not helped by using "antisemite" as a tag for anyone who criticises the Israeli state. In the new issue of JEWISH SOCIALIST Oxford philosophy don Brian Klug, one of the founders of IJV, casts a sharp critical eye on the politics of the All-Party Parliamentary Report on Antisemitism. Dave Rosenberg, a long-standing member of the Jewish Socialists' Group who directed its Jewish Cultural and Anti-Racist Project(JCARP), challenges the Zionist use of the expression "Jewish self-determination", which crops up in both the European Union and British parliament reports.

Well-travelled author and journalist Mike Marqusee relates his experiences meeting people in Pakistan and participating in a radio phone-in discussion on London's Radio Ramadan, as he separates myth and reality in assessing antisemitism in the Muslim world. To complete the picture, and just in case anyone gets too complacent, popular poet, broadcaster and activist Michael Rosen talks to Julia Bard about his experiences tackling old myths and prejudices when they turn up in new guises within the Left and pro-Palestinian movements.

From Middle East debate to the heart of Europe; Irene Brueghel, founder of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, turns to some of her own family history, telling how some Jews in Czechoslovakia who had survived Hitler found themselves treated as 'Germans' after the Second World War, in a bizarre twist of injustice as the liberated country set about its own bit of 'ethnic cleansing' vengeance. Still in Czechoslovakia, in "When the Spring Was Over", Eva Turner and Karel Sling bring the story forward to their disappointed hopes when Soviet tanks rolled into Prague in 1968.

The grim and sordid sides of 20th century history are not far away, as Gary Fraser examines the relationship between Modernity and Genocide, Charlie Pottins reviews Stephen Dorril's Blackshirt, probably the most through book ever on British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, and Steve Cohen looks at the hidden history of sex trafficking.

On the lighter side, -well relatively - JEWISH SOCIALIST continues to boldly go where others might hesitate to tread. Your very own blogger Charlie Pottins applies some Marxist analysis to the decline of philately, as he follows the remarkable adventures of a right-wing Zionist entrepreneur in the romantic world of stamps, in 'Feigenbaum's Follies'. Meanwhile, delving into a hidden realm that we have looked at in this blog, JEWISH SOCIALIST diarist Dybbuk discovers the secret place of UFOs from beneath the Earth in the work of Nazi Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, and wonders whether this might offer a great new adventure opportunity for a talented Israeli saxophonist.

JEWISH SOCIALIST the magazine of the Jewish Socialists’ Group, issue No 53 Spring 2007 is available for £2 from good progressive bookshops or watch out for anyone selling at meetings, cultural events or demonstrations.
Or for info. on how to subscribe, from Britain or abroad see:

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