Sunday, February 01, 2004

Here's an interesting piece by Mark Strauss that criticizes elements of the antiglobalization movement for their anti-Semitism. (They apparently now want to be called "otherworldists".) Strauss points out the connections between the "red" (Marxist), "green" (environmentalist), and "brown" (ultranationalist) worldviews and how each one sees the Jews.

A summary of that commingled worldview, which we could call "Old Europeanism", might be "The Jewish-American capitalists (who also torture the martyred Palestinians) are oppressing the people, especially in the Third World (from where they suck their ill-gotten wealth), as they destroy our noble homeland, abusing our beautiful natural environment and eroding away our great historic culture with trashy pornographic Hollywood movies. We must defend our people, our culture, and our homeland, and we must help save the world from the clutches of the Jewish-American octopus."

Here's Strauss on red-green-brown rabble-rouser Jose Bove, in which Bove hangs himself with his own words.

The greens and the browns share another common cause: opposition to Israel. Given the antiglobalization movement’s sympathy for Third-World causes, it’s not surprising that French activist Jose Bove took a break from trashing McDonald’s restaurants to show his solidarity with the Palestinian movement by visiting a besieged Yasir Arafat in Ramallah last year.

But, in the case of the new left, the salient question is not: What do antiglobalization activists have against Israel? Rather, it is important to ask: Why only Israel? Why didn’t Bove travel to Russia to demonstrate his solidarity with Muslim Chechen separatists fighting their own war of liberation? Why are campus petitions demanding that universities divest funds from companies with ties to Israel, but not China? Why do the same anti-globalization rallies that denounce Israel’s tactics against the Palestinians remain silent on the thousands of Muslims killed in pogroms in Gujarat, India?

Israel enjoys a unique pariah status among the antiglobalization movement because it is viewed as the world’s sole remaining colonialist state—an exploitative, capitalist enclave created by Western powers in the heart of the developing world. “They’re trying to impose an apartheid system on both the occupied territories and the Arab population in the rest of Israel,” says Bove. “They are also putting in place—with the support of the World Bank—a series of neoliberal measures intended to integrate the Middle East into globalized production circuits, through the exploitation of cheap Palestinian labor.”

Opposing the policies of the Israeli government does not make the new left anti-Semitic. But a movement campaigning for global social justice makes a mockery of itself by singling out just the Jewish state for condemnation. And when the conspiratorial mindset of the antiglobalization movement mingles with anti-Israeli rhetoric, the results can get ugly. Bove, for instance, told a reporter that the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was responsible for anti-Semitic attacks in France in order to distract attention from its government’s actions in the occupied territories.

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