The Left

The minutiae of nonsense?

The “Redress Information & Analysis” website has published an “Appeal for unity within the Palestine solidarity movement,” apparently inspired by the recent recriminations among anti-Zionists over whether Gilad Atzmon is antisemitic.

The tendency of a vocal minority within the left, and also within the so-called “far left” and its Trotskyite variant, to become obsessed with the minutiae of nonsense and, eventually, to consume one another is well known. We may laugh at medieval Christians arguing about the number of angels that can be placed on a pinhead, but the tragicomedy of seeing self-proclaimed friends of the Palestinian cause smearing and assassinating one another’s character is no laughing matter, for the sole reason that it weakens the Palestine solidarity movement and brings it into disrepute.

So the controversy over Atzmon is all because leftists enjoy nothing more than fighting over “the minutiae of nonsense”? I have no use for anti-Zionists like Tony Greenstein and Mark Elf, but isn’t it possible they sincerely believe an antisemite like Atzmon has no place in leftwing politics?

But then the Redress gang moves from the ridiculous to the sinister:

Politics is a complex business and does not fall into little categories that can be neatly labelled. Our friends within the Palestine solidarity movement will know that the stigma of anti-Semitism has been one of Israel’s most effective propaganda weapons, which it uses to bludgeon critics of its occupation and criminal policies. Our friends will also know that there is a high correlation between Israeli crimes in the Middle East and attacks on Jewish targets in Europe. Of course, some of these attacks are committed by racists, but many others are also committed by people who are angry at Israel’s crimes and express this anger by attacking Jewish targets not because they are anti-Jewish, but because of the Jewish community’s ill-conceived and unconditional support of Israel…

This is disturbingly reminiscent of the old antisemitic canard that it’s the Jews themselves who are responsible for attacks on them and their institutions. Of course the “leftists” at Redress Information & Analysis are far too enlightened to suggest any such thing. Aren’t they?

(Via ModernityBlog.)