The war in Gaza and Southern Israel continues in Britain
First, some links about the "Israel must lose" letter I blogged about on Friday. For Snoopy, it crosses a line. For David Hirsh, it's right on the line. Yaba Yaba points up the absurdity of the us/them delirium, and to some actual forms of concrete solidarity it would be much better for the British left to "start with". The Rebbetzin's Husband also writes on the us/them delirium.
For the academo-Marxists of the "Israel must lose" letter, we need to "start with" a campaign of boycott, divestments and sanctions. As I wrote, that translates all too easily into the harassment of underpaid workers and of Jewish university students. Brett gives some examples of the idiotic war on Starbucks of the pro-Hamas direct actionists who are the academo-Marxists' lumpen disciples. (Francis: "This proves that anti-Zionists do on occasion serve a useful purpose … in providing work for glaziers.")
The logic is also followed in the smashing up of an AWL placard at a Palestine solidarity demo in Sheffield. I spent some time looking at the photo-essay at Indymedia. The placard says "No to IDF. No to Hamas." (One carried by the same group says "Solidarity with Women, Workers and the Left".) How can anyone on the left object to that? But a steward, after apparently shouting through a megaphone at its carrier, grabs the placard and stomps it. An SWP paperseller adds some muscle, white peaceniks applaud, and Muslim children get an education in democratic politics. (It may or may not be relevant that the person carrying the placard was a woman and the steward was male.) Luckily, not everyone on the left shares this sort of idiocy: the Anarchist Federation and Workers Liberty stand out. (At the same demo, see here for cool terrorist chic. More reportage here, here. Plus London reportage from Kate Belgrave and DZ. Via the latter, beautiful photos from Deptford Visions, clearly showing antisemitic placards, masked conspiracy theorists, histrionic flag-burning, and, from the previous London demo, Holocaust relativisation and fascist flag-waving.)
Brett makes an excessive Holocaust analogy, calling this Kristallwoche. However, the more common Holocaust analogy is that which compares Israel's actions to the Nazis', or tendentiously claims the Israelis are using the Holocaust to legitimise their actions. Snoopy gives Sir Gerald Kaufman the Sir Gerald Nincompoop of the Year Award for his version of this Holocaust abuse. Ben Cohen provides analysis.
Are the attacks on Starbucks part of a growing trend of antisemitism? CST stats and JC reportage suggests so. Perhaps, if Julia Pascal* is right, the success of Rowan Atkinson in the revived Oliver also suggests so. The Elder of Ziyon certainly thinks so.
Meanwhile, in the real world, there is a fragile ceasefire. Read reflections on that from Jeff Weintraub, Ben Cohen and Eamonn McDonagh.
UPDATE: Have failed to check in with Daniel Z, who has returned to blogging with a vengeance. Read him at Liberal Conspiracy and at his own place (1,2,3,4,5) as well as voices he brings us from Israel-Palestine.
*h/t: Jogo. h/t Engage. ˚h/t Flesh is Grass