Sunday, March 01, 2009

Goldsmiths and the politics of anti-Zionism

A post of relevance both to my local readers and my far-flung ones. New Cross blogger Transpontine and anarcho-blogger Ian Bone have both posted on the student occupation of Deptford Town Hall, Goldsmiths, to demand scholarships for Palestinian students. An extremely reasonable demand.

Anti-German Translation puts a more negative spin on it in the comments here. Here series of posts entitled "The anti-Zionism of idiots" has lots more stuff on the occupations, drawing on On A Raised Beach and other friends of Bob From Brockley.

Meanwhile, Mira describes the poisonous unfolding of the Palestine Twinning campaign at Goldsmiths.

8 comments:

Transpontine said...

I paused before posting on the Goldsmiths occupation, but on the principle of documenting interesting things in New Cross I decided to put it on, especially as the demand seemed OK and I hadn't heard any negative comment about the occupation.

The problem I have is that the whole issue is so overdetermined by the wider debates about zionism, Palestine and anti-semitism that the real suffering of civilians in Gaza becomes just a cipher. So idiots jump on it to pursue dubious agendas, and those who despise these idiots feel uneasy about joining in anything they are involved in - leaving the field open to them in defining the terms of 'solidarity'. Can we develop a kind of solidarity with civilians who happen to be Palestian (rather than 'the Palestinian People') that recognises and opposes their suffering at the hands of war machines without all the baggage of making them into a unique case?

I think there's some interesting stuff coming out from the German 'anti-anti-Zionist' scene but I wonder about basing politics on a double negative rather trying to affirm a new positive relation.

Anonymous said...

The occupation of Deptford Town Hall had nothing to do with the people of Gaza and everything to do with the re-election campaign of Jennifer Jones, who Bob has previously written about, in the Goldsmiths Students Union elections. She and a few others like Rheem Al-Adhami, who has previously had nothing to do with pro-Palestinian activism at Goldsmiths, have used the issue to portray themselves as the defenders of the oppressed. In reality, it was an aggressive stunt that achieved nothing that the College was not already going to give them - and Jennifer Jones has proceeded to cause further division and spread lies about other students on campus.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with the above two posts.

This is something that has become particularly prevalent over the last two years at Goldsmiths.

Dialogue and understanding over complex issues are being swept aside by pointless occupations / photo opportunities, self-propagation and childish student activism.

Don't get me wrong, activism is important, but in this case, the scholarships were going to be given anyway.

As a result of the occupation, numerous assessments and performances that students had been working on for months were cancelled, whilst those involved in it sat on Deptford Town Hall steps hitting bongoes, drinking cheap beer and smoking.

Anonymous said...

also the "won" scholarships were always going to happen, they simply humored them and made two of the multiple scholarships for palestinians, chances are they would have been anyway

Anonymous said...

one might also consider "The Free Press" - a new Goldsmiths paper indeed mostly dedicated to those running under the banner of "Another education is possible" published the week before the GSU elections, being another tool in the works of being elected.

others include.

Branding Jones and Al-Adhami's names all over the new Common room when many people efforts formed it not just their own.

Using the Miss University Competition as another way of getting their mistaken voices heard. In fact one of their campaign advertisments was that they were against this.

Lawrence Miles said...

Are you the guy who made that homophibc website about Jen? with death threats on it?

Disgusting if so. No one should be victimized due to their sexuality.

Jen may wind people up but what you did was abuse and hate crime. So what if she brags about shit or makes claims like 'soilders rape women' - they do a lot of the time! Even if it's bad taste it's not abuse - unlike your homophobic slurs. She's not breaking the law unlike you writing abuse.

She has apparently gone to the police and SU lawyers are onto all the hate campaign stuff she gets since the website so I assume you'll hear from them soon.

Good luck claiming she's 'so intimidating that bloody lefty' then! Can't play the victim for much longer after what you did

Anonymous said...

THIS BLOG IS BY ZIONIST PERSON, HELL BENT ON MISGUIDING EVERYONE, WHILST THEY OPPRESS THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE !!!!!

enough with this nonsense, being anti-Zionist is not equal to antisemitism. you would be stupid to think so.

free Palestine, goldsmith student will always stand for whats right, we are tired of Zionist intimidation

Anonymous said...

not taking the bait on that nonsense. laughing it off.