Aaronovitch versus Atzmon: ethnnic cleansing and bashing fascists

Rizzo's poison
An update on the story I last posted about here.

Mary Rizzo's blog publishs the pro-Atzmon responses (including Atzmon's own, and those by 'Israel Shamir', Paul Eisen and Mary 'the cutter' Rizzo) to Aaronovitch's anti-Atzmon article.

In Rizzo's letter, she repeats - in a kind of high faluting, 'sophisticated' way - the idea of an international Jewish conspiracy, of Zionism as a replay of the Nazi Holocaust:
This idea [the expansion of Israel], which is enabled by the support of Jewish brothers and sisters around the globe, and often which is a result of a manipulative mechanism utilising the promotion of paradoxical concepts including supremacy and victimhood, feigning its fragility while imposing its will often through sheer force of might, has been extremely dangerous to the indigenous inhabitants, resulting in the most enduring ethnic cleansing that the modern world has known, that of the Palestinian people. The substitution of Jews for Palestinians is indeed dangerous and criminal. It is the promulgation of the concept of Lebensraum for a special group of people, applied to a different geographical location. [my emphases]
This passage is also a form of historical revisionism, in two ways. First, more trivially, in describing 'the Palestinians' as the indigenous inhabitants of the land, she denies the continuous presence of Jews for the two millenia since the expulsion. (For the busting of myths such as these, see the important piece by Shalom Lappin at Engage.)

Second, more importantly, the idea that the oppression of the Palestines constitutes the 'most enduring ethnic cleansing that the modern world has known'. What does 'most enduring' mean? Yes, the oppression of the Palestinians has indeed gone on for half a century, but other acts of ethnic cleansing - indeed of genocide - in the modern age have been more brutal, more complete and have lasted longer - the Armenians, the people of Southern Sudan, the Roma of Europe, and of course the Jews of Europe...

Aaronovitch and the squaddists
Meanwhile, I have one little gripe with Aaronovitch. He says:
When I was at college, the local SWP used to drive around in minibuses looking for members of the far Right to beat up.
I imagine he went to college a little bit before I did, but when I used to drive around in minibuses looking for members of the far Right to beat up (with members of groups like Anti-Fascist Action and Red Action) the SWP used to call us 'squadists', and say we should get on with the more serious business of getting middle class students to wave yellow lollipops around.

Blog link: swp_watch: SWP defends Atzmon

More on the SWP: The R-rrrevolutionary Vanguard and the Wombles, The Party's over, Trotwatch Many people find Bolshevism boring, Vampire Alert!.

Previous SWP posts: The Wrong Left, Debating Iraq, The Pro-Hamas Left, Sectarianism and opportunism,


DAvid A is substantially right. At least where I used to hang around Red Action were indeed the people who'd been expelled from the SWP for elevating football hooliganism to the level of political activity.
The fact that the SWP weren't right doesn;t make the squaddists right either; it's a central paradigm of the factions of the left that both sides in an argument can be wrong.

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