Because of this new evil abuse of an innocent, and the many enabling it, I expand my boycot of Israeli goods to include:
Any Uber, including Uber Eats
I will ask everyone I know to boycott them too.
Outing and publicly denouncing the endless evils done by Israel, notably killing Palestinian children regularly, stealing lands, homes, destroying homes, hospitals and olive groves, stealing a $4 billion gas field (that needs to be frac’d and might be why Supreme Court of Canada J Abella lied to smear me so nastily in her ruling in Ernst vs AER), etc, and its many human rights violations, clearly is not racism or anti-semitism, but in my view, Israel and its mob-like anti-right-to-expression-except-theirs lobbying groups are working to make it that.
Why so many rich and powerful, and many politicians globally, support Israel’s crimes and evil is beyond my imagination. Perhaps because they are cowards. Or perhaps they believe enabling Israel’s crimes is the only way to Heaven. If there is a heaven, we don’t get to it by threatening, stealing from and murdering others.
Brava Foodbenders and Kimberley Hawkins! I commend you for your courage and loving care and compassion for the persecuted Palestinians. The world needs billions more like you.
GoFundMe shows us that they are not trustworthy, likely no such platform is with Israel et al propagandists yanking their chains. Instead, donate to Foodbenders directly:
Foodbenders address: 1162 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1N1.
Owner’s name is Kimberley Hawkins.
Knowing how Pro Israel, Anti-Charter, unfair, unjust, horrifyingly expensive and dishonest the Canadian judicial and legal industries are, Ms. Hawkins needs our love, support, financial help and voices.
Please give, and/or write a letter to the anti-freedom of expression, anti-human rights organizations attacking Ms. Hawkins, Editors of newspapers/online alternate media, to your MP & MLA, what ever else your imagination can come up with.
If these groups win, we all lose more of our fast vanishing rights.
A brilliant email by Mr. Shields follows:
Subject: Jewish Rights In Canada??
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2020 13:40:09 -0600
Here again is another attempt of what Canada must be aware of—-Israel demanding our justice system follow the Jewish accounts of our history!! I am old enough to remember the days when there indeed was a country called Palestine, that was ruled for the benefit of the Palestrina Race?? I now recognize the the Jews who were given a chance to a small part of Palestine –now claim the entire country as their own??
As A Canadian I recognize the terrorism that the Jews of Palestine have inflicted on Canadians while keeping in Canada entities who’s main purpose is to influence Canadian schools and indeed our total education system –our justice system —and our mass media!! This has allowed our Canadian public to be terribly miss treated— Murdered –Pirated –and Shot by Jewish snipers without a single apology from the Israel Hierarchy ?? There should be no question that anti- Israel feelings in Canada will rise—and properly so—until our Canadian military and citizens can be assured of the same treatment we receive from Israel matches what’s offered in return! Many Israeli leaders have openly suggested that Israel today is as Nazi as Germany was in 1948??? Canada had a conservative leader who many questioned —held Nazi Opinions—The fact that this leader failed to Act when Canada was attacked by the murder of A Military Major while serving with United Nations as an observer in Lebanon —our Prime Minister was never tried for treason, although be brought an early end to the military investigation into the mess, and never asked Israel to openly apologize for what the United Nations called a purposeful killing— making it without question Murder!!
Canadians who were made aware that our brave unarmed Major was flown back to Canada and quietly buried without decency or a show of appreciation for his service will never forget that injustice!! All our media outlets were unable to cover much about the total affair —leaving many Canadians to blame the B’nai B’rith for the lack of proper coverage and respect for our Military?? Each time our Military hierarchy hold major recognition of military members who’s service cost their lives–it brings back the memory of the disgrace suffered by our Major’s family and Cynthia his widow!! When the same Canadian Prime Minister had a bird sanctuary named in his honour in Israel—many Canadians were outraged and some called for the end of the B’nai B’rith In Canada!! Just the very thought-acts like this could happen in Canada-without an outcry from a uninformed population-leave some question why Jews in Canada are allowed a special entity for the protection of Israel and themselves ?? Other foreign Canadians and their get–must find Canadian laws and justice as their right to safety while helping to build our country?”?
Stewart Shields, Lacombe Alberta
Israel lobby waging campaign to silence progressive, pro-Palestinian restaurant by Yves Engler, July 15, 2020, Canadian Dimension
The Israel lobby has waged a remarkably successful campaign to bankrupt a small left-wing Toronto restaurant. Despite claiming to fight bigotry, it is the Israeli nationalists who have been guilty of the most overt racism and arguably taken the most anti-Jewish positions in their protests against the eatery.
In response to pressure from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) and other organizations, delivery services Uber, Ritual, DoorDash and others have severed ties with Foodbenders in recent days. A number of institutional customers also announced they would no longer patronize the restaurant. Foodbenders’ highly active Instagram account was also taken down, while GoFundMe held back some payments from a campaign that quickly raised $2,700 to defend the restaurant. It was later deactivated.
An investigation into Foodbenders’ business license has now begun, and a $750,000 defamation lawsuit and an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal complaint have also been filed against the restaurant.
This devastating assault is being waged against a business that has strongly advocated for Black Lives Matter and Indigenous rights as well as against patriarchy and Canadian imperialism. Its long Canada Day statement noted, “Canada backs every coup of elected socialist leaders led by Washington and continues to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia where they will be used to perpetuate war and famine in Yemen.”
In the fall, the unabashedly left-wing restaurant painted “I love Gaza” in its window facing Bloor Street. This prompted a backlash from the anti-Palestinian crowd and put Foodbenders on the radar of those looking to squash any sign of solidarity with the long-beleaguered Palestinians. Amidst recent Black Lives Matter protests, the restaurant had a dust-up with pro-police activists when owner Kimberly Hawkins put up a sign in front of the shop saying, “No Justice, No Peace, F*ck the Police!” Foodbenders then faced criticism for a “Happy KKKanada day” sign put up in its window on July 1.
Preferring targets that are already offside with elements of the establishment (think Jeremy Corbyn), the groups within the Israel lobby saw a chance to deliver a blow when Hawkins posted to Instagram, “Open Now – 8 PM for non-racist shoppers #Bloordale #Bloorstreet, #Toronto, #Open, #ftp [fuck the police] #FreePalestine and #ZionistsNotWelcome.” Pro-Israel groups have claimed the #ZionistsNotWelcome hashtag discriminates against Jews.
To her credit, Hawkins did not back down. She clarified that Jews were indeed welcome and that she does not believe “criticism of the Zionist political ideology, Israel or the Greater Israel Project, or pointing out its racist supremacist foundations amounts to criticism of the Jewish people or even Israeli citizens.”
Whether one believes Hawkins’s restaurant has been unfairly attacked, the primary victims of any suppression of debate over Zionism or Palestinian solidarity are those locked in Gaza or in the occupied West Bank.
In the events surrounding Foodbenders, the clearest act of hate was carried out by JDL members who scrubbed a Palestinian Lives Matter marking from the sidewalk outside the restaurant and—similar to what Jewish settlers do to Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank—spray painted a Star of David over the storefront. Alongside this vandalism, Hawkins has faced a bevy of online abuse, and has been called a “dirty Palestinian whore” and told “Palestine sucks I will burn your business down” and “I hope your family gets trapped inside the restaurant when it burns.”
Israel lobby groups have also engaged in essentialist language that, if taken to its logical conclusion, basically implicates all Jews in a European colonial movement that dispossessed Palestinians during the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
Critics of the restaurant have said that Hawkins uses the term “Zionism” or “Zionists” as a euphemism for “Jew” or “Jewish”, which she flatly denies. Writing in the Toronto Star, self-professed progressive Emma Teitel responded to those who say using the word Zionist with a disparaging adjective,
[Isn’t] anti-Semitic, because Zionism doesn’t equal Judaism. But this position is a semantic fallacy. Zionism in modern Jewish terms is synonymous with a belief that the state of Israel has a right to exist. By this definition a great many Jews today are Zionists. When an activist group or a shop owner or whoever attaches anti-Semitic tropes to an adjective, Zionist, that millions of Jews wear, they’re engaging in anti-Semitism plain and simple.
While some genuinely anti-Semitic people do what Teitel claims, there has to be a way to distinguish between those who support the idea of a religious or ethnic state—which is at the core of Zionist philosophy—and those who support secular states. Many people, Jews included, believe that a state shouldn’t favour one religion or ethnic group over another. Those who demand a secular state in Canada but support a Jewish state in Israel are inconsistent at best and racist at worst (against Palestinians who live under that state’s control).
In their statements about Foodbendors, CIJA, B’nai B’rith and the International Legal Forum directly conflate Judaism with Zionism. CIJA notes, “a recent study of Jewish Canadians confirms that the overwhelming majority of Jewish Canadians are Zionists, and the term can be used to describe our community.”
Generally presented as a response to late 1800s European anti-Semitism, the Theodore Herzl-led Zionist movement was also spurred by the Christian, nationalist and imperialist ideologies sweeping Europe at the time. After two millennia in which Jewish restoration was viewed as a spiritual event to be brought about through divine intervention, Zionism finally took root among some Jews after two centuries of active Protestant Zionism. “Christian proto-Zionists [existed] in England 300 years before modern Jewish Zionism emerged,” notes Stephen Spector in his book Evangelicals and Israel: The Story of American Christian Zionism. Until the mid-1800s, Zionism was an almost entirely non-Jewish movement that reflected the more literal readings of the Bible that flowed out of the Protestant Reformation.
Another factor driving Jewish Zionism was the nationalism sweeping Europe in the late 1800s. Germany, Italy and a number of eastern European states were all established during this period.
Alongside nationalist and biblical literalist influences, Zionism took root at the height of European imperialism. In the lead-up to the First World War, the European “scramble” carved up Africa and then the Middle East. Europeans controlled about 10 percent of Africa in 1870 but by 1914 only Ethiopia was independent of European control. Liberia was effectively an American colony.
Similar to Europe, Zionism’s roots in Canada are Christian, not Jewish. Early Canadian support for Zionism was based on more literal readings of the Bible and tied to Canada’s status as a dominion of the British Empire, which in the latter half of the nineteenth century began to see Zionism as a potential vehicle to strengthen its geostrategic position in the region. At the time of Confederation, Canada’s preeminent Christian Zionist was Henry Wentworth Monk. Monk called for the British Empire to establish a “dominion of Israel” similar to the dominion of Canada. In the 1978 book Canada and Palestine, Zachariah Kay notes, “Monk believed that Palestine was the logical center of the British Empire, and could help form a confederation of the English-speaking world.”
According to the logic of the pro-Israel lobby, Jewry in its entirety are responsible for this colonial movement and its dispossession of Palestinians. In fact, if one makes that claim, they can rightly be accused of anti-Semitism, because individual Jews and Canada’s Jewish community are clearly not responsible for what the Zionist movement or Israel does.
Of course, individual Jews and Jewish organizations can be complicit in Israeli crimes if they support that country, but that is because of their actions, not their identity.
The Israel lobby’s racist and essentialist ideas need to be contested and their effort to bankrupt a progressive Toronto restaurant resisted.
Yves Engler has been dubbed “one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left today” (Briarpatch), “in the mould of I.F. Stone” (Globe and Mail), and “part of that rare but growing group of social critics unafraid to confront Canada’s self-satisfied myths” (Quill & Quire). He has published nine books.
Comment by Rumpled Red Tory:
Both the defamation lawsuit and human rights complaint will be VERY important test cases, in that the pro-Israel lobby intends to introduce the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. They will provide a “teachable moment” for the Palestinian solidarity movement about the true nature of Zionism and the role of the Israeli Defense Forces in establishing and maintaining it.
They will require a fair bit of moolah to provide Kimberly with competent legal representation, however. Hopefully people will open their wallets…
Uber Eats and Ritual drop controversial Toronto restaurant by Lauren O’Neil, July 8, 2020, blogto.com
The saga of Foodbenders continues this week with the bizarrely political Toronto restaurant being booted from two of Canada’s largest food takeout platforms.
Uber Canada and Ritual have both terminated their agreements with the healthy lunch spot in Bloordale following its second major scandal in less than a month.
Neither company has publicly specified why it decided to part ways with the popular takeout joint, but the fray comes not long after the restaurant was called out by members of the Jewish community for sharing content that many have called antisemetic.
Foodbenders first courted controversy in June amid protests in which activists were (and still are) calling for Toronto Police to be defunded by erecting a sign outside its Bloor Street shop that read “No Justice, No Peace, F*ck the Police!”
The store’s owner, who did not want her name revealed at the time due to ongoing harassment, said that she feared for her safety as random people started showing up to denounce her sandwich board.
Just as people were starting to forget about that hubub, she got the community riled up even more so than before by taking a very public stand against Zionism using the Foodbenders Instagram account.
Screenshots started circulating on Thursday of a post by Foodbenders using the hashtags #ZionistsNotWelcome and #FreePalestine. The terms randonly appeared under an Instagram post welcoming “non-racist shoppers” back to the food outpost.
Boycott Foodbenders in Toronto, Ontario. Apparently (((Zionists))) are not welcome in their store according to their Instagram posts. They also have some very antisemitic comments and doxxing going on on their instagram page pic.twitter.com/hfsUzQTXFi— Orgth BC זאב בן מאייר (@arbutus_pointBC) July 2, 2020
B’nai Brith Canada and The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) are among the advocacy groups that have been calling upon community members to take action against Foodbenders, with the former organization stating that the restaurant “has used antisemitic tropes and posted pro-terrorist content on social media.”
“On Instagram, the company has announced: ‘#zionistsnotwelcome.’ Zionism is the belief that there ought to be a Jewish State situated in the Land of Israel, the indigenous Jewish homeland,” explained B’nai Brith, Canada’s oldest independent national Jewish organization, in a statement on Sunday. I have learned, as I learned with AER and nearly all politicians in Canada, not to believe a word B’nai Brith says. In my view, they are not trustworthy and are more about destroying the right to freedom of expression for all who publicly oppose the horrific crimes by Israel against Palestinians and Palestine.
“The 2018 Survey of Jews in Canada, conducted by Environics Research, York University and the University of Toronto, notes that Zionism is ‘the normative form of Canadian Jewish identification.’ Foodbenders has further alleged that ‘Zionists are Nazis.'”
B’nai Brith has been urging its supporters in recent days to contact city officials and corporations such as Uber, Skipthedishes, DoorDash and Ritual to express their disdain.
#BREAKING: In direct response to advocacy by B’nai Brith, Uber Canada has confirmed that it will no longer deliver Foodbenders products. Foodbenders is a #Toronto restaurant that has posted antisemitic slurs and pro-terrorist content on social media. https://t.co/1D1C55l3Bi— B’nai Brith Canada (@bnaibrithcanada) July 6, 2020
Pro-Israel organizations seem pleased with the victory, but pro-Palestine groups are now vowing to boycott both services in solidarity with Foodbenders.
“Very disappointing that @UberEats discontinued delivering for FoodBenders because they’re pro-Palestine,” wrote one Torontonian on Twitter. “I guess I’ll be saving lots of money by not ordering from UberEats or requesting rides from @Uber_Canada! Don’t trust Uber’s performative activism 🙂 #FreePalestine.”
“Uber supports the Zionist extremists who are harassing Foodbenders store for speaking up about the rights of the Palestinians!” wrote another.
The Foodbenders owner did post a lengthy Instagram caption on Friday explaining that Zionists were not actually banned from the store.
“The first thing I will say is that I love Jewish people and they are welcome in my store. I have never said anything about Jewish people,” reads the caption.
“I do not believe criticism of the Zionist political ideology, Israel or the Greater Israel Project, or pointing out its racist supremacist foundations amounts to criticism of the Jewish people or even Israeli citizens.”
We are deeply concerned to hear that @Uber_Canada has terminated its agreement with Foodbenders, a fine Toronto eatery, for standing up for Palestinian rights and racial justice. The termination was signed by Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty. We look forward to #Uber’s timely response. https://t.co/whcnJryCiY— Palestine House (@PalestineHouse) July 6, 2020
The restaurant owner continues to share screenshots of emailed death threats and horrifically hateful messages she’s been receiving from critics, as well as photos of the vandalism to the store and mobs of people standing outside of it.
“I never want to participate in hate and I am always open to learning,” she said late last week.
“Many Jewish people who know me have come forward privately to say they support me. I am asking them to publicly support me now because I don’t deserve this.”
You sure don’t deserve it, no one does. These heinous abuses trying to censor all and any public opposition to Israel’s human rights violations, murders, and thefts, are escalating at a terrifying pace with Israel eating away at our right to Freedom of Expression globally, enabled by Supreme Court of Canada damaging our Charter in their lying ruling in Ernst vs AER,where I tried to seek remedy for my valid Charter claim against the Alberta regulator. I am horrified by Israel’s abuses and human rights violations against Palestinians, even though my family was persecuted in the war for our Jewish genetics.
Refer also to:
2017 02 08: Canada’s Supreme Court justices travel (including to Israel) to exchange ideas, discuss legal issues with international judges, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin says politics off-limits, but legal problems are on the extracurricular agenda
O Little Town of Bethlehem by Francis A. Boyle, 03 December, 2010, Countercurrents.org
It was December of 1991 and I was serving as Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations in Washington DC. The Israelis were stalling, not even negotiating in bad faith, and the Americans under Baker and Ross were doing nothing to get the negotiations started.
This had been going on for 3 weeks and Christmas was fast approaching. Those of us on the Palestinian Team who were Christian were wondering if we were going to be able to get home for Christmas–many Palestinians are Christian, the original Christians, going back to Jesus Christ and the Apostles themselves. I would periodically check in with my wife and 2 sons at the time–little boys. My poor, sweet wife had to do all the Christmas preparations by herself without me.
So the weekend before Christmas I called her up to say I still did not know if or when I would be coming home. My oldest son who had just turned 5 talked to me on the phone:
“Daddy why aren’t you home for Christmas?”
“Well son, I’m trying to help the Palestinians.”
“Daddy, why are you doing that?”
Hard to explain the entire Middle East conflict to a 5 year old, so I put it into terms he could understand:
“Son, you know that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem don’t you?”
“Well I am here with the Mayor of Bethlehem and some other Palestinian leaders. They are my friends and I am their lawyer. I am working with the Mayor of Bethlehem to help all the Palestinian Children have a merry Christmas.”
We got the word we could go home for Christmas on December 23 and I got on the first flight out of DC. getting home just on time for Christmas Eve with my family.
Periodically I had attended UCC Christmas Season Church Services in town with my family. When it came time for prayers from the congregation, I always got up and asked everyone to help the Palestinians along the following lines:
“…Bethlehem is cut-off and surrounded by the Israeli army–the Church of the Nativity too. The Israelis are inflicting ethnic cleansing upon all the Palestinian, both Muslims and Christians. They are also pursuing a policy of deliberately forcing Palestinian Christians out of Palestine as part of a perverse strategy to turn a war of national liberation into a religious crusade, figuring it would play better in the United States. And these are the original Christians, going back to Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Meanwhile, the United States government is financing it all to the tune of $5 billion per year. Everyone in this Congregation has gifts given to them by God. So go out and do something to help the Palestinians!”
Despite my best efforts over many years, that UCC Congregation refused to lift one finger to help the Palestinians. So several years ago, I quit their Congregation and severed all ties with them. They are just a gang of moral cowards and hypocrites. They have nothing to teach me or anyone else about Christianity, let alone about peace, justice and human rights. They constitute the paradigmatic example of what the anti-Nazi martyr and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer called Cheap Grace
Francis A. Boyle, Champlaign, IL. Professor of International Law
Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations (1991-93)
Subject: Merry Christmas
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2010 09:56:29 -0700
O Little Town of Bethlehem
by Francis A. Boyle, Professor of International Law
Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the
Middle East Peace Negotiations (1991-93)
Neither Harper nor Sorenson thanked Ernst or wished her Merry Christmas.
“Moral cowards and hypocrites?”
… Indeed, it’s hard to overstate how pervasive and mainstream these attempts to legally suppress criticisms of Israel have become, including in the U.S. As the legal advocacy organization Palestine Legal told The Intercept yesterday, “Since 2014, over 100 anti-boycott measures (similar to the one blocked in Kansas) have been introduced in the U.S., at least 24 of them enacted. Palestine Legal responded to 308 suppression incidents in 2017 and nearly 1,000 in the last four years.” The report issued by the group this week details just some of those efforts:
- Hurricane Harvey victims were required to pledge not to boycott Israel to receive relief aid;
- An NYC bookstore hid a children’s book about Palestine after calls for censorship;
- A Palestinian American professor at San Francisco State was sued for researching and teaching about Palestine;
- A Black student leader at the University of Wisconsin was condemned for speaking out against the connections between white supremacy and Zionism by Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
So widespread are attempts to punish and repress speech and activism aimed at ending the Israeli occupation that the Center for Constitutional Rights has dubbed this movement “the Palestine Exception” to free speech rights in the U.S.
The federal court ruling from yesterday is a ringing endorsement of the vital constitutional principle that people cannot be punished by the U.S. government or state governments due to disapproval of their political activism and viewpoints — even if the goal is to protect the Israeli government and its decades long illegal occupation from criticism and activism. The direct result of this ruling is that the Kansas state government is barred from continuing to force teachers and other state residents to take an oath to refrain from boycotting Israel upon pain of being denied contracts, but the broader and more enduring effect may be to emphasize just how authoritarian, repressive, and contrary to core civil liberties the global attempt to abuse the power of law to criminalize or suppress this free expression in the name of protecting Israeli occupation is.
… However, being condemned is one thing. Being outlawed is another. Canadians, so far anyway, still have the right to say what they like about the policies of the state of Israel, and they can also buy, or not buy, its products. Canada’s Charter would make it unconstitutional for any government motion to go any further than what was passed last week. Given how the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Ernst vs AER, don’t count on it. There are still a lot of Harper judges on that court (his gov’t appointed 7/9 of the judges that heard my appeal and knowingly published fabricated facts and smears about me and my case in their ruling). Just how Zionist is Canada’s top court and how much control does rights-abusing Israel have over it?
… That’s probably why the human rights organisation, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), is not only mockingly pushing the envelope on promoting BDS [Boycott, Divest, Sanction], it’s also pushing sticky notes to slap on offending products on store shelves.
What’s more, on the very same day that Parliament voted to condemn organisations that promote BDS, the student society at Canada’s prestigious McGill University voted 512-357 to support BDS. However, the vote was nullified over the weekend during the online ratification process.
According to Diana Buttu, a Canadian-born Arab Israeli and former adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told the Globe and Mail,
“Canada follows international law and correctly labels Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank as illegal … Yet, the government passes a resolution condemning those who aim to uphold international law and Canadian foreign policy? It’s nuts.”
Perhaps not so nuts. The motion “to condemn” can pass constitutional muster.
Meanwhile, Canadians – at least those already reluctant to speak out against Israel for fear of being labelled anti-Semitic – will be intimidated into total silence now.
Talk about chilling. …
Do you know where your sodastream is made? …
The Zionist fallacy of ‘Jewish supremacy,’ Framing Zionism as Jewish and not white supremacy is a dangerous proposition by Yoav Litvin, 9 Jan 2019, aljazeera.com
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Pulitzer-prize winner Alice Walker caused much controversy by recommending David Icke’s book And the Truth Shall Set You Free, claiming it was “a curious person’s dream come true”.
Many reacted sharply to Walker’s endorsement of what is widely considered to be an anti-Semitic book, accusing her of embracing Icke’s racist conspiracy theories; others, like Palestinian-American writer Susan Abulhawa, defended Walker, claiming her ideas are anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic. In her article, In defence of Alice Walker, Abulhawa claimed Palestinians are “killed, humiliated and destroyed in visible and invisible ways by Israel’s notions of Jewish supremacy”.
Omitted from this public debate is an important distinction regarding the fundamental nature of Zionism and its implications on the struggle against injustice.
Zionism is a modern movement, which gained traction among a minority of secular Jews only in the late 19th century in response to Europe’s rising anti-Semitism and romantic nationalism.
Early Zionists syncretised many aspects of European fascism, white supremacy, colonialism and messianic Evangelism and had a long and sordid history of cooperating with anti-Semites, imperialists and fascists in order to promote exclusivist and expansionist agendas.
In fact, throughout the past century, anti-Semites and Zionists have worked towards the mutual interest of concentrating Jews in Israel; the former as a means of scapegoating and expelling an unwanted population, and the latter to combat the “demographic threat” posed by native Palestinians. Further, both anti-Semites and Zionists construct Jews as a biological race, which needs to be segregated as part of a utopia of global apartheid.
Zionism is a racist and settler colonialist movement, which opportunistically coopts aspects of Judaism in an attempt to justify its criminal practices of apartheid and genocide of indigenous Palestinians. White supremacy is dominant within Israeli society, which privileges white-skinned Ashkenazi Jews at the expense of dark-skinned African Jews, Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews as well as African refugees. African/black Jewish communities are often denied recognition by Israeli authorities with some members even deported.
Zionism is based on a distinctly secular outlook, which embraces aggression and expansion as an acceptable response to trauma and denounces the traditional Jewish pacifist approach of viewing hardship as divine punishment for sins. The Israeli regime capitalises on a dynamic of violence and inequality reinforced by fear-mongering and the rewards of resource acquisition to promote a privileged ruling class at the expense of colonised Palestinian people.
Zionist strategists manipulate the past traumas Jews have endured to galvanise support for aggressive policies that disenfranchise Palestinians.
The growing, glaringly visible connections between the Israeli government and reactionary, white supremacist forces worldwide, including Brazil, the United States, the Philippines and Hungary further demonstrate the concordance of Zionism and white supremacy. Neo-Nazis have been inspired by Israel’s policies and the term “white Zionism” has been used to describe the emerging “alt-right” neo-fascistic movement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has gone as far as revising the Holocaust to serve his political needs and Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has made openly genocidal, dehumanising threats towards Palestinians, calling them “little snakes”.
In a similar fashion to other fascistic, anti-Semitic regimes, Israel has never tolerated dissident voices, targeting Jewish anti-Zionists throughout its history. In fact, anti-Zionists were targeted from before the foundation of the state of Israel. Today, Jewish pro-Palestinian activists who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement are detained, punished and even deported.
To maintain this abusive, white supremacist dynamic, Zionist propagandists have promoted the anti-Semitic fallacy that Israel is a Jewish state, which represents Judaism and thus all Jews. This fundamental canard is at the root of Zionist propaganda (aka Hasbara), galvanising support for Israeli settler colonialism and attacking anti-colonial resistance.
The logical outcome of this fallacy erroneously determines that critique of Zionism/Israel is necessarily anti-Semitic. Successive Israeli governments have employed this trope as a talking point in order to sabotage critique of their criminal policies. Their cynical manipulation of the guilt surrounding the very real history of anti-Jewish bigotry and oppression has bolstered this tactic. Furthermore, Israel consistently strengthens its supposed association to Judaism (by promulgating legislation such as the Nation state law) in order to promote this fallacious anti-Semitic apartheid framework.
Recently, black-Palestinian alliances have become a growing concern for Zionists, who have targeted a series of black pro-Palestinian activists with charges of anti-Semitism, including Marc Lamont Hill and the organisers of the Women’s march. Just a few days ago, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in the US cancelled an event honouring civil rights icon Angela Davis likely due to her pro-Palestinian advocacy and support for the BDS movement. This selective targeting of black activists further demonstrates the white supremacist nature of Zionism.
A second, more obscure, consequence of this fallacy strikes the pro-Palestinian camp. If it is accepted, as it is by Zionists, that Israel indeed represents Judaism and all Jews – an expression of “Jewish supremacy” – then those who are pro-Palestinian must also reject Jews and Judaism.
The adoption of this outlook creates two artificial camps, with Israel, Zionists and Jews in the former and Palestinian people together with anti-Semites, in the latter. Thus, the notion that Zionism is driven by “Jewish supremacy”, reproduced in Abulhawa’s article, splinters the natural alliances of all those who are oppressed by the capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy and bolsters the reactionary narrative which claims that the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict” is not a case of settler colonialism with historical precedents and thus has a political solution, but a holy war between Jews and their allies against all those who oppose them.
This outlook ultimately sustains ongoing victimisation of Palestinian people by rendering “the conflict” unsolvable by any means other than violence. This directly benefits Zionist settler colonialism and its propaganda, which has a military force disproportionately more powerful than its Palestinian victims.
In contrast, the understanding of Zionism as a white supremacist movement, which has opportunistically and selectively syncretised Judaism to obscure and bolster its criminal settler-colonialist, genocidal activity, creates a more valid analytical framework.
It gathers all those oppressed by the capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy (black and brown people, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, indigenous people, women, LGBTQI etc) in one anti-racist, anti-colonial camp and places those who uphold it, including Zionists (Jews and non-Jews) and others, like David Icke, who espouse anti-Semitism, in opposition. Notably, white supremacy is an ideology that relates to whiteness as a structure and can thus be advanced by anyone, even its victims.
Consistently, the principled Palestinian-led BDS movement has called for the exclusion of all forms of racism and bigotry, including anti-Semitism, from its campaign.
Thus, the framing of Zionism as “white”, not “Jewish” supremacy enables and strengthens the formation of coalitions between all those opposed to Zionist settler colonialism in particular and white supremacy in general and hinders Zionist attempts at sabotage by lobbying cynical accusations of “anti-Semitism”. Pro-Palestinian advocates are wise when they support principles over people and are careful not to promote anti-Semitic, reactionary or conspiratorial material, which damages the Palestinian cause they champion and exposes it to justified critique.
2020 06 29: Jamaal Bowman wins big – more powerful justice for humanity than from any judge! “I believe Palestinians have the same rights to freedom and dignity as my Jewish brothers and sisters. I will fight for their liberation just as hard as I will fight for yours.”
I proudly boycott Israeli goods.
Comment from couple in Victoria, BC:
We also proudly support the Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement against Israeli apartheid.