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Anti-semitism on the Left

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2012, 03:04
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Post 20 Nov 2014, 05:52
A man goes to Berkeley (a largely politically left-wing school) to see people's reactions to him waving the ISIS and Israeli flags.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOHJ06bsSow
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
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Post 20 Nov 2014, 07:59
You, sir, need to fix your banner.

Thanks for the video, it made me laugh a lot. On the point it was making, though. I don't think it's anti-semitism, but largely anti-zionism, or rather disagreement with the state of Israel, with its policies; not with Jewish people. It's bothersome that these two things constantly get conflagrated.

The sad state of affair is that, yes, US imperialism and Israel's actions have jaded many people to the point that even fanatic organizations get a "free pass" because many think that acting out against them will give free reign for further US imperialism.

BTW, do you think the ISIS flag is as well known, or people just assume it to be some sort of Arab flag that he was waving? I'm curious.

Fox News did pretty much the same thing as this guy, except they went to Harvard:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8va9vLap2JI
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2012, 03:04
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Post 20 Nov 2014, 09:08
My Rabbi is pretty well informed with political philosophy including Marxism. He broke down the existence of all modern states into a conception of nation-states. This is more traditionally apparent in Europe after Feudalism and into Mercantilism Capitalism, but he pointed out that it also happened in the United States. Before our civil war from 1861-65, the nation was referred to as "These United States," and afterwords it was referred to as "The United States." The civil war clearly established the American people as a nation, and perhaps some Dixies as well. The 100 years war between England and France likely had a similar affect on the French (although is a much earlier fashion imbued with monarchism).

Now, no one ever protests against the existence of these nation-states (except perhaps some southerners in the United States that prefer to call themselves Dixies, and pro-independence movements in Bavaria, Catalonia, Scotland, and Venetia - but notice they are all internal). The existence of the Jewish nation-state is the only one that is ever criticized from an externalist perspective (except perhaps multinational states like the Austrian Empire, the Soviet Union, or Yugoslavia - referred to as "prisons of nations" be some - but Israel does not fit into such a category). He said that this case of isolating Israel from all other nation-states (the hallmark of modern governance) is an extension of antisemitism, and I agreed with him.

I am not like these fox news bastards who are denouncing the left and socialism for this tendency. I think we just need to have a compromise and treat Israel like we treat Germany, France, Russia, or other modern nation-states. None of these nation-states are actively criticized for merely existing, and a compromise has to be made that Israel will exist in the same fashion that the listed nation-states do in the modern world. Once such a compromise is made, we can distinguish who among us is really an anti-imperialist against Israeli expansion and a blatant antisemite. Because I was banned on RevLeft two years ago for defending a guy who said Israel had a right to exist, and I am not very fond of people who say Jews will be pushed into the ocean as Hamas and the PLO have said. I am also not supportive of an attempt to rebuild a single Palestinian state (something the Brits created in 1920 with the intention that Palestinians would refer to Zionist Jews) where all Jewish political parties will be banned and the same people who have traditionally called for mass Jewish deportation and/or genocide coming to power.

http://www.revleft.com/vb/my-opinion-pa ... l?t=173292


And many of the people in the video said Israel "kills babies." This was Hamas propaganda during the military operation in July. The fact that they knew about the Israeli military operation in July makes me think they also knew about events happening in the Summer (including ISIS's invasion of Iraq in June). The guy was also saying ISIS out loud, so it is not like they didn't have verbal reference if they didn't recognize the flag.
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Post 20 Nov 2014, 09:33
What I think is happening is that the Left has show itself to be very accomodating to anti-semitic views as long as you call them Zionists rather than Jews. If you pay attention you'll notice that they frequently forget to swap terms now that they feel more comfortable to speak their minds. I think a lot of genuine Leftists oppose this, but they are being bullied into shutting up by making it look like saying anything is tantamount to bulldozing Palestinian orphans.

This is a story from my corner of the planet from pretty recently (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/socia ... 0d5yl.html).

Quote:
Left-wing group the Socialist Alternative was deregistered as a club by the Monash University Student Association on Tuesday, the same day a student from the same group at La Trobe University was threatened with expulsion following allegations of harassment of a Jewish student on campus.

The Monash association has simply said the Socialist Alternative is "prejudicial to the interests of clubs and societies", but the Socialist Alternative has blamed a recent article by Education Minister Christopher Pyne to The Australian calling on universities to respond to increasing anti-Semitic behaviour on campus.

The deregistration would mean the group can no longer hold political meetings or information stalls at Monash University's Clayton campus.

Socialist Alternative member Sarah Garnham, said the delisting was an "extremely harsh measure" and the group has said it would consider pursuing a legal case against the Monash Students Association.

The events at Monash University follow investigations by La Trobe University into allegations of harassment and intimidation of a Jewish student on campus.

One Socialist Alternative member at La Trobe University said he received a letter from the university threatening expulsion for intimidating the student.

The university would not confirm the sending of the letter, but a spokesman said, "We are currently investigating some complaints made by students in accordance with our normal processes."

The student making the complaints at La Trobe, Jessica Cornish, 25, is now represented by Arnold Bloch Leibler in her complaints of harassment and intimidation against the Socialist Alternative and Students for Palestine.

She said that after she voted down a motion condemning Israeli's "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" in Gaza, posters were pasted on campus walls accusing her of supporting genocide. She also faced taunts by the students who called her a "Zionist piece of shit" and "genocidal pig". at the end of July, believing it to be "inciting violence" she faced hundreds of posters pasted on campus naming her and accusing her of supporting genocide. She also faced taunts by the students who called her a "Zionist piece of shit" and "genocidal pig".

"It's been the worst semester I've ever had," Ms Cornish said.

"I've missed so much class. I haven't been able to concentrate. I'm very stressed," the speech pathology student said.

Ryan Higginson, the La Trobe student threatened with expulsion, posted on Facebook that he rejected the allegations levelled against him as "an outrageous slander".

"All we have done is campaign in support of Palestinian rights, and against Zionists in the student union. These allegations, and the threat of expulsion, is a massive assault on political freedoms at La Trobe University," he wrote.

But, in a document leaked to The Age, a former member of the Socialist Alternative, who chose not to be named, said the Socialist Alternative was "known to shut down and intimidate students with opposing views", to "bully other students" and to engage in "cultish behaviour".

"They are known to surround students from opposing factions and shout them down and reportedly physically assault them," he wrote.

He noted a recent student conference "in which 60-80 members of the SA [Socialist Alternative] surround three or four members of the Student Unity in a corner and went ballistic. Many prominent members of the Monash SA were involved in orchestrating this."

He also said the group would interrupt lectures to advertise an event and members have "at times physically resisted" when removed from lectures.


This is an extreme case, but the Australian left is pretty much overrun with this sort of thing. (I'm not including the Labor party for numerous reasons.)

Even before it was derailed by other interest groups the Australian Occupy movement was being hijacked by these groups. Personally even if I didn't support the state of Israel it felt like an unneccessarily divisive tactic for a movement for economic reform and democratic accountability of the banking industry to be marching under an Anti-Israel banner, but that's what happened.

Leftists groups are openly supporting organizations which are attacking Synagogues and other structures which only have loosest possible association with the state of Israel.

I think it's a disgrace, but that is the culture on the Left in this current age and it is going to require a lot of people to acknowledge it if we want it to change. Explaining it all away with the "Zionism excuse" is really stretching credulity now. Opposing the state of Israel is one thing, but some of these groups the Left is entering into alliances with are abominable.

Leftists have made some embarrassing alliances over their history and this is really up there with them.
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Post 20 Nov 2014, 10:00
I absolutely agree with everything you've said. I am also not against Arab soft-nationalism, as practiced by the Baathists in Syria (the Iraqi Baathists are a little too reactionary and sectarian), the far left-wing factions of the PLO, Southern Yemen, or Nasser's Egypt (although he killed off a handful of Communists). The converse to it is anti-secular Islamism, which is far too reactionary to even find a shred of decency in it (a former professor of mine told me that his contacts in Mali said Islamists were going house-to-house looking for Communists and Socialists and executing them back in 2012). Clearly Islamism is a greater threat to us as we'd like to believe, but we apologize for them sometimes for some reason.

Back in July and August, I was shocked to find out that antifa wasn't defending Jews from hundreds of antisemitic incidents. I have read reports that they've been defending Islamists at rallies, but not Jews being besieged in Synagogues or harassed and assaulted in Jewish communities. The fact that over 6,000 Jews emigrated from France to Israel this year (http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/news/fran ... rael_26407) is probably as a result of this large-scale harassment they've suffered and which antifa does nothing to prevent.
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Post 20 Nov 2014, 11:05
Havee3333333 wrote:
He said that this case of isolating Israel from all other nation-states (the hallmark of modern governance) is an extension of antisemitism, and I agreed with him.

Notice your other examples don't include widespread killing and displacement at present. It once occurred over Scotland, Bavaria, Lappland, Catalonia. It doesn't today. It does in Palestine. In some ways that's the modern West balking at their own past. But that's just the thing, it's the past. It's not something generally seen as necessary in Europe today, and Israel is seen as an extension of that since a majority of its people were in Europe just a few generations ago. Plus, this takes place in an area where the native inhabitants are already struggling with nation-building of their own; look at Syria. This artificially-implanted nation-building has made that even harder, by taking attention and resources off internal issues within those countries.

I don't think it's sane or feasible to just kick the Israelis out of their homes, it's too established a country right now and that would just be needless. But I do think a multinational state is a possible long-term solution. And yes, while measures to preserve Jewish autonomy and cultural heritage could and should be included in that, that would mean ending Israel's distinct Jewishness as a state.
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Post 20 Nov 2014, 11:51
MissStrangelove wrote:
since a majority of its people were in Europe just a few generations ago.

The majority of Israeli Jews are from Middle Eastern and North African origin after countries like Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, and others massively deported them in the 1950's. They were in fact the overwhelming majority before the fall of the Soviet Union, and now it is only a slight majority. You'll be surprised to learn that Jews were the largest ethnic group in the city of Baghdad in 1948.

Quote:
But I do think a multinational state is a possible long-term solution.

What? Another prison of nations? I don't think either Jews or Arabs would be very happy with that kind of arrangement, and it would be redundant frankly. What is the point of a multinational state when the two communities are perfectly happy with self-rule?

Many, but not all, Israeli Arabs (not Palestinian - as they consider themselves more Israeli by now) would also be against being in the same category as their relatives in the West Bank and Gaza because of the negative connotation of the latter. While Israeli Arabs are secular and in a state where there is some semblance of democratic processes, their Palestinian "relatives" are mulled day and night by religious and anti-Israeli propaganda that they wouldn't want to associate themselves with. I have met many such Israeli Arabs when I visited Israel, and they wouldn't be caught dead with people wearing head scarves, long beards, or hanging Palestinian flags.
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Post 20 Nov 2014, 20:35
Havee3333333 wrote:
The majority of Israeli Jews are from Middle Eastern and North African origin after countries like Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, and others massively deported them in the 1950's. They were in fact the overwhelming majority before the fall of the Soviet Union, and now it is only a slight majority. You'll be surprised to learn that Jews were the largest ethnic group in the city of Baghdad in 1948.

Ashkenazi Jews (all European) are the cultural majority, the dominant ethnic class, and the second-largest group in terms of population. Only one President of Israel has been Sephardic, and no Prime Minister has. Despite their higher demographic representation, culturally they're underrepresented. They aren't the elite group.

Also, Mizrahim (all Middle Eastern) are third in both population and cultural dominance. Middle Eastern Jews are clearly a demographic plurality owing to the Sephardi; though only most of those are Middle Eastern, some are from Latin America, the Netherlands, Sicily. They only become a clear majority if you lump both Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews together. When they represent distinct communities within Middle Eastern Jewry.

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What? Another prison of nations? I don't think either Jews or Arabs would be very happy with that kind of arrangement, and it would be redundant frankly. What is the point of a multinational state when the two communities are perfectly happy with self-rule?

Part of it is exactly to weaken the concept of the nation-state, what you call "imprisoning nations," which has long been a goal for Marxists. Nations should have their own autonomy and regional self-rule, they can best respond to their internal problems, but this has to be in an overarching framework that fosters unity and cooperation. Where resources can be marshaled to tackle bigger problems than just immediate short-term internal issues. Instead of the current nation-state model, which fosters division and inefficiency.

And making their interests coalesce is the only way to forge peace in the long-run. Ending the concept of a Jewish state, and yes, a Palestinian state too is what would stop squabbling over where one ends and the other begins. Instead making them get along and work together under one shared state, intertwining the two economically.

Quote:
Many, but not all, Israeli Arabs (not Palestinian - as they consider themselves more Israeli by now) would also be against being in the same category as their relatives in the West Bank and Gaza because of the negative connotation of the latter.

Which is both xenophobia and classism. If Palestinian Arabs are more religious, more prone to violence, etc., this can be summed up in one way: they're poorer, more beaten down, and have more to resent. Making that division even starker isn't the answer at all; renewing the ties between Israeli Arabs and Palestinians would lessen that division.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 21 Nov 2014, 01:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 21 Nov 2014, 07:34

People, please don't derail the thread.

If you wish to respond, do so in more than a single, dismissive line. Also, unfounded accusations may lead to needless flaming and take us away from the topic at hand.

Thanks in advance.

- Praxicoide
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Post 21 Nov 2014, 19:38
I think there is a tendency towards latent antisemitism in some people on the left. The way so many left wing groups seem to focus so disproportionately on Israel, you would think that the existence of Israel is the only thing holding back worldwide revolution! Although there is a lot of suffering in the Palestinian territories, it's hardly the most pressing issue facing communists today. I think a lot of groups also focus on it because they know that public outrage against Israel is high in their countries. Therefore, by criticising Israel, it makes them look in touch with public sentiment.
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Post 21 Nov 2014, 22:06
Quote:
I am not like these fox news bastards who are denouncing the left and socialism for this tendency. I think we just need to have a compromise and treat Israel like we treat Germany, France, Russia, or other modern nation-states. None of these nation-states are actively criticized for merely existing,


Problem is : Israel existence steems from a plain and simple WAR OF CONQUEST. Its the last of the major countries to be forged as the result of a purely war of conquest. Worse, it hides behind the facade of the centuries of opression against jews (as if USA capitalists would trully care about jews if there was no political and economical behind backing Israel militarely). To make matters worse, you have a religious justification for Israel's existence in the form of the promised land. Its ridiculous. When muslins try to shape their government behind Islã, they are seem as retrograde, but the same can be said about Israel and people will not think that its wrong. Israel is almost a teological country whose sole national identity is based on religion.

Take a jew from the middle of kazakhstan, now compare him genetically to a jew from spain. They are from the same religion, but they are not the same genetics, ethinicity etc. Its like trying to carve a country out of china, by shipping people from USA, England, Brazil etc, on the sole assumption that becase we are all (usually) christians, so we must be the same nation/people.

Why did not they live in Palestina accepting the local government that was already there ? Why they needed to conquest the land and forge a country out of it ? So they are a country that is the result of a war of conquest, plainly and simply. Jews will usually answer with a form of exceptionalism that is rooted on the centuries of persecution.

But persecution of minorities are no exclusivity of Jews, and do not steem from any specific Jew trait (they are human beings and thats all, just like me and you) but from a series of historical and psychological motivations that all humans share.

Minorities are used as scapegoats on crisis. Minorities bear the sadistic impulses of people's when the revolt, because being minority is to be weaker militarely. I once explained that after a revolution people usually break all forms of law and all rules that are written into their minds, just to later feel guilty and regress into a subservient state to the next government that is installed. So in Europe, when revolutions and revolts arised, the sadistic impulses that would be repressed by the existence of a form of government are released and people do all sorts of heinous excesses, this includes killing Jews. But not because Jews are Jews, but because they were, usually, minorities in those countries (replace Jews with any minority in the same timespan and you would have the same results). A specific historical coincidence is the result of the fact that Jews were (during middle ages) allowed to lend money for profit. This made kings and the nobility fall into large debts. The end result is that if the Jew pressed on to receive what was indebted by the kings, they would end up being persecuted under fake accusations or under religious grounds...

Well, this persecution, in the minds of the Jews, are seem as a kind of "gift of god". If we are persecuted, Iaweh will give us our promised land (or place in heaven, whatever). Its a kind of masochist compensation.
So Jews see in the persecution a confirmation of their special status in front of the creator, and so, accodingly, are entitled to the promised land whatever the results.
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Post 22 Nov 2014, 08:44
gRed Britain wrote:
I think there is a tendency towards latent antisemitism in some people on the left. The way so many left wing groups seem to focus so disproportionately on Israel, you would think that the existence of Israel is the only thing holding back worldwide revolution! Although there is a lot of suffering in the Palestinian territories, it's hardly the most pressing issue facing communists today. I think a lot of groups also focus on it because they know that public outrage against Israel is high in their countries. Therefore, by criticising Israel, it makes them look in touch with public sentiment.


For reals, It seems that for many, being a leftist is having strong opinions on something happening half-way across the globe and being vocal about it. This is depressing and it's loathsome to see so many people take holier-than-thou attitudes and think they're out saving the world because of some leaflets spread with solidarity messages on them.

But again, this is not antisemitism. People aren't railing against "the jews", they're criticizing a government and its imperialstic and racist policies.

This isn't to say that there isn't any antisemitism seeping in as well. Many people do cross from criticizing Israel and its supporters to criticizing "the jews". We have to detect and denounce it, but without getting sidetracked either.

It's like our struggle against bourgeoisie. Of course they generate hate among the working class, and as things get heated up, as class conflict intensifies, there will be very vocal denounciations and so on. We know we're against them AS A CLASS, but know that some people aren't as levelheaded. Do you stop? No. You remind them of the distinction, but you don't get sidetracked. What's more important?

So yeah, worry about antisemitism on the left, it's valid. Just don't scuttle our valid criticism of Ziionism, because, again, what's more important?
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Post 22 Nov 2014, 14:00
For the proletariat there is no Jew or Christian. There is only the proletariat.
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Post 22 Nov 2014, 15:33
praxicoide wrote:
For reals, It seems that for many, being a leftist is having strong opinions on something happening half-way across the globe and being vocal about it. This is depressing and it's loathsome to see so many people take holier-than-thou attitudes and think they're out saving the world because of some leaflets spread with solidarity messages on them.

But again, this is not antisemitism. People aren't railing against "the jews", they're criticizing a government and its imperialstic and racist policies.


But I think there could be a very latent undercurrent of antisemitism behind this criticism - so latent that the critics themselves may not even be aware of it. Look at how much attention Israel gets in the left. No-one on the left talks about the Burmese repression of the Rohingya, or the repression of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The fact is that humans all over the world are repressing other nationalities, yet Israel is the one which attracts by far the most attention.
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Post 22 Nov 2014, 23:34
gRed Britain wrote:
Look at how much attention Israel gets in the left. No-one on the left talks about the Burmese repression of the Rohingya, or the repression of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The fact is that humans all over the world are repressing other nationalities, yet Israel is the one which attracts by far the most attention.

I think much of it is just that Israel gets a whole lot more media attention, having more political influence in and relevance to the West. Darfur got plenty of attention for a while too, the Balkans certainly did throughout the late 90s. Burma and Sri Lanka just don't in our media, they're just not seen as that relevant to us.

The average person understands Israel and Palestine, at least in a vague sense. The average person's understanding of Sri Lanka is kind of like this quote from American Psycho: "What about the problems in Sri Lanka, honey? How like, the Sikhs are killing tons of Israelis over there?"
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Post 23 Nov 2014, 00:38
MissStrangelove wrote:
The average person understands Israel and Palestine, at least in a vague sense.
The average person thinks they understand it, but that's probably because they've been fed a very simplistic narrative. It's almost like that quote about quantum mechanics.

praxicoide wrote:
So yeah, worry about antisemitism on the left, it's valid. Just don't scuttle our valid criticism of Ziionism, because, again, what's more important?
I'm not sure who here is saying we shouldn't criticize Israel where they act badly.

The fact that a topic about Anti-Semitism on the Left is automatically assumed to be simply diversionary tactic to take pressure of Israel is a bit worrying.
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Post 23 Nov 2014, 02:07
Whats worrying is how often Israel uses abtisemitism for its own political ends.
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Post 23 Nov 2014, 02:14
Not to mention islamism.
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Post 23 Nov 2014, 02:39
Dagoth Ur wrote:
Whats worrying is how often Israel uses abtisemitism for its own political ends.
Politicians using rhetoric, simplifications and covenient coincidences for their own agendas aren't unique to Israel (or even Imperialists) so I'm not sure what make of your point.

Do some of them try to use accusations of anti-Semitism as a way of shielding Israel from criticism? Certainly. I think you'll find this happens in most political topics that people feel strongly about anything. The truth of an individual event is sacrificied to a larger political "truth" that the interested party is pursuing.

Does this mean all complaints of anti-Semitism on the Left are JIDF diversions?


When even the people who consider themselves to be Communists think like that it's a sad day for humanity.
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Post 23 Nov 2014, 03:27
There are hardly any actually antisemitic people on the left. Unconscious antisemitism is total bullshit and Zionist paranoia, where the whole world is just a bad day away from another round of pograms. This all sounds like a bunch of jewish comrades who still have an attachment to Zionism seeing ghosts where there are none.

Also name one other country in the world tha treats any criticism of its policy as an existential threat to their people's existence. I can't think of a single one past the mid-20th.
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