Rights as Distraction from Oppression Advocacy

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Human Rights as Distraction from Oppression
Advocacy for the Oppressor
by Kim Petersen
Last Sunday, 23 May, an email exchange came out on the list of Ron Saba, editor of Montreal Planet magazine, an advocate of human rights, with an indefatigable focus on Palestinian rights. In particular, he unceasingly documents the full blown racism of the Jewish National Fund (JNF; which allows the sale of land in Israel only to Jews) and the overt complicity of the Canadian government and all its main political parties in support of Jewish racism against non-Jews.

Saba emailed to his list (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) a Carlos Latuff cartoon depicting Israeli apartheid.

The cartoon stirred Abraham (Eibie) Weizfeld, a self-described “second generation Holocaust survivor” and “intermediary on behalf of the Palestinians to the Western (North American) societies and, on behalf of the Jewish People to the Palestinian and Arab Nations since 1968.”

Weizfeld — who moderates the Jewish People’s Liberation Organization: Against Zionism and anti-Jewish racism (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) — urges peace between Jews and Palestinians.
 
Peace without social justice, however, is illusory.
 
[For complete article reference links, please see original at Dissident Voice here.]

Weizfeld does concede, “Palestinians and Arabs have been more willing to seek a peaceful solution than have the Israelis.” But his umbrage at Latuff’s cartoon is decidedly in favor of the oppressor:

    No, it’s not a matter of ‘Jews Only’ but a case of Zionists Only.
    There are Zionists who are not Jewish.
    There are Jewish people who are not Zionists and not permitted to enter ‘Israel’.
    And, there are Arabs who are Zionists.

    The conclusion one is drawn to is that everything one should not take everything the Zionist parties say as a given truth.
    The State of Israel is not a ‘Jewish State’, not even according to the founder of political Zionism, Herzl.

    Furthermore there is not such thing as Israeli Apartheid, it is actually Israel Apartheid, since it is State policy.

    It is time that the social critics also critique themselves.

    Abraham Weizfeld

Weizfeld’s advocacy is simplistic and preponderantly oriented in favor of the oppressor. He denies the truth of the cartoon. He fallaciously attempts to argue a distinction between Zionists and Jews that would make Israel the Zionist State instead of the Jewish State. Undeniably, Christian Zionists (and Weizfeld’s Arab Zionists) would be hard pressed to feel equal in Israel; for example, gaining automatic residency and buying land from the JNF.

*****

Saba replies:

    Eibie,

    Thank you for your email.

    Within the State of Israel, the characteristic used to determine rights is whether or not an Israeli citizen is Jewish or not. For example, the Jewish National Fund, which controls land in Israel on which 70% of the population lives, will only lease to Jewish Israelis, therefore discriminating on the basis of whether an Israeli citizen is Jewish or not (such discrimination done with the complicity of the Israeli State). This is totally analogous to pre-civil rights era Segregated United States and Apartheid South Africa where “Whites Only” was the defining characteristic for discrimination. And just as not all US or South African whites (nor for that matter elsewhere) supported “Whites Only” discrimination, that did not negate the fact that it was “Whites Only” discrimination. To say that Israeli Apartheid is based on “Jews Only” discrimination is not to say that all Jews support such discrimination, however no one can deny that the basis of such discrimination is whether an Israeli citizen is Jewish or not.

    When the world came together to oppose “Whites Only” Apartheid in South Africa, as a “White” I was not the least bit insulted by the use of the “Whites Only” label to describe such discrimination, since as a “White” I totally opposed discrimination by “Whites” or by anyone else for that matter.

    The discrimination in Israel is both State Policy AND the policy of institutions such as the Jewish National Fund whose bylaws enable and enforce “Jews Only” discrimination and whose funding and support comes from outside the State of Israel. Similarly other non state actors such as the Canadian Jewish Congress are full defenders both of the Apartheid State of Israel and of non-state institutions which enable and enforce “Jews Only” discrimination, such as the Jewish National Fund.

    That is why it is commendable and important that progressive and independent Jewish Groups such as yours continue to speak out to point out that not all Jews support institutions such as the Canadian Jewish Congress, despite the CJC’s (false) assertion that it speaks on behalf of Canadian Jews. However none of this negates the fact that ALL of us (including yourself) are criticizing “Jews Only” discrimination. Keep in mind, a Zionist who is not Jewish cannot lease property from the Jewish National Fund in Israel.

    Regards,

    Ron  
 
 
 
 
Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice.
He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..Read other articles by Kim.
 

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