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'Electronic Intifada' fails to see sign of Israel Lobby retreat by Jay Knott (06/25/11)       ⇌ (Zionist opposition to freedom of speech)       

Ali Abunimah of 'Electronic Intifada', an important pro-Palestinian rights website, unearths what he says are the devious tactics of "The David Project", a Zionist thinktank. Only a leftist could refer to the following points as 'dirty tricks':

'"Calling for all parties to engage in respectful discussion"

"Supportive words for peace or free discourse"

"Don’t accuse anti-Israel forces of anti-Semitism unless they openly vilify Jews"'


This isn't 'dirty tricks', it's freedom of speech. That they now, belatedly, defend it, shows some of Israel's supporters are starting to retreat - they are finding that screaming 'anti-Semitism' at everything that moves just isn't working any more. Unlike Ali, we think freedom of speech is helpful to the Palestinians' just cause. Electronic Intifada wants to use leftist tactics - to extend 'no platform for fascists' to include Zionists. But leftism has failed the Palestinians.

There is nothing wrong in talking about 'tactics' in a debate, like the David Project does. So should we. If the Lobby is on the back foot, the correct approach is to attack - DO accuse them of being Jewish supremacists before they openly vilifiy Arabs. DO blame the Jewish community for its support for Israel. DO defend freedom of speech for holocaust revisionists etc.. Make it clear that emotional blackmail isn't working.


It's ironic that Ali ends his piece with a 'final note of irony'. He says Melanie Phillips, a ZIonist journalist, has been 'named and shamed' and fired because she 'vilified' Muslims. But the irony is lost on Ali - she's been vilified as 'Islamophobic'. In Britain, this meaningless * term has been as effective at stifling debate as the equally meaningless  'anti-Semitic' has been in the US. Some Palestine advocates are, in effect, attempting to use the tactics they deplore in their opponents. That seems a little inconsistent.


* I mean 'meaningless' in an open society with freedom of opinion. 'Islamophobic', 'anti-Semitic' etc. aren't descriptions of opinions or feelings, they contain the assumption that those opinions are wrong. People who use these words are falsely trying to claim they can define them, and have proven them false a priori.

I decided some time ago that 'anti-Semitic' is meaningless. Now I'm going to stop using words like that altogether. That means the moralistic phrase 'Zionism is racist' has to go.


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