Item description for The Politics of Anti-Semitism by Alexander Cockburn & Jeffrey St. Clair...
How did a term, once used accurately to describe the most virulent evil, become a charge flung at the mildest critic of Israel, particularly concerning its atrocious treatment of Palestinians?
Edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, the print and online journal CounterPunch has become a must read for hundreds of thousands a month who no longer believe anything they read in the mainstream press beyond the sports scores. On the subject of Israel and Palestine, the Israeli lobby in the U.S., the current Middle East crisis, and its ramifications at home and abroad, CounterPunch has been unrivaled.
Herein, you’ll find CounterPunch’s most compelling reporting and commentary on this topic.
Contributors include: former U.S. Representative -Cynthia McKinney, famed British foreign correspon-dent Robert Fisk, former seniorCIA analysts Bill and Kathy Christison, the trenchant and witty philosopher Michael Neumann, seasoned Capitol Hill staffer "George Sutherland,"Norman Finkelstein, the leading Israeli dissident Yuri Avneri, Shaheed Alam (who became a target of the fanatical Daniel Pipes), and Israeli journalists Neve Gordon and Yigal Bronner.
In addition are: Will Yeoman's path-breaking essay on Israel and divestment, >Kurt Nimmo on the hysterical attacks on AmiriBaraka for his poem on 9-11, Anne Pettifer’s Zionism Unbound, Jeffrey St. Clair on the (Israeli) attack on the USS Liberty and the suppression of the investigation, and >Alexander Cockburn’s caustic and lightheartedmemoir of his own experiences of being attacked as an anti-Semite, consequent upon his criticisms of Israel.
This first book in the new CounterPunch series, is a timely anthology on the compulsion of silence and complicity in crimes against a betrayed people.
Nationally syndicated journalists Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair have co-authored numerous bestsellers, including Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs And The Press, Washington Babylon and Al Gore: A User’s Manual.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5" Height: 7.25" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2003
Publisher AK Press
ISBN 1902593774 ISBN13 9781902593777
Availability 0 units.
More About Alexander Cockburn & Jeffrey St. Clair
Alexander Cockburn (1941-2012) was the coeditor of "CounterPunch "and the author of a number of titles, including "Corruptions of Empire," "The Golden Age Is in Us," "Washington Babylon "(with Ken Silverstein), and "Imperial Crusades." One of three brothers, all journalists, he was the son of the journalist and author Claud Cockburn. Born in Ireland and educated in Scotland and England, he moved to America in 1972, soon establishing himself as a radical reporter and commentator, writing for the "Village Voice," the "New York Review of Books," "Esquire "and "Harpers." He also wrote regular columns for the "Nation," "Wall Street Journal," "Los Angeles Times," "New Statesman," and his influential newsletter "CounterPunch." In 1991 he settled in Petrolia, a rural hamlet in Humboldt County, Northern California, where he remained until his death.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Politics of Anti-Semitism?
Dissapointing and a sad waste Nov 11, 2007
I eagerly read this book, hoping to be enlightened, informed, and inspired. Instead, I found the writing to be weak, irrational, illogical, confused, and dishonest. There was little, if no, historical perspective, a lot of victim hood, and entirely one-sided arguments. I was expecting some insights that could lead to peace and resolution. What a waste. A lot of trees died for nothing. In summary, an angry book written by angry people. That will never lead to peace.
Good review of Jewish identity politics Sep 7, 2007
If you've read the synopsis, you're probably aware that Jewish organizations have a tendency to continually smear critics of their actions/policies as "anti-Semites," as well as to dub legitimate criticism of Jewish ethnocentrism in the media, the government, and Israeli politics as "blood libel." This is incredibly unfortunately for a number of reasons, including (1) it tarnishes the reputations of legitimate critics and victims of Jewish racism, (2) it engenders a phobia toward expressing criticism or asking for assistance, (3) it endangers Israelis and Israeli Americans by desensitizing observers to bona fide violence or prejudice directed at Jews.
This book, a collection of essays from a variety of left-wing Jews, Arabs/Muslims, and (assimilated) Americans, does a decent job of exposing all three dangers, primarily from a Marxian, pro-Palestinian point of view.
For example, both establishment political parties cater to organized Judaism, both from internal pressure by Jewish members, and from immense external pressure from Jewish organizations, giving Israeli Americans disproportionate influence over foreign policy, and they use that dominant position to funnel tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayer -- and borrowed -- monies to Israel, as well as to create Judeo-centric legislation.
Additionally, Jewish dominance in the legal industry enables Israeli Americans to both profit from, and quash, dissent. The threat alone of being sued by powerful Jewish groups and Jewish lawyers is often enough to prevent critics from speaking out.
Jewish ethnocentrism and corporate concentration have allowed Israeli Americans to assume control of every major media and publishing company. The Israeli-American media establishment then shapes coverage of Israel-Palestinian affairs to downplay Israeli atrocities and play up Palestinian bombings, as well as to neutralize criticism and to brand critics (and non-compliant politicians) as "bigots," "Jew-haters," "self-hating Jews," "anti-Semites," "Nazis," and the like. (Fascinatingly, even pointing out that Jews comprise a dominant elite within the media is often enough to get one blacklisted.)
Of course, the New Left in American politics is in fact an outgrowth of Jewish socialism, not European socialism, and Israeli Americans continue to maintain a dominant role on the Left. When those Israeli Americans criticise Israeli politics or actions, however, they are typically branded "self-hating Jews." By trivializing their concerns and labeling them "anti-Semitic," pro-Israeli Jews are able to overcome even the formidable power of the victimization, and class-based, politics of the Jewish Left.
Taken together, the essay authors assert, the three rails of organized Judaism work to continually reinforce Israeli hegemony in both the Middle East and in America, and even subvert the actions of Jewish activists with other leanings. This dominance and bullying engender a (typically) private hatred of all Jews and a contempt for their interests, even when those interests are morally defensible. For example, Israeli atrocities embolden and legitimize global anti-Semitism, and Zionist Jew-hatred divides the Jewish community. If European and American onlookers perceive Jews to be always profiteering via the Holocaust industry, or always existing as a militant, parasitic nation using American lives in the defense of Israel, will they come to the aid of Israel or the world Jewry in the event of another Nazi state?
Honest, Varied, and a Must-Read Jul 3, 2007
Finally an honest discussion about a controversial topic! Each chapter is written by a different contributor, and about half of the writers are Jewish - in fact, prominent Jews. There is so much misinformation and mudslinging regarding this word (anti-semiticism) that its refreshing to have some truth and reality come back to the debate. The problem is that there are essentially two kinds of people who say negative things about Israel - genuine crazy Jew-haters and normal, thoughtful people who care about injustice all over the world. Supporters of Israel, either through stupidity or more likely on purpose lump these two groups together as if they were one. If you speak up when Israel violates the Geneva Conventions, about 100 UN resolutions, agreements with the US on the use of cluster bombs, etc - it doesn't mean you hate all Jews. There is "right" and "wrong" no matter if the war criminal is Christian, Jewish, Muslim or other. And in the case of Israel, since its inception by terrorist thugs who killed British peacekeepers and Arab civilians, this has been going on for almost 60 years. Its actually in the interest of all Jews to stop this criminal behaviour by Israel because it casts a negative shadow on all Jews all over the world. When justice comes to Palestine, the world will be a better place for everyone - including Jews. The first step is to read this book, and get a balanced viewpoint.
Reflections on "Anti-Semitism". Mar 21, 2007
_The Politics of Anti-Semitism_, published by the anarchist AK Press, consists of a series of essays which first appeared on the website for CounterPunch, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. This book was published in 2003 and is an attempt to answer the charge of "anti-Semitism" frequently hurled at anti-Zionists by defenders of Israel. The writers of this book maintain that Israel poses a threat to peace and that the Israelis have brutally oppressed the Palestinian population. However, for those who voice such criticism, many American Jews are willing to blindly label as anti-Semitic. Many of the essays ask difficult questions about the nature of American foreign policy and how it relates to the Middle East, as well as the role of a majority of American Jews and Jewish organizations in maintaining such a policy. It should be pointed out though that many of the essayists included in this collection are Jewish themselves and as such it becomes even more difficult to smear all opposition to the Israeli state as "anti-Semitic". The essayists make some important points about historical anti-Semitism, noting that while Jews have born the brunt of oppression in Europe particularly, they cannot fully claim to be entirely innocent in this. It should be pointed out that historically such Jews frequently cozied up to political tyrants, as well as their involvement in banking and usury (something prohibited to the Christian), provoking the anger of the people. While many of the crimes committed against Jews by Europeans cannot be justified by this fact, they certainly can be explained by this. Unfortunately though, some of the essayists appear to still be involved in the "left vs. right" game. Thus, while they defend or excuse much Arab dislike of Jews (as the natural resentment of an oppressed people to its oppressors), they make the necessary and politically correct commentary concerning European, Christian, or "right wing" "anti-Semitism". Thus, they refer to individuals such as Patrick Buchanan and Le Pen as "bigots". This is unfortunate and also hypocritical because it seeks to maintain that only Arabs have a right to defend themselves against such oppression. For example, the hatred of many Jews for Catholicism is well known, and in recent times there have been attempts to smear such Christians with the label of "anti-Semite". It seems only fair that European Christians should have the right to defend themselves from such charges, in the same way that Arabs and Muslims do. The authors of these essays are mostly anarchists and leftists; however, they do occasionally make note of the fact that the beliefs expressed in this book are often shared by paleoconservatives.
The essays included here take a decided stance against the War in Iraq and much of the policy of the neoconservatives. Indeed, these essayists largely maintain that the War in Iraq has been fought to further Israeli interests. They pose the question as to why Israel should have such a powerful influence over United States foreign policy. Other essays deal with such topics as the Jewish response to the immoral activities of the Israeli state and Ariel Sharon in particular, the powerful Israeli lobby and its influence over both major U.S. political parties, the nature of "dual loyalties", the Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, and the oppression of the Palestinians. It is unfortunate that the mere mention of such realities automatically brings up the charge of "anti-Semitism". In a particularly interesting essay, Norman Finkelstein addresses the topic of how the tragedy of the Holocaust is being exploited to fund the state of Israel in its crusade against the Palestinians. Finkelstein notes the reception his book detailing this fact had in Germany, where a post-war population remains largely artificially contrite and under the sway of political correctness. However, merely by broaching such taboos, the familiar charges have been leveled.
After reading this book, it is clear to the American reader at least that both political parties are hopelessly corrupt. American foreign policy has been largely dictated by a group of elites who care little for either the people of the United States or the necessity of maintaining peace in the world. I think this is the fundamental message of this book for Americans. It should be noted though, that while this book concerns Jews, that many Jews are waking up to the reality of the situation and no longer support the Israeli state to such a degree as they once did. Thus, it is becoming apparent to some that the atrocities of the past cannot be used to justify the atrocities of today.
Review of The Politics of Anti Semitism Jan 16, 2007
Found most of the articles well written, informative and even if disagreed with opinions and ideas the presentations were professional so that one could be able to debate without getting too emotional. The one big downside is the whole book is very one sided, thus by half way one is inclined to view it as propaganda and then start to doubt the integrity of the authors - are they trying to better our world or just shove their point of view down our throats.