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Content about Zionism

January 21, 2024

In Episode 209 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg takes stock of the frightening international escalation set off by the Gaza cataclysm, with Yemen, Syria, IraqIran and Pakistan all coming under aerial bombardment over the past week, in a cascading regional crisis. The 1937 aerial bombardment of the Spanish town of Guernica by Nazi warplanes shocked the world. Today, what happened there is a near-daily occurrence in countries around the world. And the media ("mainstream," "alternative" and "social") are more concerned with how the various actors line up in the Great Power game than the horrific realities on the ground. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In Episode 209 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg takes stock of the frightening international escalation set off by the Gaza cataclysm

December 18, 2023

In Episode 204 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg returns to the persisting controversy around the slogan "From the River to the Sea"—portrayed as either a call to genocide or a cry for liberation. Much mainstream media coverage has dishonestly accepted the prior interpretation as a fait accompli. On the other hand, displays of unseemly enthusiasm for the Hamas attacks by certain sectors of the Palestine solidarity movement have provided propaganda fodder for Israel and its stateside pressure groups. This is (at least) a tactical error that abets moves toward campus censorship of pro-Palestinian voices. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In Episode 204 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg returns to the persisting controver

December 6, 2023

Since the "humanitarian pause" ended, Israel has focused its air-strikes on Gaza's southern city of Khan Younis—now swelled with hundreds of thousands displaced from the north of the Strip. Along with the strikes, Israeli planes are dropping leaflets on the city, warning the populace to flee further south to Rafah on the Egyptian border—despite having earlier declared the southern Strip a "safe zone." Most of the Strip's 2.3 million population has already fled to the south, and Egyptian officials believe Israel is preparing to next drive them across the border into the Sinai desert. The aim of the Khan Younis strikes is to "disrupt the mass of the population from the south and push it towards Egypt," one Cairo official told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has categorically rejected a forced resettlement, and the idea is generating anger among Egyptians.

Since the “humanitarian pause” ended, Israel has focused its air-strikes on Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis—now swelled with hundreds of thousands displaced from the north of the Strip.

December 6, 2023

The Israel Defense Forces' expanded authorization for bombing non-military targets, the loosening of constraints regarding expected civilian casualties, and the use of artificial intelligence to generate more potential targets than ever before, appear to have contributed to the destructive nature of the current war on the Gaza Strip, an investigation by progressive Israeli website +972 reveals. These factors, as described by current and former Israeli intelligence officials, have likely played a role in producing what has been one of the deadliest military campaigns against Palestinians since the Nakba of 1948.

The Israel Defense Forces' expanded authorization for bombing non-military targets, the loosening of constraints regarding expected civilian casualties, and the use of an artificial intelligence system to generate more potential targets than ever before, appear to have contributed to the destructive nature of the current war on the Gaza Strip, an investigation by progressive Israeli website

December 2, 2023

In a disturbing coincidence in Missoula, Mont., a Palestine solidarity march to protest the bombardment of Gaza ran into a separate but simultaneous anti-Israel march by neo-Nazis. Since the Gaza bombardment began, open neo-Nazi marches have also been reported from Madison, Wisc., Dallas, Tex., and elsewhere around the country. Yet, in addition to displaying enthusiasm for Hamas, their banners also read "REFUGEES NOT WELCOME"—and we may assume it was a similar ultra-right xenophobe who shot three Palestinian youths in Burlington, Vt. This makes it all the more maddening that elements of the "left" share with the Nazis an unseemly enthusiasm for Hamas—providing much fodder for the pro-Israel and "anti-woke" right. In Episode 201 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg continues to explore the dilemma.

In a disturbing coincidence in Missoula, Mont., a Palestine solidarity march to protest the bombardment of Gaza ran into a separate but simultaneous anti-Israel march by neo-Nazis.

November 30, 2023

UN experts called for prompt, transparent and independent investigations into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, since Israel's new military offensive began last month. "Independent investigators must be given the necessary resources, support and access required to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into crimes allegedly committed by all parties to the conflict," the experts said, calling on Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the de factoauthorities in Gaza to cooperate fully with investigations.

UN experts Nov. 27 called for prompt, transparent and independent investigations into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, since Israel's new military offensive began last month.

November 26, 2023

Amid Israel's massive aerial bombardment of Gaza, accusations of anti-Semitism at demonstrations for Palestine are mounting. But some instances were later revealed to have been distorted or exaggerated. The increasingly accepted official "working definition of anti-Semitism" dangerously muddies the water by explicitly conflating anti-Zionism and Jew-hatred. Media questioning of the claims of the Israeli military has even been compared to Holocaust denial. Yet actual, unambiguous Jew-hatred is meanwhile much in evidence, in America and Europe alike. This raises the imperative on activists to genuinely grapple with the distinction, rather than merely dismissing anti-Semitism as Zionist propaganda—which is, ironically, itself an anti-Semitic response. In Episode 201 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg explores the dilemma. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

Amid Israel's massive aerial bombardment of Gaza, accusations of anti-Semitism at demonstrations for Palestine are mounting.

November 24, 2023

As Israel crosses the genocidal threshold in Gaza, a regional summit in Riyadh protests, issuing an urgent call for a ceasefire. Yet the regional powers at that summit are guilty of equivalent crimes—Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and Iran and the Basar Assad regime in Syria. Assad's propaganda chief Bouthaina Shaaban especially decried Israel's targeting of hospitals in Gaza. Yet just last month, the Assad regime bombed hospitals in Syria's rebel-held north. Indeed, the Assad regime also savagely bombed and besieged Palestinians for months, at Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus. In Episode 200 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes with chagrin that key organizers of this month's National March on Washington for Palestine included pseudo-left "tankie" formations that actively support the genocidal Assad regime. They also now abet Russia's genocidal campaign in Ukraine, in which hospitals have been repeatedly targeted. This moral contradiction undercuts our effectiveness in advancing the demand for a Gaza ceasefire. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

As Israel crosses the genocidal threshold in Gaza, a regional summit in Riyadh protests, and issues an urgent call for a ceasefire.

November 16, 2023

Since the Gaza bombardment began, three joint Jewish-Arab gatherings for coexistence and mutual solidarity have been held in Haifa, hosted by the Israeli city's Ahmadiyya Mahmud Mosque. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community convened meetings, bringing together representatives from various faiths, including Jewish rabbis, Christian pastors, Muslim and Druze imams, and even a Buddhist monk. The meetings have drawn up to 600 attendees. The Ahmadiyya amir of the Holy Lands, Muhammad Sharif Odeh, urged Jewish guests not to justify collective retaliation: "It is haram [unlawful] to kill civilians and innocent people—this is not the right way, there are other solutions, without weapons. Muslims and Jews have lived together for more than 1,300 years, and Jews were given their rights under the Muslim rule... Muslims and Jews should know that not speaking up in the face of oppression destroys the human feelings in our hearts, and stops us from feeling empathy towards the pain and suffering of each other."

Since the Gaza bombardment began, three joint Jewish-Arab gatherings for coexistence and mutual solidarity have been held in Haifa, hosted by the Israeli city’s Ahmadiyya Mahmud Mosque. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community convened the first meeting on Oct.

November 13, 2023

Three Palestinian human rights groups, Al HaqAl Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court asking for an investigation into alleged crimes by Israel. The submission, accuses Israel of war crimes, genocide and incitement to genocide, in the context of the bombardment of the Gaza Strip. This submission follows mounting allegations of Israeli war crimes by international human rights groups, including the use of toxic white phosphorous on civilians and attacks on medical services.

Three Palestinian human rights groups, Al HaqAl Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the 

November 10, 2023

In both the United States and United Kingdom, progressive politicians have been censured for use of the slogan “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” Much media reportage has simply accepted portrayals of the slogan as inherently anti-Semitic and a call for genocide. Nor, given the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7 and the wave of anti-Semitic attacks around the world since then, should such concerns be merely dismissed. Indeed, the slogan does inherently challenge the precepts of Zionism and the moribund dogma of a two-state solution. In Episode 199 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg urges activists to articulate a vision of a single secular state with equal rights for all in historic Palestine. While this may seem utopian, clarity on this question will make us more tactically effective in advancing the urgent immediate demand: a ceasefire in Gaza. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In both the United States and United Kingdom, progressive politicians have been 

October 25, 2023

In Episode 197 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes that as Israel crosses a genocidal threshold in Gaza, Vladimir Putin hypocritically protests the carnage—despite the fact that he has already crossed that threshold in Ukraine. This hypocrisy is precisely mirrored by that of Joe Biden. The moral position of Ukraine's resistance to Russian aggression, occupation and genocide is undermined by the contradiction of its Western backers such as the US marshalling massive resources—in the very same legislation just introduced by Biden on Capitol Hill—to assist Israeli aggression, occupation and genocide. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In Episode 197 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes that as Israel crosses a genocidal threshold in Gaza, Vladimir Putin&n

October 23, 2023

In Episode 196 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes with alarm the police-state measures being put in place in Israel, as well as GermanyFrance and the United Kingdom, to suppress protest against Israel's criminal assault on Gaza, now approaching a genocidal threshold. This has obvious echoes of the draconian crackdown on anti-war dissent in Russia since the launch of the Ukraine invasion. The more Israel and its Western allies which are also backing Ukraine come to resemble the fascist state of Vladimir Putin, both in criminal military tactics and police-state measures to suppress dissent to such tactics, the worse it will to be not only for the Palestinians, but also in the long run for the Ukrainians. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In Episode 196 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes with alarm the police-state measures being put in place 

October 15, 2023

In Episode 195 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg warns that with "Operation Swords of Iron," the massive military campaign in Gaza launched in response to Hamas' "al-Aqsa Flood," Israel may be crossing the genocidal threshold it has long been approaching. As the United Nations and human rights groups urgently appeal to Israel to rescind its illegal order for a mass evacuation of northern Gaza, obviously a prelude to yet greater bombardment and a re-occupation of the Strip, the US and other Western powers are complicit. Their support for Israel, a predatory annexationist power on Palestinian land, opens a moral contradiction that weakens the position of Ukraine in its struggle against Russia's annexationist and ultimately genocidal aggression. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In Episode 195 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg warns that with "Operation Swords of Iron," the massive military campaign in Gaza launched in response to Hamas' "al-Aqsa Flood," I

August 8, 2023

In Episode 184 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes that Israeli President Isaac Herzog's address to Congress was happily boycotted by members of the "Squad," and comes as even establishment voices are calling for a cut-off of US aid in light of the deep political crisis in Israel. Unhappily, Rep. Pramila Jayapal was forced to issue an apology for having called Israel a "racist state"—which is a mere statement of political reality. In contrast, Ron DeSantis was not forced to issue any such apology for openly embracing Israel's illegal annexationist designs on the West Bank—even as they are protested by UN international law experts. All this comes as Israel has joined the US as the only countries on Earth to recognize Moroccan annexation of Western Sahara, a condition of the so-called Abraham Accords. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In Episode 184 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes that Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address to Congress was happily bo

April 7, 2023

The Israeli cabinet authorized plans for a paramilitary "National Guard" sought by far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to target violence and unrest in Palestinian communities within Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said that a committee comprised of Israel's existing security forces is to determine the Guard's responsibilities, and whether it will be subordinate to the Israel Police or take orders directly from Ben-Gvir, as he demands. Opposition leader Yair Lapid responded by calling the plan an "extremist fantasy of delusional people," and slammed a decision to cut budgets from other ministries "to fund Ben-Gvir's private militia." 

The Israeli cabinet on April 2 authorized plans for a paramilitary "National Guard" sought by far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to target violence and unrest in Palestinian communities within Israel.

January 28, 2023

In Episode 160 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg notes hideous ironies in the current horrific headlines. Russia was excluded from the official commemorations of Holocaust Day at Auschwitz-Birkenau as it pursues its war of aggression and extermination in Ukraine in the perverse name of "de-nazification." But Israeli flags were of course displayed at the commemoration—even as Israel escalates toward a genocial solution to the Palestinian question. The fundamental contradiction driving the conflict is the expropriation of the Palestinian people of their lands, and the denial of their self-determination by Israel. The emergence of an explicitly anti-Zionist bloc in the protests against the new far-right government in Israel is a sign of hope. The US, however, is undertaking its biggest joint military exercises ever with the new Israeli regime, despite Biden's supposed rejection of its extremist policies of settlement expansion and annexation—viewing the Jewish State as a strategic ally against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Meanwhile, the oppressive regime in Iran treats the KurdsBaluchAhwazi and Baha'i much as Israel treats the Palestinians. 

In Episode 160 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg notes hideous ironies in the current horrific headlines.
 

 

 

January 23, 2023

Anti-government protests have mounted in Israel each week since the new far-right administration led by Benjamin Netanyahu government took power at year's end. The most recent saw over 100,000 march in Tel Aviv, while thousands more filled the streets in Jerusalem, Haifa and other cities. The protests have won support from Israel's traditional political establishment as well as the left opposition. While Israeli flags and slogans such as "Israel, we have a problem" predominate, some demonstrators have raised the Palestinian flag in defiance of an order from new National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to remove all Palestine flags from public places. The demonstrations have included an "anti-apartheid bloc" calling for a secular state and decolonization of Palestinian lands.

Anti-government protests have been mounting in Israel each week since the new far-right administration

January 2, 2023

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution referring Israel's 55-year occupation of Palestinian territories to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a legal advisory. The vote, which followed approval of a draft resolution by the Special Committee on Decolonization, was 87-26, with 53 abstentions. The Palestinian Authority welcomed the vote, saying in a statement: "The time has come for Israel to be a state subject to law, and to be held accountable for its ongoing crimes against our people." But the response of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who returned to power just two days before the vote, makes clear his government's annexationist agenda. He stated: "The Jewish people is not occupying its land and is not occupying its eternal capital Jerusalem. No UN resolution can distort this historical truth." The far-right coalition that now takes power has pledged to expand Israeli settlement of the West Bank. 

The UN General Assembly on Dec.

November 19, 2022

The Israeli military has installed robotic weapons that can fire tear-gas, stun-grenades and "non-lethal" bullets in two volatile locations on the West Bank. One is atop a turret at al-Aroub refugee camp; the other in the nearby city of Hebron, where soldiers often clash with Palestinian residents. When young protesters pour into the streets hurling rocks and improvised firebombs at Israeli soldiers, the robotic weapons unleash gas and projectiles on them, according to witness accounts. The robo-weapons, produced by Israeli firm Smart Shooter, use artificial intelligence to track targets. Israel says the technology saves lives—both Israeli and Palestinian. But, as YNet states in its report on the installation, "critics see another step toward a dystopian reality in which Israel fine-tunes its open-ended occupation of the Palestinians while keeping its soldiers out of harm’s way." 

The Israeli military has installed robotic weapons that can fire tear-gas, stun-grenades and "non-lethal" bullets in two volatile locations on the West Bank. One is atop a turret at al-Aroub refugee camp; the other in the nearby city of Hebron, where soldiers often clash with Palestinian residents.

June 23, 2022

The Parliament of Catalonia passed a resolution recognizing Israel's actions in the Palestinian Occupied Territory as "against international law and...equivalent to apartheid as defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court." The resolution was approved with support from all the left parties in the regional body. En Comú Podem (Together We Can) stated that the regional parliament is "the first European institution to recognize that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people, as noted by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch."

February 1, 2022

British socialist Daniel Randall’s important 2021 book Confronting Antisemitism on the Left offers an important critique of the phenomenon—but is limited by stopping short of a forthright anti-Zionism that can incorporate Jewish liberation into an anti-oppressive praxis. Drawing on my experiences in the US and Randall’s in the UK, I argue that Left anti-Semitism has some of its strongest roots in a Stalinist approach that instrumentalizes Jews and other oppressed groups as political chess pieces. This can be repudiated in a Jewish cultural resurgence that calls for “smashing Zionism not Israel.” 

British socialist Daniel Randall’s important 2021 book Confronting Antisemitism on the Left offers an important critique of the phenomenon—but is limited by stopping short of a forthright anti-Zionism that can incorporate Jewish liberation into an anti-oppressive praxis.

January 16, 2022

As part of a "forestation" plan, Israel's Jewish National Fund began clearing cultivated lands at the "unrecognized" Bedouin village of Sawa in the Negev desert, sparking angry protests by the villagers. The protests started as villagers and Bedouin leaders expressed their objections the JNF plan to plant trees on an area of 5,000 dunums (1,250 acres), much of which had been planted with wheat only a few months ago. Things escalated as tractors arrived at the area to begin clearing the fields, and villagers physically resisted. Police detained 18 local youth for throwing stones. Protests continued for the following two days, with the security forces firing rubber-coated bullets, tear-gas and malodorous "skunk water," causing several injuries. 

As part of a "forestation" plan, Israel's Jewish National Fund began clearing cultivated lands at the "unrecognized" Bedouin village of Sawa in the Negev desert this week, sparking angry protests by the villagers. The protests started Jan.

May 14, 2021

Individuals involved in the new outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting may be targeted by an International Criminal Court investigation now underway into possible war crimes in earlier eruptions of the conflict, top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in an interview with Reuters. Bensouda said she would press ahead with her inquiry even without the cooperation of Israel, which rejects the ICC's jurisdiction. "These are events that we are looking at very seriously," Bensouda stated. "We are monitoring very closely and I remind that an investigation has opened..." She also warned in a tweet of the "possible commission of crimes under the Rome Statue.

Individuals involved in the new outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting may be targeted by an International Criminal Court investigation now underway into possible war crimes in earlier eruptions of the conflict, top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in an interview with Reute