Once again world public opinion faces a most bizarre political event: an alliance between political forces on the extreme Right and the Left, including collaboration between NATO regimes and Marxist sects. The apparent ‘unity of opposites’ is a response to alleged policy and institutional changes made by center-left and center-right regimes, which adversely affect both economic and political elites as well as the popular sectors.
The circumstances, under which this unholy alliance takes place, vary according to the type of regime, its policies and the class orientation of the opposition. The best way to analyze the left-right alliance is to examine the cases of Egypt and Argentina.
Egypt: The Alliance between Mubarak-Appointed Judges, Secular Liberals, Leftist Intellectuals and Disenchanted Workers
To understand the alliance between the corrupt remnants of the Mubarak state apparatus and their former political victims from the center-left and secular-right, it is essential to examine the political context, which has evolved since the overthrow of the Mubarak dictatorship in February 2011.
While Islamist and secular democratic forces played a major role in mobilizing millions of Egyptians in ousting the hated US-Israeli client, Hosni Mubarak, it was the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and their fundamentalist rivals, the Salafis, who won the majority of votes in the subsequent elections and formed the first democratically-elected government in Egypt.[i] In the beginning, the Muslim Brotherhood was forced to share power with the ‘transitional military junta’, which had seized power immediately after the ouster of Mubarak. Subsequently President Mohamed Morsi, from the Muslim Brotherhood, convoked elections to a constituent assembly and nominated a commission to write a new constitution. This was backed by a majority of the newly-elected Egyptian parliament. Reflecting the Muslim Brotherhood’s electoral victory, the constitutional commission was dominated by its supporters. Many secular liberals and leftists rejected their minority status in the process.
Aside from his work on the constitutional front, Morsi negotiated a financial loan package of $4.5 billion with the IMF, $5 billion from the EU and an additional one billion dollars in US aid. These aid agreements were conditional on President Morsi implementing ‘free market’ policies, including an ‘open-door’ to foreign investment, ending food and fuel price subsidies to the poor and maintaining the humiliating Mubarak-era treaty with Israel, which included Egypt’s participation in the brutal blockade of Gaza.
While the despised US-Israel-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak may have been ousted from power and a new democratically-elected legislature had taken office (temporarily) along with President Morsi, Mubarak supporters continued to dominate key positions in the ministries, the entire judiciary, military and police. Thus powerfully ensconced, the Mubarak elite strove in every way to undermine emerging democratic institutions and processes. The Minister of Defense, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, shielded the police officials and paramilitary forces responsible for the jailing, torture and murder of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators. Mubarak-appointed judges arbitrarily disqualified legislative and presidential candidates, invalidated democratic elections and even ordered the closing of parliament. They then moved to outlaw the elected constituent assembly and the commission set-up to draft the new Egyptian constitution.
In other words, Mubarakites, embedded in the state apparatus, were engaged in an institutional coup d’etat to retain power, destabilize and paralyze the democratically-elected Morsi regime and create political disorder, propitious for a return to their dictatorial rule.
It was the Mubarak-appointed judges’ power-grab that eliminated the separation of powers by imposing arbitrary judicial decisions and powers over and above the hard-won electoral rights of Egyptian citizens and their elected legislature. The judges’ self-proclaimed assumption of legislative and executive supremacy was a direct assault on the integrity of the emerging democratic process.
When President Morsi finally moved to counter the Mubarak-allied judges’ dismissal of legitimately-elected bodies by assuming temporary emergency powers, these judges and their cheerleaders in the Western media accused him of subverting democracy and violating the ‘independence’ of the judiciary. The Western ‘liberal’ outcry at Morsi’s so-called ‘power grab’ is laughable given the fact that they ignored the naked ‘power grab’ of the judges when they dismissed Egypt’s parliament, its free elections and the writing of its new constitution under the leadership of Egypt’s new president. These cries of ‘democracy’ ring hollow from a judiciary, which had shamelessly legalized countless murders, tortures and dictatorial acts committed by Mubarak for over 30 years.
The judges’ democratic posturing and cries of injustice were accompanied by theatrical walkouts and protests aimed at mobilizing public opinion. Apart from a few thousand die-hard Mubarak holdovers, these judges managed to attract very little support, until secular liberals, leftists, trade unionists and sectors of the unemployed decided to intervene and try to win in the streets what they lost at the ballot box.
The popular protests, in contrast to the judges’ defense of Mubarak-era privilege and their blatant power grab, was based on Morsi’s failure to tackle the problems of growing unemployment and plummeting income, as well as his acceptance of IMF demands to end public subsidies for the poor. The secular-liberals joined forces with Mubarak-era judges in their clamor against ‘authoritarianism’ and pushed their own secular agenda against the Islamist tendencies in the regime and in the drawing up of the constitution. Pro-democracy youth sought to exploit the legislative vacuum created when the right-wing judges dismissed the parliament and put forward a vague notion of ‘alternative democracy’ … presumably one which would exclude the votes of the Islamist majority. The trade unions, which had led numerous strikes after the fall of Mubarak and remain a force among factory workers, joined the protests against Morsi, rejecting his embrace of the corporate elite. Even some Islamist groups, disgusted with Morsi’s accommodation with Israel and the US, also joined and took to the streets.
The US and the EU took advantage of the judges’ protest to step in and warn Morsi to abide to a ‘power sharing’ agreement with the Mubarak officials and the military or lose financial aid.
Washington has been playing a clever ‘two track policy’: They support Morsi when he implements a neo-liberal ‘free market’ domestic agenda using the Muslim Brotherhood networks to contain and limit popular protest among Egypt’s poor while threatening US aid if he vacillates on Mubarak-era agreements with Israel to starve Gaza. The White House insists that Morsi continue supplying cheap gas to Tel Aviv, as well as backing ongoing and future NATO wars against Syria and Iran. But the US and EU also want to keep the old reliable Mubarak power centers in place as a check and veto on Morsi in case a powerful anti-Zionist, populist urban movement pressures his regime to backtrack on the IMF program and the hated treaty with Israel.
The constitution, presented by the commission, is a compromise between Islamists, neo-liberals and democratic electoralists. This constitution undermines the judges’ power grab and allows the Morsi government to prosecute or fire the corrupt Mubarak-era officials; it guarantees the primacy of private, including foreign, property; it privileges Islamic law and provides ‘space’ and possibilities for Islamist leaders to restrict the rights of Egyptian women and religious minorities, notably the Coptic Christians.
A democratic vote on the constitutional referendum will test the strength of the pro and anti-government forces. A boycott by secular, liberal and populist-democratic forces will only demonstrate their weakness and strengthen the reactionary coup-makers embedded among the Mubarak-era officials in judiciary, police, military and civilian bureaucracy.
The Left and democratic-secular movements and leaders have formed an opportunistic, de-facto alliance with the Mubarak elite: a marriage of ‘the police club’ with its former victims, ‘the clubbed democrats’ of the recent past. The progressives overlook the danger of the judges’ creeping coup, in their blind effort to undermine the Muslim Brotherhood and the Morsi regime: It’s one thing to oppose Morsi’s reactionary agenda and the anti-popular votes of a reactionary legislature; it’s something totally different to promote the ouster of a democratically-elected legislature by hold-over judges pushing for the return of despotism. Undermining the democratic process will not only adversely affect President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood but also the democratic opposition. The prime beneficiaries will be the right-wing forces encrusted in the State.
The anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators, who are the clear losers in democratic elections and a minority in the country, burned and trashed the offices and meeting places of the Brotherhood and assaulted their supporters in the worst traditions of the Mubarak era. The self-styled ‘pro-democracy’ activists’ assaults on the Presidential palace and their rejection of Morsi’s call for dialogue has opened the way for the return of military rule. The military command’s thinly veiled threat was evident in their pronouncement that they would intervene with force to maintain order and protect the public if violence continues. The coincidence of prolonged street disorder and assaults on electoral politics with military overtures to take power have a distinct smell of a barnyard confabulation. The right-left alliance makes it difficult to decipher whether the violence is a staged provocation to bring the military back to power or an expression of leftist rage at their electoral impotence.
For strategic, pragmatic and principled reasons, the Left should have denounced the Mubarak-appointed judges the moment they outlawed the elected legislature. The Left should have demanded the ouster of these judges and military leaders and combined their demands with a campaign against Morsi’s ties with the imperial West and Israel and a repudiation of the IMF program. By backing these corrupt judges, progressives gained the short-term support of the Western media and governments while strengthening their strategic enemy.
Argentina: The Right-Left Alliance
President Cristina Fernandez is representative of the center-left regimes, which predominate in Latin America today. Her recent resounding electoral victory[ii] is a product of the popular uprisings (2001-2003), the social reforms and independent foreign policy pursued by her predecessor (and husband) Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007) and several popular reforms implemented under her Presidency.
But like all center-left regimes, President Fernandez (2008-2012) has combined conservative, neo-liberal and populist progressive policies. On the one hand, Fernandez has encouraged foreign mining companies to exploit the Argentina’s great mineral resources, charging very low royalty payments and imposing very few environmental restraints, while, on the other hand, she nationalized the abusive Spanish multinational oil company, Repsol, for non-compliance with its contract.
The government has substantially increased the minimum wage, including for farm workers, while opening up the country to overseas land speculators and investors to buy millions of acres of farmland. The government has allowed highly toxic-chemicals to be sprayed on fields next to rural communities while increasing corporate taxes and controls over agro-export earnings. The government passed legislation to restrict monopoly ownership of the mass media promising to expand media licensing to local communities and diverse social groups, while doing little to limit the power of big agro-export firms. President Fernandez has supported Latin American integration (excluding the US) and welcomed radical President Chavez as a valuable partner in trade and investment and diversified markets. At the same time Argentina has grown increasingly dependent on a narrow range of agro-mineral (‘primary goods’) exports to the detriment of domestic manufacturing. Presidents Fernandez and Kirchner encouraged trade union activity and, until recently, supported hefty increases in wage, pension and medical benefits, drastically reducing poverty levels – but they did so while maintaining the wealth, land, profits and dividends of the capitalist class.
The Argentine President was able to support both the economic elites and the working class as long as commodity prices and international demand remained high. However, with the economic slowdown in Asia and decline in commodity prices and therefore state revenue, the President is being squeezed from both sides. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the elite attacked the government more ferociously, led by the big and medium-size landowners and exporters. They demanded the government revoke its increase in export taxes and currency controls. The upper-middle and the affluent middle class of Buenos Aires, backed by supporters of the previous military dictatorship, organized mass marches and demonstrations to protest a medley of government policies, including limits on dollar purchases, inflation and inaction amidst rising crime rates.
Around the same time, conservative and radical leftist trade unionists organized a general strike – ostensibly because wage increases had failed to keep up with ‘real’ rates of inflation (double the ‘official rate’ – so they claimed). The major media monopoly, Clarin, organized a virulent systematic propaganda campaign trumpeting the demands of the economic elite, fabricating stories of government corruption and refusing to comply with the new government legislation in hopes of staving off the dismantling of its huge media monopoly.
The US and EU increased pressure on Argentina by excluding it from international capital markets, questioning its credibility, downgrading its ratings and promoting a virulently hostile anti-Fernandez mass media campaign in the financial press.
The destabilization campaign has been orchestrated by the same economic elites who supported the brutal seven-year military dictatorship during which an estimated 30,000 Argentines were murdered by the juntas. Elite opposition is rooted in reactionary social and economic demands, i.e. lower taxes on exports, deregulation of the dollar market, their monopoly of the mass media and a reversal of popular social legislation.
The ‘left opposition’ includes a variety of movements including Marxist grouplets and trade unions who demand salary increases commensurate with ‘real inflation’ as well as environmentalists demanding tighter controls over agro-chemical pollution, GM seeds and destructive mining operations. Many of these demands have legitimacy, however some of the Marxist and leftist groups have been participating in protests and strikes convoked by the right-wing parties and economic elites designed to destabilize and overthrow the government. Few if any have joined with the government to denounce the blatant US-EU credit squeeze and imperial offensive against Fernandez.
This de-facto Right-Left alliance on the streets is led by the most rancid, authoritarian and neo-liberal elites who ultimately will be the prime beneficiary if the Fernandez regime is destabilized and toppled. By joining general strikes organized by the far-Right, the left claims to be ‘furthering the interests of the workers’ and ‘acting independently’ of the economic elite. However, their activities take place at the same time and same location as the hordes of wealthy upper middle class protestors clamoring for the ouster of the democratically elected center-left regime. The left grouplets maintain that they are in favor of building a ‘workers state’ as they march abreast with the rich and militarists. Objectively, their capacity to catalyze a revolution is nil and the real outcome of their ‘opportunism’ will be a victory for the agro-export elite – mass media monopolies – US-EU alliance. The ‘leftist’ workers protest is mere window dressing for the destabilization of a social-liberal democracy and will help return a far-right regime to power!
The majority of the workers, pensioners and trade unionists reject any participation in the bosses’ general strikes – even as they voice their legitimate demands for better pay and the indexing of wage rates to the real inflation rate. However they join with the government in rejecting the international creditor demands and US judicial rulings favoring Wall Street speculators over Argentina’s social interests. Nevertheless, the left-right protest resonates with many rank and file employees, especially when export revenues decline and the Fernandez regime lacks the funds to maintain the social spending of the past decade.
The political challenge for the consequential Left is to defend democracy against this opportunist ‘Left’-Right onslaught while defending workers’ interests in the face of a decaying center-left regime bent on pursuing its contradictory program.
Conclusion: The Dilemmas of Capitalist Democracies
The capitalist democracies of Egypt and Argentina face similar Left-Right alliances, even though they differ sharply in their socio-economic trajectory and social bases of support. Both Argentina and Egypt have emerged from brutal dictatorships in recent years: Argentine democracy is nearly 30 years old while Egyptian democracy is less than a year old. Argentine democracy, like Egypt’s, has been confronting powerful authoritarian institutions leftover from the dictatorial period. These are entrenched especially in three areas: the military and police, the judiciary and among sectors of the capitalist class. They all benefited from the special privileges granted by the dictators.
In Argentina, over the past decade, Presidents Kirchner and Fernandez succeeded in purging the state apparatus of criminals, murderers and torturers among the military, police and judiciary. In Egypt, the Morsi regime, in its short time in office, hesitated at first, but then moved forward replacing some Mubarak military commanders and promising to investigate and prosecute those Mubarak-appointed officials involved in the killing and torture of pro-democracy demonstrators. The Egyptian reactionaries struck back: Mubarak-appointed judges denied the legality of the democratically elected legislature and constituent assembly. In Argentina, powerful agrarian interests and the right-wing mass media conglomerate, which had backed the dictatorships, struck back as the government moved to end the corporate media monopoly and tax concessions to the agro-export elite. The conflict between the dictatorial right and the democratic center-left in Argentina and the conflict between the Mubarak judiciary and the Islamist neo-liberal elected regime is partially obscured by the active involvement of leftists, secular liberals and other ostensibly ‘pro-democracy’ forces on the side of the Right.
Why has ‘the left’ crossed the line, joining forces with the anti-democratic right?
Their opportunism arises primarily from the fact that they did so poorly in the elections and do not see any role for themselves as an electoral opposition. By joining with the right-wing protests, the left and secular liberals mistakenly imagine they can revive their faltering support.
Secondly, the Left senses the economic and social vulnerability of the elected regimes because of the global and local crises, exacerbated by declining export revenues. They hope to attach their political demands to those of the upper and middle class protestors who have been mobilized by the Far Right.
Thirdly, by joining forces with the Right, allied with the US and EU, the leftist protestors hope to gain international (imperial) support, recognition, respectability and legitimacy … temporarily. Of course if the Right succeeds, the Left will be marginalized and discarded as ‘useful idiots’.
The imperial threats to cut off credits, loans and markets to both regimes should logically have led to a united front – a tactical alliance – between the Left and the embattled regime, especially in the case of Argentina. In the case of Egypt, secular liberals and leftists should have joined with the Morsi regime to oust the remnants of the brutal Mubarak regime. They should have supported the elected legislature, even while challenging Morsi’s pacts with the IMF, the US, EU and Israel. Instead, secular liberals appear to agree with the regime in its reactionary socio-economic policies. Worse, by joining with the reactionary judges in totally rejecting the referendum vote on the new constitution, the Left missed an opportunity to mobilize and challenge the regime and educate the public about its specific reactionary clauses.
By opposing the progressive democratic process as well as the regime, the Left has opened the door for the Right to return. By forcing incumbent presidents to ‘make a deal’ or compromise with the elite, the left is further isolating themselves. Both Morsi and Fernandez are vulnerable to leftist pressure and, over time, popular and class-based movements could find themselves in a position to pose a real alternative…. if they clearly and honestly reject the authoritarian and imperialist right. By joining in opportunist alliances to score some small victories today, they foreclose any possible role in the near future of forming progressive democratic leftist governments. By burning government offices and destroying the electoral offices of the Muslim Brotherhood, the self-styled ‘democrats’ are creating the basis for the seizure of state power by the military.
[i] In the parliamentary elections the two major Islamist parties polled over 27 million votes (18 million for the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi), the liberal-left opposition received approximately 7.5 million votes and the Mubarac-era parties got 2 million. The Islamist parties totaled about two-thirds of the electorate, which translated into the same proportion of elected legislators (358 out of 508). The liberal-left parties received slightly over 26% of the vote and the Mubarak parties got about 8%. The anti-Morsi rioters are a clear and decisive minority and their violent assault on the governing regime is, by any measure, an attempt to impose minority rule, denying and marginalizing the nearly 18 million voters who elected the Morsi Government and Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Congress.
[ii] Cristina Fernandez was first elected in October 2007 with 45.3% of the vote, a 22% lead over her nearest rival. In the most recent elections in October 2011, she was re-elected with 54.1% of the vote, a 37.3% margin over her nearest competitor.
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. He is the author of 64 books published in 29 languages, and over 560 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, Temps Moderne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet. His most recent books are: The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack (Clarity Press 2012) 2nd edition, The Power of Israel in the United States and Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militants, (acquired for Japanese, German, Italian, Indonesian, Czech and Arabic editions), Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power, Global Depression and Regional Wars: The United States, Latin America and the Middle East, and War Crimes in Gaza and the Zionist Fifth Column in America. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, Le Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Occupied Palestine – On Sunday 9th December at 4pm the bulldozers rolled into the small sleepy town of Hajja near Kufr Qaddoum, in the northern part of the West Bank. They rolled past the Illegal Israeli Settlements, where many Palestinians from the surrounding villages work, with less workers’ rights than the Israeli Settlers who work in the same factory.
Beneath the factories lies open farmland. Olive trees run up the sides of the hill, this is the land they’ve come to take. A confrontation happens between the Palestinians who own the land and the Palestinians from 1948 that drive the bulldozers that are already ripping up the land. The bulldozer has destroyed everything in its path already, ripping up chunks of soil, trees and shrubs along the way.
During the dispute soldiers appear, they’ve been sent to ‘protect’ the bulldozer drivers. They assure the Palestinians who rightfully own the land that they have received permission. When challenged the story changes, the soldiers have arrived without proof and it seems without permission.
Hajja has ten Illegal Settlements surrounding it to date; already they have lost so much.
We arrive at midday, the day after the first encounter. Today the soldiers come with a map, they have it all planned and regrettably it’s inevitable that the process will continue.
We arrive to the area around 2pm, a 65 year old women is clenching her fists into the sky, wailing and begging, demanding answers for what is about to happen. The soldiers tell the village that the land will be used to build an electricity post, which will also include a road which will be used to access the point. The land is shared between hundreds of people and as a result of this potentially the village would lose access to this land.
Fatima Bora Dean Marsalha tells me ‘Every time they come they destroy our land, Two years ago the settlers came and tried to build here. We just want to be able to live and work on the land that belongs to us.’
The soldiers leave and go, leaving the villagers from Hajja on the land that belongs to them, the soldiers holding their livelihoods in the palm of their hands. The soldiers I’m told are going to find more proof that they can access the land to build the Electricity Line, in the process destroying the land and preventing the Palestinians from accessing it. I am told by a Palestinian that this is how the settlements begin, first they come with a small proposal then they move on caravans, and then houses.
As we begin to walk away a Wild boar pounds down the hill towards us, the Palestinian guys throw stones to scare it away. Released by settlers to intimidate, destroy and damage the land. Wild boar are not native to Palestine, as I leave I realise that there are many manipulative tactics to this occupational game of land steal.
- Israeli authorities ‘to demolish West Bank road’ (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Arson Attack on Olive Trees in Qaryut (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Jewish settlers commit vehicular assaults with impunity at peaceful roadblock protests in the West Bank (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Picking olives in a cage (alethonews.wordpress.com)
For some time, Swedish Palestinian female TV presenter Gina Dirawi has been chased by Sweden’s Zionist protagonists within the media. Dirawi has been outspoken about Israeli crimes and Palestinian rights. But recently when she referred to Lasse wilhelmson’s book ‘Is The World Upside down?’, all hell broke loose. Wilhelmson is critical of the Jewish state, Zionism and Jewish power. Wilhelmson was one of the first thinkers who pointed at clear ideological and spiritual affiliation between Zionism and the Left, a theme I myself developed in my work. The Swedish media would prefer to keep Wilhelmson in the fringe. The Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet now seems to want him in jail. What we see here is an outrageous and unacceptable assault on freedom of expression. The following are two of Lasse’s answers to his detractors.
Lasse Wilhelmson’s Reply to Åsa Linderborg - Cultural Editor of the tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet
In your capacity as Chief Cultural Editor for Aftonbladet, in your article Let’s take a look at this shit (28th November 2012), and in front of the entire Swedish nation you have ‘named and shamed’ me (including a photo) as an evil pershon who deserves condemnation and also probably to be locked up. And why? Simply for holding some opinions. (1)
Reading through the article, which incidentally does not include one single quote from my book Is the World Upside Down?, I ask myself, why would you do that? After all, you’re an educated person, an intellectual, a significant representative of the Swedish cultural elite. You have written a prizewinning book about your childhood, you’re an influential voice of the Swedish left and you have presented yourself as a “free speech fundamentalist”.
You write: “Wilhelmson hates Jews and denies the Holocaust – he always puts inverted commas round it, and he thinks Israel as a nation should be wiped off the map”. I have already accounted for my view on “Holocaust deniers” in my reply to Expo, so here I will do it in the form of some questions for you:
1. Do you consider that what happened to the Jews during the Second World War as a historic event that can be legitimately researched, discussed and revised as we do with other historic events?
If the answer is no then my next question is: Why?
If the answer is yes, the question is: In that case, why is it that, in so many western countries, so many who have done so, have been sentenced to prison?
2. Do you know of any other historic events in our time where people have been imprisoned for having an opinion that differs from the norm?
And lastly to you as a “free speech fundamentalist”:
3. Do you think opinions should be punishable?
Accusations of hating a whole population carries with them, I think, a considerable burden of proof. You have produced none. Asa, I do not hate people, only deeds and ideas, and above all, hypocrisy. But perhaps it is you who hates people who do not share your views – for example, me.
You say that I believe that Israel should be obliterated, though I have never expressed myself in that way. I could say that you are lying, but I prefer to think you are simply deluded..
In my lifetime, I have appeared many times in the media and I have always been given the chance to defend myself when attacked – except that is, when the questions concern Zionism and its short-term goal of a Jewish state in Palestine. Why is this? Could it be that what I have to say is dangerous – perhaps just a little too close to the truth?
Why do you behave in the manner of witch hunts and book burnings when I am simply trying to understand how the world works and which forces lie behind war and misery? My book includes much about this, complete with notes and references.
Over time, I have indeed come to embrace views other than your comfy “leftist” ones. Nowadays, I think ideologies and religions have both light and dark sides – sometimes they are used to liberate people, sometimes to persecute. But, above all, I believe that in order to set ourselves and others free, our thinking must be liberated from the prohibition of forbidden thoughts and from limited thought systems.
In my book you have probably read the introductory ‘chicken’ article, which shows that, even at a basic level, the world can be not exactly as we think it is. And the epilogue too which is an attempt to indicate a direction for our lives which incorporates love and solidarity, without resorting to violence. (2)
You’ve probably also read about my personal background and how my thinking has changed and why. You will know that, in my very full life, I have achieved quite a lot as an activist in the left movement, for the people of Vietnam, as a trade unionist, as a member of one of the contemporary Communist parties and also in many other non-profit organisations. Why, it could be that I am even more versed in Marxism and its classical texts than even you are.
In my home municipality of Täby, I have taken part in local politics for 24 years, working on very real issues there and in the surrounding region. I was a member of the district council and, at one point, I was on the board. I am currently the chairperson of a road committee in the countryside and have just written its Jubilee brochure, with many stories about how an old Swedish farming community has changed over a century.
I have always been a public person and have never hidden behind anonymity. Many know me, or have heard of me, in various contexts. I have five children and many grandchildren and I am married. Have you thought about how your, and the rest of the media’s attempts to make me an object of hate will affect them all? Perhaps that might give you pause for thought?
You know Asa, I think the real reason for your hatred (?) of me lies in the fact that I have pointed out the connection between Zionism and Marxism, between your left and the Jewish Zionist ‘left’, and, of course, the glaring similarity between rightwing-Zionism and Nazism. Zionism is, in fact, both left- and right-wing, its goal is a Jewish state in Palestine. (3)
This is why the Sweden Democrats, the most Israel-friendly party in our parliament, have the same fundamental attitude as most of the “left” that claim to support the Palestinians: that the Jewish state is permanent and that the exiled Palestinians can never, as UN resolutions say they must, return home in any way other than symbolically. They must content themselves with a pseudo-state of 10-20 percent of the original Palestine (the two-state solution) – a situation which can lead to neither justice nor peace between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, nor in the whole of the Middle East and beyond.
Because Zionism (or rather now, post-Zionism), has the whole world as its goal. It is the most significant expression of Anglo-American imperialism and its criminal wars and, to achieve its new world order, its power elite controls the making of ideologies (media) and central banking (the dollar).
Åsa, you don’t have to freak out just because someone suggests that your lifelong right/left map does not actually reflect reality. Such behavior gives the impression that the left that you so personify, is really completely and utterly anti-intellectual.
PS. Do you remember that we once met? It was at a meeting about ten years ago when the social democrats manoeuvred you and other communists off the board of Ordfront (publisher & culture magazine). I gave you a copy of Folket i Bild (leftwing magazine) in which I had published a long article on Zionism. The article included the revelation that Karl Marx had, the somewhat older, Moses Hess as his personal socialist mentor – my “communist rabbi” Marx was wont to call him. Hess wrote three fundamental articles that leave clear tracks in The Communist Manifesto and, soon after, Hess wrote the book “From Rome to Jerusalem”, Zionism’s magnus opus. According to the official founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, this book says everything you need to know about Zionism. I’ve often wondered if you ever read that article. (4)
1 December 2012
1. Let’s take a look at this shit
2. Epilogue (Quo vadis)
3. What is Zionism?
4. Zionism, more than traditional- colonialism and apartheid
The above-mentioned article (1), published on November 23rd, 2012, and which has been widely distributed throughout the media, is an assault on Gina Dirawi, a young TV presenter of Palestinian origin.
It is no secret that Expo (Swedish Searchlight) dislikes Gina Dirawi, and any other Palestinians, who occasionally express dismay that their homeland has been stolen and many of its citizens exiled. Expo never criticizes the racist nature of the Jewish state and its genocidal policies (see UN Convention) vis a vis the Palestinians, but rather launches witch-hunts against those that do.
The book referred to as ‘anti-Semitic’ is mine. It is “Is the World Upside Down?” (2009), a selection of articles I wrote and interviews I gave from 2003 to 2009. Several articles are co-written with others. The book is about Palestine, the neocolonial wars and Zionism (2), and also contains a re-evaluation of certain “truths” about twentieth century history as imposed by the victors of both the Russian Revolution and the two World Wars. The book can also be understood as a personal journey – an attempt to assume a humanitarian approach, independent of ideologies and religions.
The campaign against Gina Dirawi is a clear case of guilt by association – a common, but extremely distasteful and unethical, tactic. This campaign uses distorted interpretations and a false taboo-image of the book and its author.
A few things to ponder ….
- Are we to no longer read books that do not comply with our preconceived ideas? Are we to no longer read books to improve our knowledge and even, perhaps, to understand our lives and the world we live ii? Are we no longer to read books other than for pure entertainment?
- Do we need moral gate-keepers to tell us which books we may read? Rather than being openly and freely discussed, are readers and writers to be simply branded? Have we really gone back to book burning? Is it only the elderly among us that remember Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible (1953).
- Why is it that the media always and routinely publishes Expo’s articles but seldom checks for accuracy, out-of-context facts and quotes, interpretations, value judgments and sources?
I can see no humanitarian and righteous solution to the situation in Israel/Palestine except that all exiled Palestinians be permitted to return home and regain their possessions. This is in full accordance with UN resolution 194. Jewish settlers who do not wish to live in equality and harmony with other Palestinians between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, should return to the countries from which they came. This may seem utopian, but all else leads only to catastrophe – even for the Jews themselves in Israel/Palestine and the surrounding world.
I always try to be careful not to blame whole groups when certain members of those groups behave badly or illegally and, as far as I know, I have never done so. Yet it is often precisely this of which I am accused – but only when it comes to Jews. I still await some substantial, contextual proof of my transgressions so I can correct or explain myself.
I do not hate people, but I do hate double standards – especially hypocrisy – a hypocrisy most blatant when it is about anything to do with Israel/Palestine, Jews and Zionism. Hypocrisy disgusts me as totally incompatible with ethics and morals. It is this which underpins the harsh words I often use in my political articles.
For the most part, I criticize the Jewish “Mafia” who are among the richest and most influential people in the western world, and also all those who serve their cause. I also criticize Jewish lobbies and Jewish settlers. If I speak of ‘Jews’ I do so in the same way I might speak of ‘Palestinians’, ‘Swedes’ or any other group. Obviously, ideologies, religions, mentalities and cultures can be criticized in more general terms.
In my opinion, it is no myth but a fact that there is a Jewish Mafia (just as there are Chinese and Italian Mafias) which has a disproportionate influence on the world economy, ideology (media and Hollywood etc… ) in the western world and on American foreign policy. And this situation is repeated in most European countries. This influence is used, for the most part, quite openly and by many very famous people.
It is also true that Jews often put loyalty to the Jewish state before loyalty to the country in which they live.
It must be legitimate to discuss all these things openly and freely without witch hunting and book-burnings.
Most of what I write, I base on articles found in Israeli newspapers and documents in Jewish libraries, together with books from Jewish professors of history and political scientists. So far, most of the information can still be found on the internet.
I believe that Zionists misuse Judaism, similar to the way in which Crusaders misused Christianity, let alone the Wahhabites’ misuse of Islam. I have warned that the international crimes of the Jewish state and the Jewish Mafia could well have a boomerang effect on all Jews if they are not able to distance themselves from it. After all, the Jewish state is proclaimed in the name of all Jews, and all Israel’s wars are waged by weapons bearing Jewish religious symbols.
In the Expo article I am quoted: “There has been animosity against Jews all through history. But it is often induced by the Jews themselves through their behaviour.” What is wrong with that? The same applies to all groups especially any group of people who see themselves as better than other people and particularly, “God’s chosen people.” But my strongest reaction is reserved for the way Jews have taken upon themselves a monopoly of suffering that overrides the suffering of others and is used to legitimize Israel’s policies and treatment of the Palestinians.
Furthermore, rather than history, always subject to discussion and revision, the Holocaust with its capital H, has, I believe, been transformed into a religious taboo dogma, Most outrageous is when it is used for political reasons to start new wars and legitimize genocide against the Palestinians who, we must always remember, had nothing whatsoever to do with any persecution of Jews.
As far as I know, there are no Holocaust deniers who deny that brutal crimes and atrocities were committed against the Jews, as well as other groups, during the Second World War. All the so-called Holocaust deniers, including those who have been convicted and imprisoned, have merely observed and reconsidered various parts of the official dogma. (3)
The term “anti-Semitism” (4) is no longer viable because of its political use to discredit various critics of Israel, or to vilify people. As Shulamit Aloni, former Israeli MP, said in an interview to the famous American radio/TV reporter Amy Goodman: “It’s a trick, we always use it”. (5)
As far as the term “conspiracy theorist” goes, that too is misused for political reasons. There have, and always will be, conspiracies in the corridors of power, and the powerful and their geeks will always call those who try to understand their conspiracies, conspiracy theorists – meaning some kind of sick fantasists. This is Orwellian doublespeak. There are, indeed, so-called crackpots all over the place - many planted by those in power to create confusion.
And finally: I talk and discuss with everyone. My articles are published anywhere. I am always a public person and I wish to debate facts – something I have rarely been offered to do in the ten years I have been writing about these issues. Free speech, what free speech?
If what I have written here and elsewhere means that I am a “conspiracy theorist”, “anti-Semite” and “Holocaust denier”, then so be it. I hope and expect that soon there will be many more of us.
30 november 2012
1. Expo´s article
2. What is Zionism?
3. Why is the Truth Dangerous?
4. Anti-Semitism as a political weapon
5. It’s a trick. we always use it.
- Former Member of Israel Idf – Gilad Atzmon – Exposes Zionist Anti-zionism! (2012indyinfo.com)
- An Open Letter to Ali Abunimah & Co (thetruthseeker.co.uk)
SALFIT – Israeli authorities on Monday notified Palestinian farmers in a northern West Bank village that a road connecting them to their fields will be demolished, locals told Ma’an.
Residents of Qarawat Bani Hassan, near Salfit, said Israeli planning officers told them the al-Hurriya (Freedom) road will be demolished in two weeks.
Farmers were told to avoid agricultural work in the area.
The same street was dug up by Israeli bulldozers on March 24, 2011. The local municipality, with support from the Palestinian prime minister and donor organizations, later rehabilitated the road.
Palestinian Authority premier Salam Fayyad joined the road’s original inauguration two years ago.
- Israeli military demolishes West Bank mosque (bikyamasr.com)
Press TV – December 10, 2012
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) has signed a £1.2 billion contract with the arms-producer BAE Systems to build the navy a new nuclear submarine.
The submarine dubbed HMS Audacious is the fourth of seven Astute Class vessels that the MoD has ordered for the Royal Navy.
The ministry has also allocated another £1.5 billion for the rest of the Astute-class submarines.
The Royal Navy has touted the submarines as the most advanced at their service yet recent tests have raised serious questions about their applicability.
The first of the seven submarines named HMS Astute failed its sea trials last month after it was forced to resurface due to flooding problems that let tens of liters of water in.
The submarine also faced problems with its electrical instruments while its nuclear reactor monitoring systems also raised accuracy concerns.
- Troubled Astute submarine programme to get another £2.7bn (guardian.co.uk)
By Yusuf Fernandez | Al-Manar | December 10, 2012
The Syrian and foreign rebels, who are conducting operations in several provinces of Syria, have once again tried to expand their field of action to the capital, Damascus, but they have failed to do so despite support from Western and Arab media, which always refers to any one-time or limited rebel success as though it was final and definitive. This media and the insurgent propaganda try to persuade the world, and especially the Qatari and Saudi sponsors of the armed groups, that the rebellion is booming.
Most Western media uncritically reproduces statements made by the pro-rebellion London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) as though they were proven facts. In recent days, the SOHR has suggested that Damascus is (once again) about to fall.
The Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram even claimed that “the inhabitants of the Syrian capital Damascus… are subjected to brutal attacks from military positions on the outskirts and Mount Qasiun overlooking the city”. Claims like this one sought to make the public believe that the rebels were already controlling a part of the city. The newspaper also repeated the rebels´ propaganda as a parrot: “The revolutionaries say that their advance on Damascus will trigger a mutiny by the army against its commanders. They hope that thousands will also defect from the regular army and argue that the establishment of a no-fly zone in the country would automatically bring this about.”
Friday November 16th was dubbed by the armed bands the “Friday of the Advance on Damascus”, indicating a “decisive battle” with the regime. They prepared their offensive and several groups arrived in the Damascus province from several places in Syria, such as Deraa and Deir Ezzor. It is, therefore, clear that the rebels attempted in November their most important effort against the capital since their failure of the summer. But this offensive, like the previous one, appears to have been thwarted.
Despite the Free Syrian Army (FSA)´s operations in some towns of Damascus province, this group has at no time been able to enter the city. There have been clashes in the town of Daraya (South-West of the capital), the agricultural region of the Ghouta and the International Airport area (East). For the rebels, it was especially important to capture Daraya because of its strategic position: it oversees the important military airport of Mazzé.
The army´s counter-offensive
On November 29th, the Syrian army launched a vast operation of cleaning these areas within a radius of 5 to 12 miles around the capital. They had already been cleaned last August, but the destruction of armed bands in a densely-inhabited zone is not an easy task.
The newspaper al-Watan announced on December 2nd an army offensive against the places where terrorists had gathered together. “The Syrian army has opened since Thursday morning the gates of hell to all those who were thinking about approaching Damascus or launching an attack against the capital”, wrote the newspaper. It added that the government forces had inflicted heavy casualties on the rebels in several towns and villages.
After some days of offensive, the village of Daraya is now in the hands of the army. The town of Harasta, emptied of its inhabitants since it was invaded by the FSA, is also under the control of government forces while pockets of rebels remain in the nearby village of Duma.
In Ghouta, in the East, where the battle was at its peak this week around the International Airport, informed sources ensure that the airport and its surroundings have been secured, but gunfire can still be heard in distant regions. In the Sayyeda Zainab area, clashes persist between the pro-government militias protecting the district and armed groups holed up in the zone.
According to the Lebanese channel al-Mayadeen, which quoted a Syrian security official, the most violent combat took place on December 3rd. The site Syria Truth advanced the figure of 500 militiamen killed in the first four days of the army´s counter-offensive, including 40 in Deir al-Assafir, 30 in Nina al-Awamid, 60 in Shaba, 100 near the airport and 200 in the sector of Daraya. Al-Watan spoke of “hundreds of terrorists” killed in these days. On the other hand, the Syrian Air Force, indifferent to the threat of the fifty or so American surface-to-air missiles that the rebels hold, continues its attacks on the rebel positions every day.
On the other hand, the limited strength of the rebels in the Damascus province, where they are only a few thousands, make them structurally unable to seriously threaten a city of more than two million inhabitants, where the government is, for obvious reasons, particularly powerful. Rebel advances are always precarious and the armed bands cannot resist the counter-attacks of the army and the militias fighting alongside with it. In this context, the new rebel offensive on Damascus is already becoming another resounding failure.