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Issue #1855      February 6, 2019

Taking Issue – Seamus Carey

Power a class question

I must strongly oppose the inclusion of the article by Philip Giraldi in the recent issue of the Guardian, entitled “Registering Israel’s lobbyists.” On my first read I was immediately struck by the incorrect analysis and apparently careless phrasing. Giraldi’s analysis is completely contrary to Marxism, with no genuine anti-imperialist analysis, no class analysis, and conflation of Zionist interests with “Jewish” interests ... he does not even use the word Zionism a single time independently, only a couple times in the first paragraph when naming two Zionist organisations.

Giraldi poses the question of why the US state does not use its powers to monitor or control Zionist groups operating within the US; the broader question would be, why does US policy and action in general align with Israeli interests? The simple answer that should be obvious to us is, because Israeli interests are an extension of US imperialist interests, the interests of the imperial bourgeoisie. But Giraldi cannot see this.

Instead his first thought proffered is, “Jewish power in the United States.” This is nonsense, this is nothing but anti-Semitism. Do we imagine that should Israeli and US interests diverge, the Israeli interests would win out, thanks to the influence of this alleged “Jewish power?” Of course not! If Israeli state interests were to diverge – and as Marxists we must surely understand “Israeli state interests” to mean the interests of the minority of the Israeli ruling class, and not of the masses of working people – US imperialism would immediately seek to crush this turn to independence, as they have done everywhere else.

After making this analysis by reading the article without further context, I naturally investigated further – maybe I was overreacting! But no, the author Giraldi is a former CIA officer and although he may criticise US policy, he does not do so from a progressive standpoint. He has the world outlook one would expect of a CIA officer. He has written dozens of articles for “The American Conservative!” I should not be surprised his analysis is contrary to Marxism.

His anti-Semitism is much more overt in some other articles, and it is clear he does not believe that anything bad in the world proceeds from within the US state, no, it’s all thanks to “Jewish Power” (and in other articles he capitalises the P.)

If we want to know what Giraldi means by “Jewish Power,” we can ask the man himself. From his article entitled “Understanding Jewish Power” (also available on Information Clearing House at www.informationclearinghouse.info/49628.htm):

“It does not take a genius to figure out that the United States is deeply involved in a series of seemingly endless wars pitting it against predominantly Muslim nations even though Washington has no vital interests at stake in places like Syria, Libya and Iraq. [!] Who is driving the process and benefiting? Israel is clearly the intended beneficiary of a coordinated effort mounted by more than 600 Jewish organizations in the US that have at least as part of their programs the promotion and protection of Israel.”

“Heavily armed Israeli settlers run amok on the West Bank, beating and killing Arabs and destroying their livelihoods. That is what Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are all about and that is precisely the kind of a nation that America should not want to become, [!] but unfortunately the role of Washington as Israel’s obedient poodle [!] has our once great country [!] moving in the wrong direction. [!!] This has all been brought about by Jewish Power and it is time to wake up to that fact and address it squarely. [!!!]”

This is pure anti-Semitism. We cannot allow the waters to be muddied between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Blurring the lines between these two things is a well known Zionist propaganda tactic, as well as a fascist one. What ideological leg do we have to stand on if we commit the error ourselves!

This anti-Semitism was not overt in the article published in the Guardian and I can understand why a casual reader might miss it – based on the contents of the published article alone, I could have given the author the benefit of the doubt as simply being sloppy. But we cannot afford to be merely casual readers. I read closely, I sensed an incorrect analysis, I made further investigation, my analytical intuition turned out to be correct. I hope other comrades acted similarly. This degree of scrutiny must especially apply to articles from non-socialist sources.

I hope you’ll excuse my tone, and know that my critique is coming from a friendly place (although certainly not friendly to Giraldi). I am a young Party member and while I was at first reluctant to be too assertive in stating my case on this issue, I have seen a disturbing growth in anti-Semitic and fascist views (with both pro- and “anti”- Zionist forms) amongst many sections of young people, and am increasingly forced to be aware that combatting these views and being well informed on the issue should be something we prioritise.

Seamus Carey is a member of CPA Perth Branch.

Next article – Taking sides

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