Friday, May 3, 2013

More examples of Antisemitism at Left Wing rallies

Not afraid of ruins has blogged about Antisemitism that was encountered at a rally against Asset Sales in Wellington.  (Also covered by Kiwiblog here).

Last Saturday I went to the protest against asset sales organized by Aotearoa Not For Sale. I was marching with my friend Maia, discussing the latest episode of The Good Wife in between chants of ‘hey hey ho ho/John Key has got to go’.
Halfway up Willis St we overheard a guy behind us talking: ‘This is all because John Key is a money-hungry Jew.’ Maia immediately turned around and told him that he was being anti-Semitic and that it wasn’t ok (she’s great like that). The guy explained that she didn’t understand the historical context, that ‘they took over this country with their money’, before finally giving up and telling her ‘you must be Jewish’ (incidentally, she isn’t. Not that it’s relevant’).
By that point I’d already walked away. I was in no mood to hear about how I control the world’s money and am personally responsible for the economic recession.
This wasn’t the first time that anti-Jewish racism has cropped up at Aotearoa Not For Sale events. Last year a guy named Nathan Symington joined an anti-asset sales march in Auckland holding a skateboard with swastikas chalked on it. The same man was later charged with the racist vandalism of the Symonds St Jewish cemetery.
When an Auckland activist noticed that Symington had clicked ‘attending’ on a facebook page for an Aotearoa Not For Sale street party, she commented and asked the organisers to make a clear statement that racism and fascism weren’t welcome at this event. She was ignored and her comment was deleted. (I’m told that at the party itself one of the organisers did make a statement condemning racism. I don’t want to imply that everyone involved in ANFS ignores racism.)
There were similar instances of anti-Jewish racism at Occupy spaces in 2011, and on the facebook pages of several of the Occupy groups as well.
Unfortunately it is becoming more prevalent and open, and the organisers of these rallies are doing less and less about it.  If John Key was not of Jewish ancestry, this same malevolent behaviour would  still exist, except it would probably only be displayed at anti-Israel rallies.  There is a clear commonality between the two, and it is usually just rent-a-crowd attending.

Now what is interesting is that the author of this blog is "Nausea Nissenbaum".  I don't know this person, but his/her twitter bio describes themselves as:

"Born on occupied Palestinian land, living on occupied Māori land."
They are also heavily active in trying to get BDS to New Zealand (a facebook page of 60 or so likes).

I would ask this person - If you are so proudly "Jewish" that you want to stand up against racism, then what are you doing to identify as such?  Can you really just say "I was born a Jew, but I can hate Israel"? 

Where is your empathy with Jews living in Israel?  Where is the empathy with the constant threat of attack?  If it is all "stolen" land, then what about the actual money paid by your ancestors.  Or do you think like BDS and you want a Palestine next to a Palestine.  Two Islamic states side by side.

Really I am not surprised at all that there is antisemitism at these rallies.  What I am surprised about is your naivety about it, and naivety towards the other groups you are involve in.


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