"The last thing that should interest us
is the Palestinians' concern.
Before the Palestinian issue,
what should interest us is our friends in the world.
We spoke to them and most said 'help us to help you'."
~ Avigdor Lieberman speaking to Israel Radio
It seems the author of this piece has met at last his first internet saboteurs. This is one of their very common ploys. Endless distractions, silly arguments, wasted energy and time, and just sounding like an all out idiot at times. We have all met them. But this one seems to have the chutzpah to call on people like Norman Finklestein!
By Salaheddin Ahmad
Redress Information & Analysis
3 January 2009
Amid signs that a fringe group of self-proclaimed “Jewish anti-Zionist” pretenders are planning to distract attention from the accelerating theft and colonization of occupied Palestinian territories and the deadly siege of Gaza, Redress Information & Analysis advises Palestine activists to steer clear of these pretenders and not to engage with them in any shape or form.
"To our 'Jewish anti-Zionist' time-wasting pretenders ~ Greenstein, Elf, Downing and whoever else stoops to their gutter ~ we say this: Palestine is and shall remain at the centre of the struggle for justice for the Palestinian people.
We Palestinians and Arabs played no part in your Holocaust and we have nothing to do with anti-Semitism, past or present, real or imagined. It is us, not you, who are continuing to suffer from the legacy of the Nazis. Go forth and take your Jewish issues elsewhere. We shall have nothing to do with you."
On New Year’s Day we published an article in which we highlighted the problem of false friends in Britain’s Palestine solidarity movement and urged genuine activists to steer clear of them. We singled out two notorious time wasters, Tony Greenstein and Mark Elf, although there are about a dozen others that we know about but shall refrain from naming for the time being.
In the article, we said that Greenstein, Elf and others in their camp seem to believe that being Jewish and claiming to be anti-Zionist entitles them to hijack the Palestine solidarity movement and set its agenda.
We also said that our observation of the behaviour of Greenstein, Elf and their ilk over many years has led us to conclude that another of their motives, in addition to hijacking the Palestinian solidarity movement, was
to distract genuine supporters of the Palestinian cause with endless, tedious and time-wasting arguments that have nothing whatsoever to do with the Israeli occupation, land theft, colonization, Zionism or apartheid.On 2 January one Gerald Downing provided us with an example of the kind of time-wasting distractions we mentioned. In an email entitled “Defend Jewish anti-Semites” and sent to various people, he called for a “coordinated response” to what he described as our “appalling anti-Semitic campaign” against Greenstein, Elf and the other time wasters.
Resorting to the well-known Israeli tactic of using false accusations of “anti-Semitism” to silence criticism, Downing said:
From: GERALD DOWNING <email@example.com>
Subject: Defend Jewish Anti-Semites
To: "Paul Humphreys" <P.firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Charlie Pottins" <CharlesPottins@aol.com>, "CPGB" <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Saturday, 2 January, 2010, 5:25
Some coordinated response is surely needed to this appalling anti-Semitic campaign against these Jewish principled campaigners against Zionism who now find themselves slandered as "agents of Zionism" for fighting anti-Semitism...
This was followed by two additional emails calling for an international campaign to defend Greenstein, Elf and the other time-wasting pretenders.
A Facebook campaign is the best I can come up with right now. A little more thought is needed for a real international campaign against these attacks, whilst maintaining an unyielding anti-Zionist stance. A properly argued article on these developments for a start?
The hyperactive Downing followed this up with another email to unknown recipients, laughably describing Greenstein and the time wasters as “principled anti-Zionists” and reiterating the need for a Facebook campaign. It said:
We really need to have an international Facebook campaign to defend principled anti-Zionists like Tony Greenstein who has been slandered in the URL below on 1 January 2010 with “It would be easy to label the likes of Greenstein and Elf as Israeli agents”, Israel’s hidden friends http://www.redress.cc/zionism/redress20100101, Troubled misfits in our midst By Salaheddin Ahmad of Redress Information & Analysis... The witch-hunt is about to be widened; “We can name more but will not for the time being” says Salaheddin Ahmad of Redress Information & Analysis.
Comradely Gerry Downing
Notice that Downing failed to mention something else we said. In our article of 1 January, we stated: “If Greenstein, Elf and others in their camp wish to campaign against Zionism and racism, then we should welcome this and wish them good luck. But let them do it in parallel to us, not together with us."
We suspect that this omission is deliberate, or perhaps it is to be expected from people whose principal preoccupation is to make Jewish issues the centrepiece of the Palestinian struggle ~ not the occupation, not the ever-growing settlements, not the deadly siege of Gaza, not the right of return, but defending “Jewish anti-Semites”, the anti-Semites of Downing’s fertile imagination!
Shame on you, Gerald Downing, and shame on everyone who collaborates with you and your like!
As for our true friends in the struggle, Jewish and non-Jewish, those who will not tolerate any deviation from the urgent need to stay focused on the struggle for justice for the Palestinian people, our advice remains this: steer clear of time-wasting pretenders like Greenstein, Elf, Downing and their ilk. Do not engage with them or else they will drag you down to the subterranean hovel they inhabit.
To our “Jewish anti-Zionist” time-wasting pretenders ~ Greenstein, Elf, Downing and whoever else stoops to their gutter ~ we say this: Palestine is and shall remain at the centre of the struggle for justice for the Palestinian people. We Palestinians and Arabs played no part in your Holocaust and we have nothing to do with anti-Semitism, past or present, real or imagined. It is us, not you, who are continuing to suffer from the legacy of the Nazis. Go forth and take your Jewish issues elsewhere. We shall have nothing to do with you.
And we repeat: if you and others in your camp wish to campaign against Zionism and racism, then we would welcome this and wish you good luck. But do your campaigning in parallel to us, not together with us. We do not and shall never trust you and we shall have nothing to do with you.