Marxists and Idiots (was Antizionism does not equal Antisemitism)

billy elgin billy_e11 at
Wed Feb 17 21:30:38 PST 1999

My reply follows the true Carrol Cox thought.

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 08:49:07 -0600 From: Carrol Cox <cbcox at> Subject: Re: Anti-Zionism does not equal Anti-Semitism

billy elgin wrote:

> Part of my problem is that I havent read enough about the history of
> region to compare corrupt Zionists with corrupt Arab nationalists.

Carrol: This is offensive. Palestinians, like any other nationality, have a perfect right to be corrupt in their own state. Invaders (settler colonialists as in South

Africa, Algeria, and Palestine [called Israel] have no right to be either corrupt or honest. The corruption or non-corruption of Palestinians is utterly irrelevant t otheir right to their own nation. When talking about Palestine the phrase "Arab" is also offensive. "Arab" corresponds to (e.g.) "Europe," while Palestine corresponds to France, Hungary, etc. To use this terminology simply repeats in language the material denial of the Palestinian right to exist.

Alex: Huh? I was talking about corrupt Arab nationalists in countries like Jordan, Egypt, etc. Just because you say that they have the right to be corrupt in their own nations doesn't mean that I or other marxists support corrupt nationalists.

In terms of corruption: sure, we support the Palestinians, Jordanians right to self determination but that doesn't mean that we support the PLO (or at least Arafat's faction of it) while they're setting up bantustans in Israel or setting up corrupt repressive administrations in the Palestinian Authority. Because the PLO has become corrupt, you now see organizations like Hamas coming to the fore to replace them, in large part because the left-wing alternative inside the PLO has been smashed by Israel (by Fatah also, right?) and (this is another factor if I'm not mistaken) because they havent been able to their act together organizationally.

One question for the less shrill members of the audience: at the end of WWII, did the Zionists have a choice of where they could go to set up a nation? I know that they were looking at different parts of the world but I think I remember reading somewhere that it was Palestine or nothing (or maybe the other options were barred?). If the Zionists had said to the Palestinians (I know that this is speculation, etc) look, we want to move in with you guys and we'll give you your own space, would that have made things any different for Marxists (Carol excepted)? To me, as a marxist, this seems tricky: on the one hand, Lenin said that nations have the right to self determination and that just the feeling from an (ethnic, cultural, lingustic, shared memory of oppression, etc) group can determine nationhood subject to international working class solidarity. So, it would seem to me that the Jews had/have a legitimate right to a territory but that the way that they went on imposing their will on the Palestinians and the surrounding arab nations in alliance with U.S., England etc was an act of scabbing. Geez, now I'm going to have to go out and buy those old SWP pamphlets from Pathfinder.

Carrol: One qualification here. I don't fight with non-marxists. Hence I simply delete Nathan's posts (I believe he started this thread). If Billy Elgin does not claim to be a marxist, then I apologize. If he claims to be a marxist, he is a scoundrel. Carrol

Alex: Lemme guess: PLP? Which ultraleft bureaucratic sect do you belong to? Gee, I guess all those months I shop floor organized or saved people's jobs by filing grievances and risking my own job going toe to toe with evil UPS managers I was just a "scoundrel" . Next time I'll send all of my mostly Black and Latino co-workers down to you at the fountain of true marxist thought.

Marx and Jesus love you,


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