The Platypus Affiliated Society have re-printed an article titled “Communism and Israel”, originally written in 2002 by Anti-German group Initiative Sozialistisches Forum (ISF). The Platypus society are (according to their website) committed to critiquing the past and exisiting left in the hope of “begin(ing) to address the improbable but not impossible tasks and project of the next Left”. The criticism of Louis Proyect over at unrepentant Marxist (http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/platypus-review-publishes-racists/) that Platypus are supporting racists is unfair, the Charnel house also critiques Louis over here , this is also host to an interesting discussion thread underneath. Although I disagree with this article it is certainly interesting to read and provides an insight into how criticisms of existing anti-imperialism and a commitment to anti-fascism can become twisted and perverted into horrendous forms of anti-Islam which identify Palestine with a fascist state/organisation.
To a reader non-versed in the intricacies of German Communism and Anti-German thought this article is equal parts baffling and worrying. Particularly, as Anti-German Translation points out to an Anglophone audience unfamiliar with viewing the Israel-Palestine question through a distinctly metaphysical lens. However, Not Stupid as the otherwise great analysis at New Left Project argues as this pathologises the work of the ISF and other anti-Germans such as Bahamas magazine. The conclusions drawn are not drawn from a lack of intelligence but from incorrect intellectual pathways and, presumably, a frustration with much of the Left with regards to its policy on anti-imperialism. The conclusions it has drawn are pretty horrendous and share little with what I see as emancipatory politics but they are certainly not stupid. It is worth reading the article and its responses yourself but be prepared it is truly bizarre. The ISF analysis of the state of Israel as “a force for emancipation” and the equation of Palestine as existing fascism is truly bizarre. As the New Left Project article highlights, Israel is one of the most socially polarised states in the OECD and is certainly not a model for any form of Communism I would identify with.
Wherever Israel, Palestine and the Anti-Germans are discussed tempers flare and passions are high. Whilst Israel is certainly not a bastion of Communism nor can we side uncritically with Hamas who are equally guilty of oppressing people living in Gaza. Indeed, we need to look beyond the immediate antagonism and find a third position. We should not feel helpless within a political history which offers no emancipatory potential but must seek a third position which embodies a critique of the State apparatus, religion (in particular Islamo-fascism) and the current state of the Left.
This project continues…