This is part 2 of a series on SF writer and editor Nick Mamatas (who dismissed this blog as ‘not intentionally very funny’ the same day I published the last article in a twelve part series [including postscripts and introduction] on Holocaust Revisionism within the genre community). See part 1 for the details and background to this part 2.
Perhaps such dizzying obtuseness (see part 1 for what I am getting at) from Mamatas is to be expected. It’s consistent is all. This article of Mamatas’s from 2002 ‘Fascists for Che White supremacists infiltrate the anti-globalization movement’ published in In These Times; leaves one a bit dizzy with its glaring self-deceptions, cluelessness, unintended irony, mental contortions and how brazenly misleading it is.
Of course, the pro-Palestinian gloss is just that. Before his death earlier this summer, William Pierce, the leader of the National Alliance, told Michelle Cottle of The New Republic: “My primary concern is not really for Palestinian freedom or how they run their lives over there..
Nick Mamatas and his ilk are oblivious to the fact that the pro-Palestinian gloss among the radical Left follows the same disingenuous dynamic, it’s not about the Palestinians with the radical Left neither. The pro-Palestinianism is a cover for something else likewise.. It’s the same old something else. The lack of even an ounce of self-awareness here is glaring, and the irony would be comical if it were not so chilling.
Mamatas quotes the pro-Palestinian overtly hostile to Israel David Finkel:
According to Finkel, a longtime pro-Palestinian activist: “Fascists and racists of all stripes usually strike a pose of ‘anti-globalism’ and sometimes even ‘anti-capitalism,’ and anti-Semites in particular pose as friends of the Palestinian people when they feel it will advance their real agenda of promoting hatred of Jews.”
Finkel is not just describing the far Right, he is describing much of the far Left (not all), yet he doesn’t begin to see it. Finkel and those like-minded are blind to the obvious. The real difference, the far right is more honest about what they are and what they seek..
Mamatas pretends that the radical Left are squeaky clean (or largely so) and free of anti-Semitic prejudice even as he admits the far right-wing are taking advantage of their shared attitudes on the Israel-Palestinian conflict for the far Right’s own extreme prejudicial agenda. Takes a fair bit of obliviousness to not be remotely disturbed by a shared and stubbornly fixed anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian stance with self-same simplistic slogans employed with those one admits are extremely and rabidly, even genocidally anti-Semitic, but that kind of obliviousness goes with the territory of the radical (and even large segments of the mainstream) Left. Neo-Nazis are able to parasatise on the anti-globalisation Left and camouflage themselves within because of um the obvious shared conspicuous talking points and ‘values’ with the radical Left – anti-Semitism (inclusive of anti-Israelism/anti-Zionism), a fondness for conspiracies, that kind of thing. It’s over Mamatas’s head that shared slogans and even beliefs of anti-globalisation anarchists and communists to Middle-Eastern political affairs/the Israel-Palestinian conflict itself with neo-Nazis should be a cause for concern and self-reflection among the radical Left itself; that is with regard to the radical Left’s own attitudes and positions here.
Not to Mamatas and his ilk though. He cleary thinks the anti-Semitic far Right are taking advantage of the ‘crimes’ of Israel to parasitise on the radical Left’s putative concern for ‘peace’ and ‘justice’ in the Middle-East and spread their (the far Right’s) self-admitted (and thankfully honest) Jew-hatred and allround prejudice to a wider audience. It doesn’t occur to Mamatas that maybe it’s the other way around. Namely that the radical Left are anti-Semitic and thus filter Middle-East news and views through an anti-Semitic lens, thus their relentless and rabid anti-Israelism is predicated on this anti-Semitism. Hence this is the reason the far Right are able to climb on board the radical Left with relative ease – shared Judenhass. A common shared scapegoat, the oldest scapegoat makes for the oddest of bedfellows. All anti-Semites are anti-Israel btw. Naturally! The implications of this perhaps too obvious for many to see. You have to be outside the circle.
Mamatas doesn’t think to question the disturbing coincidence that the views of the far Left and the views of the far Right converge to a large degree when it comes to the sovereign Jewish nation and its foes in the Middle-East. Mamatas like most of his ilk puts the cart before the horse. The far Right parasitising on the host that is the far Left sees Mamatas make a knee-jerk defense that excoriates the easy target that is the honestly hateful far Right. He doesn’t think to question the health of the host (the far Left), that would require self-reflection and self-examination. Why does the radical Left attract the far Right to camouflage itself within the former’s ranks like bees to nectar? Why do both extremes share the same sinister obsessiveness with the Jew nation and why do they view the conflict and antagonisms in the Middle-East through the same filtered lens? Mamatas has already given his knee-jerk answer in the article mentioned above.
Thing is he is viewing things through the wrong end of the telescope so he never can see things as they are. In so many words if the anti-Semitic far Right hold very similar views on the Jew among the nations and employ the same/similar slogans and echo the same mantras in this respect as the anti-Jew nation radical Left; it has nothing to do with the anti-Israel radical Left’s anti-Semitism since the anti-Jew nation radical Left couldn’t plausibly be anti-Semitic in Mamatas’s eyes. It isn’t even considered a possibility. Denial ain’t a river as they say.
If the radical Left are anti-Israel (like the far Right) it’s the fault naturally of the Jew nation, not that Israel being the Jew among the nations has anything to do with it. It’s not as if the radical Left are anti-Arab Israeli (whether Christian, Muslim, Druze, Sarcasean Muslim) after all. It’s just the Jewish body (political, military, judicial, beauracratic and civil) of the sovereign Jewish state that so drives the ire and contempt of the radical Left whose cultural background is awash with European and British anti-Semitism (inclusive of the New World – the Americas, Australasia, South Africa). Anti-Semitism has nothing to do with it apparently. If the radical Left are strongly anti-Israel it’s the fault of the Jews in that part of the world themselves in the only sovereign Jewish state. The radical Left are not anti-Semitic so it can only be the fault of the Jews, I mean Israel, that the radical Left focus and direct their rage and vexation on the Jew nation, fixedly and persistently. Year in year out. As the Left’s rage and contempt for the regimes and internal and foreign policies of Syria, HAMAS, Hezbollah, Iran, Egypt, UAE, Yemen, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan year in and year out has nothing to do with the … oh wait there is no persistent and relentless rage, contempt and disapprobation from the radical Left to these states and entities. Year In Year Out. (and I haven’t even gotten onto the rest of Asia, Africa and Latin America) Never mind.
As George Orwell observed “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”.
For an antidote to Mamatas’s oblivious cart before the horse non-reasoning (the better not to look in the mirror), Dave Rich’s ‘The Barriers Come Down: Anti-Semitism and coalitions of extremes’ is recommended. http://www.axt.org.uk/HateMusic/essay_rich_barriers.htm
But what has happened is that the rhetoric of far left and Islamist organisations is increasingly similar to that of the far right whenever Israel, Zionism, Jewish political activity and the Iraq war are mentioned. The day after the British National Party claimed that US policy was being driven by “the Zionist and Christian fundamentalist zealots around Bush”, the Muslim Council of Britain described the war as “part of a plan to redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with the agenda of Zionists and American neo-Conservatives.” The Muslim Public Affairs Committee and the National Front both used an identical photo of George Bush standing in front of an Israeli flag to illustrate their belief that he is influenced or controlled by a Zionist or Jewish lobby. The Revolutionary Communist Group, which organises Boycott Israeli Goods pickets outside branches of Marks & Spencer, published an investigation into the neo-cons which claimed that Christian Zionists in America are “More Zionist than the Zionists, they are fervent supporters of Israel and some even practice Jewish culture.”
The article went on: “Given the affinity between Zionism and right wing ideology within the US ruling class, it is no surprise that so many of the NeoCons are pro-Israeli Jews”, and listed “Leading Neo-Cons in the Bush Administration”, most of whom were, of course, Jewish. Tam Dalyell MP complained about the pressure on Tony Blair from a “Jewish cabal”; Paul Foot of the Socialist Workers Party argued that “obviously he is wrong to complain about Jewish pressure on Blair and Bush when he means Zionist pressure”
Rich aslo writes:
The story of the Office of Special Plans, a supposed secret unit inside the Pentagon which, the theory goes, acts as a backdoor channel for Israel, via the neo-cons, to manipulate American foreign policy, first appeared in Lyndon LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review, a magazine replete with far right, antisemitic conspiracy theories.(20) This story, despite its dubious origin, has since appeared in the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Morning Star – the latter two written by John Pilger. Even if Pilger et al were unaware of the far right origin of this particular conspiracy theory, the simple fact that they were so receptive to its content is itself indicative of how much things have changed.
On Nick Mamatas’s website he has an approving link to the UK blog Lenin’s Tomb. It is the blog of Richard Seymour, a member of the UK Socialist Workers Party (SWP).
http://www.nick-mamatas.com/links.php Mamatas also praises this blog and recommends it very highly without any caveat in an interview he gave some years ago to Simon Owens. In fact it’s the blog he effusively lauds and commends ahead of any other!
This is a big tell. And this will be the subject of Part 3 of this series.
Forthcoming.. SF writer Nick Mamatas’s hearty endorsement and praise of the harshly anti-Semitic ‘Lenin’s Tomb’ blog Part 3