Open City Responds To "Rock Of Dissent" By Israel Shamir

Open City Anarchist Collective Responds to "Rock of Dissent" by Israel Shamir

Below is an article by Israel Shamir (who turns out to be quite a shady character despite his eloquent attacks on zionism, see the Electronic Intifada at for
the real scoop on Shamir) and below that is the Open City Anarchist Collective's reply to him. His broadside was in response to calls to action put out in response to the Nazi National Alliance's "Rock Against Israel" called for DC on Aug. 24.


Rock of Dissent

By Israel Shamir

A victim can develop mental attachment to the tormentor. Patty Hearst, a millionaire's daughter, was kidnapped and fell in love with her kidnappers. In the Night Porter, the dark movie by Liliana Cavani, an ex-inmate of a Nazi camp and an ex-SS-man, her tormentor of past, run a passionate love affair.

Now something similar happens in the Palestinian American community. The most reviled and wronged group of American population is called to defend the most prosperous and powerful one against their own supporters. On 24th of August '02, there will be an event in Washington, Rock for Palestine, or Rock against Israel, as it is also called. The event is organised by some right-wing Americans, loosely
connected to a small group called National Alliance (NA). Whatever one thinks about NA, one would expect a satisfied shrug, at least, if not outright support coming from Palestinians and their friends in the US.

Instead, in the emails there is a hysterical letter addressed to "all my Arab sisters and brothers", calling to violently confront the event in a military manner (!) "in several different contingents with various risk levels". The letter is extremely violent and is written
in intemperate language of hate, the like of it we have not seen before: "We have to stop this racist scum from polluting the Palestinian cause", no less. The organisers of the event are described as "neo-nazis", "fascists", "Nazi enemies" and "anti-Semites". It is composed by a mysterious East Coast Anti-Fascist Network, and has some Arab names attached to it, though
for sure it isn't written by an Arab.

Now, nobody likes Nazis, but I wonder why this militant Anti-Fascist Network did not go out to confront gatherings and demonstrations of Judeo-Nazis? What is so wonderful about us Jews that so many people wish to go out and fight for us "in different contingents with various risk levels"? Why this fighting Uruk-hai does not describe Mort Zuckerman or Richard Perle, "racist scum"? Not even Israeli settlers, as racist as anybody, were ever described as "racist scum"
that "should not pollute Palestine".

It is a mistake to describe anybody as "scum". We should promote more tolerant discourse, accepting or arguing, not fighting somebody else's war. The letter of this "anti-fascist Network" looks like an attempt of the Jewish lobby to make its adversaries to fight each other.

This thing has no end. Today they want us to fight NA, tomorrow they would ask us to condemn Farrakhan, and next day - to reject Hezbollah and Hamas. Maybe some of us would like to be approved and promoted only by the Yale professors. But we live in real world. Israel accepts support of every racist that extends its support: be it South African apartheid of old, or present-say fundamentalists, and it does not hurt its "credibility".

It does not mean that one should run forward and endorse the NA get-together. But these people should be worked with, not rejected out of hand. Some of their erroneous ideas could be corrected. If they would just say "affirmation of European legacy" instead of
"white supremacy" you would discover that the arguments against them collapse. It is like saying "let us make love" instead of 'fuck you' - the meaning is quite similar, but wording is important.

I do not intend even to enter discussion, whether the organisers of the event are good guys or bad guys. They can't be more racist than the present Israeli government and the American Jewish community leadership. They can't be more racist than Pat Roberson and his bunch of (anti-)Christian Zionists. Let this anti-fascist (and surely
crypto-Jewish) network go out and fight them first. I would bless whoever supports the cause of Palestine without checking their ideological credentials. I bless all supporters of Palestine full stop.

However, navigating to the home page of the NA, one finds a
cartoon to sympathise with. It is rather crude depiction of a Neo-Con, looking like a cross between Kissinger and Perle, asking America to kill his enemies: Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and so forth. Yes, these guys are short of finesse, some of their ideas are weird, but they came to correct conclusion: America should not fight the
WWIII for the Zionists' sake.

In our Togethernet, "the freest discussion group in the known Universe" J, we had some people who will attend the concert. One of them wrote: "I don't know of ANY white "supremacists" outside of a couple of fantasizing juvenile delinquents in the World Church of the Creator and some Hollywood Nazis. And a section of the Republican
Party personified by George Bush. "Supremacist" is a label created by the Zionists of the ADL and kindred spirits. It was used for the same purpose as calling all Palestinian opposition to Zionist occupation and invasion, 'terrorism'. Methinks the Zionists engage in a lot of projectionism when they cast their epithets".

If we go out now to defend the powerful American Jews and to fight these 'White' guys, because we do not like their ideology, our next step should be to go out and defend Israel with our own bodies against possible attack from Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Saddam is also supposed to be a bad guy, and I am ready to accept he is. In 1991, I wrote in the leading Russian newspaper, "Probably Saddam is a bad
guy, but the Middle East needs a strong bad guy to counteract other, Zionist bad guys".

The world is full of bad guys, and things are good only if and when the bad guys balance each other. Saddam would balance Sharon, while the White supremacists would balance the Jewish supremacists. If indeed these men are not supremacists, but cultural separatists, as they claim, we certainly can do things together with them, and with
another group of cultural separatists, the Black Muslims, too.

The author of the epistle offers, with his low grade cunning, an additional reason for Palestinians to go and fight for Jews: "If we don't do this, our Nazi enemies will claim our noble cause and our Zionist enemies will try to present them as our face". Let him rest assured. In Israel, and in Jewish communities overseas, Palestinians
are presented as Nazis on daily basis. Menachem Begin called Arafat, "Hitler" years ago. If there is a nasty thing that the Jewish-owned media could say and print about Palestinians, they already did it. When Palestinian children are shot, Palestinians are blamed that they let their children out. The Palestinians are already smeared so much that they can not be smeared more: they are already
described as Jew-haters and baby-killers. How come we Jews do not become "discredited" because of Kahane terrorists or Sharon's assassins? Because people understand: not every Jew is a Judeo-Nazi. In the same way, Americans can distinguish between different opponents of the Israeli apartheid.

Let us suppose for the sake of argument, that these 'white
supremacists' are real Nazis. (They are not). It would be enough for them to cease attacking Jews, and they would become perfectly good in the eyes of the US media. After that, they would be permitted to say whatever they wish against Muslims, Palestinians, Blacks. All this talk against fascism lasts only as long as the fascists are against Jews. The moment they switch sides, they get kosher approval. Now, an Israeli government delegation participated in deliberations of European extreme right ("fascists") in Brussels. In the US, the "pro-white" people are not courted by the Jewish community, but it still could happen, if we do not watch out.

Probably you had seen this last Bruce Willis movie, Last Man
Standing. In a small Texan town there are two gangs, and Willis helps them to fight it out. The Jewish supremacists are a million times stronger than all White supremacists put together. Elementary strategy calls us to avoid giving any support to the Jewish cause, until the apartheid in Palestine is dismantled.

As for the concert, probably some Palestinians and their friends will get there, and the rest would stay away. The organisers did not ask for anybody's endorsement. Let the anti-fascists keep their strength for more worthy cause. And whoever will go to fight for the American Jewish community, let him be prepared for disappointment.
His chivalry will not be reciprocated.


Statement of the Open City Anarchist Collective (NYC) of the Northeastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists, with Bilal El-Amine.

We condemn Israel Shamir's unprincipled and dangerous article, "Rock of Dissent", which seeks to malign the demonstration against the nazi white power rally by the National Alliance at the US Capitol building on August 24th.

Through a shroud of unsavory and often tangled rhetoric, Israel Shamir takes the honorable position of opposing the State of Israel's oppression of Palestinian Arabs who are fighting Zionism. Unfortunately, his political preferences are disoriented. His chosen allies, enemies of both Palestinians and Jews, as well as of all working people, are suspect. Shamir makes clear that he will support
any political force, no matter how vile, if it will oppose Zionism. He praises Saddam Hussein as a strong "bad guy" who is needed to oppose Israel. In a public statement brought to our attention by Tim Hall of Struggle magazine, Shamir cheers the French vote for the fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen, who is hostile to both Jewish and Arab immigrants. (Shamir agrees about the need to limit immigration.) In these remarks, which anticipate his coziness with nazis in "Rock Of Dissent", Shamir gives advice to them of ways to
appear less offensive. In "Rock of Dissent", Shamir adopts an "enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend" posture in an attempt to fool the naive and neutralize the militant. We repudiate him.

Israel Shamir lies. Arguing that Palestinians and the Palestinian solidarity movement should be grateful for the backing from them, he denies the National Alliance is nazi or white supremacist. This is important for his argument, given that white supremacists in the United States are known to despise Arabs and Muslims. But the temporary, opportunistic support of racist extremists for Arabs in
other countries does not change this. Shamir's denial that the National Alliance is racist runs counter to documented facts.

The National Alliance has been the largest nazi group in North America for years. Founded by the late William Pierce in 1974, it has built an organization of over a thousand members. Pierce's novel "The Turner Diaries" has served as a blueprint for many white supremacist mass murders, from those of the Fort Bragg nazi gang "The Order" to Timothy McVeigh's Oklahoma City bombing. Furthermore, with
the acquisition of Resistance Records and Nordland Records, two well known white supremacist labels, the National Alliance not only earns millions of dollars annually from music sales but, more importantly, enacts a greatly expanded involvement in the fascist youth subculture. Finally, the National Alliance maintains one of the most
technologically sophisticated web sites on the Internet, bringing hate to a mass audience. Shamir's facile dismissal of these virulent murderers and would-be murderers ("Now, nobody likes Nazis") is a contemptible understatement.

Shamir vilifies the U.S. Arab anti-fascists who call for
participation in the demonstration against the nazis. On no evidence whatsoever, in a bizarre claim they are not even Arab, he calls them a front group for Jews, part of a "crypto-Jewish" "network". He falsely implies that they and other members of the anti-fascist movement have not opposed Zionism in the past. In fact, the activists who wrote the call for Arab opposition to the National Alliance are indeed Arabs.

We are long-time activists for the Palestinian cause who do not intend to fight on anyone's behalf but our own. Our view is that the National Alliance is a very dangerous and sophisticated nazi organization that must be stopped. We will not stand by to allow the Palestinian issue to be exploited for racist ends--not only against Jews but against all immigrants, including Arabs and Muslims.
Furthermore, the anti-fascist, anti-Zionist movement has worked in mutual support and solidarity, with numerous examples of public opposition to the State of Israel's brutal, illegal occupation of Palestinian land, including, in New York City, at the most recent Salute to Israel Day parade. But anti-fascist anti-Zionists are united in yet another area: against anti-Semitism. We will not dehumanize or denigrate any group of human beings for the noble cause
of Palestinian liberty. We will not ally ourselves with those who do.

We reject Shamir's notion that fascists, nazis and racists are acceptable if they manufacture a reason to support the cause of Palestinian liberty. We are aware that Shamir has become notorious among people of principle for explicit anti-Jewish statements. We stand with them in opposition to him.

Shamir argues that pro-Israeli U.S. Jews are more influential than U.S. Nazis. This is true, for now. Yet, all around us, we see cities and towns infested with racism. Racism against Jews. Racism against blacks. Against Hispanics, Asians, South Asians, Arabs and Muslims.
Hatemongering and institutional racism are far more ideas spread than support for Zionism. The National Alliance understands this. In a climate of governmental and social hostility, amid everyday problems of poverty, homelessness, drug abuse and police brutality, the nazis appeal through this widespread racial tension in an attempt to expand
their ranks. The fascism of white racists, and of all those who advance their cause, is a threat to any "non white" people, as well as to women, queers, and people with disabilities. It is a threat to their declared enemies--liberals, progressives and anarchists. It is a threat to the empowerment of the working classes. Shall we wait to oppose the National Alliance until their sadistic redistribution of power becomes more of a threat? Shall we wait to oppose the National Alliance until they become more numerous and dangerous?

We say no. We affirm our intention to defeat racism in all its forms, from the front steps to the back rooms of the U. S. Capitol.

In true solidarity with the Intifada,

Bill Bachman, Christine Karatnytsky, John Korber and Wayne Price

Bilal El-Amine