There is something rather perfect about humiliating fascists on pesach.
‘Reclaim Australia’ is the name of a string of rallies held on the 4th of April around Australia, organised against Islam. Their organisers included fascists and people with fascist tendencies, whilst the bulk of attendees were run-of-the-mill islamaphobes/nationalists. Neo-Nazis hung around the edges, attempted to find recruits, and looked for fights. The Reclaim Australia people appeared to be a genuinely shocked that anyone could possibly think they were racist.
The Melbourne counter rally successfully disrupted the whole thing.
Neo-Nazis on Melbourne streets are a pretty rare sight. It was a bit of a shock, and there is a lot to take in. I’m not really sure of specific numbers, but there must have been at least 25-30 boneheads mingled in the crowd of onlookers. At any one time there were groups of upwards of five or so attempting to break through the picketline, and generally getting into some pushin and shovin (this was when the ones who did not have obvious nazi tats/shirts were most identifiable). There are plenty of photos around of these clashes, or you can look up the videos they filmed.
Check out this guy, telling Nazis where to go. Nazis, as this guy realises, were not hard to find. This seems to be something many people commenting seem to find difficult to believe.
Here were some suggestions on the ‘white nationalist’ Stormfront forum. It is suggested they go “undercover”, a suggestion which clearly went unheeded:
Then there’s this:
And then, there was this, just in this evening:
The announcement of new rallies comes after a high-profile Sydney criminal lawyer promised to defend anyone from the Reclaim rally who was charged by police.
Australian Jewish Communal Lobby spokesman Daniel Hakim posted on the lobby’s Facebook page on Sunday an offer for free legal service.
Mr Hakim told the Herald Sun he did not believe claims that organisers or attendees at the rallies were neo-Nazis after photos emerged of protesters with tattoos believed to relate to Nazism.
“Reclaim is not run by, funded by, organised by and directed by neo-Nazis.”
When asked about the Jewish Communal Lobby Mr Hakim said it had more than 2000 members and a seven-person board but would not discuss any more details.
Hakim, any day now, is going to get a bit of a rude shock. Talk about blinkers. Seems like the AJCL is probably just one lawyer with a laptop (Hakim claims otherwise in above article). The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), in condemning Reclaim Australia, have noted that “the Facebook page known as the ‘Australian Jewish Communal Lobby’ is not affiliated with JCCV or any Jewish communal organisation, and does not represent the views of the Jewish community.”
Here the neo-nazis are discussing the days events themselves (including discussing all the different fascist/nazi groups that were present).
This article, from nazi website Daily Stormer, went down a treat with locals on Stormfront:
Remember: to beat the Jews, you must out-Jew the Jews. Spread that Facebook screenshot [of the Australian Jewish Communal Lobby] to as many Australian SJWs [Social Justice Warriors] as you possibly can. The more the SJWs start to hate Jews, the closer we are to removing the filthy Jewish vermin from our societies once and for all.
Moslems and SJWs are both feral subhuman swine, but they can both be very useful weapons in taking down the ultimate parasite: the Jew. Without the Jewish parasite, the SJW movement would not exist and there would be no Moslems in White nations like Australia. It’s time for us to use the Jewish parasite’s pets (Moslems, SJWs, negroes, etc.) against the Jews. It’s time for us to Jew the Jews.
Meanwhile, the false equivocation of fascists and anti-fascists in various media is pretty disturbing, not the least because it seems to be coming loudest from purported allies such as Brad Chilcott, Director of ‘Welcome to Australia’. If I were to make more serious ideological equation, we could talk about ideology: Welcome isn’t into Reclaim, but they share a a national possessiveness. ‘Reclaim’ thinks they’ve lost the very thing that ‘Welcome’ feels they hold: the gates to Australia. Each see themselves as the gatekeepers/managers of Australia, welcoming or not welcoming, depending on how the wind blows. Chilcott insisted upon moral pontification about tactics, demeaning those Aboriginal women who burnt the flag, not actually providing advice on what to do except telling us not to be ‘hateful’, not actually participating in any sort of movement, or otherwise offering any form of serious alternative other than to wag his finger at us.
The counter demo achieved its aim: to disrupt and end a racist rally. It never intended to have a heart to heart with fascists.
Follow @ndy/slackbastard here and here and here for reliable and ongoing updates on far right and neo-fascist activity, with a focus on Australia. Andy has pretty solid research on the key figures within these movements, including names, faces, and gang allegiances/ideological orientations of these gangs (and its where I’ve gone for a few chunks herein).
It is always worth reading Ghassan Hage’s White Nation: Fantasies of White Supremacy in a Multicultural Society, and particularly worth visiting the chapter on ‘good white nationalists’, for those ‘anti-racists’.
Below are the two boneheads everyone is talking about. However it is absolutely false to say that they were the only ones there. Watch a video. Where ever there were scuffles, that was the neo-nazis (the run of the mill fascists/racists/nationalists/islamophobes were pretty tame, if grumpy).
… that Alec Baldwin has a radio show? I recently discovered it, and it’s rather delightful. And, did you know that originally it was planned that West Side Story would be a battle between Jewish and Irish gangs, but a decision was made to change it during the writing process? How rad would it have been if it there had been Jewish gangs in there! I learned that fun fact listening to Baldwin talk to two of Leonard Bernstein’s kids, Alex and Jamie Bernstein. I highly recommend taking a listen, and then going through the archives and listening to them all.
I just discovered, via the facebook page of the Jewish Boat to Gaza, a tumblr, entitled Tinfoil Yarmulke, written by a woman currently undertaking a Birthright Trip in Israel. Why that name for the tumbler? Well, apparently a ‘tinfoil yarmulke’ in this incarnation is
A protective head-covering worn by non-devout Jews to deflect the propaganda beams of Birthright Israel.
It looks like this is going to be a really interesting journey with this woman – she’s calling out the sexism, heteronormativity, religious exclusivity, and racism of the trip and the other members of her group. And really, any blog that opens with
I am about to embark on an entirely free trip to the State of Israel, paid for by the Israeli government and Jewish philanthropists around the world, via Birthright Israel. Are there strings attached? You betcha. But I’ll take my free trip anyway, because I’m that much of a Jew.
is my kind of blog.
[If, like me, you’re into vaguely off-colour jokes (including Hitler jokes), you should check this out. I found it via someone on twitter last night – sorry, I can’t remember who to give this the proper credit.]
On another post, written while she was in Zurich airport, she writes
I don’t have a complicated relationship with my nose.
Take your index finger. Crook it. Hold it up to your face. That’s my nose. So be it. My glasses have never fallen off, and… okay, well I guess that’s the only practical advantage I can think of. But my glasses have never fallen off!
I do have a complicated relationship with other people’s noses. In particular, the surgically modified specimens common to Jews from Long Island. The fixed nose represents a whole lot more to me than the template hook nose, including a whole mess of issues of identity and perceived community and self-hate. Some day (maybe on this trip) I will work out exactly what I mean by that. For now, I’m just introducing a classic from my archives.
Several years ago I received the following Facebook message from Eric D. Eric was the founder of the university group I led. I had met him exactly once.
From: Eric D.
Subject: a random thought
Liz—I’m a very honest and open person, and it takes people a little aback at first, but in the end they accept it about me.
I was looking at your pictures, and, you know something? You’re pretty cute. You really are. And you know something else? (Here comes the honesty:) You would look even cuter with just a touch of plastic surgery. My wife had it done, and she’s never looked back. Your twenties is a period where you should be dating like crazy, figuring out exactly the type of individual you want to spend the rest of your life with. You deserve to feel self-confident about your looks, not listing yourself in your profile as “Jewish…look at me.” I personally think you’re an amazing person, so I really do hope you take this the right way. Just know you’ve got a fan and friend in your corner…you can hit me later.
There really is nothing to be said here.
Bloody hell hey! But I do love that while sitting in transit in Zurich airport, presumably rather tired, this was what she thought about… I reckon this is one blog to keep an eye on over the coming days…
Ta-Nehisi Coates is great. I don’t really have anything to add to this post he wrote the other day, so I’ll just share it. (Actually, that’s a lie – I often laugh at the idea of Jews playing sport too, so I’d have to suggest that he’s not antisemitic to do so. Also, he’s totally right – ‘the intellectual assassin’ is the best nickname ever. and totally a jewish nickname. LOVE IT. Plus his larger point is spot-on too.):
The Secret Relationship Between the Blacks and the Jews
Talking in comments, I realized that I’ve taken Mike Tomlin’s presence, as a black head coach in the Super Bowl, as unremarkable. I don’t know that that’s objectively true, but the fact that I haven’t given it much thought says something.
I was joking that I’d actually been thinking about Aaron Rodgers Jewish ancestry, more than Mike Tomlin’s immediate African ancestry. That sent me to Wikipedia’s list of “Jews In Football (American.)” Does the fact that I laughed at the very existence of this list make me anti-Semitic? Somehow the fact that somewhere there’s probably a “Blacks In Chemistry (Legal)” somewhere makes me depressed.
Oh well the list is pretty interesting–Sid Luckman, Lyle Alzado, Igor Olshansky, Andre Tippet, and my personal favorite, Ron “The Intellectual Assassin” Mix:
“Because he had a Juris Doctor in Law degree, Mix was nicknamed “The Intellectual Assassin” for his physical play. Mix was called for a mere two holding penalties in ten years.”
Greatest. Handle. Ever. Anyway, whenever Jews and athletics comes up I think about this hilarious editorial from the days when they dominated basketball:
“New York Daily News sports editor Paul Gallico wrote in the mid 1930s that basketball “appeals to the Hebrew with his Oriental background [because] the game places a premium on an alert, scheming mind and flashy trickiness, artful dodging and general smartalecness.” We see how qualities such as cunning and wiliness were posited as the keys to Jewish basketball success and how these kinds of statements were indicative of early 20th century America.”
“Flashy trickiness” and “general smartalecness.” Hilarious. It’s really amazing how prejudice adjusts itself to the times. During the Civil War, blacks were thought to be–not just lazy and cowardly–but actually physically weaker then whites. Indeed, up until the turn of the century “scientists” were predicting that the frail and sickly black race would die out.
Then Jack Johnson utterly destroyed Jim Jeffries–and the myth of the hyperstrong, ape-like, black man was born. Suddenly whites couldn’t compete because blacks were “natural” athletes, who degraded contests of skill and technique with brute athleticism. It’s lasted all the way up to Marlin Brisco and Warren Moon. Somehow, prejudice finds a way. Until it doesn’t.
also, a couple of friends last night were asking me for recommendations for blogs to read, so I thought I’d share with y’all the sites online I regularly visit:
since he’s on topic, gotta start with Ta-Nehisi Coates.
then there’s there’s our catastrophe, zunguzungu, fyi or die, the drum, +972 magazine, This is Africa, Tenured Radical, Lisa Goldman, Ekh Lyuli Lyuli, Joan Nestle, Jewschool, I studied abroad in Africa!, leonine anti-heroine.
and the recent discoveries of fuck yeah jewish women and fuck yeah jewish men. they go along with fuck yeah queer jews (which i wish would post more regularly!).
and just for fun, Go Fug Yourself and Shit My Students Write.
So yep, I guess they’re the blogs that I check on a regular basis (that is, every couple of days). God bless the time for reading that unemployment brings! Any others that I should be looking at?
Jews first arrived to the land now known as Morocco over 2000 years ago. Protected under the Islamic Principle of Tolerance since the 7th century, they flourished, holding high positions in trade and government. The Star of David was a symbol shared by all Moroccans, appearing on currency and even the national flag. During the Holocaust, when asked for a list of Jews, King Mohammed V declared, “We have no Jews in Morocco, only Moroccan citizens.” Jews and Muslims were united by culture and kingdom.
Following World War II, Zionists recruiters targeted Moroccan Jews to populate the new State of Israel. Israel’s expansion marked the beginning of a Moroccan Jewish exodus. 300,000 Jews inhabited Morocco as of 1940; it was the largest Jewish population in the Arab World. Today, less than 4000 remain.
What remains today is a Jewish past nearly abandoned, fragments of Morocco’s Jewish culture that have been left under the protection of Muslim guardians devoting their lives to a history that isn’t even their own, yet entirely is. The majority of the remaining community now lives in Casablanca, where they choose to identify with their French past rather than their Arab heritage. Across the country amidst breathtaking landscapes lay the tombs of holy Jewish saints, abandoned relics and sacred spaces. Within these spaces are pilgrims seeking to identify with what remains of this ancient and holy history.
This work represents a journey into the remnants of this cultural exodus and aims to reveal a history of co-existence that has been lost in the wake of Zionism.
What is striking about these photos is not just their beauty and the ways they capture Jewish presence and absence (and the haunting ways in which absence is presence), but also that they represent an idea of Jewish/Muslim history (which you can see also in the work of people such as Ella Shohat, Ammiel Alcalay, and Loolwa Khazoom, for instance) which is based on mutual existence (rather than the disavowal of good relations which the Zionist narrative proposes. That is, after all, a narrative which falsely displaces Europe’s historical distaste for Jews onto the Arab world.) It’s a writing of history which is based on connection, rather than displacement and national hatred or disdain. As is explained, “Aaron began this project in 2009 while on a trip with his father to the place where he was raised. He and most of his family left Morocco in the 1960’s at the peak of the Jewish Exodus. As Aaron learned more about the history of Jewish Morocco, he realized how unique their history and co-existence was and felt it was something he needed to explore further.”
It seems there’s a new movie which will be out for Christmas – ‘Christmas with a Capital C’ – starring the least-known Baldwin brother (oh, they are definitely one of my favourite sets of celebrity siblings). Check out the preview…
As you can see, this is a film that comes straight from Sarah-Palin-country: god-fearing (and god-loving), moose-hunting, heterosexual, heteronormative, white, middle-class Alaska. And Christian. Definitely Christian. We start off with the pure town, a town where everyone loves each other, everyone helps each other out. There’s respect, there’s love, there’s certainty. And there’s certainly no-one doing anything remotely different. Until… the U-Haul van pulls up, followed by the black car. I don’t know about you, but I was certain a ‘Muslim’ was going to step out of that car, crunching their black-clad foot on the pure, virginal snow. But no, it was to be a thinly-disguised Jew. How do we know he’s jewish? Because he’s permanently dressed like a Wall Street banker, while everyone else is dressed in their country-town jeans and sweatshirts. He pulls up in a black town car, while everyone else drives a 4WD. And he never got the girl: as the husband character recounts to his son, as he sits on the back of a ute, with snow-buggies around them, arms raised and fists pumped in triumph. Because, of course, it’s not just that the Jewish Man comes from the city, is permanently an outsider, comes into communities and stirs up trouble with his vicious, conniving, meddling ways, seeking to control communities in which he doesn’t belong. But also that he’s not-really-a-man: he is not appropriately sexual, incapable of ‘getting the girl’. He is the emasculated, asexual city man of money, coming to your town to infiltrate and destroy your way of life. Beware.
And so, it seems the film moves on. Some people give him a chance, but he betrays their offers of friendship by working to destroy the very thing that means the most to them: Christmas. The birth of Christ. And here, in this event, we have the foundational heteronormative Christian moment. A couple – Mary and Joseph – give birth to the son of God. Even though (and I probably don’t know enough theology to make this point, but I think there’s something here) there is no need for Joseph in this story – Mary gets pregnant without his input – he is there, the happy father, making sure we all know that only a mother and a father can produce such greatness, such glory. To threaten the celebration of Christmas is to threaten Christian heterosexuality, and Christianity itself.
The significations of an ‘Open, Tolerant Society’ – things such as replacing ‘Merry Christmas’ with ‘Season’s Greetings’ – are presented as a threat to society (and the outsider is defined, very much, as not part of society). The jew-man is shown to attempt to pull down the virginal, literally angelic girl-child from her stand. What horror he brings for the people!
So the movie is a cowboy-movie: the dark, shadowy, city half-a-man versus the rugged, outdoorsy, saviour of the people, manly-man. What a surprise that the Jew is shown at the end – in clothes that are now dishevelled – to recognise his wrongs, to be embraced by the community he has attempted to destroy with his evil aims. And Christmas, with all its capital-c Christianity, can be saved by the only true Christians: the whities out in Alaska.
If there was ever any proof needed that Hollywood films – indeed, any media production – reflect the particular historical moments in which they are created, we need look no further than this film. It couldn’t have been made at any other time, and in any other place: the particular confluence of Christianity being located in Alaska (rather than, say, the Deep South), fear of outsiders, and assertion of heteronormativity, is so perfectly of this American moment.
It also perfectly exemplifies the power of citationality: to paraphrase Judith Butler (after Derrida), “the norm of [the threatening outsider] takes hold to the extent that it is ‘cited’ as such a norm, but it also derives its power through the citations that it compels. And how it is that we might read the ‘citing’ of the norms of [outsider-ness] as the process of approximating or ‘identifying with’ such norms” (Butler, Bodies That Matter, 13). In other words, this film exemplifies the circular historical processes of performativity, citationality and representation: through the iteration of such representations of outsiderness as unChristian, ungodly, disruptive and harmful (until battered down and successfully overcome, incorporated and assimilated, where possible) this representation, or idea, further becomes the ‘norm’, or the standard idea of outsiderness. Through the production of such representations knowledge about the ‘real’ threat of the outsider is produced: the outsider becomes definitively known as all of these pernicious things.
According to an article in The National (also available in longer form at alternet), there is a growing concerted effort in parts of Israel to stop Jewish women dating Palestinian men, and in other areas “vigilante” groups have formed to stop Palestinian men being friendly to Jewish women. As the article by Jonathan Cook explains,
“A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and “rescue” them.
The move by the municipality of Petah Tikva, a city close to Tel Aviv, is the latest in a series of separate – and little discussed – initiatives from official bodies, rabbis, private organisations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage.
In a related development, the Israeli media reported this month that residents of Pisgat Zeev, a large Jewish settlement in the midst of Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, had formed a vigilante-style patrol to stop Arab men from mixing with local Jewish girls.
Hostility to intimate relationships developing across Israel’s ethnic divide is shared by many Israeli Jews, who regard such behaviour as a threat to the state’s Jewishness. One of the few polls on the subject, in 2007, found that more than half of Israeli Jews believed intermarriage should be equated with ‘national treason’.”
What’s interesting (well, maybe interesting is a bit benign a word… more totally screwed up) is that here we can see the coming together of two different concerns: firstly that of Jewish purity, which is not exclusive to Jewish communities in Israel: the idea that Jews should only marry other Jews is one which captivates Jews around the world, including in Melbourne. But mixed in here is the colonial idea of the dark-skinned, native predatory man who seduces the innocent, but misguided coloniser woman, and the accompanying very colonial fears about miscegenation. It’s a rather heartbreaking mixture, really.