The ongoing genocides

Image: Fidan Nazim Qiz


Colonialism is extremely violent and must be fought with the same rigor as Nazism

A certain anti-Semitic left applauded Lula's speech equating the massacre in Gaza with the Holocaust, saying that he seeks to “awaken the Jews”, through the shock of his statement, to what is happening. Much is said about form without observing the content of your speech. It is clear that a pro-Israel reactionary camp does not accept the characterization of genocide. But this anti-Semitic left rejects criticism from left-wing Jews regarding the content of Lula's speech as a whole, which is not about the characterization of genocide, but about the language the president chooses to make his criticism. Let's do it by steps.

Firstly, Lula says that the only thing comparable to the ongoing massacre in Gaza throughout history is the Holocaust, committed against the Jews themselves by Nazism. In this statement, Lula ignores a series of recent genocides that are still being perpetrated and distorts the history of the Holocaust to paint Israel as the absolute evil on Earth. This speech is already having harmful reverberations. Because the effect of Lula's speech is not to shock people and draw attention to an ongoing massacre perpetrated by a genocidal government, but to feed the idea that there is a singular and unparalleled evil, Jewish malevolence, the ultimate sign of evil. , only equaled by their own executioners, the Nazis.

It doesn't matter if Lula intended to fuel a discourse of equalizing Jews to Nazis and trivializing the Holocaust. What matters is that this is the practical effect of her speech. A growth in hateful speech against Jews, Holocaust deniers and revisionists, and conspiratorial speeches. The complete anti-Semitism package. Now, if Israel is the “absolute evil on Earth”, nothing can compare to this people who suffered a genocide from which they “learned nothing” and, against a “genocidal people” who learn nothing (as if the Holocaust had been a mix of a summer camp and a human rights educational program), everything is valid and, in front of him, everything is banal.

Including the genocides underway today, many of them, by the way, perpetrated by the Brazilian government's geopolitical allies. If Israel is the “greatest enemy of humanity”, today, it is forgivable to embrace genocidaires, autocrats, warlords and dictators from the “axis of resistance” and “non-aligned countries”, this fantasy field of anti-imperialism of imbeciles (to borrow a term by the Syrian militant Leila al-Shami, paraphrasing a term by the communist Jew August Bebel), which only exists in the deliriums of the mourning widows of the cold war.

The reactionary reserve of the left celebrates Lula's bravado, exercising his socially accepted anti-Semitism, with unequivocal declarations of hostility against the country's Jewish community, strengthening the cult of personality of a president who is unable to deliver what he promised in his electoral program, more once and, this time, it adheres to the communicative tools of Bolsonarism, betting on geopolitical agendas to mobilize its base, when internal agendas are not out of place. Lula's interest is unequivocal: he wants to appear as a central figure in world politics and, to this end, he tries to forge his alliances to consolidate himself as leader of the “global south”.

This is nothing more than an ideological compensation for its base, given that the government does not deliver what it promises as the chosen project of the so-called “democratic reconstruction”. The ongoing Yanomami genocide is just one of the symptoms that the PT government is not working towards what it promised. The lives of Brazilians are not much better than they were two years ago. So he needs a distraction mechanism. And foreign policy is this false mirror of political radicalism from a government that continues to reproduce the neoliberal policies of its predecessors, deflecting this reality with the illusion that we have a statesman willing to “stand up to imperialism”. And this is a big deal for the opportunist right-wing opposition, which exploits Lula's diplomatic strategy for its own hidden political interests.

But this mobilization of the right-wing opposition does not negate the fact that, in Brazil, there is a sterile, crude and myopic left, which clings to the bravado of a blatant anti-imperialism, about a conflict ten thousand kilometers away, about who have no influence or direct involvement, to satisfy their wounded ego in the face of their own inability to build any type of change or improvement in life in practice, at home.

But the issue here is deeper than that. The sterility of the global left, especially the Western left, which has accumulated decades of political defeats and has not delivered any revolutionary alternative since the decline of “real socialism”, desperately clings to an external conflict, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as a last hope to “show service” in the face of the emptiness of its “anti-imperialist” program, which collects spurious alliances with reactionary and, above all, openly counter-revolutionary regimes, such as those of Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad and the dictatorship of the ayatollahs in Iran.

This desperation to have, in this generation, a Vietnam or a Sierra Maestra to call their own, makes a large portion of the left see reactionary organizations such as Hamas or Hezbollah as humanity's last salvation against the supreme evil of Zionism. But this equation of Jewish nationalism (or, at least, the alternative of Jewish nationalism that survived the Nazi extermination, since, before, the project of national emancipation of the Jews was divided between, at least, two preponderant alternatives, Zionism – and , there, the Marxist Zionism of the Poalei Zion – and the diasporic Jewish nationalism of Waist) with imperialism and colonialism is not a position si ne qua non of Marxism, arising ex nihilo within the communist program, like the man made of clay in the biblical narrative or the worms of abiogenesis in a piece of rotten meat in the laboratory. Anti-Zionism has a specific root and starting point in the history of the communist movement.

In the history of the communist movement at the beginning of the 20th century, opposition to Zionism was embedded in a generalist anti-nationalist position, based on radical internationalism: Zionism is not an alternative for the liberation of the Jews because the nation-state is not the answer to emancipation. Jewish. Marx, in a somewhat premonitory way (since, it is worth remembering, Zionism did not yet exist in the first half of the 19th century), already highlighted this problem in On the Jewish Question.

Politics is a field of alienation and betting on politics as a path to human emancipation is betting on announced failure. Thus, a Jewish national home would not necessarily result in the emancipation of Jews. However, despite this preponderant position in the communist environment, in the first half of the 20th century, Marxist Zionist movements emerged. Communist Jews who saw a Jewish state as the only alternative to anti-Semitism in the Jewish diaspora. While other Jewish socialists, Marxists and non-Marxists, bet on either a diasporic Jewish nationalism like that of Waist, or in adherence to the program of the Bolshevik revolutionaries.

Who was right doesn't matter, what matters is that, faced with the strong anti-Semitism that permeated the revolutionary movement, Bolshevik and non-Bolshevik Jews, like the communists of the Poalei Zion and the socialist Jews of Waist, capitulated to the Soviet government as a way of trying to combat, by occupying the Soviet State apparatus, anti-Semitism within the ranks of the Bolshevik movement itself, especially in the Red Army, which, during the years of the civil war, was involved in a series of pogroms carried out in Jewish settlement zone on Russian territory and in Ukraine, as in the brutal wave of pogroms in 1919 led by deserted Red Army soldier Nikifor Grigoriev.

I quote all of this to remind you that, even in the face of violence, negligence and, simply, sabotage from the revolutionary leadership itself, the Jews did not give up their commitment to the socialist revolution. Even with the Stalinist regime's openly anti-Semitic political persecution of Jewish revolutionary militants, Soviet Jews remained faithful defenders of the socialist revolution. And, in the war against Nazism, they were fierce and fierce defenders of the Soviet State.

After the end of the Second World War, faced with the extermination of two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe and one-third of Jews globally, it was impossible to ignore the issue of genocidal anti-Semitism. In light of the Nazi genocide, the recently founded United Nations, with the approval of the majority of Latin American countries and the Soviet Union itself, recommended the founding of the Jewish State in the territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine. Arab leaders opposed this. A very violent war between Jews and Arabs was fought between 1947-1948. What followed is common knowledge. But why did the USSR go from defending and, more than that, military guarantor of the founding of the Jewish State (since, it is worth remembering, the Israelis were armed against the Arabs by the Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia with the approval of the Soviet Union) to a staunch opponent of Israel?

The history of contemporary anti-Zionism begins in 1956, when the conflict between Israel and Arab countries began to be projected as an extension of the Cold War conflict, when the Soviets began to move increasingly closer to Arab nationalism and Israel to Western countries, capitalists. But the complete break only occurred in 1967, after Nasser's defeat in the six-day war. Coincidentally, it was also in the mid-1960s that the PLO was founded. And this is an important date because, it is worth highlighting, here, the idea of ​​a Palestinian nationality only began to be claimed at the end of the 1960s.

The Arab-Israeli conflict was precisely that: a conflict between Arabs and Jews. It seems like a controversial statement, but it is enough to read the statements of the Arab leaders, especially those of Nasser, to see that the conflict was not a fight for the national self-determination of the Palestinians, but a fight against the founding of a Jewish State in the heart of the Arab world.

From then on, the position of the communist movement aligned with the USSR was that of staunch opposition to Zionism. And such opposition had historical distortion as one of its main tools. From a national project for a people persecuted for thousands of years in the diaspora, the Jewish population of Israel is now painted by anti-Zionist propaganda as an imperialist project of colonization of the Middle East. All this historical distortion ignores that Jewish immigration to Palestine was heavily blocked by British imperialism, in alliance with Arab leaders, with Jews under the mortal threat of Nazism. And that British imperialism armed these same Arab leaders against the Jews in the 1947-1948 war.

And, of course, this anti-Zionism, there, as today, had anti-Semitic reverberations. In the USSR, Jews were falsely accused, tried and condemned for a “plot” with Israel, in Czechoslovakia, the same one that had armed the Jews against the Arabs in 1947-1948, Jewish veterans of the fight against Nazism, from the old guard of the communist movement , were arrested and tortured to confess to being spies in collusion with imperialism. Anti-Zionist marches in the USSR were accompanied by anti-Semitic caricatures similar to those used by the Nazis and even medieval anti-Jewish imagery. Historical experience shows that the line between what is “just anti-Zionism” and more unequivocal anti-Semitism has always been blurred.

More than harsh criticism of the Zionist regime, the key shift in geopolitics from the defense of the Jewish State to the defense of Arab nationalism rehabilitated a series of anti-Semitic tropes in the left's vocabulary. The Western left, now converted into a spokesperson for Arab nationalism in the face of the Cold War, found itself reverberating, as it does today, Holocaust denial and revisionism, such as the idea widespread in anti-Zionist circles that the Holocaust was a Zionist plot to justify the creation of the Jewish State (!).

However, we were only able to understand the mentality of pseudo-revolutionary campism with the end of the socialist and national liberation revolutions, which ended at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s, when the communist movement's turn towards third-worldism took place. its complete return, with the adherence of the Western left to the Iranian revolution. It doesn't matter if the Ayatollahs' regime massacred the communists who supported the revolution against the Shah, these are mere “Eurocentric sensibilities” and what matters is that Iran, now, was yet another ally against the “axis of evil”, USA, Europe and Israel and its allies.

The Brazilian left, of course, has always been aligned with the movements of the communist movement, especially the Soviet camp. From Stalinism, through Khrushchevist “revisionism”, to adherence to the geopolitical position of the Cold War. However, with the fall of the USSR and “real socialism”, this pseudo-revolutionary and anti-Semitic left became umbilically connected to the unburied corpse of the cold war, inheriting its caricature in the form of the “non-alignment” policy of the “axis of resistance”.

And, with the political defeat of the Palestinian national liberation movement, anti-Zionism inherited the umbilical connection to the caricature of this Palestinian resistance movement, which are fundamentalist organizations such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. None of these organizations have as their objective a revolutionary program for the emancipation of the Palestinians, but, as they have the destruction of Israel as their maximum program, they are embraced tooth and nail by a portion of the left that sees the end of Israel as its last chance for redemption. after decades of political sterility.

However, the position defending the destruction of Israel as the only alternative to the massacre against the Palestinians was not a majority on the left until recently. After the end of the PLO and the weakening of Fatah with the help of the Israeli far right, which encouraged the political rise of Hamas in the Gaza strip and, in particular, after the second intifada and the resurgence of violence in the apartheid regime of the occupation Israeli government in the Palestinian territories, a two-state solution has lost strength. Which does not mean that its logical conclusion was that a solution of a single, multi-ethnic, secular State was also out of the question. But the political myopia of the left and the fetish for exterminism have spoken louder, and so many in the anti-Zionist movement have preferred to raise the voice of reactionary organizations, rather than listening to left-wing organizations that foster solidarity between Palestinians and Jews against the occupation.

This exterminist turn on the left produces a series of highly reactionary positions, which translate into revisionism and historical denialism. The founding of Israel ceases to be a consequence of Nazi extermination and becomes the objective of this extermination. And the affirmation of the uniqueness of the Holocaust ceases to be a question of methodological rigor with historiography, without which it is not possible to understand the particularity of the Nazi genocide, and becomes a question of affirming the exceptionality of the Holocaust, without which it is not possible defending the legitimacy of a Jewish state.

Based on this distortion of reality, the most fanatically anti-Israel sectors of the left seem to live in a parallel reality of denial of the deaths, kidnappings and rapes of Jews in the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, 2023, where everything is just a play of propaganda orchestrated by the Zionist State to justify a genocidal incursion into Gaza. At the same time, in this parallel reality, all the massacres and unequivocal genocidal actions committed by the allied countries of the “multipolar world” defended by this left, which has already become anachronistic and a caricature of itself, such as the massacre in Darfur, the cleansing ethnicity in Kurdistan, the prolonged war in Ukraine and the violent repression against opponents of the Ayatollah regime in Iran, when they are not vehemently denied, are celebrated.

In this context of celebrating an empty and exterminist violence, a large part of the anti-Zionist left abandons the two-state solution or the creation of a single state for Jews and Arabs, to bet on the escalation of the war, like the journalist Breno Altman, who, recently, he defended the involvement of Israel's historical enemies in a war of total annihilation. That a large part of the left sees no alternative other than the complete earthmoving of the Middle East in a fratricidal war between Jews and Arabs is symptomatic of a phenomenon of capitalism in its terminal phase.

The allegedly revolutionary left as a supporter of a kind of “secular eschatology”, an apocalyptic moment in which the destruction of Israel, as the last remnant of the colonial world, will be the focal point for carrying forward a worldwide movement of awareness and struggle against imperialist barbarism . But there are, as already demonstrated above by the spurious alliances of this reactionary portion of the left, a series of contradictions at play that make me doubt that this would be the Canaan we would arrive at.

Firstly, it is the mix of myopia and hypocrisy of those who claim to be leaders of the oppressed peoples of the Earth. Lula has a 500-year-old genocide under his nose to compare with what Israel does to the Palestinians. But why does he choose to compare it to Nazism? I have a hunch. But I didn't pull it out of nowhere. There is an essay by Moishe Postone called The Holocaust and the Trajectory of the 20th Century, in which the historian points out that anti-Zionism operated as a form of hygiene of post-Holocaust European history, through the projection of the situation of the Palestinians onto Europe itself, which was guilty of the Jewish genocide, as oppressed by “powerful Jews”, now owners of a Nation-state, founded, like all countries, on enormous violence.

As Europe “rewarded” the Jews with a state founded under the territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine, the European left found itself exempt from the task of dealing with its own recent genocidal, Holocaust and colonialist past. Now, with the formation of Israel and the occupation of Palestinian territory after the six-day war, the Western left has found a privileged “model minority” to project its white guilt over Europe's colonialist past.

Very well, Brazil is also a State founded on a massacre, and operates a continuous genocide against its original peoples. Why, then, does Lula choose the Nazi project (full of fundamental distinctions with the history of Israel, in addition to the lack of tact in the comparison) as a parallel? Because, by comparing the Jews with the Nazis, the recent past of Jewish genocide is completely sanitized. Now, if today's Jews are yesterday's Nazis, they are exempt from the task of dealing with Jewish extermination, as Jews “didn't learn anything” from Nazism. (Or did they learn, but to repeat it?) Furthermore, this projection is yet another form of anti-Semitism in its anti-Zionist guise, of placing the Jews as an invading force, now in the Middle East, to which they “do not belong”, as the Jewish nation would be a “European project” of colonization, which, on the one hand, denies the origin of the Jews, as a diaspora people, in the Middle East and, on the other, denies the legitimacy of Jewish self-determination as Jews are a “ invented people” in Europe, a Western project to invade and colonize the Arab world.

Why doesn't Lula draw a parallel between the situation of the Palestinians and the situation of indigenous peoples in Brazil? Why doesn't she compare Israel's genocide with that carried out by the “axis of resistance” against the Kurds? Or with the Armenian genocide operated by the Turks? It’s not just because he doesn’t want to offend these countries that are his geopolitical allies in the BRICS “counter-hegemony” project. When Lula refers to Jews as “those people”, he makes it clear that he does not see the Jewish community as part of the national community. Lula chose the Jewish community as the internal enemy of the moment, making the old speech about double Jewish loyalty. With your base, it's gluing. Jews, even those on the left, are already treated under suspicion. And the ideological toll became more expensive.

Furthermore, whoever is applauding Lula's speech ignores a relevant fact. Israel's main industry is security. Because Israel is a country involved in wars. Brazil's commercial partnerships with Israel did not begin during the Bolsonaro government. They were designed since the Lula government. And where were these partnerships used precisely? In security technologies. Lula was not interested in the delicious dates from the Judean desert. But in caveirões. Now, if the biopolitics/necropolitics of apartheid of Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank can only be compared to Nazism, what does this tell us about the PT government's public security policy with Israeli military technology?

Lula's pseudo-radical speech is nothing more than bravado. Israel “justifies” its strong military industry by being involved in conflicts with external enemies for decades. What is Brazil's enemy to justify arming itself as heavily as Israel? Brazil is waging a war within. And neither Lula is doing anything effective as a national leader with certain power in multilateral organizations (such as the UN security council) to bring about the end of the massacre in Gaza, nor is he going to break commercial ties with Israel. So, his anti-Zionism is yet another rhetorical exercise by a bravado leader.

Of course, like Lula, the Israeli government (like every belligerent nation-state) also uses its bravado. If the Israeli military technology purchased by Brazil is used in the favelas to carry out the genocide of the black population, it is because this same technology has already been tested by the Israeli apartheid occupation policy in the Palestinian territories.

But the problem with Lula's speech is not just its hypocrisy. It is also about the discriminatory attitude he fosters. Since the Israeli offensive began in Gaza after October 7, several cases of anti-Semitism have been reported around the world. A synagogue was destroyed in Tunisia, a Jewish religious leader was stabbed to death outside her home in Brooklyn, passengers from Tel Aviv disembarking at Makhachkala airport in Russia were cornered by a mob of anti-Semites hunting for Jews, synagogues and Jewish institutions have been vandalized and spray-painted in Brazil, where a Jewish woman's store in Bahia was also invaded and she was attacked by a woman who shouted anti-Semitic slogans while breaking her products and attacking her. Other “minor occurrences” such as the call to boycott Jewish establishments and institutions, in addition to the accusation of national Jewish institutions of being “foreign”, which “go against national interests” (as if the country's Jewish population were not part of the national community ), have also become more intense in recent months.

Opportunist anti-Semites say that this entire escalation of anti-Semitism is a mere natural reaction, even humanitarian (!), in response to the massacre in the Gaza strip. This is an unmistakable wave of anti-Semitism. If the entire Jewish population outside of Israel begins to suffer attacks for what is committed by the State of Israel, what we observe is a collective responsibility of a people for violence committed “in their name”. This vision of the Jewish community as members of a kind of “hive mind”, collectively responsible for the actions of a country, resonates the anti-Semitic clichés of international Jewry evoked by genocidal anti-Semitism.

This opportunism carries out an ideological hijacking of the security of Jews, to whom they promise that, in order for them to be respected and live in peace, they only need to vehemently oppose the existence of the State of Israel, calling for its end. But this premise has a fundamental flaw. Now, if Israel is the cause of anti-Semitism today, what should Jews have done before Israel existed to curb anti-Semitism? What should the Jewish community have done so that Nazi anti-Semitism would not exist? What should Soviet Jews have done to stop the persecution of Jews by the Stalinist regime? What should the Jews of the Russian Empire have done so that pogroms would not be committed? What should Middle Eastern Jews have done to avoid being dhimmis, second-class citizens, in Arab countries? What should Jews in Medieval Europe have done to avoid being persecuted by the Inquisition, thrown into ghettos and killed in the Crusades? Etc., etc… What reason do Jews have to believe that it is enough to take an anti-Zionist position for anti-Semitism on the left to end? None. Because the root of modern anti-Semitism is not Israel. The root of modern anti-Semitism is not even Jewish behavior, culture, religion, or political engagement.

The root of modern anti-Semitism is the social fetishism of commodity society. As Moishe Postone will brilliantly demonstrate in his seminal essay Antisemitism and National Socialism, hatred of Jews is a romantic anti-capitalist deflection, which projects onto Jews the most abstract characteristics of capitalism. Importing signs from medieval Christian anti-Judaism and revamping them into a contemporary language, modern anti-Semitism transfers the idea of ​​Jewish greed, disloyalty and parasitism from the medieval world to the idea of ​​the worldwide Jewish plot behind imperialism, financial capital, globalization, etc. ., in a worldview where Jews are the incarnation of capitalism. Only by exterminating those who embody the negative side of value can humanity be freed from domination by the abstract.

And, very fortunately, from this same essay, we can understand the blunder of Lula's trivialization of the Holocaust. The trivialization of the Holocaust in his speech does not occur because the genocide of the Jews is unique, incomparable and unparalleled (although Lula himself affirms this character, with the sole exception of the massacre in Gaza). But because the genocide of the Jews has a historical specificity that is fundamental to its understanding. Did Nazism victimize other groups? It is clear. But it is impossible to understand Nazism without placing anti-Semitism at the center of the issue. And why this centrality? I explain.

The Nazis victimized, in addition to Jews, the Romani people, Slavs, black people, LGBT people, disabled people and even Jehovah's Witnesses. For them, all these individuals were inferior races, traitors to the Aryan race, racial impures, sub-humans, etc. But Jews occupied a special place in the Nazi imagination. For the Nazis, Jews were the anti-race. In the Nazi anti-Semitic vision, the Jew was like an anti-human, a parasite who infected and rotted the world from the inside out. Furthermore, anti-Semitism was the element that tied together all the contradictions of Nazism. His anti-communism, anti-liberalism, his anti-democratic and anti-modern vision. This is because, for the Nazis, all these things they opposed were of Jewish origin.

For the Nazi, the Jew and Judaism were the foundation of everything that weakened the superior race. The universalist and counter-hegemonic ideas of Jewish thinkers, in all fields of culture, philosophy, science, politics, were in direct opposition to the racist and supremacist worldview of Nazism. Therefore, for them, it was essential to extirpate the “Jewish race”, the “anti-race” from the face of the Earth. And, as a result, the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” was drawn up at the Wannsee conference in 1942. The Nazis were not merely racist, they saw the Jews as the absolute evil that threatened humanity. Everything that touched the “Jewish spirit” needed to be exterminated. When we say that Nazism is an ideology of total extermination of the Jews, this is not hyperbole. The idea of ​​total extermination of the Jews was so radical that, even where there was just a single Jew, the Nazis would go to put an end to it.

Anti-Semitism was such a central element of Nazi ideology that Germany's entire economy and material technological and industrial efforts were centralized toward building the Nazi impersonal, industrial death machine. The particularity of anti-Semitism and the singularity of the Holocaust are not in its methods (many of them borrowed from the European colonialist experience), but in its objective: the total, rationalized and industrialized extermination of the Jews, as hidden ciphers, personifications of the abstract, who entered the crematory ovens of the concentration camps to dissipate exchange value like smoke in the chimneys of the value-destroying factories that were the Nazi concentration camps, leaving behind only their use values: their clothes, their gold, their hair and their fat to make soap.

Yes, the Holocaust, as a genocide, can be used as a comparison parameter for other historical events. The question here is how it is used. Does the comparison come to highlight the barbarity that resembles that of the Holocaust or to belittle the Jewish genocide? When Aimé Césaire compares colonialism to the Holocaust, he does not do so to belittle the deaths of six million Jews. But to demonstrate how colonialism was extremely violent and should be fought with the same rigor as Nazism. The aberrant thing is to see people, today, using Aimé Césaire's words to do the exact opposite. Comparing death numbers and saying that “not as many Jews died in the Holocaust as black people died during the period of slavery”, denying the racist nature of the Holocaust by saying that it “was committed against white people” (when Nazi ideology makes it clear that Jews are not white at all) their eyes and, on top of that, ignoring the centuries of ethnocide against Jews in the diaspora that resulted in the “whiteness” of European Jews, which, as for all racialized people, is relative and contingent), etc.

But the Holocaust is a historical event, with its specificities and particularities. It is not a category, an “ideal type”, an analytical abstraction and should not be used as such, at the risk of completely losing its historical meaning. The Holocaust was a genocide, but it is not synonymous with genocide and genocides are only correctly characterized when, as historical events, their particularities are taken into account.

In the end, what is happening in Gaza is, without a doubt, a genocide, an absolute massacre, regardless of the atrocities committed by Hamas, after all, the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza precedes the post-October 7th Israeli offensive. We can only ask ourselves what kind of position the left is taking in the face of this and what political consequences these positions have led to. An illustrative example of the profound contrast between a consistent and purposeful criticism of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and an exterminist view of the issue (according to which the conflict is a zero-sum game, where the resolution will only occur with the complete destruction of a people by another), was the case with the call of the movement BDS to boycott the organization Omdim Beyachad/Naqif Ma'an (“Standing Together”, in Hebrew and Arabic), an organization of Arabs and Jews from Israel, anti-capitalist and anti-occupation, accused of being an “organization that normalizes Israel” and that makes whitewashing of the Palestinian genocide.

This is because BDS does not admit any critical position towards Israel that is not accompanied by a boycott of the Jews. And, as the organization Omdim Beyachad/Naqif Ma'an values ​​a political construction of solidarity between Jews and Palestinians, this is an unacceptable position for BDS. What comforts us is knowing that communist Jews do not depend on the political approval of left-wing anti-Semites to work for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs. And organizations like the B'Tselem (“Made in the Image [of G-d]”, in Hebrew) will continue to denounce the crimes of the Israeli occupation and fight for a way out of the Palestinian genocide and the construction of peace between Jews and Arabs.

*Gabriel Carvalho is a social scientist and scientific researcher at the Federal University of Vale do São Francisco (Univasf).

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