On Anti- Semitism and Anti –Zionism
Letter published in the Irish Independent, 5 July 2011, written in response to a column by Ruth Dudley Edwards claiming that the people supporting the Irish Ship to Gaza (subsequently sabotaged by the Israelis) were motivated, whether they knew it or not, by anti-semitism.
I found it very interesting to read Ruth Dudley Edwards's observations (Sunday Independent, June 26) on anti-Semitism and her grandmother's dismissal of the Holocaust as British propaganda.
My own experience of learning about anti-Semitism was rather different. My mother, who was British, joined the Women's Air Force to fight Hitler and I was brought up knowing of the evils of Nazi Germany. In my teens two major cultural influences were Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, both Jews.
In 1966, aged 18, I became involved with, and then married, a Jewish woman from Chicago. Then in 1968 I came under the influence of two other major Jewish thinkers, Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky, and went on to write books about both of them.
From the mid-Seventies until my move to Ireland in 2010 I was actively involved in the anti-fascist struggle in Britain, against the National Front, the BNP, and the Holocaust revisionist David Irving.
However, according to Ruth Dudley Edwards, I must be an unconscious anti-Semite because I support the Irish Ship to Gaza.
As for other oppression in the Middle East, of which there is a great deal, there have been many recent protests in Dublin by members of the Egyptian, Libyan, Syrian and Bahraini communities, as part of the Arab Spring. I have been on most of these, but didn't notice Ruth Dudley Edwards -- perhaps I missed her.
Finally, she says the supermarkets are full in Gaza. I will quote from an unfriendly source, The CIA World Factbook (very easily checked online).Gaza, it says, has "extremely high unemployment, and high poverty rates. Shortages of goods are met through large-scale humanitarian assistance." Unemployment is at 40 per cent, and 70 per cent of the population live below the poverty line. But, of course, that may just be anti-Semitic propaganda.
Dr John Molyneux,