by Roger Tucker
The recent open letter GrantingNo Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon, apparently written by Ali Abunimah, has come as a shock to many people, including yours truly. Not only have the Zionists colonized Palestine and subjected them to a permanent campaign of genocide, but as anyone who has been paying attention knows, they have colonized the Western democracies, turning them into obedient puppets. Now it appears that they have also colonized the Palestine Solidarity movement.
At the end of this essay are links to a number of responses supporting Atzmon and what he stands for. These cover the ground pretty well, but I’d like to add a critical look at the language used by Abunimah et al and some of the notions underlying such terminology. I’ll start with the title itself, which begins with the curious phrase “Granting No Quarter.” The phrase is familiar to anyone who has read books or seen films based on British naval warfare set in the 18th or early 19th centuries. – this is as extreme as it gets. This from a group of mostly Palestinian supporters of the Palestinian struggle against Israel in opposition to another such supporter. That is sufficiently mind-boggling in itself, but Ali Abunimah, and I would assume at least some of his fellow signatories, are also supporters of One Democratic State as the solution to the basic conflict in the Middle East, as is Atzmon. Some fundamental and portentous difference, beyond a mere dispute about strategy or tactics, must be responsible for such a total and uncompromising attack on a seemingly close ally. It allows for no debate, no compromise – no quarter offered or accepted.
Some observers have implied that Ali & Co. have actually gone over to the enemy, or may have been Zionist agents from day one, and that the Jewish members of these Solidarity groups are acting as their handlers. For the sake of argument, I’m going to assume that is not so, that they are perfectly sincere in considering themselves loyal to the Palestinian cause as they conceive it.
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