Ali Abunimah is probably not a racist, BUT………

Just came across this piece by Roy Bard

The birth of Israel involved a grave injustice to the Palestinians. The continued existence of Israel perpetuates that injustice. A strong lobby, dominated by Jews, but not exclusively Jewish, helps to perpetuate the injustice, by attacking those who feel compelled to speak out against the original and ongoing injustice. Despite many a career and reputation being ruined for pro-Palestinian stances,  many who love the ideas of Justice and Liberty continue to stand for Palestine, and continue to be attacked for it……


Today the spotlight is on Ali Abunimah, of whom Gilad Atzmon may have said:


“Ali has managed to take the intifada and make it into an electronic blog.

Ali’s name appears at the top of the list of signatories who called for the Disavowal of Gilad Atzmon, which led to a presumption that Ali was the author of that call.  In defending himself, Ali today let slip that he was not the author……..

Although I would have been proud to claim that credit, unfortunately I cannot. Nonetheless, when asked to sign, I did so without hesitation.

So, now the scenario is fraught with irony after irony……. in defending himself against a  baseless claim of racism, Ali reminds us that he himself was part of another baseless claim of racism against Gilad. From my reading of Gilad, there is no claim of any racial characteristics unique to Jews, rather Gilad argues that Jewish identity  is the product of ideology and that for anyone who is not religious, it may well be best to step away from that identity, and to join the other actors as a Universalist.  If anyone is in danger of characterising Jewishness as a racial trait, it seems it may well be Ali himself, and he really doesn’t want to go there…….


Ali’s revelation is concerning,  without hesitation he signed a call for us to disavow Atzmon. This is a lynch mob mentality. I once spent a day of my life with several other people delinking a person from our group because they had published an article which made it clear that they had crossed a red-line for that group. It was painful, and it took a lot of deliberation.

Ali Abunimah is probably not a racist, BUT he could do better at solidarity activism.