Jello Biafra and Zizek in Tel Aviv and Benjamin Weinthal in Germany

01Jul11

Three more or less unrelated items.

Slovenian philosopher: “Antisemitism is alive and kicking in Europe”

Saturday, June 25 2011|Mairav ZonszeinOn Friday evening, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek gave a lecture in a bookstore in Central Tel Aviv teeming with familiar faces of leftwing activists. It was hosted by Udi Aloni, an Israeli-American artist and BDS activist, who just completed a book entitled What Does a Jew Want, which is edited by Zizek.

The bookstore called Tola’at Sfarim (Bookworm), which is also a small publisher of books mostly on psychology, was packed with people, young and old, very eager to hear Zizek speak, just as I was.

Many seem to have come with the expectation to hear Zizek rip into Israel and use his wry wit and charisma in such a bourgeoises Tel Aviv setting to endorse the BDS Movement. Indeed when Udi Aloni introduced Zizek, he identified himself as an activist on behalf of BDS and said he chose the bookstore as a venue in order to not cooperate with any formal Israeli institution.

READ THE REST, plus commentary by Though Cowards Flinch. Note: This does not stop me from thinking Zizek is an infantile bourgeois Stalinist nutcase.

The Dead Kennedys Versus BDS

July 1, 2011 – 12:03 am – by Ben CohenIn 2009, about one month after the end of the IDF’s military operation against Hamas, I wrote and produced a short film for online viewing, titled Vilified: Telling Lies About Israel. Within a day of being uploaded, the film had registered an audience of thousands. Over the following week, the viewer numbers continued to climb impressively.

And then the film got pulled by YouTube.

I’d dearly like to report this as a case of political censorship, but the sad truth is that copyright violation was the reason. At the beginning of the film, over a sequence that detailed the gruesome loss of life in those conflicts routinely ignored because Gaza hogs the media limelight, we used the opening bars of a song called “Holiday in Cambodia,” by the Dead Kennedys. With its sinister flashes of echoing guitar set against an ominous, cascading riff, the music was perfect, and certainly helped our film on its viral odyssey. Only we didn’t clear the rights — mea culpa — and that silly error meant that all those views were obliterated at the touch of a button.

At the time, I did wonder if an anti-Zionist sensibility had played a role in the complaint to YouTube from the Dead Kennedys’ publishers. Hence, I took a great deal of pleasure when I learned, this week, that none other than Jello Biafra, the lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, had become the latest member of the club of performing artists whose decision to play in Israel attracted the venom of the BDS lobby, whose initials stand for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. But does that mean I was wrong about him entirely?

Biafra and his band, which rejoices in the name Guantanamo School of Medicine, had been due to play at Tel Aviv’s Barby club on July 2. The news of this engagement left the BDS movement aghast and angry. Biafra is not Justin Bieber, after all; given his status as a demi-god in the anarcholeftist universe of punk rock’s West Coast incarnation, the Tel Aviv concert represented a wounding betrayal. “We implore you to cancel your ‘Holiday in Tel Aviv!’” begged a petition sponsored by a group called Punks Against Apartheid, in an allusion to the Dead Kennedy’s Cambodian ditty.

After a bitter back and forth between Biafra and his detractors, the singer finally relented. There would be no concert in Tel Aviv, he told his followers, although he would still visit “Israel and Palestine to check things out myself.” At the same time, he did not hide his contempt for the BDS movement…

READ THE REST. Note: I think that on the whole PJM is full of shit.

 By Benjamin Weinthal, June 30, 2011| It has been a while since a leader of a German party called for the political exclusion of the head of Germany’s Jews. Last week, Klaus Ernst, co-chairperson of the anti-Israel Left Party, called for Dr Dieter Graumann, the president of Germany’s Jewish community, to leave “party politics” as rapidly as possible.

What sparked Mr Ernst’s attack on the head of Germany’s 105,000 Jews was Mr Graumann’s criticism that the Left Party permits its politicians to “let out their rabid, almost pathological hatred of Israel”.

Mr Ernst, a Bavarian trade union leader, and Left Party co-chairwoman, Gesine Lötzsch, from the former East Germany, have worked overtime to dismantle Israel’s right to exist. The Left Party’s record is replete with examples of calls to boycott Israeli products, it has advocated a “one-state solution” to eliminate the Jewish state, and it paid for two of its Bundestag members to join the Mavi Marmara last year.

The two Left Party parliamentarians, Inge Höger and Annette Groth, who aligned themselves with Turkish Islamists on the Mavi Marmara, received a hero’s welcome last year from Ms Lötzsch on returning to Berlin.

There are further disturbing facts about Left Party members.

READ THE REST. More from der Spiegel. NOTE: I think that Weinthal’s article is somewhat distorting. It mentions Die Linke’s Gregor Gysi, but misses the fact that he has quite a record in defending Israel and attacking antisemitism.

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10 Responses to “Jello Biafra and Zizek in Tel Aviv and Benjamin Weinthal in Germany”

  1. Bourgeois and Stalinist maybe, but calling Zizek infantile is beyond the pale! Indeed, how can anybody be both Stalinist and infantile? As Lenin – who bred Stalin in his own image – said, the Left Council Communists are the infantile ones ;)

  2. 2 Oscar stil wundering why he fuckking bothers

    “Note: This does not stop me from thinking Zizek is an infantile bourgeois Stalinist nutcase.”

    Note: http://unspeak.net/postmodernists/#comment-4174

  3. Ok Carl, maybe infantile was the wrong word! Maybe Stalinist was too. How about totalitarian nutcase who inspires infantile lumpen-intellectuals?

  4. 5 Oscar stil wundering why he fuckking bothers

    and still wrong

  5. 6 Who Cares

    About the Lenin”infantile disease” thing, the title of the book is not meant to call left-communism “childish”. It’s a metaphor about child illness,something that communism goes through in its infancy, due to lack of historical experience.
    I know it has little to do with the subject but I’ve always felt annoyed about how people don’t get it and keep quoting it in the wrong context.


  1. 1 Slovenia’s hip philosopher | ikners.com
  2. 2 PRVO TRAGEDIJA PA ONDA FARSA « BELEŽNICA
  3. 3 Linke-Führung: Mauerbau war «nicht akzeptables Unrecht» « Deutscher Demokratische Republik
  4. 4 Looking back at 2011 « Anti-National Translation

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