The Hijacking of the World Social Forum

by Lorna Salzman

The most tragic aspect of the World Social Forum 2009 is that it once again confirmed the stranglehold of the extreme left and the "fascislamists" (Bernard-Henri Levy's term) in the Arab world that has choked off the important arguments against neo-liberalism and global corporate capitalism.

Shoring up these pro-Arab extremists are those who exalt the Chavez/Lula model in South America for having distanced themselves from the IMF and World Bank, despite the ecologically disastrous development policies that still guide most Latin-American countries and which in the long term will undermine any programs to relieve poverty and inequality. This broad "alter-globalization" movement that once promised an alternative model for development is essentially doomed to failure.

Desperately poor and politically oppressed countries like Zimbabwe, Sudan, Haiti, and much of sub-Saharan Africa, have once again tried to make their voices heard above the defamatory shouts of pro-Palestine groups like Al Awda and the Muslim Brotherhood surrogates like Hezbollah, to no avail. In South Africa, the extreme left has picked up the anti-Israel propaganda and joined forces with the international socialist and communist movements who find attacking America far more congenial than attacking despots of color or of the Muslim faith. In western Europe countries like the UK and Netherlands, and Sweden to a lesser extent, appeasement of Muslims making false claims of "victimization" is the rule.

It is perhaps asking too much to expect rationality, tolerance or objectivity of the Arab world, whose schoolbooks, newspapers and TV, fulfilling the spirit and letter of the qu-ran, routinely incite the public to kill Jews, or their foreign emissaries in western Europe and the USA who spew out their hatred of Jews as they firebomb synagogues, assault Jewish women and elderly men, wreck kosher butcher shops, torture young French Jews to death, as they chant "Palestine will kill the Jews".."Jews must die"..Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas".

But surely we could expect more of Americans, and specifically of the US Green Party, one of whose members wrote in 2006: "The creation of the state of Israel was a greater crime against Jewish people than the ovens were. It is better to be murdered by a fascist than to become one" (David Cyr, member of the New York State State Committee of the US Green Party). Or perhaps Mel Gibson, who was stopped for drunk driving by a state trooper and retorted "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you Jewish?". Or the Arab-Americans organized by Al Awda to demonstrate in front of the Israeli consulate in San Francisco on Aug. 12, 2006, chanting "The Jews are our dogs".

And of course the extreme left finds it incredibly useful to use the apartheid reference regarding the Palestinians, even though it is completely inapplicable. But propaganda is most effective when it lies the most.

The left and liberal American press, with few exceptions, and the US Green Party, continue to ignore the hatred and violence promulgated as a matter of daily living in the Arab world. The same sentiments expressed by Iran's Ahmadinejad get some press attention but compared to what is printed and broadcast daily in Arab countries it seems tame; the few remaining Jews in Iran have yet to be the targets of torture and assassination like the Jews in western Europe. But of course Iran, while Muslim, is not an Arabic nation, and as a result it invested in education and promoted culture, science and the arts.

Many liberal Americans tend to focus less on Muslim extremism and more on fundamentalist Christians. This is a serious mistake. American academic institutions, media, and political processes are not completely immune -especially in the retrograde Baptist south - to pressure from this quarter, but the system is as a whole resilient and political organizing and educational efforts to counteract Christian religious fanaticism are prevalent.

But parts of our system are NOT immune from Islamist extremist propaganda or from the guilt trips that Islamists are laying on liberal Americans in universities, churches and synagogues. This is an organized international effort, promoted by groups like Al-Awda and other arms of the fanatic right-wing Muslim Brotherhood, fount of most Muslim violence along with al-Qaeda and the Taliban. This effort has insinuated itself into several churches, as well as the US Green Party, and lo and behold, the greatest response has been from American Jews.

What is going on? Just why should American Jews support the arguments and effort of movements whose specific objectives and charter are dedicated to killing all Jews? Not just wiping Israel off the map, mind you, but KILLING ALL JEWS. It is written in their qu-ran. It is screamed all over their preachings and writings. Yet despite the rapid growth of anti-Semitic propaganda, acts of violence, and random murders of Jews, American Jews have not only meekly accepted what they perceive as the validity of the Muslim arguments, but are, by ignoring these acts, actively defending and supporting campaigns explicitly intended to wipe them out.

Do I recall some Jews saying that there should have been more resistance to the Nazis in Germany and Poland? Perhaps those that said that will not be surprised that today's Jews are accepting the sentence of illegitimate judges: death at the hands of their Muslim allies.

And make no mistake about it. We are not talking about polite debates on television, or in universities, or in the pages of The Nation, or in the halls of congress. We are talking about threats that are not rhetorical but which are being carried out in the streets of western Europe, the surviving and most hopeful remnant of secular democracy and civilization in the world. We are talking about fascislamists who go into American churches and universities, intimidate liberals and Jews, and beat them into Fitna: submission.

Fitna is the title of a film that shows the whole story, full frontal view, by Geert Wilders. Wilders was recently denied a visa to enter the UK. The UK, specifically London, is generally accepted as Islamic Terrorism Central today, alongside Pakistan and Afghanistan. Terrorist plots against the UK, Europe and the USA are hatched here by jihadists trained in Pakistan and middle east Arab states. The USA has so far been spared another attack but no thanks to some civil libertarians who oppose even timid security measures such as racial profiling (I suspect that even though police and federal agencies deny they do it, it takes place anyway).

American Jews and American leftists do not share every aspect of their politics. While leftists hate this country with a vengeance and pick up every shred of bile from the writings of Noam Chomsky, American Jews act not out of such hatred but out of some unfathomable sense of guilt, some need to suffer, to be bludgeoned, to atone in some irrational way for what they are told are the crimes of a sovereign state called Israel. In some strange way American Jews are reacting as if they were not full fledged American citizens. In some way, their support for Israel has placed them in a separate category, where they cannot see the middle east problem as a foreign policy problem, not a "Jewish problem".

It is quite clear to virtually everyone that the propaganda of the extreme right fascislamists - that Palestinians must take over all of Israel in a single, Arab-controlled state before there can be peace - is a nonsensical and utterly false claim. Anyone reading Muslim religious propaganda will realize this immediately. The Israel-Palestine issue was until recently a sideline. Al Qaeda and the Taliban, for example, care not a whit about Israel; they care about establishing a GLOBAL CALIPHATE in which all infidels will be slaughtered if they do not convert. Bin Laden himself never even mentioned Israel in his speeches.

Does anyone really think that the disappearance of Israel and Jews from the middle east will bring peace? That it will calm the Taliban and Al Qaeda jihadists? That terrorist bombings will end? That the Muslim Brotherhood will fold shop and go away? No, of course not, and everyone knows it. Time for the left to admit it and turn their attention to the real atrocities in the world....if they really cared about them.

© 2002 Lorna Salzman. All rights reserved. Material may be quoted with permission.