Spreading The Fiction Of An Antisemitism Epidemic On The Left

Caitlin Johnstone
6 min readJun 14, 2024

--

Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

Celebrity progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez held an appalling livestream the other day with two liberal Zionist “experts on fighting antisemitism” in which the three spent their time finger-wagging at the American left for opposing the genocide in Gaza in ways that upset the feelings of some Jewish people. These supposedly “antisemitic” offenses include supporting BDS, opposing Zionism, using the word “Zionist” as a pejorative, excluding Zionists from progressive events, and supporting the Palestinian resistance.

AOC goes out of her way to make the point that US progressives should only be opposing “the actions of the Netanyahu government” (as opposed to opposing the murderous apartheid state of Israel), and take great care not to be seen as “antisemitic” while doing so.

Let’s be clear here. If you are helping to validate the completely fictional narrative that there is an epidemic of antisemitism on the political left, you are a facilitator of Israeli atrocities. You are helping the imperial war machine murder children.

It is un fucking believable that eight months into a genocide the conversation is still being dragged kicking and screaming back to a completely fictional antisemitism crisis on the left. There is no epidemic of antisemitism on the left. It is not happening. The people pushing these conversations know it is not happening. It is utterly transparent bad faith concern trolling, but they’re managing to monopolize the conversation with it. They’re using a fictional story to steal the spotlight from a real genocide.

Everyone from AOC to RFK Jr has been going mask-off over Gaza and exposing themselves as the fraudulent imperialists they are. This is because they all understand that facilitating the imperial war machine is the price of entry for high-level political leadership in the US, particularly with regard to Israel and the middle east.

“Israel has a right to exist” really means “Israel has a right to exist as a murderous and tyrannical apartheid state, with the full military backing of the most powerful empire that has ever existed.” That’s all that phrase is ever actually used to convey.

It would absolutely be possible for there to be a state in that region where Jews and Palestinians coexist peacefully, but it would require a significant restructuring of the status quo of genocidal racism, inequality, injustice and apartheid. Because ending this unjust status quo isn’t regarded as an option, the only other option is to maintain it, which can only be done through nonstop violent force — both against the state’s pre-existing inhabitants and against its neighbors. Since that state cannot sustain this violent force on its own without either (A) being militarily overwhelmed or (B) poisoning itself with nuclear fallout by using nukes in its own immediate surroundings, it can only maintain its unjust status quo via the intimate and ongoing military facilitation of the US-centralized empire.

“Israel has a right to exist” is only ever uttered to argue for the continuation of all of the above, whether the people uttering it acknowledge this or not. And what’s absolutely insane is that you’ll often hear this slogan of support for endless warmongering, racism and apartheid from elected officials who are widely regarded as sitting on the “far left” of western politics.

No nation or government has a “right to exist”. Governments don’t have rights, people have rights. Unless they’re Palestinian, apparently.

Video clips of Biden wandering around in confusion are coming out with pretty much every public appearance he makes these days. And I think it’s important to keep repeating that the takeaway here is not “This man isn’t mentally competent enough to run the United States”, it’s “The president doesn’t run the United States”.

The way the empire has continued to trudge onward completely unimpeded by the fact that it has a dementia patient for a president proves conclusively that the official elected government doesn’t actually run things, which means the behavior of the US government is in no way responsive to the will of the electorate.

The one thing that’s certain about the US presidential election is that the US empire will roll on completely unchanged and uninterrupted regardless of who wins. In effect all arguments about who Americans should vote for is really an argument about what outcome will make you feel better while you pretend that you live in a democracy and that your vote made a difference. You may as well be arguing about which prayers you should pray over what actions your government will take, or which magic spells you should cast to determine the decisions US policymakers will make.

It’s a ritual they let you participate in to let you feel like you have some control over the behavior of a power structure they’ll never actually let you control the behavior of, and I place emphasis on the word “feel” here. That’s why the whole electoral race is always so emotion-laden; it’s not about actual actions and policies, it’s about feelings. It’s a security blanket they let you hold onto while you suck your thumb and passively watch the empire do what it’s going to do regardless of who wins. They just let you vote on whether that security blanket should be red or blue.

One of the empire’s strongest defenses is the fact that the people who could speak out most effectively against the imperial status quo are precisely those who are least likely to, because those with the largest platforms are rich people who benefit from status quo systems.

The vast, vast number of people who have been entirely failed by the system — or who have been directly victimized by it — are left without a voice, because in a capitalist system the ones who control the capital control who gets to have a voice. The wealthy people who control our society’s largest and most influential platforms universally refuse to platform anyone who attacks the status quo systems upon which their wealth is premised, and they handsomely compensate the reliable stewards of the status quo whom they do choose to elevate, so the only people who get elevated to immensely influential platforms are those handsomely compensated empire supporters for whom the system is working perfectly.

This creates the illusion that the system really IS working perfectly, since everything in mainstream culture tells you that it is. Therefore if you are one of the majority of individuals who have been abused and exploited by the system, you will look at all this information being artificially placed in front of you and conclude that the failure must be with you as a person and not with the system.

______________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to find video versions of my articles. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.

Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

--

--