The DA’s Jack Bloom resorts to pompous and vacuous rhetoric in his tirade directed against the SA Communist Party, “Lesson already learnt” Citizen, July 12 2008.
His opposition to communism is not any different from views expressed by lots of capitalist ideologues. However, his slant goes beyond the traditional debate over communism and is displayed in his insensitive remarks about the late Brian Bunting. To malign Bunting, a highly respected veteran of the freedom struggle against apartheid in order to unleash hatred for his communist ideals deprives Bloom’s piece of any credibility.
But then of course, many would argue that Bloom’s siding with the rightwing neoconservatives in America who espouse Zionism, is sufficient evidence of his political biases. Incredibly, this is attested in his appropriately named book “Out of Step” in the most emphatic manner. “I am an enthusiastic supporter of George W Bush”, he proudly declares.
In his fascination with neocons, Bloom shamelessly applauds their failed policies. Yet in contrast he attacks persons of integrity such as Noam Chomsky and Edward Said. Chomsky’s writings are attacked by Bloom as exhibiting “an incredible mix of selective quotation, misquotation, lack of essential context, misdirection and outright lies.”
As far as his views on Said are concerned, Bloom’s attachment to Israel cloud his analysis of what the San Francisco Chronicle had observed about Said’s book ‘The Politics of Dispossession’: “The most eloquent and visible voice of the Palestinian struggle in America…..[Said’s] combination of flamboyant style and erudite radicalism, honesty and advocacy…….”.
In his disparaging comments about the renowned Palestinian activist and intellectual Edward Said, Bloom calls him an “imposter”, a “myth-maker” and a fabricator of an identity as a Palestinian refugee!
His penchant for evoking fear and alarm whether it is “rooi gevaar” in the case of communism or “groen gevaar” in the case of Islam is underpinned by his enthusiastic support for the neocon’s discredited and illegal “war on terror”.
Fortunately, such archaic views are limited to Bloom-type dinosaurs who is on record as opposing the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and in concert with the racist reasons advanced by Israel argues that declarations calling for the restoration of legal rights of the dispossessed equates to Israel’s destruction.
Hence to complain about the “horrors of the Soviet Union” while dismissing Israel’s human rights violations and gross abuses as “propaganda onslaught against Israel”, is inconsistent, selective and extremely cynical.
Zionism has been and remains responsible for the atrocities committed against the indigenous population of Palestine. Brave Jewish authors and historians like Ilan Pappe remind us of the horrors of ethnic cleansing:
“Fifteen minutes by car from Tel-Aviv University lies the village of Kfar Qassim where, on 29 October 1956, Israeli troops massacred forty-nine villagers returning from their fields. Then there was Qibya in the 1950s, Samoa in the 1960s, the villages of the Galilee in 1976, Sabra and Shatilla in 1982, Kfar Qana in 1999, Wadi Ara in 2000 and the Jenin Refugee Camp in 2002. And in addition there are the numerous killings Betselem, Israel’s leading human rights organization, keeps track of. There has never been an end to Israel’s killings of Palestinians.”
Jack Bloom’s maverick politics may endear him to right-wingers whose policies of war and destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to an unending spiraling of violence and blatant disregard for International Laws. If any lessons are to be learned, it has to be the warning Nelson Mandela issued at the time when he described America’s bypassing of the UN a “threat to world peace”!