Vol. 5 #6 – November-December 1992
Debate with Joffre Stewart:
Anti-Zionism vs Anti-Semitism
To Turning the Tide:
. The writing below represents ideas that were either 1) taken to or 2) developed at a Pledge of Resistance (POR) meeting asking itself where do we go from here (post Gulf War)? These ideas are recommended to pacifists, anarchists, the whole left, and anyone at all as a focus and fulcrum of nonviolent revolutionary change.
. 1. We can streamline the Resistance operation by attacking the Zionist connection to all the things we are interested in: El Salvador and the arms and police training Israel gives to the dictatorships thru-out Central and South America; the support Zion gives to the drug trade and drug cartels; the oppression of Palestinians and the arms build up in the Middle East which does correspond to the existence of Israel; the Arab civil wars which are occasioned by the displacement of Palestinians by the existence of Israel.
. By attacking Zionism, we attack what is behind glasnost and the support Eastern Europe gives to apartheid.
. Domestically, we can attack the politics that can even consider $10 billion to house Russian Jews in Palestine while there are growing numbers of homeless here.
. In regard to the Quincentennial, we can point out that Jewish slave traders were dominant in the slave trade from the end of the 17th Century which helps to account for the Jewish wealth that funds the Zionist problem.
. By making tax-collecting Zionism and nuclear Israel the focus of our break-the-law-for-peace activity, we are relevant to the largest part of the world’s problems even as we attack some specifically. Think Globally, act locally … And we get away from a piecemeal, disorganized, reactive, contingent approach as we move to the disempowerment of the Anglo-American WASP-Jewish Ruling Class by means of State-less, non-violence solutions. (Tax refusal liberates.)
. 2. One thing much overlooked is imprisonment as a peace issue. Prisons need and are based on violence. Therefore, non-violence (POR favors non-violence) wipes out prisons (law enforcement). If we are not doing anything to get rid of prisons then we are not doing anything to destroy the war system. SMASH ALL PRISONS NOW! a luta continua …
advocate of the ANTI-Christ,
. Lacking any personal knowledge of your practice, we can only go by your letter(s). Your second point seems very well taken. PART will continue to focus on prisons and repression as central issues for anti-racists and other progressive people. But in regards your first point, you seem to obsess about Zionism to the point of having the tail wag the dog, and you drift across the line into views which seem to demonize all Jews. Some of what you say seems to have more in common with the propaganda of anti-semites and racists than with a progressive agenda.
. PART condemns the practices, policies and ideology of the Zionist state of Israel, and believes that a theocratic state is antithetical to democracy. But even many Palestinian revolutionaries believe that the UN was correct in abandoning its formulation that “Zionism is racism” because it obscured the national and political nature of the conflict, and implied that Jews are a race. You seem to attribute all the ills of the world to Zionism, but clearly even in the Middle East, Arab reaction and imperialist and European aggression existed long before the Zionist project or state were even thought of.
. In Central and South America, European nations were committing genocide and the U.S. was exerting military and economic domination for centuries before anyone dreamed up Zionism. Some Jews participated in the slave trade; so did some Muslims and African animists, and many, many European Protestants and Catholics. The wealth of the entire west, not the Jews alone (and not all Jews are westerners), is based on the slave trade and land theft from the indigenous peoples of the Americas and the Pacific.
. Under “Labor” and Likud alike, Israel has been and continues to be guilty of terrible atrocities and state-sponsored terror. The Israeli “left” which is participating in the current government has abandoned any pretense of progressive opposition, as repression in the occupied territories and the prisons continues at least as fiercely as before. Israel’s nuclear capabilities are a threat to world peace. But so are those of China and France; so is Japan’s development of a plutonium breeder reactor base for its electrical power production. In all these areas, it is Zionism doing the bidding of the imperialist system and the great powers, not the reverse as you seem to imply.
This error (to give you the benefit of the doubt) is evident when you describe Zionism as “what is behind glasnost.” Apparently you oppose glasnost. You seem to be falling into the same trap as the neo-nazis who blame the Jews for both capitalism and communism, or as the nationalists and ex-communists in the former Soviet Union today, who are making common cause by blaming the Jews simultaneously for the establishment and the demise of the Soviet state. The Czars and Russian Orthodoxy had established an empire and a prison house of nations long before the Zionists came along; the same holds true on this continent for the U.S. rulers.
You may personally be well-meaning in your ideas, but in practice they amount to same kind of scape-goating that breeds racism and fascism. You would be well-advised to reconsider your proposal, to salvage what is authentic and positive. If you are looking for an over-arching philosophy that can synthesize a fragmented progressive movement, I would suggest that anti-imperialism (within which anti-Zionism can play a legitimate part, along with other forms of de-colonization) is a more appropriate and rational approach.
BLUE BY DAY: COPS & THE KLAN GO HAND IN HAND
The problem of organized white supremacist activity among law enforcement and other uniformed services is widespread, and is only growing in the 90’s, despite “affirmative action” in police departments (or sometimes because of entrenched resistance to it among white cops).
The latest disclosures regarding Robert Bauman, a civilian employee of the LAPD for 23 years, underscore the seriousness of the problem. Assigned to investigate applicants for police permits, with access to criminal records, tax filings and other data, Bauman was discovered by undercover LA and Huntington Beach cops participating in activities organized by Tom Metzger and other white supremacists in Orange County. Huntington Beach police reported that he apparently engaged in counter-surveillance activity against them, disrupting their attempt to cover the meeting and apparently identifying them as cops to other participants.
A subsequent investigation by the LAPD’s Anti-Terrorist Task Force and by Internal Affairs uncovered other connections to white supremacist activity, and after a warrant was obtained, a search of Bauman’s home disclosed a vast collection of material on the nazis and white supremacist literature. Bauman however, claims he is only an independent historical researcher, not affiliated with Metzger.
Whatever his affiliations, Bauman used his access to LAPD computers to run checks on Metzger, Stan Witek of the local nazi party, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Irv Rubin of the JDL, a private investigator and Peace and Freedom Party candidate, Jan Tucker, and as many as 200 others. His defense is that he was obtaining the information for his personal historical research and interest in right wing and left wing groups. He says he was angry at Rubin for disrupting a historical society meeting in Pasadena, apparently a reference to the holocaust-revisionist outfit, the Institute for Historical Review, tied in to Willis Carto’s Spotlight/Liberty Lobby network and Joe Fields’ Populist Party.
Bauman has been given a 10-day suspension, and new Police Chief Willie Williams promises to tighten up access to police computers. But Bauman has appealed his suspension, saying even 10 days is too much, and citing the cases of at least 45 other cops and civilian employees who have been disciplined in the last three years for using the computers for “unofficial business.” Most received only reprimands or one or two day suspensions.
Meanwhile over at the Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Block has been criticized for not implementing the reforms proposed by Judge Kolts. The Kolts report on the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, like the earlier Christopher Commission report on the LAPD, proposed mostly band-aid solutions for a serious problem. But the worst part of the Kolts whitewash of the LASD was its determination that there is no proven foundation to charges of organized white supremacist activity in the sheriff’s department, specifically through such quasi-gang formations as the Vikings and the Cavemen, whose members have been involved in shootings and killings of Black and Latino youth.
This finding flies in the face of a court ruling that the Vikings were a “neo-nazi” formation, and another requiring that if prosecutors could talk of the gang affiliations of defendants, the Viking affiliation of sheriff’s deputies also be entered into evidence. One such ruling, requiring that the LASD actually abide by its own stated guidelines on the use of force, was recently voided by an appeals court as being “too far-reaching.”
But the Kolts report’s most glaring omission illuminates the reality of organized racist activity in the department. In criticizing D.A. Ira Reiner’s refusal to prosecute deputies for brutality or murder, the Kolts report cites the case of one deputy who went out “looking for trouble” on New Year’s Eve two years ago. He was overheard making racist comments and ended up shooting and killing a Mexican national. Yet Kolts fails to mention that the deputy involved, Brian Kazmierski, had previously been investigated by the FBI and kicked off the force for burning crosses inside the county jail to intimidate Black prisoners. Kazmierski had been reinstated to the department on the express orders of Sheriff Sherman Block. The media went along with this cover-up, not reporting on Kazmierski’s history, and refusing to print letters which pointed it out.
Another area of white supremacist involvement has been among fire fighters. The L.A. Fire-fighters Association recently ran an ad showing a fire-dog under the cross-hairs of a gun, with “bullet-holes” in the ad, to protest budget cuts. The ad was a thinly-veiled reference to the L.A. uprising, in which some fire-fighters were fired upon. But much more naked racism has come to light among fire departments nationwide. In 1989, for example, the City Council of Montgomery MD was forced to withhold funding from a volunteer fire department after the white chief called a Black volunteer “n*gg*r boy.” In 1990, a Black cop who had helped expose Carrollton, GA fire chief L.A. Dukes for having allegedly designated “n*gg*r beds” for African American fire-fighters, was found drowned under mysterious circumstances. In April of this year, Scott Lowe, the former fire chief of Grovetown Georgia, who had been exposed as a grand titan of the Christian Knights Klan, was arrested for having burned a cross at the home of a local Black family back in 1987.
Open racism and hidden white supremacist involvement are an even more serious problem among police forces. In Houston, where the Klan has been waging an active recruitment campaign among the police for over a year, a police corporal, Al Csaszar, was put on paid leave in July of this year after beating a Nigerian immigrant and yelling racist epithets at him. His partner was also taken out of the field. In June, Boynton Beach FL police officer Dave Demarest sought reinstatement to the department after having been fired in February for having flaunted a swastika tattoo to several other cops, including a Jewish woman officer. In his defense, Demarest presented evidence that racism and nazism were widespread and generally accepted at the department. He submitted as evidence a photo of two officers dressed in nazi uniforms for a Halloween party; the picture had been displayed in the office of the deputy chief. A lawyer for Demarest said that another detective had mounted a picture of a Black man on his office wall, captioned “Is it a chimp?”
Such incidents are not restricted to the south by any means. In Denver Colorado in August, two cops, Bill Carter and Ruth Potter, of the intelligence unit assigned to monitor Klan activities, were re-assigned after they sent baby shower gifts to Klan leader Shawn Slater, a “former” nazi skin-head. In a copyrighted interview with Kerwin Brook, an anonymous white Denver police officer described how many cops will go out and call Black or Mexicano people on the streets “n*gg*r” or “sp*c,” hoping to provoke an angry response and a fight where they can jump or arrest the person. In a separate article, Brook reports the experience of 13-year-old Jessica Vargas, who was on her way to protest a Klan rally, when a Denver cop flashed a KKK hand sign at her and her friends. “We know the cops are against us, but to see him do it with his own hands! And he just smirks,” said Vargas. “You just get shocked.”
In Texas, a deputy sheriff named Scott Tschirhart brutally beat two young Chicanos last July; Tschirhart had been forced off the Houston police after killing three Black men. Here in CA, it’s ironic that the very Huntington Beach police department which uncovered Bauman’s involvement with racist and anti-semitic groups is being charged with anti-semitism and harassment by two Jewish cops, who found themselves the victims of constant slurs by fellow officers and superiors. In the northwest, several police forces have recently had Richard Masker address them about white supremacist groups. Masker was fired from a municipal job in Oregon for mailing out Hitler birthday cards, and in August, he was reprimanded at a similar job in Idaho for sending a letter to a business association accusing it of being “part of an international marxist, Zionist conspiracy.”
Another area of great concern is white supremacist involvement in the military. In August, members of the Aryan National Front and the Confederate Hammer Skins, along with Klan leader Bill Riccio, were arrested in possession of military explosives and ammunition for machine guns at an Aryan Fest concert. Further arrests are expected among military personnel at Fort Benning, GA. In Colorado, the army was forced to issue a ban in July on military personnel attending Klan organizing rallies at Fort Carson and threaten GI’s with discharge if they got involved in Shawn Slater’s KKK campaign.
One particular area of bigotry among cops is anti-gay sentiments and violence. In Dallas TX, for example, the City Council voted early this year to uphold a police department ban on hiring gays and lesbians. The Dallas PD uses a 100-year old Texas sodomy law to reject such applicants; people who apply to be cops in Dallas are subjected to a lie detector test and asked if they have ever committted a homosexual act. In Salt Lake City last year, a cop was suspended for an off-duty gay bashing when he and two friends were charged with assault and anti-gay name calling against a gay man. In Santa Cruz County in northern California last year, Sheriff Al Noren, reluctantly forced to meet with gay leaders to discuss harassment of gays by deputies, issued a memo calling the gay community “vicious and devious.” Noren defended his remarks as justified because one gay protester had described a deputy he encountered as “obviously a nazi.” The sheriff said he considered that remark “vicious.” PART has available a full length research report “BLUE BY DAY, WHITE BY NIGHT?” about the cops and the Klan, with dozens of documented incidents of organized white supremacist involvement in police, military and other uniformed forces over the past decade or more.