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Jeffrey Herf: Undeclared Wars with Israel East Germany and the West German Far Left 1967-1989 (Book Review)

June 20th, 2017

Jeffrey Herf: Undeclared Wars with Israel
East Germany and the
West German Far Left 1967-1989
Cambridge University Press, New York 2016
ISBN 978-1-107-46162-8

Jeffrey Herf is a history professor at the University of Maryland and has published extensively on Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and political Islam. Undeclared Wars with Israel 1967-1989 is his latest book. At the core of this book is the ideological, economic and military support for Arab dictatorships and the Palestinian nationalist movement by the government of the German Democratic Republic in the period between the 1967 Six-Day War and the end of the East German state in 1989/1990. Herf uses extensive research of the Stasi (GDR secret service) archives, the official party press, documents from the United Nations, including the extensive reports by Israeli ambassadors regarding the territorial intrusions and massacres perpetrated by the PLO and its associated member groups in those years.

This (partially new) research is embedded in a history of the relationship of the Soviet Bloc with the state of Israel and the development of the struggle of Arab/Palestinian nationalists against Israel, whether through open warfare, shelling of Israeli cities across the border with rockets, guerrilla actions inside Israel – often consisting in massacres of civilians – or hijackings and murder in the international arena, or through diplomatic means on a bilateral level and often at the UN.

Herf is broadening this research to cover the role of the West German far left in the context of these conflicts. The post-1967 radical left is portrayed here as radically anti-Zionist, if not anti-Semitic. Prominent examples after that time are people and organisations like Dieter Kunzelmann and the Tupamaros Westberlin, Ulrike Meinhof and the RAF, the Revolutionary Cells and their partaking in the hijacking of an Israeli plane to Entebbe, as well as examples from the so-called K-Groups. In my opinion, Herf, while accurately displaying dubious points in the history of the radical left in West Germany, fails to describe the often contradictory developments of some of these groups. For this reason I divide this review in two parts. The first is the book review proper, while the second extends the discussion of the relationship of some of the groups on the West German radical left with both anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in a way that goes far beyond the confines of a book review and hopefully offers additional insights. [Read more →]

Far-Left Press Coverage of the 2016 Anti-Semitism Row in the Labour Party and other Leftist Groups

June 19th, 2017

“When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

April 28, 2016 at 8:50 in the morning, Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London and prominent figure in the Labour Party for several decades made the baffling statement quoted above on Leading Britain’s Conversation (LBC) radio. Supposedly he was defending MP Naz Shah1. She had reposted a meme on facebook in 2014, suggesting Israeli Jews should relocate from Israel to the US. This was made public in April 2016 and led to the suspension of Shah from the Labour party, because the posting was seen as anti-Semitic. Livingstone, asked to comment on it, said ‘her remarks were over the top. But she’s not antisemitic. And I’ve been in the party for 47 years. I’ve never heard anyone say anything antisemitic’.

While Shah made a concerted effort to minimise the damage to herself and the party and swiftly issued a number of apparently genuine apologies (and eventually got reinstated), Livingstone’s radio comments made the whole thing turn into a proper scandal and a gift to the right wing press and the Tory party, since the local elections were only a week away.

Livingstone was swiftly suspended from Labour and sacked by LBC, where he had hosted a show with former Tory minister David Mellor for 8 years. He remained unapologetic, quoting the book by Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators, which tries to posit a collaboration and similarity of intention between Zionists and Nazis. This is not supported by serious historians. Hitler himself left absolutely no doubt that he detested Zionism. In Mein Kampf he dismissed the conflicts between liberal Jews and Zionists as mock fights, in his opinion the ‘inner togetherness’ of all Jews was beyond doubt.
Hitler’s professed anti-Semitism explicitly included anti-Zionism.2

What did Livingstone want to achieve with his idiotic statements? The Weekly Worker wrote in 2004 ‘Livingstone is an accomplished political operator, with a near genius for manipulation and backroom freewheeling’ whose ‘further ambitions (…) no doubt stretch to No10 Downing Street’, adding ‘Livingstone himself cheerfully admits: “I love meetings and plotting. I didn’t get where I am today without plotting”‘.3

What was he plotting this time? Was he trying to plunge Labour into a crisis a week before the elections? Perhaps he’s not so close to Corbyn after all? Or is he just a loose cannon — or more than that — a liability?

And what did the far left say about these incidents? Let’s look at a few examples. [Read more →]

Praxis & Oppositaer present Stalin’s Death! – ZGK Berlin 17-06-2017

June 16th, 2017


PRAXIS & OPPOSITAER present STALIN’S DEATH!

DATACIDE MAGAZINE SOLI

EXPERIMENTAL HARDCORE // BREAKCORE // FLASHCORE // NOISE // BASS MUSIC // DIGIGRIND

with:
DEATH QUALIA (LIVE)
https://soundcloud.com/de-qualia

GONER (LIVE)
https://soundcloud.com/kerstin-bruse

MESSIAS
http://cne.laermkultur.ch

SWAMPTHING (DJ)

das_programm
https://das-programm.bandcamp.com/

ARI NEV
https://soundcloud.com/arinev

PRAXIS DJ SQUAD

VJ LAIN

MORE TBA

Soundsystem By: Yaya Systems

Scharni38/ZGK
Scharnweber Str. 38
10247 Berlin

http://datacide-magazine.com/
http://praxis-records.net/
http://praxis-records.net/zgk2017
Facebook Event

NO RACISM – NO SEXISM – NO NATIONALISM

Datacide 16 Record Reviews by Controlled Weirdness

June 8th, 2017

Murray CY
Conformist
[L.I.E.S.]

Dirty techno how it should be. Slow and shuddering with constantly mutating grooves that sound like they’re emanating from the sewer. This is one of the roughest recent L.I.E.S. releases and comes to the Brooklyn label from Glasgow native Murray. These are the type of tunes I’d love to hear in the main room at Berghain, waves of throb enveloping a cavernous warehouse.

Shark Story of the Century
Various
[Contort Yourself]

Contort Yourself is a record label from Glasgow run by Murray CY that releases a soothing mixture of original 80’s Industrial/EBM with brand new raw and dirty techno. This 5 tracker of various artists mixes nice clanging beats from Enrique and techno thud from Beau Wanzer and Prostitutes. Killer cut on this EP for me though is the Broken English Club remix of a 1988 tune from Spanish industrial outfit Esplendor Geométrico. The original is included and is great, tribal raw drums with screams and chants that still sounds fresh. Broken English adds the bass and morphs it into a stripped back pulsing throb with whispered vocals adding to the menace. Perfect for 3am. The past meets the future, possibly?

Jorge Velez
Baby Whale – Coral Cassette Extended Edit
[Berceuse Heroique]
[Read more →]

Datacide 16 Record Reviews by Low Entropy

June 7th, 2017

14anger & Dep Affect
Evasive Crapspeak EP
[Badmouth003]

14anger is Clément Perez, who is far from being an unknown man of the french hard electronic scene, known for his contributions to the now defunct magazine Signal Zero for example.
This is less about his Hardcore roots, but violent Hard Techno. He teams up with Travis Evans aka Dep Affect for this release.
The first track, Evasive Crapspeak, definitely digs up some french memories, think of some of the works by Laurent Hô or Manu Le Malin for example.
Followed by a remix by Dep Affect, which puts his own spin to this tune, a bit of extra aggression.
Prayers To Broken Stones is less frontal, but more hypnotic instead. The EP ends on Jericho, my favorite pick of this release, an all-out assault on the nerves via bassdrums and noize.

Umwelt
Days Of Dissent
[BOIDAE 001]

Umwelt is a project that was started in the 90s already, but as far as i know it was not until recent years he really appeared from ‘under the surface’.
My sources also tell me most of his tracks are one-shot affairs, arranged and recorded life during sessions of sonic experientation (could this be true?).
At first glimpse an electro affair, what sticks out for my is the very dark atmosphere, many times riddled with future themed samples, and especially a very strong melody work of compositions that is often – to me – lacking even with most of his peers.
Although he probably comes from a way different background, there are similiarities to the works of Somatic Responses or Fischkopf (Lasse Steen) for me to be found here.
My personal favorite picks on this album include Company Of Lies, a truly distorted, menacing beat+synth workout and the title track Days Of Dissent itself, a kind of a dystopic beatboy breakdown vision.
With tracks like World Shatters, a 4/4 workout, he shows he can step out of his producer ‘comfort zone’ too.
Generally, if you like dark soundscapes, or well-produced and above all smart electronics, this might be worth a listen.

Vinzenz Raindeer
Warteschleifmaschine
[Self-Released]
[Read more →]

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