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Karl Marx

MARXISM 2010

http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk

Central London 1-5 July

SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK, JOHN HOLLOWAY & ALEX CALLINICOS discuss the idea of communism

BEN FINE, COSTAS LAPAVITSAS, ALFREDO SAAD-FILHO, GUGLIELMO CARCHEDI, ANDREW KLIMAN, JOSEPH CHOONARA, GRAHAM TURNER on dimensions of the economic crisis

Prospects for the Middle East considered by SHLOMO SAND, author of the acclaimed book The Invention of the Jewish People; GILBERT ASHCAR, author of The Arabs and the Holocaust; HAIFA ZANGANA, author of City of Widows: An Iraqi Woman’s Account of War and Resistance; GHADA KARMI, author of Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine

Marxist philosopher ISTVAN MÉSZÁROS speaks on alternatives to parliament

US academic HESTER EISENSTEIN, author of Feminism Seduced, joins NINA POWER, author of One Dimensional Woman, and Socialist Review editor JUDITH ORR to discuss the challenges facing the struggle for women’s liberation.SHEILA ROWBOTHAM speaks on new book Dreamers of a New Day: Women who Invented the Twentieth Century.

PETER THOMAS presents his roadmap to Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks

DANNY DORLING speaks on his book Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists

Panel on civil liberties with solicitor GARETH PEIRCE, former Guantanamo Bay inmate MOAZZAM BEGG and GERRY CONLON of the Guildford Four. JOHN HENDY QC discusses the anti-union laws.

Guardian feature writer GARY YOUNGE, TARIQ ALI and RICHARD SEYMOUR of Lenin’s Tomb speak on racism, Islamophobia and identity.

Authors and academics: OWEN HATHERLEY (Militant Modernism), ALBERTO TOSCANO (Fanaticism), G M TAMÁS, SHEILA COHEN (Ramparts of Resistance), JANE HARDY (Poland’s New Capitalism), GARETH DALE(Popular Protest in East Germany 1945-1989), KEVIN DOOGAN (New Capitalism?), NEIL DAVIDSON (Discovering the Scottish Revolution 1692-1746), COLIN BARKER, PAUL BLACKLEDGE (Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History),MARTIN EMPSON (Marxism and Ecology), JONATHAN NEALE (Stop Global Warming, Change the World), CHRISTIAN HOGSBJERG, JOHN ROSE (Myths of Zionism), PETER HALLWARD (Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment)

Trade unionists MARK SERWOTKA (general secretary PCS), JEREMY DEAR (general secretary NUJ), KEVIN COURTNEY (deputy general secretary NUT)

Politicians TONY BENN, JEREMY CORBYN MP, CHRISTINE BUCHHOLTZ (Die Linke Bundestag member).

Join thousands of others at Europe’s biggest festival of radical ideas—featuring over 200 meetings, debates, film screenings, and musical performances.

For updates go to: http://www.facebook.com/marxism and http://twitter.com/Marxism2k10

Book online now: http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

All that is Solid for Glenn Rikowski: https://rikowski.wordpress.com

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Karl Marx

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Jerusalem

Jerusalem

TWO TALKS BY SHLOMO SAND IN NYC

 

TALK  BY  PROFESSOR  SHLOMO  SAND, DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY,  UNIVERSITY  OF  TEL  AVIV, ON  HIS  NEWLY TRANSLATED  BOOK, THE  INVENTION  OF  THE  JEWISH  PEOPLE

”This may be the most important and most surprising book on Zionism, Israel and Judaism written in the last fifty years. Nothing in the Middle East looks the same after reading it. To whet your desire to attend the talk, I’ve appended a brief sketch of some of the major themes in the book at the end of this announcement. I’ve also booked a large hall for Sand’s talk (SEE BELOW), so please pass this announcement on to friends, students and colleagues who are (or should be) interested in these subjects”–Bertell Ollman

BRECHT FORUM –
451  WEST  STREET  (BETWEEN BANK  AND  BETHUNE  STREETS,  THAT IS  ON THE CORNER OF WHAT WOULD BE ABOUT 12TH STREET AND THE WEST SIDE HIGHWAY)

DATE /  TIME  – THURSDAY,  OCTOBER 15  –  7:30 – 10:00 PM
(In Discussion with Professor Joel Kovel, Bard College, author of OVERCOMING ZIONISM)

***

MARXIST THEORY COLLOQUIUM AT NYU

DATE / TIME – FRIDAY, OCTOBER  16   –   4:15 – 6:15 PM
(Please note new date and later starting time)
PLACE  – MEYER HALL,  N.Y.U., 4 WASHINGTON PLACE (between West 4th Street and Waverly Place, just west of Broadway), Room 121. (Please note new place)

SPEAKER: – PROFESSOR SHLOMO SAND
Sand is a much published professor in the Dept. of History at Tel Aviv University specializing in the history of ideas. His most recent book is THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE.  It is an extremely scholarly, very original, and often shocking work – the title is meant literally – with profound implications for Zionism and the ongoing conflict between Israel and its neighbors. I can’t recall when last I – Bertell – learned so much about both nationalism and Zionism from any book. It was a best seller and caused a huge scandal when it appeared a couple of years ago in Israel and another scandal when the French edition appeared last year. Sand will be in the U.S. for a week promoting the English edition of the book. For more, see reviews and interviews in English at: http://inventionofthejewishpeope.com      

TOPIC – “THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE”

DON’T MISS THIS ONE!

*********MEDIA – Professor Sand has a few time slots available for interviews with the media during his stay in New York (Oct. 15 – 18). Those of you in the media (or who have contacts in the media) who are interested in interviewing him, should write to Julie McCarroll, his editor at Verso Books at juliem@versobooks.com

******************* NYU REQUIRES A PHOTO I.D.TO GET INTO ALL OF ITS BUILDINGS

BRIEF SKETCH OF SAND’S BOOK

THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE  is divided into two parts. The first is a long section on the theory of nationalism, whose main characteristic, according to Sand, is the tendency to invent a past that suits the current needs and goals of the people in question. This is not a new idea (Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner have presented versions of it), but this is the best account of it that I have read. Second, there follows a much longer section on Zionism, Judaism and Israel, in light of the earlier discussion of nationalism. Most of this long book is devoted to showing with a great deal of evidence and arguments from several different disciplines that most of Jewish history has been invented.

The turning point is the supposed expulsion of the Jews from Palestine by the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. (apparently, there is no evidence for this; the Roman’s never engaged in such mass expulsions; and most of the Jews in Palestine at the time were peasants living in the countryside, who would not be directly affected by the destruction of Jerusalem).

This raises two key questions: 1) Where did the large Jewish populations that turn up later throughout the rest of the Middle East and Europe come from, if they were not descended from people who were expelled from Palestine by the Romans? Sand’s answer is that most of them came from mass conversions of peoples to Judaism that occurred in at least three different places and times between the destruction of the Second Temple and the early modern period. (He also shows that some mass conversions of people to Judaism took place in Palestine even before the destruction of the Second Temple. So the practice of converting people, even large groups of people, to Judaism is not as unknown to the history of Judaism as is commonly believed.)

Probably the biggest mass conversion took place in Khazaria, a Turkamen empire between the Caspian and the Black Sea between the 8th and 11th century A.D., which was destroyed in the 11th century by attacks from Russians, with most of its Jewish population migrating west into eastern Europe. Together with a somewhat later, smaller, more prosperous and more cultured Jewish migration from Western Europe through Germany, they became the future Jews of Poland, Russia, Hungary, etc.

A second mass conversion in the period after the destruction of the Second Temple took place among several Berber tribes in North Africa in the 6th century A.D., though many conversions to Judaism occurred in and around what had been Carthage and other coastal towns in North Africa before that. When the Arabs brought Islam to these lands a century later, they showed their typical respect for the “people of the book” by not forcing them to adopt their religion. Then, when North African Muslims (not Arabs from Arabia) invaded Spain in 711 A.D., Jewish Berbers made up a good part of their army, and included at least one general. Many of them settled in Spain, and became the core of what we call the Spanish Jews. The third big conversion(s) occurred in Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian 
peninsula, which had a large number of Jews from very early on, including at least one Jewish king in the 6th century A.D., who tried to convert  his subjects to Judaism.

Granted that some Jews already lived throughout the Middle East and Southern Europe before the destruction of the Second Temple – but if we add up all the mass conversions to Judaism that occurred after this event, it appears that the bulk of world Jewry from the early middle ages on were descended from people who never set foot in Palestine. Which raises, of course, the next key question – what happened to the Jews who were still in Palestine after the destruction of the Second Temple? Where did they go? Sand’s answer is that they didn’t go anywhere. They are today’s Palestinians, most of whom converted to Islam in the early years of Islam’s expansion into the rest of the Middle-East. These are not unsupported conjectures, for the great strength of Sand’s book lies in the enormous wealth of evidence and careful, scholarly argumentation he offers for each of his claims.

Where does all this leave the central idea that underlies the whole Zionist project: that Jews everywhere have not only a duty but a right to return to “their original homeland”, Palestine? I can’t think of a more fundamental critique of Zionism and therefore of Israel too than the one found in Sand’s book. No serious reader who is interested in Zionism or Israel – whatever their personal views  – can avoid being shaken up “big-time” by Sand’s impressive redrawing of the major religious and “racial” boundaries that are usually taken for granted in most discussion of these subjects.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk