From Baghdad to Bialystok —to Pico-Robertson


In Episode 232 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg examines the politics of the ugly dust-up between pro-Palestinian protesters and local Jewish residents in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pico-Robertson—and notes the anniversary of June 1941 anti-Jewish pogroms in Bialystok, Poland, and Baghdad, Iraq. Propagandistic and distorted portrayals of the LA protest as mere arbitrary anti-Semitism ignore the fact that the targeted synagogue was hosting a real estate event promoting sale of lands to create “Anglo neighborhoods” in Israel, and probably in the occupied West Bank (which would be a clear violation of international law). On the other hand, insensitivity to (or ignorance of) the historical context (and contemporary context) that makes an angry protest outside a synagogue an inevitably problematic “optic” only abets the propaganda. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

Production by Chris Rywalt


Gentrification, genocide and the shadow of Bialystok
by Bill Weinberg, The Villager
AMNY, July 12, 2012

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Photo: The Great Synagogue of Bialystok before it was destroyed by the Nazis in 1941. Via Jewish Historical Institute