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The Prophecies Of Malcolm X: Zionism Is A New Kind Of Colonialism

Above photo: Malcolm X in discussion. Wikimedia Commons.

Decades after his martyrdom and nearing the 100th anniversary of his birth, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz’s words still pierce through the deceptions of empire.

I doubt it’s a coincidence that Malcolm — born 99 years ago this year and assassinated on Feb. 21, 1965 — was a model for the martyred Palestinian writer Refaat Alareer.

Indeed, at a talk in 2012, Alareer would recall his introduction to Malcolm: “I was teaching a course, and there was an amazing passage about this man, of whom I had never heard before. The passage was so eloquent, so articulate, so amazing that it pulled me into this personality, this area of knowledge that I, again, never knew before. … Malcolm X has had, since then, an amazing influence on my life, to the extent that I now name him as my number one role model.’“

Indeed, much of Malcolm analysis holds up decades later as Israel slaughters Palestinians daily.

Little known, Malcolm wrote in the The Egyptian Gazette in 1964: “The Israeli Zionists are convinced they have successfully camouflaged their new kind of colonialism. … The modern 20th century weapon of neo-imperialism is ‘dollarism.’ The Zionists have mastered the science of dollarism: the ability to come posing as a friend and benefactor, bearing gifts and all other forms of economic aid and offers of technical assistance. Thus, the power and influence of Zionist Israel in many of the newly ‘independent’ African nations has fast-become even more unshakeable than that of the 18th century European colonialists… and this new kind of Zionist colonialism differs only in form and method, but never in motive or objective.”

In the US, we have a prevalence of putting a black face on US empire, as with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who was mentored by Madeleine Albright and just vetoed the third UN resolution for a ceasefire. Malcolm said years ago: “They have a new gimmick every year. They’re going to take one of their boys, black boys, and put him in the cabinet so he can walk around Washington with a cigar. Fire on one end and fool on the other end. And because his immediate personal problem will have been solved he will be the one to tell our people: ‘Look how much progress we’re making. I’m in Washington, D.C., I can have tea in the White House. I’m your spokesman, I’m your leader.’ While our people are still living in Harlem in the slums. Still receiving the worst form of education.” — “The Prospects for Freedom in 1965,” at the Militant Labor Forum, New York City, Jan. 7, 1965. Audio from this and other speeches here.

We now have many putting out rhetoric, or engaging in pro-forma actions — but not taking action to stop the Israeli slaughter, finding ways to confront and stop the US and Israeli criminals: “But how many sitting here right now feel that they could [laughs] truly identify with a struggle that was designed to eliminate the basic causes that create the conditions that exist? Not very many. They can jive, but when it comes to identifying yourself with a struggle that is not endorsed by the power structure, that is not acceptable, that the ground rules are not laid down by the society in which you live, in which you are struggling against, you can’t identify with that, you step back. …”

Malcolm applied “dollarism” to the US as well, as lots of groups on many issues are often more concerned about funding and paying off mortgages than much else: “It’s easy to become a satellite today without even realizing it. This country can seduce God. Yes, it has that seductive power of economic dollarism. … When they drop those dollars on you, you’ll fold though.”

Beginning in October, I focused on pushing for a country to invoke the Genocide Convention at the International Court of Justice. It was moving to me how activists and people who were concerned, who really wanted to change things, came forward to help make that happen. And I was disgusted by how some legal experts who were allegedly critical of Israel and media outlets, who pretended to want it to stop, would ignore or dismiss the proposal. So I’ve been reminded of this from Malcolm: “We need to expand the civil-rights struggle to a higher level — to the level of human rights. Whenever you are in a civil-rights struggle, whether you know it or not, you are confining yourself to the jurisdiction of Uncle Sam. … [T]he Negro problem is never brought before the UN. This is part of the conspiracy. This old, tricky blue-eyed liberal who is supposed to be your and my friend, supposed to be in our corner, supposed to be subsidizing our struggle, and supposed to be acting in the capacity of an adviser, never tells you anything about human rights.” — “The Ballot or the Bullet,” April 3, 1964

Among other things, Malcolm was a media critic: “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Remarkably relevant as US media focus (or outright fabricate) the suffering of some Israelis — many of them military — while marginalizing the literal genocide of Palestinians. Or even the imagined hurt of pro-Israeli activists trying to silence people trying to stop a genocide. Video of compilation of his comments on US media.

And there’s this, just before Malcom’s own martyrdom:

“While I was traveling, I had a chance to speak in Cairo, or rather Alexandria, with [Egyptian President Gamal Abdel] Nasser for about an hour and a half. He’s a very brilliant man. And I can see why they’re so afraid of him, and they are afraid of him — they know he can cut off their oil. And actually the only thing power respects is power. …

“This is a society whose government doesn’t hesitate to inflict the most brutal form of punishment and oppression upon dark-skinned people all over the world. To wit, right now what’s going on in and around Saigon and Hanoi and in the Congo and elsewhere. They are violent when their interests are at stake. But all of that violence that they display at the international level, when you and I want just a little bit of freedom, we’re supposed to be nonviolent. They’re violent. They’re violent in Korea, they’re violent in Germany, they’re violent in the South Pacific, they’re violent in Cuba, they’re violent wherever they go. But when it comes time for you and me to protect ourselves against lynchings, they tell us to be nonviolent. …

[On the Congo:] “And they’re able to take these hired killers, put them in American planes, with American bombs, and drop them on African villages, blowing to bits black men, black women, black children, black babies, and you black people sitting over here cool like it doesn’t even involve you. You’re a fool. …

“And with the press they feed these statistics to the public, primarily the white public. Because there are some well-meaning persons in the white public as well as bad-meaning persons in the white public. And whatever the government is going to do, it always wants the public on its side. … So they use the press to create images.
— “The Last Message,” address to the Afro-American Broadcasting Company, Detroit, Michigan, Feb. 14, 1965, the night his home was firebombed and a week before his assassination; text and audio here.

Added: Also see “When Malcolm X visited Gaza in September 1964”.

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