August 26, 2007

Don't confuse me, a zionist is a zionist is a zionist

Or is it? Stephen Marks pointed me in the direction of this relatively new blog, the Magnes Zionist, by an Israeli, American and orthodox Jewish academic who wishes for the time being to remain anonymous. He claims his inspiration from a Judah Magnes and has a fascinating take on what is happening now in Israel/Palestine and what could happen in the future.

Now I must point out here that I have a chap, I think it's a chap, who comes here fairly regularly, to tell me that he doesn't take my blog seriously, that he enjoys the beach at Tel Aviv and how many idealistic American zionists have "made aliyah" lately. Just recently when I had banned someone he made the following comment:
Well done Mark in censoring the debate as its clear that Mikey is just troll, in fact aren't all 'Zionists', they are after all automatic liars. Liars just liars all of them, Herzl, AD Gordon, Ahad Ha'am liars just liars, Ben Gurion, Sharett, Peres, Begin, Rabin...al liars. As for those Hasbara Zionist parrots, all ten million of them, incapable of honesty, engaging in debate and telling the truth.
Now this irritated me because I have said so many times that when I say that all zionists are liars I meant by zionists, people who believe that Jews worldwide have more right to most of Palestine than the natives themselves. Clearly this would not include Ahad Ha'am. When you're raised on the zionist narrative, not at home particularly, but at Hebrew classes (cheder we call it) and via the mainstream media you don't hear of Ahad Ha'am, at least we didn't in my day. But when you go off to college and pick up an elementary textbook on Israel/Palestine, his denunciation of zionists and their behaviour in Palestine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is first a shock and later a classic. I responded to this Rysk person angrily because he knows that by anti-zionist I mean I am against Jewish supremacy in Palestine. I called it "modern political or state zionism" or something like that, I'm going from memory but its in the link above. You see apart from Ha'am, others on his list were quite dodgy characters. Well it seems that Ahad Ha'am did have a flirtation with the Jewish state idea. This Rysk person cannot have known that or he would have embarrassed me by saying so but cop this Magnes Zionist chap:
There is a long tradition of non-statist zionism, from the cultural zionism of Ahad ha-Am (who at times seems to have embraced the idea of a Jewish state, provided that it would not be devoid of Jewish cultural content), to the vehemently non-statist zionism of Judah Magnes.
Ok, don't get me wrong, I still mean the same thing when I say zionist but I've enjoyed reading this blog and I like the guy's idea for how Israel/Palestine should be run and he seems to have a good sense of humour which I suppose if you are going to be suggesting, as a "zionist," that Israel should be a "liberal democracy" you're going to need.

I'm going to return to this chap but I really had to own up to not knowing that Ahad Ha'am, or ha'Am wanted a Jewish state as distinct from somewhere for Jews to potter about in the desert, as Jews of course.

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