April 28, 2008

A case study in zionism c/f AIPAC, Pollard and Vanunu

Here's a curious, if a little over-emotional, Ha'aretz article written by Avraham Burg against the backdrop of another spy for Israel being arrested and charged in America. The central character in the article is Jonathan Pollard, who the article describes as an American Vanunu. Now you may see this as an insult to Vanunu but Burg does draw out the important distinctions between Pollard and Vanunu:
Jonathan Pollard is the Americans' Mordechai Vanunu. In principle, there is no difference between them, except perhaps for the fact that Vanunu did what he did out of deep, if controversial, conviction, while Pollard received money, some say a great deal of money, for his "values system."
That's quite a difference but I think Avraham Burg is being clever here. He's leading on to something else. He narrows down his focus to Pollard and then he introduces AIPAC:
Pollard has become a much greater icon than his dubious attributes would account for. To understand what he symbolizes for the Israeli political right, you have to crack the basic formula of the Pollard problem. He and his handlers lived and plotted in the twilight zone of the complex loyalty of the Jews of the United States.

Their basic premise was and still is that all Jews everywhere have dual loyalty - the loyalty of an American citizen to his homeland, and a much deeper, national-spiritual loyalty to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. For years,Israel officially fostered this snarled loyalty. It entangled and became entangled, plotted and spied. AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) - the Jewish lobby in Washington - is the bluntest conceptualization of institutionalizing near treason and turning it into an enormous octopus of a political mechanism with enormous dimensions and numerous victims.
Cor, this is powerful, line-crossing, taboo-breaking, iconoclastic (ok, drop the thesaurus or I'll shoot - Ed) stuff. Nope, I've got thoughts but no comment. Try Mondoweiss.


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