March 16, 2009

The media discovers anti-zionism?

I have to have my two cents too: The LA Times has sort of broken a taboo and published a Jewish anti-Zionist op-ed. Gasp!!!

Ben Ehrenreich touches base:
Yet it is no longer possible to believe with an honest conscience that the deplorable conditions in which Palestinians live and die in Gaza and the West Bank come as the result of specific policies, leaders or parties on either side of the impasse. The problem is fundamental: Founding a modern state on a single ethnic or religious identity in a territory that is ethnically and religiously diverse leads inexorably either to politics of exclusion (think of the 139-square-mile prison camp that Gaza has become) or to wholesale ethnic cleansing. Put simply, the problem is Zionism. (LA Times March 15, 2009)
Of course, the LA Times "balanced" Eherenreich with Judea Pearl's rubbery arguments about anti-Zionism. But that's progress. I'm sure there was a day when every pro civil-rights op-ed had to be balanced with a statement from the Ku Klux Klan. And likewise there will come a day when reminiscing about Zionism in public will be a career ending gaffe for a politician. Our job is to make that day come sooner.

Judea Pearl is the perfect example of what he's talking about. He gets the usual Hasbara bit about how Israel should be allowed to be like France. Except France is a state of all its citizen and the people who argue for the same principle in Israel are anti-Zionists. The truth is Zionists love France because of the aura of European colonialism. When they say Israel should be like France, they mean Israel should be a post-colonial European country, which is of course impossible. They never demand that Israel should belong to the Jews the same way India belong to the Hindus. Wait, India doesn't belong to the Hindus? Bummer! They never demand that the Jews should have Israel the way Bolivians have Bolivia, or the way Egyptians have Egypt. Of course it would make no sense either way, but the reason they choose France is because Zionists usually think Bolivia should be owned by the gringos and Egypt should be Suleiman's fiefdom. France is different. France is Europe, nouvelle cuisine, bouillion de culture, etc. In short, it is their fantasy about Israel. Unfortunately for them maybe 10-15% of the people living between the sea and the Jordan River are of European origin. Did I mentioned Bolivia?

Then he yabbers about Jewish nationhood, which is irrelevant because nationhood doesn't justify ethnic cleansing or killing 400 children in Gaza. But Pearl is an American Jews who doesn't even know Jewish history. There was no Roman expulsion in AD 70. There was no common Jewish journey but many hundreds of different journeys. What was the common journey of the Jews of Yemen and the Jews of Alsace? And these journeys were not all particularly turbulent, certainly no more turbulent than what many other communities experienced. European Jews had some extremely harrowing experiences of violence, most notably the Nazi genocide, but that genocide spanned less than two decades, not two millennia, and should not be used to erase the wide variety of historical Jewish experience. Then Pearl talks about Israel, which he feels entitled to because he is Jewish, and Israel is a Jewish state. But he doesn't know sh&*t about Israel. He calls Israel a "secular, multi-ethnic society" united by a common history. The majority of Israeli Jews reject being called "secular." And the state's institutions are not secular. The only history that unites all Israeli Jews is racism towards Palestinians. Of course, when he speaks about Israel, he already commits verbal ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, whose right to be at home in their country he simply ignores. But that is not really ignorance. That is malice.

Then he writes:
The same applies to American Jewry, which is likewise largely secular. Identification with a common historical ethos, culminating in the reestablishment of the state of Israel, is the central bond of Jewish collectivity in America. (LA Times March 15, 2009)
Isn't it great! Judea Pearl enjoys all the rights of self-determination as a U.S. citizen. He would immediately denounce as a racist bigot anybody who suggested that Jews should be treated in the U.S. as Palestinians are treated in Israel. But he also needs some extra oomph in his not-exciting-enough life. The common ethos of the United States is not enough for him. Frankly, I can sympathize with that bout of affulenza. Even shopping is not what it used to be. Some people play Grand Theft Auto. Others daydream themselves in action movies. Yet others spend weekends in paintball fights. But U.S. Jews get the best deal. What can spice up an excessively safe life better than having a second country, young, with ethnic cleansing not some distant memory as it is in the good old U.S.A, but ongoing? And what if millions of people have to suffer for his enjoyment of the frisson of adversity and the blessing of some warm and fuzzy yiddishkeit? They are untermenschen anyway, aren't they?

Then Pearl gets the ultimate argument:
Finally, anti-Zionist rhetoric is a stab in the back to the Israeli peace camp, which overwhelmingly stands for a two-state solution. It also gives credence to enemies of coexistence who claim that the eventual elimination of Israel is the hidden agenda of every Palestinian.
Let's get something clear. Anti-Zionists would never stab a corpse in the back. ick! As for the apartheid supporters, from Shimon Peres to David Grossman, who support penning Palestinians in reservation and calling these reservations a state, we would not stab them in the back, because we are not standing behind them. If you haven't figured it yet, that is what the anti in 'anti-Zionist' is about. We prefer to be in your face.


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