May 21, 2009

The Jewish homeland?

This essay by Jacques Hersh first appeared for subscribers to the Monthly Review a while back but it has only just been published in full for non-subscribers. This bit stood out to me:
Despite the fact that Islamophobia has replaced the virus of Judeophobia in the West, Diaspora Jews feel unease at the prospects of identifying with a state that violates the human rights of another people and serves the interests of U.S. imperialism worldwide.

The existential purpose of Israel has come into question for many Israelis as well as for an increasing number of Diaspora Jews. The concept of a “national home of the Jews” is losing its appeal. According to Tony Karon, “the simple fact is that almost two-thirds of us have chosen freely to live elsewhere, and have no intention of ever settling in Israel.” It is somewhat paradoxical that 750,000 Israelis live in the United States or other European countries and that it is the norm today, for Israeli citizens who can, to acquire a foreign passport. One of Karon’s conclusions that is relevant to the analysis of the Middle East problematique, and in direct contradiction to Bush’s prognosis, is that “Israel may be an intractable historical fact, but the Zionist ideology that spurred its creation and shaped its identity and sense of national purpose has collapsed — not under the pressure from without, but having rotted from within.
The piece happily leads us to Tony Karon's piece on Israel's 60th last year.


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