March 31, 2013

UCU Tribunal, the Zionist project and Comment is Free

There's an interesting thing in the Employment Tribunal result document that seems to have passed under most people's radar though not entirely:

It seems to us that a belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel or any similar sentiment cannot amount to a protected characteristic. It is not intrinsically a part of Jewishness

Ok, Gilad Atzmon would disagree and so does Harry's Place but it is plainly obvious that an identity that has been ethno-religious for thousands of years cannot suddenly be intrinsically defined by a political project which is only a little over 100 years old.

But that's not the bit that I find so important about this.  I take it for granted that my identity isn't bound up with the State of Israel.  I am not at all surprised by that idea though I was pleasantly surprised by the forthrightness of the ET's report.  But I have also said, as have many others, that the State of Israel isn't a state like any other.  It is a work in progress.  It is a project.  It is a part of, indeed the main part of, the Zionist project.

By the way, I am surprised that The Guardian hasn't covered this story.  It is even worse that they have run a Comment is free piece with the following tedious and bogus allegation:
while no country is beyond reproach, when criticism includes language intended to delegitimize Israel, demonize its people, and apply to it standards to which no other state is held, we must call it antisemitism.
But Israel isn't simply a country, it's a work in progress, a project, an illegitimate project, it is the Zionist project.

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