We need to stop seeing Israel as compensation for one isolated past wrong and start seeing it more as a step to alleviate a very serious and ongoing problem. People argue that the Palestinians should not be punished for the crimes of Nazi Germany, and they are absolutely right. Israel does not exist to punish the Palestinians, and it does not need to do so in order to fulfill its purpose. The central flaw of such an argument is that it erases a significant portion of the Jewish experience. It ignores the oppression that took place in Europe prior to and after the Holocaust, and it ignores the struggles of Jewry outside of Europe, namely, that of Middle Eastern Jews whose plight has had a considerable impact on the current state of Israel and the conflict. It also belittles the severity and prevalence of modern-day anti-semitism. It downplays the seriousness of incidents such as the shooting in Toulouse. It shuts its eyes to anti-semitic rhetoric on college campuses that bills itself as “progressive”. Israel isn’t the card that says, “I’m sorry I broke your leg”. It’s the cast on a bone that’s still healing.
This article was written a while ago, but it is such complete and utter bullshit that I feel it deserves to be broken down. I don’t know what the dolt who wrote it has been doing since, but let’s hope he got his ignorance under control and has caused as little damage as possible. So, let’s get started.
“Several years ago, I suggested in my students’ union newspaper that Israel shouldn’t exist.”
Translation: Several years ago, he made a complete fool of himself and said something completely idiotic.
“Israel has no right to exist. I know it’s a hugely unfashionable thing to say and one which, given the current parlous state of the peace process, some will also find irresponsible.”
“Hugely unfashionable”? That’s just a cover for everything, isn’t it? Say something that isn’t true, and acknowledge just what a rebel you are, and all of a sudden you deserve respect.
“That biblical promise is Israel’s only claim to legitimacy”
Far from it. But I suppose the Jewish ancestral, historical and cultural ties to Israel just make things too complicated for you. You know, that archaeological evidence and those genetic tests linking Jews to the region of Palestine.
“By the time the UN accepted a resolution on the partition of Palestine in 1947, Jews constituted 32% of the population and owned 5.6% of the land.
This argument appears in many variations, and there’s one huge problem with it. The idea that the right to a nation stems from a status as a majority is really troubling for a group that makes up less than one percent of the world’s population. And is spread very thin. And moves around a lot. Where would we ever have been a majority (which, Bodi implies, is a prerequisite for self-determination) without massive amounts of immigration?
“This then is the potted history of the iniquities surrounding its own birth that Israel must acknowledge in order for peace to have a chance. After years of war, peace comes from forgiving, not forgetting; people never forget but they have an extraordinary capacity to forgive.”
Consider that along with something he wrote earlier in the article:
“the sympathy evoked by the Holocaust was a very handy cover for Israeli atrocities”
So, what is Bodi implying? That it’s only Jews who use their suffering as an excuse to wrong others, and that we don’t run the risk of running into that problem ever again? Jews are already being killed for the Jewish state’s wrongs, both real and perceived. Not to mention, you don’t seem to need to prove any sort of injury at the hands of the Jews in order to have an excuse to kill them. Jews have been murdered for offenses that were flat-out made up. Europe did it for hundreds of years, and unfortunately, the Middle East is beginning to import some of the harmful anti-semitic stereotypes and ideas that helped rationalize this persecution. So this argument not only has some questionable implications about the moral character of the Jewish people, but is rooted in complete naiveté about the history of the Jews.
“However, take away the biblical right and suddenly mutual coexistence, even a one-state solution, doesn’t seem that far-fetched”
Except just one tiny problem: the one-state solution would completely defeat the purpose of the Jewish homeland in the Middle East. Arabs are projected to outnumber Jews in the region by the year 2020. The one-state solution would skirt one of the major underlying issues of the conflict: the valid desire of the Jewish people to have a place in which they are not outnumbered or marginalized and where they may determine their own future.
An infatuation with imaginary Jews
Anti-Zionists make a point of trying to show people that they are not anti-semitic. Some will even go so far as to say they love the Jews. In fact, their purported love for humanity seems to be what they take the most pride in, and to cast doubt on that is to strike at the central pillar of anti-zionism and the liberal way of thinking in which it mostly makes its home. Yet the more defensive, patronizing rhetoric I listen to, the more painfully clear it becomes that they do not love us. At least, not all of us, and not as we exist in this universe. Sure, they love of the Jews whose photos they post on their websites, the Orthodox Jews with banners that read “Free Palestine”, Jews with signs that say, “I’m Jewish and I want Israel to stop killing Palestinians”. It’s clear that they love that segment of the Jewish population, if not as human beings, then at least as the valuable defense mechanism that they are against accusations of anti-semitism. Yet there are also unseen objects of this affection. Each time they repeat the slogan of “anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism”, they send out a message in a bottle sailing off to hopefully reach the invisible and silent masses of Jews who are Zionists because it is all they know. They look at us and see those of us who support their cause, and the droves and droves more who would fall in love with their movement if only they knew it was an option for them. It is the latter of these two groups that does not exist, because despite what they would like to think, we are not helpless sheep who need self-righteous activists to tell us what to believe, especially not about ourselves. These hoards of devoted Jewish pro-Palestinian activists waiting to be broken free from their Zionist shells by the persuasive arguments of anti-Zionists simply aren’t there. Might there be some out there? Sure, but it doesn’t justify a view of all Jewish Zionists as converts-in-waiting. The problem is, it is these converts-in-waiting that they love, not us as we are. They have little to no compassion for our people as we actually exist, but rather, for what we are in their imaginations, for the political tools that we could be if we would just shut up and do what they told us. So, is their “love” worth it?
Anti-Zionists sure love us Jews, that is, until we start having opinions.
Why do people take photos in public bathrooms? What are they thinking? “Yeah! I just washed my hands! Let me commemorate this momentous occasion!”