Thursday, May 08, 2008

They're here. They're Jews. Get used to it.

In today's Buenos Aires Herald, Eamonn McDonagh ponders the reasons why it has become perfectly acceptable to deny the very legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state:

"I would speculate that it’s because a lot of people who have no problem at all with the nationalism of the Irish, the Uzbeks or the Tamils seem to be made, at best, uncomfortable by the nationalism of the Jews. Not by their own or anybody else’s, just that of the Jews. It seems to stick in their craws that the Jews have their own state. They are happy for Jews to be doctors, lawyers, shrinks and bankers but for them to have their own state, elect corrupt and ignorant politicians, defend themselves and commit the occasional atrocity, just like the great majority of other nation states at some point in their history, doesn’t seem to be acceptable."

Over at Harry's Place, we're let in on a little secret about Israel. It's taboo to talk about it, "but a good reason to bring it to light is the current, unlimited toxic hatred of the 'anti-imperialist camp' toward the existence of Israel and all she stands for - not toward Israeli policies, whatever they might be, but toward the very legitimacy and existence of the country. This hatred is always based on ignorance and cultural insensitivity and often segues into open, explicit antisemitism. And as always, hatred rests upon a lie, and a lie rests upon ignorance."

Jeremy Ben-Ami dispels five myths about being pro-Israel in America: 1. Jews choose to back candidates largely on the basis of their stance on Israel. 2. To be strong on Israel, you have to be harsh to the Palestinians. 3.The Rev. John Hagee and his fellow Christian Zionists are good for the Jews. 4. Talking peace with your enemies demonstrates weakness. 5. George W. Bush is the best friend Israel has ever had.

Norm Geras offers six reasons why we should celebrate Israel's 60th birthday today. One for each decade: 1. The destruction of the European Jews. 2. Antisemitism. 3. Israel's cultural achievements. 4. Israeli democracy. 5. For the cause of solidarity. 6. For a just settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

Any of these would suffice for me.

Yom Huledet Same'ach.

UPDATE: Z-Word editor Ben Cohen takes apart the enthusiasms of the "one-state" solution.


Blogger ahmed said...

An opposing and far more compassionate view

To the Editor:

On April 30, 2008, a group of over 100 British Jews signed a letter to the editor of the Guardian as follows:

'In May, Jewish organisations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This is understandable in the context of centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are Jews who will not be celebrating. Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-semitism and Hitler's genocidal policies. As Edward Said emphasised, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Naqba is to the Palestinians.

'In April 1948, the same month as the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin and the mortar attack on Palestinian civilians in Haifa's market square, Plan Dalet was put into operation. This authorised the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of the indigenous population outside the borders of the state. We will not be celebrating.

'In July 1948, 70,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in Lydda and Ramleh in the heat of the summer with no food or water. Hundreds died. It was known as the Death March. We will not be celebrating.

'In all, 750,000 Palestinians became refugees. Some 400 villages were wiped off the map. That did not end the ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians (Israeli citizens) were expelled from the Galilee in 1956. Many thousands more when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Under international law and sanctioned by UN resolution 194, refugees from war have a right to return or compensation. Israel has never accepted that right. We will not be celebrating.

'We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.

'We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East. '

As American Jews, we honor our British brothers and sisters who have spoken out about what the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel -- the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Naqba -- means for Palestinians and Jews alike. Like our British brothers and sisters, we will not be celebrating.

Hannah Schwarzschild

5:29 PM  
Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Ahmed, that letter is old news and has been dealt with all the respect it is due by Snoopgoon here:

7:12 AM  
Blogger Graeme said...

I'm wondering where the lack of compassion is in the original post.

7:13 AM  
Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

It's mainly in the title:

"They're here. They're Jews. Get used to it."

Facts. Ethnicity. Compromise.

A ruthless demand for peace making. No. No. No.

8:25 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home