Repost from the old site.
Always-perceptive commenter James Schipper makes some astute, terse and cut to the chase comments on my post, The “New Anti-Semitism.” In it, he moves beyond the typically vulgar anti-Semitism that much modern anti-Zionism descends into and offers a perfectly logical explanation for the dual loyalty accusation leveled at Jews.
He also brings up some very difficult questions about the differences between Judaism and Zionism and whether there is really any difference at all.
If criticism of Israel = anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism, then we should be proud to call ourselves anti-Semites.
What is really wrong with Israel? It is not such a bad country for Jews, or even for the Arabs in Israel proper. I would rather be a Jew in Israel than an Arab in any Arab country. Israel was born in sin, but so was every country in the Western hemisphere. Israel is oppressive in the occupied territories, but by historical standards, this oppression is hardly unique.
The real reason for opposing Israel is that it does not see itself as the country of its citizens but as the country of all the Jews in the world. According to Israel, Jews in other countries are living in exile, are really Israelis and should be loyal to Israel.
In other words, Israel expects the Jewish citizens of other countries to behave like Israel’s fifth-columnists, and that is exactly what Zionists outside Israel are.
No political party outside Israel should accept Zionists as members, and no government outside Israel should appoint Zionists to a senior government job. Instead, Zionist should be encouraged to put their bodies where their loyalties are: in Israel.
Suppose that Italy saw itself as the country of all Catholics in the world and expected Catholics everywhere to defend Italian interests, then it would be behaving exactly as Israel does. That would also be a good reason for non-Catholics in other countries to look at Catholics with suspicion and to regard Italy with hostility.
The late Arthur Koestler wrote in an essay that after 1948 all Jews should choose one of two options: go to Israel or abandon Judaism altogether. He is right insofar as Judaism implies Zionism.
Judaism has always posited that Jews are a people and that Israel is their promised land, which is also the position of Zionism. If Judaism implies Zionism, then Jews outside of Israel, it they want to remain Jewish, should emigrate to Israel or else detribalize and deterritorialize Judaism, which may be denaturing it.
Theological question: Why does Obama allow bad things to happen and evil people to prosper?
More seriously, why did Obama appoint a hard Zionist as his chief of staff? It is not a good sign.
I agree with several things in this post.
First of all, he attacks some of the usual broadsides leveled at Israel and dismisses them.
What I find disturbing, and many Zionists have noted this, is the particular vehemence many Israel-critics level at Israel’s oppression of Jews inside Israel, while they are silent or even supportive of even worse oppression by states against minorities outside Israel.
White nationalists think it’s awesome for Whites to treat non-Whites like shit, except when it comes to White Jews versus “muds” in Israel. Kurds in the Arab World are treated awfully bad, Berbers less so but still poorly, and the Shia are oppressed all over the Arab World. There is open oppression and violence against Christians in Egypt and Iraq.
Baha’i are treated horribly in Iran, Sunnis less so but still poorly, and the Ahwaz have some good beefs. Turks treat Kurds horribly in Turkey. Russia has massacred 20% of the population of Chechnya in what can only be termed a genocide. China’s treatment of the Uighurs and Tibetans is disgraceful. Treatment of Hindus in Pakistan is shameful, and NE Indian Asians are treated poorly by the Indian state.
Japan treats its Koreans, Burakumin and Ainu pretty badly. The Hmong are still treated like shit in Laos, and the Montagnards are not done well by Vietnam. Pygmies are openly genocided and cannibalized as a matter of custom in Zaire, and the Khoisan are nearly murdered at will in SW Africa.
There is a real genocide of Arabs against Africans in Darfur, and another one, Arabs versus Christians, has just ended in South Sudan. Africans are routinely enslaved by Arabs in the Sahel.
We could go and on, but you get the picture. What is disturbing about all of this is that most Israel-critics are either indifferent to, ignorant of or even supportive of, the maltreatment of minorities above. Zionists are correct that this is either ignorance or anti-Semitism.
All, or most all, modern nations were born in sin.
This was due to the nature of the modern nation-building exercise, which typically involved ethnic cleansing or some sort of mass killing or genocide of any existing indigenous people, sidelining, subjection, forced assimilation (cultural genocide) or outright genocide against anyone not part of the dominant nation of the nation-state, and forced destruction of all languages but the one chosen by the nation-state or that is the dominant nation.
The Modern Left in the West, which has adopted Third-Worldism, minority-hugging and European hatred with gusto, errs in singling out Europeans for particular abuse in terms of nation-building. It’s been bloody and awful everywhere and at all times.
Schipper also points out that although Israel is oppressive in the Occupied Territories, by comparative standards, they are relatively mild. Considering the outrageous provocations and attacks of the Palestinians, I am amazed Israel has gone as easy on them as it has.
Arabs do not believe in fighting wars in a civilized manner, and the Geneva Conventions are regarded by them as Western comedy. Any Arab state faced with Palestinian-type provocations by non-Arabs would have been vastly worse than Israel.
Truthfully, just about every nation fighting an insurgency has been more horrible that Israel by orders of magnitude.
Consider this: according to counterinsurgency doctrine, enshrined by the US military and state and promoted by the US media and both US political parties, any civilian who “supports” an insurgency needs to be arrested, beaten, tortured and killed. All counterinsurgencies supported by the US have routinely massacred, mutilated and tortured to death insurgency “supporters.”
This has been true in every counterinsurgency in Latin America, in Indonesia in 1965, the US counterinsurgencies in SE Asia during the Vietnam War, the counterinsurgencies in Mozambique, Algeria and Angola, Russia’s counterinsurgency in Chechnya, India’s counterinsurgencies in India proper and Kashmir, in Sri Lanka against the Tamils, in Indonesia against the Acehese and East Timorese, in the Philippines against the NPA, and in Nepal’s recent Civil War.
In these counterinsurgencies, hundreds of thousands of “supporters” of insurgencies were murdered, tortured and mutilated, while the US cheered, poured in money and looked the other way.
In contrast, almost 100% of Palestinians seem to support the Palestinian insurgency. Clearly, Israel has not been going around killing “supporters” of the insurgency. If they did, they would have killed tens of thousands of Palestinians so far.
Considering the provocations of the Palestinians, Israel has fought one of the cleanest counterinsurgencies in modern times.
Zionists are correct that these criticisms of Israel, combined with support for to indifference to much worse behaviors by non-Jews, are evidence of either ignorance or anti-Semitism.
But Schipper does hit it on the head.
The reason to oppose Israel is that it is not a state of its citizens. Israel openly says that it is the state of all Jews on Earth, not of its citizens. Hence, it is perfectly reasonable for non-Jews in every nation on Earth containing Jews to look upon their Jews as possible traitors and dual-loyalists. Dual loyalty, rather than being an “anti-Semitic canard” as many Jews shrilly screech, is actually grounded in immaculate reason.
Schipper also suggests that the wall between Judaism and Zionism may be little more than a wall of sand, and one that has been hit by so many waves that there’s almost nothing left.
Although anti-Zionist Jews offer various reasons for their non-support of Israel, the fact remains that Judaism has always said that Israel is the land of the Jews. Assuming the Messiah returns tomorrow, even Naturei Karta is willing to head to Israel and become fervent Zionists.
Hence the uncomfortable notion, typically parroted by ferocious anti-Zionists and some vulgar anti-Semites, that it is not just Zionism that is the problem, but Judaism itself, is lent some troubling weight. I don’t want to go near this thesis because to be honest, I’m a pussy when it comes to the Jewish Question.
Schipper finally suggests that the Jews of the world either renounce Judaism or practice what you preach and head to Israel. Once again, troubling stuff.
There’s nary a trace of anti-Semitism in Schipper’s comments, but the issues he raises are toxic as Hell.
Just some thought-meals.
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