Zionism is the problem

With their control of western mass media – the Zionists never expected that some of their own rank and file would come out to criticize the very roots of the Jewish occupation of once Muslim-majority Palestine – Zionism.

I am not talking about the Orthodox Torah Jews, who pray for the destruction of Israel every day – but many of those liberal and non-practicing Jews – who have come to realization – such as Richard Wurmbrand (d. 2001) and Stephen Bloom – that Zionism and Communism, both created by the Jews – has been G-d’s greatest curse upon the Jewish communities and the wotld at large – proving that while the Jews did played a major part in Nazis and Communists genocides of Gypsies, Christians, Jews and Muslims – in occupied Palestine they have been practicing worse than their earlier crimes against the Muslim and Christian natives. Fred Abrahams, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW) told Israeli daily (March 25, 2009): “Israel fired white phosphorus  repeatedly over densely populated areas, even its troops were not in the area and safer smoke shell were available. As result, civilians needlessly suffered and died.”

Charles Freedman, who was hounded by his fellow Jews, from his appointment as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, wrote: “The outrageous agitation that followed the leak of my pending appointment will be seen by many to raise serious questions about whether the Obama administration will be able to make its own decisions about the Middle East and related issues.  I regret that my willingness to serve the new administration has ended by casting doubt on its ability to consider, let alone decide what policies might best serve the interests of the United States rather than those of a Lobby (Jewish Lobby) intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government (Israel).”

On March 15, 2009 – The Los Angeles Times published Ben Ehrenreich, the grandson of Marxist Jewish parents – titled Zionism is the problem, in which he wrote:

“It’s hard to imagine now, but in 1944, six years after Kristallnacht, Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, felt comfortable equating the Zionist ideal of Jewish statehood with “the concept of a racial state — the Hitlerian concept.” For most of the last century, a principled opposition to Zionism was a mainstream stance within American Judaism.

Even after the foundation of Israel, anti-Zionism was not a particularly heretical position. Assimilated Reform Jews like Rosenwald believed that Judaism should remain a matter of religious rather than political allegiance; the ultra-Orthodox saw Jewish statehood as an impious attempt to “push the hand of God”; and Marxist Jews — my grandparents among them — tended to see Zionism, and all nationalisms, as a distraction from the more essential struggle between classes.

For the last several decades, though, it has been all but impossible to cry out against the Israeli state without being smeared as an anti-Semite, or worse. To question not just Israel’s actions, but the Zionist tenets on which the state is founded, has for too long been regarded an almost unspeakable blasphemy.

Yet it is no longer possible to believe with an honest conscience that the deplorable conditions in which Palestinians live and die in Gaza and the West Bank come as the result of specific policies, leaders or parties on either side of the impasse. The problem is fundamental: Founding a modern state on a single ethnic or religious identity in a territory that is ethnically and religiously diverse leads inexorably either to politics of exclusion (think of the 139-square-mile prison camp that Gaza has become) or to wholesale ethnic cleansing. Put simply, the problem is Zionism.

The fate Buber foresaw is upon us: a nation that has lived in a state of war for decades, a quarter-million Arab citizens with second-class status and more than 5 million Palestinians deprived of the most basic political and human rights. If two decades ago comparisons to the South African apartheid system felt like hyperbole, they now feel charitable. The white South African regime, for all its crimes, never attacked the Bantustans with anything like the destructive power Israel visited on Gaza in December and January, when nearly1,300 Palestinians were killed, one-third of them children.

Meanwhile, the characterization of anti-Zionism as an “epidemic” more dangerous than anti-Semitism reveals only the unsustainability of the position into which Israel’s apologists have been forced. Faced with international condemnation, they seek to limit the discourse, to erect walls that delineate what can and can’t be said.

It’s not working. Opposing Zionism is neither anti-Semitic nor particularly radical. It requires only that we take our own values seriously and no longer, as the book of Amos has it, “turn justice into wormwood and hurl righteousness to the ground.”

Establishing a secular, pluralist, democratic government in Israel and Palestine would of course mean the abandonment of the Zionist dream. It might also mean the only salvation for the Jewish ideals of justice that date back to Jeremiah.”

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