Our Children Are The Guarantors

Defending Zionism from its detractors. Anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. Let the other side apologize for a change.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Colonists Of Their Motherland

Anti-Zionist (=anti-Semite) poster Christopher Day on Daily Kos:

“[…] Israel is a settler colony engaged in the ongoing displacement of an indigenous population from their lands.” (screenshot)

To each age, until the End of Days, may they come speedily amen, its own form of Jew-hatred: the 19th century saw the rise of pseudoscientific racial theories when the old “Christ-killer” myth had turned stale, and the end of the 20th century gave rise to anti-Zionism and “opposition to Jewish colonialism” as the acceptable form today, now that racism-based arguments are taboo. For the argument that the Jews are not allowed a state of their own, an argument that sparks outrage when leveled against any other nation, the narrative of “opposition to colonialism” is the most frequent justification given. This is the argument I will now address.

Colonialism necessarily assumes two things: a motherland and its colonies. Settlers emigrate from their motherland into a different land and inhabit areas of it, which are the colonies. The colonies may or may not keep ties with the motherland, but one thing is certain: if the colonies already belonged to another people at the time of colonization, then the colonists will be, at the very least, reminded of their being colonists, of their having arrived from a motherland.

In many cases, the colonists are not accepted by the previous inhabitants, and struggles may ensue to drive them away. If those inhabitants are generous, they would just expel the colonists back to their motherland rather than massacre them. The colonists themselves may, if their toll proves too high, opt to return to the motherland of their own accord. The crucial point is that the colonists have a motherland to fall back onto.

A well-known example is Algeria: it was conquered by France in 1830, and colonized by the French subsequently. By 1960, there were over a million colonists (called pieds-noirs) in Algeria, many of them the third generation of French colonists to be born in Algeria. Algeria was, as far as they were concerned, their native land. But in 1962, Charles de Gaulle granted Algeria independence, and as the Oran Massacre of that year had made it clear that the colonists would not be treated generously if they decided to stay, thousands of pieds-noirs fled to France—to the motherland.

So now world opinion posits Israel as a settler colony and the “Palestinians” in the place of the Algerians. However, analogies should always be checked for reasonable accuracy if they are to be given weight. If Israel, then, is a colony, what is the motherland?

This isn’t an area Leftists like to go; understandably, because if you press them to investigate that issue, they realize the analogy breaks down. There is no motherland for the Jews to return to. That is because (take a deep breath) Israel is the Jews’ motherland!

For 2,000 years the Jews were neither in their motherland nor in colonies—they were in exile. Their hosts rarely approved. In 19th century Europe, it was not just the first Zionists, but also many of the anti-Semites of the age, who called for an exodus of Jews from Europe and “back to Palestine”. You can see it even in German road-signs just before World War II: “Juden nach Palästina!”, say those signs. How ironic, then, that the anti-Semites of our day are screaming, “Jews out of Palestine!” As Yediot Achronot right-wing columnist Uri Elitzur once quipped, commenting on Israel’s having to play the World Cup as a European rather than Asian team, “We’re here in Asia because the Europeans didn’t want us in Europe, and we’re playing there as a European team because the Asians didn’t want us as an Asian team” (by “here in Asia” he was referring to being physically situated in Israel, and by “the Asians didn’t want us” he was referring to the Arab ban of Israel from, among other things, participating in Asian sporting events).

Now the anti-Semites of the world are saying we aren’t entitled to our motherland. The “generous” (or should that be “more naïve”) of them say the Jews ought to accept life under an Arab-ruled “Palestine” (in other words: go back to experiencing the Diaspora, but in our historical land), and the less generous (I would say, “less caring to hide their Jew-hatred under a semblance of consideration”) would say the Jews should go back where their Zionist ancestors came from: Europe, Asia and so on. Repatriation, as if Europe and Asia had ever been our motherlands. As if Europe had never been the site of genocide for us, and as if Moroccan, Iraqi and Yemenite Jews had never suffered the humiliation (true humiliation, not the manufactured tears the “Palestinians” sell to the West’s TreasonMedia!) of life as dhimmis under Muslim rule. A return to exile, that’s what that demand is! But who cares about those facts.

The Leftists do not want to accept that the state of Israel is the Jewish motherland, and that any other place is exile. When the French pieds-noirs felt the pressure in 1962, they had the motherland, France, to flee to. Jews in Israel have nowhere to go. Not to Muslim Asia, not to anti-Semitic, Muslim-accommodating Europe, and even the safety of Jews in the USA cannot be taken for granted (the American Left is becoming bolder and bolder in its displays of anti-Semitism each day, and ready to side with the Muslims, whether out of appeasement or solidarity). Secular Zionism was born of the recognition that there was no future for the Jewish nation in exile, that the line, “Berlin is Jerusalem for us” was wrong-headed (and indeed it was proved to be so in the end). Zionism’s deep roots in the Jewish religion are expressed in the incessant reminders, for example in the three daily prayers, that the Land of Israel (yes, the Land of Israel—not “Palestine”, named for the Philistines by the Romans in 135 CE, in order to eradicate the memory of Judea, of the original Jewish possession) is that which the Jews set their eyes on, with Jerusalem, Zion, as its capital. After 2,000 years, G-d has kept His promise to gather His people back into His land, no matter the means by which it was carried out (secular Zionism—a stumbling-block for the Naturei Karta traitors).

However, in the end of this, I did find a Leftist argument addressing mine. It was on the Daily Kos thread “The Problem of Anti-Semitism”, which I responded to a while back but has since been deleted (chalk up another point for having your own blog). It was an excerpt from Evan Jones’ anti-Zionist blog Alert and Alarmed, which is itself slated to shut down soon, according to its November 6th post. And the excerpt itself is part of a series of letters to the editor for the loony-lefty (and anti-Semitic) British newspaper The Independent. The letter is dated to August 18, 2006:

(writer) Colin Readman, Twyford, Berkshire

Sir: I read Alex Swanson’s letter (17 August), which stated that the descendants of the Jews should have the right of return to Palestine, and remarked how relevant it was to my own life, as I had just returned home to find a nice young Welsh couple occupying my house. They claimed that their Celtic ancestors had lived here 1500 years previously, and therefore it now belonged to them.

Naturally I accepted this reasonable argument, and I am now negotiating my move back to the forests of my own ancestral Saxony. Of course, I’d better hurry, before over 200 million “returning” Americans overwhelm the European housing market.

On the original Daily Kos thread, the letter was given under the title, “Your Lease Is Expired!” That’s an apt summary of the argument of that letter, and that issue, the issue of “lease expiry”, is what I wish to address now.

The argument is that, if a long time has passed since a particular nation lost hold of its land, it loses its claim to it in favor of those who have gotten hold of it in the meantime. When pertaining to the Jews and Israel, the argument is somewhat of an improvement (comparatively speaking)—here is an admission that the Jews were indeed first, thus even more deserving of being considered “indigenous” than the Palestinians. But, of course, the argument swiftly defuses that concession with the declaration that the long duration of time has voided the Jews’ claim to possession of the land.

It looks good (and, in all fairness, I have to give Mr. Readman props for the attempt—Leftists usually just regurgitate tired old stuff instead), but it suffers from a fatal flaw: the duration after which “the lease expires” is left hanging at mid-air. Or, to put in another way: how many years are required for a nation’s lease upon their original land to expire?

You see, this “Your Lease Is Expired!” argument can be applied to many more situations than that of Israel. More: it could even be a double-edged sword that cuts at the “Palestinians”. Leftists are all too eager to cry about the “dispossession” of the “Palestinians”. By their own admission, the “Palestinians” left their lands for a duration of time. If we take 1947 to be the year they left, that would be nearly 60 years of not living on their lands (in reality, many areas within Israel’s internationally recognized borders, such as the Galilee, are densely inhabited by Arabs undisturbed by the events of 1947–9. But don’t tell anybody, because it leaves the collateral damage of lots of anti-Israel arguments behind it). Now tell me this: why are 2,000 years of exile enough to void the lease, while 60 years of exile aren’t? Or, again: just give me a number signifying the duration after which a lease expires.

Let’s take this even further, going back to Algeria: as I said, a lot of the French colonists born in Algeria by 1962 had had their families there from as far back as the last quarter of the 19th century. Yet our dear moonbats would say they had to leave Algeria in the name of “decolonial justice”, “reparations”, “giving the lands back to their rightful owners” and all that. But, but… they’d been there for nearly a century! They have their new lease! Or maybe let’s go to the Native Americans: a lot of them have now been absent for more than a century from places they previously inhabited. Are those places theirs or not? The Leftists aren’t settled on that question: some say no, it’s too far back in the past, let bygones be bygones et cetera; some say yes, they were dispossessed just like the “Palestinians”, and just like them they’re still entitled to return to whatever areas they wish.

The fact that the Leftists themselves are divided on this question proves my point: they can’t say what the expiry date of a lease of land is. They can’t because it’s not even a legal point, it’s an ad hoc political device tailored to fit current needs. They don’t want their own homes to be reclaimed by Native Americans, so the Native Americans’ lease is expired; they want to stick it to the USA, so the Native Americans’ lease is still active; they hate Israel and the Jews, so the Jews’ lease is expired and that of the “Palestinians” is still active. That’s all there is to it. As with their off-the-wall alliances (hippie nudists with Muslim burka-pushers), their arguments are fashioned by the conveniences of the day.

They can call us colonialists, but we have G-d’s word and history shouting that Israel is our motherland. And they can argue our lease is expired, but they can never back it up with any consistent principle, and we have G-d’s promise that our “lease” will never expire. If they really want to clear things up, they had better take it to G-d. I do have an idea that He doesn’t particularly like people calling Him a liar. He keeps His promises—always has in the past, always will in the future.

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Blogger Michael said...

That is the clearest, best-written argument I have seen for why the palys are full of BS.

November 12, 2006 1:56 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

I'm not all that happy to have to use that argument--charges of "religious irrationality" toward it abound. But since both the Palis and most of world opinion continue to ignore Israel's gestures and relatively easy hand (in comparison, for example, to the racist genocide in Darfur), I decided it was time to bring out the proverbial big guns.

November 12, 2006 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Joanne said...

I'm sorry, but while I think your attempt at an answer is an honorable one, it is not entirely convincing.

First of all, the Native Americans aren't asking for the whole US back, so raising them as an example is setting up a strong man. Secondly, it's one thing to have left a land 60 years ago, another to have left 1,700 years ago. The Arabs purportedly arrived in the 7th century. I'm sorry, but that's a good long time. Most of the European nationalities have their origins in Asiatic nomads that had arrived in Europe in the fifth to seventh centuries.

I'm all for the existence of Israel. But the Jews' claim to a land in which we were only 10% of the population is, frankly, a weak one.

And please don't say that God or
G-d or whatever gave the land to us. God hasn't recently spoken up in our favor, I've noticed. And, anyway, all groups (including the Muslims) claim that God is on their side. In a largely secular world, bringing up the God-promised argument makes us a laughing stock, and rightfully so.

I was hoping for your argument to be a stronger one. I was rooting for you to be right. Unfortunately, it's an argument that will only convince the already converted.

May 20, 2007 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Joanne said...

Sorry, I didn't mean any disrespect for your religious beliefs. I was puzzled about the G-d reference. And only later realized that the very religious consider writing the full word is like taking his name in vain. Oops. Sorry about that.

May 21, 2007 12:11 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Hi Joanne,

I know the Native Americans aren't demanding the whole US back. That's all the more a damning point for the detractors of Zionism: they support those who make the most demands and use violence to enforce them, whereas those who don't make such demands and are non-violent aren't worth their time. "Might makes right", very ironic for those Leftists.

You say, "Secondly, it's one thing to have left a land 60 years ago, another to have left 1,700 years ago." Then I don't understand what I wrote a goodly part of my post for. The whole point was to refute this argument, the "Your lease is expired!" argument, by calling off those who have not given a definite cutoff duration for a claim upon land, not given any good reason why this nation's lease is expired while this one's is still current. How long until one is no longer the rightful owner of a land? And what reason for that particular length of time and no other? I have yet to get an answer to those questions.

The Jews were not 10% of the population in the late 19th century, when the first Zionist settlers arrived. It was then a land without a nation--note: without a nation, not without people at all. There were people, but in such small numbers--the ancient cities (Jerusalem, Safed and so on) and a few scattered villages--that Mark Twain had no problem describing the Land of Israel as desolate. And see Carl in Jerusalem's excellent summary. It's not out fault that, in the beginning of the 20th century, a mass of Arabs from Egypt and Jordan decided to come to the land when they saw it changing from that state.

You say, "And please don't say that G-d or whatever gave the land to us." But what if that's what I believe to be true? I'm not going to hold my silence just because my conviction isn't very fashionable nowadays.

You say, "In a largely secular world, bringing up the God-promised argument makes us a laughing stock, and rightfully so." You'll be surprised to hear that this "largely secular world" is moved by claims such as this, and not by the "realist" claims we have made so far.

We had said the land was ours because of our gloomy history, especially the Holocaust. The world replied: "We understand, but the Palestinians shouldn't be paying the price of that".

We had said the land was ours because we had made the desert bloom. The world, if it gave that argument credence at all, replied: "Making the desert bloom doesn't give you license to steal another nation's land".

We had said the land was ours because of our ancient historical connection to it. The world replied with that "Your lease is expired" argument: "You've been too long away to reclaim it, and someone else has already taken it".

All these arguments are fairly secular and pragmatic. The world, this "largely secular world", has rejected them with counterarguments that aren't pragmatic at all. "You stole this land" is a moral argument, not a pragmatic one. Therefore, the thesis that the modern world is totally hard-nosed and realistic and pays no heed to high-flown, ideological arguments is proved false. Conclusion: our only way to make our claim successfully is to make such "primitive" arguments. It doesn't make us a laughing-stock; quite the contrary, it's our previous, secular arguments that have been laughed off by this modern, modern world.

As for convincing people--I don't regard myself as having the power to convince anyone. People rarely change their minds out of the preponderance of evidence; a change of heart makes them evaluate the evidence anew, and then they rationalize it all. This change of heart can be effected only by G-d. I plant the seeds; G-d uses them to convert those He wants to convert, and those who fail to convert despite having read this message of truth (that G-d has promised us the Land of Israel) stand condemned before Him.

My blog is an ideological one, making the idealistic, Torah-believing case for Zionism; for the secular, pragmatic, realistic arguments you seek, there are others that are much more up to the task.

No offense taken. Writing "G-d", with the hyphen inside, isn't really a requirement. I started it back when I thought it was, and it just stuck, but writing "God" is fine. It's only in writing His names in Hebrew letters that care must be taken.

May 21, 2007 1:15 AM  

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