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.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Beyond Offense

Via Elder of Ziyon I came to the article, You have the right to feel offended, by Judea Pearl, father of Daniel Pearl (HY"D). Like Elder, I think the article makes some good points yet don’t agree with everything. The reason I see it fit to write a whole post about this article is that I have a fundamental disagreement with it—a difference of opinion about its very root thesis, not just about its specifics.

Professor Pearl rightly tells of the vile slurs that the anti-Zionists heap on us, though he mars his point by saying, “Zionophobia is no less revolting than Islamophobia” (because a phobia is an irrational fear, a fear not founded in fact; Zionism is accused of being a Jewish plot to rule the world, which has no basis in fact, while Islam’s goal of world domination is expounded clearly in the canon of the religion, and stated unabashedly by multitudes of Muslims worldwide). He observantly points out the offense of the libel of portraying Zionism as something that was created in 19th-century Europe from scratch:

Some claim that Zionism is not entitled to such defense, since “Zionism is a political movement, not a religion”, or “Zionism is a recent phenomenon, a product of 19th century European nationalism”.

These claimants know little about Jewish history or Jewish identity or how Jewish history and identity were shaped for centuries by the Zionist idea of the “return of the exiles”. They certainly have not read the Mishna, or Nahum Sokolov’s "History of Zionism (1600–1919)" or my grandfather’s siddur (e.g., Veholichenu Kommemiut Leartsenu—“and thou shall walk us in sovereignty to our country” [Birkat Hamazon]).

That is an act of historical negationism more dangerous than any Holocaust Denial, and cultural theft every bit as pernicious as New Age appropriations of indigenous customs. Pearl is to be praised for raising this issue, which is far too often neglected by those who would rather focus on outdated and nearly impotent threats such as the classical anti-Semitism of the White Aryan Nations. But I opine that the central weakness in Pearl’s article lies in the following quote:

We, as Jews, have been grossly negligent in permitting the dehumanization of Israel to become socially acceptable in certain circles of society, especially on college campuses. Our silence, natural resilience to insults and general reluctance to confront colleagues and friends have contributed significantly to the Orwellianization of campus vocabulary and the legitimization of the unacceptable. Most of our assailants are even unaware of the shivers that go down our spines with utterances such as “apartheid Israeli regime” or “brutal Israeli occupation”. [Both emphases mine. —ZY]

I have said it before, that the problem with talking about “being offended” is that it shifts the discussion from objective (even if debatable) realities into subjective feelings. Once feelings are brought into the mix, there is no possibility for discussion, and there is no end to the demands that could be made. “This offends me” is not a good basis for either discussion or action. Schoolkids beat each other up because of swear-words, until they grow out of it (not a very common occurrence in our age of “self-esteem”, but I digress), while grown-ups use their “feeling of being offended” as the basis for litigation, for the defamation lawsuits that are the blight of Western civilization today. And let us not forget the masters of overreacting at feelings of offense, the Muslims—“Mohammed Cartoons”, and not another word needs to be added.

Once, I stumbled upon a provocative photo of a tzitzit wrapped around bare female legs. I was offended. More than once, I have read the anti-Zionist abuse on left-wing sites like Daily Kos. I am offended, no question about it, but more than I am offended, I am distressed. There is a world of difference between my reaction to that tasteless photo and the anti-Zionist libels. I can dismiss the former with a retort in my head, saying, “Grow up, already”, while I cannot react in such a way to the latter. Why? It has everything to do with the distinction between swear-words and death threats.

I support free speech and open discourse nearly absolutely. Even Holocaust Denial, as well as the anti-Zionist vitriol I read on lefty websites. But while things that are merely offensive, blasphemous photos and other such equivalents of schoolkids’ swear-words, can be shrugged off as people’s misuse of their right to free speech, the anti-Zionist sentiments cannot, for they are the equivalents of death threats. I support the right of the anti-Zionists to say what they say, but as with death threats, I hold that there should be consequences for saying them.

Look at this choice collection of comments from the article Boycott Movement Targets Israel by George Bisharat, on Common Dreams. First:

Takamine2002 August 15th, 2007 6:42 pm

why do we allow dual citizenship, dual nationality passport holders to hold political office in the USA?


jaalle August 15th, 2007 7:35 pm

Israel is a blot on the collective conscience of Mankind. […]


citizen1 August 15th, 2007 10:11 pm

It’s about time. Israels [sic] is a racist and genocidal country. I never, ever buy anything from Israel. [Your computer is probably powered by a chip that is the fruit of both Israeli research and production. —ZY]

But you know what? No one ever talks about the other Israeli occupied territory, which is the US Congress.

Fourth, and definitely the winner (of the Golden Swastika Medal):

truthteller August 15th, 2007 10:39 pm


How right you are. The entire leadership of the U. S. Congress is full of sops for Zionism, both parties. They go to the annual AIPAC convention to perform acts of contrition to their masters and beg for more funds to continue in office to support more of OUR tax dollars going to Israel. It is past high time to call for an end to ALL U. S. government support (military and financial) to the Zionist fascist state of Israel. We support genocide against the Palestinian people every bit as wrong as what white European settlers did to native Americans.

Maybe by cutting off Israel’s sources of funding and arms their neighbors will finally have a chance to drive all of them into the sea where they belong. [Emphasis mine. —ZY]

These comments are typical of every thread on Common Dreams, Huffington Post, TruthDig and other such sites that discusses the Israel/“Palestine” conflict. So it’s not that I’m surprised by those comments—take them as vindication for Judea Pearl’s observation that the dehumanization of Israel and Zionism has become all but acceptable.

Do I find the comments offensive? Extremely. But that’s not the point. Not the point at all! The point is that the comments are dangerous. They’re one with the genocidal comments of Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah (may they both go to hell soon, amen) in saying that it is right and just to kill Jews (God forbid).

The entire portrayal of Zionism as a “19th-century European White Colonial Settler Movement” is not just an offense, a smear, a swear-word writ as an intellectual thesis—it is a death threat. It says, “You Jews have no right to be on that land, and the human race will be better off when the Palestinians wipe you out there”. It is a underhanded, acceptable-sounding way of expressing agreement with the Hamas Charter: “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. […] The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished […]” [Emphasis mine. —ZY]

Hamas logo. Supporting the “Palestinian Right of Return” means supporting their genocidal goal, even if that’s not the intention.

Let us stop treating anti-Zionism as an offense, as something that hurts our feelings, and start treating it for the threat to our lives that it is. I support the right of the anti-Zionists to say what they say; I call for a future, truly Jewish administration to bring them to justice for that, to the hangman’s noose. To treat anti-Zionism as a matter of offense feeds the global fashion of elevating subjective feelings above objective reality—the core of the very postmodernism, multiculturalism and Political Correctness that is being used as a club against Zionism in particular, and by the Muslims against non-Islamic states in general. If framed as a matter of guarding our lives instead, it both achieves the benefit of countering the threat of this latest form of Jew-hatred and avoids doing the damage of giving strength to the Legal Jihad of the Muslims against the West.

It’s not about our feelings, it’s about our lives. “Rise up early to kill him who rises up to kill you”, said our sages of blessed memory.

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Anonymous eric said...

Hello. My close friend has been emailing me your posts, and I am very impressed. I am a Jewish political blogger that is staunchly Pro-Israel, and I enjoy seeing others show the same vigilance.

If you are open to doing a link exchange, I get some pretty decent traffic.

Thank you.

eric aka www.blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com

Also, if you are interested, I am # 6 in the country at the bloggers choice awards in the political category.


August 18, 2007 3:02 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Shavua Tov, Eric.

I took a look, and I like it. The link is up ("Tygrrrr Express" under "The Eyes of Truth" on the sidebar).

HaShem bless you.

August 18, 2007 10:34 PM  
Blogger BabbaZee said...

Same as it ever was.

Same as it ever was.



August 19, 2007 1:32 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Plus ça change, plus ça la même chose, ma sœur. If you forgive my momentary indulgence in Frogese.

HaShem bless you, achoti.

August 19, 2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger beakerkin said...

Do not waste your time with John Brown. He is more mental case than Marxist.

Let him lecture you about the drug pushing Black Panthers, Taliban, FARC, Hugo Chavez and so forth. He is Superfly John Brown Progessive Drug Dealer of the masses.

August 19, 2007 6:00 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...


I was just having fun with him. He's pathetic. Did you see his website? Tagline: "Savage Justice is a totally uncensored forum devoted to the Communist principles of Bolshevik-Leninism and a strategy of militant and confrontational resistance to imperialism and reactionary propaganda". This in 2007. Not in 1907, folks, but in 2007! Those "Progressives" and their uncanny knack for serving as living fossils, as walking, talking museum pieces. It would be hilarious if they weren't with the Muslims in their efforts to bring down our civilization.

August 19, 2007 9:12 PM  
Blogger beakerkin said...

I have put up with his trolling for three years and it is not amusing and borders on criminal.
300 plus comments a day and criminal libel are not amusing.

He is a sick stalker who harrassed Stephen Plaut into changing his blog address three times.

August 20, 2007 2:24 AM  
Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

good work ZY!..but I doubt the anti semitism will ever falter.........

August 20, 2007 7:04 AM  
Blogger Bar Kochba said...

I've had my share of Brown. Its amazing to see how perverted the mind of an anti-semite is, regardless of facts.
Chazak VeEmatz!

August 20, 2007 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ZY, one of the few comforts I have in the current war is knowing even if we lose it is only a matter of time till the Muslims kill their current Leftist allies like John Brown.

August 20, 2007 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We won't lose, but, you are right, it is only a matter of time before the left loses its usefulness. Fanatical revolutions always devour their children.

August 20, 2007 3:35 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Hi all, sorry for the delay, today was a day for business (ka-ching and all that stuff).

People like Brown come in useful to me sometimes. They may only rarely bring a new argument, but they often show me what's all the rage in the lefty world at the moment. Of course, once they have outlived their usefulness, repeating the same arguments instead of responding to my answers, then I can't keep them either.

I agree the Leftist useful idiots would be among the first on the Islamic chopping-block, but I'd rather not have poetic justice except from afar. In other words, I don't want these stupids taking me down with them. Survival at all costs. I'm with the anonymous commenter in agreeing we won't lose. Individuals among us, yes, and perhaps many, God guard us, but not our whole side.

Hi Angel, good to see your comment. I thought you (like other people, during my long and indefinite break) had despaired of me.

I just want to say, due to my experience of burnout (the aforementioned long break), I'm now writing with no schedule. That is, I can't say how long it'll be between one post and the next. So it's better to hook onto the RSS feed of my blog, to be notified when.

August 20, 2007 8:15 PM  
Blogger Anti-Racist Blog said...

I enjoyed reading your response to the article. I had posted part of the article yesterday, and I added a link to your critique today. Thanks for the insight!

Anti-Racist Blog


August 23, 2007 4:08 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for the link!

HaShem bless you.

August 23, 2007 6:16 PM  

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