Response to Clockwork Zionists, by Walton Pantland (yes, he of the first response).
I can write about whatever I like - things that interest me, and that I think are important - and no one pays much attention.
Put the words 'Israel' or 'Zion' into the title, and my stats shoot up as defenders of Israel gather to call me an anti-Semite and a neo-Nazi.
I don’t know jack about your site stats, but I don’t single you out for responses. Back when Daily Kos still had new arguments to make against Israel, there were times you could expect a response to them on my blog every day. My goal is to defend Zionism; to expect attacks to go unresponded (just like the state of Israel is expected to take every Kassam rocket lying down) is unreasonable.
So, for the record, and despite claims to the contrary:
I am not advocating genocide against the Jews.
I am not calling for Jews in the Middle East to be displaced or killed.
Few and far between (still…) are left-wingers who openly call for those things. However, as I already said to Pantland in his comments, the demands they make of Israel cannot lead to any other result.
It looks to me as if the challenge I have presented, to advocates of the Binational Solution in general, is being ignored once again. To remind you what the challenge is: To bring a credible binational proposal in which it is guaranteed that the result will not be disastrous. One-Staters have talked plenty of how both the status quo and the Two-State Solution are no good, but they have yet to offer a one-state solution with which we Israeli Jews could even begin to feel comfortable with. They support the One-State Solution with idealistic arguments (“The only possible way to restore justice” and the like), but they have totally neglected to address the pragmatic aspects of their proposition.
It’s almost as if they didn’t care what the final result would be.
I am simply saying that the Zionist dream hasn't worked. It hasn't made the world a safer place for Jews.
That is definitely true, if Zionism is about making the world a safer place for Jews. But that was Herzl’s (the founder of modern, secular Zionism) error: he thought that the Jews having their own state would end all Jew-hatred. The disillusionment from that dream was nailed by Golda Meir’s phrase, “Israel is the Jew among nations”. And yet, that does not mean the alternatives are any better:
Most Jews choose not to live in Israel, because Europe, the US, Canada, Australasia and many other countries have proved to be better places to live.
Of all the places you listed, you had to put Europe first?! Europe is fast becoming the most unsafe place for Jews to reside in, thanks to the growth of its Muslim population. Unlike you Leftists, the Muslims have no reservations about calling for Jewish genocide (God forbid). You Leftists just do your part in saying the Muslims are “venting their frustration over the injustice in Palestine”—justification.
The way of thinking, “Why live in Israel? The rest of the world is much safer”, is so 1970’s. Increasingly, a Jew leaving Israel finds the same threat upon his arrival at the new country.
Israel is such a mess that it has its own, home grown neo-Nazis, who are Jewish enough to be able to immigrate to Israel, […]
The result of inappropriate criteria for determining Jewishness. If that were done according to the traditional yardstick of the halachah (Jewish Law), that problem would be solved; but I’m one with Bin Laden just for proposing that, pace Pantland.
[…] not to mention the American Jewish fundamentalists who settle in places like Hebron.
And pray tell, what is the connection between “homegrown neo-Nazis” and “American Jewish fundamentalists”?! Could it be only that they are equivalent in your eyes? As far as many (and growing) Israeli Jews are concerned, the “American Jewish fundamentalists” are part and parcel of their society, something that could never be said for the non-Jewish hooligans who made the news.
Israel wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for $30 billion of US military aid, […]
Oh yes, the subtle threat: “Better go to the negotiations table before the aid is cut off and then you’re goners!” Thing is, US aid to Israel hasn’t always been a given. Back in 1948, when five Arab armies attacked our nascent state, we didn’t get any US aid; we had to make do with a few Czech leftovers from WWII and some French offerings. How did we survive?
[…] which the Israeli army uses to kill Palestinian children. Are they anti-Semites too?
Where does the link lead? To Jews sans frontieres, which bills itself “An Anti-Zionist blog”. Good start. And the post itself begins by quoting the quisling Gideon Levy. Even better. And the whole of the post is centered around the argument that, even though the “Palestinians” target Jewish children and send their own children to the line of fire, Israel is still guilty of “targeting” children. Again the extraordinary standard: “Take it all lying down, until you have defused it through talks and concessions.”
I am not happy about what is going on in Judea and Samaria. But concessions and capitulations won’t work—they merely bring more Jewish areas (and in the 1949 Armistice Line borders, no less) into rocket range. There is only one way to end the occupation and all its unfortunate results: expel all the Muslims from those areas.
I’m sure Pantland will pounce on my solution as “the height of injustice”. Clockwork. But he might want to ponder on the fact that, ever since the expulsion of the Germans from there in 1945, the Sudetenland has been out of the news. Yep, the same region that was the catalyst for a world war. You can’t argue with facts.
Come on. I really do have a deep respect for people's connection to place, and if Jews want to live in Israel-Palestine, that's fine. But respect other people's rights as well.
Ah. You have deep respect for our connection to the place. Not for the Jewish dream, the ancient dream, of having sovereignty over a state of our own on the Land of Israel.
Walton, I have news for you: we’re done living under the sovereignty of non-Jews. We have a whole history of it to know it’s not a very good deal. In the Diaspora, we had no choice (unlike the Muslims, who think themselves entitled to remake every host state in their image), but on our own land, the Land of Israel, we can’t accept anything less than sovereignty.
As for other people’s rights: No problem, but they are required to recognize the local culture as the law of the land. Would you not require cannibal immigrants to Scotland to leave their dietary habits? It’s the same here: We are not going to put up with any suicide-bombing, sedition, restrictions as to where we are allowed to live in the Land of Israel or worship, or any other sort of nonsense. This is the one and only Jewish state in the world; unlike the Muslims, we do not believe ourselves entitled to any other area of the globe, therefore all those who don’t like the fact of Israel being a Jewish state are free to choose all the rest of the world map.
But even that’s too much to ask, of course…
But at least I am in good company: Desmond Tutu is the latest to be smeared as an anti-Semite, and have a speaking invitation cancelled […]
Contrary to the misconception, I am not trigger-happy on the accusations of anti-Semitism (example: I refuse as of yet to call Richard Dawkins a Jew-hater, despite his recent “Jewish lobby” comment, for I still have no evidence that he made that statement out of a doctrinaire position), but Desmond Tutu most definitely is a Jew-hater. See item #1 on the post for October 9, 2007 by Steven Plaut.
[…] all because the Zionist Organization of America made up a quote comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and attributed it to him, and it was reported without fact checking.
JTA blundered in giving it as direct speech. They should have said, “Tutu compared Israel to Hitler and apartheid”. That distinction does not, at the end of the day, make much of a difference: Tutu is in agreement with Ahmadinejad (as is Pantland) that Israel as a Jewish State has no right to exist and is fated to disappear one day (God forbid).
OK, you don’t need to tell me: Leftist advocacy for the end of Israel as Jewish State stems from the view that a Jewish State is inherently racist; and I’m going to bring my challenge again: present a credible way of putting your proposal into action without the final result being disastrous. You may not call for Jewish genocide, but your call for the dissolution of a Jewish State comes with absolutely no means of preventing that from happening. That’s why I regard you, Tutu and all other proponents of the Binational Solution as threats, not just to Jewish sovereignty in Israel, but to Jewish life in Israel. Threats to our lives should your pressure lead to steps toward the application of the Binational Solution.
Who do you think is more credible? Tutu, or you nuts?
This isn’t about credibility. Credibility is the later stage. This is about the earlier stage, the stage called listening. Neither you nor Tutu nor Ahmadinejad are willing to even give ear, let alone respect, the essential Jewish narrative that we are not “colonial settlers” on the Land of Israel, but its true and rightful inhabitants. The Leftists do not cease talking about how “Israel treats the Palestinians as subhumans”, yet they are guilty of the inability, upon thinking about an Israeli Jew, to see anything other than a land-robber, a racist and a colonial oppressor.
Even at the best case, we only have basic needs in your eyes. The “Palestinians”, they have “dreams”—dreams of self-determination, of justice restored, of cultural significance and so on. But us Jews? All we have, in Leftist eyes, is the basic need of “living in security”. Nearly all the agreements bear that language: “A treaty that will enable the Palestinians to achieve their self-determination while not compromising on the Israeli’s need for security”. This, the denial of the ancient Jewish nationalistic dream, is Zionism Denial and is far worse than Holocaust Denial; the latter concerns only the past, while the former has impact on the present and the future.
It’s not whether Tutu is credible or not. It’s about the fact that Tutu, like you, runs roughshod over us Jews with his high-flown conceptions of “justice”.
Comparing Israel to apartheid also earns the anti-Semite slur - despite the fact that Haaretz, a mainstream Israeli paper, said the same thing in an editorial a few days ago.
An anti-Zionist quoting Haaretz to make his point—so what else is new?
I have news for you, Walton: Haaretz ceased being a mainstream Israeli paper years ago. There are two papers in Israel that can be called mainstream: Yediot Achronot and Maariv. Religious Zionist newspapers like B’Sheva are in the process of becoming mainstream, by virtue of the shifting of right-wing opinions to the center in Israel (a result of, among other things, the Kassam rockets following the evacuation of Gaza in August 2005, and the various proposal for boycotts of Israel worldwide. This ain’t South Africa here, Walton: the more you press against our state, the more the Israeli Jewish public moves to the right). Haaretz, conversely, has been undergoing a process of decline, in lockstep with the wane of concessionism starting with the Second Intifada in October 2000. Except for a decreasing number of disconnected, die-hard left-wing ideologues in Israel, all Israeli Jews regard Haaretz as an irrelevant elitistic rag. To cite Haaretz is only to strengthen the reality of its being in a world of its own, away from the pulse of the public in Israel.
What? Are they anti-Semites too? Or self-hating Jews?
Quislings. Self-hurting Jews. Jews for a Bad Cause. I don’t use the term, “self-hating Jews”, because it shifts the discussion to feelings, which are essentially undebatable. It is sufficient for me to say that Haaretz, just like the New York Times in the USA, is a seditious paper that takes the enemy side far too often, in the guise of “even-handedness” of course.
Like the boy who cried wolf, the anti-Semite slur has lost its power - which is a victory for real anti-Semites everywhere.
It’s not that crying “anti-Semite” ever had much power anyhow, but let’s leave that. A much more relevant point is that what you call “real anti-Semites” (if they are those I think you mean) are of scant significance today, while the real danger is from those who see themselves so far removed from Jew-hatred. If you think I’m going to let someone off the hook even though all his sayings and writings do nothing but serve as moral justification for the “Palestinians” to murder Jewish men, women and children (God forbid), then you’d better think again.
My blog sidebar has a heading, “Abstract”. The text under it is the condensed version of why anti-Zionism is today’s prominent form of anti-Semitism. If you understand this, you will understand all my vehemence.
ZionistYoungster (ZY) claims that my support for one state, with equal rights for all, will lead to the killing of Jews.
Not quite accurate. My claim is that a binational state would enable the influx of millions of “Palestinian refugees” (the well-known “Right of Return”), which will put them in the same position as they were in 1947: in physical proximity to start a war to wipe out all Jewish presence from the Land of Israel (God forbid). In a slightly better scenario, a binational state would enable them legislate anti-Jewish laws by democratic majority vote. Either scenario is not something we Jews are prepared to even contemplate.
But why should it?
White people weren't wiped out in South Africa after the end of apartheid.
There is a slight difference between the ANC and Hamas. The latter’s charter, in addition to their actions right now, should give you a clue. And for a graphic illustration, see my post It’s Just Like Seffrica, Trust Me.
Most Palestinians just want to live, work, study, fall in love, feed their families and enjoy life. It's only when they are prevented from doing this that they are driven into the arms of extremists.
And here we have come to the one great error that has blighted all non-Muslim states in their relations with the Muslims for the past few decades.
Hard truth: the Muslim world has not undergone the process of secularization that most of the rest of the world (especially the Christian West) has. Overwhelmingly, the Muslims take their religion seriously. Overwhelmingly, the masses of Muslims, and not just the poor and uneducated either but also the affluent and intellectuals, think the Islamic imperative, that all the world be governed by shariah law, is binding, in full force. If a secular Jew eats a sandwich in front of religious Jews fasting on Yom Kippur, he gets angry looks, calls to go away at worst. If a lapsed Muslim does the same in front of his coreligionists fasting in the month of Ramadan, he usually ends up with a lot of holes in his body shortly afterward.
There are Muslims who do not want the whole world under shariah law. They keep their opinion to themselves, for they know that if they voice it in public, they will be branded as apostates and killed, often by their own family members.
Cultural understanding demands that you not apply your cultural situation automatically to others. When thinking of the relationship of the rank and file Muslim to religion, don’t think of yours—you’ll get much closer to the truth if you think of the Muslims in analogy with how every Christian related to religion in the Middle Ages. The hard and inconvenient truth is that, for the average Muslim, his religion is a serious and absolutely binding matter. And the desire that the state be governed by shariah law isn’t extremist Islam any more than closing one’s shop on the Sabbath is extremist Judaism.
ZY also says "you won't appease Muslims at our expense".
I am not interested in appeasing anyone. I don't like right wing Islam anymore than you. But it is a symptom of the fact the Muslims are treated unjustly by Israel and the West.
There are 57 official Muslim states in the world (“official” means members of the Organization of Islamic Conference). Furthermore, Muslim immigrants in non-Muslim states, particularly in Europe, are constantly accommodated, with footbaths in universities, halal food in public schools (Jews never demanded kosher food to be prepared for them in public schools) and what not. The non-Muslim world has to suffer their temper tantrums upon the slightest provocation (a few silly cartoons). How, just how, can you talk about Muslims being “treated unjustly by Israel and the West”?!
Working for justice is not appeasement.
Whose idea of justice? I mentioned 57 Muslim states, and there are 22 Arab states; taking lands from the one and only Jewish state in the world in order to set up yet another Arab or Muslim state isn’t any kind of justice in my book.
He [refers to me. —ZY] says our 'zeal' is what exposes us as anti-Semites. Actually,the 'zeal' is to do with the fact that the injustice in Palestine is the fulcrum around which the big conflicts of our age revolve. […]
Way to go, Walton, you just blew your very argument that this isn’t about appeasement. Or how else am I to understand the bit, “[…] the injustice in Palestine is the fulcrum around which the big conflicts of our age revolve”? Implicit in that statement is that, were “the injustice in Palestine” not behind the big conflicts of our age in your eyes, then you would not display such zeal for it. As is evidenced by what follows:
[…] However important Darfur is, it's peripheral to the war on terror and the imperialist strategy of the US and it's allies.
Um… that noise? You heard that noise? It was the sound of my jaw dropping on the desk.
There’s a genocide in Darfur. A genocide, Walton, you know that? Do you care that over two million black Sudanese have been murdered there? Or is there no consideration you find worthy other than “the imperialist strategy of the US and its allies”? That’s what feeds your zeal? “The enemy of my enemy (=US imperialism) is my friend”?
I find your fine talk about “justice” a tad less convincing now.
As I said in my post, I didn't know it was a competition to see which was the worst country in the world.
I don’t see it or put it that way either. The Israel/“Palestine” conflict is a different matter altogether: it’s about whether the Jews have a right to sovereignty over a state of their own on the Land of Israel. To compare Israel’s fight against those who wish to destroy it with all manner of fascist, racist and imperialist forces is a libel.
Also, I put it to you, ZY, that you only notice the issues that interest you. If you were a supporter of the British state, you'd be noticing my 'zeal' for the destruction of Britain, and if you were a neo-Nazi, you'd call me a race traitor. Israel is far from the only thing I comment on, but it appears to be the only thing anyone wants to read about, which is why i keep coming back to it.
This reminds me of a snide question I got on the comments on Left I on the News a while back: “Zionist Youngster, do you read LeftI or do you just troll blogs looking for people bad-mouthing Zionists?” I answered: “Yes, I'm a regular reader, of this blog as well as Daily Kos, CounterPunch and many others”. My focus in undeniably on Israel and anti-Zionism, but I do not confine myself to reading only those topics on left-wing sites.
I talk of zeal in the more general sense. Darfur is again a case in point: as Eyal Rosenberg said in his parting Daily Kos diary:
Barely a word for Darfur - Israel has been in a diary on dkos over 5000 times in the past year, Darfur less then 1000. How many thousands continue to be killed there by Muslims? If I did not know better I would think that on dkos bashing Israel was more important than saving lives. But what has gone in Sudan? Only 2 million dead versus the circa 7 thousand in the I/P conflict in the same period.
Your zeal is placed exactly where it shouldn’t be: against a state that lets its enemies write screeds against it from within it, such as Jonathan Cook, writing his anti-Zionist articles from Nazareth; this while a reporter going to Darfur runs the risk of losing his head, literally, and an activist for Tibet had better not leave his armchair if he values his freedom. You take advantage of Israel being—despite all your allegations of fascism—a Western, democratic state with all the freedoms involved, including the freedom of dissent. You Leftists could have exerted your zeal on far more worthy causes, on true cases of oppression, racism and atrocity, yet you conveniently choose not to.
The state of Israel is not fascistic, not colonial and not imperialistic, therefore undeserving of being criticized as if it were such. You talked of injustice? Now here’s a miscarriage of justice if there ever was one.
And that's [my clarification that I will pray for the rise of the Sanhedrin. —ZY] supposed to make us feel better? He wants to kill Muslims lawfully, as ordered by the Sanhedrin?
My purpose was just to make clear that I do not call for assassination, which is illegal under both Jewish and international law. That’s all.
A Sanhedrin is a Jewish religious court. So we're supposed to criticise right wing Muslims who want to impose Sharia as dangerous extremists, but accept the Jewish version?
They're as bad as each other!
No, they’re not as bad as each other, if only because the Jewish religion does not call for instituting Jewish law over the whole world. The Muslims call for worldwide shariah. Judaism doesn’t require any non-Jew to convert to Judaism, let alone live under Jewish law; Islam, in contrast, has it that any part of the world not under Islamic law is the House of War, and needs to be put under Islamic law by any means possible. Also, under Islamic governance, the best a non-Muslim can hope for is the subclass status of dhimmi. In other words: apartheid. Apartheid not just in one state, but all over the world!
ZY, you come across like a Jewish Bin Laden. You and the right wing Islamists are two sides of a coin, and you're making the world more dangerous for all of us.
See above, and also: freedom from religion is not the key to making the world a safe place. The anti-religious ideology of Communism has 100,000,000 dead for its claim to infamy.
He [JP, another commenter on Pantland’s blog. —ZY] points out that Israel is racially diverse - sure it is, and deeply racist, too.
In what sense is Israel racist? In the sense that it has to employ unfortunate measures to defend itself? You Leftists always talk of the “Apartheid Wall” without mentioning that it keeps suicide-terrorists out. Yes, I know you want Israel to be “a state of all its citizens”, and indeed for all cultures to live together in one big, happy global village, but what you don’t realize is the following irony: your vision is cultural imperialism, in that it ignores the diverse identities and cultures of the world in favor of a unified, cosmopolitan vision. The desire of a nation to have a state that acts to preserve its culture and identity is not racism, however much Leftist thinking has made it fashionable to think so.
Even among Jews, the whiter you are the better. Jews of Arab origin have always been cannon fodder in the Zionist dream - so much so that 100 000 Israeli children were poisoned in radioactive tests - 6000 died.
Ah, more proof for my point that the Left, the “anti-racist” Left, is the greatest purveyor of racism in our day and age.
“The whiter you are the better” was true for the first three decades of the state of Israel. It is not true now, not with Jews of Oriental descent enjoying key positions in all areas of life in Israel (including ministers in the government). As for the linked article, whose author, by the way, is the discredited conspiracy theorist Barry Chamish, it talks about things taking place (if they ever took place—extremely doubtful, when you keep the author in mind) in 1952. This is on a par with the Daily Kos diary by “jon the antizionist jew”, Fascists in Israel and the Fiddler on the Roof, in which, as proof of “White Racism” in Israel, he uses the film Sallah Shabati, which (by his own admission) dates from 1965!
Do you take seriously a critic of the Theory of Evolution who addresses Darwin’s original arguments while ignoring all the numerous updates that have come up ever since the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis of the 1930’s? Clearly not, that amounts to building a strawman of the Theory of Evolution to knock down. Here is an analogous situation: all the accusations of institutional European Jewish racism in Israel are built upon ignoring the changes that Israeli Jewish society has undergone since about 1977. This is a compound sin: dishonesty in the service of stoking gratuitous hatred.
Israel does not now have any form of institutional racism among non-whites. As for the Muslims of Israel, they’re a separate matter, because their complaint isn’t racism but the fact that they have to live in a Jewish state at all. Apples and oranges. The attempts to frame this whole conflict (indeed the conflicts over all the world) in the paradigm of “non-white peoples struggling against white colonial racist imperialism” is contemptible as it is erroneous.
He thinks that when we say 'Zionists' we really mean something else. We don't. We mean Zionists. Many of them are fundamentalist Christians who believe the Jews will go to hell, but that we should support Israel because it's part of God's exit strategy for them, the Rapture and all that nonsense. They have a powerful lobby in the US and elsewhere, but they don't control the world. That's a conspiracy theory.
Be the reasons Christian Zionists have for supporting Israel as they may, Zionism is still the idea that Jews should have sovereignty over their state on the Land of Israel. You cannot say, for example, “I’m not anti-Italian, even though I’m opposed to the idea of an Italian state”, therefore you cannot make the same argument for Zionism and the Jews. Now you will probably say you’re against all nation-states, and I commend your consistency, yet the stakes for us Jews are much higher: as I said, once again, no proposal has given as to how the Jewish state can be dissolved (God forbid) without a massacre taking place shortly after that. My vehemence stems from that.
Anyway, it's worth keeping an eye on MuzzleWatch to see who the latest victim of the Zionist lobby is.
MuzzleWatch is an anti-Zionist website. It is has little, if anything at all, to say about attempts to stifle open debate at the other direction, such as the academic boycott proposals. And MuzzleWatch is not quite up to handling free discourse themselves, that’s why they decided to disable comments.
Anyway, it’s worth keeping an eye on Dhimmi Watch to see who the latest victim of the Saudi lobby is.
Here ends my post.
Labels: fakestinians, leftism, webloggery