Monday, August 14, 2006

The Israeli double bind

Whip-smart analysis of the Israel Lobby thesis by Jean Bricmont (Bricmont, who is politically associated with Chomsky, makes poor Noam look senile, a thesis I’ll take rather than assume Noam is just a closet Zionist).  Bricmont makes the critical point that much of the strength of the Lobby comes from its ability to make accusations of anti-Semitism, illogical allegations which bear considerable weight in the United States because of decades of brainwashing.  This is particularly ironic as Zionism itself is completely grounded in anti-Arab/anti-Muslim bigotry. 

I find the musings of Jostein Gaarder a rather refreshing antidote to the smothering of all rational thought on the subject of the Middle East under fear of being called a Nazi.  Gaardner is proving to be a formidable trickster, drawing the Zionists into his trap and then hitting them with the statement that they can have the 1948 borders!  Of course, Gaardner is perfectly correct:  since you can no longer gain ground by military conquest, the only legitimate Israeli borders are the 1948 borders.

Gaardner is essentially making the ultimate threat:  stop abusing claims of anti-Semitism or we’ll call your bluff and connect what Israel does to allegations about the nature of Judaism, thus reversing 50 years of success in eliminating much of the world’s anti-Semitism.  If you want us to reestablish that connection, just keep ‘standing for’ Israel’s slaughter of civilians.  We dare you.

The Zionists defend Israel by claiming that the Jews, due to centuries of prosecution culminating in that thing the Germans did (I’m reserving the H-word to describe what Israel is now doing to Arabs), have a special right to defend themselves.  In other words, the state of the Jewish people has peculiar rights due to the nature of Jewish history.  On the other hand, even raising the issue of whether the nature of Israeli expansionism might have anything to do with the nature of Judaism results in the slur of anti-Semitism flying around.  This is the Israeli double bind.  They want us to unquestioningly accept the concept of a state based on racist religious/ethnic basis – a basis so complicated you need a rabbinical expert to determine who is in the ‘in’ group and who is in the ‘out’ group – while simultaneously pretending to ignore the fact that the illegal actions of that state appear to be grounded in religious exceptionalism.  They rely on the Jewish nature of Israel when it suits them, and parry legitimate complaints about what Israel is doing by screaming ‘anti-Semitism!’.

They can’t continue to have it both ways.  Either Israel is a normal state bound by normal rules of international law, including a requirement to obey UN resolutions and a requirement not to attempt to acquire land by military conquest, or it is the only magical state in the world which obtains all its rights from some religious law, in which case we have a right to ask questions about the connections between Judaism and Israel’s actions.  If you don’t want people asking these ancient questions which have long been used as slurs against the Jewish people, rein in the Jewish state.

North American Jews are the lowest of the low.  They live in absolute peace and security, proclaim upset at what is being done to the poor Palestinians, while covertly using their influence and money to manipulate politicians and the media to encourage the worst excesses of Israeli colonialism.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of Israeli politics there are always politicians around eager to take the bait and kill and brutalize Arabs.  One of the good things about the Israeli attack on Lebanon is that a lot of these two-faced North American bastards have been outed by their public display of support for Israel (which amounts to the aiding and abetting of war crimes).  The real anti-Semites are those who secretly work for policies that will inevitably destroy Israel.