A year or so back, Benny Morris in the New Republic wrote presciently about a worldwide effort to delegitimize Israel. I say prescient because there is now a guerrilla war against Zionism in the U.S. that will one day soon, mark my words, break into the mainstream media.
Now Australia’s official commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Israel’s birth has resulted in spasms of anti-Zionism down under. A Member of Parliament declared that
she would have to be absent when the resolution was put forward to
celebrate Israel’s birth. (Julia Irwin. Sounds like a blood!) And a number of groups published a giant ad in The Australian saying that celebrating Israel’s birth was celebrating "the triumph of racism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians." Wow.
Here’s the ad. The most important thing about it is that it states that this is the 60th anniversary of the Nakba. About time we recognize the Nakba! Its strong language has apparently divided the Jewish progressive group there, Independent Jewish Voices, but the list of signatories is huge, and one article says that a labor union or two have signed on.
I find this remarkable for two reasons: 1, Nakba recognition is on the rise, and inevitable in the U.S. too; 2, Slowly but surely, an anti-Zionist position within western Jewry is being rehabilitated. There was a time 70-100 years ago where this was a completely legitimate position for Jews to take. Indeed, the American Jewish Committee, which now says that being anti-Zionist is being anti-semitic, held that position. Good German-American Jews, angry about issues of dual loyalty.
Then the Holocaust destroyed that position with its proof that Jews were not safe in the west. And now 60 years on, Israel is nullifying Zionism, by equating it with militarism and apartheid. History lessons.
There is a season, turn turn turn, and a time for every purpose under heaven!
(My neighbor the American genius Pete Seeger wrote that. He is of the opinion that there is about to be a great progressive reaction to Iraq, a leftwing ball-bounce far higher than the conservative one of the last 20 years. Watch this space…)