If anti-semitism justifies ethnic cleansing, then what does anti-Palestinianism justify?

Israel/Palestine
on 110 Comments

Jerome Slater tries to make the claim that Zionism isn’t racism. Many of the commenters who responded to his post presented more eloquent and knowledgeable arguments than I can, so I’ll keep it brief.

According to Slater, Zionism isn’t racism because it’s just Jewish nationalism.

Likewise, White nationalism isn’t racism. It’s the legitimate expression of White people’s cultural aspirations. Furthermore, it doesn’t take land inhabited by non-whites as its geographical locus – which Zionism does.

Don’t bother bandying about any inconvenient quotes by David Duke either. The Zionists have equipped me with more than enough to win that contest. Here’s a pretty good one issued by that humanitarian Theodor Herzl:

“We can be the vanguard of culture against barbarianism.”

Sweet. Nothing racist in that.

Slater writes that the term racism “must include the belief that other races or peoples are inferior to one’s own.” But Zionism is predicated upon just that belief. This isn’t immediately clear, so I’ll explain why that’s true.

What kind of person says “I’m going to pick up today and ethnically cleanse a tract of land so people like me can settle there?”

That person necessarily regards his right to the land as superior to the other who lives there. When that right is predicated on racial differences it’s racism. Think of it this way: My right to this land as a Jew is superior to this Arab’s claim because I’m a Jew and he’s not. I have superior rights to the land based on my chosenness, itself a hallmark of my superiority.

Don’t bother arguing that the first Zionists were secular either. If their claim to Palestine wasn’t notarized by God, then how did they presume to ethnically cleanse the land of its indigenous inhabitants? Ah, yes. They were white men who could bring culture and industry and civilize the place.

“We can be the vanguard of culture against barbarism.”

To be perfectly clear, Zionism in principle is a racist dogma. For Zionism to succeed, lesser races had to be ethnically cleansed so the Jews could settle exclusively amongst Jews. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which was perpetrated by Zionists on a racial basis, was wrong and should never have happened.

There’s no need to belabor the point. Slater and others like him can dogmatically resist the prima facie truth, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Slater belongs to a different generation. And I’m sympathetic to those – like Abraham Foxman – whose every breath is belabored by the bitter ashes of the Holocaust. I wonder if I’d be the same kind of Zionist if I was a Jew of their generation. Probably, I’d be just as aggressive.

Slater’s argument that anti-Semitism in the West is latent and unpredictable is rational given his historical experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if John Hagee and his acolytes are readying for the first sign of red heifer. American Jews are in a better position to evaluate that threat than I am.

But what if I too were to reserve the right to recede into nationalist self-love, chauvinism and fear? The Jewish people have a right to their state because of anti-Semitism. Fine. Likewise, the Palestinian people have a right to their state because of Zionist anti-Palestinianism. And since the Zionists refuse to vacate Mandate Palestine peacefully, we must overwhelm them in every way possible.

I would argue that the methods that were right for the Zionists in 1948 because of anti-Semitism are right for us today because of Zionist anti-Palestinianism. If we cannot ethnically cleanse them with our guns, we’ll overwhelm them with our superior birth rates. Maybe, if we can keep their numbers to about 20% of the total, we’ll think about integrating them into our state.

Slater can hew to Zionism. He can seek to justify a racist, atavistic, race-peculiar ideology for the rest of his life. But he should be grateful that those of us who are taking control refuse to do so.
 

About Ahmed Moor

Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American who was born in the Gaza Strip. He is a PD Soros Fellow, co-editor of After Zionism and co-founder and CEO of liwwa.com. Twitter: @ahmedmoor

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