One should, I would think, distinguish the Zionist cloak worn by American Jews whose entire existence from embryonic life to cantankerous old age is as American as apple pie…. as in the case of Dershowitz– one of the 70% of World Jewry for whom Israel is a nice place to visit but not to live– from that worn by a true Sabra or a self-directed olim. As a model lawyer Dershowitz practices shysterism, wherein the lawyer knows not the truth but finesses the facts as much as needed to get his client off. That’s a lawyer’s professional oath: EVERYTHING FOR THE CLIENT! This he has done over and over again for his client, the right wing of the Zionist movement, with dedication. Given someone for whom hasbara is a professional deformation, one should not make much of it when he applies it for Israel. Afterall, how little of a Zionist he is personally can be judged by how little of himself he has invested in Israel.
It is much the same with many older Diaspora Jews. The Zionists used the Holocaust to build a great guilt club of American Jews, hitting the “parasitic” Jews they can’t convince to join the Great Aliyah. They speak of Israel invoking guilt (of Palestine in deceptive hyperboles) asuaged by fulfillment of that gnawing obligation. Theyremind of the courageous “pilgrimages to the land of our forefathers”– something many of them know next to nothing about; but what wrong is there in distorting and disembling as “scholarship” on behalf of the true causeto: HASBARA!
Perhaps that is why Israelis so impatiently say to Diasporic Jews that question them: “you owe us, you chicken heart parasites, so go back to your country and send in the gelt to appease your guilt…..but don’t ever tell us what to do!
There were Zionist founding fathers for whom Israel was to be an enlightened land where Jews bring their Arab cousins into modernity, making Israel “a light onto the [Arab] nations.” But by now Israel has gotten fat, greedy, secular and with a sense of history that begins, not in God’s 7 days, but in 1948. Israelis are too used to the American dole, the German reparations and the Diasporic guilt gelt. These Sabras fought for Israel’s survival and expansion and they want royalties from Jews trying to use Zionism as elevator shoes.
At a Jewish dinner party in NY, where an Israeli figure of sorts was the honored guest, he flicked the long rod of lit ash from his cigarette on the floor, burning the white carpet a bit. Unflapped by the home owner running to put out the cigarette burn, he said: “What’s this you Americans don’t bring us ashtrays anymore?” The host tried to take it good stride. But clearly, the room filled with an air of discomfort as all those Jews who had come to honor this Sabra wondered: have we come to the point where they’re such holy can-do-no-wrong saints and we’re mere servants desperate to please?
Zionism is a threatened but, nevertheless, ongoing profession. And professional Zionists feel that in these times when real jobs are hard to find, a bit a hyperbolic genuflection is not too much to do to assure such a low stress job. And so, the hasbara blows up even bigger.
In politie Diasporic Jewish society all this is taken in stride. The college professors who author Judeo-Zionist books like diarrhea do so because they know that there are no standards; publication is a sure thing if you’re honing of that “line” is right. Every Diasporic writer is trying to outdo his/her follow such Ziophilic writers, knowing that there’s a shallow bottom to what you can say but, literally, the sky’s the limit for hasbara in favor of the Zionist project.
None of that is real, none of that is bound by intellectual or moral strictures. Yet, what really makes it possible is that everyone understands that no one will ever pay attention to it– many will buy, none will really read. Only Palestinian authors will quote these hyperboles….and then Zionists can always say that they’re quoting out of context or that, in the best of cases, “you just don’t understand,” as if we “dumb goyim” are too stupid to grasp the enormous complexity of Israel.
Zionism does not reflect a moral deterioration in Judiasm, however. To the contrary, Jews may be the moral pillars that hold up what’s left of Western Culture. But Zionism has tuned out to be AN INDUSTRY meant to fog up the reality that more Jews are leaving the “Promised Land” after graduating from Israel’s wonderful universities than are coming in. SO ISRAEL IS GROWING WHILE ISRAELIS IS SHRINKING! Diaspora Jews are basic to the fabric of the West where they were born rather than to the Mideast. Hence, anyone can say anything because it really doesn’t matter anymore. The truth is a bitter plant sweetened with gooey hasbara. The Iran issue just may bring everyone back face to face with reality (maybe not all those Israeli honchos with multiple passports in their pockets and bank accounts abroad). But then the Iranians nuclear soldiers are just as much an illusion as the Israeli ones, so we’ll get a lot of huffs and puffs but not much dealing with the real issue. That real issue is simply: for the Arab Spring to succeeds it needs Israel’s leadership and guidance in achieving modernity. Arabs know this as they watch how Palestinians prepare for a Palestinian state by making carbon copy cities and institutions to those of Israel. Only with a true drive to modernity can peace really be at hand.