“Anti-Zionism is an opinion, a current of thought born among European Jews at the moment when Jewish nationalism was taking off. It opposes the Zionist ideology that advocated (and still advocates) the installation of the world’s Jews in Palestine, today Israel,” the French intellectuals’ letter to President Macron reads. I see that a number of the signatories are prominent Jews.
Hasbara Central and the Israel apologists in the USA and elsewhere in the West have a problem with those who oppose of Zionism; or who simply oppose attempts to censor, intimidate or muzzle criticism of Zionism and of Israel; who are also Jews. Goyim like I who, in the course of our own criticisms of the Zionist ideology, of Israeli policy or of Israel’s latest in its litany of crimes against humanity, quote such Jewish thinkers, politicians and intellectuals are easier meat, of course, because we’re all fundamentally just anti-Semites who are weaponising the words of “rogue” Jewish critics of Zionism as “cover” for our anti-Semitism, thus pre-emptively defending our own Jew-hatred: “Look, it’s not just I who am thinking this: X, Y and Z also think it and they’re – shock, horror! – Jews.” Jewish anti-Zionists, on the other hand, need to be explained away in other terms, usually as “self-hating Jews”, “Kapos”, “Jinos” (Jews in name only), etc.
Pondering why it was that some of the most powerful critics of Zionism and the colonial project in Palestine are and have been Jews like Hannah Arendt and why some prominent Jews were among those who foresaw before they materialised the dangers Zionism posed and poses to the Jewish community, I surmised that this was not a result of genius (which is not to denigrate e. g. Hannah Arendt’s intellectual stature) but simply of awareness and enlightened self-interest.
Arendt’s observations quoted in the article above echo – although at greater length, arguably more eloquently and with the benefit of supervening observations - the thoughts some 30 years previously of an opponent of that most crucial of enabling betrayals, the Balfour Declaration. Commenting recently elsewhere on the latest of the Witchfinder-General’s inquisitions into senior members of the Parliamentary Labour Party in the UK for alleged anti-Semitism, I said, “An irony of the ‘mischievous political creed’ of Zionism was foreseen over a century ago by the only Jew in Lloyd-George’s Cabinet and the only Cabinet minister to oppose the Balfour Declaration: Zionism itself risks causing a rise of real anti-Semitism (as opposed to reflex accusations levelled at any and all advocates for Palestinian rights or critics of the obnoxious Jewish supremacism now embedded in Israeli society) in Europe. The insistence of the neo-Fascist Israeli right currently in the ascendant that Israel speaks for and represents global Jewry, not merely those who live in Israel, will cause “blowback” against Diaspora Jews who seek nothing more than to maintain their peaceable places within the societies to which they belong and [who] do not self-identify as mythic “Israelites in exile”. These innocents are at risk from Zionism because they are understandably likely to be conflated with those vocal Diaspora Jews like [name of recent Labour Party defector, Member for Enfield North (outer London)] who relentlessly shill for Israel, “right or wrong” and whom respected American commentator and ex-AIPAC staffer Mike Rosenberg described as “Israel-firsters”. Once-dead-and-buried suspicions of “divided loyalties” and “hidden agendas” may be revivified in the popular mind, fed and watered by similar tendentious and/or false media coverage as was deployed by such as the Harmsworth press during its infatuation with European totalitarianism [in the 1930s and] is today being used by the scions of those very same media barons against Islam, [which is] a factor fuelling the Islamophobia in Britain and elsewhere in Western Europe.”
@Kay24 Lest anyone get there first, there have been some high-profile cases in the UK of "gangs" (read "groups") of young- to early-middle-aged Muslim men convicted of grooming young Caucasian girls (mostly, it seems, teenagers around or over the age of consent) for sexual gratification and making them dependent, for money or for narcotics, on their exploiters. The MSM has reported that this is a "cultural" phenomenon owing to Muslims' differential views on gender inequality, on (female) sex before marriage and on (female) promiscuity. The MSM's angle, to anyone attuned to looking for media feed-stock for populist agendas, has been highly tendentious, emphasising the "otherness" of Muslims and how they are "not like us", the "we" of "us" being the now largely mythical, hard-working, respectable, white working class Brits of the 1950s/60s/70s.
Running this kind of story is manna for journalists, who know they're pushing at an open door by stoking Islamophobia in Britain or anywhere in Europe. That there are Muslim men with bad attitudes, prepared to prey upon the weaker, more susceptible in a society is not exactly falling off one's chair territory, any more than is saying that domestic violence is most easily concealed in relatively closed communities such as the enclaves of Orthodox Jews in London, where it would not be considered "outsiders' business" or that priests and youth leaders can exploit their positions of trust to abuse children. It is however, no more correct to conclude that it is the typical behaviour of Muslim men to seek out and sexually enslave white girls than to conclude that every second Orthodox home harbours a wife-beater or that every Roman Catholic priest is a raging paedophile; it is patently not the case.
I'm not an academic sociologist with a research budget so I can go only on my anecdotal experience, which is that the Muslims I know tend to have very similar preoccupations to the atheists, Jews, Christians and Hindus I know, namely keeping a job or running a business, paying utility bills, putting bread on the table and looking after their dependants.
@Kay24, thanks for pointing out this study. Its findings don't, however, surprise me based on my first-hand knowledge of British Muslims (mostly male). Most in my circles of friends and good acquaintances are of Pakistani, Bengali or Turkish heritage. Many adhere strongly to their religious beliefs but their attitudes and social values are closer to those to be found in the urban social "mainstream". I have encountered no misogyny or disrespect for the position or independence of Western women nor have the British Muslim men whom I count as close or social friends ever evinced homophobia or articulated any anti-Semitic sentiments in my presence.
Last week, a young Pakistani friend in the West Midlands of England, who had been living on “indefinite leave to remain” in the UK and works as an institutional carer, messaged me to tell me that his British citizenship had come through. Even at 3,500 miles’ remove, it was palpable that he was over the moon about it! I truthfully replied that I was delighted, very proud to call him a fellow-countryman and could think of few who would make a greater contribution than he to our society.
The community of nations (fragile and ever-shifting, at best) and many of the nation states themselves are shattering into lethal shards pointing in increasingly extreme directions, driven by ideologies that the ideologues must themselves know are based on premises deriving from anything between barefaced revisionism and absolute, 180° falsehoods, e. g. “The general prevailing view among radical Zionists is that Palestine belongs to the Jews and that the Palestinians are invaders.” - igiK…..
The post- WWII environment of broad although by no means universal respect for international law and, in the Western democracies, at least of the pretence on the behalf of executives/administrations that they implemented the wills of legislatures and were not above and beyond the reach of their judiciaries, is in flames. Successive US presidents from Truman on, aided in many cases by their “allied” counterparts in other countries, have gathered the kindling and stacked the timber, the GWBs, Blairs and their henchmen have liberally doused on the accelerant and Trump, Mileikowsky and their cohorts, the Orbáns et al., are busy tossing in the lighted matches. Montesquieu and the Rule of Law, R. I. P.
Truth appears now to have been utterly debased as a currency. Within my lifetime, the careers of politicians publicly caught lying about matters of state were over – when it became inescapable that Anthony Eden (British prime minister) had lied to the House of Commons over the Suez Canal crisis, his political career, his reputation and his legacy as a statesman were all in ruins. Trump, by contrast, lies every time he opens his mouth and it no longer raises eyebrows or seemingly costs him much if any support among his “base”; even his opponents have become inured to the steady torrent of untruths and reckless miss-statements cascading from his lips or his Twitter-feed.
Never have I been so pessimistic about what the future holds for the Palestinian people (and for many others); and never so ready to take to streets to protest against injustice and to make the truth heard because, unless forced otherwise, politicians are dependable to do the wrong thing.
My thoughts on reading this also immediately went to the “two million Jews” to be “settled” in the West Bank. This is approximately one-third of today’s Jewish population of Israel within the `67 borders; or, if Pew's correct, between a quarter and a fifth of the entire, global Diaspora! This, in a country where net emigration (particularly among the young and most highly-educated) is growing? Where do the politicians believe these new settlers are going to come from? Perhaps India? On his 2017 visit to Mileikowsky, Narendra Modi seemed offer currency to encouraging some of the Cochin and other Indian Jews to make Aliyah, doubtless on the grounds, “They’re-kinda-Jews-that-mighta-had-some-connection-with-the-area-back-in-the-mists-of-time-in-any-case-they’re-not-Hindus-I-don’t-want-`em-in-India-so-you-may-as-well-have-`em.” Oops! Aren’t Indian Jews the wrong colour for the European colonial enterprise of the Jewish State? Courtesy of Yumna Patel’s piece, however, I learned one fact that made me laugh in a rather hollow way: Israel has a Minister for Social Equality - who'd a' thunk it?
Israel’s seems to be accelerating unstoppably down the slope of annexing the whole of the OWB and Occupied Al Quds; the boldness, violence and sense of impunity among the hilltoppers and the Temple Mounters has not been higher https://english.palinfo.com/news/2019/2/25/35-Israeli-settlers-storm-al-Aqsa-Mosque; https://english.palinfo.com/news/2019/2/25/Are-tensions-at-al-Aqsa-reaching-another-boiling-point – this, today, english.palinfo.com.
@DaBakr Been on holiday for three weeks? Did you go anywhere nice; or stay in Israel? I shan't dwell too long on my response: I don't know about Iranian mullahs themselves being present in any of these places; or about IRG feet on the ground in Afghanistan or Bahrain. Bahrain wouldn't be a great surprise, since many Bahrainis are of Iranian descent and the kingdom has a Shi'a majority; that's what 2011 was all about - I was in Manama the night the tanks rolled across the causeway from Eastern Province. The numbers in Bahrain must, however, be low if they're there. You may not know Bahrain but it's a small place where it's quite difficult for large-scale infiltration to occur unnoticed if there's a vigilant security service. In the other countries of course there are IRG physically present; in Iraq, principally since 2003 - I wonder why that is. Could it be the vacuum left after the regime-change war for which Israel lobbied so hard?
I note you didn't address, "Israel, by contrast, has been fighting aggressive, expansionist ‘wars’ (mostly against civilians) since the Naqba and, more recently, 1967 with the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Golan; and, in 1981, the illegal annexation of the Golan; and continually since 1978 until 2006 in Southern Lebanon."
In case you weren't around at the relevant dates, I would point out that 1948, 1967 and 1978 all precede the Islamic Republic in Iran.
“I don’t therefore draw the conclusion that what happened under the Obama administration was never going to work that you couldn’t keep pushing harder because over time realities are bearing down on Israel, demographic realities, births and deaths.” I am confused by this and, without benefit of hearing Sen. Warren’s interview, it’s quite hard to determine whether, by the words in the quote reproduced at the top of this comment, she meant our esteemed Editor-in-Chief’s “take away” or the opposite. Paucity of punctuation and the seeming inability of politicians to speak English (except, I’m sure, in the case of Donald Trump) as they would write it mean that the quotation above is certainly open to more than one interpretation.
It is sometimes helpful to take away from a sentence otiose words and intervening clauses or phrases to reach the true sense. If the quotation were re-cast simply to read, “I don’t [ ] draw the conclusion [ ] that you couldn’t keep pushing harder because over time realities are bearing down on Israel, demographic realities, births and deaths,“ it becomes a simpler statement in the negative about Warren’s conclusion. She does not conclude that [one] could not keep pushing harder [just] because (i. e., by reason of) realities which, over time, are bearing down on Israel; and she goes on to enumerate these as “demographic realities, births, deaths”. In other words, she concludes that the “realities are bearing down on Israel, demographic realities, births and deaths” do not represent excuses to fail to push harder.
This is not an attempt to provide any kind of “cover” for Sen. Warren, merely to divine whether she meant what PW believes she meant or whether she meant what the interpretation illustrated above of her words means.