“the right of Jews to self-determination”
Could you cite another ethnic group that has a right to self determination? Could you explain how an ethnic right to self determination constitutes democracy?
(Asking this question as someone opposed to ALL forms of racism and religious bigotry.)
When did I say or imply “the right of Jews to self-determination (constitutes democracy)”? Go on, if you implore me to explain it, you have to atleast find where I said or implied it. If you don’t mind me saying, your inferring skills are lacking. I think Israel *is* a democratic state, but I haven’t implied the ‘right to self-determination constitutes democracy’. I believe the right to self-determination is an important component of Zionism, but no where in the piece have I directly deduced democracy from that. In fact, the quote itself is from a section where I’m not talking about democracy but about what anti-Zionism entails-rejecting the right of a people to have self-determination. On the issue of your first question, I believe that the Kurds also have a right to self-determination.
I didn’t say you implied that the right of Jews to self-determination constitutes democracy. My point was that there could be no such implication. Or, to put it another way, you either believe in democracy or you believe in the rights of ethnic groups to self-determination. You can’t believe in both. They are contradictory.
As for the Kurds and the Jews, why stop there? Sikhs? Rastafarians? White anglo-saxon Christians? Who has this right and who doesn’t? What principle is at stake here? Are we to reapportion all the territories of the earth based on religious/ethnic considerations rather than existing national boundaries? What about all the people who don’t fit the required ethnic criteria? (My extended family is English/German/Turkish/Jewish BTW.)
You could have just said that, instead of framing it in the form of a question that invited me to think that you thought I made that deduction. I don’t think it’s contradictory. I think Israel is evidently a democratic state. And I think your latter questions in fact have very little do with my piece. They’re not directly relevant to what I’m discussing. Do you have anything to say what about what my piece is really about?
I’m not entirely sure what your piece is really about.
When you provide genuine examples of anti-antisemitism and of the left acting as apologists for Islamists, all I can say is that I fully share your anguish.
Most of your piece seems, however, to be devoted to a convoluted argument in favour of the thesis that anyone (ie people like me) who consistently objects to all kinds of racism and discrimination is thereby guilty of a kind of racism. I find that argument incoherent and objectionable – and so, I suspect, would you if you thought deeply and honestly about the about the questions I raise above.
1. My piece is about anti-semitism in the guise of anti-zionism.
2. The examples I provided were examples of anti-semitism in the guise of anti-zionism.
3 The existence of Israel isn’t racist, loads of people who oppose it (ie people like HAMAS) are indisputably racist. Your implication is that those who support Israel’s existence are supporting racism, and therefore those who object to its existence are avowedly anti-racist. I want you to think about that, and consider who is the incoherent party here.
4. Your objections to my piece suggest you think Israel itself is a racist entity-one that is oppressive by very its nature. That’s exactly the reasoning used by modern-day anti-semites to denigrate Jews, via using Israel as a proxy. They argue Israel is innately racist; Israel is the new Nazi Germany; Israel is the new apartheid. I’m not saying you yourself believe that, but you have to understand something very important: anti-semitic attitudes are accelerating in Europe again. They’re accerlating because the defamations, canards and caricatures of Jews are projected unto Israel, and modern lefties are accepting it because they’ve bought into the notion that those with power deserve greater hostility than those destitute of it. They’ve completely misunderstood what anti-semitism is by accepting a notion of bigotry which states: the victims of bigotry are those without power, those with power, therefore, can’t be victims of bigotry. If you can present Israel as a privileged and relatively powerful nation-an ally of the west- you ultimately normalise the bigotry against it by Islamic fundamentalists(who portray themselves as victims), and which is now co-opted by many lefties. My piece stresses that criticism of Israel is well and good and necessary. The piece doesn’t say if you criticise you Israel you’re anti-semitic. It also stressed that bigotry is underpinned by disproportion to reality. The hostility surrounding Israel in many universities and college campuses does not constitute proportionate criticism. And in being disproportionately critical of Israel, your entire mindset is convulsed by bigotry; those disproportionately critical tend to accept and normalise conspiracies. Conspiracies are the source of anti-semitism. But you think Israel’s existence is a form of “racism and discrimination”, anyway. If you think that, well, I think your incoherency is writ-large against the reality of the Middle East.
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I find Israel’s laws and policy to be racist and discriminatory. This judgement is not altered by the undoubted fact that Israel’s neighbours are far worse. I don’t think the existence of any country “is a form of racism and discrimination” and I don’t really know what that sentence means. Any country can become genuinely democratic and many have in my lifetime. One day this will happen in Israel – and its neighbours – though I suspect it will take a very long time.
I wrote this some time ago: http://badreason99.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/does-israel-have-right-to-exist.html. It is, I suppose, “anti-Zionist”. I’d be intrigued to know whether you think it is “anti-semitism in the guise of anti-zionism”.
I think Israel is a liberal democracy, you don’t. I don’t think this conversation is going to go very far. I think I’ve made it clear in the piece, and in this conversation, what I consider to be anti-semitism in the guise of anti-zionism.
Another truly excellent piece! You clearly explain the current left’s justification and ‘moral’ thinking in their virulent antizionism and antisemitism. However, as I’ve said before, it will sadly fall on deaf ears, because most of the current left is too dogmatic to start to truly question their ‘tenets of the faith’ — which include virulent antizionism and antisemitism (though of course, they proclaim to disagree with the latter).
As you rightly explain, antisemitism, along with other long-lasting bigotries, is old and longstanding — what changes are the reasons proclaimed to support it and keep it alive. (Yesterday it was ‘the Jews are Christ-killers killing Christian babies and using their blood in their Passover matzah!’, today it’s ‘the Jews are Nazi-Zionists gleefully killing Palestinian children!’; and in some cases in the Middle East, the full blood-libel is completely revived, blood-for-matza and all. See this: http://www.timesofisrael.com/egyptian-politician-revives-passover-blood-libel/).
The point is, there’ll always be new justifications created, often combined with the old ones clothed in new language, and spin-doctored to promulgate the world’s bigotries humanity just simply cannot seem to let go of — sadly, irrational antisemitism being one of its much-loved ones — and you explained so excellently today’s redesigned justifications for it.
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