Zionism is the problem
The Zionist ideal of a Jewish state is keeping Israelis and Palestinians from living in peace.
By Ben Ehrenreich
It's hard to imagine now, but in 1944, six years after Kristallnacht, Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, felt comfortable equating the Zionist ideal of Jewish statehood with "the concept of a racial state -- the Hitlerian concept." For most of the last century, a principled opposition to Zionism was a mainstream stance within American Judaism.
Even after the foundation of Israel, anti-Zionism was not a particularly heretical position. Assimilated Reform Jews like Rosenwald believed that Judaism should remain a matter of religious rather than political allegiance; the ultra-Orthodox saw Jewish statehood as an impious attempt to "push the hand of God"; and Marxist Jews -- my grandparents among them -- tended to see Zionism, and all nationalisms, as a distraction from the more essential struggle between classes.
If you have a strong stomach, you can read the rest of this vomitous crap here.
Does Ben Aryanreich have a man-crush on the handsome hunks of Nuttery Farta?
OK OK, Babushka, why don't you rebut Ben Aryanreich instead of just making fun of him?
Ben Aryanreich: To be Jewish, I was raised to believe, meant understanding oneself as a member of a tribe that over and over had been cast out, mistreated, slaughtered. Millenniums of oppression that preceded it did not entitle us to a homeland or a right to self-defense that superseded anyone else's. If they offered us anything exceptional, it was a perspective on oppression and an obligation born of the prophetic tradition: to act on behalf of the oppressed and to cry out at the oppressor.
Babushka: To be Jewish, Mr. Thirdreich, means understanding oneself as a member of the nation which received the Torah. Among other things, the Torah entitles the Nation of Israel to a homeland, the boundaries of which are very plainly set out.
Ben Aryanreich: Yet it is no longer possible to believe with an honest conscience that the deplorable conditions in which Palestinians live and die in Gaza and the West Bank come as the result of specific policies, leaders or parties on either side of the impasse. The problem is fundamental: Founding a modern state on a single ethnic or religious identity in a territory that is ethnically and religiously diverse leads inexorably either to politics of exclusion (think of the 139-square-mile prison camp that Gaza has become) or to wholesale ethnic cleansing. Put simply, the problem is Zionism.
Babushka: Since Gaza has been ethnically cleansed of all Jews and traces of Zionism and is the most 100% pure Judenrein region in the world, the problem is not Zionism but a lack of Zionism. More specifically, the problem is that Gaza is dedicated, not to building and prospering in their own state, but to destroying the Jewish state.
[Taking a break in order to deal with an attack of projectile vomiting]
Ben Aryanreich: a quarter-million Arab citizens with second-class status and more than 5 million Palestinians deprived of the most basic political and human rights. If two decades ago comparisons to the South African apartheid system felt like hyperbole, they now feel charitable. The white South African regime, for all its crimes, never attacked the Bantustans with anything like the destructive power Israel visited on Gaza in December and January
Babushka: You can't make this stuff up, folks. The Bantustans never bombarded white South Africa with rockets on random Afrikaaner townships, nor did they kidnap random South African soldiers in order to hold them for ransom of thousands of convicted murderers.
Ben Aryanreich: All of this has led to a revival of the Brit Shalom idea of a single, secular binational state in which Jews and Arabs have equal political rights.
Babushka: How about trying out this revival in a different, single, secular binational state in which Jews and Arabs have equal political rights, just to make sure it will work before sacrificing the Jews' only state in the whole wide world? Let's try it out in, for example, Jordan. Or maybe Iraq? How about Lebanon?
Ben Aryanreich: It's not working. Opposing Zionism is neither anti-Semitic nor particularly radical. It requires only that we take our own values seriously and no longer, as the book of Amos has it, "turn justice into wormwood and hurl righteousness to the ground."
Babushka: How about Mr. Thirdreich actually picks up a Bible and read the book of Amos and show us where "justice" means Jews have to commit national suicide?
Ben Aryanreich: Establishing a secular, pluralist, democratic government in Israel and Palestine would of course mean the abandonment of the Zionist dream. It might also mean the only salvation for the Jewish ideals of justice that date back to Jeremiah.
Babushka: How about Mr. Aryanreich READS Jeremiah before jabbering about "Jewish ideals of justice." He might just learn that it doesn't mean what he wants it to mean.