Friday, July 6, 2018
Zionism is anti-Semitism? A must read
Five years ago Joseph Massad wrote an essay for Al Jazeera's website, The Last of the Semites, subtitled, "It is Israel's claims that it represents and speaks for all Jews that are the most anti-Semitic claims of all."
How can this possibly be? Can you think of a any title more likely to make people scoff?
I gave him a chance and he makes a solid case, pointing out that Zionism shared with European anti-Semitism the idea than Jews in Europe were not Europeans, but a people apart who could never belong and needed to be moved from Europe to a place of their own. This is in contrast to the view of the great majority of European Jews who did not have any desire to go to Palestine and felt themselves to be part of the countries in which they lived. Massad's article is a must read.
Zionism was having a very hard time attracting Jews to Palestine until after World War 2. Then, with the aid of anti-Semitism in the US and Britain that denied Jews in the displaced persons camps of Europe entry, Zionists were assured of an influx of Jews to Palestine, who had nowhere else to go. In fact Zionists did what they could to keep the US and Britain from admitting Holocaust survivors. For detailed information on this period, read In the Shadow of the Holocaust by Yosef Grodzinsky.
Today, Benjamin Netanyahu continues to tell European Jews that they should move to Israel and insists that he in his role as Israeli Prime Minister speaks for Jews worldwide, outright denying by this that such people, equal to the number of Israelis, are simply American, German or English. In other words they are to be discriminated as Jews, called out to leave their homes against their own preference to be known as citizens of their native lands.
In short, Hitler had and Netanyahu has the view that half the world's Jews should not stay where they are for the fact that they are Jews. Hitler had no objection to German Jews going to Palestine and neither does Netanyahu. In fact Zionists worked out a deal with Hitler in 1933 to expedite such a move. You may recall an eager Netanyahu rushing to Paris after the Charlie Hebdo killings. The man is concerned with convincing non-Israeli Jews that they should leave their own countries for a place he designates for them, while at the same time proclaiming he speaks for them.
Anti-Semitism is the idea that Jews are not like other people, but must be set apart. Zionism endorses this with the added ideas that there is only one place where Jews do belong and it must be exclusively theirs with the expulsion of non-Jews who are native to the place selected. In the long run, this cannot last, but the horror of the Holocaust gave it a boost that has kept the idea going as Israel moves further to the right. This is to be expected of a society based on discrimination that blatantly oppresses under the protection of a country that has the gall to claim it stands for liberty and justice for all. It says volumes that Donald Trump is very popular in Israel.