Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Not Being Pro-Israel Does Not Mean You're an Anti-Semite

...but then again, what would French thinker and finger-pointer Henri Bernard Levy (left)talk about at the 92nd Street Y this week?

Levy, according to New York Magazine, is in town to talk about anti-semitism as the 60th anniversary of the formation of the state of Israel draws near. In an interview with the magazine, Levy talks about his concerns over the rise of anti-semitism:

What caused you to turn to explicitly discussing anti-Semitism?
Its return. And a relatively new rhetoric. Anti-Semitism, to pass under the radar, to become again undetectable, to be in a position to operate without being accused of being anti-Semitism, must draw from three sources: anti-Zionism, the denial of the Holocaust, and victim competition. It must articulate the following discourse: “The Jews are a detestable people who, firstly, invented and exaggerated their own martyring”—which is denial of the Holocaust; secondly, “They overshadowed, in doing so, the martyring of other people”—which is victim competition; and, thirdly, “They accomplished this crime because they are obsessed with the defense of an assassin state”—which is anti-Zionism.

While holocaust-denial is indeed worrisome and there is no doubt that many people still harbor anti-semitic feelings, to throw the Israel factor into the equation is a bit unfair. Chiefly because as a (mostly) liberal American I'm uncomfortable with the violent entitlement of the Zionist movement. I've long equated the Zionist movement with the descendants of the Algonquin indians coming to my door saying that Manhattan was their land long ago and that, New York real estate being the mess that it is today, $24 for this island was a rip off and I have to give them my Chelsea studio as payback. No dice.

So it goes, in my mind, with Israel. Understanding, of course, that the Jews have suffered at the hands of empires throughout history, the fact remains that the Palestinians in 1948 shouldn't have born the brunt of millenia of abuse. The takeover of the region wasn't a friendly affair and its consequences are felt the world over in the jihadist movement. In fact, the latter half of the 20th century was marked by violence stemming from the Zionist movement - to say otherwise is reckless, not anti-Semitic. Long before the official Gulf wars we were in battle with the Middle East - the massacre at the Munich Olympic games in '72, the Iran student uprising, the hostage situation in Beirut, the hijacking of airliners - all because of the West's myopic, pro-Israel view. In failing to care about the suffering of the others - those pesky Palestinians - we've suffered their deaths and humiliation hundred-fold in spectacular terrorist attacks whose prevention have come to form America's national identity. Today, America is Israel's paranoid BFF.

So do I think that the Jewish people are entitled to a country? No, I think all people should be allowed to live and work and thrive wherever they choose so long as they integrate peacefully into the local landscape while retaining their customs and faith. Does that make me pro-Iran or pro-Chavez? Absolutely not. Nor does it make me a neo-Nazi, it just makes me anti-violence.


Marc said...

i disagree. stuff your history and silly alqonquin analogy. deal with the reality on the ground. do the palestinians want peace? no. they want to massacre every israeli. these are not rational people. rational people would say prosperity and the end of misery would be found in making peace with their neighbor. not by firing rockets into israel. israel has shown a willingness to make peace, trade land for peace. because they have the better weapons doesn't make them the bad guy.

Berdo said...
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Berdo said...

My Lord, GCL. There must be some left-wing propaganda meeting that I missed to get this kind of bullshit. But let me say at the outset that I am glad to see you concede that holocaust denial is "worrisome." Certainly not the strongest condemnation, but at least an admission that it may be wrong.

As far as the "zionist movement" - that is, Israel, you fail to mention the following:

There was no "takeover" of the area - the Jews were granted a tiny portion of land, the majority was given to the Arab world...a world which WOULD NOT ACCEPT ANY LAND GIVEN TO ANY JEW! Got that? So, on the day Israel was born, the Arab world got together to destroy it, issuing warnings to all Arabs in the region to flee so they could destroy Israel before it even started, and every Jew within it! THAT's violence! That's anti-semitism...violence and anti-semitism to the severest degree that people like YOU constantly defend! And in a terribly condescending view of the Arab/Muslim community, you blame not them for their actions, but the West…for EVERYTHING. In your superior mind, the vast MINORITY of Muslims who commit these acts can not be culpable for their own actions. You should produce a cartoon episode for Hamas (bleating hatred of Jews and declaring a dead Jew the single biggest victory a Palestinian child can have is a cornerstone of Palestinian teaching….another fact you ignorantly ignore).

The fact that you blame hijackings on hostages on the support the West has given to Israel rather than the bastards who committed these acts is so irresponsible, so anti-intellectual, so %@##$@$ stupid and dangerous, etc. Arafat created modern-day terrorism and had to be kicked out of Jordan before he made Ramallah his home because he created violence and terror wherever he went. But he stopped being an enemy of the intellectual left when the person standing on the other side was a Jew instead of a fellow Arab.

And another thing...if you don't think that there is room for a tiny Jewish country with 1.2 million Arab citizens, why stand silently by when there are at least 25 countries that are Muslim, most of which are completely and purposely Judenrein...another fact you seem to miss.

Unbelievable, GCL!!!! Why don’t you keep out of a debate you are not ready for rather than put together a farce of a post like this one? What is wrong with you?