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Archive for the ‘Zionism’ Category

What “Zionism” are we talking about?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 6, 2007


I store several ideas for blogs in My Drafts. Those drafts are very often side-thoughts that pop up when I write on any specific topic – or they are ideas I get from people who used different search criteria to reach my Blog, given the general nature of my Blog, “Zionism” is bound to be one of them.

 

My Blog Entry Zionism, A Security Problem gave birth to some thinking about different kinds of Jewish Nationalism – and what kind exactly the Fundamentalist Anti-Zionists are protesting. The most violent are protesting the very existence of Israel, and in fact all Jews:

When approached by a student who attacked Zionism, Martin Luther King responded: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

They are attacking Jewish Nationalism, i.e the Jewish People’s right to a National Home and Self-Determination – that is pure Antisemitism.

 

Like this Canadian Politician they make no distinction between Israel, Jews and Jewish nationalists “Zionists”:

“I never separated the Zionists and the Jews in this thread or anywhere.”

“Get a clue and realise that we are now past the stage of denying the evils of Israel and the Zionists and have reached the stage of a backlash against said groups for the bloody terrorists they are.”

So where to draw the line? When is Jewish Nationalism no longer a matter of just exercising the right to Self-Determination in accordance with the UDHR article 15 and UN Resolution 181?

 

When it encroaches on the rights of others to exactly the same or violates already existing territory that belongs to other Nations in accordance with International Agreements. This includes the 1947 UN Partition Plan, regardless of whether the Arab League and/or the Palestinian Arabs accepted the partition or not – Israel did and is therefore bound by it.

 

This the Anti-Zionists mentioned before cannot dispute, as that would mean they are themselves in violation of International Laws and Agreements.

 

Unhealthy or unacceptable Jewish nationalism would include any Jewish Nationalism that carries with it an idea of a “Greater Israel”, whichever manner this would be achieved. One cannot, however much one wants to, invoke religious texts or religious belief as validation of Ownership in secular matters, as has often been the case with Jewish Religious Movements, based in-side and out-side Israel.

 

Jewish Settlements out-side the borders of 1947-1948 must be dismantled, and any political policy that aims at creating Settlements out-side those borders must be deemed illegal according to International Agreements.

 

Jewish Nationalism must remain at it’s simplest – Jewish/Israeli national Self-Determination within the parameters of UN Resolution 181.

Posted in Zionism | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What “Zionism” are we talking about?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 6, 2007


I store several ideas for blogs in My Drafts. Those drafts are very often side-thoughts that pop up when I write on any specific topic – or they are ideas I get from people who used different search criteria to reach my Blog, given the general nature of my Blog, “Zionism” is bound to be one of them.

 

My Blog Entry Zionism, A Security Problem gave birth to some thinking about different kinds of Jewish Nationalism – and what kind exactly the Fundamentalist Anti-Zionists are protesting. The most violent are protesting the very existence of Israel, and in fact all Jews:

When approached by a student who attacked Zionism, Martin Luther King responded: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

They are attacking Jewish Nationalism, i.e the Jewish People’s right to a National Home and Self-Determination – that is pure Antisemitism.

 

Like this Canadian Politician they make no distinction between Israel, Jews and Jewish nationalists “Zionists”:

“I never separated the Zionists and the Jews in this thread or anywhere.”

“Get a clue and realise that we are now past the stage of denying the evils of Israel and the Zionists and have reached the stage of a backlash against said groups for the bloody terrorists they are.”

So where to draw the line? When is Jewish Nationalism no longer a matter of just exercising the right to Self-Determination in accordance with the UDHR article 15 and UN Resolution 181?

 

When it encroaches on the rights of others to exactly the same or violates already existing territory that belongs to other Nations in accordance with International Agreements. This includes the 1947 UN Partition Plan, regardless of whether the Arab League and/or the Palestinian Arabs accepted the partition or not – Israel did and is therefore bound by it.

 

This the Anti-Zionists mentioned before cannot dispute, as that would mean they are themselves in violation of International Laws and Agreements.

 

Unhealthy or unacceptable Jewish nationalism would include any Jewish Nationalism that carries with it an idea of a “Greater Israel”, whichever manner this would be achieved. One cannot, however much one wants to, invoke religious texts or religious belief as validation of Ownership in secular matters, as has often been the case with Jewish Religious Movements, based in-side and out-side Israel.

 

Jewish Settlements out-side the borders of 1947-1948 must be dismantled, and any political policy that aims at creating Settlements out-side those borders must be deemed illegal according to International Agreements.

 

Jewish Nationalism must remain at it’s simplest – Jewish/Israeli national Self-Determination within the parameters of UN Resolution 181.

Posted in International Agreements, Jewish Nationalism, National Home and Self-Determination, UDHR article 15, UN Resolution 181, Zionism, Zionists | Leave a Comment »

Zionism, A Security Problem

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 5, 2007


I just read an article/interview with Gilad Atzmon – I disagree with basically all he has to say – except when he quotes Avrum Burg allegedly quoting David Ben-Gurion:”I think it was Ben-Gurion who said that “the Zionist movement was the scaffolding to build the home, and that after the State’s establishment, it should be dismantled”. It is pretty easy to see why David Ben-Gurion would say such a thing – there would no longer be a need for when its goal, a Jewish Homeland, had been achieved – just as there was no longer a need for Lehi after the Brits had left. Any land acquisition out-side the 1947-48 borders goes beyond what has been agreed upon.

Yes, I have friends in i Settlements in Palestinian Territory, and I think they should move, I think they are wrong to be there – even more I think the Israeli Government is wrong to “give” them living space there.

Nothing says that Israel cannot accommodate all Jewish Immigrants inside the 1947-1948 borders. Except a hoard of variations of the term “Zionism”. I also suspect another thing is playing into Israel’s reason to expand on Palestinian Territory – most of the Jews making Aliyah are from the US, well to-do middle-class people, who can’t or won’t move into something that is not pristine, well-supplied Suburbia-like neighborhoods. If such neighborhoods does not exist inside Israel, then the Israeli Government creates another security zone on Palestinian soil and builds a Settlement there. Why? Because Israel needs the money those Americans bring.

I just took a look a map of Israel and the West Bank – and honestly, I cannot see how those small dark-green patches from a point of view of strategy are not huge security problems.

Jewish Settlements on the West bank 2002

Map is from here

It does very clearly raise the question – Why? There is a Jewish Homeland, so why want more? There is room for 13 million Jews in Israel. Why put civilians at risk for the sake of an Idea? Normal thinking Nations move their civilians out of harms way, out of war zones – it makes no sense to move civilians into a war zone, it’s bad politics at best and insane at worst. That wasn’t what the early Zionists wanted or even thought of when they immigrated.

The first Zionists didn’t move to ready-made neighborhoods after making Aliyah – they worked them up from the ground on land they had bought with honest money.

Zionism was never meant to be a political tool against anything – it was meant to be a political tool for something. There is a Jewish Homeland – the goal has been achieved – now, let’s dismantle the instrument that achieved it.

“Zionism” is obsolete and it more than anything functions in its antonymic meaning as a cover for Antisemitism, and in today’s society a more proper word would be Jewish Nationalism, which would also uncover the Antisemitism expressed by those opposed to Jewish Nationalism in it’s simplest form:

Nationalism, in its broadest sense, is a devotion to one’s nation and its interests over those of all other nations.[1] The term can also refer to a doctrine[2] or political movement[3] that holds that a nation—usually defined in terms of ethnicity or culture—has the right to constitute an independent or autonomous political community based on a shared history and common destiny.”

In its simplest form, Nationalism is the same a National Self-Determination:

“The principle of self-determination, often seen as a moral and legal right, is that every nation is entitled to a sovereign territorial state, and that every specifically identifiable population should choose which state it belongs to, often by plebiscite. It is commonly used to justify the aspirations of an ethnic group that self-identifies as a nation toward forming an independent sovereign state, but it equally grants the right to reject sovereignty and join a larger multi-ethnic state.”

Now that this has been clarified it is possible to look at Israel of today and determine if the nationalism practiced by the Israeli Government is a simple exercise in Self-Determination or not.

Looking at the map above – knowing that the borders of 1947-48 are not being honored, it is quite easy to see that we are not looking at National Self-Determination, but at National Expansion. Israel is expanding at the expense of the Palestinians.

In my mind this is immoral, and I am amazed that honest religious Jewish Immigrants will actually accept homes that are an intrusion on someone else land against International agreements.

Posted in Israel, Zionism | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

The Difference of Words…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 23, 2007


There’s a clear difference between legitimate criticism of Israel and Anti-Semitism:

Clear criticisms of Israeli policy & its backers Antisemitic ideas often repeated by activists with no anti-Jewish intentions Lines emerging directly from neonazi & antisemitic organizations
Israel has a repeated & ongoing record of human rights offenses. “Israel is a worse humans rights violator than most or all other countries.” “Israel is the root of the world’s problems.”
Many Israeli soldiers justify their actions toward Palestinians by saying they’re ‘just following orders.’ “Israelis are just like Nazis.” “Israel is worse than the Nazis,” “This wouldn’t have happened if the Nazis were successful,” etc.
The Zionist movement has included elements of racism from its early days, such as the claim that Palestine was “a land without a people for a people without aland.” Major Zionist factions have implemented conscious, intentional racist policy. Regardless of individual Zionists’ intentions, Zionism as a whole has had racist & oppressive results for the Palestinian people. “Zionism is racism.” “The Zionist conspiracy is behind this,” “Zionism is the root of the world’s problems today,” etc.
AIPAC,* weapons lobbies & others give U.S. politicians incentives to push anti-Palestinian policies, & attempt to silence &intimidate both Jews & non-Jews who raise alternatives. “The ‘Israel Lobby’ is what is pushing America off track &away from its true interests,or caused us to go to war.” “Israel /The Zionists /The Jews /The Jewish Lobby…is controlling the U.S./ the world.”
In this issue, as in so many, the corporate media provide one-dimensional, sensationalized coverage, usually biased toward whatever side the U.S. government is backing – when they cover it at all. “The media, controlled by Zionists, never talks about the plight of the Palestinians.” “Zionist control of the media is part of a vast web of Zionist power over banks & world governments, in their conspiracy to rule over humanity.”
Lack of a resolution between Israel & Palestine is one of several major regional conflicts preventing justice & stability in the Middle East. Outside powers such as the U.S. & Europe have played & play a role in sparking & perpetuating these conflicts. “The Israel-Palestine conflict is the root of violence & instability in the Middle East / of America’s bad relationship with Arab countries.” “Everything would be better if Israel was destroyed,” etc.

I agree with most of the statements in the LEFT column – I am not sure about the role of the US in the media coverage in Europe – nor am I sure that the US and/or Europe as such have directly fuelled the conflict – to me it seems more like they have been opportunists and used the situation to their advantage after the fact. Any way – the above table is exactly what I have tried to convey in discussions with violent Anti-Semites and Anti-Semitic statements – criticism of Israel is ok – when it is warranted – but don’t cross the line into Anti-Semitism, knowingly or unknowingly.The above Table is from “The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere,”

Posted in Human Rights, Israel, Jewish People, Nazis, US, Violence, War, Zionism | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

On the matter of Anti-Semitism

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on May 11, 2007


The matter of if some people are Anti-Semites or not – that issue originally came up in HRN after one poster repeatedly expressed himself in a manner that was clearly Anti-Semitic, and it got progressively worse as this was pointed out. For me the Issue of Israel/Palestine, as a matter of discussion doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Anti-Semitism per se. But when Anti-Semitic sentiments, expressions and ideas are laid open in such discussions, I again see it as my human duty to object. Unfortunately for some, there are strong elements of Anti-Semitism in what is generally called Anti-Zionism. When such elements surface, I again see it as my human duty to point this out and object.

It is rather easy to see why there would be Anti-Semitic sentiments incorporated in Anti-Zionism. It is rather logical – Zionism in its simplest form is the political, and for some religious, struggle to create and maintain a National Homeland for the Jewish people. To be against this, i.e to be Anti-Zionist, ultimately means that one is against the rights of the Jewish People to have a Homeland, a Nationality, something that is clearly stated in UDHR Article 15 “Everyone has the right to a nationality.” Thus one is ultimately against the Jewish People, because one wants to deny them their human rights.

It is regrettable that the Left, which has traditionally stood for equal rights for all, has in so many ways become allies with the Right on the issue of the Jewish People. I am fully aware that this is not true for most people on the Left, but it is certainly true for the Radical Far Left. In its endeavor to bring justice to the Palestinians and make sure they got their Homeland, the Far Left forgot that on both sides are People with the same basic rights.

While one can justifiably and rightly bring criticism against the Israeli Government and those that command the IDF – and believe it or not, Israelis are usually the first to do so, which can be seen in the current National Criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defence Minister Amir Peretz, holding ALL Israelis, ALL Jews and ANYONE who choose to support the idea of a Jewish National Home responsible for the actions of a few can hardly be called justifiable or right. It is this that makes the Anti-Zionism embraced by the Radical Far Left Anti-Semitic, and those holding to those ideas Anti-Semites.

As is often the case with Radical Movements, the Radical Far Left uses bigger words, harsher tones, extreme hyperbole, inaccurate comparisons and one-sided arguments when they want to bring the issue of Israel/Palestine to the fore. In doing so they risk stepping over a line that, whether they intend to or not put them in the same boat with the Extreme Far Right on the issue of the Jewish People. It is not uncommon that information is collected from Web Sites and Literature that is used by both Movements. Nor is it uncommon that information is collected from Web Sites that, without being directly connected to the Far Right, use the same Anti-Semitic jargong as those. One such examlpe of similarities in argumentation and sentiments is Jewwatch.com and Ziopedia.org – the former is decidely Extreme Far Right, the latter is decidedly Extreme Far Left – and both contain similar lists of Anti-Semitic documents, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

By allying itself with the Extreme Far Right in this manner, the Radical Far Left looses not just its credibility as a voice for Human Rights for ALL, but it also in many ways become that which its claims to be objecting to. There really was no difference between The Dictatorship of General Franco and the Dictatorship of Chaiman Mao, in terms of Anti-Semitism and Human Rights.

It is ironic that many of the first Leftists were Jewish, because if they were alive today I doubt they would recognize very much of their ideas in what has become the Radical Far Left.

Shalom!

Next in this series: On the matter of Anti- Semitism II

Posted in Human Rights, Israel, Zionism | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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