Monday, March 17, 2014

Some Thoughts on Purim.

1. Binationalism in the eyes of Israelis. Ask most Israel supporters what they they think of binationalism, and they will say, “Look at Lebanon; that hasn’t worked out very well, has it?” But that depends on whom you ask, right? After all, a Christian in Lebanon is better off than a Palestinian on the West Bank. So what the Zionists really mean is, “We will have less security in a binational state because we won’t have total control over the Palestinians who live under our authority.”

2. Binationalism in the eyes of Palestinians. Ask most Palestinians what they think of binationalism, and they will say, “We want our own state.” What they really mean is that they are sick of Jews determining their lives, and that they have no desire to share power with Jews, especially since they will probably get the short end of the stick in a binational state. The irony is that both Israeli Jews and Palestinians think that their national identity will be compromised in a binational state. These peoples have so much in common….

3. The Israeli binationalist nightmare scenario. If there were one state, argue Israel supporters, the Palestinians would obtain a majority, start persecuting the Jewish minority, which would only grow after many Israelis leave the country. And then the nightmare would really begin. I have heard some intelligent, liberal Jews give this argument. Which just goes how deep racism is among those intelligent, liberal Jews.  The group that has most to fear from binationalism are the Palestinians. After all, only one country was wiped off the map, and it wasn’t the State of Israel, was it? Who would have power in a binational state? Israeli Jews, even if there were fewer of them. Look how well they did against the Palestinians when they were outnumbered.

4. Haman in Jerusalem.  I went to a reading of the Book of Esther by Israeli Litvaks. What that means is that qua Litvaks they were concerned with Jewish law; qua Israelis they raised a huge ruckus every time Haman’s name was mentioned. The reader would say Haman’s name, and the kids would explode for around 30 seconds of noise. Then, in order to ensure that everybody had heard Haman’s name (according to Jewish law, everybody should hear every word of the megillah), the reader repeated Haman’s name, this time without the noise.  So Haman’s name was mentioned twice as many times as written in order to fulfill the non-mitzvah of blotting out his name. This is the logical conclusion of a moronic custom.

5. Membership has its privileges. Jews enjoy going to Israel. Even tourists feel that this a kind of home for them. If Israel were a plane, then Jews would be in  Business Class; Israeli Palestinians would be  in Economy, and Palestinians in the Occupied Territory would be  in the luggage hold. That’s one of the reasons why Jews don’t want Israel to change. Who wants to  be thrown out of Business Class?

6. Moral delusion. Ami Gluska has an opinion piece in Haaretz showing that Ben Gurion was willing to have an Arab president. Over the opposition of the religious Zionists, he argued that “A constitution that would prevent an Arab from being president is inconceivable. Rabbi Berlin has quoted so many verses against me for nothing. Any citizen can be elected president of the state, and if a majority is found to elect an Arab president, there will be no discrimination in the Jewish state. I suppose that it will also not be called Jewish State.” Gluska points out that when Ben-Gurion wrote this, he had accepted a state that had around 40% Arabs, and, together with the communists, there was a real possibility that there could be an Arab president.

What Gluska doesn’t mention is that Ben-Gurion’s acceptance of partition was merely tactical; that he fully expected a transfer of Arabs outside of the Jewish state; that at the first opportunity he acquiesced and even favored expulsion; that he placed the Arabs who remained under military government and infiltrated their society with secret service. So while theoretically it was possible that there could be an Arab president, he knew that there never would be one, nor did he actually want one. What he wanted was a state that could be an imagined democracy, a state that could be built on theoretical democratic principles without ceding any real privileges to non-Jews. Thus Arabs would have the vote so they could vote for Mapai candidates, in exchange for which the mukhtars would be properly rewarded, and they could express their opinions in the Knesset provided they had no real political power.

I don’t think this was a cynical ploy on the part of Ben-Gurion. I think it was part of a schizophrenic personality, one that insisted on liberal values on principle while violating those principles in practice. One sees this time after time in his actions as Zionist leader and then prime minister: he talked the democratic talk, but he walked the nationalist walk. In that sense, he was the quintessential Mapainik – talking about equality for the Arabs while ensuring that they stay behind.

This moral delusion – delusion, more than duplicity – is deep in the Israeli psyche and expressed beautifully in the phrase “Jewish and democratic”.

7. Israel as the Nation State of the Jews. I call myself a Zionist but many people claim that I am not, because I oppose Israel as an ethnic exclusivist state. Zionists, they say, affirm Israel as the nation state of the Jews. So by requiring Palestinians to accept Israel as the nation state of the Jews, Israel is saying that the Palestinians must become Zionists – or at least profess Zionism – for them to have their own state. That’s like Christians requiring Jews to believe in Jesus in order for Jews to have their self-determination. Or better, that’s like the rapist requiring his victim to accept the legitimacy of the rape.

17 comments:

liberalzionism said...

Be patient.

In five years, the demographics will be 78-22. In 15, 76-24, in 25, 74-26 (at which point it will be impossible to form a government without a pluralist coalition).

If you personally, and/or those that sympathize with your views, are smart, then you will seek to form a non-zionist moderate (maybe center left) political party, that is capable of participating in coalition. (Not communist non-zionist, not nationalist anti-zionist).

Things don't change by complaint. They don't change by boycott either. The boycott is at most a stimulus to action, not the action itself.

Why wait? Why not act now to create non-nationalist Israeli identity?

In rural Massachusetts (not Boston), we've organized small groups of cross-cultural regular dinner clubs to meet those that think differently, respectfully.

Its a start. Rather than complaint.

C. Bendavid said...

Part 1
Israeli liberals oppose a binational state because they don't want to be a minority. There is nothimg wrong in this. Ask the French if they would like to be a minority in a binational Germany and the answer will certainly be no. However, a confederation like the one between Senegal and Gambia during the 1980's, can initiate a real reconciliation between both peoples. As Bernard Avishai said several times already, in a few years from now, the corridor between Tel Aviv and Ramallah will not be bigger than the Metropolitan area of Los Angeles. And once the border will be opened, people will probably commute between Israel and Palestine the same way as people commute between Manhattan and New Jersey on a daily basis. Hence, it will be possible to create a "binational environment " without dismantling any state in the region and without turning any people into a minority.

C. Bendavid said...

Part 2
As for Ben Gurion, his approval of a territorial compromise wasn't merely tactical. In the early 1930's, he even called for the creation of a "Semitic confederation" in the Middle East uniting both Jews and Arabs. If you look at the way he treated the Druze after the creation of Israel, it is obvious that the expulsion of the Palestinians (and the military regime imposed upon Israeli Arabs) is the consequence of an ethno-national conflict. Just look at the way Benes treated Sudeten Germans afters WWII.It's exactly the same thing. By the way, Ben Gurion begged the UN security council to send forces in Palestine to enforce the partition plan.

Jerry Haber said...

C. Bendavid,

"Israelis oppose a binational state because they don't want to be a minority."

Please explain to me why binationalism implies that Israelis are a minority. Please explain to me why in a binational state 6 million Israeli Jews and 6 million Israeli Arabs, the Jews would be a minority?

Would Israelis be willing to accept a binational state in which Jews are constitutionally not a minority?

Israelis are not willing to concede their nation state, even if they are a minority in it. They will devise further methods to deny Israeli Arabs political power, such as the current system.

Jerry Haber said...

As for your second comment, it is truly laughable. Do you know how many Zionists were in Palestine when Ben Gurion made his "generous offer" of a confederation? There are places in the Southwest of the US where Hispanics constitute a greater percentage of the territory than the Zionists did in Palestine the early 30s. Read Yosef Gorny's book on the various federation/confederation plans. Of Ben Gurion Abba Eban should have said, that he never refused to offer the Arabs an eminently refusable offer.

With Ben Gurion it was tactics, tactics, tactics -- and historical opportunities. The situation had dramatically altered after WWII, as you know -- and as you also know, transfer of the Arabs, forced or not, was considered the solution for most of the Palestinians in the partitioned state. Even if there was no master plan of transfer, there was a master desire, and that is proven by the subsequent refusal to let Palestinians back into their homes, and to kill many (some consider thousands) of Palestinians who actually tried.

Judge Ben Gurion by what he did, not what he said. I am even willing to overlook the famous comment to his son that accepting Partition did not mean that the Zionists were giving up on all of Palestine, his famous "tokhnit ha-shelavim" He did everything he could to take as much territory as he could, and did not make any concessions to the Palestinian natives at all, wiping Palestine off the map, to use Ari Shavit's felecitous phrase.

As for how he treated the Druze -- my God, he almost created the Druze in order to divide and conquer the Palestinian Arab citizens, which has gone on uninterrupted until today, with the attempts to divide Christians from Muslim.

I agree with you that there was an ethno-national conflict between settlers and natives, but many of the Palestinians that were driven out were perfectly willing to return to a Jewish state at the expense of their self-determination. Their not being Jewish made them suspect, and ethnic cleansing seemed the best way to ensure that they wouldn't rise up in the future (and in the meantime their lands could be taken by kibbutzim and moshavim)

C. Bendavid said...

Mr Haber,
I don't mean to be disrespectful, but your comments demonstrate
real bad faith on your part. You can do much better than that!

1)The Zionist movement never denied the fact that it wanted to establish a Jewish nation-state in a territory occupied by another people. However, they justified it by invoking the fact that the Jews were a landless people and that it was legitimate to take land from peoples that already have a territory of their own in order to a give part of it to landless nations. As for the question: why creating a Jewish state in Palestine and not elsewhere? The answer is obvious. Palestine is the cradle of the Jewish civilization. But even if Israel had been created elsewhere (in Argentine or in Uganda for example), the problem of the presence of a native population would've been exactly the same. However, from a left-wing Zionist point of view, denying the Jewish people's right to self-determination merely because they had the misfortune of being a landless people and because other nations refused to share a parcel of their territory, is morally indefensible. There is enough land on this planet for every people. Now, you're free to disagree with this reasoning. Nonetheless, wanting to take land from peoples that already have their a territory of their own in order to redistribute a part of it to landless nations has nothing to do with colonialism. It is based upon the principle of redistribution of wealth (''distributive justice'' to use Chaim Gans's terminology). By the way, this was the argument invoked by most people on the left to support the creation of Israel in 1947. Look at the archives of «The Nation» magazine. They used the same argument, almost word by word!

2)You know pretty well that if the Palestinian refugees go back to Isrrael, Jews will become a minorrity. It's arithmetics. Omar Barghuti already said that a8im of the BDS was the euthaasia of Israel. I also talked about the liberation of all Arab lands. As for your call to turn Israel (within the green line) into a binational state, it's totally baseless. A binational state usually encompasses two homelands that decide to merge in order to form a federation. If Israel and a sovereign Palestinian state were to merge (which is something I can favorably envision in the future), I would expect this new polity to have a binational structure. Meanwhile, Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish nation- state, the same way as Palestine has the right to exist as an Arab nation-state. A state that has a national minority is not required to be culturally neutral. Romania has a sizeable Hungarian minority and yet, it is not a binational state. Italy has a German speaking minority that identifies with Austria, and yet, it remains a nation-state, not a binational one.


C. Bendavid said...


3)Ben Gurion would have had no possibility, whatsoever, to expell the Palestinians had they accepted the partition plan (or at least to renegotiate it, which they had the possibility to do). Moreover, Ben Gurion begged the UN Security Council to send forces on the ground, in order to enforce the partition plan. Thus, claiming that he had no interest in respecting it is wrong. As for the fact that he expelled the Palestinians, you can't dismiss the fact that a war was taking place. And during war time, people do what they would have never dared to do in peacetime. Moreover, during the 1947-48 war, 10% of Israeli Jews were driven out of their homes, 1% of the overall Israeli population got killed and 8% of Israelis aged between 18 and 21 died during this war. If you want me to judge Ben Gurion on what he did, perfect. But you have to do the same thing with the Arabs (which you fail to do).

4) Finally, what you said about the Druze is false. The left rants on and on about ''Orientalism'' (Eurocentrism). But so far, it seems that you are the ones who believes that the Druze have no agency. The fact of the matter is that they sought the protection of the Zionists before the creation of Israel, because they were an oppressed minority. Whether you like it or not, I'm not an ''Arab Jew'' and the Druze alliance with the Jews was not a denaturation of their ''natural'' solidarity with the Palestinians. Sorry, but you are just perpetuating the myth of the noble savage corrupted by the evil white man. Your remark is nothing but a typical neo-marxist analysis whereby the dying Western proletariat has been replaced by the third world. And according to this analysis, third world nations ought to unite against the West (which embodies symbolically the ''Greater Capital''). Spivak asked if the subalterns could speak with their own voices. Well, it's about time that the far-left allows us to speak with our own voices as well. For, neo-marxism is neither popular among Oriental Jews, nor among Arabs.

C. Bendavid said...


Mr Haber,
I don't mean to be disrespectful, but your comments demonstrate
real bad faith on your part. You can do much better than that!

1)The Zionist movement never denied the fact that it wanted to establish a Jewish nation-state in a territory occupied by another people. However, they justified it by invoking the fact that the Jews were a landless people and that it was legitimate to take land from peoples that already have a territory of their own in order to a give part of it to landless nations. As for the question: why creating a Jewish state in Palestine and not elsewhere? The answer is obvious. Palestine is the cradle of the Jewish civilization. But even if Israel had been created elsewhere (in Argentine or in Uganda for example), the problem of the presence of a native population would've been exactly the same. However, from a left-wing Zionist point of view, denying the Jewish people's right to self-determination merely because they had the misfortune of being a landless people and because other nations refused to share a parcel of their territory, is morally indefensible. There is enough land on this planet for every people. Now, you're free to disagree with this reasoning. Nonetheless, wanting to take land from peoples that already have their a territory of their own in order to redistribute a part of it to landless nations has nothing to do with colonialism. It is based upon the principle of redistribution of wealth (''distributive justice'' to use Chaim Gans's terminology). By the way, this was the argument invoked by most people on the left to support the creation of Israel in 1947. Look at the archives of «The Nation» magazine. They used the same argument, almost word by word!

2)You know pretty well that if the Palestinian refugees go back to Isrrael, Jews will become a minorrity. It's arithmetics. Omar Barghuti already said that a8im of the BDS was the euthaasia of Israel. I also talked about the liberation of all Arab lands. As for your call to turn Israel (within the green line) into a binational state, it's totally baseless. A binational state usually encompasses two homelands that decide to merge in order to form a federation. If Israel and a sovereign Palestinian state were to merge (which is something I can favorably envision in the future), I would expect this new polity to have a binational structure. Meanwhile, Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish nation- state, the same way as Palestine has the right to exist as an Arab nation-state. A state that has a national minority is not required to be culturally neutral. Romania has a sizeable Hungarian minority and yet, it is not a binational state. Italy has a German speaking minority which identifies with Austria and yet, it remains an Italian nation-state.

Jerry Haber said...

Caleb, please call me Jerry.
I think that you compress too much of Zionist thought into your first two sentences, probably because of lack of space, and so it turns out odd. You have Jabotinsky speaking for Zionism. As you know, there was a gradualist stream, consonant with the small numbers, that talked about settlement, land purchase, immigration, that did not talk about "taking land away from people" Zionist thought evolved when the principle of self-determination came in. What you may wish to say is that the Zionists like Jabotinsky viewed Palestinians as Arabs whose culture was similar to other places where there Arabs, and so their self-determination could be found elsewhere. Other Zionists, like European settlers elsewhere, talked about how the native Arabs would want to live in a Jewish state because of the benefits that it would bring them. But a) Jews were not a landless people; they were citizens of the countries in which they lived, and most of them lived good lives, and when there was anti-Semitism, they moved elsewhere. I don't think American Jews viewed themselves as landless people; b) a homeland for some Jews did not require a state -- there are many groups with national consciousness that don't have a state, nor should they, and you know who I am referring to. One can have self-determination without a state. And, finally, the idea that settlers have a greater right to statehood than the natives has been repeatedly rejected since WWII -- in fact, only in the case of Israel, I think, was it accepted.

By the way, using your argument, one could say that Palestinian national survival in the diaspora is much more precarious than Jewish, and hence on that basis alone, Palestinians should have a large state in Palestine with a smaller homeland for the Jew.

The problem is that once the Arabs became Palestinians, the game was up for Zionism, because the native claim always supersedes the settler's claim

Jerry Haber said...

I won't get into your understanding of Gans for lack of time. The fact is that the Palestinian national movement did not have the same political and intellectual clout in the 40s and 50s that the Zionists did, and the intellectual clout started to change only in the 1970s. Now virtually nobody on the left supports Israel, except some aging Jewish leftists, and they are not being replaced.

Would you accept 1 million Palestinian refugees into Israel as it is now constituted? Or would you accept a Jewish state with 30% Palestinian Arabs? Jews would constitute a definite majority.

C. Bendavid said...

1) My name is not Caleb!

2) You should have published the second part of my post as well. I'm opened to criticism and I'd like to read yours!

3) Jabotinsky is not the only one who used this argument.
Jabotinsky was not the only one who talked about the need to redistribute the land so that all peoples can have a state of their own. Ben Gurion invoked the same argument during his talks with Arab leaders in the early 30's. Moshe Sharett did the same at the UN in 1947. Borochov, Katznelson and even the late Berl Locker used this argument as well. As for Jabotinsky, he had very little in common with the morons of the modern-day Likud. Had he lived later on, he would have probably endorsed Palestinian nationalism, just like Hillel Kook, Yellin-Mor and other revisionists who noticed the emergence of a genuine Palestinian national movement in the 1960's (before that, because of panarabism, the Palestinian identity was more regional than national).
By the way, I fully support Jabotinsky's binational program. I just said that Israel has no legal obligation to become a binational state. However, in my opinion, anything that can make the Arab community feel more comfortable in Israel should be done (as long as the state of Israel is not dismantled).

4) The left is not really anti-Israel.
The liberal left (as opposed to the radical one), is not that much anti-Israel. They are much more anti-occupation than anti-Israel. However, Peace Now, J Street and J Call are usually respected by people on the left. In fact, when J Street was created, European media were quite enthusiastic about it. Also, Fran├žois Holland, Ed Miliband, Mateo Renzi and Julia Gillard are clear supporters of liberal Zionism. And remember how many people, including Scandinavian leaders who are known to be very pro-Palestinian, attended Yitzhak Rabin's funeral. And their sorrow was sincere.

C. Bendavid said...

5) You are wrong. Before the creation of Israel, the Jews were a landless people.
Eastern European Jews were both disenfrenchised and persecuted. There is not doubt about the fact that these people were politically homeless. As for Western Jews, they had civil rights but no proper national self-determination. If having the right to vote were enough to fulfill the national aspirations of a people, you wouldn't have around 40% of the population in Scotland, in Quebec or in Catalonia, that would call for the independence of their respective regions. The reason why these regions have such big secessionist movement, is because as minorities, these peoples feel that they aren't equal partners. It's very frustrating for Quebecers to see that despite the fact that they voted massively for a left-wing party at the last federal election, they ended up with an ultra-conservative government. Also, Catalonia and Quebec refuse to sign the constitutions of Spain and Canada (because they aren't recognized as nations in the constitution, and because they didn't get the larger autonomy they ask for).
The fact of the matter is that being a minority is never comfortable for any people. And it is very difficult to justify morally that some peoples should be entitled to full self-determination, whereas others should be left with a mere cultural or regional autonomy. I know that international law privileges the territorial integrity of states over the self-determination right of minorities. But morally speaking, it's not defensible. All peoples should be treated equally. Besides, this argument cannot be invoked when it comes to Palestine, for Palestine was not a sovereign country before the creation of Israel.
Having said that, I'm no fan of secessionism. This is why I like the idea of a binational state. However, the binational structure I envision has nothing to do with the BDS movement's ''one-state solution'', which aims to turn the Jews into a minority that will have to abide by the will of the indegenous (to quote Max Blumenthal). The binational polity I have in mind, is rather based upon a free partnership that would respect the self-determination right and give parity to both peoples (more or less similar to what was proposed by Hashomer Hatzair, in the 1930's). However, in the near future, it has no chance of succeeding. This is why I believe that we should focus on the creation of a confederation instead, which is both a realistic and an achievable goal. It's the best way to build trust and friendship between Israelis and Palestinians. Only once the animosity between the two peoples will vanish, time will come to talk about binationalism. Nevertheless, any political alliance has to be made with the consent of both peoples. In cannot be imposed upon anyone.

C. Bendavid said...

6) Jordan also is part of ''historic Palestine''.
You said: '' using your argument, one could say that Palestinian national survival in the diaspora is much more precarious than Jewish, and hence on that basis alone, Palestinians should have a large state in Palestine with a smaller homeland for the Jew.''
Well, in 1922, Jordan was severed from the rest of Palestine. This was a big loss for the Zionist movement. Thus, one can say that Israel occupies today less than 20% of ''historic Palestine''. Nonetheless, I don't beleive that the size of the territory allocated to the Jews is what pushed the Palestinians to refuse to share the land. 1) They could've gotten a much better deal had they decided not to boycott the UNSCOP. 2) In 1937, the Jews were offered less than 20% of (Western) Palestine, and yet, that was still too much for the Palestinians.

7) I do believe that Israel should welcome a large number of Palestinian refugees.
Not only would I like to see Israel welcoming a large number of Palestinian refugees (I can't tell the exact number; I'm not a demographer and I don't know if doubling the size of Israel's Arab population might, in the long term, imperil Israel's Jewish character). But I have a better deal for you: in the framwork of an Israeli-Palestinian confederation, ALL Palestinians and ALL Israelis would have the right to live, f*** and die in both sides of the border. As Bernard Avishai already said, if you exclude the Negev, Israel and the West Bank are not much larger than the Greater Los Angeles area. And the same way as people commute between New Jersey and New York city, I think people should be able to do the same between Israel and Palestine.

Jerry Haber said...

Oops, sorry, Mr. Ben David, or C., or, say...what should I call you?

Some points on Ben Gurion -- had the Palestians accepted partition, there would have been a Palestinian state but it probably would have lasted a short time at best. At the first opportunity, somebody would have initiated something, most probably the Irgun or Palestinian irregulars, which would have given Ben Gurion the just cause to conquer more land. It happened in 56, and it happened in 67, and it happened in 82. Heck, Israel did all it could to provoke the Syrians in a war to get the Golan Heights (read Shlaim's The Iron Wall, and Dayan's comment.) And you would have supported it, just as, presumably, you supported or would have supported 56 and 67 and 82.

Second, I believe that the Arab leadership was not only justified to oppose partition (which is Gans's position), but morally obligated since it would have included a state with a 40% Palestinian minority. I certainly believe that the Arab leadership was morally obligated to oppose (non-violently) the settlement of Jewish refugees in Palestine, since most of them were settlers who had the express purpose of establishing a settler state against the wishes of the majority. I plan to write a post on this. I think that the refugees were under the moral obligation not to take up arms against the native Palestinians if they wished to settle in Palestine -- just as all immigrants are morally obligated to seek the welfare of the inhabitants of the state, to use the Talmudic phrase.

I misunderstood your point about redistribution of land. It is pretty clear from Gorny's book that most of mainstream Zionists didn't believe that Palestinians had national rights in Palestine, though they had other rights, including private ownership of land.

As for the Druze, you exaggerate. Read Hillel Cohen's books, if you haven't already, and you will see how the Druze protested vehemently against conscription into the IDF. Sure, they were discriminated against under Muslim rule, but surely you know that the state had a divide and conquer policy among the Arabs -- sorry, "sons of minorities" -- that did everything it could to suppress a Palestinian nationalist consciousness. This had nothing to do with white men or colonialism -- this was a deliberate Israeli strategy, again documented in the book Good Arabs, Bad Arabs, to encourage the division of Palestinians into a gezillion religious groups. Do you deny that there was an explicit policy?

Jerry Haber said...

Left and right, as you know, are relative terms. What counts for left in Israel is not left in the world. Anyway, I was referring to public intellectuals, not to politicians. I agree with you that in general, Israel is criticized more for the Occupation than for anything else. But as Gans points out, the longer the Occupation isn't resolved -- and it won't be resolved in my lifetime -- the more intellectuals will question the basic legitimacy of Israel. That's the beauty of the liberal Jewish opposition to the Occupation -- it dovetails so nicely, malgre lui, with the opposition to the 1948 regime. Even if it is true that professed opposition to the Occupation is common among liberals(most Israeli liberals I know profess to oppose the Occupation, but would oppose any real pressure on Israel -- like freezing military aid -- to get that done), the fact that Israel is incapable of ending the opposition will have people start asking why -- and that, I hope, will drive them back to the mainstream Zionist mentality that encourages facts on the ground, settlement, oom shmoom, etc.

Jerry Haber said...

"Eastern European Jews were both disenfrenchised and persecuted. There is not doubt about the fact that these people were politically homeless."

Excuse me? Do you know anything about Eastern European Jewish history?

As for Western Jews, they had civil rights but no proper national self-determination.

Neither did the Mormons. Like most Zionists you argue in a circle. You assume that the Jews have a right to a national self-determination, even though most of the Jews outside of Eastern Europe entirely disagreed with the premise. And then you said that the Jews, say, of American, which was a very large community, lacked national self-determination. They also lacked national Jewish consciousness, benighted buggers...

Who here is condescending?

C. Bendavid said...

Ok, I won't get into the details, you probably have much better to do than reading my lengthy comments.

But just a few points.

1) I may not know Eastern European Jewry as much as you do (although I know it better than my half-Ashkenazi cousins!), but I do know that there was a rather high proportion of Zionists among Polish Jews (between 25 and 30%). And the reason why Eastern Europe was the only place where Zionism was not a marginal phenomenon, is largely because of the way Jews were treated in this area (as oppposed to Western Jews or Jews who lived in Arab lands). By the way, pogroms took place in pogroms even after the holocaust. And let's not forget that even in the late 1960's, there were harsh discriminations against Jews. And once again, Israel gave shelter to non-Zionist Jews who were fleeing persecution, like Zygmunt Baumann for example. I also know for a fact that those who were not Zionist were not necessarily all anti-Zionists. Even Dubnow did not condemn outright Zionism, although he never subscribed to it. But even if a majority of Jews werwe to reject Zionism, I doesn't mean that Zionism would become illegitimate. It is true, nonetheless, that without the Shoah, I'm not sure that the Jewish people would've remained united. Israeli Jews would have probably considered themselves as Hebrews (as they did during the Yishuv period), since they would've had no legitimacy to speak on behalf of the world's Jewry. But once again, I don't see why it would be a problem (especially for you). Post-Zionists and Canaanites have always called for a separation between Israelis and diaspora Jews! By the way, nationalism is never that popular among masses. It's mostly an elite phenomenon (as shown by Gellner). During the Algerian War for example, there were more Harkis (Muslims fighting in the French army) than FLN fighters. And during WWI, the number of Arabs who fought in the Ottoman army was higher than the number of Arabs who took part in the Arab nationalist uprising.

2) As for the Druze, as I said earlier, they have agency. And as long as they will continue to vote for left-wing Zionist parties, there is no reason to believe that their support for Zionism is not sincere. You won't deny that a majority of Druze feel more comfortable with Meretz than with Balad.

3) Now, the crux of our disagreemnt, is whether property rights supersede the redistribution of the wealth. There are people, like Robert Nizick for example, who believe that property rights come first. In my opinion, the redistribution of ressources and wealth should come first. You are entitled to disagree with this reasoning. But I won't allow anyone call be a ''Jewish supremacist'' or a ''White supremacist'' (I'm not even white!). By the way, privileging the redistribution of ressources and wealth is much more ''socialist'' than claiming that the Jews had no right to self-determination because they had the Palestinians refused to share. The Western left (and even Ho Chi Minh who supported Zionism for a while), agreed with me until the late 60's. The only reason why the left turned its back on Israel, is because of the emergence of New Left, in the late 60's, which sacralizes the third world. I'm sure that if Israel had been established in Europe, most leftists would have remained Zionists (I can't tell you how many times I've heard leftist militants saying that they would have supported the creation of a Jewish state in Europe). But once again, in order to create a Jewish state in Europe, there would've had to be a Jewish ''colonization'' (which is not the same as colonialism) in the area designated to become part of a Jewish state; since Jews had no territorial basis in Europe as well!