Note: While this site rarely reprints articles, this is one by author Sherry Wolf that eloquently addresses the issue of Israel/Palestine. My own commentary is italicized. For space, the article is edited. The full version can be found at: http://socialistworker.org/2012/07/12/antiracists-for-apartheid.
The Jerusalem Post reported in May that more than 24,000 people in 22 nations were polled by the BBC regarding Israel. Citizens in 17 of those nations hold mostly negative views of Israel, including Egypt 85%, Spain 74%, France 65%, and Britain 68%. Here in the US the number is 35% and growing.
Peter Beinart wrote in the New York Review of Books that “many young Jews have [rejected] Zionism” in regard to Israel. And Time magazine observed, “Why Fewer Young American Jews Share Their Parents’ View of Israel”:
“A 2007 poll found that American Jews under 35 are less likely to identify as ‘Zionist.’ Over 40% of these believe that ‘Israel occupies land belonging to someone else.’”
Today, campus meetings [unlike previously] that openly declare Israel an apartheid state and dissect the myths of Zionism are well-attended.
Among the latest victories of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel is the Church of England’s overwhelming vote to continue its aid to Palestinians, as well as the Presbyterian Church’s vote to boycott all products from Israeli colonial settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Author Wolf speaks to the disconnect of the youthful social protest movement in Israel [except] when it comes to equity and self-determination of the Palestinian population. “This is a precarious racism of antiracists,” she writes.
Zionism was never a national liberation movement. Israel is today and always was a colonial-settler state that ties its fortunes to world powers—it attempted to do so with the Ottoman Empire, then the Brits and finally the Americans.
Israel exists on land that was stolen from the indigenous population, and Zionists aim to ethnically cleanse—in their words, “transfer”—the remaining native inhabitants…the Palestinians.
The irony here of course, is the fact that Israel could not exist as a colonial-settler state without the political and financial support of the United States and the support of most American Jews. Many leading Israeli Zionists are American-educated.
The US itself is perhaps the world’s most significant example of a nation initially based and founded upon the theft and genocide of its native population and the enslavement of millions of Africans.
One of the leading Zionists, Vladimir Jabotinsky, stated back in 1923, “Zionism is a colonizing adventure and therefore it stands or falls by the question of armed force.”
As recently as 1967, Joseph Weitz, who headed up the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department (!!), wrote, “Between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples together in this small country…. The only solution is Palestine without Arabs…. There is no other way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries; to transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe should be left.”
Another [American-educated] Zionist, Golda Meier [Milwaukee] who was prime minister (1969-74) described Israel as “a people without a land, a land without a people.” Of course, working toward that goal [in 1948] they drove out some 800,000 Palestinians to form the state and stole their land. Zionists didn’t come to “civilize” the population, but to replace them and drive them out.
Lest some believe that these are ancient quotes and different times need only read a letter printed in the Jerusalem Post from the chief Sapphardic rabbi, Mordechai Eliyahu, to Israeli President Ehud Olmert concerning the 2009 rocket attacks from Gaza: “All civilians in Gaza are collectively guilty…. There is absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians…aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.”
His son, also a major state rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, added: “if they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1,000, and if they don’t stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop, we must kill 100,000, even I million. Whatever it takes…” This man is also the head of the Magen David Adom…Israel’s Red Cross.
I wonder what these racists would think if they ever found out that the source of these random, aimless, ineffectual “rockets” may well be from recruited Hamas provocateurs by the Israeli Mossad itself?
The one thing state-Zionists always come up with as an excuse to deflect internal dissention is the propitious circumstances for the “terrorist” response-option. The fact is, the greatest threat to colonial-settlerism is peace itself.
Perhaps the greatest irony is that the Nazis were prosecuted for such crimes and that collective punishment remains today an international crime against humanity.
Giving the last word to Sherry Wolf:
In 20 years-or-so, people will look back on these times [in Israel] as racists defending a supremacist order.
Today, we all have to answer the question: Which side are you on?