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Archive for the tag “Zionism”

Anti-Zionism and antisemitism

Ad Orientem: Anti-Zionism & Anti-Semitism recommends a post that addresses (from a Catholic perspective) the often blurred lines between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism: Vivificat!: When Anti-Zionism Turns Into Anti-Semitism:

I start with a statement that many will find counterintuitive and is this: since Zionism is a non-religious political movement belonging to the sphere of politics according to its own founders, to oppose Zionism a priori does not make one a Judaeophobe and anti-Semite of necessity. Said in other words, in theory, it is possible to be an anti-Zionist without hating Jews as a people or as a believers of their particular religion and at the same time, there is no obstacle in principle impeding an otherwise tolerant state to oppose Zionism and to protect the civil liberties of the Jewish people in their midst.

Unfortunately Ad Orientem: Anti-Zionism & Anti-Semitism also says “Please leave your comments at Vivificat!”, and that is something I find difficult to do, because an Orthodox perspective on the matter must differ from a Catholic perspective, and operates with different asumptions. I think the assumptions of the Vivificat! article are flawed, not merely because they are Catholic, but because they are approaching it from a different end.

Judaism-Rejects-ZionismIn my experience (which is no doubt fairly limited) the link between Anti-Zionism and antisemitism has been made by apologists for the government of the state of Istrael, who denounce any criticism of any policy of the government of the state of Israel (such as the bombing of Lebanon in 2006) as “antisemitic”.

And if that is what “antisemitism” has come to mean, then I have no hesitation is saying that I think “antisemitism” is a thoroughly good thing.

I don’t believe, however, that that “antisemitism” has come to mean that, or that it ought to mean that. I believfe that those who make propaganda for the government of the state of Israel have been twisting the meanings of words.

But that is what all warmongers do. Criticism of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon in 2006 have been described as “antisemitic” (on the grounds that “anti-Zionism is anti semitism”), just as critics of the US bombing of Iraq in 2003 and of Yugoslavia in 1999 have been described as “anti-American”.

The Israel apologists also accuse those who criticise any policy of the government of the state of Israel of denying Israel the right to exist, as if the right to commit mayhem is an essential part of the right to exist.

There’s no arguing with such people, and I’ve given up trying. I do not believe that criticising the policies or actions of the government of a state means that one denies that state’s right to exist, but then, I don’t believe that the right to exist includes the right to commit mayhem.

We had the same kind of attitudes in South Africa back in the 1960s. People who criticised the apartheid policy of the South African government were denounced by the government and its appologists as “anti-South African”. But they believed that it was not possible for South Africa to exist without apartheid. They confused the government of the state with the state itself.

So much for my experience.

nationalism1But one needs to go deeper and examine the roots of Zionism, which was a form of nationalism that arose in central Europe, and partly grew out of the romnatic movement in Germany. In this sense Zionism is akin to Hellenism, the Greek nationalism that arose from much the same roots. And there were other Balkan nationalism too, and others in Eastern Europe. Zionism, Hellenism and the other Balkan nationalisms wanted to establish “homelands” in territory under the rule of multinational empires. In most cases this was the Ottoman Empire, and in some cases the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Prussian Empire, or the Russian Empire (e.g. Polish nationalism). One could even say that in South Africa Afrikaner nationalism has similar philosophical roots.

In some ways, Zionism is to Judaism as Hellenism is to Orthodoxy. Just as there are those who say “Antizionism is antisemitism”, there are those who say that “Hellenism is Orthodoxy and Orthodoxy is Hellenism”. And there are others who have tried to coopt religion for that kind of nationalism. The Roman Catholic Church is not exempt from this — Croatian nationalism is not all that disssimilar from Zionism either.

I’ve written about this elsewhere, in an article on Nationalism, violence and reconciliation.

Hamas condemns the Holocaust

This article is unlikely to get much coverage in the Western media.

We are not engaged in a religious conflict with Jews; this is a political struggle to free ourselves from occupation and oppression

But it should be made clear that neither Hamas nor the Palestinian government in Gaza denies the Nazi Holocaust. The Holocaust was not only a crime against humanity but one of the most abhorrent crimes in modern history. We condemn it as we condemn every abuse of humanity and all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, race, gender or nationality.

And at the same time as we unreservedly condemn the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe, we categorically reject the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists to justify their crimes and harness international acceptance of the campaign of ethnic cleansing and subjection they have been waging against us

blog it

Hat-tip to The Western Confucian.

Have fascist Israeli Zionists hacked Blogger?

Normally I would regard this kind of suggestion as a way-out conspiracy theory, but the timing seems to suggest that the following comment may have some merit

The reason I checked was because a friend suggested to me that I might be under attack for voicing concern for the Palestinians. He was right. He too had apparently been targeted earlier and kicked off WordPress for violating policies. He had supported the Palestinians’ human rights (without being anti-Semitic). The political Zionists conflate their views with Jewishness, leaving anything that disagrees with their position outside Jewishness, which is a position designed by Machiavellians (liars) to appeal to the weak-minded. It’s akin to many in the U.S. who claim that to be anti-war is anti-American. Well, whether they like it or not, I’m a seven-generation-plus American (signifies with the American Indians) and I’m also anti-War!

The comment was sent to me after I said I could not read my Blogger blogs, or anyone else’s.

In the absence of any response from Google, it seems to have some merit.

It’s almost supernatural: The loathsome smearing of Israel’s critics – Johann Hari, Commentators – The Independent

Why is it that when one criticises actions of the Israeli government, one is often called “anti-Semitic”, or accused of “denying Israel’s right to exist”. Here’s a journalist who has had such experiences.

Johann Hari: The loathsome smearing of Israel’s critics – Johann Hari, Commentators – The Independent:

I have also reported from Gaza and the West Bank. Last week, I wrote an article that described how untreated sewage was being pumped from illegal Israeli settlements on to Palestinian land, contaminating their reservoirs. This isn’t controversial. It has been documented by Friends of the Earth, and I have seen it with my own eyes.

The response? There was little attempt to dispute the facts I offered. Instead, some of the most high profile ‘pro-Israel’ writers and media monitoring groups – including Honest Reporting and Camera – said I an anti-Jewish bigot akin to Joseph Goebbels and Mahmoud Ahmadinejadh, while Melanie Phillips even linked the stabbing of two Jewish people in North London to articles like mine. Vast numbers of e-mails came flooding in calling for me to be sacked.

I had a Jewish correspondent in New York who was forever sending me copies of the same article by Martin Luther King, Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism and vehemently denied any resemblance between the way Palestinians are treated by Israel and apartheid. Yet in many ways it is worse than apartheid. South Africa never tried to build a concrete wall around the “homelands”, though they did accuse anyone who criticised apartheid (or any of its euphemisms, like “separate development”) of being anti-South African, though the accusation that they “denied South Africa’s right to exist” was implicit rather than explicit as in the case of the Israeli government apologists.

Let’s face it, Zionism (in the sense of Jewish nationalism, rather than the African Independent Churches) comes from the same milieu that produced other Eastern European nationalisms that led, inter alia to the breakup of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, whose repercussions are still being felt today. In Africa, however, we call it tribalism rather than nationalism.

Antioch Abouna: Lebanongrad

Antioch Abouna: Lebanongrad asks some pertinent questions about the apparent approval with which the Blair-Bush Axis of Evil regards Israel’s destruction of Lebanon, including the killing of civilians in a manner which can only be described as war crimes, which I noted in my other blog. Coupled with this is the deliberate destruction of educational institutions, churches, hospitals and schools.

Of course, we’ve seen it all before. In 1999 Blair and Clinton did it themselvers in Yugoslavia, instead of using a surrogate like Israel.

In Lebanon Christians were formerly fairly well-disposed towards Israel, but after their churches have been bombed and members killed, any goodwill that there was is dissipating rapidly, as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

But even that report cannot resist the temptation to brainwash Americans still further, when it adds the nasty little factoid: “Hezbollah triggered this latest Middle Eastern war when their fighters mounted an ambush two weeks go in Israel and kidnapped two Jewish soldiers.”

These factoids are slipped in, almost unnoticed, so that people are hardly even aware of reading them, but end up firmly convinced that “Hezbollah started it.”

Even some Israelis don’t swallow that sort of guff — see http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/736009.html.

So it may be worth looking at the ancient history of two months ago (before living memory, if not pre-historic for American journalists) to see just how the present conflict escalated.

CHRONOLOGY – how the conflict escalated in the last 2 months

2006-06-09 Israel shelled a beach in Beit Lahiya killing 8 civilians and injuring 32. Following this, Hamas calls off 16 months of military truce.

2006-06-13 Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a van in an attempted extrajudicial assassination. The successive barrages killed nine innocent Palestinians.

2006-06-20 Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at a car in an attempted extrajudicial assassination attempt on a road between Jabalya and Gaza City. The missile missed the car. Instead it killed three Palestinian children and wounded 15.

2006-06-28 Palestinian militants launch a raid and kill two Israeli soldiers and capture a third, Cpl Gilad Shalit.

2006-06-29 Israel troops, having pushed into Gaza, detain Hamas lawmakers and cabinet members. Air strikes.

2006-07-12 Hizbollah captures two Israeli soldiers and kills eight. Israel calls it ‘act of war’ and widens Gaza offensive, killing 24 civilians. Air strikes destroy 10 bridges in Lebanon, and hit power stations and a water facility.

Israel claims that the soldiers were captured on Israel territory, Hizbollah claims that they were captured during an incursion into Lebanon.

2006-07-13 Israel bombs Palestinian Foreign Ministry and Beirut airport. Israeli Navy blockades Lebanese ports.

2006-07-14 Israel bombs Beirut-Damascus road and Shia suburbs of Beirut: 67 Lebanese civilians dead. Hizbollah launches 130 missiles at Israel, killing at least
two civilians. Israeli ship is hit by an explosives-filled drone, four dead.

2006-07-15 Israel warns inhabitants of village of Marwaheen in southern Lebanon, to leave. While they are fleeing they are attacked by Israeli aircraft and several families die.

If the last incident was not a war crime, what is? Ordering civilians to leave their town, and then shooting them up as they try to leave?

US President George Bush vetoed a bill on embryonic stem-cell research because he believed it crossed a moral boundary. But does not incinerating these children cross the very same moral boundary?

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