Subject: Zionism

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Fri May 23 21:36:37 MDT 2003


I suggest reading David's original post and reading mine, before getting a
woody over it! I was merely contesting David's statement: "You will be hard
pressed to find a Jew today who does not support *Israel's right to exist*
-- which I would think is the tell tale sign that Zionism is the domimant
political force amongst the Jewish disaporal." It's a false equation.

As for your comments:

First:

>"The prevalent ideological currents among Jews in the U.S. are the
>prevailing political currents among the U.S. population in general."

>Not really. The U.S. population "in general" is not part of Hillel, ZOA,
>AIPAC, and ADL, which are comprised of that section of Jews who are
>ardent Zionists. The population in general is not active in promoting,
>maintaining, and expanding the foundation of lies upon which the Israeli
>state rests.

Yes, really. Most Jews are not members of these organizations. Perhaps a
similar proportion of the white population belongs to ideologically similar
organizations.

Next:

>When I gave speeches on campus to students at anti-war sessions I
>distinctly remember it was Hillel members who were sitting in the back,
>taking notes on me like some kind of agents, passing out Zionist
>propaganda, not the population in general. I also recall writing op-ed
>pieces in the student paper it was not the population in general but
>Zionist professors and students railing against Palestinians.

I remember the same thing (25 years ago). You know the saying, "the squeaky
wheel..."? Yup, Hillel, JDL, etc., members are very vociferous and "out
there." Don't confuse appearance with reality. They are not the majority of
Jews. On my campus, a big chunk of anti-apartheid, anti-war, anti-cutback,
and other activist work was conducted by Jews. A far greater number of
Jews, in fact, than the much more visible JDL members who sometimes
picketed our events. Your last point, "I also recall writing..." is
irrelevant. Not to diss your excellent prose, but: so what?

Next:

>"but most Jews I know (not on the left) don't buy into the precepts of
>Zionism: i.e., racial exclusivity, dispossession of the Palestinians,
>etc. They accept the view that Jews have the right to a secure homeland,
>which is Israel, and that Palestinians or Palestinian groups, to one
>degree or another, are the aggressors."
>
>Which amounts to same damn thing. I doubt it is necessary to recall here
>over whose bodies and whose property the "secure homeland, which is
>Israel" was "secured" in the first place. Why should a thief be "secure"
>in his aggrandizement? How does a man who demands the return of half his
>house which has been annexed by his neighbor become an "aggressor"? Only
>if he is an inferior who is not entitled to his own land and must
>therefore be dispossessed.

Not the "same damn thing" at all. Their perception, promoted by Washington
and the mass media, is a mendacious cover for Zionism and Israel's actions,
but such a cover wouldn't be needed at all if Zionist ideology were
accepted by U.S. Jews. Moreover, these are the same ideas accepted by most
other folks in the U.S. Are they also Zionists? Or are you yourself
equating Judaism with Zionism?

Finally:

>Security for Israel depends upon securing justice for its victims:
>monetary compensation, or some form of right of return, and a viable
>state comprising at the least all post-1967 land with mutual and minor
>exchanges.
>
>The question as always is what is under discussion when speaking of the
>right to exist. Certainly the Jewish community has a right to exist,
>like any other community. But the racist system constructed in Israel
>has no right to exist other than the one afforded by crushing military
>power. As long at that system exists, as long as it continues consuming
>Palestinian land and pushing people into ghettoes and camps, talking
>about Israeli security is absurd.

You're preaching to the choir. I pointed out that most U.S. Jews hold the
above opinion with respect to Israeli security, not that I hold those
views. I'm a proponent of a democratic secular Palestine.

Mike




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