A response to comments on my reposting Avner Meitner’s post

A couple of days I reposted a post by Avram Meitner, and wrote that I thought it “brave, concise & accurate”. In comments to this post on my blog & on Facebook I’ve been told that it’s stupid, vile, shite, & I should be ashamed & embarrassed for reposting it. Well, I don’t think it’s any of these things & I’m not ashamed or embarrassed.

OK, maybe I shouldn’t insist on the word ‘accurate’. I have no robust evidence about the real motives of either Balfour or Brandeis, but I do suspect that on this (whatever Balfour may have said to Weitzman or other Zionists, & whatever Brandeis did for Zionism in & from America) Avram Meitner is spot on.

As I think that in essence he’s right about Hitler, who (after he was elected) cooperated with Zionists in a policy of emigration of Jews from Germany to Palestine, whose Nuremberg laws defined Jews on similar principles to the way Zionists define them, & whose monstrous policies and practices of mass massacres of Jews probably gave more support to Zionism than anything else in history.

But hey, how does it desecrate the Jewish victims of Nazi extermination & persecution to say that Zionism and anti-Semitism are in essence almost the same thing?

First of all, anti-Semitism is an attitude to Jews. It isn’t necessarily a policy of extermination. Nazi anti-Semitism is an extreme particular case of anti-Semitism. Some seemingly knee-jerk reactions seem to equate anti-Semitism with its most terrible manifestation. But anti-Semitism is much more widespread than that, and most of it continues without the murdering & persecution of Jews. & its essence can be described as Meitner describes it so concisely: “a collection of prejudices and views about Jews that were marketed predominantly, although not exclusively to gentiles; namely that Jews were alien, Jews were other, Jews were a separate people who belonged somewhere else” . & in essence Zionism indeed “was [and still is] the exact same set of beliefs and prejudices but marketed predominantly, although not exclusively, to Jews”.

True, the purpose of anti-Semitism is to exclude Jews, the purpose of Zionism is to exclusively include Jews, & putatively to protect them. Only putatively, because today Israel is probably the least safe place for Jews in the world – & also because this place is not only Israeland, Eretz Yisrael, but Palestine.

& here, in Palestine (EY), we unfortunately find another parallel between Hitlerian anti-Semitism & Zionism: the Nazis’ goal of a Judenrein (empty of Jews) Europe, & the Zionists’ goal of an Arabenrein (empty of Arabs) Palestine. & before someone jumps on me for saying this: I am not implying that the Zionists are using the same methods as the Nazis or that they are guilty of a mass extermination program equal to the Shoah. On the other hand, I’m also not saying that there is nothing inhumane in the Zionism that has condemned millions of Arab Palestinians to a miserable life of suffering & disenfranchisment in refugee camps throughout the Levant & in the blockaded & besieged & recurrently mass-bombed Gaza Strip & in the occupied West Bank & East Jerusalem, & many others, citizens of “Israel”. to a life of discrimination, suspicion & inequality…

& another thing that should be remembered is that this treatment of Arab Palestinians by Jews is increasingly strengthening anti-Semitism throughout the world.

I’m sorry to have to state these sad facts, but it is better to see & say them than to remain in denial & pretend to be shocked whenever someone disturbs the silence about them.

israpal maps

 

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One thought on “A response to comments on my reposting Avner Meitner’s post

  1. I think this post is good and nuanced Richard. Very timely given the current hysteria about Ken Livingston’s recent comments which also point to the congruencies between Zionist and Nazi theory. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the Yishuv in Mandate Palestine and Nazi Germany had a productive relationship that enabled Jewish refugees from Germany to transfer a much larger proportion of their wealth to Palestine than they could if they emigrated elsewhere in the 30s. I think anyone with a passing familiarity with the history of the C19 & C20 can see that Zionism, especially in its contemporary malevolent neoliberal and neoconservative Israeli form, has much in common with the national chauvanisms that so disfigured the C20. I think the vehemence with which Zionists and their fellow-travellers react to the any mention of these congruencies is indicative of this chilling historical and theoretical proximity.

    Liked by 1 person

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