It’s Time to Stop Chasing the Peace Process Unicorn


As someone who believed in the peace process and the two state solution, it’s not been easy to reach this conclusion, but all the evidence points this way.

Earlier this month I wrote several posts about how the Mideast Quartet had become little more than a vehicle for the U.S. and Israel to strong-arm their European partners into adopting the Israeli position on all matters concerning Mideast peace. After this most recent Quartet meeting, there was a great deal of speculation as to why no post-meeting statement was issued and I opined on this site that I thought it was because the State Department, working with Israel, tried to get the rest of the Quartet to adopt language that unfairly benefited Israel while placing the Palestinians in an even worse bargaining position should negotiations resume. Well, I was right. Unfortunately, it was worse than I thought.

Former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy managed to get his hands on a draft of the statement that the U.S. had wanted the Quartet to sign onto. Luckily, the other Quartet members refused and thus no statement was issued. Now I see why. I won’t even bother posting an excerpt from the article because you really have to read the whole thing to grasp just what an utter failure the Obama administration has been on Mideast Peace due to their total capitulation to Israeli interests.

According to Levy, the statement the U.S. tried to push off on the Quartet was co-written in Jerusalem and adopted almost all of the Likud talking points. As if we needed more reminding, this again shows that the U.S. is not an honest broker, is not interested in being an honest broker and never will be an honest broker, no matter how many times Secretary Clinton defensively claims otherwise. In fact, I would go so far as to say when it comes to Mideast peace, the U.S. is dishonest and unethical. This administration is no better than a playground bully, giving the stronger party the weapons to beat up on the weak and that is why I no longer support any U.S.-led peace negotiations- all they are is a pretext which allows Israel to illegally annex more land and further entrench the Occupation while using the so-called “peace process” as cover. So long as Israel keeps up even the appearance of being interested in peace, they get away with it, which is why Bibi plays along. Remember, Bibi admitted that he used Oslo as a means to gobble up more land under the guise of security. This is how the game works.

Naturally Levy’s article won’t make its way into the MSM because it would show Americans just what a joke the whole peace process is. It would also show how Israel is hardly a victim in all of this. Then when you consider the revelation Friday about Israel’s plan to prevent a contiguous Palestinian state by annexing not only the West Bank (and Gaza) settlements but the areas around them, it’s pretty clear that the Palestinians are absolutely right in thinking that their only hope for justice is to take their case to the international community and bypass the U.S. completely.

I will say this- if Congress, the Lobby, the Christian Zionists and the Jewish community don’t want a two state solution then they should have the f*cking balls to come out and admit it as opposed to hiding behind this peace process mirage and playing these games. Not only that, but they should have to take responsibility for what happens as a result of their insistence that the U.S. sabotage any attempt at a just resolution of the conflict while hiding behind the veil of “support” for Israel. And then when violence against the U.S. and Israel erupts and when Israel turns into an Apartheid state, is rendered less secure and more isolated than ever before, they will have no one but themselves to blame, although I’m sure that won’t stop them from blaming everyone else because victim-hood has become their default position and primary defense mechanism. I’m sorry, but there is nothing “pro-Israel” about these people.

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Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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13 Comments on “It’s Time to Stop Chasing the Peace Process Unicorn”

  1. SpfcMarcus Says:

    Wow, that Levy article is incredible. He’s a former Israeli negotiator?. It’s too bad Obama and Clinton don’t take his advice. Obama is a loser. All hat no cattle.

    So long as the Lobby controls our Mideast policy nothing will change. You’ve been writing about Iran and just this weekend I saw two articles in major papers reporting that Iran has some new capability to do something with their uranium- they say this all the time but at the end of the day Iran is no closer than they were 10 yrs ago but Israel wants military action so Congress and the media are trying to sell the idea by fear-mongering. BTW another Iranian nuclear scientist was just blown up in the exact same way as the others were.

    Obama is trying to convince the Jewish vote not to leave him. This is what always happens. A President tries to get Israel to stop settlements, the Jewish community screams ‘antiisrael’ and threatens to stop writing checks to the reelection campaign then the POTUS starts beating up on the Palestinians to prove his love of Israel.

    Reply

  2. Pilgrim Says:

    Yes, the Levy article is wonderful.

    Here’s something I’m curious about: in what way, or ways, is Israel/Palestine not already an apartheid state?

    Reply

    • Stacy Says:

      I think the only thing that allows them to keep up the pretense of not being an apartheid state is ironically, the military occupation. While they ignore all international laws pertaining to how Occupiers should legally treat those they occupy, they do use the Occupation as an excuse to infringe on rights in the name of security. They also allow some token rights for Israeli Arabs- there are several Arabs in the Knesset, although most of them have been arrested and recently one was stripped of all privileges for taking part in the flotilla. So it’s a ruse. I think there’s a good argument that Israel at this point is not a true democracy given it’s curtailment of key freedoms, it’s two tiered system of justice for non-Jews etc. Basically, Israel has become a racist ethnocracy but because the racists are Jewish we seem to make excuses for it. I think if people knew half of what went on they’d be shocked.

      I was reading an article on +972 about how the IDF terrorizes whole Arab villages by coming in the middle of the night and breaking down doors and taking young children and teens from their parents and they take them to a military installation, don’t allow their parents to be with them and have them sign confessions in Hebrew saying they threw stones at the IDF. Then they are NOT released but rather stay in military custody until they go to military court- it can take months, during which time they are separated from their parents and the only lawyers that will help them are the human rights organizations in Israel. They often go to jail for several months or more. This sort of thing happens in China, Iran etc. It’s absolutely incredible that Israel does this and the US turns a blind eye to it. It sickens me.

      So this points to another aspect of Apartheid and a lack of democracy- a two tiered justice system- one for Arabs, one for Jews.

      The only reason Israel gets away with this is because of the U.S. We shield them from all accountability.

      Reply

  3. Pilgrim Says:

    Thank you.

    You say, “It sickens me.” Me too.

    Reply

  4. thainjacobs Says:

    This administration sucks. They are owned by the Israel Lobby. Obama’s advisers said they were going to go all out and convince the Jewish community they support Israel. I guess that means sabotaging the peace process and rallying around Israel’s far, far, far right racist, anti-peace leader. So that’s what it takes to make the Jewish community happy? Interesting. I hope for their sake there isn’t a backlash one day.

    Go America!

    Reply

  5. Im Says:

    this shows your hypocracy stacy, and especialy your “anti-israel” readers wich is just an excuse of letting them be legitimetaly anti-semetic in gatherings.

    Reply

    • Stacy Says:

      You are spamming my site. You put the same video in about 6 different posts. I deleted them because there is no need for that. I have no problem with differing views but I do have a problem someone that goes into every post and junks it up with the same video, ie. spam.

      Reply

    • Stacy Says:

      The readers who comment here are not anti-Semitic. Disagreement with Israel’s far right government does not equal anti-Semitism, as much as you wish it did. If that were the case, many Israeli Jews would be guilty of what you charge. The word “Israel” is not synonymous with “Jewish” and I think it’s very dangerous to try to conflate the two. There are many Jewish people who support Israel but disagree vehemently with their policies. It is essential in a democracy that opposing viewpoints be allowed to be aired without the silencing tactics used by people like you- crying anti-Semitism all the time in an effort to stifle debate.

      I support a two state solution but I fear the time for that has run out. It is now impossible for there to be a contiguous Palestinian state and no Arab leader will be able to accept a state comprised of disconnected pockets of land with limited sovereignty. Israel has legitimate security concerns vis-a-vis borders but as the Arab Peace Initiate shows, a just and fair solution to the conflict would result in the Arab League states signing peace treaties with Israel and normalizing relations. I can’t think of anything better for Israel than that. There will always be groups of people who try to do harm to Israel just as there will always be groups of people who try to harm the U.S. and American interests abroad. This is a fact of life. But if we only focus on that, we can never move forward.

      Reply

      • Im Says:

        the left is driven to destroy Israel. To wipe it out one way or another, and make room for the “Modern State”, in which there is no G-d, no bible and no room for a bunch of Semitic nomads who had the presumption to try and talk to Him. In which men are no more than smart apes, G-d is a figment of the primitive imagination and the only gods are the enlightened rulers of the One World State.

        To understand why Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism are one, we need look no further than H.G. Wells who wrote, “Zionism is an expression of Jewish refusal to assimilate.”

        That one sentence is the final thesis on the left’s ugly legacy of hatred for Israel and the Jews. It demonstrates why Anti-Zionism cannot be detached from Anti-Semitism, because behind it is a denunciation of Jewish identity. That is the ideological fuel behind the Anti-Zionism of both Western liberals and their Arab allies. The Western liberals demand to know why the Jews just won’t assimilate. The Arabs demand to know why the Jews weren’t happy being second class Dhimmis in their own country. Anti-Zionism is the denial of the rights of the Jews as a people based on Anti-Semitism, the denial of the equality of the Jews. That double standard joins Anti-Semitsm and Anti-Zionism into two words for the same idea, that the Jews should not exist….and you did not comment on the video but call it “spam”…be honost with yourself and refer to the video itself.

        Reply

        • Stacy Says:

          Your sweeping generalizations are ridiculous. Not all Jews consider themselves Zionist and these days, not even all Zionists are Jews. For example, some far-right Evangelicals in the U.S. consider themselves Zionists. To claim that a political/cultural philosophy is interchangeable with being Jewish is just politically expedient nonsense. It is a way of insulating Zionism from any criticism whatsoever. The idea that Zionism is above all criticism is just ridiculous. As it stands, not all Zionists agree about Zionism as there are several different forms of Zionism.

          Are there anti-Zionists who are probably anti-Semitic? Sure. But the idea that people who criticize certain Israeli policies automatically believe Jews or Israel should not exist is just hardly worth addressing. Is there anti-Semitism? Of course there is. And it should be denounced. But unfortunately, people like yourself who call all disagreement “Jew hate” or anti-semitism actually end up diminishing the tragedy of true anti-Semitism. More and more, when claims of actual anti-Semitism are made, people might stop paying attention because the label has been so over-used to describe simple disagreements over politics and ideology.

          Also, do I really need to point out that not all Jews are opposed to assimilation? My partner is a good example- Jewish, secular and assimilates. The fact of the matter is, most American Jews are here in the U.S. precisely BECAUSE they are not afraid of assimilation and the same could be said of other religious, cultural groups.

          The left does not seek the destruction of Israel nor the destruction of religion as we know it. You simply don’t agree with “the left” and therefore you take the lazy way out of just condemning a huge group of people as genocidal because you refuse to tolerate any other viewpoint than your own. Not to mention your tendency towards hyperbole undermines your arguments. Israel exists and always will, as it should. It will be the home for those Jewish people who choose to live there. It will not be “wiped out” by anyone.

          If you are just going to come here and call everyone an anti-Semite, save your breath b/c if that’s all you intent do do then there is little room for discussion. As it stands, I’ve said all I really care to on this subject anyway. I have found that debating with people who make ludicrous charges such as those you have made, are not interested in real debate but rather just thinly-veiled ad hominem attacks. So, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

          Reply

  6. Im Says:

    There are 13,000,000 jews in the world, half of them are in israel…so ok, you and your readers are not anti-semetic, you just refuse to see the right of a sovreign jewish state and disagrea with the existance of half of the jews in it…

    The Palestinians’ ultimate goal is not the establishment of a state in the 1967 borders; if it were, they would not have washed away Ehud Barak’s Camp David offer and Yossi Beilin’s subsequent ‘amendments’ at Taba.

    If the Palestinians knew their bid for UN recognition would lead to the establishment of a state in the 1967 borders, they wouldn’t make it. Rather, their application is meant to serve their strategy of delay, which has many stages and stratagems.

    The gist of post-Zionism is the denial of Jewish nationalism, at least in
    its present form of a nation-state, and the demand.apparently relying on
    the world .spirit of globalization..to turn Israel into .a state of all
    its citizens. in reduced boundaries. The post-Zionists repudiate the
    Zionist ideology and its basic assumptions lock, stock, and barrel. They
    disapprove of the Zionist movement.s policies in all fields and all
    periods, and deny the very existence of a Jewish People. By .a state of
    all its citizens,. they do not mean a pluralist society in the manner of
    the United States or Canada, but an invigorated version of the bi-national
    state idea of the 1930s and 1940s, or the Palestinian state that was
    envisaged by the British White Paper of May 1939 (and the Palestinians
    rejected). This is primarily a new form of old anti-Zionism.7

    This new Israel should be devoid of any Jewish identity, secular or
    religious, and of any unique moral and social pretensions. This position
    denies the connection between historical Judaism and the State of Israel,
    and strives to transform the only state of the Jewish People into a
    .liberal,. multi-national and multi-cultural state. The post-Zionists
    demand to abolish laws whose purpose has been to stress the Jewish nature
    of Israel, such as The Law of Return, and to change its Jewish symbols and
    make them acceptable to the entire population. At the same time, they
    strive to sterilize the Hebrew language by removing words, terms, images,
    and stereotypes that carry a .Zionist charge. such as aliyah or .The War
    of Independence. and replace them with apparently neutral terms such as
    .immigration. or .The War of 1948,. or even adopt counter-terminology such
    as .colonialism,. .ethnic cleansing,. or .occupation..

    Post-Zionist positions hardly derive from empiric research. Usually they
    are articulated in theoretical debates and in public polemic in the media.
    The purpose of the criticism is to destroy the .Zionist discourse. and
    portray it as a deliberate distortion of historical reality, or truth
    (that post-modernists usually deny its existence, but the Zionist case is
    apparently an exception). Furthermore, the post-Zionists strive to cause
    tremors in the Israeli historical consciousness, deconstruct Israeli
    identity, dismantle Israeli collective memory, and present it as a Zionist
    meta-narrative that usurped Jewish history and Israeli identity.

    Modesty is not a conspicuous characteristic of Israeli .postists.. Quite
    the contrary, they often flatter each other, compliment, grade and grant
    superlatives to themselves and their comrades, and usually ignore or
    belittle those who do not count among their ranks. Tom Segev, for example,
    asserted that the new historians .are the first to make use of archival
    source material. It is the first generation of [true] historians. They
    plough a virgin soil..8 However, many historians of Zionism and the yishuv
    have worked in Israeli, British, American, and other archives.before the
    advent of the .new. historians (who are not all post-Zionists),
    simultaneously and subsequently. The difference between those who boast in
    their .innovativeness. and those who dispute them is not one between the
    use and non-use of archives. It is a difference between the ideological
    writing of the post-Zionists (though they sometimes innovate and
    illuminate) and the disciplinary writing (even if it sometimes entails
    deviation in various ideological directions) of those who do not rank
    among them.

    Most post-Zionists accept the post-modern approach that historiography is
    politics, and render a good service to the accusation that Israel was born
    in sin when they dismiss Jewish nationality, reject the negation of the
    Exile, describe the surviving remnant of the Holocaust and the oriental
    Jews as the prey of Zionist manipulations and the Palestinians as innocent
    victims of collusions and atrocities. This last .innocence. is
    unconvincing for anyone familiar with the source material, unless he is
    utterly prejudiced. Papp, who has led this approach for years, has totally
    abandoned the academic disguise since the beginning of the present
    intifada in 2000, and has enlisted in the service of Palestinian
    propaganda in Israel and abroad, openly and wholeheartedly.9

    The Denial of Jewish Nationalism

    The post-Zionists. opposition to the Jewish nation state derives from
    their denial of the very existence of Jewish nationality. Their criticism
    of Jewish nationalism has been based on relatively new theories of
    nationalism and colonialism. Primarily, they quote Benedict Anderson, who
    regards the nation as an .imagined community..imagined by those who belong
    to it or are manipulated by bureaucrats and pedagogues. They also like to
    quote Eric Hobsbawm.s claim that the allegedly old national traditions
    were invented in the 19th century to cultivate national myths. On the
    other hand, they tend to ignore other theories of nationalism, such as
    that of Anthony Smith (who regards nationality as the continuation of an
    older ethnic identity) or Ernst Gelner, for whom nationalism is an outcome
    of modernization. They hardly relate to earlier scholars of nationalism,
    such as Hans Kohn.10

    Following the Palestinians. old claim from the early 1920s that Judaism is
    a religion, and religion does not need a national home, the radical
    post-Zionists also negate the very existence of a Jewish nation. A
    non-existent nation cannot have a national movement and does not need a
    nation-state. Thus, the way opens for a Jewish religious milet in a future
    Palestinian state as it existed in the Ottoman Empire. Non-religious Jews
    will assimilate with the Palestinian Arabs as they have assimilated with
    the surrounding people in Europe and America. Indeed, Papp dedicates his
    recent book on the history of modern Palestine to his sons and wishes them
    a peaceful life in the modern Palestinian state that will be constituted
    on the ruins of the Jewish nation-state.11

    Since he does not recognize Zionism as an authentic articulation of Jewish
    nationalism, Papp theorizes on the essence of .Israeli nationalism.. His
    principal argument is that this is a Middle Eastern phenomenon that should
    be studied in the framework of nationalism in the Third World. The purpose
    is evident: denying Zionism.s origins in the Jewish question and
    affiliation to the Jews. plight in Europe and turning it into a
    territorial-colonialist local phenomenon.

    In denying Jewish nationality and replacing it with .Israeli nationality.
    Papp relies on a famous source.the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm.
    However, Hobsbawm is hardly an authority on Jewish or Middle Eastern
    history. His expertise is the history of Europe and Latin America. Long
    before Papp, he denied the existence of Jewish nationality and Zionism as
    its representation. Hobsbawm coined the phrase .Israeli nationality,. but
    deliberately refrained from stating to whom this nationality relates.
    Hobsbawm.s position is nothing but a weird personal view that does not
    rely on historical evidence, erudition, or any expertise in Jewish
    history.12 There is more than a trace of fraud in Papp.s attempt to
    portray Hobsbawm.s ideological and political stance as scientifically
    authoritative.

    Papp.s approach to Jewish nationalism is not exceptional among
    post-Zionists, and many of his comrades share it to various degrees. Ram,
    for example, maintains that contrary to the conviction of the Israeli
    education system.s graduates that a Jewish nation has always existed, the
    Zionist movement invented a tradition to a nation that did not exist and
    would not have been created without the Zionist initiative. Shlomo Zand,
    to give another example, regards Zionists as .a community of
    immigrant-settlers. that transformed the Bible from a holy religious canon
    to a national history textbook to give legitimacy to its claim for
    ownership of Palestine.

    In Ram.s eyes, Israel.s Scroll of Independence articulates the gist of the
    .national narrative. that Zionist historiography invented. He admits that
    it was not .making up. and the materials from which the narrative was
    built were taken .from the real history of the Jewish communities,. but
    states that .Jewish existence was split and varied, and during most of the
    period was not national. Only from an ideological national vantage point
    it was seen as necessarily national and having a national destiny..

    Ram breaks into open doors and claims the self-evident: Until the 18th
    century, no nationalism in the modern sense of the word could exist in
    Europe. Nonetheless, the medieval and early modern Jewish corporation
    featured a high degree of solidarity among its members, a highly developed
    autonomous organization, communal and occasionally supra-communal, a
    religious affiliation to the Land of Israel and an expectation for the
    redemption of all Jews and their return to Zion that from time to time
    surfaced in the image of Messianic movements. Zionism translated all these
    into modern concepts.not as .politics of identity,. but as a response to
    constraints and pressures that Ram blatantly ignores.

    The Jews. patterns of response to European nationalism and modernization
    were not .strategies of identity.. They were not abstract texts, but real
    experiences. Zionism.s principal purpose was solving the plight of the
    Jews, and only in the second place that of Judaism. The condition of
    Judaism in face of modernity preoccupied intellectuals like Achad Ha.am,
    but much less it bothered the activists that built the Zionist movement
    and the masses that joined it.

    The plight of Judaism in face of modernity gave birth to various
    suggestions to construct a modern Jewish identity, such as the idea of
    .mission..the Jews. special mission to disseminate monotheism (or refined
    morality) in the world. None of them provided an answer to the existential
    distress of the Jewish masses in Eastern Europe. Only two answers were
    suggested to this distress: a national solution in the Land of Israel, and
    a pluralist solution through emigration to the New World. The American
    immigration laws of the 1920s halted the mass emigration, and indirectly
    had a crucial impact on the scope of the Holocaust and on the foundation
    of Israel.

    The Colonialist Paradigm of Zionism

    Israeli post-Zionists have joined Palestinian scholars and propagandists
    in an attempt to prove Zionism.s colonialist nature, especially in
    post-1967 Israel.13 However, attempts to portray Zionism as a colonialist
    movement did not begin with post-Zionism. They have been almost as old as
    the Arab-Jewish conflict. The first attempt was made by the Palestinian
    Congress that convened in Jerusalem in January 1919, if not earlier as
    Rashid Khalidi claims.14

    Since the shaping of the new order in the Middle East after the First
    World War, the Palestinians have portrayed themselves as a national
    liberation movement struggling against a foreign colonial power (the
    Zionist movement) supported by the military might of British imperialism
    and trying to usurp a land that belonged to others. The Palestinians
    raised their national and anti-colonialist arguments in the Palestinian
    congresses at the beginning of the 1920s, in their appeals to the British
    government, and in their official and non-official deliberations with the
    various commissions that sought a solution to the Palestine problem in the
    1930s and 1940s. However, in a world in which colonialism was legitimate,
    their arguments did not attract attention and support. World public
    opinion did not consider them stronger than the Jewish plight in Europe
    before, and certainly after the Holocaust.

    The circumstances changed after the completion of de-colonization. Since
    the late 1970s, the Palestinians. arguments fell on receptive ears,
    particularly in Western Europe that was torn by post-colonial guilt
    feelings as well as by quandaries about the role of collaborators and
    by-standers during the Holocaust. Under the inspiration of Edward Sa.id,
    the Palestinians endeavored to demonstrate the colonial nature of Zionism,
    particularly of .greater Israel. after the Six-Day war.

    Post-Zionists cultivate the stereotype of the colonialist Zionist
    immigrant by comparing the settling farmer in Rosh Pina or the pioneer in
    Deganya to the Dutch settlers in the Netherland.s Indies (now Indonesia)
    or the French .Colons. in Algeria. Similarly, they make up similarities
    between the Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel and the Boers in South
    Africa. They equate the acquisition by the United States of Louisiana from
    France in 1803 and Alaska from Russia in 1867 with the purchase of Arabs.
    tracts of land by the Jewish National Fund. Similarly, they compare the
    attitude of the Jews to the Arab tenants that tilled these tracts with the
    Americans. handling of Hispanic settlers in Texas.15

    .Political Zionism,. Jerusalem sociologist Baruch Kimmerling asserted,
    .emerged and consolidated on the threshold of the colonial period in
    Europe, when the right of Europeans to settle in every non-European
    country was taken for granted..16 One should not be an expert on colonial
    history to know that the colonial era in European history had begun much
    earlier, in the 16th century. Zionism emerged toward the end of this era
    and not on its threshold, and West European colonialism had been preceded
    and paralleled by other colonialisms.Arab, Chinese, Turk and Russian. The
    resemblance of the transactions of Louisiana and Alaska to the land
    purchases of the JNF is dubious. Many problems would have been saved or
    solved if the Zionist movement had the means to buy the Land of Israel in
    a few steps as the United States did in the 19th century, and had Britain
    and other powers really supported Zionism in the manner that Kimmerling
    and others ascribe to them. Precisely the slow pace of the Zionist
    enterprise.s development, because of the need to purchase the land and the
    scarcity of resources, testify to the non-colonial character of the
    movement.

    For others, the comparison with the United States is redundant. In their
    eyes, Zionism is an occupying force in the manner of the Spanish
    Conquistadors in Latin America. Papp compares Zionism to Christian
    missionary activities in West Africa and to previous attempts by
    Christians to settle in Palestine and expel the Arabs from the country
    (i.e. the crusades). He finds an .astonishing similarity. between the
    hidden hopes of Henri Gerren, the traveler and explorer of Palestine, and
    those of the Zionist leader Menachem Ussishkin: Gerren strove to renew the
    crusaders. Kingdom of Jerusalem and Ussishkin aspired to revive the
    kingdom of David and Solomon!

    Drawing on odd and unverifiable sources, Papp further asserts that Zionist
    settlement in the Land of Israel strove from the beginning to dispossess
    the Arabs. He brings a dubious quotation of the Rabbi of Memel (then a
    free German town in Lithuania), a .well-known. Zionist leader by the name
    of Itzhak Rielf, who, according to Papp, called in 1883 (14 years before
    the establishment of the Zionist organization!) to expel the Arabs from
    the country. His second authority is Ussishkin.s alleged ambition to
    purchase the bulk of the land of Palestine (as if he had the means to do
    it). The most .convincing. is his third authority: the Palestinian
    historian Nur Massalha, who collected quotations that in his view testify
    to Zionist intentions to dispossess and expel the Palestinian Arabs.17

    A more serious endeavor to offer grounds for the formula Zionism equals
    colonialism was done by Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin in his Ph.D. dissertation
    that deals with Zionist historiography of the Middle Ages and its
    contribution to Zionist colonialism through the negation of the Diaspora.
    He argued that every historiographic project in the Land of Israel after
    the Balfour Declaration and the First World War aimed to distance the
    Arabs from the history of the land and portray it as a Jewish country
    either because of continuous Jewish presence in the country or because of
    the Jews. continuous affiliation, longings, and pilgrimages.

    According to Raz-Krakotzkin, emphasizing the continuity of Jewish presence
    in the country, and the Jews. affiliation to the Land of Israel, aimed to
    serve the Jewish claim for rights on the country. He asserts that a clear
    linkage has existed between Zionist historical writing and diplomatic
    activity. The historical claims, he maintains, were the basis for the
    demand that Britain would adopt an exceptional policy in Palestine that
    would disregard the national aspirations of the indigenous population.
    However, history books by Zionist writers in the first half of the 20th
    century were not written in English or translated into it. Certainly, they
    were not against Lord Balfour.s eyes when he wrote to Lloyd George after
    the opening of the Peace Conference in Versailles:

    In the case of Palestine we refuse, deliberately and justly, to accept the
    principle of self-determination [.] We regard Palestine as absolutely
    exceptional. In our view the Jewish question outside Palestine has
    worldwide significance, and the Jews have a right to a home in their
    ancient country, provided this home will be granted to them without
    dispossessing or repressing the present inhabitants.18

    Zionist political demands were based on Jewish history, not on Zionist
    historiography, and Zionist diplomacy preceded the historiography by a
    generation at least.

    In the eyes of Raz-Krakotzkin, even the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
    symbolized Zionist colonialism. It was not established for the indigenous
    population but for immigrants, and prevented the establishment of
    universities for the natives. Hence, he accuses the University of being .a
    political weapon that prevented education from the majority of the
    populace..19

    He did not mean the graduates of Jewish high schools that until the Second
    World War usually went abroad for higher education, but the local Arabs.
    However, which education did Palestine.s Arabs need? In 1925, the year of
    the Hebrew University.s establishment, Palestine had 49 Arab elementary
    and high schools in towns (29 for boys and 20 for girls) and 265 rural
    schools (all elementary, of which 11 were for girls). They were attended
    by 16,146 boys and 3,591 girls. Most pupils attended school for four or
    five years. Twenty years later, in 1945, the total number of Arab pupils
    rose to 71,468, but only 232 studied in the 11th and 12th grade classes.
    Arab higher education had only 58 students.20 In the Mandate period, the
    Arab population did not need a university but elementary schools, and the
    British mandate did develop the Arab education system considerably. The
    argument that the establishment of the Hebrew University prevented higher
    education from the Arabs is simply ridiculous.

    Zionism Is Not Colonialist

    Put simply, Zionism essentially required immigration and colonization.just
    as the Spanish settled in South America, or the Pilgrims and others in
    North America, followed by a long line of Europeans who occupied America,
    Southeast Asia, Australia, and Africa and settled in the occupied
    territories. Zionism, for a while, also was assisted by an imperialist
    power, Britain, though the reasons for British support were more complex
    than pure imperialism. Here, however, the similarity ends, and the
    comparison with colonialism fails to adequately explain the Zionist
    phenomenon.

    Unlike the conquistadors and their successors, Jewish immigrants to the
    Land of Israel did not come armed to their teeth, and made no attempt to
    take the country by force from the native population. The pioneer
    immigrants conceived the normalization of the Jews in terms of return to
    manual labor, not in exercising military power. Until the First World War,
    the idea of creating a Jewish military force for achieving political aims
    was confined to a few visionaries, and even at the end of that war,
    volunteering into the Jewish battalions of the British army was
    controversial among young pioneers in Palestine.

    If we take a semiotic approach, up until 1948 the Hebrew word kibbush
    (occupation, conquest) referred to taming the wilderness and mastering
    manual labor and the art of grazing; in its most militant form, it
    referred to guarding Jewish settlements. Terms such as g.dud (battalion)
    or plugah (company) did not refer to military but to labor units. The
    armed Jewish force emerged late, in response to attacks and threats on the
    part of the Palestinians and Arabs from the neighboring countries, and the
    key word in the process of building it was .defense.. The ethos of using
    force was defensive at least until the Palestinian rebellion in the years
    1936-1939.

    Since the late 1930s, .defense. was not perceived necessarily in tactical
    terms. Tactically and methodically, the yishuv.s youth became aggressive
    since the .emerging out of the fence. in 1937-1938. Yet, the use of the
    word .defense. symbolized a broader perception of the Zionist enterprise
    as constantly threatened by its Arab surroundings and, sometimes, also by
    other powers. The word implied that the yishuv was the responding side and
    not the initiator of the threats even if and when, tactically, it took the
    initiative and unleashed the first strike.

    Unlike the whites. societies in the British dominions, to which the
    post-Zionists compare Zionism when they define it .national colonialism.
    or .colonialism that develops into territorial nationalism,. Zionism
    voluntarily undertook restrictions compatible with democratic principles
    of self-determination. It strove to arrive at a demographic majority in
    the Land of Israel before taking political control of the country.
    Furthermore, the Zionists regarded a Jewish majority as a pre-condition
    for Jewish sovereignty. They believed that this condition was attainable
    through immigration, and not by expulsion or annihilation in the manner of
    the whites. attitude to the Native Americans or the Aborigines.

    Economic theories of colonialism and sociological theories of migration
    movements are equally inadequate when applied to the Zionist experience.
    Palestine differed from typical countries of colonialist immigration
    primarily because it was an underdeveloped and primitive country. Usually,
    Europeans had immigrated to countries rich in natural resources and poor
    in manpower in order to exploit their wealth; by contrast, Palestine was
    too poor even to support its indigenous population. At the end of the
    Ottoman period, natives of Palestine.Jews and Arabs.emigrated to seek
    their future in America and Australia.

    Zionist ideology and the import of Jewish capital compensated for the lack
    of natural resources and accelerated the modernization of the backward
    country. Ideology and import of capital were totally absent in other
    colonial movements. Colonial empires generally exploited colonies for the
    benefit of the mother country and did not invest beyond what was necessary
    for that exploitation. By contrast, the flow of capital to Palestine went
    one way. Neither Britain nor the Jewish People derived any economic gains
    from the country.

    A central argument of those who compare Zionism with colonialism concerns
    the taking over of Palestine.s lands and the dispossession of the Arab
    tenants. However, until 1948 the Zionists did not conquer,
    but.unparalleled among colonial movements.bought land in Palestine.
    Kimmerling shows how between 1910 and 1944, the prices of land in
    Palestine were multiplied by 52.5. According to Kimmerling.s data, in 1910
    the price of agricultural land in Palestine was twice its average price in
    the United States, while in 1944 the proportion was 23:1. Between 1936 and
    1944 the land prices rose three times more than the cost of living
    index.21

    Under these circumstances, the Palestinians could not resist the
    temptation to sell land to the Jews. Sellers included members of all the
    prominent clans of the Palestinian elite. Palestinian and some
    post-Zionist Israeli scholars tend to put the blame for the eviction of
    Palestinian tenant farmers on foreign landowners such as the Sursuq family
    of Beirut, concealing the role of resident elite families who led the
    Palestinian national movement.22

    Upon the attainment of statehood, the circumstances changed. State land
    was requisitioned and private lands were expropriated. But the state
    compensated private owners, either with money or alternative tracts, and
    individual Arabs continued to sell off holdings. One of the Palestinians.
    biggest fiascos was their inability to check land selling, despite the
    violent steps they took and the numerous assassinations of land sellers
    and dealers throughout the 20th century.

    By contrast to other countries of immigration and colonialist settlement,
    the Jewish immigrants did not wish to integrate into the existing, mainly
    Arab economy, and also did not try to take it over. They laid foundations
    for a new and separate economy, without the relations of mastery and
    dependence that characterized colonial societies.23 During the Mandate
    period and the early years of statehood, Jewish immigrants competed with
    (Arab) natives and immigrants from the adjacent countries in the urban and
    rural, public and private manual labor markets.as agricultural laborers,
    in the building industry, as stonecutters, road builders, porters, and
    stevedores.24 .Kibbush Ha.avoda. (occupying the Labor) had ideological,
    economic, social, and political motives, but such competition between
    white settlers and natives was inconceivable in colonial countries.

    A cultural appraisal, too, excludes Zionism from the colonialist paradigm.
    Contrary to the colonialist stereotype, Jews who immigrated to the Land of
    Israel severed their ties to their countries of origin and their cultural
    past. Instead, they revived an ancient language and, on the basis of
    Hebrew, created a new culture. The revival of Hebrew began in Eastern
    Europe and preceded Zionism, but the Zionist movement and the yishuv
    implemented it fully. In the Land of Israel, Hebrew became the national
    language spoken by all: from the kindergarten children to the academy.

    All over the world colonialist immigrants either quested after a lucrative
    future or sought to escape a dreary present. Jewish immigrants to the Land
    of Israel shared these motives, but their primary, unique impulse, which
    distinguished them from colonialist movements, was to revive an ancient
    heritage.

    The above should suffice to refute the identification between Zionism and
    colonialism. The seemingly historical argument, however, impinges
    significantly on the present. Long after most national-liberation
    movements have achieved their goals and thrown off colonialism, the
    Palestinians.who have enjoyed far greater international support.are still
    in the same place, if not worse. This fact alone should have led
    Palestinian intellectuals and their Western and Israeli sympathizers to
    re-examine their traditional paradigm. Instead, by cultivating the
    Zionist-colonialist prototype, Israeli historians and social scientists
    continue to provide the Palestinians with an excuse to avoid such
    re-examination, and encourage them to proceed along a road that apparently
    leads nowhere.

    Reply

  7. Stacy Says:

    What on earth are you talking about? Of course I recognize the right of Jewish people to live in Israel, as a sovereign state. Israel exists as a sovereign state and is recognized as the Jewish homeland. How Israel defines itself is up to Israel. I just happen to believe the Palestinians also have a right to a sovereign state with contiguous borders.

    BTW, most of what you wrote above looks like it was cut and pasted from somewhere else judging from the weird placement of periods (.). That’s fine if it is but you should attribute it thus and not pass it off as your own. I ran a google search on several sentences and it appears that you are not the author as I got several hits of web pages with exactly this commentary.

    http://rslissak.com/content/disease-post-zionism-profyoav-gelber

    Here’s my last comment on this- your views on Zionism are your own and you have a right to them. But I can tell you, I know Zionists that would take issue with your views and I also know Jewish non-Zionists who would take issue with it. There is room for disagreement and that’s not always a bad thing.

    Reply

  8. Steve Says:

    Wow, he/she plagiarized that whole thing and made it look like they wrote it? Classy.

    I’ve noticed something when debating people like Im, in addition to being totally intolerant of the viewpoint of others, they have a tendency not to respond to what we’ve said or written, but what they wish we’d said or written. I think that’s why Im is going on about people here wanting the destruction of Israel or not recognizing the rights of Jews.

    As a Jew and an anti-Zionist, I find the sweeping generalizations and politically expedient claims about Zionism to be nothing but self-serving. Zionism is a philosophy and as Stacy noted in her very tempered and patient responses to you, there are different ideological strains within Zionism and it is not above criticism.

    I can’t help but think that people like you (Im) actually make it worse for us Jews because by trying to make the word Jewish synonymous with Israel then it puts all Jews in the unenviable position of being the symbolic representation of both good and bad Israeli policies. In fact, it could lead to an increase in anti-Semitism but perhaps that is what you want so that you can turn around and say “I told you so” and maintain your bunker tribal, anti-assimilation mentality.

    Reply

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