Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Zionism = Colonialism ?!?!?

This is the kind of pleas and associations that Israel can do without these days, IMHO. Basically, the author claims that Zionism and colonialism have a lot in common, and that Palestinians and other Arabs were/have been/would be/will be better off under Jewish (or any other non-Arab) rule than they ever were or have been when led by their own kind. Even if this were true (honestly, I don't really care if it were), what should interest us more than anything else is our own interest, and that interest would be served by an end to the occupation. Many of today's ills in Israeli society and Israeli politics, and many of its diplomatic and military problems, are directly or indirectly linked to its presence across the Green Line. If we follow the zionism-colonialism analogy, we would have to conclude that Israel's colonialism should come to an end a.s.a.p. After all, most if not all countries that were powerful colonialist powers in the modern era (France and Holland come to mind, as do Britain, the USA, and even Spain and Portugal; about Belgium I am not so sure) today are more stable and prosperous than they were ever before and during their colonial heyday. Although there are parallels between the two, I don't think that the more or less internationally accepted, legitimate version of Zionism (i.e. the secular Jewish version of 19-20th century nationalism, without its most extreme and fanatically religious elements) would want to be identified on a one-to-one basis with colonialism.

By the way, although I agree with the author that many of those who call themselves friends of Israel (and who are cherished by rightwing and ultra-nationalist Israelis) are led by various types of anti-Semitism, unlike him I do not think that "leftist anti-Zionism is not bred by anti-Semitism" (I think it is, partly at least), nor do I believe that "anti-Semitism can be effectively fought by showing documentaries and films on the Holocaust" (much more than that is needed).

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