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The Chasm between the Left and the Jews

January 28, 2010 – 9:16 am26 Comments

Strange bedfellows – The product of the Arab-Israeli conflict being the Left’s battleground against the USA. Photo: Jauhara

By David Forbes

Despite historic connections, the chasm between the Left wing movement and the Jewish people is growing both in Australia and internationally. Read many Left wing publications, just some examples being the New Matilda in Australia or the International Socialist Review, and one will read that Israel is a Western imposed, colonial, inherently racist and apartheid state with ethnic cleansing and genocidal aims. As an inherently illegitimate State, any acts of “self defence” from Israel are considered acts of aggression and hence any action against it is acceptable.

There is plenty of room for reasonable, balanced and even severe criticism of some of the actions of successive governments of Israel (and indeed of the Palestinian and Arab world leadership) in the management of the Israel/Palestine conflict. However, descriptions of the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict in Left wing publications are so myopic and the representations of the nature of Zionism so distorted, that it beggars belief that these accounts are investigated and reported with open-minded and genuine attempts at understanding the complexities of the conflict. To suggest so seems quite disingenuous. An example of the chasm between the Left and the Jews is that currently President Ahmadinejad of Iran can deny the Holocaust, cite the stranglehold of the Jews on international media and finance, describe the US as puppets of the Jews and call for the extermination of Israel while the Left wing press barely says a word.

What is far more interesting and curious, however, is that in these publications, the commentators then continue to challenge the Jewish mainstream definition of who the Jewish people are. The Jewish people are not, apparently, Semites with their identification being a complex interplay of relationships between peoplehood, the land, the religion and the culture- who have survived years of Diaspora since exile from Judea with this identity largely intact (with obvious natural and healthy idiosyncratic variations). No, apparently they are a European people, who falsely pretend to be descended from the ancient Judeans, Israelites and Hebrews, whose connection to the land of Israel is merely a post-Holocaust and Western colonial phenomenon. The arrogance of Western intellectuals actively challenging and re-defining the manner in which the Jewish people defines itself demonstrates a cultural colonialism one would have thought to be an anathema to the Left. However, on the Left, the spirit of Terra Nullius lives!

Each time Israel and the Palestinian Authority move toward mutual recognition, a mediated settlement and a future with less pain and suffering, rather than celebrating reconciliation, the rhetoric from the Left ramps up. Brave attempts by President Abbas to negotiate a mediated settlement and refuse to resort to violence are belittled as weakness and he as an Israeli puppet. In contrast, murderous threats by Hamas, accompanied by refusals to ever negotiate with Israel, are lauded as “resistance”. The Left whispering of sweet nothings in the ears of the Palestinians, de-legitimising the rights and aspirations of the Jewish people, seems intent on maintaining the conflict. In trying to understand the above, one comes to the conclusion that, for the Left wing movement, the Israel/Palestine conflict is the battleground for their international conflict with the United States. Hence, there is a vested interest in the maintenance of conflict and in viewing Israel through this lens (irrespective of the reality).

The sooner the Palestinians and Israelis recognise no good comes from de-legitimising the other and consequently throw off the influence of these dogs of war, the sooner there will be peace and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians. The International Left (and Right) can then play out their deadly games of incitement in their own backyards.

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  • SJ says:

    It seems this challenge to the definition of a ‘jewish people’ is based on a fairly recent book by an Israeli, Shlomo Sands, who takes the view as referred to above (jews were not semites etc) , and which has been repeated uncritically by various commentators. Sands himself, however, is no expert in jewish history, but is a professor in French history and his book has been criticised severely by experts in the field as frankly a load of nonsense.

    I also agree with your comments re: the far left and particularly, their commitment to a secular one state solution. Heck – I recently, read one of these guys criticising Chomsky for being too far on the right! The far left who advocate this idea have no idea at all how it would be implemented and ignores the basic reality that no one in Israel or the territories want it. By advocating such an idea over a genuine two state solution plan (such as for example, the clinton parameters back in December 2000), they are really showing that they’re not particularly serious about peace.

  • ariel says:

    Israel must establish an International Court of Anti-Semitism to prosecute anyone in the world who commits an act thereof. This will include everyone in the photo accompanying this article…

  • Henry Herzog says:

    This really is nothing new. It’s just that these bleeding heart lefties, and I mean socialist/communist lefties, go for the underdog, oppose anything that smells of capitalism and so on. Louise Adler, for example, on ABC”s Q&A when asked about censoring Hansen photos of naked kids spontaneously reacted “it’s like Hitler burning book” or something to that effect. They respond, without too much analysis to stimuli.
     
    So how do we deal with this? Do all that can be done to get the Palestinians to the negotiating table and work out a peace deal, what ever it takes. Israel is strong enough to do that. That will remove all the stimuli these one-eyed lefties react to and maybe, just maybe, there will be peace. I believe that most Palestinians want to have a peaceful and fulfilling existence. They too have had enough death and destruction. Enough already.

  • larry Stillman says:

    This piece had me infuriated, because it engages in gross generalization about ‘the left’. What do you mean? Fabians? Social democrats?  Trotstkyists  (who appear at every demo)–who also appear in the photo accompanying your article?

    You have chosen one left publication in Australia that hosts a range of views on Israel (including mine), and then referred to an obscure factional, left publication and launched into a lot of other unreferenced generalisations.
    I think you will find in reality, there is a lot more subtly, and as for the fringe sects-well, that’s why they are fringe, they are irrelevant.  Their tracts only make sense to their members.  You are confusing doctrinal noise with what I suspect is a much more reasoned opinion held by many on the left.  The strange terminology ‘Left wing movement’ seems to indicate you believe that there is some sort of structured conspiracy. I think you are confusing with  what goes on in campuses with the real world.

    A closer reading of a lot of what I suppose you would disdainfully call ‘academic’ on has-ve-halilah , left intellectual publications, express a lot of concern about what’s going on in Iran plus there is open debate on the nature of Israel politics–much of it reflecting what left Israelis say.   You can’t accuse someone like Avishai Margalit who is frequently published of being anti-Israel.  And many thoughtful Jewish publications are full of critique of current Israeli politics.   Of course there are the strong anti-Zionists, but they are not the only voice.  Political anti-semitism is but one part of the worry–certainly, there is concern about nuclear agendas and many other human rights issues in Iran.

    You are right on one front, not everyone understands the complexities of Jewish history and identity,  at times there is a discomforting over-compensation for Palestinian nationalism and essentialism (the mirror image of Zionism) and the struggle over Palestine becomes a substitute for the struggle over capitalism (not just the USA).   It’s a patronising one-sided multiculturalism.  But you should admit, the nature of the connection between modern Jewry and ancient Israel is as much metaphysical as historical-and facts are often thin on the ground.   That is why people have so much trouble with truth claims in Zionism when they ignore the historical rights of other communities. 

    As for the struggle over capitalism–sadly, I see inmplied disdain for social justice and any critique of the capitalist system (which includes, by the way, the welfare state and such things as Medicare  and a social support system).  Post wall-street crash and the rest, can we really have such faith in unfettered free markets?  It’s a myth.  Furthermore, of course there is strong resent over the role of the USA. In many parts of the world, they, not the Russians or the Chinese have been the oppressors. Ask people from Guatemala or Chile what happended in the 70s or 80s.   And yes, even Latin American Jews got tortured by the regimes that were such friends of the USA.  It had nothing to do with communism–it had everything to do with US business interests.  This of course, has let to widespread stereotyping of the USA as a constant oppressor–which it is not of course, but the US tends to back the powerful, not the weak–and this is Israel’s problem.

    I have only provided a short critique of this piece, but the lack of response shows how little, unfortunately, it has registered as badly informed red-flag waving.

  • Yaakov says:

    The Trotskyists forget one thing: Their model failed totally- who in Melbourne can forget the likes of Mark Matcott and Jews Rick Kuhn and Alex Kahn at Monash in the mid 70s singing “whilst quite deformed politically, we must support them critically” about the so-called socialist states of Eastern Europe?  Come to think of it, there are idiots out there whose only claim to fame is singing stupid songs, or stupid slogans.  I see Sandra Bloodworth of the Insternational Socialists or whatever they call themselves nowadays, Australian section of the British Socialist Workers Party  is speaking at yet another Marxism Fest over Easter, which marks for her 30 years inside a tiny sect which I don’t think ever grew over 120 people.  I can remember being one of a total of three blue collar workers in the IS in 1980 (I was a truck driver, there was a steel worker and a dockyard worker, and the rest were split between students, the unemployed, academics and public servants) out of maybe 85 people.   Have they recruited any blue collar workers since?  Their newspaper would trumpet it if they did!
    One Trot group (not the IS, a group even less relevant) can claim the election of one guy to the council of the city of Yarra.  There’s one elected Trot in the whole of Australian politics.
    And you’ll tell me that Yaakov is just engaging in his old tired diatribe against his former comrades.
    I don’t think so, comrades, because I’ve seen the alternative model, and it -sort of- still works.  It’s called Degania, and it’s 101 years old.  There might not be functioning collectives anywhere else in the world except possibly in Cuba and parts of China, but to some extent at least the socialist experiment that was the early Zionism as encapsulated in  the kibbutz movement  is still there.  You can get an Eged bus from Degania past the bottom of the Kinneret, you’ll pass plenty of kibbutzim which still have some degree of shared ownership, and of course your bus company is a collective of sorts as well.  There’s still a national water carrier, there’s still national insurance and health care, and a generous minimum wage.
    It mightn’t look much like the idealists planned it 101 years ago, but unlike the Stalinist edifice, it’s still functional, and unlike anything the Trotskyists can point to, it actually exists.  It takes a little bit of learning from history, something Trots are not real good at.
    Maybe it’s the Jew in them.  Think of the leaders of the Trot movement apart from of course Trotsky himself:  Tony Cliff in England, Janey Stone and the late Jeff Goldhar in Australia of the IS-SWP tendency.  From memory the IS in Australia in the late 70’s was about 20% Jewish.  They, and the rest of the Trot movement, needs to look a bit closer at Iran, the revolution in which they supported 20-odd years ago.  Just about every minority group and minority opinion, including Trots, has been, admittedly according to Western media, exterminated by the regime.  They supported the Ba’athists- same story.  They supported the revolutionaries in Yemen – same story.  They supported the Mujahadin against the American and British colonialists- same story.  Secular Communist types in Lebanon? Assassinated.  In Syria? Never heard of any.  And so it goes on.
    Jews and Zionists need to go on the offensive against such groups.  We need to show that of all the countries of the Middle East, only one guarantees the workers’ freedom to strike championed by the Trots, only one guarantees free trade unions, only one has free parliamentary elections, has had a woman prime minister, has guaranteed complete female suffrage, guarantees minorities the right to vote.  When the SWP-IS says that it’s Hezbulah, it’s lining up against such freedoms (Nasralla doesn’t have much truck with women voting according to his published speeches for example) and in favour of wonderful Islamist practices like genital mutilation of girls.
    Critical political support won’t get the Trots out of that one, and no recourse to dialectical materialism can repair their fundamentally bankrupt position.
    elephant@vikasana.net  YAAKOV
     

  • ariel says:

    The bottom line is that nobody outside Israel has a right to criticise the Israeli government (at least not publicly).
    Israelis vote in elections and the Knesset and governement reflect the will of the people, especially since they are elected via proportional representation, meaning every vote counts.
    To crticise any Israeli government is to spit on the Israeli electorate, effectively telling them that they are too stupid to know what’s good for them.
    I say the same about any other democracy.
    Whilst I have my complaints about the direction the US is heading, it’s none of my business: the American people have made their choice and must live with it and they are the ones who should protest and criticise.

    The same is not true of totalitarian dictatorships who mostly do not reflect the will of the people. Those we may criticise and protest because no one else will.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    O dear, back to that argument again Ariel? Israel expects loyalty and money, but not criticism?  That debate is a security threat?  Forget it.
    Second, Israel is an occupying power which is a cancer gnawing its democracy. And many claim, within Israel and without, that its form of democracy is deeply flawed leading to very bad policies both within the country.   We need to distinguish between what might be called cultural affiliation and the country’s politics.   I’m not talking about left 0r right loonies, I am talking about people who positively care about the future of Israel.
    To not be able to criticise the policies of any other country (including your own country) is well…this means I can’t have a go at Burma, Syria, Saudi Arabia, or even Lichtenstein, according to such reasoning.

  • Henry Herzog says:

    Sorry Larry, and it may be just my ignorance, but when was the last time you or Loewenstein or Adler or any one of your friends at AJCS wrote about Burma or Syria, Saudi Arabia or even Iran to anywhere the extent you go on about Israel?

  • TheSadducee says:

    Mr Herzog

    I would suggest that the AJDS disproportionately addresses the I/P conflict in preference to others because the I/P conflict is a topic which disproportionately concerns Jews (both directly and indirectly) whereas the others do not. 

    Similarly, the AJDS claims to have been formed to address an imbalance on the I/P conflict in internal Jewish community discussion – hence their interest in discussing it in preference to others.

    They do not claim to provide an equal amount of presentation of human rights/political issues on their site or blogs. 

    This of course doesn’t invalidate their point of view.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Ariel

    It is an interesting argument that you put forward re. criticism of democratic governments, however it raises the following question – what if the majority willingly decide to discriminate/persecute and/or harass a minority through government policy?

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Henry, see below  on the  AJDS website.
     
    You will also find an article having a go at Burma and Dubai in the last issue of the AJDS newsletter, also available on line and there are many other instances of critical opinion, including the lack of democracy in the Arab world http://ajds.org.au/node/87)
    Steve Brook, as you well know, is particularly critical of Arab and Iranian anti-Semitism, and I’ve had a go at Arab denialism on various occasions. So stop baiting and particularly, playing guilt by association with other people.  My differences with Lowenstein are also viewable on the AJDS website.  There’s no Jewish left coven. If you believe in one, then you have fallen into the same way of thinking as anti-semitic conspiracy theorists.   Such mud slinking is not particularly ethical either.
     
    http://ajds.org.au/node/110
    Israel vs Saudi Arabia There’s been some discussion on the internet on the ‘hypocrisy’ of Israel for sending relief teams to Haiti when it leads aggression against Palestinians.
    See, for example, http://mondoweiss.net/2010/01/port-au-hasbara.html, or another site on the Zionisation of Disaster Relief. As if no other country sees advantages in news and photo opportunities for humanitarian relief.
     
    But at least some people have the sense to give Israel credit, where credit is due. Of course, Israel’s behaviour is entirely unlike the Saudis, who have given, as far as I can see, NOTHING to relief efforts, unlike Qatar, Jordan, other UAE states, Palestinians themselves, Turkey and even Iran. (LA Times).
     
    Well, the financially-strapped Saudis did share condolences. You’d think with all that money being poured by them into higher education, medical schools etc., they could at least send a couple of plane loads of doctors. But of course, there’s nothing like unfair Israel-bashing.

  • Henry Herzog says:

    Mr/Mrs Sadducee,

    Let me suggest to you that, although Burma may not, Syria, Saudi Arabia and last but certainly not least, Iran  are relevant to the I/P conflict and indeed of disproportionate direct concern to Jews around the world.

    I also was under the impression that the AJDS are concerned about injustice where ever it may be, including Burma.

  • david says:

    Larry
    I would like to respectfully respond to your comments – I am sorry you were infuriated by the piece – that was not my intent.
    Firstly I said nothing about a conspiracy and do not think this is the case – that you threw this in concerns me – it is dismissive and the suggestion gets in the way of rational discussion
    Secondly, you are no doubt far more educated than I in the nuances of the differences between the Trotskyists, Fabians,…. I am embarrassed by my simplistic description of the Left wing movement and all the inaccuracies that go with such a generalisation. My experience however through discussions, readings, attendance at public fora, observations of protests locally and nationally and internationally via media reports has been that there is more consistency than difference in (I know overgeneralised) left wing perceptions on Israel/Palestine.
    Perhaps I am a novice in the nature of variations on the left side of the political spectrum but I have found it hard to have a rational discussion about Israel when consorting with left leaning others who are otherwise thoughtful and able to appreciate complexity on both sides of the divide in other conflicts -but for some reason not this one. This is something I used this article to try and understand. It wouldn’t matter if the position espoused did not (in my view) actively work counter to achieving a peaceful solution in the Middle East.
    Fourthly, the International Socialist Review is hardly fringe  – I think that is an attribution of convenience. The editor is a keynote speaker at the Marxisim 2010 conference alongside John Pilger  

  • larry Stillman says:

    For some strange reason, a post I wrote did not appear (conspriracy theories), in which I indicated that AJDS has taken up Saudi Arabia–at least I did, in a blog post on the website), and there is discussion of Burma and other evil places in the last issue of the magazine, also on line, and  lots of  other discussion including Iran etc over the years.  This tried to set Mr Herzog on a corrective path.
    As Sadduccee says, the AJDS tends to focus on the Israeli Palestine issue as a  community issue. If you looked at the participation of many members in their other affiliations, you would find advocacy on a full spectrum of human rights issues in Australia and elsewhere.
    The old left-baiting tricks don’t carry weight here Henry.
     
    OK David, no need to apologize, as I can certainly see where you are coming from. And I regard Pilger as sanctamonious, though that gets me into trouble with a lot of people. And as for the ISR, as another poster has suggested, these are more on the fringe than the centre.  However, despite Pilger’s style, a lot of what he says is again, what a lot of Israeli left critics would say, and  it’s hard to defend the indefensible sometimes–that is what is so troubling.
    Another problem is that provacteurs on either side love wedging, rather than looking to a solution.
     
    L
     

  • ariel says:

    Larry, you’ve done it again: you haven’t actually read what I wrote.

    I did NOT say anything about debate being detrimental to security. I also did NOT say that you can’t criticise your own country.

    Fakert/L’Hefekh: What I said was that nobody has the right to criticise a democratically elected government UNLESS IT IS YOUR OWN. Americans can protest the US government; we can protest the Australian government; and Israelis can protest their government. But none of us has the right to protest the US/Israeli/British/Canadian/NZ/etc. governments (unless they do something specifically against Australia).

    Sadducee – thank you for reading what I wrote, for starters.
    Your question is too broadly phrased for me to answer without getting in trouble. Are you referring to Apartheid South Africa? Nazi Germany? These were not real democracies because only certain people were allowed to vote…Even in Australia until recently, Aborigines were not allowed to vote…
    You can’t possibly be talking about Israel vis-a-vis Palestinians because the Palestinians have their own government which they elect. Israeli Arabs have full voting rights in Israel and also elect the Knesset. If you’ve actually worked in Israel, you would have seen that discrimination against Arabs is blown out of all proportion. I had a job interview once where one of the panel was an Israeli Arab who was treated very well. I have relatives – Religous Zionists no less!! – who employ Arabs in their electromotive workshop and treat them like everyone else.
    All minorities in all democracies claim they are discriminated against – even in Australia – so I’d like you to clarify what sort of country you’re talking about…

  • Yaakov says:

    If Ariel is correct my wife and I as Israeli citizens can criticise Bibi but  (most of) the rest of the Galus readership can’t?  Isn’t it the home of the JEWISH people? When I daven in shul aren’t I amongst my fellow JEWS?  Why can’t they be critical?

  • ariel says:

    Yaakov, you should pray for the welfare off all you fellow yidden in Israel and everywhere. You should pray for the welfare of the Jewish Homeland and ask HKB”H to implant Israel’s leaders with the wisdom to do what’s right and good for the Jewish People. Beyond that, there’s not much you can or should do (except vote in the next election).
    But, if you didn’t vote in the last election, you shouldn’t complain about its outcome – you should accept the wishes of those who did vote.
    That’s why compulsory voting is such a great thing, but a story for another time…

  • Rachsd says:

    Ariel, democracy entails that non-citizens cannot vote, but they are entitled to criticise. The norms of diplomacy and international cooperation, show that criticism of one democracy by citizens of another is accepted an institutionalised at the highest level.

  • ariel says:

    rachsd, you may be right that it is accepted – I’m just stating that it shouldn’t be.
    people should look in their own backyards. I would resent it greatly if a group of Israelis or Americans or anyone else demonstrated against an Australian issue.

    The hypocrasy abounds when 1000’s come out to protest George Bush – a freely elected leader of a democracy – but not Hu Jintao, a dictator who crushes dissent (cf Canberra 2005).

  • Henry Herzog says:

    ariel, people have the right to protest against Israel, but the reality is that it is disproportionate. The left, and again I mean the left who want to bring down capitalism and all that may smack of it, join forces with  those who want to destroy Israel, and many, but not too many, in the Jewish community join in on the protests where they yell death to Israel and so on.

    Larry Stillman and his AJDS mates may indeed write about injustices around the world where tens of thousands of innocent people are murdered where any form of dessent is met with torture and jail, but they disproportionately target Israel, as if it was the world’s greatest criminal.

    I am against collective punishment and disproportionate use of force as much as the next bloke, but when Israeli towns have rockets and Iranian missiles (fired by Palestinian militants) raining down on them, action has to be taken. Hamas got the result they wanted: They sacrificed many civilians for world sympathy. If Israel can knock off one Hamas terrorist and thus save many lives, including Palestinians, it really has no choice.

  • SJ says:

    I think it is fairly obvious that Jews who care about Israel and are engaged with what is happening politically in Israel are going to take a more critical outlook of the country (whether from the left or right), then other countries.  It would be strange if it wasn’t the case.

    Expecting diaspora jews to shut up and agree with whatever an Israeli government says, stikes me as a bit silly. In fact, what it will do is bolster whatever the Israeli government wants to do. For example, going back to the early 1990’s when Shamir was in power, he took the US jews’ diapora apparent support for not negotiating back then with the Palestinians or building more settlements, as proof that diaspora jews agreed with him, when privately many did not, and that only encouraged him in purusing those policies.

    Criticism of Israel may in fact be disproportionate, but in the end of the day, I am not that interested in this. I’m far more interested in focussing on actual Israeli policy and asking whether in fact it is good for Israel or not. This too me is a far more healthy discussion for diaspora jews to have rather then getting bogged down in debates over the left and the media’s biases.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    There is an long and thoughtful piece which is pertinent to this discussion and many others which keep popping up.
    ” Are Israeli policies entrenching antisemitism worldwide?”Presentation to Limmud, Warwick University, UK 30 December 2009  by Tony Klug.
    http://gush-shalom.org.toibillboard.info/Klug_Jan10.htm
    He’s been around too long, and involved in Zionist activities to simply dismiss as a ‘peacenik’

  • TheSadducee says:

    One can’t simply dismiss Klug’s opinions – as Larry noted he has been around a long time. 

    However I note that in his piece he makes no mention of an important factor of a peace deal – the right of return of refugees. 

    No Palestinian government of any shade will make a peace deal without securing the return of the refugees – and we aren’t talking return to pre-June 1967 Palestine either – we are talking about a return to Israel which would alter the state dramatically – and in my opinion not for the better for anyone involved.

    It is also interesting how Klug doesn’t mention that the Arab Initiative 2002 specifically refers to the refugee issue.  He simply seems to ignore this issue because it is inconvenient to his narrative.  Good luck explaining to people nurtured generationally on their right to return to their homeland since 1948 and still holding the housekeys of houses in villages which haven’t existed in over half a century that they have to give up their dream to return to what essentially will be a particularly wretched aid-dependant state probably run by religious extremists (Hamas).

    And Klug also doesn’t mention the religious dimension of the conflict – again, because it is impossible for him to understand the mind-set of extremists who genuinely believe that they have a religious duty to liberate the country from non-Islamic rule with a view to establishing a religious state – you can’t negotiate with people like that because it is a total sum game for them.

    My 2 cents anyway.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    In response to the issue of Palestinians and no compromise on the right of return. I suggest looking at http://www.geneva-accord.org.  There’s a lot of discussion and reality will intervene.

    As to Tony Klug–he does take up the religion issue-what he claims is that in the particular circumstances here, Islam has been particularly inflamed in the circumstances, but there is not essential in the hatred (or more essential than existed in the churches over the centuries). The hatred is not eternal, and as we know, Islam has tended to be more ‘tolerant’ than the churches, though I would not put up for a minute with any dhimmi status: societies have gone too far down the track. You also forget that there is a strong secular streak in the Palestinian movement (the hamas-fatah split) which includes many Arab christians (who are a minority under attack, as we all know).

  • TheSadducee says:

    Larry

    The reality is that the Geneva Accord is a non-governmental initiative – it has no obligation on either government, nor has either government seriously engaged with it or adopted it. 

    A couple of MK’s and former Palestinian parliamentarians does not a viable solution concerning refugees make. 

    The reality is that no Palestinian leadership will make a peace treaty which sells out the refugees in Lebanon etc because they would not survive the conflict which would arise with those factions.

    As to Islam – Jews have almost always had dhimmi status in Islamic lands.  Considering that the overwhelming majority of the region’s states are undemocratic and don’t respect human rights, equality etc and have legislation in accordance with Islamic values, what hope in the world do you have that minority rights will be respected concerning Jews?  Check out Iran for a case in point.  You can’t even live tolerably as a Christian in the region without mild or outright persecution nowadays eg. Egypt, Iraq come to mind).

    As to the secularists in Palestine – much like the Islamic revolution in Iran they will be eliminated when the religious people get control of the armed forces, judiciary, etc.  What happened to the communists, trade unionists, feminism, intellectualism etc after Khomeini secured power? 

    Even the best case scenario – where the religious people can’t decisively wipe you out eg. in Lebanon, they can still refuse to disarm eg. Hezbollah and damage the state and all the secularists through policies which achieve nothing positive (eg. 2006 conflict).

  • ariel says:

    To even title a presentation “Are Israeli policies entrenching antisemitism worldwide?” is problematic.
    “Israel” – assuming this means “Israeli government policy” – is no more responsible for anti-Semitism than – lehavdil - Robert Mugabe’s policies are responsible for people hating blacks.
    Haters will hate and will always find an excuse to do so.

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