Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Zionism Does Not Excuse Gaza

There are some self-identified Liberals (and New Democrats) who proclaim their support for Israel in its current butchery in Gaza and they tend to do it in the name of Zionism.

Zionism comes in many shapes and flavours, so many that its meaning is often unintelligible.

The New York Times' Roger Cohen is a proud Zionist but he sees the Gaza tragedy a little more clearly than some of our Liberal friends:

I am a Zionist because the story of my forebears convinces me that Jews needed the homeland voted into existence by United Nations Resolution 181 of 1947, calling for the establishment of two states — one Jewish, one Arab — in Mandate Palestine. I am a Zionist who believes in the words of Israel’s founding charter of 1948 declaring that the nascent state would be based “on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel.”

What I cannot accept, however, is the perversion of Zionism that has seen the inexorable growth of a Messianic Israeli nationalism claiming all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River; that has, for almost a half-century now, produced the systematic oppression of another people in the West Bank; that has led to the steady expansion of Israeli settlements on the very West Bank land of any Palestinian state; that isolates moderate Palestinians like Salam Fayyad in the name of divide-and-rule; that pursues policies that will make it impossible to remain a Jewish and democratic state; that seeks tactical advantage rather than the strategic breakthrough of a two-state peace; that blockades Gaza with 1.8 million people locked in its prison and is then surprised by the periodic eruptions of the inmates; and that responds disproportionately to attack in a way that kills hundreds of children.

The Israeli case for the bombardment of Gaza could be foolproof. If Benjamin Netanyahu had made a good-faith effort to find common cause with Palestinian moderates for peace and been rebuffed, it would be. He has not. Hamas is vile. I would happily see it destroyed. But Hamas is also the product of a situation that Israel has reinforced rather than sought to resolve.

This corrosive Israeli exercise in the control of another people, breeding the contempt of the powerful for the oppressed, is a betrayal of the Zionism in which I still believe.

MoS, the Disaffected Lib


  1. .. in the absence of intelligence, compassion, common sense or rational leadership from the political animals we have somehow elected to 'lead' us.. I suggest we request - opinion from toddlers, pre-schoolers and primary school Canadian students..

    Present extremely brief objective factual information regarding the conflict & basic Gaza Israel history.. leave the 'bible' out of it.. note the children's observation.. and move forward accordingly.

    I fail to see how the children could provide less leadership, intelligence, curiosity, observation, intuition or honesty than we are fed by our stuffed shirt lemmings & puppets in Parliament

    I am interested in the views of Canadians.. & our children exemplify this.
    Our current political crop of liars, losers, posers & pimps do not

  2. Guess they will be labeling Cohen a self hating Jew?

    Here is another article that describes what is happening and puts it in some historical context as well:

    As Margolis (above) writes: "What could be more pitiful than two of the world’s most supposedly powerful men imploring Israel to stop killing Palestinians with US-supplied weapons like F-16 warplanes and heavy 155mm self-propelled guns – which violates US Arms Export Act, though no one in Washington dares to admit this? Or resuming military payoffs to Egypt’s brutish military dictatorship to keep Palestinians locked up in the Gaza Ghetto?"

    Also this: "There is growing anger around the globe over Israel’s savaging of Palestinians, but Americans don’t see this. As the Arab death toll rises to over 1,000, the world is calling for an imposed cease fire and an end to Israel’s and Egypt’s cruel siege of Gaza. America is getting blamed for the horrors of Gaza."

    Guess we can say that Canada will be blamed too for supporting the slaughter of babies and children, but Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair seem not to have noticed too.

    Are we sure we want either Trudeau or Mulcair to replace Harper?

  3. Sal, if it wasn't for the Bible, we would never have had any of this Zionist nonsense, this idea of a new Israel stretching from the Med to the Jordan river or any of these related fantasies. This is Judeo-Christian swamp gas.

    @ Anon, thanks for the link. Margolis nails it. Isn't it pathetic that we have one prime minister and two opposition leaders and they're all neoliberal? Personally, I'll have no truck with any of them.