Let's Just Hash Zionism Out, Shall We?
by Reaper0Bot0, Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 04:31:48 PM EDT
Hello all! It seems we've got one hell of a lot of angst on this whole Israel/Palestine issue. We've really just had five or six people rehash the same arguments of late. Not all of those arguments are bad, but we aren't really gaining any ground here. Maybe I can stir things up a tad. I'm going to present my own take on this, and maybe I'll be lucky enough to offend all sides. No, I ain't gonna troll. I think there's enough blame to go around.
First, I'd like to establish that I am an ardent supporter of Israel's right to exist. Second, I am at least as ardent a supporter of Palestinian popular sovereignty. If the Palestinians want their own state(s), then I support that. If they want full citizenship in Israel, I fully support that. It isn't up to me what works best for them, and all too often we outsiders forget that.
Okay, am I a Zionist? This is a tricky question. If you'd asked me that prior to the creation of the modern state of Israel I would have said "no." If you ask me if I think it was a mistake to found Israel where, when, and how it was founded, I would probably tell you that "yes, I think it was." If the question today is whether or not Israel should be secure, I have to say "absolutely yes it must be so." No people should live in the reasonable fear that their society will be torn asunder.
But am I a Zionist? I don't think so. While a part of me thrills at the idea of a place where I could be a Jew among Jews, the rest of me realizes that however wonderful that ideal might be at first blush, the reality of Israel is far more complicated. I cannot endorse, nor can I condone, what was done to the Palestinians to create Israel. Nor can I accept what is done to them now. This is evil. What my fellow Jews do to the Palestinians is evil in my eyes. No one will ever disabuse me of this notion. However, the IDF hardly has a monopoly on evil over there.
I want the Israelis to have a secure home because it's 2009 and we are where we are. The horror inflicted on my fellow Jews by the Nazis was not righted by committing yet another horror on the Palestinians. The horror inflicted on the Palestinians can never be righted by inflicted another horror on the Israelis. We are where we are, however we came here.
Supporting a free and secure state of Israel by no means requires me to endorse or condone any damned thing the IDF does. I assure you that I am a harsh and loud critic of the IDF's excesses, which are too numerable to list hereabouts. Frankly, I cannot see how Israel long survives without an equitable solution to the Palestinian situation. Justice cannot be borne of rank injustice. If the Israelis want a calm and peaceful present the Palestinians must have the same. I do not accept a happy Israel if it comes at the cost of a hellish Palestine. I reject that wholly.
However, anyone who thinks that what Hamas does is acceptable have lost their fucking minds. Shooting at the IDF is an acceptable form of resistance against an occupying power. Lobbing crude missiles in the general direction of Israel is NOT! It is barbarity and incredibly brutish. More broadly, it is simply nightmarish that some folks would strap on a bomb-overcoat and take out a disco or pizza joint. This is not legitimate resistance. This is not moral. This is not right. This is evil. It is an evil borne of desperation, true, but it is no less evil for it.
It also won't work.
I'm Jewish, yes, but I'm also secular. I'm American. I'm a liberal. I believe in freedom. I crave equality for all under the law. My Jewishness does not blind me to the hell my people have done to the Palestinians. My compassion for the Palestinians does not blind me to the evil of Hamas nor the corruption of Fatah. My humanity demands me to seek an equitable solution for both of these peoples. Absent that we will see ever more bloodshed and strife until one group uproots or buries the other.
It is not anti-Semitism to say that Israel has committed immoral acts. It is not Zionism to support the security of the state of Israel. Yes, both of those things may be true from time to time, but they are not automatic. I see two camps so mired in their own bullshit they fail to note that the truth is somewhere in between. Yes, the Israelis are absolutely better equipped for war, but the Palestinians are willing to take things even further than the Israelis. Seeing this tears me apart.
People like Canadian Gal are neither evil nor blind for the positions they take. One can love Israel whilst wishing to see it better and gentler than it is, much as one can love a brother or sister who has committed a crime. People like MainStreet are neither evil nor blind for the positions they take. One can see the injustice done to the Palestinians without wishing to visit the same on the Israelis.
We have got to stop tearing one another apart over this thing. There is no guiltless party. There is no sustainable or equitable solution at the expense of only one of these parties. Both must suffer. Both will gain. As for us lowly bloggers? We need to stop treating one another as the enemy here. We mostly want the same thing in the end. We'd do well to remember that.
We'd also do well to remember that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are going to pack up and leave.