Micah Leshem, Department of Psychology, University of Haifa -
From: Micah Leshem <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: [Segel-plus] Israel's right to be racist
Sent: 22 March 2007 19:08:14
Well I take issue with the erstwhile correspondents. Zionism is the only ideology spawned in the heyday of European imperialism 3 centuries back that has remained immutable. And this despite the momentous changes that have occurred in Western thinking in the past 120 years, and in the face of the momentous events that have impacted us Jews - the early C19 pogroms and mass Westward emigration, the HOLOCAUST, the establishment of the Jewish State with a war every decade of its existence, excepting the one decade wherein we engaged in genuine peace efforts. Such is the mother of all Dogmas. And as such, it interprets every event as reinforcing its worldview.
Anyone attempting to rethink Zionism is castigated and pilloried by its adherents, which are most of Israel's Jewish sector, and our instruments of governance and media. Nevertheless, minimum serious consideration reveals it a folklore ideology fit for the kindergarten where we are first fed its tenets, and the grave, to which most of us carry it unchanged, unchallenged, incontrovertible.
The actual concept of a state with a single monolithic ideology to which all its citizens are required to be loyal is extraordinary. Very few such states remain, Israel, Iran and North Korea. The Democratic credentials of all three are looked at askance by the vast majority of people outside those countries, but sincerely, enthusiastically, and with profound conviction believed in by the majority citizenry inside them,
As to the essence of the debate, I would be grateful if any of you dogmatic Zionists can please explain how a State can constitutionally discriminate in favour of one ethnic group, whilst not discriminating against another, which is what Masad argues using impolite terms. We note that apart from Yuval, none of the correspondents have addressed that, preferring not to apologise (concur?) or discuss, or they argue by example that such outrage is perfectly acceptable.
You are like the parents of Petah Tikva – all strongly supported the ingathering of the Jews to our country, and in the same interview
explained they did not want Ethiopian Jews in their children's schools, or in their neighborhoods. Oh - also, they insisted they were not racist. That is true-blooded street-level Zionism, robust in both rationale and denial. In our National Narrative it excuses our eviction of the natives, our army's rampage in the occupied territories, and it is epitomized by the Settlers and their war-cries – "We are the true Zionists!" and "We are all settlers!". Indeed, amen, there is no denying that, despite the occasional feeble protestations that perhaps that is taking it a bit too far….from where?
That is the legacy, the inherent contradiction, and the logical outcome of Zionism preaching a Jewish state. It was probably a wrenching requirement in the darkest period of our history, buttressed by the mores and rulers of the time, but why, today, we cannot be a Democratic State where the (majority) Jews can have whatever ethnic-religious-community services we require without incessantly oppressing and dispossessing other humans is beyond me. Do we really need Jewish-only soldiers. Jewish-only policemen, Jewish only politicians, Jewish-only electricity workers, Jewish-only lecturers, Jewish-only students, Jewish-preferring laws, Jewish only land rights, and in addition, command unwavering allegiance to the one, state sanctioned, all-pervading ideology – in order for us to live in a country where our children can be decently educated, which is clean and green, where health and social services are equitable and effective, where our future is considered, planned, and invested, where our culture can once more be respected, and which can join the community of nations on an equal footing?
The evidence speaks quite emphatically to the contrary.