Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The World and Israel - J Goldberg For the Record


...the world has it out for Israel. Israel is held to a completely separate standard than any country including the United States. Europe, and this shouldn’t be surprising, Europe is a place that is hostile to the idea of Jewish nationalism. The Arab world is moving toward more extreme forms of anti-Semitism, not toward reconciliation. So, it is true that Israel is singled out for special scorn, it is true that the world has a pornographic interest in Israeli failings, real or imagined...
Jeffrey Goldberg

Now, that makes sense but this, I fear, is a Goldberg double-standard ploy:

My definition, and the definition of the original Zionists, I think, is that Zionism is a liberation movement of a people. But there is a minority, but very powerful faction within Israel and the Jewish people, who argues that Zionism is about the redemption of a specific piece of land, and that side, though I think it’s the minority, seems to be driving Israeli policy...I think that there are some people, a minority, who believe at this point, that God is telling them it is more important to have Jewish land than to have a Jewish state.

All Zionists believed that in renewing Jewish presence on the land, in Hebrew, kibbush, or conquering. whether in the sense of purchasing land, tilling it, moving Jews into economic positions or labor employment roles not usually Jewish - farming, watchmen, security, etc., - was what liberation was all about as well as viewing the land as sacred, either in a religious sense or secular but nevertheless, as a primary value to be achieved.

The hiking throughout the Land of Israel, disregarding temporary boundaries, during the Mandate period is one indication.  Adapting the first fruits ceremony on the kibbutzim was another.

And if these forces were truly in the minority, well, Goldberg perhaps doesn't grasp the real thrust of Zionism not to mention that he never seems to downgrade "Palestinianism" which exploits religion.

And so, he devolves down to this:

We’re very good at survival. We’re not—history shows—we’re not so excellent at statehood. Survival has occurred mainly in the Diaspora. We are mainly a Diaspora people. We’re not really good at this. That’s just the record. On the other hand, we just tend to survive.


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