The Great Hypocrisy

(This is the third article of the On Zionism series.)

It seems to me that there is a great partisan divide, and those perpetuating it on both sides are using Israelis and Palestinians as surrogates for their own political agendas (see Stop the Demonising and Idiot Compassion). A standard line to pursue at this point (the lefty narrative) would be to take up Jimmy Carter’s point about the brutal treatment of the Gazans, but, if the reader has been following me, that is an argument best left for the likes of Jimmy Carter: much better for me to expose the great Euro-leftie hypocrisy, the great abuse of the Palestinian cause for quite unrelated agendas.

The point can be stated concisely. The Israelis are really doing nothing that other European nation states have been doing for centuries and are doing today on a quite spectacular scale with their American successors (see The Significance of the Iraqi Death Toll). I think it is this giant, monstrous, absurd hypocrisy the principally drives many Zionists nuts, and it is only recently that I began to properly appreciate this. The whole of the modern industrial world order that sustains the middle classes, and keeps the lefties in their muesli, sandals and Guardians, is entirely constructed on the idea of the nation state and its divine right to mete out quite staggering violence in pursuit of the trade, access to resources and dissipation of threats to its interests. It has been my experience (and I have been doing a fair amount of detailed if quite unsystematic sampling) that those that wax endlessly indignant about the evil of the war-mongers, arms manufacturers, Zionists, and so on, are not in the slightest bit interested in examining in any sustained manner any idea that will place themselves inside the circle of responsibility for the unprecedented power, greed, violence and self-righteousness that makes up the modern industrial nation state, and how the current order in the Middle East plays an integral part in it. Indeed to pursue such enquiries is an excellent way to attract a fair amount of hostility towards oneself or to be simply ignored.

Next: Barack Obama, Israel, Iran and Hamas

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6 responses to “The Great Hypocrisy

  1. I have been here (via CiF) several times today and am still pondering. Whilst it is obviously true that some posters have a very black and white approach, often use polarising – and sometimes extremes of, language , I am not certain all absolve themselves from any responsibility. To admit ones own humanity is to accept responsiblity. Some posters obviously offend simply to draw a response – that’s more to do with their own attention seeking needs than anything else. Other posters feel compelled to defend their corner, often beneath the apparent arrogance there is evidence of a reasonable being beneath the rhetoric. I support you as you try to put this long standing conflict into a broader context. A new approach is certainly need if a resolution is to be found.
    Leni

  2. Indeed the aim is to try and get people to see the way that we are replicating in the threads the conflict itself. And most of it is being carried out by people who are neither Palestinians nor Israelis. In any case the debates are clearly not the conflict itself, even if there is some overlap in the participants.

    For sure we are seeing patterns that turn up in discussions on other topics so there are causal factors that are quite independent of the I-P conflict.

    But in my understanding all such conflict has its roots in greed, hatred and especially confusion, a misapprehension of reality. That is a Buddhist analysis, but the general point is that all conflict springs from our imperfect nature (dramatised in Genesis, yes).

    This confusion causes us to exaggerate distinctions, seeing them as black and white and leads to anger and of course angry rhetoric.

    The other thing to do is to see everything as gray , lose sight of all distinctions and fall into a nihilistic relativism. This is I think the essence of Mu’s objection, though I think he is taking liberties and reading things into what I am saying.

    I still maintain that people must tailor their critiques to their context–I can’t express my critiques in the same way as Seth can, for example. Outsiders would be able to criticise Israelis far more effectively if they showed much more empathy for their situation. If they really cared for the Palestinians they would be much more careful of the way they made their criticisms.

    Imagine an unstable individual with a violent history had gotten hold of your infant. Would you start yelling at him and castigating him for all his previous crimes? Of course not. You would set aside all that self-righteous nonsense and do whatever is necessary to get him out of harm’s way.

    Now supposing in the middle of this someone comes along and starts insulting the person holding your baby, claiming they have the baby’s interests at heart. What would you feel about that individual? would you think they have the baby’s best interests in mind? Of course not–they have their own agenda.

    This is the essence of my argument. (Which has been exaggerated in certain points to illustrate just the point I am making–of course Palestinian guerrillas aren’t babies, etc.) My aim is to get people to think about it and have a productive debate, so I am really happy to see it being kicked around. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Paul Titterton

    ## If they really cared for the Palestinians they would be much more careful of the way they made their criticisms.##

    I am so conditioned to think of Jews as victims and Israel some sort of sanctuary that I am still surprised when I see the casual racism and think it must be an aberation.

    What the f*** do they think these poor people should do ? Just accept the situation with gentle good grace?

    Paul

  4. Chris & Paul

    If you are following Seth’s thread you will have read Axlesocks Sufi quote. God made us to solves the problems in the world. This is a simple solution! We are respnsble. However, the deree to which control is held int he hands of a few – the so called leaders – most of us helpless. A more humae interpretation of the ongoing CiF war is that it, in part, reflects the frustration and helplessness experienced by the majority. Look at Burma for example. Thosewho claim to act on our behalf , by failing to respond more actively, are in fact failing their humaity and by proxy that of the rest of us.

    The IP conflict continues for many reasons, at a simplistic (but valid) level we could say that that the Jews are afraid – therefore they fight very hard. They see themselves as protecting their future. The Palestininians want a future.

    Will write more later L.

  5. Thanks Lenny. There is enormous wisdom in the Sufi quote–I like it very much. I know what you mean about feeling let down, but there are some very good people too. I like what Barack Obama is doing, and I think very highly of Robert Gates–just look at the difference with Rumsfeld–it is like night and day.

    Likewise we are all struggling to make sense on Cif. Like Jimmy Carter I am personally horrified with the treatment of the Gazans especially–but the responsibility for that is far and wide, including especially the US and the allies of the US that appease its bankrupt and lethal ME policy as well as contributing their own (Blair-UK and Sarko-France, especially).

    The only way to make the Cif threads productive is if the contributions they are motivated more by compassion and justice, and if people spend some time listening to that the others are saying. So though my past is very much in seeing things from the Palestinian POV I have tried to write (sincerely) with an understanding of the pro-Israeli perspective, and I think there is great validity in some of the things they are saying and much can be learned by listening to it.

    I really like your last paragraph. That is the essence of the situation for me. Thanks.

  6. Sorry Paul, I have neglected to answer your point. Remember I am saying nothing at all about the Palestinians. My points entirely directed at Europeans taking the side of the Palestinians.

    I am a big admirer of your posts by the way. It has never occurred to me that you have been motivated by anything other than truth and justice. That is the truth.

    I am really speaking in a general way, and it is up to each of us to judge how a particular argument is applicable to ourselves. So I really can’t say how it applies to anyone other than myself.

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