Category Archives: On Zionism

On Zionism (Contents)

In this article I explain why those that really want to help the Palestinians should become Zionists and those that really want to help Israel should support Barack Obama’s policy of engaging Iran.

  1. Zionism: The Great Divide
  2. How I Became a Zionist
  3. The Great Hypocrisy
  4. Barack Obama, Israel, Iran and Hamas

Barack Obama, Israel, Iran and Hamas

(This is the fourth and final article of the On Zionism series.)

In a recent article, Obama. What’s Complicated Here?, Gershom Gorenberg at South Jerusalem explains why he thinks Barack Obama should get the support of all right-thinking Israelis (left-thinking Israelis in Gorenberg’s case):

The one candidate who speaks in clear terms of taking a new approach to the Mideast is Obama. This is what scares the small coterie of American Jewish rightists who would eagerly fight to the last Israeli. If you care about Israel, you should hit “delete” when you get their emails.

Obama is the one candidate who had the sense to oppose the war in Iraq. He’s the one candidate whose statement on Israel expresses support for a two-state solution, which is the country’s path to peaceful future and is today the consensus position in Israel. He’s the one proposing a clear break from the disastrous Bush policies, and a turn to trying diplomacy.

Matt Yglesias at The Atlantic does find a complication though.

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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.

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How I Became a Zionist

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

True to my Euro-leftie roots, especially someone whose political consciousness was formed after the Camp David Accords (i.e., after all serious existential threats to Israel had been extinguished), watching the 1982 Lebanon war and the Sabra and Chatilla massacres I grew up with no empathy or real understanding of the Israeli perspective, an attitude that was cemented by a hapless visiting Israeli’s attempt justify to our sixth form the 1982 invasion of Lebanon immediately after the camp massacres.

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Zionism: The Great Divide

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

It is interesting listening to Jeffery Goldberg being interviewed by Jennie Rothenberg Gritz at the Atlantic. (Some speech I find quite mesmerising, including Rothenberg Gritz’s; always a bit of an Americanophile it seems to be coming to the fore with the election season.) Here Jeffery Goldberg is in fine, thoughtful form, reflecting on the various currents of the often highly contradictory ideals that flowed into the formation of Israel. And what a contrast they make to his reactionary screeds against Jimmy Carter.

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