Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Recognising Israel's Jewish character

After a point the whining becomes unbearable and my attention today turned to an article, by Israel's London ambassador Ron Prosser, in the 'Guardian' on the occassion of Israel celebrating its 62nd anniversary as "the reborn sovereign state of the Jewish people." His main complaint would appear to be that the refusal of the Muslim world to recognise Israel's Jewish character is the greatest obstacle to peace.

On a purely intellectual level his  reference to Theodor Herzl's conclusion that "Jews could only achieve freedom, dignity and human rights with a state of their own," might be put into the perspective of the world in which Herzl lived in 19th century Vienna and when we do this, we can discover that Zionism indeed had its roots in that European nationalism and romanticism, which was to have its most horrible expression in the excesses of Nazism and, indeed, in the mass murder of European Jewry. Moreover, in recognising this we might revisit Norman Finkelstein's assertion that  "..... the Zionist case for a Jewish state is as valid or invalid as the anti-Semitic case for an ethnic state that marginalizes Jews."

However, even putting this intellectual consideration aside, there is something else that we have to consider and it is most certainly not Mr Posser's ridiculous contention that "Jews have been indigenous to Israel for 3,000 years." Quite simply, the state of Israel is based not only on an "intellectual"  pretext that is anathema to any progressive thinking, it is also built on someone else's land. Therefore, Mr Posser might don his Zionist straightjacket and feel free to debate the right of a group to ethnically cleanse another group and we will accord him the same "respect" as we would any right wing nutter. However, when he requires that the people who have been ethnically cleansed effectively legitimise the criminals who have chased them from their land, he is demonstrating a naivety or chutzpah, or both, of the sort that even most right wing nutters are incapable of.

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