24 February '10
I’m still thinking about the phenomenon of left-wing anti-Zionist Jews.
Let’s skip the doctrinaire Marxists stuck in their closed system like Noam Chomsky, the opportunists like Jeremy Ben-Ami, the mentally unbalanced like Norman Finklestein and those obsessed by hatred like Philip Weiss (note that some of the above fall into more than one category).
Let’s talk about the non-pathological ones who have nevertheless come to think that the existence of a Jewish state is fundamentally unjust. Sometimes they even say that Jewish ethics precludes Zionism.
A good example is Rabbi Brant Rosen. A reconstructionist rabbi, he calls himself a member of the “co-existence community.” This sounds like a good thing; Jews and Arabs should co-exist. But Rosen’s approach turns out to be one-sided.
He stopped celebrating Yom ha’Atzmaut last year because, in his words,
As a Jew, as someone who has identified with Israel for his entire life, it is profoundly painful to me to admit the honest truth of this day: that Israel’s founding is inextricably bound up with its dispossession of the indigenous inhabitants of the land. In the end, Yom Ha’atzmaut and what the Palestinian people refer to as the Nakba are two inseparable sides of the same coin. And I simply cannot separate these two realities any more.
Obviously there are some serious historical issues buried here. ‘Indigenous’ carries a lot of freight. Were Arabs who came to Ottoman Palestine in the 1830’s from Egypt with Muhammed Ali so much more ‘indigenous’ than the Zionists of the 1890’s? What about Arabs who arrived after the turn of the 20th century to take advantage of economic development fertilized by Jews? What about the Jews who had been in ‘Palestine’ since the exit of the crusaders?
(Read full article)