Sunday, May 26, 2019

Confronting the myth of ‘white, colonial’ Israel - by Lyn Julius

Israel represents the return to self-determination of an indigenous Middle Eastern people after centuries of subjugation and colonization.

Lyn Julius..
23 May '19..

According to the late Israeli author Amos Oz, when his father was growing up in eastern Europe, the graffiti on the walls read “Jews go back to Palestine.” For centuries, Jews were considered swarthy aliens in Europe. This trend reached its tragic nadir with the mass Nazi extermination of the Jews as racial untermenschen.

Nowadays, the inverse message is in evidence—not so much on walls, but in the media, on campus and in the writings of academics and journalists obsessed with identity politics. Jews are portrayed as members of a privileged and powerful elite—white Westerners who came to colonize and steal land from the “native” Palestinian people. As a result, Jews are excluded from “intersectionality”—the idea that oppressed social groups, especially in the United States, stand up for each other.

This anti-Zionist, postcolonial trend in which Jews can never be victims has lately been insinuating itself into the ideology of the radical left of the U.S. Democratic Party. Positioning Israel as a white European colonialist aggressor delegitimizes Ashkenazi Jews as interlopers. This canard denies the Levantine origin, genes, culture, religion and language of Jews from Europe and the Americas.

The sin is compounded by the erasure from the narrative of Mizrahi Jews (Jews from Arab and Muslim countries), who now form the majority of Israeli Jews. These Jews are from now-extinct communities founded long before the Arab Muslim imperialist conquest subjugated indigenous peoples to Arabization and Islam. In the 20th century, a million Mizrahi Jews were dispossessed and forced to flee as refugees.

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