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When writing his best known work Der Judenstaat (‘The Jews’ State’, 1896), Theodor Herzl drew much comfort and inspiration from the music of Richard Wagner. He writes,

Heine tells us that he heard the flapping of an angel’s wings above his head when he wrote certain verses. I, too, believe that I heard such a fluttering of wings while I wrote that book. I worked on it every day to the point of utter exhaustion. My only recreation was listening to Wagner’s music in the evening, particularly to Tannhäuser, an opera which I attended as often as it was produced. Only on the evenings when there was no opera did I have any doubts as to the truth of my ideas.
(Cited in Piterberg, 2008, p.31)

The fact that the founder of modern Zionism and the Grandfather of the State of Israel was so inspired by the music of Wagner, should not be particularly surprising.

Herzl was, after all, a great admirer of German culture, to the point where he wrote in his diary in 1895, “[i]n fact, had I wanted to be someone else, I would have chosen to be a Prussian aristocrat from the old nobility.” (cited in Piterberg, 2008, p.31). It is also not strange that the most prominent advocate of Jewish national liberation should be so moved by the music of an anti-Semite. It is possible to admire the art while rejecting the artist. I bring it up because it is a curious historical irony that on the surface is perfectly innocent and only of interest to the biographer studing Herzl’s musical preferences, but when considered in the context of fin de siécle central and eastern European politics becomes more serious. It is a coincidence of taste and politics that is informative for studying the roots of Zionism and its subsequent development.

Herzl was compelled to write Der Judenstaat after witnessing the wave of anti-Semitism in France that was sparked off by the Dreyfus Affair, and the corresponding rise in French nationalism. One of the most salient issues throughout the nineteenth century was the ‘Jewish Question’, and it was the sight of a so-called “civilised” nation like France displaying its most chauvinistic qualities by turning on one of its minorities, that led to Herzl proposing his own solution to this ‘Question’: Zionism. Herzl surmised that assimilation had failed the Jewish people. Gentile anti-Semitism had proved too ingrained within European culture, and so Jews should reject Europe entirely, creating a home for themselves elsewhere.

Within the traditional Zionist narrative this moment has a Biblical quality. It is analogous to the Exodus story, with Herzl playing the role of Moses, leading his people out of bondage to national liberation. This version of the story of Zionism emphasises the notion of a sharp break from Europe. The idea of liberation is based on the idea of a ‘fresh start’, a movement unencumbered by the prejudices of the old world. But the reality is that Zionism was very much a product of Europe. Far from being a rejection of the ideas that fed into European anti-Semitism, Zionism drew on some of the same chauvenistic notions.

The end of the nineteenth century was a historical moment characterised by imperialism and ethnocentric nationalism, and it was against this back-drop (along with the sounds of Wagner) that Herzl wrote Der Judenstaat. Carl Schorske places Herzl’s Zionism within the context of what he describes as “Politics in a New Key” (cited in Piterberg, 2008, p.30). This was a new type of politics that was predominantly characterised by an anti-rationalist and anti-liberal approach. It was an attempt to mobilise the masses in the name of ethnicity and a chauvanistic nationalism that was premised on exclusion and the (re)creation of a distant past. As Schorske writes,

In his appeal to the masses, Herzl combined archaic and futuristic elements in the same way as Schönerer and Lueger before him. All three leaders espoused the cause of social justice and made it the center of their critique of liberalism’s failures. All three linked this modern aspiration to an archaic communitarian tradition: Schönerer to the Germanic tribes, Lueger to the medieval Catholic social order, Herzl to the pre-diaspora Kingdom of Israel. All three connected ‘forward’ and ‘backward’, memory and hope…and thus outflanked the unsatisfying present for followers who were victims of industrial capitalism before being integrated into it: artisans and greengrocers, hucksters and ghetto-dwellers.
(Cited in Piterberg, 2008, p.31)

It was within this context that modern Zionism was produced. It was formulated as a reaction against liberalism and cosmopolitanism, and was based on an ethnocentric world view that presupposes essential differences between its adherents and those who fall outside of the “communtiy”. This does not mean that Zionists are necessarily chauvinistic in they’re outlook. Zionism, like all nationalisms, is a complicated phenomenon combining many different strands. It is perfectly conceivable to be a liberal nationalist.

But an understanding of Zionism’s darker side is absolutely necessary when trying to understand how openly rascist politicians such as Avigdor Lieberman can enjoy such popularity within Israel today. Lieberman openly advocates the “transfer” (euphemism for ethnic cleansing) of Israel’s substantial Arab population to the surrounding Arab states. His politics can be seen as sharing a lot in common with the communtarian, Wagnerian mindset that characterised late nineteenth century political discourse, and it is unfortunately this version of Zionism that is gaining ground today.

If anyone is interested in reading more about this topic then see Gabriel Piterberg’s The Returns of Zionism: Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel (2008) and Zeev Sternhell’s The Founding Myths of Israel (1998).

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16 thoughts on “Exposing Zionism’s Hidden Roots

  1. Although an excellent post, it is worth pointing out that when you write:

    “It was within this context that modern Zionism was produced”

    this was only one conceptualisation of modern Zionism. Ben-Gurion had origins in the Labor Zionist movement which, to this day, in certain sectors, eschews politico-religious rooted terminology; hence the debate over Holocaust/Shoah/Churben. As Ben-Gurion was so central to the actual implementation of Zionism, as opposed to its purely theoretical construct, I thought this was worth flagging up.

    However, your conclusion is still entirely valid; this mindset has been lurking behind liberal Zionism and has only been made truly explicit on the world stage owing to recent events.

    • Thanks for your post Martin.

      You are right that Labour Zionism played a significant role in the Zionist movement. In fact they dominated it in the pre-state yishuv and in Israel. But there was a constant struggle between the universalism of socialism and the ethnocentric nature of nationalism, and it seems (at least from what ive read so far) that it was the latter mindset that was dominant from the beginning. The notion of the “conquest of labour” (of building an exclusively Jewish economy, as a prerequisite for the formation of a nation-state) was foremost in the mind of Ben-Gurion. As he said in 1935, “Without Hebrew labor there is no way to absorb the Jewish masses. Without Hebrew labor, there will be no Jewish economy; without Hebrew labor, there will be no homeland. And anyone who does anything counter to the principle of Hebrew labor harms the most precious asset we have for fulfilling Zionism.” (cited in Segev’s “One Palestine, Complete”, 2001, p.288). This could just be seen as a pragmatic approach to nation- building in the face of the conflict with the indigenous Arab population, but it seems to be more consistent with the stated aims of Zionism (creating a Jewish state) than socialist universalism.

      • Hi Bill,

        Thanks for the follow-up; it’s all interesting stuff.

        I don’t really have much more to say other than to agree that the very term Labour Zionism poses an interesting tension between the universal and the national, the pragmatic and the ideological.

        Thanks again,

        Martin

  2. God of the Bible is a Zionist. He said that He would gather the Jewish people from all the nations He had scattered them, and bring them back to the land he promised their forefathers as an everlasting homeland. This promised was fulfilled in 1948. What man think about this, does not have any impact on the character of God. He can be trusted. The Zionist movement is colorful. Few of them understand that God has gathered them home to prepare the World for the most awesome moment ever. The return of the Messiah! First, He will come in the clouds of Heaven, next He will make a touch down in Jerusalem. http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com

  3. I’m trying to think of something informed to say. Sadly I can’t. This is as about as far away from my areas of expertise as I can possibly imagine.
    Better to be quiet then, and be thought stupid. I wish not to say any more and catergorically prove the case.
    Oh, and Bill, well done.

  4. Ok, so the whole “he liked Wagner thing” is just some silly amateur “curious historical irony” ad hominem masquerading for rational, reasoned thought.

    I really liked Braveheart and Lethal Weapon. That clearly would taint any political movement I start with racist supremacist subcurrents, right? You don’t think that’s … kind of dumb?

    As for substance, at the time, nationalism was all the rage and European liberal nationalism was supposed to allow for a nationalism that put aside ethnicity and allowed all citizens to participate and be valued as members of the state. But Herzel saw a Europe whose liberal nationalism had clearly not done much to reduce ethnic hatred against Jews – even very assimilated Jews (which was the case with Dreyfuss, and incidentally was also the case in pre-WWII Germany).

    So the fact that Herzel concluded that the Jews would not be able to have a genuine go at it in Europe (which it turned out was rather prophetic, you must admit), acused and persecuted for remaining “separate” while simultaneuously being acused and persecuted for assimilating and “hiding” as regular citizens, is not particularly sinister or racist and did not have any component of ethnic superiority. Herzel’s conclusion was that to build a modern liberal state (with all that entails) where Jews could be at home and free from persecution (which clearly was not – and was not to be – the case in Europe) would require that the Jews actually control that state. And that is what zionism is all about.

    Just because you don’t build battered women’s shelters in the homes of abusive men doesn’t mean that the battered women are elitist separatist supremacists.

    Zionism was NOT developed “as a reaction against liberalism and cosmopolitanism”. Rather, it was developed as a reaction to the rather obvious fact that the liberalism and cosmopolitanism of European nations DID NOT extend to Jews, who continued to be discriminated against and persecuted in these liberal cosmopolitain utopias. Similarly, Zionism was not based “on an ethnocentric world view that presupposes essential differences between its adherents and those who fall outside of the “communtiy”.” Rather, it was based on the observation that EUROPE would continue to view these things as being insurmountable barriers, and no matter how integrated, how propud they were of their nation, the Jews would STILL be persecuted and discriminated against and be the targets of ethnic hatred from liberal cosmopolitans.

    • Thanks for your response Canajew.

      With regard to your first point, you are right, just because you like Braveheart doesnt mean any political movement you join will be influenced by a rascist supremacist undercurrent. A point which I made very clear with the line, “It is possible to admire the art while rejecting the artist.” Herzl was clearly not a rascist, but his thought (as the article makes perfectly clear) was informed by the ethnocentric nationalism that was prevalent in Europe at the time. The point of flagging up his love of Wagner was just because the Wagnerian style of music was representative of the Romantic, anti-rational and ethnocentric style of politics common at the time.

      As to your second point, we seem to be in agreement. Herzl formulated Zionism as a reaction to European anti-Semitism, which, again, was a point i made very clear (see the second paragraph of the article). Its just he was informed by the ethnocentric politics of his age (his love of Wagner being a useful metaphor for illustrating this point). He chose the “If you cant beat them, then join them” approach, which was understandable at the time (and became even more understandable as the twentieth century saw the emergence of Nazism and the Holocaust) but is less understandable in todays world. Israel is at the moment hampered by the ethnocentric world view that is contained within Zionism (partly because of the on-going conflict with the Palestinians). On the Right the political classes in Israel talk openly about “transfer” and on the Left they talk (euphemistically) about the “demographic problem”. Both view points are ethnocentric and undemocratic. Israel is the most democratic country in the region, but it will only be a real democracy once its non-Jewish citizens are treated equally.

      • Hi Bill,

        Thaks for your response. I’m still not quite sure I follow you. So Israel made sense as a nation, and in actual fact is now a cosmopolitain country with Jews from Arab countries (from where they wereethynicly cleansed from communities thousands of years old), but is in the dock because you view the nationalism it was founded on as no longer entirely relevant?

        I frankly don’t see how that makes a lot of sense. There are dozens of countries that are in a similar situation, founded around the same time, which don’t seem to draw this attention (think India and Pakistan). As for “not relevant”, we have seen an explosion of small copuntries over the past two decades as ethnicities have hived off to form their own countries (think Eastern Europe, the Blakans, and many more).

        Beyond that, Israel of all of these nations is perhaps the ONLY ONE that actually does still fulfil its purpose – anti-semitism in Europe, the middle east and eslewhere is not really any better than it was in the early 1900s, and it doesn’t take much for it to rear its ugly head. Beyond that, Israel can now rightly be considered a state founded on European nationalism but inhabited by the victims of systemic efforts by Arab racist states (often imperial ones at that) to ethnicly cleanse their populations of Jews. So the fact that these Jewsw, who are now a majoritry or near majority of Jews in Israel, have formed their own collective to exercise self-defence and maintain their society from foreign aggression is not only not surprising but is the ESSENCE of what a state is all about. Seen in this light, Israel is certainly more relevant than, say, Canada, where it is really questionable whether the state could protect anyone from the kind of systemic continuous violence directed against the civilian population and their right to self-determination.

        This really ios a case where you seem to be putting a double standard on Israel that you don’t apply (and indeed, are right not to apply) to any other countries. No one questions India, Pakistan, Japan, Uzbekistan, the Czech Republic, Albania or any other country’s right to exist, regardless of whether they were founded on ethnic nationalism, and Israel, more than any of those countries, needs to exist for its civilization and society to continue without being destroyed by brutal violence by enemy states and peoples.

        As for the “extreme right ethnical nationalism” thing, I think it is potentially a problem (though not as you do). There is nothing wrong with favouring an origin in order to maintain the character of a state when selecting immigrants – Japan does it; Ireland does it; Greece does it; Quebec (Canada) does it. That Israel, the only state in the world where Jews can exercise the control necessary to direct the behaviour of a state and have it behave in accordance with its interests, wants to stay that way is hardly either surprising or particularly surprising. Especiallyu considering the fact that the other demographic population there is closely aligned with those who are most hostile to the Jews maintaining their independence as a people.

        I should also point out that this is NOTHING compared to the attitudes on the other side, where mainstream opinion does not tolerate Jews, does not tolerate compromise, and is not interested in anything other than the ethnic clensing of Israel of its Jewish population.

        For some reason, that really doesn’t seem to get much attention, and you don’t seem to have considered the origins of Palestinian (and indeed Arab) nationalism, the close alignment of these movements with Nazi Germany, the adopting of Nazi attitudes following the war, or the fact that the Palestinians, born really as an anti-people – a political group not designed to promote the rights of the group but to negate the rights of another group – and has never taken ANY steps to build their own state or promote their own well being where those steps would reduce their ability to destroy the political group they were created to destroy.

        Do that analysis and then you can do a comparison of who is the really ugly party in all this. Until then, Lieberman calling for citizens to swear a loyalty oath, while distasteful, is really nothing at all.

  5. Thanks for the response Canajew.

    There appear to be two main points in your last post: 1. The importance of ethnocentric politics and its relationship to democracy. 2. The nature of Palestinian nationalism. I will only deal with 1. here because I will be posting something about 2. at a later date (hopefully this week, time permitting).

    I think the best way for me to respond is to point out the fact that we have radically different points of departure. Im coming from a cosmopolitan, liberal democratic perspective and you appear to be coming from an ethnocentric perspective. I don’t believe ethnocentric politics can ever be compatible with modern liberal democracy (the latter stresses individualism over communitarianism, whereas the former stresses ethnically-based communitarianism over the individual).

    Our second significant difference stems from the first. You point out the fact that ethnocentrism is on the rise the world over and you are absolutely right about that. But you seem to view that as a positive step (unless its in the Arab world), whereas I view it as a dangerous and anachronistic development where ever it occurs. The reason im writing about Israel in this context is because its a country im interested in. Your accusation of double standards is ridiculous. If I was studying Uzbekistan then I would write the same thing about Uzbekistan.

    You write, “There is nothing wrong with favouring an origin in order to maintain the character of a state when selecting immigrants-“. There is everything wrong with this. It is a racist view point that isnt acceptable just because “Japan does it; Ireland does it; Greece does it; Quebec (Canada) does it.”

    Israel (and any other country that practices this kind of ethnocentric politics) must move beyond this and become a cosmopolitan, liberal democracy.

  6. Hi Bill,

    I think you mischaracterize on point 1. I am not specifically noting the importance of ethnocentric politics, I am recognizing the reality of the situation, and recognizing the relaity of it.
    Normative and positive are different things.

    Reality is as it exists, and policy decisions are optimized based on this reality. People are targeted all over the world for the group of people they belong to (or are told they belong to regardless of whether they self-identify). Banding together to repell threats or to promote their own culture (which buzz words (“ethnocentrism”) aside is frankly none of your or anybody else’s business to permit or morally condemn where there are no morally abhorent components to the culture (e.g., supression of and violence against women, which is institutionalised and routine in the communities aligned against Israel)) is not by any means immoral.

    And a state founded by an ethnoic group is not by any stretch of means necessarily icommunitarian, while one founded on allowing everyone in is not necessarily all about individualism. That doesn’t make any sense. States involve a combination of both, and communist states can allow anyone in based on their willingness to adhere to ideology., while states founded by a people can allow rigorous protection of individual rights, as well as supporting free media, diversity of opinion and freedom to act as one wishes within the confines of typical western law. Your dicotomy is false.

    And with a reality where Israel is full of people who have been thrown out of Arab lands because of their ethnicity, it seems rather odd to condemn them for wanting to preserve their ability to protect themselves, which would only remain possible if they retain control over their country rather than giving the keys to the armory to those who are very very ethnocentric and initiated the ethnic clensing in the first place.

    And I think “ethnocentrism”, though not a pretty word, is often the basis for successful democracy because it creates more group cohesion. Examples are very widespread, and there are numerous examples where multiculturalism can lead to significant problems, particularly where those coming in have illiberal mindsets. Not saying that csan’t be fixed, but again, just the reality.

    I think a lot depends on where you start. Being Canadian, we have quite a good track record, I think, and one to be proud of. Which is not the case in places where immigrants were not part of the millieu for a long time (e.g., Europe, Asia, the Middle East).

    And again, there is nothing wrong with it. You may want to pretend that there is only a single group called “humanity” and if the good ones were just good enough, selfless enough, the not so good ones would see the error of their ways and play nice.

    But with respect, that’s just a recipe for more dead Jews. And it is not racist to point this out, or to point out that homogeneity of populations can reduce friction, or to say that people of particular historical or ethnic or other commonalities have the collective right to self-determination without some libberal utopian demanding they forego this self determination in the name of liberalism.

    Israel is a cosmopolitan liberal democracy. Full of people from a wide varieyty of origins, countries, languages, customs and on and on and on. Just the majority are Jews, lots and lots of different kinds of Jews, and they want to keep it that way.

    And rather than paying attention to real injustice, real illiberalism, you focus on a liberal democracy and advocate that they allow for inclusion of the most illiberal in their body politics in such numbers that it would invariably lead to the destruction of any liberalism at all, lead to balkan style strife, and cause harm to all sides involved.

    It is, quite simply, the strange but often observed situation where a book-liberal promotes paper values that when detached from reality can construct a nice pcture, but when applied on reality as it exists, could only lead to the undoing of the liberal values they seek to protect and develop.

    The way to make Israel more liberal than it already is is to raise the comfort level of the population with that liberalism – let them know their nation will remain distinct even if they let the kids of english speakers go to english schools (Quebec dioes not unless parents went to english school there), or allow for open borders with neighbours that have deidacted the past 60 years to nothing but trying to destroy them and their civilization.

    And I really think you should get off the buzzwords. Throwing “ethnocentric” “racist” and other equivocations around does nothing to help understand things and just alows you to fall comfortably within the paradigms you have been taught to think within.

    We are not in the utopian melting pot as yet. Advocating policies that would necessarily destroy those who are the most liberal and the most likely to spread the values you support and give victory to those who have no intention of ever allowing your values to go forward is nothing short of lunacy.

    How many others are you willing to see die to further your principles? Because that is essentially what you are advocating with this. Hyperbole? Sure. But not by much.

  7. Hi Canajew,

    Thanks for your response, it has certainly given me a lot to think about (my dissertation is on democracy in Israel, so any feedback on my views regarding this subject is appreciated).

    You’re right; normative and positive are two different things but you do tend to conflate the two (although admittedly because prescription is based on description, the line between normative and positive is very fine) hence my confusion about where you stand.

    Your assertion that it is not immoral to band together to repel threats and promote a single culture (when there is nothing inherently immoral about the culture), is something that looks great on paper but is problematic in practice. In the case of Zionism, the “banding together” has meant the dispossession of the indigenous population. I support the existence of Israel (within the pre-67 borders) which means I have to reluctantly accept the initial ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians (an admission I realise doesn’t sit well with my liberalism). But the continuation of the exclusivist, colonial-settler mindset that characterised the yishuv into todays Israel is detrimental to its democratic development.

    Our main difference here appears to be the perception of threat. You see Islamic and Arab culture as inherently anti-Semitic, and by extension you view the Israeli Arab/Palestinian citizens of Israel as an anti-Semitic “5th column”. On this basis, you view discrimination against 20% of Israel’s population as a justifiable act of defence. This is a reductive and Manichaean world view (the kind of world view that led you to claim, bizzarly, that the levels of anti-Semitism in Europe aren’t much better than at the beginning of the 20th century).

    The Middle East is rife with anti-Semitism and the authoritarian regimes and Islamist organisations often use Jews as scapegoats (just as Europe used to). The sources of this anti-Semitism are varied though and are certainly not inherent within the culture (and yes, i am aware of the anti-Semitic passages in the Koran but like all holy books it is a product of its time and place and does not explain modern Middle Eastern anti-Semitism). A much more accurate explanation is that it stems from the combination of ethnocentric nationalism, religious chauvenism, Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians, and the tendency of Zionists to conflate being Jewish with being a Zionist. Jews have lived in Arab and Islamic countries for centuries. While everything was far from rosey, there was nothing that would suggest that Jews and Arabs were doomed to perpetual conflict.

  8. Sorry, posted before id finished.

    The point I am making is that the threat to Israeli Jews from Israel’s Arab/Palestinian population cant be used as a justification for the complete rejection of a more liberal democracy in Israel, because Israel can continue as a stable democracy (and in fact will be more secure) once Israel’s Arab population is treated the same way as its Jewish population. The ideal of Israel being a liberal democracy is not “a recipe for more dead Jews” as you seem to think, because Israeli Arabs arent intrinsically anti-Semitic in their outlook (a fact evidenced by the many Israeli polls that show that Israeli Arabs, while identifying themselves as Palestinians, prefer to be citizens of Israel despite being descriminated against).

  9. Hi Bill,

    Getting hard to respond to each other because there is a lot of content here.

    On the cultural thing, as a general matter, unless one advocates the suppression of distinct cultures and subsuming them into the post-modern collective (presumably with the cultre defined by the western liberal elite), then one cannot really have an issue with nation-states acting to protect their culture by favouring those most likely to fit in and further organic development of that culture. And that is why it is clearly not immoral for Greece to provide priority to immigrants of greek heritage.

    Regarding displacement of the indiginous population, certainly Israel involved the displacement of some, though the numbers were vastly over-stated because “indiginous” includes Arab economic migrants who moved to take advantage of british and zionist investment, while at the same time this only involved a displacement of part of a culture rather than the destruction of an actual political grouping (as noted, Palestinian is sort of an invented fiction, though certainly it exists as a polity today). However, zionism did not necessarily require this displacement and it only followed from attempts to snuff out the Jewish presence there.

    As for my views on land ownership and population control, I think the Palestinians have the right to self determination. I see no reason, however, why the pre 67 borders mean anything at all, and so long as the Palestinians can have a go at it on lands given to them, I don’t see any reason or justification for continued aggression in order to acquire an extra few percentages of territory. I also don’t see why the default position should be Palestinian control of Jerusalem, which is a far more inclusive place under Israeli control, and in any event was never contemplated to be given to the Palestinians.

    Further, while the Palestinians have the right to self-determination, at this point they need to demonstrate their willingness to peaceably accept it, because thus far they have proven to be FAR more interested in destroying Israel than in institution and nation building. Since every time Israel eases up the Palestinians use that space to try to murder Israeli civilians, and every time the Palestinians are offered a nation in exchange for dropping their efforts to destroy the Jewish state of Israel they refuse, Israel’s genuine security concerns demand the Palestinians prove their willingess to excercise sefl-determination rights in a peaceable way.

    And we have seen nothing of that thus far.

    As for discrimination against Israeli Arabs, I would respectfully suggest they are not only treated better than subjects of Arab regines everywhere else in the middle east (obviously) but are indeed treated better than Arab underclasses in many western countries (e.g., France), where the systematic discrimination gets only a tiny fraction of the scrutiny Israel does. Israel has moved a long way, the courts have recognized lots of minority rights, and Israel even has an affirmative action program for Arabs. Not to mention the Arabs vote, elect representatives, and have full religious rights as well as lots of other other basic rights (again routinely denied to them if they are in Arab countries instead of Israel).

    In addition, spending inequality (which is often pointed to as evidencde of inequality) actually disappears when comparing spending to tax contributions.

    On perpetual conflict, there is something about Islam’s bloody borders currently and throughout history which is getting very difficult to ignore, as PC as it is to continue to do so. Jews as second class citizens were welcome to continue living in a backwards, tribal culture (not nice or PC, I know, but no other way to describe it really), but as citizens of genuine inherent worth, they were not, as is the case with coptic cristians and other minorities that pre-date the Islamic imperialist conquorers. Demands for rights not afforded to dhimmi was necessarily to create this hatred, and Israel, this strong proud dhimmi nation, certainly accelerated the adoption of Nazi views of Jews into Arab culture (which was an organic growth of German-Arab cooperation before and during WWII in any event).

    And the threat is not used to reject a more liberal democracy. As noted by the spreme court in the decision about housing rights (I forget the name of the case), as Israel was in dire straits and development of the Jewish community was paramount, the state could discriminate against Arabs in living in newly developed Jewish communities. Now that israel is firmly Jewish, says the liberal supreme court (which is as well founded judicially in liberal tradition as any court in the western world), such discrimination is not justified and illegal.

    But the threat to the security of Israel’s ckitizens form outside is very real, as is the threat from an open immigration policy or the “right of return”, which both are recipes for political suicide and civil war.

    And adpting your advocated position is a recipe flor dead Jews, and not because of “anti-semitism”, but because of the reality of the situation, where the Palestinians have embraced nothing short than a death cult, which celebrates people whose only continution to the “cause” was to murder Jewish civilians and teaches children that the greatest they should aspire to is to die while murdering Jews. If you haven’t trully looked at the absolute perversion of morality embraced by the Palestinians, you couldn’t possibly see the real risks of affording them full unfettered access to the chicken coop.

  10. Hi Canajew,

    Thanks again for your response. You are right, it is getting harder to respond because we have gotten on to the wider debates.

    You make some very good points and while we may disagree on certain things its always good to get feedback.

    Please keep an eye out for any further posts.

  11. Sorry to lower the intellectual level – but by god, did anyone count the amount of words written in the last few posts?!

    4200!

    The two of you should get a room and write a novel together :)

    • Sorry to lower the intellectual level even further…

      Clinton, methinks Bill has just met his match (as if I wasn’t a ‘match’ enough). Those two – in a pub, with me and you Clinton, arguing about The Middle East.
      You know it makes sense.

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