In Joel Kovel’s book, Overcoming Zionism, Zionists are characterized as an evil force in the world, those who he terms “the splinters under the skin of humanity”, and the pro-Israel groups as “the tentacular Zionist lobby.”
Though our two responses on Friday (our cross-post from Anne’s Opinions and a guest post by Sarka) quite effectively took apart David Hearst’s CiF piece on Friday, “Could Arab staying power overcome Zionism”, (and you should also read Just Journalism’s response here) I wanted to add a few thoughts on just how malicious the piece really is.
The headline alone is extraordinary:
This isn’t an eye-catching teaser. The headline adequately captures Hearst’s sympathetic characterization of the struggle by not just Palestinians, but Israel’s Arab citizens, against not just perceived injustices, but against the existence of the Jewish state in any form.
Hearst seems quite impressed with a term his bucolic Arabs have been tossing around of late – Sumud, which, we’re informed, means steadfastness (& staying power), against Zionism.
That is, Hearst’s Arabs (quite reasonably it seems to him) see Jewish self-determination, (unlike every other group’s unreserved national rights) as not a national enterprise which needs to be improved upon but as a movement to be defeated, overcome, vanquished.
Hearst’s subsequent litany of Israeli injustices doesn’t concern itself with distinguishing between Arab citizens and Palestinian non-citizens or between squatters legally evicted from land rightfully owned by others.
They are all equally Zionism’s victims, those involved in a “civil rights movement” no longer content with the evidently quaint idea of an independent Palestinian state living peacefully with Israel, but, for a complete end of Zionism – what Sam Bahour described, in an Aug. 4th CiF piece, that “settler, colonial, apartheid, racialist, exclusivist ideology”.
Hearst quotes Ilan Pappe, the notorious and highly discredited Israeli “historian” – among those who never retracted false allegations of a massacre by Israeli troops in Jenin in 2o02 – as a reliable source in confirming Israel’s inherently “expulsionist” nature, and, further, in denying Israel’s regionally unique, and simply undeniable, participatory democracy (which protects the civil rights of its religious minorities), states that, “Non-Jews, be they Christian or Muslim, are excluded from any serious decision-making process in their lives.”
However, Hearst saves his the most appalling, and chilling, passage for last.
“But the terrain of their changing identity and allegiance is not so well mapped. Israel demands expressions of loyalty from them [Arab citizens of Israel]. Loyality to what, they ask. A democracy or a supremacist state?
As Adam Holland pointed out recently:
“The phrase “Jewish supremacism” was coined by David Duke to counter his being labeled a white supremacist. Duke came up with the term in writing (with editorial assistance from David Irving) a book called “My Awakening”, which described Duke’s “Aryan vision for America”. (Read here.)
Joel Kovel joins a chorus of anti-Semites and radical Islamists whose voice grows louder and louder in their unshakable belief that “the world would be a far better place without Zionism”,
And, increasingly prevalent are ‘respectable” commentators like Hearst who, at the very least, seem to view such patently malevolent aims as somehow consistent with the values of peace and justice.
Hearst’s essay at Comment is Free is a disturbing example of the Guardian’s increasing identification with the political aspirations of those not content anymore with the mere delegitimization of Israel – and represents something much darker than a mere obsession with imperfections of the region’s lone democratic holdout.
By employing terms normally reserved for the most hideous movements of the 20th century, those properly assigned to the dustbin of history, and by sanctioning voices opposed to peaceful reconciliation, the Guardian’s commentary on Israel represents nothing short of incitement – not liberal, progressive, or enlightened but, rather, malicious, hateful, intolerant and genuinely dangerous.
When, it seems quite fitting to ask, especially in light of a recent row involving the Jerusalem Post, will the Guardian apologize to Israel?
- The Guardian’s secular prophets see total Arab victory and Zionism’s complete demise (cifwatch.com)
- CiF’s Sam Bahour passionately opposes the “act of aggression” known as Israel’s existence (cifwatch.com)
- Mondoweiss or David Duke? Raed Salah’s defenders reach a new low. (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian correspondent’s wish for the Jewish state? That it kindly cease to exist (cifwatch.com)
- What the Guardian won’t report: 73% of Palestinians agree with quote from Hamas charter about the need to kill Jews (cifwatch.com)
- The Guardian again provides a platform to an extremist opposed to Israel’s very existence (cifwatch.com)