zondag 26 juni 2011

Zionist ondanks hemzelf


Een interessant artikel over de betekenis van Zionisme anno 2011. Veel zionistische leiders zagen al vroeg de noodzaak in van een territoriaal compromis en de legitimiteit van de Palestijns-Arabische aspiraties. Het Midden-Oosten conflict gaat dan ook om een botsing van recht tegen recht. Een compromis moet echter door beide partijen gesloten worden, en vooral aan Palestijnse kant lijkt nog steeds onvoldoende draagvlak hiervoor.






A Zionist despite himself

By Alexander Yakobson

Published 02:37 26.06.11




Yitzhak Laor declared in a Haaretz opinion piece on June 3 ("Get rid of Zionism" ) that we "have to free ourselves of Zionism." His message was that we have to dissociate ourselves from the concept that demands sole Jewish ownership of the land for historical and religious reasons. This is pointless, as Ruth Gavison reminds us in her opinion piece, "Partition - for Zionism's sake" (Haaretz, June 10 ), since there were at all times many people from the very heart of mainstream Zionism who supported dividing the land between the two peoples. Many did so not only for pragmatic reasons but because they recognized that the country is also the homeland of another people and that there is justice to their national aspirations.


It is not incidental that many members of the left, including the radical left, so often quote Zionist leaders - who, even before the establishment of the state, called for a compromise with the other side, for understanding its point of view, and for recognizing that the conflict between the two peoples in this country is a clash between justice and justice and not between justice and injustice (as Israel's first president, Chaim Weizmann, put it ). It is a shame, though, that no quote has been found by the Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, in which he called for a compromise, understanding of the other side, and recognition of the fact that there is justice to the positions of both sides.


Therefore, there is no need whatsoever "to free oneself from Zionism" in order to part from the territories and to oppose, as a matter of principle, rule over another people. On the other hand, the question arises: If we want to free ourselves of Zionism, why should we part from the territories? What, according to Laor's belief, is wrong with a solution of "one state" undivided in the entire country?

After all, it couldn't possibly a matter of not being willing to live in a country with a Muslim-Arab majority. One cannot come to a Zionist like me with complaints like that - I don't want to live in a country with a Danish majority, either. Nor would I like to live with the carefree and pleasant Costa Rican people in the same binational state.


I am interested in living in my people's independent state and I recognize the full right of the Palestinian people to a national state of their own. This is in no way discrimination against the Arabs. However, why would someone who has "freed" himself of Zionism want to draw an artificial borderline inside a tiny country so as to divide it up into two minute states? What logic is there in that?


Perhaps the consideration is that there is a need to protect and nurture Hebrew culture after it is freed of Zionism (a rather difficult mission in its own right ). But why should one think that this would not be possible in the framework of one undivided state in the entire country? If indeed Laor doubts that this would be possible, he ought to explain what his doubts are based on. An explanation of that kind is likely to contribute a great deal to the discourse that is developing over the issue of "one state" against "two states."


But perhaps, beyond the Hebrew culture, there is also some kind of devotion to Hebrew nationhood - of a secular and progressive kind, of course, that aspires to become integrated into the Semitic domain? But could there be a more fitting way to become part of the Semitic region than through a secular binational state in this country, preferably as part of a regional union? Or perhaps Laor is not convinced that a state like that would indeed be binational and secular, and that a Semitic region would be ready, for its part, to integrate in it a secular Hebrew nationhood? It would be interesting to know why he is not convinced.


At all events, for someone who is adamant about dividing the land, the talk about setting oneself free from Zionism seems more like a fashionable affectation than a genuine "liberation." It is good to know that even those who have a strong urge to taunt Zionism, understand from time to time that if they wish to remain here, they need a Zionist state so they will have somewhere to live and something to provoke.



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