woensdag 21 november 2007

Dwing ons niet te kiezen tussen Zionisme en vrede

Een krachtig pleidooi voor expliciete erkenning van Israël als Joodse staat door Ami Isseroff, een linkse, a-religieuze Zionist.

When Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Palestinians would never accept Israel as a Jewish state, it was clear that we had reached a core issue, one that should have been negotiated before all others, and before any Israeli concessions had been made.

The issue was underlined when Erekat repeated the refusal, and Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad echoed Erekat.

A state of the Jewish people, which is clearly what Ehud Olmert meant, a national home for the Jewish people secured in international law, has been the goal of the Zionist movement for 110 years, since the first congress of the Zionist Movement in Basle. It has been the goal of the Jewish people since the catastrophic failure of the Bar Kochba revolt. One would think that everyone would treat Erekat's declaration as absurd.

But Erekat did well for himself. He threw a few hand grenades into our Jewish tent, with the pins pulled. The first grenade started an implicit debate on the subject of "What do you mean by a Jewish state?" Half a dozen "analysts" showed that they are as totally clueless about the meaning of Zionism as Erekat pretended to be. They took his argument, that there cannot be a state of a religion, at face value, and proceeded to point out carefully that the Muslims have religious states, Britain has an established church and so on.

But really, who cares what others do? What matters is what we do, and whether it is right or not. The Muslims can have as many Islamic states as they want, where wife beating is legal and you can get tips on how to do it, and where adulteresses are stoned to death and homosexuals are hanged. I do not want such a state and that was never the goal of Zionism. It was shocking to read these apologies for theocracy from otherwise enlightened people. Why would we want a Jewish Republic of Israel, run by Jewish Khomeinis?

This totally needless fiasco could have been avoided if Ehud Olmert had originally spoken clearly about a state of the Jewish people, instead of an ambiguous Jewish State. Later, too late, Olmert used the phrase "state of the Jewish people."

Then, embarrassingly, the Zionist left and center dropped the ball. Ha'aretz newspaper editorialized against the demand. Yoel Marcus wrote that it is "Stupid". If a Jewish state is a stupid demand, what am I doing here? What are any of us doing here? Did anyone come here in order to live in just another state that belongs to a different people?

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