Evil Zionist Settlers?

I am often perturbed by the endless debates we have amongst ourselves – you know the old routine, 2 Jews, 3 opinions. I guess maybe it has something to do with our Talmudic tradition that often argues and dissects the minutest point in order to arrive at some greater truth. Case in point is the ongoing discussion at the Orthodox Anarchist about err… let me see, whether the Irgun was a fascist organization, whether Israelis on the hot side of the Green Line are legitimate military targets, whether 54 years of having to defend yourself makes you a militaristic zealot, yadda,yadda, yadda…

Dang, Jews chatter a lot. Look at all the friggin blogs out there that are Jew oriented, this one included. Why the heck does everything need to be so complicated? Why do we have to beat on ourselves so much? Look, I know we’re a very moral and idealistic people, a light unto the nations and all that. But seriously people, can we have some perspective? Zionism was meant, in part, to normalize the Jew. With a state of our own, we could be men just like everyone else. Yes, we still have that light unto the nations thing to deal with, but when can we say enough is enough? At what point have we gone beyond pursuing our ideals and entered the realm of being, well, idiots?

I am sitting here and reading as Jews argue the legality of the security fence or apartheid wall or protective barrier or whatever. One day the collective international “they” declare it illegal, and the next day they start building one of their own… and ask for our assistance! And yet, the Jews continue to argue. Someone out there somewhere has got to be laughing their asses off …

And then there’s that all abiding concern about Green lines and occupied territory and Palestinian suffering… Look, I am not unsympathetic. I supported Oslo, I supported Rabin, I supported every and any initiative that would have given the Palestinians a state and helped ease their lot. I still do in fact. But you know what? We’ve gone beyond our obligation under the light unto the nations thing. Some people are just so consumed by irrational hatred that they cannot help themselves. We’ve done what we could and now it’s time to rejoin the community of nations and begin acting in our own self-interest.

Let the Palestinians take care of themselves, we have plenty of our own problems to deal with. Let them clean their house, rid themselves of incredibly corrupt and murderous leaders and let them suffer the consequences of their decisions and their actions. I wish them well, but it’s time to move on. Especially when I have to be subjected to ridiculous internal debates amongst Jews. Look, it’s simple – they lost, we won. We’ve shown them far more consideration than they would have ever shown us. Enough. I hate it when we look like idiots.

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

14 Comments

  • dave, my problem with your perspective is that you make no allotment for jewish people to arrive at their own conclusions and to learn these things in their own time and in their own way.

    israel = to struggle with god. and for me, that means not just grappling with faith, but grappling with my identity as a jewish person and how that ties in to israel, among other things. trying to understand the conflict here and reconciling israel’s actions with the greater moral values of our tradition is a part of that.

    if you feel that you’re in a place where you’re above or beyond this process, where you’re past it, then feel free to opt out. but don’t condemn others who are still working things out.

    like, i’ll admit, a lot of the time i think you’re coming from a good place, and i agree, in a sense, with the things you say. but, what i think and what i feel are two different things, and i’ve got this gnawing feeling inside me that won’t let things be left at that. i don’t just read the prophetic condemnations to pursue justice and think, “meh, ok, that’s nice,” it straight up consumes me. so, until i hammer this all out and real arrive at solid conclusions, i have to keep at this. it’s what drives me forth…

    you don’t have to participate in the discussion. shit, no one even asked you to. you jumped in yourself. so, if you don’t like the nature of the convo — if it frustrates you or annoys you — go do something else. but don’t assume we look like idiots because we discuss these matters and we turn a critical lens on ourselves. that’s how we make progress.

    imagine we were islamists who never stopped to question whether or not the means by which we sought to achieve an independent state were moral, just, or consistent with our tradition. what would that make us?

    i mean, the second we stop being a light, we just become part of the darkness. and then, well, why be jewish at all?

  • Yes reporter. It would be nice.

    (???)

    As for you Dan – well… don’t get me wrong. I don’t think you’re an idiot or anything. Furthermore I love a good discussion as much as anyone. More than most in fact. I disagree with you on many things, but I appreciate the quality of your “struggle” – witness the my response to the yuppies of zion. Or look at what I wrote to Kyle’s Mom (is that really your Mother?) in the comments to this post on Orthodox Anarchist.

    Now as for everything else, like I said, I appreciate self-criticism. But at a certain point I think it becomes ridiculous. I mean how bent out of shape do we have to get in order to consider the welfare of others, let alone others who wish us only harm? I mean haven’t we tried, and tried and tried to be accomodating? I certainly feel we have. They may not feel the same way but that only makes sense when they have said over and over again that the only thing that would satisfy them, is if we just disappeared.

    So I like to think I’m a reasonable guy. I am sympathetic to their plight. But I am not willing to endorse self destruction in order to help them out. Once we are at peace with this realization, we can all relax and do what we have to do to get by rather than beat engage in this constant self-doubt and argumentation. I promise you, there is no such comparable, corresponding process going on on the other side – the idea of that would be laughable to them. So, fuck it. Charity starts at home.

  • see, my thing, right now is, i don’t know how accomodating we’ve tried to be as so much as how much we’ve told ourselves that that’s what we’ve been doing. zionism has been a propaganda war since day one, and i’m not sure how much of what i know is a myth as oppposed to the reality.

    for example, we say oslo was everything on a silver platter. but oslo was a cantonization scheme that sliced up the west bank into three divisions. (i don’t think that’s the reason it was rejected, however. arafat should’ve come back with a counter-offer and he didn’t. but, it wasn’t the prize package we make it out to be.)

    we say they attacked us first at hebron in ’22 (was it?), but we don’t talk about how, up to that point, the jewish agency was buying people’s houses out from under them, nor how zionist leaders like jabotinsky were boasting their plans to push the ‘subhuman’ arabs out of palestine. i don’t believe it was “natural islamic jew hatred” that whipped these people into a frenzy, but rather it was things such as this which substantiated the effendis’ claim to the fellaheen that the jews were there to steal their land. that’s what got them all worked up. yet we take no responsibility…

    so i’m just going through this process of trying to understand how much is myth, how much is reality, how much is convenient dismissal, and so on, because to pursue justice, you must pursue truth, and i can’t let the truth slide even if a lie favors my place in the world.

    i’m not going to curl up in a ball and let an arab kill me. oh hell no. and if you think i’m gonna be a dhimmi, i say fuck whatchew heard. but i’m not going to deny history so we can come out looking rosy on the other end and justify the wretched things we did in the name of nationalism. and that’s not to say that jews are bad. it’s to say that nationalism is.

  • Oy Dan. Jabotinsky never said that Arabs are ‘subhuman’ – the exact quote is “The Islamic soul must be swept out of Eretz-Yisrael.” Some have interpreted this to mean that he considered Muslims to be dirt or insects, worthy only of being swept away. No one disputes that Jabotinsky contemplated forced transfer, but he never used the term ‘subhuman’ – just for the record.

    But see? How retarded is all of this? Jabotinsky died in 1940 and was the founder of Revisionist Zionism. The Jewish presence in Palestine was tenuous and embattled – the times were different. The rules were different and we were not alone in their establishment.

    You want to see effective population transfer? Look at what happenned to Jewish settlements that fell into the hands of the Arabs during the fighting in 1948. 11 Jewish settlements and their residents were ‘swept’ off the map – Wherever an Arab army conquered a Jewish settlement, this settlement simply ceased to exist. This was not surprising and was merely a manifestation of what the Arabs had always said they would do given the opportunity.

    So Jabotinsky simply used the strategy he felt would be most appropriate given the context of an intractable foe. Does this offend us today? Sure. But to focus one’s critical eye on just one side and to completely ignore context is just not an effective way of understanding any conflict.

    The situation is a very simple one for me. It has nothing to do with nationalism or fascism or any “ism” you might wish to apply. The Jews are in Israel. We’re not going any time soon. We have the will and the tools to defend ourselves. As long as the other side continues to reject our right to exist, we have no choice but to vigorously defend our physical integrity. If the Palestinians don’t like the situation then they ought to focus on a modus vivendi as opposed to endlessly wallowing in the idiotic rejectionism that has brought them nothing but a culture of death, corrupt leadership and no future. The onus is on them to improve their lives – NOT on us. Our sole responsibility is to assure our physical integrity.

    I no longer care what a bunch of old ashkenazic men have ever said about Israel and Zionism. We have more immediate concerns that we need to be occupied with. When the Palestinians wake up, they will find that we are happy to deal with them, till then, it’s business as usual.

    See? It’s not so hard to understand.

  • i think that the zionist right often referred to the arabs as “uncivilized” and other such things intimating that they were not “evolved” enough to understand anything other than force. i hear this same contention reiterated time and again here in israel.

    anyway… not the point.

    i see what you’re saying. i agree with you mostly. i think the onus is on them in that sense. but like, who’s going to show them that?

  • Naw, the onus is on us as well. It’s perhaps a moral rather than a political duty, but there is no reason why we shouldn’t be investing in infrastructure, etc. Part of the reason Hamas managed to do what they have done is by opening hospitals, schools and effectively governing the place, even if not to our tastes. No need to repeat the same mistakes over and over, is hter?

  • Stenis, mobius,
    There’s plenty of reason – limited resources for one. But you think building some roads and stuff would have made the Palestinians suddenly enamored of us? Besides, have you been to other Arab countries? The Palestinians in many cases had it better than their ostensibly free Arab bretheren. And then even politically – recall Black September. But who cares right? Comparative morality is not the same as morality. You said “no need to repeat the same mistakes.” I assume you’re talking about the historical record. Well, the historical record shows that complete and total subjugation works. Ask the Germans of Konnigsberg. No one even considers the grievous evil committed against them when they were forcibly transferred out to make room for Russians. It’s totally not an issue. The Russians won the war, the Germans lost, to the victor go the spoils. And so it goes.

    Except when Jews are involved. Go figure.

    So yes, to a certain extent, we are governing the occupied territories and we have some responsibility towards our charges. But we also have a responsibility to our citizens. Some would argue that said responsibility is best discharged by securing a peaceful future for both our peoples. But that requires will on both sides and that’s been grievously absent. So we’re unilaterally withdrawing and building big walls and fences. I can live with that and I have no enormous moral qualms about it either. The Palestinians can now help themselves.

    God speed brave Palestinian soldiers.

  • The mistake I meant was letting Hamas become the social care arm of palestinian society. As for total, maniacal evil working, the record isn’t really so clear. The long term record is fairly equivocal, actually. Besides which, insofar as Israel is a country that claims to uphold general moral practices, and gets a great deal of funding from the US based on that dogma, that option is no a realistic nor moral one for us. Anyhow, i do think that palestinians would appreciate a higher standard. The historical record genearlly seems to show that countries that develop a middle class tend to rich a relatively peaceful equilibrium with their neighbours. How they were treated elsewhere seems pretty irrelevant.

  • Kleptocracies do not have such a good record of fostering an environment that can sustain a middle class …

  • Agreed…which is why it was foolish of us to let Hamas supply the palestinian infrastructure: of course tehy are loyal to the group that brought them hostpials, orphanages, schools…We could have doen that, we didn’t. We could now, we don’t. Same mistake. Over and over.

  • Dumbass. Who do you think built the infrastructure in the territories? The Egyptians? The Jordanians? You think a few extra roads and some day care centers are going to change stuff? That we can buy off the Palestinians with a few “things?” Man, Stenis, get with the program.

  • well, I had in mind hospitals, administrative services, schools…whatever Hamas did and engrained themselves as the backbone of palestinian society. It seems to help build good relations. As a strategy on its own, it’s a buyback. But as a long term solution, a clever way to bolster relations.

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