No stake in advocating for Israel
Bob from Brockley put up a new post in which he links to other blogs of interest as he simultaneously weaves in his own commentary. As anyone who frequents my place would know, I have the greatest affection and respect for Bob, in spite of the fact that our political positions may be worlds apart. This is why, when I read something like this:
One regular there is Jonathan Hoffman of the Zionist Federation, indefatigable campaigner against anti-Zionist excesses but not always the best advocate for his cause. I was interested to see a debate between Dan Sheldon, the president of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Hoffman. I have no stake in advocating for Israel, their topic, but only in combating antisemitism (a distinction that both the UJS and Zionist Federation like to blur), but I find myself agreeing with most of Sheldon’s sharp criticisms of Hoffman. Here is Jonathan’s response.My first response is to recoil in shock. And if I'm in a particularly vulnerable mood as I am today, I actually wanted to cry. Can you imagine Bob saying he has no stake in advocating for Palestine?
And why is it, Bob, that you have "no stake in advocating for Israel"? And how easily you blame "Zionist Federation" for blurring the difference between antisemitism and anti-Israel hatred. Can you really claim, in good faith, that the hatred of Israel in which the world indulged today with sadistic relish, has nothing to do with antisemitism?
I will quote someone who should be a hero to Bob, a working class hero and an author, a non-Jew to boot, who seems to have understood exactly where the seam line runs between the hatred of Israel and classical antisemitism and the danger in the insistence of artificially separating the two:
"The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.
Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russian did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese-and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees.
Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis.
Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.
No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on. There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Negroes are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him.
The Swedes, who are ready to break of diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.
The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.
I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us."