Independent

The Independent tries to define Zionism


 

An article by Ben Kentish in The Independent (Israel furious after Ecuador compares Zionism to Nazism, Dec. 8th) highlights the following comments made by Ecuadorian diplomat Horacio Sevilla Borja at a UN session marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:

“…I cannot remember anything more similar [to the Nazi persecution of Jews] in our contemporary history than the eviction, persecution and genocide that today imperialism and Zionism do against the Palestinian people.”

The Indy then reports on the diplomatic fallout from Borjas’s comments, before concluding by providing readers with an explanation of Zionism:

Zionism is a controversial ideology that is interpreted in many different ways. Some people consider it to be a legitimate belief in the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East while others claim it is a racist or apartheid ideology has been used to aggressively expand Israel’s borders.

First, let’s remember that the most widely used official definition of contemporary antisemitismthe Working Definition of Antisemitism, includes bullet points outlining ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to Israel, including the following:

Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

However, even if you are not convinced that the Zionism = Racism canard is (by seeking to delegitimize the world’s only Jewish state) antisemitic in intent, it is undeniably antisemitic in effect, because such a characterization necessarily means that Jews (the overwhelming majority of whom are Zionists) support a racist ideology. 

In fact, for many Jews, their views on Israel don’t merely represent a political opinion, but represent a central part of their Jewish belief and expression.  In the UK, for instance, polls have shown that 93% of British Jews say that Zionism forms at least some part of their Jewish identity. 

For a perfect example of how such extreme views impact Jews, read Dave Rich’s harrowing account, in his book The Left’s Jewish Problem, of how, in the 70s (within 18 months of the UN “Zionism is Racism” resolution), some Jewish Societies were effectively banned by the Student Union because their support for Zionism was seen to contravene the NUS “No Platform Policy” whereby “racist” ideas wouldn’t be tolerated on campus.  

Regardless of the Independent’s intentions, by placing the proposition that ‘Israel has no moral right to exist’ on par with ‘Israel has a right to exist’, they are legitimising the extremist belief that millions of Jews (not merely Israelis, but Jews qua Jews) are morally beyond the pale.   

33 replies »

  1. The effect of unremitting, hard hitting racist propaganda against Israel is shown in the absurd proposition, believed by the misinformed and the malicious that Zionism is a “racist or apartheid ideology … used to aggressively expand Israel’s borders”

    The fact is that Israel gave up large reaches of land taken in a defensive war in return for peace or the promise of peace. How can that possubly be reconciled with the Independent’s “definition”?

    • The constant lies about apartheid obscure the facts that each and every Islamofascist regime in the world does have apartheid and it is worse than anything the South Africans ever instituted.

      For some strange reason the largest colonial empire in the history of the world gets a free pass all the time.

    • ‘Barney’ what “Right to exist” for ‘Palestine’ are you referring to?
      It has as much right to exist as ‘Freedonia’, or the tooth fairy, or ghosts, or unicorns.
      Just because a few people, mistakenly, believe that something has existed (without any historical evidence of its existence), or should exist it does not confer a right to exist now or in the future.

      • 1. Palestinian Arabs also have right to self-determination. Heck, in 1946, about 80% of Palestine was granted independence as the newly created Jew-Free state of Jordan.

        1. More recently, Gaza and much of WB was granted independence as Palestine.

        3. And Judea and Samaria are not nor ever were part of any Palestinian state. The land in question is in dispute and belongs to no state, not Israel nor Palestine until and unless all parties peacefully negotiate final status borders as per international law and UN SC Res 242.

    • The PLO in its 1964 Charter claimed all of the Palestine Mandate as its territory. That includes all of Israel and Jordan.

      If you are referring to Judeah and Samaria, then this article should be instructive

      “Article 24. This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.”

    • Barneyism (which is a synonym for BatShititis, a common disease among morons who can’t control their direction of their diarrhea from their mouths and fingertips back down towards and out the anus, as intended) is the condition of ignoring the Oslo Peace Accords and the 3 state offers made since 2000.

    • Jordan on the East Bank of the Jordan river is “palestine”, as long as “palestinians” behave and respect the Hashemite King.

  2. The Independent is a Nazi propaganda sheet.
    And the following is infantile ‘logic’:
    “even if you are not convinced that the Zionism = Racism canard is (by seeking to delegitimize the world’s only Jewish state) antisemitic in intent, it is undeniably antisemitic in effect, because such a characterization necessarily means that Jews (the overwhelming majority of whom are Zionists) support a racist ideology”.
    Pathetic.

  3. “The Working Definition of Antisemitism includes bullet points outlining ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to Israel, including the following:
    Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

    There are many groups in the world that claim national status but are denied this because of political realities. Jews succeeded in establishing a nation state by force (as have many other peoples) but they had no inherent right to this, any more than have the Kurds or Catalans. The inclusion of denial of “(Jewish) right to self-determination” in the Working Definition is therefore a nonsense.

    • So why don’t you boycott America?

      While we’re at it, the force the Jews fought for independence was, by and large, viewed as strictly defensive.

      But I don’t expect a modern day Nazi-wannabe dipshit smart enough to understand the above 2 sentences.

    • sencar why is it a nonsense?

      Surely you are not attempting to claim that because some nations have yet to achieve their right to organise themselves into independent States, then the right of the Jewish people to do so should be denied to them?

      To follow your ‘logic’ there would not be any independent States, or do your restrictions only apply to the Jewish people?

    • It’s a matter of temporal perspective. Arguing against the birth of a child after it has been born is considered to be murder. Before conception, perfectly acceptable. Between conception and birth subject the issue is subject to moral argument.

      Israel already exists. Shall we debate the right of Sencar to exist? Of course not. Whatever objections one has to Sencar and her views some matters should, in most cases, be beyond the pale of civilized discussion. However if Sencar advocates murder or genocide then the question should become open to discussion.

  4. Every minority groups defines for itself what it considers as racism or hate speech against them. Their views are not questioned as it is their perception that counts. Likewise, to the extent any such group may also have a political agenda, it is left to them to articulate it. In marked contrast, the Jewish people alone are having all these things defined for them and most often by groups with a clear animus against them. The need to have a clear definition of “Antisemitism” should be obvious. Yet, the EU withdrew its well-thought out working definition and now it’s representative absurdly claims that no definition is required to combat the evil. It is precisely the lack of a definition that is the problem – and the absurdity of the claim that a definition would restrict so-called critics “free speech” rights (apparently in this one context where Jews, not Blacks or gays for instance, are the subject) should be exposed. The Jewish People should define “Antisemitism” and challenge those who would restrict it to justify themselves in light of all the other groups and their self-definitions. At least expose the hypocrisy and double-standards.
    Defining Zionism should be easy: it’s the political ideology that expressed the right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their historical homeland, a political process culminating in the creation of Israel. Any argument should therefore be over the issue of whether Israel treats its non-Jewish citizens and residents in a manner consistent with Western concepts of civil rights. In other words, Israel should benefit from the same discourse as other Western liberal states: are France, Switzerland, Germany and others “racist” for their laws that impact Muslims? No one suggests that these countries have thereby forfeited their legitimacy. An underlying argument of Jews not being a people (the view current, for instance, among many Muslims – even though it contradicts the Qur’an’s references to the “children of Israel” and would be considered blasphemy) needs to be exposed and rebutted. Many simply do not understand how Jews have viewed themselves and their religion since Antiquity.
    Allowing that hypocrisy to stand unchallenged clears the way for persecution. As history has shown,
    if you control the language, you can control people’s thoughts. And for many of these self-important “social warriors,” the real point is to attack Jews. Their false definitions of “Antisemitism” and “Zionism” are merely covers to express their unreasoned hatred which, itself, is the product of a distorted view of the World and how things really work. But for the real damage such people have historically wrought on Jews, they would otherwise be viewed (and rightly so) as objects of pity in dire need of psychiatric assistance. Maybe that is the proper response: a shake of the head at the foolishness of their fact-free arguments, a sympathetic expression that they are ill and a suggestion for treatment of their debilitating hatred. To take taking seriously is to feed the beast. No one really argues with “flat Earthers”. These people and groups should publicly be treated the same way.

  5. The quality of the thinking, the analysis, and the commentary in the article is matched by the quality of the editing. Did anybody at the Independent actually read what is said in the offending paragraph, and notice that it was missing a word (or two)?

    “Zionism is a controversial ideology that is interpreted in many different ways. Some people consider it to be a legitimate belief in the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East while others claim it is a racist or apartheid ideology has been used to aggressively expand Israel’s borders.”

    Really?

    “…it is a racist or apartheid ideology has been used to aggressively expand Israel’s borders.”

    Sloppy. But perhaps consistent!