Saturday, 16 August 2014

Why I am a Jewish anti-Zionist

Article in largest circulation Brighton Paper

I contribute the occasional article to a weekly free paper in Brighton, which has over 3 times the circulation of the long-standing Argus.

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Tony Greenstein

Not in my name: Why I am a Jewish anti-Zionist

By Tony Greenstein on August 14, 2014 in Columnists, Tony Greenstein
 Regular demonstrations against the killing in Gaza have attracted hundreds of people in Brighton and Hove
 Like many Jews, I grew up in the shadow of the holocaust. I can remember reading, at an early age, Lord Russell’s Scourge of the Swastika and wondering how human beings could behave with such cruelty towards each other.

The lesson I drew was that Jewish people, above all, should oppose all racism. That is why I find the attack on the people of Gaza so unforgiveable. The excuses, the “rockets” and “self-defence” are worthy of Goebbels, at his worst.

Hamas is but the latest of the “new” Hitlers – from Nasser and the PLO to Hizbollah – that Israel manufactures to justify a permanent state of war. Hamas was virtually created by the Israeli state.

David Shipler, a former reporter for the New York Times, cites the military governor of Gaza. He wrote: “[Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev] once told me how he had financed the Islamic movement [ie Hamas] as a counterweight to the PLO and the communists. ‘The Israeli government gave me a budget and the military government gives to the mosques, he said”.

The Zionist movement, which created Israel, was formed, according to its founder, Theodor Herzl, on the basis that it was “futile” to fight anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism was a “natural” phenomenon. Before 1941 and the holocaust, Zionists were the Nazis’ favoured group within the German Jewish community.
Remembering the dead at War Memorial
The obscene use of the holocaust as a propaganda weapon ignores Zionism’s actual role during the holocaust, when the policy of the Zionist leaders was to prioritise the building of a state above rescue of the Jews. They opposed rescue to anywhere but Palestine. One of the most shocking statements came from Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion: “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, then I would opt for the second alternative.”

Ben-Gurion’s official biographer, Shabtai Teveth, wrote: ‘‘If there was a line in Ben-Gurion’s mind between the beneficial disaster and an all-destroying catastrophe, it must have been a very fine one.”

According to Ben-Gurion: “The whole trick of Zionism is that it knows how to channel our disaster not into despondency but into a source of creativity and exploitation.”

The chapter in Teveth’s biography of Ben-Gurion on the holocaust is entitled “Disaster Means Strength”.

A Jewish state means an ethnically-pure state. It is a recipe for violent nationalism and widespread racism.

When a small anti-war demonstration was held recently in Tel Aviv, it was attacked by, among others, Jewish neo-Nazis sporting the symbols and logos of European Nazis.

In 2007, an extremely-violent Israeli Jewish neo-Nazi group was uncovered. Today, there is a small but growing neo-Nazi sub-culture among sections of nationalist youth.

These Russian neo-Nazis came to live in Israel under the “Law of Return”, because one of their grandparents is Jewish or married to a Jew (the same definition as in the Nuremberg Laws). Palestinians who were born in Israel have no such right.

When Zionism first appeared in the late 19th century, the vast majority of Jews rejected it as a form of Jewish anti-Semitism. The myth of Jewish yearning for Palestine was of Christian origin. The conversion (or death) of Jews in the fires of Armageddon is a pre-condition of the second coming of Christ. Of the 2.5 million Jews who escaped the pogroms in Russia, just 2% went to Palestine.

Despite all the efforts of Israel’s propagandists, Jews outside Israel are rebelling. Israel’s actions as a Jewish state are responsible for an increase in anti-Semitic attacks in France and elsewhere, which should be condemned unconditionally.

Anti-Semitism has always meant Jewish emigration to Israel. Israel is a Jewish state, not a state of all its citizens; there is no Israeli nationality. Israel claims to represent all Jews, myself included, even if they are citizens of and live in other countries.

It is incumbent on Jews to speak out and say “Not in my name”.

About Tony Greenstein
View all articles by Tony Greenstein

Tony Greenstein has written 13 articles on Brighton & Hove Independent.

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