Another from my archives. Most of the links to my old blog won’t work for now, but I’m keeping them in because that blog should (hopefully) be back online by September:
* * *
I don’t quite have the time [or energy, for that matter] so sit here and tackle each and every angle presented in this post, but the main bit that I’ll focus on is how this entire post completely ignores the Palestinian narrative and point of view, while slyly implying that Israel ever had any sort of right to settle and form on Palestinian land. I find it telling that you first opened your argument with how you must address the racist exclusion of Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews from the story, while you make zero mention of the Palestinian people in yours, who essentially paid the price in blood for Israel to ever have been established in the first place.
What’s funny about this post, which tries to prop itself up as a form of protection from anti-Semitism/racism, is appealing to the racist and imperialistic minds of the West in an effort to garner support for Israel under the guise of “you don’t really hate us, you just hate yourselves”, essentially in a sense of “well you guys did it, why can’t we?” as if because Western countries were founded through bloody imperialistic means, the citizens of these countries essentially “have no right” to oppose Israel, while pulling some “you only hate us because of your own pent up guilt”, brushing off the fact that free-thinking individuals who don’t adhere to your colonialist methods of thinking. Again, it completely ignores the Palestinian narrative and reasoning behind the hatred of Israel, trampling the Palestinian narrative with that of a people seeking refuge from anti-Semitism.
“Even if one didn’t think rebuilding a Jewish state in Israel was a legitimate response to European brutality”
It is a response that one may be able to understand and “follow”, in a sense, but legitimate? How exactly is ethnically cleansing the indigenous people of a land a “legitimate response” to anything? “But America and Europe did it!” Is the most subversive and underhanded attempt at supporting Israel I have ever seen.
Israel is bad because it is Israel, because it was founded on ethnic cleansing, massacres, and racial superiority in which the native people of a land were driven out because they had no place in the Israel that the attacking Zionist forces had imagined.
It is understandable as to why Israel was formed through such brutal, bloody, and unforgiving tactics, but there lies a clear distinction between understanding and legitimacy.
You mention how the West wishes to seek absolution, while refusing to pay the penance. The irony here is that you use this to further the case of Israel, who refuses to seek absolution to begin with, simply out of denial that any wrongdoing ever occurred, frequently casting itself as nothing more than a fledgling state backed into a corner, facing a mass of “anti-Semitic Arabs” who want to “take what rightfully belongs to Israel”. This is the logic a 3 year old at daycare would use when others refuse to share their toys.
The desire for the Jewish people to escape from their persecution in and of itself is not “radical, terrorist, extremist [and] mad.”, but as I’ve stated before, the absolute decimation of a nation and the theft of the infrastructure left behind, and then going on to claim that it was not only “just” and without wrongdoing, but that the native populations hatred is based on nothing more than rabid anti-Semitism? That, quite clearly, portrays a “radical, terrorist, extremist [and] mad” train of thought.
So what motives do the Palestinians have to hate Israel? Is it also born out of a history of imperialism and colonialism? Out of the subjugation of multitudes of ethnic groups on behalf of Palestinian conquest? Or are Palestinians simply anti-Semites who hate Israel for nothing more than its Jewish character?
Anyone who believes that racism or guilt-projection themselves are the only things to blame behind the conflict and hatred of Israel are not only delusional, but simply so far off from the truth of the matter that you’d be paralleling Netenyahu’s sense of logic [more-so, the lack thereof].
Is OP even Mizrahi or Sfaradi? The original post makes me really suspicious, like they’re sort of white-knighting for Mizrahim and Sfaradim.
Besides, OP ignores that Israel’s establishment was more a product of Europe’s treatment of Jews than it was of the Arab world’s treatment of Jews. It came from European Zionism—the Zionism that Ashkenazim decided upon, not Mizrahim or Sfaradim. And as somebody who has been in an abusive relationship, OP makes me extremely uncomfortable in comparing Europe and Jews to an abusive relationship…to say that separatism has to be inherently oppressive and that there is literally no other way to do things is skeevy as hell.
If you think that Europe is so terrible, why do you refer to Europe as redeemable? I don’t view European colonialism as ‘redeemable’ any more than I believe that Israel’s actions are redeemable. And if Zionism is ‘emulating the European example,’ then you are stating that the atrocities are akin to European anti-Semitism. How can you condemn Europe in the beginning of your piece and then later borderline-worship it when you think it’ll ‘redeem’ Israel?
It’s really cute and funny that you’d talk about how this sort of dialogue “erases” Mizrahim when a lot of people in Israel early on didn’t consider Mizrahim to be the same caliber of Jew as Ashkenazim! Did you know that Mizrahim in Israel, both those who emigrated and those who had been living on the land for centuries with non-Jewish Palestinians, were made to work for less pay than Ashkenazim because they were considered Aravim. You want to talk about the racist exclusion of Mizrahim and Sfaradim by pro-Palestinians but not the racist exclusion of them by Israel? Ha.
You know, OP, my family and community—which is over 2,700 years old—was destroyed in a short span of time…in ‘the Arab world,’ specifically the Mashriq. In fact, we were specifically killed and expelled because of Arab anti-Semitism, pan-Arabism, and Arab nationalism in Iraq, which culminated in an event called the Farhud. That was in 1941. My family did not see fit to begin cleansing Palestinians from the land. While we haven’t set foot in Israel for all those 2,700 years, we would not begin killing Palestinians, the indigenous people of the land*—that’s a policy of racism, anti-Arabism, and ethnic cleansing that isn’t excused by our persecution either in Europe or any other area of the world.
OP, don’t try to pull the whole “but what about the Mizrahim/Sfaradim!?” framing when you’re actually just excusing Israel’s actions. Trust me, it’s not appreciated by actual Mizrahim, and our suffering doesn’t justify your ridiculous views. Israel was formed because of anti-Semitism in Europe.
*You can fight me on this one if you want, but you’ll lose. Palestinians are indigenous to Eretz Yisrael.
note: I’m just sort of collecting all the Jewish garbage, Mo’s reply is the Palestinian view of things so look at that if you’re looking for comments re: Palestinians.
Reblogging for important commentary.