Tuesday, August 11, 2009

When the defense of Israel isn't anti-Gentilism

Of course, not all staunch supporters of Israel are anti-Gentiles. That said, there exists an extreme kind of defense of Israel that has no other explanation than the deep hatred of Gentiles habrored by certain Zionists (including Gentile Zionists, who are thus self-hating Gentiles). So how can we tell when the defense of Israel is legitimate and when it is simply the product of anti-Gentilism? The following criteria may help the reader.

The defense of Israel is anti-Gentile:

1. When it's based on conspiracy theories or fantastic tales of boundless Arab power. Examples: The press and the left are strongholds of antisemitism; Prince Bandar did as he pleased with Pres. Bush; the Muslims are slowly taking over Europe and tilting it against Israel; Israeli Arabs want to marry Palestinians from the territories to quietly become a majority; Bedouin men seek to corrupt young Jewish girls. All the world is against the Jews and that's why Israel must be defended.

2. When it plays down any indication that Jews exercise any kind of power. Examples: Jewish American millionaires' contributions to the construction of settlements are "symbolic" amounts; there's no Jewish lobby in the United States, and if there's one it's completely toothless; Jewish screenwriters played no role in the production of anti-Arab racist films; AIPAC is just another lobby, like the garbanzo-bean producers' lobby, and all those Congresspeople, Secretaries of State and presidential candidates who go to AIPAC meetings do so because they like kasher food.

3. When the defense is total and unconditional. If the Israel Defense Forces don't beat Palestinian prisoners, they're the most moral army in the world. If they are filmed beating Palestinian prisoners, on the other hand, they're also the most moral army in the world because the incident will be investigated. No matter what wrong Israel does, anti-Gentile defenders of the country will turn it into further proof of the Jewish State's righteousness.

4. When barely humanitarian behavior is presented as extraordinary. When Israel drops leaflets announcing it will bomb civilian places (just like those human-rights paragons, the Russians, did in Grozny), its soldiers are said to be risking their lives because they're telling their enemies when they will strike (no mention that they'll do so from the safety of their tanks, planes and choppers). When Israel allows rice to be imported into Gaza (but not livestock or vegetables), it's shown as proof of its great concern for Gazan children, who are not allowed to die from starvation (no mention that they'll suffer malnourishment). When taxes paid by the Palestinians, but collected by Israel, are transferred to the Gaza government it's considered to be a display of generosity rather than the belated fulfillment of a signed obligation.

5. When different standards are applied to Israel and to its adversaries. The Hamas Charter, which calls for the elimination of the State of Israel, is considered to be binding for all Palestinians (even if the overwhelming majority of them don't live under Hamas) and must be changed before negotiations can even start. The Likud Charter, which forbids the creation of a Palestinian state, is, on the other hand, considered "mere sabre rattling," and there's no need to change it. When an unknown Palestinian journalist says that Israel handed out aphrodisiac gum to Gazans in order to weaken them, it's the hate of a sick society vented; when a Jewish Member of Knesset asserts that gays cause earthquakes, it's freedom of speech exercised.

6. When Israel is judged by its best representatives, and the Palestinians by their worst elements. Israel is Tzipi Livni, not Moshe Feiglin or the rabbi who called for the murder of 1 million Gazans; the Palestinians are the imam who called Jews apes and pigs, not Sari Nusseibi or Salim Fayyad.

A defender of Israel is anti-Gentile when he or she combines most or all of these features in their discourse.

Defenses of Israel that don't exhibit these symptoms, on the other hand, are legitimate.

30 comments:

Utpal said...

So is Tzipi Livni really Israel's best representative?

Gert said...

I've gotta hand it to you: two superb posts in a row.

You can call it anti-Gentilism but I prefer to call it Judeophilia or Semitophilia, in particular when it comes from Gentile arch-supporters of Zionism, who really seem to believe that Zionism can do no wrong because of massive past wrongs committed against Jews worldwide.

Over at Mad Mel Phlips the belief that the UN has fallen to the Arab states (presumably they bought it with Oil that really should have belonged to the Masters of the Universe in the first place, a Clerical Error Upstairs, I feel...) is a recurring leitmotif. This narrative [cough!] is usually peddled by racists who believe that the Good Values Upheld by the Good West come directly from Judaism and that All That is Good and Wholesome in the World will soon be lorded over by the lepers from the Third World...

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Utpal -- Unfortunately, Tzipi Livni is Israel's best representative in the broadest sense of the term (Uri Avneri, on the other hand, is far more intelligent and ethical, but he represents only a dwindling community of like-minded Israelis).

Gert -- Obviously, I'm being facetious, and a better term should be found to describe those Gentiles who would give everything they have to be reincarnated as Jews. Personally I despise them a lot.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

You think the Likud charter indicates some sort of double-standard about the Hamas Charter? Have you read the Hamas Charter?

Nick said...

A blinding flash of light! Are you really the first person ever to spell out something so important?

Now, all that's needed is a proper name for what you've described. I'm not sure I like the word anti-Gentile, and I like Judeophilia and Semitophilia even less. It's a pity the words treason and race-traitor carry such baggage, otherwise they'd seem to fit the bill.

David L said...

Another classic post, and I'm with you about non-Jews who'd love to be Jews, if they weren't so self-staisfied at being Christians. Over and above the politics, there's the element of patronisation that drives me around the bend. There's also the fact that I tend to regard anyone who thinks the Jewish people are 'special', as antisemites waiting to happen.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Yitzchak -- of course, Likud doesn't exhibit the same lack of PR awareness as Hamas. But the fact is that when the Israelis write something, it's not considered binding until they change it. The opposite is true for the Palestinians.

And it applies to other circumstances, too. When Netanyahu talked vaguely about a Palestinian state with no army or control over its borders, it was considered a watershed. When the Arab League made a very concrete proposal of full diplomatic ties with Israel, it was dismissed offhand.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Likud doesn't exhibit the same lack of PR awareness as Hamas

Otherwise, the Likud charter would have claimed that Rotary Clubs are an Arab conspiracy and that in the future talking rocks and trees will exhort them to kill Palestinians?

the fact is that when the Israelis write something, it's not considered binding until they change it. The opposite is true for the Palestinians

I think the Israel-bashers have recently discovered the Likud Charter as a rather hapless gotcha point. I don't think supporters of Israel have taken stances on it much, but you are welcome to point to some examples of what you are talking about.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

"Otherwise, the Likud charter would have claimed that Rotary Clubs are an Arab conspiracy and that in the future talking rocks and trees will exhort them to kill Palestinians?"

Yuval Steinitz, a former MK from Likud, has said that Israeli Arabs want to marry Palestinians from the occupied territories to quietly become a majority in Israel.

Likud conspiracy theories are not as crude as Hamas ones, granted. But they are conspiracy theories nonetheless.

Ditto for the rhetoric about talking rocks and trees. Likud believes Jews have the right to settle the whole Land of Israel. This belief is based on a Jewish superstition. Again, it's not as crude as Hamas', but a superstition it is.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Likud conspiracy theories are not as crude as Hamas ones, granted. But they are conspiracy theories nonetheless.

The US has mainstream liberal and conservative parties known as the Democrats and the Republicans respectively. (The Israeli equivalents are probably Labor and Likud.) The fact that they are mainstream does not mean that you cannot find examples of Democratic or Republican congressmen saying extreme things, things which impute sinister motivations to actions which actually have perfectly normal explanations. Hamas, on the other hand, placed an affirmation of the truth of the Protocols of Zion in its Charter, presumably a carefully worked-out statement of its ideology as a movement, one meant for public consumption and acceptable to most of its members. Belief in the Protocols is not just "crude," it is an example of a broad conspiracist worldview, belief in vast, hidden, sinister forces shaping contemporary and historical events. Of course, you could probably find comparable beliefs in the official documents of some American political parties. The most likely places to look for them would be in the official documents of the neo-fascist parties: National Alliance, Aryan Nations, etc.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Ditto for the rhetoric about talking rocks and trees. Likud believes Jews have the right to settle the whole Land of Israel. This belief is based on a Jewish superstition.

Whether it is "based on" what you would regard as a superstition depends on how religiously-minded the person affirming the right is.
You are ignoring the blood-thirsty aspect of the "rocks and trees" hadith.

RebRafiFarber said...

Moshe Feiglin will soon be the spokesman for Israel.

RebRafiFarber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gert said...

Goodman:

"Hamas, on the other hand, placed an affirmation of the truth of the Protocols of Zion in its Charter, presumably a carefully worked-out statement of its ideology as a movement, one meant for public consumption and acceptable to most of its members. Belief in the Protocols is not just "crude," it is an example of a broad conspiracist worldview, belief in vast, hidden, sinister forces shaping contemporary and historical events."

Yep, that's terrible.

But for all their bluster and ridiculous charter, who continues to colonise the West Bank? Who isn't in the slightest phased by Hamas' rhetoric when it comes to quietly colonising the whole of Palestine?

Israel needs Hamas: it's a useful distraction the Israeli leadership can always bring up whenever some pressure comes to bear on it. It was once supported by your leadership. Iran, and previously Iraq, provide the same lightning rod. (Ahmadinejad is good for Israel, can't you see that?)

That's why Zionutzies love blabbering on about Hamas.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Israel needs Hamas

Thankyou for sharing your essay with us--What Hamas Means to Me--in 100 words or less. I particularly liked the word "Zionutzies"--"Zionazis" was getting boring? If you don't mind, however, I will stick to my narrow point: anyone who points to the Likud Charter and cries "Double-standard about the Hamas charter!" is playing fast and loose with what the two charters actually contain.

Gert said...

Goodman:

"Zionutzies"--"Zionazis" was getting boring?

I co-wrote an essay once (still on my blog): 'Why Israelis aren't Nazis', I stand by it.

Zionutzies is much softer. Nuttery is certainly involved a lot in Zionism.

"I will stick to my narrow point: anyone who points to the Likud Charter and cries "Double-standard about the Hamas charter!" is playing fast and loose with what the two charters actually contain."

No, not really. Literally speaking perhaps yes, but context matters a lot. Hamas and critics of Zionism get slapped around the ears with with Hamas' charter all the time.

Likud's charter isn't only reprehensible, it's far less publicised. Likud's charter has to be 'interpreted', Hamas' is the 'literal truth as they see it'.

And for mentioning any softening of Hamas' stance (that's been going on for years now) we get slapped around the ears with... you've guessed, Hamas' charter. Or more recently with Jerkowitz' latest brainfart: Hamas and the Palestinians are the descendants of Nazis!

Your own essays don't excel in length, BTW...

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Likud's charter has to be 'interpreted', Hamas' is the 'literal truth as they see it'.

I don't follow this, but I don,t think I have anything to add to what I wrote before.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Yitzchak, I'm afraid you may be engaging in straw-man setting.

I never said that the outrageousness of both charters is the same. Hamas' is far more outrageous. That notwithstanding, both charters, if taken literally, preclude any peaceful arrangement.

The double standard lies in ascribing a cosmical importance to the Hamas charter, while playing down the equally anti-peace Likud charter.

Antony Brown said...

Gert says: "I co-wrote an essay once (still on my blog): 'Why Israelis aren't Nazis', I stand by it." Your words were at https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=11234003&postID=1966587621299688769 posted in 2007

Assuming you mean Zionists when you say "Israelis" I think you've been over-kind to them. While there are at least three important differences (democracy, the Zionists never practised mass-murder/mass rape and the Nazis were not very keen colonialists), the similarities in ideology and operation are actually more important than the differences.

Most significant is the "Master Race" belief, probably more prominent in Israel than in 1930s Germany. Then there is the intrinsically violent nature of the followers (guns instead of fists) and the intrinsically violent/war-mongering nature of their state. Israelis are more open about their intention to rob others, and such conduct is at least as blatant amongst their troops.

Finally, if you actually intended to refer to "Israelis" as a population group and meant to say "1930s Germans" rather than "Nazis", then the modern day population is a lot more guilty than the ancient one. The information necessary to process what's going on is in plain view, the historical warnings/possibility of international justice are well known, and the near inevitability of an immense disaster with 10s or 100s of millions dead gets steadily clearer. Individual, young and/or property-owning Israelis can/could escape with relatively little damage to their life progress, unlike most 1930s Germans. If trapped and totally uninformed Ukrainians like Demanjuk deserve to face justice, how much more culpable are this lot!

Yitzchak Goodman said...

The double standard lies in ascribing a cosmical importance to the Hamas charter, while playing down the equally anti-peace Likud charter.

You are reducing them both to an abstraction you call "anti-peace." You could do the same thing with Mein Kampf and prove that anyone condemning that is showing a double-standard by not also condemning anything else you regard as "anti-peace." Jimmy Carter recently said about the Etzion Bloc "This particular settlement area is not one that I envision ever being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory." If that, in your mind, "precludes any peaceful arrangemnt," then voila! By your methods, anyone condemning Mein Kampf is exhibiting a double-standard by not also condemning Jimmy Carter.

Gert said...

Goodman:

Yep, drag Mein Kampf into it, why not?

Next we'll be discussing how many angels fit on a pin...

Likud's charter shows how little they're interested in peace and how much in territory.

See Uzi Arad's 'we not interested in the demography, we're only interested in the territory'.

You can't see how that mirrors much of Hamas' charter?

Yitzchak Goodman said...

You can't see how that mirrors much of Hamas' charter?

You might prefer debating with someone more like-minded.

andrew r said...

By your methods, anyone condemning Mein Kampf is exhibiting a double-standard by not also condemning Jimmy Carter.

You have a salient point here, Yitzchak. Also, pro-Palestinian activists are racist because they expect Israel to stop attacking Palestinians, but it's okay for Palestinians to attack Israel. They hold the Arabs to a lower standard than the Jews. They inherit a fine colonialist tradition from the Brits who governed the middle east and India.

Gert said...

Goodman:

"You might prefer debating with someone more like-minded."

Debating with like-minded people is an oxymoron.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

You are reducing them both to an abstraction you call "anti-peace."

The weight a threat carries is directly related to the ability to deliver on it. Hamas makes a horrible threat, but can't carry it out; Likud makes a less horrible threat, but it can make good on it, and what's more, it's actually doing so. This summer, 30 new outposts are being set up by Israeli Jewish settlers, with the IDF standing aside, in compliance with the Likud charter's clause that the party will promote the settling of the whole Land of Israel.

Jimmy Carter recently said about the Etzion Bloc "This particular settlement area is not one that I envision ever being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory."

The new illegal outposts are being built outside the Etzion Bloc, so I'm not sure your example is relevant.

If that, in your mind, "precludes any peaceful arrangemnt,"

If Israel said "these are the borders of the settlements we want to keep, and we won't build beyond them," that wouldn't preclude a peaceful arrangement, because it would be a commitment not to grab further land.

But that's not what Israel is doing. Israel is talking of building only to accomodate "natural growth," or, lately, "normal life," an ambiguous expression that could mean, for instance, continuing to build all the way to the Jordan river. That, combined with the Likud's explicit promise to settle the whole Land of Israel, certainly precludes any viable Palestinian state.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

But that's not what Israel is doing

I understand that you are not inclined to construe Carter as "anti-Peace." That is why I chose him as an example. The point is that your method works on anything.

Anonymous said...

"anti-gentile" HAH! Barely 12 million Jews in the world v. around 6 billion gentiles. Be afraid -- be very afraid. We rule the world little goyim! Muahahaha!!! Except your grandparents helped murder 2 million Jewish children. You suck.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

The point is that your method works on anything.

I personally don't believe a two-state solution can bring peace. There are too many Palestinians in Israel proper, and Jews in the West Bank. I favor a single binational state, where Jews can live in Hebron and Palestinians can return to their homes in, for example, Ein Hod.

That said, it's obvious that a two-state solution can only be based on a land-for-peace agreement. Israel already has a lot of land to return. Any government that encourages further seizures of land, as the current Israeli government is doing, cannot be said to be pro-peace even under a two-state-solution philosophy.

Since that land grab is justified by the Likud charter, it's safe to state that the Likud charter is anti-peace.

But I'd like to hear your opinion as to whether the settlers who go and occupy private Palestinian property are harming the peace process or not.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Since partition doesn't actually solve anything for the Israeli or diaspora Palestinians, of course it can't deliver peace. And that's one of the reasons we know that Carter is anti peace.

When one writes, 'a two-state solution can only be based on a land-for-peace agreement' it raises all kinds of questions. Using the expression 'a two-state solution' buys into the assumption that partition can solve the middle east imbroglio. Similarly, 'land for peace' suggests that there is one party that has land and wants peace and another that wants land but withholds peace by their violence. As inevitably understood, it is Israel in that first role and the Palestinians in the second. In reality, Israel took all the Palestinians's land by force without their acquiescence and it is Israel who are denying the Palestinians peace. Israel can renounce land or violence or both. The Palestinians have already given up everything, except sumud.

Arayus said...

Actually, Hamas dropped its call for the destruction of Israel when it created its new charter.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jan/12/israel

They also said they would accept a 2 state solution based on the 67 borders. And yes, a permanent peace, not a hudna.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1035414.html

Also, Hamas has stated that they ended the practice of suicide bombings.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/apr/09/israel

Meanwhile, Israel has not made a single concession on its beliefs. They still insist that a Palestinian state should never emerge and that all the land they stole belongs to them cuz God told them so.