Defining Israeli Zionist Racism: Part 3

Section 1: Analysis of Israeli Zionist Racism [Continuation]

D: Psychoanalytical reading by Joseph Massad

Joseph Massad is associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University. Aided by acute sense of history and insight to read into the Zionist psyche, Massad gives a vibrant political psychoanalysis of Israeli fascist Zionism. He writes,

Israel’s struggle for peace is a sincere one. In fact, Israel desires to live at peace not only with its neighbors, but also and especially with its own Palestinian population, and with Palestinians whose lands it military occupies by force. Israel’s desire for peace is not only rhetorical but also substantive and deeply psychological. With few exceptions, prominent Zionist leaders since the inception of colonial Zionism have desired to establish peace with the Palestinians and other Arabs whose lands they slated for colonization and settlement. The only thing Israel has asked for, and continues to ask for in order to end the state of war with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors, is that all recognize its right to be a racist state that discriminates by law against Palestinians and other Arabs and grants differential legal rights and privileges to its own Jewish citizens and to all other Jews anywhere. The resistance that the Palestinian people and other Arabs have launched against Israel’s right to be a racist state is what continues to stand between Israel and the peace for which it has struggled and to which it has been committed for decades. Indeed, this resistance is nothing less than the “New anti-Semitism”.

Israel is willing to do anything to convince Palestinians and other Arabs of why it needs and deserves to have the right to be racist. Even at the level of theory, and before it began to realise itself on the ground, the Zionist colonial project sought different means by which it could convince the people whose lands it wanted to steal and against whom it wanted to discriminate to accept as understandable its need to be racist. All it required was that the Palestinians “recognize its right to exist” as a racist state. Military methods were by no means the only persuasive tools available; there were others, including economic and cultural incentives. Zionism from the start offered some Palestinians financial benefits if they would accede to its demand that it should have the right to be racist. Indeed, the State of Israel still does. …

After all, Israeli racism only manifests in its flag, its national anthem, and a bunch of laws that are necessary to safeguard Jewish privilege, including the Law of Return (1950), the Law of Absentee Property (1950), the Law of the State’s Property (1951), the Law of Citizenship (1952), the Status Law (1952), the Israel Lands Administration Law (1960), the Construction and Building Law (1965), and the 2002 temporary law banning marriage between Israelis and Palestinians of the occupied territories. …1

Massad continues his piercing analysis by describing how the Zionist “state” enshrined racism and its bogus theological and mystical underlayment into its socio-politico-military structures while imposing — with western and American financial and military help — on the Palestinians and Arabs to either obey such practice or face perpetual war. He writes,

Let us start with why Israel and Zionism need to ensure that Israel remains a racist state by law and why it deserves to have that right. The rationale is primarily threefold and is based on the following claims.

1. Jews are always in danger out in the wide world; only in a state that privileges them racially and religiously can they be safe from gentile oppression and can prosper. If Israel removed its racist laws and symbols and became a non-racist democratic state, Jews would cease to be a majority and would be like Diaspora Jews, a minority in a non-Jewish state. These concerns are stated clearly by Israeli leaders individually and collectively. Shimon Peres, for example, the dove of official Israel, has been worried for some time about the Palestinian demographic “danger”, as the Green Line, which separates Israel from the West Bank, is beginning to “disappear … which may lead to the linking of the futures of West Bank Palestinians with Israeli Arabs”. He hoped that the arrival of 100,000 Jews in Israel would postpone this demographic “danger” for 10 more years, as ultimately, he stressed, “demography will defeat geography”.

2. In December 2000, the Institute of Policy and Strategy at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Centre in Israel held its first of a projected series of annual conferences dealing with the strength and security of Israel, especially with regards to maintaining Jewish demographic majority. Israel’s president and current and former prime ministers and cabinet ministers were all in attendance. One of the “Main Points” identified in the 52-page conference report is concern over the numbers needed to maintain Jewish demographic and political supremacy of Israel: “The high birth rate [of 'Israeli Arabs'] brings into question the future of Israel as a Jewish state … The present demographic trends, should they continue, challenge the future of Israel as a Jewish state. Israel has two alternative strategies: adaptation or containment. The latter requires a long-term energetic Zionist demographic policy whose political, economic, and educational effects would guarantee the Jewish character of Israel.” The report adds affirmatively that, “those who support the preservation of Israel’s character as … a Jewish state for the Jewish nation … constitute a majority among the Jewish population in Israel.” Of course, this means the maintenance of all the racist laws that guarantee the Jewish character of the state. Subsequent annual meetings have confirmed this commitment.

3. Jews are carriers of Western civilization and constitute an Asian station defending both Western civilization and economic and political interests against Oriental terrorism and barbarism. If Israel transformed itself into a non-racist state, then its Arab population would undermine the commitment to Western civilization and its defense of the West’s economic and political interests, and might perhaps transform Jews themselves into a Levantine barbaric population. Here is how Ben Gurion once put it: “We do not want Israelis to become Arabs. We are in duty bound to fight against the spirit of the Levant, which corrupts individuals and societies, and preserve the authentic Jewish values as they crystallized in the [European] Diaspora.” Indeed Ben Gurion was clear on the Zionist role of defending these principles: “We are not Arabs, and others measure us by a different standard … our instruments of war are different from those of the Arabs, and only our instruments can guarantee our victory.” More recently, Israel’s ambassador to Australia, Naftali Tamir, stressed that: “We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don’t have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not — we are basically the white race.”

4. God has given this land to the Jews and told them to safeguard themselves against gentiles who hate them. To make Israel a non-Jewish state then would run the risk of challenging God Himself. This position is not only upheld by Jewish and Christian fundamentalists, but even by erstwhile secular Zionists (Jews and Christians alike). Ben Gurion himself understood, as does Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, that: “God promised it to us.”

5. From this point further, Massad makes exceptional inroads in reading the mindset of Israeli Zionist racism. For the purpose of this article, we are going to extract only a part of Massad’s brilliant conclusion. He writes,

6. It is important to stress that this Zionist rationale is correct on all counts if one accepts the proposition of Jewish exceptionalism. Remember that Zionism and Israel are very careful not to generalize the principles that justify Israel’s need to be racist but are rather vehement in upholding it as an exceptional principle. It is not that no other people has been oppressed historically, it is that Jews have been oppressed more. It is not that no other people’s cultural and physical existence has been threatened; it is that the Jews’ cultural and physical existence is threatened more. This quantitative equation is key to why the world, and especially Palestinians, should recognize that Israel needs and deserves to have the right to be a racist state. If the Palestinians, or anyone else, reject this, then they must be committed to the annihilation of the Jewish people physically and culturally, not to mention that they would be standing against the Judeo-Christian God.

Next: Part 4 of 12

Read also Parts 1 & 2.

  1. Joseph Massad, “Israeli right to be Racist,” Palestineremembered.com, 5 May 2007. []

Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American antiwar activist. They can be reached at: Petersen_sabri@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Kim Petersen, or visit Kim Petersen's website.

14 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. jaime said on January 1st, 2008 at 11:17am #

    Oh Brother, where art thou?

    First paragraph:

    “..The resistance that the Palestinian people and other Arabs have launched against Israel’s right to be a racist state is what continues to stand between Israel and the peace for which it has struggled..”

    In 2005 Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip to a 1967 internationally recognized border.

    Every day since then, Palestinian “peace activists” have been attacking Israel across the border with crude rockets and mortars. This is not an act of resistance to occupation or racism. The Gaza isn’t occupied.

    The attacks are aggressive, imperialistic acts.

  2. jaime said on January 1st, 2008 at 11:29am #

    http://www.nysun.com/article/3602

    A congressman from New York City is calling for the dismissal of a Columbia University professor he accuses of “displays of anti-Semitism.”

    Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democrat of Brooklyn and Queens, has written a letter to Columbia’s president, Lee Bollinger, urging him to “fire” Joseph Massad, an assistant professor of Arab politics and one of the harshest critics of Israel on campus.
    Rep. Weiner Asks Columbia to Fire Anti-Israel Prof

    By JACOB GERSHMAN
    Staff Reporter of the Sun
    October 22, 2004

    In his letter, Mr. Weiner said Columbia cannot ignore instances like a public speech in which Mr. Massad is said to have likened Zionism to Nazism. The professor, in a published article, has also denied Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

    “By simply casting aside these claims and not holding its faculty accountable, Columbia enhances the public perception that it condones anti-Semitism,” Mr. Weiner wrote.

    Mr. Massad did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

    Mr. Weiner was reacting to a report that appeared in Wednesday’s issue of The New York Sun on a new underground documentary film in which current and former Columbia students speak about what they say is political intimidation and hostility toward Israel among faculty members. The David Project, the pro-Israel advocacy group that produced the short film, has not released it to the public but has screened it for top Columbia and Barnard College officials. The group has also sent a copy to the head of the Hillel chapter of Columbia and Barnard, Simon Klarfeld, who said he plans to screen it for the organization’s board of directors next month.

    “Due to its very sensitive nature, this will be a closed meeting – open only to the Hillel board of directors, so that we can review the materials, have a serious facilitated policy discussion and make the necessary decisions for next steps as an organization,” Mr. Klarfeld wrote in an e-mail. He did not return a call for comment.

    According to people who have seen the film, it contains a scene in which a former undergraduate, Tomer Schoenfeld, talks about attending a lecture in the spring of 2001 delivered by Mr. Massad on the subject of the Middle East conflict.

    According to Mr. Schoenfeld, he tried asking the professor a question after the lecture, informing the professor that he was Israeli. Mr. Schoenfeld said Mr. Massad demanded to know if the student had served in the Israeli military, to which the student replied that he had.

    Mr. Schoenfeld, who served in the Israeli Air Force between 1996 and 1999, said that Mr. Massad asked him how many Palestinians he had killed, and that the professor wouldn’t allow him to speak until he answered the question.

    The film also features an interview with a student who says a professor told her in the middle of class that she could not have ancestral ties to Israel because her eyes were green, according to those who have watched it.

    The David Project is circulating the film at a time when a number of Jewish members of Columbia’s community have expressed concern over what they say is strong anti-Israel bias among many of those who teach Middle East courses at the school. For example, more than a third of full-time faculty members in the Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures department signed a 2002 petition calling on Columbia to get rid of its investments in companies that sell arms and military hardware to Israel.

    Columbia has also refused to return $200,000 it received from the United Arab Emirates to endow a professorship in Arab studies named after Edward Said, the late Columbia professor of literature and Palestinian Arab advocate.

    Mr. Massad was also the focus of a January 2004 e-mail that the head of Columbia’s Hillel, Rabbi Charles Sheer, sent to Jewish students. Rabbi Sheer wrote that last October he attended a lecture given by Mr. Massad, titled, “The Persistence of the Palestinian Question.”

    “Massad’s thesis was: Zionism is a European colonial system based upon racist principles; its primary goals are the eradication of Palestine – as a country and a culture, and the expulsion of the Palestinians,” Rabbi Sheer wrote. “Professor Massad has reversed the roles of all the players and redefined many of the historic events: The Zionists are the new Nazis; the Palestinians are oppressed victims and therefore the new Jews; the military conflict in Gaza has become the new Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.”

    Mr. Massad has also argued in his writings that Israel does not legitimately represent Jews and accused the state of Israel of expressing “anti-Semitism.”

    In an interview with the Sun, Mr. Weiner said he supports academic freedom but said, “There has been a line that has been crossed here between the search of knowledge and the expression of hate.”

    “Simply because you are a professor at a college doesn’t give you carte blanche to spew hate,” the congressman said. “And dressing it up as intellectual freedom doesn’t change it from what it is.”

    Mr. Weiner, a former member of the City Council who has expressed interest in running for mayor next year, said he “speaks for a lot of New Yorkers,” who are concerned that Columbia’s reputation is being “sullied” by “anti-Semitic rantings of one of its own.”

    It appears highly unlikely that Columbia will take any disciplinary actions against Mr. Massad, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures and will soon be up for tenure.

    According to Columbia’s faculty handbook, all faculty members are “entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject,” and “freedom in research and in the publication of its results.”

    The handbook says professors “may not be penalized by the University for expressions of opinion or associations in their private or civic capacity; but they should bear in mind the special obligations arising from their position in the academic community.”

    It also states that a faculty affairs committee and a hearing committee make decisions about whether to dismiss faculty member for such reasons as “gross inefficiency, habitual and intentional neglect of duty, or serious personal misconduct.” Columbia’s board of trustees, however, has final say over personnel matters.

    A spokeswoman for Columbia, Susan Brown, said the school takes “all letters from congressional members seriously regardless of the issues.”

    She said anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses is an “issue that everyone needs to be concerned about” and said there a “variety of processes” for students concerned about the issue to lodge their complaints.

    Mr. Bollinger formed a committee last year to explore the issue of academic freedom on campus. The committee, Mr. Bollinger wrote in May, “did not find any evidence of systematic bias in our classrooms.”

  3. Espresso said on January 1st, 2008 at 12:30pm #

    Rep. Anthony Weiner is just another treasonous Zionist Zealout: http://www.democracynow.org/2006/8/30/congressmember_weiner_gets_it_wrong_on

  4. Ralph Ray said on January 1st, 2008 at 1:41pm #

    My thanks to Kim for publishing this informative series. Here is the essential information about the Israeli/Palestinian situation that the mainstream media, afraid of the Israel Lobby, is unwilling to publish.

    What a shame, however, that so much time gets spent discussing the irrelevant matters brought up constantly by Jaime, who is obviously a part of the organized Israel Lobby. One of the many functions of the Lobby is to monitor publications and websites such as this one and, if there are any negative pieces or even comments about Israel, to immediately have someone (usually a volunteer) post opposing points of view, the rhetorical function of which is to detract attention away from the the arguments made and to create a new argument focused on the peripheral matters or objections to the piece advanced by the volunteer. Jaime probably doesn’t work for AIPAC because they do not generally recruit volunteers to monitor publications. Several other organizations do, however. It is also possible, but probably unlikely, that Jaime is a government agent provocateur (American or Israeli) . More likely, however, Jaime is a volunteer for either CAMERA or GIYUS.ORG. (two more organizations among the many that comprise the Israeli Lobby). My hunch is that Jaime is a GIYUS.ORG volunteer. dissidentvoice readers may want to visit the GIYUS.ORG site to see the Lobby in action for themselves. Oh yes, the Israel Lobby is real, very real. Go see for yourself. I imagine Jaime goes there every day to get stuff to post and guidance on how to post it.

  5. hp said on January 1st, 2008 at 6:14pm #

    We ain’t played cowboys and Zionist Nazis…yet.

  6. Hue Longer said on January 1st, 2008 at 6:16pm #

    It was a good conclusion given by Mossad, it’s why jaime always resorts to exagerating the alternative of supporting zionism to killing all the Jews

  7. Shabnam said on January 1st, 2008 at 7:37pm #

    Massad writes:

    “Jews are always in danger out in the wide world; only in a state that privileges them racially and religiously can they be safe from gentile oppression and can prosper. If Israel removed its racist laws and symbols and became a non-racist democratic state, Jews would cease to be a majority and would be like Diaspora Jews, a minority in a non-Jewish state.”

    Israeli leaders are not the only one who wants to keep the state as a “Jewish” majority. Noam Chomsky equally is eager to see Israel as a state with Jewish majority. Stephen Shalom and Justin Podur in March 30, 2004 asked the following question:
    What do you think of a single-state solution, in the form of a democratic, secular state?
    and Chomsky gave this answer:
    “There has never been a legitimate proposal for a democratic secular state from any significant Palestinian (or of course Israeli) group. One can debate, abstractly, whether it is “desirable.” But it is completely unrealistic. There is no meaningful international support for it, and within Israel, opposition to it is close to universal. It is understood that this would soon become a Palestinian state with a Jewish minority, and with no guarantee for either democracy or secularism.”

    The establishment of Israel is based on 58% UN votes where majority are Western countries and US puppet states. All courtiers of the region including Greece and Turkey and Iran voted against partition of Palestine. Many countries including China and India did not vote for the partition of Palestine because they believed in one country for all. There was a meaningful international support for it but the western power wanted to bring settlers from Europe to create war and destruction and put one against the other to weaken the regional states to expand their influence and finally to colonize the region to plunder its wealth. The Zionists have their own agenda to establish “greater Israel” by dividing the regional states to create allies for themselves as well. The United States as the super power was able to obtain votes by intimidation and bribes, pretty much like what they did to get votes against Iran nuclear energy, from weaker states. Therefore, Chomsky must know how the legitimacy of creation of Zionist state was established. Israel was a colonial project to protect the interest of the west against the indigenous population. What is going to happen when the racist state is not able to carry out its mission anymore since many Americans including elites view Israel as a liability and not an asset. I’m sure Chomsky understands this dilemma very well and therefore he continues to support a racist state with Jewish majority against one state solution since he believes one state solution soon becomes a Palestinian state with a Jewish minority where he calls this “no guarantee for either democracy or secularism.” You must know Chomsky always puts his own words into other people’s mouth. Therefore, he continues with the myth of Israel as an “asset” not liability to keep people as ignorant as they are.

  8. Chiara Hayward said on January 2nd, 2008 at 8:35am #

    Jaime,
    Can you stop already? Enough is enough… Your flatulent zionist views are really worthless.
    Chiara

  9. jaime said on January 2nd, 2008 at 9:40am #

    From immediately above:

    “…The Zionists have their own agenda to establish “greater Israel” by dividing the regional states to create allies for themselves as well…”

    “…Israel was a colonial project to protect the interest of the west against the indigenous population….”

    “…a racist state with Jewish majority against one state solution…”

    1) There’s absolutely zero evidence that Israel intends to expand today’s borders. Especially to other countries like Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq. It’s sheer malevolent fantasy on the part of Massad. No one takes this proposition seriously aside from a few lunatics.

    2) In the 1860’s – 90’s when the Zionist enterprise of re-establishing a Jewish state in the Middle east got started there was no reason to “protect the west” against anybody. It’s sheer malevolent fantasy on the part of Massad. No one takes this proposition seriously aside from a few lunatics.

    3) There are lots of countries that define themselves as religious majority states. Why not call them at least equally racist? The nations of Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, and Pakistan all have “Islamic republic” in their full name, though they differ greatly in individual governments and laws. Pakistan for example, only uses the “Islamic” name on its passports and visas.

    It’s sheer malevolent fantasy on the part of Massad. No one takes this proposition seriously aside from a few lunatics.

  10. Chris Crass said on January 2nd, 2008 at 12:39pm #

    Shabnam:
    “… he believes one state solution soon becomes a Palestinian state with a Jewish minority where he calls this ‘no guarantee for either democracy or secularism.'”
    I think Chomsky’s point is that Israel is so brutally corrupt and racist that a single state is no longer viable, if indeed it ever was. Look at South Africa. There, the ruling class was comprised of a minority that overpowered a majority. I don’t know, though. Maybe you think South Africa was a shining beacon of democracy.

  11. Hatuxka said on January 2nd, 2008 at 1:53pm #

    >1) There’s absolutely zero evidence that Israel intends to expand today’s >borders. Especially to other countries like Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi >Arabia, Iraq. It’s sheer malevolent fantasy on the part of Massad. No one >takes this proposition seriously aside from a few lunatics.

    This is a nice piece of insight into jaimes methods of argument. As if the Zionist concept of “Eretz Israel (” doesn’t exist. Manachem Begin, the terrorist, never renounced his proclamation that “…Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.”
    Herzl said that Eretz Israel encompasses “the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates” The current Israeli gvt is unlikely to express this deeply Zionist dream, so saying that they have not deliberately incriminated themselves on this repugnant, racist notion is not saying much. They are horrible, but not stupid. They could end this situation by defining their borders, but they won’t. Ben Gurion founded this policy at the beginning of the state of Israel by refusing to specify the borders from the get-go, saying that they are whatever “we (Israel)” say they are at any given time.
    jaime, you seem like the lunatic

  12. Shabnam said on January 2nd, 2008 at 2:18pm #

    Chris:
    Chomsky has expressed his opinion on one state solution number of times in the past where he has expressed his preference for a state with Jewish majority. I believe Chomsky do not look at one state solution the way you present it. He thinks a Palestinian state with a Jewish minority will ultimately view Islam not as an obstacle rather a positive value and since he views Islam as an anti democratic, therefore, he rejects one state solution for Palestine.
    He is also supporting “Hands off people of Iran” (HOPI) a Trotskyite group who are actively working towards regime change in Iran.
    Please read the interview at the following link.

    http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20040330.htm

  13. Chris Crass said on January 2nd, 2008 at 4:29pm #

    He doesn’t make any mention of Islam in that interview you linked, and I’ve never read anything by him where he’s said anything like that (“…a Palestinian state with a Jewish minority will ultimately view Islam not as an obstacle rather a positive value and since he views Islam as an anti democratic…”).
    About a single, secular state, he has this to say:
    “If popular pressures in the US (primarily) and Israel have not even been able to compel the governments to accept a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus, then, a fortiori, they will not be able to compel the governments to accept elimination of Israel in favor of a single Palestinian state in which Israeli Jews will soon be a minority.”
    It’s not his opinion or his dream, it’s his assessment of the situation as it is.

    and:
    “…the question that arises is not whether it is inevitable that a state declared to be “democratic and secular” will degenerate, but whether there will be any guarantee of democracy and secularism. And there wouldn’t be. Israel, for example, already calls itself ‘democratic and secular,’ but in practice has devised an elaborate array of mechanisms over the years, ranging from legalistic to administrative practice, which grant enormous privileges to the Jewish population. And the same is true of other states that describe themselves as “democratic” or “secular.” In the case of an imagined Palestinian state, there is surely no greater reason to expect guarantees, and no one would have any reason to put any faith in that. That would be true even if there had ever been a credible Palestinian proposal for a democratic secular state.'”
    This is essentially what I wrote earlier.

    As for what he would support under better circumstances:
    “Personally, I would be very pleased if there were support now for the kind of federal binationalism that could have been implemented in the 1967-73 period. But I am aware of no signs of that.”

    As far as supporting HOPI, that seems to align with Chomsky’s general principles. He’s a big fan of secular nationalism in the Middle East and not too hot on authoritarian theocracies. It’s important to keep in mind that the enemy of your enemy could be your enemy too.

  14. Mike McNiven said on January 3rd, 2008 at 2:09am #

    HOPI is the voice of the Iranians living in exile!
    They are anti-imperialist and anti -zionist! They are different from Iranians who have chosen to stay outside of Iran! That’s why they want a regime change so they can go back to their homeland! Their regime change plans are completely opposite of what the imperialist governments like to do in Iran! HOPI people want to build a socialist Iran which, by definition, is about social justice! That’s why Chomsky is supporting them! See their pages for yourself:

    http://www.hopoi.org/