Anti-Israelism: Why Zionism Doesn’t and Can’t Get It

There is no doubt it. More and more people all over the world, and probably many of their governments behind closed doors, are beginning to see the Zionist state of Israel for what it really is – not only the obstacle to peace but a monster1 apparently beyond control; and they, more and more so-called ordinary folk everywhere, are beginning to turn against it.

That explains why Prime Minister Netanyahu is leading Zionism’s hysterical call for the world to stop demonizing Israel.

At the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on 25 January, he said: “There is evil in the world, and it doesn’t stop, it spreads. There is a new call to destroy the Jewish state. It’s our problem but not only our problem. This (the re-emergence and growth of anti-Semitism according to Netanyahu) is a crime against the Jews, and a crime against humanity, and it is a test of humanity.”

That was quite something from the man who has done more than most to assist Zionism in its transformation of the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust from a lesson against racism and fascism and all the evils associated with them into an ideology that seeks to justify anything and everything Israel does. War crimes and all.

Zionism can’t see, is too blinded by its own insufferable self-righteousness to see, that the behaviour of its monster child is the prime cause of the re-awakening of the sleeping giant of anti-Semitism – except that in most cases it’s not anti-Semitism. It’s anti-Israelism. (The danger is that it could easily become anti-Semitism in its Western sense – loathing and even hatred of Jews just because they are Jews – if the Western world is not assisted to understand the difference between Judaism and Zionism. The difference explains why it is perfectly possible to be passionately anti-Zionist without being in any way, shape or form anti-Jew and, also, why it is wrong to blame all Jews everywhere for the crimes of the relative few in Israel, and not all Israelis).

It is a fact that prior to the Nazi holocaust, almost all the Jews of the world were opposed to Zionism’s colonial enterprise. One of several reasons for the opposition of the most informed and thoughtful of them was the fear that if Zionism was allowed by the big powers to have its way, it would one day provoke classical anti-Semitism.

As I note in my book, Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, this fear was given a fresh airing in 1986 by Yehoshafat Harkabi, Israel’s longest serving Director of Military Intelligence. In his remarkable book, Israel’s Fateful Hour, he gave this warning (my emphasis added):

Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world.

Three particular events guaranteed that Israel’s “misconduct” became not only “a factor” but the prime factor in the re-emergence and the rise of what Zionism asserts is anti-Semitism but is actually anti-Israelism. They were:

1. Israel’s invasion of Lebanon all the way to Beirut in 1982, the initial purpose of this offensive being to destroy the PLO, its leadership and infrastructure.
2. Israel’s war on Lebanon 2006, the main purposes of this offensive being to cause enough destruction and death to force Lebanon’s political institutions and military to confront and defeat Hizbollah (which would not have come into existence if Israel had not invaded Lebanon and occupied the south of it in 1982); and to teach the Arabs, all Arabs, a lesson.
3. Israel’s most recent war on the Gaza Strip, the main purposes of it being to collectively punish all Palestinians there (for supporting Hamas) and destroying Hamas militarily and politically, in the belief that when it had done so, Israel would have more freedom to bully and bribe Abbas’s quisling Palestinian National Authority into accepting crumbs from Zionism’s table.

By any objective consideration those three offensives were demonstrations of Israeli state terrorism. (I have just finished updating the story for Volume Three of the American edition of my book and it has chapter titled “State Terrorism Becomes Israel’s Norm”).

Because the Western world had been conditioned to see the 1967 conflict as a war of Israeli self-defense – i.e., not what it actually was, a war of Israeli aggression, Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon was the first real opportunity for the watching Western world to see what until then only the Arabs in general, and the Palestinians in particular, had seen in close-up – the ugly face of Zionism. A face so ugly that 400,000 Israelis assembled to express their outrage of what had been done in their name.

On the subject of the self-righteousness that is the cause of Zionism’s congenital blindness, Harkabi wrote this (again my emphasis added):

Self-criticism is imperative in order to counterbalance the tendencies to self-righteousness and self-pity that stem from basic Jewish attitudes, from the historical experience of persecution, and from the ethos fostered by Menachem Begin. No factor endangers Israel’s future more than self-righteousness, which blinds us to reality, prevents a complex understanding of the situation and legitimizes extreme behaviour.

  1. There may be readers of this article who object a little or a lot to my description of the Zionist state as a monster. It’s not an original Alan Hart idea. In 1984, and as quoted by Harkabi, Israeli journalist Teddy Preuss published a book with the title Begin, His Regime. In it he wrote (my emphasis added): “I have no doubt that Begin’s rule will lead to the destruction of the state. In any case, his rule will turn Israel into a monster.” []

Alan Hart has been engaged with events in the Middle East and globally as a researcher, author, and a correspondent for ITN and the BBC. Read other articles by Alan, or visit Alan's website.

7 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ismail Zayid said on January 28th, 2010 at 11:39am #

    Alan Hart’s analysis, of the tireless campaign that Zionist’s apologists contiue to carry out, in using the baseless charge of anti-Semitism against all those who criticise Israeli policies, is sound and substantial. However, Israel’s “misconduct” did not start in 1982, with Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the crimes comitted then. Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians and its Arab neighbours go back to the inception of the state of Israel and continue. This campaign by Israel’s unquestioning supporters, using the offensive charge of anti-Semitism against criticism of Israeli brutal policies, has devalued the significant meaning of this abhorent label.

  2. Straightshooter said on January 28th, 2010 at 1:14pm #

    The wise words of Uri Avnery, renowned Israeli journalist and former member of the Knesset, come to mind:

    “Many good people, who feel no hatred at all towards the Jews, but who detest the persecution of the Palestinians, are now called anti-Semites. Thus the sting is taken out of this word, giving it something approaching respectability. The practical upshot: not only does Israel not
    protect the Jews from anti-Semitism, but quite on the contrary – Israel manufactures and exports anti-Semitism.”

  3. Rehmat said on January 28th, 2010 at 5:56pm #

    Zionist-Arab conflict: It’s purely a secular conflict based on land grab. Zionism began as a rebellion against religious Judaismand at the outset most Orthodox Rabbis condemned Zionism as a blasphemous secularization of the land of Israel. Similarly, the ideology of PLO was secular. Unless a just polical solution can be found that is satisfactory to everyone, there is no hope for peace.

    For many Muslims the plight of Palestinian represents everything that is wrong with the modern world. the fact that, in 1948, 750,000 Palestinian could loose their homes with apparent approval of the world symbolizes the impotence of Muslim world vis-a-vis the West.

    Jewish occupation of Palestine has also become pivotal to Christian fundamentalists in the United States. The Christian Right believe that unless the Jews are in their land, fulfilling the ancient prophecies (distorted by Zionist sponsored Scofield Bible) – Christ cannot return in glory in the Second Coming. So they are passionate Zionists; but this idealogy is also anti-Jewish – because in the Last Days, they believe that Christ will massacre Jews in the Holy Land if they do not accet Baptism (convert to Christianity).

    In the Balfour Declaration (1917), Britain approved of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and ignored the aspirations and plight of native Palestinian Muslims and Christians. And today the US supports Israel economically and politically and also tends to ignore the plight of Palestinians. This is dangerous, because Palestinians (over nine million) are not going to go away.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2008/11/28/islam-myths-and-facts/

  4. dan e said on January 28th, 2010 at 6:35pm #

    Pogo, yes…
    Yes, Yes, what did he say? Please?

    BTW, Bro. Strateshooter, I got no problem with this particular quote by Avneri, in fact it is IMHO a very good statement, but I DO have lots of problems with lots of other things he’s said. I’d call him a Very Liberal Zionist, since he seems to think “Isreal” is a country like other countries. He’s a little Unclear On The Concept which Mr Hart and Rehmat explain so eloquently. But thanks for posting the quote:)

  5. kalidas said on January 28th, 2010 at 7:39pm #

    Pogo is justifiably famous for one statement alone.

    “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  6. kynaston said on January 30th, 2010 at 7:15am #

    Excellent article. One really malign element has been the influence of AIPAC in denying free expression both in the US and on the net in general – even to object to the constant murdering of Palestinian children is reacted to with yells of ‘anti-semite’ and demands – and actions – to silence the critics. That organisation seems to care only to gag honest criticism and bully politicians, and the result is to push people steadily away from any sympathy with their cause. It is as if they care only for the US right, and anyone else shoud shut up, or be shut up. I feel, more and more, that the origins in zionism in German nationalism and in the reaction to Hitler are showing up all too clearly as imitation. I also feel that the zionists – so long as they can keep that vital subsidy and political backing – WANT anti-Jewish feeling to spread, because it justifies their crimes. People of my generation who remember what happened to all the decent non-zionist Jewish people have been innoculated against the Hitlerfilth, but those to whom it is history have less restraint, I think, when they look at the monstrous lies and suppressions zionist colonialism involves. There are still very, very many Jewish people who stand up against this racist vomit, and I do hope more and more of the doubters will join them.

  7. dan e said on January 30th, 2010 at 11:25am #

    congrats to Kynaston for excellent pithy comment. As Bismarck said, “Blut und Boden”.

    One pt: it’s not just AIPAC or “the Lobby”. The problem is much much larger. The Zionist Thought Police in the US is usually spearheaded by chapters of the Jewish Community Relations Councils/JCRCs, backed by Jewish Federation/”The Fed”, ADL, Bnai Brith and local synagogues of all persuasions except for anti-Zionist Neturei Karta. Of course the Thought Policing aka “maintenance of ideological hegemony” function is but one branch of the Israeli Fifth Column’s activities.
    Probably the best overall descriptive term denoting what we’re talking about is Jas Petras’ “Zionist Power Configuration”/ZPC. (cf. his “The Power of Israel in the United States”, C larity Press, Atlanta 2006