Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

"A Disreputable Intellectual Gloss On A Policy Based In Hatred"

This odious op-ed by University of Massachusetts philosophy professor Joseph Levine in the New York Times last week which denies Jewish Peoplehood and Israel's right to exist, and maintains that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism, is manna from hell to Israel's adversaries, and predictably it has been received with whoops of gargantuan delight by anti-Israel propagandists and their followers on social media.

Levine's article is, as the always interesting Jonathan S. Tobin now writes, is "a disreputable intellectual gloss on a policy based in hatred."

Observes Tobin inter alia: 
'His sole interest is in the one Jewish state, not the scores of other nations whose identity is based in other national identities or faiths. What he calls the “ethnic hegemony” of Jews in Israel is replicated in various ways in the vast majority of United Nations member states–though in almost all cases with far less concern for the rights of ethnic and religious minorities than is enshrined in Israeli law. Though he claims he is not judging Israel by a double standard, that is exactly what he has done.
Thus, any attempt to deny to the Jews what is not denied or even questioned when it comes to other groups is by definition a form of prejudice. Such prejudice against Jews is called anti-Semitism. That’s why the claim that to be anti-Zionist is not the same as being anti-Semitic is mere sophistry.
But the truly contemptible aspect of Levine’s treatise is the disingenuous attempt to treat the question of Israel’s right to exist as separate from the real world consequences of anti-Zionism.
While Jews deserve the same rights of self-determination that are accorded to others, the particular importance of Israel stems not just from the Jewish demand for equitable treatment but from the consequences of 2,000 years during which they were denied statehood....
 One need only listen or read the unceasing stream of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda emanating from Tehran, Cairo, Ramallah and half a hundred other centers of anti-Zionist agitation to understand what would happen to the Jews of Israel were they not protected by a sovereign Jewish state. In a majority Muslim state, Jews would revert to dhimmi status, and that means subjugation and persecution. Talk of the creation of a bi-national democratic state in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza (the traditional demand of Palestinian nationalism) is merely code for the expulsion and slaughter of the Jews, something that groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have no trouble affirming....'
 Read Tobin's entire demolition job here

1 comment:

  1. Levine's "analysis" is a classic example of beginning with the conclusion and then building an entire framework to reach it. You can prove anything you like this way. It all depends on language and bigotry. If this is modern "philosophy" then there is an excellent case for throwing these departments out of universities especially if they are publicly funded.

    A good rebuttal of Levine's pompous muck by Prof Avi Bell in the Times of Israel

    "Levine’s argument is disingenuous and biased, covered up by pretend erudition and a lot of verbiage. It is as intellectually dishonest, illogical and bigoted as the assertion that “Arabs can’t be anti-Semites because they speak a Semitic language.” Levine should be mocked for dressing up his bigotry in pseudo-intellectual demagoguery. The New York Times should be ashamed of itself for publishing the result."