(July 2, 2018 / JNS)
I have become convinced that rational and logical political thought and discourse is nigh useless when engaging the new generation of non- or anti-Zionists.
They are the ones who poorly disguise their discomfort and uneasiness at being too overly identified with Israel;, they shy away from Jewish particularism even of a secular cultural character (or worse, “reinterpret” Jewish values and behavior as a form of liberal-progressivism) and refuse to acknowledge the responsibilities the Jewish state must assume in order to protect its existence and preserve the security of its citizens which means, foremost of all, the use of power and deadly force, if required.
The frustration at discovering that they do not know the simple facts history or historical development, nor do they care about them, and how they manipulate and misrepresent them is confounding. They publicize themselves as cerebral and intellectual but it appears they know they cannot truly argue the issues and mostly ignore interaction with opposing viewpoints.
Their charge sheet, as it were, accuses Israel of being a Zionist state which makes it rooted with a racist ideology, practicing ethnic cleansing, as well as being undemocratic and unequal (see Ariel Gold’s instruction to her children). Her son’s 2014 bar mitzvah speech included a section where he informed, knowledgeably, the guests
that the Torah commands us to love thy neighbor and love the stranger. Israel … is in serious violation of this … as long as Israel is committing crimes against humanity through their occupation of Palestine and human rights abuses the Jewish people have a responsibility to speak out.
IfNotNow has caught up this summer with what JVP’s September 2017 manifesto made quite clear in its demand to disassociate from Birthright:
As young Jews, we recognize that Israel is not our birthright.
One could be forgiven for thinking, well, maybe Israel is not their birthright because their Judaism is lacking all its many levels of culture, history, religion and national identity. Redefine Judaism, and it can become anything. Ask the Bundists, the American Council for Judaism, Satmar or the pre-1937 Reform Movement, that of the denying of Jewish nationalism of the Pittsburgh Platform of 1885, or the pre-1950s American Jewish Committee.
And so, to free themselves from these encumbrances, to become fashionably “liberated,” these youth reverse and twist reality, and create the “Arab Palestinian-cum-Jew.”
They point an accusing finger at Israel, removing themselves from the matrix, distancing themselves from being seen as an “Israeli” or “Israeli supporter,” and apply to the Arabs referred to as “Palestinians” the framework of being the “Jew.” Awkwardly, they then can promote themselves as pro-Semites.
Israel is the “Jew-hater.” Israel aligns itself with anti-Semites (Hungary; Trump).
It is as simple as it is simplistic.
Yisrael Medad is an American-born Israeli journalist and author.