The latest assault on Jewish national heritage elements in the historic Jewish homeland highlights the intersectionality of NGOs seeking to subvert the conversation on Israel, Zionism and the Land of Israel. Whoever presumed that with the League of Nations deciding in 1922 that “a national home for the Jewish people” would be established in Palestine, that “recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country,” that the country will be placed “under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home,” including “the development of self-governing institutions” and, moreover, that “no Palestine territory shall be ceded” and that “close settlement by Jews on the land” shall be encouraged the acceptance of Jewish national identity is axiomatic was and is in error.
Now, from the halls and corridors of America’s congressional institutions with the radicalization of the Democratic Party, the appearance of a rehabilitated progressivism, the rejection of Zionism by social-media proficient young Jews, the utter servility of so-called liberal human-rights forces to the murderous and immoral of Palestinian movement claiming to represent a “people,” we witness the total corruption of the historical, legal and diplomatic narrative.
And it will get worse.
However, before proceeding, we need remind ourselves that in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, (and even later according to Dennis Ross) there were the worst anti-Semites, as well as anti-Zionists not only in Congress but in government as well, from FDR to Marshall to Breckinridge Long and on to North Carolina’s Sen. Robert R. Reynolds. We are not there today.
This new wave of intersectioned anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism has at its core a thrust driven by an international anti-Zionist consortium that shunts the 1970s’ Communist Russian efforts off to the side. It is a sort of “Elders of Anti-Zion,” targeting the right of Jews to hold to national ideas. It negates their historical and cultural ties to a specific geographic entity. It misrepresents the Jewish/Zionist position and promotes a false Arab/Palestinian narrative. They engage in cultural misappropriation and identity theft. Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, Tomb of Rachel and Patriarchs Cave somehow have had their Jewish connection severed and repudiated as per decisions by the United Nations.
Our two most recent examples, and they come daily and sometimes multiple times a day, are the Amnesty report on “settlement tourism” and Rep. Ilhan Omar’s “almost chuckle.”
Tel Shiloh is the “star” of Amnesty’s claim that companies offering accommodations in Judea and Samaria for tourists who wish to visit archaeological locations are collaborating with an “illegal,” as it were, industry.
The report’s accusations are intertwined with the outrageous claims made by Emek Shaveh that promotes the theme that Israel “use[s] archaeology as a central tool for deepening its control over” Judea and Samaria and to “shape the historical narrative, which it presents through archaeological discoveries. The archaeological activity is intended to prove and to strengthen the historical, religious and cultural affinity of the Jewish people and the State of Israel to the West Bank in an attempt to appropriate history and efface the heritage and historical narratives of other peoples and cultures.”
No effacing is done. In fact, it was the Jewish history that had been damaged, destroyed, covered up and ignored by the Arabs who lived in the area. Tel Shiloh was an area used for planting of crops, pasturing of sheep, goats and cows and for drying out, in a Byzantine era basilica, the manure of the aforementioned beasts for igniting chips. Anyone who visits the archaeological site sees remains and artifacts from all cultures.
Incidentally, as a historical aside, the British Mandate was instructed in much detail by the League of Nations’ 1922 decision as regards preservation of archaeological sites and in Article 21 (6) we read “Equitable terms shall be fixed for expropriation, temporary or permanent, of lands which might be of historical or archaeological interest.” As Israel, technically, as the belligerent occupant, is the heir to that charge, Amnesty really should review its actions. Amnesty should also deal with the theft of archaeological artifacts, unfortunately a crime targeting Jewish history consciousness.
Amnesty, in adopting Emek Shaveh’s anti-occupation-driven fulminations, has proven, yet again, that not human rights but political ideologies are at the root of its anti-Israel actions and campaigns. It has aligned itself not with historical truth but with radical anti-Zionist dogma.
And Rep. Omar, in her interview, touched all the buttons to produce hate-heat-seeking attention for her followers (not new for her) by using the buzz words and terms that facilitate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism (bold is my emphasis):
“Most of the things that have always been aggravating to me is that we have had a policy that makes one superior to the other and we mask it with a conversation that’s about justice and a two-state solution when you have policies that clearly prioritize one over the other … our relationship, really with the Israeli government and the Israeli state. And so when I see Israel institute law that recognizes it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East, I almost chuckle because I know that if, you know, we see that in any other society we would criticize it. … We would call it out. We do that to Iran.”
Those are the words that act as codes, as semantic trip wires to alert the consortium’s members and to numb the initiated until ever outsiders are drawn into the net that closes around Israel, Zionism and its supporters, Jews and non-Jews.
In a follow-up tweet, she tried to portray Israel as comparable to the pre-1960s’ “separate yet equal” situation, and she retweeted this response description of the attacks on her remarks:
That all 2familiar network of right-wing, evangelical, Zionist pundits & their funders will cont smearing campaign
What we are witnessing is the rise of a consortium that reaches out even to adversarials as long as the common enemy—the Jew as Zionist—is pummeled, trampled and done in. They, as has happened in the past, are assisted by Jewish groups, or rather, groups of Jews, those of the “As a Jew” variety, to demonize the right of Jews to be a nation, to practice their special religion and culture, to speak their native tongue, and to live and flourish in their historical national homeland.
They see, I conjecture, a revised mimicked “Elders of Zion” as a counter force. But just as the “Elders” was false and evil, so, too, is their hollow and hate-filled construct.
It need, it must be confronted.
Yisrael Medad is an American-Israeli journalist and commentator.
Be a part of our community
JNS serves as the central hub for a thriving community of readers who appreciate the invaluable context our coverage offers on Israel and their Jewish world.
Please join our community and help support our unique brand of Jewish journalism that makes sense.