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Review: 'The Crisis of Zionism'

'The Crisis of Zionism'Apartheid Israel & Palestinian Genocide

“The Crisis of Zionism” by Peter Beinart (Melbourne University Press, 2012) is fatally flawed by the oxymoron of ”liberal Zionism” (Zionism is genocidal racism and accordingly cannot be “liberal”). Beinart’s book describes how the formerly liberal, anti-racist Jewish American tradition has been subverted by the now-dominant, intransigent, right wing, Israeli and American Zionist extremists who variously insist on Palestinian expulsion from about 90 to 100% of the land of Palestine and deprivation of other Palestinian human rights in order to preserve a “Jewish state”.


Liberal Zionist Beinart sees this intransigent position as a huge threat to a “democratic Israel” and to the very “legitimacy” of the Zionist project. He hopes that young non-Orthodox and secular American Jews, notably liberal Zionists, will break the stranglehold on US policy by extremist, anti-Palestinian Zionist organizations like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). 

However Beinart, while sympathetic to justice for Palestinians and for a Palestinian State, fails to point out the obvious that the State of Israel is already clearly not a democracy – it is a democracy by genocide (ethnic cleansing) and he fails to quantitate the appalling demographic realities of the Palestinian Genocide. Thus of roughly 12 million Palestinians in the world, 6 million are forbidden by the racist Zionists to even live in Palestine; only 6.7% (the adults of 1.6 million Palestinian Israelis) are permitted to vote for the government ruling all of Palestine (plus an ethnically cleansed slab of Syria), albeit as Third Class citizens under constant threat of expulsion; 1.6 million Occupied Palestinians (over half of them children) are highly abusively confined without charge or  trial and with zero human rights to the blockaded prison described by the Catholic Church as the Gaza Concentration Camp and which is policed by army and navy shelling and air force bombing and rocketing; 2.5 million Occupied Palestinians (over half of them children) are highly abusively confined without charge or trial and with zero human rights to ever-diminishing West Bank “Bantustans”. In contrast, Palestine is ruled by 5.9 million Jewish Israelis (75.3% of the Israeli population) (see “Palestinian Genocide” and the multi-author book “The Plight of the Palestinians”). Democracy by genocide, indeed. Israeli “democracy” is hardly “threatened” as asserted by Beinart - one-man-one-vote democracy no  more exists  in Apartheid Israel than it did in Apartheid South Africa and it is facile of Beinart to talk of “nondemocratic Israel” (the West Bank Bantustans) as opposed to “democratic Israel” (Apartheid Israel proper).

In an Introduction  Beinart describes his South African Sephardic Jewish origins and justifies his and his mother’s Zionism as a “Zionism of  refuge”: “Like her, I sleep better knowing that the world contains a Jewish state. But not any Jewish state”. After describing an incident of horrendous Israeli  violence toward Palestinians, Beinart states “unless American Jews help end the occupation that desecrates Israel’s founding idealism this is what Zionism will become, a movement that fails the test of Jewish power” (pp3-4, Introduction).  Beinart.   quotes the prophet Jeremiah [Jeremiah, Chapter 7, verses 6 and 7) : “If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.” However he fails to point out that Jeremiah continues [verses 25 and 26] “Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers” and concluded [verse 34] “Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.”(see “King James Holy Bible”, Jeremiah, Chapter 7) .

This Jeremiad is  mirrored by the anti-Zionism of traditional Orthodox Jewish scholars such as Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, the most important 19th century European rabbi who sought to accommodate Judaism with the Enlightenment Europe (my great great grandfather, a Budapest glove maker, had exactly the same name). The traditional Orthodox Jewish position is that the Jews were exiled from Zion (Jerusalem) because they had departed from G-d’s law and can only return after the Messiah comes and reveals G-d’s glory to all of humanity. Beinart ignores the huge body of outstanding Orthodox and secular Jewish scholars as well as non-Jewish humanitarians who also oppose Zionism because it is racist and genocidal (for large, alphabetically organized  compendia of such expert, humane opinions see  the websites “Jews Against Racist Zionism” and “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”). This secular humanist argument is put succinctly by outstanding Jewish American scholar Professor Jared Diamond who in his best-selling book "Collapse” (Prologue, p10, Penguin edition) enunciated the "moral principle, namely that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess, subjugate, or exterminate another people" – an injunction grossly violated by racist Zionist (RZ)-run Apartheid Israel and its racist, genocide-committing and genocide-ignoring US Alliance backers. Beinart ignores the huge opposition to Zionism from both Orthodox and secular Jews.

Thus the Orthodox Jewish Neturei Karta are totally ignored in Beinart’s account. This is their position: “All the great rabbis who in accordance with Jewish Law opposed Zionism at its inception did not do so merely due to consideration of the secular lifestyles of the then Zionist leaders or even for their opposition to Torah heritage and rejection of its values and practices, but due to the fact that the entire concept of a Jewish state is in direct conflict with a number of Judaism's fundamentals. Condemnation of and segregation from anything connected to or affiliated with the so-called modern day "State of Israel" is based on the Talmud, the key fundamental doctrine of the Oral Tradition handed down by G-d to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Talmud in Tractate Kesubos (p. 111a), teaches that Jews shall not use human force to bring about the establishment of a Jewish state before the coming of the universally accepted Moshiach (Messiah from the House of David). Furthermore it states that we are forbidden to rebel against the nations and that we should remain loyal citizens and we shall not attempt to leave the exile which G-d sent us into, ahead of time. Jews are not allowed to dominate, kill, harm or demean another people and are not allowed to have anything to do with the Zionist enterprise, their political meddling and their wars. Neturei Karta forbid any participation with the so-called "State of Israel" or any of its subsidiaries… The true Jews are against dispossessing the Arabs of their land and homes. According to the Torah, the land should be returned to them” (see “What is Neturei Karta?” ).

Beinart states his essential, “liberal Zionist” position thus “As a Zionist, I believe that after two millennia of homelessness, the Jewish people deserve a state dedicated to their protection in their historic land, something enjoyed by many peoples who have suffered far less. As  a partisan of liberal democracy, I believe that to honor that history of suffering, a Jewish state must offer equal citizenship to all its inhabitants. In the spirit of Hillel [110 BCE - 10 CE, a famous Palestinian Jewish religious leader  associated with the development of the Mishnah and the Talmud] , it must not do to others what Jews found hateful when done to them.” (p10, Chapter 1, “The Crisis in Israel”).

Beinart ignores the palpable reality  that colonizing the country of an ancient people, the Palestinians, was an immense injustice. Even Theodor Herzl, an anti-Asian and anti-non-European racist like most Europeans of his day, considered Argentina (ethnically cleansed of Indigenous Indians by the Spanish in the 19th century) a sensible alternative to Palestine. Zionism founder Theodor Herzl was explicit in stating the racist agenda of Zionism in a more general context of the European colonial racism a century  ago in “Der Judenstaat” (“The Jewish State”, see Chapter 2, sub-heading “Palestine or Argentine?”). Racist psychopath Herzl sees the advantages of colonization of Palestine in racial terms: “If His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could in return undertake to regulate the whole finances of Turkey. We should there form a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism. We should as a neutral State remain in contact with all Europe, which would have to guarantee our existence.” This anti-Asian racist agenda is clear today with a Zionist-backed US War on Muslims from North Africa to South East Asia. Beinart tries to present Theodor Herzl as a non-racist liberal on the basis of his fictional writing – but it simply won’t wash.

The moral deficiency of Beinart’s ostensibly liberal position over Apartheid Israel is exposed when one considers Apartheid Israel-backed Apartheid South Africa. Nobody except Apartheiders had the effrontery to suggest a “2-state” solution for South Africa with the White colonizers (Afrikaaners, British and Jews) occupying 90% of the country and the Africans, mixed-race, Indians and Chinese confined to tiny ghettos or  Bantustans. Yet Beinart would like to see a situation in which a race-based Jewish state dominated by 6 million Jews occupies 80% of Palestine and 12 million Indigenous Palestinians can have a state in the remaining 20% of their country. Beinart reveals himself as not much better than current Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu who evidently wants Palestinians  confined to Gaza and to 4 cantons (i.e. Bantustans) constituting 40% of the West Bank (i.e. about 10% of Palestine) and surrounded by Apartheid Israel. Of course, as described by Beinart, there are racist Zionists who go even further and want total genocide of the Palestinians and extension of the State of Israel to include Jordan.

Beinert’s book recounts how quintessentially Nazi-style racist Zionists came to dominate a war criminal and genocidal  Apartheid Israel. The racist views of these people quoted in the book are utterly appalling. Thus on p165 Beinart quotes  the former Israeli chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu saying “A thousand Arabs are not worth one yeshiva student” and “When a tsunami struck Southeast Asia in 2004, he said God was punishing Asian governments for supporting Ariel Sharon’s proposed evacuation of settlements  in Gaza”. This is what this racist psychopath said: “When the Holy One, Blessed Be He is angry with the world's nations who fail to help Israel, who want to evacuate and to disengage and who interfere in our affairs and harm us, the Holy One, Blessed Be He, claps his hands in sadness- and all this causes the quake” (see “Eliyahu: tsunami was God’s punishment for disengagement”, Haaretz, 31 January 2005).”

Beinart’s book is  also very interesting in its account of how a formerly liberal Jewish tradition in the US that found common cause with workers over industrial  rights and African Americans over desegregation and civil rights was hijacked and sidelined by wealthy racist Zionists. This sorry story came to a climax when, as  Beinart describes in detail,  Barack Obama tried to stand up for Palestinian rights but was then humiliatingly bullied back into the racist Zionist fold by Netanyahu and his ADL, AIPAC and thoroughly compromised Democrat and Republican Congressional supporters (Chapter 8, “The Humbling”). However Beinart fails to mention the unsuccessful attempts of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy to get the Zionists registered as agents of a foreign power, attempts that died with the murder of both men. While “who killed JFK” remains a matter of controversy, the historical  record shows that Robert Kennedy was assassinated by Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan whose family were held hostage by the Israelis.

Beinart, a former South African,  is also silent on  Apartheid Israeli backing of Apartheid South Africa (to the extent of developing an Apartheid bomb to complement the Zionist nuclear arsenal). He makes no mention of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty (34 Americans killed  and 170 wounded) that was swept under the American national carpet – yet the fictional Gulf of Tonkin naval incident was subsequently used as an excuse for the Indo-China War  in which 17 million Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians perished through violence or war-imposed deprivation. There is no mention in Beinart’s book of the Zionist-backed US War on Muslims that has been associated, so far, with 12 million deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation since 1990 (see “Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide”:). There is no mention of almost certain US involvement and very likely Israeli involvement in the 9-11 atrocity (nearly 3,000 Americans killed) that  led to the Zionist-backed US War on Terror that has killed about 9 million Muslims since 2001 (see “Experts; US did 9-11” ) .

Even more seriously, there is no mention of the 1 million Americans who die preventably each year because a Neocon American and Zionist  Imperialist (NAZI)-dominated Establishment 1% has committed trillions of dollars to killing millions of Muslims abroad rather than to keeping Americans alive at home (see “One Million Americans Die Preventably Annually In USA”, Countercurrents, 18 February 2012 ). Decent anti-racist Jewish Americans are impacted by this perversion (although not as seriously as Hispanic  Americans and African Americans), want to dissociate themselves from this evil, and fear the inevitable backlash as the veritable Herd of Elephants in the Room of Awful Truths becomes generally evident as Web-based media penetrate the Wall of Silence of the Zionist-beholden Mainstream media.

Beinart opts for a “80% for 6 million Jews, 20% for 12 million Palestinians” peace plan and advocates more education (even state-supported) to convert non-Orthodox American Jewish children into “liberal Zionist” 20 per centers as opposed to “illiberal Zionist”, Netanyahu-style 10 per centers. He also advocates Boycott , Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), not against Apartheid Israel but against West Bank settlers. This is pathetic gilding of the genocidal, racist Zionist dungheap in the name of Israeli “democracy” that actually died at the inception of the State of Israel and the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians – Israeli democracy by genocide. Apartheid Israel; is a race-based, racist, genocidal,  nuclear terrorist, anti-democratic,  kleptocracy and ethnocracy that has already ethnically cleansed 90% of Palestine and presently only permits 6.7% of Palestinians to vote for the government ruling all of Palestine.

What should be done? Apartheid Israel’s continuing ethnic cleansing and settlement of the West Bank has now  made a 2-state solution effectively impossible. What is needed is nothing less than one-man-one-vote for 12 million Palestinians and 6 million Jewish Israelis in a 1-state Palestine, coupled with equity, justice, non-racism, guaranteed security,  and reconciliation as in post-Apartheid South Africa – and the World must insist on it.

For anti-racist Jews and indeed all anti-racist humanitarians the core moral messages from the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and from the more general WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slav, Jewish and Gypsy dead) are “zero tolerance for racism”, “never again to anyone”, “bear witness” and “zero tolerance for lying”. Zionism is genocidal racism in theory and in appalling practice. The racist  Zionists and their Western supporters should be sidelined from public life as have been like racists such as the Nazis, neo-Nazis, Apartheiders and KKK. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) should be comprehensively applied internationally and intra-nationally not just against Israel but against all countries, corporations, persons, politicians and products linked to this racist obscenity. This CIA-linked, war criminal, genocide-based, nuclear terrorist, Apartheid state threatens not just Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Asians and non-Europeans but also acutely threatens and defames anti-racist Jews who are increasingly standing up around the world and saying “zero tolerance for racism”, “never again to anyone”, “bear witness”, “zero tolerance for lying” and “not in my name”. The World must follow the example of anti-racist Jews and insist not just on an end to the Occupation but also on an end to democracy- and human rights-violating Apartheid in Zionist-colonized Palestine.

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