Saturday, 31 December 2016

Quote of the Day: On the demonisation of Israel


Today’s long quote is from Joshua Muravchik’s book Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel:

“[Around the world] Jews face mounting peril… [T]he number of places on Earth where Jews can reside in peace and security has been shrinking, and the question of the day is whether the countries of Europe will continue to be among them…
    “It makes little difference which comes first, hatred of Jews or hatred of Israel. The peril does not arise because the hatred is spreading: indeed it may not be spreading. The peril arises because the hatred is growing more lethal.. the attacks grow more frequent and more violent, making it increasingly difficult or impossible for Jews to live in various parts of the Diaspora…
    “[T]he ‘global community’ ha[s] stamped Israel as an outcast. What ha[s] happened [since 1967] to occasion such a dramatic turnaround? On the surface, there were two explanations. First, the Arab cause, reactionary, overtly homicidal in its objectives, and expressed in bluster, had been replaced by the far more sympathetic and “progressive” Palestinian cause. Instead of proclaiming openly their determination to deny the Jews a state, Israel’s enemies now accused the Jews of denying that same right to another people, the Palestinians. Second, Israel no longer seemed endangered…
    “[S]urrounded and outnumbered and, in 1967, with memories of the Holocaust still fresh, nobody felt certain that the Jewish state would survive this more determined threat to its survival. But four decades and several wars later, Israel appeared invulnerable. In a complete reversal of fortune, David seemed to have become Goliath…
    “Another factor … was an ideological transformation that saw the rise of a paradigm of progressive thought that Arab and Muslim advocates helped to develop. It involved multiculturalism or race-consciousness in which the struggle of the third world against the West, or of “people of colour” against the white man, replaced the older Marxist model of proletariat versus bourgeoisie as the central moral drama of world history. In this paradigm, the Arabs, notwithstanding their superiority in resources and number, nor their regressive social and political practices … now, in the guise of the Palestinians [a national grouping that did not exist before 1948] assumed a place among the forces of virtue and progress while the Israelis were consigned to the ranks of villains and reactionaries….
    “[T]he Palestinians executed a strategy that succeeded in yoking the support of almost the entire global Left. That support ran the spectrum from the diverse communist states and parties, with their cynical though formidable political apparatuses, to the idealistic ‘soft Left,’ throbbing with guilt over memories of imperialism and the enduring reality of racism. Championed by the Left’s networks of organisations and intellectuals, a Palestinian state became a kind of Holy Grail to enlightened opinion, even while almost no one gave a fig for the aspirations of the Kurds or Tibetans or numerous other bereft peoples. Whether this state would rise alongside Israel or in place of it was of secondary concern.”



  1. From what I can see antisemitism is nearly always a product of religion. In Europe, historically, antisemitism was religiously motivated and the same seems to be true today except that much of today's antisemitism has its roots in Islam rather than Christianity. Of course I realize the issue of Israeli-occupied territories is a bit more complicated than that, but how many of the New Zealanders who support Palestine and denounce Israel have any understanding of the history behind the Israeli settlements, or why the land ownership is disputed?

  2. Israel has demonised itself by committing atrocities and, more recently, breaching the Geneva Convention by building illegal settlements. Bringing up separate issues such as anti-Semitism is just subterfuge.

  3. Many Jews are brilliant and have given great value to the world, above their numbers. But reading some Jewish writers, they query the sense of shifting to a region that would be hostile and unsafe, away from countries that are so dangerous. The writers believe that South and North American continents had room for them, and they'd be more welcome than in Israel. They would dispute that the European Diaspora couldn't go anywhere else. They claim it has been utmost folly to have gone to Israel.
    The posts below by Jewish writers give a different perspective to what Joshua Muravchik presents
    The origins of the Israeli-Palestine conflict
    Why Orthodox Jews are opposed to the zionist state
    Why Israeli propaganda endangers Jews across the globe
    You've previously introduced us to "dwindling in unbelief" blog and annually point out Christmas and Easter are mythical. So any support cannot be Torah/biblical based.
    Peter Stevens


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