Friday, May 28, 2010



Here is an interesting resource for all your pro-Zionist apologists out there.

I am not sure how useful these things are, though. The "facts" in these certainly won't convince any dyed-in-the-wool anti-Zionist that Israel isn't the most evilist nation evah, but of course, nothing would convince such people of anything. The real question is whether the "myth busting" presented in documents like this is enough really to convince undecideds who might by sympathetic to anti-Zionist arguments that Israel is not the most evilist nation evah.

I always fear that "truth and accuracy" documents like this really only preach to the choir.

In particular, there are too many holes to be poked in the arguments that the author is convinced run counter to anti-Zionist myths.

For example:

I don't think anti-Zionists argue that the Balfour Declaration says something different than Zionists purport it to have said. I think that when they argue "The Balfour Declaration did not give Jews the right to a homeland in Palestine" they are arguing that it wasn't Balfour's place to make such a declaration. This kind of "response" to an anti-Zionist argument really isn't going to convince anyone now is it? In general, even if we know that the British weren't raving philo-Semites (except for certain Evangelicals*), arguments to the effect that "how could Zionism be imperialist if the British opposed it?" that are based on British testimony simply don't cut it when the British were the imperialists! We are supposed to take the Brits at face value?

And table actually undermines all of the demographic arguments about "Israel not really displacing any Arabs", etc., that the author is trying to make. I suspect the problem is with the table itself (pre-1948, I suspect the totals include the West Bank and Gaza strip and 1948 and after they probably don't) -- but from the table you'd think Israel kicked out almost a million Arabs when this is different than claims elsewhere within the book.

I am no wild-eyed Zionist (in fact I have deep philosophical issues with that ideology) but anti-Zionist arguments are infuriating, and I would love to have a well-sourced document available with good, solid pro-Israel apologia to make. And yet, what we have are anti-anti-Zionist arguments that somehow don't actually respond to anti-Zionist arguments, etc. It's high time we had such a book in hand because the longer we fail to address anti-Zionist criticisms, the more it will seem that pro-Israel apologists simply cannot address such criticisms and that the anti-Zionists were right after all.

In general, Israel needs better allies and defenders. For instance how much of left wing anti-Zionism exists because Israel's defenders are often such wankers and figures that (in a manner that evokes the worst stereotypes of Jews) have stabbed the left in the back?

* one aspect that the anti-Zionists don't quite explicitly point out but which is an implicit (and true) point they make is that, even if Britain was officially full of stuffed-shirt anti-Semites, British (and other) goyim, in particular Evangelicals, did provide a lot of support for Jewish settlement in Israel. The whole "Jews settled Israel and made something with nothing" mythos is about as empty as any similar "up-by-the-bootstraps" mythos so beloved by today's right wing. That a Palestinian state wasn't created in part (although the Arabs at the time did not admit it but rather resorted to anti-Zionist rhetoric about needing to destroy the nascent state of Israel) because at the time the Arab world did not have the resources to create such a state (remember 1948 was before the big Arab oil boom) and Palestinians didn't have the same support in creating a state that Jews had, pace the Zionist picture of what happened. Perhaps a little honesty on the part of defenders of Israel here might clarify things and leave us less open to both real and rhetorical attack as a certain friend of mine (and you know who you are) suggested?

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