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Does the left unfairly single out Israel? A response

The one-state solution is anti-Semitic? In response to a piece recently published in the Forward, Jerry Haber takes down, one by one, criticisms of the left we’ve heard time and time again. 

By Jeremiah Haber

Recently, Forward contributing editor Jay Michaelson wrote a long piece challenging the leftwing critics of Israel to reveal their endgame. According to Michaelson, Jewish Voice for Peace says that it is agnostic but the JVP folks he has talked to are for one state. And a one-state solution involves nothing less than the “cultural genocide” of Israel. “There is no way that a binational state will be a safe haven for the Jewish people or that it will preserve Jewish culture.” Well, so much for those benighted fools like Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein, Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, and Rabbi Benjamin. To quote Michaelson, “NO WAAYYY.”

May I respectfully suggest to Michaelson that he stick to issues he knows about in the LGBT community, instead of spouting Hasbara 101, the sort of stuff that intelligent rightwingers would never demean themselves by doing.

Let me just take thirty seconds or so to answer his main assertions.

JVP hides its endgame, which is the one-state solution. No it doesn’t, and no it isn’t.  Had Michaelson bothered to google that organization (he doesn’t bring a single reference, or link, to anything he asserts) he could see that they have a whole list of principles including, “Israelis and Palestinians have the right to security, sovereignty, and self-determination within political entities of their own choosing.” Now what Michaelson should have at least argued was that that’s what they say, but you can’t believe those “cafe leftists” (his offensive dig). Instead he writes that the JVP people he has talked with are one-staters. So what? The organization includes one-staters, two-staters, no-staters, etc. I, for one, am not a one-stater. I am not at all agnostic on what I want for the endgame, which is that Israelis and Palestinians will have security, soveignty, and self-determination. On Michaelson’s logic, if there are gay-right activists in an organization who prefer Obama over Romney that commits the organization to being a front for the Democrats.

The one-state solution is “anti-Semitic”  because it means that “every people on the planet, from Peruvians to Pakistanis, deserves self-determination — except one. This is where anti-Zionism slides into anti-Semitism. Why are Jews to be treated differently from every other nation on the planet? Is Jewish nationhood more dubious than others?” In fact, there are many nations that don’t have a state, including the Palestinian nation, which was repeatedly  promised a state, but whose territory is under the control of the “Jewish nation.” I never knew that peoples have a right to a state at the expense of another people’s, or on that people’s territory. And, let’s face it, shouldn’t a liberal have problems with any nation-state who accepts new members into the nation on the basis of  religious conversion alone?

Israel is singled out for moral opprobrium by the left. Oh, how I wish that were true  – the left, including the Arab left, has spent enormous time in the last year or so on something called the “Arab spring,” “Arab civil society,” and the Syrian civil war. And, darn it, the human rights organizations are always devoting most of their time and resources to other countries besides my own. But Michaelson bizarrely insists that the left — including the Jewish and the Palestinian left — are anti-Semitic unless they show more concern about the plight of the native Americans than about the fate of the Palestinians. But that is nonsense and offensive nonsense at that. Michaelson himself cares more about the plights of U.S. gays than about the genocide of the Native Americans. Does he really think that gay rights in the U.S. is more important  than the fate of the Roma in Europe? And if he does, should he be suspected of bigotry toward the Roma for that? For that matter, does he think that leftwing criticism of Israel is a greater tragedy than the Chinese suppression of Tibetan rights? So why is he writing about Israel and not writing about Tibet? (For more on this ridiculous hasbara point see my essay here.)

Michaelson and I write on Israel because we are Jews and stakeholders. Palestinians and their allies are also stake-holders. If I arrange for a family member who has committed a crime to be arrested, am I to be criticized because I didn’t tell the cops to go after more serious killers?  Should I have merely tried to solve the problem within the family? Written a letter to the editor? Flaunt my liberal creds?

I have a lot to disagree about with Peter Beinart, but at least Beinart makes arguments, cites sources, and takes his subject seriously. When I read stuff in Jewish media outlets like Michaelson’s piece here, I am reminded of Maimonides’ point about the illness that afflicts experts in a certain field who feel that they can make pronouncements in areas outside their expertise.

Had he lived today Maimonides may have called it “contributing editor syndrome.”

Jeremiah (Jerry) Haber is the nom de plume of an Orthodox Jewish studies and philosophy professor, who divides his time between Israel and the United States. This post was originally published on his blog, The Magnes Zionist, on August 3, 2012.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Michael W.

      RE: the picture from flickr / noaman -
      -
      What does the 2006 Lebanon War have to do with the one-state solution?

      Why that photo?

      Reply to Comment
    2. XYZ

      Of course the 1 state solution is antisemitic. Up unti the 1990′s when the Left used its Oslo deception to sanitize Palestinian terror, the one-state solution was understood by everyone in Israel, including the Zionist Left as a euphemism for “throw the Jews into the sea”. A recent commentor here who called herself Noa said she is an anti-Zionist Israeli Jew who participated in many Palestinian demonstrations against Israel admitted that some of her fellow demonstrators who were Palestinians told her to her face that the Palestinian struggle would go on until all the Jews are forced out of the country. She quickly added that not all agree with that, but if, perish the thought, it should ever come to it, we can’t be sure which of her Palestinian friends are going to make policy.
      I think the mutual slaughter of Muslims killing and expelling other Muslims from broad territories we are seeing in Iraq, Syria and what happened in the recent past in Algeria and Lebanon is instructive. These people killing each other are brother Muslims and fellow Arabs. We are constantly told that all Muslim love one another and all Arabs are brothers. However, US ZIONIST JEWS THEY ADMIT THEY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH. If they have no problem killing one another, what would they do to us if they had the chance?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Jehudah

      Sadly, for the past couple of decades, the “progressive” circles of the world, along with classic anti-Semites and 7th century-based Islamists, has indeed singled out the sovereign nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel, thus the people whose nation-state Israel is, the Jewish people. This act cant’t be described in any other way other than racism, anti-Jewish racism at that.

      But worse, these three elements of society which otherwise have little in common, have found in common the need to demonize Israel, to de-legitimize it, to seek Israel’s very demise.

      The question is: When will this UNHOLY TRINITY of “progressive” anti-Jewish racists; classic anti-Semites; and, 7th cnetury-based Islamists will finally begin to dissolve itself…??

      Reply to Comment
    4. Aaron

      XYZ, I don’t think your comment here was up to your usual standards. Even if almost all of the one-staters are anti-Semites, that doesn’t make one-statism itself anti-Semitic. Unless you want to call Magnes, Buber, et al. anti-Semites. I used to like the idea of a single binational state, too, until I gave it some thought. I wasn’t an anti-Semite, though. So could we relax a little bit on the charges of anti-Semitism? I say that as a fellow fascist, racist, evil right-winger who agrees with much of what you say here.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Abigail

      Please, do not give so much attention to this Jay Michaelson. First he equates the God of Israel in one of his books with dog excrement under the guise of not being able to say something about God, then he pops up on the Internet as a Kabbalist with his own website filled with take-away kabbalah for the uninitiated (i.e. ignoramuses or those looking for some spirituality and not knowing who is this Michaelson). He will say anything to a. get attention, b. get followers. Cult guy. Once worked with Tikkun which he probably now labels as leftist nuts. Anyway, to criticize any state so also Israel is anyone’s right. To label that as antisemitism is not only manipulative by people who do not hesitate to demean their slaughtered ancestors by dragging in the holocaust for the sake of manipulation and censorship (the like nazi germany would not disapprove of like lots of antics and dictatorial attitudes and policies of the anti-critizicers of the criminal policies of the state of Israel often funded by the state of Israel). It is also highly anti-democratic. And that is something all people but esp. the Jews should be alarmed about. Oh, I am Jewish, and no, I do not hate myself nor my identity. Halachah has it, that one who does not open his/her mouth about injustice is culpable. (This is the short version, because it is categorized in town, country, world). And it does not say that Jews should not stand up for inhuman behavior and human rights violations, war crimes and wiping more than 500 villages of the face of the earth in Palestine in 1948. Never mind. He who does not want to know is culpable, because you can and you should. As a Jew. If you do not believe in God, where did the Jews come from and why should they be in the Middle East? Then the Torah is just a fairy tale book. Right? And Halachah is not for you.

      Reply to Comment
    6. XYZ

      Aaron-
      Before 1948 it was not antisemitic to oppose the creation of a Jewish state. Even today the Eidah Haredit opposes a Jewish state. However, as I said above, since the state now exists and since it is clear as to how eradication of the Jewish state is viewed by the Arab world as generally meaning “throwing the Jews into the sea”, anyone who supports that view of things is an antisemite. As Dennis Prager says, it is comparable to saying “I love Italians, I just think their state should be destroyed”. Again, just look at Syria and Iraq and think what what INEVITABLY would happen if the IDF were dismantled and the Jews of the country disarmed. We are not talking theory here.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Richard Witty

      Jerry is such a kind-hearted man, it is very sad to see him undertake a “take down”, of another kind-hearted man.

      Jay’s points are articulate, reasonable, relevant.

      To undertake a “take-down” is to impose a thought-police.

      For example, if Jerry regards the two-state approach as relevant, desirable, possible, his goal AND Jay regards the two-state approach as relevant, desirable, possible, his goal, then Jerry should seek to work together for that common goal.

      Simple.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Jack

      xyz,
      Ridiculous but let me test you,likewise it would be equally racist to be against a palestinian state?

      Reply to Comment
    9. One State is not a solution but resolution consequent of Israel’s security successes. There is now an occupying army; there are now expanding settlements. Given Israel’s control over tax revenue returned to the Authority, the Authority is something of a client entity to Israel. These three processes–occupation for security, settlement expansion, and control of Authority revenue–produce a de facto single State over time. Israeli leftists (and elswehere Jewish leftists) are warning that eventually the West Bank Palestinian population will be lower status, quasi citizens; they will rebell; you can either try an oppress them indefinately or begin to grant full citizenship, incrementally to all at once. The leftists are telling you that your success has trapped you. The costs of draconian control will accumulate, leaving citizenship the only option.
      .
      Unsaid among right wing Bibi-ists is the willed belief that West Bank Palestinians will be forced into Jordanian citizenship. Jordan does not want this, and I doubt there will be a change of mind. Accepting such a large population with a failed nationalist ideology, economically unstable, is not to Jordan’s good.
      .
      The Bibi-ists may well succeed on Gaza, which they want absorbed into Egypt. Leftists do not speak much of Gaza, and the inevitable one State they predict is absent Gaza; that Israel does not occupy Gaza proper, with the only real travel access through Egypt, makes the surgical removal of Gaza rather likely; congratulations Sharon.
      .
      A one State resolution of the Bank may, then, be wrenching to Palestinian national idenity, for I suspect that resolution will have to be sans Gaza. I advocate none of this; rather, I sketch the trajectories I see. All of this talk of anti-Semitism and one vs two States is just a way of blinding ourselves to the outcomes likely upon further progess of the fundamental processes of occupation, settlements, and tax control of the Authority. If you really want to limit the eventualy non Jewish citizenry of Israel, pull the settlements out now to stop these three processes from expanding.
      .
      There is, thus, now a complete incompatibility between “the historic, Biblical land of Israel” and a long term primarily Jewish State of Israel. All of these charges of anti-Semitism and who failed what offer for peace are just forms of hysterical blindness.

      Reply to Comment
      • Mareli

        Egyptian secularists have enough problems without getting Hamas-ruled Gaza absorbed into their country. I don’t know if even Morsi wants Gaza, despite Hamas’ being the Muslim Brotherhood’s offspring. That place has been trouble since the days of Samson and Delilah. (Actually, the Israelis should call the bombs they drop on Gaza Samsonite along with their use of the words Judea and Samaria for the lands they conquered in 1967, just for Biblical consistency – lol).

        Reply to Comment
    10. amit

      the writer presents us with many poor arguments – mixed with a lot of personal attacks and insults. here are some answers
      1. One state solution is indeed a nightmare for the security, well being, human rights and national rights of jews in this land. Either this one state would not be democratic and Jews will keep their current protections, or this one state would be democratic and Jews would be under the mercy of Palestinian majority and the Arab states and groups around.

      2. the end game of many organisations on the left related to Israel is un clear. this criticsm is not just of the author this article discuss but also of Chomski and Finkilstein.

      3. the far Left, human rights organisations as well as the UN, focus on Israel by far more than in other conflict cases – even though the Israeli-palestinian conflict is one of the least deadly conflicts in the modern era. There are stats to back this claim up;
      the number of UN personal on every Palestinian refugee is dozen times bigger than on every other refugee, there are more Human rights organisations per capita in Israel than in anywhere else, Israel is one of the five most covered countries by the international media even though it is one of the smallest countries, etc.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Jack

      Amit,
      3. Of course UN, human rights organization is spent alot of time on a conflict where the driving force and occupier have such power that they could upheld their continued policy and occupation and therefore the conflict. Never before have this occured in modern times, usually such state would be invaded after harsh sanctions would have been imposed.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Y-Man

      so much bullshit on this thread– Jewish Fascism is a new but extremely powerful ideology in the world today.

      Reply to Comment
    13. CigarButNoNice

      @Jack. Please, let us not delude ourselves that this has anything to do with a moral high ground. It’s all about keeping Arab oil flowing. But we couldn’t admit this real reason, could we? Wouldn’t sound so noble now, would it? Cue all the moral-sounding arguments, then.
      .
      You anti-Zionists may have succeeded in fooling many people, and certainly yourselves, in this rationalization of your disproportionate fixation upon and relentless aggression toward the Jewish state, but you’re not fooling those Jews and their non-Jewish friends who have not drunk your Kool-Aid.

      Reply to Comment
    14. DROW

      @Y-MAM I could not agree with you more about the bullshit on this thread – case in point the statement made by CIGARBUTNONICE. It is common for the racist Zionist to falsely concoct the notion that the world is out to get them and only them. Unfortunately in the United States very few individuals know of the Israeli Apartheid that is being carried out in Palestine every day, look up the definition of Apartheid and it fits nearly word for word. Often the “crazy liberal” focuses on other world issues like Jeremiah states in his article. Really the question should be raised as to why MORE is not being done to end the racist practices of the Israeli state. Supported by the US with over 3 billion dollars in aid a year not to mention carte blanche support in the UN, despite numerous international courts and human rights groups proving Israel’s Apartheid with hard facts. If I were to say only Catholics can buy state owned land in the United States or only Catholic’s can walk on certain streets (laws in Israel and the OPT), would you not call that racism? And if you were to claim that being Jewish is an ethnicity rather than a religion, would it not also be racist for me to insert ethnic Germans into the equation? OF COURSE this is racism, so why does Israel get to continue this racism while stealing an indigenous populations land and still being supported by the world superpower? This is the question that should be asked.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Aaron

      XYZ: It’s no more anti-Semitic to want to annihilate the State of Israel than it’s anti-Alawite to want to annihilate the current Syrian state. There are a lot of people who want to do that as peacefully as possible, and to constitute a new state that respects all of the current population.
       
      Of course this plan is either crazy or in bad faith, at least in Israel’s case. It would probably result in a disastrous civil war where the Jews would likely be the losers. But the peace-and-harmony one-staters don’t believe that will happen. If they did believe it, then maybe they’d be anti-Jewish. But they don’t. At most, you could maybe call them “objective” anti-Semites, as some anti-Semites used to call Jews an “objective” enemy, but using the “objective” qualifier is a pretty dangerous path to take.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Jan

      @XYZ – How can one state be anti-semitic? Have you forgotten that the Palestinians, our cousins, are also a semitic people. We have more in common than our differences.

      For those who do not want one state then it is past time to get out of the occupied territories since the illegal settlements and the Israeli only roads have ensured that there can never be a viable Palestinians state.

      So the end game is either one state for all or a true apartheid state of Israel that will be shunned by every decent person in the world just as the apartheid state of South Africa was shunned by the decent people of the world.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Jack

      Cigarbutnonice,
      So criticism is “fixiation” and “relentless aggression”? This is a typical approach to legit criticism.
      -
      Again since the party who occupies could do this decades after decades of course you will hear about the conflict in the media. What do you expect?

      Reply to Comment
    18. Isaac Galili

      One state ideas are not intrinsically antisemitic. It becomes antisemitic when one of the probabilities comes into play, which would be if the new single bi-national state comes to be dominated by Arab nationalists or radical Islamists, to the detriment of the Jews. Given the state of the Arab world today, where secular (albeit despotic) regimes were toppled and replaced by Islamists, given the instability of the region, given the unsettled situation in Syria where sectarianism is coming to the fore, given the flight of non-Islamic minorities (here I speak of Christians) from Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, there is no reason to think a one state solution in Israel/Palestine will end any differently. Since this is highly likely, the proposal for “one state” contains within it an anti-Jewish outcome, namely the disempowerment of the Jewish people. Centuries of Jewish powerlessness left us vulnerable persecution and ultimately genocide. That is where antisemitism lurks in the “one state solution.”

      Reply to Comment
    19. Prometheus

      “Never before have this occured in modern times, usually such state would be invaded after harsh sanctions would have been imposed.”
      .
      Now that’s funny. I don’t remember Russia being sanctioned on S. Ossetia issue, or China on Tibet.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Jack

      Prometheus,
      Obviously you didnt read what I said.
      Also why would Russia be sanctioned for the clash when Georgia initated it? And what does that have to do with this conflict?
      And what about Tibet and China? Whats your argument?

      Reply to Comment
    21. Jack

      Isaac,
      Not sure why you bring up Islamistis, the palestine have already been cleansed and it wasnt by islamists.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Prometheus

      Jack,
      Obviously I can’t read what you say, only what you write ;)
      .
      Prior to Georgian invasion Russian government handed our Russian passports to nearly all O.Ossetia residents – non-Georgian ones of course – to have an excuse for full-scale operation to defend it’s new citizens. What happened afterwards is de-facto annexation.
      .
      China annexed Tibet.
      .
      What I’m saying it that all the world’s “human rights” activists have the only country which they can safely bash around – which is Israel, because they know too well that messing with the REAL bad boys can often end with unsustainable body injuries.
      .
      You see, hypocrisy demands safe conditions.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Richard Witty

      Make the reform already, and then the question of whether Israel is unfairly or fairly criticized becomes a mute question.

      Reply to Comment
    24. the other joe

      I wonder if the previous regime in South Africa claimed the world was unfairly attacking the Afrikaners when they could have been considering more evil regimes elsewhere. I wonder if they claimed there were x other states in Africa where generic ‘blacks’ or ‘coloureds’ could live but no homeland for the Afrikaners. I wonder if people predicted a disaster for the South African state if it could ever get to the state where citizens were not judged primarily by the colour of their skin.
      .
      It is true that there are many conflicts and terrible things going on in the world, many of which are barely reported – such as in Western Sahara. It is true that the Palestinians are possibly not the most wretched of people, given that they have life and home and family. But the same things could have been said about South Africa.
      .
      People deserve to be free. People are entitled to be free. People are entitled to be treated fairly and justly. And if those sentences cause anger to rise within you when the word ‘people’ is replaced with ‘Palestinian’, then tough. You are no better than the Afrikaner whose whole lifestyle was built on the back of injustice, prejudice and the labour of others.

      Reply to Comment
    25. XYZ

      Jan-
      Please drop that old canard that “antisemitism” means hatred of semitic people. Note that I spell “antisemitism” without the dash. It means HATRED OF JEWS. An Arab can be an antisemite. It has nothing to do with people who happen to speak a semitic language.
      The fact that Jews and Palestinians may or may not be related genetically, or that the Palesinians may or may not be decended from the Jews of the Second Temple period is totally irrelevant. Read the Bible, for instance. The Benei Israel’s worst enemies were the Ammonites, Moabites and Amalekites, all of whom were close relatives of the Benei Israel. In more modern times, many top Nazis, including those directly involved in the Holocaust had Jewish blood, including possibly the top man.

      Reply to Comment
    26. the other joe

      @Prometheus – utter drivel. Christian Peacemaker Teams work in Colombia, Iraq, the Great Lakes and elsewhere. Nonviolent Peaceforce has Unarmed Civilian Peacekeepers in Sri Lanka, Philippines, South Sudan and the South Caucuses. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch work in more than 150 countries.
      .
      The idea that do-gooder human rights activists unfairly pick on Israel because it is somehow safer and easier than working on human rights elsewhere is demonstratably rubbish.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Elisabeth

      I would definitely single out the Democratic Republic of Congo for criticism if my country’s churches and religious parties were constantly extolling its virtues, if my government were constantly protecting it from international criticism, if my government gave it special favorable treatment over other countries in trade agreements, and secretly sent it weapons during its wars.

      But hey, Congo does not get such treatment, Israel does.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Jack

      Prometheus,

      “our russian passport”?
      -
      Apparently you dislike Russia and are biased but if you take your time looking who created the conflict, it wasnt Russia. This is basics.
      -
      According to who is it “annexed”? Its a autonomous region. Apprently you have missunderstood my point if you compare Tibet with this conflict or that there are no conflict between states at all that stretch decades.
      -
      Yes world is focused on Israel/Palestine as I said before, becuase the occupier have such power that they could maintain it.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Prometheus

      Jack you silly :-D
      “Prior to Georgian invasion Russian government handed out Russian passports to nearly all O.Ossetia residents”
      .
      No, it was the Russia who staged the entire conflict from the very beginning.
      .
      It’s not “autonomous” – it’s 100% fed from the Russian federal budget.
      .
      Your claims of the contrary once again show that the world you are living in have very limited connection to the reality.

      Reply to Comment
    30. Jack

      Promotheus,
      Again if you want to play games I have no time for it. I have neither time with russiophobic conspiracy theories. I advise you to read into the matter. I could provide you with links.
      -
      And again you are obviously not reading what I have typed, russia autonomous? What are you talking about?

      Reply to Comment
    31. Adam

      @Elizabeth:” I would definitely single out the Democratic Republic of Congo for criticism if my country’s churches and religious parties were constantly extolling its virtues, if my government were constantly protecting it from international criticism, if my government gave it special favorable treatment over other countries in trade agreements, and secretly sent it weapons during its wars. But hey, Congo does not get such treatment, Israel does.”

      This post illustrates the problem with so much of the left’s approach to discussing Israel. Elizabeth offers one party-line after another without pausing to consider their accuracy. First of all, not all of your country’s churches “extoll the virtues of Israel.” Yes, the Evangelicals do, but the Presbyterian church and other Protestant denominations are highly critical of Israel. The US protects Israel from international criticism?!! This makes absolutely no sense. It’s hard for me to think of a country that is singled out for international criticism more than Israel. Yes, the US helps to arm Israel, and Russia and China arm Israel’s enemies.

      Elizabeth, the reason why you and others on the left single out Israel is because it’s more politically fashionable. You try to paper over this with your empty party-lines, but the real reason you single out Israel over other countries is that criticizing Israel appeals to you moral vanity. Let’s face it– protesting human rights violations in the Congo just isn’t as sexy as showing your concern for Palestinians. It’s all about you, Elizabeth. Demonizing Israel makes you feel better about yourself.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Aaron

      OK, so now we’ve seen the “Arabs are Semites too” shtick again. I interpret that too mean that this thread is now open to pedantry, and here’s mine: I don’t think it’s exactly correct to say that Arendt favored a binational sovereign state. In fact, she criticized Judah Magnes’ proposal for such a thing. Arendt, who was against sovereignty in general, wanted there to be a federation of nations – Jew, Arab, etc. She wrote that Magnes’ proposal, which included integration of a binational, sovereign Palestine into a regional federation, would leave the Jews “a permanent minority within a larger Arab empire” and might make Palestine itself into “the worst Diaspora problem of all.” This was from her Aufbau column of December 17, 1943.

      Reply to Comment
    33. un2here

      If the truth is antisemitic, then by all means … And truth is that China did not create itself out of nowhere on top of the Tibetans, nor did it expel them when Tibet was annexed. They even allow them to have equal citizens rights.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Richard Witty

      Aside from the singling out of Israel unfairly, another critical and often unasked and unanswered question of dissent, is whether the dissent is effective, whether it actually makes change and what kind.

      Reply to Comment
    35. UN2here, if ‘equal citizens’ rights’ includes the right to be imprisoned and tortured simply for owning a picture of the Dalai Lama, then Tibetans could be said to enjoy equal rights with the rest of the Chinese population. As it is, they do face ethnic-based persecution – forced sterilisations, a network of Chinese army checkpoints regulating their movement (very similar to what we see in the West Bank), the risk of being killed or imprisoned if they even think about trying to escape, etc. The huge population of Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala alone (plus the risks people take to cross the Himalayas in all weathers) should attest that they do have something to escape from. There have been expulsions from Tibet, and there is also an ongoing and systematic government campaign to settle Tibet with Han Chinese in order to dilute the Tibetan majority and cement the annexation.
      .
      However, Prometheus’s points don’t stand. China hasn’t been sanctioned for its actions in Tibet, but Israel hasn’t been sanctioned for its actions in the OPT either. There are Tibetan solidarity groups calling for sanctions on China and divestment from companies that profiteer from its occupation of Tibet, and they also called for a sporting boycott when the Olympics were given to Beijing. They have had some success (the Presbyterian Church in the USA moved to divest from Talisman Energy because of its holdings in PetroChina, which has been guilty of profiteering from the situation in both Tibet and Sudan) but the successes have not yet included support from powerful governments. The reason is clear: China is a growing economic power and there are strategic reasons for staying on its good side. Equally, these same governments have reasons for wanting to be on good terms with Israel. In both cases the reluctance to impose a practical penalty are motivated by self-interest. Israel doesn’t get unfairly singled out for criticism, but it is also not the only country to be given a pass on human rights abuses – this happens all the time.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Kolumn9

      The one state solution can only be supported by anti-Semites and idiots. The result of such a ‘solution’ is the destruction of Israel’s Jewish community in the same way as all minority communities in the Middle East are repressed and gradually expelled or destroyed. So, either those that support this outcome are anti-Semites who care not for the death or expulsion of Jews from Israel, or they are idiots that choose to pretend in an alternative scenario despite all, and I mean all, evidence to the contrary both from Jewish and regional history. Some promote these ideas on the basis of arguing that they should be considered with no regard for their outcome. These people should be grouped with the idiots.
      .

      Magnes was a fool and so are those that wave his banner in recent days when it is even less practical and more obviously contradictory to historical realities.
      .

      Anti-Semite or idiot. Pick your camp one-state supporters.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Jack

      Kolumn9,
      So palestinians that were ethnically cleansed, have the right to return is a antisemite?
      -
      What you just typed was exactly what have happend for the palestinians for some 6 decades now.
      -
      Why didnt the state pay attention to the fact that palestinians did not want to divide the land? And we would not have this conflict. Instead they created it with force and now when they get criticised folks are blamed for racism. Please.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Jack

      Kolumn9,
      and I bet palestinians doesnt care what they are called because of the misuse of labeling anyone antisemtitic.

      Reply to Comment
    39. Bluegrass Picker of Afula

      Does Jeremiah Haber imagine that ==he== is living in a national-homeland that was not built at another people’s expense?

      Can he show me any country which was not thusly built?

      Reply to Comment
    40. Bluegrass Picker of Afula

      >> Nonviolent Peaceforce has Unarmed Civilian Peacekeepers in Sri Lanka, Philippines

      do enough googling, and you’ll see that Nonviolent Peaceforce keeps its staffers in Makati – a very wealthy, upscale, COMFORTABLE place in the National Capital enclave for a foreigner to sit and write email-reports back to the donators.

      At least the Red Cross actually sends its people to Mindanao. I know from my own eyes, though, that they spend 99% of their time in nightclubs of Davao City – which happens to have a lower criminal-violence rate than any average USA cities. Nice gigantic SUV’s with a massive Red Cross and “Committee Genave” sign, parked illegally outside the upscale supper clubs of Torres Street. Go there and see for yourself.

      Reply to Comment
    41. un2here

      No Vicky, checkpoints in Tibet are nothing like the draconian ones in WB – not to mention the siege on Gaza!! – but more like the Egyptian checkpoints in Sinai. You can sneak around them or just ignore them and you will not get shot dead. The refugees in Dharmsala and eleswhere speaks numbers you say? Yes they do, and the numbers are that 4% of the Tibetans live in the diaspora compared to 50% of the Palestinians. So you see, the Jewish State isn’t singled out because it is Jewish, but simply because it has won the race to the bottom, beating the Chinese assholes with a fair margin on the way down.

      Reply to Comment
    42. Yochanan

      These questions were asked earlier but have remained unanswered: Is it then similarly racist, or antisemitic or whatever, to oppose a Palestinian state, such as the one proposed by the Saudi Peace Plan, or the PA’s UN recognition bid?

      Question 2: Was South Africa also unfairly singled out for criticism between the years 1909 and 1994? Did the black Africans not have 50 other states they could go to, and the Afrikaaners only one?

      Reply to Comment
    43. Prometheus

      “checkpoints in Tibet are nothing like the draconian ones in WB – not to mention the siege on Gaza!! – but more like the Egyptian checkpoints in Sinai.”
      .
      Not truth.
      http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/checks-05102012142812.html
      http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/wander-tales/confrontation-at-xegar-checkpoint/
      http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=31745&t=1
      Tibetan monk beaten to death by Chinese security personnel
      .
      “You can sneak around them or just ignore them and you will not get shot dead.”
      .
      Not truth either.
      http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/500024ff23.html
      Two Tibetan women fall from a cliff while avoiding Chinese authorities in an attempt to enter Lhasa.
      http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/tibet/2681-china-intensifies-crackdown-on-tibet-arrests-beatings-a-blockades
      .
      The refugees in Dharmsala and eleswhere speaks numbers you say? Yes they do, and the numbers are that 4% of the Tibetans live in the diaspora compared to 50% of the Palestinians.”
      .
      However the flee from “Palestine” have ended, while few thousand people escape Tibet every year.
      “Newcomers express frustration that the government-in-exile wants to hear only “bad things” about Chinese rule in Tibet, and a lack of economic opportunity in Dharamsala.[13]”
      .
      So you see, the Jewish State isn’t singled out because it is Jewish, but simply because it has won the race to the bottom, beating the Chinese assholes with a fair margin on the way down.
      .
      No. There is a whole bunch of lot bigger assholes in the world. The only problem is that they are not Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    44. un2here

      Yochanan – By definition it is antisemitic to oppose anything that could be favorable to the Jewish People, no matter how unreasonable the proposal would be to everybody else. I wouldn’t worry too much about that word anymore.

      Reply to Comment
    45. un2here

      Prometheus – Yes, the flee ended in -49 or so, it is the return, after the hostilities ended(?), that has been causing most of the problems with the Jewish People. And still do:

      ” – On Sunday, May 15 [2011], Israel killed at least 12 unarmed Palestinian refugees and injured hundreds more…”

      http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3001

      Reply to Comment
    46. Susan

      “let’s face it, shouldn’t a liberal have problems with any nation-state who accepts new members into the nation on the basis of religious conversion alone?”

      You know perfectly well that being Jewish is being part of an ethnic group and a national group as well as a religion. How many of +972 bloggers are religious? The religious progressive Jewish left barely exists in Israel.

      Yes, I think that every people who want their own nation should have one. Why can’t the Kurds have their own nation? Yes, I do think that includes the Palestinians. The Czech Republic and Slovakia are now separate nations because they could not stay one nation.

      I look at the Arab world today and I see that Jews in Libya and Tunisia are in great danger. Sufis are in danger in Nazareth. The Arab world is permeated with antisemtism. I don’t think that a single nation state would work. The idea of Zionism if for Jews to have one lousy tiny peace of land where they can control their own destiny. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for a people who have faced persecution in European and Middle Eastern countries. I think that Jews would become second class citizens in what would become a Muslim Arab country.

      The Tibetans have never sent suicide bombers against the Chinese nor have they planted bombs in buses or ambulances.

      Reply to Comment
    47. Prometheus

      “Such a policy — discrimination based on religious or ethnic differences — is the very definition of apartheid.”
      .
      Non-muslims have no equal rights anywhere in Muslim world, women have no equal rights either. By the logic of the author of this article it means that all Muslim states are actually Apartheid states and apartheid is a general feature of Islam.

      Reply to Comment
    48. Elisabeth

      There is a whole bunch of bigger assholes in the world but our governments and our societies do not support them like they do Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    49. Prometheus

      Basically what I am saying is that human rights must not apply to those who waive such rights of other people based on religion, gender or sexual orientation.

      Reply to Comment
    50. Jack

      Prometheus,
      And since when have any middle east state besides Israel said and portrayed its state as a westernized democratic society? Thats the problem because if you are going to be a western democratic society you cant first of all not claim to be a jewish state AND a democratic state, second discrimination and even total excluding of people based on their ethnicity is not to be considered a democracy.

      Reply to Comment
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