Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Uri Avnery understands the middle east but can't come to terms with his own people

Child soldier in Syria, his friend dies moments before
 Jews and Israel are seen by the world as different to other nations. If you don't believe it, ask yourself why Israel is always so prominent in the news, when the smallest happening in Israel is reported, especially if it has to do with supposedly suffering palestinian arabs.

Despite for example Sudan's incessant bombing and killing in South Kordofan, and after its genocide in Darfur (and even greater one in South Sudan where up to 4 million people were killed over the years), all eyes are still on how many houses jews build in their ancient homelands of Judea and Samaria. Mr Kerry makes shuttle after shuttle trip to Israel to pressure it into renouncing its claims to its ancient homelands in Judea and Samaria.

What does Kerry offer Israel? Not peace? For harassing life in Judea and Samaria, for ceasing to build homes there, Kerry offers the possibility of a palestinian arab president who has no legitimate democratic standing, of his possiblity of agreeing to talk to Israel about peace. And for the hypothetical possibility of being allowed to talk to Abbas about peace, Israel is being pressured to give up its territory! Nuts or what? Obama and Kerry think it's reasonable to ask this of Israel. But there again, Obama thought Muslim Brotherhood Egypt was a good thing to promote, as was his gift of half a billion dollars earlier this year, along with 200 Abrams tanks and 20 F16 jets, even whilst president Morsy was organising demonstrations at the american embassy, whilst christians are kidnapped, forcibly converted and married off to muslims at the advanced age of 14 years!

Meanwhile in Syria the Islamic Civil War carries on with ever greater intensity, just as I have written about in a number of articles for the last two years. Finally the world is cottoning on, as has Avnery, but as usual he has a twist which shows his own marxist ideology negating jewish nationalism, his utter inability to understand his own people, and just why zionism has been so uniquely successful. Where else in the world has an ancient language been reborn in the midst of adversity, where a state has arisen despite Britain a then superpower being set against this, of arab armies led by british officers invading and being defeated. And then that state went on to increase more than ten fold to become a world technological superpower, with the grand total of 7 million inhabitants?

It is fine that Avnery can not understand what makes Israel and zionism tick, as neither can its more lethal enemies. I read many islamic and arab websites, and am often amazed at just how little they understand the Jewish People, seeing 'zionists'  as the reflection of the evils they themselves perpetrate on their fellow arabs and muslims.

Arabs talk of the massacres committed against them, of bloodthirsty jews lusting after muslim blood.

Only when you keep in mind the images of an FSA fighter tearing out the heart and liver of an enemy and chewing it with his teeth, can you understand that the barbarisms they allege about jews and Israel are simply freudian projection, a reflection of the miseries which are contained within their own minds, culture and behaviour. Shariah law and its manifold barbaric punishments revel in bloody mutilations of the body.

Jews might not always like being exceptional, might bend over backwards to give away funds, education, and land to our enemies, but the result will still be the same, that our enemies want us dead. When the fig leaf of 'anti-zionism' overwhelmingly a synonym of jew hatred is allowed to drop, jews of whatever description or nationality  are demeaned as being no more than "bloody jews" (by a British MP last week). The condemnations of usurping zionists, of "stealing land", "occupying palestinian land" reflect less any sympathy for arabs who sometimes describe themselves as "palestinian", but are a means for antisemites to attack jews without laying themselves open to charges of antisemitism or racism.

Uri Avnery is an interesting jew, someone who went from fighting to rid Israel of British imperialism through service in the right of center Irgun, to a belief in marxism with its concommitant ideological inability to recognize that jews are uniquely a religion and a nationality. This religion which encompasses nationality does not apply to any other religion. Those who do not understand this basic truth, can not understand judaism or Israel, or the jewish link with the Land of Israel over thousands of years. Even jews who keep little or anything of their religion will have a soft spot for Israel, will contribute to the Jewish National Fund.

Of course many jews deny this link, as does Avineri, out of fear of being seen as having dual loyalties in the lands where they reside. It is interesting that this complaint is not levelled at pakistanis in Britain, or at mexicans or irish people in the USA, or indeed armenians in the USA and France.
When the situation of the nation-less Jews in nationalist Europe became increasingly difficult, Zionism was born. By a sleight-of-hand it postulated that Jews were not only an ethno-religious community, but at the same time also a “nation like other nations”. This was a necessary fiction, until Zionism succeeded in creating a real nation – the Israelis.
With the founding of the Israeli state, the Zionist doctrine lost its purpose and should have been dismantled, like the scaffolding of a finished building. Everybody expected this to happen in due course – Hebrew Israelis would be a “normal” nation, and their connection with the Jewish world would become secondary.

TODAY WE are witnessing a kind of Jewish counter-revolution. In Israel there is a comeback of the world-Jewish connection, while separate Israeli nationhood is denied. It is a reversal of Zionism.
Avnery ignores that just as with armenians, jews throughout the world funded projects in Israel for many years, spend their summer holidays their, own property in Israel. Jews whilst being loyal to their own, usually democratic countries cannot renounce their identity with Israel.

Avnery misunderstands the zionist idea of Israel becoming a “normal nation". This was not intended to renounce the relationship with the wider jewish community, but to have one place in the world where jews were masters of their own destiny, where they could defend themselves from attack, where they could develop their culture. Anyone who knows Israel, knows that it has a very vibrant and varied culture.
From the very beginning Israel has acted to defend jews under attack throughout the world, most notably lately the frustrating of tens of Hezbollah attacks such as those on jews in west Africa and Thailand.

Good marxist that he is, Avnery can not understand the religious link to Israel, that jews pray three times a day with prayers replete with references to Israel, to 'returning to Zion.'

In Europe, the Jews were a sinister and hated anomaly because they clung to their former existence as a homeland-less, dispersed ethno-religious sect. This was done quite consciously: the rabbis erected a “fence around the Torah”, separating Jews from everybody else, making it impossible for them to eat with non-Jews or marry them. Jews orginally congregated in
 It's interesting that Avnery does not mention the main reason for the hatred, that jews were condemned in the Gospels, in Mathew, Mark and John, that until jews converted to christianity they were forced to remain separate, to wear different clothes, to forbidden from travelling outside their cities without permission of the rulers, to be marked out for derison and punishment for having "killed Christ" (The Second Vatican Council dropped this charge of deicide, something I hope to write about in a future article).
Rabbis might have been happy that their followers were less tempted by the outside world's temptations, but we see that as soon as the enlightenment opened up the doors for jews, they took the opportunity to join the modern world in their hundreds of thousands.
TODAY WE are witnessing a kind of Jewish counter-revolution. In Israel there is a comeback of the world-Jewish connection, while separate Israeli nationhood is denied. It is a reversal of Zionism.
 Avnery demolishes his own straw man. The law of return has recognized from the inception of the State of Israel the unique links jews have with Israel the state. There's no need for a "counter-revolution" except in Avnery's befogged mind.

When he's not talking about jews though, Avnery understands what is happening in the middle-east.
AFTER WORD WAR I, the victorious colonial empires carved up the territories of the vanquished Ottoman Empire among themselves. Since colonialism was out and self-determination was in, their new colonies were dressed up as independent nations (like Iraq) or as nations-to-be (like Syria).

European-style nationalism took hold of the new Arab nations. The ancient idea of the pan-Muslim “Umma” was pushed away. The idea of a pan-Arab super-state, propagated by the Baath party and Egypt’s Gamal Abd-al-Nasser, was tried and failed. Syrian nationalism, Iraqi nationalism, Egyptian nationalism and, of course, Palestinian nationalism won.
 But now the arab world has had enough of nationalism, the Umma is back, but at the same time challenged by the iranian version of the coming of the Mahdi, to be presaged by great turmoil (and another, nuclear tipped Holocaust for jews).

The world has tried so hard to build a nationalism for palestinians, but it has never worked, not because of Israel which has tried a number of times to make a peace in exchange for giving land to those arabs living in Judea and Samaria. It has not worked, because palestinian arabs could not break themselves off from their Egyptian and Jordanian nationalities, from the ideology of pan arabism, and at times of pan islamism.

Arabs of Gaza belong to the islamic umma, the leadership there rarely describing themselves as 'palestinian', and then only for the ears of gullible journalists. And in Judea and Samaria Hamas would take over tomorrow despite the massive security apparatus built up there by Britain and the USA. Pan arab nationalism has broken down in the arab world, and hardly affected arabs in JS.

Kerry is trying to flog a dead horse. There is no Palestine, no palestinian nationalism over and above a wish to destroy Israel. This great wish is shared by most muslim, and certainly those warring in Syria. Sadly for them, they will have to kill the islamic opposition on the long road to destroying Israel. As we see from the battles between Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian regime on one side, and the sunnis on the other for the city of Al Qusair, the final battle for Israel is going to have to be postponed for quite a while.

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