HERE'S WHY ZIONISM STILL HAS SUPPORT FROM A MAJORITY OF THE PUBLIC
August 24, 2021
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Many people in the anti-Zionist movement seem not to understand what the pro-Zionist argument is. As a result, the anti-Zionists don't refute the pro-Zionist argument, which is a very persuasive argument that happens, however, to be based on a false premise that virtually nobody knows is false. This is why Zionism can maintain the support of a majority of the public despite its obvious cruel and overwhelming violence against Palestinians. Here's how it works.
WHAT IS THE PRO-ZIONIST ARGUMENT?
The pro-Zionist argument (what I call the Zionist Big Lie) is this:
"In order to make Jews safe in a world filled with people who are innately antisemitic, even if not currently overtly antisemitic, we must--to our great sadness!--do things that would otherwise be terrible, such as carry out violent ethnic cleansing of non-Jews (Palestinians) from most of Palestine to make the Jewish state of Israel, which is required to make Jews safe and which, in turn, requires that there be at least an 80% Jewish majority population in Israel; and to enforce this ethnic cleansing we must--to our great sadness!--ruthlessly dominate and control the Palestinians not only inside Israel but also in the West Bank and Gaza, to make sure they don't return to inside Israel. Yes, we use overwhelming violence; and yes, we must dominate the antisemitic Palestinians with violence that kills innocent children (this pains us greatly!); and yes, the violence we use to make Jews safe is, at least according to some authorities, a violation of international law and this also pains us dearly; but we do these things ONLY because it is necessary to make Jews safe, and anybody who criticizes us for doing these things is thereby making Jews unsafe and is thus antisemitic IN EFFECT IF NOT INTENT."
Here's how Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meier expressed it:
“We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children." [Source is here.]
Golda Meier may have been better than most Zionists in expressing this Zionist view so pithily, but virtually every Zionist thinks about, and defends, Israeli violence this way, viewing it as, however unfortunately, necessary for self-defense of Jews.
Similarly, the pro-Zionist argument does not deny that Jews and non-Jews are treated differently under the law in Israel; Zionists proudly declare that this is a good thing because it is part of what makes Israel a Jewish state: Israeli prime minister Netanyahu proudly (and falsely***) asserted that Israel is a "Nation-state of the Jewish people and of them alone." The Zionists don't like it when anti-Zionists refer to this as "apartheid," but they don't deny the reality that that word refers to; they insist it is necessary to make Jews safe.
Likewise, the Zionists don't like it when anti-Zionists say Israeli refusal to allow the Palestinian refugees to return is "ethnic cleansing," (Zionists like to insist that it's only "ethnic cleansing" if it kills, rather than only removes, the target people) but they don't deny the fact that Israel will not ever allow the Palestinian refugees to return; they are proud of it, since this supposedly ensures that Israel will remain a Jewish state*** that can keep Jews safe. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert--who said the long term survival of Israel depended on having a two-state solution--made this very clear. Reuters reported:
“The prime minister never offered to absorb 20,000 refugees in Israel. The prime minister again reiterates that under any future agreement, there will not be any return of Palestinian refugees to Israel in any number,” Olmert’s office said.
Think about the pro-Zionist argument. This argument is NOT refuted one iota by somebody showing that Israeli violence is for ethnic cleansing and that it is cruel and that it is illegal and that it is overwhelmingly greater than any Palestinian violence, and that it enforces apartheid.* And yet, showing these facts--true facts, but irrelevant* to the Zionist argument!--is the ONLY response to the pro-Zionist argument that the anti-Zionist organizations and leaders are making!
This Zionists LOVE to hear the anti-Zionists making their inept argument because it makes anti-Zionists a sitting duck for the Zionists to accuse them of being antisemitic IN EFFECT IF NOT INTENT.**
The ONLY way to refute the Zionist Big Lie argument is to show that Israeli government violence against Palestinians is NOT for the purpose of making Jews safe but rather for the purpose of enabling Jewish billionaires in Israel--Israel's actual ruling class--to economically oppress--horribly!--working class Israeli Jews to get fabulously rich at the expense of working class Jews. I prove this in my article, "Israel's Government Attacks Ordinary Jews As Well As Palestinians." (https://www.pdrboston.org/israel-s-government-attacks-jews-to)
Until the anti-Zionist movement directly refutes the Zionist Big Lie (by telling the truth!), virtually everybody will believe that Israeli violence is for the purpose of making Jews safe, and the anti-Zionist movement will only gain the support of the minority of people who will oppose Israeli government violence despite the (supposed!) fact that this violence is for the purpose of making Jews safe. With only the support of a minority of the general public, the anti-Zionist movement will never be able to successfully challenge the power of Zionism.
* Why is the Zionist argument not refuted when anti-Zionists show that Israeli violence kills Palestinian children, that it is for ethnic cleansing, that it is cruel, that it is illegal and that it is overwhelmingly greater than any Palestinian violence and that it enforces apartheid? Here's why. Because the Zionists ADMIT this fact and assert that this violence is necessary to make Jews safe and therefore it is MORALLY JUSTIFIED violence. If anti-Zionists don't persuasively refute the Zionist claim that Israeli violence is for the purpose of making Jews safe, then the Zionists win the argument in the view of most of the public. And currently anti-Zionists are not refuting this Zionist claim, which is why anti-Zionists have not won over a majority of the public.
** It is pathetic when anti-Zionists respond to the accusation that they are antisemitic in effect if not intent by ONLY denying that they are antisemitic in INTENT (for example by saying that they are Jewish or have Jewish friends or by pointing out that there are Jews in the anti-Zionist camp.) The Zionists LOVE this response because it totally ignores (i.e., does not refute) the accusation that anti-Zionism is antisemitic IN EFFECT (because it opposes Israeli violence that is necessary to make Jews safe.) When an anti-Zionist says, "Hey, I'm a Jew so I can't be antisemitic," the Zionists gleefully respond with, "You're a self-hating Jew"; and the Zionist response is indeed very persuasive to anybody who believes that Israeli violence is necessary to make Jews safe. Anti-Zionists seem not to "get it" on this issue, which is pathetic.
*** Israel is no more a state of (for) ordinary Jews than the United States is a state of (for) ordinary U.S. citizens; both states are oligarchies ruled by a billionaire plutocracy to make the billionaires rich at the expense of the ordinary citizens.