Saturday, March 20, 2010

The dark face of Jewish nationalism


By Dr Alan Sabrosky, Redress, March 12, 2010

Alan Sabrosky considers the characteristics that differentiate Jewish nationalism from other nationalisms, highlighting in particular its intrinsic extremism, its xenophobia, racism and militarism, its undermining of civic loyalty among its adherents in other countries and its propensity to hatred and racial exclusivity.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu once remarked to a Likud gathering that “Israel is not like other countries”. Oddly enough for him, that time he was telling the truth, and nowhere is that more evident than with Jewish nationalism, whether or not one pins the “Zionist” label on it.

“…whereas extremism in other nationalist movements is an aberration, extremism in Jewish nationalism is the norm, pitting Zionist Jews (secular or observant) against the goyim (everyone else)…”

Nationalism in most countries and cultures can have both positive and negative aspects, unifying a people and sometimes leading them against their neighbours. Extremism can emerge, and often has, at least in part in almost every nationalist/independence movement I can recall (e.g. the French nationalist movement had The Terror, Kenya’s had the Mau Mau, etc.).

But whereas extremism in other nationalist movements is an aberration, extremism in Jewish nationalism is the norm, pitting Zionist Jews (secular or observant) against the goyim (everyone else), who are either possible predator or certain prey, if not both sequentially. This does not mean that all Jews or all Israelis feel and act this way, by any means. But it does mean that Israel today is what it cannot avoid being, and what it would be under any electable government (a point I’ll develop in another article).

Continues >>

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