Monday morning blogpost
(Thank you Revital Sella for drawing my attention to this video.)
Those among my friends who understand Hebrew and who have a strong stomach, please have a look at the linked video. (Unfortunately, there are no subtitles and I don’t think this is by accident btw.)
This is modern Israeli academia very recently discussing Zionism in a (pseudo) intellectual way, as if it’s some benign and virtuous benevolent movement. There is no nice way to say this. It’s sickening, crazy-making intellectual masturbation and absolute mind f*%@ing. I advise any Palestinians who understand Hebrew against watching this.
The ‘conflict’ between Israel and the Palestinians is spoken about as if it’s completely unrelated to Zionism! It’s the same surreal nonsense I was brought up on. The first speaker introduces the main speaker, the author Amos Oz. His talk starts at about 9 minutes 55 second into the video.
When I was a young woman I used to love Oz’s novels. Over the years I increasingly began to see how much Oz embodies and promotes that fraudulent view of Israel and Zionism. I actually got rid of all of his books. In this video Oz basically admits that he places the survival of ‘his’ people ahead of morality. He is in the company of fearful, cowardly, immoral frauds like Benny Morris and basically everyone on the Israeli so-called ‘Left’. And he is immoral, not amoral!
This is the face of Israel that appeals to Western Jews and to the rest of the Western world: white, seemingly ‘civilised’, educated, enlightened refined. The horror of what Israel really is, is well camouflaged. This is colonialist entitlement and superiority at their best (or rather worst). No one is holding a gun to these people’s heads. They really believe what they are saying and believe in their victimhood, rightness and entitlement. Defending and supporting Israel and Zionism to their last breath is their identity and raison dêtre.
They are speaking at Tel Aviv University, a well-known university seen as a paragon of intellect and enlightenment. How much more benign, refined and virtuous can you be? I used to think that academia was a place of honesty. But I know that everything can be twisted and used every which way people like. These people are the equivalent of mainstream physicists standing at the podium of a major university and declaring unflinchingly and unapologetically that the Earth is flat.
In fact, they are the same types of people as those well-educated academics, scientists and university professors who sold out their conscience, prostituted themselves and provided academic and (pseudo) intellectual justification for Nazism and its race theory in their time. I am sure you would find academics like them who did the same in South Africa during Apartheid and certainly there were those who did the same during slavery and before women got the vote. Academia can be bought and sold because it is populated with people and people can be small, frightened, immoral and pathetic. It’s when they set themselves up to be what they are not, that I get angry.
How these two people present is how so many people would still like to see Israel. This is how I used to see Israel and myself when I still lived there and for a few years after I left. This section of Israeli society is even more guilty than the extreme lunatic right because they lie and they mask, and they present themselves and Israel as something other than what they really are.
No matter how they dress it up, the truth is these people choose the survival of the Jewish people — to whom they feel strongly affiliated, to whom they have surrendered their individual identity and any sense of personal morality or ethics — over everyone and everything else. According to them, no matter the cost to others, the Jewish people must survive and Zionism and Israel are the key to that.
They do not apologise, nor do they own up to the fact that Zionism from the outset was intended to displace the indigenous people and replace them with Jews, which is the very definition of settler-colonialism. Do they not know? Of course they do. They all do but they justify the unjustifiable. How they can live with themselves I don’t know. The kind of mental contortions they need to do in order to live with the cognitive dissonance, must be incredible. As a psychotherapist I would venture a guess that those who are not directly psychopathic, are suffering from chronic anxiety. You cannot live a lie and not live with huge anxiety. That probably would have been me, if I didn’t grow a brain…
I find this sickening to my core. I wrote about this very topic in my most recent Mondoweiss piece, I’d much prefer an honest Zionist to a ‘liberal’ one’ (24th September 2018).