Colin Shindler attempts to stem the tide of irrational hatred, ideologically-inspired Judeaophobia and outright anti-Semitism, all couched in a convenient label of anti-Zionism by Europe''s Left in a NYTimes oped. He comes close but not near enough.
A central part his explanation is problematic:
AMID this rising hostility toward Israel, the French philosopher and political activist Jean-Paul Sartre advocated a different way forward...He understood the legitimacy of Israel’s war for independence and later commented that the establishment of the state of Israel was one of the few events “that allows us to preserve hope.” Yet Sartre also strongly supported Algeria’s fight for independence from France...Sartre argued that the left shouldn’t choose between two moral causes and that it was up to the Jews and the Arabs to resolve their conflict through discussion and negotiation. Sartre tried to create a space for a dialogue,..But Sartre’s vision was stymied as Israeli settlements proliferated after 1977, strengthening the left’s caricature of Israel as an imperialist power and a settler-colonial enterprise. Some prominent voices on the European left have mouthed time-honored anti-Semitic tropes in their desire to appear supportive of the Palestinian cause. Ken Livingstone, a former newspaper editor and mayor of London, has a long history of insensitive remarks about Jews — from publishing a cartoon in 1982 of Menachem Begin, then Israel’s prime minister, in Gestapo uniform atop a pile of Palestinian skulls to likening a known Jewish reporter to “a concentration camp guard” 20 years later...
Of course, there was far-left and communist anti-Zionism before 1967, not only 1977. Jewish residency - not in Judea, Gaza, Samaria and Jerusalem - but in Tel Aviv, Rehovot and Rosh Pinah was the target of Arab hostility and negation of Jewish national rights. It wasn;t a matter of where but of who. If the Jews, anywhere in the country, that was to be opposed. Anyone reading and knowing the Mandate-period chronicles is aware of that. The communists supported the 1929 Arab riots and those were Jewish communists, by the way.
As for Menachem Begin and England, well, he couldn''t come to the country in the 1950s and 1960s. The left-wing, and right-wing, animosity towards him was based on his role os the Irgun commander. "Settlements" were not needed for those horrific caricatures and epithets.
Shindler is cognizant of the pre-1967 opposition to Israel, writing of the "the anticolonial struggle — in Vietnam, South Africa, Rhodesia and a host of other places" which led to
...Israel’s exclusion from the ranks of the nonaligned nations more than 50 years ago, when Arab states refused to attend a 1955 nonaligned conference in Indonesia if an Israeli delegate was present.
I won''t argue about the date and event, but the point is made: Zionism is not to be recognized as a legitimate nationalist movement. That principled stand by those of the Left leave them left out of the frame to be involved in peace efforts.
Just like no peace effort can ever be successful with Hamas (which rules Gaza, probably could dislodge Fatah in Judea and Samaria, is supported by Iran and its Hezbollah and Sudan surrogates and lin ked to the ruling regime of Egypt):
Saturday, October 27, 2012Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh underlined his nation''s irrevocable stance against Israel, stressing that Palestinians will never ignore even a single span of their land. "We (Palestinians) will never overlook even one span of Palestine''s soil because Palestine is an endowed land and no person, leader, organization or group is entitled to the right to ignore this land," Haniyeh said in a meeting on Saturday with the members of ''Miles of Smiles 17'' aid convoy and an Indonesian delegation visiting Gaza. "Israel has no future in the Palestinian lands and our motto is that we will never recognize the Zionist regime," he said.
The Left may not be all terrorist, but the politics are the same - Israel cannot exist.
In that worldview, anti-Semitism is just an extention of the ''struggle'' and Jews in Toulouse, Manchester and Malmo will pay.
His last statement
the swallowing up of both the Israeli and Palestinian peace camps by political polarization has accelerated the closing of the progressive mind. And static fatalism has allowed the assailant of synagogue congregants and the killer of young children to fill the vacuum.
would only seem to me to nevertheless make sure the Jews/Israelis are blamed.
Israel, even under Binyamin Netanyahu, has attempted to negotiate. There was the offer of a second Arab state in the territory of the Palestine Mandate that was supposed to become the Jewish state. There was the construction moratorium. There were Olmert, and Livni, and Barak and Peres and Rabin prior. Madrid and Oslo, Camp David I and Camp David II. Allon Plan and Autonomy Plans. But surely the national and human rights of Jews in their homeland cannot be ignored.
On that basis, Shindler''s analysis is cogent but unhelpful.