A world without Israel

Why is it so preposterous that there should be one state in which Hebrew is the official language?

map 88 (photo credit: )
map 88
(photo credit: )
Iran's president is not alone in wiping Israel off the map. A group of academics and journalists are eradicating Israel - not with nuclear weapons but with ink and paper. On bookshelves in the West, you can see quite a number of books which wipe Israel off the map, and it is almost impossible to find any book - apart from Alan Dershowitz's writings - which refute their arguments. These books are not attacking the occupation, but the very idea of a Jewish state. Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, by former BBC foreign correspondent Alan Hart, is a lengthy - 600 pages in the first volume - diatribe against Zionism, the Balfour declaration and the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. The title is taken from a motion discussed in a symposium organized by London's Evening Standard, in which the mainly Jewish audience voted for the motion. Hunt, quite rightly, sees this debate and vote as an event of historical significance and develops this thesis into a two-volume treatise. Jacqueline Rose's The Question of Zion and John Rose's Myths of Zionism are two similar attacks against Zionism. Professor Tony Judt of New York University also wiped Israel off the map in the New York Review of Books in October 2003 by writing that "Israel is an anachronism" and by proposing that it be replaced by a binational state. Perhaps following Judt's lead, Prof. Ilan Pappe of Haifa University eradicates Israel in his article in the French L'Essentiel (summer 2005) in which he hopes that the return of the Palestinian refugees will give rise to "one unitary secular and democratic state" which would replace Israel. Naturally, Pappe surmises, the Jews will live happily ever after as a minority in a secular democracy, of which there are so many in the Middle East. Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London - so Israeli visitors tell me - also wipes Israel off its display. Four Arab leaders - Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi and King Hussein of Jordan - are exhibited but not one Israeli leader. There are also those who do not advocate eradicating Israel, but work to remove any shred of justification for supporting the Jewish state. To the long list of Israeli academics who vilify their country, is now added a new opus: Suppressing the Guilt by Daniel Dor of Tel Aviv University. The source of guilt, of course, is Israel's actions in the West Bank and the suppressors are the Israeli media, who conceal the truth from their readers. All of them? Yes, even Haaretz is reprimanded: its editors "misled their readers in a very fundamental way" on events in Jenin. Why? Because they did not give more prominence to their own reporter Amira Hass - who had flown to London to defend the Evening Standard's motion defaming Zionism - by relegating her reports from Jenin to section B of the paper. For her part, Hass's blurb praises the Dor book for giving "ample evidence of how the Israeli free press easily turned into an instrument of propaganda." Indeed, these, and similar attacks, have reached such force that Josef Joffe, editor and publisher of the German Die Zeit was let to write in Foreign Policy (February 2005) an article entitled "A World without Israel." The article explains that the disappearance of Israel will not solve the world's problems: suicide bombers and hate of America will not disappear with the elimination of Israel. It is significant to note that this question is asked only about Israel. Nobody writes an article entitled "A World without Syria" or without Iran. In all this diatribe, one thing remains unexplained. Why shouldn't the Jewish people enjoy the right to self determination? Why should this right be granted to the Sudanese people and not to the Jews? Why is it so preposterous that there should be one state in which Hebrew is the official language and Jewish holidays are official days of rest? Did not the Jewish people show national solidarity with their state? Did not the Jews of Israel show a determination to withstand war, terror, boycott and siege directed at them? The learned chorus does not even attempt to tackle these questions. Their attacks against Zionism are compulsive, non-academic, full of half-baked truths and barely disguised hysteria. Indeed, Israel-bashers use a style which is very similar to the language used by anti-Semites: Israel is inferior and should not enjoy the rights accorded to other peoples. Formerly it was the Jewish person, now it is the Jewish state. The Nazi refrain was "the Jews are our disaster;" now, the Jewish state is being portrayed as the world's disaster. Consequently, all these eradicators, whether they are Israeli, Jewish or distinguished professors, are objectively - if one may revert to Marxist terminology - biological anti-Semites. They should realize that the writings which wipe Israel off the map will, in turn, be erased - from our history, consciences, or from any influence. Let the Judts, the Pappes, the Roses and Hunts go on; their writings will eventually wind up in the one place which they deserve.