The Zionist Narrative of Muslim-Jewish Conflict

  • Yehudit

    Jewish girl here–spot on article! As much as Muslims stand up to protect us, we have to do the same to fight for the rights of Muslims, both in the West and especially in Israel. We have to be true to Jewish principles and stop acting as though Muslims, Arab people of all faiths, and minorities are undeserving of protection and equality.

  • Justin

    Syjil, I think you could stand to take one of those “political understanding tours” you criticize. Does it ever hurt to experience a new perspective? Can “understanding” ever be counterproductive, as you claim?

    Zionism isn’t about muslims in any way. The involvement of muslims in the conflict around zionism is incidental. There is no pro-zionist who would ever think to utter the word “muslim” in any context if asked to define zionism. So don’t take it personally. Rather, zionism is about the redemption of the jewish people; after millenia of suffering as as minorities in foreign lands, after a specific modern catastrophe that murdered nearly half of all jewish people, a group of jews resolved that through force of will and with a level of determination that can only be borne of a deeply-held belief that there is absolutely no other option worth living, that they would fulfill the prayers that their ancestors had been reciting every day for thousands of years, since before Mohammed was born and well before he launched his murderous conquests of the middle east that brutally slaughtered so many, and would establish a jewish nation in Zion (i.e. the Jerusalem region).

    More than simply fulfilling a prayer (because remember the great early champions of Zionism and of Israel were secular leftists, often even atheists: “founding father of Israel” and first prime minister David Ben-Gurion was an atheist, as have been a couple other prime ministers), Israel would create a place of self-determination for the jewish people just as the ethnic Swedes have Sweden and the ethnic Irish have Ireland. It would be a liberal democratic state with equal rights for all, culturally jewish just like how Spain is culturally spanish, but with respect for people of all ethnic, religious, sexual, or political backgrounds. They created a sovereign nation out of nothing, turned the desert into farm and orchard land after centuries of arab occupants had wasted the land for grazing sheep and camels on shrubs, created a strong independent judiciary to ensure the fidelity of the laws, created a strong civil society, developed a leading education system, became an international technology and science leader, and many other outstanding accomplishment that most other countries have struggled with for centuries and still haven’t achieved. Israelis are rightfully proud of what their country has accomplished and jews around the world are rightfully proud that after thousands of years of existence at the margins of society, and of discrimination, that their people had achieved the impossible and created a place in the world where any jew could belong and be treated equally under the law. Jews around the world largely support Israel because the very existence of Israel inspires jews to stand taller- we are no longer a people who don’t belong, we have a place where they will always welcome us with open arms so if “you” (any country) don’t want us you can go f yourself, we’re out of there, we always have Israel.

    Arabs were living in the Land of Israel and many (~700,000) were displaced, sometimes disallowed from returning to the only land that their families had known for generations, and this must be acknowledged and justice must be achieved with respect to this issue. There should be compensation I would agree. However, despite living there, it was not “their land”. It was Ottoman land and then British land and then Israeli land. Change can be very challenging for many people, and change can be costly, so as I said I believe that compensation is in order. However change is not a crime. The creation of Israel in 1948 was remarkably bloodless relative to its scope, and what blood there was, is attributable roughly equally to both the jewish and muslim sides. For every supposed atrocity committed by Israelis you can point to a muslim atrocity, usually immediately preceding the Israeli one. And even as 700,000 arabs were displaced from Israel, over the next few years about the same exact amount (scholarly estimate: 750,000) jews were displaced from arab countries around the middle east and north africa to Israel by antagonism against jews in their own countries. Why tiny country Israel happily integrated these refugees while the 20+ arab countries refuse to help Palestinians is beyond me.

    Also your idea that arab and african jews are a persecuted minority in Israel is a hysterical projection of your own arab ethnic problems that has no bearing on the reality in Israel. Israeli jews of African and Middle Eastern backgrounds face societal challenges in that they come from families that, going back in time, have a relatively lower level of educational attainment and economic participation than other subethnic groups, but that is absolutely no different than challenges faced by different subgroups in I believe every single country on the planet.