Keith's NO EMPIRE Blog

A radical dissident perspective on various topics. Comments welcome at

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


A new phenomenon has arisen. It is Jewish anti-Zionism, which, because of it’s Jewish character, can be thought of as neo-Zionism. Of course, since anti-Zionism stands in opposition to Zionism and all of the evils inherent in that ideology, neo-Zionism may be seen in a positive light. Additionally, it is understandable that Jews of conscience would wish to be seen as Jews in opposition to Zionism, an ideology which claims to be, and is seen by many as, a Jewish ideology. Yet, there is something else going on here.

First, there is the question of timing. Both Jimmy Carter’s book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid", and Mearsheimer and Walt’s, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy", are fairly recent events which would have been virtually inconceivable 10 years ago. These books are, in many ways, the products of a growing consensus among a powerful minority of the liberal intelligentsia and political elite that Israel has become a strategic liability, and the “Lobby” a political problem. In short, the nation and lobby which once seemed to serve Jewish interests well, is now seen as an albatross to liberal American Jewish interests.

The problem for many liberal Jews is that Zionism replaced Judaism as the unifier of the Jewish “people,” hence, anti-Zionism could be viewed as an “existential threat” to Jewish solidarity and kinship. Yet, if Jews come together as anti-Zionist Jews, then Jewish anti-Zionism would, in effect, substitute for Zionism as a Jewish unifier, hence, neo-Zionism. Having your neo-Kosher cake and eating it too, at least for a while. And make no mistake, many Jewish anti-Zionists reinforce their Jewish identity through their anti-Zionist activities in concert with their “fellow Jews.” Also, like their Zionist brethren who focus on Israel and Zionism, the neo-Zionist Jews focus on Israel/Palestine and anti-Zionism. They avoid a critique of the existing political economy and imperial geo-strategy, and focus almost exclusively on the corrupting power of the Israel Lobby.