Keith's NO EMPIRE Blog

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Liberal Zionism and Tribal Anti-Zionism

Both liberal Zionism and Jewish tribal anti-Zionism are variants of Jewish peoplehood, tribalism and kinship which fall outside of hard-core Judeo-Zionism. Like Judeo-Zionism, both seek to maintain Jewish ethnic solidarity and the self-serving nepotism and favoritism which has been a key ingredient in Jewish success. There are, however, differences between these two groupings and the ideology of Judeo-Zionism. It should be noted that there are variations of solidarity and commitment within all three groups, the discussion an attempt to develop a rough approximation of general group consensus. It should be kept in mind that group ideology is established and refined by the group leadership (elites) and adhered to (more or less) by the mass of the group membership. Finally, I am talking primarily about organized groups of Jews and their actions. Individual Jews acting alone have little socio-political impact unless they are wealthy. I am defining a "Jew" as someone who self-identifies as a Jew and is accepted as a Jew by other Jews.

Liberal Zionists are those Zionists who criticize Israeli policies and flagrant violations of human rights while, nonetheless, continuing to support Israel. They are generally identified with the Democratic Party and the old Israeli Labor Party, and in opposition to Likud and other right-wing Israeli parties. Like liberals everywhere, they tend to whine about specific examples of systemic injustice while loyally supporting the system which is the cause of the injustice. They seek to ameliorate the most visible problems while downplaying and excusing the systemic nature of the situation. They remain Zionists and support Israel because they recognize that Zionism and support for Israel and exploitation of the Holocaust was the driving force behind re-uniting the various groups of Jews and re-establishing Jewish kinship, tribal solidarity and nepotism. At a personal level, they do not really feel threatened by anti-Semitism nor do they see Israel as a refuge from potential irrational Gentile Jew-hatred. Yet, they recognize the value of this unifying mythology and tend to support it, even if half-heartedly. In short, they seek to project a progressive image while riding on the coattails of the deeply committed, hard-core Judeo-Zionists.

Jewish tribal anti-Zionists are essentially Zionism's echo. Instead of uniting with other Jews in support of Israel, they unite with other Jews in opposition to the fundamental character of the Jewish state. In effect, Israel forms the basis for organizational solidarity, Jewish Zionists pro-Israel, Jewish anti-Zionists in opposition. Both groups are composed primarily of Jews working in solidarity, the leadership of the anti-Zionist movement heavily Jewish. And while these Jewish anti-Zionists call for equal rights for the Palestinians, there is a certain ambiguity in how they would deal with the Jewish nature of the Jewish state. The goal for many of these Jewish anti-Zionists (or post-Zionists) appears to be to distance themselves from a situation which reflects poorly on them and other US Jews, while simultaneously attempting to maintain Jewish solidarity by other means less likely to generate anti-Semitism in the operational sense of the term, that is, non-Jewish awareness and discussion of Jewish power and privilege. In short, Jewish tribal anti-Zionists are concerned that visible support for Israel is no longer "good for the Jews," and they wish to disassociate themselves from Israel and Israeli actions, while simultaneously preserving tribal unity by other means, initially by organizational solidarity in opposition to Israeli policies. Not all Jewish anti-Zionists are tribal anti-Zionists, of course. Tribal anti-Zionists are generally present in those anti-Zionist groups which are composed primarily of Jews and have a mostly Jewish leadership.

Finally, it should be noted that many Jews (up to one-half?) are not active members in organized Jewish life, therefore, are not part of any kinship network. Certainly, the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionist Jews has created a certain sense of Jewish identity among otherwise fully assimilated Jews who might otherwise not even consider themselves Jewish. After all, the prevention of assimilation and the resurrection of Jewish peoplehood was a primary goal of Zionism and remains so today. The ethnic definition of a Jew was created when the religious definition became obsolete. Had it not been for Zionism, the Holocaust and Israel, many secular Jews might not self-identify as Jews. Of course, the success of Zionism and the resultant Jewish kinship has created a situation where it would seem to be advantageous to be a Jew. Even otherwise assimilated Jews who don't believe in the myth of eternal and irrational Gentile Jew-hatred may, nonetheless, find Jewish kinship highly rewarding, even though the end result is a de facto social stratification based upon birthright privilege.


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