Friday, July 28, 2006
(9:37 PM) | Old - Doug Johnson:
Anti-Zionist ... but not Anti-Statist?!I've been mostly absent from our small slice of the blogosphere for some time now, and will unfortunately remain so for some time to come now. Just want to register that while, as a thoroughgoing pacifist, I am categorically against the use of violence, there are things that are particularly troubling to me with respect to the current crisis in the Middle East. The plight of the Palestinians makes me wish for them the combined power of resistance of the movements most recognizable in the figures of Mandela, MLK, and Ghandi.
Yet the anti-Zionism of much of the Arab world and the western left is also quite troubling to me. Too many folks who have not even come close to dealing satisfactorily with the anti-semitic shit in their intellectual genealogies spout off passionately against Israel, without simulataneously criticizing all nation-states. There is absolutely nothing uniquely evil about what Israel is doing in terms of the politics of the nation state (just as there is nothing uniquely evil about what the resistance is doing in terms of guerilla warfare versus occupying or asymetrical military forces). Any and every other nation state that could, would react similarly, and has, to the type of resistance Israel faces. That is the unfortunate nature of the bordered world we live in. Thus, if you are going to boycott Israel, hell, boycott the U.S. and France and Venezuela and Switzerland and Indonesia, the Koreas, China, Canada, Iceland, South Africa, Russia. My sense is that the venom against Israel is really just thinly veneered anti-Americanism. But, then, why not simply be up front about the fact that what you really hate is imperial America. To do such a position justice, however, would have to give one a bit more sympathy for the way that Jews were caught between imperial powers for centuries and finally accepted, not without reservation, an imperial world's offer to join it on its own terms. With borders. And a military. And a racializing bureacratic democracy.