2007/01/14

Zionist hysterics

Here's a classic and hilarious example of Zionist excess - in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who can be blamed for supporting widespread and serious - but nonfatal - human rights abuses, is transmogrified into an evil far worse than Saddam Hussein, who incidentally is directly responsible for killing a couple hundred thousand people. The speaker is Abe Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League.
“There is a difference between Ahmadinejad and even a Saddam Hussein,” Foxman rejoined. “Here is a man who says time and again, ‘I will wipe this nation’ ” — Israel — “ ‘off the face of the earth,’ and says afterward that the Holocaust never happened. This is not ‘Israel as victim’; this is the destruction of Jewish identity.”

Foxman made a beseeching gesture, his fingertips cupped before his mouth. “Plus, it has happened before,” he went on. “It’s not an abstraction. By a man, by a government, who aids, abets, fuels suicide bombers, makes them martyrs, celebrates them, who asks for volunteers from his country, and I don’t know what they have, 40,000 now, who have volunteered in future to go kill Jews!” Foxman was now shouting at me across the table. “And you arm yourself to take out as many Jews as possible!” Foxman’s hands were wheeling in circles before him; this possible Holocaust, so remote to many of us, seemed to rise up before him with a terrible clarity. “Oh, my God!” he cried, as if reeling in horror before the vision he had himself conjured.

4 comments:

Vino S said...

I don't think we can ignore the fact that the Iranian president is an anti-semite. I agree that he has not actually done anything, so far, to directly attack Israel but, nuclear weapons in general concern me, and I would not like to see more of them in the hands of someone who has said he would want to wipe out a country and - also - someone who is religious and thinks there is an afterlife is going to be more willing to use them and risk death than the atheistic leadership of the USSR were.

Jake said...

ahmadinejad does seem to be an anti-semite, but i don't think a nuclear-armed iran would be a threat to anyone. first, he never said he wanted to wipe out israel - what he called for was an end to israel. he did not say that he wanted to do it, or that it should be done violently. in fact if we understand "an end to israel" as an end to a state that is based on special privileges for one religious group as opposed to killing the people of that state, then i too support an "end to israel".

certainly it's no good thing to have more nuclear weapons in the world, but the problem here is not iran - it's that other threatening powers surrounding iran are already nuclear-armed. iran's moves are wholly defensive, and the solution to nuclear proliferation is not to solidify the global regime of nuclear inequality but to move toward total global nuclear disarmament.

finally, i don't think whether you're religious or not has any bearing on how dearly you cling to life.

Vino S said...

I think - and on this issue I disagree with many of my comrades on the Left - that although there is much that is reactionary about Zionism - it is fundamentally _no worse than any other form of nationalism_. Thus, I do not see why Israel should be wiped off the map - if other nation-states are still to exist.

Yes, the trouble with the current project of a nation-state for the Jewish people is that it denies the Palestinians their right to self-determination. But the same can be said about other ethno-national based states, which is why I think the degree of bile that some people direct towards it is distasteful.

For example, Iran itself is an ethno-national state of the Iranian people. They are only about 50-60% of the population of Iran [see the wikipedia article on Demographics of Iran for details]. The minority groups within that country - Azeris, Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis and others are discriminated against since the Iranian state - in addition to currently being a Shi'ite theocracy also sees itself as the nation-state of the Iranian (ethnically Persian) people. This form of nationalism is as negative a force as Zionism

Jake said...

i basically agree, altho i think israel takes things a bit further than most nation-states in formalizing the discriminatory nature of the state. but the ethnic repression of kurds in turkey during the 1990s, eg, seems at least as bad as that of israel. the problem is not zionism, but all nationalisms, which i think we should do our best to end.

that said, israel and the US are threats to iran in a way that iran will never be to either one. so the resolution to that particularly conflict needs to come from an end to US and israeli threats and, preferably, from an end to nuclear arsenals everywhere.