This is so desperate it’s comical. Those backing Jewish colonies who live in the Zionist Diaspora want nothing more than no debate over the growing numbers of young Jews turning away from Israeli occupation policies.
American Ted Lapkin (who used to work for the Zionist lobby AIJAC and now lurks with a right-wing think-tank) once wrote regularly in the Australian media about the glories of the Iraq war, the Afghan war, war on Iran, Israeli wars on Palestine, wars on Arabs and just war in general. He seemed oblivious to the fact that such rabid views made Jews seem like war-mongers who couldn’t help kill Arabs at any opportunity. Great PR for Zionism.
He’s now back, writing on the ABC today that young Jews still love Israel and people like me simply can’t accept that Israel is a glorious place. Any mention of the West Bank occupation? Of course not. Siege on Gaza? Hardly. Rampant Israeli racism against Arabs? No chance. Any understanding that mainstream debate in the US is rapidly changing? Fat chance.
Debate about Israeli crimes is now mainstream.
Onto the delusions:
The ‘disaffected Jew’ meme also popped up last year in the pages of the Leftwing NewMatilda magazine. “The Jewish Disaspora is Turning on Israel”, proclaimed the headline of an article by Antony Loewenstein, John Docker and Ned Curthoys.
But the recent publication of two academic research surveys has cast the theory of Jewish detachment from Israel into serious intellectual disrepute. The American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) 2010 Annual Survey of Jewish Opinion found that 74 per cent of American Jews felt “fairly close” or “very close” to Israel. This figure is entirely consistent with the findings of previous surveys done over the past decade.
The more extreme version of the Jewish disaffection thesis peddled by Loewenstein, Docker and Curthoys is relatively easy to dismiss. After all, these are self-avowed enemies of Zionism who oppose a Jewish state both in concept and reality. And as we have observed, their argument flies in the face of objective polling reality.
Since the 1967 war, it is undeniable that Left-of-centre opinion has moved away from support for Israel towards empathy with mortal enemies of the Jewish state. This is most pronounced amongst radical academics and rent-a-mob protestors who march arm and arm with Hezbollah supporters in street demonstrations.
But these currents have also taken their toll within the more moderate currents of the centre-Left. And as a result, support for Israel is far less pronounced these days amongst progressives than it is amongst conservatives.
Beinart attributes that erosion to Israel’s abandonment of its original sublime ideals. He claims that it isn’t he who left Zionism, but that Zionism left him.
But the true act of defection has been on the part of Western progressives who have cast by the wayside the only full-fledged democracy in the otherwise benighted Middle East.
The greatest supporters of Israel these days are Christian fundamentalists and those who love a charming settlement in the middle of Palestinian land. That’s quite a future Zionism is building for itself.