Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Frenzy in France

Profound article in Counterpunch by Diana Jonstone about the political realignment of the Jewish community.

[T]here is another factor, less material and more psychological, that increasingly invades political life in Europe and the United States: a certain spreading pathology of persecution in what is called "the Jewish community", meaning a part of the Jewish population, and in particular the organizations that claim to represent it. The Jewish population of France, which has played an important role in the country's intellectual, economic and political life for centuries, has been shifting politically from the left to the right, mainly because of its attachment to Israel. [...]

The hysteria over Iran, which may lead to a disastrous war that will be lost by everyone, reminiscent of the First World War of 1914-1918, is visibly fed by the dominance within the Jewish community, and indeed beyond it in the West as a whole, of the "duty of memory", meaning, to be precise, a constant, repetitive recollection of the holocaust as the defining moment of the twentieth century, and perhaps even of human history.

Conservative is not even the right term, but she has the right idea. Israel is distorting all debate about the Middle East. And the politicalization of the Holocaust makes debate about Israel difficult, which is probably what some want.

She closes with these powerful words:

For a long time, there has been an unwritten law that only Jews (at risk of being called "self-hating") may criticize Zionism. But things have gone too far. This aggressive paranoia of Israel is not just a "Jewish question", it is dragging the whole world into disaster. Those of us who are not Jewish also have to speak up and say to our Jewish friends:

"We don't want to kill you, but we don't want to die for your Jewish State either. We are all human beings, and we refuse to plunge the world into war to preserve distinctions of identity that may mean a lot to you, but don't mean much of anything to us."



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