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Words of the Week

“Jews have a tradition, born of a combination of persecution and self-scrutiny, that sometimes makes them uncomfortable with the particularity of being part of a people. These days you can see it in people who repudiate the state that actually saved millions of Jews, the State of Israel. The latest execrable entry in this sweepstakes to flee from yourself is an article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz by two historians, Hasia Diner and Marjorie Feld, on why they have ‘left Zionism behind.’

Diner writes that it is impossible to support a state that was ‘Jewish and Zionist.’ Where to begin? With the fact that there have been scores of Muslim states, Christians states and one Jewish state? That because Israel is a Jewish state, millions of Russian, Yemeni, Syrian, Ethiopian, Iranian, Iraqi and other Jews were saved? Where across the Middle East does this enlightened historian think LGBTQ women and men run to save themselves from the draconian laws in their homelands?

Feld, who said she ‘reeducated herself’—astonishing how a historian does not hear the ominous tones in that phrase—follows up with her own brand of clotted vitriol. She says she refuses to enter any institution that has a ‘We Stand with Israel’ banner. Well, I cannot say that the people in my synagogue would welcome her, although they might try to ‘reeducate’  her. Perhaps the hundreds of Iranian Jews who fled, many of them with family in Israel, who were given support and aid from Israel to enable them to escape a tyrannical regime—they might reeducate this woman who refuses to be associated with the only state that has existed on that land since Israel was destroyed 2,000 years ago. Maybe they could teach this historian a little history.”

Source: Rabbi David Wolpe, “Anti-Zionist Historians Are Wrong About Israel” (TIME.com)

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3 Responses »

  1. Fascinating article, Erika. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. It would be interesting to know if this came out of the blue or if their writings over a period of time were foreshadowing this.

    • There are probably ways to look into that–and records of their participation (or not) in various academic-association boycott efforts. But I’m not going to delve into that at the moment, myself. (Too much else to do right now!)

  2. To maintain that Zionism should disappear is equivalent to saying that Israel must disappear or shed its mantle of Jewish statehood.
    I ignore people who urge either option and would encourage others, including Haaretz, to do the same. Such advocates are not interested in engaging in productive discourse on the improvement of Israel’s democratice framework, only in a nihilistic approach that can only reprise the demonic dark of the 20th, and of the 2nd, centuries, to name but two tragic eras.

    Bernard M

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