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By       Message Lawrence Davidson       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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From To The Point Analyses


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Part I -- David Harris and an Appalling Situation

One of my "favorite" American Zionists is David Harris, Chief Executive Officer of the American Jewish Congress (AJC). I like David Harris because (1) for some unfathomable reason, he, or his office staff, have been kind enough to keep me on his mailing list and (2) he consistently puts forth the ideas which reflect the Zionist establishment's worldview. Pay attention to Mr. Harris and you will always know how America's Zionist leadership sees things, at least publicly.

It is true that the old saws that Harris puts forth have gotten a bit shopworn, but since Zionist organizations such as the AJC see fit to repeat them over and again, it is necessary to reveal their holes and threadbare seams -- that is, to challenge, yet again, their errors and illogic.

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Recently, Mr. Harris has been decrying the alleged fact that Israel is treated with double standards -- "It's appalling to see how Israel is treated by a totally different standard than other countries in the international system." And what is his evidence for this "appalling" situation?

Part II -- Claims and Responses

Here are just two of his repeated claims (there are a lot more), followed by my debunking of same:

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Claim 1 -- The Zionist state is the only UN member subject to "a relentless chorus of nations, institutions, and individuals denying Israel's very political legitimacy."

Response:

Actually, as time has passed, the claim that there exists this "relentless chorus of nations, institutions, and individuals" challenging Israel's "political legitimacy" has become much less true. Just about the entire world of nation-states, including the Arab and other Muslim ones, recognize Israel. It is true that Iran, Syria, and but very few others, do "deny Israel's political legitimacy," but this hardly constitutes a "relentless chorus."

And, in most cases, those "institutions and individuals" that do "relentlessly" criticize Israel do so based on behavioral standards that are of paramount importance to the preservation of international law -- and are indeed applied universally rather than only to Israel.

Harris goes on to make this curious claim: "No one would dare question the right to exist of many other countries whose basis for legitimacy is infinitely more questionable than Israel's, including those that were created by brute force and occupation." (Is he here referring to the U.S.?) Perhaps he has conveniently forgotten that the original basis for, as well as ongoing, criticism of Israel was based on just such historical facts -- that Israel's creation was a function of "brute force and occupation." Harris tries to obfuscate this truth with references to 2,000-year-old Hebrew tribes, egged on by their biblical god to conquest and slaughter. But there has to be a common-sense statute of limitations that makes this sort of excuse irrelevant, at least to the rational mind, even if one believes it to be factual.

Unfortunately, it is exactly the persistence of "brute force" that has worn down most "states, institutions and individuals" to the point that they now accept the Zionist state's permanence. This means the author's claim that it is "open hunting season only on Israel" is a wild exaggeration -- a tendency to focus on very few examples and extrapolate them into something that, as of the present, they are not. Why would he do this? He gives us his own explanation. "Could it possibly have anything to do with the fact that it's the only Jewish-majority country in the world?"

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There is something unreal about this explanation. The notion that the world is full of people wanting to do harm to Israel only because of its association with the Jews is base paranoia. For instance, a lot of anti-Semites do not oppose Israel. White racists identify with Israel as a model of a racially "pure" state. The Netanyahu government understands this and is embracing the Alt-Right racists of the U.S. Then there are the millions of fundamentalist Christians who ultimately pray for the annihilation of the Jewish people. They give millions of dollars every year to facilitate Israel's defiance of international law. So, who is left? Who out there really does oppose the Zionist state, and does so for sane reasons?

Here is the truth that Mr. Harris seems unwilling to accept: those who, after all these decades, continue to oppose Israel are not anti-Semites but rather are anti-Zionists. And they do so for the very legitimate reason that Zionism has proven itself in practice to be a racist ideology. These opponents include the Palestinians and their supporters, the latter, in turn, being dominated in the West by a large and growing number of non-fundamentalist Christians, humanitarians, and Jews. In other words, the issue here is not the political legitimacy of Israel, but rather the political legitimacy of its guiding ideology. And, by extension, the political legitimacy of a state (any state) operating in a racist and oppressive way against others. Israel certainly fits the bill thanks to its obsessive drive to be "Jewish" through a process of segregation and ethnic cleansing.

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Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign
Policy Inc.: Privatizing America's National Interest
; America's
Palestine: Popular and Offical Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli
Statehood
; and Islamic Fundamentalism. His academic work is focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He also teaches courses in the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

His blog To The Point Analyses now has its own Facebook page. Along with the analyses, the Facebook page will also have reviews, pictures, and other analogous material.

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