Against Zionism. Oh, and by the Way: Against Anti-Zionism, Too.

Arguments over the nature of
Zionism, anti-Zionism, and their relationship to progressive politics belong in
seminar rooms and scholarly publications, not in our political arena. Israel
has been around for 75 years and is not going anywhere. Yes, many people
continue to dispute Israel’s “right to exist.” Lately, some leftist
anti-Zionists have begun to deny the United States’ “right to exist” as well.
(They call it “Turtle
Island” and demand its “liberation” as well.) But
so what? None of these people have the power to do anything about it. As the
Israeli philosopher and adviser to numerous governments Menachem Brinker
explained an essay published more than 25 years ago, “the
task of Zionism is very nearly completed. That is to say, the problem that
Zionism set out to address is just about solved. Soon we will be
living in a post-Zionist era, and there will no longer be a good reason for a
Zionist movement to exist alongside the State of Israel.” 

Meanwhile, back IRL, the
current political/military/humanitarian crisis between the Israelis and
Palestinians is approaching unimaginable catastrophe. Having experienced a
devastating day of terrorist mass murder together with a complete failure of
both its political and military on October 7, a traumatized Israel has embarked
on a military campaign that is leading directly not merely to the mass murder
of tens of thousands of civilians, but also mass starvation, disease, and
generalized chaos such as the world has rarely ever witnessed. With
nearly 33,000 people so far killed, and more than 75,000 injured, little if any remaining medical infrastructure, a daily
crisis of food and water, it is this crisis that deserves all of our attention.
(Though perhaps we can also take note of the fact that over in the West Bank
and off the front pages, the continuing theft of their land by lawless Israeli
settler/terrorists operating under the protection of Israel’s extremist
leadership, the persecution of the Palestinians living on the occupied West
Bank is also growing ever more untenable by the day.) To the degree that one
can point to an actual, existing form of Zionism today, it is one described by
the Israeli scholar and sometimes government adviser Daniel Levy: a “Zionist
Jewish political spectrum [that] is essentially all nationalist—running from
apartheidists with a smiling face, through to just racist apartheidists, right
through to expulsionists and eradicationists.” 

At the same time, the Palestinians, like the Israelis, are
increasingly acting on the basis of an ideology of murderous nihilism. Most do not support Hamas, but 70
percent tell pollsters that the horrific attacks of October 7, in which over a
thousand innocent people were murdered in cold blood, were somehow justified. (Just
one party in Palestinian politics has the support of more than a third of its
population, and that party is Hamas.)