Neocon Flap Highlights Jewish Divide

That was the headline over a splendid piece of reporting for IPS (Inter Press Service) published on 30 July by Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe. They concluded that “new political space is being created for the public airing of more moderate views on Middle East policy.” If they are right, and I think they are, there is reason, at last, to be less than totally pessimistic about the prospects of finding a cure for the cancer at the heart of international affairs, the Palestine problem, before it consumes us all.

In the quotation above “more moderate views” is a euphemism for views other than those of the Zionist (not Jewish!) lobby, of which AIPAC is the most prominent public face. It was described by Luban and Lobe as “the powerful lobbying group whose hawkish right-wing leadership has often defied both the views of the broader U.S. .Jewish community and the policies of Israeli governments.” (In my two-volume book, Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, I quote Shimon Peres telling me way back in 1980, when he was the leader of the opposition Labour Party, that the lobby in America “is notan Israel lobby. It’s a Likud lobby and that’s my problem.”)

The excellent IPS article by Luban and Lobe is primarily a review of the controversy sparked by TIMEcolumnist Joe Klein’s blogged statement that by pushing for war on Iraq and now for a “foolish assault on Iran”, Jewish neo-conservatives had caused the question of “divided loyalties” to be asked – because what Jewish neo-conservatives pushed and are pushing for is not in America’s own best interests. (As Mearsheimer and Walt argued in great detail).

Klein was accused by the usual cast of those who support Israel right or wrong of being anti-Semitic; but he refused to back down, accusing his accusers of using charges of anti-Semitism to silence his and other criticism of neo-conservative policies. Klein said those who called him anti-Semitic were wrong. What then was he? “I am anti neo-conversative,” he told Luban and Lobe.

In the same article they quote MJ. Rosenberg, a former AIPAC staffer now associated with the moderate Israel Policy Forum, as saying, “Although most neocons are Jews, few Jews are neocons.” That is undoubtedly so, which is a tribute to the effectiveness of the few who are. Luban and Lobe also quote Rosenburg as expressing the hope that commentators would “stop equating neo-conservatism with Judaism.”(My emphasis added).

Indeed they should, but there is a much bigger and related imperative. As I never tire of writing and saying, commentators should stop equating Zionism with Judaism. The difference between the two, why they are total opposites, is THEkey to understanding who must do what and why for justice and peace in the Middle East.

For those who are not familiar with the matter, I must add that I am, of course, aware that there are two kinds of Zionism – one purely spiritual, the other political. In the sense that religious Jews look to Jerusalem as their spiritual home, it can be said that all religious Jews are spiritual Zionists. The Zionism that should not be equated with Judaism is political Zionism. And why is not all that complicated.

Judaism is the religion of Jews, not “the” Jews because not all Jews are religious. Like Christianity and Islam, Judaism has at its core a set or moral values and ethical principles.

Political Zionism is a sectarian, colonial ideology which created in the Arab heartland, mainly by terrorism and ethnic cleansing, a state for some Jews. Simply put, political Zionism made a mockery of, and has contempt for, Judaism’s moral values and ethical principles.

Political Zionism’s own ethic was set down in writing by Vladimir Jabotsinky, the founding father of Israel’s army. He was a Russian Jew born in Odessain 1880. In 1923, years before Adolf Hitler came to power, he published The Iron Wall,which became the main inspirational text for all Jewish nationalists who committed themselves to Zionism’s colonial enterprise. Its purpose was to take for keeping the maximum amount of Arab land with the minimum number of Arabs on it. In The Iron Wall, Jabotinsky was brutally frank about what Zionism’s ethic had to be. He wrote this (my emphasis added):

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