Culture, Global, Identity, Politics

Next Year in Warsaw!

Adam Shatz, The Nation‘s literary editor, has published a somewhat provocative and thought-provoking essay titled “In Praise of Diasporism, or, Three Cheers for Irving Berlin” which is actually an excerpt from the introduction to his new bookProphets Outcast: A Century of Dissident Jewish Writing About Zionism and Israel

10 thoughts on “Next Year in Warsaw!

  1. man, i’m upset that people like Adam Shatz seriously propose that rejecting Zionism and Jewish nationalism is something /truly/ Jewish, especially because the same line of thinking is exactly the attitude Haredi Jews have towards their less halachicly bound brethren. “Free The Jews!” is so 1947 – when we could market our oppression with genocide and not “ethnic conflict” If we are truly progressive, it seems that Zionism was perhaps the most progressive Jewish movement to arise out of the ghetto. I applaud Adam Shatz for his idealism, but not for his so-called “traditional” Jewish thinking. Oi. These are the days I long for Bnei Akiva.

  2. Shatz: “The infernal logic at work today should be obvious by now: Sharon’s campaign of politicide fosters terror, and terror reinforces Sharon. The primary responsibility for breaking the current cycle lies with Israel, the vastly more powerful party.”
    More like inTERnal logic. Here Shatz stands history on its head. As if the hopeless brutality all began with Sharon’s ascent to the Office of the Prime Minister. Nevermind that when the Israeli electorate is confident in its security it chooses Rabins and Baraks, but when it is less so it elects Netanyahus and Sharons. Nevermind that then-President Clinton was frantically trying to put the Camp David summit back together after Arafat blew off a genuine peace initiative. Nevermind that the intifada was renewed on Erev Rosh HaShana when Palestinians hurled rocks down upon worshippers gathering at the Western Wall from the Temple Mount above. Never mind that the renewed intifada cut the poltical legs out from under Barak, Labor and the native Israeli peace movement.
    “Politicide”? Nevermind that it is not Jews, Israelis and Zionists who believe that a secure Israel and an independent Palestine are mutually exclusive. But rather it is Palestinian leadership (such as it is) and its supporters among a Western intelligentsia (such as it is) who insist upon it. Funny how movements of national self-determination are so often hailed as glorious liberation, except when Jews do it.

  3. Nice parable, but it has a flaw. So the guy who unfortunately falls on someone else while jumping from a burning building is the (Israeli) who should apologize. What about the (Arab) bystanders who attacked the burning building to kill the (Israeli) victims before they could jump? And who left the (Palestinian) victims suffering in refugee camps instead of taking them in? Not to mention making their own countries untenable for Jews. Why is your bleeding heart blaming everything on the Israelis?

  4. Zionista wrote:
    Nevermind that it is not Jews, Israelis and Zionists who believe that a secure Israel and an independent Palestine are mutually exclusive.
    I think that’s quite an overstatement
    “Polls also reveal that a majority of Israelis would support transfer of all Arabs out of the West Bank and Gaza, and 25 percent would include transferring the current Arab citizens of Israel as well.”
    Claire wrote:
    What about the (Arab) bystanders who attacked the burning building
    And who left the (Palestinian) victims suffering in refugee camps instead of taking them in?
    Um, Israel? The Arab countries don’t take them in because they support their right to return to their homes. To “take them in” would be selling out their dream.
    UN Resolution 194 of December 11th 1948 regarding the 1948 refugees:
    Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

  5. Sorry–I was commenting on the parable by Deutscher quoted by Schatz in his essay:
    “A man once jumped from the top floor of a burning house in which many members of his family had already perished. He managed to save his life; but as he was falling he hit a person standing down below and broke that person’s legs and arms. The jumping man had no choice; yet to the man with the broken limbs he was the cause of his misfortune…. A rational relationship between Israelis and Arabs might have been possible if Israel had at least attempted to establish it, if the man who threw himself down from the burning house had tried to make friends with the innocent victim of his jump and to compensate him. This did not happen. Israel never even recognized the Arab grievance. From the outset Zionism worked toward the creation of a purely Jewish state and was glad to rid the country of its Arab inhabitants.”
    I still say the logic is flawed. And what about compensation for Jews expelled/fleeing from Arab countries?

  6. Claire wrote “I still say the logic is flawed.
    I was trying to understand what you wrote before, it sounded like you were trying to transfer partial blame for the holocaust onto Arabs. Did I read wrong?
    And what about compensation for Jews expelled/fleeing from Arab countries?
    As JewSchool noted a while back, Libya recently offered to pay compensation to Libyan Jews, maybe the rest would follow suit if Israel made peace.

  7. And what about “compensation for Jews expelled/fleeing from Arab countries” vis-a-vis (presumably) the Palestinians?

  8. Thanks mo,
    May I just clarify that as left as you are, I’m not at all at home on the rightward end of the spectrum? And this leaks in from the other conversation on mercenaries. I find myself in agreement mostly with those who have been shorthanded with the unfortunate label “liberal hawks.” Writers and thinkers like Nat Hentoff, Dan Savage, George Packer, Thomas L. Friedman, Christopher Hitchens….

  9. Babylonian–I was referring to the ’48 war, not the Holocaust. Israel could have been a safe landing place for all, if the Arabs had agreed to the partition. And I’m not saying Israel hasn’t made tactical and moral errors, but to eliminate the Zionist state entirely would be throwing out the baby with the (your cliche here.)

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