Culture, Israel, Justice, Politics

'The Proper Zionist Response'

Uri ArielHa’aretz reported today that Israeli housing minister, Uri Ariel supported the government’s decision to announce the green light for 1500 new settlement homes in occupied territories in response to the formation of a Palestinian unity government. Apparently he called the decision “the proper Zionist response”.
Actually, the proper Zionist response would have been to remember that if Zionism is truly a movement for Jewish liberation and self-determination, then it must be in solidarity with all other peoples right to liberation and self-determination. If Zionism is truly for a safe and secure home, proper members of the Zionist movement would work to make that a reality for the Palestinian people who call this place home as well. A proper Zionist response would have been to openly and cautiously look for moments in which to break the conflict through dialogue and mutual responsibility. A real Zionist response would be to end the occupation, which has torn a hole in the national aspirations of the Jewish people.
A proper Zionist would look at the last century with immense pride for the accomplishments (drip irrigation and the revival of Hebrew to name two) of the collective project, and deep shame as well as the will to take responsibility for the terrible things (the ongoing occupation and the Nakba to name two) that this movement has created.
Zionism, a movement built on a vision in which the Jewish people have the right to collective self-determination, is a word that the Israeli government (indeed, a great many these days) uses to connote patriot to the government’s policies, expansion at all costs, and millions living under martial law.
No, the proper Zionist response to a Palestinian unity government would be to find the opportunity to build a just peace.
Nothing the Israeli government has done with regard to the Palestinian people has been within the bounds of a proper response. Period.
*Update from Ha’aretz: “Netanyahu has decided to unfreeze planning processes for 1,800 [additional] housing units in the settlements that have been frozen the last three months.”

A. Daniel Roth is an educator and journalist living in South Tel Aviv. You can find more of his writing and photography at and follow him on twitter @adanielroth.

9 thoughts on “'The Proper Zionist Response'

  1. Are the Palestinians living in PA controlled areas, which now includes both the West Bank and Gaza, under martial law? Hysterical.

  2. Nice piece — I would partially dissent from your framing of Zionism as having “caused” the Nakba. As we all know, events have several causes, and this one as much or more than others. It was just as much caused by Arab rejectionism, both in 1947 and earlier. Many of those now calling for a one-state solution are the intellectual heirs of those who rejected any Jewish presence in the land 1921 and onward. It’s hard to frame such things succinctly, of course.

  3. @Victor
    We’ve turned Gaza into the world’s largest outdoor prison camp, and then we (the Israeli wardens) get upset when the prisoners revolt.

  4. peace ……. rarely comes without a death toll if ever. somehow Israel getting on the same page is possible. if they can avoid making too many compromises as america has in it’s political officials and politics. which by my calculations is about 1/185,837
    i wish them all of the luck their is in the world.. or at least in Israel ….
    my blessings to all true Zionists and the movement of all mankind as a team. unity is not socialism and socialism is not communism….. and remember communism is far from imperialism although often associated with it. communism could probably never exist but imagine if it did.. everyone equal yeah wow that would suck huh….

  5. Don’t forget that we’ve cut off their water. They’ve been drinking their own urine for half a decade now. Meanwhile Israelis are watering their lawns in the middle of summer, every hour wasting the equivalent of an entire year’s supply for Gaza. Not even a thousand gassed and barrel bombed Syrian children per hour can compare to the Palestinian genocide.
    I mean, the Palestinians still drink more water, per capita, than Egyptians, but only as a consequence of incompetent Israeli bureaucracy!
    It’s probably Mossad firing rockets at Israel, too. Think about it. The Jews are experts at black flag operations, throughout history sabotaging the gentiles attempts at global peace. Hamas was trained by Israel. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamas was just some special unit of the Stern Gang. Everyone knows the Palestinians lack the expertise to manufacture poop, much less artillery rockets. I have personally verified this.

  6. @Victor
    Israel also doesn’t cut off the water in Meggido Prison, my friend. Does this mean that Israel also doesn’t control Meggido Prison?
    Are you implying that the Assad regime’s tactics should be the litmus test for what are our acceptable policies?

  7. @Jonathan1
    Israel also doesn’t cut off the water to Zurich, Switzerland, my friend. Does this mean that Israel also doesn’t control Zurich, Switzerland?
    Your continuing, desperate attempts to deprive the Palestinians of all agency are so very sad.
    Every instrument of control you will point to did not exist in 1967, nor for several years after.
    But if you want to remove the security barrier around Gaza, the world’s largest, open air prison camp, by your telling, then let’s hear it. Let the inmates free, as it were. Break the walls of the new Auschwitz.
    I’m willing to bet you’d do no such thing. You just like stroking your own need for self-guilt with these imbecilic statements, a way of legitimizing your power and privilege which, incidentally, deprives the Palestinians of choice and will, of humanity.

  8. @Victor,
    I ought to have been clearer: IMHO Israel does control Gaza (in 2014), yet it does not control Zurich.

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