A Taste of Troy
Gil Troy, that is. In his awesome new book, Moynihan's Moment: America's Fight Against Zionism As Racism, the McGill University history prof (my nephew is delighted to be one of his students this year) writes:
Soviet-engineered, absolutist, and impervious to changing conditions, the Zionism-is-racism charge fused long-standing anti-Semitism with anti-Americanism, making it surprisingly potent in the post-1060s world, despite being a political chimera. In the Iliad, a Chimera is a grotesque animal jumble, "lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle." To make Israel as monstrous, Resolution 3379 grafted allegations of racism onto the national conflict between Palestinians and Israel. This ideological hodge-podge racialized the attack on Israel and stigmatized Zionism, for race had been established as the great Western sin and the most potent Third World accusation thanks to Nazism's defeat, America's Civil Rights' successes, the Third World's anti-colonial rebellions, and the world's backlash against South African apartheid.
Criminalizing Zionism turned David into Goliath, deeming Israel the Middle East's perpetual villain with the Palestinians the perennial victims. This great inversion culminated a process that began in 1967 with Israel's imposing Six Day War victory, followed by the Arab shift from conventional military tactics to guerilla and ideological warfare, especially after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Viewing Israel through a race-tinted magnifying lens exaggerated even minor flaws into seemingly major sins.
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