Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ziohass in the Toronto Star

This letter appears in today's paper:
Re: Israel must grapple with uncomfortable truths, Opinion Aug. 28
Israel must grapple with uncomfortable truths, Opinion Aug. 28  
Albert Einstein once said, “Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.” Oscar Wilde stated, “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious,” and Voltaire declared, “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sounds of trumpets.” 
We are, of course, all familiar with the phrase, a little nationalism is a dangerous thing. What has evolved in Israel is a form of “puritanical ultra nationalism” and it has hijacked whatever reasonable and moderate form of democracy that previously existed in Israel. 
Israel’s efforts to liberate Jews from anti-Semitic discrimination has, paradoxically, devolved into a modern form of fascism fanatically stoked by the rhetoric and hyperbole of Benjamin Netanyahu and many ultra-orthodox Jews. 
Louis MacPherson, Bowmanville
Here's the letter I sent in response. I am not at all hopeful that the Star will publish it:
Since letter-writer Louis MacPherson is intent on quoting such intellectual luminaries as Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde and Voltaire to make his case that Israel practices "a puritanical form of ultra-nationalism" that makes it fascist, allow me, in rebuttal to quote the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. In a speech he delivered to a conference of American rabbis in 1968, Dr. King said:
"Israel is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security, and that security must be a reality."
The only thing that has changed since then is that Israel is now forced to fight Hamas, an ISIS-like cadre of jihadis which, like fascist Germany, aims to do the world "a favour" by ridding it of Jews--all Jewry, and not only the ones in Israel.
Since Arab Israelis sit on Israel's Supreme Court and in its parliament, and, army service apart, have all the rights of citizenship as Israeli Jews--and certainly far more rights than Arabs and Muslims living anywhere else in the Middle East--it is more than inaccurate to describe Israel as "fascist." It falls under the heading of "the Big Lie"--whoppers that, historically, have been told about Jews for a variety of reasons, none of them good.
Update: Zionhass at Yale.

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