Judith Butler and anti-Zionism - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Nahum Nigel Froumin
    • 02.01.13 | 19:32 (IST)

    It's nice to know that the subject of Jews in the diaspora and those in Israel is one still discussed in academic circles. I would like to add to the discussion my own thought out conclusions - after which I didn't write a book or articles trying to persuade others to my thinking, but since my experience was very personal and my circumstances fortunate, I moved from the UK to live in Israel. I exchanged the discomfort of UK academia for the comfort of a resident citizen of Israel. No one can deny that the Jews living in Europe over many centuries were oppressed, excluded and eventually massacred. I was born in the UK and among my earliest memories is being told that I had to hide my Jewishness in order to avoid certain nasty goyim, not unlike the advised behaviour for today's Danish Jews. So I was advised to hide my Jewishness from the the gentiles in primary school. But I decided to be proud of what I am and never hid. I suffered antisemitism. One example: At aged 16 the biology teacher sat me separately from the other buys in the class saying scoffingly that he doesn't want to mix the Jews with the Gentiles. I ask Judith Butler: if in 1947 Israel had never been attacked but accepted in the region as a positive thing, and from the beginning there had been peace with her neighbours, thus enabling Israel to advance economically faster and be more able to help the less fortunate populations of the surrounding Arab countries to progress and improve their lives, (as envisaged by King Faisal after the end of Ottoman Empire) and so then Israel would never have had the need for a strong army to defend its population or to occupy surrounding territories, what would Ms Butler have to write about in her critique of Zionism? I submit that her criticism is not one of basic philosophical academic thought leading to a Weltanschuung on solidly though-out ideas, but a result of the circumstances that she finds herself in the era of "Fashionable Israel Bashing". I can understand a non-Zionist as one who does not endorse the idea that all Jews should live in Israel. But Judith Butler describes herself as an "Anti-Zionist". I ask: What does that mean? Is she joining an academic army to destroy the Jewish State and make it into another Arab country where the Jews can be humiliated and oppressed or massacred? Like Syria perhaps? And if not to be destroyed, then what is to be the fate of the people living in Israel if the Zionist State is to be somehow peacefully dismantled? And what comes instead? Many of those who arrived in 1945-1949 to Israel were holocaust survivors - destitute and starving when there was no other country willing to give them succour (let alone fashionable Human Rights or politically correct asylum of nowadays dished out generously to haters and terrorists) - especially not the UK!! They had no mental energy then to consider Zionism right or wrong. They were preoccupied with how to find food, existence and survival. It's all very nice for modern liberal thinkers to look for modes of thought in order to feel happier about how and where they are living and what they think of themselves when they look in the mirrors in the halls of their academic towers. But they must remember that I, and all the Israelis I know have a common mind set of the ever present threats. The country is small. The borders are close by wherever you are. The Arabs, generally speaking, are taught to hate us. Our existence here must still be forcefully protected. Threats must be taken seriously. Where, on her 'academic' slopes of thought, would she place Israeli children born into this current generation, many of whom are grandchildren of holocaust survivors and who, like me, can walk along the street here in the Jewish State with heads held high, unafraid and proud!

    from the article: Jewish anti-Zionist academic insists Israeli occupation is un-Jewish
    First published 12:18 10.12.12 | Last updated 12:18 10.12.12
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