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Archive for April, 2017

Open Hillel is promoting the film “70 Years Across the Sea: American Jews and 21st Century Zionism”, about the divide in the Jewish community over models of zionism and the current State of Israel.
 
But the film thesis is very problematic, ignoring the deeper issues of power, class and imperialism, and centering the discussion on Jews and not Palestinians.
 
Gratefully the film (trailer) didn’t repeat the tired old argument that this is a generational divide, which further obscures the power basis of Israeli hegemony. The thesis of this film, though, at least according to the trailer, is very dangerous, repeats stereotypes of Jewish power, obscures the power of U.S. empire and its appropriation of Jewish suffering and the Jewish narrative.
 
It repeats the false assertion and stereotype of diaspora Jews as weak and passive, and Israelis as strong and active. The resistance to the Nazis, to the pogroms, to injustice in general is a disapora narrative that is obscured by the zionist narrative. We cannot fight for a free Palestine, and justice for Jews in the diaspora if we perpetuate these harmful stereotypes that locates Jewish strength in occupation , assimilation and as agents (or worse, as the controlling operatives ) of U.S. empire and locates Jewish weakness in ethnic identity and resistance/passivity in the diaspora.
 
The Israeli occupation isn’t a liability, it’s genocide, and it didn’t start in 67, it started in 48. Calling it a liability assumes that there is a just zionist solution, and centers the occupation of Palestine, around a zionist and imperialist narrative and seeks a compromise with a fair and just society that grants equal civil and human rights to all and not within a neoliberal or neoconservative debt dependency structure of the U.S.
 
The “power” of UhMurikan Jews is a narrative of upper middle class and wealthy Jews, and white supremacist ideology, and doesn’t apply to all Jews in the U.S.. That power to the extent that it exists, is predicated on support for Israel, and support for U.S. empire in general. It’s also a delusion, a fragile membership of court Jews and house Jews.
 
The real power of U.S. support for Israel comes from the Christian zionists, who number in the tens of millions, which explains why organizations like the ADL and the Simon Weisenthal Center, and Stand With Us can ignore the Jewish community and support a zionism to the right of most Jews, including most zionist Jews.
 
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