March 06, 2004
Is Israel a theocracy?
The politics of the Middle East in Australia is played out within a very narrow band. Australia, as one of America's loyal allies, must support America in the Middle East and stand behind America's position on Israel. The American position is that Israel is one of America's vital allies, and that the US must support Israel to help it fight terror and achieve peace. Australia must support America support Israel, since this US support will ensure peace in the Mid-East and to secure America against "terrorism". Israel, like America, battles and fights the same "terrorists."
To argue otherwise is to be anti-Semetic. Criticism of Israel cannot be tolerated in Australia. It is not really possible to acknowledge the pain and suffering of the people of Israel and the pain and suffering of the Palestinian people. Nope it's a simple case of good and evil that blocks out recogniton that Israel was created in 1948 by the British Empire and sustained by its American successor.
It was a European settler-state that was founded on driving 700,000 Palestinians out of their villages by the Zionist army in 1948. This process can be called 'ethnic cleansing'. Ethnic cleansing is usually defended on the grounds that it is okay (morally right) if carried out by a superior civilization. We can compare this to the killing of indigenous Aborigines by the European settlers in Australia. That policy by a British settler-state is also justified as morally right.
Zionism holds that a Jewish state could never have been established without force, coercion and ethnic cleansing; that its survival depends on superior power to crush all Arabic opposition; the creation of the Israeli state was fired by a conviction of its moral rightness which accorded Jews a special place over others; and because of this, everything is instrumental to its goal.
The background assumption in Australia is that Israel is assumed to be a modern, western liberal-democracy fighting for its very existence in a sea of pre-modern, totalitarian Arab regimes.
Is this the case?
Not really. Take Israel. We can interpret it as a religious state not a secular one. William A. Cook outlines the argument:
"....its system of laws is determined by the Torah, a religious document not a secular one; it denies recognition of the Palestinian minority despite UN Resolution 181 calling for such recognition; it defies UN Resolutions requiring it to accept return of the indigenous Palestinians from the refugee camps to their rightful homes taken from them in 1948 or 1967 but allows Jews from Russia and other lands to immigrate and become citizens solely because of their religion, making Israel a de facto theocracy (similar, ironically, to an Islamic democracy!); and it keeps on the books more than 20 laws that discriminate against the Palestinian minority (Adalah: Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel)."
Good grounds for considering Israel a theocracy, don't you think? Jewishness resides in the bosom of the state of Israel. Hence the idea of a democratic milticultural state that would give equal rights to all its citizens, Muslims, Christians and Jews is a direct challenge to the idea of an exclusive Jewish state.
That raises another question. What if Israel is a prime cause of instability in the Mid-East?
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at March 6, 2004 10:22 AM
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Very acute. Am beginning to think of it in the same way. At the heart of the Israeli nation lies Zionism, including the apologetic degradation thereof post-WWII. Zionism seems to function as the prime tool of legitimation for an Israeli state, whilst any opposition to this idea renders you "national socialist". The fact that any criticism re: Israel is immediately designated as anti-semitic is
a) historically convenient polemic
b) indicative of the theocratic nature of the Israeli concept
The whole discourse is simply ludicrous and historically ignorant. So yes, can only agree.
However, surely Israel would have never amounted to much without its US proxy status. With or without jewish lobby in the US, it is pretty clear that American interest in the region is primarily geopolitical (as tons of declassified documentation from the late 40's show). Converting Israel into a foreign outpost with a mercenary army was part of the plan I suppose. Israel and the US might not have had common goals, but surely the means to achieve them allowed for broad cooperation.
So yes, Israel as a US proxy is a cause for instability. The prime cause however, must clearly be the US. We haven't even mentioned the US toppling of Mossadegh yet! As I understand, this is when the hatred began...
Posted by: mike at March 9, 2004 12:45 AM
I don't think that there is any question at all, that Israel is a prime cause of instability in the area. If you look at what the Zionists expect of their future, it includes a vast tract of land that they do not currently occupy. Its not just about Palestinians. They expect much of Egypt, east of the Nile, and a huge tract of what is currently Saudi Arabia as well. A quick search on the net will reveal maps and so forth, I dont have the URLs handy. Whilst we look at the influence of the USA... lets not forget that Jews have a hugely powerful political, economic and social base there, and that most foreign policy will be influenced by that. Watch any TV show/movie and find a non-Jew in the credits. A rare event. Look at who influences what goes on, on Capitol hill (Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al...the architects of the Iraq invasion... plan on the table in 1997).
And before anybody calls me antisemitic... Some Jews may be Semites... but not all Semites are Jews. The genetic stock of the semite is Arab. Most of your blond haired blue-eyed Jewish people are actually descended from (I believe) a Russian or German family who converted to Judaeism in the 18th Century...dont quote me but Im pretty certain there's evidence on the net and in Libraries. Not a semite amongst 'em.
Just some thoughts.
Posted by: kyte at March 9, 2004 08:28 PM