A series of articles is presently underway at www.Israpundit.com . The author is MK Prof. Arieh Eldad. They are so interesting, so relevant to the moment that I hope (if I can get the permission of the author) to publish them in full here in Ireland in the future. But today I will dip in to the latest article by Professor Eldad to highlight a few issues
Every site, every writer tends to have one or two ideas that they can call their own. And that is if they are lucky! Except that they never really are entirely their own.
With the launching of www.IrelandSupportsIsrael.com to try to gain badly needed background information I bought Paul Johnson’s History of the Jews. It is a wonderful book, with certain political weaknesses due to Paul’s own politics.
However, no matter what anybody says, British historians are the masters of the empirical. The empirical is important. On the other hand, in contrast, if you want real historical falsity visit the Israeli New Historians, Tom Segev’s “One Palestine Complete” is a case in point.
Anyway, with my background in the Left, I was drawn to certain parts of Johnson’s story.
One of these was the type of political leadership which held power in the early Israeli state, and the treacherous campaign which they had conducted AGAINST the leaders of the Revisionist Movement, against leaders like Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin and Avraham Stern. In the Atalena Affair who was that commander on the shore who was conducting the bombing of the ship and who would not negotiate with Begin? Was it Yitzhak Rabin? Rabin or no the question for me was: Who were these people? What was their political lineage?
In many ways Johnson’s empirical research held the key or at least the beginnings of an understanding. So I wrote, quoting him in a key paragraph towards the end of this extract:
‘Most hostility by Luxemburg was directed against the idea that the Jews had a special culture. But we have seen that they had, and it was this culture, centred on Judaism and the Return to Zion, that held the Jews together as a nation.
Luxemburg passed (more accurate to say shared) on this hostility to Lenin, then Trotsky, and this hostility to national conscousness gave the Bolsheviks their rigidity on the issue of nationalism.
Lenin wrote in 1903:
‘The idea of a Jewish nationality runs counter to the interests of the Jewish proletariat, for it fosters among them, directly or indirectly, a spirit hostile to assimilation, the spirit of the “ghetto” ’
The key word in the above is probably ‘assimilation’. It shows that Lenin had not taken on board the essential experiences of the Jewish masses, such as the Dreyfus case, as had Herzl.
This is important. It is possible to miss living reality because of dogma.
I feel that the summary of Johnson is probably the last word on this issue, probably the issue with the most far-reaching consequences of all:
‘Hence the whole philosophy of the proletarian revolution was based on the assumption that the Jew, as such, did not exist except as a fantasy promoted by a distorted socio-economic system. Destroy that system and the caricature Jew of history would vanish, like an ugly nightmare, and the Jew would become an ex-Jew, an ordinary man. It is hard now for us to get back into the minds of highly intelligent, well-educated Jews who believed this theory. But many thousands of them did. They hated their Jewishness, and to fight for the revolution was the most morally acceptable means to escape from it. It gave to their revolutionary struggle a peculiar emotional vehemence, because they believed its success would involve a personal liberation from their Jewish burden, as well as a general liberation of humanity from autocracy’. (History of the Jews, Paul Johnson page450)
Johnson goes on to examine how this type of self-hating Jew became very prominent leaders in every revolutionary party in almost every European country and how this would be used by the right wing to foster anti-Semitism (It was also to be at the very centre of Mein Kamph)
(From Rosa Luxemburg to our Contemporary Neo-Left http://www.irelandsupportsisrael.com/rosa.html)
It is interesting to me that Professor Eldad has come to the consideration of the same problem from HIS background.
We are all striving for an answer to the topical problem which is: How can in August 2005 one section of Jews drag another section of Jews from their homes, ethnically cleanse the area and hand this area over to fascist Hamas?
With my understanding that that Jewish early leadership was really a continuation of that self-hating earlier socialist leadership of Luxemburg the present actions of the Sharon tendency has come as no surprise at all. (By the way Paul Johnson definitely does NOT draw such a conclusion)
It is not just that they are pawns in the hands of the US and EU anti-Semites, it is that they are willing pawns – a big difference.
The great strength of Professor Arieh Eldad’s articles is that they are focussing also on the thinking of that early Zioniost leadership and especially in that they saw themselves as ‘occupiers’, which was really a continuation of the Jewish self-hating which Johnson had described so well and which I found so rivetting.
I will return to Eldad’s articles in future, for the moment allow me to quote a few paragraphs:
‘In the wake of the Feast of Lights, Hanukkah, and mindful of the confusion and the darkness that appear to have descended upon so many of us, we would do well to take a good look at the words of Simon – the last of the Hasmonean Princes to rule Israel during the Second Temple era. In the Book of the Maccabees, Simon is quoted as saying: “It is not a foreign land that we have taken, nor have we set our rule over the property of strangers. This is the inheritance of our Forefathers, which at one time was illicitly conquered, and we, when the opportunity arose, recovered the inheritance of our Fathers.”
No doubt the Arabs’ greatest victory in recent generations has been the adoption of the concept of “occupation.” If it were only at the UN General Assembly that the automatic majority was mobilized in support of this lie; if it gained currency only among the open and the latent antisemites in Europe, or only on the college campuses of North America – that would not be so bad. We are accustomed to holding our own, and fighting back, against the greatest of odds. But from the moment that many among our own people have begun to repeat the occupation mantra – and refuse to listen to the Arabs, who regard us as occupiers throughout the Land of Israel – from that moment on, we really and truly face an existential danger. And from the moment that Ariel Sharon made use of that term to define our situation, he forfeited the right to be considered a Zionist leader in Israel.’
This is terribly important for us in Ireland. The enemies of Israel have made the Jews in the Middle East out to be ‘occupiers’, playing of course quite conscously (McIntyre) on the Irish experience with Britain. That is compounded by a lying history on the issue of the Palestinian Arab refugees, which was entirely self-created in that they attacked newly-born Israel with 6 Arab armies and told the Arabs to get out while they mopped up the Jews.
Professor Eldad finished with a comparision of the present to another pregnant moment in Jewish history.
Of the situation facing Simon who was the last of the Hasmonean brothers to rule Israel he wrote:
‘When, 2,147 years ago, Jonathan the Maccabee was captured and executed by the Greek commander Tryphon, Jonathan’s brother, Simon, became the last of the Hasmonean brothers to rule Israel. Like his brothers before him, Simon faced a formidable array of enemies, from the Syrian Greeks, and the large Greek minority that had settled in Israel, to the pro-Greeks among Israel’s Jewish population – the Hellenists. Fighting for Israel’s freedom and independence, and maneuvering among all those arrayed against him, Simon was crystal-clear in formulating the nature of this war over his people’s patrimony.
Our situation today is very similar to that one. What is missing is a leader who has not forgotten this simple truth.’ (End of quote from Professor Eldad)
I will finish by asserting that Israel is now being hung, drawn and quartered. Pushed back to indefensible lines, being attacked by Bush and Blair, the US and the EU, having the terrorism and anti-Semitism of Hamas rewarded!
Soon those Hamas fascist killers of Jews will be stepping into those Jewish homes in Gaza.
But there is a positive, a very big positive indeed. If we construct a leadership which can for the first time understand this Israeli Sharon tendency which is doing the dirty work of those outside anti-Semites from within then that is a reward which is richer than all the riches in the world.
More on Professor Eldad’s work later.