A certain Zionist troll out there is given to the practice of hawking a list of Jewish and Arab Nobel Prize winners - the list of Jews being longer than the list of Arabs - on blogs such as this. You can view it as the first comment to my 8/2/09 post On Planet Sheridan... This peculiar behaviour tells us much about the workings of the Zionist mind. There's the obvious conflation of the religious descriptor 'Jew' with the political descriptor 'Zionist', for example. All Jews, no matter whether they support or oppose the concept of a Jewish state in Palestine, are simply assumed to be Zionists. Then there's the amusing 'My-list-is-longer- than-your-list' bragging reminiscent of an adolescent male with a phallic fixation. But what comes through most strongly is the regressive tribalism of the exercise: in posting his downright silly and utterly irrelevant list, the troll in question is above all alleging the superiority of what he believes to be 'his' tribe over someone else's. Sadly, for such Zionist ethnic supremacists, it's really all about ubermenschen and untermenschen. How very dated.
I was reminded of our troll by a work of Zionist propaganda published in New York in 1946 - J Mitchell Rosenberg's The Story of Zionism: A Bird's-Eye View. Rosenberg, a lawyer, tried to sell the Zionist project to an American audience in ways they could easily understand as the heirs of an analogous colonial-settler movement: "History has its 'waves of the future'... One of history's 'waves' was our own great democracy, America. In 1492 or earlier the American continent was first discovered. North America was then a sprawling giant occupied only by several hundred thousand Indians... Europeans in the centuries to follow, driven by economic necessity, religious persecution, political tyranny, etc streamed by the millions from all over the globe into the United States. None of them stopped to ask the question: Shall we migrate where there already are inhabitants? No! Necessity knew no questions. It knew no doubts. They poured in generation after generation. (This is not meant as a condonation of unwarranted acts of bloodshed against Indians which soil some early pages of American history.) They built up the greatest democracy the world has ever known, the greatest laboratory of human experimentation." The native Americans just got dumped by one of those inexorable European "waves of the future." Nothing personal, of course. When you're riding one of those "waves of the future," you've got to expect some collateral damage.
As in America, so too in Palestine - but with a difference: "The Jews in going to Palestine are returning to a country they once occupied as an independent country, for some 1500 years. They were a normal people rooted in their soil. As an autonomous, soil-rooted people they gave to the world the collective contribution of the Jewish people, Prophetism, the message of the immortal prophets, the message of equal treatment for the widow and the orphan, of justice and mercy, of peace and international law." Prophetism? Didn't the great Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) say that "all nations possessed prophets, and that the prophetic gift was not peculiar to the Jews"? And as for their supposed message - equality, justice, peace and international law - these are certainly not words anyone would associate with Israel today. Try instead inequality, injustice, war and jungle law. But at least, in the 40's, Zionists hadn't yet discovered the utility of Muslim-bashing: "The Hebraic contribution to civilization is the foundation of Christianity and Mohammedanism..."
Volkisch nationalism, culminating in the deadly hyper-strain of Nazism, was all the rage in pre-war Europe. Zionism, with its concocted national mythology and elevation of the national collective over the individual, was no exception: "[A]fter a valiant struggle... by dint of the force majeure of Rome, the Jews were driven from Palestine in 70 CE and dispersed all over the globe. They then ceased to live the life of a nation rooted in its soil. Their contributions to civilization thereafter were not the contributions of collective Israel, but those of individual Jews. The Jew today is seeking to return to Palestine, to restore the balance and pick up the thread where it was cut asunder in 70 CE. He wants to live the life of a sane, normal people and once again make a collective, national contribution to world civilization." Sane? Normal? Israel? How quaint this looks today.
A bogus national narrative, however, was not in itself persuasive enough. So that old standby, historic "necessity," which always played well with Americans, was wheeled in: "Economic necessity and wholesale extermination, religious persecution and cultural imperative are driving the Jew to his old homeland in droves, to a country largely unoccupied and vastly deserted. If the Jews rescued by Palestine had stopped to ask: Shall we migrate to Palestine? they might have found a haven of refuge in the nethermost regions of the high seas and in the gas chambers of Hitlerite Europe." No choice, eh? Why then did only 25.7% of German Jewish emigrants choose Palestine from 1933-1938? (Before Catastrophe: The Distinctive Path of German Zionism, Hagit Lavsky, 1996, p 252) And after the war? What then? Israeli academic Yosef Grodzinsky's book In the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Story of Jews in Displaced Persons Camps & Their Forced Role in the Founding of Israel (2004) reveals that, at most, only 40% of Jewish DPs actually went to Israel, and tells the story of how Zionist agents took control of the DP camps, discouraging (and even blocking by force) the emigration of Jews to other places and forcibly conscripting them into the ranks of their armed forces in Palestine.
But make no mistake, for Rosenberg the Zionist, the real driving force was not so much "necessity" as "historic instinct": "'Historic instinct' is driving the Jews of Europe to Palestine, their ancestral home, waiting to receive them with open hands in the broad daylight or in the dark of night, 'legally' or clandestinely, their ancestral home where they can find security for their body and peace for their soul and help in creating the great treasurehouse of democracy, the America of the Middle East, for the benefit of all mankind." All mankind, eh? And that 'historic instinct' for Palestine? Funny how lacking it was in American Jews: "Despite Ben-Gurion's exhortations, American Jews simply ignored the Jewish state's call for their immigration. From 1948 until 1967, approximately 10,000 permanent immigrants to Israel came from the United States... the most populous and wealthiest nation of the Diaspora... " (Irreconcilable Differences? The Waning of the American Jewish Love Affair with Israel, Steven T Rosenthal, 2001, p 27) And what of our author, J Mitchell Rosenberg? Not an ounce of "historic instinct" in him: after lawyering, he went on to become a lecturer in political science at the New School, Brooklyn College, and the University of Rhode Island, passing away in the US in 2000.
"In Palestine, the song of Judaea reverberates through the valleys and through the streets, the song of free men in the only country where they feel masters and where the winds of discrimination will not blow. It was the Jews who made Palestine the Holy Land in the past, not the Canaanites nor the Arabs, and it is the Jews who will make it the Land of Promise for the future. The Arabs who have occupied Palestine for the last 1300 years, under changing and Turkish hegemony, have sorely neglected the country and have contribited not a whit either to Palestine or to the world at large. The Jews are bringing in culture and civilization to Palestine and the Middle East." Sound familiar? Seems our Zionist troll hasn't progressed since 1946.
And cop this: "Arab opposition to Zionism stems not from the Arab masses who have nothing to lose but their shackles. It stems from the feudalistic Arab effendis who fear the loss of their vested interests and the end of their stranglehold on the Arab felaheen or peasants who live a life of utter impoverishment and strangling indebtedness. It also stems from Arab political megalomaniacs." Now what could the Palestinian Arabs possibly have to fear from the influx of all these Prophets and Nobel Prize winners? The only possible explanation for their hostility is that they were stirred up by effendis and megalomaniacs, right? And those confining "shackles"? A mere two years after the publication of Rosenberg's brief, felaheen and effendi alike, had been liberated from 78% of their homeland by heavily armoured columns of Prophets and Nobel Prize winners.
But here's the clincher: "Viewing the magnitude and importance of the Jewish problem, its colossal dimensions and tragic depths, and the absence of an Arab problem, the Arab of Palestine must give way without any harm to himself to a case of far greater stringency, of far greater need and dire necessity, of a life and death struggle on the part of the Jew." Our problem's bigger than your problem, sand niggers, so stand aside!