Monday, August 24, 2009

Response to Neve Gordon's Op-Ed

I am planning to begin blogging regularly again this week. However, I felt so outraged after reading an op-ed in the LA Times, that I composed this as a response:

In Response to Neve Gordon's Op-Ed piece, here.

It is tragic and dangerous when a member of Israel's supposed intellectual elite joins forces with the Jewish State's enemies. It is painful for Jews around the world to witness such overt self-hate. And yet, readers of the Los Angeles Times were treated to such a display in the above-mentioned op-ed. As a Jew who sees the situation through less simplistic lenses, I offer this response to Neve Gordon.

1) Your article ignores the history that led to Israel's control over the West Bank. As you know, Israel accepted the UN Partition Plan in 1947 and declared Statehood over a land they had returned to after 2000 years. The Jews accepted a severely reduced amount of land than what had been promised by the British, and it excluded the West Bank. Israel was immediately attacked by more than 5 Arab armies, and over the next decades, was attacked three more times. In each of these wars publicly planned by the Arabs to "throw the Jews into the sea", Israel beat back their aggressors. Israel came to control the West Bank (historically part of ancient Israel) after the Six Day War.

In ignoring the way in which Israel came to the West Bank, you erase any moral highground that belongs to the defensive victor in a war. Israel's old "Aushwitz borders" (to quote Abba Eban, a leftist who, unlike you, had some sense) were redrawn to provide the fledgling State reasonable natural frontiers across which to defend itself. Israel's wars have all been defensive, and this is an important point which you neglect. There is no moral equivalence between the Israeli assumption of the West Bank and an offensive land-grab. To imply that there is is a dishonest play into the hands of Israel's enemies.

2) Your article states that there are only two options, one is a one-state solution with Arabs and Jews granted full and equal rights, and the second is a two-state solution. I am sorry that a university professor is victim to such a fallacy as the false dilemma you present. In reality, there are other options, many of which are part of a vigorous discussion within Israel today. As was the case in the separation of India and Pakistan, a transfer of populations is only one of a number of other options, in which the Jews transferred from Arab lands in the past 6 decades would be traded for a future transfer of Arabs to those lands. An important point to mention is that all suggestions of transfer voiced in Israel include fair renumeration to Arab families for property left in Israel. This is something which was not done when Jews were forcibly transferred from their homes in Arab lands.

3) Finally, the climax of your op-ed piece is a subscription to a Palestinian initiative to isolate Israel by way of boycott. This odious suggestion from a Jew to the world, to marginalize and isolate the Jewish State does indeed, as you point out, smack of anti-semitism, and in your case, self-hate. However, I wish to point out the hypocrisy of your position. You do not call for boycott of Hamas or Fatah or the PA, all of which routinely, as you know, in their own broadcasts to their population, advocate armed terror against the Israeli civillian population. It is common for PA television to broadcast children speaking of their desire to be "martyrs" (Arab double-talk for "terrorists"). You do not call for a boycott of Iran or Syria. You do not speak out against any other world evils. You choose, rather, to focus all your public, international voice against your own country and people, who are defending themselves against increasingly deadly and existential dangers including terrorism and nuclear annihalation.

You have turned the victim into the aggressor, ignoring history and morality. In doing so, you have weakened the State of Israel and the the Jewish People. You have opened a door for other anti-semites by joining forces with the Palestinian boycott anti-semites; after all, they gleefully reason, if a Jewish University Professor from Israel can agree with it, it must be acceptable.

And so, shame on you. In a fit of emotional frenzy, you have sold your pen and your soul to your enemy.

Thank God Israel and the free world do not rely on the likes of you to fight evil.

In light of the above, I call for another, Israeli initiative, and I hope it is more successful than yours will be. I call for your ouster as a tenured professor at Ben Gurion University. The people of Israel should not have to pay your salary, as you poison the minds of students with your self-loathing.