Why Zionism was responsible for the Racism at the heart of Israel’s Identity - Talk No. 5 – Friday 23 April 2021 6 p.m.
Israel has always faced a choice between being a Jewish State or a Democratic State – what it can't be is both
Uri Avnery was one of the few Zionists who were genuine peace activists. Indeed it is arguable whether he was a Zionist. Although he believed in a Jewish state he also believed in a state of equality. Avnery argued in Talking Zionism that
Zionism was the scaffolding that made the building of the state possible, but once the house is built, the scaffolding becomes a hindrance and must be removed.
Uri Avnery and Yasser Arafat
Avnery went on to describe those who ‘dreamt of normality’ as the Canaanites. They were those who believed that Israel should cut itself off from the idea that it doesn’t form a separate nation and instead embrace their Arab citizens.
A demand for a state where each citizen, regardless of religion or colour, is equal is taken as the minimum requirements for a country to be considered democratic. Yet if you raised such a demand in relation to Israel, for a State of Equal Rights, then you will be accused of ‘anti-Semitism’. After all opposition to ‘the only Jewish state in the world’ is now defined as ‘anti-Semitic’ by the IHRA.
As Netanyahu declared, when reprimanding Israeli actress Rotem Sala:
“Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” he wrote in response to criticism from an Israeli actor, Rotem Sela. “According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people – and only it.
We have just learnt tonight of a violent demonstration by the Jewish fascist group Lehava, in Israel, which took to the streets chanting ‘Death to the Arab’s – a carbon copy of the slogan of the anti-Semites in Germany and Poland – ‘Death to the Jews’ (yet such a comparison is termed anti-Semitic by the IHRA).
The present Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Tzipi Hotoveli, was personally responsible as a member of the Knesset Committee for the State of Women and Gender Equality for channeling funds to Lehava’s ‘charitable’ wing.
I will argue in my talk that Zionism far from being the scaffolding for the Israeli state was the building itself. Zionism represented a particular form of architecture, otherwise known as ethno-nationalism. Having been born in original sin it was hardly capable of changing itself when it approached adulthood. Ctd....