The moralizing fury of the Israeli left

The moralizing fury of the Israeli left

There is no longer a happy medium. It is impossible to support the liberal occupier, progressive ethnic cleansing and left-wing genocide.

It is difficult to write anything that does not aim to inform about the ongoing genocide and add our voice to those who are doing everything they can to end it.

This idea is reinforced by such tragic estimates as, for example, a recent statement by the World Health Organization that every ten minutes a child is killed by the Israeli army in Gaza.

However, in these dark times, we can only draw some hope from the enormous movement of solidarity that continues to grow around the world. This movement does not give in to the alarmist tactics of governments and politicians and calls for an immediate ceasefire.

As horrific as this chapter in the history of modern Palestine is, it unfortunately does not have the capacity to change the situation.

The basic constellation of powers – local, regional and global – will remain the same.

The change could be significant if the struggle expands to include an uprising in the West Bank and inside Israel, as well as the opening of fronts in Israel’s east and north. At the time of writing, this is not yet the case.

Political elites in the North and some countries in the South will continue to grant international impunity for Israel’s criminal policies on the ground. Yet their civil societies will by and large continue to support the Palestinian liberation movement.

On the ground, the military imbalance between Israel and the Palestinians – despite the surprise attack – will remain the same, and a number of Arab states will eventually continue the normalization process.

Likewise, the struggle in Israel between messianic settlers and secular Jews will continue, each fighting for their own version of apartheid.

It is in this context that I would like to emphasize how liberal Zionists, primarily through the newspaper Haaretz – but also with the assistance of liberal Zionists around the world – loyally support Israel’s actions. This incomprehensible logic is also reflected in the way Western powers mock their own responsibility for the genocide in Gaza.

One after another, the leading spokesmen of the Zionist left publish daily articles in Haaretz, in which they express their moralistic fury against what they call the global left.

Their anger is worth analyzing, if only to remind us once again why there is very little hope for change within Israel.

The Zionist left is in uncertainty

The Zionist left in Israel is in limbo.

On the one hand, she is ostracized by Jewish society which, at best, considers her naive and, at worst, accuses her of betrayal. This is in response to their support for the two-state solution and the call to end the occupation. Of course, this alienation is even more acute since the events of October 7.

On the other hand, it is not considered, rightly, as a true ally of the Palestinian liberation struggle.

The Israeli left’s greatest hope was that the global left, as it calls it, would share the same vocabulary and attitude towards Hamas’ October 7 operation; namely that it supports Israel unconditionally.

The Israeli left was outraged that, in the eyes of the global left, the Hamas operation did not exonerate Israel from its past criminal policies nor give Israel a green light for its genocidal policies in the West Bank and the Gaza strip.

To its great surprise, the global left as a whole rallied behind calls to “stop the war” and “liberate Palestine,” rather than echoing the rehearsed response from governments: “We support Israel’s right to defend itself.

Israel and colonialism

What is most illuminating – about the dialogue between liberal Zionists in the pages of Haaretz – is their ferocious attack on anyone who associates colonialism with Israel.

For some reason of their own, they chose Judith Butler as their main culprit. ), thus frustrating many of us, who have devoted our careers, probably since the 1960s, to presenting Zionism as settler colonialism.

In fact, today the presentation of Zionism and Israel as a settler-colonization project has consensus among leading Middle East scholars, and is only contested as an accurate paradigm by mainstream Israeli academia. .

In the eyes of liberal Zionists, the global left is guilty of two “sins”: on the one hand, it associates the Israeli state with settler colonialism and, on the other hand, it provides a context for the Hamas attack from October 7.

No middle ground

This complacency and fury are not unique to the Zionist left. You’ll hear it from actors in Hollywood, journalists and mainstream academics from the North, who suddenly have to take a stand: are they with the Palestinian liberation movement or against it?

There is no longer a happy medium. It is impossible to support the liberal occupier, progressive ethnic cleansing and left-wing genocide.

The attempt to characterize the position I am calling for as racist or anti-Semitic will not hold water. It’s about knowing where we stand at this critical moment in history, and what value we place on self-respect.

At least a little glimmer of hope appeared on my horizon last week. A history teacher at an Israeli high school was arrested on November 10 for discussing the context of Hamas attacks on social media.

Unlike the lost souls of the Israeli liberal left, this courageous professor reminded his students of the atrocities committed by Israel over the years, the right of Palestinians to defend themselves, and the need for Israel to respect international law.

Such a view is a crime in Israel and now the British Home Office wants to make it a crime in Britain too.

Now is the time for those who demonstrate moral courage, for the struggle for freedom and liberation will be long and needs such allies to sustain it.

November 16, 2023 – The Palestine Chronicle – Translation: Chronicle of Palestine – Chris and Dine