Israeli Exceptionalism

What standard should Israel meet?

Comrade Morlock

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Photo by Taylor Brandon on Unsplash

Zionists love to define antisemitism as “holding Israel to a higher standard.” When they say this, they mean Israel should be judged by the 19th century standards that the United Nations was created to end. Zionists want to take land from its inhabitants and drive them onto reservations without criticism. The “higher standard” they complain about is the standard used by everyone who criticized the US for Jim Crow, South Africa for apartheid, and the US and Russia for rushing to war. The “higher standard” that Zionists complain about is the standard of all of us who support the United Nations: compliance with international law.

The complaint about a higher standard is cover for the real question: Why should Israel be held to a lower standard than any other country?

Israel’s tragedy is that it was born as an expansionist ethnostate three years after the world fought a war to defeat three countries that believed in ethnostates and expansionism. Had Israel existed at the end of the 19th century, when Zionists first made plans to expel Palestinians and build a Jewish state, Israel would seem no different than any other country that dreamed of empire. But Israel was born in a new age, so it is held to the standards of that new age.

If you doubt the Zionist goal was always ethnic cleansing, consider three quotes:

1895: “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country… expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” — Theodor Herzl, commonly known as the father of modern political Zionism

1938: “With compulsory transfer we (would) have a vast area (for settlement)…I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see anything immoral in it.” David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel

1940: “It must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country…The Zionist enterprise so far…has been fine and good in its own time, and could do with ‘land buying’ — but this will not bring about the State of Israel; that must come all at once, in the manner of a Salvation (this is the secret of the Messianic idea); and there is no way besides transferring the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, to transfer them all; except maybe for Bethlehem, Nazareth and Old Jerusalem, we must not leave a single village, not a single tribe.” — Joseph Weitz, Director of the Jewish National Land Fund

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Comrade Morlock

If you’re losing an argument with me and are too proud to admit defeat, please feel free to insult me instead.