So with little in the news, and just in time for Israel's Independence Day, the Huffington Post has unleashed a multi-faceted attack on "Zionism." They call this initiative "Liberal Zionists Speaking Out," ostensibly as the holy "criticism" of Israel's "policies." The first article in the series actually did this but did the rest? That's what we are here to discuss. Here is our first example.
Rabbi Aryeh Cohen is a left-wing (surprise surprise) rabbi who is a brand new Huffington Post blogger, recruited specifically for the occasion. Despite the claim in the title that these people are "liberal Zionists," Rabbi Cohen is not a Zionist at all but a post-Zionist. Oops. How on earth could the Huffington Post have missed that one? Anyway Rabbi Cohen lays into Israel over the course of his article, including spinning history:
"The final withdrawal from Sinai was completed in April 1982 and Israel invaded Lebanon (violating a year-long truce with the PLO) in June 1982. Contrary to what I was convinced would happen, the Egyptian army stood down. The invasion of Lebanon itself was framed by propaganda. When I was called up to my tank unit, we were given maps that pointed to the fact that the objective of the war was to control most of Lebanon..."
Yep, that's right. Israel just up and invaded Lebanon for no reason at all. The PLO was just sitting there minding their own business and most certainly didn't carry out 240 terrorist attacks in Israel and elsewhere. No sirree. Not in the world of the post-Zionist. As for his claim that the goal was to control Lebanon, it's hard to say without a source but I always thought the goal was to put a Christian Maronite in power. I guess that's the same thing.
Anyway the "criticism" ends there and we get full on Israel-bashing:
"[I was] coming to grips with the Israel that existed in reality, beyond the dream, beyond the illusions. The Israel of the occupation and petty cruelties. The Israel of power politics and Palestinian oppression. An exhibition of photographs at the Israel Museum (pre-first intifada) of the Israeli border guard doing its violent work in the "territories" made me physically ill."Oh yeah, this is "liberal Zionism" all right. I'm curious about what these photographs at the Israel Museum were, but I have trouble imagining that a guard defending a border would make the rabbi sick.
"Manning a roadblock, my job was to check the ID cards of Palestinian travellers who were going to Bethlehem. The line of cars was always long and slow and the delays were always caused by the quotidian elements of the life of a reserve soldier: someone did not show up on time for his shift, the commander could not be reached on the wireless, and where was lunch? Without any necessary intention of evil (and there was also that), undue suffering and hardship was caused to an innocent population. People could not get to the hospital, people could not get to their jobs, their fields, their families. I was the symbol of this regime of oppression to people whom I had never met. And they were right."Here's the difference between a liberal Zionist and an Israel-hater. A liberal Zionist would acknowledge that the Israeli soldiers were there for a reason and that the Palestinians had blood on their hands as well. An Israel-hater instead ignores this and talks about how terrible the actions of Israel are while either ignoring or minimizing the reasons for those actions. Of course only Israelis have the "intention of evil," and when it comes right down to it, what he is complaining about is not any different from what Americans experience when they get on a plane. Americans have to fly to get to jobs, families, livelihoods. Does that make the TSA evil for trying to keep them safe? Oh wait, this is the Huffington Post so of course the TSA is evil. I forgot there for a second.
Now just in case you think I was exaggerating when I said that the rabbi was not a liberal Zionist, he spells it out:
"So, if pushed to peg myself on the spectrum from Zionist to anti-Zionist, as I understand we are supposed to, I would classify myself as a post-Zionist..."What follows after this is a long diatribe about how "immoral" it is that Israel doesn't just give things to the people who want to wipe them out. Of course we already know that he thinks Israel defending itself is immoral, so after that just about anything is justified. In the end this is a standard issue Huffington Post article. It wouldn't get any traction at all in Israel, except maybe at 972, so the Huffington Post is where it ended up. Can't say I am surprised.