Friday, October 28, 2005

"The One-State Solution"

A follow-up on Tony Judt's article in NYRB...this is from 2003.

This solution, by the way, is what both Said and Chomsky desire(d, in Said's case). It was an option in the early Zionist movement, left-wing version. It's what I'd like to see now, too. Doubtful that it could occur. Thus, I'll take a reasonable two-state solution, ergo, The Geneva Accords. Andrew, have you actually read that Accord?

I posted the Judt article back in the pre-blog, yahoo-group day; read it here if you missed it. For whatever reasons.

Oh, and Judt is Jewish. I can see you reeling in void now, Andrew:
How could this be? Somehow...he...swayed...differently than his arboreal brethren. Shared root system notwithstanding. I can't imagine how that possibly could have occurred. Possibly a different subspecies of mycchorizae? It has to be...I need to sit down...

This is what happened to him after the article. The Forward is a Jewish newspaper; used to be printed in Yiddish back in the day.

Guess the world isn't so simple, huh?


1. Ethnic identity doesn't mechanistically define actions, let alone internal beliefs. To believe that is to judge before the fact, based on prior beliefs. We have a word for that in English: prejudiced. (Yes, your demonstrated version is one manner in which one can be prejudiced. There are others.)

I imagine you'll miss this or otherwise mentally occlude it, but let me reiterate that I am not saying you're anti-Semitic -- I'm talking about your style of thinking, demonstrated in your writing and discussion for four years (or more), a posteriori. You have demonstrated it; I'm not assuming that, say, since you're Greek or from Maine, you MUST think or act this way since those roots run deep. That's your way of thinking. What I'm saying is that you act this way, demonstrably. I don't blame it on Greece or the State of Maine.

2. Talk about Israel's future in any wide-ranging, non-blinkered way is near-taboo in America. "Near-" because the NYRB published this.

3. The Holocaust's role in Jewish-American identity is most likely (especially in my experience) the one main mental roadblock to non-blinkered thinking. In non-Jews as well, I venture, but I don't know. One must have a certain sense of the irony and contingency -- and tragedy -- of history to be able to appreciate the fact that out of European anti-Semitism, culminating in the Holocaust, and socialism, Zionism was born. After the Holocaust, to which the West was not only in part the active executor, but also, as a whole, the unruffled bystander, the West, warts and all, decided that enough was enough, and helped establish Israel. And a Palestinian state, too.

Now then -- especially after 1967, but not only -- this nationalist movement has clearly outlasted its usefulness to the population as a whole (Israeli, Jewish, Arab, et al), but serves the power elite rather well, both here among your "JAZzers" and in Israel. That it serves the power elite in the PA and Hamas seems lost on you, but that loss is your own, not the world's. Too many parties have an interest in keeping the situation as is or worse. You see, based on your writings and discussion, only one side of that. Why is for you to figure out.

4. This roadblock must be understood in order to be overcome. Understood by everyone -- Jews, Arabs, here, in the Middle East, etc. I mean, everyone. Of course, there are many other mental roadblocks that need to be overcome by folks on all sides; I'm highlighting one important one, and one that is most germane to the notion of Jewish-American neocon Zionists hypnotic hold on the American mind.

5. Shrill, faux-courageous pronouncements that Iran's president's recent statement has "a very strong argument" behind it -- or very delicately brushing close to that, as Demo did -- does very little to help, even though no one is paying attention to this blog, clearly.

It might make you feel all Hitchens-like and intellectually superior in your brave and selfless (and cost-free) charge into the taboo as you sit and type, but the plain fact is, Andrew, given the beliefs of the four people active on this blog, there is no taboo to be broken. I guess that's what pushes you ever more to push me. Why you need to push so is unknown.

Furthermore, it's a never-ending source of glee for me to see you acting in such a siege-mentalistic, heavily moralistic, "oh-woe-is-poor-misunderstood-me," way because it reminds me, well, of so many self-righteous blinkered American Jews from West Hartford. Your shrill cries of "you're calling me anti-Semitic; I'm so terribly oppressed" exaclty mirror the kind of paranoia Woody Allen satirized so well in Annie Hall.

Same style, you might say, to borrow from your favorite quote from Ha'aretz. Of course, style isn't substance, Oscar Wilde and Avika Eldar notwithstanding -- that is, I'm sure your own rhetoric comes from some other psychosocial source than that of the co-religionists that I am ever-tethered to by those invisible ethnic (racial?) roots whose power is like unto that of Yahweh himself.

(Shhh...Andrew, don't let it out that "we" all turn the same way...that's how we plan to conquer the world...OK, OK, I have a Jew-chip implanted in my head that makes me do everything...we all get one eight days after birth...everyone thinks it's only a circumscision...please don't tell!)

It is quite funny, actually.

Anyway, along with "the return of the repressed," I would also add another useful Freudian term: "the narcissism of small differences." To wit:

JAZzy riffs on Israel is ONE reason for the Iraq war. It's not THE ONLY reason, or, in my opinion, even the THE MOST IMPORTANT reason. That's my position. You, apparently, feel otherwise.

I have to laugh because I was kicked off another blog for being a "self-hating Jew" for even broaching the notion that Israel might not be acting perfectly morally always and in every aspect of its existence. And that site was actually leftwing on just about every other issue. I saw Paul there. Don't remember seeing you there, even though I mentioned it to you.

Anyway, every six months or so, on this blog (and its yahoo-group predecessor) I am accused of being a neocon fellow traveller, "twisting myself into a logical pretzel" (near-quote) out of ethnically determined predispositions, blind to any possible counterargument. Thus, because of my Jewishness (such as it is), I can't possibly see the light you bring. Furthermore, I am supposedly the one who ignores what you write (for reasons stated above, which are, I'm sorry, not only false, but also prejudiced -- to the degree that you obviously believe that group identification trumps all...or am I just a special case?) even though I have always responded to everything you've written and read everything you've posted.

I know, I know, it's so hard to give up a Masada-like sense of moral right-thinkingness in the face of such impossible odds. Don't worry, you'll defeat those legions that fret you yet, if not now, then your children's children will. I believe some kind of covenant may be involved, but I'm only guessing.

I just don't agree with you. Sorry. You'll get over it, and any selenite argument-by-assault doesn't work with me. I need data and logic.

Surely, when I took on Barbara at her blog, that was tilting at a windmill. All I'm asking you is to actually go find a windmill, because I ain't one, no matter how much you seem to want to believe that I am. I doubt you will, though.

Is this a big deal? Not really. You're just a pain in the aspen.

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