Sunlit Water

July 22, 2006

I’m No Angel

Filed under: Culture — by teofilo @ 10:53 pm

So I’m going to reluctantly wade in to the Israel mess. BitchPhD has a good post about the issue of liberal reluctance to talk about Israel, linking to a very good Tony Judt column in Haaretz. I’m not so sure Judt’s right that public opinion in the US is shifting against Israel (NYU undergrads are not at all typical of Americans in general), but the rest is dead on.

One thing the column highlights is the unfortunate tendency, among Zionists as well as their enemies, to equate Israel with the Jewish people as a whole. In a way this identification is implicit in the whole Zionist project, but as Judt points out it is dangerous for Jews outside of Israel because it makes us reluctant to criticize anything Israel does for fear of being labeled “self-hating.” It also draws us into messes we didn’t seek and don’t want; when gentiles think that Judaism=Israel, suddenly all Jews are expected to be able to explain (and assumed to endorse) Israel’s actions, no matter how unjustified. This happens to me all the time, and I’m sick of it.

So, for the record: I do not support Israel’s actions in Lebanon, nor do I necessarily support any particular policy of this or any other Israeli government. I could go on, but I think this is enough for now.

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