Among the growing assaults on freedom of speech is an Israeli-driven campaign to criminalize a campaign to boycott Israel over its racist persecution of Palestinians, writes Lawrence Davidson.
By Lawrence Davidson
We know where Zionism has taken Israel. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 led the way. In that imperial and colonial document, the British promised the World Zionist Organization a “Jewish National Home” in Palestine. They did so, as Edward Said put it, in “flat disregard of both the presence and wishes of the native majority residents in that territory.”
Right from the start the Zionists understood “national home” to mean an eventual Jewish state. Actualizing that assumption has had enormous implications not only for the Palestinians but also for the Jews. And, as it turns out, for the rest of us as well.
You cannot introduce one people, in this case a large number of Europeans who happen to be Jewish, into a territory populated by hundreds of thousands of non-Europeans, without negative consequences. And, if the incoming Europeans have the goal of creating a state exclusively for their group alone, those consequences are going to be dire indeed. Surrounded by “the other,” the only way you can achieve your exclusive state is through discriminatory practices and laws ultimately producing an apartheid nation. And that is what happened.
While this has meant, and continues to mean, segregation, ethnic cleansing and Bantustans for the Palestinians, for the Jews it means that their religion is tied to a racist political ideology. There is no instance of Israeli prejudice exercised against the Palestinians, no act of violence committed against them, that does not simultaneously dishonor and debase the Jewish religion and people.
How about the rest of world? The consequences of Zionism are threatening both security and equality everywhere. Here is how this is…