Dr. Mordechai NisanDr. Mordechai Nisan, is a retired lecturer in Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.Among his books is The Conscience of Lebanon: A Political Biography of Etienne Sakr (Abu-Arz). His most recent book is Only Israel West of the River: The Jewish State and the Palestinian Question, available at Amazon.com.
In the South African newspaper Mail & Guardian (30 July 2014), social activist/freelance journalist Jared Sacks wrote a provocative article called “A ‘self-hating’ Jew’s guide to answering Zionist talking points.”
The anti-Zionism of a Jew, when Israel - no less - is at war with an Islamic terrorist movement in the Gaza Strip, provides an occasion for reflection and sadness.
We have all witnessed in modern history the vibrant revival of Jewish national sovereignty in the biblical homeland, an affirmation of faith and life, pride and courage; and this with the specter of the Holocaust in Europe behind us. However, we face the threat of annihilation by a host of Muslim enemies in the Middle East, an everyday peril against the state of Israel, home to six million Jews today.
For the Jews to become a normal people, with guns and not just pens in their hands, is a great test for modern Israel. The fact that today the Israeli army kills terrorists and the Israeli people are not discomfited by this, and in fact, more than satisfied and relieved by this development, does suggest that the Jews are advancing on the path of psychological and political normalcy.
But of course this does not hold for all Jews, and that’s likely the case for Jared Sacks.
Confounded by the narrative of history and its political high points, Sacks castigates Jewish nationalism as an expression of racism in a morally callous and conceptually sloppy way. In referring to Jews, Druze, Christians, and Muslims as having been in Palestine “for thousands of years,” he makes a hodgepodge of various collective narratives and posits similarity where distinctions and particular chronological time-lines are called for.
Sacks is ignorant of the fact that the British did not encourage Jews to colonize the Land of Israel (Eretz-Israel) but bowed, at times, before the
Sacks is proposing – let us be clear - the annihilation of the state of Israel.
extraordinary Jewish yearning to go back home; and as for the British themselves, they did not establish a “Palestinian protectorate” but rather the mandate for Palestine. The use of correct nomenclature is a prerequisite for unraveling the political contours of history.
Jared Sacks considers Zionism a manifestation of Western colonialism, a settler movement without roots and legitimacy. His is unable, despite his admission of having been “indoctrinated by Zionists throughout his life,” to grasp the special connection between the Jewish people and their land, the only land they can call home, the land that is a cornerstone in their religious tradition and the prophecies of redemption. His hackneyed diatribe that Zionism is a lackey of Western imperialism, or a white settler enterprise in a native land, has stubbornly survived 66 years of modern Israeli history.
In promoting the idea of a one-state solution in Palestine, Sacks is proposing – let us be clear - the annihilation of the state of Israel. His high idealism is at one with the genocidal ambitions of Iran and Hezbollah, Hamas and ISIS, to eliminate the Jewish state, by diplomacy or warfare. In this regard
Sacks is oblivious to the true sources of evil in the world today. He castigates Israel’s authentic Jewish liberation struggle and popular historical resistance against Arab colonization and Muslim imperialism as “racist nationalism” and the “occupation of Palestine.”
Zionism didn’t come to conquer another people’s land, of which there was none, but to allow the Jews to live as a free people in their homeland.
Jared Sacks, a South African Jew, has projected his country’s racial and political rivalries upon the Jewish-Arab conflict in Israel, including the territories. This is a preposterous analogy, not only because Israeli policies are liberal toward the Arab citizenry population which is anything but patriotic, but because the Palestinians’ vile ambition is to destroy the Jewish state – not reform it.
For the Arabs, true reconciliation with the Jews is a doctrinal and political non-starter.
A credibly correct representation of the Jewish struggle parallels in fact the Black struggle in South Africa. Demeaned and persecuted by Islam for centuries, and targeted for murder by relentless Palestinian terrorism over the decades, it is the Jewish and not the Arab side that approximated the Black condition and struggle facing the White population in South Africa.
Jared Sacks advocates a policy of appeasement of the aggressors and the murderers in the Arab world. When he refers to Hamas’s “supposed terrorism (the real terrorism actually comes from Israel),” his sympathy for Muslim savagery rises as a monumental denial of reality and treason against his people.
Sacks is stuck in the ideological language of the progressive left from the 1960s – raining charges of racism, colonialism, and occupation upon Zionism and Israel; instead of recognizing today’s true picture of the Arab world in turmoil, Islam on the road to conquer Europe, and America losing its superpower position.
Meanwhile, Jared Sacks panders to the Palestinians as Israel fights for her survival, defending itself with military weaponry and the Jews no longer powerless victims in history.