Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Israel border ambiguity 'license to kill'

Clinton, instead of promising us Palestine, create an Israeli state
Daily Star, Lebanon: Yes, the United States formally recognized Israel just 11 minutes after Zionists declared its creation on Palestinian land in 1948, and most other nations have since followed suit, but the Jewish state remains a nebulous entity because its exact borders have not yet been drawn. This territorial ambiguity has allowed Israel to continue with its endless expansion and conquest of Palestinian lands, resulting in new 'facts on the ground' that makes Palestine's creation increasingly impossible...

Clinton would do well to avoid repeating the mistakes of Bush and his predecessors by raising -- and then crushing -- the hopes of yet another generation of Arabs. Instead, she should work with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to nail down the exact borders of the state of Israel. Then at least Israel's egregious acts of expansion would be defined as taking place outside the Jewish state's borders. Maybe then the world would finally put an end to this crime.

Juan Cole, Informed Comment: Zionism is a form of nationalism centered on the necessity of turning Judaism into a base for a nation-state. Probably a majority of Jews, and virtually all American Jews, were offended by this notion before WWII. And although Zionists think they were vindicated by the events of the 1930s and 1940s, it is not at all clear in the 21st century that having a state makes you safe, or, just as important, adds to your well-being. Moreover, having a ethnically-based state is invidious (Jim Crow in the US was a form of white Protestant ethnic nationalism).

But in any case, Zionist nationalism isn't any different from any other nationalism (all nationalisms fetishize some marker or markers of identity, whether language, religion, folkways, etc.) and it doesn't deserve to be privileged in any way. Nationalism where healthy can be a sane form of patriotism and pride in the achievements of a people... but nationalism can also easily turn pathological... When nationalism turns pathological, it becomes an 00, license to kill.