The Zionist Conspiracy
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Tony Judt and Yom Haatzmaut
Tony Judt's latest attack on Israel appears in Haaretz. In this piece, Judt attacks Israel by proxy, by referring to purported criticism of Israel by others who are to remain unnamed. For example, Judt informs us that "it has become commonplace to compare Israel at best to an occupying colonizer, at worst to the South Africa of race laws and Bantustans" and that as a result "dead Israelis ... are typically perceived abroad not as the victims of terrorism but as the collateral damage of their own government's mistaken policies."
According to Judt, at a recent meeting, "one speaker" - again, the speaker is to remain unidentified, described Israel as "Serbia with nukes."
Next, Judt writes that during a course at New York University he was teaching, he referred to the Spanish Civil War and General Franco, and told the class that he cannot think "of any country that occupies such a pejorative space in democratic public consciousness today." Many of the students, Judt writes, replied that Israel was just such a country.
Judt's vitriolic screeds against Israel cannot go unanswered. But today, on Yom Haatzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, the fact that - for better or worse - an Israeli newspaper has published Judt's rant should serve as a reminder that whatever its imperfections, Israel is exactly the opposite of how Judt claims it is perceived.
Israel is a country in which an enemy like Tony Judt who has explicitly called for its destruction can have a column published in an Israeli newspaper that attacks its moral right to exist, and there are no riots, murders, or kidnappings. It's a country in which thousands of yeshiva students go to study Torah, and in which thousands of secular (and religious) students go to study at universities like Hebrew University. It's a country in which 18 year old boys and girls devote years of their lives to national service. It's a country in which a Jew wearing a kippa, a Muslim wearing a hijab, a Christian wearing a cross - or someone not identifiably religious at all - can walk on the same streets in the Old City of Jerusalem, or hang out in downtown Jerusalem at the same street fair. It's a country in which technological, scientific and medical breakthroughs occur routinely. It's a country in which six decades after the Holocaust, and after one war after another aimed at Israel's destruction, and after a terror war meant to destroy the lives and the psyche of its people, people are living their lives, going to work, going to shul, going to the mall, going to cafes, and going to the beach.
Israel has many enemies, including formidable ones like Tony Judt and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Today is a day to reflect on Israel's achievements, and on why Israel must maintain the resolve necessary to continue to defeat its enemies and to add to those achievements.