Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dropping a DIME: Max Blumenthal and the Erosion of Liberal Zionism

Zionism, like capitalism, is losing its aura of beneficence and inevitability, as its fangs become harder to hide. Israel is not the Upper West Side overseas. (No matter what many people on the Upper West Side may like to think.) It is a violently racist colonial enterprise, with all the ideological and practical viciousness that implies. 

This is the implicit conclusion of Max Blumenthal’s latest book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, based on four years of reporting in Israel, which has touched a raw and festering nerve in the American liberal community.  Chris Hedges, who spent seven years as a correspondent in the Middle East, including Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, calls Goliath “one of the most fearless and honest books ever written about Israel. Blumenthal burrows deep into the dark heart of Israel.”

By “racist,” I mean, first of all, fundamentally ethno-religious supremacist: The inescapable premise of Zionism is that the lives, property, security, fears, hopes, and aspirations – all that constitutes the humanity – of Jewish settlers in historic Palestine trumps that of the indigenous non-Jewish population.  Of course, this kind of supremacism is inevitably unconfined.  Until the next plane hits a building, Americans – even American liberals – might not be overly discomfited by the discounting of Arab Palestinians’ humanity, but Israeli Zionism is becoming increasingly “racist” in a sense that Americans can easily recognize, and liberal Americans not so easily dismiss:

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