The Brutal Failure of Zionism

Israel’s renewed slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza – after failed peace talks and ethnic slayings by both sides – is further proof that the Zionist experiment has failed and that the only reasonable way forward is to recognize the equal rights of all people living in the region, writes John V. Whitbeck.

By John V. Whitbeck

Now that the American-monopolized “peace process” has expired – and violence and hate are exploding again across Israel and Palestine – Western nations should seize the initiative, join forces and try to do something useful for Israelis, Palestinians and peace.

If Western nations still believe that a decent “two-state solution” is conceivable, several useful initiatives are immediately available. They could support and reinforce the current two-state legality by joining the 134 states which have already extended diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine. They could also require Israelis seeking visas to visit their countries to produce documentary evidence that they don’t reside in occupied Palestine.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu

Most constructively, Western nations could impose economic sanctions on Israel and intensify them until Israel complies with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions and ends the 47-year-long occupation.

If Western nations are unwilling to take such initiatives or if they have concluded, not unreasonably, that a decent “two-state solution” is no longer conceivable and that the only issue now is whether the current one-state reality will continue to be an apartheid reality or can be transformed into a democratic one, they should reflect upon their own histories and responsibilities in order to identify the most useful way forward.

The harsh reality is that Zionism is, and has always been, an anti-Semite’s dream come true, offering the hope that Jews in one’s own country can be induced to leave and move elsewhere.

The British politician Arthur J. Balfour, who gave his name to the fateful 1917 declaration endorsing “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” was an earnest supporter of the 1905 Alien Act, which was specifically designed to stem the inflow into Britain of Jews fleeing from persecution in czarist Russia.

Subsequently, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, which was a wholly European abomination, European governments – as well as those of the United States, Canada and Australia – shamefully brushed aside Arab pleas to treat the resettlement of displaced Jews as a duty and obligation for the whole world.

Western nations refused to relax their immigration restrictions, thereby forcing most of the Jewish refugees to seek to build new lives in Palestine, even though many would have preferred to settle elsewhere.

That approach could be still be reversed now. Western nations, which are no longer anti-Semitic, could and should be opening their doors wide to any and all Israeli Jews who might be tempted to build a new and better life for themselves and their children, with less injustice and less insecurity, by returning to their countries of origin or emigrating to other countries of their choice. They could be offered immediate residency rights, generous resettlement assistance and a fast track to citizenship (if they do not already have it).

Such a policy would be far better than continuing to provide unquestioning support for an ethno-religious-supremacist, settler-colonial experiment in Israel/Palestine that violates principles of justice, human decency and international law.

Offering genuine “Laws of Return” for the descendants of Jews who survived the Holocaust would be profoundly philo-Semitic, pro-Jewish and, yes, anti-Zionist. Such a policy would reflect a moral, ethical and self-interested recognition that political Zionism, like certain other prominent Twentieth Century “isms” which once captured the imaginations of millions, was a tragically bad idea – not simply for those innocents caught and trampled in its path but also for those who embraced it.

Even if sustainable with Western support, Zionism does not deserve to be sustained. It has already caused and, if perpetuated, will continue to cause profound problems for the West and its relations with the rest of the world.

Western nations like to call for “confidence-building measures” from Israelis, Palestinians and other Arabs without offering any themselves. A multinational initiative to atone for the West’s past sins against Jews by welcoming Israeli Jews to resettle in Western nations would constitute a hugely constructive confidence-building measure which should, logically, be opposed only by people who are either anti-Semites or Zionists – or both.

In the land which, until 1948, was called Palestine, democracy and equal rights in a unitary state should offer more realistic hope for peace with some measure of justice than continued recycling of a partition-based “peace process,” which is widely recognized to have been a cynical exercise in killing time and which, even if “successful,” would simply legitimize, reward and perpetuate ethnic cleansing, racism and apartheid – scarcely a recipe for lasting peace, let alone for any measure of justice.

For those who would prefer not to live in a unitary state with democracy and equal rights for all, there would be the freedom of choice and attractive options for resettlement elsewhere.

Old assumptions, including the irreversible “success” of the Zionist experiment, should now be questioned. Even once heretical ideas, including the peaceful rollback of the Zionist experiment – at least in its current, aggressively exclusivist, “nation-state of the Jewish people” form – and its replacement by democracy through voluntary personal choice rather than through violence, should now be considered.

If Western politicians cared more about the welfare and happiness of individual Jewish human beings than they do about the money from a few wealthy and powerful Zionists who have the ability to inflict political pain (and who mostly live far from the violence and turmoil of the Middle East), then democracy, equal rights and freedom of choice – all principles to which Western nations profess devotion – might actually come to the “Holy Land.”

John V. Whitbeck is an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel.

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15 comments on “The Brutal Failure of Zionism

  1. Edmund on said:

    Good article.My only question is why do you insist on a UNITARY state? How about a federal Jewish-Arab state e.g.like Switzerland or Belgium?

  2. Chris Welzenbach on said:

    There can be no “two-state solution” when only one state–Palestine–is legitimate.

  3. John J on said:

    Excellent article. It should be noted that some refusal to accept more Jews in the West in the 40s was precipitated by Zionist pressure on governments in order to force more victims to Palestine and thus hopefully fulfill the Zionist dream. This certainly didn’t help those Jews in need.

    As for food labels mentioned in a letter attached to the previous Mid East article , we in North America pay Kosher groups to certify food as Kosher. Just google kosher labels and a myriad of information is available. As mentioned my cereals, spices. maple syrup, flour and even my bread yeast has been scrutinized. For each article we buy with a Kosher label, we pay a fraction of a cent to the company which in turn goes to the Kosher screening agencies. What is that money used for and why should we be paying it. When you consider all the foods that are purchased with those labels it adds up to a lot of cash. Is that money used to displace Palestinians, or build subsidized housing for settlers? Why can’t a corporation be taken for it’s word that something is Kosher.
    I was recently in England and I didn’t notice any Kosher food labels there on flour and other items. No doubt some things probably are so labelled but I never came across one. Yet in NA most of my food packages have that extra duty added onto them just to carry the tiny Kosher label.

    • bobbyj on said:

      “Kosher screening agency” i didn’t know this. will look into it more thank you.
      Has a ring of a five hundred dollar hammer.

  4. John on said:

    The Talmudic laws regarding Eretz Israel, upon which Zionism is based, are fundamental and cannot be negotiated. A unitary state is the only solution. To achieve it, western countries should provide refuge for all the Muslims and Christians now living in Palestine, and every Jew residing abroad should be encouraged to make “aliyah” without delay.

    American taxpayers have already wasted $230,000,000,000 propping up the “Jewish State” since its inception. The proposed relocation program would only cost a few billion more.

    http://www.haaretz.com/business/u-s-aid-to-israel-totals-233-7b-over-six-decades.premium-1.510592

    • Jewish Autonomous Oblast
      Еврейская автономная область (Russian)
      ייִדישע אווטאָנאָמע געגנט (Yiddish)
      Why make the Palestinians and Christians move from were they have lived for centiries to make room for a bunch of Jews living scattered throughout the world? Doen’t make sense.
      Soviet authorities established the autonomous oblast in 1934. It was the result of Joseph Stalin’s nationality policy, which provided the Jewish population of the Soviet Union with a large territory in which to pursue Yiddish cultural heritage. It is also referred to as “Yevrey” Its admin center is the town of Birobidzhan As of 2010 Census, its population was 176,558
      BUT, that is NOT what the Jews want and the Jews with their Holecaust museums in different countries want what they want, and they want the Palestine area so that they are in the center of the Middle East which they want to control. Get it? So let them move to the Jewish Autonomous Oblast which has been there ever since 1934, 80-years already.

  5. jennifer mc patrick on said:

    Why should “the West” who have their own matters to deal with also manage your self created conflict. Grow up. All religious people need to know they are not any more special than any one other life. They may design a life that makes them look more important and demand more special attention but we are not all following or even caring about your self created persecution. If you didn’t walk around looking down at all other beings you would not create conflict or your own persecution. Your arrogance creates your own conflict. All institutionalised religion, should be banned as the Russians did. Practice spirituality in your own home but there should be no state assistance and no laws created from associations with organised religions. Most of your ideas are outdated and superseded so you aren’t qualified enough to inform health, sexuality, legal, archeology, peace talks or history teachings. Or come and live in a multicultural country and live in an enclave because one again you cant get over yourselves and mix with other humans. Seriously you want the west’s assistance? History has shown you once lived side by side, but now you can’t? Today your war is about arrogance and about money (under capitalism), why on earth would we want to import this type of person or even save them, you are not special or better than us, you are arrogant, greedy, deluded and horrific to the future of humanity.

  6. This article hits the nail on the head. Jews in Israel should leave and come to the US and other nations. If you read Isaiah chapter 9, you will see that the real Zion, the New Zion, comes in peace. The Zionists ran ahead of God and established a phony Zion by violence. Israel is under a curse and so is the USA for supporting Israel.

  7. very good article, but i think Israel will never accept Muslims and Christians (Or Arabs) as part of itself because of the Racism behind Zionism fundamentals. trying to change Israel behavior will not work just as south African apartheid or Iran’s Shah didn’t change. so one-state Solution is only achievable when there is a no Zionist government .

  8. F. G. Sanford on said:

    The Brilliant Success of Zionism:

    No one in politics or the media dares refute the official attribution of guilt to Hamas for the murder of three Israeli teenagers, despite the fact that such an act, if premeditated, would serve up the perfect casus belli for resumption of hostilities against Gaza. Never mind that there is not a shred of evidence to support that assertion. The repeatedly regurgitated false narrative that “Israel has a right to defend itself” in contradiction to international law and dozens of UN resolutions to the contrary is the successfully implemented propaganda strategy to which Washington adheres. An illegal occupation negates any pretense of “self defense”, and the ongoing blockades and expansion of settlements merely add to the original crimes. Through manipulation of American politics, and by extension the US controlled NATO, UN and other international organizations, the Israel Lobby has successfully squelched any and all attempts to portray war crimes and human rights abuses in their proper context. Financial and military aid in support of these crimes against humanity by the US Government constitute contravention of the principles of international law indemnifying the right to resist illegal occupation. In fact, that aid has been increased with a publicly stated goal of “maintaining Israel’s military edge”. The myth of Israel’s “self defense” has reached proportions hardly exceeded by the hypocrisy of Germany’s incursion into Poland to “defend” itself. Adding to the fact-free portrayal of Israel’s vulnerability is the “don’t ask – don’t tell” policy of silence regarding the undeclared nuclear arsenal with which Israel blackmails most of Europe. Beyond rendering military aid to Israel illegal under the Symington Amendment, those weapons and the range of their delivery systems are of a nature that confines their deployment to theaters well beyond the Middle East, unless suicide by nuclear fallout is a plausible deterrent strategy. Neocon mouthpieces in American government have stooped so low as to lend support to a coup regime in Ukraine inspired by Nazi ideology as a smokescreen to distract attention from the dastardly deeds of Israel’s fascist theocracy. The absurdity of the rationalizations for these actions amounts to complete reversal of the facts, a degree of impudence from which even Josef Goebbels might cautiously demur. The strategy has not just succeeded. In its audacity, it has wildly surpassed any expectations a rational plan might have achieved. In short, it is nothing less than brilliant.

  9. Jim Solomon on said:

    This plan is so undoable let’s rearrange the whole world while we are at resettling Jews from Israel back to Europe. A better plan is encourage the Palestinians to surrender. Unconditionally. Give up. Stop any resistance. Put themselves at the mercy of the Israelis, a mostly western thinking society, and with help from the US and the EU remake Israel. The Germans, Japanese, Italians, Napoleon, Egypt, Jordan, etc, surrendered, The Jews aren’t going to leave and the Palestinians will just keep getting bombed. If it were me I’d surrender and take a chance the victor will be magnanimous.

    • Smith on said:

      Why should they surrender? They’re far from defeated. Israel is not a secure state. It is a profoundly unpopular nation that burnt its diplomatic bridges decades ago. Its sole ally, the US, is in decline. Conquered groups can resist their captors for centuries; see the Irish.

      • Jim Solomon on said:

        The sooner the Palestinians surrender the sooner the Israeli bombs stop. And done right surrendering can be beneficial a la Japan and Germany. If I were leader of the Palestinians I’d say okay, we give up what do you Israelis want? Israel says we want you to say you respect and actually say with vigor and enthusiasm that you respect our “right to exist.” Done, say the Palestinians. What next? Uh, gee, say the Israelis. How about we build factories and pay your workers a little less than ours to slap together these Epiladys and home seltzer makers then play it by ear. Okay, we get it, step by step. Let’s shake on it. Done, say the Israelis. Peace ain’t that hard.

  10. N Dalton on said:

    It`s time for American voters to see and understand how the the Zionist – Jewish controlled Mainstream media (MSM) has manipulated and advanced the ` always innocent Victim-hood ` – in spite of Israel`s long history of the past forty-five years of Rage and Rape of Gaza – that has ordered the systematic destruction of civilian life, workplaces and densely populated neighborhoods.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu call “ Vengeance for blood ” – which the US Zionist power has parroted to the policy centers of the US Executive, the Congress and both political parties – MUST be condemned and NOT forgotten.

    http://www.theoccidentalobserv
    http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=1

  11. christian on said:

    Most everyone understands Isreal is a corrupt and racist state (their leaders) and that most of the time Isreali Leaders hide behind some *TEFLON Criticism shield* where as ANYONE who criticizes ANYTHING about their leadership or fairness is labeled an “anti-Semite”

    nevermind that this is some weird trick that makes zero sense…..it only matters that very influential and important people seem to either use or support the use of calling anyone who is not a bigot or racist a “anti-Semite” for criticizing anything at all about Isreali Leaders that it’s a big psychological game and joke. Listen.. to state clearly I don’t care what government you are ….power corrupts …every gov’t has corruption …..now just imagine that you could get away with doing nearly anything you wish ….because nobody could criticize you …….you simply call them a simple name “that if educated and think critically” doesn’t even make logical sense in the context used” (anti-Semite……read on who the actual “semitic peoples are”) and poof you can do what you please and there will be a strong reluctance for those who plan on climbing up any politically connected latter form criticizing you publically.

    Now imagine as this corrupt gov’t with a anti-criticism shield how much you could get away with when your allay is the biggest super power on the planet.