Israel’s Right Bashes France

Today one of Israel’s very best English-language journalists said it didn’t matter whether France “stands with Israel.”

That what matters is that Israel stands with other countries regardless of whether they stand with Israel.

This is true. And it is characteristic of this journalist’s empathetic heart, generous spirit, and brilliant intelligence.

But what the tragedy is, is that it needs to be said at all.

In Western-type countries – it seems that this kind of thing needs to be said– only in Israel.

Because only in Israel is there so much Right-wing France-bashing, Europe-bashing, and EU-bashing.

Thank heaven for this journalist, and for thousands of like-hearted spirits in Israel, in journalism and all walks of life.

But it’s a blot on the country’s Right Wing that this journalist would feel the need to say it.

Can we imagine a Norwegian journalist feeling the need to say:

We need to stand with France regardless of whether it “stands with Norway”?

“Stand with Israel” is itself a right-wing phrase.  It shouldn’t be, but it is. The Right-wing has hijacked it.

So you only “Stand with Israel” if you support the settlements, expansionism, annexationism, indiscriminate youth detentions, land confiscations and housing demolitions, the Occupation, discrimination throughout the occupied Palestinian land, and the governments tepidness about peace that it wants only on impossible terms.

By this standard this very journalist – who is a brilliant writer and celebrates Israel constantly – doesn’t “stand with Israel” either.

And France of course doesn’t stand with Israel–by this Far-Right definition of “standing with Israel.”

We should be careful that the Israeli Right doesn’t hijack the meaning of “Stand with Israel.”

It stifles conversation. It strangulates politics.

And by its definition– only the Israeli Right and American Republican Right would “stand with Israel” – around the world.

Which is probably what the Israeli Right thinks.  Accounting for its xenophobia and paranoia and Europe-hatred—and France-hatred.

Because the Israeli Right constantly bashes France.

The Israeli Right constantly bashes France since it doesn’t support all the settlement and occupation and confiscatory and detention and demolition policies of the most right-wing government in the history of Israel.

Because of this one of Israel’s best English-paper journalists feels the point must be made that — whether or not France does “stand with Israel” –  on any definition at all of the phrase  – that the Israeli Right should still stand with France in its suffering.

That even if you’re an Israeli Rightist who thinks – because France opposes the settlements and occupation, that then it doesn’t “stand with Israel” –  that even then, the Israeli Right should stand with France in its suffering.

This journalist is right in feeling that the point should be made.

And all heaven’s blessings on the journalist for making it.

But, about the very fact that this Israeli journalist is correct in feeling that this must be said at all:

It is tragic and an absolute travesty.

About the Author
James Adler was born in Kentucky, now works in university libraries, and feels especially and intensely bound up with the fate of the Jewish people in the last hundred years, especially the Shoah, the rise of Israel "out of the ashes," and the accidental and mutually tragic collision with the Palestinians in the early and middle of the 20th century, continuing through today. He is happily married and the father of two teenagers.