Maurice Solovitz
Tolerance can't be measured in degrees of Intolerance

New York Times defends anti-Zionism. We Israelis don’t listen to ‘Reason’

I read that New York Times columnist, Michelle Goldberg, wrote an article defending anti-Zionism and stating that in most cases it is not antisemitic to believe so.  My problem with this is not that in some cases, she may be correct but that the exception does not make the rule. 

She stated that it is “entirely possible to oppose Jewish ethno-nationalism without being a bigot.”  Of-course it is.  I suppose now, Michelle Goldberg will be calling for all of those Christian countries with the image of a Crucifix on their flags to remove them.  A Cross is a symbolic declaration of an ethnocentric agenda and it is a potent symbol of past ethno-religious supremacism.  And Ms Goldberg will want to also oppose Arab or Muslim, Baathist or neo-Ottoman, Iranian or Pakistani, Malayan or Indonesian ethno-nationalism at the same time.  And as vociferously.  In which case, one would be similarly opposed to Palestinian ethno-nationalism.  Aha….

The superficially plausible arguments of the antisemite are nearly always predicated on an understanding that the reader or questioner will not ask the right questions and never, make observations that will create narrative discomfit.

Put simply, the Goldberg’s of this world believe that Jews, uniquely, have no right to immigration, no right to flee any country of oppression (to become a refugee) and no right to self-determination.  The logical concomitant of such an understanding of human rights is that the Muslim world has rights of conquest and ethnic cleansing, and the right to commit genocide even as we in the Christian World (Jews are a minority but do live in that world) condemn our own history of conquest; of colonialism and imperialism.

Of-course it makes no sense but we never ask the logical questions so the working assumption has to be that the Goldbergs’ of this world really do think Jews have no rights other than those rights, reluctantly given and as easily taken away by our betters; those people who, in the past, have never provided us with a moment of protection or safety.

The superior minded, progressive Leftist will berate me for, on the one hand, not learning from history, and on the other hand, for being too focused on history.

How is this possible? If I learn from history then, according to progressive logic, I must assimilate, disappear, or at least, pay attention to what my betters tell me is the correct way to behave.  And then I will be protected.  Does anyone not see the bigotry implicit in such thinking?

The fundamental right of every human being is that no-one should ever need protection because of who they are, how they look or sound, or what they believe.  Being different is never an excuse for prejudice and that is “Human Ethics 101.”

But not when it applies to the fascists’ conception of Jewish rights.  Sometimes, they concede the point that Jews have been a persecuted minority for most of the last 2,000 years but they say that we should forget history as it discolours our understanding of conflict and human nature.  And only they (not us), have a proper understanding of how to resolve our conflict.

This is a view that is based on their political or personal prejudices.  And it would be rude of me to point out that their demand, that we forget our history, does not apply to our enemies for whom the last 70 years of our history is an afront to their history (Conquest is a theological imperative in the Islamic faith and the return of captured lands to an infidel nation is, an abomination).  We are enjoined to remember the last 70 years as a means of damning us, not praising or protecting us.

The straight forward statement is always couched in terms of black and white.   No one ever questions the underlying narrative behind ideas such as the binational state (one-state) solution to Israel-Palestine or that BDS is antisemitic because it is only ever useful against Jewish ‘obduracy’ in negotiations for a two-state solution.  In Michelle Goldberg’s case, bigotry is justified by stating that the current Israeli government has a close relationship with the Republican presidency and other nationalist (right-wing) governments in Europe.   And because she believes Israeli governments oppose Palestinian statehood.

The logical conclusion is that if Israel was ruled by a Left-wing government and supported the ending of Jewish independence in Israel (which is the only logical result for a binational state) then she would no longer have any reason to object to our existence.   Which makes no sense because at that point we cease to exist.  Nor do most Israeli’s oppose Palestinian statehood.   I do oppose the re-writing of my history in order to make the Goldberg’s of this world comfortable with their own prejudices.  The cruel truth is that history is infective.  It does colour the soul of a human being – for better and for worse.  A recent scientific study concluded that people who had suffered terrible trauma (such as the Shoah) by the third generation had altered DNA.  I do not want to forget my history because I am a product of it, as we all are products of our history.  Culture and Civilization without history would be meaningless, colou rless and without passion.  It gives us our will to improve the life of those around us and it determines every reaction we have to every situation we encounter. A person without history is almost a clean slate; to be used and abused.   Those that want to define what we will learn do not want us to be whole human beings. They want to control us. They want to prescribe how we think.

That is fascism.

There is a school of thought that can be summarized as “making peace with bad people.”  British documentary film-maker Peter Taylor states that we inevitably find ways to talk to psychopathic monsters (such as Bin Laden) and that it is reasonable to sacrifice Israel for the greater good (Peace on Earth and all that lovely ‘fluffy stuff’).  Given the 2016 revelations about Switzerland and Italy paying the PLO in exchange for the PLO not attacking Christians on Swiss or Italian soil (murdering Jews was fine) appeasement is simply part of an ideology of superficial situational morality summarized by a selective indifference to persecution.  That is also fascism.

What we all need to understand is that peace can only come to a conflict area when one side is not only defeated but also willing to sue for peace at any price.  The Muslim world is no-where near reaching that point.  It thinks it has history (and therefore time), on its side.   Aaron David Miller (adviser to both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state) has talked about negotiated settlements coming into two categories: “Outcomes are not transformative, they are transactional.” Negotiating a two state, one state or even a ‘no-state’ solution is dependent on what we want to achieve.  As solutions go, Israel has never been offered ‘Peace,’ not even by Egypt or Jordan, with whom Israel has peace treaties.  The outcome agreements with both nations provide for a framework of de-escalation only.  The ongoing hatred and prejudice demonstrated by Arab Egypt and Arab Jordan towards Jewish Israel are not what creates transformative, peaceful co-existence.   Independent think-tanks have demonstrated that the only realistic target for Egypt’s long term, massive arms-build up, is Israel.  Peace or long-term cease-fire? If it is only semantic then one would have to ask why Egypt has fallen into bankruptcy, been unable to feed its burgeoning population and yet it remains committed to a massive arms build-up?

Transformative agreements have never been promised by our Palestinian neighbors because they involve the renunciation of Islamic religious supremacy and an end to Arab imperialism.  There is no precedent for this.  And since the Arab Spring in 2011, religious and ethnic minorities have been subjected to public ethnic cleansing and public genocide as the Muslim world battles its own demons of religious intolerance and racism in front of the global press.   It has made no difference to outcomes that the press would highlight their crimes against humanity.

For New York Times journalists such as Michelle Goldberg justice is an inconvenient and messy principle that is only ever truly applied to the Zionist entity.  It is part of that wonderful echo chamber that defines the journalist for whom all the answers are in her head, if only we would listen.

About the Author
Maurice Solovitz is an Aussie, Israeli, British Zionist. He blogs at and previously at