Pity the Apologetic Zionist

These are difficult days for Apologetic Zionists.

Just put yourself in their shoes.  You had blocked on Twitter the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, Jewish (what a pain) and non-Jewish alike. One day the Labour Party will pick up your offer, that educational program on “How to wish for the end of Zionism without being perceived as antisemitic”. Your non-Jewish Corbynite friends will enrol in such a class, and the Jewish Corbynite friends will be the teachers. That day you will be praised for building bridges; but for the moment, what a painful feeling of isolation – on Twitter.

You had fought to impose your narrative of Jewish history, to the rest of the Jewish world who persist in believing that we deserve a State, after a couple of millennia of exile and persecutions.

“There’s not only suffering in Jewish history”, you screamed.  The rest of the Jewish world replied: “Yes, we know it already, thank you. In fact, we do well in the UK for the moment” (Mummy from the kitchen shouted: “Are you still on Facebook, darling?”).

And then you continued: “There is also Palestinian suffering”.  The rest of the Jewish world replied: “Thank you for posting the link to the Guardian, is there a paywall?”.

What one must do for Tikkun Olam: teaching to the Jews that you can read the Guardian for free on the Internet. And they still don’t do it!

And then the annexation balagan. You thought that Jews were ready for your message: “We must apologise to the Palestinians”. You were prepared to introduce yourself as the carrier of truly Jewish values; and obviously apologise, because after all apologies are your forte and your reason for being (Jewish).

But then the annexation disappeared from the media. Had it happened, it would have proved your point. I mean, everything proves the Apologetic Zionists’ points always. But this time even more. Israel was about to become something to be ashamed of. Something to apologise for.

You have been waiting for this moment from the 2015 Yachad-funded survey… It would have been the proper time, for Apologetic Zionists all over North London to advocate for the inclusion in Jewish institutions – of Apologetic Zionists themselves.

Indeed after “You shall support the Two-States Solution” the Apologetic Zionist’s 12th Commandment is: “We must include into the conversation also those Jews whom we don’t like”. Which admittedly sounds better than: “I want to talk about antisemitism only with Jews who think that Jeremy Corbyn is a good man”.

Had that time come? Not yet. The annexation disappeared from the agenda (something for which one must thank Donald Trump!), and with it, the need for inclusion of Apologetic Zionists. What a mess. It’s so hard to be an Apologetic Zionist when there’s nothing to apologise for.

For a moment, it seemed that the Black Lives Matter movement was good news for the Apologetic Zionist. (Ashkenazi) Jews are white, or so they want to be perceived so there is much to apologise for! But Black Lives Matter, strangely enough for a UK based movement, focus on racial discriminations in the UK. They seem not interested in Middle Eastern politics. Moreover, they tear down monuments to slave merchants that were not Zionist. This is a challenge for the Apologetic Zionist: coming to term with the fact that some evil in the world’s history is not caused by Israel!

A ray of hope seemed to come from social media. Ice Cube (a rapper! and a Black man!) tweeted some horrible stuff expressing support for Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam (a Muslim!).  That was wonderful. Antisemitism from the Muslim community. The Apologetic Zionist thought that the proper time has arrived to express understanding for the pain caused by Israel.

Antisemitism from a Black rapper. What a great opportunity to apologise on behalf of the Jewish community! “Perhaps Jews did not play the big role in the slave trade, which Jackie Walker occasionally refers to: perhaps [pause]. But certainly, if we focus only on Jewish suffering, then the price for our privilege ends up top be paid by the Black community (hint: and the Palestinians!)”. That was a great speech, the Apologetic Zionist had it ready from months and rehearsed it on social media. Ice Cube seemed the proper person to appear next to, in a reconciliatory picture, standing up together against White (and Zionist) privilege.

But then came the terrible news. On July 28, 2020 Ice Cube had spoken over the phone to Morton A. Klein. I mean: MORT KLEIN! If there is someone who embodies everything despised by the Apologetic Zionist, everything that the Apologetic Zionist thinks it’s wrong in the Jewish community, that person is Mort Klein. Born in 1947 to a couple of Holocaust survivors in a displaced persons camp (Jewish sufferings? check). Chair of the Zionist Organisation of America (Right Wing Zionism? check) Member of the Board of Governors of Ariel University (Settlements? check). Dared to contradict Obama (Support for the Occupation? check) and -worse- Natalie Portman (Doesn’t trust Palestinian leaders? check). A supporter of freedom os speech for Zionist students on campus (Anti-woke? check). A campaigner against the Boycott Divestment Sanction movement (Use of the IHRA definition of antisemitism? check).

Mort Klein is definitively the WRONG KIND OF JEW.

Nonetheless, this is the Jew whom a black rapper has chosen to send a message of reconciliation to the Jewish community. What a terrible choice. There was a crowd of Apologetic Zionists to choose from, but Ice Cube has deliberately ignored them. Try to imagine how do they feel now. Has he not empathy? Has he no compassion for them, as Zionists, as Jews, and as human beings?

Ice Cube now “deeply regrets putting out that” F. (for Farrakhan) stuff. Worse, he agrees with Mort Klein that the Jews need a State for their own survival and that State must be a Jewish State. Agreeing with a Right-wing Zionist, son of Holocaust survivors, on the definition of Jewish State: a severe wound to the sensitivity of masses of Apologetic Zionist Twitter accounts.

Because precisely this is what the Apologetic Zionist is ready to give up, after drinking from the wisdom of Peter Beinart. True Zionism is opposed to the right for the unwashed masses of darker-skinned (Israeli) Jews to choose their own government. It seems that Ice Cube now does not agree. Perhaps he needs education? How much suffering is caused by Jews like Mort Klein, the wrong kind of Jews.

But the Apologetic Zionist never loses hope. This sad state of things proves the need, for the Jewish masses and for Ice Cube alike, to be educated. Let us advertise again the educational training which the Labour Party continues to ignore… Didn’t you know how blatant racism is in the UK Jewish community? I mean: there are even Zionist Rabbis! (I have read the names on JewDas’ web site. Some comrade is ready to do justice…).

About the Author
Italian by birth, Israeli by choice, Rabbi of the largest synagogue in Sussex (UK). Uncompromising Zionist.
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