Michael Berkowitz
Michael Berkowitz

Things I haven’t heard about Israel: Part 0

This is the zeroth installment in what may be a series of several essays.  Zeroth because, belying the title, this is something that I have heard about Israel.  As such, I wouldn’t expect to add anything fresh to the discussion and would therefore refrain from posting, but it was pointed out to me that without first putting this matter to rest subsequent posts might be irrelevant.

I’m talking about whether Israel is a colonial state.  Typically one thinks of colonial enterprises as involving a state sending its citizens to conquer some territory for purposes of exploitation.  That generally falls apart when it comes to Israel because nobody can say what state Israel is a colony of.

Such being the case, the propaganda battleground shifted to “settler colonialism”, in which a foreign group — with or without state backing — displaces an indigenous population.

(As an aside, I wonder whether the term “settler colonialism” was used before it was applied to Israel, and whether the term itself was meant to conflate with the despised Israeli “settlers”.)

If one buys into this idea then Israel is supposedly an immoral enterprise from the get-go.

The reasons why one shouldn’t buy into it are cogently laid out in this piece from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, so I’m not going to rehash them.  I will wonder aloud, though, what prompts people to such vehemence about dismantling Israel while giving the United States, Canada, China, Turkey, Mexico, Peru and all the others a pass.  I understand that there’s no point in attacking those countries because there’s no chance of success, but there’s not a lot of chance of wiping Israel off the map either — not least because the seven million Jews there have no place else to go — and anyway, a lot of people with no real connection to the matter spend a lot of time and energy on this, so what gives?

With this out of the way I hope to publish Part 1 soon, so stay tuned.

About the Author
Michael and family moved from NYC to Alon Shvut in 1986. He works in Software; blogs sporadically on education, public policy and whatever else comes to mind; chairs the boards of two educational institutions and practices philosophy in the ancient tradition of corrupting the minds of youth.
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