Events around date of publication of this item.
The End of Zionism?
: The End of Zionism?By
: Yoram Hazony Published in
: Azure: Ideas for the Jewish Nation
, issue 1Date of issue
: Summer 1996Topic(s) addressed
Commentary (by JB) Abstract
A Zionist attack on Post-Zionism.
"In their worst nightmares," wrote Yoel Marcus, perhaps Israel’s most respected columnist and a long-time Labor supporter, "neither Yitzhak Rabin nor Shimon Peres could have imagined himself twenty-five years ago as the architect of a government that would take Israel back to its pre-1967 borders. But this is exactly what they are doing.…" Marcus asked Israelis to "leave for a moment the preoccupation with the headlines of the hour" and consider "the really dramatic revolution taking place." The reason that the Golan Heights, Bethlehem and Jerusalem could be put on the negotiating block without pandemonium in the streets is the nearly total collapse of the Jewish nationalist ideology which built the state.
"Our people has long since tired of bearing Zionism on its shoulders generation after generation," Marcus observed bitterly. "While the Arabs have remained faithful to their ideology of the holiness of the land … Israel is ready to withdraw lightly from the lands that were the cradle of Judaism" in exchange for "personal safety and a ‘normal’ life."
While literary figures have long led the effort to create a post-Zionist consciousness in Israel, recent years have seen an even more pronounced effort on the part of academics. The 1967 Six Day War immediately inspired attacks by opponents of nationalism such as Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who claimed that Israel was undergoing nazification, that Israel’s soldiers had become "Judeo-Nazis," and that Israel would soon be setting up concentration camps4—a leitmotif soon mimicked and elaborated upon by other prominent intellectuals such as Amos Funkenstein (winner of the Israel prize) and the historian Moshe Zimmermann. In the last two decades, these seemingly far-out expressions of hatred for Zionist power have paved the way for a more "scientific" delegitimization of the Jewish state by historians, sociologists and journalists offering more acceptable versions of the same themes: Zionism was a colonialist movement, said
Ilan Papo [sic -- presumably he means Ilan Pappe]. It forcibly expelled the Arab refugees from their homes in 1948, said Benny Morris. It fabricated a false connection between the Jews and the land, said Boas Evron. It used the Holocaust to advance its political ends, said Tom Segev. And so on.