Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Arabism (2)

Anti-Zionism is not reasoned, humanitarian opposition to the chauvinistic extremists lurking on the right side of the bell curve of opinion within the Israeli democracy. 

Instead, Anti-Zionism is predominantly opposition to the very existence of Jewish self-determination, not always, but often enough informed by Anti-Semitism, open or closeted. 

Those who deny this are in many cases being knowingly dishonest. (Keep pressing, it comes out eventually.)

A good many anti-Zionists are just plain ignorant. But perhaps the most morally malignant kind are those who use terms like ‘occupation’ and ‘genocide’ in the full knowledge that they are essentially inverting the situational and historical truth.

One can ask why it is different, even if not admirable, when Netanyahoo says “from the river to the sea”? One credible answer would be 'because his ancestors didn’t come to Israel as brutal invaders'. And he knows which river and which sea. He's referring to the ancient state called Israel, mentioned in the Bible, yet even more significantly mentioned 43 times in the Quran. (Guess how many times Palestine is mentioned in that book?) 

I'd liken the way Arabism functions to that part of Homer's Odyssey where Ulysses and his companions are moving along silently via the undersides of Polyphemus's flock. In this case the sheep are various codifications of ideology, religious and political, which permit the motion to appear to transcend its ethnic origin.

The Arab empire has no more been a fundamentally religious or even ideological phenomenon than the Spanish empire was a Catholic one.

Yet outside observers touch the back of the passing sheep and sense the alluringly fluffy shape of the ideas: Jihadism, resistance, anti-westernism, anti-Semitism, nihilism and much else, but these are in fact subsidiary to the primary expansionist urge — exploitable epiphenomena
given off by the Arabist imperial engine as it rather mutely pursues its goals, at once tribalist and geopolitical.


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