Very few people would consider Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple
, to be worthy of assassination. Yet conservative Jewish voices have, in fact, called for her murder
because she feels that Israel's indefensible treatment of the Palestinians mandates a boycott of that nation.
One of the charges against Walker is that she has (allegedly) equated Israel's genocidal policies with those of the Third Reich.Yet her critics express themselves in a fashion indistinguishable from the hate-mongering of Julius Streicher:
For having the temerity to step outside of the invisible plantation in which a patronizing Jewish establishment has long consigned the black intelligentsia and political class, Walker is being subjected to a level of racist venom that one might expect from a KKK journal.
When one of Algemeiner’s commenters, Eric R., calls for “Mossad to deal with her” and another commenter, Boston University history professor, Richard Landes, replies that “this is a stupid comment and should have been moderated out,” Eric R. writes back to justify his virtual call for her to be eliminated, Mossad style:
“Tell me, Professor Landes, why you are against Israel dealing with her and other Nazis in this manner? Don’t just give me a reflexive ‘How awful! We can’t say that!’ How else are you going to stop such hatred coming from such sick, hate-filled scum like Walker, who is basically inciting people to genocide? Persuade them? This woman is deranged by her hate, and can no longer be reasoned with. People like her who support and incite people to murder Jews are just as bad as the suicide bombers themselves….
“Israel is dealing with two genocidal groups that increasingly dominate the world – Marxists and Islamists. Playing nice will no longer work with such brutal totalitarian ideologies. To survive, Israel will have to play some very brutal hard ball. That is just a fact of life in an increasingly intolerant, anti-Semitic and totalitarian world. Trying to silence me does not change that.”
Translation: "We Jews are allowed to do anything we want -- anything at all, up to and including the murder of a peaceful and law-abiding writer. And if you protest, we will call you an anti-Semite."
(The world is dominated by "Marxists"? Sheesh. I doubt that Marxists dominate even one
of the coffee houses outside the entrance to the University of California at Berkeley.)
I know that many Jews, both within and outside Israel, do not share this Nazi-fied mentality. Many Jews understand that race-based hatred and ethnic supremacism will inevitably prove self-destructive. But few understand that there is one fundamental way in which Israel is actually worse
than Hitler's Germany.
The Germans had a right
to live on German land. They did not have a right to invade other lands, and they did not have a right to persecute minority populations. But the Germans had a right to live in Germany.
No Jew ever had a right to set foot in the land now called Israel -- not Ben-Gurion, not Jesus, not Saul, not Solomon. This fact of history is clearly indicated by the Jewish scriptures themselves -- the books of Joshua and Judges and the Pentateuch, which unashamedly state that the Jews took the land through an inexcusable campaign of terror and genocide. (The scriptures also state that they used their barbaric tribal military deity, Yahu, as their ultimate fall-god: "We had no choice but to kill all those people. Yahu told us to do it.")
Of course, scholars debate the historicity of these ancient texts. If those accounts are accurate, then the state was rotten in its very origins. If those accounts are mythical, then the foundation myth of that state is what I call a "psychotoxic text." (That's my term for any text designed to drive its readers mad. Algemeiner
, quoted above, seems to be a psychotoxic periodical.)
Of course, I am always quick to note that my own nation was founded on the toxic myth of manifest destiny. The resultant genocide of the Native Americans was no myth. Although historical parallels are never exact, this particular historical parallel is pretty damned close
to exact: What the Israelis have done -- are doing -- to the Palestinians (the rightful owners of that land) recapitulates what white Americans did to the Chumash (the rightful owners of my boyhood home) and the Piscataways (the rightful owners of the place where I now reside).
So, yes -- one may fairly argue that Americans and Israelis are alike in original sin. But that resemblance hardly justifies Israel's continued existence as a "Jewish nation." That entire concept is racist. Moreover, I would wager most Americans, both Jewish and gentile, secretly know
that the idea of a "Jewish nation" is racist, although few will allow themselves to speak those words aloud.
I once favored a two-state solution. Now, the only fair outcome seems to be a single state in which the vote extends to all persons living under the rule of that government -- and in which the Palestinians now bottled up in Gaza and other concentration camps have the right of return. Those Jews in Israel who can accept life within a true, non
-racist democracy -- one which seeks to rectify historical injustices against the Palestinians -- should be treated with perfect equality and fairness. Those Jews who remain too arrogant and bigoted to live alongside non-Jews must leave. Decent people should not care one jot if the insular and the insolent have no home.
The Holocaust does not justify the Nakba.