It is important to note that English is not Oren Ben Dor’s native language and as the piece was long, I apologise for any mistakes contained within.
transcript of speech taken from www.arabichour.org (25/3/15) date of speech unknown.
Oren Ben Dor – A sense of justice, world Jewry and the one state solution.
“A sense of justice, world Jewry and the one state solution. In thinking about a sense of giving some Jew back, justice, and how relating this theme to world Jewry, and overcoming Zionism, there is a need to dwell nearer than any (programatic?) words of what ought to be done. Two states, one state, there are deep forces that may well make sure that neither will happen.
The ownership of tribal thinking goes very deep. And I think we should go, at least show the need to go that deep and I’ll try to articulate something that (acaim?) towards a French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard called the jews with a small j to distinguish it from actual Jews, as a phenomenon that belongs to human being and thinking. In the same way that terrorism is a phenomena that may be distinguished from actual terrorists. We must not be external and representational, of rights and duties, in thoughts and action. We must connect to what is, but not the is of unjust acts. but the is the deepest primordial self concealing is, the how of the people that perpetrate these acts, who justify rationalize them as no choice as we saw in the Lebanon destruction and the Gaza massacre.
Only then, mirroring an ethical reflection becomes possible. Without mediation, without hiding behind the seemingly most relevant, but nevertheless distant language of big yes’s and big no’s of programs and solutions. Current affairs is not yet the actuality of the actual. To just be an anti-Zionist however morally irrefutable it is and however in a sense Zionism causes the injustices in Palestine it is still not finding a connecting issue to the apartheid being and thinking of the people whose god (drows?) drove them into perpetrating and rationalizing these injustices done to the Palestinians in the Jewish name. Indeed Zionism may just be a symptom and not the cause, the latest (unity?) behind the no choice of the massacre in Gaza can give us a hint of the ways Zionism preserves through the economy of hatred and actually succeeds in preserving a certain paradox that it gets and succeeds by generating hatred against itself.
It is important to connect the Jewish and Zionist question, because pathologies of Zionism, its racist mentality, its righteousness and something that is not often mentioned, its self destructiveness and collective suicidal tendency that holds it together, its desire for self destructiveness as well as the stake in bestowing protection on the (free reign?) for having the desire to these self destructiveness, all these pathologies may be in the service of righteousness and agressive victim apartheid mentality that pertain to Jewish being and thinking. The reactions of Jews to Zionism could not be more varied and seemingly contradictory, sometimes supporting Zionism as Jews, sometimes oppose it as Jews. Very generally, surveying those reactions, of those making observations along the way, I would like to suggest that there is a point, and there is a pratical (run at that?) of arriving at a one state in Palestine when anti-Zionists should talk about the connections between being Jewish and being Zionist. I would like to suggest the possibility that Zionism is a historical manifestation of Jewish being, a negative one, whose foretold failure contributes to the further fortifications of Jewish being and thinking.That assimilating exile of a suppressed trauma of separation that characterizes their thinking.
The so called moderate, or left Zionist, claimed the right of Israel to exist in safe borders. By advancing this claim, they completely ignored the racist premise on which the state is based. This means that first they completely ignore highly marginalized or idefinately postponed the need to address past expulsions of Palestinians. A state with Jewish character and majority could only be established by the well planned programme of expulsions of 750,000 of indigenous people in Palestine. Second, they also ignore that superior stake in the Israeli state which is assigned to all those that pass the test of Jewishness. This superior stake, translates into in-built discriminations of non Jew Arabs in all walks of life from immigration to resources viewing them as a demographic threat. Yet nothing prevents these seemingly moderate Zionists from rigorously interpreting on egalitarian principles to other political conflicts in the world. Those seemingly moderate Zionists then confine their criticism of the Israeli state to the banner of ending the occupation and the 2 state solution. Side by side of stating the right of racist Israel to exist in safe borders.
The moral comdemnation of the state called for reforming but never to replace it with a state that would address past injustices and would provide for equality of citizenship for all its citizens. When confronted as to their contradictory position, those so called ‘lefties’, Zionists, some of whom are highly respected humanists, bring up their modern Jewish identification to the fore. This identification, which does not seem to be based on religion, involved conscriptions of ordering memory in the form of the collective trauma of anti-Semitism, pressure of assimilation and of the Jewish holocaust. They then claim it is in the Jewish interest as people and nation to have a Jewish state. Liberal Zionists then, claim that Israel is unique, and is a less than ideal solution tp a unique predicament, there is indeed no choice. As Joseph Masaad aptly puts it ‘Liberal Zionist Jews would claim in effect that Israel has the right to be racist’, no choice but to be racist. Namely the right to dispossess, to occupy, to discriminate.And this claim is the basis for their otherwise unexplained black spot of murderous righteousness. It is in their Jewish identification and I would say Jewish identification and I would say thinking and thinking like Jews that despite being secular that makes them righteous Zionists. Many Liberal Zionists oppose the so call Jewish fundamentalism but nevertheless would cling loyally to the horrible actions that are done in the name of the Jewish state, with no wink of the eye.
But here is a a point, they (left wing Zionists) can argue with an anti-Zionist about Zionism but..that would be manageable for them but the moment the anti-Zionist would connect Zionism to criticism of Jewish being and thinking liberal Zionists would vehemently oppose the move as going one step too far, describing the anti-Zionist as anti-Semitic or a self hating Jew. What causes this pathology of denial that enable so effectively rationalizations of this contradictory position of a Jew that rejects connecting anti-Zionism to the Jewish question? What is the nature of the internal fetter in operation here? We have to take their claim that Israel is unique and not relegate it to a mere oversight to be overcome. Liberal Zionists are indeed unique we must not tame them and the uniqueness of the contradictions of their being and thinking should not be tamed into some general humanism but rather is quite psychotic in nature is to be mirrored back to them; can anti-Zionism as is currently configured do that? I mean do that; finding a connective tissue to this psychosis rather than merely pointing something out to them? To criticize Zionism as immoral is as easy as pie, but to find the connective tissue to it, is very very hard. The more they are punished, the stronger the psychosis becomes.
Let us look at what is then; rather than the (representations??) of what ought to be; victim mentality, that hides aggression and supremacy, that living force and unity that is nourished by the desire to be hated stems before all else from sublimated hatred of and supremacy towards all others. That hatred of all others is a manifestation of self hating which is itself symptomatic of an unresolved trauma and separation from some basic human ability, some ethical ability of humans to respond, to mirror, to be responsable, to be (‘flicker’?) in the connectiveness of all living beings. The attributions of self hatred to anyone who criticizes Zionism being Jewish is a good clue to that collective psychosis of self hatred that they project onto others. The more this psychosis interacts with people whether violently or ethically it assimilates them into a column of victim-hood and hatred and when they do not like that and hate that all the better, the stronger the Zionist become. The economy of hatred is nothing but a project of deep sense of separation that must never be touched even if it comes at the price of rationalizing contradiction and when happens in nationalism contexts becomes must, must murder as I said, with a wink of the eye, like we saw in Gaza.
I would like to move from Liberal Zionist to Jews against Zionism. Modern lefty Jews against Zionism are like the liberal Zionists seek to first criticize and then neutralize the genuine Jewishness that liberal Zionists identify themselves with so they subject liberal Zionists to a genuine humanist critique; liberal or Marxist. Anti-Apartheid struggle like any other anti-Apartheid struggle. Why not saying just anti-Zionist; what is it that makes them Jews apart from the immediate expediency of calling themselves such so as to overcome any criticism of anti-Semitism by Zionists. Furthermore what makes their Jewishness such that it would object to Zionism. Modern secular Jews against Zionism is the most political correct way of entering the acceptable discourse of anti-Zionism. At the heart of this political correctness is a claim that the acknowledgement of the Jewish experience of persecution and anti-Semitism including the remembrance of those experiences must not lead to ethno-nationalism of the Zionist kind. The whole upshot of acknowledging the Jewish predicament whilst separating it from Zionism is to avoid playing into the hands of the new possible form of anti-Semites who would now resort to objections to the use made of the holocaust to justify the horrible actions that are now done by the state of Israel in the Jewish name.
The whole upshot of Jewish against Zionism, modern secular Jews against Zionism, left Jews, is to say not in my Jewish name. For Jews against Zionism, Zionism, abuse of the holocaust memory is precisely to forget the general humanist message of the holocaust. Thus for Jews against Zionism, political correctness dictates that it is not religious conflict but rather a colonial one which is rooted by colonial imperialist ideology. The possibility of this abuse by Zionism is a necessary continuation of the very pathology that they want to separate from it is ruled out, expelled, to the extent of which of which Zionism might continue the provocation that characterizes the mysterious history of anti-Jewish thinking however enlightened Jews who are involved in their communities in the diaspora and in exile a point the Jews against Zionism do not allow to bring to the surface, remains concealed and forgotten. Jews against Zionism separate the Jewish and the Zionist question. It is precisely this obsessive surrender to political connectedness, this convictions about exclusions of debating the authentic and fateful Jewish continuum between Zionism and the holocaust which makes both violent manifestations that both paved the way for preserving the Jewish faith which makes Jews against Zionism so very Jews.
It is the denial that there is something so Jewish in that which has provoked the holocaust and the dealing with which has been so successfully postponed by the holocaust. Furthermore, by the exclusion they allow Zionists to go on unhindered because Zionisms Jewish core is not allowed to be connected to. What makes so very key in the historicity of the survival of the Jewish being and thinking is not confronted. Jews against Zionism become indirect sophisticated Zionists despite their good and humane intentions. To wit Zionists in the sense of preventing any possibility of sticking a wedge in the denial, in foreclosing any possibility of genuine mirroring and by entrenching further the political correctness of separating Jews and Zionists. The Jewish Question disappears into a general humanist discourse, that is then represented as a moderate as opposed to fundamentalist Jewish thought. The necessity of expelling Jewish fundamentalism, thus opening a possibility of them to be the moderate and become very important in their efforts. Secular moderate Jews against Zionism is I contend (aids?) neutralize Jewish pathology in so far as concealing that pathology behind humanist ottitude, thus enabling the very Jewish pathology to unfold unhindered in history. The voice of Jews against Zionism and the political correctness of Palestinians that will say “we have nothing against the Jews” means that Zionism that is based on Judaism is thereby becoming either fundamentalist or if liberal based on overcoming misconceptions and misuse by Liberal Zionist Jews of Jewish history.
Further the result is that the Jews against Zionism makes their identity as Jews as incoherent and diluted. What exactly makes them Jews becomes (incorrected?) but nothing would prevent them for going and celebrate many feasts of hatred of all others. So my essential point is that if we look to the left’s broad responses, Jewish responses to Zionism we will find no help at all – the left has nothing, nothing to say in order to find a connective tissue to the Jewish pathology that actually moves Zionism and the deeper historicity that Zionism is just a fleeting phase of. So, not drowning in political correctness of the left, we try I think as anti-Zionists, stop being, (praming?) it into a conflict like apartheid south Africa or like Northern Island, no no no, it is a conflict that participates in historicity of the Jewish people and of the Jewish people it makes it a Jewish based conflict; Jewish based denial which is unique. If we don’t do this, we have become complicit with this different historicity. (applause)
And now I will have my last 3 minutes, take 3 minutes just to say if it is not in the left or rather seeing that the left is actually participating in a deeper story we have to look if we want to reconfigure anti-Zionism we actually have to look to the right wing of political, of Jewish reaction to Zionism. It’s there which we find the clue at last to the deeper historicity that the Jews are, or Zionism is a part of. something that the left tries to forget, to conceal. The right wing Jewish broadly divided into two camps, I’ve no time to develop that, one camp is the Haredim, who are, object to Zionism out of a doctrine of waiting of passivity. As professor (Ovitzky?) told us, not trying to force the end. It’s not that they like Zionism, they absolutely abhor it, and live completely in exile, continuous exile from it, but it is passive waiting. And they just observe the gradual decline of the political modern identity of Judaism.
The other camp, is the camp of the religious Zionists, is a camp that actually connects, to er, um, is more sophisticated in the sense that it tries to connect to the here and now in a dialectical matter that says ‘okay for the time being we’ll use political Zionism, secular Zionism as a donkey of the messiah by collaborating with it. And they become more and more Zionist, more and more sanctifying the land, redeeming it, but as their spiritual father of the religious Zionists Rav Avraham Cook says look Zionism I am collaborating with it, when he commented on Herzl and so on. Em, Zionism I collaborate with it, but it is fleeting, it is a fleeting phenomenon, in a big history, in a big redemption, it will go through a destructive phase, it is destructive, because it has this internal contradiction that leads it to self destructiveness. But this self destructiveness has a positive role in history, a positive role to play, in the overcoming and waiting for the redemption. So what I want to say, what we are observing, the self suicide of Zionism, the generations of hatred against itself, the connections, the concealment of the left, to actually nourish that pathology, the idea that this pathology is just temporal and will self destruct leads us to see that Zionism is in fact, and Ill end with that, Zionism is in fact, is a symptom of a coming conflict, recurring conflict, which is not just tameable, to a colonial conflict. It is a conflict that characterizes human thought between two ways of looking at the relationship between human beings and the divine. One which is based on separation, chosenness, victim hood and is not confined only to real Jews, but another one which relates with Spinoza, with Buddhism and with Heideger who was silent on the issue of the Jews, relates again to the mysterious connectedness to all being. So being just anti-Zionism is not enough, I think we have to look at the deeper picture, because otherwise, we many be complicit with the deeper history that only the right wing understands.” (applause)