This is my six hundredth post.
Incandescence over at the Guardian's Comment Is Free site, after I posted the following comment, which has also appeared here as a post in the past:
"I loathe Zionism, one of only two ideologies ever to define "the Jews" as a "race", two ideologies that emerged from the same rancid intellectual swamp and whose adherents understandably fought the Second World War on the same anti-British side. I vividly recall my late father's reaction to the sight of Yitzhak Shamir on the television in the 1980s.
Furthermore, pan-Arabism, with its Christian roots, is at its best one of those fundamentally humane causes, like pan-Slavism or Bolivarianism, for which it is worth fighting precisely by reference to Christian roots, both against Marxism within, and against the neoconservative-Islamist alliance without.
And yet, when I look at the decision to give Fatah and Hamas a state each, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip respectively, I really do have to wonder if, badly off though the Israeli Arabs certainly are, they might not have it rather better than the rest of the Palestinian people.
Yes, Isreal has far to go to make real her utterly anti-Zionist claim that all her citizens are equal. But, if the choice had to be made, wouldn't you rather be an Arab citizen of Israel than a vassal of Fatah or Hamas?"
Unremarkable stuff, one would have thought.
Well, apparently not...
The likes of Irgun and Lehi (the Stern Gang), knowing that Britain was engaged in a World War with Nazi Germany, proceeded to wage a localised war against Britain. Within the global conflict of the time, on which side did that put them? Indeed, Lehi, whence came Yitzhak Shamir among others, nearly struck a deal with Germany in 1941.
Like so many things about the War, it is purely post facto to see it as about the persecution of the Jews; had that been the case, then it would have started sooner (if it ever started at all), the lineup on either side would have been quite different, and it would never have become a World War. This doesn't exactly say much for Britain, or France, or the US, or the USSR, or anyone else at the time. But it is the case.
However, the State of Isreal is now a fact, just as the Palestinians' sense of themselves as a distinct people is now a fact. How and when are no longer the most important questions (although they do matter) in either case. And my point was, after all, that, if the choice had to be made, one would rather be an Israeli Arab (i.e., a non-Jewish one - over the half the Jews in Israel are now Arabs) than live in Fatah's gangster state on the West Bank or in the Hamastan that the Gaza Strip has become.
So Israel should seize this opportunity in the eyes of the world. Probably, the vocabulary will have to be one of "moving beyond Zionism", but fine. What matters is that the Law of Return, which by guaranteeing residence to anyone arbitrarily defined as belonging to a Jewish "race" in which only the Nazis have otherwise believed (just read the Bible, for a start) permanently prevents equal citizenship on the part of non-Jewish Arabs, be repealed.
This would constitute a simple recognition of reality - that the Israelis are now a people quite distinct from (though, of course, related to, in various ways) any of the other generically Jewish peoples elsewhere in the world, and indeed maintain a state which neither Orthodox Jews nor the Anglo-American Right would, or in the former case actually do, find overly congenial. Furthermore, it would kill off the wildly impractical, but in principle still unanswerable, demand for a corresponding Palestinian right of return.
So, is Israel a member of the family of Western democracies, as she noisily proclaims? Or is she the only state in the world founded explicitly on an ethnically exclusive basis (and that of an essentially fictitious kind), and thus as far from that family as it is possible to be? Indeed, the decision as to which way to answer this appears already to have been made, even if not yet (nor ever, probably) announced in so many words, with the utterly anti-Zionist (or "post-Zionist", or whatever you want to call it) appointment of a Christian Arab to the Supreme Court and of a Muslim Arab as a Minister, to the fury of Zionist politicians.
Again, unremarkable stuff. One would have thought...?