Monday, September 20, 2010

Making anti-semitism sound intellectual

M. Shahid Alam is a professor of economics at Northeastern University. As a professor, he knows a lot of big words. He's also an academic fraud and a borderline anti-semite.

Check out this recent piece he published at a far-left website where he tries to explain why Zionism was successful and colonial adventures from major world powers were not.(It is apparently an excerpt from a book of his.)
How did the Jewish colons [sic] in Palestine succeed in creating an exclusionary colonial settler state in the middle of the twentieth century, and continue to grow with support from a surrogate mother country, while the French colons in Algeria, the Italians in Libya or the British colons in Kenya had to give up their colonial projects?

The answer to this question is simple. The white colons in Algeria, Libya, or Kenya simply did not have enough influence over the mother country—over France, Italy, and Britain—to overrule what the elites in the mother country had decided was in their interest: to pull out of their colonies. The Jewish colons in Palestine had more power than the white colons in Algeria, Libya, and Kenya. Where did their power come from?

The success of Jewish colons in Palestine and the failure of the colons in Algeria, Libya, or Kenya is a paradox. The French, Italian, and British settlers had a natural mother country, a country of origin, with whose people they shared an ethnic bond. The Jewish colons in Palestine did not have a natural mother country, a powerful Jewish state to support their colonial project. Yet, their colonizing project succeeded, and they drove out the Palestinians to create a nearly pure Jewish state in Palestine. The Jewish colons did not pull off this feat on their own; they succeeded because of their ability to recruit the greatest Western powers, and many others besides, to support their colonial project. Somehow, the Zionists turned what could well have been a fatal deficiency for their colonial project – the absence of a natural mother country – into their greatest asset. They gained the freedom to pick and choose their mother country.

How did the Zionists bring this about? The Jews were not a majority in any country, but there existed a Jewish minority in nearly every Western country. In itself, the presence of Jewish minorities could not have been a source of strength; a weak Jewish minority in any country could do little to help their coreligionists in another country. What made the Jewish minorities different was that they carried a weight that far outweighed their numbers. Over the course of the nineteenth century, they had become an important, often vital, part of the financial, industrial, commercial, and intellectual elites in several of the most important Western countries, including Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Moreover, the most prominent members of these elites had cultivated ties with each other across national boundaries.

Once these Jewish elites, spread across the key Western countries, had decided to support the Zionist project, they would become a force in global politics. On the one hand, this would tempt the great powers to support Zionism, if this could buy them the help of the Jewish communities, based in a rival or friendly power, to push their host country in a desirable direction. Conversely, once the Zionists recognized this tendency, they too would seek to win support for their cause by offering the support of Jewish communities in key Western countries. ...In September 1917, this competition persuaded Britain, at a difficult moment in the execution of its war, to throw its support behind the Zionist project.

Anxious to conceal the power of the Jewish lobby, Zionists often argue that the Western powers supported Zionism only because the Jewish state served their strategic interests in the Middle East. We have shown that Zionism was in conflict with the long-term interests of Britain and the United States. Exigencies of war and the presence of a strong contingency of Christian Zionists in the cabinet of Lloyd George explain British support for the Balfour Declaration in 1917. On the other hand, the strong U.S. support in 1948 for the partition of Palestine – and later – was the product of a domestic Jewish lobby.

Alam's entire thesis rests on one simple lie: that Zionism is colonialism. Once that idea is accepted, then he must jump through ridiculous hoops to figure out why these powerful Zionist Jews from Europe and the US - so powerful that they couldn't convince their host countries to bomb the railroad lines to Auschwitz - managed to take poor, homeless, oppressed immigrants and place them as white interlopers into an Arab nation and force them to stay while under daily attack by Arabs.

Not even once does Alam consider that the Jews themselves had a millenia-long connection to their own homeland. Never does Alam entertain the notion that only a people who feel connected to the land will fight to the death for it; while the Arab inhabitants who never considered themselves "Palestinian" had much less incentive to stay and fight rather than emigrate to one of the many other Arab countries that they had traversed for centuries.

The anti-Israel crowd will never get it because they don't want to admit that Jews do have a deep, emotional connection to the Land of Israel. French people never wanted to live in Algeria, Italians never yearned for Libya and British never pined for Kenya. But Jews have prayed to return to Zion - daily - since Biblical times. But accepting that Jews are a nation means that Jews have the right to self-determination - anathema to academic fakes like Alam.

This is the "simple answer" that eludes genteel anti-semites like Alam. Accepting that Jews are a nation and are not just a religious group would upset his entire edifice of Zionism as colonialism. Instead he constructs a bizarre scenario, with zero proof: a story of outsized Jewish influence in the West in the 19th and early 20th centuries, where the stupid Westerners were manipulated by clever powerful Jews into supporting a national movement that, according to Alam, was against their own interests!

This pseudo-intellectual is forced to downplay or ignore innate cultural, historic and religious Jewish ties to Israel - all because he wants the world to accept the lie of Zionist as colonialist.