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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"We're not against Jews. We're against non-Arab Israeli citizens"

972mag's Noam Sheizaf brings us a fantastic example of how Arabs will never accept the existence of Jews as equals in the Middle East.

A Jordanian "anti-normalization" group put out a notice to ban all "Zionists" from traveling to Jordan to attend an after-party with a popular Lebanese band called Mashrou Leila (that recently canceled a gig opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Beirut because the RHCP are playing in Israel.) Apparently, many anti-Zionist Israelis are big fans of the band.

Well, that's not quite true. The "anti-normalization" letter says it intends to ban all Zionists, but its definition of Zionist is interesting:

Finally, we would like to inform you clearly that despite your confirmation and that of your associates here in Amman, that the event you're organizing will not host any Zionists (to be clear we take this stand against all Israeli nationality holders that are non Arab) we are still taking certain measures to ensure that you will abide by your word on this matter, fully realizing and taking into consideration the continuous arguments and justifications in favor of accompanying Zionists to the event here in Amman. We simply reject all Zionists' irrelevant of their race, political or religious orientations or beliefs.

We are very vigilant to all cultural events in Amman and we will have narrow to the ground during Mashrou Leila, so we urge you to keep your word and promise to keep our events and country zionist-free.
Now, a number of vehemently anti-Israel Jewish citizens of Israel - people who completely share the Arab desire to destroy Israel and create a single "Palestine" from the river to the sea - were offended by this letter. Here is a dialogue between "Noa" and Jordanians who make it quite clear that if she is a true anti-Zionist, she should leave the country she was born in because she is Jewish:

Noa: (Israeli) Cau I ask a question?

how come Zionists are “all Israeli nationality holders that are non-Arabs”, but then you say you reject all Zionists, irrelevant of their race and religious orientation”?

I was born Jewish in Israel. I have fought all my life along with my rifaq, the Palestinians of 48′, and other anti Zionist Jews as myself, against Zionism inside Israel.

I refused to serve in the Israeli occupation army and my friends sat in jail 2 years for that refusal. I’m involved with bi-National anti Zionist activism for years, and I can tell you more if you’re interesting. you can also ask Palestinian activists from here, they can tell you, I’m sure.

I’m also sure you can guess how the Israeli mainstream treats Jewish anti-Zionists as myself.

But then you call me a Zionist, just for being a non-Arab Israeli – well, these identities are ones I was born with. I chose to be an anti Zionist, and your decision to ignore this choice and see me as a Zionist just for my Jewish family goes against all the other things you say.

Your attempts to set the Palestinians of 48′ apart from their Jewish anti-Zionist allies hurts the possibility of struggle for both sides, and pushes us anti Zionist Jews back to our original community, and away from the connections with the activists who can teach us about the Palestinian reality and fight with us against the Israeli apartheid.

So actually you want me to be Zionist?

Of you just don’t care, I was born a Jew and that’s all I can ever be?

Palestinian from Jordan ALL CITIZENS OF THE ILLEGAL STATES OF “ISRAEL” ARE A PART OF THE ZIONIST COLONIAL PROJECT, EXCEPT THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE OF PALESTINE, AND SO, ALL THOSE WHO SERVE THE ZIONIST PROJECT ARE ZIONISTS FOR US, REGARDLESS OF THEIR RACE, RELIGIOUS BELIEVES OR DISBELIEVES OR POLITICAL VIEWS, FOR DISAMBIGUATION, ANY NON-ISRAELI JEW IS NOT A ZIONIST, ANY PALESTINIAN JEW IS NOT ZIONIST, AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT SERVE THE ZIONIST COLONIAL PROJECT BY OTHER MEANS THAN CITIZENSHIP

Noa: How do I serve the Zionist project? I was among the organizers of the refusal movement, of Jewish Israelis who refuse to serve the Israeli army, my male friends sat years in jail because they refused to serve. I was born in Israel and so were my parents. My grand parents were refugees from three different countries – where is that you want to send me? Poland, Romania or Hungary? I have no other citizenship, and I have fought against the Zionist regime more than most of your friends.

So if you still judge me just on the background of my birth, what does it make you?

Palestinian from Jordan YOU CAN ASK FOR YOUR ORIGINAL CITIZENSHIP AS WE SHOULD DEMAND FOR OURS

Noa wanna split me into 3 different pieces?

I belong here, and not going anywhere else.

I believe you need to start to differentiate between Jewish and Zionist. The struggle against Zionism is the struggle to live together in an open and equal democratic state of Palestinians and Jews together, and not the struggle to return back to the past and send all the Jews away in a second Nakba. Otherwise you’re no better than the Zionists.

Zeina (Palestinian): Noa, you keep throwing religion into this, while the letter is clearly not making any distinctions on the basis of religion. Rather, it is the Zionist movement that is claiming Palestine as a land for Jews. There were Palestinian Jews coexisting in Palestine with Christians and Muslims long before 1948, for us, it is not about religion. The issue is very simple, any person who came from anywhere else in the world to live in Palestine under the so called name of “Israel” is serving the Zionist project. I don’t think I need to remind you that every one of you is living in the place of a Palestinian that was either martyred or expelled. For us, it is Palestine, always has been and always will be. A true anti-Zionist would pick and up and leave the land to its native inhabitants: Muslims, Christians, Jews, or atheists; doesn’t really matter as long as they are Palestinian.

Noa: Jaffa is my only homeland, dear Zeina.

Colonialism is different in different contexts, and unlike the French in Algeria, in this context there’s no metropolin to return to. The Jews were thrown here because of hirtorical events unconnected to Palestine, but after 3 generations, we’ve mixed so much, cut all our roots in our previous countries and grown roots in here. That’s the reality of our generation, and if you stll think 6 million people need to be uprooted again, and no joined future is possible, well – you sound just like the Zionists to me.

972, which is a magazine by and for Jewish anti-Zionists, is clearly uncomfortable with this exchange showing that no matter how much Jews try to twist themselves into pleasing Arabs, they will still be considered "Zionist."

Sheizaf, in order to be able to square his readings of virulent anti-semitism among his friends and heroes, manages to come up with a further fantasy to deepen his cognitive dissonance:
At the end, I feel that what the recent Facebook conversation showed is the futility of any form of “dialogue” at this point in time. As long as the political issue remains unsolved, such contacts make both sides more angry and “extreme.” The heart of the matter are the issues on the ground – the occupation, the refugee problem – and when these are solved, or even when there are some real steps taken in the right direction, I believe that rhetoric and ideologies will change too, at least in the mainstream.
Noam, why resort to putting your head in the sand? The answer may be even simpler. Just read these words out loud: "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet."

Now there is a slight chance that you can be the equal you dream of living in a liberal Arab society, as you watch your Jewish - I mean "Zionist" -  former friends being shipped out of the Middle East in cattle cars.

And when that happens, you can scream Allah Akbar with your fellow "Palestinians" and hope that your embrace of Islam will help you avoid being discriminated against  - for another year or two.

It's all about "justice," right?

(h/t Sasha)