Thursday, October 14, 2021

  • Thursday, October 14, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
The socialist, anti-Israel "Jewish Currents" site published a comic by JB Brager that positions itself as a sober argument against Jewish indigeneity to Israel. 

Like all good propaganda, it hand-picks the pro-Zionist arguments it wants to debunk, twists them, and then gives its own answers from within its own false framing. People who agree with the anti-Israel side think they have read a brilliant work that demolishes the Zionist arguments taken one by one. But in reality it ignores the real arguments and engages in a lot of misdirection and handwaving to make it look like it is objective.

Brager self-describes as a a "white, Jewish, queer & trans self-taught comics artist, illustrator and PhD currently living in Brooklyn, NY, Lenapehoking." They gained publicity when they were fired from an elite New York school for tweeting support for a speaker who said that Jews have become the same as Nazis. 

The comic claims to show how Jews are rebranding themselves as non-white natives of Israel when in fact, they claim, Zionists made that all up to give Jews a common ethnic identity. 

Their final frame:



While it is true that Zionists emphasize that argument of being a people, it doesn't mean that it isn't true. And in no way does Brager disprove it, instead using misdirection of pretending to address it. Like here:


There are no references or footnotes to the idea that DNA research is useless past seven generations. Brager appears to be mixing up the popular, commercial DNA tests like 23AndMe and the more rigorous testing done by scientists. 
 
This is the sort of half-truth that can be seen throughout the comic. 

The comic begs for fisking, but that is not how to debunk it. 

The fact that Brager quotes Herzl as referring to "colonization" but not Herzl when he says "we aspire to our ancient land" shows that they pick and choose the arguments they want and discard the rest.

 The fact that they base so much of their argument on the idea that Jews returning to Zion is "settler colonialism" without mentioning the many arguments against it show that they are not intellectually honest. 

The fact that they  conclude their argument with this photo as proof of Zionist racism while deliberately erasing the cover of the book to show that the Arab woman had snatched the angry man's Psalms seconds before proves Brager's mendacity.



But in the end there are much more obvious proofs that Brager's theses are wrong to begin with.

The idea that Jews are a people and a nation is not a new Zionist idea. On the contrary - the idea that Jews are only a religion and not more is a brand new anti-Zionist idea, created specifically to disconnect Jews from their ancient homeland. The words "Hebrew nation" and "Jewish nation" in describing contemporary Jews can be seen hundreds of times in pre-Zionist literature - both from Jews and non-Jews.





And not only from the West but from the East as well, as in this announcement from the Ottoman Empire that they will protect members of "the Jewish nation" in their areas:


And of course Jewish scripture itself never refers to Jews as a religion but as a people and a nation (this example is 1 Chronicles 17, said weekly in prayers):



Beyond that, Jews didn't only start yearning for Zion with Zionism. Without any political organization, Jewish leaders have returned to Zion throughout the Diaspora - because, for them, Israel is where Jews belong. It is widely considered to be a Biblical commandment for Jews to move to Israel. For example, many prominent French rabbis moved to Israel in 1211 CE, rabbinical giant Nachmanides moved there in 1270. A bit before anyone heard of Herzl.

This idea of Judaism linked with Zion permeates Jewish prayer and Jewish thought. Anyone who is Jewishly literate would know all this. The claim that Jewish ties to Israel are a new phenomenon, or is peculiarly linked to modern Zionism, is gaslighting on a global scale.

Brager goes into antisemitic territory when they claim that Jews asserting their own heritage, history and links to Israel are "eugenics and racial fascism." 

That isn't an attack on Zionism - it is hate-filled attack on Judaism itself.

This comic is anti-Jewish bigotry of the most basic kind using the language of wokeness. 








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