Of Red Herrings and Soft Zionists
Re: Uri Avnery's recent Counterpunch piece entitled "Red Herring: Condi and Hamas"
Now Uri Avnery is a chap who means well. He has had a long career combating some of the more vicious aspects of Zionism as they have manifested themselves over the years. But he is at base a soft Zionist, unable to think
outside of the box or rather the walled ghetto concept inherent in a religiously-based political entity, always finding ways to subtly justify the continuance of that ghetto. I found the first three sentences of his article particularly striking, as Avnery describes a Hamas meeting that he addressed:"The experience was almost surrealistic: I was in a hall in the centre of Gaza, facing some 500 people, all of them bearded men, nearly all of them Hamas militants.
The Hamas movement officially opposes the very existence of the State of Israel, and here I stand on the podium speaking in Hebrew about peace between Israel and the future State of Palestine.
Did they protest? On the contrary, they applauded, and after the event I was invited to lunch with the respected sheikhs."
It occurred to me that a quick word substitution in these sentences would produce a genuinely surreal depiction, far surpassing what Avnery deemed "surreal":"The experience was almost surrealistic: I was in a hall in the centre of Kiryat Arba, facing some 500 people, all of them bearded men, nearly all of them settler militants.
The settler movement officially opposes the very existence of Palestinians and here I stand on the podium speaking in Arabic about a single, secular democratic state in Palestine.
Did they protest? On the contrary, they applauded, and after the event I was invited to lunch with the respected rabbis."
The utter impossibility of these edited opening sentences juxtaposed against the actual event about which Avnery writes is instructive on several levels, but most particularly it highlights the complete failure of progressive or "soft" Zionists like Avnery to comprehend the deep racism of Zionist ideologues upon whose behalf they expend considerable effort in mitigation.