Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gorenberg - Facile, Fraudulant and Fake

Most recently, there was Gershom Gorenberg in The New Prospect. (Pssst. Richard Silverstein considers him a "liar". Two years ago, he was praising Benny Morris in The New York Review of Books.

In a recent appearance, he said:

...there are three things necessary to restablish Israeli democracy: The separation of synagogue and state, the graduation from being a national liberation movement to one that takes care of its citizens, and an end to the occupation...American Jews need to give up idea of a besieged Zionism...

Back in 2006, he had written in Building Nowhereland in the Washington Post:

Out on Highway 60, the bulldozers are at work...Once again they are changing the face of the land in a way that makes life far more difficult for Palestinians while damaging Israel's own long-term interests.

Actually, at least security-wise, the fence, in the long-term, has proven that the territories must be retained someway/somehow by Israel. For me, that's quite useful.

Now, in Israel’s Other Occupation in the New York Times, his piece is summarized as

The ethnic conflict in the West Bank is metastasizing into Israel, threatening its democracy and unraveling its society.

And in the article, he states

JEWS began settling in occupied territory weeks after the Israeli conquest of 1967. The strategy of settlement was born before Israeli independence in 1948, when Jews and Arabs fought for ethnic dominance over all of British-ruled Palestine. By settling the land, Jews sought to set the borders of the future Jewish state, one acre at a time. Post-1967 settlers, though they saw themselves as a vanguard, were really re-enacting the past, reviving an ethnic wrestling match — this time backed by an existing Jewish state.

Now, the attitudes and methods of West Bank settlement are inevitably leaking back across a border that Israel does not even show on its maps.

Let's be clear, (a) Jews have been "settling" in the Land of Israel for 3500 years and throughout the period of Dispersion and loss of political independence - under Roman, Byzantine, Persian, Muslim, Crusader, Ottoman and British conquerers and occupiers and (b) that historic connection of (a) formed the basis for the League of Nations' decision, preceded by the Balfour Declaration, the Versailles Peace Conference deliberations and the San Remo Conference decision, which recognized and guaranteed by power of international law the right of Jews to close settlement on state and waste lands in the territory of Palestine which was truncated and after September 1922 consisted of all the land between the Jordan River west to the Mediterranean Sea.

The "border" he seeks to sanctify, the "Green Line", was artificial, temporary and the result of Israel's defensive actions against illegal Arab aggression.  It's 19-year existence was of total divorce from Jewish history but Gorenberg is just that type of Jew - the 'now'.

In the NYT piece, he 'borrows' language to describe the reality of Acre and the rest of the north:

Segregation, though, is intrinsically a denial of rights. The countryside throughout the Galilee region of northern Israel is dotted with a form of segregated exurb, the “community settlement.” In each of these exclusive communities, a membership committee vets prospective residents before they can buy homes.

Havde you seen Jews in Arab villages?  No.  Because they get stoned, robbed and killed.  That was the modern Zionist experience and that's why, partially, separated communities developed and also because Jews wanted to be socialists and farmers and do all the hard work themselves.  Othwerwiuse, Gorem would still be calling them as "lording over slaves", I guess.  The kibbutzim are Gorenberg's original sinners but they are of the Left and so they are sidelined to his story.

But he has another problem:

If and when Israel finally leaves the West Bank quagmire behind, it will face a further challenge: the settlers need to be brought home. But allowing them to apply their ideology inside Israel, or to transplant whole communities from the West Bank to the Galilee, will only make the situation worse in Israel proper.

Would he wish we went to the moon, or Mars?

Who is the segregationist?

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