Friday, June 11, 2010

Linda Grant in Haaretz

This is the tight place in which liberal Jews in the Diaspora find ourselves, and we can hardly breathe, let alone speak. Wanting to articulate the same critique of Israeli policy as Israeli critics, we find ourselves adding our voices to a condemnation of the Jewish state, which is turning into hate speech here. There is no evil crime of which Israel cannot be accused: It's an outlaw state, a pariah state, a demonic force. Calls for an end to the occupation are now regarded as merely propping up Zionism, an apartheid system. The right of return is sacred; the law of return is a racist abomination.
I wonder if "tight place" is meant to conjure Egypt of the Exodus, which I've seen translated as "narrow place." Yes, we need space. We need space to be able to criticize the Occupation without adding to the demonization of Israel. For that to happen, the demonization must be confronted by a wider community of anti-racist activists which has, thus far, been uninterested.

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