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Embracing Nationalism Difficult for Jews

Reader comment on item: Racing Against History

Submitted by Dave (United States), Mar 2, 2018 at 11:52

In his fascinating memoir, "Warsaw Boy", about his participation as a 15 year old in the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis, journalist Andy Borowiec discusses the efforts by various partisan groups in Poland to recruit Jews. He points out that despite being the primary victims of the Nazis, Jews were very reluctant to join. At one point, he tells of a conversation a group of partisans were having about that dilemma, when one of them that they didn't know was Jewish spoke up and agreed, pointing out that he was determined to participate nonetheless (he was later killed).

It is seems logical to surmise that two millennia of statelessness and powerlessness have left their mark on the Jewish psyche. Living in thrall to arbitrary and cruel powers does not lead to self-confidence. It is also the case that being victimized by nationalists, often representing a chauvinistic political and religious establishment, has left a residual mistrust of nationalism among Jews. I think that is really the emotional basis for Jewish anti-Zionism and the sticky adherence of Jews, particularly in the diaspora, to left-liberal parties with their emphasis on globalism.

While historical experience certainly lends a lot of inertia to emotions, it's high time for Jews to wake up to the reality that they now have a state, that Zionism is a form of nationalism, that it is threatened by Islamism, requires secure borders and a bold military defense. The leftist ideals of open borders and cultural relativism would sink Israel forthwith. It is also true that human nature being what it is, Israel's natural allies are other nationalists who view Islam as problematic. That's why the Republican Party in the US and Hindu nationalists in India empathize with Israel. One can even add in the Egyptian military as a nationalist force which fears Islamism, and some of the Gulf Arabs. Even the "Jordan Is Palestine" crowd among the Palestinians are anti-Islamist nationalists and are respectful of Israel.

Clearly, Zeev Jabotinsky was way ahead of his time.


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Title Commenter Date Thread
Roosevelt [43 words]AlbertE.Mar 23, 2018 13:00242548
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1Embracing Nationalism Difficult for Jews [335 words]DaveMar 2, 2018 11:52242397
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w/response from Daniel Pipes
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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