69 million page views

Evolution needed?

Reader comment on item: Zionism's Bleak Present

Submitted by Archimedes2 (Canada), Oct 11, 2007 at 01:37

Indulge me in developing the following parallel (whether or not you agree with my "theory"):

I've always felt the union movement required aggressive beligerent action in its early days as it was under siege and trying to establsh itself as a force to be reckoned with---but that, over the decades, unions have progressed from collectives of marginalized, even in some cases oppressed workers, into one of our society's power elites, the role of beligerence has changed from a matter of survival against external forces to one of protection against internal ones and "battle fatigue".

Unions today (in broad generalization, not universally) act aggressively mainly to justify their existence to their own membership. If there is no conflict with management, the union begins to look irrelevant and even to be an expensive (in terms of union dues) redundancy. Thus the need to continually either stir up conflict or to spin the relations with management in order to give the appearance of need for the union as stalwart protector of the vulnerable worker.

I'll concede that the above is a naive analysis, but submit that it contains a grain of truth. My point is that to some limited extent, Zionism is in the same place: reluctant to morph from the heroic defender of the dream of a homeland in Zion into a less beligerent homeland support and strength for the nation that exists. Possibly even, to some extend, modern Zionism works harder to magnify the perception of threat to that homeland than to actually do anything proactive about that threat.

I realise this is a harsh assessment and, like the union model above, it is naive and only partly accurate. A sympathetic outsider to this movement, it strickes me that Zionism is far too defensive. I am not at all unaware of the serious external threats to Israel's existence, but as long as Zionism exists in its current posture it seems to me that there is a faint unspoken concession that "Israel doesn't fully exist, yet". Zionists need to stop dreaming about the homeland and start building the homeland that exists, nourishing its health, working proactively to make the Israel that has existed now for 50 years a true player on the world stage, instead of "that disputed place" -- that label that keeps trying to stick and may yet succeed, if Israelis themselves, and their supporters, keep giving in to characterizing the place as a home of perpetual conflict. Israel itself has to evolve beyond being a problem everyone else tries to solve, and the Zionist movement has to detach itself from the role of interminably lobbying everyone else to take action to solve this problem.

On a completely different tangent, I'll suggest that Zionists in the West are too integrated. Well, that's not exactly what I mean: they are not distinctive enough culturally. Like it or not, our culture is dominated by multiculturalism and self-hatred: Become too much part of the "mainstream" white Euro core and you have no advantage, no benefit of the doubt, and you will be expected to shoulder part of the "white man's burden", the blame for every evil that inflicts on "the other" in our world -- everything that is not white, or of European origin.

But if you maintain your cultural distinctives -- the food, the clothes, the music, the dancing, the particular mindset, you are more likely to have a sympathetic hearing here. That is, after all, what the Islamists are energetically taking advantage of as we speak. The more they look like "us", the less sympathy they receive. They realise they have to emphasize their special needs, their differences, etc. and the west suddenly becomes the goose that laid the golden egg for them. Throw big festivals in every major city, invite the world to taste your food and sing your songs. And the west will be in the palm of your hands.


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".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)