John Spritzler wrote:
Here's an excellent letter from Elias Davidsson to Jimmy Carter, explaining to the former President why his support for a Jewish state (accompanied by opposition to its occupation of the West Bank) is misguided. Davidsson sheds a lot of NEW light on this question.
A Letter to Jimmy Carter
by Elias Davidsson
December 12, 2006
Dear Mr. Carter,
I read your article in the Guardian of December 12, 2006 "Israel, Palestine, peace and apartheid." (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1970058,00.html). As a "Jew" born in Palestine in 1941 and living in Iceland, I fully endorse your views expressed in this article and thank you for bringing these subjects up, even at the risk of being labeled "antisemitic". I have myself been indoctrinated in my youth by Zionist propaganda and did not in my young years realize the racist nature of Zionism, Israel's state ideology. As Zionism - namely the concept of a "Jewish state" - is contrary to the modern concept of a state which belongs to all its citizens, I do not believe that there will be peace as long as Israel remains a "Jewish" state. For the same reason I agree with the refusal to recognize the "right" of existence of such a state (which is distinct from the recognition of its physical existence).
There is another point I wish to impress upon you, which is widely glossed over. It is my conviction that Israel, as a Jewish state, cannot afford peace. I do not here have in mind its military industry or the interests of its professional military. What I have in mind is the attitude of most Jews and the Zionist movement towards assimilation. As numerous Zionist leaders have openly expressed, they consider assimilation of Jews, such as mixed marriages, as the main threat to Judaism, comparable to the Holocaust: Both significantly reduce the number of Jews. To put at par the love felt by a person of Jewish descent to another person of gentile descent with mass murder testifies to the pathologic nature of Zionist thinking. It also underlines the hysterical approach of Zionists to the phenomenon of assimilation. A true peace between Israel and its neighbours will inevitably lead to a cultural intercourse between Jews, Christians and Muslims, as well as economic cooperation. This will inevitably dilute the cultural and demographic nature of the Jewish state and with time lead to a growing rate of mixed marriages, particularly if fundamentalist ideologies will slowly give way to a secular world view.
This threat to the "Jewish people" is to be resisted by all means by the Zionists and by all those who strive to maintain the "Jewish people". The only means to do so is by creating a spiritual and physical wall between Jews and their neighbours. Historically, Jews attempted to prevent assimilation by pursuing distinct eating habits, clothing and other overt distinctions, thus creating a high threshold for those who would like to integrate into the surrounding environment. The shedding of such distinct living style, such as by most Jews in the United States, has inevitably led to a high rate of assimilation decried regularly by the Zionists who try not only to "educate" Jewish youth but urge it to move to Israel, where they can be better controlled and manipulated.
The maintenance of hatred and distrust among Arabs towards Israelis is useful for Jewish unity. This has not escaped Zionist leaders. Obviously the Zionists do not trumpet this "usefulness", but it can easily be inferred from the Zionist dread of assimilation, the insistence of the Jewish State to designate itself as "European", thus implying that they do not wish to integrate into their region, and the long trail of provocative policies pursued by all Israeli governments since 1948 against its neighbours and the Palestinian people. From an examination of this process I conclude that Israel, by its very constitution as a Jewish State, is a threat to the peace. While few in the West realize this conclusion, most Arabs do. I do not see any hope for Israel, as a Jewish state, to remain so in a situation of warm peace.
For the above reason, I urge you to reconsider your attitude towards the establishment of a Palestinian state beside Israel. Such a scenario can neither fulfill the rights of the Palestinian people, including particularly those of the refugees who are entitled under international law to return to their erstwhile locations located under Israeli jurisdiction. Nor can this scenario secure the Palestinian people true sovereignty. The reason for this is at least twofold: First such a Palestinian "state" would not be territorially contiguous but divided at best into two distinct areas (Gaza and West Bank), leaving Palestinians continuously at the mercy of Israeli non-interference of travel between the two areas. Secondly, Israel has made it clear that it would not allow a fully sovereign Palestinian state. Even the most vocal supporters of a Palestinian state in Israel insist that Palestine should remain a demilitarized state, thus at the mercy of Israel coercion and invasion. The very concept of equality is anathema to Israelis, even the most "progressive" ones. I mention these two points, leaving at this point aside the question of economic viability and the control of underground water, and the question of Jerusalem. The only solution which could secure the rights of the Palestinians and Israeli Jews to human dignity and equality is the transformation of Israel, including occupied territories, to a modern democratic state, ensuring all Palestinians and Israelis equal rights under a modern constitution. I urge you to consider this vision, as both compatible with human rights, international law and ethics. And even if this vision is currently not widely supported, it nevertheless provides the ONLY blueprint for a true peace and continuous Jewish presence in the Middle East. Your support for such a vision could be invaluable.
With my sincere greetings,
I'm not very impressed by this argument. I can't think of any social
group unconcerned about the continuity of its traditions into the next
generation. The Jewish dietary laws Spritzler cites long preceded the
advent of modern Zionism. I think Israel's belligerence has to do much
less with fear of assimilation than with its military leaders' commitment
to extend it to "natural" more defensible borders such as the Jordan
River, and to control strategic resources such as commanding heights
(Sharon admitted in his autobiography that these were his purposes in
establishing the settlement movement), not to mention the expropriation of
natural resources such as water and arable land.