August 25, 2007
Henry Srebrnik, The
Back in the 1970s,
Since at that time they were also vehement supporters of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was committed to the destruction of
For these critics, the right of national self-determination for Jews in a state of their own is morally reprehensible, its very foundation a crime, an "original sin."
In 2003, New York University history professor Tony Judt wrote an article for the influential New York Review of Books entitled "Israel: The Alternative," in which he suggested that Israel was an anachronism that had historically "arrived too late."
Wrote Judt: "To convert
The British academic Jacqueline Rose, a professor of English at
"I have never understood why the historic, biblical claim of the Jewish people, even when seared by the horror of the Holocaust, should usurp the rights of the Arabs who had lived there for hundreds of years," she wrote in an article in The Observer in 2002.
In her book, The Question of Zion, published in 2005, she declared that the formation of Israel in 1948 had not only brought "injustice" to the Palestinians, but put at risk the Jewish nation's own "safety and sanity."
Rose concluded that only a renunciation of Zionism could alleviate the "terrible consequences" that had flowed from the creation of a state for the Jews.
Michael Neumann, a professor of philosophy at
For him, not even the sufferings of Jews in the Nazi era could serve to justify it.
An even harsher tone was provided by Joel Kovel, a professor of social studies at
Kovel argues that the inner contradictions of Zionism have led
Only a single-state secular democracy can provide the justice essential to healing the wounds of the
These are four examples of academics, in the United States, Britain and Canada, who question the right of Israel to exist and prefer a "one-state solution"-- in other words, a Palestine that is "a state of all its citizens," Arabs, Jews and others. There are many others, and the list is growing.
Rarely, however, do
After all, if Jews have no right to a state, then why do some 100 other ethnic groups have proprietary rights to theirs? Their countries too are the products of conquest at some stage in their formation, and they also include minority groups.
And there are many others, including Chechens, Kosovar Albanians, Tibetans and Palestinians themselves, demanding their own national independence.
Are they also not "privileged" within their own countries? Are not their symbols and laws reflective of their religious and cultural systems, past and present?
Do their flags not display crosses and crescents? Even if the critics of