Gil Troy urges left and right in Israel to cool it

Historians in the News
tags: Israel, Gil Troy

Gil Troy is the author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s. His forthcoming book, The Zionist Ideas, which updates Arthur Hertzberg's classic work, will be published by The Jewish Publication Society in Spring 2018. Professor Gil Troy is Distinguished Scholar in North American History at McGill University.   Email Gil at giltroy@gmail.com  Follow Gil on Twitter @giltroy  View Gil's website at www.giltroy.com

… In the 1970s, “Stockholm Syndrome” explained why the kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst robbed banks with her captors: She started seeing the world through her captors’ eyes. Similarly, consider our sick left-right hora.

Israel’s rightists are captive to their obsessions. They fear Israel’s delegitimization, justifiably. But overreacting fuels the delegitimization campaign. Beyond the PR damage, panicking sometimes emboldens the loud minority insensitive to Zionism’s fundamental democratic sensitivities. The result was a Nation-State Law that, while mostly symbolic and obvious – Israel’s flag is its flag – caused unnecessary hurt by not explicitly re-affirming Israel’s devotion to equality and democracy.

Meanwhile, Jewish leftists can’t escape their delusions. Craving acceptance in progressive circles increasingly hostile to Israel, many act as if you can keep the Jewish people alive or run a functional democracy by libeling all expressions of Jewish identity as “racist” and “apartheid.”

Beyond fueling the very right-wing overreactions they most detest, these lies are ignorant. Israel’s enmeshed in an ethnic, national, cultural, conflict, with some religious dimensions – it’s not racial, meaning biological. This isn’t just wordplay. The international consensus decrees that racist countries – practicing blood- or biologically-based bigotry or racial apartheid – deserve the death penalty. Anyone sloppily calling Israel by the A-word or the R-word – no matter their intentions – is essentially aiding and validating those seeking to destroy Israel.

Right and Left suffer from a “Stalked-Homeland Syndrome,” and this neurosis feeds the Israel Indignation Industry. Overreacting to the delegitimizers of the Left, the legitimizers of the Right risk legitimizing the delegitimization to the delegitimizers. (Alas, Israel’s enemies wouldn’t stop delegitimizing Israel even if it withdrew from all of Sinai, all of Gaza, the West Bank’s population centers – silly me, Israel already did!) ...

Read entire article at The Jerusalem Post

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