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Zionist Neocons or Self-Loathing Pinkos?

Pigeonhole-hopping is always a popular diversion among the opinionated. Inevitably leftists who disagree with you will call you fascist, while righties with beef will dismiss you as pinko Communists. It’s all too easy to derive glee from those moments when … Read More

By / August 30, 2007

Pigeonhole-hopping is always a popular diversion among the opinionated. Inevitably leftists who disagree with you will call you fascist, while righties with beef will dismiss you as pinko Communists. It’s all too easy to derive glee from those moments when the criticism overlaps and you’re simultaneously accused of worshipping Marx, William F. Buckley, and Satan, all at the same time.

At Jewcy, a magazine with limited editorial stances other than humanism (and even that’s debatable), we get perhaps a little too much pleasure playing the “don’t pin me down” game. But come on: For a website said to be run by Zionist neocons, we’re awfully willing to put Israel's security on the line for historical truth unrelated to Jewish suffering. As both David Kelsey and the Forward pointed out today, protesting Abe Foxman’s stance (or is that non-stance?) on the Armenian Genocide is, in realpolitik terms, bad for Israel. It’s not the done thing for good Zionists. Then again, we’re not necessarily Zionists.

So over this Labor Day weekend, we’re offering a look at Jewcy’s coverage of Israel, from both the fascists and the pinko Commies. And because there’s actually more to say about Israel than just political debate, we’ve divided our nostalgia trip into two categories: politics and culture.

 

POLITICS

Daily Shvitz Guest Editor Richard Silverstein celebrates Israeli photo-blogger Yudit Ilany of OCCUPIED, who “focuses with laser-like intensity on issues of social injustice and inequality within Israeli society.”

Former National Review Literary Editor David Klinghoffer explains why, as a pious Jew, he is not a Zionist: “[T]he truth is I believe that Zionism, in making a pedestrian and foreign 19th-century-style nationalism so central to contemporary Jewish culture, has caused us to neglect the higher mission God has in mind for us.”

Azure Editor Noah Pollak critiques Jewcy dialogue participant Justin Raimondo’s argument that Iran poses no threat to Israel, nuclear or otherwise: “Iran is indeed a threat to both the United States and to Israel – but the threat does not come in the cartoonish form of Mr. Raimondo's fevered imagination, with Iranian bombers nuking Tel Aviv and Iranian ICBM's rocketing their way toward New York.”

Jewcy Associate Editor Michael Weiss says the U.S. wants to distance itself from any Israeli-Syrian rapprochement because “Bashar al-Assad is still suborning jihadists in Iraq and thus responsible for the death of countless American soldiers; because he still must answer for the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005 and Pierre Gemayel in 2006; and because Washington has rightly declared solidarity with the Siniora government, which is now being targeted for destruction by both Hezbollah and Al Qaeda.”

After Hamas’ Mickey Mouse stand-in Farfour was killed by an IDF soldier, his cousin buzzed in to fill the plush jihadist void. Meet Nahoul the bee. And dig that cross-species family tree.

Weiss also examines the consequences of the Six-Day War in terms of Israel’s decisive military victory and the historical ironies that victory engendered: “Yitzak Rabin, who led the Israeli Air Force's swift and categoric elimination of its Egyptian counterpart in '67, thus facilitating the project of Israeli expansion, was shot by a "Greater Israel" nutbag as he (Rabin) brokered for peace with Arafat. Meanwhile, the "Bulldozer" to Gush Emunim's brick-layers entered a coma shortly after engineering the first withdrawal of the settlements he'd once unequivocally supported.”

Daily Shvitz contributor Monica Osbourne applauds philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s dismissal of an “academic boycott” of Israel: “What's great about Nussbaum's piece is that she doesn't simply rail on and on about the problems with the boycott without offering a solution. In fact, she offers six alternatives to the boycott…”

Daily Shvitz contributor Josh Strawn adds that the boycott will only hurt the very activists it aims to help: “I wonder if those advocating a boycott of the Israeli academic establishment would care to boycott Zvi Erfat? Oren Yiftahel? Uri Davis? Any takers? After all, each holds a position at an Israeli university. They've also recently signed a petition from an interesting group called Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine that takes the notion of an 'architecture of oppression' quite literally.”

And should Israel’s impressive strides in science and technology be off-limits to the rest of the world because of the boycott?

 

CULTURE

In Israel even the news that’s not about politics is about politics. Steven Beeber reports on the latest movement in Israeli punka shift away from left or right wing ideology that it, in itself, quite political: “For to say ‘fuck it’ to the whole political process, to reclaim the personal over the political, is an act of political engagement itself.”

Speaking of the personal being political, Amy Odell notes that Israel was the first country to outlaw dangerously underweight models “after protests that the skeletons we call supermodels were inspiring way too many young'ns to develop eating disorders.”

Young Americans don’t care about Israel: True or false? University of Denver history professor David Shneer and former Time editor Stefan Kanfer debate. Either way, the Holy Land is both welcoming and cruel to American Jews, as firefighter Jessica Edwards and writer Peter Hyman learned on their respective trips to Israel. (Edwards stayed; Hyman got his heart broken.)

Regardless of political affiliation, all American Jews know two things to be true: Israelis may be pricks, but they’re all super hot.

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