"Progressive Zionism" Facebook page.
Behan describes himself as a "Half-Irish/half-Jewish American activist, musician, and writer."
I think of him as an administrative pain-in-the-ass and a dedicated fighter for justice for the Jewish people. Mainly, however, he is known for drilling down into the heart of western-left antisemitic anti-Zionism and discussing his ideas on social media for years, now, before a significant audience.
Behan's most recent piece is a response to an article by Marc Lamont Hill published in the Huffington Post on May 17, 2018, entitled, "7 Myths About The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict."
Behan's response in the Times of Israel is entitled, Marc Lamont Hill’s ‘7 Myths’ Are Not Myths at All.
Hill, to my horror and disgust, is the "Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University."
Behan addresses seven ideas around the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East that Professor Hill claims are false.
1. These people have been fighting forever.
The truth is that Arabs and Jews have not been fighting forever. Rather, it can be dated to the end of the 19th century or, more acutely, the beginning of the post-World War I British Mandatory period.Behan refutes:
Land theft, colonization, dhimmitude, heritage theft, massacres (beginning with the slaughter of Jews at Khaybar, in case anyone is wondering where the Palestinian “Khaybar” chant comes from), expulsions, confiscation/destruction of Jewish cultural sites – the list of injustices committed by Arabs against Jews is very long, and that’s only accounting for the pre-20th century stuff.
2. This is a religious conflict.
Simply put, this is not about religion. It’s about land theft, expulsion and ethnic cleansing by foreign settlers to indigenous land.Behan refutes:
Why else would Hamas’ charter include Islamic hadiths in it? Why else would they regularly invoke the Gharqad tree hadith explicitly commanding Muslims to kill Jews? Why else would the PA exclaim that Jews have “no right to desecrate our holy sites with their filthy feet” in response to Jews visiting the Temple Mount?...
I didn’t know indigenous peoples (Jews, in this case) could become “foreign settlers” in their own land by being exiled for centuries.
And I didn’t know colonizers (Arabs, in this case) could become indigenous by stealing land and replacing indigenous sacred sites with mosques.
3. It’s very complicated.
Too often, however, the claim that “it’s complicated” functions as an excuse to sidestep a very simple reality: this is about the 70-year struggle of a people who have been expelled, murdered, robbed, imprisoned and occupied.Behan refutes:
And now you’re saying that it was only 70 years?
So which one is it? 70 years or 100+ years? Pick one.
4. Palestinians keep turning down fair deals.
This argument wrongly presumes that any deal that includes the sharing of stolen land with the victims of said theft could be fair. But even in relative and pragmatic terms, this is not true. Think back to the wildly disproportionate U.N. partition agreement of 1947 that allotted 55 percent of the land to the Jewish population even though there only comprised 33 percent of the population and owned 7 percent of the land.Behan refutes:
Only half of the land was given back to the Jews, and most of it was indefensible, inarable desert. The only reason we weren’t offered even LESS than that is because the UN anticipated further mass aliyot in the aftermath of WWII. The Arabs got the better deal by far, but they rejected it because they could not stomach the idea of living with Jews as neighbors and as equals, rather than as second class citizens.
5. Palestinians don’t want peace.
This argument plays on Orientalist narratives of Arabs as innately violent, irrational, pre-modern and undeserving of Western democracy or diplomacy. The argument also castigates Palestinians for resisting their brutal occupation and repression. Occupied people have a legal and moral right to defend themselves.Behan refutes:
If your idea of “peace” entails either a wholesale genocide/expulsion of Jews or restoration of the post-conquest/pre-Zionist status quo of Jewish subordination (and yes, this is what most Palestinians want), then it’s absolutely fair (and certainly not a myth) to claim that you do not want peace, but rather continued conflict until the other side is “defeated”.
6. Israel has a right to exist!
This claim is a product of U.S. and Israeli hasbara, a term for propaganda. First, this argument is only rhetorically deployed in relation to Israel, as opposed to Palestine or virtually any other nation-states.Behan refutes:
No, this claim is common sense.
7. You’re anti-Semitic!
Anti-Semitism is a very real phenomenon around the globe. And we must be vigilant about addressing and destroying anti-Semitism wherever it emerges. Too often, however, this claim is leveled against anyone who critiquesor protests the practices of the Israeli nation-state.Behan refutes:
Under these conditions, allegations of anti-Semitism become nothing more than a reflexive retort, intended to shut down the conversation. More importantly, this is a key part of Zionist strategy: equating Judaism with Zionism and the Israeli state itself.
Marc, listen very carefully to what I’m about to say. Are you ready? Good.
1. You are NOT Jewish. You do not get to decide what is and is not antisemitic. Period. End of story.The key to Dani's view - and to my eye it is clear - is the concept of Jewish indigeneity to the "Land of Israel" which is simply another way of saying the Land of the Jewish People.
2. Where do you get off lecturing us about our culture, especially when you can’t even get the definition of “hasbarah” right? Get back in your lane, fella.
3. You complain of “Orientalism”, only to invoke Orientalist tropes about Jews (i.e. that we are irrational, conspirational, and innately predisposed to lying and trickery for personal/political gain) mere moments later. Good show.
4. Antisemitism is any belief or action, intentional or otherwise, that serves to threaten our national, racial, religious, or political equality. It does not mean “critique of Judaism”, you ignoramus.
5. You obviously consider yourself a progressive, so what makes you think it’s okay to dismiss Jewish claims of antisemitism out of hand? What makes you think it’s okay to decide for us what constitutes antisemitism? Do you do this sort of thing to other minorities? I seriously doubt it.
6. No one, not even the most unhinged right wingers in our community, believes that “criticism of Israel” is a priori antisemitic. Literally NO ONE says that. These Jews who believe that all criticism of Israel is antisemitic are strawman inventions that exist only in the fevered imaginations of antisemites.
7. Denying Israel’s right to exist, demonizing/dehumanizing its people, holding it to a standard expected of no other nation, and hurling libel after libel after libel at it (as you’ve done throughout your entire article, if not your entire career) is not “critique”. It is antisemitism, nothing more.
I would argue that there's little point in arguing with Hill and all like him. They aren't listening to you or engaging you. They're just scrolling down to their next page of talking points.ReplyDelete
Lies, unchallenged, become “truth” for too many. That is why we are we are right now.Delete
Ignoring lies has never worked out for the Jewish people.
Hill and the earlier generation of Jew hating Nazi fucks said the same thing about Jews in Europe...'foreigners....don't belong here go to your homeland....'ReplyDelete
"Hill, to my horror and disgust, is the "Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University.""ReplyDelete
Media, Cities, and Solutions? What self respecting university would be without one of those? Part of the Media, Cities, and Solutions major.
"Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions."Delete
It sounds like a cross between urban planning, social media, and "solutions"... which would mean "social justice."
This is primarily the fault of the administrators who are essentially clueless and who have taken power over from faculty in recent years... decades.
So many of these "academics" these days can conjure gobbledygook that impresses their peers, but is thoroughly unimpressive outside their narrow circles. They have knowledge that is not wide or deep. That's why someone like Lewis towered above someone like Said.Delete
And, I have to tell ya, it still amazes me that every time I go to the internal pages, there is a glaring note from the fucking European Union.ReplyDelete
This is really pissing me off.
I am being directly threatened by a world power.Delete
This is just flat-out weird.
Back in the EUDelete
Back in the EU
Back in the E-USSR
Glad to barely use FB, especially as its mendacity becomes more apparent, as it tries to define "good." If this closed group is anything like "The Progressive Zionist" back in the day, no loss.ReplyDelete
One must twist like a pretzel to be progressive and Zionist, and this is more the case as time passes, as those of the former increasingly side with haters of the latter.
I'll have to be honest with you here, anytime I see the word progressive (to describe the authors political outlook) it makes me very wary of what they write. I look at what it says, stop and think and say "hmm really?" because most progressives are leftward leaning SJW regressives.Delete
This on the other hand, I'm impressed and encouraged by.
Many "progressives" have no idea of the origins of progressivism, and that is not part of the heritage of liberalism.Delete
It would be nice if people were more inclined to draw the distinction.
"This argument plays on Orientalist narratives of Arabs as innately violent, irrational, pre-modern..."ReplyDelete
But this is why Hill is in love with them (that, and probably skin pigment). This is what progressives expect of them. It is what they admire about them. They look adoringly at such behavior, regard it as innocent and authentic, egg it on, and defend it at every turn.
It also looks that he's bought into E. Said's conspiracy theory hook, line and sinker.
"In fall 2015, Hill published an op-ed under the title “Why Every Black Activist Should Stand With Rasmea Odeh.” Again, one could note that people who fight antisemitism usually don’t advocate solidarity with a convicted terrorist who murdered two young Jews. But as far as Hill is concerned, Odeh is a “venerable woman” and “a Palestinian freedom fighter being railroaded for her commitment to justice,” whose story “must also be understood as a Black story. A story of global resistance to colonial power.”ReplyDelete
Just another Farrakhan, terrorist lovin black antisemite. Dime a dozen.
"On his own website, he describes himself as “one of the leading intellectual voices in the country.” "Delete
Nothing says "leading intellectual" like calling yourself one.
This used to irritate me. But now I look at it like any other kind of horrendous bad decision people make. I have neighbors who encourage their toddlers to play in the street. Ok. When someone runs them down we will call the cops and EMS and get on with our day. The synagogue my S.O. teaches at is lead by rabbi who is in love with the PLO and Hamas and can't say enough horrible things about Israel. Again, Ok. And membership and school enrollment drops every year and the school is on a terminal glide path. The whole synagogue may shut down.ReplyDelete
The great thing about glint eyed ideologues is that you don't have to waste your time trying to change them. It's impossible and whatever happens, they'll be thrilled with themselves. If liberal Jews in the diaspora want to lead the charge into the gas chambers and ovens, if they really want to stand at the vanguard of new pogroms...OK. There's nothing I can do about that except get out of their way. The older I get the more I feel like I'm surrounded by a zombie apocalypse.