Monday, January 22, 2007

Benny Morris on the 'next Holocaust'.

That a primitive accumulation of moral capital has disinherited Jewish people, that it has sought to separate them from any co-determination of the meaning of the Shoah, that it has enclosed the means of representation, and that it has sought to discipline Jews and hold them (whether they will or no) as the legitimate property of the State of Israel - all of that is so obvious that controversy about it is contrived and facile. Take Benny Morris and his latest browbeating on Iran. The chemically pure distillation of the culture of imperialism that Nazism represented, its attempted destruction of the Jews of Europe, is forcefully pressed into the service of Israeli victimhood. Iran, not Israel, is racist toward Arabs. Iran, not Israel, is the aggressive local power. Iran, not Israel, is nuked to the teeth. Israel's geopolitical rivals are fascists, antisemites, plan genocide, flirt with Hitlerian fantasies, want to finish the job. They (the Arabs, the Muslims) soften up Western audiences for this with such combustible claims as: "Israel is a racist oppressor state" and "Israel, in this age of multiculturalism, is an anachronism and superfluous." In other words, the critique of racism and oppression will prepare one morally for a nuclear Final Solution. The endorsement of multicultural polities readies one for religious genocide. This curious logic sanctions only one ethical stance, of course, which is that there must be no serious reckoning of the Palestinian tragedy, certainly no meaningful critique of Zionism, and no suggestion that the oppression of the Palestinians has to be fully terminated since to do so would kill the Jewish State.

Morris has always been a schmuck. From minimising the import of Zionist ethnic cleansing plans in 1947-8, he has proceeded to a more serious acknowledgment of the scale of massacres and rapes, and the 'transferist' ideology underpinning them, only to say that it was necessary to engage in ethnic cleansing and, what is more, that Ben Gurion made a huge mistake in not going much further and completing the expulsion of the Palestinians. There would be more peace, he now argues, had Palestine been wiped entirely off the map: "this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleansed the whole country-the whole land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake." What is more, he legitimises this practise by specifically exempting Palestinians (and Arabs and Muslims more broadly) from the normal sphere of human consideration. "There is a deep problem in Islam. It's a world whose values are different. Human life doesn't have the same value as it does in the West. They are barbarians ... something like a cage has to be built for them. I know that sounds terrible. It is really cruel. But there is no choice. There is a wild animal there that has to be locked up." To criticise this racist ideology and to militate against the reduction of Muslims and Arabs to sub-humans needing to be ghettoised and caged, is to prepare for the next Holocaust.

Given the eliminitionist tendencies of the Iranian regime, as adumbrated with sickly fascination by Benny Morris, how strange is this report from Forward? It says that Iran's Jewish community is refusing to cooperate in attempts to organise their departure from Iran. A few hundred have departed, but most cite economic or family concerns, not discrimination from Iranian regime. A strange situation indeed - HIAS, not the Islamic Republic, wishes to ethnically cleanse Jews from Iran, at the service of Israel's foreign policy! The irony is that if the leadership of Iran was composed of opportunistic pro-imperialist lackeys like Nuri as-Said rather than a nationalist 'Islamic' bourgeoisie, they could have helped HIAS organise a terror campaign against the synagogues and Jewish businesses to precipitate the desired flight to Israel.