Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sad Demise of the Zionist Left

Dear friends,
I believe that Sarid's recent article, reprinted here, on the death of the two-state solution deserves closer analysis. Sarid was and is definitely a prominent ideological figure on the Zionist left. I suggest attaching  importance to Sarid's conclusions regarding the death of the two-state solution.  See some of my first comments on the article below.

Yossie Sarid  -Haaretz July 27, 2012
The Zeolots Have "Won" Again

"Don't waste your despair prematurely, save it up for when things get worse." That's what people in the know always advised us. It seems the time has come to open the emergency warehouses and start taking it out. And so we begin.
Writing is particularly hard for me this time. I have a vague but profound feeling that I'm progressing toward admitting an error, and not a negligible one: How did I fail to see the future; I can't forgive myself. And I have no breast to beat except my own.
It is no coincidence that this confession is being written now, on the eve of the Ninth of Av. As we do every year, this year too we will hear all the nonsense about "baseless hatred," which was ostensibly the main reason for the destruction of the Second Temple. You don't have to be a professional sermonizer to stuff us with this historical rubbish. Today every brainwashed layman  knows that if those people hadn't eaten each other alive, they would not have been defeated, and Judea would have survived forever.
Nothing could be further from the truth: The Great Revolt against Rome had no chance of success in the first place. But even the slim chance was extinguished when the Sicarii zealots began to murder the moderates in Jerusalem, until they eliminated the entire leadership. And the "price tag" advocates were not satisfied until they had set fire to the grain silos in the city, doomed it to starvation, and by doing so made defeat inevitable. The victims of the siege therefore had good reason to hate the Jewish terrorists, and their hatred was not "baseless"; it was "well-founded" hatred. Even today we have a duty to hate them in light of our historical and natural right to self-defense.
All these years I refused to believe that history repeats itself. I always convinced myself that what is done can be undone, and that the moment of sobriety, which was being delayed, would eventually arrive. Now it's too late. The successors have arrived at a crisis of leadership, and there is no strength for a rebirth. Perhaps we will try again some day, perhaps the fourth time we will succeed."
It's enough to keep track of five houses as they are being moved to see how farce turns into tragedy. When the sounds of houses being sawed are soon heard, the sounds of a funeral will be in the air: Farewell to you, our soul, from which we were unable to exorcise the dybbuk of the settlements.
The person who prophesied that 25 years ago and knew whereof he spoke was Meron Benvenisti, an intellectual and scholar, who on the pages of this newspaper explained his theory of "irreversibility," because what is done cannot be undone. And I attacked him: "There's no such thing as an irreversible situation," I wrote at the time, "only death is irreversible. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an active volcano, that's why it's absurd to speak about congealed lava, and why sow despair at the wrong time." You were more right than I was, Meron, I failed to see and I spoke nonsense. I didn't properly assess the blindness and the suicidal urge. I pinned false hopes on common sense, on the will to live, on the ability to stop at any moment and change direction. I was wrong, I was guilty.
This article will gladden the hearts of many. Finally we have the privilege of hearing from that Sarid an admission of error and guilt, blessed be He who has brought us to this time. Finally even he understands that the settlements are "forever," may they continue to multiply.
I regret having to spoil the party atmosphere, which is premature and apparently too late as well. In Basel he established the Jewish state, and in Jerusalem they destroyed it. In its place there will soon be a binational state, which is either South Africa or South Africa, because there is no third option. And that South Africa has long since ceased to exist. Thus, the time of your rejoicing is the time of your disaster.
My comments: Sarid has reached the conclusion that the last existing  chances to establish a Jewish state have been totally destroyed and that Israel has already entered the "South African" stage. Of course, it will take some time until Sarid's conclusions sink into the mindset of what remains of the Zionist-left.  
It was clear to the founding fathers of the Zionist project that the return to Zion had to be justified by linking Zionism to one form or another of the prevailing ideological currents on the "outside." Without an ideological linkup to socialism (of one sort or another) or to universal democratic values (genuine liberalism), the Zionist project would be unable to fight for the souls of Jews in the diaspora. And what would happen in such a circumstance has happened.  Zionism is for chauvinistic cranks and becomes foreign to anyone who refuses to jettison universal values in the name of Zionist sovereignty. The ideological basis for the Zionist left has disappeared leaving many good souls in the air.  The Zionist left has been almost completely marginalized and no longer exists as any kind of electoral force. It is now being condemned by virtue of the death of its ideological basis to certain slow death.
 Sarid's article admits that he can no longer suggest a practical, possible alternative to escape the inevitable degeneration of "victorious" Zionism that lives and breathes in a moral vacuum. Israel's role in the power struggles in the region as the faithful ally of the US empire make do  live quite well with "pure" Zionism, without any sort of Zionism that pretends to be an element in a successful synthesis of Jewish and universal values.  

It is sad that Sarid is almost unconsciously placing his last vestige of hope for the Jews in Palestine in an ephemeral, totally imaginary "one state solution."  Both the one-state and the two-state solutions are dead and irrelevant to the newer and deeper dynamics of the region. But, at this moment, Sarid's honest admission of his errors is an awesome shock to those who still harbored illusions about reforming this Israel, at this stage of its downward spiral.