Zionism: Sucky Idea Anyway
Iran President and People Magazine Despotic Hunk of the Year, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been telling people the Holocaust didn't happen, or at least, that it was greatly exaggerated, which understandably pisses a lot of Jewish people off. (Interesting fact: there are many Jewish people living comfortably in the world today. Take that, Hitler!)
I'm not going to debate the details surrounding the Holocaust, although I'm fairly convinced it was not a systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews, but an unfortunately named polecat jamboree that coincidentally took the lives of 6 million Jews.
But reading these stories about Mahmoud has gotten me thinking - maybe Zionism was a sucky idea. But before I explain this controversial stance, a pathetically short history of Zionism:
Jewish people, perhaps because they couldn't think of anything better to pray about, had been talking about getting back to Palestine since they were hammered by the Romans and totally punk'd by Hadrian. Before Israel came to be, there had been proposals to give the Jewish people a nation of their own in Argentina or Uganda/Kenya and even in eastern Russia. But the Zionists were greedy. They wanted Israel or nothing. (Just to balance the argument: Muslims are also greedy for wanting so many different holy lands -- you can't have ALL the holy lands).
So Jewish people emigrated for decades into Palestine, and eventually the British basically gave the Jewish people what they wanted on the heels of WWII. It was not just a religious or moral move, but also a political one. The establishment of Israel gave Britian and other western nations a powerful ally in the middle east, to the detriment (I assume) of anyone who wanted to put together another Ottoman Empire. One can certainly argue whether this has done more good than harm for the west - it's hard to say.**
Americans cannot fathom the hatred Muslims feel over this - in spite of the fact that liberals hate conservatives, and poor black people hate rich white people, and artists hate graphic designers, and hybrid car owners hate SUV drivers, and Ohio State fans hate UMich fans. We don't kill people over this hatred (very often anymore), and we certainly wouldn't risk our own lives to stop other people from living their lives (unless they lived very far away and had brown skin). We're cowards, most of us. There's no one to blame for this but ourselves. We live in vast opulence in a land full of overpriced health care and we eat whatever crap we want and we spend all day at our computers and televisions. There's no danger in living your life as an American, and the stakes, for most of us, are low. We wouldn't give our lives for ANYTHING anymore.
But I guarantee there are MILLIONS of Muslims around the world who would happily give their own lives and the lives of everyone they know to oust the Jews in Isreal. And that's why the United States can never truly achieve "victory" in Iraq, nor end the animosity and violence targetted at Israel. Americans just don't care enough about Israel to risk their lives en masse to protect it, and the same could probably be said of most modern societies, as well as many Jewish people themselves.
The fact is, the Jewish people got their asses handed to them by the Romans. But LOTS of people got their asses handed to them by the Romans - it doesn't make you special. And in turn, the Romans had their asses handed to THEM by the 47 Ronin (do I have my history correct here?) The point is, the Jewish people lost. But many people have lost throughout history: the Neanderthals lost Europe, the Mexicans lost Texas, the French lost Canada and Ohio, the Native Americans lost the entire western hemisphere. It's not necessarily their fault, it just happened. That's history. A lot of bad shit went down but now it's over and we can get on with our lives (unless you live outside of the United States and Canada).
I also find it ironic that Americans so vehemently oppose fundamentalist states centered around Islam, yet have no problem supporting a state that does the same thing: creates a national character for what is only, and always has been, a religious belief. Fundamentalist Christians in the US, of course, support Israel because their "bible" tells them that this is where the human incarnation of Satan will be born, and where the rapture will begin - they want to hasten the apocolypse so they can get into to heaven to the exclusion of all black people and Jewish people (surprise! many black people are Christians, sucker! and they're gonna move into the cloud right next to you ahahahahahaha!)
I have several friends who have visited Israel and told me how great it was to be surrounded by Jews. None of them commented on the fact that they were happy to be walking in the holy land, just that they liked being with their own kind. It's understandable. But maybe they'd be just as happy anywhere - like West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
So I say we cut our losses and find a new home for the Jewish people. Might I suggest Quebec? That would kill two birds with one stone.
A good history of Zionism at Wikipedia.
**All that said, anti-semitism as a movement in the West has certainly not been the same since Israel was founded, so maybe I'm full of crap and Israel was a great idea - it pissed off the Muslims who in turn direct their hatred at all Western democracies - in effect exporting all the anti-semitism from Westerners to Muslims. And as a stupid, overfed white American, I support offshoring. So forget I said anything. Go Israel Gamecocks! Beat those Palestinian Wildcats!