Sunday, July 8, 2018

'Zionazis' and Palestinians

It's possible you've never seen an Israeli, including Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called a 'Zionazi'. The reason you may never have seen this word is simple: if you don't read Reader Comments to online stories about Israel, or if you keep your Internet news surfing limited only to mainstream websites, it's theoretically possible you may never have come across the word. 

As you may guess, 'Zionazi' is about something hateful. It's also very specific. It applies only to Jews. 

For years, its use appears to have been limited to fascist or near-fascist 'Whites Only' types of websites--the kinds of places 'decent' people don't patronize. It combines the Jewish ideal of Zionism--settling the land of Israel--with Nazism, the 20th century ideology of 'annihilate-the-Jew/occupy-and-oppress-those-you-conquer. Its use converts the Jew in Israel (or the Jew who supports Israel) into the modern incarnation of the Nazi oppressor (here).

This ugly word suggests that a Jewish defense of our own country is illegitimate because it's based on the inhumanity of oppressing Palestinians. It's a Jewish inhumanity that "should be anathema to any human being" (Butler, ibid). 

'Zionazi' is not a real word. It's a blended word. It combines two words, each with its own meaning. The result of this blending is a new, third word having its own meaning.  The blended meaning is, Zionists--the Jews--are Nazis.

We know what was the fate of Nazis. They deserved what they got. The Jews of the Nazi-Israel, Jew-haters say, deserve no less.

But this linkage of Jews of Zion with Nazis is only half true. Linking Jews to Zionism is correct. The Nazi link is not.

'Zio' comes from 'Zionist', which comes from 'Zion'. The word, Zion, in turn, is a Jewish word from the Jewish TanachIt's a word with both specific and general geographical reference points, all of them Jewish. The word 'Zion' refers to the Holy Temple, the Temple Mount, Jerusalem and Israel--in that order. 

Your Israel geography lesson can't get more Jewish than that.

A non-religious Jew can be a Zionist. So can a non-Jew. But no matter what religion you observe, 'Zionism' is 100% pure Judaism. It expresses an ideal that is both Jewish and religious. It captures the dream of the rebirth of Israel as its own independent, sovereign state--as a place where Jews can gather once again to control their own national destiny and their own religious observance.

Of course, there's more to Zionism than that. There's also the idea of a secular Zionism. But that's for another day.

Our focus here is the negative, demeaning association of Nazism to Israel. This Nazi association transforms the historic link between the Jew and his homeland into the 'new Nazi' who brutalizes Palestinians as he steals the Palestinian homeland. 
It identifies the Jewish dream of return to Zion with the evils of Nazism. That, in turn, suggests that the Jewish dream, so linked to Nazism, is as illegitimate and hateful as is any Nazi today. 

With this one word, 'Zionazi', Jew-haters aim to shatter the centuries-old Jewish national dream, one that began almost 600 years before the birth of Islam, the religion which pre-dates the Palestinian identity by some 1,300 years.  By linking Israel to Nazism, Jew-haters want you to question whether any Nazi-nation (Israel) should be allowed a legitimate state.  

The word reminds you--if you think about it--that the world has already established peace once by annihilating Nazism. It suggests that if you want world peace, you'll always have to annihilate Nazism--this time, in the form of its supposedly Jewish reincarnation.

The argument against Israel is that its Jews--the 'Zionazis'--are exactly like Germany's Nazis. Both are "harshly domineering, dictatorial, [and] intolerant" (Simon Hardy Butler, here). This association posits that 'Zionists' practice Nazi-style ethnic cleansing against 'Palestinians', cage 'Palestinians' into ghetto-like environments--or worse, into concentration camps--and brutalize women and children in a most horrible, Nazi-like manner.  

Specifically, the intent of 'Zionazi' is to declare that Jews in Israel do to Palestinians exactly what Hitler did to Jews; and just as the world had to destroy the Nazi to be free of his brutal cancer, so too must we destroy the Jew to be free of his cancerous brutality. 

This combining of Zio- with -Nazi is nonsense. There is absolutely no way one can legitimately compare the centuries-long yearning of the Jewish people to return to its ancestral homeland with the horrific atrocities of Nazi genocide.

For example, how many Palestinians have been burnt into ash by Jewish crematoria? None.

How many gas chambers have Jews  built to cremate murdered and starved-to-death Palestinians? None.

How many Palestinians are forced to eat a starvation diet given directly to them by armed Israelis? None.

How many Jewish zealots are there who kill unarmed Palestinians, one-by-one? None.

How many Jewish army units are there that murder  Palestinians by the hundreds, and then secretly bury the victims in mass graves, as Nazis did to Jews? None.

How many speeches have Israeli leaders given which incite against Palestinians? None. 

How many Jewish leaders declare that the road to the Jewish national destiny is through the killing of Palestinians? None.

 But there are Palestinian zealots who roam through Israel killing Jews, one-by-one, as they proclaim the greatness of their allah. There are public speeches by Palestinian leaders who incite against Jews. There are indeed Palestinian leaders who declare that the road to the Palestinian national destiny is through the killing of Jews. 

The 'Zio-nazi' label is a lie. It's a blood-libel aimed at demonizing the Jewish Israel.  

It blames Jews for crimes Jews have never committed. It blames Jews for crimes Palestinians commit.

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