Red Hot Chili Peppers Elicit Evidence of the Massive Gap Between Pro-Palestinian Israelis and Anti-Zionist Arabs

Elder of Zion has an amazing transcript of a facebook exchange between a radical, pro-Palestinian Israeli activist, Noa, and various Arab exponents of BDS (in this case, refusing to allow Red Hot Chili Peppers to come to Beirut because they plan to play in Israel).

“We’re not against Jews. We’re against non-Arab Israeli citizens”

972mag’s Noam Sheizaf brings us a fantastic example of how Arabs will never accept the existence of Jews as equals in the Middle East.A Jordanian “anti-normalization” group put out a notice to ban all “Zionists” from traveling to Jordan to attend an after-party with a popular Lebanese band called Mashrou Leila (that recently canceled a gig opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Beirut because the RHCP are playing in Israel.) Apparently, many anti-Zionist Israelis are big fans of the band.Well, that’s not quite true. The “anti-normalization” letter says it intends to ban all Zionists, but its definition of Zionist is interesting:

Finally, we would like to inform you clearly that despite your confirmation and that of your associates here in Amman, that the event you’re organizing will not host any Zionists (to be clear we take this stand against all Israeli nationality holders that are non Arab) we are still taking certain measures to ensure that you will abide by your word on this matter, fully realizing and taking into consideration the continuous arguments and justifications in favor of accompanying Zionists to the event here in Amman. We simply reject all Zionists’ irrelevant of their race, political or religious orientations or beliefs.

We are very vigilant to all cultural events in Amman and we will have narrow to the ground during Mashrou Leila, so we urge you to keep your word and promise to keep our events and country zionist-free.

Now, a number of vehemently anti-Israel Jewish citizens of Israel – people who completely share the Arab desire to destroy Israel and create a single “Palestine” from the river to the sea – were offended by this letter. Here is a dialogue between “Noa” and Jordanians who make it quite clear that if she is a true anti-Zionist, she should leave the country she was born in because she is Jewish:
Noa: (Israeli) Can I ask a question?

how come Zionists are “all Israeli nationality holders that are non-Arabs”, but then you say you reject all Zionists, irrelevant of their race and religious orientation”?

I was born Jewish in Israel. I have fought all my life along with my rifaq, the Palestinians of 48′, and other anti Zionist Jews as myself, against Zionism inside Israel.

I refused to serve in the Israeli occupation army and my friends sat in jail 2 years for that refusal. I’m involved with bi-National anti Zionist activism for years, and I can tell you more if you’re interesting. you can also ask Palestinian activists from here, they can tell you, I’m sure.

I’m also sure you can guess how the Israeli mainstream treats Jewish anti-Zionists as myself.

But then you call me a Zionist, just for being a non-Arab Israeli – well, these identities are ones I was born with. I chose to be an anti Zionist, and your decision to ignore this choice and see me as a Zionist just for my Jewish family goes against all the other things you say.

Your attempts to set the Palestinians of 48′ apart from their Jewish anti-Zionist allies hurts the possibility of struggle for both sides, and pushes us anti Zionist Jews back to our original community, and away from the connections with the activists who can teach us about the Palestinian reality and fight with us against the Israeli apartheid.

So actually you want me to be Zionist?

Of you just don’t care, I was born a Jew and that’s all I can ever be?

Palestinian from Jordan ALL CITIZENS OF THE ILLEGAL STATES OF “ISRAEL” ARE A PART OF THE ZIONIST COLONIAL PROJECT, EXCEPT THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE OF PALESTINE, AND SO, ALL THOSE WHO SERVE THE ZIONIST PROJECT ARE ZIONISTS FOR US, REGARDLESS OF THEIR RACE, RELIGIOUS BELIEVES OR DISBELIEVES OR POLITICAL VIEWS, FOR DISAMBIGUATION, ANY NON-ISRAELI JEW IS NOT A ZIONIST, ANY PALESTINIAN JEW IS NOT ZIONIST, AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT SERVE THE ZIONIST COLONIAL PROJECT BY OTHER MEANS THAN CITIZENSHIP

Noa: How do I serve the Zionist project? I was among the organizers of the refusal movement, of Jewish Israelis who refuse to serve the Israeli army, my male friends sat years in jail because they refused to serve. I was born in Israel and so were my parents. My grand parents were refugees from three different countries – where is that you want to send me? Poland, Romania or Hungary? I have no other citizenship, and I have fought against the Zionist regime more than most of your friends.

So if you still judge me just on the background of my birth, what does it make you?

Palestinian from Jordan YOU CAN ASK FOR YOUR ORIGINAL CITIZENSHIP AS WE SHOULD DEMAND FOR OURS.

I personally think that this reveals not only the continuity of Arab irredentism, first exhaustively and exhaustingly documented by Harkabi in the 1960s, to the present, but it’s presence precisely in the “Facebook generation” in whom so many Westerners have invested their hope for democracy and peace in the Middle East. Indeed, this exchange brings out the fundamentally racist nature of this opposition to Israel, and in that detail we may find a motive. Actually this isn’t so much racist as it is culturalist. The Palestinian/Arab/Muslim objection to Zionism is an objection to Ashkenazi Jews, the Western, liberated, liberal Jews who expect to deal with “us” natives on the basis of equality.
That’s Noa’s error. She thinks she’s pushing the farthest reaches of her redemptive performativity (that actually means something in Judith Butler-speak) by dissolving all her us-them categories. “I’m not even a Zionist! I’m for a bi-national state!” But instead of meeting her neighbors on the other side, struggling valiantly against their versions of us-them, she runs into enemies who play by the most ferocious rules of us-them, “wala wa’bara: love “us” and hate “them.” Arab Jews are okay, we can make them dhimmi again. Ashkenazi Jews are too much for this political culture to digest.
For Noa, the issue is not what we’re born with, but what we choose, and she chooses to be truly moral, despite the terrible ostracism this brings upon her from her mainstream culture (which still has a sense of “us” under real threat from “them”). She’s talking pure positive-sum tropes to her Arab comrades in arms against Israeli oppression:
Your attempts to set the Palestinians of 48′ apart from their Jewish anti-Zionist allies hurts the possibility of struggle for both sides, and pushes us anti Zionist Jews back to our original community, and away from the connections with the activists who can teach us about the Palestinian reality and fight with us against the Israeli apartheid.
For her “allies” on the auto-identifying “Arab side,” however, it’s about the culture of clan solidarities, in which (voluntary) political parties (or any other such organization) is just a way of rearticulating the zero-sum loyalty to “us” by opposition to “them. “We” can only win, if “you” lose, “what was taken by force can only be taken back by force.” The dominating imperative of prime divider societies.
So the reasons for which Noa’s [imagined] allies reject her, are precisely the reasons she thinks/hopes make her so attractive (redemptive) – her openness and fairness and renunciation of the right to dominate, will effect the tikkun olam (redemptive performativity). On the contrary, it’s is precisely these traits that make her unacceptable to a political culture that does not tolerate uncoerced behavior (libido dominandi, as Augustine used to say), especially from women. In a sense, this is a variant of the world that Rachel Corrie stepped into, where much of the local culture viewed her as a bitch and a whore, and deeply resented her and her “just-here-to-show-solidarity-by-helping-with-the-resistance” friends from the subversive West. Of course in every case, these anti-Zionist “activists” didn’t hesitate to use them both in body and mind, as valuable but discardable useful idiots.
Pro-Palestinian activists would have made very different (and more positive-sum) choices. Noa, like Judith Butler, has allowed demopaths to use her for so long, she doesn’t even realize she’s been had. Who knows, maybe this incident will snap her out of her cognitive dissonance. Or will she take refuge in the false comfort her friends in the movement will supply her with? Millennial history is littered with souls carrying self-destructive memes that render them grapes crushed in the vintage of wrath. When people say, “but for x’s sake, we’re in the twenty-first century!” they mean, “haven’t we gotten  past that level of irrational and mean stupidity?”
And the answer, alas, seems to be “no.”
I think we need to focus our efforts on saying yes.

3 Responses to Red Hot Chili Peppers Elicit Evidence of the Massive Gap Between Pro-Palestinian Israelis and Anti-Zionist Arabs

  1. [...] the lack of any mention of the myths circulating among the other inhabitants of the land. Laor, like “Noa”, is a classic lost, solipsistic soul, wandering the landscape, performing nobly, leading himself [...]

  2. Len Kurtz says:

    I thought Zionism did not exist anymore. Was not the main goal of the movement the establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine? That has been accomplished and it is called Israel. Zionism exists only for those that do not recognize the State of Israel. It is profoundly sad that a number of Jews apparently hold that position.

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