Alan Johnson – @Fathom_Journal – is the editor of Fathom. He published this chapter in 2015 in The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel, edited by Cary Nelson and Gabriel Noah Brahm (Wayne State University Press). We republish the chapter, with permission, because we think it can help to explain some of the disturbing reactions here in the West to the 7 October Hamas Pogrom. A long read, its central focus is how, over an extended period, and with great determination and organisational zeal, systematic intellectual incitement has cultivated an anti-Zionist ideology that is now hegemonic in the west, especially but not solely on ‘the left’, and which is able to construct the anti-Zionist subject – i.e. create ‘anti-Zionist activists’ – on a mass scale. He argues that four ‘notions’ constitute the system of the Anti-Zionist Ideology–Zionism is racism, even a kind of Nazism, Israel’s existence is a crime, Palestinians have no agency and no responsibility, and only solution is the One-State solution: ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’. These constitute the anti-Zionist Imaginary and they so distort reality that otherwise polite middle-class students can now be persuaded to carry placards aloft in 2023, 78 years after the Holocaust, that proclaim the need to ‘Keep the World Tidy!’ by dropping the Star of David into a bin (see photo above). To download a free copy of the book containing this chapter, click here.
It is a peculiarity of every ideological conception . . . that it is governed by ‘interests’ beyond the necessity of knowledge alone … [and] takes its meaning from the current interests in whose service it is subjected.–Louis Althusser.
I want to devote my energies to delegitimising the state of Israel.–Ilan Pappé.
In early 2014 I spoke against a boycott resolution at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Anti-Israel student activists tried to break up the meeting by banging on the tables, using the Israeli flag as a toilet wipe, and screaming at me, again and again, ‘Fuck off our fucking campus you fucking Zionist!’
Writing about the experience shortly afterwards, I blamed their (intellectual) parents who had educated them to think of Zionism–the movement to establish a Jewish homeland in part of Palestine–as a kind of Nazism. Their heads were filled with the common sense of intellectual circles in Europe–Zionism is racism, the Zionists ‘ethnically cleansed’ the natives from the land in 1948, Israel is an ‘Apartheid State,’ Israel is committing a slow genocide against the remaining Palestinians, and so on. In short, they were in thrall to an Anti-Zionist Ideology that had turned them into Anti-Zionist Subjects.
I extend that argument in this essay. ‘An ideology,’ wrote Louis Althusser, ‘is a system of notions that can be projected socially . . . ideology begins only at this point.’ In this chapter I focus only on the system of notions of the Anti-Zionist Ideology (hereafter AZI), not the social and political practices and institutions through which those notions are ‘projected socially’ and so come to ‘subjectivise’ individuals.
Four ideological ‘notions’ constitute the system of the AZI–Zionism is racism, Israel is a crime, the dichotomous understanding of ‘Natural Palestinians / Cultured Israelis’, and the political program of vindictive one-statism. They constitute the anti-Zionist Imaginary and they distort reality. This does not mean, of course, that the AZI is simply an error. As Althusser pointed out, ‘no ideology is purely arbitrary’ but rather ‘an index of real problems, albeit cloaked in the form of misrecognition and so necessarily illusory.’ I seek here to begin to map the ways in which the underlying ‘problematic’ of the AZI–i.e. its systematic structure, including not only the system of notions but the field of problems that the ideology can (and cannot) confront, the questions it can (and cannot) pose, its evasions and silences as well as its explicit claims–misrecognises the conflict and offers only illusory solutions to it. The AZI does not provide genuine knowledge of Zionism as a movement, or Israel as a State, but only a kind of intellectual persecution of both, being shaped decisively by what Althusser calls its ‘practico-social function’–in this case the political project of delegitimising Israel.
Notion One: Zionism is Racism
As a ‘notion’ within the AZI, Zionism is an ideology and movement of ‘racial superiority and supremacy’ with a relation of ‘inherent contradiction’ to democracy and liberalism, and which is, anyway, based on a calculated fabrication of peoplehood. This conception of Zionism renders it homogenous; all is essentialised, all is simplified. Judith Butler, for example, reduces Zionism to nothing but ‘a violent project of settler colonialism,’ while Yitzhak Laor attacks the ‘fundamentally intolerant nature’ of a movement that ‘has no source of legitimisation except the old colonial discourse’. For Jacqueline Rose, Jewish nationalism is racism, separatism, and exclusivism. The Nobel laureate Jose Saramago tells us that ‘the great majority’ of Israeli Jews exhibit ‘a contempt and an intolerance which, on a practical level, have led to the extreme of denying any humanity to the Palestinian people, at times denying their basic right to existence.’ Zionism, then, is understood as a genocidal ideology and movement which ‘expelled, massacred, destroyed, and raped’ in 1948, conducting an ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Palestinians. And which could do no other: ‘Zionist ideology’ is an ‘ethnic ideology’ that seeks a ‘total cleansing’ of non-Jews from the land to make possible the complete ‘Judaisation of Palestine.’ Israel, Pappé claims, is ‘preparing an ethnic cleansing in the West Bank and a genocide in Gaza,’ only leaving the Strip in 2005 so it could ‘bomb freely.’ 
Zionism, then, is understood in a philosophically idealist fashion, with what Karl Marx called an ‘ahistorical, eternal, fixed and abstract conception.’ Hirsh complains of the tendency of left-wing anti-Zionism to ‘explanatory flattening’ and ‘methodological idealism’: ‘In a departure from the method of historical materialism, their analyses of Zionism tend to focus more on Zionism as an idea than on the material factors which underlay its transformation from a minority utopian project into a nation state.’ The AZI does not engage with those material factors but only with Zionism as an Idea, conceived autonomously from history. In place of Marx’s ‘logic of actual experience and real emergence’ there is Pappé’s breezy idealism: ‘This book treats Zionism as a discourse’ and Shahak’s conviction, quoted approvingly by Rose, that ‘the real issue [is] the racist character of the Zionist Movement and the State of Israel and the roots of that racism in the Jewish religious law [Halakha].’ The anti-Zionist philosophers Vattimo and Merder define Zionism as ‘a metaphysically inflected ideology and political worldview.’
In the mid-19th century Karl Marx began to talk about ‘the German Ideology’ as a way to reassert the earthy claims of materialism against the airy idealism of German philosophy. I think we should talk about the anti-Zionist Ideology so that we can reassert the claims of earthy material history in the story of Zionism and Israel. The AZI reduces the complex history of a people (the Jewish people) and the nature of a state (Israel) to the simple expression of a Bad Idea (‘Zionism’) and the Bad Men and Bad Women who pursued it (‘the Zionists’). That distorts reality because it excludes key actors other than ‘the Zionists’–not least non-Jewish Europeans, Palestinian Arabs and the surrounding Arab states–and factors other than ‘the Zionist idea’–not least the storm that Herzl saw approaching; the collapse of European liberalism, the failure of European socialism, the victory of Stalinism, Fascism, and Nazism, and the radicalisation of antisemitism culminating in the Holocaust.
The AZI refuses to let that history irrupt within our thinking because to do so would not serve the interest of delegitimizing Israel. As David Hirsh noted about a 2013 collection of essays which largely recapitulated the Bundist and Bolshevik thinking of the early 20th century, ‘The truth, which is not confronted in this book, is that all the strategies adopted against antisemitism failed. Bundism was eradicated in the Nazi gas chambers. Bolshevism failed to stop the Shoah and, while it did succeed in gaining state power over a third of the world, it did not do so by defeating antisemitism but by adopting it in its anti-Zionist variant.’ The political consequences of this refusal of history by the AZI are huge. Not least, as Hirsh points out, ‘Before 1939 anti-Zionism was a position in debates amongst Jewish opponents of antisemitism. After 1948 it became a programme for the destruction of an actually existing nation state.’ 
The abstract universalism of the AZI
Why was the AZI unable to adapt to the mid-century rupture that transformed the political meaning of ‘anti-Zionism’? In part, because it still saw Zionism as it had in Tsarist Russia, as a political rival. In part, because it was in thrall to abstract universalism. In the 19th century, most of the Left decided that assimilation was the only acceptable Jewish response to modernity and antisemitism. Lenin–employing the ‘Good Jew / Bad Jew’ dichotomy still found in parts of the Left today–wrote that ‘the best Jews have never clamored against assimilation.’ This Left mostly disapproved of the survival of Jewishness–of the Jews as a people with the right to national self-determination, as opposed to individuals with civil rights. It dreamed of the dissolution of Jewish peoplehood in the solvent of progressive universalism. The proletariat, understood as the universalist class par excellence, was to make a revolution that would solve ‘the Jewish question’ once and for all. This abstract universalism came at a price, however. The political theorist Norman Geras has pointed out that Karl Marx’s 1844 essay On the Jewish Question ‘deploys some well-known negative stereotypes, according to which: the mundane basis of Judaism is self-interest, egoism, or, as Marx also calls it, ‘an anti-social element’; the worldly religion of the Jew is huckstering; and the Jew’s jealous god–‘in face of which no other god may exist’–is money. The emancipation of the Jews is said by him to be equivalent to the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.’ Geras called that kind of universalism ‘spurious’ because it singled out the Jews as ‘special amongst other groups in being obliged to settle for forms of political freedom in which their identity may not be asserted collectively; Jews must be satisfied, instead, merely with the rights available to them as individuals.’
It is true that, in the 19th century and the early 20th century, many European Jews were attracted to both universalism and assimilation; it was the name of their desire too. But when world history went another way, Jewish history went with it; the Shoah left the appeal of assimilationism and universalism in tatters and, in response, the Jews insisted on defining their own mode of participation in universal emancipation: Zionism and support for the creation of the state of Israel. Whether individual Jews moved to Israel or not, that was the choice of all but a sliver of world Jewry.
The failure on many parts of the Left to respond to this great rupture in history for the Jews had profound consequences for the Left’s relationship with the Jews. As Moishe Postone, the anti-Stalinist Marxist, has observed, ‘After the Holocaust and the establishment of the state of Israel . . . the abstract universalism expressed by many anti-Zionists today becomes an ideology of legitimation that helps constitute a form of amnesia regarding the long history of European actions, policies and ideologies toward the Jews, while essentially continuing that history. The Jews have once again become the singular object of European indignation.’ Postone goes on: ‘The solidarity most Jews feel toward other Jews, including in Israel–however understandable following the Holocaust–is now decried. This form of anti-Zionism has become one of the bases for a program to eradicate actually existing Jewish self-determination. It converges with some forms of Arab nationalism–now coded as singularly progressive.’
The teleology of the AZI
The AZI has a teleological structure. In other words–the words of Gregory Elliot summarising Louis Althusser’s critique of teleological forms of Marxism–a complex, contradictory, and contingent history is read ‘through the grid of [its] purported realisation,’ while the present is read as the inevitable expression of an essential founding moment. In the AZI, Zionism is treated as a simple and expressive totality, Israel as nothing but its epiphenomenal form. All concrete differences between Zionists are ‘no sooner posited, than negated, by the totality’s internal principle, of which they are merely so many moments.’ Left/Right, Socialist/Revisionist, Secular/Religious, Two-Statist/Greater Israelist–all these differences are not really allowed their status as differences at all, but flattened out until all are mere moments in the ineluctable unfolding of the undifferentiated and ‘simple essence’ of genocidist Zionism. In this way, the ‘complexity of a concrete historical process’ is erased in favour of ‘an evolutionary schema in which the goal is present in germ at the origin.’
As a result the AZI goes nowhere. It is trapped, performing a ‘repetitive revolution in an ideological circle’ closed off to ‘pertinent problems and their rigorous solution,’ lacking a capacity for ‘(self-) rectification and development.’ Not for the AZI, then, the chastened reflection of Trotsky’s biographer Isaac Deutscher who wrote in 1954: ‘I have, of course, long since abandoned my anti-Zionism, which was based on a confidence in the European labour movement, or, more broadly, in European society and civilisation, which that society and civilisation have not justified. If, instead of arguing against Zionism in the 1920s and 1930s I had urged European Jews to go to Palestine, I might have helped to save some of the lives that were later extinguished in Hitler’s gas chambers. For the remnants of European Jewry–is it only for them?–the Jewish State has become an historic necessity. It is also a living reality.’
The AZI refuses to face the challenge of the way history went. For example, Azoulay and Ophir reject the two state solution because they see no need for the Jews to have one place in the world in which they exercise sovereignty as a people. ‘But why would the ethnic nation need sovereignty that requires its political separation from other ethnic nations?’ they ask, genuinely incredulous. In similar vein, Jacqueline Rose applauds Marcel Leibman’s rejection of Zionism on the grounds that ‘the answer to racism is to denounce it, not to flee behind a defensive, self-isolating barrier of being–and being only–a Jew’. A few lines later Rose passes on Liebman’s war-time memory of the total abandonment of the Jews in Europe: ‘When the announcement was made expelling all Jews, there was not a word of comment or protest,’ he recalls. Rose does see that the short, hard, material second sentence challenges the abstract-universalist anti-Zionism of the first. Plainly, it was not enough to ‘denounce racism.’ Plainly it was Zionism, not Liebman, that was correct about the need for the ‘defensive barrier’ i.e. a Jewish state. And while Shlomo Sand does admit that Zionism’s ‘appreciation of history was later revealed to be justified,’ he literally entombs that inconvenient truth within brackets, thus allowing it no analytical weight or explanatory power. As Zeev Sternhell has pointed out, even an anti-Zionist book of high caliber and general culture such as Gabriel Peterburg’s The Returns of Zionism: Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel does not avoid ‘the usual faults of the genre,’ not least idealism. For example, although the 1947-49 war was ‘launched by the Arab states against the founding of the Jewish state,’ as Sternhell reminds us, Peterburg can only see ‘the ‘logic’ of an ideology.’ He misses the ugly rise of 19th century volkish Europe (‘Half a century before the Shoah, Europe began to vomit up its Jews,’ Sternhell comments), mid-century European fascism, the defeat of world revolution (and with it the hopes of the Bundists and the anti-Zionist left) and the Arab war against the Jewish state. None of this counts. The only factor given any weight by Piterburg is (murderous-from-inception) Zionist ideology.
And because the AZI spurns a properly materialist analysis of Zionism (by which I do not mean a narrowly economistic approach), embraces an abstract universalism targeted only at the Jews (even after the Holocaust), codes Arab nationalism as progressive (even when it is antisemitic), and remains trapped within teleological and idealist modes of thought that leave it unable to face the weight of history or the duty of self-criticism, it has a tendency to indulge various forms of magical thinking.
In her wild psychoanalysis (‘learnt from books,’ as Freud put it) Jacqueline Rose puts Zionism in treatment as an analysand. Rose plays the part of the analyst and comes to a speedy diagnosis: the traumatised patient exhibits symptoms of ‘resistance’ which have ‘blocked the passage of the psyche into freedom.’ This ‘defense mechanism’ has protected the patient from ‘from the pain and mess of the inner life,’ but at a steep price: an inability to face the pain of either Holocaust survivors or Palestinians. Rose argues that the former were not just ‘used’ and ‘hated’ by Israel, which exhibited a ‘willed blindness’ towards them, but that this ‘shameful treatment’ was ‘constitutive of the state.’ As for the latter, the ‘destruction of the entire infrastructure of Palestinian life,’ no less, is acceptable to Israel because it lacks any sense of the shared vulnerability of peoples, having chosen to promote ‘omnipotence as the answer to historical pain.’
The AZI also drinks deep at the well of conspiracism, including wildly inflated estimates of the power of the ‘Jewish lobby.’ John Mearsheimer’s and Stephen Walt’s 2007 book The Israel Lobby gave a stamp of academic legitimacy to conspiracism, by claiming to prove that only the power of the Israel lobby to shape US foreign policy could explain the US decision to invade Iraq–a war Israel did not think wise, as it happens. A shiny new Ivy League stamp of approval was given to the smelly old idea that hidden Jewish power pushes states into wars and revolutions to serve Jewish interests. In this vein, Pappé claims that in 1947 ‘the Truman administration was probably the first ever to succumb to the power of the Jewish lobby’ and today’s US policy in the region is ‘confined to the narrow route effectively delineated . . . by AIPAC.’ More: ‘In the United States today,’ Pappé writes, ‘one cannot ignore the level of integration of Jews into the heights of American financial, cultural and academic power’ nor ‘the exploitation of the fruits of successful integration into American society for the benefit of a foreign country.’ He doesn’t not quite call American Jews a fifth column, but he is getting there.
The Haaretz commentator Carlo Strenger has expressed his frustration at Judith Butler’s conspiracist view of Zionism, but he might have had the entire AZI in his sights. ‘Judging from [Butler’s book] Parting Ways,’ he wrote, ‘you might think that Zionism was a unitary ideology run by some politburo. At no point would you recognise how complex the history of Zionism is, and how different its various shades can be. You would not guess that there are committed liberal Zionists who argue for a secular constitution for Israel that would give full equality to Arabs and lead to a complete separation of religion and state.’ He went on: ‘Quite remarkably, Butler, whose life’s work is about nuances, unquestioningly accepts simplistic premises about Zionism.’ 
Another indication that the AZI is dominated by the ‘practico-social function’ of delegitimising Israel is its addiction to what we might call the Higher Ad Homenism. Pappé dismisses historiography which offers an alternative interpretation of Zionism or Israel as craven (‘to satisfy the powers that be’) or an ‘intentional fabrication’, nought but ‘the scholarly scaffolding for acts of repression, oppression and discrimination’, written by people of bad faith who occupy ‘the tribal space’. Norman Finkelstein trashed the social democratic Zionist and political philosopher Michael Walzer in those terms, comparing him unfavourably to inter-war fascist thinkers. Shlomo Sand indicts Zionist intellectuals per se as calculating little entrepreneurs of political identity, wily but ‘dominant agents in the development of . . . the national imagination’, mere peddlers in ‘foundation myths’, ‘docile in their acceptance of the cult of the State’ who have embraced ‘an exclusive holist State identity that only Jews can participate in’. Former Matzpen leader Tikva Honig-Parnass incites her readers against the ‘Zionist Left intellectuals’ on the grounds of their ‘failure to warn their readers against (sic) ethnic cleansing, which makes them complicit to the growing discourse of ‘transfer’ in Israeli society.’ 
Zionist literature fares no better than Zionist historiography. Laor’s The Myths of Liberal Zionism, a short bilious polemic, indicts the novelists David Grossman (ultimately) and A.B.Yehoshua and Amos Oz (enthusiastically, with genuine loathing) as dishonest practitioners of ‘hasbara,’ i.e. propaganda. Although each is a proponent of the two-state solution, Laor trashes them all as ‘prophets of a new xenophobia’ who have been ‘marketed’ to European audiences as ‘fetishes of progress’ but who are really the creators of a genre of writing–’Israeli writing in the west’–that is kitsch, written by in defence of racism and ‘the return of the colonial’, and marked by ‘that obsessive hatred towards anything which is ‘impure’’.
Notion 2: Israel is a crime
The second ‘notion’ of the Anti-Zionist Ideology is that the state of Israel created in 1948 is a crime against humanity. In the imaginary of the AZI, Israel is an illegitimate nation, born through an ‘ethnic cleansing’; it is an ‘Apartheid state’ that is pursuing ‘genocidal’ policies in defence of a militarist and expansionist ‘ethno-democracy.’
A Genocidist State
‘Among all the harms produced by Hitler’s politics and the Holocaust,’ suggests the Heideggerian-Communist philosopher Gianni Vattimo, ‘one can also list the creation of Israel as a Jewish state in 1948.’ Once it was the ‘devilish Jew,’ notes David Hirsh; but now, for the AZI, it is Israel doing what the devilish Jew used to do: ‘standing in the way of world peace, of being responsible for stirring up wars, of being uniquely racist or apartheid or dangerous in some other way.’ Jewish nationalism, he points out, is now viewed as ‘essentially different from all other nationalisms … nothing at all but a mode of exclusion … more like a totalising and timeless essence of evil than a historical set of changing and variegated beliefs and practices.’
For example, Yitzhak Laor claims that Israel Defence Force ‘death squads’ are guilty of ‘indiscriminately killing,’ and of acts of ‘sadism,’ including ‘mass starvation.’ Omar Barghouti claims Israel has an ‘insatiable appetite’ for ‘genocide and the intensification of ethnic cleansing.’ (One is reminded here of those inter-war cartoons of gigantic Jews looming over and eating up the world.) According to Shenhav’s Beyond the Two-State Solution, Israel is ‘built on the ruins of the indigenous people of Palestine, whose livelihood, houses, culture, and land had been systematically destroyed’; the country is ‘an aggressive war machine’, pregnant with genocide; Israel’s ‘violence-generating mechanisms’ drive it into ‘killing Arabs regularly,’ the 1956 Kafr Qasim massacre, for example, being not an exceptional event but ‘the political model of Jewish sovereignty’. Israel, seen through the lens of the AZI, is on course to achieve ‘the annihilation of the Palestinian people.’
The unhinged portrayal of Israel as a genocidist state often takes the form of what has been called ‘Holocaust Inversion.’ Four forms can be identified. First, the depiction of Israelis as the new Nazis and the Palestinians as the new Jews; an inversion of reality. As Klaff notes, ‘We see headlines like ‘The Final Solution to the Palestine Question,’ references to the ‘Holocaust in Gaza,’ images of Israeli IDF soldiers morphing into jackbooted storm troopers, or of Israeli politicians morphing into Hitler, or of the Star of David morphing into the Swastika.’ Noam Chomsky described the IDF as ‘those who wear the jackboots,’ while Jacqueline Rose falsely claimed that the IDF ‘provided a guard of honour’ at the tomb of Baruch Goldstein, the Jew who massacred 29 Arabs in Hebron in 1994. Shenhav quotes approvingly from the testimony of a person who ‘describes the wrongs forced upon the Palestinians in the territories as ‘Sabra and Chatilla times a million.’’
Second, the Zionist ideology and movement is made to appear in the AZI as akin to Nazism, or is considered alongside of, or in comparison to, or even collaborating with Nazism. For example, Konig-Parnass finds in the socialism of the early Zionists ‘a local version of National-Socialism that retained the main tenets of organic nationalism.’ A theme in Shlomo Sand’s work is ‘[t]he relative inaction and indifference of Zionist leaders towards the annihilation of European Judaism,’ while other anti-Zionists such as Lenni Brenner radicalise the notion of ‘indifference’ and claim there was active ‘collaboration’ between Zionists and Nazis during the Holocaust.
Third, the Holocaust is turned into a ‘moral lesson’ for, or a ‘moral indictment’ of the Jews–an inversion of morality. Rose argues that after ‘escaping the horrors of Europe, the Jews are in danger of transporting their own legacy of displacement, directly and perilously, onto the soil of Palestine . . . the displacement of one history of suffering directly onto another.’ The AZI writers Hazem Saghiyah and Saleh Bashir are perhaps the most candid in treating the Holocaust as laying a special moral burden on the Jews. They write: ‘The dissociation between the acknowledgment of the Holocaust and what Israel is doing should be the starting point for the development of a discourse which says that the Holocaust does not free the Jewish state or the Jews of accountability. On the contrary, the Nazi crime compounds their moral responsibility and exposes them to greater answerability.’
Fourth, Holocaust memory appears within the AZI only as a politicized and manipulated thing, a club wielded instrumentally, with malice aforethought, by bullying Jews, for Jewish ends. Pappé devotes a chapter of The Idea of Israel to lambasting the ‘official and collective manipulation’ of Holocaust memory by the Israeli state, praising the work of Idith Zertal because there ‘one encounters Israel as a necrophilic nation . . . [o]bsessed and possessed by death . . . yet quite able to use and abuse [Holocaust] memory for the sake of its political aims.’ Gianni Vattimo goes further. The Shoah is not just used as ‘an all-encompassing justification for all the actions of Israel.’ Israel is guilty of ‘much more than a simple and cynical political expediency.’ And what is this ‘more’? It is a ‘radical and vindictive executionism.’ With Vattimo, it is clear, the AZI is brought (hardly kicking and screaming, it has to be said) to the very threshold of antisemitism.
A racist in-gathering
But surely Israel is also a raft-state, as Isaac Deutscher put it? Surely, when Europe was a burning ship for the Jews, they had the right, as Amos Oz believes, to jump? Was the creation of a Jewish homeland not an ‘existential necessity’ as the left-wing Zionist intellectual historian Zeev Sternhell argues? Not according to the AZI, which relentlessly frames the Jewish in-gathering as a racist and colonial project and Jewish sovereignty as criminal. While Palestinian ethnocentrism is praised as the foundation of a ‘beautiful resistance’–as the Vicar of St James Church in London wrote, justifying the staging of an eight metre high replica of ‘the Apartheid Wall’ in the church courtyard during Christmas 2013– the Jewish in-gathering is treated by the AZI as a dirty and clannish affair, driven by supremacism and racism. ‘Israeli Jews are . . . pied noirs . . . [we are] part of you as long as we are here,’ writes Laor. 
The Jews, and only the Jews, are held to the universalist standard; only their pursuit of national self-determination is condemned: ‘[e]thno-racial separation lies at the very core of the Jewish social-democratic worldview,’ sneers Shenhav. The political program of the left for every other oppressed people in history–the right to national self-determination as a necessary stage prior to universalism, necessary for ‘clearing the decks for the class struggle,’ as Lenin put it–is denied to just one group, the Jews, who must embrace universalism; and not in the socialist future, but now. 
But what of the 700,000 or so Jews who were driven or emigrated from the Arab lands after 1948 and found refuge in Israel? Don’t they complicate the picture of Zionism and Israel found in the AZI? They are not allowed to. They are rigorously denied the status of victims or refugees, for a start. A prettifying language of free will is draped over their experience of being abused, stripped off their property and possessions and driven out. To the AZI, they simply ‘entered the country’ (Yiftachel), or ‘emigrated from Arab countries’ (Honig-Parnass) or are described neutrally as ‘Jewish immigrants from Arab countries’ (Rose). However, the moment they arrive in Israel the AZI treats them as victims . . . of Zionism. Exemplary in this regard is Pappé, for whom the Mizrachi Jews were ‘enslaved’ by Zionism and its racist Ashkenazi ideology of supremacism.
Notion 3: ‘Natural Palestinians / Cultured Israelis’
The third ‘notion’ of the AZI is buried but active within its problematic or systemic structure), so it must be, as Althusser puts it, ‘dragged up from the depths.’ It takes the form of the unexamined assumption; a dichotomy in thought: ‘Natural Palestinians / Cultured Israelis.’ In other words, when it comes to identifying actors with agency, responsibility, and choice, the AZI has a dichotomous approach: Palestinians (and Arabs per se) are absent, while Israelis are (massively and exclusively) present. The unarticulated assumption of the AZI is that Palestinians are a driven people, dominated by circumstances and moved by emotions; qualities associated with the world of nature. Israelis are the opposite; masters of all circumstances, rational and calculating; qualities associated with the world of culture.
The dichotomy is an integral aspect of a mind-set: the reactionary anti-imperialism that became dominant on much of the Left from the late 1960s. Whereas anti-imperialism had previously been only ‘one value amongst a whole set–democracy, equality, sexual and gender liberation, anti-totalitarianism,’ it was now raised to an altogether higher status: ‘the central value, prior to and above all others.’ The world was divided into two ‘camps’: imperialism versus anti-imperialism. Soon enough, and rapidly after the 1967 war and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel was reframed as ‘a key site of the imperialist system.’ Since 1989 and the collapse of Communism, campism has remained the dominant intellectual framework for many parts of the Left. Reducing the complexity of the post-cold-war world to a single Great Contest–’Imperialism’ against ‘the resistance,’ or ‘Empire’ against ‘the multitude’–many on the Left became gripped by the same Manichean world-view and habits of mind that dominated during the Stalinist era; from apologia to denial, from cynicism to grossly simplifying tendencies of thought, from the belief that ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ to the abandonment of all who get on the wrong side of the ‘anti-imperialists.’ For example, by defining Radical Islamism as part of the anti-imperialist ‘resistance’ to imperialism, parts of the left redefined itself as a (not very) critical supporter of Radical Islamism. AZI theorist Judith Butler, for example, insisted the eliminationist antisemites of Hamas and Hezbollah were ‘social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left.’
Pascal Bruckner’s essay The Tyranny of Guilt traces the rise of this mentality (‘the whole world hates us and we deserve it’) and this post-communist politics (a ‘Third Worldism of introspection’) in which guilt-ridden intellectuals, even as they enjoy all that Western liberal democratic society has to offer, retain a deep personal need to feel wholly oppositional to a ‘fallen culture.’ So they turn in on the West itself, which must now be as bad as the East was once good. Now we ‘hate ourselves much more than we love others.’ Look around, says Bruckner: ‘one applauds a religious revolution, another goes into ecstasies over the beauty of terrorist acts, or supports a guerrilla movement because it challenges our imperialist project.’ Israel, in this world-view, is part of the imperialist West. This campist framing shapes how the conflict is perceived: we end up ‘pursuing our own mythologies in a foreign theater.’ Bruckner again: ‘People who support the Palestinians are not hoping to aide flesh-and-blood human beings but pure ideas … not so such engaged in inquiring into a specific antagonism–a real estate dispute involving two equally legitimate owners as Amos Oz puts it–as in settling accounts with Western culture.’
While 19th century universalism and assimilationism gave the socialist left a predisposition to be hostile to the Jews as a people, the 20th century accretion of reactionary anti-imperialism, identity politics and Occidentalism added a predisposition to view Israel as a state beyond the pale and the Palestinians as the embodiment of victimhood. And this dichotomy is absolutely central to the AZI. It underpins the radical decontextualisation of history, the discounting of Israel’s security fears and their reframing as Zionist frauds, the infantalisation of the Palestinians as a people without responsibility and beyond judgement, and the evasion of Arab and Palestinian antisemitism. In toto, these tendencies of thought frame Israel rather as a corrupt police officer would frame a suspect for a crime.
Granting only one side agency and responsibility, the dichotomy distorts key events of the conflict (e.g. the war of 1948, the collapse of the Camp David peace talks in 2000, Gaza after the 2005 disengagement). The Palestinians are cast as passive victims; a compelled people (Laor claims the second intifada was ‘instigated’ by . . . Israeli policy); a duped people (Honig-Parnass writes of ‘Barak’s pre-planned collapse of the Camp David talks in October 2000’); and a people beyond the reach of judgement (Rose views Palestinian suicide bombers as ‘people driven to extremes’ and thinks Israel has ‘the responsibility for [the] dilemma’ of the suicide bomber. In a particularly stark example of the poverty of dichotomous thinking, Shenhav’s account of 1948 has no Arab rejection of the UN Partition plan, no massed Arab armies on the borders, no coordinated Arab invasion, no desperate Jewish self-defense, no ethnic cleansing by Arabs of Jews in every place they won battlefield victories. There are only Zionist ‘massacres’ and ‘forced expulsions’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’; all caused by a Zionist ‘transfer ideology’ that the Zionists successfully ‘realised in that war.’ Shenhav dismisses alternative accounts of 1948 as ‘denial’–a kind of academic crime against humanity. Similarly, Pappé’s portrait of ‘the ghetto of Gaza,’ where Palestinians are ‘incarcerated in a huge megaprison’ by cruel Israelis, is missing only disengagement, rocket attacks, the anti-Semitic Hamas Charter, and Iranian-supplied Fajr 5 rockets with a 70km range (not to mention the Egyptian border).
Bracketed security fears
The dichotomous understanding of ‘Natural Palestinians / Cultured Israelis’ also shapes how the AZI understands Israel’s security. In short, the threats Israel faces are discounted and the security measures taken by Israel in response are reframed as examples of ‘apartheid.’ Zionists, claims Pappé, are ‘[c]ompelling a nation to be constantly at arms’ by stimulating ‘continual angst’ through the abuse of Holocaust memory. Sand argues that Zionism falsely ‘portray[s] itself as a persecuted innocent’ and it is this portrayal, not any actual threats, that ‘have given Israeli society . . . a well of deep-seated collective anxieties.’ Pappé dismisses the ‘useful fabrications about Israelis suffering under intense rocketing’ as a ‘fantasy of apologists.’ Honig-Parnass rolls her eyes at ‘warmongering by the Israeli security and political establishments against Iran,’ placing beyond judgment the Iranian regime, its pursuit of a nuclear capability, its threats to wipe Israel from the pages of time, and its Holocaust denial. For the AZI, Israel’s concern with security (like its approach to Holocaust memory) is either a pathology (a psychological condition Israelis cannot break out of) or–contradictorily, though the AZI does not seem to notice the contradiction–a politically-manipulated instrumentalism (a political ploy used cynically).
The third consequence of dichotomous thinking about the nature of the two peoples is the infantalisation of one of them. Nothing can ever be expected or demanded of the Palestinians, who remain perpetually below the age of responsibility; the source of their behaviour is always external to themselves, always located in Israel’s actions.
For example, when Amos Oz complained that incitement by Arafatesque intellectuals is one major reason why so many Palestinians are ‘suffocated and poisoned by blind hate,’ Yitzhak Laor responded by accusing Oz of ‘incitement’ against the Palestinians. Oz’s temerity in seeking to hold the Palestinians to account was enough to condemn him in Laor’s eyes.[87 Jacqueline Rose issued a barely disguised apologia for the Palestinian suicide bomber as a person compelled, then admonished Israel a few lines later for failing to take note of Freud’s warning that ‘the forcefulness with which a group builds and defends its identity was the central question of modern times.’ She also described Palestinian suicide terrorism as ‘tragic,’ a term which, as the late political theorist and ethicist Jean Bethke Elshtain pointed out, brackets human agency and responsibility, falsely assimilating a conscious human act (terrorist murder) to a mindless act of nature (such as a flood). Of course, Rose then indicts the Israeli state as ‘the agent’ that is responsible for the terrorism, and for ‘plac[ing] Jews in Israel . . . at risk.’
When the AZI infantalises the Palestinians, it politically disorientates itself. One example: Shlomo Sand expresses his disgust at those Jewish Israelis who opposed Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. Given Saddam was firing scud missiles at Israeli civilians, why does Sand feel disgust? Because the Palestinians felt ‘joy’ at this ‘Arab’ show of force.’ And that is what is decisive for Sand. So he, a socialist, ends up uncritically celebrating the brutal invasion of Kuwait by a genocidal dictator. Another bitter fruit of the AZI.
Evading Arab and Palestinian Antisemitism
A final consequence of the dichotomy is that when faced with Arab antisemitism, the AZI tends to minimise it, rationalising, bracketing, and rendering invisible, or just plain falsifying. For example, in Pappé’s The Idea of Israel, one would never know that the Palestinian leader Al-Husseini was so supportive of the Nazis that he formed a Muslim SS Unit. Pappé presents this as just ‘an episode’ in the ‘complex’ life of a nationalist; a ‘foolish flirtation’ that should only be of interest to the reader because it has been exploited by Zionists to ‘demonise’ the Palestinians and ‘made it easy for Israeli historiography.’ Al-Husseini, you see, was ‘forced’ into the alliance with Hitler because the British had expelled him from Palestine after the Revolt of 1937. Similarly, the antisemitism of Al-Qassam is lawyered away by Pappé and the antisemitic British foreign secretary Ernest Bevin is retouched as a ‘pragmatic and sensible’ figure. More seriously, Pappé flirts with the notion of Jewish responsibility for antisemitism. Discussing the 17th century pogroms against the Jews in Eastern Europe, Pappé invokes the ‘heresy’ of Israel Shahak in order to argue that Jews must acknowledge ‘some degree of Jewish responsibility’ for those pogroms; it was the ‘lack of empathy or identification with the oppressed peasants’ on the part of the Jews that led to their targeting. Pappé urges the reader to ignore those Zionist textbooks that say Jews were attacked ‘because of who they were and not because of anything they did.’ Pappé then tells us that the ‘same explanation’–antisemitism is, at least in part, about what Jews do–can be applied ‘to the hatred and aggression of the Arabs or Palestinians against Israelis.’
Pappé also claims that the exodus of Jews from the Arab lands after 1948 had no anti-Semitic component. After all, the Jews of the Arab lands were enjoying ‘organic cohabitation … in Arab and Islamic societies … a life of integration and coexistence’ until Zionism ‘reintroduced this schism in modern times.’ Similarly, for Azoulay and Ophir, the ‘long positive history of coexistence shared by Jews and Arabs in various countries, including Palestine until the end of the British Mandate’ are ‘played down’ by ‘the Zionists,’ while ‘shows of anti-Semitism are magnified out of all proportion.’
And when Jacqueline Rose erases the distinction between the Palestinian suicide bomber and his Israeli civilian victim, uncritically passing on to the reader the view of the Hamas leader Abdul Aziz al-Ratansi (‘If he wants to sacrifice his soul in order to defeat the enemy and for God’s sake–well, then he’s a martyr’), are we not reminded of Moshe Postone’s observation about the ‘Orientalist reification of the Arabs and/or Muslims as the Other, whereby the Other, this time, is affirmed.’?
Notion 4: Vindictive One-Statism
The fourth ‘notion’ of the AZI is a utopian political program: vindictive one statism. One-Statism: the resolution of the conflict by denying the right to national self-determination to both fiercely nationalist peoples. Vindictive: its primary interest is ending Israel rather than birthing Palestine.
Vindictive One-Statism versus the Israeli people
Vindictive one-statism seeks to end Israel by rewinding the film of history and undoing 1948. ‘Nationhood is not a right . . . self-determination is a myth’ says Rose. Omar Barghouti, a founder of the BDS movement, rejects any expression of Jewish self-determination because ‘by definition it infringes the inalienable rights of the indigenous Palestinian to part of their homeland.’ The leading one-stater, Ali Abunimeh of Electronic Intifada, writes that ‘self-determination … cannot apply to Israelis as a separate group due to the settler colonial nature of Zionism.’ Gabriel Piterburg, notes Zeev Sternhell, ‘holds that Israel can only obliterate the original sin of its birth by disappearing.’ More: the idea of conquest lies just beneath the surface of vindictive one-statism. Coercion is necessary, implies Shenhav, because Israel is an example of what Herbert Marcuse called a one-dimensional society, that is, a ‘pseudo-democracy’ in which all critical thought has been ‘paralysed.’ Saree Makdisi, an English professor at UCLA, is blunter still. ‘No privileged group in the history of the world has ever voluntarily announced its privileges,’ he says, so ‘the Israelis will never relinquish their privileges until they are compelled preferably by non-violent means … to accept the parameters of a single democratic state.’
Vindictive One-Statism versus the Palestinian people
The program of vindictive one-statism also pushes the Anti-Zionist Subject into trying to play the role of the conscience of the Palestinian national movement, policing it from the left, attacking Abbas as a ‘sell-out’ and prettifying Hamas as ‘the resistance.’ It all makes for a ludicrous spectacle. Judith Butler, the booster of Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘part of the global left’, wags her tenured Berkeley finger at the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, rallies opposition to the two-state solution he seeks to negotiate, and charges him with ‘abandon[ing] the right of return for diasporic Palestinians.’ The London Review of Books routinely denounced the two-stater Salam Fayyad, when he was prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, as a collaborator. ‘Fayyad’s critics,’ wrote Adam Shatz, ‘call him a ‘good manager of the occupation,’ a ‘builder of apartheid roads,’ ‘the sugar daddy who got us hooked on aid,’ and it’s all true.’ Pappé simply defines the entire Palestinian Authority as a bunch of hopeless ‘collaborators.’ The US-born Palestinian academic Saree Makdisi expressed his disdain for ‘those Palestinians who cling to what is manifestly an outmoded form of political thought … centered on the nation-state.’ Honig-Parnass spits at the ‘collaborative’ PA as a ‘police force to keep Palestinians under control.’ Noam Chomsky spits at the PA as ‘nothing but a quisling regime.’ Makdisi spits at the PA because ‘its main function is to facilitate the ongoing occupation and colonisation of the West Bank.’ Pappé spits at the Oslo traitors . . . of Fatah, because they have embraced ‘a concept of peace that altogether buried 1948 and its victims.’ Shanhav is just glad Israel does not have a partner for peace, because the two state solution is ‘immoral.’[cxiv] And so on.
The AZI, in short, encourages Palestinian rejectionism and maximalism, echoes the obstructionism of the pro-Iran Hamas, stokes the fantasy of a full untrammelled right of return for every last Palestinian refugee, and can find no place in its heart for the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination.
The utopianism of vindictive one-statism
Vindictive One-Statism is therefore utopian in the sense Marx and Engels used that term in the Communist Manifesto to describe those socialists who imagined that ‘historical action [will] yield to their personal inventive action, historically created conditions of emancipation to fantastic ones’ and who span a ‘politics of dreaming’ without a ‘real basis.’ For example, Azoulay and Ophir’s book The One-State Condition, while being a serious (if one-sided) analysis of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, is utopian when it turns to a solution to the conflict. ‘Imagine a state in which . . .’ begins their conclusion, worryingly. They go on to describe a state without borders, in which categories such as ‘illegal alien’ have been abolished and people are, instead, ‘rapidly naturalised,’ all belonging and living together in partnership. Significantly, they admit that ‘[i]n order to imagine such a regime, three main features of the commonly accepted conception of modern democracy must be given up’ by Israel. These are (a) ‘the idea that the state is a closed, given entity that dictates the borders of the political system and maintains relations with similar closed entities’ (i.e. the international state system); (b) ‘the idea that national sovereignty is tested by the states military might and its willingness to exert it occasionally’ (i.e. the right to self-defence); (c) the distinction between citizens and non-citizens (i.e. the basis of political obligation and right). But what would the state be, after these three disavowals? It would be the ‘ever-changing product’ of ‘power relations and political struggles.’ They accept that many will think their proposal ‘utterly naive’ but they are undaunted because ‘utopian discourse cannot be measured in terms of its applicability.’
We find this same (symptomatic) demand–to be exempted from the criteria of applicability–in Judith Butler’s Parting Ways. The ‘one-state solution,’ she writes, rather optimistically, would ‘eradicate all forms of discrimination based on ethnicity, race and religion’ as Jews and Palestinians ‘converge to produce a post-national polity.’ Noting that Edward Said thought this ‘an impossible task,’ Butler adds that it is ‘for that reason no less necessary.’
Azoulay and Ophir at least pose the question of whether a one-state solution might lead to civil war and repartition, but they do not allow it to detain them for long. That danger, they swiftly conclude, can easily be ‘dealt with by organisations of civil society alongside state mechanisms that bear an equal responsibility to both nations destined to live together, and with sufficient means to address the separate national matters and the contradictions they embody.’ The only problem is that those words–read them again, slowly–mean precisely nothing. Shenhav’s program is even cloudier: a ‘post-Westphalian sovereignty that is, in essence, porous, non-continuous and multiple.’ He ‘assumes the existence of cross and joint sovereignties organised in a complex manner in different spheres of a common spatial region.’ He seeks ‘the redivision of the space and the decentralisation of sovereignties’ and the creation of ‘new spheres of overlapping political, communal, municipal and theological sovereignties.’ Again, mere words enclose an empty space.
Honig-Parnass’s words do mean something concrete, but they hark back to a political fantasy. She thinks the solution lies in a ‘radical anti-imperialist perspective’; an ‘anti-capitalist globalisation’ and a ‘democratic transformation of the entire region, which would lead to a socialist Middle East.’
As a system of ‘notions’ that direct thought–Zionism is racism, Israel is a crime, Natural Palestinians / Cultured Israelis, and vindictive one-statism–the AZI has made ‘Israel’ and ‘Palestine’ into a screen onto which western activists like those I met at NUI Galway can project their ‘radical’ political identity. To pull off this performance of identity, the ‘Palestinians’ are required to be the pure victims of the wicked Israelis. That is why Palestinians being starved by Assad hold no interest. Nor do Palestinians being thrown from rooftops by Hamas members. Nor the Palestinians doing the throwing, for that matter. That is why, when Salam Fayyad was building up the basis of a Palestinian state, the BDS activists and Guardian editorialists yawned, or denounced him as a collaborator. As for ‘the Israelis,’ well, they must be reduced to ‘the fucking Zionists’–a continuation of Afrikaner racism or Nazism.
There is more than a threat to scholarship at stake here. David Hirsh–the most useful critic of the AZI writing today–helps us to see that the road from intellectual incitement to physical violence against Jews is not a long one. That journey begins with denial. ‘One could confront the reality; that history had forged a Hebrew speaking Jewish nation on the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean, or one could deny it.’ It continues with the adoption of the reactionary political program of ending Israel: ‘the hope that the film of history could be unwound, and Israel could somehow be made to disappear.’ It ends in violence because (Hirsh again), ‘To call Israelis ‘The Zionists’ is to cast them as a political movement rather than as citizens of an existing state; and a political movement can be right or wrong, can be supported or opposed, while a nation state can only be recognised as a reality. And if ‘the Zionists’ are characterised as essentially ‘racist’ or ‘apartheid’ or ‘Nazi’, then Israeli Jews can be treated, once again, as exceptional to the human community.’
Consider, for example, Gianni Vattimo’s editorial introduction to Deconstructing Zionism, a collection of essays written, note, by ‘some of today’s leading philosophers.’ ‘When I continue to recite, in the Latin breviary, certain Psalms like the 12th, (Cum reduceret Dominus captives Sion . . .)’ writes Vattimo, ‘I increasingly feel its literal more than its allegorical sense: this is . . . a song of jubilation for the military victory of one people over another.’ In other words, Vattimo thinks he is digging up the roots of a violent tribal Jewish essence and he is disgusted by what he finds: here is ‘the feeling of a nomadic people with whom I have nothing in common.’ More: ‘To speak of Israel as an ‘irredeemable sin’ is therefore not so excessive.’ And he has had enough of the Holocaust being used as a litmus test, ‘a type of Nuremburg trial before which all thinkers are brought in order to be judged.’ As for those ‘Nazi hunters who never seem to get enough of justice-vengeance’–well, enough of them, too. Vattimo suggests we listen less to ‘the Zionists’ and more to the former Iranian President Ahmadinejad who has had the courage to ‘question the very legitimacy of Israel’s existence.’ Passing in silence over Ahmadinejad’s threats to erase Israel from the page of time and his Holocaust denial, Vattimo praises the former Iranian leader in terms that should give us pause: ‘When Ahmadinejad invokes the end of the State of Israel, he merely expresses a demand that should be more explicitly shared by the democratic countries that instead consider him an enemy.’
In such terms is devotion to the intellectual program of the delegitimisation of the state of Israel now beginning to legitimise the practical program of the physical destruction of the Jews. 
Althusser, Louis and Etienne Balibar. Reading Capital, London, Verso, 1970.
Althusser, Louis. Philosophy of the Encounter. London: Verso, 2006.
Azoulay, Ariella and Adi Ophir. The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine. Translated by Tal Haran. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.
Ben Noah, Gerry. ‘Brenner on the Nazi Massacre,’ in Arabs, Jews and Socialism, ed. John O’Mahony (London: Alliance for Workers Liberty, 1993), 37-38.
Butler, Judith. ‘The End of Oslo,’ London Review of Books Blog, 25 September 2011. http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2011/09/25/judith-butler/the-end-of-oslo/
Butler, Judith. Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.
Cohen, Steve. That’s Funny You Don’t Look Antisemitic. London: Beyond the Pale Collective, 1984. http://www.engageonline.org.uk/ressources/funny/contents.html
Chomsky, Noam and Ilan Pappé. Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians. London: Penguin, 2010.
Elliot, Gregory. Althusser: The Detour of Theory. London: Verso, 1987.
Fine, Robert. ‘The Lobby: Mearsheimer and Walt’s Conspiracy Theory’, Engage. 21 March 2006. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/article.php?id=310
Finkelstein, Norman G. Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict. London: Verso, 1995.
Geras, Norman. ‘Alibi Antisemitism’, Fathom Journal 2 (2013). Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.fathomjournal.org/policy-politics/alibi-antisemitism/
Hirsh, David. Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: Cosmopolitan Reflections. Working Paper, Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, Yale University, 2007.
Hirsh, David. ‘Hostility to Israel and Antisemitism: Toward a Sociological Approach,’ Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, 5 (2013) 1401-1422.
Hirsh, David. ‘Rebels Against Zion’, Fathom Journal 5 (2014). Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.fathomjournal.org/reviews-culture/rebels-against-zion/
Honig-Parnass, Tikva. False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011.
Johnson, Alan.’More Palestinian than the Palestinians,’ World Affairs (blog) 16 October 2012. http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/alan-johnson/judith-butler-more-palestinian-palestinians
Johnson, Alan. ‘BDS bullies at Galway University’. Times of Israel (blog), Mar 10, 2014, accessed April 24, 2014. http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/bds-bullies-at-galway-university/
Johnson, Alan. ‘On Israel, the intellectuals are driving the students mad’. The Daily Telegraph (blog), 13 March, 2014. Accessed April 24, 2014.
Johnson, Alan. ‘This barrier stops fascists: A response to Bethlehem unwrapped’, The Times of Israel (blog), 8 January 2014. http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/this-barrier-stops-fascists-a-response-to-bethlehem-unwrapped/
Johnson, Alan. ‘What a one-state solution really means’, Jewish Chronicle, 17 October 2012. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/comment/86919/what-a-one-state-solution-really-means
Klaff, Lesley. ‘Holocaust Inversion’, Fathom Journal 5 (2014). Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.fathomjournal.org/policy-politics/holocaust-inversion/
Klaff, Lesley. ‘Political and Legal Judgment: Misuses of the Holocaust in the UK’, Social Science Research Network, 8 May 2013. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2284423
Lappin, Shalom. ‘The Question of Zion.’ Democratiya 6 (2006): 11-36.
Lappin, Shalom. ‘A Question of Zion: A Rejoinder to Jacqueline Rose.’ Democratiya 7 (2006). Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya_article/a-question-of-zion-a-rejoinder-to-jacqueline-rose
Laor, Yitzhak. The Myths of Liberal Zionism. London: Verso, 2009.
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O’Mahony, John. ‘Lenni Brenner’s Fake Internationalism,’ in Arabs, Jews and Socialism, ed. John O’Mahony (London: Alliance for Workers Liberty, 1993), 52-54.
Pappé, Ilan. The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge. London: Verso, 2014.
Piterburg, Gabriel. The Returns of Zionism: Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel. London: Verso, 2008.
Postone, Moishe. ‘Zionism, anti-semitism and the left: an interview with Moishe Postone’, Workers’ Liberty, 5 February, 2010. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2010/02/05/zionism-anti-semitism-and-left
Rose, Jacqueline. The Last Resistance. London: Verso, 2007.
Rose, Jacqueline. ‘The Question of Zion: A Reply to Shalom Lappin.’ Democratiya 7 (2006): 94-115.
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Sand, Shlomo. The Words and the Land: Israeli Intellectuals and the Nationalist Myth. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2011.
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Sternhell, Zeev. ‘In Defence of Liberal Zionism.’ New Left Review 62, 2010.
Vattimo, Gianni and Michael Warder. eds. Deconstructing Zionism: A Critique of Political Metaphysics. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.
Winkett, Lucy. ‘Bethlehem Unwrapped is about ‘beautiful resistance,’ not taking sides,’ Guardian Comment is Free, 2 January 2014.
YouTube, ‘BDS Bullies at NUI Galway.’ posted by ‘Legal Insurrection.’ Mar 12, 2014. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gkiGUBAM7g
 Louis Althusser and Etienne Balibar, Reading Capital (London: Verso, 1970) p.141.
 Ilan Pappe, ‘Two lectures by the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, Part 1, recorded at the University of Amsterdam,’ (Stan Van Houcke Audioblog, 2007). Accessed March 12, 2014. http://www.stanvanhoucke.net/audioblog/lectures/Ilan%20Pappe%201.mp3
 YouTube, ‘BDS Bullies at NUI Galway.’ Accessed March 12, 2014. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gkiGUBAM7g
 Alan Johnson, ‘BDS bullies at Galway University’. Times of Israel (blog), March 10, 2014, accessed April 24, 2014. http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/bds-bullies-at-galway-university/ and Alan Johnson, ‘On Israel, the intellectuals are driving the students mad,’ The Daily Telegraph (blog), 13 March, 2014. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/alanjohnson/100263386/on-israel-the-intellectuals-are-driving-the-students-mad/
 Louis Althusser, Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-1987. (London: Verso, 2006), 281.
 As a down-payment, this much can be said here. The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and other anti-Israel organising efforts and practices, are central to the process of attracting individuals to the AZI and forming the individual’s subjectivity and identity in the terms of the ideology—’interpellating’ them, to use Althusser’s term. If an individual is to embrace the ideology and its practices, and so become subjectivised, then he must ‘identify with an ‘other’ who is his peer [semblable]’ until he ‘recognises himself as existing through the existence of the other and through his identification with him.’ Subjectivity is constructed in ideology, but ideology is, in turn, ‘inseparable from the institutions by means of which it is manifested, with their codes, languages, customs, rites and ceremonies.’ See Althusser, Encounter, 283-4.
 Althusser, Encounter, 283.
 Distinct ideologies, thought Althusser, have a history of their own. The AZI certainly does. It has developed in waves—Jewish, Arab, Old Left, New Left, Islamist, and today’s mélange. To grasp each in its specificity we will need the resources of (something like) Gaston Bachelard’s concept of ‘historical epistemology’ as well as an intimate knowledge of the two shaping social contexts of each wave—first, the relation of the wave to wider social structures; what Althusser called the ‘historical relations (both theoretical, ideological and social) in which it produces’ and, second, the ‘practico-social function’ that the ideology performed in that given society at that given moment. (See Gregory Elliot, The Detour of Theory, 97.) The goal of this essay is much more modest: to begin the work of mapping contemporary left-wing academic anti-Zionism.
 See the discussion in Gregory Elliot, Althusser: The Detour of Theory (London: Verso, 1987), 99.
 Ilan Pappé, The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge (London: Verso, 2014), 75.
 Pappé, Israel, 125.
 Pappé, Israel, 78.
 Yitzhak Laor, The Myths of Liberal Zionism (London: Verso, 2009), 100, 109.
 Jacqueline Rose, The Last Resistance (London: Verso, 2007), 44-45.
 ‘Foreword’ to Laor, Myths, vii.
 Ilan Pappé, in Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe. Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians. (London: Penguin, 2010), 58-9, 61, 65.
 Pappé, Two Lectures.
 Elliott, Althusser, 131.
 David Hirsh, ‘Rebels Against Zion,’ Fathom Journal 5 (2014), 68. http://www.fathomjournal.org/reviews-culture/rebels-against-zion/
 Pappé, Israel, 10.
 Quoted in Rose, Resistance, 194.
 Gianni Vattimo and Michael Warder, ed. Deconstructing Zionism: A Critique of Political Metaphysics (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), xvi.
 Hirsh, ‘Rebels,’ 68-69.
 Steve Cohen, That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic. (London: Beyond the Pale Collective, 1984). http://www.engageonline.org.uk/ressources/funny/contents.html Accessed April 24, 2014.
 Norman Geras, ‘Alibi Antisemitism,’ Fathom 2 (2013). Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.fathomjournal.org/policy-politics/alibi-antisemitism/
 Moishe Postone, ‘Zionism, anti-semitism and the left: an interview with Moishe Postone,’ Workers’ Liberty, 5 February, 2010. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2010/02/05/zionism-anti-semitism-and-left
 Elliott, Althusser, 153.
 Elliott, Althusser, 125.
 Elliott, Althusser, 100.
 Isaac Deutscher, The Non-Jewish Jew and other essays (London: Merlin Press, 1981).
 Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir. The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine. Translated by Tal Haran (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013), 261.
 Rose, Resistance, 200-201.
 Shlomo Sand, The Words and the Land: Israeli Intellectuals and the Nationalist Myth. (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2011), 107.
 Sternhell, ‘Defence,’ 62.
 See the exchange in Democratiya between Shalom Lappin and Jacqueline Rose. Shalom Lappin, ‘The Question of Zion,’ Democratiya 6 (2006): 11-36. http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya_article/the-question-of-zion; Jacqueline Rose, ‘The Question of Zion: A Reply to Shalom Lappin,’ Democratiya 7 (2006): 94-115, http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya_article/a-question-of-zion-a-reply-to-shalom-lappin; Shalom Lappin, ‘A Question of Zion: A Rejoinder to Jacqueline Rose,’ Democratiya 7 (2006). Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya_article/a-question-of-zion-a-rejoinder-to-jacqueline-rose
 Rose, Resistance, 53-54, 55-56, 217-18.
 John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (London, Penguin, 2007) 229-262.
 Robert Fine, ‘The Lobby: Mearsheimer and Walt’s conspiracy theory’, Engage (blog), 21 March 2006. Accessed 24 April 2014. http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/article.php?id=310 and Walter Russell Mead, ‘Jerusalem Syndrome: Decoding The Israel Lobby’, Foreign Affairs, November/December 2007. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/63029/walter-russell-mead/jerusalem-syndrome
 Pappé, Israel, 118.
 Pappé in Chomsky and Pappe, Gaza 35. Note what is being claimed. Although America was the victor of World War Two, a superpower on the threshold of ‘The American Century,’ it nonetheless ‘succumbed to the power’ of the Jews. And this just three years after six million of the said Jews had been murdered in Europe. In what terms can we possibly understand such a power?
 Pappé in Chomsky and Pappe, Gaza, 41.
 Quoted in Alan Johnson, ‘Parting Ways’ Fathom 2, (2013), 71. http://www.fathomjournal.org/reviews-culture/parting-ways/ Accessed April 24, 2014.
 Pappé, Israel, 43, 47, 127, 132.
 Norman G. Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (London: Verso, 1995), 2-3.
 Sand, Words, 35, 43, 65, 42.
 Tikva Honig-Parnass, False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011), 49.
 Laor , Myths, 47, 71, 55, 57, 97.
 Vattimo, Deconstruction, 15.
 David Hirsh, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: Cosmopolitan Reflections. Working Paper (Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, Yale University, 2007), 20, 27.
 Laor, Myths, 130-31.
 Omar Barghouti, ‘A Secular Democratic State in Historic Palestine: Self-Determination through Ethical Decolonisation’ in Anthony Loewenstein and Ahmed Moor, eds., After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine (London: Saqi Books, 2012), 195.
 Yehouda Shenhav, Beyond the Two State Solution: A Jewish Political Essay (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012), 21, 181.n51, 191.n76, 48, 84, 3.
 Lesley Klaff, ‘Holocaust Inversion,’ Fathom 5, 2014. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.fathomjournal.org/policy-politics/holocaust-inversion/
 Lesley Klaff, ‘Political and Legal Judgment: Misuses of the Holocaust in the UK,’ Social Science Research Network, 8 May 2013. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2284423
 Chomsky, in Chomsky and Pappe, Gaza, 8.
 Rose, Resistance, 131. Rose’s claim is completely false. Israeli Prime Minister Rabin condemned Goldstein unequivocally: ‘You are not part of the community of Israel . . . You are not part of the national democratic camp which we all belong to in this house, and many of the people despise you. You are not partners in the Zionist enterprise. You are a foreign implant. You are an errant weed. Sensible Judaism spits you out. You placed yourself outside the wall of Jewish law . . . We say to this horrible man and those like him: you are a shame on Zionism and an embarrassment to Judaism.’ As for the shrine that extremists built for Goldstein, it was demolished by . . . the IDF.
 Shenhav, Beyond, 99.
 Honig-Parnass, Prophets, 9.
 Sand, Words, 167.
 For a critique of the work of Lenni Brenner see Gerry Ben-Noah, ‘Brenner on the Nazi Massacre’ and John O’Mahony, ‘Lenni Brenner’s Fake Internationalism,’ both in Arabs, Jews and Socialism (London: Alliance for Workers Liberty, 1993), 37-38, 52-54. http://www.workersliberty.org/system/files/Arabs%20Jews%20and%20Socialism-04072011125617.pdf
 Rose, Resistance, 47.
 Hazem Saghiyeh and Saleh Bashir, ‘Universalizing the Holocaust: How Arabs and Palestinians relate to the Holocaust and how the Jews relate to the Palestinian victim,’ Palestine-Israel Journal, Vol.5 Nos. 3 & 4, 1998.
 Pappe, Israel, 177, 166.
 Vattimo, Deconstructing, 21.
 Sternhell, ‘Zionism,’ 111.
 Lucy Winkett, ‘Bethlehem Unwrapped is about ‘beautiful resistance’ not taking sides,’ Guardian Comment is Free, 2 January 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/02/bethlehem-unwrapped-not-taking-sides-israel-security-wall. See also Alan Johnson ‘This barrier stops fascists: A response to Bethlehem unwrapped,’ The Times of Israel (blog), 8 January 2014. http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/this-barrier-stops-fascists-a-response-to-bethlehem-unwrapped/.
 Laor, Myths, 126.
 Shenhav, Beyond, 113. About the PLO’s insistence that ‘not one Israeli’ will remain in a new Palestinian state there is another symptomatic AZI silence.
 Steve Cohen, That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Antisemitic. An Anti-Racist Analysis of Left Antisemitism (Manchester: Beyond the Pale Collective, 1987) Accessed on 24 April 24, 2014. http://www.engageonline.org.uk/ressources/funny/contents.html. Cohen, Funny.
 Quoted in Pappe, Israel, 134.
 Honig-Parnass, Prophets, 9.
 Rose, Resistance, 50.
 Pappé, Israel, 182.
 I adapt the dichotomy from Rosalind Sydie, Natural Women / Cultured Men: A Feminist Perspective on Sociological Theory (New York: NYU Press, 1994).
 Hirsh, Anti-Zionism, 9. Material factors boosted the appeal of reactionary anti-imperialism, including Israeli collusion with the UK and France (during the Algerian War) at Suez; the emergence of two super-power backed blocs in the Middle East, with Israel in the western camp and the radical Arab states in the Soviet camp; the political alignment of radical Arab states with the radical post-colonial Arab states, and with the southern African liberation movements; the creation of a second wave of Palestinian refugees in 1967 and the election of a right wing Israeli government a decade later. Thanks to Dave Rich for discussion on this point.
 Alan Johnson, ‘More Palestinian than the Palestinians,’ World Affairs (blog) 16 October 2012. http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/alan-johnson/judith-butler-more-palestinian-palestinians
 Pascal Bruckner, The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), 6, 13, 2, 60-2.
 Laor, Myths, 65.
 Honig-Parnass, Prophets, 49.
 Rose, Resistance, 135.
 Shenhav, Beyond, 121, 122, 136.
 Pappé, Israel, 138.
 Pappé, Israel, 176.
 Sand, Words.
 Pappé, in Chomsky and Pappe, Gaza, 82.
 Honig-Parnass, Prophets, 212.
 Laor, Myths, 42-43.
 Rose, Resistance, 167.
 Jean Bethke Elshtain, Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (New York: Basic Books, 2004).
 Rose, Resistance, 11.
 Sand, Words, 76-77.
 ‘To critique Zionism is not . . . anti-Semitic,’ objects Jacqueline Rose. The objection is intellectually lazy, refusing the labor of discernment that would establish when anti-Zionism is, and when it is not, antisemitic. (Another symptomatic AZI evasion.) A few lines after her imperious fiat, Rose tells us that ‘the task of criticism is to be able to make distinctions.’ Resistance, 195.
 Pappé, Israel, 37, 175-6.
 Christopher Mayhew, a civil servant who worked closely with Bevin, confided to his diary in May 1948: ‘Must make a note about Ernest’s anti-semitism . . .There is no doubt in my mind that Ernest detests Jews. He makes the odd wisecrack about the ‘Chosen People’; explains Shinwell away as a Jew; declares the Old Testament is the most immoral book ever written . . . He says they taught Hitler the technique of terror—and were even now paralleling the Nazis in Palestine.’
 Pappé, Israel, 74-75.
 Pappé, Israel, 188-89.
 Azoulay and Ophir, One-State, 256.
 Postone, ‘Zionism.’
 Alan Johnson, ‘What a one-state solution really means,’ The Jewish Chronicle, 17 October 2012. http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/comment/86919/what-a-one-state-solution-really-means
 Rose, Resistance, 44.
 Omar Barghouti ‘A Secular Democratic State in Historic Palestine: Self-Determination through Ethical Decolonisation,’ in After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine edited by Anthony Lowenstein and Ahmed Moor (London: Saqi Books, 2012), 198.
 Ali Abunimeh, ‘ICAHD endorses one-state solution, warns against ‘warehousing’ of Palestinians,’ The Electronic Intifada (blog), 14 September 2012.
 Sternhell, ‘Zionism,’ 114.
 Shenhav, Beyond, 9.
 Saree Makdisi, ‘The Power of Narrative: Reimagining the Palestinian Struggle,’ in After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine edited by Anthony Lowenstein and Ahmed Moor (London: Saqi Books, 2012), 96-97.
 Butler, ‘The End of Oslo.’
 Adam Shatz, ‘Is Palestine Next?’ The London Review of Books, 14 July 2011, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n14/adam-shatz/is-palestine-next
 Benny Morris, ‘The Liar as Hero,’ The New Republic, March 17, 2011. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/books/magazine/85344/ilan-pappe-sloppy-dishonest-historian
 Saree Makdisi ‘Narrative,’ in After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine, edited by Anthony Lowenstein and Ahmed Moor (London: Saqi Books, 2012) 90.
 Honig-Parnass, Prophets, 211, 77.
 Chomsky, in Chomsky and Pappé, Gaza, 9.
 Makdisi, ‘Narrative,’ 93.
 Pappé, in Chomsky and Pappe, Gaza, 72.
 Shenhav, Beyond, 193.
 Azoulay and Ophir, One-State, 247.
 Judith Butler, Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012), 208, 16.
 Azoulay and Ophir, One-State, 263-4.
 Shenhav, Beyond, 34, 38.
 Honig-Parnass, Prophets, 211-212.
 Hirsh, Zionism. See also his ‘Hostility to Israel and Antisemitism: Toward a Sociological Approach,’ Journal for the Study of Antisemitism 5, 1401-1422.
 Vattimo, Deconstructing, 19-20.