Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
Last week, The Nation published a falsehood-filled article by Jew-hating, anti-Israel propagandist Saree Makdisi entitled, “Israel is Destroying the Fantasies of Liberal Zionism.” The article is unfortunately typical of the Left’s antisemitic anti-Israel screeds these days.
Makdisi obviously opposes Israel’s very existence. His article repeatedly calls Israel “Palestine” and “the Zionist Project,” and calls the Israel Defense Forces an “occupation army.” It’s similar to how Hamas and its charter, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority, PLO and other terror groups that seek Israel’s destruction refer to Israel as “Palestine,” “the Zionist entity,” “the Zionist enemy,” and “the Zionist invader.”
Makdisi also calls the Jewish people’s lawful right to their tiny, historic homeland “explicitly racist” and “apartheid.” (See ZOA Summary: “Israel has the Legal Right to the Land of Israel, including Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria & the Golan, Under Binding International Law.”)
At the same time, Makdisi ignores the monstrous and real racism and apartheid of Palestinian Authority terrorist dictator Mahmoud Abbas, who declares that: “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli(Jew) – civilian or soldier – on our lands [a future Palestinian state].”
Israel is of course nothing like an “apartheid” regime: Israeli Arabs enjoy prominent posts on Israel’s Supreme Court, in the Knesset, and in every profession.
Falsely singling out the Jewish people’s right to their homeland as “explicitly racist” and “apartheid” is classic antisemitism. Israel does not even make Judaism the official state religion. By contrast, there are 50 Muslim countries; 27 countries where Islam is the official state religion; 13 nations where Christianity is the official state religion; and 83 countries with a preferred or state religion.
Makdisi also asserts that liberal Zionists like to believe that “pre-1967” Israel is the “good Israel” and that post-1967 Israel is the “bad Israel,” but that now liberal Zionists are moving towards Makdisi’s (false) characterization of Israel as “a violent racial enterprise” from the outset. (Knowledgeable Zionists would disagree with some of Makdisi’s ideas as to who counts as a “Zionist.” For instance, Makdisi absurdly calls the Israel-bashing New York Times a “bellwether for liberal U.S. support for Israel.”)
In fact, Zionists can only view Israel (post and pre-1967) as “bad” and “a violent racial enterprise” if they believe the lies spouted by Makdisi and his ilk. It’s deeply unfortunate if some supposed “liberal Zionists” believe such falsehoods.
And indeed, Makdisi’s extremist op-ed spouts every imaginable antisemitic, anti-Israel calumny, past and present. For instance, Makdisi falsely accuses Israel of “ethnically cleansing” Palestinians when the Jewish state was reborn in 1948. In fact, in 1948, local Arabs and six Arab nations immediately attacked Israel to murder every Jew. It is well-documented that it was the Arab League that urged local Arabs to leave to clear the way for Arab armies to slaughter Jews; while the Jews urged their Arab neighbors to remain. Many Arabs did remain, and became Israeli citizens. Meanwhile, Jordan ethnically cleansed every Jew from the areas illegally seized by Jordan (the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem in “eastern” Jerusalem, and Judea/Samaria). (See, e.g. thorough documentation in “The Palestine Delusion,” by Robert Spencer.)
Turning to 2023, Makdisi accuses Israel of killing nine “Palestinians” in Jenin and five in Jericho, misleadingly implying that these “Palestinians” were civilians. In fact, these “Palestinians” were acknowledged by their respective terror groups to be Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Fatah gunmen, who opened fire on Israeli forces. The Israeli forces were attempting to arrest Hamas and PIJ terrorists who perpetrated an attack on an Israeli restaurant and other attacks on Israeli civilians. The IDF took great care to avoid civilian casualties, even when the IDF came under the Palestinian terrorists’ heavy gunfire. The IDF reported regarding the Jenin operation:
“IF [IDF] and Israeli security forces conducted a counterterrorism operation based on precise intelligence to apprehend an Islamic Jihad terrorist squad in the Jenin Camp. The forces eliminated 8 terrorists. During the operation, Israeli security forces came under heavy fire from gunmen who were shooting at them. The forces made efforts to surgically hit the sources of the gunfire in attempts to prevent danger or harm to uninvolved civilians.”
Yet, Makdisi outrageously falsely asserted that “soldiers of its [Israel’s] occupation army have been shooting to kill Palestinian men, women, and children.”
Again, Makdisi inverts the truth: It is the PIJ, Hamas and Palestinian Authority terror groups that have been deliberately shooting, ramming and axing to death Israeli civilian men, women and children – including two beautiful innocent little Jewish boys just last week.
Sickeningly, Makdisi also writes off Palestinian Arab terrorists’ murder of seven innocent Jews and wounding of another ten innocent Jews at a Jerusalem synagogue on Shabbat (January 26), by calling this a “Palestinian reprisal attack at an illegal Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.” Makdisi also never mentions that on the very same day, there were at least 30 Arab terror attacks on innocent Jews, and that there are hundreds of Palestinian Arab terror attacks on innocent Israelis every month.
Makdisi also complains about Israel demolishing terrorists’ homes. If the prospect of losing one’s home can make a terrorist think twice before killing another Jewish child, then the threat of home demolition will be well worth it.
Makdisi also regurgitates the antisemitic lies promoted by various Soros- and EU-supported NGOs.
Shame on The Nation for printing Makdisi’s antisemitic screed.