Saturday, August 01, 2015

 

Deutscher's Zionist Fable

According to Wikipedia, the passage appearing below is Isaac Deutscher's "most famous statement regarding Israel".
A man once jumped from the top floor of a burning house in which many members of his family had already perished. He managed to save his life; but as he was falling he hit a person standing down below and broke that person's legs and arms. The jumping man had no choice; yet to the man with the broken limbs he was the cause of his misfortune. If both behaved rationally, they would not become enemies. The man who escaped from the blazing house, having recovered, would have tried to help and console the other sufferer; and the latter might have realized that he was the victim of circumstances over which neither of them had control. But look what happens when these people behave irrationally. The injured man blames the other for his misery and swears to make him pay for it. The other, afraid of the crippled man’s revenge, insults him, kicks him, and beats him up whenever they meet. The kicked man again swears revenge and is again punched and punished. The bitter enmity, so fortuitous at first, hardens and comes to overshadow the whole existence of both men and to poison their minds.
Anyone involved for very long in the Palestinian solidarity/American liberation movement will most likely have encountered some form of this tale. It is an allusion to Jews fleeing the Holocaust and supposedly escaping to Palestine.

The tale is profoundly dishonest for at least three reasons. First, Zionist designs on Palestine long predate the rise of the Nazis in Germany—the man was planning to jump way before there was any fire. Second, the Zionists knew that Palestine was already occupied—the man knew he would land on and hurt someone else.Third, the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis to save the German economy from an international boycott—the man started the fire himself or, at least, actively kept it from being extinguished.

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