Key Discussion Among Jews about Israel: Enno Raschke & Michael Lumish.

Enno Raschke.

I do not know where this conversation will lead. I know that I have considerable respect for Enno Raschke who is a researcher and historian for Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Center, in Jerusalem.

I am a PhD in American History from the Pennsylvania State University who also writes on the unfortunate relationship between the western-left and the indigenous Judeans, i.e, the Jewish people.

I want to begin my discussion with Enno with a comment he made on a very brief Facebook post wherein I simply asked, “Are Arabs indigenous to Judaea?” That was the entirety of the post.

In the comments, I referenced the fact that the denial of Jewish indigeneity is used as justification for western-left antisemitic anti-Zionism. The core anti-Zionist idea is that Jews stole Arab land. Enno quotes me directly:

“This is the core idea of Western antisemitic anti-Zionism and the driving notion behind BDS. It is, at least in part, what drives EU support for terrorism.”

To which he responded:

Those two sentences are more a description of the mindset that created them than of actual reality. Antisemitic anti-Zionism has nothing to do with EU foreign policy.

EU foreign policy has always been based on the original idea that allowed for the creation of Israel in the first place: two states for two people. You can agree with that concept or not–I don’t, at least not in the form the EU imagines a 2SS. There is, however, no denying that the EU concept used to be something even mainstream Israel agreed to–before people started to increasingly follow the hollow pipe dreams of the right over the last two to three decades.

The right has no concepts to offer. It has no credible plan for the Arab population in these parts–just as the Arab right-wing has none for the Israeli-Jewish population. So they create fog with talking points like that indigenous exclusivity claim–which is of course as pointless as it is ridiculous. But it allows for some chest-bumping, some cheap feeling of superiority and the usual tales about the fraudulent, deceitful, uncivilized “other.”

The problem, however, is: At the end of the day, it doesn’t change anything. It’s just a futile exercise. The Israeli side will still have to come up with credible concepts and negotiate. Because the “other” will remain here.

I would like to build a conversation around this comment as a starting point if it is agreeable to Enno.

Michael Lumish

I would start with Enno’s claim that:

Antisemitic anti-Zionism has nothing to do with EU foreign policy.

I am a bit surprised that Enno thinks so.

This statement can only be true if you believe that anti-Zionism is not necessarily antisemitic. I would argue that not only is anti-Zionism inherently antisemitic, but genocidally so.

And I would certainly argue that the EU is anti-Zionist when it funds the murder of Jews in Israel via “pay-to-slay.”


First published at Israel Thrives blog.

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  1. Leon Poddebsky

    The Corbyn British Labour Party does not bother to disguise its antisemitically driven anti-Zionism. Elsewhere in the West, leftist parties are a little more circumspect, but coursing within their bloodstreams is the traditional leftist current of antisemitism.
    The fathers of leftism in Europe were vicious antisemites, among them Jews like Karl Marx.
    In Australia we have witnessed leftist members of parliament (including some in the higher echelons) perpetrate misdeeds such as accusing Jewish citizens of Australia of bribing journalists to publish positively about Israel; of being foreign agents and so on.

    A researcher such as Enno must surely have read and heard the appalling antisemitic assertions emanating, particularly in the last couple of decades, from European leftist celebrity politicians when they comment on Israel. To deny all this is to forfeit credibility.

  2. Indigenous or not, it’s irrelavent. The only Enno Raschke is right about one thing. The [quasi] right has been pretty wishy-washy about offering any solutions. The Techiya Party’s one state solution, even Rb. Benny Elon’s transfer, and of course, Naftali Bennett’s plan are all half-hearted, co-dependent attempts at I don’t even know what. We must let go of out galuth (exile/diaspora) mentality, stop thinking and acting like the children of Esau/Edom, and start thinking and acting (ie. halakhicly) like the descendants of Ya’aqov/Israel. The Torah is the only justification Jews have for laying claim to the Land of Israel. Are we stealing land from Yishmaelites? Or are we re-conquering it as commanded? It’s high time we make up our minds. P. S. History has shown that the Arabs see right tgrough this wishy washy approach and use it against us. Just look at The situation in Gaza. Ceasefire = Arab re-arming period.