I wrote this blog as a response to the opinion piece in the Gazette “Jewish Nationalism is not synonymous with a nation state.”
The author, Sam Bick, bandies about words like “nation” “nation-state” “nationalism” “ethno racial identity” without defining these terms and then makes some statements which are simply false.
“This idea of Jewish people as a “nation” or “race” in need of a territory is a new conceptualization popularized in 19th-century Europe, one that neglects the diverse experiences, practices and identities of people who have practiced Judaism around the world for hundreds of years — particularly Arabic-speaking Jews.”
The Jewish journey is documented in the bible, (the “Torah” in Hebrew). Canaan, Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people has been integral to the history of the Jews chronicled in the torah from ancient times. The destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem, the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans in 70 AD and the dispersion of Jews from their homeland, Israel, and their longing to return is documented in literature and poetry and historical writings over millenia.
A quick google of the name of the author, of this piece, Sam Bick, reveals that he has previously written for EI (Electronic Intifada) and Tadamon (which means allies in Arabic). Tadamon has an office in Montreal). Both of these organizations, EI (Electronic Intifada) and Tadamon are integral arms of the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel and Israel alone. They sponsor the infamous Israel/apartheid week conferences on campuses all over North America. EI and Tadamon have both been exposed for propagating opinions about Israel and the Jewish people that are designed to demonize Jews and Israel and whose aim is not peace but only the destruction of Israel.
I myself, speak from experience, having attended several Israel/apartheid week conferences in Montreal. By the way the BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – was initiated at the first UN Human Rights conference in Durban in 2001, a conference that was billed as “The First UN World Conference on Racism”. This “conference” turned out to be a witch hunt directed at Jews and Israel and Israel alone. This has been well documented and continues to be available to anyone who wishes to inform himself on these issues. It was here at Durban that the slogan “Zionism is racism” was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. Mercifully, this canard was later retracted by the UN itself. However this fact seems to have gone above the heads of the EI and Israel Apartheid and BDS propaganda machines which actively continue to libel Israel and Jews with this canard. For many, in our age, “truth” is an elusive thing subject to argument and debate. Most people are not aware of the background of the BDS movement or that they continue to propagate lies about Israel in order to advance their political agenda.
“Anti-israel haters should never have a free lunch” as Manfred Gerstenfeld so aptly put it when he spoke to this issue in Montreal several years ago.
There must be a push-back on these issues by academics and others who are appalled at the re-cloaking of sheer antisemitism or Jew hatred into contemporary discourse.
Jews are a tiny minority, and it is for this reason, that we Jews and those who love truth must use our wits to fight this injustice.
Abigail Hirsch, CEO
filmmaker: Yiddish: a tale of survival