With regard to my contention that anti-zionism is central to the confused (extreme capitalism V communism) post-apartheid ideology, I attach the following. (Interesting to recall, btw how Rabbi Cyril Harris waxed lyrical about Joe Slovo at his funeral.)
And what about Slovo’s view of Israel? They are quite revealing for what they tell us about Beinart’s current views. This is what Slovo had to say on Israel:
"Within a few years the wars of consolidation and expansion began. Ironically enough, the horrors of the Holocaust became the rationalization for the preparation by Zionists of acts of genocide against the indigenous people of Palestine. Those of us who, in the years that were to follow, raised our voices publicly against the violent apartheid of the Israeli state were vilified by the Zionist press. It is ironic, too, that the Jew-haters in South Africa – those who worked and prayed for a Hitler victory – have been linked in close embrace with the rulers of Israel in a new axis based on racism."
Here we have the obscenity of a South African Communist Jew, who supported all the Stalinist terror during the years in which Stalin lived, accusing the one democracy in the Middle East of genocide — thereby cheapening the term and revealing its author’s own real commitments. And years before Jimmy Carter, it was Slovo who first branded Israel an apartheid state.
This is Peter Beinart’s hero! He says, as we have seen, that he thinks Slovo was a great man because he devoted himself as a Jew “to the fate of non Jews.” This is the quite familiar theme enunciated by the late Isaac Deutscher, the self-proclaimed “non-Jewish Jew” who saw his ethic identity (not religion, since those who adopt that stance are atheists) as a device to use for the liberation of all the oppressed, as Deutscher believed was what his hero Leon Trotsky had done.
Way before it was popular among today’s liberals, Communists like Slovo who followed the Soviet line on Israel called it an apartheid state and condemned it leaders as racists. Now, their line is being echoed by today’s liberals like Beinart. The Beinart article is just the latest example in a new chorus of Israel bashing. As Noah Pollak says, Beinart has “fallen completely and predictably into line with the demands of his ideological compatriots.”
And given that we now know one of his heroes was Joe Slovo, Stalinist leader of the SACP, why should we all be so surprised? Liberal Zionism is becoming an endangered species, as its once proud members like Beinart have become comrades in arms with the Joe Slovos of the world. By choosing Slovo as his one hero, Peter Beinart has helped us understand his comfort level with joining the Israel bashers. He has also shown us how far liberalism has fallen from its once admired heights.
I'm a Zionist. I'm close enough to people who still have their bags packed.
But I'm also a liberal. My hero growing up was Joe Slovo, who spoke only Yiddish until he was nine and upon moving to South Africa as a boy from Lithuania (we South Africans are almost all Litvaks, except my mom's side, who are Sephardi) became the head of the military wing of the African National Congress. There are Slovos in every place Jews have gone, people who have devoted themselves as Jews (though i'll admit Slovo was not as good a Jew as say, Abraham Joshua Heschel) to the fate of non-Jews