Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is Israel a Colonial State?

These days, it seems that "colonialism" is becoming one more charged term to be thrown at Israel--much as terms like "occupied" and "disproportionate force": terms that are used without regard to either their legal or historical meaning.

The following article appears in the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Here is the summary of that article. The complete complete can be found here.
Is Israel a Colonial State?
The Political Psychology of Palestinian Nomenclature

Irwin J. Mansdorf

o Israel's creation, far from being a foreign colonial transplant, can actually be seen as the vanguard of and impetus for decolonialization of the entire Middle East, including a significant part of the Arab world, following the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

o What is not popularly recognized is how the Arab world benefited from the Balfour Declaration and how it served the Arab world in their nationalist goals and helped advance their own independence from the colonial powers of England and France.

o Despite the essentially parallel processes of independence from colonial and protectorate influence over the first half of the twentieth century, only one of the national movements at the time and only one of the resulting states, namely Israel, is accused of being "colonial," with the term "settler-colonialist" applied to the Zionist enterprise

o This term, however, can assume validity only if it is assumed that the "setters" have no indigenous roots and rights in the area. As such, this is yet another example of psychological manipulation for political purposes. The notion of "settler" dismisses any historical or biblical connection of Jews to the area. Hence, the importance of denial of Jewish rights, history, and claims to the area.

o Lest there be any confusion about what a "settler" is, those who use the terminology "settler-colonialist" against Israel clearly mean the entire Zionist enterprise, including the original territory of the State of Israel in 1948. The "colonial Israel" charge is thus rooted in an ideological denial of any Jewish connection to the ancient Land of Israel.
Read the whole thing.

Irwin J. (Yitzchak) Mansdorf, PhD, is an Israeli psychologist who has published widely on the subject of political psychology as it relates to the Israel-Arab conflict. He also directs the SWU leadership program in Israel-Arab studies at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem.

Technorati Tag: and .
Post a Comment