That's the kind of ugliness that informs Hitchens' piece for Israel's 60th anniversary independence celebration, bizarrely linked to by some conservative sites, because I charitably presume they did not actually read the ravings inside.
So let's pour old Peter a drink, count down the symptoms of morbid alcoholism that can be detected here and a fisking we shall go...
It's somehow absurd and trivial to use the word Israel and the expression 60th birthday in the same sentence or the same breath. (What is this, some candle-bedecked ceremony in Miami?)
It's used in the same way that America's 250th birthday celebration is used. I'm not sure why Hitchens is so confused by this, except that in a certain state of inebriation, drunks find simple things very complex to understand.
The questions before us are somewhat more antique, and also a little more pressingly and urgently modern, than that.What does any of that actually mean? The answer is that it means nothing at all. Also it has nothing apparent to do with the sentence that came before it. This is another indicator that Hitchens penned this thing while just drunk enough to be able to hit the keys but too drunk to make much sense from one sentence to another.
Has Zionism made Jews more safe or less safe? Has it cured the age-old problem of anti-Semitism or not? Is it part of the tikkun olam—the mandate for the healing and repair of the human world—or is it another rent and tear in the fabric?
Clearly of course Hitchens has weighed the answers as negative by biasing the questions to demand a ridiculously high standard for the existence of Israel.
If a country's right to exists depends on its ability to cure bigotry, end violence and indisputably make the world a better place-- than no country has the right to exist. A point that Hitchens, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post and other slimy purveyors of this strawman argument might want to keep in mind.
A better set of questions to ask might be, has Israel given Jews more options to be safe from violence and anti-semitism. Has it given Jews more control and responsibility for dealing with bigotry and violence directed against them, putting them in line with other nations?
Jewish people are on all sides of this argument, as always. There are Hasidic rabbis who declare the Jewish state to be a blasphemy, but only because there can be no such state until the arrival of the Messiah (who may yet tarry). There are Jewish leftists who feel shame that a settler state was erected on the ruins of so many Palestinian villages.
By "all sides of this argument", Hitchens of course means in his best Ahmadinejadian, on his opposing side of the argument. Using this form of discourse, we might equally say;
"Jewish people are on all sides of the argument of course. There are Hassidic Rabbis that think that Christopher Hitchens is a whiskey soaked lush who's too drunk to realize that none of his positions make any consistent sense. Also there are Jewish leftists who feel shame that Christopher Hitchens continues to call himself a Trotskyite while snoring on the ruins of so many Park Avenue benches."
There are also Jews who collaborate with extreme-conservative Christians in an effort to bring on the day of Armageddon,Hitchens is nothing if not fair. To be equally fair to him in his depiction of Zionists as collaborators trying to blow up the world, let me add an addendum;
"There are also Jews who collaborate with Hitchens by inviting him to major events, perhaps because they enjoy having to clean vomit off their pants for hours afterward."
Do I think it ridiculous that Viennese and Russian and German scholars and doctors should have vibrated to the mad rhythms of ancient so-called prophecies rather than helping to secularize and reform their own societies? Definitely.
Yes, it's truly a pity that these Russian and German Jews went mad and decided to build their own country in Israel, instead of turning socialist and waiting around for Hitler or Stalin to gas them or shoot them in the head.
The truly sad part though is that Hitchens presumes to lecture Jews on Israel but doesn't even remember such a basic point of history well enough to know what happened to the majority of Russian, Viennese and German scholars and doctors who stayed behind in their societies.
Without God on your side, what the hell are you doing in the greater Jerusalem area in the first place?Uhh they live there? What are people doing in London or Paris for that matter which in a generation or two will have the same Muslim problems, Jerusalem has. If they don't already. Fairly soon wherever Hitchens lives he will find the need to have God on his side or at least a spine to justify living there.
Here I must stop asking questions and simply and honestly answer one.
Honesty would mean admitting that you haven't asked a single question, you've just been delivering pat answers to your own rhetorical questions. But do go on....
In many visits to the so-called Holy Land, I have never quite been able to imagine that a Jewish state in Palestine will still be in existence a hundred years from now. A state for Jews, possibly. But a Jewish state …When Hitchens drinks heavily, he reverts to the pre-1948 colonial era. Also he has trouble imagining that India can ever rule itself and sooner or later he's certain those Yanks will come back to the fold too. Idiot.
But also mark the sequel. Israel is now incredibly dependent upon non-Jews for its own defense and, moreover, rules over millions of other non-Jews who loathe and detest it from the bottom of their hearts.
And much of Europe is also dependent on America for its defense and rules millions of non-Christians who loathe and detest it, etc etc...
How long do you think the first set of non-Jews will go on defending Israel from the second lot and from their very wealthy and numerous kinsmen?Aside from a handful of volunteers during the War of Independence (which was fought with used third rate arms surplus and Czech weapons) when has that "first set" ever defended Israel?
And one might also ask, how long will Russia continue wasting arms and intelligence backing the Arab war on Israel?
To speak roughly, there are three groups of 6 million Jews. The first 6 million live in what the Zionist movement used to call Palestine. The second 6 million live in the United States. The third 6 million are distributed mainly among Russia, France, Britain, and Argentina.The latest estimates are in the 13 million range. Hitchens vastly overestimates the Jewish population of Russia, Europe and South America. But it's only a small grain in the great wheat field of error, Hitchens has sown here.
Only the first group lives daily in range of missiles that can be (and are) launched by people who hate Jews.The other two groups live in range of airplanes that are launched into buildings, suicide bombers, various terrorists and random Muslim violence directed against Jews. Jews in Europe have had to turn Synagogues into bunkers and hire private security. And that still didn't help the Jewish center in Buenos Aires when Iran managed to blow it up without launching any missiles.
We all live in the shadow of Islamic terrorism. Wherever we are.
Well, irony is supposed to be a Jewish specialty.And idiocy a Hitchenian one?
Judaeophobia is an unfailing prognosis of barbarism and collapse, and the states and movements that promulgate it are doomed to suicide as well as homicide, as was demonstrated by Catholic Spain as well as Nazi Germany.
Interesting. One wonders then if Hitchen himself is issuing his own prognosis of barbarism and collapse. One hopes the homicide and suicide however can be avoided.
And the most depressing and wretched spectacle of the past decade, for all those who care about democracy and secularism, has been the degeneration of Palestinian Arab nationalism into the theocratic and thanatocratic hell of Hamas and Islamic Jihad,
Those who truly care about democracy weren't depressed by what happened in Gaza. They found it inevitable because unlike Hitchens they didn't worship at the altar of Fatah and "Palestinian Nationalism". They saw it for the crude and ugly thing that it was.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad didn't blacken the good name of Palestine. Arafat and his Hitler worshiping relative the Mufti did that long before. Arab terrorism didn't turn ugly when it turned religious, as Hitchens would like us to believe. It was always ugly and evil.
Instead, this crux forces non-Zionists like me to ask whether, in spite of everything, Israel should be defended as if it were a part of the democratic West.The accurate term for Hitchens is not non-Zionist, but Anti-Zionist. And speaking as a Zionist, do we really need to sit around waiting until a Trotskyite who romanticizes Arab terrorism so long as it's secular, decides that we have a right to exist?
I think not. Israel will be here even long after Hitchens has sobered up.