The Curse of Chutzpa
By Nahida Izzat
Gilad Atzmon argues that in order to best support Palestine we must cease to view the Palestinian struggle as “just another apartheid” or “just another colonial project”
What makes the occupation of Palestine “unique” is not the “specialness” of the suffering of Palestinians, nor is it the “uniqueness” of their tragedy or the “importance” of their cause.
What makes it “unique”is the fact that: those Jewish Zionists who occupy Palestine, those Jewish Zionists who support them, and even many of those Jewish anti-Zionists who oppose them view themselves as “unique”.
Many Jewish anti-Zionists view themselves as unique in the sense that they frantically hold on the notion of the “uniqueness” of the “Jewish suffering” and the inevitability of future “multi-holocausts” due to historic, intrinsic and incurable human-condition called “anti-semitism” which is in their view a “special” case of racism of inexplicable “hatred” for Jews.
With a considerable majority, whether hard-core Zionists, soft, liberal, or anti-Zionists, they have acquired a distorted image of themselves, their suffering, their history, their morality, and that of the world.
At the core of this perceived “uniqueness” lies the rotten seed of millennia of indoctrination with the concept of “CHOSEN-NESS” which gave birth to troubling concepts such as the so called “Jewish chutzpa“, the perceived feeling of “exclusivity”, “specialness”, “elitism”, and the illusion of having “special mission”, “higher” morality, “superior” intellect, and “unique” history and suffering.
The failure of Jewish communities -liberal and otherwise- to acknowledge, address and deal with this “heritage” in a sincere and healing manner will provoke severe and unavoidable consequences.
As it appears, many people of those who identify themselves as Jews fail to see the there is a fundamental contradiction and total incompatibility between their claim of humanism and their practices of exclusivity, and their claim of “high Jewish morality” and their real life practices of slander and excommunication when dealing with others whom they disagree with.
How can they talk about such a notion as “Jewish morality” or “Jewish heritage”:
While practicing oppression, either physical -as in the case of Zionist occupiers- or mental and psychological as in the case of anti-Zionists practice of thought oppression;
while viewing “the other” as less able intellectually or morally (i.e inferior) who is in constant need for guidance;
while placing themselves “at the helm” of social progress and imposing themselves as “guardians” of anti-racist campaigns and as “leaders” of liberation movements;
while appointing themselves as the intellectual and moral “elite” with the exclusive privilege to define the meaning of words such as racism and the right to identify who is racist or not;
while granting themselves the irrevocable and the unquestionable right to label, ostracize and excommunicate others as they wish;
Those who are engaged in the above appear to lack the most rudimentary qualities of modesty and humility needed to enable us humans to examine and evaluate our own words, actions and thoughts.
Thus they fail to gain the insight needed to self-reflect, self-criticize, self-improve thus to integrate without causing others to feel intimidated or oppressed.
Sooner or later people of the world (Palestinians included) will have to come to face such dreadful reality and deal with it.