Master-Slave Morality and Zionism

The case against Israel is based in Master-Slave morality in 1) falsely claiming on the basis of Slave morality that Palestinians are an oppressed group on account of Israeli counterterrorism and other self-defense and 2) wielding Master morality against Jews such as through terrorism and wars of aggression with genocidal intent while accusing Jewish self-defense of being based in Master morality. The Nietzschean distinction between morality (i.e. moral prejudice) and ethics (aspirational future ideal of ethics) is very relevant here. While Anti-Israel discourse is based on a morality steeped in deeply bigoted Master-Slave Morality is Israeli military ethics based on preventing harm to innocents.

Zionism emerged during a period when Friedrich Nietzsche was the most popular philosopher and many founders of Zionism were deeply influenced by Nietzsche in seeking to undo both Anti-Semitic Master morality and Jewish Slave morality, both of which Nietzsche was deeply critical of. This suggests that rediscovering Nietzschean philosophy in the context of Zionism would be a very helpful avenue for Jewish critical theory and the Zionist reappropriation of Intersectionality. What is required is nothing short of a Nietzschean deconstruction of values (German: Umwertung aller Werte) in re-understanding the contemporary Jewish condition.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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