Genocide Begins with Words

Genocides are discursive phenomena in the sense that they begin with words and end in bloodshed. The war on Israel has always been about exterminating the Jews although that goal is usually not explicitly spelled out. How is that so? There is a consensus in Palestinian society that the Jews will have to be completely removed from the land of Israel. However, Palestinian leaders always recognized that there was nowhere to deport Israeli Jewry and hence there was always in there mind no alternative to genocide.

The current war on Israel is primarily waged in American universities and it is very successful since supporters of Israel have so far offered little discursive resistance in academia. The long term goal is apparently to break up the Israeli-American alliance, something which would cause Israel to realign with China. So it would not destroy Israel and it would not cause genocide, in fact nothing would change but it would cause major damage to American interests.

The urgency of creating a Jewish subfield in critical theory, a Jewish critical theory no less, requires the State of Israel to prioritize and invest major resources into developing this subfield in recognizing that this is indeed of far greater strategic importance than the Iron Dome. Yes, this is about protecting the American-Israeli special relationship for the long term, something which serves both nations well.

Yet this is also about investing in Jewish soft power in academia. 45 years have passed since Edward Said published “Orientalism” in 1977 and that notoriously Anti-Semitic book has caused an academic revolution which is still ongoing in terms of how scholars view and increasingly demonize Israel. Yes, other scholars have published numerous books to rebut “Postcolonialism”, “Postmodernism”, “Intersectionality” and “Critical Race Theory”, all paradigms which are used to demean, stigmatize and demonize the Jews, the Jewish state and the Zionist movement. This however is ineffective, Jewish critical theory must argue from the point of Jewish indigeneity in the land of Israel as Jews and Samaritans are the two indigenous peoples of the land. For its epistemological credibility, Jewish critical theory needs to be authentically Jewish in deploying the discursive tactics/strategies of the rabbis of the Talmud (both the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud) and other rabbinical literature in the scientific context of critical studies.

What is critical theory? It is the academic field of the oppressed and it was originally founded by a group of Jewish scholars fleeing Nazi Germany for America in the 1930s. From a Jewish perspective, the problem is not only that the field has been hijacked by Anti-Semites but that Jews and Zionists have allowed this to happen without resistance. The real underlying problem is that Jews and Zionists have failed to articulate issues such as the Holocaust, Jewish indigeneity, terrorism/Jihadism, Anti-Jewish persecution, Anti-Semitism, (including e.g. the history of Jews being oppressed in Palestinian society and Islamdom) in terms of critical theory. We have failed to explain that when we expelled Palestinians in 1947-49 was the alternative a Second Holocaust against the Jewish people and that we are still battling an indigenous revolution against a malicious global Anti-Semitic onslaught with genocidal intent. The subtext of the so-called “right of return” is indeed completing the failed genocide of 1947. This battle needs to be fought in academia as it must be emphasized that oppression is always discursive and so is the oppression against the Jews and hence we must discredit the false claims that Palestinians are an oppressed group and reclaim the lost status of the Jews as a bona fide oppressed group. Much work must be done and this must be done within critical theory itself. The future of the American-Israeli special relationship is at stake.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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