Can't Win

Zionism is not Judaism. It's a European settler colonialist project. Many Jews speak out against it.

Can't Win

This post is going to be heavy.

Heavier even than talking about the Bandera OUN and the Ukrainian conflict. Which has many parallels. But I won't do the analysis; rather, lyricism, raw-ish emotion, and information.

Scroll to the information part, if you don't want my lyricism—the information parts are much more important, anyway: Jewish Anti-Zionist / Non-Zionist Voices & Zionism Is Not the Way.

In the end, it's a bit more positive than the title suggests.

No to Victimhood

I was born in Ukraine under the USSR and have Ukrainian, German, Polish, French, Romani, and also Ashkenazi roots. All of these ethnic identities make me who I am, some stronger than others… and also none do. My Soviet, internationalist identity is the strongest (with a "Westie" from West Auckland, NZ—but that's not important for now). Though a Soviet identity from Odessa and the South of Ukraine, with a large doze of Yiddish culture.

One of my grandmas lived through the Nazi occupation of Odessa and saw half her middle-school pre-teen class herded into a warehouse and burnt alive. Her family was lucky to have had a German father and a German surname, and they used this to also successfully hide a Jewish family in their home through all of the occupation, sharing scarce food and helping them survive the Holocaust. Her father, my German great-grandpa, then enlisted into the Red Army after the liberation of Odessa to fight the Nazis.

In some shape or form, we all from that region have traumas that go back to that era. But I don't like the victim mentality propagated in many corners of the ethnicities that make up my self, because you can't win with victimhood.

And you certainly can't win when you use that victimhood as a cover to perpetrate unspeakable crimes of your own against the completely unrelated, innocent peoples.

Can't Win

Look up Siege of Masada, where many Jews are believed to have sacrificed themselves before being captured by the Roman army (though archaeological evidence shows they're more likely to have been massacred by the Romans). Let's stay with the sacrifice narrative, because that's the predominant narrative in the Jewish culture.

From Haaretz:

"Every schoolchild in Israel knows the story of how Jewish heroes revolted against the pagan Romans, holed up in the desert fortress of Masada – and opted for mass suicide, killing themselves and their families, over capture and humiliation by Emperor Vespasian's forces."

"Since we long ago resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God Himself, Who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice ... We were the very first that revolted, and we are the last to fight against them; and I cannot but esteem it as a favor that God has granted us, that it is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom." Elazar ben Yair, leader of the Sicarii rebels.

They are treated as heroes, even though the Sicarii rebels are described as "extremist" group who were equally antagonistic to both the Romans and other Jews of Judea.

But: they're heroes.

Now, fast forward to Hamas, an extremist group of Palestinians. And imagine them to be the Sicarii of today, and Israel being the Romans.

Also understand that the Palestinians had been abused, murdered, expelled from their settlements, for seven-plus decades since the inception of Israel.

In fact, to draw parallels with the Sicarii, there were various extremist, terrorist Jewish groups in the 1930s and 1940s, fighting for the creation of the Zionist state. Successfully, I might add.

So, you've been abused since you were born, and you've been born into an open-air prison that the Israelis created (Gaza), effectively treated like an animal, with frequent "mowing the lawn" operations (look this up) from Israel, with Israeli soldiers killing and maiming your children and women, controlling and often shutting off your water, energy, food …

Talking about you with words like "human animals", holding parties in front of your prison.

Imagine, you cannot take it any longer.

Because let's face it, any and all attempts at getting a peaceful resolution had failed miserably.

So, you snap. You do become that very animal that they accused you of being—but what other option did you have? When everything else failed? To just continue taking it?

And to anyone who says, there's got to be another option: have you ever been in such a situation? What other option? Let's brainstorm together, maybe the Palestinians missed something obvious and obviously peaceful and obviously effective?

So, when you snap, you become Sicarii.

You're willing to die, as a group, only to no longer be forced to live as animals.

And as Sicarii (the heroes!) you become extremist.

And what do we, the observers, do?

We heroize one (rather idealized) group, and condemn the other, completely ignoring the history (in both cases, but in different directions).

And frankly speaking, what do the many "standers with 🇵🇸" do? They condemn the extremism!

Those who yesterday wore Palestinian scarves and shouted, "from the river to the sea", today try to distance themselves from Hamas, trying to do the "both sides" dance, failing to satisfy anyone. I have one particular NZ politician in my mind, but the list is larger.

But honestly, given the history of violence and completely uneven power of the oppressor and the oppressed, and the history of total failure of a peaceful process… what the fuck did anyone expect would happen?

Can't Win.

So, either we keep insisting on "from the river to the sea" and the restructure of the Israeli government (a PR loss in today's West)—

Or, we condemn Hamas and their methods, thus betraying anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism and completely ignoring the history and utter failure of any peace process between a very powerful oppressor that likes to play victim and a powerless oppressed, the true victim (a moral loss and also a PR loss for some).

This is especially visible in the behaviour accounts of the politicians and some Jewish pro-Palestine activists (I have one particular NZ politician in mind here).

Can't win.

And nor can the parties to this conflict.

Hamas can't win—but like the Sicarii of the legend, winning might no longer be a realistic goal.

But the Zionists cannot win, either, because "winning" for them is… what? total genocide of the Arab Palestinians?

The solution, of course, is one (non-apartheid) democratic state of Palestine, from the river to the sea, where all peoples live with equal rights—together with the reparations for the past crimes, of course.

But the USA is not interested in this. And without the US pressure on the Israeli government, can't win.


I don't even write about the fact that Hamas is an Israeli project, to destabilize the secular, socialist, anti-colonialist Fatah.

From the same playbook as the USA CIA-created Mujaheddin in Afghanistan, or how Yanukovych funded and propped up the like of the Right Sector and other far-right Ukrainian ultranationalists.

Which likely makes Hamas itself an instrument of colonialism, rather than the liberator—and this is the greatest tragedy of all.

As I said, this isn't an analysis.

But the next bit is information.

Jewish Anti-Zionist / Non-Zionist Voices

What do you expect?
Reconciliation and integration or butchery.
Opinion | Palestinian Refugees Deserve to Return Home. Jews Should Understand. (Published 2021)
If keeping faith that exile can be overcome is sacred to Jews, how can we condemn Palestinians for doing the same thing?
Decolonizing Israel, Liberating Palestine
‘Extremely convincing’ - Electronic Intifada For decades we have spoken of the ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’, but what if our understanding of the is…
1,800 US rabbis demand a Palestinian state and an end to the occupation
1,800 American rabbis and prayer leaders have sent a letter to the Israeli embassy in Washington DC calling for an end to the occupation and a concerted push for a Palestinian state. The letter notes…

Zionism Is Not the Way

Why I no longer stand with Israel, and never will again
The Gates of Gaza “The attackers came at dawn, quickly occupying the town. The men were separated from the women and shot. One of the attackers, opening the door of one of the homes, found an old man standing there. He shot him. ‘He enjoyed shooting him,’ an eyewitness to the attack said afterwards.
This Way for the Genocide, Ladies and Gentlemen
Washington and European governments are cheerleading Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza. The failure to intervene to halt the carnage threatens to ignite violence throughout the region.
Infographic: How many Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel?
Israel holds some 4,650 Palestinians, including 200 children, 40 women, and 520 administrative detainees, in prisons.

Something Social

Do Something

As Jeff Halper said, One Democratic State is the only viable solution to the situation. In other words, decolonizing Palestine. From the river to the sea.

He gives a practical, realistic plan on how to do this—listen to at least the podcast with him provided above, but also go read his book.

Write to your local representative, put pressure on the politicians to do something against the apartheid.

And get involved with organizations like this—find one near you:

Sh’ma Koleinu - Alternative Jewish Voices (NZ)
When you think of the Jewish community, assume diversity.