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Zionism debate continues with Professor Ira Chernus

Tuesday, June 22nd, 9-10 a.m. Pacific (noon-1 pm Eastern) on, to be archived here a few hours later…

Ira Chernus, University of Colorado – Boulder Religious Studies professor, author of many notable internet essays including The Israel Lobby’s Big Problem: People Aren’t Afraid to Criticize Israel Anymore.

Ira Chernus’s last appearance on Truth Jihad Radio included a few fairly heated exchanges between plain-speaking anti-Zionist me and pro-two-state-solution Ira. He later said I sounded like I was speaking in Fox News sound-bites (knowing, as he does, that I’m such a fan of Hannity and O’Reilly). I explained that since, unlike the Fox hosts, I give the guest (him) most of the air time, I had been responding telegraphically to his comments, but would be happy to to continue the conversation at a more leisurely pace, in a format where we both would have time to develop arguments and responses. So here we are! Last week’s great debate continues, with me in the role of Jeff Blankfort and Ira playing his former student Richard Curtis.

One Thought to “Zionism debate continues with Professor Ira Chernus”

  1. I started out the show with: "Because Zionism (putting a Jewish state in Palestine) requires ethnic cleansing the indigenous population, it is morally indefensible. As more people awaken to this reality, the word, like the meaning, is becoming more and more unpopular. In this, it is following 'apartheid,' 'nazism' and other terms representing movements or policies that were eventually judged to be morally indefensible." Thus we should end Zionism. Ira responded that (A) long ago and far away, a very small minority of people who called themselves Zionists didn't want ethnic cleansing; but (B) now that the ethnic cleansing has happened, we have to accept it; and (C) the Zionist brand of settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing is "different" because the people doing it are driven by fear.

    I don't think any of these responses succeed in refuting my argument. Any "Zionists" who ever opposed ethnic cleansing should still oppose it — by insisting on right of return. And from the perspective of the victims — the only one that matters — whether the perpetrators of mass murder and wholesale robbery are driven by fear, greed, mirth, or anything else is completely irrelevant. The task is to stop them from killing and restore the stolen property to the victims ASAP.

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