ZIONIST ISRAEL AT 60 - JOEL KOVEL'S "BURIED" BOOK
By Dr. Mohamed Elmasry - April 18, 2008
In May of this year, Zionists the world over will celebrate the 60th
anniversary of the establishment of a state-for-Jews-only in Palestine.
A recent book by Joel Kovel, Overcoming Zionism - Creating a Single
Democratic State in Israel/Palestine, is must-read for this difficult and
Kovel is an American Jew, an author, activist, and successful professional
with dual careers in medicine and psychiatry to his credit. He was a
Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Residency Training at the Albert
Einstein College of Medicine. He was also nominated as a Green candidate in
the 2000 U.S. presidential race. He is currently editor-in-chief of
Capitalism, Nature, Socialism.
In his book, he suggests convincingly that the inner contradictions of
Zionism led Israel to develop its "state-sponsored racism" and that Zionism
and democracy are essentially incompatible. He also believes that a two-
state solution is hopeless because "it concedes too much to the regressive
forces of nationalism, wherein lie the roots of continued conflicts."
He illuminates as well the drawbacks of a one-state concept which some
Palestinians and many Zionists oppose, but for different reasons. Zionists
oppose a single state on ideological and philosophical grounds, believing
that the only-for-Jews character of Israel will be greatly compromised with
Palestinians living side-by-side and that more than a century of hard work
by former generations of Zionists would be wasted.
Many Zionists would consider a two-state solution only with a long list of
conditions, including never having to give up valuable lands in the West
Bank and Occupied Arab East Jerusalem and not allowing diaspora
Palestinians to return to their ancestral homes.
Those Palestinians who oppose the one-state solution are those who believe
the illusion (promoted by U.S. president George W. Bush, for example) that
a two-state solution is just around the corner, if not this year, then
Kovel dedicates his book to his aunt and to Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old
American university student and International Solidarity Movement
volunteer, who was murdered on March 16, 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer in
the city of Rafah, Gaza while peacefully protesting the destruction of
To show the hate that drives Zionist attitudes toward Palestinians, Kovel
quotes Tanya Reinhart's interview with another bulldozer driver. The
driver, who received medals for his work in the Jenin Refugee camp in 2002,
revealed that had been on duty for 75 hours straight and was drunk most of
that time. He recalled that "for three days I just destroyed and destroyed
... I would just ram the house with full power, to bring it down as fast as
possible ... I didn't give a damn about the Palestinians ... It was all
under orders ... If I am sorry for anything, it is [for] not tearing the
whole camp down."
Kovel also comments on the sanctification of American-born Zionist Baruch
Goldstein, a former Israeli military physician who in 1994 entered the
Abraham Mosque in Hebron and shot dead 29 Palestinian Muslims, wounding
another 150 before he was overcome by other worshippers and killed.
Goldstein was buried with great ceremony very near the scene of his grisly
crime and the inscription on his gravestone reads: "Here lays the saint,
Doctor Baruch Kapal Goldstein. Blessed be the memory of the righteous and
holy man, may the Lord revenge his blood, who devoted his soul for Jews,
Jewish religion and Jewish land. His hands are clean and his heart is
clear. He was killed as a martyr of God on the 14th of Adar, Purim, in the
I visited Hebron in 1995 and found that the Goldstein tomb is guarded 24/7
by Israeli military personnel and half of the Abraham Mosque has been
forbidden to Muslims; it is now used as synagogue for Jews.
Kovel states wisely that no American president can do much about the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict due to massive "Zionist political/financial
muscle and manipulation of Holocaust guilt."
He recounted his early experience with a private tutor of Hebrew in
Brooklyn who "intoned about the Torah and the Covenant through which God
had made the Jews special among the nations ... [His] words were positively
spat out, bearing hatred for Goyim [Gentiles, or non- Jews] who had
persecuted our superior people, and Chosen Ones of God. And for what? 'I'll
tell you what,' said the tutor, with blazing eyes and Old Testament wrath:
'For a savior who wasn't even born legitimate! That's right! His parents
weren't married. The so-called god of the Christians was a bastard!'"
The experience has lingered in the adult memory of Kovel, who wonders in
his book how many people with the same obsessive wrath as his tutor "would
immigrate to Israel from our neighborhood and come to play an important
role in the future Jewish state?"
You'd think that a man as versatile and gifted as Kovel would receive front
page coverage in American and Canadian media about his book, which was
published in 2007.
But this did not happen in our so-called "free" press and broadcasting
networks, because these systems are free only to those who own them and use
their power to express their own views. And that is a sad loss for
(Dr. Mohamed Elmasry is national president of the Canadian Islamic
Congress. He can be reached at email@example.com)