Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The useful idiots of dhimmitude

Those who make simplistic analogies between European colonialists and Israelis are either ignorant or in denial of 1,000 years of Jewish subjugation and suppressed history in Arab countries. When ami tried to make this point to the anti-Zionist academic Jacqueline Rose recently it became scandalously clear that Rose had never heard of 'dhimmitude.'(Via Melanie Phillips). Here's ami's account of their exchange:

Jacqueline Rose spoke last week on her book the Question of Zion, where she takes a Freudian approach. She prescribes a process of recognition by Jews and Israelis of the pain they have caused the Palestinians, (fair enough- and already many do) which she knows will be painful as they have suppressed this knowledge all along, but really it will be very therapeutic. Sure enough, she referred anon to the Palestinian Other. She also made the point that the hostility to the Jews who came to establish the Jewish state was not against them as Jews, but was hostility to Europeans coming to create a European colony. I commented that her whole analysis was Eurocentric and ignored a huge component of this Arab Jew psychic drama she had described- ie the effect on both players of 1000 years of dhimmitude. She had not recognised the Arab objection not just to a European state, or a Jewish state, but to the fact that it was a dhimmi state. The audience applauded and she looked blank and slightly panicked, asking ‘a what state?’ from which I deduced that this term, the big Other, the dhimmi, had no resonance for her at all.

"I had said that this suppressed history needed recognising, even more so than that of the Palestinians- meaning that there was already some recognition by Jews of the suffering of the Palestinians (whatever the contention over causality) whereas there was still almost total flat denial of the history and true nature of the dhimmi regime among Arab historians. She misunderstood and began berating me heatedly for valuing Jewish suffering above that of Palestinians, and calling shame on the audience for applauding my points. I approached her after the session ended to explain my point about the suppression of dhimmi history. If that were the case, she said (indicating thereby this was not something she knew about) then it should be spoken of, but not, she emphasised vehemently, at the expense of the Palestinians. Which means again she has not understood why it is important for her to understand the whole history and dynamic for a proper context, before pontificating on the remedy for healing this great guilt trauma on the Jewish psyche, let alone writing a book on Zionism."

See ami's 'Rose report' in the comments thread at Harry's Place.(scroll down)

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