Two weeks ago Michael
interviewed McGill history professor, Gil Troy
about his new book, Moynihan's Moment: America's Fight Against Zionism as Racism.
The "act" Daniel Patrick Moynihan was referring to was Resolution 3379 - which declared Zionism to be a form of racism by the UN. It passed with ease - 72 yes, 35 opposed, 32 abstained, 3 absent. Moynihan was furious, and made no bones about it.
My conversation with Professor Troy
touched a nerve with many of our listeners, and we received a lot of mail about it. Here is just a sampling: Arthur Milner
from Val-des-Monts, Quebec wrote:
"I was rather surprised by your and Gil Troy's casual dismissal of "apartheid" and "racist" as being reasonable descriptions of Zionism and Israel.
"The half million Jews who live in the West Bank are subject to Israeli civil law; Palestinians in the West Bank live under military law. The Jews get to vote in Israeli elections; the Palestinians cannot. This has been going on for 45 years.
"In occupied Jerusalem, Palestinian families are regularly evicted from their homes to make way for Jews. If these aren't examples of racism or apartheid, what is?
"Incidentally, I've visited Israel and Palestine a dozen times, and I'm Jewish. Maybe it's time to describe Israel as it actually is."J Jasey
of Grand Cache, Alberta left this comment on our website:
"Interesting topic, and one not many like to approach. I am a critic of some of the policies of the state of Israel, but I am not an anti-Semite.
"Just as I am a hearty critic of Canadian government policies, but I am not an anti-Canadian. Both sides of the Zionist argument are guilty of conflatin ideologies for their own ends."Nancie Erhard
from Windsor, Ontario wrote:
"To insist that a system of dispossession, discrimination, confinement, intimidation, and economic oppression -- enforced with all the police and military powers of a state - is not 'apartheid' because it is based on ethnicity rather than race is a distinction without a difference. This kind of Orwellian new-speak needs to be challenged rather than given tacit agreement."Kevin Smith
of Vancouver wrote:
"While I appreciated your interview with Mr. Troy, I found that your questions could have been more critical.
"While Zionism might not be racism it is exclusionary and elitist... One might say 'ethnicist'.
"As I was listening to your interview, I replaced, in my mind, Israel with South Africa, and found Dr. Troy might well have been an apologist for that whites-only regime."Eli Gaphary
from Vancouver wrote:
"I enjoyed listening to your show with Gil Troy. However I did not find the interview fair to the millions of Palestinians who are dehumanized and detained on a daily basis in Israeli prisons.
"I'm a Jew and I am ashamed by Israel's war crimes and inhumanity. Nationalism is a form of racism in this day and age." B.H.Yael
from Toronto wrote:
"It is not the 'big red' lie, but a 'big blue and white' lie (the colour of the Israeli flag) that persists in Professor Gil Troy's argument.
"I am Israeli born and I am tired of hearing apologists for the state of Israel deny the implications of Israel's occupation by sheer silence.
"Zionism equals racism is evident on the ground - not because of a tainted message to Palestinians who yearn for peace or the legacy of a UN vote - but as a result of the material reality of expansionism and subsequent occupation.
"Jewish nationalism - if that is Zionism - is untenable as it has proven that it cannot accommodate the first principles of a 'liberal democracy': protect the rights of, and give voice to, the minorities that live amongst you.
"Since when is a military occupation included in the tenets of 'liberal democracy'?"
Thanks to everyone who wrote to us. If you missed Michael's essay, you can hear it and read it by clicking here
. If you'd like to respond to anything you hear on the program please send an email to email@example.com