The political entity that’s recognized by most of the world’s states as “Israel” was founded under very controversial circumstances related to the mass influx of “Weapons of Mass Migration” from Europe and the consequent war that these new arrivals waged on the majority of Palestine’s native Muslim Arab inhabitants. The author elaborated on “Israel’s” origin story more at length in his spring 2016 analysis titled “Acknowledge Weapons Of Mass Migration Or ‘Legitimize’ “Israel””, so the reader should review that piece if they’re interested in learning more about this historical event from that particular perspective.
The present piece, however, aims to briefly explain why it’s politically important for some people to write “Israel” in quotation marks, and how this is actually very pro-Semitic as opposed to “anti-Semitic”. The vast majority of Palestine’s native inhabitants prior to the post-World War II tidal wave of “Weapons of Mass Migration” were Muslim Arabs, and they did not refer to their homeland as “Israel”, which is the name that the European migrants to that territory chose to call their self-declared and partially cleansed political entity. Although the majority of the world’s governments recognize “Israel”, there are still millions of people and a handful of states that don’t, such as the Syrian Arab Republic.
That said, it’s contextually confusing to speak about the modern-day political entity’s foreign affairs if Palestinian supporters only refer to it by what they believe is its legitimate name – Palestine – which is why it’s easier for most people to still use the word “Israel”. However, placing it in quotation marks is a clear sign of passive protest that the person using this word sees it as illegitimate and contestable, which correlates to their own personal feelings about this hot-button topic. Considering that Arabs are Semites and that this group constituted the majority of Palestine’s original inhabitants before the creation of “Israel”, it’s actually very pro-Semitic to pay homage to them and their political views on this issue.
“Israel” is a political entity that has tried to become a religious one (the so-called “Jewish State”), but those who disagree with what they believe to be its illegitimate origins are protesting its political nature by referring to it in quotation marks, not the Jewish faith.
“Israel” is a political entity that has tried to become a religious one (the so-called “Jewish State”), but those who disagree with what they believe to be its illegitimate origins are protesting its political nature by referring to it in quotation marks, not the Jewish faith. The declaration of “Israel” as a religious state is also a political move in and of itself, one which millions of people oppose and believe to be unjust, but being against that action does not automatically mean that one is against the religion itself. While there are undoubtedly actual anti-Jewish racists and fascists who might abuse the placing of “Israel” in quotation marks to subtly promote their hateful agenda, the fact is that most Palestinian supporters are strongly opposed to these despicable ideologies and shouldn’t be unfairly equated with them just because condemnable individuals also use quotation marks when referring to “Israel”.
Accusations to the contrary are nothing more than attempts to discredit the Palestinian cause and snuff out all dissident state and non-state voices that refuse to recognize “Israel” as the “legitimate” government of Palestine.
The founding of “Israel” was an openly Zionist project, which is to say that it epitomizes what some have defined as a form of Jewish supremacy on par with its Western and Islamic counterparts of American Exceptionalism and Wahhabism (to say nothing of its Hindu supremacist form of Hindutva), and questioning the legitimacy of this political entity as it presently exists is a form of anti-Zionism or anti-supremacy, not anti-Jewishness or anti-religiosity. The same standard can equally be applied if one uses quotation marks to refer to Daesh’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” of the “Islamic State”. That’s not anti-Muslim, but anti-supremacy, and it’s a political statement, not a religious one.
For these reasons, referring to “Israel” in quotation marks is a peaceful form of pro-Semitic protest that seeks to remind the reader about the political position of Zionism’s Arab (Semite) Muslim victims in Palestine. It is not “racist”, “fascist”, “supremacist”, or “anti-Semitic”, but is anti-racist and pro-Semitic by democratically amplifying the voice of “Israel’s” first victims through a stylistic application of the freedom of speech that aims to raise awareness about the said political entity’s supremacist origins. Accusations to the contrary are nothing more than attempts to discredit the Palestinian cause and snuff out all dissident state and non-state voices that refuse to recognize “Israel” as the “legitimate” government of Palestine.