“Support” Israel can do without

The teenager who asked Nick Griffin about his history of Holocaust denial on Question Time has told Haaretz that Israel and the Jewish people can do without the BNP leader’s support:

“[Nick Griffin] said his party was the only party in the U.K. which backed Israel against Gaza in the war last year,” said 17-year-old Joel Weiner. “In my opinion, the people of Israel and the Jews don’t want an ounce of his support.”

Agreed. Griffin’s “support” for Israel, such as it is, is transparently cynical and based on hostility to Arabs and Muslims rather than on any love for the Jewish state.

But I think there is a troublesome phenomenon that goes beyond a Nick Griffin. How much “support” for Israel springs mostly from opposition to its real and perceived enemies? How often have you heard variations of “I admire Israel for kicking Arab ass”?

And I can’t help but be made uncomfortable by the “Christian Zionists,” largely on the Right, who see Israel and the Jews mainly as actors in the End Times drama to which they so look forward.

Then, on a much smaller scale, there’s the leftwing antideutsche movement in Germany, which rejects German nationalism while uncritically supporting Israel.

As I wrote a few years ago:

I’m still not sure what to make of these folks. Yes, I know the horrible history of German nationalism. But I’m not really comfortable with a movement that rejects the idea of German nationality while supporting Jewish nationality. It’s uncomfortably similar to those who support, say, Palestinian national rights while opposing national rights for the Jews. And the notion that Israel is above criticism from Germans because of the Holocaust is silly. As a supporter of Israel, I’m more at ease with people who recognize and criticize Israel’s mistakes and flaws while standing with it against those who want to destroy it.