UPDATE: I very rarely amend anything, but of course, when it comes to anti-semitic nutjobs, the lack of intellectual honesty knows no bounds. I made a mistake: I should have used “racial state” because obviously I know Jewishness is an ethnicity based on race, religion, and culture. However, I used the word “ethnostate” because the people I wrote this piece about uses the word “ethnostate” to describe their white “racial state”. You can’t become white through religion and culture, you can become Jewish through religion and culture. Israel is an ethnostate in the dictionary definition of the term – it is not an ethnostate in the way a white nationalist ethnostate is imagined. That was my point, and fortunately most of the my readers are smart enough to figure this out, but here we are.
I am starting to understand those who see anti-semitism under every rock. I have never in my life debated a topic where the opposing side is so determined to move the goalposts, lie, and obfuscate to attempt to win the argument. Maybe a large chunk of people on the right really do just hate Jews. Sad.
Despite my admittedly large nose, I am not Jewish.
Dear Twitter idiots: if you’re going to insist upon playing the lovely game of “Spot The Jew”, at least do it properly. I’m half-Greek, with a pretty typical Greek nose. Thank you. I’ve now ended up typing “Greek nose vs. Jewish nose comparison” into Google in Starbucks, which I’m sure didn’t make me look like a racist nutjob at all.
While I am not Jewish myself, I do consider myself a Zionist.
It seems to be pretty fashionable these days to be against Israel.
In my personal experience, at least, this rings very true. If I post a tweet in favor of Israel, I lose followers, guaranteed. It’s become a bit of a game to me – how many people, who have likely followed me and enjoyed my other content, have decided that I’m not worth following based on one small facet of my views?
To those special snowflakes, I have this to say: I love when the trash takes itself out! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.
I am not the sort of person who wants to discourage certain people from following me – nor am I saying that everyone who criticizes Israel is “trash” – but if you are so easily triggered by my views when they don’t mesh with yours, well, I don’t see your reactionary unfollowing as much of a loss.
I am a civic nationalist and a Zionist. 🇮🇱
— Stefanie MacWilliams (@StefMacWilliams) May 14, 2017
I am a Zionist for myriad reasons. I became interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict about a year ago – before that, it wasn’t something I paid much attention to – and the more I learn, the more I find myself standing with Israel and with the Jewish people.
This article isn’t about my personal views on Israel or about why I am a Zionist, however.
I’m getting pretty sick and tired of being called a hypocrite by the “Alt-Right” types on Twitter because I call myself a civic nationalist and a Zionist.
Two days ago, I posted a tweet about the ridiculous idea that America was “built on slavery”.
America was not "built on slavery". If that was all it took, Africa would be similarly thriving, seeing as they had – and have – slaves. https://t.co/OqWGNhDlnv
— Stefanie MacWilliams (@StefMacWilliams) May 12, 2017
I got quite a lot of followers from this tweet – and a large number of them would be those described as “ethno-nationalists”. Because, apparently, thinking that the black victim complex is a bunch of detrimental bullsh*t means that I am a white nationalist and would advocate for a “white homeland” in America.
True to form, it didn’t take me long to piss off those new followers (and, I’m sure, some of my old ones).
I went on a Periscope rant and decried ethno-nationalism as a bad idea and strongly defended civic nationalism. It was a productive video, and I think I make some solid arguments for the need to “Make Civic Nationalism Great Again”.
— Stefanie MacWilliams (@StefMacWilliams) May 13, 2017
However, I knew what was coming next.
“It’s okay for Jews to have a homeland, but you don’t want the same for whites! Hypocrite!”
And my personal favorite:
“Multiculturalism is horrible and wrong, why don’t you want the white race to survive!” I guess people don’t know that I’m an avowed anti-globalist and decry multiculturism and cultural Marxism on a daily basis. Sigh. For allegedly being one of the races with an average high IQ, “huwhites” seem to lack reading comprehension. I wonder if this has been studied? I’m sure Richard Spencer’s “National Policy Institute” will get right on it.
But back to the (((Jews)))
(((rolling my eyes into the stratosphere)))
I swear, despite my best efforts, I rarely can go more than a couple of days on Twitter without talking about Israel. I never set out to be some sort of “white knight” for Israel – and yet, I have found myself in that annoying position, by virtue of the fact that I cannot ignore blatantly absurd misconceptions being presented as common knowledge without at least attempting to debunk them.
Apparently, this makes me a hypocrite at best, and a deserving of being gassed at worst (Nazi twitter is disappointingly uncreative).
There’s only one tiny problem with this assertion: it’s not hypocritical to be a civic nationalist and a Zionist, considering that Israel isn’t an ethnostate.
The fact that any thinking person could describe Israel as an ethnostate is embarrassing.
First of all, Israel is 75% Jewish.
By this logic, if America was only 12% more white, we’d have the ethnostate of the Alt-Right’s dreams. Wow, maybe the America-as-white-ethnostate idea isn’t as much of a logistical impossibility as I thought it was!
But it’s a lot more complicated that that, of course.
To proclaim the desire for a “white” ethnostate is much simpler. I presume the white nationalists have some way of determining who exactly is white, how much Aryan blood is required, or what have you, and if they don’t, well, I suggest they get on figuring it out. America could be a 75% white ethnostate before we know it!
Anyway, blood quotients aside, albinos aside, mixed race complexities aside, “white”, however the alt-right defines it, is decided solely by birth. A black person cannot become white, just as I cannot become non-white.
Jewishness is a little more complicated than that. Actually, it’s a lot more complicated than that.
So, as a non-Jewish, non-expert-on-Jewishness Zionist, allow me to focus on “Jewishness” in the simplified context of Israeli immigration policies.
Firstly, despite what many will tell you, it is possible to immigrate to Israel as a non-Jew. It can be argued that to do so is difficult and restrictive – but I don’t see a problem with that, the same way I believe that the United States has every right to make their immigration difficult and restrictive, if they so choose, in the interest of their country.
That alone, along with the demographic breakdown of Israel as a state, proves that there is no ethnostate in Israel.
But there’s more.
Enter the Law of Return.
The Law of Return is a piece of legislation which “Gives Jews the right to live in Israel and to gain Israeli citizenship”.
This is where the crux of the issue for many people lies when calling Israel an ethnostate – a state that seeks to preserve itself as predominantly Jewish and as a homeland for Jewish people.
According to Wikipedia:
The law since 1970 applies to those born Jews (having a Jewish mother or maternal grandmother), those with Jewish ancestry (having a Jewish father or grandfather) and converts to Judaism (Orthodox, Reform, or Conservative denominations—not secular—though Reform and Conservative conversions must take place outside the state, similar to civil marriages).
Now, there are a few words in there that I think many people refuse to read, that makes it pretty damn clear, for the third time in this article, that to be Zionist does not mean that you support an ethnostate.
“Converts to Judaism.”
Wait a minute.
You can in fact be considered Jewish based on chosen actions and not strictly based on an immutable characteristic of birth?!
Whether or not it’s easier for “ethnic Jews” to be granted citizenship under the Law of Return is irrelevant.
Whether or not there are people in Israel (and across the world, for that matter) who consider convert Jews “not real” Jews is irrelevant.
The fact of the matter is clear. In contrast to the fact that you cannot become a white person and join the desired white homeland, you can become Jewish.
I could, theoretically, without marrying a Jew or attempting to immigrate as a naturalized citizen, become fully Jewish and move to Israel, as a Jew, under the Israeli Law of Return.
So you know what?
Until the white ethnostate crowd comes up with a similar allowance for a person to “become white” in the context of admission to this imagined future white homeland (which, as a civic nationalist, is a more racist sounding version of exactly what I already call for, seeing as I expect all immigrants to America including non-whites to conform to the American culture and way of life, which was created primarily by white people, so there) I will continue to find ethno-nationalism a bunch of arbitrary, immutable characteristic, accident-of-birth based identity politics that I want nothing to do with.
Israel isn’t an ethnostate, ergo, being a Zionist doesn’t mean I should support a white ethnostate.
Now shut the hell up about Israel for five minutes, I have other things I want to talk about.