Amos Kenan

Mr. Amos Kenan is a well-known Israeli journalist. After the June ’67 War his particular brand of Israeli nationalism, coupled with his reputation for non-conformity, made him a convenient apologist for Israeli policy. In this capacity he recently toured Europe, holding talks and meetings in various towns. In two long articles in Yediot Aahronot Mr. Kenan attacks the activities of anti-Zionist revolutionary organizations in Israel and abroad. Part of his articles present to the uninformed Israeli reader, the nature of that “New Left” as he understands it. Some extracts from these articles are translated below, without further comment.


19th March 1969

…This is the place to describe the nature and quality of the “New Left”. It consists of extreme groups, which have lost all their importance since the events of May 1968. There is nothing better than an abortive revolution to diminish influence.

The leaders of these groups claim that the road to a revolution in Europe goes through the politicizing of students. This politicizing needs a subject. Until now the subject was Vietnam, and suddenly this horse has failed. The war in Vietnam is approaching its conclusion and the “New Left” is looking for another horse to mount. This new horse is Israel …

These people have some additional characteristics. They have a declared ideological inclination for violence, under the influence of Frantz Fanon’s theories. Violence is not an ally of Logic, which is the reason that they hate any rational argument. And if a rational argument is based upon knowledge of facts, they then hate the facts, whatever they are,

The New Left member is dogmatic. If a certain fact does not fit into the ideological construction he has built for himself, he will simply not accept the fact. He even acknowledges this and claims that the essence of his consciousness is action. Action does not require a rational background, but only an emotional one.

For all these reasons it is extremely difficult to argue with the New Left…

20th March 1969

…A certain international club exists today. It is the revolutionary club of the New Left. You can become a member of this club if you conduct the Vietnam war from the courtyards of the Sorbonne, or if you direct the Palestinian struggle from La Coupole cafe, and if you follow all the blood-stained struggles of the world from warm and comfortable places. This is a club of ‘You stand watch for me and I’ll stand watch for you. You will justify me when I commit treason in the struggle and masturbate by the rivers of the West, and I will justify you when you commit treason in the struggle and satisfy yourself in blowing outworn cliches at meetings’. What is more ridiculous and more obscene than a Pakistani, an Israeli and a Palestinian conducting war and peace in London?

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