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(18) Dahabi

Does Israel constitute a “Lindy” state? In a sense, yes—the Jews have been in the land of Israel, one way or another, for centuries. However, I think this answer misleads because Zionism is not the same as Judaism; it is Judaism that has an ancient connection to the land of Israel underpinned by very Lindy traditions. Zionism, on the other hand, constitutes a 19th-century innovation—it is modernist, nationalism is a modernist project. Indeed, nationalism was always conceived as a dialectical step to internationalism. The idea was to break the power of kings and priests by counterposing “the people” to the dynasties and religious brotherhoods that spread over many lands (when you look at Tsar Nicholas II and Albert you just think, “Same man,” because it practically was; close blood relations).

After “the people” removed the kings and priests, “people would speak unto people” and so international peace would ensue—the idea was that wars only occurred because of dynastic feuds and irrational religious fanaticism. As it turned out, to organise “the people” into a nation led to the most bloody antagonism imaginable. Yet this is why people who advocate for the EU hate nationalists so much and vice versa—they are similar, and so they hate each other.

Nationalism was a modernist project and is finished. Israel depends on America to survive, and I expect when America collapses Israel will go too. She will be like apartheid South Africa, an anachronistic holdout for views that have collapsed at home—views that will be seen as immoral. Hence Israel in 2050 will put forward recognisable 20th-century Americanism, though actual Americans will disdain her as immoral (this process has already started, just look at what progressives—even progressive Jews—say about Israel). Nationalism is a dead end—and yet so is internationalism, both are anachronistic. In this sense, Nietzsche’s injunction to be “good Europeans” remains fresher than either—although what he meant was not to form a large bureaucracy to regulate banana imports.

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