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Janus: the left and Israel



(a) “Affirmative action” Israel: in this position, Israel exists as affirmative action for the Jews—whereas the wider West abandoned national pretensions post-WWII, the Jews were given a special dispensation to have a nation to make up for the centuries when they didn’t have one.


The idea is the same as affirmative action, except for an entire nation—so affirmative action is meant to be a transitory corrective measure, because once the supposed handicaps for a group have been removed it will catch up with normal people (i.e. the white majority).


So the Jews didn’t have a nation for centuries, so they can’t just jump to a post-national state like Europeans—they have to have a national transition period (and that makes up for the period they suffered for not having a state). As with affirmative action, this may seem like “racism” or “nationalism”—but it isn’t because the intention behind it is different, it’s a provisional remedial measure that will no longer be necessary in thirty or forty years (supposedly).


The mainstream belief system in the West is what I call “progressive liberalism”—it is decadent classical liberalism. So its aspiration is to raise all people, through education, to the level of John Stuart Mill—who himself thought more people could be admitted to Parliament, if they were sufficiently educated (he would never have countenanced that everyone and anyone could sit in Parliament, but that’s why it’s decadent classical liberalism).


This approach to Israel is what you’ll hear from any mainstream social-democratic or soft conservative politician, from someone like Keir Starmer in Britain. The line is: “The Jews have had a hard time, like the blacks, so we’re giving them a pass on being post-national until they’ve recovered so as to be full internationalists, like us.”

This idea isn’t formally elaborated, but it is what, in particular, the party-political social-democratic left thinks. Remember, the left is feminisation—it values that which is dependent and victimised (women); and so, insofar as the Jews are dependent and victimised, they must be defended and given special treatment until they catch up—just like a woman can do any job a man can do, once we’ve removed the “irrational” and “arbitrary” barriers.


Further, it must be added that since Israel relies on subsidies from America and reparations payments from the Germans that she is a “vulnerable dependent” and hence deserves special remedial action.


This view was the predominate position on the left in the immediate post-war period, especially since Israel was socialist in her first inception and also due to the legacy from the holocaust—the kibbutz was the backbone for Israel, and the kibbutz is a socialist co-op (and many leftists went to work on kibbutzes as teenagers and university students to experience non-Soviet socialism).


<<Interlude>>


This all changed with the First Intifada (1987-1993). After this event, the left began to see Israel as the victimiser and the Palestinians (Arabs, in the widest sense) as the victims. The Soviet-aligned left had shifted their support from Israel in her earlier years—at first, the Soviets were more pro-Israel than the West, with the Israelis relying on Czech weapons to aid their fight in their war of independence—but the Soviets then shifted to the Arabs (the Western Communist parties and their fellow-travellers followed suit).


However, up until the First Intifada the progressive liberals and social democrats still saw the Israelis as the victims. Although Israel won her various wars against the Arabs, it was always touch and go—if Nixon hadn’t released weapons during the Yom Kippur War via an airlift Israel would have gone down, and his decision to do so was not axiomatic (that is to say, it is clear “the Jews” don’t “run” America, however much influence they have—otherwise, the release of weapons for the Jewish state would have been automatic).


Further, Islam is very anti-Jewish in a raw sense—Muhammad fought with and exterminated Jewish tribes, the Koran is replete with injunctions to “kill the Jew”; and the secular Arab nationalists often sheltered and used military and technical specialists from former National Socialist Germany—and Arab nationalism itself, now surpassed by Islamism, had certain philosophical inspirations from the German world. All this contributed to the image in the progressive mind that Israel was “the victim”, whereas the Arabs were “the abusers”.


However, what changed was that, in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, Israel ended up with the lands now called “the Occupied Territories”. Various sensible advisers, people within the Israeli government, pointed out that it would be a mistake to occupy these majority Palestinian-Arab areas, because the situation would be “neo-colonial”—the Jews would have to rule over a vast Palestinian majority.


However, such concerns were overruled—and, to add to the complexity, Jewish settlers began to form little fortified resiles deep in lands that were overwhelmingly Palestinian. In 1987, this situation boiled over with the First Intifada which was, unlike the previous attacks by the Arab militaries on Israel, more like “moral warfare”—i.e. kids throwing stones at IDF soldiers and then being shot, hence causing a moral outcry abroad (and in Israel).


The situation was analogous to apartheid South Africa—with which Israel enjoyed a friendly relationship, with collaboration on research to get the nuclear bomb and also on arms. Indeed, the anti-apartheid movement largely abandoned “armed struggle” in favour of protest marches and strikes where the South African security services would be forced to shoot them—with the result being outrage in the Western media. So there is a strategic parallel here too in the move from actual war to media war.


At this point, the progressive liberals began to see Israel as the “victimiser”—and, as it happens, the Intifada happened to coincide with the privatisation of the kibbutz system and a move away from non-Soviet socialism by the Israeli “new right”; so, once again, Israel had departed from the left—towards the capitalist “abusers”. The intifadas have never really stopped—with the Second Intifada carried out between 2000-2005; and, arguably, a third event since 2014 that sputtered through the 2010s.


<<Interlude ends>>


(b) “Settler-colonial” Israel: if you think about Israel today, unless you are a Jew with an interest in her, you probably don’t think “precarious, barely clings to life”—you probably see her as a powerful state with a nuclear arsenal and all the advanced weapons the West can provide. She fights against rag-tag guerrilla bands with AK-47s and crude home-made mortars and missile systems.


This is how the avant-garde in the progressive left sees Israel now—basically, her “affirmative action” card has been rescinded. It has been judged that she is now a powerful state—as such, she should now move to where other Western states are (i.e. she should renounce any national aspirations and open her borders). The Palestinians are the victims now—they are dependent on UN aid, and they are the weak and terrified victims of the better-armed IDF.

The left has drawn a parallel between Israel and South Africa—and it’s correct in most respects. These were both states based in racial ideas (even today it is illegal for a Jew in Israel to marry a non-Jew) and both were based in 19th-century Western ideas about nationalism. It should be remembered that Zionists were secular nationalists—they wanted Jews to throw away all the old Orthodox junk, all the long hair and Torahs, and get back to the land as practical farmer-soldiers. Zionism was modern, it was informed by European nationalism in the 19th century.

Of course, for the contemporary left, the parallel between Zionism, European colonialism, and European nationalism can be used to demonstrate quite how “evil” Zionism is—because it can be linked in its genealogy to “Nazism”, to the ur-evil. This is why you get epithets thrown about like “ZioNazis” or “Jewish SS” (with reference to the IDF)—because the behaviour is like apartheid South Africa, like, well, like the National Socialists really.


I think this slides both ways—when someone says “ZioNazis” or “Jewish SS” it is, in general, a leftist who just doesn’t like any expression of masculine action or non-victimhood, and who is, in addition, disappointed because the Jews used to be “better than this” (i.e. tended to be victims, so tended to be model “good-guys” who just used moral persuasion and never coerced anyone); hence the Jews seem to have “fallen”, in this model.


However, I also think that the terms “ZioNazis” and “Jewish SS” reflect an ambiguity many people feel about the Jewish state—because it is, in essence, not too different from National Socialist Germany in the sense that it is a racial state (and it was once even a socialist state too, though not in the way the Hitlerites meant it).


I think these epithets cause controversy less because it “insults the memory of the holocaust” but rather due to the cognitive dissonance the comparison promotes—i.e. “Why is it the Jews can have their own exclusive racial state led by a racial vanguard, but we, the Europeans, can’t?”.


Even when these slogans are posed by the left, as they usually are, I think they awaken this awkward cognitive dissonance—because they provoke this unconscious question in people: “Why…why are the Jews allowed it, but we aren’t and if we want it we’re ‘absolute evil’—yet Israel is ‘good’, our ‘greatest ally’?”.


After all, I spent some time in Israel and found there expatriate Obama-voters from San Francisco who voted for the most extreme rightist parties in Israel and advocated racial extermination for the Palestinians in “Judea and Samaria” (aka “the Palestinian Territories”). They were only realists—weaken the society in which you are a racial alien, exterminate racial aliens in your own society.


So when the left uses such slogans—and slogans such as “ZioNazis” do come from the left, because it would only be for the left that “Nazi” would mean “absolute evil”—it does revive these odd questions, provoke cognitive dissonance in a racial direction, even if by accident.


<<Transition>>


The current situation, as stands, is that the “affirmative action” left wars with the “settler-colonial” left over Israel. The former is composed from older and more mainstream politicians who still see the Jews as victims—vulnerable to predation by other groups; and, perhaps, also view them, in the context of Islamic mass migration, as more European and more “ours” than the recent Asian and Arab arrivals (in the cultural sense, at least).


This group is on the decline—not only because it is literally dying out but also because, from a leftist perspective, where the victim has priority, it is hard see the Israelis as victims and vulnerable when compared with the Palestinians (despite much propaganda effort, the environment favours Arab victimhood—they are “in the ghetto”; it was an error to occupy the Palestinian Territories, as many said at the time—the Israelis suffer for their hubris, even today).

In the ascendency is the “settler-colonial” left—and that’s true even among young American Jews, who are quite broken down and atomised themselves; and who are, as Jews, vulnerable to any equalitarian victim-based narrative, even one that would get them killed if implemented. Meanwhile, for an Asian or black immigrant who joins the Western left the Israel-Palestine conflict looks, on a superficial race read, like “whites versus coloureds” (most people aren’t racist enough—don’t realise both groups are Semites).

To such people, the conflict just looks like white colonists who arrived from Europe, complete with the usual European technical superiority, battering the weaker indigenous population. The narrative is reinforced once it is found that the Israelis collaborated with apartheid South Africa. Hence, for a non-white leftist in Britain, like Ash Sarkar, it’s obvious that Israel, backed by the US, is just “white settler-colonialism”. And people like Ash Sarkar constitute the future for the European left—just in demographic terms.


<<Ambiguities>>


What the left prescribes for the Israelis today is “the South African solution”—so Israel and Palestine should be merged into a single state. The result would be even more bloody than South Africa, because the strip of land we refer to is tiny—and, further, Semites are ultra-tribal and so to advocate for a one-state solution would be to instigate a Middle East “cage fight”. As it stands, the Israelis have spent the last two decades building walls around themselves to minimise the violence—the left wants the walls to come down and for the blood to flow (like South Africa).

So, as stands, the contemporary left is set to become more and more anti-Israel—and this will mean you will see more “anti-Semitic” tropes on the left, often from Asian and black leftists who feel no self-consciousness about such rhetoric (no “white guilt”; but they’re also more tribal than whites and so the rhetoric “comes natural” to them, even in a leftist idiom).


Does that constitute “genuine” anti-Jewish sentiment? As with everything in our societies, it’s an argument between “two lefts”—so the affirmative action left will say, “Jeremy Corbyn and his gang are racist anti-Semites,” and, at base, the accusation is untrue, insofar as “racism” and “anti-Semtism” mean anything—the settler-colonial left have pierced the “victim dynamics” with greater accuracy, their complaint is not racial but rather that the Jews have become sufficiently strong not to need any “compensatory” national state anymore.


The “affirmative action” position is just conservative leftism, just as conservative feminists fight a futile rearguard action against the transgender movement—which is just a consistent application of feminism (if the differences between the sexes are irrational and arbitrary then there is no reason I can’t call myself a woman at will).

In other words, I doubt there is any real racial aspect to the “settler-colonial” left. However, due to the fact that the Jews constituted “the” racial issue, any rhetoric around Israel is bound to cross back into familiar tropes—but the “settler-colonial” left’s complaint isn’t “we want what the Zionists have, why can’t we have it—is it because the Jews stop us from having it?” rather it is “the Jews shouldn’t have this state because it is racist—we don’t have a state like it, and that’s what’s good about us”.


However, the entire issue does, I think, sometimes trip ambiguities in the Western mind along the lines, “But why can’t we have what they have…?”

<<Future>>


Israel’s future is tied to the United States—she is not an independent going concern on her own, she is, current state notwithstanding, a “vulnerable dependent”. She has been bailed out with weapons at key moments when she would have gone under otherwise, and she receives a generous subsidy from the American taxpayer.

In return, the Americans have found themselves at war with the entire Muslim world and also had their nuclear technology (many technologies) ripped off by Israeli spies. There have been no positive returns for Americans from their support for Israel—just wasted money, wasted lives in Iraq (perhaps yet in Iran), and involvement in a global religious war that otherwise would never have impinged on Ohio. The same goes for the wider West.


When America goes down, Israel will go down with her—at some point, as the American empire collapses, she will be unable to send money to Israel or send her weapons or even to extend her power “East of Suez” (as happened as the British Empire declined).


“Yes, the yeshiva is that way—it has a golden future.“

The Arab states are not as intelligent as the Jews (to say the least), but they have money from oil and a large population to hand—the Israeli core population, the Zionist population, the population that does the fighting (which is the real nation), is in decline (at the gay pride parades in Tel Aviv). The Jewish population that expands is the bookish Orthodox population who are tepid Zionists at best and really want to study their books as they always have done. Indeed, half the Israeli population is now exempt from compulsory military service for religious reasons.


Israel probably doesn’t have a future beyond 2054, and, if she has a future, the left may yet force her to “do a South Africa” and become a single state with the Palestinians—which would be a greater bloodbath than today, a death by a thousand cuts (as South Africa experiences today).


I think Zionism’s basic idea that the Jews should return to the land and become more masculine through warfare and engagement with nature was sound—but it has failed as a project. In the end, the Israeli right has had to lean on the religious—because the Jewish backbone is religious.


In fact, the Jews were meant to return to nature by following Christ (not Herzl) and that’s why Zionism has failed—it was just a materialist return to nature that the religious Jews could never follow, it was always a project for the secular Jews; and, in turn, they have been corrupted at the Tel Aviv pride parade or lost faith in Zionism and joined the protests against “settler-colonialism”.





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