Separating nationhood from peoplehood
after Shimon Peres was defeated by Benjamin Netanyahu in the election for Prime Minister of Israel in 1996, Peres was interviewed
Interviewer: What happened in these elections?
Peres: We lost.
Interviewer: Who is we?
Peres: We, that is the Israelis.
Interviewer: And who won?
Peres: All those who do not have an Israeli mentality.
Interviewer: And who are they?
Peres: Call it the Jews.
Apparently what Peres meant here by “Israel” was the new, post-Zionist, post-nationalist, multicultural, no-longer-Jewish Israel, and by “Jews” he meant all those who still believe in Israel as a Jewish state. In other words, he was separating the state of Israel from the people by whom and for whom it was created.
In an American context, it would be like defining America as a “diverse, multicultural society” or as a “universal idea,” and then excluding from this redefined “America” the actual Americans who believe in America as a real county and a real people.
The abysmal shame of much of the paleo right in America is that nationalists such as Patrick Buchanan eagerly applaud Israeli utopian leftists such as Simon Peres and Amram Mitzna, men whose policies would lead Israel instantly to national suicide, while these same American nationalists demonize a genuine Israeli nationalist like Sharon.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 12, 2003 04:47 PM | Send
What is disturbing is that Mr. Peres speaks not only for many on the Left, but increasingly for the mainstream of the West. It should not come as a surprise that Israel is similarly afflicted with modern suicidal liberalism as much as any other Western nation. Israel is also saddled with a socialism that keeps her economy more stagnant then where it should be, and thus keeps far more Leftists employed then there should be. What is ironic is that even when whites are placed in a dangerous minority existence (South Africa, Zimbabwe, New York City) they are loathe to state or even consider the obvious racial realities of life.
Mr. Peres may eventually get his wish: Drudge and the BBC report that Israel is opening itself up to thousands of more blacks. I can understand why the Ethiopians would want to get out of their messy African country and into a nearby Western one. What I can’t understand is why the Israeli’s would let themselves get bullied into this? I thought they had a more realistic grasp of the “facts on the ground” than other Western countries.
For fear of being called racist, the Israeli’s are willing to gloss over the rather tenuous claim the Ethiopians have to the nation-state of Israel:
“The BBC’s Jerusalem correspondent James Reynolds says that previous immigration attempts by the Falash Mura have been hampered the fact that they have largely been unable to prove they are Jewish. “
Note that you have to nearly wade through much of the article in order to find out this gem. Of course, Israel has now saddled herself with additional multi-racial protests and problems by this:
“In January 3,000 Ethiopian immigrants demonstrated outside Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office to urge the government to allow their relatives to join them even if they could not prove they were Jewish.”
“The protesters held up pictures of their relatives left behind in Ethiopia, claiming they were “victims of discrimination”. “
Bring these people in! Even if we can’t prove they are Jewish! We are “victims of discrimination!” The word “oy” comes to mind…
And finally, at the very bottom of the article you’ll find these interesting facts:
“About 80,000 Ethiopian Jews already live in Israel. Our correspondent says they remain one of the poorest sections of Israeli society.”
Now why would the BBC wish to obscure these problematic facts toward the very end?
Mr. Vandervoort writes: “What I can’t understand is why the Israelis would let themselves get bullied into this? I thought they had a more realistic grasp of the ‘facts on the ground’ than other Western countries.”
If the Israelis were so realistic, would they have engaged for a decade in the fraudulent “peace process,” in which Israel set the Palestinians up in their own mini-state, which the Palestinians then used to build a cult of mass murder against Jews? Israel has such a reputation as a pioneer, warlike society that people sometimes forget that Israelis are still (mostly secular) Jews, and as such, are natural liberals. It’s as though the Jews on Manhattan’s Upper West Side had created their own country, and found themselves contronted by a determined enemy. Forced to fight to preserve their lives, they would do so, but would never give up their liberal utopianism.
” … [P]eople sometimes forget that Israelis are still (mostly secular) Jews, and as such, are natural liberals. It’s as though the Jews on Manhattan’s Upper West Side had created their own country, and found themselves contronted by a determined enemy. Forced to fight to preserve their lives, they would do so, but would never give up their liberal utopianism.” — Lawrence Auster
Forced to fight to preserve their lives, some of them, unbelievably, *wouldn’t* do so: Jonathan Ben Artzi, a university student in mathematics in Jerusalem who happens also to be Benjamin Netanyahu’s nephew by marriage, just got six months in prison for refusing to serve in the armed forces of his country. I haven’t got the reference but saw the article somewhere the other day, and in it there was a very nice close-up photo of this young man who looked totally normal and robust, and not nerdy or physically unfit in the least. This exceptional case doesn’t, of course, illustrate Mr. Auster’s point here, since the vast majority of Israelis obviously serve their country willingly. But, though an extreme case, it nevertheless is a real story happening to a real person and one has to wonder what could possibly be going through this young man’s mind. Is this extreme liberalism or is it a form of mental illness?
Something else I wondered about recently is how does Israel work it out that Ultra-Orthodox Jews are exempted from military service? How come the other segments of society there don’t refuse to allow this seeming unfairness, I wonder? (especially considering the large number of Ultra-Orthodox in their population).
“… [Some American paleocon] nationalists such as Patrick Buchanan eagerly applaud Israeli utopian leftists such as Simon Peres and Amram Mitzna, men whose policies would lead Israel instantly to national suicide, while these same American nationalists demonize a genuine Israeli nationalist like Sharon.” — Lawrence Auster
This is of course completely true, and it is incomprehensible. I wish Buchanan, a genius with words if ever there was one, would just answer it already, once and for all.
Ok, Unadorned, since there’s no sign that Buchanan is going to answer your question in this life, what do YOU think the reason may be?
Don’t feel under any pressure to answer. :-)