Scorning Israel and Other Delusions of the Left
You could say that Israel overdoes democracy. Governments are sworn in with head-spinning alacrity – 37 in 75 years, and elections exceed that number. This ought to be a consolation for critics outraged by what many call a “far-right” and “undemocratic” coalition. It surely can’t be too long before a moderate one, patched-up and terminal, comes to power.
Besides, a week is held to be a long time in politics; the government may defy the predicted plague on the house of Israel. For one thing allies and investors could force moderation on it. For another, US Secretary of State Blinken has praised the election and promised that Washington will not turn on Israel, negating the hue and cry from sour grape opponents.
What is a crook and fanatic or two in government when not too many in the free world are better. The President of America heads a crime family, for heaven sake.
As regards elections, how many countries can better Israel’s in terms of free and fair? Not the US. The Twitter files courtesy of Elon Musk prove censorship and collusion to rig Biden’s 2020 narrow victory over Trump. In short, why make Israel a lone wolf offender?
Obstinate clamour and hysteria over a poll that was above board smell rancid. For the Palestinian Authority there’s not been even a corrupt election since... who remembers the year it was held? Those who consider the new government abhorrent – outgoing Prime Minister Lapid tells the whole world it’s a “dark” one – bite their tongue at the inability of the PA’s perpetual leader to cope with his need to be elected. They may warn their heads off about dire consequences for Israel; are they, the doomsayers, worth their salt?
Israel’s President Herzog alluded to a question like this when he said, “No one has the privilege to act or talk as if the country is doomed”. Yet that is exactly how even some rabbis and communal leaders daily and hourly act and talk: Israel as they knew it is dead. They can no longer, they bemoan, support their one and own Jewish state.
That is a paradoxical posture if ever there were one. How can this be? The explanation goes right back to birth. The imperative to justify one’s existence might as well be in the human DNA. Without meaning, the spirit slumbers. A vacant soul must be filled with something. As to what that might be, GK Chesterton, author of the brilliant Father Brown stories, beheld a petrifying truth. If you don’t believe in God, he said, you don’t believe in nothing, you believe in anything.
Steeping your life and soul in grubby politics – salvation for the radical left – is no way to build character. Putting Chesterton’s clarity to work, we commoners bear the brunt of their belief in anything except God. We pay for climate mania enforced by alerts to act to avert the world burning to cinders; we suffer a gender mania convinced that people are born without a gender and can pick their own, or none at all; inclusivity mania that male and female belong to the identity, ‘birthing people’ is really no joke; we’re obliged to pretend that believers in the 2-State solution are not pretending.
What signal do they emit as they flounder in dark recesses of the psyche to hit on a meaning to life? What they subject us to: one crisis after another to give crazy nihilists the challenge of combating threats plaguing the planet. If not Covid, it’s climate, if not Trumpism it’s the imperative to save Israel from itself.
The last two are paired. “A growing number of American Jews regard the Jewish state as the moral equivalent of a (Republican) red state,” says Jonathan Tobin. That being so, partisan hate skipped continents to Israel where Trumpist white nationalists purportedly have gained power.
Three hundred radical American rabbis are more than shallow; their psyches are so scrambled that they would punish Jews and reward Jew-haters. Aghast that Israelis had it in them to elect Netanyahu and his extremist ‘partners in crime’ they would henceforth not have Jews that support Israel speaking in their temples – or anywhere else for that matter. An extreme act, one might say, by extremist clergy hyperventilating over the extremist coalition headed by a Trumpist.
Radical rabbis, conflating Jewish law with political partisanship, “sat shiva” (ritual mourning for the dead) when Donald Trump defeated Hilary Clinton. They do, though, have magnanimous moments. They gave a rabbinic blessing to the anti-Semite Ilan Omar for her quest to be on the House Foreign Relations Committee. Talk of extremism. The pot calling the kettle black, wouldn’t you say?
Admittedly it is devilish tempting to save Israelis from themselves. You simply establish a non-profit on the model of J Street or Peace Now; you make it avowedly pro-Israel; you request free money from Soros and the like; you commence to call for cancelling and boycotting this that and the other. That’s precisely the business model that went into action when J Street and Women of Reform Judaism last April tried to expel the Zionist Organization of America from a Jewish coalition. Its Director Morton Klein, in Woke mumbo jumbo, was a white supremacist, racist and xenophobe. What had got their goat was Klein tweeting the offending truth.
I urge the SPLC to immediately put BlackLivesMatter on their list of hate groups. BLM is a Jew hating, White hating, Israel hating, conservative Black hating, violence promoting, dangerous Soros funded extremist group of haters
I urge the SPLC to immediately put BlackLivesMatter on their list of hate groups. BLM is a Jew hating, White hating, Israel hating, conservative Black hating, violence promoting, dangerous Soros funded extremist group of haters. https://t.co/NdXztGlG2u— Morton Klein (@MortonAKlein7) June 6, 2020
Such pro-Israel activists as they are, they pleaded with the Biden Administration: treat Israel’s government as illegitimate, observing the well-trod path of Democrats who rejected the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s 2016 election. They called themselves “the Resistance,” as if Trump headed another imaginary pro-Nazi Vichy regime. Hillary Clinton, Jerrold Nadler, Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter repeatedly called him an “illegitimate” president. For three years they fixated on ousting the imposter with their Russian collusion hoax, going so far as tasking a special undertaker named Robert Mueller to nail down Trump’s casket lid once and for all. Talk of threats to democracy. The pot calling the kettle black, wouldn’t you say?
More legitimate Jews are clamoring with the best of them. Comparisons are being made with the election of Hitler into power. But it’s their love for Israel that makes them crazy with concern, you see. Sincere and simple and over-the-top, their problem is one of silo thought. Lazy thought invariably starts with lazy language. I heard an Israeli report on local community radio in which ‘Very very’ was repeated at regular intervals to convey how deeply concerned the good lady felt about the cabinet. No quest for a decent superlative led to no comparative thought, no inkling that a second silo might disclose anomalies in the one she was looking down. ‘What you see is what you get’ pretty much captures the way your narrow critic works.
Other attackers of Israel’s new coalition are not lazy with language, they rape it. Criticize Mr. Soros (of Jewish extraction but not practice), accumulate the facts of his evil-doing and you’re anti-Semitic. Expose BDS and BLM and you’re racist. Be a MAGA person and you’re a white supremacist. Be serious about the bible and you’re a Christian nationalist. Be in favor of Jewish settlements and you’re an extremist. Decline the covid jab and you’re a science denier. Support Trump and you’re a neo Nazi.
Name calling and hate mongering are Siamese twins. Real tyrants and totalitarians to gain control must emasculate language. Putin’s war on Ukraine is a ‘special operation’. American parents protesting school boards that permit kids to be sexualised in class are ‘domestic terrorists.’ Branding the gun-free January 6th an ‘insurrection’ (a policeman was the lone killer that shameful day on the Capitol) enabled Democrats and the deep state to lock up political prisoners without trial.
The triumph of unreason and road to tyranny in America beckons to Israel. It had better prepare itself for crisis politics in perpetual motion.
Steve Apfel is a prolific author of fiction and non-fiction and an authority on anti-Zionism. His blog, ‘Balaam’s curse,’ is followed in 15 countries on 5 continents