Daniel Lazare at Strategic Culture headlined on March 8th “Israel Hits a Brick Wall” and described the reasons behind the political deadlock in which that apartheid nation has long been frozen. Frankly, I had had no idea of the reasons, and I won’t try to summarize here Lazare’s (to me) revelatory description of Israel’s impasse, because anyone who has any interest in understanding Israel should read that brief article for themselves. But I’ll mention two things in it that stood out for me, by quoting from it, and briefly discussing each passage:
(1) “For purposes of immigration, Israel uses the old Nazi definition of a Jew as anyone with one or more Jewish grandparents. As strange as this may sound, Israel’s founders figured that anyone Jewish enough to suffer under Nazi oppression should be Jewish enough to find refuge in the Jewish state – and so the Nazi standard became law.”
Albert Einstein was one of a number of progressive Jews who back in 1948 publicly condemned the political movement that then dominated in the creation of the Israeli state and that was led by Yitzak Shamir and Menachem Begin and Einstein’s group called Begin in particular by name as being a “fascist.” The basis of these condemnations was the massive ethnic cleansing that Israel’s founders were engaging in so as to terrify enough of the then far-majority Arab population to flee so as to enable the then-small-minority Jews there to take their land at fire-sale (or even no) prices and so create facts-on-the-ground on the basis of which a case could be made for Jews to be controlling there and a biblically based argument for Jews to ‘come home’ to ‘their land’ could be accepted by millions of people who weren’t progressives such as Einstein and the other signers of that public letter were. Whereas those seculars got their values of equal rights from secular sources, most people did not, but instead believed in the Bible; and, so, this land-theft operation would be generally accepted though not accepted by people such as Einstein. And that’s how Israel was founded — theocratically and racially supremacist over a land that for thousands of years had been almost exclusively Muslim.
(2) “But for purposes of family law and other domestic affairs, they adopted a different standard, that of the orthodox rabbinate, which holds that the only Jews who qualify are those born of a Jewish mother or who convert under orthodox supervision. Some forty percent of Lieberman’s followers do not meet the rabbinic standard, which means that they are effectively reduced to second-class citizenship in terms of marriage, employment, and a host of other issues as well. But [what] makes the issue especially explosive is the military draft. … Soviet immigrants and their children must [put] their lives at risk to protect orthodox Israelis who don’t even regard them as Jewish. Lieberman has made it clear that he will not enter any government that allows such exemptions to continue.”
Avigdor Lieberman is one of Israel’s leaders who hold the balance of power which will determine whether or not Benjamin Netanyahu will be able to continue leading the country — Lieberman leads the ex-Soviet Jews there, who tend to believe very differently than the Jewish fundamentalists or Orthodox Jews do. These seculars cannot tolerate the fundamentalists’ imposition of a second-class citizenship upon themselves.
It’s for reasons like this that Netanyahu cannot form a governing coalition. He needs Lieberman but cannot get him. Netanyahu’s extreme corruption is politically acceptable, but his imposition of a second-class citizenship upon seculars is not.
Israel was founded by Jewish bigots against Muslims, and the ‘justification’ was that Jews had suffered bigotry from Christians and were therefore unwanted in and rejected by Christian-majority lands; so, Christians were quite happy for them to flee to a Muslim land and maybe let them kill each other off there.
Bigotry as a response to bigotry didn’t solve anything but just perpetuated the problem and relocated it elsewhere.
An odd parallel exists regarding America’s Black population. Bigotry as a response to bigotry isn’t working there any better than it does in Israel.
On March 7th I headlined “Are Most of America’s Black Voters Racists? Yes, They Now Clearly Are.” At least as perplexing as Netanyahu’s political predicament is the predicament of America’s Democratic Party in trying to select as its Presidential nominee a candidate who appeals to bigoted Blacks who cling to Joe Biden because he clings to the Black Barack Obama, versus, yet again, the Party’s seculars who insist upon equality of rights and obligations for all. If that tension cannot be successfully resolved (and it probably cannot), then a united Republican Party will in the general election on November 3rd be going up against a deeply fractured Democratic Party which cannot achieve agreement between equalitarians versus a certain type of (specifically Black anti-White) racism and privilege and supremacy.
Also like in the Israeli situation, the supremacism and bigotry are now being imposed by an oppressed minority group, who have fundamentally absorbed the bigoted values from their former majoritarian oppressors and are blinded to the reality that they have done so: that they have capitulated to what they falsely believe that they had been oppressed by — which is some type of ethnicity — when they had instead been oppressed actually simply by bigoted individuals (which could have been or be from any ethnicity).
There is no superior or inferior ethnicity. No matter who believes that there is, the result of that belief can only be hell. This is what Einstein believed, and he was correct.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.