Marlowe's Shade

Monday, December 27, 2004

Israel's Left

From Arutz Sheva

I know little about Israel's internal politics, but if the self-loathing that is sometimes seen in America's secular Jews is shocking, this phenomenon in Israel is completely appalling and mystifying. Harry W. Weber tries to shed some light on the subject:

Mordechai Vanunu leaks top secret data on Israel's alleged nuclear facility in Dimona. Later, he converts to Christianity and refuses to ever speak in Hebrew again, calling Israel a menace to world peace.

Nachum Frankenthal, a parent of an Israeli soldier killed by Palestinian terrorists, refers to Yasser Arafat as a great national leader, worthy of the utmost sorrow at his death. Tens of his friends attended the funeral of the greatest murderer of Jews in the post-World War II era.

Tali Fahima is confined to administrative arrest after a judge is convinced that she poses a threat to the security of the Jewish citizenry of the State of Israel. She is suspected of being the mistress of the top terrorist leader in the Jenin area, and of being a conduit for the transfer of explosives used in Arab suicide-murder attacks on Jews. After being incarcerated, prison guards testified that she shouted "Itbach Al-Yahud!" - "Slaughter the Jews!"

When I was first confronted with Jews who seemed to hate themselves and their own culture at Brandeis, the cause seemed to lie in an internalized conflict with parents and other older family members. Weber describes a more complex process in Israeli Jews:

The question is: how did Israeli Jews, often grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the Zionist pioneers who settled here in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, become so anti-Zionist, so anti-Jewish? The answer lies in a four-stage process of psychological auto-brainwashing that takes place in the psyche of every Israeli Jew who is not immersed in Jewish history and Jewish religion. Being the descendants of courageous Zionistic pioneers is of no help to those who don't know why they're in Israel, and what to look for as Jews in the Holy Land.

For those Jews lacking a strong Jewish identity, the first stage on the road to being a Tali Fahima or an Udi Adiv (convicted for spying for Syria), or even an Ehud Olmert or an Ariel Sharon, is "projection". Projection is the process by which a person thinks that what he aspires to is what the enemy aspires to, as well. Many leftists believe the Arab propaganda to the world media, that they want nothing more than peace.

That's all the more remarkable after the efforts of Ehud Barak, who offered the Arabs control of ninety-seven percent of Judea and Samaria and control of the Temple Mount. Yet, the Arabs rejected it. Why? Because they insisted on the "right of return" -- i.e., the right to flood Israel with millions of so-called "Palestinians", thereby destroying Israel's identity as the Jewish state. In other words, it is more important for the "Palestinians" to destroy Israel than to establish their own state.

Despite these irrefutable facts, Jews afflicted with projection still don't understand that the "Palestinians" have a totally different mind-set; and their goal is not peace, but piece -- a piece now and a piece later. Their ultimate goal has never changed one iota since 1948: the eventual elimination of Israel as the Jewish state.

It should be noted that it takes a great deal of psychic energy to compartmentalize and adhere to contradictory beliefs, such as: (1) the Arabs are a peace-loving people; and (2) the vast majority of Arabs support suicidal attacks on Jewish civilians. But again, the Israeli Left has been doing it remarkably well for over one-hundred-twenty years. A crucial example of leftist compartmentalization is the belief that Israel can remain democratic and Jewish -- simultaneously and forever. More extreme leftists say that because of the demographic threat to the survival of Israel as a Jewish state, and because Jews can't transfer Arabs, G-d forbid, Jews have to transfer Jews. First, out of Gaza and then out of the rest of Judea and Samaria.

And what about the Arabs in the Galilee and the Negev, who threaten the long run survival of even pre-1967 Israel as a Jewish state? For the time being, Olmert-type leftists who espouse Jewish transfer have no solution. The bolder leftists already say, unabashedly -- since they can't live with the cognitive dissonance inherent in the concept of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the face of the inevitable threat of an Arab majority -- that Zionism is dead. In their view, the time has come for post-Zionism; i.e., anti-Zionism, in which Israel will cease to be the Jewish homeland. Instead, it will be a state like any other Western democracy -- a state of its citizens. These ultra-leftists buried deep inside their psyche the fact that the Arabs, if they become the majority in Israel, G-d forbid, will not treat us the way we treat them. A second Holocaust is guaranteed. To anybody who tries to convince the Israeli ultra-leftist "intelligentsia" of that, I say, good luck.

Part and parcel with projection and compartmentalization is the third stage in the conversion from Zionist to anti-Zionist: denial of reality. The PLO and the Hamas can issue the most blatantly Nazi propaganda against Jews and Israel, but you can count on the Left to explain it away, somehow. "They don't really mean it. What do you expect from an oppressed people?" - the Jewish apologists for the Palestinians are the world's experts in "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" as far as the Palestinians go. That the Internet is flooded with websites such as Palestine Remembered, in which the Arabs reveal, unabashedly, their true intent -- to return to Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Haifa, etc. -- is one more uncomfortable fact buried deep in the Left's common psyche.

The fourth and final stage in the process of "Leftization" of Israel's mainly secular, detached-from-its-Jewish-roots sector, is identification with the aggressor. Here, the Jew is no longer torn by Jewish interests versus Arab interests or by any conflicts of dissonance. Rather, he has bought the Arab propaganda line in toto -- hook, line and sinker. Jews at this level hate their fellow Jews, see Arafat as a great national figure, experience a vicious anti-Semitism toward Jewish settlers, feel no sorrow at their deaths, call for the boycott of the produce of Judea and Samaria, and would do to their fellow Jews what the most bloodthirsty Arabs would.

I think there is a parallel to this in American leftists and Europeans in regard to the Judeo-Christian values that were at one time the core of their own culture. I think Weber's point about being cut off from a traditional religious and ethical worldview is key in all cases. Substituting that for a morally relativistic philosophy leads down the same path of self-destruction that Europe experienced in the 19th and 20th Centuries. And the poignant part is that when the smoke clears for a moment, the desolate survivors point to the carnage as evidence that, as they said from the outset, that there is no God.
papijoe 7:04 AM