Yom Kippur, only days away, a time of repentance, lately, the utter savagery in attacking Gaza and its people, the burning alive of a Palestinian youngster, the rubble, destitution, bombing of UN schools serving as civilian shelters, the water treatment plants, electricity grids (cutting off power to hospitals), all in all, a full-scale display of shock and awe designed and intended to humble, humiliate, degrade, and depersonalize THE OTHER as so much tripe standing in the way of the Manifest Destiny of Fortress Israel in its might and superior moral worth…Yom Kippur, only days away, and not a ripple of soul-searching, a crease of the brow, even an afterthought about the infliction of death and the evil it represents. A good start to the Jewish New Year, one that makes a mockery of the piety of observance, the supposed agony and anguish over thoughts and deeds that violate the teachings of Torah and its declarations for social justice, again, all in all, the blasphemous worship of God, itself an oxymoron only possible when truth is suppressed and POWER transforms humans into little gods themselves, free to play with the lives and fortunes of all deemed THE OTHER as they see fit. Shana Tova, Israel, for wiping away the pride Judaism had always felt about welcoming the stranger, siding with the underdog, dedicating life to the humanistic emancipation of ALL PEOPLES. For that, I cannot forgive you. Judaism is too precious to be corrupted by arrogance, militarism, wanton murder!
Just after Rosh Hashanah the New York Times published an op-ed article surprisingly critical of Israel, Mairav Zonszein’s “How Israel Silences Dissent, (Sept. 26), which describes a national siege-mentality in which government from on high countenances violence against antiwar protesters through its own cues and its indifference to hooliganism as in attacks against dissidents. (As I read one account for which Zonszein provides the link, I was reminded of my own experience in Detroit at an antiwar rally in 1967, the same right-wing attack, Breakthrough interchangeable with the Israeli The Lions, ours CIA-backed, who knows about theirs?—the police nowhere in sight, or rather standing idly by, as though to incite or encourage the harassment.) Repression wears a familiar face wherever it occurs.
Zonszein writes: “the injuries suffered in Tel Aviv that night [July 12] stemmed not from rocket fire but from a premeditated assault by a group of extremist Israeli Jews. Chanting ‘Death to Arabs’ and ‘Death to leftists,’ they attacked protesters with clubs. Although several demonstrators were beaten and required medical attention, the police made no arrests.” Indeed, from the original account, the police fled the scene for shelters when the sirens went off. When they returned, still no protection as the scene grew more violent, these avowedly fascist thugs chasing demonstrators into cafes and wrecking the premises. The record continues: “The same thing happened at another antiwar protest in Haifa a week later; this time, the victims included the city’s deputy mayor, Suhail Assad, and his son. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no statement condemning the violence, even though he had previously stated his primary concern was the safety of Israeli citizens.”
But talk is cheap, and, interestingly, in the first example, we see “Death to Arabs” and “Death to leftists” paired as though one, clearly indicative of the right-wing surge (I think that’s fair to say) in Israeli politics. The writer continues: “The vilification of the few Israelis who don’t subscribe to right-wing doctrine is not new. [This from an Israeli-American writer; I don’t feel alone, then, in saying there is overwhelming popular support in Israel for its war policies and militaristic mindset.] Similar acts of incitement occurred before the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. But now they have MULTIPLIED, ESCALATED AND SPREAD.” (my caps.) E.g., “On July 10, the veteran Israeli actress Gila Almagor did not show up to perform at Tel Aviv’s Habima Theater; she had received threats that she would be murdered on stage.” Her crime? “In an interview in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot a few days earlier, she had expressed feeling ashamed after a 16-year old Palestinian, Muhammed Abu Khdeir, was kidnapped and burned alive by Jewish extremists.”
Celebrities and journalists are attacked with impunity: Orna Banai, a popular comedian, was fired as a “spokeswoman for an Israeli cruise ship operator” when she expressed sadness that in Gaza “Palestinian women and children were being killed”; also, “Haaretz hired bodyguards for its columnist Gideon Levy after he wrote an article criticizing Israeli Air Force pilots.” Zonszein points to the basic ethnocentrism characterizing Israeli thought: “The aggressive silencing of anyone who voices disapproval of Israeli policies or expresses empathy with Palestinians is the latest manifestation of an us-versus-them mentality that has been simmering for decades.” This last is important. The attitude is long-standing and does not arise from rally-around-the flag pressures attendant on the Gaza War; to disentangle the us-versus-them dichotomy entails probing the etiology of authoritarianism, which, I have written about in CounterPunch articles, stems at least in part from the introjection of the Holocaust experience, so horrendous and dehumanizing as to lead to identification with the oppressor, and in turn, perversely, a set of psychodynamics where the oppressed become themselves, as now, oppressors. Palestinians are being made to recapitulate the suffering of the Jews, with the same coldness, indifference, lack of affect, as in the original.
This is what makes Israel so dangerous (to itself and others), a routinization of conquest, superiority, if not blood-lust as well. Even the “Israeli peace camp,” the writer holds, can be faulted. Because it “remains obsessively focused on stopping settlement expansion and pursuing the ever-elusive two-state solution while ignoring Israel’s failure to separate religion and the state and guarantee equal rights for Arab citizens,” [it] has been incapable of challenging this mentality.” In fairness to Zonszein, it is I who speaks of conquest, superiority and blood-lust; the writer does not go that far. But going far enough, as in this succinct indictment: “Israeli society has been unable and unwilling to overcome an exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism that privileges Jewish citizens and is represented politically by the religious settler movement and the increasingly conservative secular right.” As for the Left? “Israel’s liberal, progressive forces remain weak in the face of a robust economy that profits from occupation while international inaction reinforces the status quo.” Thus, “In their attempt to juggle being both Jewish and democratic, most Israelis are choosing the former at the expense of the latter.”
Ethnocentrism is the refuge of absolutist perceptions of the world and the authoritarian framework of mental security. Zonszein’s observation is acute: The us-versus-them mentality, given that Israel has never “genuinely addressed the fact that non-Jewish Arabs” constitute one-fifth of the population, and that it “has also never clearly defined its borders, preferring to keep them vague and porous,” and most important, it has not “defined what it means to be ‘Israeli,’ as distinct from being ‘Jewish,’ leaving a vacuum that has been filled by nationalist and religious ideologues,” all of that has allowed the us-them dichotomy “to bleed into Israeli Jewish society.” I would call it INTEGRAL to the society. Hence: “’Us’ no longer refers to any Jewish citizen, and ‘them’ to any Palestinian. Now, ‘us’ means all those who defend the status quo of occupation and settlement expansion, including many Christian evangelicals and Republicans in America. And ‘them’ means anyone who tries to challenge that status quo, whether a rabbi, a dissenting Israeli soldier or the president of the United States.” No, Zonszein is not infallible; to regard Obama as hostile to Israel’s leadership and policies, as apparently many Israelis do (see the op-ed pieces in The Times by Shmuel Rosner, noted shortly), is chillingly inaccurate.
Finally, the writer provides the example of Zeev Sternhell, an Israeli political scientist and scholar of fascism, who contends that “’radical nationalism’ and the ‘erosion of Enlightenment values’ have reached new heights in Israel.” Sternhell stated to Haaretz, “’To grieve for the loss of life on both sides is already an act of treason,’”—and in 2008 he had “already experienced Jewish extremist violence firsthand,” a settler having “planted a bomb in his home that wounded him.” Shana Tova.
Here from +972 magazine, Haggai Matar’s article, “The night it became dangerous to demonstrate in Tel Aviv,” (July 13), we see in microcosm—the subheading, “The fascists attacked. Police didn’t respond in time and ran away when the sirens wailed. We were lucky to get away with only three injured, one in the hospital and many traumatized”—the hostile environment for social protest in Israel. The writer begins: “When the sirens wailed in Tel Aviv last night [July 12] one thing was clear to us: the fascists in front of us were more dangerous than the rapidly approaching rockets.” When fellow-Israelis can call Israelis fascists, one can be heartened that not all radicals have been silenced, yet disheartened that Israel has spawned its own fascist-types. One side: “’Death to Arabs!’”, the other side: “’Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies!’” The police, as noted, fled (and weren’t providing protection anyway—this in central Tel Aviv).
Matar’s description widens: “But our fear was justified. By the end of the protest (and a little after it, when they chased us through the streets) one person who had a chair broken over his head was injured and evacuated to the hospital, another got punched hard in the head, and… dozens of others, hit, pushed, or eggs thrown at them…. And that’s how it became dangerous to demonstrate in Tel Aviv. Less so because of rockets from Gaza—more because of the fascists and the government’s incitement.” (When I speak of fascistization, it is not because of what terms demonstrators applied to hooligans, as in the article, but the institutionalized suppression of dissent, whether head-bashing, Israeli’s Channel 10 constant news-propaganda, Netanyahu’s Janus-faced apologetics, or, of course, the actual record of the IDF, Mossad, and other military-intelligence arms of the State.)
Indeed, except in an authoritarian social order, it would be hard to categorize these demonstrators as radical or Leftist. “We came,” Matar continues, “to protest the ongoing killing in Gaza, against both sides’ firing on civilians, against the occupation and to demonstrate for peace talks. We came to say that Gaza and Siderot children just want to live.” Yet, not good enough, not patriotic enough: “And there were some who didn’t want us to say those things.” Demonstrations “in the heart of Tel Aviv during a war usually bring out many dozens of police officers in order to violently disperse the demonstration, or if not that, then to separate between the protesters and counter protesters.” Not this time, when “this time it was clear there would be counter protesters.” Rather than a large police presence, the Right was free to do its work.
Let’s be specific: “Yoav Eliassi (‘The Shadow’) called his people (‘The Lions’) to demonstrate against the Left, and people wrote ahead of time on his Facebook wall that they were coming to beat people up.” The few police around, “unlike the usual setup for these situations, where the two demonstrations are allowed to take place facing one another from across the street,” placed “the fascists… right next to our demonstration, calling out racist slogans and wishing death to those protesting for peace and against the fighting.” A situation with which I am entirely familiar, as I’m sure many CP readers and contributors are as well: “All attempts to encourage the police to further separate the two groups, and to call for backup, were to no avail.”
Matar’s plaintive appeal for justice resonates down the ages of radicalism: “It also made no difference when once in a while a fascist went around the policemen, attacked protesters and tore up signs, or when they started tossing eggs. It made no difference that fascists had attacked demonstrators before (for example just two weeks ago at the end of the demonstration outside the Defense Ministry) and the lesson was not learned—that these are the same gangs, among them masked men who rioted in Jerusalem just a week and a half ago, attacking Arabs.” (I confess, the term “fascist,” not only as used above, in the form of institutionalized suppression of dissent, but the gut-happening down in the street, does in fact apply—that Israel allows or even witnesses this, fully warrants the judgment. To those of my readers who were active in the civil rights struggle in the American South in the 1950s-60s, the account would be all too familiar—from which one might draw the same conclusion about the fascistization of the society.) And then the jarring punch line, wholly warranted: “On the heels of the slogans and the incitement coming from the government, Mohammad Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and burned to death.” (Fascism? Khdeir. Fascism? Schwerner-Chaney-Goodman.)
This, then, is Israel: “And then came the siren. The policemen disappeared. And the fascists attacked. They chased down people who were running to shelter, pushing them, swearing at them and sexually harassing them. With no other choice, we grouped up tightly, surrounded by a human chain, linked arm to arm. We called out all the slogans we had, to keep up morale and unity, to stay safe from fear, to cheer up in the face of the menacing, impassioned mass in front of us.” Sirens, on then off then on, an attempt to flee to a café on the corner of Ben Tsion Boulevard and King George Street: “They stormed the café, broke cups, threw people on the ground and on tables….” Finally police arrived.
The account has a somber conclusion, “I have to say this clearly: it is not just these fascists, Eliassi and his people, or those carrying [Foreign Minister] Liberman’s posters and the rest of the thugs. It comes from the top. It comes from a government which serially incites against Arabs and the left. It comes from MK Yariv Levin sitting in the Channel 10 News studio, boldly lying about the Gaza siege policy, and refusing to allow Ron Cohen from Physicians for Human Rights to talk, calling him a liar, saying Channel 10 was derelict in its duty when it allows the government to be criticized on the air—criticism which was entirely hard, dry facts.” And enough to bring tears as we approach another Yom Kippur, I quote Matar: “And it comes from a prime minister who has been silent for weeks while masses flood the streets, attacking Arabs, swearing, humiliating, a whole population group feeling threatened and isolated, with nobody to turn to.” And this in July, long before Gaza itself was turned into a wasteland of destruction.
Then we have the good Israeli citizens, liberals to a tee, here, New York Times op-ed contributor, Shmuel Rosner, who perfectly fits the Ethnocentric Personality, projecting hostility for whomever dares criticize Israel in whatever way, promoting instead the idea of Our Big Family, a Gemeinschaft of happy warriors, bonded together in mutual trust, while all others are, and must be treated as, Outsiders. I exaggerate not; the oozing of self-righteous goodness notwithstanding, the argument is hardness itself, punitive to Critic and Enemy alike, even more, the former, for not showing sufficient attachment to Israel. Rosner starts with what I can only think of as Israel’s self-encasement, political-structural solipsism, or what one of our writers called an exclusivist identity. His piece, “Israel’s Fair-Weather Fans,” (Aug. 7)–the title already a tip-off about not trusting (especially American) Jews who do not give unconditional devotion to Israel—begins with a song: “The Israeli song ‘Ein Li Eretz Acheret’ is a curious tune. ‘I have no other country,’ go to the lyrics, ‘even if my land is on fire.’”
Translation (from what I learned from dear Miss Cummings, my fascist world history teacher in tenth grade): My Country Right or Wrong. For Rosner, both left and right claim it; as for himself, “I was reminded of the song in recent days [although early August may seem distant, it comes well into the bombing campaign in Gaza] as I read a string of articles by smart, savvy, knowledgeable, non-Israeli Jews, who say that the brutal war in Gaza has made them question their Zionism.” Perish the thought, ungrateful, smart-alecky shmucks. Astonishing, they have no right to criticize (here we are perhaps getting the underside of the “self-hating” Jew argument that is used to stifle dissent): “What unites these writers, of course, is that all of them do have another country. And that’s why, when push comes to shove, the Israeli government doesn’t—and SHOULDN’T—listen to them.” (My caps.)
Ethnocentrism by strictest definition, a closing down via the us-them dichotomy, embittered by the fact, sarcastically offered, that “there’s a heart-warming side to their articles; they are all clearly concerned about Israel.”
That cannot be. To be concerned must be predicated on trust, in this case, trust in whatever Israel is, says, does, otherwise merely fair-weather fans who support Israel only when they choose, happen to agree, or find it convenient. Wanted, therefore, though Rosner doesn’t use the term: TRUE BELIEVERS. On one hand, they are concerned, but on the other, “they are disappointed, sometimes horrified, by an Israel for which they still care, but not as much as they used to.” That, presumably, is their mortal sin. Roger Cohen in The Times “argued that current Israeli policies are a ‘betrayal of the Zionism in which I still believe.’” This is unacceptable; one cannot affirm Zionism, and still criticize Israeli policies. And if their arguments are similar, “their conclusions are also similar: They are ‘less sympathetic’ to Israel than before” (Jonathan Chait). In summary, “As a group, they are a shining example of a phenomenon that Atlantic Monthly and Haaretz columnist Peter Beinart has popularized: the distancing of liberal Jews from Israel, especially in the United States.”
One detects the venom seeping out: “The core of Mr. Beinart’s argument is that ‘particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists’ because of Israel’s hawkish policies. It’s a shaky theory, and experts still argue about the scope of the trend.” Still, as with “the wildly popular Jewish comedian Jon Stewart,” undoubtedly “many liberal Jews feel uncomfortable with Israel,” Stewart arguing that if ‘Israel continues to elect governments hostile to a viable Palestinian state—the American mood will incrementally shift.’” Here Rosner weighs in: “This is a bleak prediction, because support from America is a cornerstone of Israel’s security.” However, the threat follows, that Israel has the right of unilateral action, a path of going-it-alone, a theme of Independence mixed with recriminations (dressed in psychological terms) against those who have deserted it: “If Jewish liberals aim to erode that support, they should remember that Israel has managed in the past to make do, even with weakened American support. But I assume their motivation is different. Sometimes it feels as if liberal Zionist critics are trying to ensure that Israel’s deeds do not rub off on them. At other times, it feels as if they’re trying to clear their conscience of something for which they feel partially responsible.”
Why give space and attention to Rosner? Because he so accurately typifies the liberal Israeli mindset—obviously others would not even bother with supposed soul-searching to justify Israel’s domestic and international policies and agenda, explanations of any kind taken as a sign of weakness. Rosner at least opens the wider Israeli mindset, beyond liberal (which, with more accommodating rhetoric, shares with the full-scale hawkish, Rightist perspective most if not all the essential themes and ideological premises), thus enabling one to gather how profoundly deep ethnocentrism runs in the society. You are FOR us or AGAINST us, no middle ground tolerated. He states: “They [Jewish liberals—it seems that more than Hamas, he is particularly drawn to attacking them, the Enemy Within The Gate, who, subverting the whole, had to be pushed out] seem to believe that the implied threat that Israel might lose Jewish supporters abroad will somehow convince the government to alter its policies.” Not on your life. “This is,” he continues, “a self-aggrandizing fantasy and reveals a poor grasp of the way Israel operates.”
How therefore does Israel operate? If need be, he implies, through Splendid Isolation (an ethnocentric drawing inward, too arrogant to seek compromise or understanding), “To put it bluntly: These Jews are very important, but not nearly important enough to make Israelis pursue policies that put Israeli lives at risk.” Even if their own unwise policies, a self-willed risk-taking, put still more lives at risk? Not possible. Strangely, peace is never considered a viable option, except as issued at the point of the bayonet. If there be criticism, let it be non-critical, the touchy-feeling warmth of the totally accepting, infantilization of the willing subject: “If all Jews are a family, it would be natural for Israelis to expect the unconditional love of their non-Israeli Jewish kin. If Jews aren’t a family, and their support can be withdrawn, then Israelis have no reason to pay special attention to the complaints of non-Israeli Jews.”
Nicely put—ethnocentrism even within world Jewry. Rosner, swept along by the logic of his argument, writes: “Moreover, the threat of liberal Jews distancing themselves from Israel is a hollow one. Jews of other nationalities are the proud and patriotic citizens of other countries, and they are free to make the decision to detach themselves from THE GREATEST JEWISH ENTERPRISE of the last two millenniums.” (My caps.) Israel is still the only show, or rather team, in town (speaking of infantilization): “But they aren’t like baseball fans who move from New York to Boston and, with great difficulty, stop rooting for the Yankees and learn to cheer for the Red Sox.” Crescendo: “If they still want to root for a Jewish state, there’s no substitute for Israel. If they believe there is a need for Jewish sovereignty, Israel is the only option available to them. Like in that song, there is no other country even if the land is on fire.”
But the land is on fire, or more, in the heated minds of a nation irreconciliable, unbudging, convinced of its own moral worth—for which Atonement is a meaningless word. The Israeli: Atone for what? Spitting in the face of God on Yom Kippur.
Critics are without standing (apparently, as we’ve seen, within Israel as well). Inside or outside, doesn’t matter: criticism is per se “liberal” and of no account: “Clearly, these critics of Israel’s behavior believe that Israelis themselves would be safer if the country adopted their prescribed liberal policies. That might be true, but it makes no difference.” A drink from the poison chalice: “On matters of life and death, war and peace, Israelis are going to make their own decisions. If they lose the support of some liberal Jews over it [conservatives, Jew or gentile, no problem], that would be regrettable, but so be it.” That wonderful defiance capturing the Israeli spirit: “Israel will have to learn to survive without that support, and I’m certain it will.”
In “Who Killed the Israeli Left?”–a later Times op-ed (Sept. 7)—Rosner gleefully sticks it to the Left. We’ve seen enough, except for the point on Obama, a mischaracterization of POTUS as though fitting into that category. The Left in Israel killed itself primarily by not being anti-Left, i.e., it failed to show the necessary enthusiasm for war and intervention expected in the Knesset, and most basic, it allegedly was a persistent critic of the government (which I doubt). But his basic point is that Israel is not going to stand the gaff of any nation, including the US; this would only make it more obdurate, more determined in its ways. Gaza has had its effect domestically: “It is therefore amusing to follow the latest raging Israeli debate prompted by some Israelis’ threats to jump ship and leave the country.” So what? The population is increasing anyway. Implicitly, they will not be missed. “For educated, liberal Israelis it’s easy to air one’s frustrations with the country and grab a headline by declaring their intention to leave.”
Rosner joyfully describes a vicious circle: “Certain Israeli leftists feel sidelined and powerless and therefore they threaten to leave, which makes the rest of Israelis even less attentive to their views. (Why would we listen to those who don’t even want to live here?) This, in turn, makes the leftists feel even more isolated.” Unwittingly he helps to support if not confirm my analysis of Israeli fascistization now taking place (except that I see the trend as more long-term certainly by the decade of the 1930s, as Arno Mayer’s magnificent Plowshares into Swords makes clear in the warnings of Einstein and Freud): “The Israeli left is in trouble, as most leftists would admit—and the Gaza war that ended two weeks ago put it even under more pressure. During the war, Israelis’ sense of unity and purpose became pronounced, leaving the war’s few domestic opponents feeling marginalized.” He explains further: “After the war, things got worse for the left; voters now seem even more stubborn in their support of rightwing prescriptions of policies.” Polls show “rightwing parties are getting stronger,” and that projected Knesset seats “for the current right-of-center coalition have skyrocketed.” Support for the “left has eroded,” the reason cited: “This is first and foremost a byproduct of the region we live in. Israelis look at the neighborhood and instinctively cling to their guns. But there is also a second, often neglected, reason for the Israeli left’s demise.”
In a nutshell, the international community had been the Israeli “left’s most significant ally,” so that “a shrinking left [as the peace process floundered] found consolation in the continued support of liberal Europeans and Americans (Jewish Americans included). And the less the left was able to convince fellow Israelis to adhere to its remedies, to free Palestinian prisoners or freeze settlements, the more it tended to find consolation in international support and to invite international intervention and pressure on Israel’s government.” The result is easily predictable: “And the more the left invited foreign pressure on Israel, the less legitimate its actions became in the eyes of non-leftist Israelis.” Criticism is not wanted, what I would call, a conditioned authoritarianism or defensive inner shield of intensified guilt, so that when one moves from domestic to foreign sources, the lid is clamped down equally tightly.
Permutations of the vicious cycle: the Left is weakened in Israeli eyes by appealing to the international community; that community in turn is more greatly ignored precisely because of a weakened domestic Left. Authoritarianism feeds on itself, a reason for its systemic appeal: “International encouragement of Israel’s left was instrumental in killing it. The outside world promoted the unpopular views [already confirmation of the Rightist political disposition] of an Israeli political minority, giving the left an inflated sense of its own importance domestically. This illusion led to despair, and then to alienation from mainstream Israeli society—all resulting in a further reduction of the left’s political allure.”
Cheap psychologizing on Rosner’s part? Perhaps, but nonetheless quite accurate about the Israeli mindset’s hostility toward the Left, no, more than the Left, hostility toward human life, other than the domination of others, its own supremacist ego alone worthy of regard and full-entitlement to the benefits of living. Here enter Obama: “They [other nations] didn’t see that relying on a dwindling political camp would only reduce their ability to impact Israel’s policies. [Parenthetically, when Obama relies on the Left the stars will no longer be in alignment.] International players, notably President Barack Obama, put pressure on Israel, in part because of the encouragement of the Israeli left. The result was disastrous for the White House: Israel lost faith in Mr. Obama (and most other international players) and hence became less inclined to heed his advice or take a chance with his proposed policies.” To place Obama on the Left is proof-positive, to me, of Israel’s collision with history.
My New York Times Comment on the Zonszein op-ed article, Sept. 27, follows:
Thank you Mairav for raising a moral voice against what Israel has become, the collective introjection of the vile hatreds spawned by Naziism. Israel hides behind the “Jewish State” to practice criminal policies of regimentation and oppression that violate the fundamental tenets of Judaism.
Israel desecrates Judaism. Sadly I say this on the Holydays fresh from observance at my schul. You are right: the us-them dichotomy, essence of ethnocentrism, now includes fellow Jews among the “them,” who do not tow the mark, while increasingly fascist-minded war-obsessed people, whether Jew or non-Jew, become part of “us.”
Israel is a textbook case of Adorno et al, “The Authoritarian Personality,” wherein ethnocentrism–exactly the behavior and policies so well described in the op-ed–leads to repression, reactionary social values, not least, a fascistic social structure.
What would the SIX MILLION say (if they could) if they knew that modern Israel possesses the same traits that sent them to the ovens? Would they be proud of the hooliganism? Would they think, as I suspect they would, that horrible as the current deeds, including not only the slaughter of Gaza but the suppression of criticism within Israel, must share place with the failure of Israel government and public opinion to condemn the violence directed inward to Israeli society?
Where the voices of Reason? Peace? Compassionate Judaism? Instead a cesspool of immorality, hubris, bloodlust that I think God will punish.
Norman Pollack has written on Populism. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at email@example.com.