What to make of recent remarks by the sitting Israeli ambassador to the United States, condemning the Southern Poverty Law Center?
We must reject the shameful efforts of some to prevent any serious discussion about the nature of the enemy we face. I realized the full extent of those efforts only after a controversy erupted over my being here tonight. The day you announced that I was being given this award, the spokesman at my Embassy received an email from the Southern Poverty Law Center asking me why I was accepting an award from what they called an anti-Muslim hate group….
The SPLC and others who asked me not to come here tonight claim to support free and open debate. But in reality, they seem to want to stifle debate. They…have amended that famous Voltairian dictum to be ‘I hate what you say and I will never defend your right to say it.’ I will defame you as an extremist. I will label you a racist and a bigot….
We must not let the defamers and blacklisters succeed. We must not let them turn into pariahs those erudite scholars and courageous reformers who are trying to enlighten us about ideologies that threaten our way of life.
The famous Voltairian dictum, amended! If militant Islam didn’t exist, Israel would have to invent it, but upon Europeans it is being foisted in bald-faced contravention of any antecedent concept of decency. Will they ever manage to shop their way back to freedom?
Neocons like Dermer conflate a first-world living standard with (capital double-u) Western civilization, and proclaim the principle menace to this meager construct to be not carrying capacity or antibiotic-resistant microbes but militant Islam—which is itself a construct, since the real distinction to be drawn among Muslims is between genteel and brute. After all, rape’s not “resistance.” Swarming and groping women on a subway platform is not radicalization. Neither is the relentless beating of your lily children in school a political-religious act, nor trafficking drugs, transmitting disease, hogging social services and conducting turf wars around public housing. Come to think of it, the real distinction to be drawn between Muslims overall is “here” and “there.” So vetting these hordes politically or placating or re-educating them is rightly an afterthought to all but the professions that stand to gain power in the process: yellow media, PC social workers, HR department bias-minders and intel-spook middle management.
Continuing that theme, against that one-in-a-hundred thousand radicalized, RPG-toting pajamaman they like to conjure out of central casting, certain Israelis stand ready with predictably self-serving solutions, namely their own political and financial collusion in inexorable foreign and domestic police action on the part of Europe and the US, and ankle-grabbing white ingratiation to millions of criminal, third world vermin at the expense of the very continentals those vermin are plundering with shockingly cynical Israeli connivance.
So there are those who will inevitably view intra-Jewish spats like this recent one as a shopworn Yid swindle—after all, it’s the defamers and the blacklisters who have a direct line to the Israeli embassy, not the Ancient Order of Hibernians. There are those, like myself, who are hoping this daylight newly-emerged from between the cheek of the “love wins” Jewish commissars and the jowl of their levantine militarist cousins precipitates an eventual parting of ways. But above all, this spat is symptomatic of the interim of paradigm shift in the year of Trump, the fog of a relied-upon consensus passing into obsolescence.
Indeed, as if emerging, dust-caked, ears ringing from a blast radius, consensus acolytes are ambling about in a daze, muttering their catechisms and copybook headings:
David Friedman, Donald Trump’s close confidante and ambassador-designate to Israel, is not a right-winger. To be on the right wing implies that one is on a continuum from liberal to conservative. But Friedman – together with around 15% of the Israeli Jewish population – inhabits a different world entirely. His appointment would represent a total realignment of American policy in the Middle East, with the biggest winner being (surprise) Vladimir Putin.
The normal continuum runs as follows. The consensus of the international community, the Israeli government, and every American government for a generation is that that there must be a state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel. Of course, within that consensus, there are hawks and doves, right-wingers and left. Some are willing to take more risks for peace, some are more mistrustful of the people they call “the Arabs” and want any peace process to be slow and gradual. But all agree that it’s not feasible to create an apartheid regime in which 7 million Jews rule over 10 million non-Jews.
There you have one Jay Michaelson, writing in the Daily Beast. What need he has of a name in spite of his lacking a soul, we’ll never know, but for the moment never mind his snide self-assurance, he got it ninth-hand anyway. Conformist hacks like these should be facing a firing squad, yet in spite of his befuddlement this Michaelson is slouching towards Bethlehem with the rest of us.
So too Ambassador Dermer, a Kantian character, a baby-boomer from Miami Beach whose commitment to Zionism entailed renouncing his American citizenship. He has been called a traitor for this, but it actually makes him the exact opposite. Whatever his boss’s long-game may be, he and the rest of the coterie of ex-yankee Jewboys surrounding Benjamin Netanyahu are products of a peculiar timeframe, and will persist in applying its outmoded lexicon (circa 2001-06) to subsequent events, no matter how unprecedented.
Thus, Dermer’s “ideologies that threaten our way of life” refers to Muslims who take their Islam literally and seriously enough to fight (in principal, if not ultimately, against Israel) rather than hawking stolen goods and catcalling on street corners in Charleroi and Rotterdam—behavior which is instead dubbed a by-product of diversity and all such “Western values” that “we” are “defending.” In the same vein, “rooting out militancy” means oblique facilitation by the social services of that steady supply of swivel-eyed, subliterate aspiring rappers we see pouring into the immiserated, supranational Hobbesian diversity-state. For the democratic formulary requires the white man’s burden not slacken until it lies heaped upon a corpse, that he redouble his efforts whenever and wherever pea-brained, recalcitrant melanotics are failing to curb their innate criminality.
Defenseless under the night/Our world in stupor lies, when we conflate Diaghilev’s Eros with an affirming flame.