Category Archives: Fatherland

The Only Good Journalist

Would those who believe the world is run by Zionism please explain how this BLM-tier agitprop made its way onto—nay, became—primetime CBS?:

It has all the bells and whistles. There are the melanotic, dystopian-future studio anchors. There’s the grave intonation, the “human rights” framing, the clergyman inveighing against disproportionate force, the ideologue “expert” holding forth primly on events she witnessed only seconds of on a janky bystander phone camera (an American law professor, no less, drawing very very serious conclusions in the almost total absence of reliable evidence). The repeated claim in this and related reports has consistently been that Israel is “targeting” journalists. Who the hell uses a euphemism when accusing another of murder? It’s very strange.

I’ve seen as little of this current snafu as the little Rutgers law prof on CBS did, but I’m 100% certain that after years of traversing and reporting from the West Bank, Shireen Abu Akleh’s death came as a surprise to Shireen Abu Akleh. All the reports about her death contain expressions of shock from her colleagues in the West Bank press corps that anything like this could ever have happened—in the fucking war zone of Jenin. These people feel no sense of danger from the IDF, and Israel has conditioned this expectation by protecting them. Obviously, if Israel was “targeting civilians” the Palestinians would be far more circumspect about affronting the IDF. If, indeed, Israel was “targeting journalists” (as the frivolous line now goes) there’d be no journalists in the West Bank.

But the West Bank is crawling with journalists, reporters and camera crews as far as the eye can see, from everywhere in the world. (I was there some years back as an IDF serviceman – it was like being on Cops.) Due to the intense diplomatic and media scrutiny Israel always elicits, the West Bank exists in a kind of fishbowl, where smarmy, collegiate members of the international press corps (many of whom fancy themselves partisans in the conflict) feel just the right ratio of danger to safety—not unlike yuppie patrons of a dive bar in an up-and-coming urban neighborhood. Where else can you stalk an army raid of an insurgent safe-house, filming all the while—as a supporter of the insurgents—and still make the Brasserie for a digestif by midnight?

Relative to other theaters of battle, this state of affairs is unique in all the world. Detroit is not so safe. For journalists to enjoy cover of democratic scruples in Afghanistan or Iraq meant embedding with the occupation force and parroting its side of things, at least to a degree. Lebanon on a good day is no less dangerous for the westerner press than Gaza is on a bad one. Syria? Forget about it. Those reports get filed from Athens. Ditto the whole of Africa and just about anywhere in the former Soviet space where live fire is being lain.

The distinct motives on either side bear examining as well. What the Israeli army was doing in Jenin was pursuing a band of insurgents (to put it restrainedly) responsible for the murder—the deliberate homicide, with malice aforethought—of women and children. No one who truly believes that Israeli soldiers deliberately kill non-combatants could possibly feel the need to be so coy as to refer to this euphemistically as “targeting.” While we don’t know which side’s bullet ultimately did her in—and if it turns out to’ve been Palestinian you can be sure the calls for “accountability” will abruptly fall off—we do know that Shireen Abu Akleh chose to put herself at the scene of a firefight, as a media partisan for the murderers of children, to slander their pursuers. Not unlike the peaceful protests we see stateside many an election year, these journalists are championing crime, and undermining social order.

 

We Are Hyperborians, Lebowski

Of all the dumb schisms in the DR, Christian versus pagan is by far the most persistent. What’s dumb about it is the longing for a static attachment to creed, which is very Christian but negates paganism entirely. The unnamable is the eternally real. Religion is just an abstraction; a mature man recognizes truth wherever he finds it.

But while I feel strongly (and, over the years, pretty consistently) that in its broad strokes Christian metaphysics is sound and perhaps superlative, as for this alt-right schism, I have to say that Christianity carries a great deal of wistful baggage that paganism does not, and I think the one question that puts the lie to the devotion of alt-right Christians is to ask whether they could worship Christ if they knew for certain he’d been a black man.

On Easter Eve I had a vision, a kind of night-reverie, where I saw an image of the living Christ, all sparkly and bedecked in golden light. But when I dared to gaze more closely I began to realize—like the lookout in Blazing Saddles—that the Lord is a nigger. In a split second the part of me that was perturbed by this—and it was deeply perturbed—welled up, and then burst. All of a sudden I began laughing maniacally. Imagine my relief—if that is Christ, then all debts truly are forgiven. 

Could an alt-right Christian have reached such a conclusion from this experience? Of course not. He’d have to fall on his face and fellate this Jobu, right alongside all the rainbow-flag Episcopalians and George Floyd mourners, because the widening-gyre god of Christianity and that of the liberals is one and the same. He is small, this Christian god. The true Christ has not given us leave to examine him so closely. And if the DR stands for anything, it is the first ecstatic stirring of something well and truly beyond, something nameless and timeless and sufficient unto itself, that inhabits a part of us that we’ve forgotten.

After visiting the village of Leukerbad in the Swiss Alps, James Baldwin wrote:

For this village, even if it were incomparably more remote and incredibly more primitive, is the West, the West onto which I have been so strangely grafted. These people cannot be, from the point of view of power, strangers anywhere in the world; they have made the modern world, in effect, even if they do not know it. The most illiterate among them is related, in a way that I am not, to Dante, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Aeschylus, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Racine; the cathedral at Chartres says something to them which it cannot say to me, as indeed would New York’s Empire State building, should anyone here ever see it. Out of their hymns and dances come Beethoven and Bach. Go back a few centuries and they are in their full glory—but I am in Africa, watching the conquerors arrive.

Baldwin is one of my favorite authors, a writer’s writer whose talents were sharpened against the lifelong deficit that came into focus for him so dramatically in that village in Switzerland. To say Another Country lies outside the Western cannon is just false. But in our day you’ll never meet a black man so self-deprecating, because the West—which Baldwin frankly acknowledges is something racial—is dead.

In The Rebel, Camus posits that rebellion can only have meaning in Western civilization, “where a theoretical equality conceals great factual inequalities.” (If you don’t believe him, try thinking of a counter-example. It’s like rhymes with orange.) What’s bemusing about this remark is that it applies equally well today in the inimical context: whereas Camus was writing as a leftist and, essentially, an egalitarian, bemoaning the inequalities in western civilization and supposing that rebellion is always aimed in the direction of greater equality—that type of thinking is precisely how western civilization’s egalitarianism today covers over the great factual inequalities of nature, and it is in favor of that natural inequality that today’s rebel asserts himself. Stripped of Camus’s obvious intent, the statement that rebellion can only have meaning in the context of western civilization is profoundly racist and authoritarian.

That is why American pop culture’s association of rebellion with blacks over the past century is so deeply unsatisfying. Despite periodically having to defend myself in school from non-white terror, by a complex system of mental canal locks I was never allowed to view this problem directly. The whole culture around me awarded these people a kind of animal authenticity that it forbade me, as a white boy, because my parents’ generation had traded it for easy living. From a very young age I recall perceiving the post-industrial domestic hedonism, the corporate pop-psychology and consolidation of ownership of the Clinton-era boom years with foreboding. I remember when Office Space and American Psycho belonged to the left. Contrarianism itself was something liberal, and it was from that perspective that I first understood the whole edifice of modern comfort and convenience as a kind of facade, sclerotic, doomed to expend itself utterly, its dying energies devoted to an endless capacity to rationalize—and here we are. Yet this clarity was obscured by the cataract of a saccharine and fanatical egalitarianism, so that rebellion meant rejecting the possibility of order and dominance utterly.

It was seeped in that weltanschauung that I came of age right around 9/11. The widespread anti-war sentiment of the Bush II aughts was characterized by a masochistic rectitude, something vegan, estrogenic, and dogmatically unreconciled to the Jungian shadow, and it seemed to me that this ideology correlated more closely with the lithe nihilism and having-it-both-ways of bourgeois corporatism than its purveyors were ever likely to admit. Zionism became a way for me to reject all this. In 2002, Israel had narrative. America’s then-narrative was that a man who cohabits with a goat and sounds like Noam Chomsky incinerated the World Trade Center because he hated consumerism, but that God was thankfully on the side of Spencer’s and Hot Dog on a Stick. Israel’s narrative, on the other hand, was that the plucky little Dwarves had persevered against odds and fought their way back to Erebor. Israel was the Joker to First World campus liberalism—unabashedly militarist, colonialist and racial (at the street level, if not always the diplomatic one) with none of the false motives that came to characterize America’s foray into the middle east. For example: because Jews believe that the soul of a person whose corpse is scattered in pieces can have no rest in the afterlife, when a Palestinian IED destroyed a tank in the early 2000s, the IDF sent a massive force into Gaza and cordoned off the area so that infantrymen under rabbinic supervision, crawling on hands and knees, could recover every last scrap of human flesh for identification. Make of this superstition what you will: what other modern country would ever deploy its armed forces to protect the souls of the dead?

But when you drink Zionism to the bottom of the glass you find exactly the kind of alienation that Baldwin experienced in the Alps. It’s not just bad mustache man and the Arch of Titus. It’s the cathedral at Chartres, Shakespeare, Beethoven, the Hermitage, the fucking Pyramids—for Jews these are all just symbols of persecution. The reason why Jew of Malta is long forgotten while The Merchant of Venice will never be forgiven (despite Marlowe being a thousand times more anti-semitic) is because Merchant is accurate.

For a long time, the Indo-European world understood itself intrinsically as something distinctive, unitary, imbued with special destiny and incontestably superior to any given runner-up. The swastika, for example, can be found all over the place in late 19th century America. It was still emblazoned on the leather binding of the yearbooks at my alma mater as recently as 1932. So it’s silly to trace the decline of the West to Plato or St. Peter or the French Revolution. The West wasn’t even getting started back then. It wasn’t until the period circa 1880-1945 that the transcontinental railways were built, the British Empire spanned the globe, Shackleton and Hedin made their expeditions, and Siberia, the Yukon, the southern capes and the heights of the Himalaya were all finally conquered. 

Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia is a remarkable travelogue of Argentina in the 70s, that memorializes this outpouring in the form of anecdotes from elderly British and German settlers living at that time in the southern Andes, who still remembered the influx of Europeans three-quarters of a century earlier, their conquest of the remotest lands, and the Odyssean sailors who transported its wool to market in London and Seattle, following nigh to the heels of Tennyson’s ancient mariner. Kipling, Jack London, the pre-Raphaelites, the Beaux Arts, and especially the children’s literature of that period all testify to the self-awareness of the West as something unitary and incomparably dynamic. The decline begins around the same period: the cynicism and malaise portrayed in Chekhov and Oscar Wilde, the banker’s coup of 1913, and the Great War, which precipitated maudlin Nazism, Wickard v. Filburn, the Stalinist purges, and the unseemly domestication of the American 1950s.

No literature encapsulates the awareness of a constricting malaise during this time better than the Lost Generation. When I was in high school in the 90s, back when reading was mandatory, The Great Gatsby was still mandatory reading. Tom Buchanan was taught as anti-racist satire, Meyer Wolfsheim shrugged off as a product of the book’s time. But Gatsby is incredibly based and prescient: not only is the portrayal of Jews there (and their relationship to the kind of arrivism  revealed in Gatsby’s fawning remark over lunch about the criminal Wolfsheim’s superior intelligence) exactly what it seems, but Tom Buchanan is not being smeared as a racist—he’s being smeared as a degenerate. Call of Cthulu was contemporaneous and its message is likewise deeply racial.

The Sun Also Rises is also incredibly based, with the capricious and overcompensating Jew, Robert Cohn, too googly-eyed and childish to ever be loved; the lapsed Catholic narrator, Jake, who’s too cynical to ever love again; and the bankrupt and cuckolded aristocrat, Michael, drowning in debt and drink. Likewise the ruined old nobles of Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard, overtaken by the merchant Lopakhin, of peasant origin, and played off by a Jewish orchestra. Lady Chatterley (and Forster’s Maurice) are altogether cast from the same mold.

I once read somewhere that The Big Lebowski is about the death of God, with each of the characters representing one of the several inadequate, cookie-cutter responses that Western culture has been acting out ever since, trying to cope and compensate. And yet the one personality the film seems to have left out entirely is that of the fascist. There are nihilists and a neocon, yes—but no Nazis. Or are there? 

It’s always dark in The Big Lebowski. Most of the action takes place at night. It seems to me that the various characters do indeed represent the empty masks we cling to like buoys of fake meaning on a sea of dread, as we navigate a dark night. The nihilists’ mask is simply the pretense of not wearing any. And this pretense may have many analogues, but fascism is certainly one, because it is pathos-laden and purely vindictive. It cannot resurrect an age of martial valor. It can only lower itself to the challenge of bestiality and dementia.

Consider the recent demonstrations by operatives of the so-called Rise Above movement, and their slogan, “white lives matter”:

Perhaps the principal conceptual shift that occurred during the 2010s was the passing of the torch of (advocating for) consumerist creature-comfort to the liberal class and its orcs from the withered hand of (more or less) conservative middle America, whose vanguard now takes to the streets to annunciate exactly the same kind of simpering and pathos-laden victimology the blacks once did. Indeed, this is the entire tendency of right-wing politics today. Does a virile and forward-gazing people need to debase itself in this manner? The unnamable is the eternally real, and true dominance is always implicit.

For everyone else, there’s the so-called dissident right.

Reductio Ad Iudaeoram, Pt. II

innocence is bliss

Dave Chappelle is woke as fuck. He traffics in every NPR tote-bag trope from hair touching to food deserts, and tops off each of his specials with grave sermonizing about racism. His recent tranny bit was a fig-leaf for Netflix, and his “Space Jews” bit only made the whole thing palatable for consumer-dissidents of every variety, whose bravest ego-defense will always be Palestine.

What do I mean by this? Full-retard anti-semitism is not a garden variety prejudice, but its psychological mechanism is textbook projection, which works the same in every fanatical creed, its object being to salve the conscience while relinquishing one’s freedom. Moderate, “implicit,” classical liberal racism is sober and mature—the subtle recognition of ontological differences that makes mutual respect possible. Full-retard anti-semitism, in contrast, is dishonest precisely because it arises from a sense of innocence, something cunning and vindictive mediocrities are always in the market for.

As an illustration of what I mean by a sense of innocence, here is Congressman Thomas Massie commenting apropos of the recent controversy around the congressional progressive caucus’s mostly meaningless rejection of an allocation for Israel’s missile defense system:

I like Thomas Massie. I’d make him President if I could. But his Twitter feed is full of this Pollyanna bilge, and his formulation (above) is a good illustration of psychological distancing. Obviously, both of these things (“fantasy” and “reality,” above) are true, and they’re interdependent because a lot of the time it’s Foreigner A exerting influence on Congress to suborn U.S. influence over Foreigner B. But even supposing Massie’s tweet is correct as formulated: in order to buy influence, you have to have someone who is willing to sell, someone who holds power and is willing to hire it out. What Massie was implying instead—and certainly what those applauding him inferred—is that foreigners are corrupting Americans who would otherwise be quite innocent in foreign affairs.

Well I like America fine, okay? But that’s pure idolatry. Ever heard of Brown Bros. Harriman, or Mr. Potter? How about the Contracts Clause, or Lin Manuel Noriega? This country was structured on peonage and patronage and foreign wars from day one. Horatio Alger was a pederast for chrissakes, and Reverend Dimsdale was a paragon of “a moral and religious people.” Show me a man who thinks the problem is Jews, and I will show you an exhibit of the psychology needed to willingly go on having a problem when the debt for it comes due. And as for those earnest liberals who now essentially view Israel entirely from the Palestinian perspective, if I was King of the Jews I’d relinquish everything up to the 1949 armistice lines just to force the purveyors of this thoroughly conventional iconoclasm to say what they really think.

Oh, and by the way: $4 billion per year in military aid to a country whose military is constrained by this arrangement to spend $20 billion here, annually, equals negative 16 billion dollars, geniuses.

Southern Exposure

There’s only one great road trip in Israel, a three-hour drive from Tel Aviv’s sweltering, interminable bumper-to-bumper through a great empty desert of sandstone canyons and date palms and camels, downhill all the way to the little manicured pubic-strip of beachfront hotels along Israel’s flea-speck of Red Sea shore. The Arava is a single arroyo so big you can see it from space, straining south toward furthest Arabia, punctuated by a massive below sea-level crater you can see a hundred miles across as you descend into it along serpentine switchbacks to its soft, sandy belly. Emerging at the other end, from eastward the craggy red mountain spine of Jordan leers down at you the remainder of the way to Eilat.

This dramatic topography belies the relative size of the speck of map that it crosses, and the contrast gives itself to a sensation of wild freedom comparable to driving from Denver to Taos, or from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. When the highway finally reaches Eilat, you’re still looking downhill, across a long, gentle slope extending between foothills through town, down to the water and off down the coast of Saudi Arabia, as if the whole southern half of the country was one great funnel-shaped beachhead. To the east of you is Jordan, Egypt is immediately to the west, and the bay is full of Panamax tankers. No other place so small and narrow as Eilat could ever feel so wide open.

“They’ve got all these crime families in Israel, kafkazi, Moroccan. Mafia, mafia,” Boris informs me in slow, steady Hebrew as if he’s talking to a chinaman. We’re cruising south in Betzalel’s Lamborghini, top down, full moon beaming, the cool night air swirling in the desert around us. Boris is a street-wise general contractor who grew up in a pnimia, a kind of low-class boarding school for foster kids. Shrewd and charismatic, he has dreams of getting rich and a habit of cultivating useful friendships: Betzalel is the indolent and airheaded rich-kid pushover, and I am the American. I regard Boris with wry skepticism and he respects me for it. Plus we have a mutual sort of anthropological interest going on.

“And it’s true they pimp and run drugs,” Boris continues, “but would you believe where the bulk of their income is derived? From recycling. Municipal recycling! You get 10 agorot for a Coke can, right? Half a shekel for a bottle. So these guys extort restaurants and falafel stands for recyclables. Isn’t that wild?”

“No one in America would think to make a criminal enterprise out of saving the planet,” I respond. “That’s for damn sure.” (Actually, nowadays that’s not true anymore.)

Yotveta is the last stop before Eilat. We pile out. Boris and I grab chips and chocolate milk while Betzalel fills the gas tank.

It’s 1 AM on a Friday night when we check into the hostel. The room’s like a county jail cell, with eight bunks for a total of sixteen beds, a couple of violently buzzing fluorescent lights and a shitty ceiling fan. It’s not Betzalel’s kind of digs, but he was going along to get along because he didn’t want to be too generous.

A boisterous group of guys our age is drinking arak and playing dominos around a card table, monopolizing the space in front of the room’s single window, overlooking a boulevard where revelers are transiting back and forth loudly. These roommates are a half-dozen hairy kafkazi guys in skinny jeans and beaters, with two raven-haired broads standing, because the guys have all the chairs. One of the girls is frumpy and the other is pretty. They’re both wearing heavy layers of make-up. We nod to this group and the girls glance at us furtively, but I can tell the cute one had been looking at Boris.

We go out. We bar hop. We drink and dance and try to pick up chicks. Everyone comes to Eilat in discrete groups and it can be difficult to separate the women. Eventually the night finds us at a bar in this little cabana type place by the water. A largish group shuffles in behind us and in the dark I make out our roommates. As they pulled out stools Boris looked wary, but Betzalel struck up with them very amicably and before long we were all up the street in a nightclub with strobe lights, fog machines, a DJ and everything. Some drunk, sweaty chick was grinding on me, spilling her RedBull and vodka down my shirt in slips and slops, when I realized Boris and Betzalel had vanished. My dance partner was way too drunk for me to fuck honorably, and she smelled like faded Axe body spray and patchouli, so I took off looking for my friends. I found Boris around back by the dumpsters, making out furiously with the cute kafkazi girl from the hostel. Betzalel was off a ways, puffing on an L&M with his collar popped and pissing against a chainlink fence.

I walked right over. “Hey Boris man, where are those guys? You sure that’s a good idea?”

He tore himself off her face like a suction cup and looked around blankly. Then he said, “We’re taking a cab back to the room. You coming?”

“Uh…. Yeah, but what about those guys? You’re not worried?”

“Just stand guard down the hall for me.”

Ten minutes later I’m leaning on a vending machine with Betzalel when our douchebag roommates come bowling up the stairs like West Side Story. You could hear Boris fucking the shit out of this girl down the hall. “Hey, guys, how’s it going?” I put on a shit eating grin and tried to distract them, but they brushed right past me and into the room. I wasn’t gonna let them beat up my friend, but as I started to follow them in they burst out, dragging Boris by the scruff of his neck, shoeless with his belt buckle dangling. As the girl came slinking out, shamefaced and shoulders arched, Betzalel slipped into the room behind them and shut himself in. Betzalel’s grandfather owned an oil refinery in Greece, meat-packing plants in Israel, and God-knows what else. I’d been trying hard to like him but the fact was he was exceptionally stupid and contemptible.

In any case, I decided I’d play dumb with these kafkazi guys and see how far it got me. I trailed close but not too close behind them as they made their way to the parking lot, and when we emerged into the early morning I put on the thickest, most ham-fisted American accent I possibly could. “Hey where we going guys? We going back to the club?”

“Go back to the room, Sam!” Boris entreated. But as they opened the sliding side-door on their Mercedes Sprinter I slipped in behind the driver’s seat. “We going for breakfast or something guys?” I tried to look as moronic as I could. They all glanced at each other sidelong and kind of shrugged. Then they shoved Boris in beside me and five of them hopped in behind us. The sixth and runtiest one had bad acne, a ridiculous overbite and coke-bottle glasses with a headband. He grabbed the girl by the hair and slammed her face against the passenger-side window, then walked calmly around the front to the driver’s side. She snuffled and wiped a profuse stream of blood from her nose up her forearm, then from her forearm onto her pants. Then she climbed in the front passenger seat resignedly and buckled up.

There’s a ring road that goes up around Eilat into the burnt hills and comes out at a highway that winds up to an observatory and on along the Egyptian border. Dawn was breaking over Jordan as we turned east off the highway down a dirt track and off onto an endless, sandy mesa. Pretty soon we pulled over by some bushes and the driver snuffed the engine.

Boris was not the kind of guy to go quietly like he had, and the fact that no explicit threats had been made nor weapons brandished told me that on the one hand, these guys had good reason to be confident of being feared, which was very bad for us; but also that the situation was negotiable, because if you don’t need to make a threat explicit you don’t lose face by back-peddling. The question was how to give them latitude.

I hopped out ahead of the other guys in back as they dragged Boris out by his armpits like he’d been condemned to a firing squad. They threw him on the ground. I helped him up. Then they surrounded us as the biggest one, this choad-like, walleyed kid with a ginormous globule of neck fat separating his head from his shirt collar, brought out a tire iron and waddled over to right behind the little guy with the glasses. The runty one got right in Boris’s face.

“The name Benziad mean anything to you?”

“Yes, of course.” Boris replied. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything. I didn’t know.”

Eyal Benziad was one of the most feared names in Israel. I hadn’t lived in the country eighteen months and barely spoke the language, but even I knew that. The resemblance suddenly asserted itself: we were face to face with the son and protege of a mass murderer.

“Guys please,” Boris continued. “This is all a misunderstanding. I apologize. I really mean it. I didn’t know. I’m sorry. Please….” His voice was breaking. He was on the verge of tears.

Now, we may have been facing death, but I wasn’t going be murdered without my dignity, and Boris’s groveling pissed me off. At that time the U.S. wigger imitator of boogie lip-flap was a well-known comedy trope internationally, and I’m not proud to admit that I was going through a bit of a phase myself. In fact, at that moment I was dressed in a Sprewell jersey, Timberlands and basketball shorts down to my ankles. I looked like J-Rock from Trailer Park Boys. I even had on a sweatband. That’s when it dawned on me. I knew just what I had to do.

“Yo dawg, this some bullshit dawg!” I shoved Boris aside and got right in this kid’s face. “This my boy, dawg. We aint’ going out like no punks!” I said all this entirely in English, gesticulating as niggerishly as I possibly could. I tapped the runty kid lightly in the chest. “You fuckin’ with my boy, you fuckin’ with me dawg! We ain’t goin’ out like that. My boy ain’t no punk.”

The others tightened the circle around us. I’d tried, but now we were completely fucked. Just then the corner of the runty kid’s mouth turned up, and he glanced wryly around at the others. The walleyed kid in back burst out laughing like an orc receiving a handjob. That set off a chain reaction. First, the runt started cackling, then the others until they were gasping for breath. Boris glanced at me for a nanosecond, subtly enough to not be seen, with a look of supernal relief and amazement.

“What’s this guy’s name?” the runt asked Boris in Hebrew.

“Sam.”

“Sam? Nice to meet you.” He gave a mirthful snort as he stuck out his hand and we shook. “You America? America good. George Bush. Dr. Dre. You many good, many ha ha ha.” He said all this in English. “You friend name?”

“Boris,” I replied.

“Okay, Boris,” (now in Hebrew). “I think we can call this a misunderstanding. You need to have respect and be aware of who you’re dealing with in the future.”

“Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you.”

Then we all went back into town for omelettes and hair of the dog.

The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

generation identitaire

I said I like my enemies ridiculous, and the universe did not disappoint:

There are only two things that Antifa, the Vatican, grooming gangs, neo-Nazis and BLM all have in common: (1) they are god-awful reprobates, and (2) they reflexively support the Palestine Arabs. It was only a matter of time before unibrowed Insta slags began slithering that direction—a cherry-on-top that is most fitting, and not only for its circumference. There really is nothing more intellectually lazy than anti-Zionism; when you look at all the factoids and incidents that Israel’s habitual detractors busy themselves flapping about, you’ll eventually notice three things: (1) a kind of high-powered microscopy, as if to the exclusion of all other topics this one holds no end of fascination; (2) a penchant for sensationalism coupled with a distinct and remarkably consistent aversion to context; and (3) indictment counts that could just as readily be turned on anyone, e.g., callousness, “privilege,” solipsism, etc. Sure, the Jews are wicked. But they are wicked in the way of all flesh. Ultimately, the cause of their detractors’ singularly circuitous loathing is that the Jews are trying to live, and we don’t like it when others do that. The Palestinians are trying to live as well, and (if they had the whip hand) would treat their neighbors most sadistically. They’re not shy about this. But they lack the whip hand, and pity is cathartic, and taking a criminal for what he is would force us to look too closely in the mirror.

Lord knows I’ve picked my arguments with Zionism; but no creature in the world is sicklier than an anti-Zionist Jew, so I tried to at least make my criticism a novel and constructive one, viz., that Zionism, despite its blood-and-soil mythos and martial culture, is in large part a victimology and thus a fitting spearhead for some of the worst cultural and technological excesses of global liberalism. But liberals have never been comfortable with Israel, because Israel is a constant reminder that what opposes one’s life and thriving must be regarded as evil, rather than misguided.

To regard conscientious, unabashed criminality and celebration of murder as misguided is to presume to arbitrate moral law; to treat it as justifiable is to vicariously absolve oneself of moral duty. That is why Palestine is a cause célèbre. It unites a remarkably broad coalition the world over, because it is a vocation of moralfags and a refuge for ulterior motives of every variety; a veritable Burning Man of ego defense and weaponized magnanimity. The Jews may not be Christ-like but our detractors undoubtedly are pharisees. And as I said in my takedown of Grand Inquisitor E. Michael Jones, if the Jews are the enemies of all mankind, then mankind is not the enemy of itself, and believers can very cheaply be absolved of a great deal of introspection. A faith so cheaply bought is chaff for the wind—-its nihilistic heart reveals itself at length:

Of course I don’t blame anyone for pitying Arab children, even if they’d never pity Jewish ones—-because if it’s between my kid and someone else’s on a playground somewhere, I hope my child gives the other a pummeling, and I won’t be made to feel guilty about it. So I think it’s high time the Jews learned to embrace the world’s opprobrium. Get the fuck off social media and get over it. The whole late 20th-century Jewish discourse of “tolerance” and moral sniveling is sick and regressive. As Mencius Moldbug pointed out,

Animosity, when expressed from higher to lower, appears as contempt. Expressed from lower to higher, it comes out as resentment

You cannot evidence contempt for something you aren’t taking at face value. If someone insists that I am his superior—-my “influence,” my intellectualism, my persistence in thriving, in full view of him—-who am I to argue? A man who lives in resentment will avenge you, upon himself, without needing to be asked. And if I have the power to give offense merely by existing, why should I deprive myself of this power by attempting to placate someone who cannot be reasoned with in any case? Why should I lower myself to counter-signal him? It makes no sense. The human creature is titillated by being shown disdain; the PR dividends will pay themselves.

Every atrophied impulse that reactionaries fetishize is latent in Zionism, because the question of Palestine is conveniently beyond good and evil. It is not a question of whether there can be peace, or who has what rights. It is not a question of fine-wrought claims adjudication and who did what to whom. Peoples clash. They migrate and conquer, they form armies and flee from armies, are conquered and displaced in turn. It is the way of the world. Muslims will feel assured of their rights even if it desecrates justice from here to eternity, because they understand this all very well—that is why, after a millennium of brute dominance they turned around, once defeated, and took up the tactic of weeping about human rights. The Jews are no less guilty of this, the difference being, bizarrely, that we didn’t begin weeping until we’d started to win. Either way, the question of Palestine is essentially whether either people, Jews or Muslims, are to be the kind of sacrosanct exception to the ironclad laws of nature which modern progress keeps seeking to carve out; and because (no matter how many stars we may wish upon) the only possible answer is no, the real question reveals itself as: if I am not for myself, who will be for me?

In that context, being reviled with the kind of cheap and scurrilous rectitude that always accosts the Jews is an honor.

Please Hate Israel More

they’re the same picture

Alt-right tropes have been percolating into populist conservatism for awhile now. Chief among these is an outsized opprobrium of Jews and Zionism as major sources of national and societal ills. As the 2020s progress and the boomers die off, this dime-store eschatology will only intensify and spread. And you know what? I can’t wait.

I love being hated. I’m a born contrarian. The other foot is never any better than the shoe, and moral rectitude is always a mask. That’s why anti-semites are invariably all windy mediocrities. Some things never change.

Please don’t misunderstand—my recent polemics may have given the wrong impression. I am emphatically not urging anyone to hush-up their sniveling about Israel. On the contrary, please, please keep it coming. I like my enemies ridiculous, and if you ever stop honking your red rubber nose I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. Five years ago, these midwits were a vanguard; today, with reactionary clichés selling like Beatlemania, T.S. Eliot’s “freethinking Jews” are the stuff of teenybopper nightmares.

Chief among “dissident”-right dilettantism’s apostles to the magapedes is the lithe and dilated carnival barker, Nick Fuentes, who this week emerged triumphant from a debate with an obscure boomercon attorney, hosted by Alex Jones, on the subject (what else?) of perfidious Israel. Who that is impressed by this can rightfully complain about boomers? The fruit nowadays is as rotten as the vegetables. If Sacha Baron Cohen and Jonathan Greenblatt were to sodomize them in a pizza parlor and delete their Twitter app, I’d fall down laughing.

What does it mean, “America First”? It’s a spiteful, circuitous admission of worthlessness and defeat. It means, “why is no one defending me? Why can’t we have nice things? Where is my safe space to criticize your privilege? I’d like to please speak to a manager.” It is a syndrome of grown men who’ve only lately had the milk tit removed from their gibbering gobs.

And who is this American, who must be put first? What is an American? He is someone who would resent you if he had to lift a leg to step over your dying body on a hot sidewalk to get through the entrance of Panda Express. He’s a passive-aggressive spiritual carnie who loves his dog more than his next-door neighbor. Mountebanks like Fuentes out insisting he be catered to give no more of a shit about him than Lindsey Graham or Sean Hannity do.

The chief objective of U.S. foreign policy and military strategy since 1945 is unassailable technological and geospatial dominance. Jews ex machina is just the cost of doing business, when your business is to be in everybody else’s business. America was toppling legitimate governments, occupying foreign lands and handing out no-bid contracts to crimson profiteers long before Israel existed. It uses its reserve currency to decimate the economies of whole hemispheres and suck the surplus value out of them like a marrow bone. No one in the alt-right has anything to say about this unless they can pretend to blame it on Jews. “I can’t believe I’m doing this, I’m not that kind of girl.” Show me a radcon newly woke to ZOG, and I’ll show you a replicant who has no affirmative vision of what an “America First” foreign or military policy would look like. When the money changers are driven from the temple, the Groypers will follow them to Wal Mart.

all the hasbara we need

Deconstructing Zionism, Pt. I

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if you will it, it is no dream

The Jews are probably the most hated group of people on the planet, and to paraphrase Henry Kissinger, any people that is so widely hated must be doing something wrong. Now, I don’t think that Kissinger’s view is necessarily correct. Jesus was hated in his time, and so was Socrates. But whether we’re right or wrong to be hated, there is much to be said for how one deals with being hated; and a great deal of the rightness or wrongness of being hated can be measured there.

So how do the Jews deal with being hated? We demand acceptance. We castigate others as immoral for not liking us, and feel deeply entitled as victims to validation and moral support. There can be no greater accomplishment for Israel than to simply be acknowledged as existing, by Chad or Honduras or some Egyptian TV presenter. This is absolutely pathetic. North Korea has more self-respect.

When the Arabs bury their war dead, they own their choices by declaring that the fallen died on account of Islam. When Israelis bury their war dead, they say the exact same thing. Muslims take the initiative; Jews just keep having things happen to them. The Arabs have martyrs; the Jews have victims—and victims are always on the defensive. When the French lost Alsace and Lorraine, they resolved to “remember it always and speak of it never.” In contrast, it is doubtful that Israel can ever shut up about all its massacres and humiliations, which it fetishizes and nurses its children on. It’s disgusting.

Of course there are many trends and factions in Zionism, and many different personality types in Israel. But what is the general tendency? Well… Who is Zionism’s most representative personality? It’s not Joseph Trumpeldor or Imi Lichtenfeld. It’s Jared Kushner, or Rahm Emmanuel. They may not be the most powerful Jews in America, but they’re the best exemplars of how Jewish power in America functions, and Jewish power in America is more fundamental to Zionism than anything that goes on in Israel.

Not long ago, fashionable liberals believed Israel was a jackbooted anachronism in a liberalizing world. For a long time, I was a proponent of the corollary view that Israel is based and red-pilled; but I was wrong. In fact, the opposite is true: it would be more accurate to say that Israel is to the liberal world order what Prussia once was to the Holy Alliance.

The goal of late-stage liberalism is to advance “progress” across a theoretically limitless field of human backwardness. The goal of Zionism is to secure the existence of the Jewish people against a theoretically limitless field of outside hostility. Like the enemies of Hamlet or of Big Brother, these ideologies’ adversaries are everywhere and nowhere at once. Efforts to ferret them out and crush them must constantly be redoubled. The conclusion each one must eventually reach is that might makes right. And like late-stage liberalism, which functions in machiavellian fashion as its adherents go around preaching altruism and human rights, Zionism asserts in the same breath both that Israel has a non-contingent, moral “right to exist,” and that its contingent, amoral strength is its ultimate justification. 

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make up your mind dude

Like a man, there comes a time in the life of any regime or ideology when potentialities are null, and what you see is what you get. What we see with Zionism is a regime that must subject a foreign civilian population to permanent martial law. We see a state implicated in the destruction of whole nations (Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen) as a matter of its most intrinsic long-term strategy. We see a culture obsessed with victimhood, “remembrance,” and death. We see a people that believes it has special dispensation from morality, with a clandestine orientation to the outside world that is by turns vindictive and pathetic. We see an ideology that increasingly cannot tolerate criticism, because its conscience is not clean.

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Achtung Juden

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What ideology unites Antifa and 4Chan, manosphere he-thots and intersectional harpies, tradcaths and neopagans, wignats and hoteps, Dugin and Zizek, peacenik granolas and international arms dealers?

“Well it’s your own damn fault if you’re so hated!” By those clowns? Really? A man with no enemies is a man with no character, and these enemies are not sending their best. Like the Jersey City shooting earlier this month, last night’s machete attack on an ultra-orthodox Hanukkah party in upstate New York appears to have been carried out by a lumpen African-American under the influence of YouTube Wakanda theology.

Now, I’m half-Jewish, and basically a modern, secular person—I have about as much in common with Hasidic Jews as I do with Denisovans. So it’s as strange to see people who are so different from me being attacked for what little we have in common, as it is startling to see how different the backgrounds of the perpetrators tend to be.

You may recall, for instance, last year’s events at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. No, not the Purim party. I’m talking about the sabbath service where a lonely old wignat truck driver with an AR mistook the place for a range and did target practice on a dozen or so nursing home inmates in wheel chairs. Update: they didn’t survive. You may also recall the following April, when a homeschooled sperg male nurse took out a Federal Reserve banker at a shul in San Diego, wounding the rabbi in the process, along with an eight-year old girl who runs the porn industry. The perp there seems not to have had any imaginary friends, though he did have the next best thing, i.e., 8Chan anons.

Then there was the 2014 Kansas City JCC shooting, also perpetrated by a wignat, who killed a kid and two adults, all of them gingerbread-baking white Methodists in RealTree camo and ugly Christmas sweaters. At least the 2012 shooter in Toulouse (that’s France, for all you Victor Hugo fans) managed to hit actual members of the tribe, killing three toddlers and wounding five others at a synagogue daycare. Oh, and how about the 2009 DC Holocaust Museum shooting? That one took out the security guard, a married black father of three, which is not as rare as a unicorn but should probably require a permit or something. Then there was the Seattle JCC kindergarten shooting in 2006, and the El Al ticket counter shooting in LAX a year or so prior. Oh, and who could forget the 1999 JCC shooting in LA? A real classic, which took the lives of four children, a secretary, and a mailman.

Why do these things keep happening? I’m sure some anthropomorphic little Eric Cartman somewhere would love to fill me in. Yes, the Jews have their fair share of perverts, plutocrats, embezzlers and corrupt politicians. But these pogroms never seem to target those Jews—or any pervs, plutocrats, embezzlers, politicians, etc. So the question is not what the Jews have done to deserve these atrocities. Because if that was the question, they wouldn’t really be atrocities, would they? “Well they’re not, teehee.” Yeah, tell me more about elite pedophile rings there, guy who supports kindergarten shootings.

The reason these things keep happening is because Jews don’t prevent it. And so the real question is, what is to be done to prevent it?

I don’t intend the question as a “silence is violence” callout. Silence can be complicity in the unconscionable, but a lot of unconscionable shit goes on every day, and no one owes it to anyone else to think or feel anything. The solution, then, depends on the Jews. Do we want to live, or don’t we? It’s that simple.

I know that’s sounds trite. I only ask because lots of Jews don’t want to. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that Hitler or Chemelnitsky is coming. Believe it or not—in spite of all these attacks—that’s not the problem. I’m also not talking about Jews who are estranged from their heritage, either. No. I’m talking about Jews who make fellow traveling with some form of anti-semitism a literal component of Judaism.

Sound far-fetched? These types are quite vocal, and they’re the tip of a huge psychological iceberg. On the left stand the anti-Zionists, who should be irrelevant—clammy, furtive little figures like Philip Weiss, Norman Finkelstein, Israel Shamir, and Gilad Atzmon, who make entire careers and identities out of shame, discomfort and denunciation of an identity they could easily just walk away from instead. Proof that mainstream liberal Judaism essentially fellow-travels with this pathology is the recent, wholesale renunciation of Zionism by Jewish Voice for Peace—whose board members include Tony Kushner, Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein. (It was 1941 when Jabotinsky declared “all those who regard [peace with the Palestinians] as a condition sine qua non for Zionism may as well say ‘non’ and withdraw from Zionism.” Better 78 years late than never, I suppose.) Liberal Zionists like Jeremy Ben Ami and Peter Beinart are actually worse, because they’re pushing from within for the Zionist movement to reflect JVP’s attitudes. Of the Palestinian factions they imagine they’d like to conciliate, each one, including the internationally recognized PLO, has a completely undisavowed and remarkably recent history of deadly attacks on Israeli women, children and elderly. But then, no one in J-Street has to actually live with those consequences (unless J-Street is working with frummies from Monsey I don’t know about.)

As bad as all this is, there’s something far more patently offensive to the intellect about the left anti-Zionists’ mirror image on the right, among the burgeoning ranks of sycophantic, alt-right adjacent Jews desperately flailing to live down every absurd libel and stereotype as if it applied to them personally. (At least having no pride or self-esteem whatsoever suits leftists.) Tech entrepreneur Ron Unz, for example, runs the largest aggregator of anti-Jewish content on the web, where he publishes his own rambling, scarcely readable essays that reprise familial and childhood resentments at great length before eventually getting around to the ostensible topic, which is always how bad his own people are. Self-help charlatan Mike Cernovich similarly grovels for acceptance from Twitter Nazis. Classics professor Paul Gottfried pathetically fawns all over pseudoscientist Kevin MacDonald (and is shocked, shocked to find that liberal journalists associate him with alt-right leaders he actually associates with.) Eccentric inventor Henry Makow writes gushing blurbs for latter-day clerical fascist E. Michael Jones’s self-published screeds; and blog posts with titles like “Anti-Semitism is Legitimate Self Defense.” Would he like somebody to murder him, or what?

One looks for sanity in this febrile atmosphere of ADHD Twitter discourse, of anomie and atomization and dementia, and sees the Jewish civil society commentariat, the ADL, the Atlantic, etc., exuding precisely the fear and panic that the high school bully mentality of anti-semitism veritably lives to elicit. When has official Jewry in America ever prevented an attack on Jews here? When they aren’t pushing constitutionally dubious legislation that makes us look ugly and stupid, their solution to everything is “education”: more words, factoids, arguments, and admonishments against wrongthink; to explain ourselves for the umpteenth time to a balkanized and stupefied public justifiably leery of smug expertise.

In Russia, in 1911, Jabotinsky had a prescient sense of this:

Now they have raised a rumpus over ritual murder, and once again we have taken on the role of prisoners on trial: we press our hands to our hearts, with quivering fingers we leaf through old stacks of supporting documents that no one is interested in, and we swear right and left that we do not consume this drink, that never has a drop of it passed our lips, may the Lord smite me on the spot. . . How much longer will this go on? Tell me, my friends, are you not tired by now of this rigmarole? Isn’t it high time, in response to all of these accusations, rebukes, suspicions, smears, and denunciations—both present and future—to fold our arms over our chests and loudly, clearly, coldly, and calmly put forth the only argument which this public can understand: why don’t you all go to hell?

Who are we, to make excuses to them; who are they to interrogate us? What is the purpose of this mock trial over an entire people where the verdict is known in advance? Our habit of constantly and zealously answering to any rabble has already done us a lot of harm and will do much more. The situation that has been created as a result tragically confirms a well known saying: ‘Qui s’excuse s’accuse.’ We ourselves have acquainted our neighbors with the thought that for every embezzling Jew it is possible to drag the entire ancient people to answer. . . Every accusation causes among us such a commotion that people unwittingly think, ‘Why are they so afraid of everything? Apparently their conscience is not clear.’ Exactly because we are ready at every minute to stand at attention, there develops among others an inescapable view about us, as of some specific thievish tribe. We think that our constant readiness to undergo a search without hesitation and to turn out our pockets will eventually convince mankind of our nobility; look what gentlemen we are—we do not have anything to hide!

This is a terrible mistake. The real gentlemen are those who will not allow anyone for any reason to search their apartment, their pockets or their soul. Only a person under surveillance is ready for a search at every moment. This is the only one inevitable conclusion from our maniac reaction to every reproach—to accept responsibility as a people for every action of a Jew, and to make excuses in front of everybody including hell knows who. I consider this system to be false to its very root.

In over a century, nothing about “this system” has changed. The very existence and prominence of an “Anti-Defamation League” proves this definitively. Cringy reflections on personal and familial Jewishness are a staple among media elites. Jewish topical films and literature reflect the most skittish, vindictive psychology. Far from being an outpost of stoicism and contempt, the State of Israel is fully invested in this victimology, and after 70 years it cannot even live up to its mandate to eradicate these pogroms. Its leaders are busy fighting corruption charges, and casting about belatedly for Nazism; it sends its condolences, as peremptory as any American politician’s. If the body count approaches a dozen, you may get a shitty little Israeli cabinet minister at your memorial service, issuing thinly concealed I-told-you-sos. Mazal tov for that.

For over a thousand years, our ancestors were forbidden to own land, enter an honest trade, testify in court, ride a horse, or carry a weapon in self-defense. We were a “protected” class. A crime against us was a property crime. And after seventy-two years of Zionism the Jew, and the Jewish Israeli, is every bit the specially protected creature his forbear was in medieval Europe, subject to occasional massacres as a matter of course. Some things never change, and a chutzpah that requires the moral license of past misfortunes is utterly repulsive. It would be better to finally decide between victimology and master morality, but after 2,000 years this is never going to happen.

As Christopher Hitchens once said, “It will never be safe or normal to be Jewish, and I hope it never is.” He never said why he hopes this, but here is why: because true nobility is inherent in how we bear misfortune, and castigating reality has nothing to do with it. That’s why the best Jews and Zionists were always the ones who lived parallel lives. The ones who “think of it always and speak of it never,” who “dress British and think yiddish.”

Perhaps that, little yidden, is my recommendation to you.

Requiem for an Honest Man

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shalom khaver

What if you had to choose between a bang and a whimper?

The bereaved father (Hebrew) of an only-child fallen soldier (English) committed suicide over his son’s grave. Did the comfort to be taken in sacrificing for the greater good turn out to be empty mockery? Well….

If the glib reassurances of the living don’t stick, it’s because they shouldn’t. As a father of sons I can absolutely relate to this man. Good for him. The paradox of a state that conscripts you to murder and be murdered, but forbids suicide, strongly implies ownership. With the best of intentions.

Camus said, “The only serious question in life is whether or not to kill yourself.” Either we affirm life or we negate it. Every acquiescence to hatred and fear is an acquiescence to death, a suicide in miniature.

At least actual suicide is honest.

 

Fatherland Über Alles

Say goodnight to the bad guy

Say goodnight to the bad guy

“Military cemeteries in every corner of the world are silent testimony to the failure of national leaders to sanctify human life.” —Yitzhak Rabin

The light in his heart blinded his sight; the longing for peace deafened his ears. And there’s something depressingly totalitarian in the notion that the sanctification of human life is the responsibility of the men in charge (=”national leaders”). A business like that could get real selective.

But since everywhere it already is and always has been, when it comes to Number One the only explanations for laxity are hubris, subterfuge or infirmity. And when it comes to the country Rabin led, you’re either for it, against it, or indifferent. There’s no moderate position that means anything.

To wit,

If Israel were to relinquish the West Bank, 80 per cent of its population and most of its industry would be within range of light artillery, mortars and even rifles positioned on the high ground of the Samarian and Judean ridges. These ridges cannot be effectively demilitarized or adequately inspected….

and

Those… who claim that modern military technology has made obsolete the need for… critical terrain…. are simply spouting ignorance. As weapons of war become more sophisticated these factors assume a greater and not a lesser importance…

Air defence radar situated on the [West Bank] affords the Israeli Air Force approximately 15 minutes’ warning time in the event of… air attack. Without these installations, the IAF would only have about four minutes in which to scramble its fighters…

[Furthermore,] no amount of electronic gadgetry could possibly substitute for control of… in-place defences against… guerrilla forces infiltrating across torturous borders. Between 1949 and 1967 the IDF devoted much of its resources against [such] infiltration. That these efforts were essentially not successful is clearly attested by the large number of Jews killed and wounded and property damage sustained during this period.

These are the expert analyses of disinterested military professionals, known to US policymakers since 1967. There’s an obvious inference to be made from them: that the moment Israel accepts a two-state solution, its viability, i.e., the lives of its people, becomes wholly dependent on feckless outside brokerage. How well has that worked out for other US collaborators? For the Jews? Consequently, Israel negotiates only in bad faith; it relinquishes territory only under immense outside pressure.

And so today, a lower-grade, more intractable intifada is upon us, the latest stage in an unresolved 1948 real estate dispute turned bitterly personal. Though Big Brother’s take on the matter rings unmistakably millenarian, machiavellian dispassion is still the best approach to it.

But the standard premises run as follows: (1) The Jews are the aggressors whose bad behavior (“the Occupation”) provokes these recurrent flare-ups. Redress this bad behavior and the problem solves itself. (2) The Arabs are the aggressors whose bad behavior (“terrorism”) provokes these recurrent flare-ups. Redress this bad behavior and the problem solves itself. (3) Each side has fair claims and unreasonable demands. Empower the reasonable people on each side (“civil society”), disempower the recalcitrants (the electorates), and the problem solves itself.

But all three run into each other, because nobody who has any real power is willing to endorse either of the first two (otherwise the matter would be settled), and the third can be modified to suit the purposes of any of the myriad stakeholders who appear to have real power.

A recent example, this one dressed up in IDF fatigues, appears this month in the Atlantic from the pen of one Jeffery Goldberg (like me, an American of Hebrewish provenance who as a youth served in the Israeli army only to return to the US with his tail between his legs.) Over the years, most of Goldberg’s journalistic efforts have been exerted (with preciously thin impartiality) on behalf of der judenstaat. But as a DC correspondent, a credentialed establishment man, he is innately straight-jacketed by the millenarian paradigm.

Because today this consensus so heavily emphasizes The Occupation and the Despair™, Goldberg wants the morally immaculate Atlantic readership informed that in addition to its anti-colonial aspect, Palestinian nationalism is replete with dehumanization of the Other, based on decades of misapprehending (because Israel was conceived in peace and dedicated to the proposition that peace peace peace) but nonetheless egregiously insensitive sectarian chauvinism that handily predates the Jewish state in all its inadvertent excesses.

Shocking, no? Now that Goldberg has blown this thing open, will the Palestinians’ blood-curdling judenhaas cost them any street-cred? Of course not: the Jews are Franco to Orwell’s Catalonia here, haven’t you read the playbill? Only NPR granolas still think they see Israel anywhere near the progressive fold, and only glorified bloggers like the Atlantic house neocon believe that a death threat is exactly that, when The International Community™ is adamant that it’s just a cry for help.

The Serbs were laboring under the same unwary naïveté when they went out to battle the unrepentant sons of ustashi and the traveling remnants of Charlie Wilson’s jihad, only to have The Rule of Law™ rain bombs on their children and old people. The slightly more sophisticated Goldberg understands that the Frantz Fannon approach to Levantine affairs is sold out, he just hasn’t figured out that there’s no return policy. Ever the sectarian partisan, ever the lamenting liberal, if he wants to keep selling himself as a moderate and conceiving of himself one of the Good Guys™, then neither of his two conflicted faces may blurt out what they’d like, even when they’ve just said it. So he wraps up with this:

There will not be peace between Israelis and Palestinians so long as parties on both sides of the conflict continue to deny the national and religious rights of the other.

Aw, truly. And horses will not fly until they sprout wings. “Parties on both sides of the conflict” = the other guy. What we have here is The People’s Court, Uncle Sam presiding.

Thus the real hangup—of Arab, Jew and Earnest Liberal alike—reveals itself, and it isn’t tribe or talisman. For when we deploy the debate-stopping language of Rights, we whitewash our innate imperatives as creatures, not only to train up a tree in the way it should grow, but to fuck, suck, eat and shit.

Clearly, the Palestine Arabs were there first, minding their own business. They say they have the right to Palestine, to be its sole proprietors and never have this status challenged by covetous interlopers (their leaders sing different, but it’s a show tune). As rights go, this one is self-evident, devolving to the Palestinians in accordance with the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.

The only problem is that God doesn’t seem to give a shit. Neither does He seem too terribly anxious to hear we Zionists’ case regarding our putative right to pluck a fig and dig a latrine free from the capricious imperium of crescent and cross, because every time we set to digging, something explodes, and the Supreme Judge of the World™ admonishes us to “exercise restraint.” Perhaps it’s God’s silent stinkers alighting this tinderbox year after year, Hashem’s way of weeping over our rights and their apparent illusoriness. Though I’m disinclined to blame human foibles on the Creator, I don’t know. I’m not a theologian.

What I can declare self-evident is that the promulgation of sacred liberties, of rights, never seems to involve their simple extension, but their usurpation. It’s the greatest pretext ever devised, not for ceding power but for seizing it.

Al Pacino said it best as Tony Montana, but he may as well have been speaking for Israel:

What you lookin’ at? You all a bunch of fuckin’ assholes. You know why? You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be. You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin’ fingers and say, “That’s the bad guy.” So… what that make you? Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie….

In the moral lexicon of the Millennium, Israel is a sectarian anachronism, rooted in ethnic cleansing; a gangster state that espouses no principle higher than self-interest, its own and no one else’s.

Not bad for the most neurotic people on the planet!

A year or two back I saw an illustrative exchange on Meet the Press between reporter Andrea Mitchell and Israeli diplomat Ron Dermer. Mitchell played a clip of Israeli border guards kicking the crap out of a supine Arab youth, then primly asked the ambassador, “What do you say to those who cherish Israel, but who see it as potentially losing its soul?” Its soul? You’re lookin’ at it, lady. Were they not beating the kid hard enough?

Israel’s detractors accuse it of being the tip of the Western spear in the Third World’s hide, while Israel-apologists imagine it’s a forward outpost of democracy in Kipling’s orient. But the tide of democracy tends to wash over such outposts (Algeria, Rhodesia), and the whole “Who’s got your six?” gag rings tinny when Uncle Sam’s already got the Confederacy pulling fireguard for Pride. The difference between Israel and the West whose back it thinks it has is the difference between Futurism and Flashbacks; between New Soviet Man and 90s Man. Between cowboy morality and midnight cowboy morality, the Millennium and the God of the Copybook Headings.

Look, I’m as tormented by hypertrophied self-awareness as Franz Kafka, as sexually maladjusted as Alan Ginsburg (well, that’s quite an exaggeration, but I digress), as gullible as Vassily Grossman, as conflicted in my affinities as Hannah Arendt; and White City Bauhaus is just the bee’s knees. But Israel without reaction (Josef Trumeldor), fascism (Vladimir Jabotinsky), pugilism (Imi Lichtenfeld) and gangsterism (Bugsy Siegel) is no Israel at all.

Of course, there’s something deeply romantic about all these shades of grey, but there comes a time to put aside childish things. And the Jewish deficiencies Israel was intended to exorcise—the conniving, ruthless mercantilism, the sniveling refusal to bear calamity without castigating fortune—though counterbalanced by a robust militarism, these tendencies are rife among Israelis, and after five decades of police action frozen on autopilot, that now bureaucratized fighting spirit has overtaken the gangster volatility and iconoclasm of early 20th century Zionism, until nearly all that’s left is conformist thinking, Kardashian-tier trend-mongering stupidity, and spite, and the swaggering, tactless lack of Talmudic scruples typified by Netanyahu. In wanting to be liked, Rabin acceded to a precipitous valuation of his people’s lives, but at least he conducted himself with modesty, and played his cards close to his chest.

An analogous degeneration is taking place among the Arabs, who’ve gone from devout tribes of incorrigible bandits to effete, mealy-mouthed holy-rollers, hogging the airwaves with their tiresome identity crises and felching oversees lucre for their hair-trigger bloodfeuding and basement sex-traffic.

Yet despite our smug superiority, throughout the past century of Arab-Jewish reprisals, from time to time a visceral disconcertion tends to arise among Jews over everything the backward old Levant (our patrimony, which will only and forever be defined by the Arabs no matter how long we persist there, just as their religion will forever be defined by us, no matter how mad our impudence drives them) has to recommend it that Christendom never did and modernity never will. There’s an odd familiarity to the Arabs that transcends the present enmity. Old habits die hard, if we’re being honest. Even at the cost of an occasional school bus making the acquaintance of an RPG, Bedouin blood feuding’s right up our alley.

So I don’t disparage the Palestinians as terrorists or any other empty epithet. Obviously their more conspicuous tactics (indiscriminate stabbings, shootings and bombings of civilian targets) are rather chickenshit, and my hypothesis would be that this has as much to do with inchoate rage of irrelevant etiology as it does with any tactical desperation born of power asymmetry. But it is also provoked, not by Israel’s putative brutality but by the acrid scent of that congenital Jewish tendency, at this late date unvanquished by Zionist instruction, to panic and duck for shelter. This is what a Rabin embodied, i.e., surely the world’s liberals will save us. They’ll save us, alright—not from having to defend ourselves, but from defending ourselves, period.

But as far as any possible moral dimension to how an adversary plays the field (“terrorism”) in a zero-sum contest, it isn’t worth my time and isn’t mine to look into. As for the many US Jews who couldn’t care less about Judaism and the welfare of Israel except as an opportunity to virtue signal: that’s their prerogative. Jabotinsky was right about them, of course:

We cannot offer any adequate compensation to the Palestinian Arabs in return for Palestine. And therefore, there is no likelihood of any voluntary agreement being reached. So that all those who regard such an agreement as a condition sine qua non for Zionism may as well say “non” and withdraw from Zionism.

I don’t know how surprised Jabotinsky would’ve been to see these types withdraw from Zionism the way they have, but at this point they’re no more useless to Israel than my sentiments or his, and they don’t owe allegiance to their co-ethnics if they don’t feel any. A true blue Jewish state, with traffic jams and lawsuits and punk kids, kind of takes the piss out of tribal comradery anyway, and to the extent I hew to the ancient faith I do so for personal reasons, as a source of strength, and a form of oriental ancestor worship. If that strikes you as arcane or narrow-minded, well, there’s no accounting for taste. But lean forward too far and you might end up taking a dick (like this poor, dumb bastard—in the words of Milan Kundera, “He wanted the Kingdom of Heaven”). The only reason to sacrifice a thousand-odd women and children on the rancid alter of pretend International Norms™ every three-quarters’ decade is to avoid the Serbia treatment. Which either tells you who isn’t really running global affairs, or is a piss-poor commentary on the value of intra-ethnic solidarity in the aftermath of the 20th century.

Maimonides is purported to’ve said, “The messiah will come, though he may tarry.” Well, let that sanctimonious cocksucker drag his feet. It’s still more interesting down here without him.