Category Archives: Fatherland

Reductio ad Iudeaoram: Conclusion

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Chosen

Part VI of a series; Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here, Part V here

The bottomless self-pity of the Jews renders Zionism, Judaism and Jewish peoplehood utterly devoid of any one coherent, comprehensive ethic. Their only essential components are Darwinian (really, anti-Darwinian) survivalism, rationalized behind the mask of a liberal democracy at best tangential to Zionist aims, and a grudge-nursing, biologically reductionist ancestor worship whose sole transcendent element is an insoluble sense of injury. I’m not against Jewish survival, any more than I’d be against the survival of any ethnic group. But after seventy years of Jewish statehood, you’d think the Jews’ approach to the matter would look a bit less like Chicken Little’s. At once self-aggrandizing and pathetic, Leo Strauss’s conclusion that the purpose of the Jews is to prove there’s no redemption is the reductio ad absurdum of Judaism itself. Who that believes in God could believe it, or want it to be true?

The Hebrew Bible and cosmogony are indeed of singular significance to western civilization; in light of this, the significance of the Jewish revolts against the Seleucids and Rome is generally underrated, historically (though, thankfully, not by Monty Python.) But Zionism was a moment. It was an opportunity that was not fully seized, and instead of turning over a new page and giving way to a new man, it has given way to the same old story in revised form. A few years ago this decade, the dark comedy Bastards (Hebrew, “Nevilot”), an Israeli TV serial, inadvertently captured how hopelessly lost the Zionist moment truly is, what a dead end it has become. After one too many encounters with the present generation’s impudence and narcissism, the protagonists, an elderly pair of lifelong best friends and veterans of Israel’s war of independence, take to murdering young Tel Aviv hipsters in their neighborhood. The plot revolves around their periodic, lifelong love triangle with a gorgeous Holocaust refugee, alternating between the present and flashbacks to the two men’s glory days fighting the British and the Arabs in late 1940s Mandate Palestine (when their mutual love interest first arrives from Europe.) The contrast is stark.

Obviously, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from taking the harsh view of Judaism and Zionism I’ve just outlined. I wouldn’t object if anyone wanted to claim that (for better or worse) the Zionists instigated the Palestine conflict, or to argue that the US relationship with Israel is bad for America, or that Jews are disproportionately influential in public affairs, and that this is a bad thing. But the problem, as I see it, is that many of the critical claims and arguments directed at the Jews are extraordinarily myopic and illogical, and this is historically habitual. I’ve given many demonstrations throughout the present series, but these ideas are so facile that they tend to multiply redundantly. Historian and Catholic apologist E. Michael Jones has claimed, for example, that the Spanish Inquisition was not directed at Jews, but effected Christians only. That’s a neat bit of phariseeism if ever I’ve heard one. He also likes to assert that the source of the Jews’ historic misfortunes is their rejection of Christ, “the logos incarnate,” as detailed in the Gospels. (The phrase “logos incarnate” summarizes the great hang-up many non-Christian monotheists have with Christian theology.) Of course, as a metaphor, there’s something to this claim: Judaism’s rejection of Christianity is singular, emphatic, and embittered. It’s not difficult to comprehend how such jaundice pollutes objectivity. But as a bald statement of fact coming from a scholar, Jones’s claim doesn’t hold up, because there’s no great evidence of an historical Jesus of Nazareth, much less this detail about the Passover throng preferring Barabass. Due respect for the limits of certitude has never been a quality of anti-semitism. Advocates for the Palestinians likewise, having premised their arguments on solid ground, tend to veer wildly afield, which is one reason why the Palestine conflict is such a tiresome topic.

It would be one thing to pronounce anti-semitism intellectually stultifying, or a kind of bias confirmation. But what it really amounts to is a slander far in excess of the Jews’ ample real-world deficiencies. It’s one thing to say that schizophrenia is a form of mental illness; it’s quite another to claim that the schizophrenic demonstrates his mental illness by reacting violently to being poked with a sharp stick.

There was a time, not long ago, when this topic impassioned me. It no longer does, but as I’m somewhat of an expert on it, I’ll always have a lot to say about it. The purpose of this essay series was merely to document my view of the matter in a comprehensive and final way. I hope someone, somewhere may’ve gotten something out of it.

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Why War?

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known for their fondness of brains

“All things pall after a while—sleep, love, sweet song, and stately dance—still these are things of which a man would surely have his fill rather than of battle, whereas it is of battle that the Trojans are insatiate.” —Homer, Iliad, Book XIII

A group of 250 French public figures signed a statement released last month, decrying the “quiet ethnic cleansing” of French Jews as a result of Muslim extremism. This is a very interesting choice of words.

Strictly speaking, it is correct, and backed by the relevant statistics. Indeed, over the past couple of decades, French Jews have been emigrating (to Israel, to North America) to escape both a steady, irreversible increase in street crime and a campaign of terrorist massacre at the hands of lumpen Muslim banlieue-dwellers (whose fanatical antipathy to Jews undoubtedly exceeds their disdain for other non-Muslims.) 

Certainly this suggests that the machinations of the global inner-oligarchy (behind both the humanitarian disasters in the third world and the mass migration of its denizens into Europe) have little to do with Judaism per se or the welfare of Jews overall—which it appears to consider expendable, in spite of the high proportion of ethnic Jews in its ranks and among its lackeys. But there’s an elephant in the room here: if “quiet ethnic cleansing” in this context entails a precipitous drop in quality of life (particularly in terms of public safety) for the targeted group, their displacement from whole cities, and their being targeted for every kind of violence (on account of their ethnicity and its privileges—real or perceived, legitimate or illegitimate), then the ethnic cleansing thus effected by the mass inflow of third world migrants into Europe touches Jews only incidentally, because its primary target is the native majority. This is obvious. Under the rules of public discourse (unwritten in the United States but partially encoded, as it happens, into actual hate speech legislation in the EU) such a dire warning can really only be issued about Jews. But the fact that it is being issued at all speaks to a subconscious awareness of far larger developments.

Now consider the following scenario:

Country ‘A’ is large and unmatched in wealth and power. Its rulers gain and maintain power in large part by promoting moral corruption around the world* (sexual perversity, intellectually stultifying mass entertainment and, especially, usury) and have boasted openly for decades about their plans for world domination. Beleaguered and near-universally disliked, Country ‘C’ survives and thrives as an appendage of Country ‘A’s warfare industry and has managed to place both its sympathizers and in some cases even its operatives in very high positions in Country ‘A.’

Meanwhile, Country ‘B’ refuses to submit to vassalage under Country ‘A,’ and to that end is covertly developing a nuclear deterrent. Although ‘B’ is in no position to ever strike ‘A’, its venal and repressive rulers make intemperate threats against ‘C,’ which is located nearby, and the two countries fight one another by proxy in neighboring third countries. In addition, every six months for the last decade, the swaggering (but henpecked) little kritarch who runs Country ‘C’ scolds an international body for its inaction against ‘B’, or holds a press conference where he hops up and down in front of a power point presentation, demanding that ‘A’ invade ‘B’ and slaughter its citizens wholesale by aerial bombardment.

This is of course all very tragic and volatile, but what I want to point out about it is that discourses regarding this situation nearly always fail to touch upon at least one of the following three important facts:

(1) ‘C’s pretext for possible further action against ‘B,’ (i.e., the suggestion that the whole world is in real danger from ‘B,’ and therefore needs to preemptively attack it) is laughably incredible, while ‘A’s pretext for possible action against ‘B’ (i.e., the credibility of ‘B’s threats against ‘C’) is critically exacerbated by ‘A’s own explicit designs on ‘B’s sovereignty.

(2) While ‘C’s demands demonstrate an unparalleled solipsism and myopic self-regard on the part of its people and their culture (which is why they’re so widely disliked), ‘A’s rulers are actually leveraging ‘C’s insecurity and playing with the lives of its citizens as surely as ‘C’s leadership is brazenly attempting to manipulate ‘A’ and siphon it’s bloated energy for the purpose of destroying ‘B.’

(3) The resistance by the rulers of ‘B’ to ‘A’ and ‘C,’ no matter how odious either or both may be, is not a redeeming characteristic in itself. Its rulers aren’t interested in their professed beliefs, or their people’s future, to 1/100,000th the degree they’re interested in their own asses, and bank accounts. In our day, the enemies of Rome (and of Judea) are never saints.

So would a US war on Iran be a “war for Israel?” Was Iraq? Was Libya? These memes are incorrect. Vital interests of the global inner-oligarchy are at stake in Iran and Syria, namely the imperatives of great power politics which Zbigniew Brzezinski specified in The Grand ChessboardThe long-term vision of this elite (which you can read about here, here, and here) has nothing to do with Judaism, properly understood. And as I’ve pointed out here already, although many of its ranking members are ethnic Jews and even Zionists, one effect of its strategy is to make regular Jews pawns, and subject them to terror.

Still, the Israeli leadership, along with the Saudis, has its own priorities vis a vis Iran, and can certainly move the ball on a US war, as it has done before. From the perspective of a morally normal, intellectually honest Hebrew this raises disturbing questions. What kind of people believes that others have a limitless moral obligation to defend it? What kind of nation hopes, expects, and sends its leaders abroad demanding that the soldiers of another nation be killed doing so? In Israel’s case, this actually goes against the premise of Zionism, i.e., that the Jews have only ourselves to rely on. Self-defense is a sacred right and a duty, but there has to be a defined objective, a point at which other contending parties’ legitimate interests enter into one’s strategic calculus, or else we are totally solipsistic and unhinged.

However, encouragement of Arab and Muslim disunity and backwardness is the pillar of Israeli foreign policy. So while you may accept the premise of Zionism, when a nation is obliged to help spur destruction on the massive scale we’ve seen in Iraq (a war the Israeli leadership lobbied for vocally, across party lines), Syria (where Israel is directly supporting the scum of humanity), Libya and Yemen, along with the spillover of desperate people from these regions into Europe with all its attendant horrors—well then the reasons why, e.g., the apparently endless sense of victimhood and entitlement of organized Jewry, no longer matter. A faction that cannot envision an attainable end, nor even a plausible reason for an end to its imposition on others simply has no future.

 

(*a phrasing for which I must credit the conservative Catholic historian E. Michael Jones)

Sanctuary of Shamelessness

The secret of a master deal-maker

I never would’ve thought Donald Trump and Mahmoud Darwish had anything much in common, but hearing Trump make his announcement this morning recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital reminded me of the same banality of holiness evoked in Darwish’s “A Soldier Dreams of White Lillies.”

Like anything—not least our 45th president—that poem has its flaws. Namely, it denies the reality of Jewish communion with the land, suggesting that a Jew disabused of vulgar nationalism can only abandon his community and quit the region. (But of course, the converse outcome is the aim of all “anti-extremism” initiatives, and in this sense the most toothless or even conciliatory Darwish can only be an extremist.) Not incidental to those flaws, the Arab threats of violence in this matter are frivolous, narcissistic and—above all—boring, even if they’re followed through upon. But then, so are Jewish complaints, and threats of counter-measures. At least primarily, to be Palestinian can only mean being anti-Israel, full of vengeance, resentment and wounds to loudly nurse. Likewise, to be Israeli necessarily and primarily (at least, but always, in practice) means being anti-Arab, anti-Christian, anti-Muslim, anti-Gentile; snide, superior, embittered, and conniving, like a diabolically scorned yenta—a characteristic that no amount of stoicism or machismo can ever absolve the Israelis of.

The first Arab riots against Zionist designs on Jerusalem were sparked in 1929 by allegations that the placement of a dozen chairs and a cloth mekhitza for elderly Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall was a prelude to the destruction of the al-Aksa mosque. As of 2017, fifty years of Israeli administration has entailed a great deal of covetous malfeasance, but not the slightest disrespect of the Noble Sanctuary. Yet the Muslims never tire of this pretext, and such outbreaks are veritably seasonal in Jerusalem, because—although Israel indeed steals their land little by little and suppresses them politically—the original Zionist provocation has always been assertiveness on the part of a non-Muslim minority. Political repression is par for the course in the mideast, with or without Israel, and in almost every Muslim land, some ethnic or religious minority is constrained to know its place, and know it well. 

Not incidentally, Jewish non-combatants are better protected today than they were in 1929, because a Palestinian protest is rarely just that, and international audiences witnessing Israeli troops fire tear gas canisters into throngs of Arab men don’t generally realize the appetite of the Palestinian resistance for violent confrontation is not limited by scruples regarding age, gender, or non-combatant status—nor, until quite recently, has it ever been readily divisible into violent and non-violent branches.

So for Trump to be deterred by the Arab street’s predictable reaction would be pusillanimous, regardless of whether his Jerusalem decision was a wise one. But the arbitration of highly sensitive religious matters by the star of The Apprentice may not be the biggest irony here. That among all the gravely concerned world leaders opposing him in the matter, the one whose objections carry the most moral force is the sinister pope, Francis—a gilded, pharisaical career accomplice to the foulest possible acts of sexual predation—is a commentary all its own. The conventional wisdom is that the international community indulges Israel and tolerates Palestinian suffering, but generally speaking, the extent of world outcry on the Palestinians’ behalf is greater, more sustained and less proportionate to the corollary offenses against them than any sympathy the Jews have ever managed to elicit, certainly from the Vatican, and including during the Holocaust. Massacre of Jews just feels too familiar to be condemned without nuance: a consensus that Israel ought to be prepared at all times to absorb a modicum of civilian casualties—without response, as a matter of course—exists among world bodies, governments, NGOs and news agencies that would never be so much as whispered to Muslims as a suggestion.

Since the Oslo Accords went into effect not only Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PFLP but the PLO (through its bad-cop Tanzim faction—essentially a death squad) has carried out dozens of attacks on Israeli civilians. So when PLO officials and PLO-affiliated scions of Palestinian civil society like Marwan Bishara, in his capacity as a TV host for Al Jazeera, warn that bloodshed will result from Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, they aren’t forecasting the weather—they’re making a threat. Of course they don’t mean to be understood this way by anyone but the Jews. Surely (to some degree) they don’t even understand themselves this way, because the Palestinians are always supposed, and suppose themselves, to lack agency. Like the dozen chairs which provoked them to a frenzy of murder in 1929, they don’t think, they only react. Supposing we grant this premise, then when Ismail Haniyeh warns that Trump has “opened the gates of hell” with his decision: who are the demons?

But if the Muslims are evil to covet Jerusalem, the Jews are evil for clinging to it, and ought to be put in mind of an Arab proverb: “Where there is concession, there is strength.” For what is Jerusalem? I recall it as a dusty, mildewy disappointment, like a woman who has to be gazed from a very peculiar angle to be thought beautiful; the Dome of the Rock as a lid rattling precariously atop a broiling, apoplectic sense of entitlement; the Holy Sepulcher as a dreary, vulgar little tourist trap akin to an amusement park haunted house. And the Western Wall? That Jews should venerate and kill and be killed for that stupid, ugly pile of bricks left behind by Herod—a sadistic Quisling—is the very definition of idolatry that Judaism once cut its teeth rooting out.

So I don’t use the word “evil” lightly. Israeli administration of Jerusalem has from the very beginning involved strategically needless property theft, selective destruction of historical sites and expulsion of innocent people from their homes. In 2007, this was ratcheted up to the worst form of desecration: the wholesale removal of medieval Muslim graves to a trash dump and their replacement by a Wiesenthal “Museum of Human Dignity” (seriously) atop the former grounds of the Mamilla Cemetery, just over the Green Line from the Old City. But Israel’s “unified eternal capital” is, indeed, an interactive museum, teetering precariously on the nape of what normal, everyday life still manages to persist there. It belongs in the same general category as Florida’s Holy Land Experience, or the Kentucky Creation Museum, but at least those institutions’ proprietorship doesn’t require recurring blood sacrifice (or grave robbery.) There is so beauty in Israel, but to the extent the place is ugly, it’d be a lot less so without the Old City of Jerusalem and the mischief that the coveting of holy relics always inspires:

Don’t defame me, bro

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Above: third world political moderates requesting admission to the sanctum of western-style democracy

What to make of recent remarks by the sitting Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, 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” versus “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 this theme, against that one-in-a-hundred thousand radicalized, RPG-toting pajama-men 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 being helped along in their 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 emmiserated, 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 charitable 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.

Herzog to Amona residents: Zionism is not a land grab….

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“‘To build a home and plant a tree’ I told ’em, LMFAO.”

…..per the Times of Israel.

Pardon me while I die laughing. Zionism, not a land grab! Life is a land grab, I could see excepting pacifism or Buddhism or beta-male hipster bisexuality, but Zionism? Herzog could’ve logically said, “Grab this, not that, grab strategically.” He could’ve said “Grab ’em by the pussy” with greater dispassion, because the basis of leftism is wishful thinking, which is why the Netanyahu administration is starting to look like Putin in terms of longevity in office.

In the same vein, during the Q&A at white nationalist Richard Spencer’s recent talk on the Texas A&M campus, the local Hillel’s young rabbi roused himself:

You’re here preaching a message of radical exclusion. My tradition teaches a message of radical inclusion and love. Will you sit down and learn Torah with me, and learn love?

Radical inclusion! Perhaps King Solomon should’ve divided the baby, so as to’ve been radically inclusive of both broads? Spencer handily eviscerated this low-hanging fruit:

Do you really want radical inclusion into the State of Israel? Maybe all of the Middle East could move into Tel Aviv or Jerusalem…. Look, the Jews exist precisely because they did not practice inclusion [and] I respect that about you.

But if we cannot respect ourselves enough to look in the mirror, how can we expect our adversaries to respect us enough to stop stabbing us for sport under the anatomically ill-proportioned nose of the world’s fourth most powerful army? Liberal Judaism is a masochistic sickness. I’ve yet to encounter a mindset more autonomically empty behind the eyes. Its practitioners mask their real aims from themselves, and the Arabs know it. I hear they’re accepting Levantine asylees in Stuttgart this year, if land grabbing’s not your thing.

Game of Cronies

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I think I just became a Hamas supporter

Whatever else you might say about him, Shimon Peres was devoid of intellectual substance. He began his career essentially as an arms-procurement agent for Ben Gurion—the very caricature of a Yid swindler—and ended it as a sort of Yoda to the plutocracy, jetting around in his dotage, dispensing schlock Hallmark wisdom to the planetary managerial class. I’m not saying he lacked actual wisdom (if shrewdness can be called wisdom)—no no, he possessed that in ample reserve, but it was strictly machiavellian. What Peres embodies isn’t so much the thwarted Jewish longing for tranquility (he lived a life of luxury), but the much-decried Jewish mastery of having our cake and eating it, too.

Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon pursued Arafat to death’s very edge, first in a Beirut bunker and later in his besieged Ramallah compound, and they did it with such maniacal abandon that first Ronald Reagan and, later, George W. Bush (each man a mass murderer of Arabs in his own right) constrained them to yield. Arafat was actually a great admirer of his adversaries’ wanton single-mindedness, and was known to have devoured Begin’s memoirs and applied their lessons to his struggle. But you know what they say about swatting at a fly with a hammer. Or a Sbarro with a nail bomb, or a UN school with a bunker-buster.

The thought of the world’s tech, financial, artistic and political elite turning Mother Mary-like for counsel to a Newark mafia don is inconceivable. Yet like Arafat, Shimon Peres was a consummate gangster whose every word about peace was mendacious, and in the end he took Arafat to school, hard, with a kind of rope-a-dope strategy intended to appease the so-called international community’s insistence on peace-seeking while at the same time reducing the Palestinians—whose political prospects today are little better than they were in 1949—under hopelessly absolute despotism, by hook and by crook. If it’s them or the Jews, you know whose side I’m on, but still…. Too much slyness is revolting. When it goes on forever it’s inimical to a morally normal existence. And normalcy is what Zionism was supposed to be about.

Like icing on the cake, not only did Peres live to see the literal demise of his old frenemy, he lived to see that once formidable nuisance reduce himself to the role of supplicant on American television, a kind of Palestinian Al Sharpton, a shucking grievance pimp doing penance before American Jewish Senators and media mandarins, swearing up and down that he had reformed. My family spent the 1990s wondering why Peres didn’t seem to mind that Arafat was lying, but now it’s pretty clear. This long con, and not the bullshit knighthood or the bullshit Nobel or the photo-ops in Hollywood and Palo Alto, is the best evidence of Peres’ profundity, longevity and achievement. For better or worse, this hot-air liberal paragon’s legacy is one of utter ruthlessness.

As the last surviving political father of his country, Peres would’ve been correct to credit himself some for the glimmer of all he surveyed: the start-ups, biotech, aerospace, the relative political liberty, the robust bursa. Yet in Israel tonight, while ol’ Shimi lies interred on Mount Herzl, hapless women who came seeking refuge from the blight of the former Warsaw Pact are selling their bodies beneath the glinting skyscrapers. Mafia thuggery is rife. Relative to its size, Israel is far and away the world’s number one exporter of death, of weapons systems and expertise, without which its GNP would compare favorably only to Serbia’s. There’s a lack of scruples to the Israelis, an incapacity for remorse, and a bottomless sense of victimhood that is totally, totally repugnant. The Jews, Israelis in particular, are a people who conceive of themselves as being in a dire situation where all rules of honor and norms of decency are suspended. For three millennia.

Peres was but one man who, of course, should not be arraigned individually for all these sad realities (unlike, say, an octogenarian former enlisted-man who spent eighteen months manning a guard tower in Treblinka). All the same, you’d be well-advised to shop around before taking a brand ambassador’s word.

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.

 

One God, no Masters

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Don’t ever stop throwing punches

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Luke 19:27)

But the rest of the world they confront with a contempt reserved for enemies.                                   (Tacitus, Histories 5:2-5)

‘Tis the season of Mars retrograde reactionary chic. I have only one horse in this manger and he most assuredly is not the messiah.

The Jewish sojourn lo these past couple millennia is ironic in that it mirrors the Gospel themes of stripes, stigmata, and resurrection. But while many an archetype has been cast in legend or approximated by a given personage in history—and while every nation has its spirits, gods and peculiarities—it’s rare for a literary archetype to be embodied in an entire people.

The alleged inimicality of Judaism or the Semitic spirit, on the one hand, and the Aryan or aristocratic spirit on the other, is a long-established cliché. Nietzsche called it master versus slave morality; Spengler described the Western as opposed to the Magian cultures. Conservative Catholic apologists still ascribe the insurrectionary personality of Barabbas to the Jewish people as a whole—instead prescribing Christ-like meekness (or torture, as necessary—and they’re right. I myself would indubitably have preferred Barabbas). Evola juxtaposed the emphasis on penitence and mortification inherent in primitive Semitic and Babylonian traditions with the crucible of knighthood he identified as embodying their Indo-Aryan counterpart.

But just how far are Judaism and yiddishkeit removed from the “world of Tradition” as Evola conceived it? Are the Jews merely the bearers of a fossilized culture, as Arnold Toynbee suggested? Or are we vectors of dissolutive modernity, its materialism and revolutionary ferment? If it’s the latter, this would be a sort of revenge of the nerds: the intelligentsia are the villains in any good critique of modernity. In The Cherry Tree, Chekhov even gave his ruined old nobles a sendoff by a “Jewish orchestra.”

Well, no one will deny that the Jews are a clever bunch, given to smarting disdainfully under every kind of regime—behavior that can’t be all that incidental to the biblical narrative of slave revolt. And I’ll buy the theory that yiddishkeit has a lot to do with contrarianism (“a stiff-necked people”). But envy, rebellion and cyclical decay of the social order are deeply human universals, so how specifically do the Jews factor into the erosion of the “world of tradition” and the onset of vapid, discombobulated modernity?

According to Nietzsche,

the Jews achieved that miracle of inversion of values thanks to which life on earth has for a couple millennia acquired a new and dangerous fascination—their prophets fused ‘rich’, ‘godless’, ‘evil’, ‘violent’, ‘sensual’ into one and were the first to coin the word ‘world’ as a term of infamy. It is this inversion of values (with which is involved the employment of the word for ‘poor’ as a synonym for ‘holy’ and ‘friend’) that the significance of the Jewish people resides: with them there begins the slave revolt in morals.

But which Jews are these? The Essenes, or the zealots? Of course we know which of these the Romans co-opted, and which they repressed.

When reading Nietzsche it provides crucial context to recall that he contracted his syphilis from a boy hireling. So did the Jews despise hellenistic bacchanalia because they hated life, or because they wanted to live? Did turn-of-the-millennium Jews despise wealth for it’s own sake? Of course not: they were being taxed to starvation by quislings—the Parable of the Ten Minas is not a nod to the poor, the humble or the meek, either it’s a public service reminder to pay your taxes and keep your fucking mouth shut, or it’s incomprehensible garbage.

So there was quite a bit of ressentiment of Judea on the part of Rome, was there not? “It belongs to human nature to hate those whom we have injured,” to quote the noble Roman. Somehow, slave driving just isn’t the portrait of well-being Nietzsche takes it for, and something in his cosmology smacks of reverse victimology. You got taken by slaves? I wouldn’t complain too loud about that if I was you.

As Voltaire said, a sucker plays himself:

We hold the Jews in horror, and we insist that all which has been written by them, and collected by us, bears the stamp of Divinity. There never was so palpable a contradiction.

Indeed. But how is that Harold Abraham’s problem? That I wrote the tune you imbibe to makes me neither an alcoholic nor a barkeep. If your religion of kindness is based around critiquing the moral turpitude of a far-off people fighting yesteryear for its life against debauched aristocrats—a habit Voltaire, in spite of his apostasy, couldn’t resist falling into—then I don’t know what to tell you. Next time, get your own damn fables.

In any case, the Jews inflicted more damage on the Roman military than the efforts of any subjugant people, and they managed this well after the bulk of the defeats that Nietzsche credits with providing the impetus for their supposed inversion of values. When the Jews decided “to be at any cost”, they made one helluva downpayment. How many times does your empire have to be shaken by Judean resistance before you realize the problem is you? What Nietzsche remains insufficient to explain is how so heady a brew of values-inversion as the Hebrew scriptures could have been adopted by such bloodthirsty fishers of men.

 

Logos

image

freedom isn’t free

I meant to give you what’s been lost

but now you have to try and find it

Tetragramatons and old appliances

and Father David has his incense

a dusty village has its Saint

We’ll not be going back to Kansas

though roadsigns promise yesterdays

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.

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(TM), Goldberg wants the morally immaculate Atlantic demographic 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(TM) is adamant 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(TM) 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, ha-Shem’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 Milennium, 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 Andrea Mitchell and Israeli Ambassador 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 looking at it, lady. Were they not beating the kid hard enough?

Zionism is anachronistic because Judaism itself it anachronistic. “Progress” always requires conformity. The tyrants of this world and their hapless minions have always taken it hard that the Jews maintain their insistence on special dispensation from kneeling and groveling before its idols, but at this late stage of the game neither can most Jews stomach the fact that these principles entail risk, and self-preservation requires violence. Hard choices will have to be made, but most diaspora Jews (and many in Israel) will choose not to choose—such that, in fifty years’ time, there will be no more Judaism outside Israel. The distinctive Jewish intellectualism that thrived under the pressure of interstitial cultural spaces will deteriorate in relative isolation. Meanwhile, open discussion of Israel’s dire penchant for indecision is monopolized by messianic nutjobs, while open discussion of the community’s actual responsibility for the historic situation it finds itself in is monopolized by androgynous hipsters and ivory tower moralizers. Benny Morris is the only member of that latter milieu who has faced this dilemma honestly: sometimes you have to steal a loaf of bread to feed your family. It shouldn’t be agonized over, but neither should it be denied.

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 pullin’ 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 Milennium 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, 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 clannish solipsism, the conniving, the 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 militarism has overtaken the gangster volatility and iconoclasm of early 20th century Zionism, until nearly all that’s left is conformity, and spite, and the swaggering, tactless lack of Talmudic scruples typified by Netanyahu. Rabin’s sin couldn’t have been greater: in essence, he acceded to a precipitous valuation of Jewish life. 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.

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. If we’re being honest with ourselves, old habits die hard. 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 and a Netanyahu intrinsically lacks the empathic wiles to compensate for with bravado.

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. They’re no more useless to Israel than my sentiments are, 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(TM) every decade is to avoid the Serbia treatment. Which either tells you who isn’t really running things, 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.