This kind of talk could only take place in darkness; in beer cellars, at violent fringe demonstrations or at the headquarters of outlawed organizations. Only the extreme, fascist, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and xenophobic right would dare to breathe a word of it. Only skinheads and their masters would dare to speak of national purity and of defining their country based on ethnicity, religion, race, nationality or heredity.
No one would dare to say France for the French, America is all-American, Germany is a German state or Italy is a Catholic one. Anyone who did so wouldn’t be considered credible. These countries are democracies of all their citizens; their character is determined by the components of the entire population. Living in each are minorities, their numbers growing in this era of globalization and migration. No one speaks of a nation-state, of a state of one religion, of one racial group. …
This time it’s not the goyim’s fault, it’s Israel that yearns to live in a ghetto. It’s an old-new obsession, and history laughs its bitter laugh. The new Jews, the Israelis, embrace the methods and the standards of the Nazis, may their name and memory be erased. The Israelis check their bloodlines and then put them in a ghetto. …
It’s “no entry” to Middle Eastern culture, to Arab art and history, to African asylum seekers, to anyone who isn’t a Jew. Every Israeli knows the mantra “a Jewish state,” but it’s doubtful anyone knows what it means. Is it a halakha state run in accordance with Jewish law? Is it a theocracy with no civil marriages, no public transportation on the Sabbath and a mezuzah on nearly every doorpost?
That’s a Jewish state. And would Israel be non-Jewish without these traditions? Would it be non-Jewish with 50,000 asylum seekers and Jewish without them? We haven’t yet decided whether Judaism is a religion or a nationality, or even who is a Jew. The main thing is that we want a Jewish state, the kind Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will recognize forever.
Some of my correspondents think I shouldn’t waste time on such as Levy. But he raises some issues that are highly relevant to today’s diplomacy in a clear way (and he’s just as clearly wrong about them).
He asserts, first, that nationalism must be fascism. This is a poor argument which depends on a conflation between civil rights and national expression. Full civil rights for minorities — voting and representation, all state economic benefits, the same degree of freedom of speech, religion, assembly, etc. as the majority, are generally recognized as something a national government is required to provide. National expression — a flag, a national anthem, even a dedication to the preservation of a particular group and its culture, is not necessary for life and is not automatically due to everyone in a diverse society.
The Nazis, of course, systematically deprived Jews and other ‘undesirable’ groups of their civil rights, including the right to life. Israel, on the other hand, is committed to providing full civil rights to all of its citizens, while it defines itself as the state of the Jewish people. The difference is immense.
Not only is a Zionist state morally acceptable, it is necessary: in the case of some ethnic groups, particularly the Jews, the world’s nations have historically denied their civil rights. One of the driving forces of Zionism has been the unhappy fact that Jewish rights cannot be guaranteed except in the framework of a Jewish state, one whose reason for being is in part to ensure that these rights will always be preserved. Norwegians are welcome to create non-nationalist states with open borders if they wish, but this would be a poor choice for Jews.
The existence of a Jewish homeland also protects Jewish rights in other nations, by diplomatic action, rescue, or conceivably by military force. Could an ‘Israel’ — or whatever it would be called — “of all its citizens” perform this function? How long could such a state even keep its Jewish majority?
Levy notes that it is not easy to define ‘Jew’, nor to determine the proper amount of influence to give to religious institutions and values. All this is true, but so what? Just because it’s hard to provide a simple definition of something does not imply that the concept isn’t meaningful. And even a decidedly pluralistic state like the US has trouble defining who are members of minority groups (something Americans obsess about) and finding an appropriate place for religion.
“No one would dare say France for the French…” says Levy. He’s wrong. Marine Le Pen heads the third-largest party in France, and she talks exactly that way. In the halls of the Left she’s called a fascist, of course, but almost 18% of French voters preferred her in 2012, compared to Nicolas Sarkozy (27%) and François Hollande (29%). 6.4 million French citizens are not Nazis!
Le Pen’s success is partly a reaction to the practical problems that result from almost uncontrolled immigration. Levy also seems to think that tiny Israel can be a solution for an unlimited number of refugees from dysfunctional African states, but even Europe can’t do that.
Finally, Mahmoud Abbas also wants a nation-state, for the ‘Palestinian people’. It’s pretty clear that, like Jordan and Saudi Arabia, there would be no Jews in ‘Palestine’. The proposed constitution for Palestine states that “Islam is the official religion of Palestine.” I have never heard Levy or anyone else on the Left object to this, or compare the Palestinians to Nazis. Even the usual concerns for human rights (don’t forget women, gays, etc.) are elided where the Palestinians are concerned.
The Left’s vision of a borderless world in which every nation is a “democratic state of all its citizens” is being tried now, in Europe, and it is failing badly, economically, socially, and — most important — demographically, with native fertility rates far below what’s needed for the society to survive. Israel’s Jewish fertility rate is a healthy 2.8, well above the replacement rate of 2.1. Perhaps Israel’s social and economic vitality has something to do with the national pride and religion that still exist there, despite what is written in Ha’aretz?
Without Jewish nationalism, that is, Zionism, there would be no Israel, and no reason for one — which is why psychopathic Jew-hater Gideon Levy advocates against it.