Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Jewish State?

fizziks has another diary up about why Israel should be a Jewish, and Democratic State. The debate is all too familiar....yes it should, no it shouldn't by all the usual suspects. What struck me odd was the position taken by Plubius.

In terms of internatinal law (1+ / 0-)
Yeah, that is the way it works.
What makes Israel special?
This whole recognize Israel as a Jewish state in nothing but right wing nonsense.
And has NO PLACE on this blog.
E pluribus unum.
Parent ]

While I can see his point, I think he is wrong; after all, the original Partition Plan by the UN talks of a Jewish State and an Arab state. And, "right wing nonsense?" Puhleeze! According to NON-right wing Tzipi Livni
 "These two goals of Israel as a Jewish and a democratic state must coexist and not contradict each other. So, what does that mean, a Jewish state? It is not only a matter of the number of Jews who live in Israel. It is not just a matter of numbers but a matter of values. The Jewish state is a matter of values, but it is not just a matter of religion, it is also a matter of nationality. And a Jewish state is not a monopoly of rabbis. It is not. It is about the nature of the State of Israel. It is about Jewish tradition. It is about Jewish history, regardless of the question of what each and every Israeli citizen does in his own home on Saturdays and what he does on the Jewish holidays. We need to maintain the nature of the State of Israel, the character of the State of Israel, because this is the raison d'etre of the State of Israel."

So, no, this is not a right wing talking point but a legitimate popular Israeli position that should be respected; especially by the world community at large.


  1. Y'know, as far as international law goes, he may very well be correct.

    Of course, personally, I recognize no such creature as "international law."

    However, the idea that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is "right-wing." Now, that I find interesting.

    I have nothing particularly against Publius. He was standing up to WhatsHerFace, which gives him considerable credit in my eyes. Nonetheless, to simply dismiss the idea of Jewish statehood as "right-wing" makes no sense on any level.

    First, what could possibly be "right-wing" about recognizing Israel as the Jewish state, unless one wants Israel's supporters to support the right?

    Second, this insidious tactic of simply labeling an idea "right-wing" or "conservtive" or whatever, in order to dismiss it, is both intellectually dishonest and lazy.

    It cuts no ice, whatsoever.

  2. Actually, he does not know what he is talking about.

    The question is not about international law, but mutual agreement between parties when it comes to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

  3. It's to do with an internal debate among the Left that goes all the way back to the late 19th century.

    Socio-economic equality has always been the issue of the Left. However, with Karl Marx's writings there sprouted a new branch of the Left that integrated the question of socio-economic equality into a whole worldview, and a quasi-religious one at that.

    To summarize, the Social-Democrat Left says you should treat socio-economic inequality as you see it, and not step sideways to other issues; the Marxist, also now known as Progressive, Left says socio-economic inequality is a symptom of a general human sickness, and cannot be cured until all symptoms are treated. The bourgeoisie, according to the Marxist Left, has some tricks up its sleeve to distract the common man from rising up: Religion ("the opiate of the masses") and national belonging, to name the two most prominent ones.

    The FDR and Truman Left was a Social-Democrat Left, the type that could disagree—vehemently so—with the Right on socio-economic issues, but see eye to eye on the question of national belonging. Thus, for the older Left, in the older day, it was definitely not "right-wing" to stand up for the idea of a nation-state for its nation.

    However, in the course of the decades, beginning in the 1960s, the Social-Democrat Left lost ground to the Marxist Left in the West. In the view of the Marxist Left, national belonging has no place among anyone who calls himself a left-winger. "Humanity should"—I have seen that phrase expressed in any Progressive forum, as well as by Progressives on DKos—"evolve beyond national divisions." National movements that show "resistance to AmeriKKKa" may well be supported as a tactic, but the ultimate goal is for all nation-states to be dissolved.

    The idea of Israel as a Jewish state, like the idea of the Greece as a Hellenic state or of Thailand as a Thai state, is both right-wing and older left-wing. Its dismissal as exclusively right-wing can only be explained by the fact of Marxist thinking having taken over the Left for the most part. Plubius may not call himself a Progressive, but that doesn't matter—such ideas as were once confined to members of the CPUSA are now mainstream Left. Conversely, FDR and Truman would probably be shunned as right-wingers if they were to speak their minds on today's Progressive Left forums.

  4. That's a very interesting synopsis, Zion, but there is one thing missing.

    How is it that if the progressive-left is generally opposed to nationalism, it focuses so heavily on Jewish nationalism as opposed to all other kinds of nationalisms?

    Why do they always seem to make it about us?

  5. That's part of the "tactical support for various nationalisms" bit. They see Israel as an outpost of Western colonialism and the stooge and puppetmaster (both at the same time!) of AmeriKKKa.

    They have no love for the Arab settlers in Palestine (the Phakestinians), as can be seen from their silence when they had gotten the short end of the stick from anyone other than the Jews (for example, in Naher El Bared, in Lebanon). But just as the Progressives can support those "brave Iraqi insurgent Minutemen" against the hated AmeriKKKa, so too they support a particular group's struggle against the hated Jewish State.

    As for the heavy focus on Jewish nationalism in particular, the natural (as opposed to supernatural, which I also believe in) reason I believe for it is that the Jewish State is one of the few nation-states in the world where not even the leadership has succumbed to the Marxist diktat of keeping nationalism to a bare minimum. The Marxists are just as opposed to American nationalism and the various European nationalist movements opposing the Islamic immigrant-invasion of Europe, but there their work is almost done, nationalism having been driven underground as "hate speech." In contrast, Israel's stubborn Jewish nationalism is like a red fabric to a bull in its liveliness.

    (To other readers: With these opinions I'm speaking for myself only.)

  6. This question is resonating with our friend "S" who seems to be having a problem publishing here.

    He wrote this to me, personally, but I will share:

    On the topic of state religions. I hate that Israel has to be a Jewish state. I wish it weren't necessary. Kumbaya would be better. It isn't the world we live in. Isreal is Jewish. It isn't going anywhere. So anyone that has a problem with it, fuck off.

    But more importantly, to those a-holes who think it is a big deal. Why aren't you complaining about the England, where the Church of England is the official religion. Or Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Malta, or Monaco where Catholicism is the official religion. Or Greece or Finland. Denmark, Iceland, and Norway. Bhutan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka or Thailand. Or the 26 countries where Islam is the official religion of the state.

    (I didn't know all of those. I looked 'em up. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_religion)

    So seriously. Fuck off.


  7. See when "s" asks that questions he lays the whole thing bare. The only obvious answer is because Israel is a JEWISH state. At least the Jihadists and Stormfronters are honest enough to admit that.