In Mike’s thread The Integration of Arab Israelis I made two comments that some readers might find disturbing. However, Mike’s done a great job in setting up this blog as a forum for discussion of topics that are usually taboo elsewhere, so, rather than leave those comments as they are and move on, I decided to bring my ideas about national politics that inform those comments up for debate.
I wish to begin with a list of terms that feature regularly on discussion of national and often international politics. Those terms are: Hatred, xenophobia, prejudice, bigotry, racism, apartheid and genocide. In the spectrum of political views, supremacists on both Left and Right differ from normal, decent people on both Left and Right as to how they relate to those terms.
Supremacists nurture those feelings for so much as it takes until their total-minded goals are fulfilled. White, black, Hispanic and Islamic supremacists alike have a certain group or number of groups whom they view as devils to be totally stamped out, and in order to convert that belief into the critical mass required of a viable political movement, they have to stoke the flames of hatred against those assigned devils. Gratuitous hatred is their modus operandi: If there is little cause for hatred, inflate it beyond all proportion; if there is no cause at all, invent a pretext from scratch.
I assume we’re all decent people here, no matter our political leaning. Decent people may harbor those feelings listed, but not out of premeditated intent to harbor them; when they do, it usually has to do with some cause, real or perceived, and when that cause is dealt with, those feelings vanish. Decent people believe such emotions are bad and need to be treated before they go out of control. The various decent people differ only in the ways they think this can be done.
One way advocated for dealing with bigotry and related emotions is education, education and more education. Myself, I think education holds good for some cases but not all. For example, I think education is the preferred way for, say, dealing with prejudice toward Jews of Ethiopian extraction in Israel. The reason I think so is because there’s a significant common ground between them and the rest of the Israeli Jewish populace: Belonging to the same nation, the Jewish nation. But I don’t extend that belief to the Arab minority in Israel, because here there’s no common ground that education can build upon. It’s not that I think the hatred of Israeli Jews toward Arabs is a good thing that must be nurtured—that would make me a supremacist, which I’m not—but I think it should be treated differently than the former example of bigotry I’ve given.
I hold that the ill-feeling of the majority population toward a minority of people belonging to another nation on their soil is a result of insecurity, and that its solution is by bringing the nation back to its position of self-security. In nation-states like modern Japan (not interbellum and WWII Japan, which was dominated by supremacism), the listed charged emotions that are so prevalent in, for instance, the nation-states of Western Europe are absent because Japan is homogeneous, not having brought on itself the problems inherent in accommodating substantial national minorities. The Japanese are self-secure in their national space, so xenophobia doesn’t arise in the first place.
My view has been shaped by a long time reading on the situation elsewhere in the world. No matter what reason the masses of immigrants have been invited for in the first place, today a great strain is brought upon the indigenous populations because of the various degrees of Lebanonization this has resulted in: Politics become sectarian, with people voting according to their parochial groupings instead of the issues, and the politicians naturally pander to those sects. In the workplace, the majority, pre-immigration population is frustrated to find employers hire according to checkboxes to be filled (racial quotas, usually), instead of hiring the best person for the job. Add the imperialistic element of Islamic immigration to the mix, where the intention is to colonize and adapt the host society to the immigrants instead of the other way round, and society is bound for the perfect storm.
I believe the various nation-states of the world were better off when they were comprised of a single nation. Note, however, that my belief has nothing to do with race. I’m not saying this to be politically correct; as an Orthodox Jewish believer, a race-agnostic worldview that looks at world history as the history of nations rather than races is obligatory for me. In fact, even the political parties usually associated with a racialist view are not and cannot be predicated wholly on race, because race itself is not enough to make a nation, otherwise Polish immigrants to Britain could be considered British from the get-go; similarly, the many black nations in Africa are different nations despite being of the same race. And the Jewish nation is not defined by race at all, much to the chagrin of anti-Zionists who think the debunked Khazar Hypothesis puts paid to the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel.
I hold that, for example, the hatred the indigenous French harbor toward North African immigrants could be totally defused if the latter were brought back to their countries of origin, thereby making the indigenous French self-secure and therefore having no cause for hatred. But I’m not really saying it for the sake of telling the French what to do—it’s because I wish to pre-empt the accusation that I’m pleading specially for the case of a Jewish nation. No, I believe all real nations have the right to self-security in a nation-state exclusive to them. And, in the Jewish case, I believe that the hatred between Jews and Arabs could be defused if—I know it’s a very big “if,” but that’s reality—the Arabs let go of their supremacism that denies the Jewish nation’s right to a state on their indigenous territory, and if the Jews are guaranteed self-security by having their state exclusively to themselves.
By maintaining the self-security of nation in its state (a view that I call “The State As Its Nation’s Castle”) the ills of bigotry, xenophobia, apartheid and genocide can be prevented from taking hold in the first place. As such, I consider my view far more in line with modern and, dare I say it, progressive values than the naïve utopianism that education is all it takes to bring peace for all human beings. I espouse a vision that could minimize hatred and strife through sensible state-politics.
There are two major objections I can think of:
- Nation-states like the United States of America and Switzerland do not fit this model.
- Blaming hatred on the insecurity of the majority populace would imply that the pogroms against the Jews in the Diaspora were all justified.
I agree with the first objection, but I argue that its significance is small because such nation-states are anomalies. The proposition nation model where various national groups coalesce on a certain territory to form a nation can work, but only if it is organic, as in the cases of the U.S.A. and Switzerland; most nation-states, including Israel, have the nation coming first and then the territory, and as a consequence, artificially retrofitting the propositional model onto them is courting disaster.
As for the second objection, it ignores the fact that the Jewish nation, like the Druze nation, is exceptional in having a doctrine of being perpetual guests while on other nation’s lands and therefore not threatening the self-security of the indigenous populations. At any rate, the fate of the Jews only proves the necessity of a single-nation state where the nation is self-secure; after all, serious thoughts about the renewal of Jewish nationalism started in the 17th century in both Polish and Yemenite Diasporas following unprecedented catastrophes that made the Jews think that perhaps enough was enough.
I’m bracing for the possibility that this post is going to be controversial. In my defense I’ll say that my ideas aren’t political incorrectness for its own sake, as if I were trying to look like a “rebellious counterculture” or stuff like that. I believe a lot of people in the world are warming up to what is a common-sense vision that is far more consistent with modern values and liberal precepts than the unrealistic and strife-prone politically correct ideas. I hold that single-nation states are the wave of the future, because nations that do not adopt that model will not survive. With the exception of a Druze minority, Israel like any other nation-state had best be exclusive to the Jews, no matter what its borders are going to be, in order to ensure the Jews’ self-security that is the first step in enabling peace with the Arab nation.