The Secular West and Israel
I have become weary of defending the state of Israel against the fomenting and frothy rage of supposed tolerant and inclusive liberals and progressives.
The question arises: when I am defending Israel, what am I defending? A democracy? Jews? A morally responsible nation that faces ever increasing threats to its survival? Why? Why Israel?
The answer is nuanced perhaps, but intelligible to a certain extent. Like the mystery of faith, we can only see glimpses, but if too focused it vanishes like a quantum wave packet.
As a political and scientific movement Nazism is dead. Yes, enclaves of lunatic neo-nazis still remain, but their influence is limited and illegal in some countries. They pose no direct martial threat to the Jewish state. However, it must be seen that Nazism was the culmination and logical result of the enlightenment to understand its continued affect on the idea of the Jewish state.
Jews faced more dangers and persecutions, misery and pogroms in secular Europe than in Christian Europe. This is a fact: as Europe grew more secular, the power of the church waned, and the Jews suffered more. This is not to excuse the church of any crime, but to only highlight the secular crimes. This persecution took many forms and for different reasons. In western Europe and America, the idea of Jews as a racial category, invigorated by Darwinism, replaced the metaphysical “suffering witnesses” of Church theology. In eastern Europe, particularly the Soviet union, Jews were persecuted as a religious category, as the Russian orthodox church was destroyed, and and a new secular utopia mandated that religion was unnecessary and immoral in the framework of Marxist dialectical materialism. The manifestation that was ubiquitous in all cases, though, was that Jews or Judaism were viewed as a threat to the national or racial integrity of the secular nation state.
For Hitler, the Jewish problem was Jewish Genetics. For anyone who still buys the progressive canard that Nazism was a religious ideal, then the evidence of the exact opposite needs to be explained:
We are the joyous Hitler youth,
We do not need any Christian virtue
Our leader is our savior
The Pope and Rabbi shall be gone
We want to be pagans once again.”
The above is a Hitler youth song. The desire to be pagans is not an affirmation of a religious doctrine, but the rejection of a moral order, a limiting stricture on human and national behavior that the G-d of the Jews requires. Here is a quote from Hitler himself:
“Providence has ordained that I should be the greatest liberator of humanity. I am freeing man from the restraints of an intelligence that has taken charge, from the dirty and degrading self-mortification of a false vision called conscience and morality, and from the demands of a freedom and independence which only a very few can bear.”
What providence he is referring to is not known and not important. What is at issue here is his proclamation that he will liberate mankind from morality. And more:
“The Ten Commandments have lost their validity. Conscience is a Jewish invention, it is a blemish like circumcision.”
I don’t think I need to explicate that one any further:
“The heaviest blow which ever struck humanity was Christianity; Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew.”
“The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle, by allowing the survival of the fittest. Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.”
We can see where Hitler’s intellect is moving. We see Christianity viewed as an outgrowth of Judaism which impedes the success of nations and humanity. This concept is still readily available in any book written by Richard Dawkins—or any atheist treatise rather— although the man is too stupid to realizes the corollary of his sentiments are to be found in Nazi ideology. Here Hitler addresses the problem and solution:
“The internal expurgation of the Jewish spirit is not possible in any platonic way. For the Jewish spirit as the product of the Jewish person. Unless we expel the Jewish people. Unless we expel the Jewish people soon, they will have judaized our people within a very short time.”
To Judaize a people is to make them morally responsible, ethical and reflective. This was a great burden for Hitler, as shown above. What was more terrifying, and ultimately the solution for the final solution, is the statement that they can’t be destroyed “in any platonic way.” That is, in any way that rids the world of Judaism but not of Jews. This platonic way was instituted by the Soviets in banning religion but leaving Jews alive. Whereas Hitler sees the phenomenon as an innate genetic (or metaphysical) characteristic of Jews. That if (a) Jewish blood (soul) exists, even in people that have converted or abandoned Judaism, they will continue to be a threat to his new secular and barbarian utopia. I am myself one-quarter Jewish(whatever that means), if I had lived in Germany in 1939, I would have most likely died in Auschwitz. To sum up the idea he reflects:
“If only one country, for whatever reason, tolerates a Jewish family in it, that family will become the germ center for fresh sedition. If one little Jewish boy survives without any Jewish education, with no synagogue and no Hebrew school, it [Judaism] is in his soul. Even if there had never been a synagogue or a Jewish school or an Old Testament, the Jewish spirit would still exist and exert its influence. It has been there from the beginning and there is no Jew, not a single one, who does not personify it.”
This is the logical conclusion of the complete secularization of Europe. Although Hitler was inspired by and modeled his final solution on the American Eugenics movement, the scientific forerunner of the Progressive movement, the United states and Britain where spared most of the debauchery and brutality of the new Europe because of their underlying national assumptions: a moral order predicated on the belief in G-d and the respect for humanity that this assumption requires.
Following the war, Europe lay wasted; it cities were burned under the force of American and British bombs, the Third Reich destroyed, Hitler dispatched by his own hand, Mussolini hanged, and 50 million dead. Europe shuddered, languished and and groveled. The continent’s penitence restored, it found salvation not in G-d, but a new secular enterprise, the United nations. Post-modern philosophy, surfeited by the continents rotting modernist corps, became the new secular intellectual proprietor.
Europe’s collective repentance helped establish the Jewish State and has now become its greatest enemy. Many people think that the Muslim-Arab world is the greatest external threat to Israel. This is a dangerous miscalculation. The modern Muslims states are, militarily, a stupid, inept and disorganized lot. Having been defeated by Israel militarily, they turn to the West’s collective self doubt and self deprecation as a source of unending power.
Curtain of Light, Proscenium of Death
Judaism teaches that the world is an integrated whole, like the creator; Shalom, peace, means wholeness. Its integral parts acting in unison under the causative power of the One; it is a downward causative model. Jewish law preserves moral distinctions, memory, family, and freedom while requiring a severity of mind and heart that obliges one to act in positive and trans-formative ways. Mt. Sinai was the first and last time that this ever happened. While Jewish law made efforts to preserve the sanctity of even the most disabled of persons, the enlightened Greeks and Romans were aborting babies they either didn’t want, or that were found to be defective.
Christianity checked the progress of Greco-Roman narcissism by introducing Jewish concepts to the waning Roman empire. It was the best thing to have happened to Europe. The enlightenment inverted Jewish wholeness into an obsessive pursuit of truth in the particulars. Modern science still suffers from this particularist upward causative view. The truth in a particular view led to the truth in a particular nations view. Scientific pursuits became social constructions. While Judaism was organic, European nationalism was synthetic, deriving its legitimacy only from the novel philosophical image work (Schopenhauer?)of a particular region. The great suffering and misery that was to come to the European continent started with the “death of God,” Nietzsche’s observation, and ended with the death of Hitler.
The enlightenment only proving that reason could rationalize anything, including mass murder, the modern world embraced a new vision of post-modernism. Post-modernism is a tacit admission that the culture which was created on the European continent was nothing but an illusion. Judaism taught us wholeness, the enlightenment particulars, post-modernism now views the world as a great smear, things mixed, shifting and changing with time and circumstance. Moral distinctions are erased or inverted. Contradictions are embraced — One reason why most publicly educated people can both abhor the death penalty and support the “right” to abort a fetus, a belief not appreciably different in kind from that of spartan infanticide; or one can be pro-death and sterility(pro-choice) and at the same time deny the rich the right to be rich, the secular government now having both the power to force formerly religious moral obligations(charity) under a secular framework and institution, and deny the right to life to the most vulnerable. —- The media pontificates that we need to help the poor, that the income gap is bad, and that the rich are evil, without giving us any reason as to why these are moral categories. Upcoming programming promises cage fighting, the Kardashians, football, all designed to make people very rich. Society has become a postmodern smear of mixed messages, death, sterility , and terror.
The nation of Israel comes on the stage in 1948, then as a secular movement, today ever increasingly religious and more powerful. It is a cultural nationalist movement, not a racial-nationalist movement. But in either case, the hangover from European nationalist failure, and the brutality it produced, makes any nationalist movement suspect. When one supports the Jewish state today, one is supporting a cultural nationalism. In a world of image weaving and inverted morals, this is a great sin.
The Jewish state is being punished for the sins of Europe’s nationalist movements, while still maintaining its moral integrity and right to self defense. In the post modern world nothing is worth fighting for, there is no real right or wrong, only wrong: it is wrong to maintain a culture and people in a particular geographic location. So when Israel defends herself we here chants of “war crimes” because any war waged on behalf of a Jewish state is a crime. The Jewish state itself being a post modern crime.
Thus, when supporters of Israel ask themselves why they are forced to wage such an intellectual battle for the Jewish state, a battle which should not have to be fought, it is because Israel is, in today’s world, an illiberal idea. It’s not hard to see that by definition the Jewish state is a state designed to uphold a cultural framework that the west now sees as anathema to a new progressive world order. Imagine for a second– supporters of Israel need to be intellectually honest—the idea of a cultural identity being written into the constitution of the United states. Today, the idea of America as a Christian nation is a notion that is apt to cause uncontrollable emotional rapture in the progressive left. They have made their hatred of this idea more known and visceral than any other. Now, how should they be expected to feel about a “Jewish State” ? If you’re a progressive Jew and still support the Jewish state, the only way that you are intellectually able to do so is in the negative sense: the Jews need a state because we/they are perennial victims. One can make no positive case for cultural Zionism within a post-modern, ostensibly liberal, framework.
It is all very frustrating, though, to see the left uphold a mythical entity. An invented people and culture, a non-existent nation, an Islamist movement, the Palestinian people are pawns. They are used by both the left and Muslim miscreants to de-legitimize Jewish sovereignty. It is a strange post-modern cycle to watch; that the nationalist aspirations of a mythical people are legitimate is only because they are not a nation in any conventional sense, but in a negative sense. That Israel is damaged by their constant legitimization, is the only reason they are legitimized.
Post-modernism has changed the moral equations. The Jewish commandment to “love thy neighbor” is translated to “hate your brother, to love the other.” That is, hate your identity, to love the others identity. Its sickening to watch, constituting psychological and emotional “suicide” in every sense of the word. The “other” ceases to be the other and becomes parasitic, sucking identity out of life and language. To those attuned to this parasitic behavior, the “other” himself becomes vilified, a reemerging racism takes hold, when really the ideological axioms of modern liberalism has created this.
Israel, on the other hand, maintains that “we will love the other, but not at the expense of my brother.” How is a nation that invented the concept of loving the foreigner supposed to hate itself for the foreigner? It cannot. The “other” exists to be treated well in Jewish thought, not to be put on a pedestal and worshiped. However, Jewish thought defines a moral order for the “other” that the “other must abide by, many people today call this “intolerance.”
The Cult of Tolerance
In Los Angeles there exists a holocaust museum that has been named “The Museum of Tolerance.” I am unable to think of a less appropriate name. It should be named “the museum of what happens when the world decides to make up its own rules” or “the museum of what happens when a society tolerates evil and seeks to destroy morality.” We see in the quotes from Hitler above that the problem with the Jews was precisely the moral order that they received, fostered, and nurtured, which many today view as intolerant. Intolerance cast in terms of Nazi henchmen murdering Jews, the reality is lost: the Jewish ethic was intolerant of evil and debauchery, pure reason, and secularization, which Nazism desired to mitigate. We now inhabit a society so debauched and inverted, so ignorant and progressive, so intellectual and spiritually dead, that it has both misunderstood and misrepresented Nazism as intolerant of mere race or culture, when it was in fact intolerant of morality. This deification of the tolerance model has led to the legitimization of just about every form of debauchery as “morally equivalent.” The epithet “nazi” or “fascist” is ascribed to anyone that defies this movement, whereas in Germany in 1939 they would have been called “Jew.”
The cult of tolerance is the reason why we see otherwise reasonable people declare that Islam is a religion of peace. I have a translated Koran that, in its index, has an entry for “Jews” under which you find the most anti-Semitic string of nonsense within that category. The Hadith maintains that even the trees will call out to the Muslim, “there is a Jew here, come kill him.”
Islam is a monotheistic form of Nazism, imperialist by nature– God is not the goal, Islam is, God is the means—and trenchant in its violent exhortations. Yet this ideology of death is now the new “other” that the left has the moral obligation, according to the cult of tolerance, to protect.
Israel now finds itself between its most ancient enemies, a perverse western Esau, and a brutal, earthy Ishmael. The post-modern dialectic legitimizes a barbaric Ishmael, so that a perverse and morally dead Esau can be freed of Jacob’s piety.
Hitler has indirectly freed the world from any moral responsibility. The reactionary misinterpretation of what Nazism actually was, has fostered a world in which no distinctions can be made anymore. In fact, any basis for knowledge is now called into question regularly. Deconstructionists proclaim with absolute certainty that they aren’t certain about anything. Thus a real fascist ideology is allowed to flourish and spill more Jewish blood with almost unending impunity. The peace process is really a war process, in which reality is denied in favor of an image. Instead of wholeness its fragmentation and death. Wars are no longer allowed to be won.
Road to Sobriety
Those desiring to save Israel, and much of the west for that matter, are now forced out of the box. We can’t argue that Israel is a liberal cause, because, as I showed above, a “Jewish State” is an illiberal idea. No matter how much we show that Israel protects gays, is a democracy, has a Arab minority with all the associated rights, the notion of a “Jewish State” has been explicitly rejected by the Arabs, and is now tacitly rejected by the west. What are we to do?
In order to defend Israel, we cannot defend it in liberal terms, we have to defend Judaism as the greatest source of knowledge and freedom to mankind. We have to view Judaism as Hitler did, a great moralizing force. Defending it from this angle will provoke all sorts of secular tremor, terror, and persecution. You will be labeled “irrational” and archaic, you will be shunned by people unable to see the reality, or in many cases, to dense to think it through. You will be attacked by atheists and believers, you will be hated. I know this because, as a University student, defending Israel is social suicide, especially in my field of study. But it is a sobering experience when you sacrifice your academic expediency for a cause greater than yourself. Shalom and G-d Bless.