Israel: Between Fear and Loathing

The razzia inside Israel by Hamas on October 7, 2023 uncovered the extent of the hatred that circulates in that part of the world.

First, the obvious hatred of the Palestinians for Israel, being the outcome of a displaced people who face on a daily basis needless cruelty and a deep-seated racism at the hands of Israelis. Instead of using the past seventy-odd years of its existence to nurture goodwill and support, Israel instead has chosen to sell itself to the West as the final bastion of “civilization” before the vast sea of Eastern barbarity. It wins this “civilization” through naked force. The razzia did not come out of the blue; it was yet another bitter fruit of this Israeli “sales pitch.”

Second, the razzia revealed how deeply divided Israeli society is—those who support Prime Minister Netanyahu versus those who do not. If the razzia had not happened, Mr. Netanyahu would have been in serious trouble, with millions out on the street protesting his rule. That rift cannot be mended and the differences suddenly forgotten because of this new Gazan war. Thus, Israel now is caught between the “right-wing” Jews who hold power and those who oppose them. These right-wing Jews control the Israeli administration of PM Netanyahu. In fact, Reform, or liberal Judaism is dying out in Israel; it is the Orthodox (often right-wing) versions of the faith that are flourishing and who teach Jewish racial supremacism. The current Knesset is dominated by the right-wing whose supporters regularly gather to shout “Kill Arabs” and spit on Christian pilgrims and at churches, and who attack Christians. And then there are the laws which openly discriminate between Jew and Arab, so that there is an effective apartheid.

Third, and despite the fact the razzia was merciless and cruel, internationally it had the opposite effect than the one expected, of worldwide outrage against Hamas—instead, it has created two camps. The one led by Washington, along with all its vassalage, which supports Israel “for as long as it takes” (to lift a quotation from another recent US-led failed war), and a second camp which has galvanized around the Palestinians and has brought into focus Israel’s deeply anti-Arab culture.

It is a very curious thing—many Jews pride themselves on their charitable works and organizations, and yet they fail to practice the most basic charity when it comes to the Palestinians. It is also the mantra of such pro-Israel Jews therefore that to be anti-Zionist is to be anti-Semitic, which would make Jews like Rabbi Yisroel Feldman and his followers, the Neturei Karta or those of the American Council for Judaism very anti-Semitic. Thus, this charge, in this context, is meaningless and pointless. Israel has no answer to the many anti-Zionist Jews, who call for the dismantling of Israel and who just want to live peacefully with their God-fearing Arab neighbors. For Jews such as these, Zionism is the cooption of their faith for political ends and thus for whom the state of Israel is an affront to God.

In other words, Jewish identity is a very foggy and very contentious notion. Is a Jew a member of a race, or a follower of a faith? As is obvious, the answer will depend on what kind of a Jew is asked the question. There is no blanket defintion of a “Jew.”

Then, there are the Jews in the West who are well-attuned to this anti-Arab racism in Israel. As soon as the razzia took place, there was a rush on social media to channel the expected outrage into the “proper” narrative: Hamas are Nazis killing Jews. The first one out of the starting gate, it would appear, was one Ezra Levant of Rebel Media who brutally dumbed things down, via a meme, to make sure that you would have no choice but to “see” this event through the “correct” lens:

“The Nazis are back.” Mr. Levant, no doubt guided by the addage about a picture and the thousand words, failed to elaborate how the two images depict “the same thing,” let alone what that “thing” might be. When it comes to Palestine, there can be no complexity, no subtlety; there can only be Jews against Nazis. The other side of this logic is equally grim—that Israelis killing Palestinians is simply Jews killing Nazis, which can only be an aggregate “good.” And, of course, “Hamas” equals all Palestinians, equals all Arabs.

As for the young Israeli woman shown…

More importantly, for people like Mr. Levant, they fail to first explain how Palestinians were responsible for what Hitler did and why they must now assume the mantle of “Nazis?” And more crucially still, why must Palestinians suffer displacement and give up their own ancestral land to compensate European Jewry for what happened during World War Two? Answering these two questions is crucial before comparisions can be made. But racial stereotyping and then scurrility are far easier than facing the reality of the brutality of recent Israeli history.

The loudest spokesman of such a mindset is the American Ben Shapiro, a social media celebrity-commentator, who recently put things bluntly: “The idea is Israel kills enough of these sons of bitches that this is not a problem again.” In other words, ethnic cleansing is the only way forward for Israel to live in peace. What such a “peace” could possibly be is left undefined, or unconsidered. Back in 2002, the same Mr. Shapiro wrote an article in which he channeled Madeleine Albright (also Jewish, who considered 500,000 murdered Arab children a good price for peace): “…when I see in the newspapers that civilians in Afghanistan or the West Bank were killed by American or Israeli troops, I don’t really care. In fact, I would rather that the good guys use the Air Force to kill the bad guys, even if that means some civilians get killed along the way.” In this article, Mr. Shapiro summarized the “ethic” bolstering his bloodlust: “There is a Jewish proverb from Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of the Fathers): He who is kind to the cruel is cruel to the kind.” Needless to say, it is up to people like Mr. Shapiro to tell us who is “cruel” and who is “kind,” and how many Arabs need to be killed to make it all worthwhile.

Adding to the problem is the easy recourse to ontological reductionism, where the reality of what has been happening to the Palestinians for the past seventy-plus years can be rendered as a simplistic Hitlerian trope of Jews vs. Nazis, with the Israelis as always the “good guys.” Thus, having concluded that Hamas, and by extention Palestinians, and by extension Arabs, and by extention Muslims are all the same, Mr. Levant has since been busy on X exposing these new “Nazis.” For example,

And one more example:

What people like Mr. Levant fail to realize is that their strategy is easily used against them. Thus, for example, why is much of big finance in the hands of Jews (Blackrock, the Rothschilds, George Soros, Paul Singer, Moshe Kantro, etc.)? Why are so many people in President Biden’s adminstration also Jews, not to mention that Biden’s own family is Jewish as well as Mr. Trump’s? Therefore, of course, the Jews in power are always going to favor Israel, no matter what, and of course they are going to be anti-Arab. There are also the various influence-peddlars who promote hasbara, explaining Israel to the world (especially in Washington). And then there are agencies that police the non-Jewish West, lest it veer away from a pro-Jewish, pro-Israel stance, such as the ADL and AIPAC. But to ask such questions and say such things means being called “anti-Semitic.” However, when Jews, such as Mr. Levant and Mr. Shapiro, use the same strategy to target Arabs, it is not anti-Semitic and not racism (even though Arabs indeed are also Semitic), because the target group has been labeled as “Nazis.”

Needless to say, Mr. Levant and those like him have nothing to say about the on-going violence routinely carried out by ordinary Israelis against Palestinians. Why do such Israelis feel that they must wrest their way of living from the Other by bullying and through violence?

The good thing in all this—the ever-tiresome Jordan Peterson has finally abandoned his vocation of snide-sayer on X and gone back to his first love—offering bootless advice to the anserous.

Dr. Peterson was initially lusting for revenge, before being publically admonished…

After catching much flak, the good doctor got back to his stock-in-trade—stating banal obviousisms…

But let us leave these fantasists to their hobbyhorses and look at the reality of the situation.

As of March 2023, the total population of Israel is 9.7 million. Of these, 7.1 million are Jews, 2.1 million are Arabs (including Christians), and the remainder are other communities.

The total Palestinian population is 5.3 million; and if we add the 2.1 million Arabs living inside Israel, the total Arab population in the area equals 7.4 million. How exactly does a population of 7.1 million Israeli Jews hope to battle the Palestinians, plus the entire Muslim world which numbers well over two billion? Right now it is doing so because of Washington’s largesse for fealty rendered. But America is a very fickle friend to its vassals (just ask Ukraine, Afghanistan, etc.). What does Israel hope to achieve in the long-run—revenge or survival? As it is perhaps beginning to find out, it cannot do both. Defiance is hardly a good long-term foreign policy. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will leave you both eyeless and toothless.

Another factor to consider. The Jews in Israel have come from all corners of the world (yet another reason that makes the term “anti-Semitic” meaningless). What is it that truly unites them all? Many of these Jews are dual citizens from the West who can easily go back should the going get tough. Of course, this luxury of dual-citizenship can never be available to the Palestinians.

Then there is the deep-rooted problem of racism in Israel. Something hardly mentioned. There exists a strict racial hierarchy among Israeli Jews—those that are the Falasha and other visible-minority Jews form the underclass and are treated horribly as menials. This Jew-on-Jew racism is deeply embedded in Israeli society, which means that the notion of a unified Jewish identity is a myth. What is Israel, therefore, for the Falasha?

This racism is also evident in the way Israel has treated the Black Hebrew Israelites, it has expelled them for not being “ethinically” Jewish. In the words of Benjamin Netanyahu, they are “infiltrators,” who can either “leave the country and take their money or to spend the rest of their life in an Israeli prison.” Does this mean that converts to Judaism are not welcome in Israel? If so, then why are atheist Jews welcome? If Jews are a distinct race, then Israel is meant only for ethnic Jews? Where does that leave “democracy?”

It is this culture of normalized racism which allows utterances made, for example, by the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, possible: “We have abolished all the rules of war. Our soldiers will not be held responsible for anything. There will be no military courts.” Killing Palestinians is no crime, because (again the words of Mr. Gallant, and the irony of his surname is best left unexplored): “We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.”

The “human animals” he is referring to is the 2.1 million (some say 2.3 million) Gazans, 50 percent of whom are children (under the age of 18). It is these children who are the vermin that need to be cleaned out so Israel can live in peace?

Interesting is it not, how deeply Israelis have imbibed the rhetoric once used against Jews during the time of Hitler and now they use it against the Arabs? Thus far, Mr. Gallant’s campaign has killed well over 7,000, of whom nearly half are children, as the Israelis try to imitate the fire-bombing of Dresden, which they regard as the gold standard in achievement in Gaza. Notice too that the term “Hamas” has been expanded to include all Gazans. Such slaughter is worth it, to use Ms. Albright’s rationale.

But despite superiority in weaponry, it is Hamas that is winning this war—because it has shown the world a very ugly side of Netanyahu’s Israel which has been well-hidden; or rather, ignored: the original inhabitants of Palestine are dehumanized to the point of slaughter, and current Israeli officialdom thinks racially and regards Palestinians as non-humans, as animals, which means that all brutality is therefore permissible. Such is the bastion of “civiliazation” in that region?

This dehumanization also makes a more sinister point—what’s the use of giving Palestinians their own country? They will only blow it up and then come after the Jews. Therefore, a two-state solution is a bust from the get-go. Or as the ever-boisterous Ben Shapiro once put it: “Israelis like to build. Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage. This is not a difficult issue.” His words are backed up by some top rabbis of Israel who have stated: “racism originated in the Torah.”

What the Gazans managed to build, despite Israeli hindrances and cruelty, deserves also to be remembered, and which must be compared to the hell that Israel has wrought there.

Perhaps it is time for the more sensible Jews to show a way to escape from the quickening cycle of hatred. Can Israel find another way to live in the region, other than through belligerence and defiance? Can it become more integrated as a Middle Eastern nation, rather than some imagined “crusader state?” Perhaps it is time at long last to begin cultivating goodwill that might lead to real peace, and to learn to share the land. But that would mean changing the entire Israeli power structure. What will eventually survive of Israel should hatred be allowed to achieve maximum destruction? Violence is a deadend.

C.B. Forde writes from rual Canada.