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What Gaza Has Revealed

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s and continuing through the present, the central issue in the study of European history was the rise of Nazism. Not the documenting of the facts of the long descent to the Holocaust, though this was essential to the enterprise. But the trying to understand how a country that was in many ways the most advanced in Europe could descend so far so fast. Scholars examined German patterns of leadership and conformity, searched in the varied forms of cultural nationalism for the ideological and literary precursors of Nazism, analyzed the “wholeness hunger” that purportedly led young Germans to do everything from embracing nature to embracing a fuhrer, and studied the moral cowardice exhibited by German civic elites in nearly every profession.

In the memoirs of many German Jews who escaped Hitlerism when they still could, this descent was wrapped in enigma: Hitler and Nazis were so unexpected, so contrary to their internalized sense of Germany as a nation of law and science, and a place where there was considerable intermarriage between Jews and Christians, where Jews—as much or even more so than any other country in Europe, felt secure, self-confident, and patriotic. In countless tragic cases, this belief that Nazism was at odds with the “inner, real” Germany led people to wait too long and not emigrate when there was still opportunity to do so. (Of course, that the number of countries welcoming Jewish refugees in the 1930s was limited, in considerable part due to anti-Semitism.) What stands out was the time lag between a new reality—Germany becoming a murderous dictatorship, and the perception of that reality.

Of course one needs to avoid crude polemical comparisons of Nazi Germany, particularly Nazism during the Holocaust era, to anywhere, and such comparisons to Israel are often meant to be gratuitously offensive. Israel is not Nazi Germany.

Nevertheless, with its most recent Gaza war the country has turned a page, exposing Americans and the world to a new and far more fascist Israel than was evident in past decades. One could compile a lengthy list of indicators, few of which have been much explored in the American press but which are fairly widely reported in Israel and on the Internet.

The Israeli peace camp has nearly disappeared—gone for instance are the large mass demonstrations of the 1980s that pushed for an end to the Likud’s forays into Lebanon.   Of equal significance is that it no longer safe in Israel to oppose government policy by peaceful demonstration. Several years ago Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident who became an Israeli politician and celebrated neoconservative author posited what he called “the town square test”:

If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society. We cannot rest until every person living in a “fear society” has finally won their freedom.

If one credits the numerous first-person reports from Israeli peace demonstrators, to protest Israeli bombardment of Gaza now is to risk attack by right-wing thugs, while the police look on [1] or sometimes help the pro-government attackers [2]. Meanwhile, Israeli pro-government politicians look for new ways [3] to punish dissenters, either by rendering human right organizations unable to function or by pressuring employers to fire dissenters from their jobs—tactics now described as “white fascism”. Israel hasn’t traversed the entire route of becoming a Sharansky “fear society,” but it is on that trajectory.

And then listen to Israel’s politicians. There is Ayelet Shaked,  [4]whose open call for genocide against Palestinians provoked one British-Israeli citizen to contemplate burning her Israeli passport. Shaked was giving political voice to the Israeli mobs that run around Jerusalem shouting “Death to the Arabs” and looking for Palestinians to beat up, though she is after all only one member of Israel’s Parliament. But what is one to make of Moshe Feiglin, not a marginal Israeli figure but deputy speaker of the Knesset, a top player in Israel’s ruling Likud Party? He recently called [5] for Gazans to resettled in concentration camps, and all of Hamas and its supporters to be “annihilated.” All societies have their hate groups and extremists, but nowhere in the democratic world are they nearer to the center of power than Israel. In the 1980s Meir Kahane had a small following in Israel, but his pro-ethnic cleansing party was made illegal. Now Kahanists are in the center of the country’s ruling ideology.

The Israeli turn towards fascism was explored in Max Blumenthal’s superbly reported book Goliath [6], which the Israel lobby loathed and tried to dismiss without ever answering effectively. Gaza has brought Blumenthal’s ideas to a point, releasing the pent-up animus and anti-democratic hatred for all the world to see.

This now is Israel, a country whose military relishes unfair fights against poorly armed militias, where imposing collective punishment of innocents is the main point, whose elected politicians pine openly for concentration camps and genocide. Because Israel (like the Germany of early last century) is a country of advanced science and medicine, a country containing hundreds of thousands of individuals who would be perceived as exemplary anywhere in the world, there is a kind of cognitive dissonance: we draw back from recognizing the polity before our eyes because it doesn’t match  the image of Israel we grew up with (however idealized and unrealistic that may have been). But yes, Feiglin and Shaked represent the real Israel of today.

What are Americans to do about it? Here perception of the new reality lags but is beginning, ever so slowly, to catch up. Many have noted the polls [7] in which older Americans and Republicans still support Israel in overwhelming numbers. The young, more open in their sources of news, do not. Nor do Democrats. Even in conversations with well-heeled members of the business establishment, one also can sense a sea change—one hears murmurs of disapproval, even outrage, expressed in places (an upscale golf club) where one would never before have heard it. Politicians are the last to reflect this: the Senate passed a unanimous vote of approval for Israel early in the conflict, and the House adjourned leaving all manner of pressing business undone, but making sure, by a 395 to 8 vote, that Israel received more funding for its Iron Dome. (Someday a profile in courage article will be written about this Heroic Eight [8], a surprisingly geographically mixed and bipartisan group.) As if to explain these votes, Vox published an illustrative real-life memo [9] instructing a Senate candidate in how to fish for funds from the “pro-Israel community.” For his part Obama has so submerged himself in Israeli talking points that intelligence blogger Pat Lang felt compelled to ask [10] whether the president had duly registered himself as a foreign agent.

In Europe, it’s much the same—a bit more tut-tutting than here about the killing of Palestinian children, but no government wants to do anything. (And it wouldn’t be so difficult—if Europe were to simply explore bureaucratic “impediments” to Israeli trade and tourism, in the absence of real progress towards a two-state solution, the Palestinians would likely have a state in a couple of years.) Britain is a possible exception: Labour Party chief Ed Miliband has denounced Israel’s conduct uncategorically, and a Muslim minister has resigned from Cameron’s cabinet—not much, but head and shoulders ahead of the United States.

The American polity will change, probably bit by bit for a while and then in a big rush—as a result of political leadership. The evolution of public opinion towards gay marriage seems a plausible template. But even a changed opinion will have to confront a terribly difficult problem: how to treat Israel, hyper-nationalistic, loaded with nuclear weapons, deeply racist, persuaded that any opposition to it is derived from anti-Semitism, feeling that the Holocaust gives it license to do whatever it wants and that the normal rules of international conduct will never apply to it. It won’t be an easy matter to solve.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of The American Conservative.

46 Comments (Open | Close)

46 Comments To "What Gaza Has Revealed"

#1 Comment By collin On August 6, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

new and far more fascist Israel

Isn’t this a little on the strong side. I have not like Israel actions with the current Gaza invasion nor I do I think they will ever sign a two state solution. But calling them fascist is strong here as I do believe the biggest issue Israel is facing is their country continues to face a “Cold War” with other nations. Although the nations of Egypt, Saudia Arabia, or even Iran, etc. aren’t acting against Israel, they are against the Jewish state in the long run. And unlike the old US/Soviet Cold War Israel is threatened on all sides.

I am not sure what Israel can do and assimilating Palenstinian people into their economy could long term improve the peace process. Of course that might mean giving the Palenstian people in a voice in the government as well.

#2 Comment By KXB On August 6, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

Given that we still have a Cuba-policy that is 60+ out of date, I am less optimistic about a policy change regarding Israel. Some of this due to lobbying, and some to simple government inertia. Hell, look at our policy towards Pakistan. There is the conventional wisdom in government & media that so long as we can maintain some sort of relationship with the government of a double-dealing nation, that is better than no relationship.

#3 Comment By Kurt Gayle On August 6, 2014 @ 2:28 pm

Scott McConnell, since July 16th you have written four columns that are exemplary for their clear analysis and for their relentless, fearless honesty.

Your quartet of columns — Israel Runs Up the Score, The Right’s Israel Turn, The Pyrrhic Cost of Destroying Hamas, and What Gaza Has Revealed – deserve a Pulitizer Prize.

Truly! They do!

We both know that you will not be considered for the Pulitzer or for any other journalistic award – and we know why. Thus, do I refer to your “fearless honesty.” For we know that those who speak out the way you have spoken out will almost certainly pay a price for their honesty and integrity. Those who want to silence you are powerful people who punish those with the audacity to say that “the emperor has no clothes.”

You are a profile in courage, Brother McConnell.

Thank you – for the fine journalism and for the inspiration.

#4 Comment By John G On August 6, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

Excellent, provocative article!

One has to wonder, with some hope, about the role of the internet and social media in closing the reality-perception gap, within each country and across continents.

I want to believe that a more balanced view of the Middle East is emerging in Western Europe and will rapidly spill over into North America and Israel itself. That will probably be good in that it will help reduce human suffering, but I am afraid that even then a lasting peace and sense of normalcy will be very, very difficult to achieve. Sure, two-state solution seems the most sensible way to go but the devil is always in details, sigh.

#5 Comment By Micha Elyi On August 6, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

…a country whose military relishes unfair fights against poorly armed militias

Hon, you just described most every Arab nation circa 1947. And ’48.

As for the current conflict in Israel, the “poorly armed militias” struck first and kept on striking until they provoked the Israeli self-protective response they so eagerly desired. The USA has invaded Mexico on less provocation multiple times.

Scott, there’s something worng wit’cha head’s thinking parts, hon.

#6 Comment By JLF On August 6, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

Yes, but what makes the Iaraeli government fascist? The government doesn’t command the economy in the way Hitler and Mussolini did Germany and Italy. There has been no purge of the opposition in the Knesset as Hitler purged the Reichstag. Why do you insist on calling Israel a fascist state?

#7 Comment By KXB On August 6, 2014 @ 5:52 pm

Micha,

Nope – Israel captured 100 Hamas members on the West Bank, on a bogus search for the 3 teens who were already dead. During these arrests, Israel killed several Palestinians on the West Bank. Israel instigated this war.

As for the U.S. going to war against Mexico on flimsier matters – true. But, the U.S. did not pass the cost of its wars to another country, whose legislators tripped over each other trying to show how pro-America they were.

#8 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 6, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

“When the stock market crashed in 1929 over 1200 of fewer than 1500 seats on the Berlin Stock Exchange were in Jewish hands, so it seemed fair enough to blame them for the crash of that usury bubble.”

This explains a lot.
_____________________________________________
“But even a changed opinion will have to confront a terribly difficult problem: how to treat Israel, hyper-nationalistic, loaded with nuclear weapons, deeply racist, persuaded that any opposition to it is derived from anti-Semitism, feeling that the Holocaust gives it license to do whatever it wants and that the normal rules of international conduct will never apply to it. It won’t be an easy matter to solve.”

For people who see Israel through the new and old books as I do. Israel is problematic. Because on the one hand their entire push is based on a promise of return as accounted in scripture (interesting that they are so eager to deny others the same).

Under that push then, I am forced to consider Israel in the light of the old book. The old does describes an Israel that does not exist today. It describes an Israel that is not keen on the ways of the old book. The old places blessings and consequences. So in accordance with Israel’s own push, I must take the context of the push into account and determine whether the promise made is made to the people in accordance with the old book. Also in the old book is the reference to foreigners who Israel according to the book was to have removed and kept from Israel, not doing so would have permanent consequences of perpetual trouble. Israel is to have been a bride without blemish cleansed of her ways and repentant of any shortfall, according to the old book. According the book which describes the establishment as chosen there is also descriptors about Israel as the light to the world, a blessing to all other nations. So if the push is as according to the old book, I must also account her utter destruction for disobedience, for chasing other idols, engaging in all manner of unacceptable belief and behavior.

Now for those who are believers, there is no way that they can grant an unconditional support l’est they end up supporting something wholly condemned. So if those who adhere to the new book so desire to bless Israel, in order to then be blessed, because they remain God’s chosen, there must be ways that don’t subvert that which old book says is expected. After all, the Israel that is to be blessed is not the Israel that exists today. How to bless a nation as described in the old book which does not even exist is a difficult question. One posits the dilemma. Given the Israel we see today which does not reflect the Israel which today’s Israelis claim is cause to return and fully occupy the land, then perhaps the there is some doubt that the UN was the instrument by which a return would be accomplished. After all the old book says God, whether the UN is the instrument of God could be in some doubt. I may be able to bless individual Israelis, and in the case of the old book, that would be limited to Jews, specifically.

Now by the new book, in utter rejection of the promise but fulfillment of the universal blessing comes the Savior of the World. But by the new book, all of the promises of the old book, are passed on by adoption to all who believe in the Savior of the World, including the promise of blessing. A covenant made by the death and resurrection. But according to the new book, the adopted Israelis are to be a blessing to all as well as obey authority, in the case of the US the people are ultimately authority that they delegate to others to act on their behalf. But the new book does not exempt the adopted from international law or obligation (treaty agreements). So when the current secular nation state of Israel was granted a section of Palestine they had no authority to claim more the original grant. The only such challenge would be justified if according to the new or old book Israel should have been caused to violate some old or new book expectation — it does not and it never has. As such, the ethnic cleansing, on being established by UN mandate nor the current occupation beyond the original boundaries can be justified as something commanded or condoned by new book or old.

Now the new book also speaks of a restoration of Israel. Whether that restoration is purely spiritual, merely a nation state or both remains considerable debate. However, in either of these cases, neither book exempts Israel from acting n accordance with International agreements (treaties) and in complete disobedience of international laws. In other words, being selected to be a blessing is no excuse for conduct unbecoming, not does scripture promote, suggest that honoring such behavior is somehow excused because Israel is chosen.

With respect to property, the old book makes clear that because Israel, left her first love, chose not to remove those not so chosen from their midst, that they would essentially be a perpetual thorn. They would not be removed and Israel, would have to accommodate their existence.

Let’s say Israel is in some manner owner of all land she so attempts to claim, but she has been an absentee landlord, ceded said lands, which entitles to those occupying the land protection from occupation for any reason — every minute , every second Israel, so occupies she in violation of the law. And as Israel herself contends, foreign entities on her soil would provoke response — Her presence on Palestinian land is provoking a response.

And a the law, regardless of how historically inconvenient is supported by the new and the old book. Further additional agreements made by Israel are also binding as to the new and old book. Anyone who attempts to excuse Israeli violation of the law which does not trespass on the old or new book are wholly mistaken and in err.

Israel, is certainly entitled to self defense, but her neighbors are as well. And her occupation of said land is unjustifiable.

What is interesting is that in both the old and the new books — Israel is entreated to live in peace with her neighbors.

Now my own aside is this, Israel as a secular state has no claims to the promises of the old book as she remains in utter disobedience.

But if as a secular state she wants live in and with the support of others, she should act in accordance of the authorities — none of whom expects her to violate the demands of the old or new book at present.

I love Israel. I respect the promises contained in the old and the new books — both of which weigh heavily against Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territory. According to the old book, that may very well be the thorn, Jewish ancestors have left their descendants, so described in the old book. That legacy can be a thorn of blessing or but a thorn of pain.

In either case Israel, cannot pretend to altogether blameless.

#9 Comment By Quentin On August 6, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

What exactly is the hope, that the U.S. and other countries cease their support for Israel, and that the Palestinians take over? I don’t think all of Israel’s conduct is above board but it’s quite bizarre to present them as the “fascist” enemy in this fight. You name a few politicians as representing all of Israel. Could Gazans rally with Israeli flags in the middle of Gaza City calling for an end to the rocket attacks without fear of reprisal? The official position of the ruling government of Gaza is Israel’s destruction. I guess that doesn’t matter as long as one has the “f” word in their hip pocket. You should provide a caveat in your articles that obviously Israel should be held to a higher standard than the Palestinian Arabs because of whatever reasons you have for that then proceed with your “f” bombs.

#10 Comment By Paul Bowman On August 6, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

There’s a lot of reasonable and not unfairly provocative matter in this article, but “feeling that the Holocaust gives it license to do whatever it wants and that the normal rules of international conduct will never apply to it” is offensive and completely unwarranted, Mr. McConnell. A disgusting rhetorical turn. Am Con owes its readers a frank apology for this.

#11 Comment By JJH On August 6, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

Another in a long list of courageous ,important and excellent pieces of journalism . Thanks Scott

#12 Comment By Stevemmn On August 6, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

How dare the Israelis defend themselves from missile attacks by terrorist thugs. How dare the Israelis worry about terrorists who dig tunnels into their land in order to kill them. Of course the Israelis are the fascists, never mind the fact that the other side keeps this conflict going and uses their own people as human shields to protect their missiles, holding their own people hostage. Of course the Israelis are totally to blame, never mind the fact that Hamas has pledged to destroy Israel. The Israelis should just suck up and take it.

#13 Comment By Michael N Moore On August 6, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

Israel’s conundrum is that the Palestinian population of Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank continues to surpass that of Jewish Israelis.
The only solution to that is a 2-state solution involving the release of the West Bank.

The replacement of the Palestinian labor force in Israel with nominal Jews from the former Soviet Union has created a new enfranchised class of people. They want upward mobility in the form of settlement land. They have tilted the the balance of power to Likud, who will never let “Judea and Samaria” go.

The only solution to this contradiction is the elimination, one way or another, of the Palestinian population, which really has nowhere to go.

After lecturing the World on the horrors of genocide for the past 50-years, Israel now faces it as a stark choice.

[11]

[12]

#14 Comment By Michael Powe On August 6, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

Excellent analysis, which I’m glad to have read.

Re: fascism.

Fascist movements share certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultra-nationalism and militarism. Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation, and it asserts that stronger nations have the right to expand their territory by displacing weaker nations. … Fascism borrows theories and terminology from socialism but replaces socialism’s focus on class conflict with a focus on conflict between nations and races.

That squib seems to pretty well sum the modern state of Israel — literally, figuratively.

#15 Comment By Michael Powe On August 6, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

Micha: The only time that Israel entered into a peace agreement was after getting thoroughly embarrassed by the Egyptians in the Yom Kippur war. Today, no nation in the region has any military capabilities matching those of the Israeli state, a veritable modern Sparta.

Israel, as represented by its gov’t, has no need of peace. In the past month, it incurred the loss of 70 Israelis to kill 1700+ Palestinians. That’s 25 Palestinian dead, for each Israeli. Half of those dead Palestinians were civilian women and children.

Since 2001, rockets launched out of Gaza by Hamas have averaged one Israeli fatality a year. One. The notion that 1700 Palestinians “deserved to die” as payback for 14 or 70 or 84 Israeli fatalities is, well, shameful to its bearer.

#16 Comment By Kurt Gayle On August 7, 2014 @ 8:32 am

Collin wrote: “Calling them fascist is strong here…”

JLB wrote: “Why do you insist on calling Israel a fascist state?”

On the contrary, Scott McConnell didn’t say that Israel is already “a fascist state”, but he did make reference to Israel’s “increasingly fascist politics” and “a new and far more fascist Israel than was evident in past decades.”

“Of course,” McConnell is careful to point out, “one needs to avoid crude polemical comparisons of Nazi Germany…such comparisons to Israel are often meant to be gratuitously offensive. Israel is not Nazi Germany.”

“Nevertheless,” McConnell continues, “with its most recent Gaza war the country has turned a page, exposing Americans and the world to a new and far more fascist Israel than was evident in past decades. One could compile a lengthy list of indicators, few of which have been much explored in the American press but which are fairly widely reported in Israel and on the Internet.

“The Israeli peace camp has nearly disappeared…it no longer safe in Israel to oppose government policy by peaceful demonstration…To protest Israeli bombardment of Gaza now is to risk attack by right-wing thugs, while the police look on or sometimes help the pro-government attackers.

“Meanwhile, Israeli pro-government politicians look for new ways to punish dissenters, either by rendering human right organizations unable to function or by pressuring employers to fire dissenters from their jobs.”

Given that Webster’s definition of fascism includes “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual” — often characterized by “forcible suppression of opposition” — McConnell’s reference to Israel’s “increasingly fascist politics” is both accurate and judiciously precise.

#17 Comment By Brother Padilla On August 7, 2014 @ 10:45 am

One million Russian Jews immigrating to Israel since the fall of communism has altered the electorate of Israel from western democracy to Eurasian despotism.

#18 Comment By Kurt Gayle On August 7, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

Something that Paul Bowman might consider:

In his book “Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians” (1999) Noam Chomsky wrote that Nahum Goldmann “became President of the World Zionist Organization from 1956 to 1968…[Goldmann was] critical of the tactic of converting the Holocaust into a device to justify atrocities and murder. At the beginning of the Jewish New Year, in October 1981, he wrote:

‘We will have to understand that Jewish suffering during the Holocaust no longer will serve as protection, and we certainly must refrain from using the argument of the Holocaust to justify whatever we may do. To use the Holocause as an excuse for the bombing of Lebanon, for instance, as [Prime Minister] Menachem Begin does, is a kind of “Hillul Hashem” [sacrilege], a banalization of the sacred tragedy of the Shoah [Holocaust] which must not be used to justify politically doubtful and morally indefensible policies’.”

#19 Comment By James Canning On August 7, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

Great piece. And let us remember that the US Congress in effect has rewarded Israel for continuing to grow the illegal settlements in the West Bank. Guaranteeing endless war or near-war.

#20 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On August 7, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

It’s not often that you see a journalist willing to write this frankly. Israel certainly has been on a steady right-wing trajectory for many years now, and it frankly bothers me how unquestioningly supportive of this our politicians actually are. Our alliance with this increasingly nationalist and racist state contributes greatly to America’s reputation for hypocrisy around the world.

#21 Comment By Simple Kind of Man On August 7, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

“How dare the Israelis defend themselves from missile attacks by terrorist thugs. “

Israel has every right to defend itself against missile attacks by terrorist thugs. I guess the Palestinians have a right to try to take back their land, too. Everyone has a right to try to survive.

But how dare Israel expect Americans to pay for its wars? How dare Israel leech off the American taxpayer – going on 40 years now? How dare Israel put American lives at risk of terror blowback by using US aid to build settlements in the West Bank?

#22 Comment By Matt On August 7, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

I remember reading something with Amos Oz, where he said (in an interview from as long as 40 years ago) that over time Israel would begin to act more and more like a Middle Eastern nation in its politics and culture and less like the western/European type country it is in many imaginations. I feel like over time he is being proven correct.

#23 Comment By Ethan On August 7, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

The main point that surprisingly has not been mentioned much in this thread is “lebensraum”. That is, Israel’s illegal seizure of the West Bank (Gaza is effectively a concentration camp run by it’s inmates). This is the self stated intent of Israel’s policies. It’s a land grab-pure and simple. Israel intends to drive the Palestinians off what is left of their land and into concentration camps like the Gaza. If you doubt it, just look at any maps of the West Bank showing the respective land holdings of both peoples. It looks like Swiss cheese with the Palestinian holdings ever shrinking and the never ending expansion of the Israeli settlements. This is the reality.

#24 Comment By Dennis On August 7, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

Why not name the Heroic Eight, Scotty?

The four Democrats were Keith Ellison (MN-05), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Jim Moran (VA-08, and Beto O’Rourke (TX-16).

The four Republicans are Justin Amash (MI-03), Walter Jones (NC-03), Tom Massie (KY-04), and Mark Sanford (SC-01).

A founder of The American Conservative should take time out from his “upscale golf club” to write a personal letter of thanks to these moral paragons.

I don’t know what Gaza has revealed–except another column by Scotty deploring America’s love affair with Zionism and all its works. Meanwhile, I’ll be on the lookout for the leadership that is going to detox Americans addicted to Israel. The Heroic Eight look like a really promising start.

#25 Comment By Clint On August 7, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

American taxpayers’ money shouldn’t be used to support either of these belligerents.

#26 Comment By Keith Beveridge On August 7, 2014 @ 8:56 pm

Is this really a conservative site? After reading a few articles like this one, I begin to question the fact. Why is Israel fascist for protecting itself. Why, (after the UN–acting as a proxy for the allied victors of WW-II, and as a direct result of Arab support for the Hitler and the Nazis in said war as has been traditionally done throughout history–gave back to the Jews its traditional homeland) do white liberals not afford Israelis the same benefit of reparation that they give other opressed minorities throughout the world?

I’ve always wondered about that, except for the fact that what is really going on is that the Marxist left always comes out against a modern republican democracty that affords individual human rights, and not the collective, the highest moral authority in society.

So Israel, the only modern democratic, free republic in the area is the fascist agency?! No way, Jose. Israel is the ideal. It is a government and a social system that takes all comers–Arab, Jew, Christian, can live in Jerusalem at peace. There is no question about this.

It is my fervent hope that the Hamassians will be utterly defeated. Next on the list would be more outreach to Palestinian peoples who would put down thier blatant misery and malcontent and join Israel as citizens in support of peace, freedom and prosperity. Assimilation and an Israeli One State Solution is the path of most abundance and happiness over there, and respecting the abvove article, which is as wrongheaded as wrongheaded can be, doesn’t really belong here on this site now, does it?

#27 Comment By Kurt Gayle On August 8, 2014 @ 11:30 am

Keith Beveridge calls upon Palestinians to “join Israel as citizens in support of peace, freedom and prosperity…[in a] One State Solution.”

A truly excellent proposal, Mr. Beveridge! The One State Solution – one person, one vote – worked well to end the fighting in South Africa and it can work well to end the fighting in Israel-Palestine, too.

Most Palestinians — including Hamas — would support at One State Solution in which all Israelis and Palestinians join together as citizens of one country.

Currently the Israeli government not only does not support a One State Solution – they actually appear to fear it. (Something about the Palestinian birth rate and Palestinians eventually becoming a majority in a One State Knesset.)

But if the Israeli government can be persuaded to come on board, The One State Solution will surely, automatically get the same backing from the U.S. and the E.U. that The One State Solution got in the case of South Africa.

And – with the Palestinians already in agreement – we will have ourselves the long-awaited, much-prayed-for PEACE DEAL FOR ISRAEL-PALESTINE!

#28 Comment By Scott McConnell On August 8, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

@Keith Beveridge: If there was any chance that Israel would accept Palestinians as equal citizens, groups like Hamas would have no support, and never would have had any to begin with.

#29 Comment By Mr. Perfect On August 8, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

“Is this really a conservative site? “

That’s American conservative, friend. The kind who revere the constitution and have actually read it. We take our cues from the Founding Fathers, not Tel Aviv.

#30 Comment By tzx4 On August 9, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

I will pile on here as well.

@Keith Beveridge :

If one defines conservatism as Right Wing reactionary positions on various issues, and subscribes to profane media infotainment entities such as Mr. Drudge, Fox “News” and Mr. Limbaugh, then yes, this is not a conservative site, not by your definition of “Conservative”. It is possible to support left wing ideas and policies, and be conservative at the same time. Please look at a few different dictionary definitions of the word. The aforementioned Right wing media are in fact on many issues, radically liberal in that they want profound changes immediately, even if such rapid changes cause great disruption, difficulties, and suffering.
I do find myself to the left of many of the positions taken by various essayists and commentators on this site. I visit this site frequently because by and large it presents complex, well informed, adult, respectful and common sense debate and discussion. It is a rational thinking man’s oasis in the internet desert.

#31 Comment By Keith Beveridge On August 9, 2014 @ 7:37 pm

Israel is a pluralistic parliamentary democracy, so every citizen has a right to vote there. If Hamas and the Arabs in Palestine made the decision, they could agree to pledge their allegiance to that system and they would soon have all the rights and priviledges pertaining thereto. What am I missing?

#32 Comment By Michael in NYC On August 10, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

It’s profoundly refreshing to read the truth about the land stealing and child murdering Zionist Death Star.

The colonial era ended long ago, except in the one sad case of Occupied Palestine.

#33 Comment By Elias On August 10, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

The type of fascism Israel is practicing is called ethnic fascism where Jewishness and being a goyim makes a huge difference as to how an individual is treated. The best example is the treatment of it’s Arab citizens that are treated like 3rd class citizens and are always looked upon as enemies.
The massacre in Gaza and in particular the deliberate slaughter of children and the destruction of schools, hospitals and places of worship and above all the collective punishment of an entire population that has defied the Zionist colonialism and apartheid is a clear signal that Israel has already become a fascist state.
If the Israelis and their supporters want and are interested to get rid of such reality and restore some respect to their settler state then they need to consider shedding themselves of such criminal personalities such as Netanyahu and the racists and tribalist Ashkenazy elite that have turned Israel to a fascist state.

#34 Comment By Jack S On August 10, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

This says it all:

“He recently called for…all of Hamas and its supporters to be “annihilated.”

THAT is facist? Annihilating a terror organization and its backers?

#35 Comment By sglover On August 10, 2014 @ 11:34 pm

Simple Kind of Man says:

…how dare Israel expect Americans to pay for its wars? How dare Israel leech off the American taxpayer – going on 40 years now? How dare Israel put American lives at risk of terror blowback by using US aid to build settlements in the West Bank?

All true, but to my mind all dwarfed by one thing you forgot: Israel’s incessant campaign to goad the U.S. into a disastrous war with Iran.

This is not the behavior of a “friend”. If anything, this is the behavior of a genuine enemy.

#36 Comment By icarusr On August 11, 2014 @ 10:18 am

Stevemmm

Of course the Israelis are the fascists, never mind the fact that the other side keeps this conflict going and uses their own people as human shields to protect their missiles, holding their own people hostage.

When Germany went to war against Russia, it was quite possible to claim that Germany was a murderous fascist state even as Russia had already perfected the art of mass slaughter.

Hamas bad, we get it. The point is, if Israel wants to be accepted and treated by the West as a Western liberal democracy, then it needs to play by Western liberal democratic rules. If Israel wants merely to be favourably compared to Hamas, great. I will concede your point on Hamas, but I am not sure it will help Israel much.

Jack S

THAT is facist? Annihilating a terror organization and its backers?

Hamas won in relatively free elections. Most of its “backers” are Palestinian civilians. To call for their annihilation might be “fascist” as such, but it is certainly genocidal. Your choice.

#37 Comment By Quimbob On August 11, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

It’s not fair?
I find it interesting to decide to look at Israel’s possible shift to fascism & violence and not look at the more alarming crazy, violent fascists who have already sprung up in Hamas.

#38 Comment By Barry On August 11, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

Micha: “As for the current conflict in Israel, the “poorly armed militias” struck first and kept on striking until they provoked the Israeli self-protective response they so eagerly desired. The USA has invaded Mexico on less provocation multiple times.”

No, they didn’t:

[13]

[14]

There was an agreement; Hamas did an excellent job of keeping it; Israel never tried and violated it quite freely.

That’s another signpost on the road to fascism.

It’s not necessarily the first time, but it’s quite clear now that this was a deliberate Israeli war of aggression. They had a peaceful situation, and deliberately caused a war, for political gain.

#39 Comment By Dain On August 11, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

The question has to be asked: Is Israel “fascist” relative to the country’s ideals, or to its opponents?

The above is implied in the way many commenters are talking past each other.

#40 Comment By Maire On August 12, 2014 @ 12:24 am

If democracy collapses in Israel, it is merely a bellwether for the West in general. Anyone can be open and democratic when times are easy. It’s when you’re thrown into the fire that the real test comes, and Israel was thrown into that fire from day one. How far do you think any European nation is from behaving as Israel does? Or America? Remember back when Bush et al. wanted to invade Iraq and everybody was cool with it, ’cause patriotism and 9/11? Now imagine 9/11 is happening every decade and it’s not coming from people halfway around the world but from Mexico and Canada. Western European countries are now averaging a Muslim population of 4% and you’d think the f-ing apocalypse had arrived, to listen to ‘mainstream’ right of center political figures. Yes, mainstream. Oh yes, Mr. Mc Connell, Gaza has revealed much about Israel. How much more has it revealed about the delicate nature of democracy itself.

#41 Comment By Keith Beveridge On August 12, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

In a Democratic republic, it is crucial for people to put libertarian conservative idealism, for instance the rule of law, the rights of individual liberty and self rule, above ethnocentric collectivist ideas. From what I understand, Israel, like the U.S., does this for the most part. This is the kind of conservatism that we all must adhere to. To say that Israel treats Arabs as “third class citizens” when it is the Arabs themselves who hold to their collectivist racialism with a death grip, is disingenuous. As I said before, the government structure in Israel allows for open debate and “best ideas win” politics. That is about all you can hope for in this world, and to condemn Israel as “fascist” is so “not conservative” that we almost need to flat out ignore those opinions.

#42 Comment By Gazza On August 13, 2014 @ 10:28 am

Keith Beveridge says:
August 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Israeli Arabs are institutionally disenfranchised by the Jewish majority (ever hear of a little thing called a gerrymander?). 20% of the population is represented by a small handful of Arab MEK members and they are routinely harassed and threatened by the rabid right-wing, especially when Arab members openly challenge the narrative of the Jewish state. Israeli’s of Arab ethnicity have sub-standard education, housing, medical care, employment opportunities, and continuously accused of “disloyalty” as though somehow the Palestinan Israelis are expected to accept and embrace the idea of a Jewish State where they are relegated to 2nd class status by deed if not law. They are routinely discriminated against in every way by the Jewish dominated institutions, and you insist on your denial, in spite of all evidence, that Israel is a fascist state?

#43 Comment By James On August 14, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

All this talk of an Israeli lurch to the right or even to fascism is absolute rot. Do you guys know anything about the current state of Israeli politics? Sorry to be impolite, but the facts are that i) as a revealing recent article in The New Republic recently showed, Netanyahu has shifted far closer to the (right of) center, ii) arguably the most powerful party in the Knesset is the new left-wing party led by the charismatic former journalist Yair Lapid, iii) arguably the Labor Party, once written off, is currently resurgent under the increasingly impressive Isaac Herzog, iv) Tzipi Livni, the centrist and pro-two state Justice Minister, is again emerging as a big influence on affairs, v) this is the first government in years without any religious parties in the coalition, vi) the very right-wing Avigdor Liberman has greatly slipped in status and power. So what we have is a slightly right-of-centre coalition bloc, with some influential far right-wingers but many more lefties. The terms right and left don’t really work in Israel the way they work elsewhere, and basically mean pro-land-for-peace (left) or don’t-trust-that-land-will-result-in-peace (right). Anyway, to say that Israel is lurching towards fascism is wrong – but if there is any danger to clear thinking it is the fear of a tiny country, however well-armed, set against states like Iran and Syria who, with their proxies in Gaza and Lebanon (Hezbollah watching what happens in Gaza, with their 120,000 missiles at the ready – thanks UNIFIL for keeping your promise to stop them rearming), would be delighted to drive the Jews into the sea. In a state that takes only five hours to drive from top to tail, and is two miles wide at its narrowest point (without the West Bank), that wouldn’t take long.

#44 Comment By James On August 14, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

There are also important factual mistakes in this article. Ayelet Shaked did NOT call for genocide on anyone – she was mistranslated, willfully by a website called Electronic Intafada – this was picked up by Haaretz, then the Daily Beast (who have since altered their article). She wrote a subsequent clarification. Feiglin did NOT call for Palestinians to be resettled in concentration camps – he called for “generous financial packages” to invite them to leave, while the IDF could then more freely battle Hamas without hurting citizens who wanted to leave, and after that the Palestinian citizens could come back, again with financial compensation, and ‘make Gaza like Jaffa’. I don’t agree with him but it is very far from this article’s twisting of the facts.

#45 Comment By Curt Day On August 17, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

What happened in Germany and what is happening in Israel is particular to neither ethnicity nor culture. What the two, Germany during the ’30s and ’40s along with today’s Israel, have in common, though much different in degree, is a past in which they were oppressed and/or humiliated. And it is from their experiences, rather than feeling empathy for others, key people felt entitled to grab what they could in compensation for the past. To that we add nationalism and once that grows it becomes the icing on the cake.

And though we might argue about the degree of sadism involved, what we see in both israel’s treatment of Gaza and its rising popularity of racism is what we we’ve seen throughout the history of the world. For example, how did our forefathers, who fled here to escape religious persecution, treat both the American Indians and Blacks? In fact, our treatment of the American Indians and Blacks has been so horrid that it qualified us as a country that deserved to be invaded for humanitarian concerns

We know that on both a micro and macro level, abuse spawns abuse. But if the prize we’re eyeing is great enough, we’ll find ways to deny that and what the ominous combination of the historical fact that nobody stays on top for ever and paybacks can be horrible. For the person or group we have the ability to torture today can easily become the group that tortures either us or somebody else tomorrow.

And thus, if we are going to do something about the horrendous acts Israel is committing, we need to use the future as our guide. Yes, we must be firm enough to stop what Israel is doing. But we also need to realize that how we treat them today can easily become how they treat us or somebody else tomorrow. We are dealing with a human problem in Israel which is global. And dehumanizing the latest bad guy only maintains the status quo.

#46 Comment By John On August 25, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

I am pleased that some in the US are finally waking up to the reality that is “Israel”.
Not before time, of course. One would have thought the attack on the USS Liberty would have made people wake up – but perhaps it just takes time for them to do so.
What is happening inside “Israel” today is the emergence of a National Judaist ideology, similar to the National Socialist ideology in Nazi Germany.
Someone else pointed out that the insatiable lust for land is the equivalent liebensraum policy of the National Judaist regime in Tel Aviv, using their own versions of the Wehrmact, Luftwaffe and Kriegesmarine to inflict a Warsaw Uprising outcome on Gaza.
Also, where the Nazis used military agrression in pursuit of a Greater Reich so too is “Israel” – or its Ashkenzim elite – committed to a Greater (Eretz) “Israel”.
The news today that UAE jets have bombed Islamist fanatics in Libya, using air bases in Egypt, is a clear sign of the loss of US ethical leadership in the world.
Why is this?
Because the lessons of Zionists ignoring any and all pressures from the US have been now learned by others in the region.
In addition, whatall parties in the Middle East have learned is that a do-nothing Lame Duck President in the White House, coupled with an achieve-nothing Congress means that US intentions can now be largely ignored.
What exactly has the US achieved in the region in recent years? The Islamic State.