Kevin MacDonald: Any doubt about the real attitudes within Israel toward peace have been removed with the announcement of housing starts in East Jerusalem timed to coincide with Vice-President Joe Biden’s visit. For that, we should be thankful to Eli Yishai, the Israeli Minister of Internal Affairs, who, by most accounts is responsible for the timing of the announcement. As Gideon Levy noted in Haaretz, “the timing, which everyone is complaining about, was brilliant. It was exactly the time to call a spade a spade. As always, we need Yishai (and occasionally [Foreign Minister] Avigdor Lieberman) to expose our true face, without the mask and lies, and play the enfant terrible who shouts that the emperor has no clothes.”
Rather than the 1600 units that were announced originally, now we learn that there are 50,000 housing units planned for Jerusalem in various stages of the approval and construction process. And the “settlement freeze” turns out to be at best a slowing down. Even the settlers aren’t complaining about the policy any more because they are basically getting what they want.
So Yishai’s announcement saves everyone lots of time. The “proximity talks” will now be called off — a blessing because otherwise there would have been another charade of talking while construction continues. We would have had to hear endless hyping of the talks in the media and from governments. In the end, they would collapse anyway, and the US media would treat us to nuanced and articulate op-eds by Israel’s fifth column.
Because the problem is that the Israelis want the land — all of it. They want all of Jerusalem and they want the West Bank (for starters), and there is nothing to stop the slow motion, grinding process by which they are getting it. As a result, there really is nothing to negotiate. Negotiations are simply ways to entertain people who read newspapers and watch television and make them think something is really happening. Or might possibly be happening way off in the future.
The Obama Administration is doubtless rather unhappy with what happened, but its acolytes in Congress will certainly not allow settlements and construction to stand in the way of total support for Israel. As noted here, perhaps the only potentially serious consequence is that the Obama Administration will be more reluctant to take the initiative in promoting Israel’s project of destroying Iran. That’s all to the good, but it won’t change the US’s bedrock fealty to Israel.
Nevertheless, like the horrific Gaza invasion, there will also be effects on perceptions of Israel. Despite increasingly desperate attempts at image management, it becomes even less possible (if that is conceivable) to argue that the Palestinians are the main impediment to peace. Slowly but surely people are getting the message that Israel is an aggressive, expansionist ethnostate committed to apartheid and fewer rights for Israeli Arabs, with a long term goal of ethnic cleansing. It is able to be all this while maintaining US fealty even as it sticks yet another finger in its eye.
Ultimately the behavior of Israel will also affect perceptions of Jews in the US and other Western countries. How long can the various positive narratives about Jews that have been so common in the West, especially since World War II, survive? The narratives of Jews as passive victims suffering at the hands of brutal and irrational enemies throughout history, of Judaism as representing a unique moral vision for all of humanity, of Judaism as a light unto the nations. People are increasingly realizing that there is a complete disconnect between these images and the actual behavior of Jews when they have power. The image of Israelis carrying out ethnic cleansing will be seen as far more congruent with the image of Jewish Bolsheviks engaged in political oppression and mass murder than with the self-images that Jews have managed establish for themselves throughout the West.
So the good news from all of this is that Israel is gradually revealing itself for what it really is — a very telling commentary on the real nature of Jews and Judaism that is supported to the hilt by the organized Jewish community throughout the Diaspora. The sooner people get that message, the sooner there will be real change away from the transformational public policy changes that have been so successfully advocated by Jewish activist organizations in the last 50 years in the West. All of these changes relied on a moral vision — the moral imperative of mass immigration, the moral superiority of multiculturalism, and especially the moral illegitimacy of White identity and interests. The Jewish community has been the most powerful voice preaching this vision, but it has no moral standing at all. Truly, the emperor truly has no clothes.