Jewish attitudes on Israel and White advocacy: Similarities and differences

There’s no question that voices within the Jewish community critical of Israel are gaining momentum—people like Peter Beinart, websites like Mondoweiss, the J Street lobbying group, and significant Jewish involvement in the BDS movement. It’s a good sign, but the jury is still out on whether it will ultimately influence policy change, either in Israel or the U.S. Despite some losses in the last election, Netanyahu is still in charge and no one is suggesting that there will be any change in settlement policy or any tangible changes in the plight of the Palestinians. In the U.S., the Israel Lobby is still enormously powerful as shown by the Hagel nomination hearings. Israel and Israel’s main enemy, Iran, dominated the questioning from senators for both sides. Democrats sought cover by getting simple assurances that Hagel would defend Israel, while several Republicans unleashed a torrent of hostility. Given Hagel’s groveling, there are doubts that there can be meaningful policy change by the U.S. government. Beinart comments that

if the aim of the hearings was also to begin building a case for Obama’s second term foreign policy—a foreign policy that brings military spending into balance with economic resources and aggressively pursues diplomacy with Iran, and maybe Israel and the Palestinians too—Hagel failed. And if he continues to fail as a foreign policy spokesman once confirmed, that second term agenda will be harder to achieve.

But of course, the aim of the hearings was not at all to build a case for a second-term policy. It’s a lot more likely that the purpose was to signal a change in policy, particularly regarding raising the bar for war with Iran, while not directly confronting the power of the Lobby.

But the question I want to pose is what the trajectory of Jewish attitudes on Israel bodes for possible changes in Jewish attitudes on the displacement of White America.

The oppression of the Palestinians resulting from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has been going on for well over 40 years and we are only now beginning to see cracks in the wall of Jewish support for Israel. For all this time and even now, Israel has held out hope for a negotiated peace while continuing to make facts on the ground that are completely incompatible with a two-state solution. For the entire period, successive U.S. administrations have opposed settlements, as has the UN. For the entire period, well-informed, factually based critiques were available but were completely marginalized.

But now, despite all the Jewish power in the media, the situation in Israel has become so obviously ugly that it can’t be papered over. There have been cracks within elite foreign policy circles in the U.S., most notably Mearsheimer and Walt’s book The Israel Lobby. And there has been significant erosion of support for Israel by European countries to the point that UN votes basically pit the U.S. and Israel against the rest of the world.

At the point when it has become clear that there could be very negative consequences for Israel and for diaspora Judaism if things continue this way, people like Beinart step in to attempt to steer the discussion in a way that keeps it within boundaries and doesn’t lead to any questioning of the main thrust of historical Judaism. Indeed, Mondoweiss has banned comments that attribute Israeli behavior, such as the many manifestations of racialist attitudes toward Palestinians and non-Jewish immigrants, to any traits fundamental to Judaism. In general, Jews who are critical of Israel wish to remain within the Jewish community. (Beinart attends an Orthodox synagogue.)

Rather than being out in front of the mainstream Jewish community, the upsurge in critiques of Israel by Jews has been in response to critiques that originated elsewhere—with the Palestinians and their allies. Further, their critiques may be seen as minimalist in the sense that they make the least possible criticism without ever calling into question basic features of historical Judaism, such as concern with racial purity and instrumental attitudes and behavior toward non-Jews. The critiques resemble a debate in the Knesset—differences of opinion on what is best for the Jews.

Such critiques are useful for Jews even if they are not successful because they belie the notion that there is a monolithic Jewish attitude on Israel. For example, during faculty debates at my university I would bring up the huge contrasts between Israeli policies and attitudes versus those of the American Jewish community on issues like immigration and multiculturalism. But it was easy for my opponents to simply say they had criticisms of Israel. Then, with a clear conscience, they would focus all their activism not on changing Israeli policies but on furthering White displacement and the multicultural revolution in the U.S.

So what does this suggest for thinking about White advocacy?

  • We are still in 1967 in terms of awareness or concern about the displacement of White America. Unlike the case with the Palestinians, there is no large, aggrieved population of Whites who are aware of the role the Jews and the organized Jewish community have played in bringing about a non-White America. Indeed, a great many Whites remain oblivious to White displacement or are even hostile toward the White majority. (This is most apparent in the university; see the recent video by Jared Taylor discussing anti-White attitudes common in academia—an aspect of the drumbeat emanating from elites throughout the West that the West is evil.)  White anger and insecurity are already a common theme of political commentary, manifesting itself in the Tea Party movement and by working class Whites voting for Republicans even when it’s not in their economic interest to do so. But White unease remains inchoate, at least partly because of the failure of mainstream conservatives to frame the debate in terms of legitimate White interests. Instead, mainstream conservatives pontificate about issues like “big government” as causing the malaise of their anxious and angry, predominantly White audiences.
  • Just as pro-Israel forces have dominated the American media and have used their power to punish their opponents by getting them fired, White advocates are in grievous danger if they publicly voice their opinions. (Glenn Greenwald: “in the US, there are few more efficient ways to have your reputation and career as a politician or academic destroyed than by saying something perceived as critical of Israel. This is not news. Ask Chas Freeman. Or Ocatavia Nasr. Or Finkelstein. Or Juan Cole. Or Stephen Walt. Or Chuck Hagel.”) Although the Hagel nomination is an indication that people the Israel Lobby doesn’t like may survive in public life, we are a long way from the  point where an explicit White advocate could survive in a public capacity. Imagine the response if Hagel had to explain pro-White statements from his past. There would be absolutely no chance of confirmation.
  • Just as Israeli racialism and oppression of the Palestinians has gotten to the point that it cannot be papered over, the  consequences for Whites of immigration, multiculturalism, affirmative action, and elite anti-White attitudes cannot be covered up indefinitely. Already we have a president who feels no need to seek the approval of socially conservative Whites who formerly voted Democrat, mainly for economic reasons. Another easy win by the Democrats in 2016 despite the Republicans caving on illegal immigration and despite lopsided percentages of Whites of all social classes, age groups and both sexes voting Republican would further sharpen the racial battle lines. The decline in White political power combined with increased perceptions of White victimization (affirmative action, the 40-fold greater likelihood of Black on White crime compared to White on Black crime [see Jared Taylor’s video], continued dysfunctional family patterns, low educational achievement, and high welfare dependency in the Black and Latino communities) and policies such as gun control, legalizing illegal aliens, and gay marriage that run counter to deeply held attitudes among socially conservative White Americans — all of these are a politically explosive combination.
  • If and when this political backlash takes shape (the sooner the better), it will be strongly opposed by the organized Jewish community. But if it begins to gain traction we can expect strongly identified Jews to begin to criticize the mainstream Jewish community on issues related to White political power, immigration, and anti-White attitudes among elites.  Just as Jews like Beinart are motivated by their perception that it’s in the best interest of both Israel and diaspora Judaism to make a fair peace with the Palestinians, some of these Jews may be motivated, at least on the surface, by the view that the decline of White America is bad for the Jews. Already there is some concern in Jewish quarters that non-White Americans are much less likely to be sympathetic to Jewish concerns than Whites are.
  • As with criticisms of the Israel Lobby, the critiques will be reactive in the sense that critiques of the role of the Jewish community will originate elsewhere. High profile responses that are sympathetic to White interests would occur only when the movement for White interests is seen as a real threat to the Jewish community.
  • As with the Palestinians, the critiques will be minimalist in the sense that they will not dwell on the role of Jews and the organized Jewish community in producing the current state of affairs. This suggests that these Jewish critics would support organizations like American Renaissance that do not discuss the role of Jews and the organized Jewish community in creating the current malaise.
  • One of their main consequences will be to break the perception that there is a monolithic Jewish perspective on these issues. As with Jewish critiques of Israel, there are beneficial effects even when they fail to change policy.

This all hinges on an eventual crisis in White America when they begin to grasp what these changes really mean. It is possible there will be no crisis but rather a slow, gradual whimper as Whites accept their fate as a conquered people even when there are glaring gaps between present reality and the advertised future of a harmonious and prosperous multicultural future. But it’s well established in psychology that groups become more cohesive and self-conscious when they are minorities and when they see their group under competitive threat. We’ll see….