Kevin MacDonald: Israel again illustrates the true nature of Judaism

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.

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J.J. Goldberg’s Reflections on Purim

Forward columnist J. J. Goldberg is distinguished among Jewish writers for acknowledging that yes, Jews are indeed powerful. The basic message of his 1996 book, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment,  was that American Judaism is well organized and lavishly funded. It has achieved a great deal of power, and it has been successful in achieving its interests.

Goldberg’s book is a good rejoinder to those who claim that the Jewish community is hopelessly divided on all issues and therefore doesn’t have any net effect on public policy. His book acknowledged that in fact there is a great deal of consensus on broad Jewish issues, particularly in the areas of Israel and the welfare of other foreign Jewries, immigration and refugee policy, church-state separation, abortion rights, and civil liberties. As I noted in CofC, the massive changes in public policy on these issues beginning with the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s coincide with the period of increasing Jewish power and influence in the United States.

Goldberg tackled Jewish power again in a recent Forward column, “Purim’s Lessons About Diaspora Power.” Again the point is that Jews are certainly not the weak, beset group typically presented by activist organizations like the ADL. He notes that since WWII, Jewish power increased while the enemies of Jews “declined in numbers and influence.” However, he sees a fundamental change:

Today, quite unexpectedly, we’re back where we started. Diaspora Jews still have resources to protect their interests and values, as they’ve had since World War II. But Jewish communities also face mounting threats from real enemies once again, thanks to the combined effects of the September 11 attacks, the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the Iraq War. Anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activists and ideologues have taken to claiming with unaccustomed boldness that organized Jewry controls and undermines whole governments and industries. Israel’s sworn enemies are broadening their focus and taking aim — with words and sometimes with bombs — at Israel’s closest overseas ally, the Jewish community. Perhaps most important, verbal attacks on organized American Jewish activity are no longer taboo. Diaspora Jewry hasn’t lost legitimacy, but its enemies have regained theirs.

Israel and Diaspora Jewish communities are indeed being criticized as never before. Right now, there is Israeli Apartheid Week aimed at boycotts, demonstrations, and divestment from Israel.  At this point, you would  have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the iron grip that the Israel Lobby has on US foreign policy and at its role in fomenting the Iraq war.

I would also  like to think that people are becoming more willing to openly and honestly discuss Jewish influence in the other areas mentioned in Goldberg’s 1996 book, especially on immigration policy and other areas related to multiculturalism. That is certainly what we at TOO are trying to do.

Goldberg makes two remarkable recommendations:

First, remember that [in the Purim story] Haman plotted to destroy the Jews because Mordecai insulted him. Sometimes your enemies hate you because of something you did, not just who you are. Sometimes a small concession now can save a lot of grief later.

Wouldn’t it be great if people like Abe Foxman, Heidi Beirich, and Mark Potok took that to heart? — that some criticisms of Jews are not just “canards” based on ancient prejudices but reflect real conflicts of interest in the contemporary world. But of course, it’s unrealistic. The organized Jewish community cannot acknowledge Jewish involvement in promoting the Iraq war any more than it can acknowledge its role in promoting and financing immigration and multiculturalism into Western societies. The changes unleashed by Jewish influence in America have been profound–literally transformational. Taking any responsibility would be dangerous indeed for Jews, especially as we see that American politics is increasing defined by racial identity.

Further, especially in Israel, Jewish behavior is on “feed forward” in the sense that the most committed Jews are in determining the direction of policy. It’s always been that way, and in the contemporary world, this means that the fundamentalists, the settlers, and the overtly racialist Zionists are in the driver’s seat, dominating the most right wing government in Israeli history.  The result is that Israeli expansionism, apartheid, and the oppression of the Palestinians will not be halted as a result of pressures within the Jewish community. The American Jewish community will continue to support all this — despite the glaring hypocrisy such behavior implies given the role of Jews as a pillar of multiculturalism in the Diaspora. There will be no concessions.

As a result, the ADL’s policy of condemning any discussion of Jewish influence will doubtless continue. Reasonable criticism must be completely suppressed because any leak in the dike is likely to lead to a deluge. And yet, as Goldberg seems to be admitting, Jewish influence can’t be ignored forever. I think he’s probably right. At least, I hope so.

Goldberg’s second bit of advice is: “Don’t abandon your intermarried relatives. They might save your life some day.” In other words, there is likely to be an anti-Jewish backlash at some point, and Jews had better be prepared. It’s an interesting suggestion to look to intermarried Jews for help. Goldberg’s implicit theory is that blood ties are critical in the end, and I couldn’t agree with him more.

Although intermarriage is often condemned in the Jewish community and there are high profile programs like Birthright Israel aimed at reducing it, several Jewish theorists have pointed out that intermarriage has certain strategic benefits for Judaism.  Chapter 9 of Separation and Its Discontents has the following quote from two Jewish scholars of the Diaspora:

The successful exercise of influence is best achieved in a community with a large subset of members interacting with politicians and opinion leaders. Through intermarried Jews themselves, and certainly through their social networks involving Jewish family and friends who may be closer to the core of the community, Jewish concerns, interests, and sensibilities can be articulated before a wider, more influential audience. In a recent interview, Presidential aide Robert Lipshutz traced the origin of Jimmy Carter’s concern for Israel to his close friendship with a first cousin, an Orthodox Jew (Carter’s aunt married a Jewish man, and their two children were raised as Jews). Intermarrying Jews, while perhaps diluting the community in one sense, perform compensating strategic functions in another. (Lieberman and Weinfeld, Demographic trends and Jewish survival. Midstream 24 (November), 1978, 16.)

Goldberg’s comment agrees with my conclusion:

The deepest layers of Jewish commitment [i.e., Orthodox, Conservative and other strongly ethnic forms of Judaism] constitute the long-term well spring of Judaism, with the outer layers acting as mere temporary appendages that will be cast off in the long run. This deep inner layer of very intense group commitment provides demographic vigor to replenish those in the outer layers [i.e., they’re the ones having the babies] who are gradually moving away from Judaism while nevertheless performing political and social roles that are indispensable for the contemporary vitality of Judaism. Such a perspective essentially agrees with the views of political scientist Michael Walzer (1994, 5), who notes that without radical transformation, secular Judaism cannot reproduce itself; since the Enlightenment, “it [has] remained parasitic on an older religious Judaism that it didn’t and couldn’t pass on.”

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The New Republic’s “High Shul phase”

Andrew Sullivan is busy attempting to exonerate himself from charges of anti-Semitism — always a difficult chore, and likely to consume quite a bit of his time given Leon Wieseltier’s rather long accusatory piece. Sullivan’s offense is that he circulated a comment of poet W. H. Auden that it would be to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the secular leftist TNR writers of the 1940s. How anyone could think of that as “anti-Semitic” is beyond me.

Sullivan’s first line of defense is to link to his “passionate defense of the Jewish people from Catholic bigotry.” I’m sure Sullivan is thinking, “Hey, I earned my stripes as a goy in the media by defending Jews. How dare you question my motives!”

But then it gets interesting. We find that Jews think of TNR as a Jewish publication. Wieseltier himself is quoted as saying that TNR is a kind of “Jewish version of Commentary.” (Update: HelenChicago, a commenter on this blog writes, “”A Jewish version of Commentary“?!? Isn’t that a bit like “a kosher version of matzoh”? Wish I had thought of that. As we all know, Commentary is published by the American Jewish Committee.)

Sullivan notes that “my old friend, Frank Foer” (translation: “some of my best friends are Jews”) commented that Auden made his statement “before we entered our High Shul phase.” And he goes on to describe the “joke ubiquitous at TNR when I worked there . … We teased each other for years about my being one of the few goyim at the place, that I was a function of affirmative action, etc. Leon was particularly and often mordantly hilarious on this kind of theme.”

This reminds me of Michael Wreszin’s comment that Dwight Macdonald, a member of the New York Intellectuals and contributor to Partisan Review, was “a distinguished goy among the Partisanskies.” He stood out because he was a goy in a Jewish-dominated movement. Always good to have a few goyim for window dressing.

Pretty clearly, the Jews who run TNR think of it as a Jewish publication. But one dare not say that Jews influence the media or that Jews attempt to use their position in the media to advance their version of Jewish interests (or that the New York York Intellectuals were a Jewish intellectual movement). Auden’s quote happened before TNR became a High Shul — a presumably the consequence of Martin Peretz buying TNR and turning it into a fanatically pro-Israel publication. This is a passage in The Culture of Critique:

Jews have also been greatly overrepresented as editors, publishers and contributors to a variety of radical and liberal periodicals, including The Nation, The New Republic, and The Progressive (Rothman & Lichter 1982, 105). In 1974 The New Republic (TNR) was purchased by Martin Peretz, son of a “devoted Labor Zionist and right-wing Jabotinskyist” (Alterman 1992, 185) and himself a leftist student activist before moving in the direction of neoconservatism. The only consistent theme in Peretz’s career is a devotion to Jewish causes, particularly Israel. He reflects a major theme of Chapter 3 in that he abandoned the New Left when some in the movement condemned Israel as racist and imperialist. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, he told Henry Kissinger that his “dovishness stopped at the delicatessen door” (p. 185), and many among his staff feared that all issues would be decided on the basis of what was “good for the Jews” (p. 186). Indeed, one editor was instructed to obtain material from the Israeli embassy for use in TNR editorials. “It is not enough to say that TNR’s owner is merely obsessed with Israel; he says so himself. But more importantly, Peretz is obsessed with Israel’s critics, Israel’s would-be critics, and people who never heard of Israel, but might one day know someone who might someday become a critic” (p. 195).

Sullivan better watch it — he’s just getting himself in deeper. All those quotes from Jews who joke among themselves about Jewish control of particular media outlets like TNR are for internal consumption only. For someone like him — or me — to mention it will certainly draw the ire of people like Wieseltier and the ADL. Tune in for more on this as it unfolds.

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Kevin MacDonald: Charles Dodgson on Stratfor

Kevin MacDonald: Charles Dodgson’s current TOO article “Stratfor’s Global Forecast: Myopia or Neoconservative Manipulation?” is a real eye-opener. I have often seen Stratfor’s forecasts distributed on email lists and other venues as representing objective, hardheaded analysis. Now it turns out that Stratfor is run by a strongly identified Jew who sees the world through a typical neoconservative Jewish lens — biased toward Israel. And, by emphasizing the benefits of immigration into Western countries but not the ethnic costs to Whites, Stratfor is an effective cheerleader for White dispossession in Europe and America.

Because they are tiny minority in Western societies, all  successful Jewish intellectual and political movements  must appeal to non-Jews. This has certainly been true of the Jewish movements of the left that dominate so much of contemporary thinking in the West. This is also true of neoconservative movements, and Dodgson’s analysis shows that Stratfor appeals to non-Jewish conservatives because  it emphasizes national sovereignty and other hot button conservative issues. But, in the end, Stratfor is yet another illustration of neoconservative Jews  reinforcing the fundamentally leftist, multicultural, anti-White status quo in the West while simultaneously advocating Jewish ethnic nationalism in Israel.

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Jimmy Carter Grovels

One of the virtues of being an ex-president is that there is no need to cater to the political constituencies that are essential for election. American presidential candidates, and especially Democrats, are beholden to Jewish financial support, and Jews are an important swing voting bloc in several states, especially New York. I recall that the first time I thought about Jewish influence, at least in a negative way, was during the 1976 election campaign when Jimmy Carter made the obligatory campaign stop in New York and pledged fealty to Israel.

But since his presidency, Carter has definitely gotten on the bad side of serious Zionists — prototypically the folks at David Horowitz’s Here’s the video version of Jimmy Carter’s War Against the Jews. (Pop Quiz: An article on Frontpagemag complains that a certain religious group defiles Christmas and this year engaged in a “hatefest” on Christmas Day. Which group is it? For answer, see here.)

But now Carter has apologized. “We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel.” In particular, he now says that the use of the word ‘apartheid’ in the title of his 2008 book was a prediction of the future if the Palestinians are not allowed to control the West Bank, not a comment on present realities. Moreover, “Carter said he never meant to convey the impression that the pro-Israel lobby silenced criticism of Israel, only that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee was the “most influential lobbying group” and that presidents including himself and congresses have historically been “totally committed” to Israel’s security.

Since Carter realizes the West Bank is an apartheid society (complete with walls of separation, separate roads for Jews and Arabs, etc.) and since the Israel Lobby does indeed have a long history of doing everything it can to silence its critics (see Cong. Paul Finley’s aptly named They Dare to Speak Out [1st edition, 1985]) and since Carter is well aware of all of this, his apology is has to count as groveling. To be sure, Carter claims that his views are mainstream (e.g., he says his positions are the same as J Street’s). But this is surely a significant move on Carter’s part, especially since he now asserts things that are manifestly untrue. So what possessed him to make such a statement?

Although he denies it, there is a strong suspicion that the statement was intended to help Jason Carter, his grandson, in his campaign for the state senate in Georgia in a district with a “substantial” Jewish community. Indeed, JTA reports that “The younger Carter has been trying for days to reach Liane Levetan, a former state senator and CEO of DeKalb County, and as soon as they connected Tuesday, he directed her to the JTA Web site to read the letter.” Jason obviously has a bright future in politics.

Pretty much no matter what Jimmy Carter says, at this point he is persona non grata with Jews. Jimmy Carter’s former honesty will not be forgiven and it will not be forgotten. Groveling never helps, but it may well help Jason: The article notes that Jesse Jackson’s son managed to have a political life despite the transgressions of his father, but only after a lot of fence mending with Jews.

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Israel’s fallback position on organ harvesting

Following up on Alison Weir’s article “Israeli Organ Trafficking and Theft: From Palestine to Moldava,” Israel now admits that they harvested organs of Palestinians and others without permission from the families. But they say it happened during the 1990s and that the practice has been discontinued. It’s worth mentioning that Donald Bostrom’s chilling account refers precisely to the 1990s. Bostrom’s article has been translated into English and is posted as a TOO article. The article includes a very graphic photo of a Palestinian whose gaping chest wound had been stitched up —  obviously consistent with organ harvesting. This Palestinian was a stone thrower who had been murdered by the Israeli army, his body then taken away for “autopsy.”

Yet when Bostrom’s article came out it was described as the worst sort of anti-Semitism in the Israeli press and by Jewish activist organizations throughout the  world. If the practice has indeed stopped, I suppose it is only because of the glare of this negative publicity.

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Shlomo Sand’s Invention

Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People is a book full of counter productive ideas for our side. I know it will attract interest for being anti-Zionist, but the author takes up the anti-Zionist argument for all the wrong reasons. He opposes the idea of an ethnostate — a result that would rule out everything except enclaves of implicit white communities. He is extremely anti-nationalist in political outlook; rejects the idea of race as a biological reality; dismisses research findings on Jewish genetics (see the recent blogpost by Ted Sallis for what the scientists say). He rejects the idea of Israel as a ethno-homeland for Jews. Ideologically Sand seems very much in line with the Jewish socialist tradition of Trotsky and Saul Alinsky.

In other words, this is a book by a radical leftist — Sand’s Wikipedia biography notes that he was a communist in his youth. Not  surprisingly, it was published by Verso, a leftwing publisher that has also given us the likes of Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, etc.

Although his book at times contains interesting admissions, overall his thesis rests on a number of flawed, counter-productive, and perilous arguments that racially conscious Whites should reject.

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