Something to be Learned from Israel?
On July 19th, Israel passed its “Basic Law” pertaining to “Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People”. Otherwise known as “The Nation-State Bill”, this law serves as a symbolic and declarative legal mechanism by which the Jewish peoples are able to further entrench the racial and religious status of their peoples as an integral part of their state.
With the recent relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem as of May 14th, Israel has begun to further define itself as a nation and develop its status in the region. These recent developments have been met with mixed emotions and mixed responses on both the Left and the Right. Regardless, what can be noted is that with Israel, the Jewish peoples have begun to come at things from a position of strength as opposed to one of decentralization and foreign dependency. Whether or not they will be able to hold on the the Holy Land is a matter that only time will tell, but perhaps, instead of looking to immediately condemn or praise them, we should give them credit where it is due and analyze the situation for what it is.
All groups are subject to friend-enemy disjunctions, with in-group preferences and out-group aversions. Sometimes some groups are more acutely aware of these dynamics and often end up thriving best within these dynamics as a result of this understanding. Groups that fail to understand these dynamics often have a hard time identifying who might be more hospitable towards them in contrast with who might be more hostile. The Jewish peoples, as a broader ethnic grouping or racial category (with the inclusion of Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and the Mizrahi), have a strong sense of this identity and have had this sense of identity throughout their history as a people. This is what has given them a continued legacy and heritage, and there is nothing wrong with this. A sense of identity is something that is common to all groups that have a cohesive existence over time.
A civilization has three factors which can either serve to unify it or divide it. One of these factors is ethnicity, as has been pointed out by Frank Salter in his “Diversity Research”, Robert Putnam in his “Bowling Alone” study, and according to a Cornell University study entitled “Good Fences: The Importance of Setting Boundaries for Peaceful Coexistence”. This is something that has even been noted as far back as Aristotle, who in section 1303a of Politics (Book V), claims that:
“Difference of race is a cause of faction, until harmony of spirit is reached; for just as any chance multitude of people does not form a state, so a state is not formed in any chance period of time.”
The concept that Aristotle is referencing here is one of philia, which, while corresponding with the term filial (implying a duty to one’s parents and elders), ultimately refers to a kind of fraternal love for one’s fellow citizen. This kind of love, while being grounded in the ethnos on one hand, also requires unity on the level of politics and culture, as Sam Huntington has noted in his book “Who We Are”. Israel, at this point, embodies all three of these types of love (racial, cultural, political).
Israel, as a state that is exclusive to a particular broad racial/ethnic and religious group, is an ethnostate, and what is practiced there is a kind of ethnonationalism. There is actually a distinct haplotype known as the Cohanim Modal Haplotype that is common to the three major Jewish ethnicities and their between-group similarity ultimately shows that they can be defined as a particular haplogroup and racial category. This is true to such an extent that there have been motions put forward to have genetic tests instituted as a requirement to become a Jewish citizen as recognized by the civil court. This has actually come up as an issue for Jewish immigrants from both Russia and Ethiopia. In the case of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, not only have they been faced with sterilization but the prospect of deportation into Christian, Western nations with immigration policy that is considerably more benevolent.
Israel is a theocracy, in other words, there is a state enforced religion with its corresponding culture. As self evident as this may be, part of the requirement to become a citizen of Israel is that you have to adhere to a particular religious creed (albeit one with a genetic component). Ultimately, this creates a monocultural dynamic where one can expect little tensions between the peoples who make it up. Israel has very little tolerance for Islam within its borders, just as it has also even recently banned Christians from the Gaza Strip from visiting Jerusalem. Interestingly enough, in some respect, this parallels Hungary’s recent decision to transition away from parliamentary government and towards a more explicitly and exclusively Christian government.
Israel is a single-ideology state. Just as the two major parties in Hungary are Hungarian nationalist parties, the two major parties in Israel are Pro-Zionist parties in the Knesset, which is the legislative branch of Israel’s government. Like Hungary’s legislature, the Knesset is unicameral, meaning that decisions are centralized in one legislate branch instead of having the checks and balances of many branches of government. Furthermore, like Hungary, Israel is a unitary state, meaning that decisions made on a sub-national level are consolidated on the national level. Furthermore, Israel’s president serves one eight year term, while the prime-minister retains the power to cease the legislative branch all together. In addition to all of this, mandatory military service is required of every eligible Israeli citizen, reinforcing the political system and monocultural quality of the patriotic culture. While this gives the Israeli government a tremendous amount of power over its citizens, it also puts the government in a position where it can be held accountable for far more, and so it has a reputation to maintain.
As has been noted in some of the descriptions above, some of the recent developments in Hungarian politics ultimately parallel some of the elements of Israeli politics. Following from this, if there is something to be learned from Hungary, then there must also be something to be learned from Israel.
Acknowledging the past marginalization of the Jewish peoples throughout history, it must be acknowledged that the Jewish peoples aren’t the only one’s to have suffered their fair share of victimization. Every peoples have conquered and been conquered, and this is what often sets the stage for their existence in the modern world. With that being said, if we look to which group is currently declining at the most rapid rate on the largest scale, one only needs to look at the birth rates of European descended majorities in many Western countries and major cities. Furthermore, if one looks at countries where european-descendants have become a minority, such as South Africa, we see an example of the kind of hostile treatment we could very well come to expect in a future where we are being demographically displaced and, slowly but surely, economically usurped. The question is, could we learn from Israel’s ethnonationalism?
The growth rate of Christianity is also on the rapid decline on the world stage. This is the religion that has build up the high standard of living that we associate with the West, and if you look at how the Catholic School Board performs in contrast with the Public School Board, in almost every municipality, the Catholic School Board will outperform public schools. This almost makes one wonder whether or not we should take Hungary’s policies one step further, by converting the public school system into a Christian education system. With Christians being killed by ISIS in the middle east and Christians being threatened by radical Islamic terror abroad, perhaps we could learn from the Jewish peoples and work towards making the West monocultural and exclusively Christian. Unfortunately, if we wanted to achieve the same level of monoculturalism as the Jewish peoples, we would have to encourage them to migrate to Israel, given that they would have their own interests and agenda as a distinct cultural group. It is worth noting that sometimes, as in the case of the Apollo Affair, the Lavon Affair and the USS Liberty incident, the interests of the Pro-Zionist agenda (which is prominent in global, Western foreign policy) have gone against Western interests.
With politics in the West, it goes without saying that both open markets and open democracies are susceptible to foreign invaders, foreign interests, and subversive intentions. The sheer fact that liberal democracy came out of revolutionary terrorism should say enough, yet we continue to see the authority of the elderly, the pious, and the militant being looked down on. The older generations fought to protect what their ancestors had built, but now younger generations are tearing down the efforts of previous ages.
In the end, what can we expect of this dynamic but civil conflict taking shape in many forms?
Such a society can only be quelled when we have one faction to rule over many in order to ensure unity between the classes, the sexes, and the older and younger generations. Israel is a testament to the power of unity under authority, but ironically, so are many Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia and (inversely) Iran.
In short, when looked at in this light, Israel appears to be a highly centralized state, and it has a highly nationalized economy, with every major industry being nationalized by the state. Just as Sun Yat-sen from the Republic of China (now Taiwan) took influence form Henry George’s idea of using state intervention to monopolize an economy in favour of the national citizenry, so too did Theodore Herzl, and with his Zionist ideology now actualized in Israel, we can see that the Jewish peoples are entitled to a state that specifically works in their favour. As the Jewish peoples capitalize off of their centralized industry and distribute the capital into technological innovation for the purpose of exercising their collective right to self determination, we can expect that they will only become a more notable power, and perhaps even a prominent competitor, on the world stage.
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