I may be offending other members of the Old Right by expressing enthusiasm for the Israeli prime minister, but no one can accuse me of doing this in order to butter up Bibi’s American partisans. There is no group on Earth I loathe more deeply than the neoconservatives and the rest of Bibi’s cheering gallery on Murdoch Central, and I would defy anyone to show that he’s suffered more battle wounds than I from having been beaten up by the loathsome Israeli lobby. I also find myself in agreement with most of the anti-Zionists on the right, on just about any subject other than the options open to Israel in the present geopolitical circumstances. Admittedly the Jews could have avoided a heap of trouble by creating a Jewish state in a less troubled spot of the world or by taking a deal that many Ukrainians and a handful of Russian Jews did when they were offered farm land in the Canadian prairies in the early twentieth century. But most Jews held out for the Holy Land, which was hardly, with due respect to Alan Dershowitz, a “land waiting for a people.” As we know, the Zionist settlers have been suffering the consequences ever since.
The question is where we go from here. For Bibi there is no realistic choice in negotiating with the Palestinians but to allow a two-state solution. Neither he and his party nor presumably those who belong to what is counterfactually called “the Zionist Union Left” want to deal with an eventual Arab Muslim majority, which may well develop in Israel, unless Israeli Jews, and not just the ultra-Orthodox, start producing large families. Although Netanyahu in an eleventh-hour bid for votes nixed any support for a Palestinian state, once assured of an electoral victory, he immediately backtracked and explained that he only opposed such a political entity because its present leadership would endanger his country.
Netanyahu, also in the heat of battle, accused the opposition of “busing Arabs to the polls,” an accusation that greatly disturbed the Obama administration. Needless to say, the GOP and the employees of the Murdoch media had absolutely no moral problem with Netanyahu’s insensitive statement. Of course if a Republican politician were to accuse the Democrats of enticing blacks to the polls, that remark would spell the end of that hapless creature. Both his colleagues and the “conservative” press would demand the head of this “racist” Republican, even before Fox-News’ erstwhile friend Al Sharpton began grousing.
I also have no doubt that many who voted for Likud or who are willing to coalesce with it believe that Israel should expand to include the West Bank (and perhaps a lot more) and that the Israeli Palestinians should be stripped of all political rights. After all, Netanyahu and his family come from the right-nationalist wing of the Zionist movement, and the Revisionist Zionists, starting with their founder Zeev Jabotinsky, called for an Israel “on both sides of the Jordan.” This was to be achieved while subjecting the native Arab population to Jewish colonial rule. Jabotinsky was an effusive admirer of Mussolini and was truly shocked when the Duce went over to the dark side by allying himself with Nazi Germany. Despite the quasi-fascist genesis of the Zionist tradition from whence the Likud (and its predecessor Heirut) emerged, Netanyahu has shown himself to be more interested in Israeli security than Israeli expansion. If he’s unfortunately allowed the building of settlements on the West Bank that will likely result in escalated tensions, that’s the price he’s had to pay to form and preserve a parliamentary coalition. He needed the support of the Orthodox parties, which has brought in its wake an unwise settlement policy.
Almost involuntarily I am drawn to Netanyahu as a figure of stature. Despite the nonstop announcement by Republican politicians and Fox-news lackeys that Bibi is “another Churchill,” as a person of the Right, I can warm up to this patriot. Indeed I respect Bibi more than Winnie, who was a frenetic war-monger, ordered terror-bombing in Central Europe during the last sixteen months of World War Two and did more than FDR to appease and flatter Stalin. I believe that Netanyahu is telling us the truth when he says he is concerned first and foremost with the survival of his country, and I never mistake the global democratic drivel that I hear him spewing on Fox-news with his sense of organic nationhood and his love for his own people.
I also can’t help contrasting this Israeli leader who takes bold stands in defiance of “world opinion” to the pygmy politicians who now abound in the US and in much of Western Europe. With the exceptions of Jeff Sessions, Marine Le Pen and Viktor Orban, I find no Western leader whom I would want to see running a state in which I happened to live. In contrast to Bam, Hillary, Jeb, Romney, Merkel and the rest of this fatuous, largely indistinguishable crew, Netanyahu devotes his life to his people and its continued existence as a cultural and historic as well as political nation. Whether or not one agrees that Iran poses an “existential threat” to Israel, I have never met an Israeli who didn’t believe this was the case. Israelis may have a nuclear arsenal with which they could respond to an Iranian attack, but they have no interest in engaging in such a devastating struggle. They would rather nip the threat in the bud. Moreover, as I explained to the surprise of the editor of a German nationalist publication who was interviewing me, if I were living in Israel, I would favor the destruction of Iran’s nuclear capabilities before my enemies tried to make good on their promise to destroy me.
Note I am not arguing that every stand Netanyahu takes coincides with the interest of America. On the other hand, I’m not sure that the US as a global imperial power has an “interest” in the same way as Israel, Austria or Latvia does. It may be seen as being in our interest to reduce European countries to a multicultural blob by way of an expanded, politically intrusive EU. Empires generally seek control over other political entities and are not concerned with the preservation of national particularities. They can also afford to waste their energies on such projects as spreading “democratic values” and protecting homosexual rights in Central Asia. Indeed Secretary-of-State John Kerry recently announced that “gay rights are at the heart of American diplomacy.” The American empire does not have to be focused on what Marine Le Pen calls the “primordial interests of the nation.” Equally important, the US will survive and generate wealth, even when plagued by indescribably poor leadership. Less powerful countries cannot afford the mistakes that would affect us only minimally. And international boycotts can hurt their relatively fragile economies. They can be financially ruined and even swallowed up, like eighteenth-century Poland or the Baltic States through much of the twentieth century.
Lest anyone think that I have begun to sound like my lifelong adversaries, I shall close by affirming the obvious. Neoconservatives and their lackeys apply a double standard when they compare the US and Israel. They expect the US to be a global creedal nation, perpetually apologizing to certain aggrieved minorities, while the Israelis are encouraged to express their ethnic national character. AIPAC and the Murdoch media then bully into silence those who notice this double standard and brainwash their cognitively challenged gentile subjects into thinking that “Bibi is doing all this for us.” The Israeli prime minister is not working for this country. He is acting, as he should, when he looks at the survival interest of his own nation state. Although like most Zionists he plays the Holocaust-card, he does so without laying a guilt-trip on Western countries that are itching to do the PC-cringe. What Netanyahu derives from the sad experiences of the past is that his country should look after itself and leave nothing to chance. This may be a wise lesson not only for Israel but for other small nations that have to survive in dangerous neighborhoods.