[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]
Crisis in the Middle East! scream the headlines. After all these years—what am I saying? all these decades—editors everywhere must have the phrase “Crisis In The Middle East” set up as a single-key macro. But what they don’t have set up as a macro: “No Escape From Diversity Hell”—the mounting internal problems Israel has because it is an ethnically divided society. Of course, that might mean acknowledging that the U.S. has these problems too. And, unlike Israel, it’s importing more.
But Crisis in the Middle East! Is this week’s news; so with a sigh of weary resignation I hit the pause button on my fantasy about a mud-wrestling contest between Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Marjorie Taylor Greene confronts Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outside House chamber, CNN, May 13, 2021) and turn my attention to it.
Last week there was some argy-bargy in Jerusalem over Arab families being evicted by Jews. That got Israeli Arabs out demonstrating; that culminated in major riots on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This is a holy place, especially to Muslims, as their ancient mosques and shrines have mostly survived there while Judaism’s ancient temples haven’t. Israeli police went into the holiest mosque to control the riot, which of course riled up the Arabs even more.
It hasn’t helped that last week saw the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, immediately followed by the three-day festival of Eid al-Fitr. So for Muslims, religious passion was at its highest pitch this week—a sort of Muslim Easter.
Then the Hamas party that rules the Gaza Strip decided to join in the ructions by firing missiles into Israel’s towns and cities. This was terror-bombing, not strategic strikes. Israel naturally responded with air strikes on Gaza, strikes which were strategic, not just terroristic.
So, once again, we were off to the races.
The results of those missile and air strikes were considerably mixed. Israel’s Iron Dome system of missile interception seems to have done a good job, with less than ten percent of the Arab missiles getting through. Israeli air strikes, on the other hand, have offed several big-name Hamas leaders.
We are told, although evidence is hard to come by, that a lot of the Hamas missiles either blew up on launch or went up and then came down while still in Gaza, causing a lot of casualties. That aside, the official butcher’s bill for the week seems to be Israeli deaths in single digits, Gaza deaths about ten times as many. Given the random nature of the missile strikes, some of the Israeli deaths might have been Israeli Arabs; I haven’t seen any details on this.
There’s been a lot of background stuff helping to heat things up. The Trump administration moving our embassy to Jerusalem, brokering a peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and curtailing cash aid to the Arab rulers of Gaza and the West Bank have raised the level of frustration among Arab militants.
Contrariwise, the April 7th announcement by Biden’s Secretary of State that we shall resume shoveling money into the Swiss bank accounts of the gangsters who run Gaza and the West Bank, has been taken as a encouraging signal that Uncle Sam is back in sucker mode.[The United States Restores Assistance for the Palestinians, Antony J. Blinken, April 7, 2021]
There’s politics, too, on both sides. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been in an unstable position for some time now, and could use a patriotic boost. Hamas likewise, tired of playing second fiddle in the diplomatic game to the Fatah party running the West Bank, which is supposed to be in political union with Gaza, but which hasn’t allowed an election for fifteen years[Elections – Mapping Palestinian Politics – European Council on Foreign Relations].
And in still deeper background, there seems to have been slow-rising instability between Arabs and Jews in Israel itself. In the troubles of these last few days, synagogues have been burned by Arab mobs [Soldier viciously beaten in Jaffa, synagogue burned in Lod, as rioting deepens, Times of Israel, May 13, 2021] and Arabs dragged from their cars and beaten by Jewish mobs [ Mob ‘lynching of Arab’ aired live on Israeli TV , AFP, May 12, 2021]
Where is it all headed? The politicians and diplomats are quacking and bleating, of course, with talk about “de-escalating the violence” and “outreach with the Palestinian leadership.” [Biden official heading to Israel amid efforts to end Gaza fighting, by Jacob Magid, Times of Israel, May 12, 2021]
My guess: the mini-war will go on for a couple of weeks, then the diplomats will come to some agreement on suitable bribes to be paid, and then everything will quiet down for a few years until the next “Crisis in the Middle East!” Lather, rinse, repeat.
If I don’t sound terrifically engaged with this, that’s because I’m not. I’d rather be back on the Barcalounger with MTG and AOC.
There are, however, things to be said that are pertinent to us, to civic-minded Americans, so I’ll have a go at saying them.
It’s those strains between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews—that is, within Israel itself, not across its borders—that got my attention. In this week’s context the ill feeling isn’t hard to understand, but it’s been going on for a while, and apparently getting worse.
Sample headline from the Jerusalem Post, May 14th: Is Israel reaching a tipping point with internal clashes? Quote:
In October 2015, after a terror attack in Beersheba, a crowd lynched a bystander named Haftom Zarhum from Eritrea, claiming they thought he was a terrorist. In 2015, a mob in Majdal Shams attacked an ambulance and lynched a Syrian man who was wounded in fighting across the border and who the IDF was taking to a hospital. Druze accused the man of being a Jihadist involved in attacks on Druze in Syria.
(The Druze are an Arab minority practicing a non-Muslim religion).
Several American observers have remarked on the similarity in news coverage between the disturbances in Israel’s streets and those in our own—Antifa and Black Lives Matter goons smashing windows, beating up motorists, and so on.
Well, yes. This is the price of Diversity. Twenty percent of Israelis are Arabs; thirteen percent of Americans are black.
I’m sure most Israeli Arabs want a quiet life, just as most American blacks do. There is a fiercely activist inner core, though, that hates the majority population; and around that inner core there is a larger outer core that, while not chronically activist, can be whipped up into anger by incidents like those evictions in Jerusalem; or when black suspects die resisting arrest by white cops.
Of course, the parallel’s not an exact one. Those Antifa and BLM mobs contain a high proportion of whites, while I doubt there are many Israeli Jews in among the Arab mobs.
(Although there may be some. A correspondent in Israel tells me that bleeding-heart Jewish liberalism is a big force in Israeli public life, so I wouldn’t totally rule out there being some Jewish Social Justice Warriors involved in burning down that synagogue.)
Diversity is the common factor, though: imbedded minority populations of many millions—twenty or thirteen percent—separated from the majority population by, to borrow the words of Thomas Jefferson, indelible lines of distinction drawn by nature, habit, and opinion. In the Israeli case, also by language and religion.
Is there any way out of this—any escape from Diversity Hell—for them or for us? I don’t think so. American blacks aren’t going anywhere, neither are Israeli Arabs; and both our nations are too civilized to contemplate mass expulsions or genocide (Probably—one VDARE.com writer has argued Arab expulsion may be in the cards).
I personally would be content if our public figures could just speak honestly about this problem. Mass diversity—diversity above the level of salt in the stew—is a disaster, a catastrophe. It causes nothing but strife and discord. “Diversity is our strength” must be the biggest, most audacious lie ever forced on a nation of people who have eyes to see and brains to understand.
If our politicians, pundits, and educators could be honest about that in public, perhaps we could then take the key step in our national decision-making, for the benefit of those who come after us.
Perhaps we could seize on a determination that, while we must struggle along with the miseries and conflicts of present diversity as best we can, we should not do anything to make it worse.
The Israelis are at least ahead of us there. Non-Jewish immigration is strictly limited. And refugees are told to go home when their countries are safe again[The Kafkaesque World of Sudanese Refugees in Israel , Aid organizations fear that Israel is about to deport thousands of asylum-seekers to Sudan now that the two countries have made peace, by Isma’il Kushkush, ForeignPolicy.com, December 10, 2020].
That won’t get the Israelis out of Diversity Hell. But it will at least keep the temperature from rising.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.