When the state of Israel finally falls it won’t be due to Palestinians, Islamic fundamentalists, anti-Semites or neo-Nazis. No, the final undoing of the Jewish state will be wrought by progressive Western Jews themselves. Zionism, you see, is a right-wing, National Socialist ideology and is in sharp conflict with the tenets of progressivism. When it comes down to a choice between the two, Western Jews, particularly Americans, will choose progressivism and Israel will go the way of South Africa.
Increasingly progressive American Jews are not going to be able to reconcile the reality of Israel with the liberal internationalism, open immigration and anti-racism that they have been supporting and promoting in the West for years. The cognitive dissonance will be too much. But don’t take my word for it. Read how this progressive American Jew writing in the Daily Kos describes her feelings:
The past week’s events have shaken me to my core, and have forced me to look long and hard at my personal politics. For if this were any country but Israel, my progressive values would not allow me to support, much less love, such an enterprise. Yet the reality is this: I do.
I’m not ready to abandon the dream of a Jewish state that lives up to its democratic promises, and continue to hold tenuously onto the idea of two states for two peoples. However, I have begun, for the first time, to consider what a single, bi-national state might look like, to consider that it might finally end this madness.
And here’s the irony: Israel’s extreme-right leaders, embracing various one-state solutions, have forced me to do so. Hell, Israel just elected as its President a one-state proponent. How can I not consider what that might look like?
As it happens, during all of this, I’ve just finished Ali Abunimah’s The Battle for Justice in Palestine, which makes an impassioned case for a democratic, bi-national state as the only way to end this conflict.
The progressive American in me agreed with much of his arguments. The Zionist in me was scared by its premise.
This trend is not going to reverse itself. Israel is already public enemy number 2 on college campuses across the nation, a close second to the United States itself. The BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement is growing and gaining popularity with Brahmin youth in the US. It no longer raises any eyebrows in progressive circles to call Israel an apartheid state. Indeed this is the standard opinion. Time was such talk would earn you an accusation of anti-Semitism, and while this still happens, such accusations no longer carry any real weight. A college professor today would risk more by expressing vocal support for Israel than the Palestinians.
A bi-national democratic state on the territory of present-day Israel and Palestine effectively means the death of Israel. Within the borders of Israel itself Arab births outnumber Jewish births 4.4 to 3, and Arabs are projected to be a majority in the entire region by 2020. Joining the two into one democratic state will inevitably lead to the demographic displacement of Jews. Jews may be progressive but their Arab cousins will not be so obliging. The idea that the two people can live together peacefully in a unified state is a pipe dream. Right wing Jews have know this for years which is why they correctly call Israeli leftists and liberal American Jews traitors to Israel. Because they are.
And this is how Israel will die. It will be destroyed by Jews themselves because of their cultural addiction to progressivism, even to their own detriment. So what gives? Why are Jews like this? I have spent many hours wracking my brains trying to wrap my mind around this phenomenon. I think I may have found an answer in the excellent article Why Jews Welcome Muslims by Lawrence Auster.
But starting in the 1960s, Jews, and liberals generally, took the good idea of liberal individualism too far. The very idea of a common culture, which they had previously seen as the pathway to success and belonging in America, started to seem discriminatory to them, since it implied that some peoples and cultures could fit into the common culture while others couldn’t. A common culture also implied the existence of common standards of behavior, derived from America’s declining WASP majority, to which people were expected to conform; and Jews in particular, after having eagerly adopted those standards in previous generations, began, in the liberatory afflatus of the Sixties, to find them stifling. Jews and other liberals thus turned from the moderate tolerance of mid-twentieth century America to what might be called tolerance absolutism, an attitude that delegitimized any notion of a common American culture or moral tradition (other than the tradition of liberalism itself), because shared cultural allegiances and moral norms would place limits on the individual self or the ethnic group.
This radicalized liberalism made Jews feel even safer—and freer to express themselves as Jews—than before. Having realized the model of “pure-non-discrimination-and-individual-rights-without-a-majority-culture” as the very basis of their unprecedented success, freedom, and happiness in America, Jews saw that model as not only advantageous to themselves personally, but as advantageous to everyone—indeed, as the highest political truth. It didn’t occur to them that the radical individualist model worked so well for them because they are a uniquely high-achieving people operating in a still intact Western society. It didn’t occur to them that the model might not work so well for less capable or less assimilable people in a society without a cohesive common culture, such as America was now becoming due to the tolerance absolutism that was supported by the Jews themselves. It didn’t occur to them that both the intactness and the liberalism of the society would be threatened if the liberalism were taken too far.
Their belief that radical individualism is true for all mankind is thus for liberal secular Jews a crux of faith, an emotional prop to make sense of the world, and a key component of their identity as a people. More than any pragmatic calculus, it is the reason they bitterly resent any criticism of the liberal ideology and voraciously crave attempts to vindicate it, whether by assimilating Third-World immigrants, democratizing Moslem countries, or liquidating traditional values founded upon the restraint of individual desire. (Consider, for example, the Jewish community’s extraordinary degree of support for homosexual marriage, far more extensive than that of any other ethnic or religious group—a uniquely ironic outcome for the first major people in history who saw homosexuality as an abomination to God.)
And now they are extending this brand of progressivism even further, applying it not only to the United States but ultimately to Israel itself. It may be many years before it happens, but when Israel dies it will be Western Jews that kill it with their own reckless liberalism. But anti-Semites should not start celebrating too early. The demise of Israel doesn’t mean the end of the Jewish people. What it means is that there will be an even larger diaspora population migrating to the West, this time with a whole new shoah under their belts. The end of Israel will not be something to celebrate.