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Monday, July 25, 2005


the paranoia of western nationalism

how bizarre, paranoid, extreme and distorted has the worldview of militant nationalists in the west become in the service of the religion of state? in an example that seems beyond belief, the rightwing government of israel lashed out against the comments of pope benedict xvi condemning the recent wave of terrorist attacks worldwide as being, essentially, insufficiently against terrorism.

as i have said before, there is an israeli left -- and increasingly, they seem to represent the only party of reason in israel, the only party not having descended into the pit of paranoia and denial. what is going on in israel seems a perversity to the peaceful, introspective and conscientious tradition of judaism, and one wonders as milton viorst did if the state of israel has not become, in a very profound way, an exercise not in redemption but self-destruction.

and that journey is extremely relevant to the west broadly and the united states particularly, whose warlike leadership has cultivated an extremely close -- in some cases, criminal -- relationship with israeli likud leadership out of a sense of common ideological cause. as i wrote:

i think it's becoming increasingly clear that one can view the israeli situation as a sort of possible moral destination for the united states. what goes on in our aggressive occupations of iraq and afghanistan -- and our attempts to repress, rationalize and deny it all -- serves to warp and destroy our morality in a manner quite similar to what israelis are suffering. one doesn't need to be a theologian to see that these idf soldiers have been hollowed out by israeli state militarism, desensitized and made useless to a civilized world. and the angry reaction of much of the israeli public against blau -- when clearly the point of fault lies within the message and not the messenger -- is altogether similar to the reactions of many in america when faced with evidence of our own sins.
this is still the case, and i view with great sadness such examples of israeli state delusion, knowing that their fate may well be ours.

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