Sunday, October 24, 2010

Not By Might Nor By Power, But By Spirit ...

A chilling article in Haaretz makes it clear that the continued Israeli occupation and the continued - and increasing - racism against Arabs within Israel proper - is not only an ethical problem but a strategic and possibly existential problem as well.

After discussing the tactical "rationality" of messianic fanatic, and exploring some nightmare scenarios of "limited" Iranian nuclear strikes against Israel, the article concludes with this:

The conclusion to be drawn from this is not the necessity of a preemptive strike. Necessity lies elsewhere. Israel, which is being pulled into a racist, antidemocratic identity, is not "only" an ethical tragedy. Such a racist entity isolates itself, makes itself illegitimate in a way that deprives it of its capabilities of both deterrence and self-defense.

All paths to reducing the danger of the apocalyptic-messianic scenario require Israel to end the diplomatic isolation to which its racist policy sentences it and to become a welcome, legitimate member of the global community.

It is the same for the strategic umbrella from the West, with Israel's inclusion in NATO - which is conditional on the signing of a regional peace agreement a la the 2002 Arab League Peace Initiative. And also for any last-minute attempt to foil the Iranian nuclear program, whether by a dangerous Israeli military gamble, by an action that will bolster regime change or by more aggressive action by the West.

All this gives the moral imperative, necessary to Israel's very existence, of a change in policy - dismantling the religious autonomy threatening to swallow Israel; returning to the post-War of Independence borders and ensuring the Declaration of Independence's promise of "complete equality of rights irrespective of religion, race or sex" - the force of an existential imperative.

The crude swipes taken at this imperative show that the racist and fascist winds blowing in Israel have reached the stage where they even allow themselves to violate the survival instinct. ...
Legitimacy has its privileges. Would Iran dare attack Israel if it where firmly ensconced in NATO and/or the EU? Would Iran be so motivated to attack Israel if there was a peaceful two state solution and if Israeli Arabs were firmly and prosperously integrated into Israeli society?

Concomitantly, lack of legitimacy has its costs.

So I ask the Israeli government- are another few square kilometers of the Land of Israel really worth that much? But sadly the Israeli government is dominated by messianists - as tactically logical, but ultimately as deluded as the Iranian leadership - and by fascistic cynics - who see no value in good-will, legitimacy or spirit, and who believe that only might makes right.


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