Articles

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Israel, State and Nation

 It is difficult to comprehend the extent to which the left has inserted appeasement into the culture and the educational system of the State of Israel. From the youngest ages children are taught to pursue appeasement dressed up as peace, with the same enthusiasm and verve that Palestinian Arab children are taught to pursue Jihad. The anniversary of the assassination of leftist Prime Minister Rabin is treated as an extended series of events that seems to stretch on forever, as leftist politicians call for peace with Arab terrorists "at any cost" and denounce the right for inciting the murder of Rabin by criticizing his creation of a terrorist state within Israel's borders. Not the anniversary of Israel's independence nor the commemoration of the Holocaust has the moral stature anymore that Israel's left has invested into "Chag Rabin".


And the results of the left's propaganda campaign can be seen in the falling recruitment numbers and the rise  of draft dodging. As much as a quarter of Israeli men now dodge the draft, and a far larger number of women.  This is all the more shocking in a country where a generation ago draft dodgers were held in contempt and found leading a normal civilian life nearly impossible. The credit for this transformation belongs to the left, whose politicians had preached to a new generation that the army was irrelevant, whose reporters smeared soldiers at every turn, whose activists stood guard at checkpoints to prevent IDF soldiers from doing their jobs, who treated draft dodgers as heroes for refusing to serve in the "Occupation Army".

The sharp rise in draft dodging by the sons and daughters of the left, from former Prime Minister Olmert's own son down, has moved the burden of service over to the Religious Zionist community, the patriotic sector of Israel that has not been infected by the left's agenda. While the left complained that their sons were forced to die for the settlements, the Settlers became the IDF, fighting and dying for Ashkelon and Haifa. The heroes of the last Lebanon war, such as Major Roi Klein, who threw himself on a grenade to protect his men, and the casualties, increasingly came from the settlements. While Olmert's sons were living abroad, it was the sons of the settlements, from the families of men and women living on Israel's frontier with Islamic terror, who went out and fought.

Unsurprisingly this also paralleled the left's war against the Religious Zionist community, from the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish communities of Gaza, to the criminalizing of political dissent for children as young as 13 and a constant demonization campaign by the domestic and international media. With the burden of military service increasingly coming down on Religious Zionist soldiers, even as the left was working feverishly to crush Religious Zionists for representing an obstacle to their plans for Israel, the resulting paradox in which the left needs Religious Zionist soldiers to crush Religious Zionist communities has touched off a feverish debate within Israel.

The debate over whether Religious Zionist soldiers should obey orders that run contrary to their own moral values and the interests of the State of Israel, centers on the balance between obedience to the state vs the duty to the values for which one fights. Increasingly many new recruits are stating that they will not obey any orders to ethnically cleanse Jewish communities, which has brought out the usual manufactured outrage from the media outlets of the left. The soldiers have been accused of undermining democracy, which the Israeli left in its usual fashion interprets as being synonymous with their own agenda, as when former Histadrut union thug and current chairman of the Kadima Council, Haim Ramon, proclaimed in an open forum, "If you do not obey the rules of our democracy we will crush you."

Many on the right however also believe that it is more important to preserve the forms of the state, that it requires that soldiers follow orders that they find immoral, orders that will ultimately lead to the destruction of the body of the state. Isi Leibler recently expressed a similar view, which while acknowledging the unpleasantness of the orders, denounced Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of the Har Bracha Yeshiva who had stated that soldiers should not follow immoral orders to participate in the suppression and ethnic cleansing of Jewish communities in order to appease Islamic terrorism. The case of the refusniks from the Kfir Brigade, like the case of Rabbi Melamed, has been phrased as one of conflicting obligations, between the supposed democratic rule of law represented by the state, and the private morality of individuals and factions that must subsume their contradictory beliefs for the good of the state.    


This model however is an inherently wrong one. The state cannot function outside the values of its citizenry and its armed forces. The army does not fight for the government of the state, it fights for the enduring existence of the nation and for the people of that nation. It is not merely a tool for executing government policy, but a shield and a sword against the enemies of its people. Successive Israeli governments have devalued the army and undermined its moral purpose by watering down the IDF oath and the IDF code of ethics. Prime Minister Rabin took the first step in this direction by recruiting Professor Asa Kasher, a radical left wing activist and co-founder of Yesh Gvul, to remove Zionism and a love of the land from the equation, leaving only obedience to elected authority.

The problem is that Israeli elected officials have not represented the values of its citizenry in quite a while. Whether Labor, Likud or Kadima-- Israeli Prime Ministers have acted in response to external pressure while selling out the will and values of the electorate. Meanwhile the Knesset has degenerated into a pig trough by a squabbling gallery of rogues who dive in and out of parties like Olympic swimmers, who scrabble for bribes while announcing that whatever "street" they claim to represent will not tolerate it if their wishes aren't met. It is not only that they do not represent an ideal policy, they do not even represent their own voters.

The Likud does not represent conservative voters any more than Labor represents left leaning voters, Shas does not represent Sefardim any more than Bayit Yehudi represent Dati Leumi voters. Kadima does not even bother to pretend that they represent anyone at all, except the Arab voters bribed to cast their ballot for them. Aside from the government subsidies they distribute, they are generally alien to the voters who elect them. With Prime Ministers who spend most of their term in office struggling to stay one step ahead of American and European pressure, and the Knesset-- and a Knesset whose members struggle to grab as much as they can before they're indicted, by an Attorney General who is likely to end up being indicted himself, if he isn't bought off with a spot on the Supreme Court, Israeli democracy is severely broken.

More to the point the Israeli political system not only does not represent the wishes of Israeli voters, but it does not represent the welfare of the nation itself. By repeatedly shrinking the country's borders, opening checkpoints to terrorists, creating and maintaining a terrorist state inside Israel, and ethnically cleansing Jewish communities from inside Israel-- the political establishment has demonstrated that it does not have the best interests of the country or its people at heart. While IDF soldiers cannot set policy for the state, nor can they be expected to undermine the country under orders from the state. And that is exactly what orders aiding and abetting terrorism, or orders in favor of ethnically cleansing Jews are. Therefore they have a right to dissent from those orders in the name of values that are generally held by Israelis and in the name of the preservation of the nation. Even if it does not meet with the approval of the state.

The difference between a tyranny and a free nation is simple enough. In a tyranny the people are obedient to the state. In a free nation the state is obedient to the people. In a tyranny the character of the people reflects the character of the state. In a free nation the character is determined by its citizens. The foremost value of Israel and the IDF cannot be obedience to the state, for the state only exists in order to maintain the nation and the people of Israel. If the state becomes inimical to that purpose, it ceases to have any legal right to rule. Similarly the government of every nation only derives its right to rule based on its ability to serve the needs and wishes of the people.

A state derives its political authority from the electorate, its legal authority from the values of the people, and its moral authority from sustaining their existence. Obedience to the state is not itself a value, only a contingency by which the interests of the people are met through mutual cooperation in service of one another. Anything else is tyranny. Democracy is not in and of itself a value, it is a mechanism through which the people enforce their will upon the state. If the state maintains democratic elections, but its elected officials act against the interests and contrary to the wishes of the people, then the state has neither legal nor political authority over them except in the guise of a tyranny. If the leaders of a state act contrary to the interests of the people and their survival, they have no further moral authority, as moral authority at the state level is vested above all else in the survival of the people.


Rabbi Eliezer Melamad and the recruits are demonstrating their loyalty to the underlying moral, political and religious framework of the nation of Israel, by rejecting the dictates of a political system that is destructive to the survival of that nation. As such theirs is the higher loyalty. When state conflicts with nation, and the government conflicts with the people-- the higher loyalty is to the people and the nation, not the state. This same framework holds true in every country. It is the underlying ethical basis for any state that governs a free people. To place the government over the values of the people and the survival of the nation, is to commit a horrifying act of treason that turns the state into a tyrannical shell serving only its own interests. Not that of the nation or the people.

Israel's leftist establishment has turned the political system and the cultural sphere into a hollow shell by consuming the land and the people, in the name of their ideology of appeasement and naked greed. By aiding terrorists, they themselves have become the worst threat to the survival of the State of Israel. And if the left wing and their corrupt collaborators do not give up their death grip on power, the Nation of Israel may have to replace the State of Israel in order to survive.

21 comments:

NormanF said...

The Israeli Left forms an increasingly shrinking share of Israel's Jewish population but in the meantime they have a death grip on the coercive levers of power: the police, the Shin Bet, the IDF, the Attorney General's Office and the courts. Their strategy is quite clear and simple: to crush the vibrant Religious Zionist movement out of existence. The coordinated campaign against the hesder yeshivas and the freeze both amount to a declaration of war against this community.

Whether Israel is going to survive will be determined in large part by who wins: the dying Left or the Religious Zionist population.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

which will be determined by whether the religious zionist pop get their act together, or let themselves continue to be co-opted and marginalized

Lemon said...

Good piece.

Doug1943 said...

I think you're going down a dangerous road, when you imply that soldiers who do not agree with the actions of their elected government need not obey the orders of that government.

If this principle were widely acted on, it would reduce Israel to the status of a Third World state.

Anonymous said...

Nice, you can almost substitute 'USA' for Israel for every scenario listed. Isn't it amazing how evil doesn't discriminate and works to infect all potential forces for good in the world. More absolute proof of the existence and everlasting effect of the hand of the creator. He wants a few good men and the conflict causes the truly good to be revealed.

Fly on the wall in Massachusetts

SabaShimon said...

Excellent.......thank you

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Doug,
I understand what you're saying, but on the other hand if soldiers do keep obeying such orders, Israel will cease to exist.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Anonymous,

yes indeed. There's a similar process underway in a lot of first world nations. Israel is just getting there a little faster

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

saba shimon, thank you

mikeT said...

this is what you really meant to say, no?


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security
--------------------------

DP111 said...

Once a state or nation adopts multiculturalism as its guiding framework, then the concept of a people with a common culture and language, go by the board.

It then becomes impossible to have an oath or allegiance to anything other then a legally constituted authority.

And yet, a person does not go out to fight and die for his country - he goes out to fight for "his people" and "his way of life".

A nation fractured by multiculturalism, faced with an enemy that is united by a common language, culture or religion, will in the end be defeated.

So far the West has got by due to huge technological advantage. But such advantages are etherial, and can never replace the spirit that comes from being a part of a "band of brothers".

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes, people fight for their "family", however one defines it. The state is simply the entity that governs the family. But once you remove the family, the state becomes a tyrannical institution.

multiculturalism pushed far enough turns government into the arbiter of people's destinies

Simon said...

Disclosure: I made aliyah in 1997, and volunteered to go to the IDF when I was already 30 years old.

I generally agree with your appraisal of the dati leumi community. Even though I am a devout secularist, I thoroughly appreciate the quality of this community, and not just in their superior motivation towards IDF service.

However, you neglected to break down the statistics for those who don't go to the IDF. The main group of males who do not enlist are, of course, from the ultra-orthodox sector, who are a burden on Israel in so many other ways as well.

Don't forget that the military cemeteries are full of kibbutzniks and others who hailed from the Zionist left.

Thanks for a great site!

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

the ultras already weren't enlisting so enlistment rates couldn't have dropped because of them, if anything with nahal haredi, they've gone up

and the rise in haredi population doesn't account for the rise either

the cemeteries may be full of kibbutzniks, but in the present day the sons of the left are increasingly opting out of service

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear, if we go by the way of obedience to the law (the law is an ass) and not to the Torah law of emet, we become Germany. To the "devout secular", your thesis doesn't hold water, kibutsim are gone, they are conglomerates today, post-Zionism, don't exist anymore, the myth gone, because it was artificial. You have to thank Rabin, Peres and Oslo who have brought upon us the peace with murderes, thousands of Israelis killed and maimed and the far left empowered.

Keli Ata said...

Great article. The second picture was powerful.


Question: Is there no way to instill patroitism in among the Left leaning Israelis? It almost seems like there's an Israel: Love It Or Leave It attitude (not with you! I mean in general when I read news sites).

Are the majority of politically left Israelis either secular or liberal religiously? I find it all confusing because wasn't it the secular Jews who fought for the country early on, and faced opposition from religious Jews?

It just seems confusing. If only the religiously liberal Jews could become more moderate-conservative politically.

Or does it all come down, in the end, to religion?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

K.A.

the left tends to only be patriotic when they're in charge, and once the push to left wing radicalism begins, it spirals out of control with even the left having its own radical opposition

early on, there were different factions, secular and religious, that were zionist. And there were secular and religious factions that were anti-zionist. It's a complicated history.

Wabano said...

"It is very complicated..."

No Sir, it is very simple!

If you do not fight a war, you lose!

And the most important war is the war of ideas. Americans did not
fight it and woke up with hippie
children, enemies of the nation,
with an enemy at it's head,
dedicated to it's destruction.

Sun Tzu taught that the best
general do not fight the physical
war but vanquish with the psychological combat.

The Israeli political confusion is deliberate, just like the tank
and the battleship's smoke generators blind the opponents.

The confusion was intended to blind everyone to the suicidal
impulses injected into the nation's
psyche under the smoke of this predeterminated political mess...

Sorry, Israel missed it's last
window of opportunity during the
last days of Bush, to snuff Iran's
nuclear bomb building.

Now, Tehran, in a couple years, will be fronted by a choice of
equally dangerous
ennemies to nuke...Karachi,
Cairo, Mecca or Tel Aviv...who do
you think they will choose???

Even if they hold off for a bit,
it is certain that the others,
the ay-rabs, they will ALSO get the nukes,
and who will be their target?

Moriah said...

Recently I was told by a Liberal acquaintance: "American Jews should support the decisions of the elected government of Israel and help it do what it feels is best for its security. If they want to oppose the government and impact its policy, they should live there..."

I do not feel the least compelled to support the government of Israel or any government , including the United States government if it brings harm to the Jewish Nation. And Norm , you can add the media to the list of coercive levers of power in Israel and for America for that matter.

Irwin Ruff said...

Sultan K, I must congratulate you – this must be one of your finest papers. It is an excellent exposition not only of the dynamics in Israeli politics, but also of the leftist effort to destroy the religious and “settler” nationalists (the left seems not to realize that there’s any difference).

There are a couple of points that I think that you could have stressed. True, the Knesset members don’t really have any responsibility to the nation or even their constituents, but even in the US, with local election districts, members of congress do try to satisfy members of their districts, but often at the expense of the nation (pork barrel bills).

I also thought that after WWII it was definitely decided that “I was following orders” was not a valid defence for certain non-permitted actions against an enemy, especially civilians. Thus “I was following orders from the secular government” is not a defence, while it would be valid in such a case to invoke a higher law to avoid the action.

(I apologize again for sending a comment to an article over a year old. I must say, however, that it’s your own fault. After each article you have a statement “You might also like:” followed by four or five options. Since I haven’t been following your blog since its beginning . . .)

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Those are valid points, but this article was mainly meant for people who understood the situation already.

Post a Comment