I'm not usually a great fan of Guy Rundle but his piece today on Israel and Gaza provides some nice imagery to reflect the fundamental problems of Israel.
He gives a run down of the early Labor years and thenm the Likud years before turning to its current problems. First he says is the Beitinu party with a base of Eastern European Jews which;
has significant control of foreign policy, a manic need to assert a Jewish identity politics, and a shedload of ressentiment at the gross anti-Semitism they suffered in the southern former USSR nations -- a ressentiment they appear to be dealing with by applying it to Arabs inside and outside the 1967 borders.
As if "pay-back" racism wasn't enough it is added to by
a specific fundamentalism coming in with immigrants from the US -- people fleeing not pogroms in New Jersey, but the anomie of American life, and bringing a cloddish, historically fictional fundamentalist Judaism owing less to Orthodoxy and more to the style of US Christian fundamentalism.
Under this style, your faith does not suffer from being an absurd contradiction with your secular knowledge -- the more absurd, the more you feel an achievement of faith by believing it. Under that rule, you can even falsify the present to serve the higher truth of the past.
Why would Israel act so crazily? That gets us to the final part of the riddle. Israel’s actions make sense only if much of it is in fact mere reflection and projection of an internal struggle – between the old Likud elite, now swamped by corruption and cynicism – and chauvinist and fundamentalist elements within, relentlessly focused on futile confrontation with the world.
He goes as far as to suggest that the botched IDF raid may have been an initiative of the IDF that the politicians had no alternative but to defend.
As Rundle says Israel is "dependency on steroids. Created by a UN partition fostered in a colonial mandate and designed as a continuation of it, its independence fight rendered successful by international recognition, it returns again and again to the western court of opinion to legitimate its acts – and then claims victimisation when it is judged by those standards."
What drew me to this most was the description of the Eastern Europeans - determined to pay out for the discrimination they have sufered by discriminating against Arabs, and the idea of fundamentalism as being self-reinforcing by just how illogical it is...the more illogical the belief the stronger your faith must be.