ethnic nationalism inevitably breeds hate

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Freddie

Freddie deBoer used to blog at lhote.blogspot.com, and may again someday. Now he blogs here.

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49 Responses

  1. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    I think there are a lot of isomorphic sentiments on both sides, young israelis/jews, young arabs/muslims.Report

  2. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Stop the settlements.Report

  3. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    so matoko – you pick for your avatar an anime character, perhaps the most androgynous of all possible avatars – in order to reclaim your femininity? I am perplexed… 😉

    Freddie – I’m not sure I agree with your first principles. I think nation-states are inherently ethnic – and largely only successful if they are geographically sensible (and geography has largely determined ethnic/tribal/religious trends). For instance, I think that that both Afghanistan and Pakistan might be a great deal better off if between them a third state existed – Pashtunistan, for the Pashtun people. Yes, this would be ethnically and geographically motivated, and would likely create a far more stable region…Report

  4. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    lol!
    The Major is androgynous?
    Don’t read much manga, do you?Report

  5. The state must rise from some sort of shared identity. For Israel it was their religious identity. Once the state is established, in most cases it begins to diversify. If you look at the earlier United States it was a pretty homogenous group of people. Mostly white (not counting slaves who had no say in the matter), mostly with roots in Britain, mostly Christian, etc. I’m not suggesting Israel will ever reach the level of diversity that the US and other Western nations have, but once its statehood is secured permanately (with global recognition of their right to exist), I think they will be a bit less interested in religous integrity.Report

  6. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    darn stupid link.
    grrrReport

  7. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Nope, not any really….Report

  8. Avatar Roque Nuevo says:

    The European Union (http://www.european-forum-on-antisemitism.org/working-definition-of-antisemitism/english/) says that holding Jews to double standards is anti Semitic:

    Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

    Why do you say it’s legitimate to hold Jews to such double standards?

    I share your repugnance toward the “Jewish” character of the state of Israel. My reasons are similiar to yours, but I’d add a lot of athesim that you probably don’t share. Theocracies are repugnant. If they’re Jewish, then they’re doubly repugnant. Although I support Israel to the hilt, I find Jews repugnant. I’m the mirror-image of garden-variety anti Semites who accuse Israel/Jews of fantastic blood crimes and then protest that they’re not anti Semitic because “some of their best friends are Jews.” I reject such blood-libels whatever their source and none of my best friends are Jews. I find anti Semites and Jews equally repugnant.

    Even so, I can’t judge the state of Israel. I don’t live there. However, it seems that anyone, of any belief or whatever, can live there and have full rights. This is another world from Muslim nations, as you know. So I really don’t understand the “Jewish” nature of Israel. It’s a theocracy that doesn’t require belief in so-called Jewish law. That doesn’t really look like a theocracy to me…

    I understand that Jews founded their state because there was no way they’d ever be safe without their own state and army. Therefore, without European anti Semitism, there would be no Israel. Jews were perfectly happy to live in whatever nation they found themselves but Europeans just wouldn’t permit it.

    Europe after the French Revo was supposed to provide “everything for the Jews as citizens, nothing for the Jews as Jews.” This promise was broken.

    I can’t see any difference in the situation today from the one in the nineteenth century, except that more nations express anti Semitism today than back then and more countries have more advanced killing technology to execute their hatred.

    This history shows why I support Israel. Without Israel, Jews are doomed.

    The settlement issue is just another red herring dragged across the trail to confuse people. First, one would have to explain why Arabs/Paalestinians have consistently rejected the two-state solution for sixty years (or more). Then, one would have to show how the settlements are a greater barrier to the two-state solution than Arab/Palestinian rejectionism.

    It’s just absurd on the face of it to say that some family in a settlement that builds an extra room on their house (i.e., “natural growth”) is holding up the “peace process” more than an ingrained culture of Arab/Palestinian hatred of Jews and rejection of the state of Israel.

    Emphasizing the settlement issue is therefore playing into Arab/Palestinian hands; it is not being an “honest broker.” People can play into Arab/Palestinian hands for a lot of reasons: it’s hip to support “national liberation movements;” they’re Arab or Palestinian; they’re anti Semitic; they’re part of the Arab/oil lobby.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Why do you hold Israel to a higher standard?

    I mean, I know why *I* do… but I see Western Culture as morally superior to Majority Muslim Culture as it’s practiced in the Middle East and think that the world would be better off without this MMCaipitME in the same way that the world is better off without antebellum Southern culture.

    Given that I sincerely doubt we share this particular premise, why do you hold Israel to a higher standard?Report

  10. Avatar Jaybird says:

    To be honest, I find this post to be an odd mirror image of the movies of a guy in a Mickey Mouse costume yelling “Death to Israel” and then going on to explain how this silly youtube speaks to a deeper truth.

    Yay. Little Orange Footballs.Report

  11. Avatar Freddie says:

    Why do you say it’s legitimate to hold Jews to such double standards?

    Please read the update above.Report

  12. Avatar Freddie says:

    Why do you say it’s legitimate to hold Jews to such double standards?

    First of all, I didn’t say Jews, did I? I said Israel. When you make such basic and obvious mischaracterizations, it’s hard to take the rest seriously.

    It’s just absurd on the face of it to say that some family in a settlement that builds an extra room on their house (i.e., “natural growth”) is holding up the “peace process” more than an ingrained culture of Arab/Palestinian hatred of Jews and rejection of the state of Israel.

    Actually, Roque, they’re building new settlements in areas held by peace treaty, Israeli law and international law to be Palestinian lands. Land grabs such as those are explicitly outlawed by the Geneva conventions, of which Israel is a high contracting signatory, and are the sort of things that start wars.

    First, one would have to explain why Arabs/Paalestinians have consistently rejected the two-state solution for sixty years (or more)

    You continue to assert this; it continues to not be true. If you are referring specifically to the Camp David/Taba peace accords, the settlement the Israeli government offered divided Palestinian lands into four unmanageable cantons. It was not a serious offer, and the Israeli negotiators didn’t think they would sign it. No one would. “Rejectionism” requires the other side making credible proposals, and Israel hasn’t.

    To be honest, I find this post to be an odd mirror image of the movies of a guy in a Mickey Mouse costume yelling “Death to Israel” and then going on to explain how this silly youtube speaks to a deeper truth.

    But, of course, the anti-Semitic Mickey Mouse does speak to larger anti-Semitism in the Arab world, just as this does reflect some very dangerous sentiments that in fact do exist within Israel.

    The quality of your comments are always in inverse proportion to their glibness.Report

  13. Avatar Roque Nuevo says:

    So you’re saying that Arabs/Palestinians do not reject the state of Israel, or the two-state solution?

    I don’t know where you got the info about the “four unmanageable cantons.” I’m using Dennis Ross’s maps, in The Missing Peace as a reference. As far as I know there are no more authoritive reports than this. These maps show a contiguous Palestinian state on the West Bank, not the “four cantons.” Even accepting your version of events and accepting your idea that it was not a credible offer, why didn’t Arafat come up with a counter-offer. That was all Clinton was demanding of him. I don’t know if Arafat should have accepted it or not. These things are too complicated for one to make such summary judgements. But I do say that he should have come up with a counter-offer instead of just saying “no.” This shows lack of good faith.

    Aside from that, 2000 was only the latest instance of Arab/Palestinian rejectionism. They also rejected the state of Israel in ’47/48, didn’t they? This was not an Israeli proposal. Even before, they rejected the Peel Commission partition proposal out of hand.Report

  14. Avatar Freddie says:

    This is one of the places, Roque, where your lack of education on the issue really shows. Believe it or not, a lot of people, like me, have read and discussed these issues for a long time.

    Dennis Ross’s map is not credible. There are significant reasons to distrust his versions of events. Do a little research, Roque, before you confront a single book with total credulity. Ross’s book is a partisan take on a contentious issue. Do you really think that using it as holy writ is a constructive way to consider these issues?

    Aside from that, 2000 was only the latest instance of Arab/Palestinian rejectionism. They also rejected the state of Israel in ‘47/48, didn’t they?

    You’re using a shifting definition of what is being rejected– rejecting the annexation of the land that is now Israel is a very different issue from negotiating a post-1967 settlement on the territories– and yet you still are capable of mentioning only two examples in 60 years, despite the fact that you constantly talk about “Arab rejectionism” as if there is a long string of proposals being rejected.

    But I do say that he should have come up with a counter-offer instead of just saying “no.”

    Arafat’s people, of course, insisted that they had done just that, so I guess it’s he said, she said, isn’t it?

    So you’re saying that Arabs/Palestinians do not reject the state of Israel, or the two-state solution?

    I would say that treating Arabs and Palestinian Arabs specifically as some sort of unified whole is the beginning, but from the totality, of your ignorance. There is no “Arab/Palestinian” opinion or posture.Report

  15. Avatar Jaybird says:

    “To make my reasons for holding Israel to a higher standard clear: I hold Israel to higher standards because it is a robust, practicing liberal democracy with a history of protection of minorities and a decent respect for civil rights.”

    It sounds like it’s meeting much higher standards.

    Why not hold Majority Muslim Countries in the Middle East to a merely higher standard than you hold them to now?

    I mean, you don’t have to hold them to the standard of Israel.

    Why not merely a higher one? Like the mere higher standard that they become robust, practicing liberal democracies and start protecting minorities and start holding a decent respect for civil rights.

    I mean, Israel does that and you hold it to an EVEN HIGHER standard.

    Why not hold Majority Muslim Countries in the Middle East to the mere high standard that Israel is just barely able to clear?Report

  16. Avatar Freddie says:

    Depends on what you mean. In terms of the behavior that I want, my standards for them are no different for those of Israel. But what I meaningfully expect in the near future, I’m sorry, I just see more opportunity for advancement and reform in Israel. But I demand nothing less of the largely Arab countries than I demand of Israel. But my responsibility is first and foremost to my country and its behavior, and as it is Israel that my country supports in a way that is literally unprecedented in its history, that’s where I direct some of my rhetorical energy.

    “Good enough” is not good enough. I am not moved by appeals to relative morality. The question that concerns me is not “Is Israel better than Bad Actor X”, the question that concerns me is “Is Israel’s conduct moral?”Report

  17. Avatar Jaybird says:

    See, I sort of ask “Is Israel robust, practicing liberal democracy with a history of protection of minorities and a decent respect for civil rights?” and, when I find out that the answer is “yeah”, I then wonder if, maybe, we shouldn’t worry about the countries that haven’t yet jumped over that admittedly low bar.Report

  18. Avatar Freddie says:

    But you recognize that our enormous financial contribution, military and espionage interoperability, diplomatic shielding and general support for Israel gives us more of a vested responsibility in their conduct than others?Report

  19. Avatar ChrisWWW says:

    “Is Israel robust, practicing liberal democracy with a history of protection of minorities and a decent respect for civil rights?”
    The answer is no, unless you forget about the approximately 4 million Palestinians living in Israeli occupied territories.Report

  20. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Jaybird, I have applied to E.D. to put up a guest post on munaasafa or justice, fairness.
    For this conflict to be resolved, both sides must be able to see fairness in the resolution.
    It was not fair to give muslim land to jews in reparation for holocaust guilt.
    The west had the guilt, not muslims. Muslims didn’t make the holocaust.
    OTOH, Israel exists, that is a pre-condition, and since we have no time machine we must work with that. What is fair now, given that Israel has a right to exist, however unfair its creation was, it cannot be undone.
    What is fair is for the settlements to stop.
    That is a first step.
    The settlements serve no purpose of security for Israel…they feed the sense of injustice. The settlements only increase terror attacks, because they feed grievance and the sense of powerlessness.
    But there can be no progress until the unfairness of the original land grab is acknowledged.Report

  21. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Oh, if you’re asking me if we ought to be sending taxpayer dollars over there? Hell no. That’s money that totally should stay here. Get rid of all foreign aid, that’s my theory. If people want to send their own money over there, they should feel free, of course.

    But, yeah. We totally shouldn’t be giving them a single taxpayer dime.

    That said, I’d much rather my money go to a robust, practicing liberal democracy with a history of protection of minorities and a decent respect for civil rights than a country that isn’t even good enough to be able to have such standards reasonably asked of it.Report

  22. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Eh, my solution to the problem would be to find a sufficiently large Indian Reservation with a decent river running through it here in the US (Wyoming, perhaps), kick all of the Indians off of it (send them to Montana or something) and move all of the Israelis there. Make them a sovereign country with their own borders and everything (if being landlocked is a problem, give them Oregon or something).

    I imagine that, after the Palestinians burn down everything in Israel proper (DEATH TO THE WATER TREATMENT PLANT!!!), the Middle East will quickly realize that they still have all of the same problems they had the day before.

    Then we can have arguments over whether the introduction of Israel was so toxic in the first place that the rest of the world (America, Isregon) is still responsible for rebuilding the charred water treatment plants in now-unoccupied Palestine.Report

  23. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    MC, I thought the question of the “original land grab” was settled when the Israeli’s crushed the Arab nations in the 1947 war? The “right of conquest” thing?Report

  24. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I don’t know matoko. Zionism predated the Holocaust, as did plans for the Zionist state. Indeed, even post-Holocaust, the Brits were making statehood very difficult for the Jews (who they had come to view largely as terrorists at that point) so the view post-Holocaust was actually more hostile to Israeli statehood than it was twenty/thirty years earlier.Report

  25. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Still…..the West set it up, on muslim lands.
    I am not the judge of what is or isn’t historically fair, E.D.
    I am jus’ saying what has to happen for a resolution.
    All the young arabs/muslims I know have the same gripe.
    Why use muslim lands to make a jewish state to assuage Western guilt?
    E.D. it is extremely disengenuous to pretend Israel would exist today without the Holocaust.
    A different kind of holocaust denial I guess.
    >:(Report

  26. Avatar Jim says:

    “It was not fair to give muslim land to jews in reparation for holocaust guilt.
    The west had the guilt, not muslims. ”

    This is a very popular mischaracterization of what happened. No one “gave” any land to what became the Israelis – not God, not the British, not anyone. The incomiong Jews bought individual pieces of land (which is not the same as getting permission ot set upan autonomus state on that land, I realize) and then later they took land by force of arms. They had help form powerful friends of course, but then the variuos arab groups and states had powerul friends too – just thier tough shit if those friends collapsed 19 years ago – oops, bad choice.

    Taking land by force of arms is how it’s dioen and how it’s always been done. No one else has any other claim to their land either, and that includes Native American groups who imagine they have a better claim simply because they were on it first. They had a better claim, but they lost it. Please, none of us is in kindergarten.

    All that babble about how God gave the land to Abraham or whatever is a counter-productive smoke screen that has clearly done more harm than good.

    “Zionism predated the Holocaust”

    Indeed it did. The big boost to its viability was the Dreyfuss trial, suppsoedly, long before the Holocaust. Apparently there were and still are religious objections to Zionism, but those things don’t interest me enough to figure them out.

    In any case, Zionism is an expression of 19th century nationalism. That kind of nationalism doesn’t invariably lead to racism or bigotry. Ireland is an example – Irish nationalism was hardly the cause of the bigotires on both sides of the Troubles, either time.

    “I think nation-states are inherently ethnic ”

    China? Chinese ethnicity comes out of the experience of belonging to the Chinese state; the Chinese state had no ethnic basis initially. Come to think of it, it’s the oldest nation-state in the worldReport

  27. Avatar Jim says:

    I swear to God I have the fattest fingers on the internet – sorry everyone.Report

  28. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    China? Chinese ethnicity comes out of the experience of belonging to the Chinese state; the Chinese state had no ethnic basis initially. Come to think of it, it’s the oldest nation-state in the world

    Well actually China was a series of empires, really. And actually geography/ethnicity played a huge role and still does there (think Tibet, or the Muslims, etc.) And geography played a massive role in just exactly why the Chinese are such a large country, and why several of the surrounding nation-states are largely Chinese themselves even though they are not part of China proper. The fact is, though, that China was not a nation-state in the modern sense until very recently. It was one dynasty after another, in a long succession and over various territories in what is now considered China.

    India is similar in its size and geographical realities. And the larger point is that many, many modern nation-states are not ethnically homogeneous which is often to the detriment of stability since they are also rarely the sort of open, liberal democracies that are essentially necessary for ethnically or religiously heterogeneous societies to work.Report

  29. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    E.D., dude…..perception IS reality.
    How do you not know that?Report

  30. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    What are you referring to matoko?Report

  31. From Jaybird:

    Eh, my solution to the problem would be to find a sufficiently large Indian Reservation with a decent river running through it here in the US (Wyoming, perhaps), kick all of the Indians off of it (send them to Montana or something) and move all of the Israelis there. Make them a sovereign country with their own borders and everything (if being landlocked is a problem, give them Oregon or something).

    I’d much rather give them Florida.Report

  32. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    This is a very popular mischaracterization of what happened. No one “gave” any land to what became the Israelis – not God, not the British, not anyone. The incomiong Jews bought individual pieces of land (which is not the same as getting permission ot set upan autonomus state on that land, I realize) and then later they took land by force of arms. They had help form powerful friends of course, but then the variuos arab groups and states had powerul friends too – just thier tough shit if those friends collapsed 19 years ago – oops, bad choice.

    I am not the judge of history, and I am jus’ saying if there is to be progress on two state, the muslim perception of reality, which is their truth, has to acknowledged.
    Since I am obviously not going to be guest posting, you may read my opinon on the Major’s blog.
    MunaasafaReport

  33. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Since I am obviously not going to be guest posting, you may read my opinon on the Major’s blog.

    matoko – the submission process is what it is. You submit a post, you wait for us to get back to you. Sometimes it takes days. We’re still a heck of a lot faster than a lot of places. Assumptions get you nowhere.Report

  34. Avatar Jaybird says:

    “I’d much rather give them Florida.”

    Have you been recently? We lost Florida to them in the 60’s.Report

  35. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    I withdraw it.Report

  36. Avatar Cascadian says:

    ““I’d much rather give them Florida.”

    Have you been recently? We lost Florida to them in the 60’s.”
    Would there eventually be settlements in Alabama and Georgia?Report

  37. Avatar Jim says:

    ” And geography played a massive role in just exactly why the Chinese are such a large country”

    True. That has nothing to do with being ethnically based.

    ” and why several of the surrounding nation-states are largely Chinese themselves even though they are not part of China proper.”

    Which ones would those be? Korea is not Chinese, Vietnam is emphatically and militantly not Chinese, and the Japanese made it plain by their treatment of the Chinese that they don’t think their all one blood. Did you mean to say that they have deep cultural simialrities? Fine, they do. But they have no ethnic connection at all – all four languages are completely unrelated genetically, although they all have huge Chinese components in their lexicons. No common ethnicity by any normal meaning of the word. And then there are Mongolia, Russia, Thailand, Burma……

    “The fact is, though, that China was not a nation-state in the modern sense until very recently. It was one dynasty after another,”

    I don’t see what you are trying to say. You sem to be saying that China under the Qing or Ming governments was not a nation the way it is under the Communist Party. I doubt you will find many Chinese that will even understand what you are trying to say, and probably none that would agree with you if they did. And China under the Ming was a conscious effort to recreate china under that Tang and the Han, and a pretty successful effort, so you’re running out of dynasties. So basically either China under those dynasties was a nation-state – central government, common language or closely related languages, stable political structure and philosophy and so on, or else modern China is not.

    “India is similar in its size and geographical realities. And the larger point is that many, many modern nation-states are not ethnically homogeneous which is often to the detriment of stability since they are also rarely the sort of open, liberal democracies that are essentially necessary for ethnically or religiously heterogeneous societies to work.”

    Puzzled…. So is India , or the US for that matter, a nation-state or not? Don’t quite see what you’re driving at…. Are you saying that liberal democracies are not nation-states?

    “I am not the judge of history, and I am jus’ saying if there is to be progress on two state, the muslim perception of reality, which is their truth, has to acknowledged.”

    well, yeah, obviously, and that perception, and for that matter apparently the Israeli perception, is that armed force is not a legitimate claim to land. This necessitate the sophist dick-dance about who has the rightful claim, who is a rightful descendant of Abraham., and all this other folkloric hogwash. My comment about how Israel got its land and why that satisfies me was not aimed at either of those sides, who can’t be expected to see things so bluntly.

    More’s the pity. But it only matters in the same way that it matters how the South sees the Civil War. All they need to know is that they lost, and that we will keep infiltrating their KKK and the White Power cells and flushing their senators that talk too freely in public.

    The pioint is that we do indeed have in this world ehtno-nations like Sweden or Ireland or the Navajo, for what that’s worth, and then we have these other big, hulking multi-ethnic conglomerations like the US, India, Mexico, China and so on. Some like the US and India, and even Mexico, seem like they are going to hold together for the forseeable future. Some like Nigeria or even Canada (to hear them tell it), are more up in the air. But the two types of polity are fundamentally different, and throwing them into one category and calling them all nations is about like calling apples and oranges “edible-round” and calling that a category- true but so vague as to be meaningless.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Here’s the point – up until very recently there really was no such thing as a nation-state. There were kingdoms and Empires and all sorts of tribal regions and colonized areas, but in the modern sense none of these were nation states. Nationalism is still historically a fairly recent concept, though certainly depending on where you were the concepts associated with it were around in various forms. Yes, I suppose Chinese did consider themselves Chinese at one point, but before that they largely thought of themselves in regional terms. Indeed, many of these regions often tried to ward off their dynastic rulers – and often one dynasty would fall at the hands of some “barbarian” group or other. Mongols, Tibetans – these are just obvious examples of regionally and ethnically disparate groups that are now part of the Chinese “nation-state.”Report

  38. Avatar a says:

    Egalitarianism is the lifeblood of democracy. Trying to have a democratic state without equal recognition of all people, regardless of creed or color or caste, is an exercise in futility.

    Israel must be a home to Jews, and a beacon of strength and protection for the Jewish people, but it must not be a Jewish state itself.

    So do you oppose the law of return? It’s hard for Israel to be “a home to Jews, and a beacon of strength and protection for the Jewish people” without explicitly discriminating by religion in its immigration policy.Report

  39. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    I hold Israel to higher standards because it is a robust, practicing liberal democracy with a history of protection of minorities and a decent respect for civil rights.

    BAH-loney.
    The settlements are illegal and the settlers are criminals.
    Who’s the terrorist now?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Ahem.

      “You people who live in luxury who oppose the settlements are all hypocrites. Unless you’re out there standing in front of the Israeli bulldozers like Rachel Corrie, you’re just another Megan McArdle clone holding a sign with a fetus on it screaming at women getting pap tests.”

      Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week.Report

  40. Avatar Butters says:

    What this analysis fails to take into account is the fact that Zionism is an inherently racist and supremist ideology. The behaviour of the young people in the video is not anomalous; indeed, many studies conducted on Israelis show, time and time again, that they are on average a racist and Islamophobic society.

    Israel is a democratic country whose army does not behave contrary to the will of the people. This means that when the army perpetrates its routine slaughter of Palestinians, this is a reflection of the will of Israelis in general. Such a hypothesis is confirmed by empirical data showing general support for the army’s actions, including gross acts of inhumanity such as occured in the recent, relatively prominent attack on Gaza.

    The rhetoric of the young man who spoke at the end about Auschwitz is a good example of a common technique used by Zionists: contrived emotionality about the Holocaust to manipulate and guilt-trip people into supporting Israel. Nobody asked him about the Holocaust or his grandmother, but he brought it up just for good measure, to make his disgustingly presented self (and the nation he was supposedly speaking for) seem more sympathetic.

    Lastly, besides geopolitical issues, I think the people interviewed were also exemplars of the stupider elements of American culture, such as drunken carelessness and sexism. The stupidity and machismo are as noteworthy as the supremacy and racism.Report

  41. Avatar Uncle says:

    Freddie,
    Your diagnosis is pretty much correct. Insular and proud societies do not produce tolerant cultures. But, I’d like to share two notes:
    1. Insular ethnic nationalism certainly does not produce tolerance, but it takes the further ingredient of fear to create hate. You can think you are better than another group for as long as you want, but you don’t have a reason to hate them unless they pose a threat. For example, Americans feel superior for their democratic values but hatred of undemocratic forces in USSR/Middle East did not rise up until they posed a threat. German nationalism existed long before it got big on anti-semitism when they felt financially threatened. The liberal states of europe have plenty of ethnic pride, but it only comes out in soccer matches because its the only time they can lose to eachother. While Israel is relatively secure in comparison to various other states, the people rightly feel insecure on various fronts. Opposition to Israel as a Jewish state cannot rest on its ethnic nationalism alone, since without fear it is not particularly harmful.
    B. Your update also fails to fix the entire higher standard question. It is a very rare occurence that a country winds up like our grand old US of A. Most liberal democracies are also relatively ethnic homogenous. France is filled with the French and Japan is filled with the Japanese. These states are functioning democracies but proudly declare their ethnic nationhood. They welcome some immigrants and harass others, because they seek to preserve some sort of identity. Is Israel often harsher to non-citizen residents? Yes. But this is a matter of degree relating to the fear issue above. In order to entirely settle the double standard question your update will have to answer why a call for change in degree is not enough but a change in state identity is needed.
    C. Finally, I have a bone to pick with the general suggestion that such a non-ethnic state could exist over there. I have done relatively little reading in this area, but ive done some decent listening. I have only heard the idea of a non-ethnic Israel from Americans. I have never heard an Israeli or Palestinian ever mention this thought. They don’t want it, why should they have it? As pathetic as ethnic nationalism seems to us, for them it is very real. A one-state solution would lead to the sort of bickering that charachterizes tribally-divided countries from Iraq to Kenya. These people believe in different Gods, speak different languages and hold different values. You will find them voting along these lines and pasing political favors along these lines under one state. These people see themselves as two different peoples. If they can work out the borders, what is so catastrophic about a two state solution of two nationalistic democratic governments? Its worked for plenty of nations, so why not these?
    There is an old quote that I am about to butcher about religious war. A few hundred years ago someone said “On the continent we have two religions and we can’t stop fighting, in England they have 30 and are always at peace.” The idea of non-ethnic government makes sense to Americans because there are so many ethnicities that ethnic government just would not be feasible. In areas where there are two competing groups this just doesn’t happen. They can’t really imagine it, so there is no need to imagine you can make it happen.Report