Netanyahu, Ignoring Historical Irony, Wants Israel to Be a Volkisch State

netanyahuIt is ironic that Binyamin Netanyahu wants to walk Israel at least partway down the path Adolf Hitler took Nazi Germany, by declaring Israel a “nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people.” Nazi Germany, you may remember, was also nation state of one people only – the German people – and no other people.

Netanyahu says,

The state of Israel provides full equal rights, individual rights, to all its citizens, but it is the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people. And therefore, in order to bolster the status of the state of Israel as a nation state of the Jewish people, I intend to submit a basic law that will anchor this status.

Netanyahu claims that the rights of minorities will be respected, but though the Israeli declaration of independence of 1948 says Israel is a “Jewish state,” he asserts “that the state of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people is not sufficiently expressed in our basic laws, and this is what the draft basic law is meant to provide.” Oh, “Jewish state” is not clear enough for you?

According to Adolf Hitler, the state was, as he wrote in Mein Kampf, a “means to an end” – a “community of physically and psychologically homogenous beings.” The entity to be combated was the Volksfeind (“enemy of the people”) who “is always the same and never changes. He is the enemy of the racial, völkisch (ethnic-nationalist) and spiritual substance of our people.”

The dangers of rampant nationalism have been well defined by two world wars and those of ethnic nationalism by an ideology that refined racial thinking to truly evil levels. Sadly, history has taught us nothing. But you would think that a state founded by survivors of the holocaust would be more aware than others of those dangers.

Not so. Barak Ravid explains in Haaretz:

In recent years, “nation-state laws” has become a code name for laws designed to compel the High Court to prioritize the state’s Jewish identity over its democratic identity. People who were involved in the formulation of Netanyahu’s declaration said that the exact wording for the law has yet to be determined, but that he definitely intends to follow through with the plan.

Over the past few years, Netanyahu has taken steps to thwart a vote on a number of controversial bills on this issue, including MK Yariv Levin and Habayit Hayehudi faction chairman MK Ayelet Shaked’s bill that was recently put before the Knesset. Inter alia, the bill – a relatively moderate version of the bill proposed in the previous Knesset by former MK Avi Dichter (Kadima) – called for not granting Arabic status as an official language. The new version states that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people and that the right to realize this national self-definition in Israel is reserved for the Jewish people.

It is easy to see the drift, as was seen in Nazi Germany, to a “Jewish national body” which of necessity is different from and superior to those who are not Jewish, just as the Volksfeind were not Aryan. You cannot help but be a second class citizen in a country that rejects you. Palestinians whose ancestors have lived on that land for centuries, find themselves excluded by definition.

This is a slippery slope Netanyahu wishes to lead his nation down. It is not only a “differential notion of nationhood” as The Guardian terms it, but if Jewish is not to be understood as purely a religion, then what is it? Not all Jews are Semitic. There are Russian Jews, there are African Jews, there are Eastern European Jews and American Jews. What, precisely, is a Jew? And what precisely, are Jewish values and why are they superior to Palestinian values?

Herb Keinon writes in the Jerusalem Post that “The State of Israel’s existence, he said, flows from it being the ‘national home of the Jewish people’ and the deep link between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel” but here too we have problems: What is the land of Israel and what does it include? There are serious historical problems between conceptions of Israel in the Old Testament and the facts on the ground. Some might imagine Israel to extend to the Mediterranean coast for example, but historically, Israel never extended to the coast. The coast was the domain of Pagan peoples.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni opposes the proposed changes and prefers the law to refer to Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people and a democratic state.” This might seem a bit mealy-mouthed but she is right to worry about a law that puts Jewishness (however that might be defined) above democratic values. Said a spokesperson:

We will absolutely not allow the state’s democratic values to be infringed, weakened or made subordinate to the Jewish values. This is the essence of the Scroll of Independence and the basis of our existence. The justice minister has previously opposed such initiatives and will do the same again, even if the proposal is coming from the prime minister.

It is very easy to see Republicans claiming that our own Declaration of Independence and Constitution are not clear enough on the matter of the United States being a “Christian Nation” and that therefore we have to make a few changes to more accurately reflect what the Founding Fathers somehow neglected to do.

Already the Religious Right wants to be Christianity above democratic values, and the Bible above the Constitution: “Laws designed to compel the High Court to prioritize the state’s Jewish identity over its democratic identity” is easily understood by those of us who realize the threat of theocracy to be “laws designed to compel the Supreme Court to prioritize the state’s Christian identity over its democratic identity.”

There is no room in a world become increasingly small and interdependent, for Volkisch thinking. It is a sad and inglorious relic of our past, and for Israel of all nations to embrace this ideology is especially repugnant.

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33 Replies to “Netanyahu, Ignoring Historical Irony, Wants Israel to Be a Volkisch State”

  1. Double H, like Jimmy Carter in public and John Kerry in private you decided to “go there.”

    If this is what the Prime Minister of Israel wants, you will hear calls of cutting off aid to his country.

    Mier Kahane (pardon my misspelling his name) said the very same thing before a bullet silenced him. He wanted a Jewish state, not a Jeffersonian Democracy.

    Right now, you have a multiculturalist President who fulfilling the dreams of HIS MOTHER leading this country towards something called diversity, and all of us are seeing a big pushback from the Tea Party who in reality feel the country is slipping away from them on a cultural basis.

    This is gonna get ugly….in Israel and America.

  2. I do NOT like Netanayahu who is a piggy eyed weasel, Netanayahu is NOT his real name, it was Mileikowsky, and he was a Polish immigrant. He inflamed the fanatics to kill Yitzhak Rabin, the one PM who wanted to broker a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.

    He is responsible for the ghettoizing of the Palestinians, building Jewish only highways in the West Bank, splitting up neighbourhoods, walling off the Palestinians.

    He is severely aided and abetted by the Christian Zionists in the US. These include the Dominionists who want all the Jews to move to Israel to bring about Armageddon. Thoughtful Jews (like me) know this and avoid Israel and the Christian Zionists like the plague. I believe Netanayahu is insane and has a lot of blood on his hands.

    He also does not like Jews who are not white. He inflames fanatic ultra orthodox teenagers to vandalize and harass Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem. Israel like the US is becoming an unkind place.

  3. Looks like we can cross Israel off as the lone democratic state in the middle east. Further it looks like Israel is trying to make itself a state modeled after the gop state in America.

    Have the Israelis been denied a vote in their own country? Will they wake up? Probably not

  4. The tone and innuendo within the article is wrong, shameful, pathetic. Just blame shifting. Who writes this drivel? An import from Saudi Arabia?

    Articles like this one open the door for a few of the worst haters to post their shot at Israel.

    It is presently, has always been, multi-cultural.
    The state itself is secular by and large.

    Arabs live, vote, and participate within the society and the halls of parliament.

    The so called Palestinians (ooops, Egyptians of Gaza and Jordanians of the West bank) want something
    they are not entitled to. They want to commit
    mass murder, and through the last 70 years of history, and even the preceding 60 years of history, they have never been shy about their intent. It is not to gain a homeland for themselves. If that were their goal they could make peace, stop their constant threats of annihilation,
    recognize the reality of the two state solutions proposed time and again over decades, and try to make it work. They don’t want peac…

  5. Thanks, its been a long week. Then I come home and start weeding my new herb garden and the surrounding area only to find I was weeding poison ivy Soooo, in a few days from now, its going to be itchy around here

  6. Moshe, do you have anything to say on the subject matter and the actions of Netanyahu in creating his master race country?

  7. Moshe, I am a Scandinavian American, a Heathen, and, by the way, a life-long supporter of Israel’s right to exist. It says a great deal about you that you assume I am a “Saudi Arabian import” – apparently you will fit right in as part of Netanyahu’s new master race.

    President Jimmy Carter did it by calling Israel an Apartheid nation.
    The UN established the Jewish state. Why does not Carter refer to other nations that could be called Apartheid on Religion.
    Nations with almost entirely one religion such as Mexico with 99%.
    France with 98%. Saudi Arabia with 100%. Niger with 99%. Somalia with 100%.
    Afghanistan with 99%. Oman with 99%. Turkey with 99%.
    I adore President Carter but he stuck his foot in his mouth this time.
    Clarence swinney

  9. I feel very sorry for many of the Jewish people today who “still” believe that “only” they are the “chosen-people” of a “GOD” that “only” talked to a “scam-artist” and “con-man”, named Moses. Moses “created” this “GOD” of “his” so that he and his own spawn could “control” all of the “ignorant-people”. And become very rich doing it. It has worked so far. In my opinion. Ask Moses or his “GOD” if I am wrong about this. Note: Moses is not here at the moment. And his “GOD” only talks to him. Let me know what you find out please.

  10. What I wrote says nothing about me except that I see through the latent hatred of Israel buried within your prose.

    Look, the whole situation has little or nothing at all to do with apartheid, and everything to do with a twisted Arab-Palestinian mentality which justifies mass murder—‘drive them into the sea’–they say.

    Study the biography of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his personal relationship with Hitler, maybe you will gain a glimpse to the origins of the present impossibility of negotiating a peace with the “Palestinians.”

    No state is going to allow those who wish to proudly
    proclaim their intent at mass murder, their wish.

    People with your views will drive liberals to the conservative side, and that is sad. Wish there was more space to discuss this but I am running our of available “characters.”

  11. Moshe, I have to laugh when I see people like you. Totally unable to address the content of a post, just going on and on about Palistine and Israel. Hraff doesnt hate Israel at all.

    Israel is about as multi-culteral as a small town in Texas. Israel is no different then Palestine, it does everything it can, just like the palestinians, to make sure there is no peace.

    You might look analytically at Israel, re-read the article and comment on the content. I strongly suggest it.

    And I wish the US would stop sending both countrys my money.

  12. Shiva, it is you and your ilk who choose to use the scurrilous words “master race” in order to denigrate
    the Prime Minister of Israel.

    There is no “master race” and none is contemplated.
    All that is wanted is real meaningful peace and prosperity. This the Arab side historically, has been unwilling to agree to, with the sole exception of Sadat, who said “no more war.” For that he was paid with a bullet.

    The “Palestinian Arabs” could have peace, tranquility, prosperity, law and rights, if they would do one thing. Give up their maniacal quest
    to finish what Hitler started. Google, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem for some historical context.

  13. 1. There are many different peoples on this Earth and all have an unique culture and history. Every nation needs a secure place for living and to be able to express themselves without hinderance.

    “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” Book of Acts 17:26

    2. If someone wants to know something about Zionism, then plaese read works from Theodor Herzl, Nathan Birnbaum, Chaim Weizmann, Martin Buber and other Zionist thinkers and not from other different political movements.

    In general, how soemone can be so ignorant and mix Zionism with the occultist crap of f.e. Adolf Hitler ?!?
    Everyone should know that the Austrian A.Hitler’s ideology was based on GEORG SCHÖNERER (“Aryan paragraph”), ADOLF JOSEF LANZ aka Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels (“Ariosophy” – an occultist ideological system based on racism) and KARL LUEGER (political Antisemitism).

  14. What you are so glaringly bad at seeing is the connection to Netanyahu and hitler both trying to do the same thing.

    Hitler wanted an all German state. Netanyahu wants an all Jewish state.

    The rest of the world thinks they are both insane.

  15. What would you call rounding up African immigrants and placing them in “holding facilities?”

    KTSIOT, Israel — [….]The newly constructed “open facility” is designed to hold up to 3,300 illegal immigrants. It is not a prison, but not exactly a shelter, either. Residents will be required to answer roll call three times a day. They are not allowed to seek work. The facility is surrounded by a fence topped with spools of razor wire, and the migrants will be locked down at night.[…]

    Israel absorbed tens of thousands of Jews from Ethiopia over the past three decades, spending billions to integrate people who had been living an agrarian lifestyle into this fast-paced, high-tech society. But the Africans who have poured into Israel in recent years are Muslim and Christian.[….]

    Read more:

  16. @creolchild: >>”What would you call rounding up African immigrants and placing them in “holding facilities?”

    Can you read or like a child you are incapable of comprehending what you read:

    Israel absorbed tens of thousands of Jews from Ethiopia over the past three decades, spending billions to integrate people who had been living an agrarian lifestyle into this fast-paced, high-tech society. But the Africans who have poured into Israel in recent years are Muslim and Christian.[….]

    So after spending Billions of dollars integrating tens of thousands of African immigrants into Israeli society, they are finally putting on the brakes to limit this. Are you equally critical of the United States doing far worse to Mexican immigrants illegally crossing our borders?
    What about the genocide in Darfur Sudan where over 650,000 black skinned African Muslims were slaughtered by the lighter skinned Arab Muslims because of their “apparent racial inferiority….

  17. @Hrafnkell Haraldsson:
    Comparing the Prime Minister of Israel to Hilter, you must really hate the Jewish people.

    There are currently 57 nations that have declared themselves as “Islamic Nation States”. Why do you have such a problem with there being one Jewish State? Taking one statement of Netanyahu out of context and equating with with Nazi domination of the world by a country with 7 million Jews surrounded by over 450 million hostile Arabs is really slick, we all better watch out. Comparing the survivors of the Holocaust with the master of genocide who slaughtered 1/3 of the Jewish people – shame on you. There are a total of 14 million Jews left in the world, hardly enough to worry about and half of them live in one small country. For the past 2,000 years we have done a very good job of killing them off and now the handful that are left in one of the smallest countries in the world can’t be recognized as being Jewish? That frightens you? Threatens you?

  18. Are you for or against the 57 Muslim nations, members of the OIC. You do realize that in most of them practicing Christianity is a crime and proselytizing Christianity is punishable by death.

    Netanyahu never said Israel is for Jews only, the rights of other religions are protected and respected more so in Israel than in the self-declared 57 Islamic Nation States. What he has repeatedly stated is that he wants the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a nation of the Jewish people, the only Jewish nation out of the 206 nations of the world. There are many “Catholic nations” France and Italy immediately come to mind, do you find that offensive? England is an Anglican nation, that is their official religion. In fact most of the nations of the world have a declared state religion so why does it offend you if one out of 206 declares it’s state religion as being Jewish?

  19. For all your posturing about wanting peace, your statements about West Bank Jordanians, and Gazan Egyptians reveal where you intend to send the people who live there after you takes all the land from the people you say you want peace with. Hopeless.

  20. So, you didnt care to read the article and are just like Moshe, who can only blame the palestinians while ignoring what Netanyahu is doing.

    Not interested in other country’s or palestine, are you for or against Netanyahu wanting to make Israel an all Jewish country by laws or not?

  21. Yawn.

    the comparison, which slipped right by you, is Netanyahu trying to do what Hitler was trying to do. Are you for or against it?

  22. Gary, this is what he said
    “The state of Israel provides full equal rights, individual rights, to all its citizens, but it is the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people. And therefore, in order to bolster the status of the state of Israel as a nation state of the Jewish people, I intend to submit a basic law that will anchor this status.”

    This is not about religion, not about Islam, not about Palestine or anything else. Hitler wanted to do the same thing with his Aryan garbage

  23. @Shiva

    You apparently didn’t read anything I said as I never blamed the Palestinians I merely mentioned facts which you completely ignored no doubt, because they don’t comport with your Jew hatred. Netanyahu wants nothing more than what most of the 206 nations of the world already have, 57 of them Islamic Nations, he wants the world to recognize the one nation that is mostly Jewish, the birthplace of Judaism and the Nation State of the Jews.

    Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Issac, why is it such a stretch for the descendents of one son Issac to have one nation, Israel, when the descendents of the other, Ishmael have 22 – all of them self-declared Islamic States?

  24. @Shiva:>>is Netanyahu trying to do what Hitler was trying to do?”

    Why yes, of course, he is definitely trying to start another world war, cause the deaths of over 50 million people, have all the old and ill liquidated, kill all Gay people and anyone non-Aryan or in the case of Netanyahu non-Jewish and with a nation with roughly 7 million Jews, 2.5 million Muslims and an army of 160,000 men and women TAKE OVER THE WORLD!! Watch out Shiva, he’s coming for you.

    Another point of information: Israel is 6/10th’s of 1% of the landmass of the Arab League nations, real scary.

    Netanyahu also said: “Israel will always preserve full equal rights, both personal and civil, of all citizens of the state of Israel, Jews and non-Jews as one, in the Jewish and democratic state,” Netanyahu said. “Indeed, in Israel, individual rights and civil rights are guaranteed to all – something which makes us unique in the Middle East and beyond it.”

  25. You are out of control. The comparison is what Netanyahu is doing that is the same thing that Hitler tried to do.

    You need to seek help for the problem of not being able to concentrate on an issue.

    Netanyahu’s statement that I posted is his most recent. Move along.

  26. Not interested in your Islam rant. It has nothing to do with anything in this conversation.

    I dont hate Israel, I just wish we would stop sending them money as well as every other Middle eastern country that we support.

  27. Thanks for this history lesson. Maybe Netanyahu’s statement is a “lapsus linguae” (slip of the tongue), not a “lapsus memoriae” (slip of the memory). What else to say? AN otherwise intelligent, cultured man, Netanyahu should elucidate what he really means. We never learn, do we?

  28. He was very clear in what he said. No one does a slip of the tongue and then say he is going to get laws passed to enforce it

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