In the aftermath of the Holocaust, the world finally recognized what Judaism had claimed for three and a half millennia: the Jews needed a land to call their own. In order to ensure that the Jews would no longer be treated as second-class citizens, they required a state in which they could rule as the majority. Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, put it this way: “We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and in our own homes peacefully die. The world will be liberated by our freedom, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind.” In 1948, the world agreed, and Israel was born.
Israel loses its identity if it is not Jewish. Israel is not like other states. It represents a dispossessed minority that must retain majority status if it is to survive, as three thousand years of history colorfully prove. The moment Israel becomes a non-Jewish state, it loses its raison d’etre and joins the pantheon of states in which Jews live at the whim of their non-Jewish hosts – a situation that has almost universally resulted in disaster for Jews.
Now, the left has decided that all forms of nationalism are bad. Well, almost all forms – when Palestinian Arabs wish to have a state that is completely Judenrein, that’s lauded by the left. The only nationalism that is bad, in the view of the left, is nationalism pushed by people who don’t have gentile brown skin.
So imagine the outrage among liberals – particularly in Hollywood – when Israel began administering basic loyalty oaths requiring new non-Jewish immigrants (in terms of bulk, largely Muslim) to swear fealty to a “Jewish and democratic state.” Mike Leigh, a British filmmaker anonymous for his films Naked
and Secrets & Lies
leads the way in his scorn for Israel, refusing to visit the state. But he’s hardly the only one. Leftists across the world have used the loyalty oath as the latest excuse for hating Israel (before the oath, it was the terrorist flotilla, before that it was the Gaza defense mission, before that it was the Lebanon defense mission, and before that it was …).
Pathetically, much of the outrage comes from the Jewish community itself. The Jewish community has always had a strong core of suicidal morons within it – those who believe that pleasing the international community is the path toward peaceful coexistence, and that strong and proud Judaism is a threat to world order. This movement has gained steam with the rise of multiculturalism, which assures Jews that as long as we push a worldview that prizes “tolerance,” Jews will be left alone.
This is nonsense on stilts, of course. Many cultures have pushed tolerance, but the bottom line is that tolerance is fleeting – sooner or later, the majority either becomes intolerant of the minority (Nazi Germany) or a concerted minority attacks the majority (Muslims in modern France). Tolerance is temporary; a strong national defense is forever.
Generally, left-wing Jews like Leigh don’t care particularly about Israel’s heritage, her meaning, or her historic role – nor do they even care about Judaism. However, they do use their ethnicity as a club to wield against those who question their self-immolating tendencies.
The Jewish community worldwide has enough to face without fifth columnists attacking it from within. Mike Leigh can stay out of Israel; with friends like him, Israel doesn’t need enemies.