One of the less noted aspects of the controversy over the Oslo Program, was that it played itself out on two levels. The better known was the political dimension. Was it possible to make peace with the Arabs based upon territorial compromise. However, there was a second, more insidious struggle that was carried on simultaneously. This was a war against Judaism, Jewish identity and the Jewish character of the State of Israel by the leading elements of the Israeli Left (and not only the radical Left). In other words, the Left had a cultural agenda. It was waging a Kulturkampf, against the very idea of a Jewish State. It was fighting for a 'State of al its citizens,' which was the de facto goal of the PLO from 1964, onwards, 'a bi-national, secular state.' The fact that the settlement movement, and the Israeli Right generally, are more religious (or traditional), assisted them. The 1996 elections were marked by crude, anti-semitic attacks on anything resembling Judaism or religious Jews-by elements within the Left (especially Meretz). Ben Dror Yemini, a columnist for Ma'ariv, noted that thisd attack on Judaism was a crucial factor in Netanyahu's victory.
Once the Oslo War started in 2000, things began to change. The country, albeit in adversity, became more Jewish (as the Guttman studies pointed out-and as I have already had occasion to note). I, personally, was really hopeful that no matter what the political resolution of this ongoing struggle over borders and peace will be, at least the wars of the Jews would play themselves out among Jews, as Jews.
It breaks my heart to say it. I was wrong. I was dead wrong.
Today's Haaretz features an article by Avirama Golan, the same one I praised a few weeks ago. The piece is entitled The Jews versus the Israelis. It's a return to the same anti-semitic, self-hating screed that characterized the worst of the 1996 elections. Golan writes:
On the bridge connecting Bnei Brak with the campus of Bar-Ilan University a new slogan was brandished last month: "Commander, we are Jews. I cannot do that."
It is clear what the author of the slogan cannot do: he cannot evacuate settlements. But the refusal itself is less interesting than the reasoning. The soldier referred to in the slogan cannot carry out the order, not because his heart is broken at the site of families uprooted from their homes and not even because he is convinced in his right-wing worldview that the evacuation of Gaza is a calamity. All his reasons for refusal boil down to the loaded expression: "We are Jews." This expression is a code that differentiates, as in the pre-Zionist Diaspora, between a Jew and a "goy" and permits Jews everything by virtue of their status as victims. This is also the code that led complete communities of Jews away from the families of nations due to their messianic faith, shut them off in ghettos, led them to turn their backs on modernity and humanism, and subjected them to an exclusive fate determined by the hands of God, stripping man of the freedom to choose and responsibility for his fate.
In other words, the 'Jew' is the anti-modern, irrational, primitive enemy of mankind who wishes to drag 'enlightened' Israelis to their doom. It is the 'Jew' who wants to prevent Peace due to his objection to the retreat from Gaza. It is the 'Jew' who cares not for the expellees. He only cares for his messianic blood-lust. The 'Jew,' Golan concludes, must be defeated: If the "We are Jews" argument gains the upper hand again over the aspiration for normal life, it will be the moment signifying the final tragic surrender of Zionism to Jewish messianic madness.
It is incredible, that just when Antisemitism has recaptured large sections of the world, it is being inspired and advanced by the Israeli left.