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Apportioning Blame, Saving a State

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Apportioning Blame, Saving a State
By Dr. Eugene Narrett - November 8, 2010

In an interview in Ha'Aretz, a Director of a prestigious investment and banking concern emphasized that his philanthropic activities in Israel and his personal beliefs meant "advancing the [peace] process." He decried the "extremists and fanatics on both sides" that make this difficult. He particularly mentioned Jewish settlers that, purportedly, attack the Israeli soldiers who are there to defend them.

But are they there to defend the settlers, to suppress or even provoke them, or to defend the lives and interests of other people or organizations?

There are two errors of inference in the Director's comments aside from the error of fact: Jewish settlers do not attack the army, though criticism is periodic and usually merited. Attacks on the IDF are almost entirely by Arabs whom the IDF is not permitted to defeat and drive away from the land, thus creating genuine peace. Moreover, the IDF at times has assisted Israeli Police forces in driving Jews from their land or to prevent them from retaliating against Arab attacks. This resembles the decades of the British mandate except now the soldiers are Israeli instead of British, an odd and sad exchange.

The Jewish settlers are not "extremists and fanatics," just people who wish to live on their land, work and raise family. They do not own yachts, Ferraris or palaces. They are used to having their crops, livestock and homes raided or damaged and to being slandered as the major source of conflict in the world. This criticism is not only cruelly unfair it implicitly justifies physical violence (as well as media polemics) against them. Some of this slander is intended, at times explicitly, to provoke these attacks. They are among the most long-suffering people there are; their cause is just and their wish simple. Perhaps that is why an increasingly complex, incoherent, anxious and post-literate world finds them intolerable. They do not fit into its substance or the plans of it directors for a readily manageable global state in which national distinctions, memory and tradition are erased.

Meetings for 'advancing the process' continue to sputter; resumption of 'talks' are announced and then their postponement or breaking off. Arab demands, perhaps prompted by their Western enablers and apologists never change: Jews out of Judea, the return of all the so-called Arab refugees and the ceding of Jerusalem to an Arab state. Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State also is anathema to Esau (Europe) perhaps more so than to Ishmael. The West, after all, from its inception defines itself as "the new Israel." Even though it long has entered a 'post-Christian' phase, still its identity and the endless metamorphoses that are its principle and substance cannot abide the traditions, memory and history of Israel. Israel is rooted like a tree; the West has a pliable identity in which abides the oceanic, Dionysian urge to sweep away boundaries and distinctions in search of rapturous communion. This rage to ecstatic dissolution and transgression cannot abide boundaries, nations or even grammar. As Nietzsche noted, as long as people retain a hold on grammar they retain a connection to a Creator of purposeful history, logic and a rational natural order. The trend toward a post-literate society of screen-rapture, binary instructions and the stimulus-response of 'push-point-and click' is the surest sign that the Dionysian impulse persists in a regressive, ugly and, ironically, de-sensitized, two-D form. The physical and sensuous elements of the urge to dissolution and forgetting fall away in a new pure 'spirit' of electronic impulses and alienated screen-gazing. The rapture and mystical union has become attenuated but its forms increasingly dominate international technology, trade, advertising and popular culture, -- the way people live and are told they must live to fit into the new globalized world.

In this world, the last era of Esau's Dionysian impulse, there is no place for a genuine, and that means an integral Israel or for Judaism with its basis in memory and history. It is more difficult to manage people with a sense of history and tradition and who can reason. The pottery shard from the era of David and Solomon with verses paraphrasing Tehillim must not be discussed and the settlers must be blamed and displaced by a fictional state for a fictional people whose virtual nature and tendency to violence (encouraged by their western enablers) fit readily into irrational raptures. This displacement is the "peace process" about which every 'enlightened' person professes so much care. Why; because this uprooting and irrationality is central to the passionate, egotistic Dionysian drive of the culture. Nietzsche also wrote that the exfoliation of an intense and exhausted egotism is the result of the inevitable degeneration of enlightenment and the path to Caesarism.[1] In our hi-tech, semi-literate postmodern world of increasing noise and less articulation, -- of the abrading of the instructive lucidity of creation, and of the Creator's undeniable truth as described in Tehillim 19 this blend of passionate and confused egotism and the perceived, advertised need for internationalism we approach global oligarchy and fascism, increasingly enhanced bonds between corporate buccaneering and State control.

Caesarism pertains not only to the outposts of upscale enlightenment in Israel but to its history and name as the port developed by Herod to emphasize his fealty to the Empire, and to bind Israel to the source of imperial might and alien gods. He epitomized all that enmeshes Israel with "those who worship idols and pride themselves on worthless gods"; that binds it to HaOlam shotim Rashi comments, "the world of idiots." It reminds one of Kundera's remarks about "the President of Forgetting" and "the Idiot of music," that alliance of client Caesarism and degenerating pop culture that made alliance to subjugate the Czechs, and their history, after the Communist invasion of summer 1968.[2] One might see this, and similar events of the period, like "the summer of love" and intense hyping and support of "hippie attitudes," rapture in all areas of life as counter-movements to Israel's belated regaining of its heartland and of Jerusalem.

Our historical period is the climax of the conflict between rapturous forgetting, a present that precludes a human future, and loss of articulation (of which post-literacy is one aspect) and memory; between discrete nations and governments accountable to the people they ostensibly represent and globalism and global managers. In short, it is the era of the conflict between Caesarea and Caesarism and Jerusalem, integrity, freedom and life abundant. As a great writer explained, this is a zero-sum contest: if Caesarea stands, Jerusalem declines and vice versa.[3] The old story pertains: it is Esau or Jacob. The true re-establishment of Jerusalem and its Temple means the restoration of derekh Yehudi and the fall of Esau, Caesarism, its myriad schemes of global rapture and all the unreason centered on unio mystica. Blind "faith as an imperative at any price is a veto against science. [It is] the lie at any price." The obsession "with the beyond kills life."[4] In their rage against order and boundaries, "the Christian and the anarchist are both decadents" whose main effect is "disintegrating" human and intellectual structure. This prompts the compulsive harassment of Israel by Europe and thus the natural alliance between the otherwise antitheses, Edom and Ishmael in their war on Israel. The "peace process" ultimately stems from the unstable identity of Esau and its need to infest Israel.

Blaming the settlers but at the same time keeping them in place serves several purposes of Caesarea. The various powers con-centered and interwoven there recognize that they could not keep their coastal state without the high ground of Israel's heartland. They do not want total chaos so they manage to produce constant friction between the non-nation and the Jewish settlers. So they protect or rather manage matters to keep the settlers in place, to serve as scapegoats and hold the land that defends the coastal state. This modus operandi keeps the process interminably going and to blame its lack of fulfillment on the Jews. This is the most conservative impulse of Esau. The settlers, the quintessential Jews serve Caesar by being his scapegoats and reason to protect his game, his economic outpost and engine in the center of the world with its access to the holiest of places which he also craves for what we term 'psychological' reasons: so he can feel genuine and not hybrid. Holding on to the land and managing its attrition and 'processing' enables Esau to satisfy his murderous imperial envy of Jacob, to feel sanctimonious as he does so (this is where the Vatican plays a major role), and to advance his claim to being the real inheritor of what he threw away and what his historical sequel, Edom, deformed with its Dionysian impulse and aesthetic emphasis.

The State being saved is the client state of "Caesarea" with its service to destruction of geographic, moral, social and mental boundaries and its drive toward global Caesarism and management of human inventory. The State being saved is called Israel but the true Israel must try to survive and, somehow, to grow in spite of it. For the future planned for it is dissolution into a world system in which its distinctive spirit is diffused or lost. If its wisdom, holy or high-tech exceeds its works on the land, it may be uprooted and its wisdom may not endure.[5]

This is why the process must continue to limp along, to blame the Jews most near to integrity, to alienate, partly the land necessary to Jewish integrity and restoration, -- which would be the downfall of "Caesarea," and above all to let Esau appropriate and change the nature of Judaism so that, even in its postmodern pagan form it becomes the new Israel and center of world sanctity. And from this process, cui bono, "who benefits," the very ancient alliance noted above: Edom and Ishmael[6], a "game" and a "trap" for which Ishmael once, according to Midrash anyway, had no use.[7] But today the products, promises and emoluments of Edom are vastly greater as are its ability to game, entrap,[8] infiltrate and change derekh Yehudi from within. Who would not wish to serve, who can resist such a wealthy and persuasive master? This is the question our historical period will answer.

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science Part I, sections 23-4
  2. Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter & Forgetting, Part VI, "the Angels" II
  3. Israel Eldad, The First Tithe, Part III (Tel Aviv 2008, English translation, Zev Golan), 204
  4. Nietzsche, The Antichrist sections 47, 58 in the Portable Nietzsche (NY 1954; 1978, translation Walter Kaufmann), 627, 647-8
  5. Pirke Avot 3:22
  6. Tehillim 83:7
  7. Midrash HaGadol, Baba Kama 92: "Esau, you are unstable!"
  8. Genesis 25:27-8; see Rashi on Tehillim 120:2-3, "this is the seed of Esau" and his "tongue of falsehood"

Prof. Eugene Narrett is the author of five books about cultural history and Israel related issues. His latest book is Culture of Terror: The Collapse of America (May 2009). Dr. Narrett blogs at

Dr. Narrett is available to lecture and his services are available as an editor or co-writer of fiction or non-fiction projects. For more information, you can contact Dr. Narrett via his website at:

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Eye.
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