Arab Victory in the Knesset is an Existential Threat to Israel
Can Netanyahu preserve Israel's Jewish character?
For pro-Zionists and for those who celebrate Israel’s right to exist as a state for Jews and as a Jewish state, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s electoral victory on March 2, 2020 is cause for universal celebration.
Something daunting, however, happened on that night. The Joint List, the unified ticket of four major Arab factions, won 15 of Israel’s seats in the Knesset. An Arab alliance hostile to Israel is the third largest party in the Knesset. It is also the party which an increasing number of Jewish Israelis are joining and voting for. It is the party that the majority of Arab and Palestinian citizens of Israel vote for. Since the September 2019 elections in Israel, the Joint List increased support in Jewish areas by 60%. It is comprised of an ideologically strange mélange of communists, Arab nationalist, Islamists, Hamas supporters and sympathizers. Not all are unified in their support for Arab-Jewish solidarity. This party attracted ultra-Orthodox Jews who feel ostracized for not serving in the military along with Haredi Israelis as well. Ethiopian Jews who feel that they exist on the periphery of Israeli society are also attracted in large numbers to the Joint List. Jews who are repelled by talk of an “Arab threat from within” felt attracted to vote for the Joint List. The Joint List is a political organization, one might also add, that, aside from holding hostile views towards Israel, has illiberal views with regards to gays and lesbians and women.
By what twisted and inverted logic and justification could any party that houses even one Islamist member have any pride of place in the Israeli Knesset? In what sort of abject ignorance would any self-respecting Jewish citizen support the Joint list? Or, truly, the question may have been naively constructed. By what sort of psychological perversion that leads to such self-hatred and loathing of one’s homeland could one support an institution that has as its goal the Islamification of the Knesset and, a fortiori, the dissolution of Israel as a distinctly re-created sacred domain for the Jewish people? One already knows the motivation of the Palestinian Arabs who have no love of Israel or of Jews. As a voting bloc that votes mostly terrorist organizations into power (the Palestinian Authority [PA] and Hamas) and as illegal squatters on sacred Jewish land in Judea and Samaria while claiming to be victims of genocidal occupiers, their motives are obvious. In support of the charters of the PA and Hamas which call for the obliteration of Israel and the destruction of Jewry from the region, and the establishment of a global Caliphate—their motives are deadly obvious. What is not obvious is how a segment of the Jewish population could have sold its integrity and self-worth to the Joint List, which -- let us be clear -- is a national security threat.
Netanyahu must explain in plain terms the pernicious and nefarious nature of the Joint List that has openly advocated Arab separatism over Israeli-Arab solidarity as exactly what it is: a national security threat to Israel. This group of Hamas sympathizers and pay-for-slay supporters are united in their hatred of Jews and of Israel. They hate the application of Israeli law. He must explain to the people how they have and will continue to demand Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-1967 war borders; the right of return for so-called Palestinian refugees; and the recognition of the Israeli Arab population as a national minority with cultural, religious and educational autonomy. He must explain that such groups already have such autonomy; that the Palestinian Authority and its educational curriculum indoctrinate those who identity as Palestinians into a thuggish hatred of Israel. They are schooled to see Israel as illegitimate, and Jews as debased subhuman specimens—to say the least. He must remind Israelis that the charters of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority still call for the obliteration of Israel and Jewry from the region, and that that, in and of itself, is a permanent declaration of war against all Israeli citizens. The existence of the charters is an act of war by the Palestinian architects and of all those who fail to renounce them.
How did such a group as the Joint List, determined to lead the opposition, become entitled to receive the same intelligence briefing materials on Military, Foreign, Defense Affairs and Intelligence and Security Details as the Prime Minister himself? What other rational country in the world allows proclaimed enemies of the state this sort of privilege? But it is up to Netanyahu to renounce the suicidal mission his country has been on ever since it fought that altruistic Seven Day War in 1967 and failed to immediately annex Judea and Samaria when it defeated Jordan in that war. Aside from carrying through on his promise to morally annex Judea and Samaria (The West Bank), permanently securing the Golan Heights and making sure that Israeli Law is unilaterally applied there forever, he should explain how the Second Intifada neutralized the Oslo Accords and why, therefore, Israel ought to retake Bethlehem. Under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority the Christian population there has been decimated by about 94%. What was once a worldwide and, certainly, a national holy treasure trove, has been reduced to a moral hellhole. The Palestinian Authority has no right to govern anywhere in moral Israel.
Israeli Jews should ask: how do we deal with enemies of the state that, in the name of egalitarian democracy, we have allowed to become part of our government, but that do not have our national security interests at heart? What makes our body politic qualified for representation in the Knesset regardless of reasonable ideological differences? If Jews belong to such factions, can they be regarded as enemies of the state, and if so, what should be done about them?
Netanyahu and his government face an Israel that, like Europe, is facing internal existential threats. Hard decisions lay ahead, and a moral vigilance over the state is perhaps never so needed as it is today as Netanyahu faces a world that is increasingly hateful of Israel and Jews, and one that is irrationally sympathetic to myriad claims made by the PA that, if taken to their logical terminus, could lead to the destruction of Israel. If Netanyahu will go down in history as an iconic leader, it will not be as a stalwart political leader who has won unprecedented term elections—three in just one year. He emerges as a gargantuan god right now. No, his place in history will be secured when he truly mandates the Jewish character of Israel as an iconic and constitutive feature of Israel; a characteristic without which no Jew will recognize him- or herself as an Israeli Jew. We are speaking here of the continued socialization and, in the case of reckless post-modern leftist Jews who believe they can domesticate scorpions, the resocialization of the moral sensibilities of today’s Israeli Jew.
Knowing that I have been a strong defender of Israel and Jewish civilization for decades, an Israeli Jewish friend once told me he felt Palestinians were the true indigenous people of his homeland, and that he no longer knew the difference between an Israeli Jew and an Israeli Arab. I told him that if he did not know the difference he deserved to find out. The discovery would not be pleasant!
An anti-Israel phenomenon like the Joint List would never have been possible had Israel not been as benevolent and altruistic as it was from its inception in terms of its citizenship and voting laws. But this religiously-oriented altruism has always been Israel’s albatross to bear. When Hamas routinely fires 450 rockets unprovoked and lets loose balloon-borne bombs into Israel on a weekly basis, almost like sporting events, Israel seems more concerned in its timid responses with Palestinian causalities than it does with the safety of its own citizens. It seems not to remember how America used to fight wars against her enemies—to vanquish them completely and to inflict generational damage. It seems to forget that the bombings in Dresden, Nagasaki and Hiroshima annihilated our enemies and secured the peace.
So many revolutions start with seemingly innocuous legal incursions. Today, the Joint List has a mandate of 15 seats in the Knesset, two more than it did in the last elections just six months ago in September of 2019. It will not be part of Netanyahu’s government or anyone’s government for that matter. But that is irrelevant. A revolution in the Knesset has already started. And the power and lethality of a revolution is not always gauged by its numeric adherents or supporters. The recalcitrance and misguided hubris in the belief of one’s omniscience and in one’s omnipotence to treat threats as mere nuisances are what goad the adversary, first by default, and then by conscious stealth, into victory—morally or physically.
When Israeli Jews feel that that they are so secure and confident in their preeminence as both a people in the Middle East and as a majority among a minority in a country, such that they can open ranks and join in union with a deadly adversary, then such citizens deserve, as individuals, to find out the difference between co-habiting with an adversary, and foolishly cavorting with them politically. Nowhere in the world do Jews have that kind of political or existential luxury. As an example of how an insidious existential threat is destroying a once-magnificent civilization, I urge readers to look at Western Europe: it is not dying or being felled apocalyptically. Rather, it is being bled to death by thousands of tiny scratches; and few are willing to notice or admit to its demise. Western Europe is over. It is nothing more than a museum spectacle.
The fall of Israel is imminent with the much-celebrated Arab Victory and revolution in the Israeli Knesset. The celebrants know exactly the nature of what they are jubilantly celebrating. What do you intend to do about it, Prime Minister Netanyahu?
Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago, and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His areas of specialization include ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy and American politics. He is the author of several books, including “We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People” (Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press). Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6.