Three Cheers for Israel's Right

Because the right has been so phenomenally successful in its wise strategies, we can be pretty sure that it will continue to aggravate the world even further.

At this point the Western world is looking at Israel with a complete lack of understanding. Is it just a banana republic, something like a failed state? Or is it just behaving like a spoiled child, as Tom Friedman lately argued? Or is it an ethnocracy that, unsuccessfully, tries to hide ethnic cleansing and colonial ambitions behind protestations that it is under existential threat?

Israelis, in turn, feels misunderstood: After all, their country faces very real threats: Iran keeps calling for Israel's destruction, and may become a nuclear power. Hezbollah is armed to the teeth with rockets, and it has shown that it is willing to use them against Israel's population centers. Hamas rules Gaza, and its official position is that it will never accept Israel's existence. So why doesn't the world understand us?

The answer is, in the end, quite simple. It is the great achievement of Israel's right to have made Israel's fears utterly unbelievable to the world. Its other great achievement is that it has managed to confuse a large part of Israel's constituency. It is therefore of the essence to celebrate this immortal achievement, because Israel's right is about to score a further, valuable victory: After 62 years, Israel may soon cease to be a democracy, and finally be a Jewish state without excuses.

So let's see how they've done it. For starters, they have intensely studied successful right-wing groups that have succeeded in the past. They have realized that these parties have always made use of the same three tricks: First, take a real danger and blow it out of proportion. Second, conflate it with some other, imaginary dangers, so it looks even greater. And third, act in a way that reinforces the imaginary danger by doing everything possible to invite criticism from abroad.

The first point is easy, because Israel is under real threat from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. There is also another, real problem: The Palestinians as yet have to state explicitly that they renounce the right of return to Israel inside the 1967 lines.

The phenomenal creativity of Israel's right truly shines by mixing these real dangers with a few others. First, we are told that Israeli Arabs are a fifth column and will tear Israel apart. Then say that the world no longer accepts Israel's existence. Make sure to conflate Ahmadinejad and Hamas with France, Britain and the European left. The former deny Israel's legitimacy; the latter just want us to stop building settlements, to get out of the settlements, and to let the Palestinians have a state. Just keep the distinctions blurred so you can fan hysterical fear.

Now it's really important to act in a way that reinforces your point. Build settlements; evict Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah; expropriate Palestinian property in Silwan and Judaize Jerusalem. Just to make sure the world won't like us, demand a loyalty oath for gentiles who want Israeli citizenship. That may not be enough, so let's make sure our foreign minister offends high-ranking French and Spanish officials, and runs wild at the UN. Oh, and it will truly help if Rabbi Ovadia Yosef also says that Gentiles were only created to serve Jews.

Now the world really hates us. What a relief! The rest is easy, because now you can discard every rational policy Israel could choose to defuse the real dangers. It could, God forbid, accept the Arab League peace initiative, and along the way make peace with Syria, thus weakening Hezbollah and Hamas dramatically, and isolate Iran.

Hope and constructive thinking have never been good for the right, so make every effort to prevent Israelis from knowing how effective Salaam Fayad has been in building institutions and a viable security force in the West Bank, and that Israelis are having coffee by the thousands in Jenin.

If the right is lucky, the voices in the world that argue that Israel has gone nuts and that Israel doesn't intend to reach an agreement with the Palestinians will grow ever stronger. As a result, they will use the UN to recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders. Then we can also say that the world as a whole hates us and that the language of international law and of human rights has been designed specifically to hurt Israel.

Because the right has been so phenomenally successful in its wise strategies, we can be pretty sure that it will continue to aggravate the world even further. And this will lead to the right's ultimate triumph: Because after all, not only Israeli Arabs endanger Israel. So do leftist professors, writers and artists. Soon the right will get public opinion to the point where it will be acceptable to shut up all these disloyal people. Democracy, after all, is a Helenistic invention and very un-Jewish. So why not just drop the fiction of 'Jewish and Democratic?'