Netanyahu Playing Into anti-Semites’ Hands

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thinks he's the leader of world Jewry and it's us against the Western world.

Carolina Landsmann
Carolina Landsmann
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Netanyahu and Lieberman at the Knesset Foreign and Defense Committee, June 10, 2013.
Netanyahu and Lieberman at the Knesset Foreign and Defense Committee, June 10, 2013.Credit: Emil Salman
Carolina Landsmann
Carolina Landsmann

Emperor Netanyahu, head of the Jewish empire with its capital the State of Israel, has announced the diversion of the economic armies from west to east. Netanyahu has abandoned our interests in the sinking continent of Europe, the newspapers heralded, and marked our new interests in the east.

“I come here now from signing an agreement with the deputy prime minister of China, and last week I signed similar agreements with the prime minister of Japan. I had a talk with the President of Nigeria, who asked me to send Israeli aid to the struggle against Islamic terrorism. Yesterday, I spoke to the president of Serbia, who asked me to send Israeli aid against the floods in his state,” Netanyahu boasted at the Likud Knesset faction meeting.

He summed up: “This is our answer to those who want to isolate us.” The West repudiates us? Let’s recreate ourselves in the East (at least until they realize who we are).

The fear of losing the Jewish majority in Israel, which is a modern reincarnation of the Jews’ primeval fear of being annihilated, is of the utmost importance to the leader of the Jews. Obviously, neither peace nor democracy will help the struggle against the demographic threat, inasmuch as it is seen as a threat. The only effective ammunition in this war is Jews — and the “Jewish identity” bill is the weapon.

We are witnessing a move to nationalize the Diaspora Jews. The bill aims to identify Jewish with Israeli and convert all Diaspora Jews into Israelis de facto. It’s only a matter of time until Jews, wherever they are, get the right to vote. This is a bid for numerical fortification, similar to the statistical manipulations that serve as a substitute for the struggle against poverty. The Diaspora Jews will be counted together with the Jews in Israel, without having to immigrate. This is an implementation of the right of return, without Jews having to actually return.

Such a move could be disastrous. It is not inevitable that Jews in Diaspora will have to deal with anti-Semitism again. If they are Israelis whether they want to be or not, they will no longer be able to ask to distinguish between protest against Israel’s policy and Jew hating. They may be blamed again for dual loyalty — to the state they live in and the Jewish state.

Perhaps such a situation is not against Israel’s interests. Zionism in its current incarnation has created a distorted dependency on anti-Semitism — the ideological migration to Israel has been exhausted, as has the migration of persecuted and poor Jews. We are left with millions of obstinate Jews, who regardless of how many Birthright trips Sheldon Adelson gives them at his expense, still prefer life outside Israel to partaking in the project of the Jewish state.

Ultimately, the only way to bring them here and harness them to the demographic struggle is to make them understand that no matter how bad things are here, they are even worse over there.

Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are on a dangerous course. They want to harness the struggle against anti-Semitism to the struggle against moves against Israel’s policy. But they don’t realize, or do realize and turn a blind eye, that the move will backfire. It will merely inflame the rage and anger further, because it portrays Israel and the Jews as a body without borders that wants to expand beyond its state. In this sense, Netanyahu is playing into the anti-Semites’ hands by implementing their wildest fantasy about the Jews.

America’s Jews have been trying for some time to distinguish between the Jews and Israel and convey the message that they will not be able to defend Israel as an extension of their identity, unless it starts going straight. But Netanyahu and Lieberman don’t believe in responsibility and friendship in the world, only economic interests and anti-Semitism — and world order as simply their reorganization. They are like Russian President Vladimir Putin’s people, who pooh-poohed American sanctions over the invasion to Ukraine, remarking that at worst they won’t be able to go to Disneyland.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Japan, May 2014.Credit: AFP

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