Opinion |

A Light Unto the Nations

How right-wingers in West wish they could shut their states to citizens of Muslim countries and suspect anyone who has an Arabic last name – like Israel is doing.

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
wILDERS
Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders came to Israel 40 times. He also lived here for two years. Credit: AP
Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy

Israel has resumed its biblical role as a light unto the nations in recent years. To increasingly larger groups in the West it is a source of inspiration and a subject of imitation. Israel is the model, the forerunner, the pillar of fire, the lighthouse. It is also the defensive shield. When the world charges to the right, Israel once again shines brightly, like in those beautiful days of pony tails, the kibbutz and the Six-Day War.

When the world wages war on the Muslims, it remembers that Israel was there first, the vanguard of the sons of light in their war on the sons of darkness. When they talk about the ways to fight them, Israel is the most tried and tested training field. When they talk about the influence of Donald Trumps election on the Israeli right, we should also pay attention to the opposite, much more significant influence – how Israel has become the legitimacy source for the American radical right.

Dutch far-right Party of Freedom leader Geert Wilders came to Israel 40 times. He also lived here for two years. What exactly did he see in it? A source of inspiration for his racial doctrine and a shelter to launder his views. Nowhere in the world do I feel that feeling of friendship like in Ben-Gurion Airport, he once said. What more can we ask? Just like its predecessor, South Africa, which the West saw as its front outpost against the savages and the Communists, Israel is now seen as the Wests front outpost in its war on the Islamic darkness.

Thanks to parents in Israel, who send their children to the army and dont sleep at night, the parents in Europe and the United States can sleep peacefully, said Wilders, the Israel enthusiast.

Indeed, Israel started all this. It was the first to identify the Arab menace and wage war on it. It brought back colonialism. The right will not forget that. It built the separation fences and walls, realizing the global rights dreams. If only they could surround Europe with a wall like in the West Bank, if only they could build a fence on the Mexico border, like the one on the Egyptian border. Israel has proved its possible. It has proved that a country can be both a democracy and apartheid – something the global right is dreaming of.

Israel has proved that its OK to flout international law and exist without the High Court of Justice and human rights groups. Trump would swell with pleasure. Wilders eyes would glitter to see the routine executions of girls with scissors and boys throwing stones in the West Bank. They can only envy their friends from Israel.

They can only envy the Israelis, who are not ashamed to hold millions of Arabs as subjects without rights for 50 years and still be part of the enlightened world; to legitimize every abomination under cover of the war on terror. How the rightists in the West wish they could close their countries to all the asylum-seekers and not recognize anyone as a refugee, as Israel does. How they would love to thumb their noses at international conventions and international institutions resolutions – its so 2017. How they wish they could shut their states to citizens of Muslim countries and suspect anyone who has an Arabic last name – like Israel is doing; to hold thousands of Palestinian prisoners, most of them political prisoners, some of them without trial.

From Marine Le Pen to the far-right Sweden Democrats, they would all want to implement that in their countries.

Israel was the one that started all this, and now the West is imitating it – theyre already banning computers on flights from Muslim states and you can feel the Israeli inspiration in the air. Not only drip irrigation has Israel contributed to the world, but profiling, too. Not only cherry tomatoes, but detention without trial.

It has shown the world how to incite against minorities – and the Wilders were impressed and amazed. It is showing how to fight critics, human rights NGOs, the media and the courts – a model Le Pen would gladly adopt. It is demonstrating theocracy in the West – and the evangelists in America are full of admiration.

Please show a hand of applause the old-new chosen people; please welcome Israel.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

He's From a Small Village in the West Bank, One of Three at His School Who Went to College

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister

Lake Kinneret. The high water level created lagoons at the northern end of the lake.

Lake Kinneret as You’ve Never Experienced It Before

An anti-abortion protester holds a cross in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court Leaves a Barely United States