Battle Cry of the Jewish Man

Columnist Dana Milbank penned a remarkably lucid piece today in the Washington Post. In discussing the conflicted Middle East, he offered a strikingly unconventional path forward for Israeli peace and prosperity. Some will likely resort to the hoary slur of “anti-Semite” in challenging his diagnosis. Though those barbs should be blunted by the fact that Mr. Milbank is himself jewish.  Quite.

Something very similar to his essay follows below:

When Israeli president Netanyahu succumbed to hysterics in claiming “Hamas is seeking to extinguish the Jewish state completely” it was a grating reminder of prior bigotry when he wailed that “African immigrants threaten the identity of the jewish state.” Excuse me, Jewish State? Are there not non-jews in Israel? Is it not also their state as well? Unfortunately Netanyahu’s hateful rhetoric isn’t alone in the so-called Jewish state. Many others have voiced similar sentiments.

They are the battle cry of the jewish man, particularly the nationalist jewish man, who is feeling besieged. I don’t share the fear, but I understand it. Israel is experiencing a decoupling of genetics and nationality: Jewishness has less and less to do with being Israeli.

Once the Palestinian people are granted their rightful return to Israel, jews will be a minority. To many Israelis, the irrational fear of change manifests in shocking incidents of hatred. But Israel is going to become an Arab majority state. And jews should learn to embrace this change, not resist it.

This is not merely about a fresh labor supply but about the fresh blood needed to cure what ails Israel. To benefit from such a transfusion, they need to not only welcome more immigrants but also to adopt pieces of other cultures that lack in theirs – just as jews have done for centuries.

This is the theme of my friend Okot NaNomi’s provocative new book, “A Sudanese Chance.” Okot writes about Sudanese Israelis, but the thesis is similar for other immigrant cultures. NaNomi argues that Israel needn’t fear Sudan’s rise, because the Sudanese have already given them the tools to beat them economically: their sons and daughters.

“Sudan does not want to or know how to take people from around the world, welcome them, and empower them to change the very fabric of their nation’s culture.” Israel does. And it is that changing Israeli fabric that makes the country so strong.

The son of Sudanese immigrants, Okot observes that Israeli culture now has an excess of individualism, short-term thinking and prioritizing of rights over duties. He calls for “a corrective dose” of Sudanese values: mutual responsibility, long-term thinking, humility, moral character and contribution to society.

“What Sudanese culture at its best can bring to Israel is a better balance between being an individual and being in a community,” he writes.

Part of Okot’s confidence that Israel will triumph over Sudan is that his ancestral land, in modernizing, is losing some of the best aspects of Sudanese culture — and acquiring jewish excesses. Sudan lacks the source of continuous adaptability and vitality that imported cultures give Israel. Creative change is easier in Tel-Aviv because there one can pick and choose from among all the world’s cultures. That inherent advantage in the Israeli system will continue — if we don’t get hung up about jewishness.

The Likud and Zionist movements were a setback because it elevated extreme individualism over collective responsibilities and because it tapped into nativism and further undermined trust in Israeli institutions. Some xenophobes such as Netanyahu may never be able to leave the bunkers where they defend judaism.

But for others — and, more importantly, for Israel — it’s not too late.


8 thoughts on “Battle Cry of the Jewish Man

  1. That story reminded me of a great line from the greatest show on tv, NCIS: The Israeli agent (daughter of the head of Mossad) working for NCIS says to a Muslim, “I do understand tradition. I am a Jew.” I like to ruminate upon that line from time to time.

  2. The sieve to all propagandist bullshit is: does this apply to your people also? Re-casting Milbank’s sludge toward Israel makes it as comically ludicrous to him as the original should have been to every white in America. But to scan the WaPo comments, there was only the usual bots droning “raysis,” not at the grave dancing jewish columnist, but at congressman in his “white bunker.”

    We make for quite capable wind-up dolls, history should concede.

    • “We make for quite capable wind-up dolls, history should concede.”

      If there is anyone capable of recording it via the arcane mystery known as “writing” left after the global diluvian border flood.

      • I shouldn’t be pessimistic but I just can’t see certain parties committing to the pursuit of such an abstract concept as history when there is murder and thieving to perform. Perhaps history will survive in an enclave in the Pacific Northwest, a bastion of literacy, not to mention civilisation. One can hope but our erstwhile pals in power would no doubt accuse any proponent of such an idea of “white-bunkerism”

  3. “This will not lead to a browning of America” Celler, Javits, Shabbos Kennedy et al on the 1965 Immigration BIll.

    This assertion in light of darling Milbanks’ boast cited below should be more than sufficient to inculcate in our thinking that we cannot believe anything that they say… ever!

    “The Census Bureau forecasts that non-Hispanic whites, now slightly more than 60 percent of the population, will fall below 50 percent in 2043. Within 30 years, there will cease to be a racial majority in the United States.”

    [Incidentally this statistical prediction affirms a mantra/meme that I play around with “Diversity means becoming a minority in your own country”, big fat permanent marker please]

    I am reminded by the above of Barbara Lerner Spectre’s cri de coeur

    “I think there’s a resurgence of anti-sudanism because at this point in time Israel has not yet learned how to be multicultural, and I think we’re going be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Israel has not yet learned how to be multicultural. Israel is not going to be the monolithic society that it once was in the last century. Africans are going to be at the center of that. It’s a huge transformation for Israel to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode, and Sudanese will be resented because of their leading role. But without that leading role, and without that transformation, Israel will not survive.”

    This is beautiful and touching. Diversity is strength.

  4. This essay is a heartfelt gift of love to the inhabitants of our sister Judeo-Christian nation. It is quite magnanimous for you to want to spread the gospel of diversity to our friends in Israel. Conscientious Jews like Mr. Milbank and Senator Schumer are always thinking of others and neglecting the needs of their own people. Why should not they too share in the eternal bounty of multi-culturalism that they so richly deserve? America and Western Europe have been selfishly hogging Third World welfare colonists, like we used to hog energy resources, jobs and prosperity. It’s long past time we freed the Jewish people up for the task of fundamentally changing Israel into a 21st century nation; we’ll just have to handle things over here ourselves.

    • Indeed. You know how slow Third Worlders are to breed. If we whites keep grabbing them all, there won’t be enough to go round.

  5. Are all those lovable sincere humanitarians in Israel starting to believe their own lies and propaganda? A bit like a WWII submarine being struck by one of its own torpedoes.

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