November 21, 2012

Israel's troubles and the White Man's Burden

Comparisons of Israel to South Africa under apartheid or to other European colonialist movements have missed one key difference. That is, the non-Jewish colonialists bought into the ideology of civilizing the savages, and acted on these beliefs by building lasting infrastructure that would not have gotten built without them. The official attitude was benevolent paternalism. And the numerous schools, hospitals, railroads, factories, etc., testify to their willingness to put that into practice. Whatever else you put in the pro and con columns, they at least had this going on in their favor.

You just don't feel that sentiment or see that investment on the part of the European / Ashkenazi Jews who settled and now rule over the Land of Israel, directly or indirectly. Zionism was an ethnic nationalist movement that sought to win its own sphere of influence for the first time, not an already established group that sought to use some of its existing wealth and power to lift up the benighted heathens in some other corner of the world.

And when you look around Gaza and the West Bank, you don't marvel at all the stuff they have that the Lebanese, Syrians, and Jordanians do not have. Quite the opposite -- you can't help but be struck by how shitty the place looks, even by the standards of war-torn Near Eastern countries. Unlike the colonies of the British Empire, there are seemingly few or no examples of "noblesse oblige" from Israel.

Indeed, more than refraining from laying down useful infrastructure, Israel does what it can to halt or reverse material development: it blockades the Palestinian territories, hinders transportation, and blows up buildings used by hospitals, schools, and the media. Again, judging by the state of things in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, you wouldn't expect Palestine to look like a first world country, or even near the top of the second world / developing countries. But not as pitiful as it has been under Israeli control.

This must be a large part of why European Jewish colonization has sparked so much more burning hatred by such a broad spectrum of humanity than the old Victorian-era empires ever did. Not just a lack of generosity toward the (in their eyes) lower races, but destructiveness and vindictiveness.

As I pointed out regarding the mirror-image treatment of the Parsis vs. the Ashkenazi Jews, people don't seem to mind being influenced by an elite minority group of ultimately foreign origin, provided that the group proves their generosity and refrains from fucking up the native infrastructure and culture. When the Ashkenazi elite of Israel does just the opposite, it can come as no surprise that greater and greater portions of the world come not only to resent their occupational presence, but to downright despise them as a people.

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:46 AM

    I certainly don't care about the "Holy Land" (I scoff as an atheist and a person who does not care about hairy desert people whose most defining character traits are clannish, extraverted insincerity and "traditionalism" - Greg Cochran's assessment of the Arab "nation" as "the asabiya of scorpions in a bottle" and "Imagine a region where states have been around longer, a place in which the locals have lived through empire after empire after empire. They should have had the patriotism bred clean out of them. They should feel altruistic about their families, maybe their clan – and nothing else" seems accurate, as much as his general theory seems shaky).

    So I certainly rather ignorant about "the region" (ugh) here, but I don't really get the switch from comparison of Israel to South Africa, but the Gaza to South Africa.

    If you want to assess the Ashkenazis as benevolent overloads (or no) surely the comparison is of the Arabs who live under the thumb within Israel, and accept (for the main) their subordinate role within the Manifest Destiny nation of Israel, and the amenities and benefits provided them, not they render the defiants of the Gaza with whom they are in a state of ceaseless conflict.

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  2. No one brought up the Holy Land, you godless sperg. Stop projecting your neuroses onto normal people.

    You have to count the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank for obvious reasons -- that Israel has ruled over them, colonized the West Bank with settlers, etc., for decades.

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  3. Anonymous4:58 PM

    No one brought up the Holy Land, you godless sperg. Stop projecting your neuroses onto normal people.

    Lol. Trying to put forth a disclaimer that I'm not some nationalistic jew or evangelical (amongst other defenders of Israel) by publicly stating my disdain for religion backfired I guess.

    I can see why you'd want to count that area, but the Jews colonized the entire area of Israel - why characterize them solely by the most restive area of the colony, the bit that's most Indian reservation like (if the Indians tended to often be prone to terrorism)?

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  4. Anonymous9:37 AM

    The Congolese didn't feel that the the Belgians were particularly benevolent and civilizing in the 19th century (though that changed somewhat in the mid 20th century).

    Israel has restricted trade in Gaza and, to a lesser extent, the West Bank, for security reasons. It's impossible to keep out weapons if trade in other goods is allowed. And of course, there have been tit-for-tat attacks between Gaza and Israel over the past several years which have eroded Gazan infrastructure. The comparison with the status of Arabs in Israel is therefore important. There is not some unique Israeli malignant attitude towards all Palestinians. There is a security problem with autonomous Palestinians to which there are no perfect solutions.

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  5. Anonymous10:55 AM

    What do you think those areas would be like if they were run by Palensinians themselves? It would probalbly be a lot of unproductive desert ruled by cruel, corrput men living in tents, beating up women, and buggering children and goats.

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