Carmel blaze is not the only thing burning Israel from the inside
Israel needs a revolutionary consolidation of its democratic foundations, in a fashion that causes the transformation of regional fears to genuine regional peace that can enable life impervious to fascism and fire.By Sefi Rachlevsky
The raging fire exposes the truth: Israel has no infrastructures. Despite its status as a rich country, it lacks basic physical infrastructure such as fire-fighting services because its leadership burns state money in corruption, settlements and financing of extremist yeshivas; and despite its history, Israel lacks democratic infrastructures because its brambly leadership is too busy lighting fires.
In Israel, 53 percent of the Jewish majority now wants the government to encourage the emigration of Israeli Arabs. It's worth looking at that again: An absolute majority of those defined as Jews in Israel want government action to bring about "ethnic cleansing" in the state. A third reading of this finding will aggravate the chill that should run down the spine of Israel's democracy. Twenty years after Kahanism was deemed illegal, 65 years after the racist tragedy in the heart of Europe, most Jewish hearts in Israel pulsate in sync: Kahane was right!
What the eyes see is thus no accident: not by chance is Safed's rabbi remaining at his post; nor is it happenstance that 55 MKs hold blatantly racist views and another 15 parliamentarians assist them in the obtainment of an absolute majority; nor is it an accident that a declared Kahanist plays his flute and leads the entire Knesset on a wave of racist legislation.
Understanding of the historical context worsens the spine chill. A week ago, right before the release of the Wikileaks information, Benjamin Netanyahu looked into his crystal ball, and sketched his updated vision for the eastern Negev as a penal facility and work camp for refugees who are not of the "correct" ethnic origin. Someone looking at this beholder could see a bright smile larger than the grin on the face of the Cheshire cat lapping up a tub of milk. Netanyahu's victorious smile may not only reveal the identity of the possible source but also revealed to the naive his perception of his three-part victory: the weakening of the "danger" posed by effective American involvement for the obtainment of peace; weakening of the region's pragmatic regimes, whose exposure as collaborators lessens their ability to forge a peace accord; and lower barriers toward an American "yellow light" en route to Iran. For leaders of the whole region appeared to light up Israel in green, as though to say, "Bomb, Bibi, bomb!"
But we are not dealing with a mythical figure who sees but is not seen: Israel is a visible, central part of the map, and it is vulnerable to fire. Dramatic changes in relations between the superpowers tend to create revolutionary opportunities, alongside the possibility of the rise of racist fascism. This is a time when existential anxieties mingle with sensations of power, while there is an aspiration to exploit global changes to sever the chains of the past, and of the old, "repressive" morality to carry out "liberating" revenge. This is akin to the context of events that transpired in Europe from the second decade of the last century.
Wikileaks exposed, and thereby accelerated, opportunities laden within structural changes in the superpowers. The decline in American hegemony, which is intertwined with the rise of China, helps the advance of secondary powers connected to this rising superpower, such as Iran and Turkey, and also cultivates new-old dreams of hegemony mingled with revenge impulses harbored by those who see themselves as having been humiliated. These huge strategic shifts yield a dramatic junction. From Israel's standpoint, what is needed at this turning point is a revolutionary consolidation of its democratic foundations, in a fashion that causes the transformation of regional fears to genuine regional peace that can enable life impervious to fascism and fire, of all sorts. However, such a junction also encourages choosing lebensraum for a Jewish-racist world. A world which is likely to happily bring about apocalyptic clashes in the east, collisions featuring the fascist powers that are on the rise there. Another shiver that could run down the spine in the future joins the historical spine chill which occurs when the thronging majority's voice is heard saying "Kahane was right." This is the trembling that happens when one sees a column of black smoke approaching.