The EU vs. Israel

From Israel Through European Eyes by Yoram Hazony:

In these words, the tie between the Holocaust and what Ben-Gurion calls the “sin” of Jewish powerlessness is powerfully in evidence. The meaning of Auschwitz is that the Jews failed in their efforts find a way to defend their children. They depended on others, decent men in power in America or Britain, who, when the time came, did virtually nothing to save European Jewry. Today, most Jews continue to believe that the only thing that has really changed since those millions of our people perished—the only thing that stands as a bulwark against the repetition of this chapter in the world’s history—is Israel.[11]
It is a little-discussed fact that the Jews are not the only ones for whom Auschwitz has become an important political symbol. Many Europeans, too, see Auschwitz as being at the heart of the lesson of World War II. But the conclusions they draw are precisely the opposite of those drawn by Jews. Following Kant, they see Auschwitz as the ultimate expression of that barbarism, that brutal debasement of humanity, which is national particularism. On this view, the death camps provide the ultimate proof of the evil that results from permitting nations to decide for themselves how to dispose of the military power in their possession. The obvious conclusion is that it was wrong to give the German nation this power of life and death. If such evil is to be prevented from happening again and again, the answer must be in the dismantling of Germany and the other national states of Europe, and the yoking together of all the European peoples under a single international government. Eliminate the national state once and for all—Ecrasez l’infame!—and you have sealed off that dark road to Auschwitz.
Notice that according to this view, it is not Israel that is the answer to Auschwitz, but the European Union: A united Europe will make it impossible for Germany, or any other European nation, to rise up and persecute others once again. In this sense, it is European Union that stands as the guarantor of the future peace of the Jews, and indeed, of all humanity.

So here you have two competing paradigms concerning the meaning of Auschwitz. In a sense, they’re each looking at the same facts: Both paradigms take it as a given that millions were murdered in Auschwitz by the Germans and their collaborators, that the deeds done there were utterly evil, and that Jews and others who died there were the helpless victims of this evil. But at this point, agreement ends. From here, precisely as Kuhn suggests, individuals looking at the same facts through different paradigms see utterly different things:

Paradigm A: Auschwitz represents the unspeakable horror of Jewish women and men standing empty-handed and naked, watching their children die for want of a rifle with which to protect them.
Paradigm B: Auschwitz represents the unspeakable horror of German soldiers using force against others, backed by nothing but their own government’s views as to their national rights and interests.

It’s important to see that these two views, which at first don’t even seem to be talking about the same thing, are actually describing points of view that are almost perfectly irreconcilable. In the one, it’s the agency of the murderers that is seen as the source of the evil; in the other, the powerlessness of the victims—a seemingly subtle difference in perspective that opens up into a chasm when we turn these competing paradigms in another direction and look at Israel through their eyes.
Here are the same two paradigms, now with their attention turned to Israel and what it represents:

Paradigm A: Israel represents Jewish women and men standing rifle in hand, watching over their own children and all other Jewish children and protecting them. Israel is the opposite of Auschwitz.
Paradigm B: Israel represents the unspeakable horror of Jewish soldiers using force against others, backed by nothing but their own government’s views as to their national rights and interests. Israel is Auschwitz.

In both paradigms, the fact of Israel takes on an extraordinary significance because of the identity of the Jews as the victims of the Shoah. For Israel’s founders, the fact that the survivors of the death camps and their children could be given weapons and permitted to train as soldiers under a Jewish flag seemed a decisive movement of the world toward what was just and right. It could in no sense make up for what had happened. But it was just nonetheless, granting the survivors precisely that empowerment that, had it come a few years earlier, would have saved their loved ones from death and worse. In this sense, Israel is the opposite of Auschwitz.
But Israel takes on extraordinary significance in the new European paradigm as well. For in Israel, the survivors and their children took up arms and set themselves on a course of determining their own fate. That is, this people, so close to the Kantian ideal of perfect self-renunciation only a few decades ago, have instead chosen what is now seen as the path of Hitler—the path of national self-determination. It is this which lies beneath the nearly boundless disgust so many feel towards Israel, and especially toward anything having to do with Israel’s attempts to defend itself, regardless of whether these operations are successful or unsuccessful, irreproachable or morally flawed. For in taking up arms in the name of their own national state and their own self determination, the Jews, as many Europeans and others now see it, have simply taken up the same evil that led Germany to build the camps. The details may differ, but the principle, in their eyes, is the same: Israel is Auschwitz.
Israel continues to be threatened militarily, first and foremost by Iran. But if Israel falls, it will not be by way of Iranian missiles. It will be by way of words, as the Soviet Union fell. Jews and non-Jews will simply cease to understand why such a state should exist—and then one day, with awesome speed, the independent Jewish state will be no more.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Maimon Schwarzschild, whose comments on the Hazony piece are worth reading.)

34 thoughts on “The EU vs. Israel”

  1. For so long as the Israeli state colludes in or authorizes or ignores the deliberate killing of innocent, unarmed men, women and children on the pretext of ‘self-defense’, as in Gaza in three bloody weeks of Dec 2008 and Jan 2009, then that state is indeed no different from Auschwitz, other than in the quantity of the killing.

    It is unutterably sad, as a Jew brought up to be a Zionist, to have to make such an assertion. But I know it to be factual. I’ve spoken to so many Israelis over the years. They designate Arabs and Palestinians as less than human. They refuse to recognize the parity of life.

    It is so sad, for there is no future for a state that acts without humanity and deludes itself that it does so act.

  2. Are you really a Jew and not some kind of anti-Jewish shill? Your attempt to argue from authority by citing the many Israelis you have supposedly spoken with who dehumanize Arabs does not ring true. Indeed it is you who seem to be trying to dehumanize Israelis.

    It is true that Israel has been accused by its enemies of committing the evils that you list. But this is not the same as saying that Israel has actually done such things. The burden of proof falls on accusers such as yourself, who fail to acknowledge that Israel invaded Gaza only after 1) withdrawing from it in a well-intended attempt to achieve a peaceful separation and then 2) being bombarded across the Gaza border for years. You fail also to acknowledge that even though Israel attacked Gaza for weeks not even its enemies accuse it of killing more than a thousand or so people. Never mind that this figure, based entirely on Hamas-controlled Palestinian reports, is grossly exaggerated, it is simply impossible to believe that a truly genocidal Israel would have killed so few people. When Hafez Assad bombarded his clan opponents in Hama he killed ten or twenty thousand in a few days. When the Russians bombarded Grozny they killed at least as many. The Germans killed millions at the real Auschwitz. Yet with plenty of time and resources, and a weak opponent hiding amidst civilians in a densely populated area, the supposedly genocidal Israelis are accused of killing a thousand people.

    Of course you ignore real heirs to the Nazis, such as the Iranian regime that builds genocidal weapons and threatens another Holocaust against the Jews.

    Always the Jews are to blame for defending themselves.

  3. The EU can come to its silly conclusion only by ignoring the death camps of the USSR. There are competing theories: socialism– the idea that the government should hold all power– combined with crackpot theories of Economics and human nature (Jews or the bourgeois control the world) are the cause. The EU’s existence and self-respect require it to annihilate opposing theories and the human beings who hold them. Jews will be the EU’s first victims.

  4. “A united Europe will make it impossible for Germany, or any other European nation, to rise up and persecute others once again”

    makes about as much sense as

    “A united German will make it impossible for Bavaria, or any other German state, to rise up and persecute others once again”

  5. “…it is simply impossible to believe that a truly genocidal Israel would have killed so few people.”

    As noted elsewhere, it’s always fascinating that the wily, calculating Jews – err, Israelis – can put together a cabal that controls U.S. foreign policy, hold utter military sway in the middle east, and have a spy outfit (the Mossad) that’s behind EVERYTHING… and yet they can’t even get a simple genocide right.

    Poor Israelis – even when they are superhuman amoral murder machines, they still can’t get it right.

  6. The EU POV is right in the tradition of Kellog and Briand. Outlaw war and the problem is solved.

    There are many of us in America and Israel who take the opposite tack. If we are armed and ready to defend ourselves, the price for the aggressor has risen considerably. When Israel got into trouble was when the leftists took them in the direction we are being taken right now.

  7. As a Jew, I have long recognized that any state that had to full-time a garrison state simply to stay alive as a nation, hated by its neighbors, neighboms who have vowed to destroy it, would inevitably become rather harsh in its outlook…so it is with Israel and its Arabs. But why, then, do over a million Arab Israelis choose to continue to live in Israel rather than migrate elsewhere?
    If Israel was “harsh” in its Gaza attack, tell me, please, exactly the count of how many rockets were fired at Israelis, randomly fired, in order to kill as many as possible before Israel did what any person or state would do: fight back, defend itself against an assault meant to kill its people?

    There are now some three times the number of rockets in the hands of Hezbollah, from Iran via Syria, in the South of Lebanon! and the UN is there to prevent re-arming!!!
    Iran has vowed to destroy Israel. Iraq, the nation that we hoped to bring democracy to, does not recognize the right of Israel to exist–Jewish American troops fought there to liberate that country.

    The flotilla nonsense is now known to have been approvingly staged by the Muslim politicos to help chances for the forthcoming election…Jews are jumped, beaten, cursed in European nations as they increasingly become Islamified, and thus we have the New Nazis–ah, yes: read up on the connection between the “old Nazis” under Hitler and the Arabs in the ME–and not just the Mufti of Jerusalem.
    In sum: there is Islam–the religion of the past with its history; and the new Islamists, the jihadists who are nothing if not fully political and the determined enemy of the West and of Israel.
    Blame Israel? why not blame the woman who got raped because, well, she was appealing and handy.

  8. There are several recent articles about the prosperity level in Gaza, such as the opening of a new shopping mall and the fancy restaurant that was featured at Roger Simon’s blog a couple of months ago.

    It turns out that the standard of living in Gaza, even though the per capita cash income is lower, is higher than Turkey. Infant mortality and a number of other statistics of quality of life suggest that the aid flotilla should have been headed to Turkey from Gaza, instead of the other way round.

  9. India has the most poor in the world, according to a recent UN study I believe, and yet when polled (granted likely polling the middle class and such) has some of the most optimistic young people out there. Ideas matter, and ideas about the future and willing to place a bet on that matters too.

    Oh there are big problems, don’t get me wrong. BIG TIME nasty problems, poverty being one of them. The reason I bring this up is because the focus on Israel is so distorted. There are other nations formed out of the break-up of the colonial empires of the 20th century that are based on the religious make-up of its citizens, and they too are mired in conflicts which lead to great suffering and, in actual fact, almost the entire removal of peoples from certain geographic areas.

    And yet, the decibel level is highest on this issue amongst certain communities in the West, and amongst certain leftists outside the west. I don’t trust the people who do that. I don’t trust their judgement. I don’t trust that you will really be there for the innocents when it counts. And innocents occur in many lands.

    – Madhu

  10. Eileen Doret,

    But I know it to be factual. I’ve spoken to so many Israelis over the years. They designate Arabs and Palestinians as less than human. They refuse to recognize the parity of life.

    I’m interested in why you only blame the Israeli for not recognizing the parity of life. Is it owing to some racist belief of yours that Arabs and Palestinians are simply to morally and intellectually inferior to be held to the same standard as Jews?

    Frankly, I am continuously shocked by just how brutally people like you degrade Arabs and Muslims by blithely asserting that they are so moral incapable that they cannot make any choices to improve the circumstances of the region at all. No, they are simply child like puppets who can never act but merely react to the Israelis. You think all the problems are caused by Israeli because you think that only the Jews can actually control their own behavior. You think the Arabs are just animals, helpless to make moral choices like a human being.

    Clearly, this is the way you treat children or even animals. If a child acts out in public, we don’t blame the child but the parent. If an animal misbehaves, we don’t blame the animal, we blame the owner. Likewise, when Arabs commit the most horrible of acts, you don’t blame them, you blame the Israeli. Clearly, you see the relationship between Israeli and Arabs as like that between child and parent or owner and animal.

    I am far from surprised that many Israel have become very angry at all Arabs. First of all, living side by side with them they see them as people and not as animals as you do. They do hold Arabs morally accountable as human beings. Secondly, The modern Arab world is every bit as irrationally hate driven as were the Germans leading up to WWII. The Baathist party is a direct descendent of the Nazi party. Israel get to see, hear and suffer the physical manifestation of all the vicious hate fomented out by the Arab world without the benefit of Western censorship. Living with such evil does drive alienation. After all, I know that to this day some elderly Jews have trouble being civil to Germans.

    However, the coarsening of Israeli attitudes toward Arabs is a result of the Arabs irrational and mindless assault on the Jewish people. The Jews are facing people with the morality of Nazis (but thankfully not the competence of Germans.) Why should you be surprised that a torrent of hatred and the vilest types of lethal attacks imaginable produces negative emotions in the hatreds targets?

  11. The real trouble with any political analysis coming out of Europe is that Europeans insist that their localized conditions and their localized experiences encompass the totality of human conditions and experiences. Europeans aren’t only contemptuous of the idea of American exceptionalism, they contemptuous of the idea that any people, region or country is any different from Europe.

    They cling to this belief because it allows them project their failures onto others. In their eyes, their century of bloodshed has made them not broken fools but rather the wisest of humans and therefore entitled to force their parochial views on everyone else.

    One can make the argument that the ethnic state has been the bane of Europe in the last 150 years but you can’t really make that argument for most of the other regions of the Earth. The true nation state i.e. a polity built around a single ethnic or cultural group, is a distinct rarity in human affairs. Really, only Western Europe and perhaps Japan and Korea fit this mold. Everyone else lives in multicultural polities whose borders and conflicts have nothing to do with ethnic groups.

    Europeans blame the Israeli/Arab conflict on nationalism because they blame everything on nationalism. They can’t help it. They are one trick ponies. They can’t and won’t think beyond the boundaries of their own experience.

    A good example of this is to look back at European explanations of America’s involvement in Vietnam. Yep, they explained it as irrational and runaway nationalism.

    I think a big driver of this nationalism fetish is simple narcissism and hubris. If nationalism isn’t a problem in a particular conflict, then Europeans can’t claim to offer special insight or solutions. Rather than sit on the sidelines, they peddle their one note tune and the rest of us have to listen to it.

  12. The obvious extension of Paradigm B:

    The war against Islamic terrorists represents the unspeakable horror of American soldiers using force against others, backed by nothing but their own government’s views as to their national rights and interests. The war against Islamic terrorists is Auschwitz.

  13. Loved the reading. But I happen to believe that it really does not matter whether Israelis do find, understand or dissect the paradigm by which they are judged by Europeans. I am just not sure whether Israelis can really do anything about it other than giving up their lands and dismantling their state, and that will not even change that paradigm at all.
    I think the problem is Europe, it’s just that they are back. Europe is back, they took a break from Nazism, Fascism, Communism, racism and their specialization for centuries: hatred of the Jews. But they are back and really there wasn’t ever any kind of honest and truthful reflection, not even by the Germans, to discuss what really happen during the second war, to discuss why Germans specifically, but Europeans in general, committed the most horrendous crimes against humanity in the name of nationalism and ethnic purity. They just didn’t talk about it for generations, but that didn’t mean they are different now. And the Palestinian gives them the perfect excuse to start pointing fingers and blaming the Jews again, it gives them a free pass, for the moment, later on they will find some other politically correct excuse.
    But in my opinion, not much has really changed since 1900 to 2000 and the holocaust didn’t change things, the same prejudice and hatred that gave way to the holocaust is still there today. It didn’t go away because there was never a real educational and cultural effort against it in Europe.
    Although they dream very different dreams, Europeans and radical Muslims are now sleeping in the same bed on the Israeli issue.

  14. Eileen Doret, you are a typical closed minded ignorant person for what you are saying – there is NO comparison at all between Israel and Auschwitz, wake up or get up and go see for yourself…

    I live here and have seen Gaza myself, there is no Auschwitz or Apartheid going on there AT ALL, do not be a pawn for the media and a fool for your nation, that is if you are Jewish as you claim…

    It is like the campaign to think before you drink, before you drive, well in this case, you should think before you think, before you type!

    You are now fortunate enough to be a part of the millions of ignorants in the world who are subjective to every media & Islamic tactic we know of, congratulations for being so unoriginal and so dim witted that you actually believe the BS that you think…

    Israel Muse

  15. Israel Is NOT Auschwitz!

    This article is worthless and contains no real understanding of Israel and its current issue, you cannot make these crazed assumptions that Israel is like Nazi Germany based on some “logical” formula or paradigm, this is absurd…

    There is a WHOLE grey area which you have left out, it is not all black and white like you Europeans and Americans usually look at things…

    Israel Muse

  16. Paradigm A is a foolish myth (much as our 2nd amendment works differently than our own standard foolish myth). A rifle in the hands of a jewish head of household would not stop the train to Auschwitz. Even arming the entire jewish population would not have managed to do more than raise the cost, one the nazis would still have gladly paid.

    I think that there is a slightly different paradigm A prime that would shed light better on the situation. For lack of an Israel that had the standing to intervene in the trains had the ability to send ambassadors, urge interventions, and in extremis put a bullet in the right brain the jews were herded off to Auschwitz.

    And Israel today does act to intervene in the repression of jews in other lands, does urge interventions to stop repression such as with Soviet jewry, and does, in extremis, go over the border to kill people who cannot be reached otherwise. In some important respects, Israel acts like a pre-westphalian state.

    This is both annoying and frightening for the workings of the larger system. It touches on the collective national nightmare of a renewed 30 year war were everybody to adopt Israeli rules. It also explains, I believe, a lot of E. European modern anti-semitism, the kind that operates without jews. We (russians, poles, romanians, etc) suffer but you have an external rescuer who comes and plucks you from the fire of communism. What makes you so special that you have an escape and we do not?

    Westphalianism is breaking down. Auschwitz must be responded to. Going back to the past does not work. We must not retreat to pre-westphalian solutions but create real post-westphalian solutions. Unfortunately, I think that the EU is a dead end. Paradigm B offers no cure as universal human rights are not universal. They are opposed by alternate conceptions such as Islamic universalism which has shown itself perfectly compatible with both ambition to spread worldwide and genocide. In WW II if you got over the right border you could live as a jew. If borders no longer matter, where then is safety?

    So long as Paradigm B remains a dead end Paradigm A remains vital, if dangerous, necessity things will be unpleasant and unsetlled. What’s truly needed is some sort of Paradigm C, a post-westphalianism that is not hinged on a special exception for jews. It would necessarily rest on a generalized armed populace whose non-national associations would be protected throughout the world by… well something. Here’s where my imagination fails me and why this is a comment, not its own blog post.

  17. TMLutas – but there is no special exception for Jews.

    You understand it wrong. You write: “We (russians, poles, romanians, etc) suffer but you have an external rescuer who comes and plucks you from the fire of communism. What makes you so special that you have an escape and we do not? ”

    Russians, Poles, Romanians etc made us special – by their hatred, persecution, pogroms and our blood on their hands and conscience – IN ADDITION to our common suffering under communist regimes. Jews are being plucked from fire by their spiritual motherland, Israel, because they are Jews, because unlike gypsies Jews have their own state to take care of them – and remind so called “civilized” nations who value life and blood of their kin less than $.02, that morally they are barbarians.
    I remember, from the times lived in USSR, with what respect and envy every man who served in Soviet Army/Navy was talking about American military, especially Marines: “they don’t leave behind their own”. Everyone saw it as a source of strength in the military and and of trust the citizens have to their country. Same is with European antisemitism: envy to a more civilized nation that inspires trust and respect in her citizens by saving them, by respecting each and every one of them as an individual worthy of concern, as member of big family.

    There is also another reason, I think: remaining gentile populations of countries Jews escape from, their native countries, behave like a serial killer whose victim was rescued on time – he rages against the victim and the rescuers.
    That’s the cause of contemporary anti-antisemitism in Romaninia, Poland, etc. They never thought or treated Jews as equals, always as inferior – so they can’t claim there is some sort of unfair advantage.

  18. Tatyana – I think I shall decline your invitation to wallow in insults and base accusations. Instead a couple of contrasting quotes from you:

    “TMLutas – but there is no special exception for Jews.”

    “Jews are being plucked from fire by their spiritual motherland, Israel, because they are Jews, because unlike gypsies Jews have their own state to take care of them”

    The entire premise of westphalian internationalism is that states don’t “take care” of their co-religionists across international borders. Catholics and Protestant attempts at doing exactly that were the cause of the war the Peace of Westphalia was signed to end. If such activities are undertaken in general really bad things happen.

    What happens in the internal affairs of a country are not to be interfered with. If soviet jews “have their own state to take care of them” aside from the USSR then there was indeed a special exception.

    Auschwitz showed that the westphalian international system had a major flaw. I believe that neither returning to the status quo ante of pre-westphalian statecraft nor the amorphous blob of hypocritical EU pretentions to universality are a true, sustainable road forward, not least of which because the gypsies are still there and do not have a state and Israel doesn’t give a damn. They just want to protect their own.

  19. TMLutas – once again you make popular mistake of considering Jews strictly as religious group.
    It is as distinct genetic conglomerate as Italians and Romanians, if not more distinct. In short: we are people, not “co-religionists”.
    Ask your Romanian relatives, would they consider a Jew who converted into Christianity a Romanian, equal to them. I know what the answer will be.

    What you label as “base accusations” is simply truth.

    USSR consisted of 15 Republics and several Autonomous Republics, all together – 113 nationalities (or ethnicities, as it is understood in US) – and every one of them except Jews and Gypsies, had their own historical land within USSR, complete with common language, history, borders, etc. Jews’ historical land is in Israel. So – Jewish return to their land does not make them an exception, quite the contrary – we as people, returned to normalcy, to the condition that every nation or ethnicity in the world enjoys.
    Maybe if India decided to call back the Gypsies to their historical land, they, too, would have a state to return to. So far it didn’t happen. Why Israel, in particular, should “give a damn” about Gypsies, escapes me. I see no logic in your statement.

    Small aside – you have an interesting personal grammatical quirk of capitalizing Catholics, Protestants but writing “jews”, “russians”, “romanians”, “gypsies” from a small letter.

  20. TMLutas,

    Your Paradigm A’ is close to the consensus Jewish/Israeli interpretation of Paradigm A, with the caveat that Israel as refuge is an important part of the paradigm as well. The European Jews could be murdered not only because they lacked means to defend themselves but also because many of them had nowhere to escape to, emigration to the USA and British Palestine being mostly blocked. (Israel’s refuge function has since performed well for Jews from the Arab world, Iran, Ethiopia, the USSR, etc.)

    So here we are. From the Jewish POV the current situation is much preferable to the pre-war one, even though the world remains dangerous and many ethnic minorities and small countries still get a raw deal. Perhaps the term “Westphalian”, like “capitalist”, should be seen as descriptive rather than normative, and we shouldn’t get caught up in definitions. At any rate it doesn’t look like a Paradigm C will be widely accepted soon, so the most important thing, for Jews and non-Jews, may be to contest Paradigm B.

  21. Tatyana – You are a bigot and twice now on this thread have attempted to draw me down to your level. You do not know my family, nor my situation, nor the quality of my relatives. And with that, I am done with you on this subject. I leave your historical inaccuracy for somebody else to correct.

    Jonathan – Israel as refuge is an important part of the Israeli national myth but it is a part that does not seem to me to be the cause of any friction and so I didn’t consider it as relevant to an EU v Israel thread. Do you believe otherwise?

    I disagree that paradigm C is something far off. It is gathering strength among the muslims and I think that we would be wise not to let them alone shape it. The Vatican is doing good work here trying to insist on reciprocity but they are ill supported by the West.

    Paradigm C is a work in progress but the albanian international tax regime for the liberation of Kosovo, the widespread effort to get recognition for Sharia as a parallel justice system, and the effort to make certain areas no-go zones for non-muslims seems to be a good start on a paradigm C. Were such things reciprocal, the world would be a better place as christian missionary activity would make deep inroads all over the muslim world.

  22. If I am a bigot you are a lier and an bully.
    I wouldn’t attempt” to draw you on my level- simply because you have to grow 5 times over to achieve mine.

    Piece of anticsemitic shit, like your Romanian relatives.

  23. Tatyana – Thank you for exhibiting your bigotry openly. At least I know where I stand with you. Keep telling yourself you’re better than those you disagree with. It’ll give you some cold comfort late at night.

  24. I don’t want to get in the middle of the slanging match, but would like to make a couple of observations:

    The Westphalian model was violated by the formation of the USSR. Many of the Soviet republics had been Russian conquests under the Czars, declared their independence during the revolution, and were reconquered by the communist regime. Similarly, the Stalin regime installed puppet governments in eastern Europe and did not hesitate to crush any national resistance inside the Iron Curtain. Their national leaders were in fact subcontractors working for their occupiers. Communism made a specifically trans-national claim of class solidarity across national borders until Stalin (“Socialism in One Country” vs “Permanent Revolution”), and chose to revive this claim whenever convenient for the political situation.

    If you want to go further back, the Czarist government claimed to be guarantor of the Orthodox millet in the Ottoman Empire, and Russia still claims to be leader of the Slavic nations. (Czechs, Poles, and Croats would likely disagree.)

    The history of US intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean is about as non-Westphalian as you can get.

    Many other countries claim the right to intervene on the basis of ideology, religion, or ethnic ties. Paradigm C has been around almost from the beginning, and has usually had nothing to do with Jews.

    What amazes me is that after its sorry performance in the breakup of Yugoslavia the EU would have the effrontery to promise protection to anyone. They can talk, deplore, issue condemnations, or do any of the things that made the League of Nations such a success, but it does not change the reality of world affairs. This reality has come down to us unchanged since the ultimatum the Athenians delivered to the Melians: “…[Y]ou know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power; while the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.” The rule of law is only as strong as its enforcers. Paradigm A only recognizes that reality.

  25. TMLutas,

    I agree that we (Americans, the West) should contest Muslim attempts to define their own Paradigm C within western society.

    Now that I think of it, Israel as refuge is relevant here because Israel’s critics fault Israel for providing refuge particularly to Jews.

  26. TM Lutas

    “a post-westphalianism that is not hinged on a special exception for jews. It would necessarily rest on a generalized armed populace whose non-national associations would be protected throughout the world by… well something. Here’s where my imagination fails me..”

    You mean that “post-westphalianism” hinges today to special exceptions, as it is the case with Jews being defended by Israel or some Russians who live in former soviet republics also can be defended by Rusia, and other.
    But you cannot imagine who or what, other than a particular state, would protect an otherwise armed populace so that the populace’s state would not act in turn.

    And I am with you on that because I cannot imagine who would do take on such a huge obligation: The UN is a joke, the EU is yet another bigger joke, the USA can’t be the police of the world, the security council? never.

  27. Mitch – Wars of conquest happened throughout the Westphalian period. Westphalianism was about relations between states when they *weren’t* trying to conquer one another. You’re right that westphalianism was never universal. But the exceptions were generally considered not good form, or “out there” in the wilds where nothing mattered (except to the locals, except to the dead). You’re not correct to label all that Paradigm C (post-westphalianism) rather it’s Paradigm A (pre-westphalianism).

    What I’m looking for is something better than the rapidly hollowing nation-state to provide as an alternative to the fluid “I’ll intervene where I want to so long as I can” pre-wetphalian slug-fest. I haven’t found it yet. But I do know that Israel isn’t a general answer. It’s a pretty good answer to the special needs of jews for a redoubt and refuge but doesn’t scale well.

  28. … hit submit too soon.

    Jonathan – Israel’s critics criticize the refuge aspect of Israel? Perhaps the genocidal ones but I wasn’t much considering those.

    Jose Angel de Monterrey – I believe that we don’t have post-westphalianism but rather are slouching our way to a regression, to pre-westphalianism. This alarms me because it is not clear at all whether the US can survive in its current structure without some sort of non-intervention doctrine such as westphalianism or something very similar to it.

    Perhaps Neal Stephenson got it right in Snow Crash and The Diamond Age; a system something like the greek city-state phyle groupings, but with phyles transcending national borders and with the right to defend themselves from aggression outside the phyle. If he did, the world is going to get a lot rougher, a lot more complicated.

  29. TMLutas,

    Leftists criticize Israel for having immigration laws that favor Jews. The assertion goes:: Israel favors Jews, therefore it’s racist/apartheid/colonialist.

  30. Jonathan,TM Lutas

    Many countries in the world have special “iure sanguinis” immigration laws/chapters providing and extending nationality and immigration rights to children and grand children and even ethnic peoples who have historically lived for centuries out of their “motherland” territories, as it is the case of german immigration rights for ethnic germans living in eastern europe which extend national rights to even german peoples who have lived in those territories for centuries.

    Spain, Germany, Rumania, Russia, China, Taiwan, Croatia, Hungary, Japan, France, England, Cyprus, India, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Serbia, and many other nations practice this kind of repatriation policies today.

  31. Jonathan – I was under the impression that the favoritism that was criticized by the left was on the order of discriminatory laws in land usage and especially in water and not regarding immigration to Israel per se. I’ll take your word that this exists too but I haven’t come across it. Those who selectively criticize Israel for this immigration preference but not German, Russian, Irish, etc. identical policies are hypocritically anti-Israel and very likely anti-semitic though you never fully can rule out pathetically ignorant as an explanatory option.

  32. TMLutas,

    There are many ignorant people.

    Also, many of the criticism of Israel for legally favoring Jews over others elides the distinction between Israeli citizens (who may be Jews or non-Jews) and residents of the territories Israel captured in 1967. Critics often assume that Israel is obligated to give members of the latter group the same consideration as it does Israeli citizens, but I don’t see why it should, and if it did it would be accused of annexation.

    To the extent there is de jure discrimination against Israeli Arabs I suspect it’s mostly a function of security concerns and spoils-system politics. I’m sure there’s informal anti-Arab discrimination, but there’s also leftist bias in the bureaucracies that favors Arabs, and there’s substantial popular support for civil liberties.

    The error is to single Israel out by exaggerating its sins and by ignoring much worse transgressions committed by other countries (including other democracies).

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