Watch now (11 mins) | Our Zoom call this week, for paid subscribers, will be at our regular time: Friday at Noon EDT. Our guests will be Emmanuel Shahaf and Iyad Rafidi, proponents of one federated state, with citizenship for all, in Israel and the West Bank (but not the Gaza Strip which would remain on its own). I’m dubious of this version of one state but since we’ve hosted speakers offering a range of political alternatives over the last two years, it seemed worthwhile to discuss this one, particularly as some on the
well put, Jordan. Thanks for this
The United States is almost unique in the world, because it is a country made up of immigrants. Almost everyone in the US (other than the few surviving members of the First Nations) came from somewhere else. Once you take the Oath of Citizenship to become an American citizen, you are just as much of an American as someone who's family has been there for hundreds of years. What unifies Americans are shared values like freedom of speech, democracy, and the beliefs laid out in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. So when this Ramaswamy calls for the US to be a white Christian country, which I don't actually think he was doing in your quote, it's a problem because that runs counter to everything the US actually is.
Most countries aren't like that. The vast majority of countries have a particular ethnic or religious based character, and their immigration policies reflect that. Israel is not even close to being the only one. Palestine for example explicitly states in its Constitution that it's an Arab state with Islam as its official religion, so if Abbas came out tomorrow and said Palestine's immigration policy should reflect its identity as an Arab Muslim state, no one would bat an eye.
The same is true of European countries including the UK and France. When the Syrian migrant crisis hit, a lot of those countries had trouble adapting to the strictly limited number of refugees allowed in and underwent an identity crisis. The same Europeans who demand Israel allow in 10 million Palestinians started elected neo Nazi governments because of the presence of just a few thousand Syrians.
This is why I think Peter's column is rather disingenuous. Comparing Israel's immigration policies to the US is unfair. He should be comparing Israel to other ethnic-based nation states, such as the European and Arab states. The United States is not an ethnic-based nation state, so yes, Ramaswamy's belief that the US's immigration policy should be like Israel's is wrong. But also wrong is Peter's claim that Israel's immigration policy is somehow extreme or unprecedented. It's not.
I will make my comment very short. Ramaswamy is pandering to the far-right GOP base. He wants to be (s)elected “By Any Means Necessary.” He knows he has no chance. So, he is taking a shot at the Vice Presidency.
All we have to know/remember, is Trump’s pandering to the Christian-Right. He presented himself as a “Born Again.” A Messiah. And, it worked.
Trump is as Christian as the Pope is a Hindu...
Allow me to summarize your position here.
Nation-states that are allowed to be ethnic-based nation-states: 23 Arab countries, 42 Muslim countries, all the countries of Africa, all the countries of Asia, most of the countries of Europe.
Nation-states that are allowed not only to be ethnic-based nation-states but to kill people in order to preserve their existence as ethnic-based nation-states: Palestine, Ukraine
Nation-states that are not allowed to be ethnic-based nation-states: Israel
Thank you, Sandhya. Would love to hear more about this.
this is really smart, sell-by. Thanks. Gave me a lot to think about
Hi, Peter. I think you're missing what's happening with Vivek.
There's a massive bloc on the right that overlaps MAGA, and curiously enough it's the same bloc that produced Andrew Yang. Essentially, they're technocratic men who like half-baked ideas of libertarianism, believe artlessly that money is the measure of success, make good money or are burning to do so, tend to have bachelor's and associate's degrees in technical disciplines; some have much more education and entertain notions of post-democracy, part of the Y-combinator/Thiel world. They really do not care -- or don't think they care -- about the color of someone's skin or his creed. (Decidedly his. The misogyny is deep, and their thinking about women is beyond childish.) Frequently they're the smartest guy in the rooms they hang around in, and people look to them to solve problems, and they do. Well enough and for long enough, anyway. They're pro-punishment and believe in punishment as a driver of success, and are thrilled to their cores to hear Vivek lay into kids today, even if they're the same age as he is, even if they're atheists. And they are endlessly aggrieved. In a way they remind me of a wasp's nest a pest control guy took care of here lately -- he warned me that for about a week after he laid down the poison, I should look out, because they'll go wild stinging everything: they know something's attacking them, they don't know what it is. But they're big on certain revisionist histories, and Dale Carnegie lives within them. Vivek is totally their man. At least until he presents himself as clearly foreign in his background and then they're uncomfortable, not least with themselves about the obvious bigotry.
Vivek still has a problem, though. These guys make up only part of MAGAworld. The rest of them look at him and see a black foreigner or near enough. They'll line up behind him if a bunch of guys named Bubba and Sam and Larry do, but they won't be sorry to drop him.
I also don't think he wins vs Trump, because Trump already has most of what he has, even if it's largely fiction. These guys aren't insistent fact-checkers; they want the rhetoric and romance, want to go to technochurch and go home knowing they should rule over their wives and kids and they should love him for it -- so long as he's making money. Because if he isn't he's a loser.
It's a lot of American men. But it's also not at all a new phenomenon. Same one produced Bob McNamara.
Comparing Israeli Jews to Nazis is typical for an Anglo Flunky like you…even if Israel is wrong comparing it to fascists is the height of woke inspired leftist closeted Anti Semitism…Apartheid is one thing but Nazism crosses the line…typical dribble from a West Londoner 🤮
An interesting and informative piece on another of the far right who like to pull up the ladder after they and their families have ascended. It is not just his Israel-style ethnonationalism that is so dangerous about aspiring despots like Mr Ramaswamy but his other goals, such as the destruction of the entire administration of government which would leave the American population defenceless to the depredations of the corporate class. Those defences are already weakened, but without them a purely fascist state is inevitable.
The pathetic nature of those regular commenters below attempting to justify the lethal, racist border policies of Israel leaves me wondering if they still believe their own words. Their threadbare argument, unconvincing in 1948, is now seen even in some of the US Democratic party for what it is: a vicious child, caught bullying a smaller child, attempting to evade responsibility or punishment by pointing out that other children are bullies, too.
I could be proved wrong but I think there is a wall Ramaswamy would hit if he advanced too far in the primaries. I don’t think he would ever be accepted by evangelicals.
Ramaswamy, Miller, and Kushner are simply opportunists. it is pointless to waste breath and energy pointing out their hypocrisy because they don't care.
Israel, like any other country, has the right to set its own immigration policy. Israel was founded in its historic homeland as a safe haven for Jews. When the land was divided for Jews and Arabs, the Arabs rejected the plan. The descendants of those Arabs who stayed in the area are now Israeli citizens and make up about 20% of the population. Those who left in 1948 and their descendants can one day live in their own country, if they every choose to accept Israel and to live peacefully in their own state.
Vivek, like most Republicans, is not opposed to LEGAL immigration. He is against illegal immigration. No country in the world allows illegal immigration. It is unclear what this has to do with Israel.
There's an interesting split in the GOP, I think, which helps explain the rise of Vivek. There are still a lot of people in the GOP who are fine with voting for a racial/ethnic/religious minority, just so long as that person agrees with them on every single issue, and absolves them of any potential guilt for their own racial resentments. From my experience, this belief actually aligns with a lot of the biggest Trump supporters, who love when black celebrities endorse him, would happily vote for Herschel Walker, etc. This group tends to be made of the 'I'm not racist, but...' crowd, an attitude that I think is particularly American.
On the flipside, you have the 'based nationalist' types, who tend to support candidates like DeSantis, and who loathe the idea of voting for anyone who isn't white, male and Christian. They may do so in a general election, but never in a primary. These voters remind me much more of European ethno-nationalists, where they are more intellectually honest about their own bigotry.
Obviously, by Vivek's constant sucking up to Trump, he's trying to ingratiate himself into the former group. I don't really think he's running for 2024, he's running for brand recognition, a potential cabinet position, and maybe the presidency in like 2032 or so. In some ways, he's kind of the GOP Mayor Pete.
However, even though many Trump voters may love to point to non-white Trump supporters, I'm not convinced that 'colorblindness' would extend all the way to the office of the president. I definitely could see a world where the ceiling for someone with Vivek's identity in the GOP is as a member of Congress. After all, the U.S. president is also our symbolic head of state, someone who serves as an avatar for voters' own identity, and I think a lot of those Trump supporters who appear happy to vote for candidates of color for lesser offices would ultimately balk at letting a non-white, non-Christian candidate be their head of state. We'll see, I guess.
How can you possibly draw an analogy between Israel and isolationism in the United States or ethnocentric nationalism in Europe and elsewhere? Israel is a nation made up of Jews who lacked a national home and were slaughtered, persecuted and the victims of discrimination throughout the Diaspora and now finally have a polity/refuge…how dare you compare that to Nazism
Defining Israel as "ethnonationalist" reflects a profound misunderstanding of Jewish identity, and this very definition is part of the problem.
The left-wing liberal approach, even when Zionist, rightly criticizes flaws in Israeli democracy and its "ethnonationalism," but it's only after having created them:
The secular Zionist movement merely adopted the separation between nationality and religion that emerged from the Enlightenment, and rejected the ancient Jewish nationality inseparable from the Torah, which is Rule of Law, of an inseparably "civil" and "religious" law.
Religious Zionism is simply the other side of the same coin: it adopted the same definition of Judaism as a religion developed by the Enlightenment, but added to it the definition of the Jewish people as a political nation.
By doing so, the Jewish nation becomes an ethnic group, and Israeli democracy - an ethnic democracy.
This approach also undermines the historical legitimacy that Israel is founded upon. In fact, if it were merely an ethnic group that left its land 2000 years ago, by what right did it return, denying the rights of the "indigenous" people who naturally developed there?
Only by recognizing the traditional Jewish nationalism in Exile, the old nationalism of the Torah, can the State of Israel find its justification: this Jewish state has never ceased to exist; it was a state in exile, a federation of autonomous communities in Diaspora. With the creation of territorial nation-states, which prevented two nations from self-determining in the same territory, the Jewish state in exile became impossible, and therefore had to create its own territorial nation-state. This must reestablish the ancient Jewish nationality by basing its laws - in a way acceptable to the non-religious public - on Hebrew law, on a renewed Halakha.
Thus, the truth of a Jewish civil nation will be restored, founded on the equivalent of a 3000-year-old social contract and Rule of Law: the Republic of the Hebrews.
The third problem posed by modern nationalism of the nation-state is its territorial definition: by defining the nation as the population living on a given territory and conferring sovereignty upon it, the Israeli territorial nation-state, like any modern nation-state, prevents the two nations from living on the same territory. This is what forced the Jews to leave the Exile, and this is what makes the conflict over the land of Israel unsolvable.
The ancient traditional Jewish nationality is not territorial. Hebrew law applies to the Jews wherever they are. The same goes for Islamic law, where the Muslim is present, there is the Islamic state: traditional rule of law applies to individuals, communities, not territory. This allows multiple nations, different national communities, to live on the same territory. This is the foundation of the solution for Israel-Palestine, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims can live in peace, each according to their own law.
"Do not do to others what you hate for yourself" will be the fundamental principle of the supranational federation. According to Hillel the Elder, this is the whole Torah. This principle will inspire other laws, which will thus be new expressions of the Torah. With its supranational Sovereign and the non-territorial nature of its Law, the federation will be both Jewish and universal.
The Jewish people have returned to their land, but they still need to return to themselves. We cannot avoid this effort: giving a political and legal expression to the common heart that unites us, secular Jews and religious Jews.
It is from the regained peace among Jews, among ourselves, that we will be able to live in peace with others.
By the way West Londoner how do the other Ulster loyalists like your film in London…remember to bow to King Charles😡