ISRAEL’S CAUSE IS THE CAUSE OF CIVILIZATION.
By Paul Merkley.
The Creation of the Modern State of Israel.
Israel was a brand plucked by the United Nation General Assembly from the wreckage left behind by Europe’s second failed suicide. CF
The decision to Partition the Palestine Mandate, carried by a two-thirds majority of the members of the United Nations General Assembly (November 29, 1947), was in fact the first matter of substantial geopolitical significance made by the brand new organization that called itself “The Parliament of Mankind.”Realistically speaking it was made possible because a commanding portion of the leadership of the United Nations was held, in those earliest days, by nations of the West, most of them democracies, and the most important of these ribs-out-of the side of the British Empire.
This action could not happened except at this moment when the level of idealism was high in Western politics, following the overthrow of the Axis powers. At the same time, this moment can be seen as the last moment when realism flourished in the counsels of the western nations. Idealism and realism are not enemies. Far from it: when a cause appeals to realists and idealists in the same moment it cannot be resisted.
A Bastion of Civilization.
Anyone who takes the trouble to study the transcript of the debate at the UN leading up to the partition of the Palestine Mandate quickly discovers that the intention was to meet the existential need of Jews while equally, and in the same gesture, to establish a bastion of civilization.
Statesmen used that word without embarrassment in those days; some bolder ones actually spoke of “our Christian civilization,” the term that Winston Churchill preferred in his speeches to cover the largest cause for which we were all fighting. Those days are, of course, long gone Lecturers in the history of this period who let slip the word “civilization” are certain, at least, to be mocked, and at worst to be reported for “cultural supremacism” to the Student Council’s truth squads.
“An Arab State and a Jewish State” (to use the language of the Partition proposal) were to b e established in a region of the world whose political life had always teetered on the edge of chaos. The State of Israel was admitted into the UN as its 59th member on 11 May 1949. (Today there are 193 members – which is to say that Israel is today a relatively senior member.) Most of the Arab nations that belonged already in the United Nations at the time of the Partition debate had only recently been created as a consequence of the decision of the British and the French to dismantle their brilliantly efficient Empires. The care and feeding of the Arab people was at that moment in the hands of leaders of their own choosing. Within a few months of this moment, they had all chosen to be ruled by tyrants.
Today, the United Nations is a league of tyrannies. Only a minority are authentic democracies; some of the others pretend to represent a higher form of humane governance than do the democracies; others do not even pretend to be democracies, but instead bend their rhetorical energies to persuading the rest of us that they are governed by lofty ideological or religious principles whose demands upon the heart and soul cannot be submitted to popular will.
In the earliest months of the existence of the United Nations, Israel’s cause drew the sympathy of the world opinion in a moment when all thinking people in our part of the world were aware that civilization had just survived by the skin of its teeth from a challenge led forces indigenous to the western world but representing the lowest order of political appetites. The public everywhere in the western world was hungry for idealistic talk and was accordingly ready to believe in the cause of Zion.
Israel: The Pariah Nation.
That moment, when the argument from idealism came into conjunction with the argument from realism, did not last. Within twenty years, there took place two thorough-going attempts of the Arab nations to undo the decision of the Western by declaration of war. These illegal actions should have resulted in the ejection of all of these states from the UN. Instead, representatives of the member nations stood by and cheered while endless debate started up at the United Nations and in the opinion columns of all the Western media about rights and wrongs of Israel’s commitments to her self-defense.
Today, in the Twenty-first century so far, Israel’s role has become that of challenging a civilization in moral freefall. Israel has survived until this day by remaining true to the principles upon which the United Nations was founded – the very principles which have been thrown overboard by a majority of members of the UN.
Israel is among those members of the United Nations with the longest tenure. It is likewise among the minority of members that are still being governed under political rules that were laid down in its founding; that is, Israel has never seen its democratically-chosen leaders overthrown by force.
Today, the United Nations is obsessed with parading the alleged sins of Israel before the world. For example: in its forty sessions since it took on its present structure, the UN Human Rights Council has passed 67 Resolutions condemning Israel – six more than for the rest of the world combined. This outcome has been virtually guaranteed by the circumstance that the rules of the UN make Israel uniquely ineligible for membership on this body, or any of the other major Commissions. None of the nations which have been flagged for chronic and systemic human rights abuses by Human Rights Watch and other NGOs – China (the worst), Saudi Arabia (close second). Russia, Algeria, Congo, Cuba, Qatar, etc… has received the least complaint over the years; in fact, each of these outfits –dictatorships, thuggocracies, religiously-sanctioned monarchies or hopelessly unstable regimes — holds present membership, or is slated under the Council’s rotation system to become a member soon. (“Has the UN Human Rights C ouncil Become Frankenstein?” www.unwatch.org/10837-2.)
What Became of the Liberal Hopes for the Arab World?
It is this peculiar history that gives to the best Israeli journalism two closely-related qualities that are virtually absent elsewhere in our journalistic world: that is, realism combined with broad historical perspective. The best example of this may be Caroline Glick. Today a deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, she was born in the United States but became a resident-citizen of the State of Israel and is now a veteran of active service in the Israel Defense forces.
Caroline Glick’s exceptional grasp on long-term historical meanings is demonstrated, for example, in a recent essay about the largest reality on the landscape of the Middle East today – the pending liquidation of the Arab world’s indigenous Christians. (Caroline Glick, “Inconvenient Genocide,” Jerusalem Post, April 7, 2016.) She writes:
The Jewish communities [of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon predated Islam by a millennium, and were vibrant until the 20th century. But the Arab world’s war on the Jewish state, and more generally on Jews, wiped out the Jewish populations several decades ago. And now the Christian communities, which like the Jews, predate Islam, are being targeted for eradication.
Boldly, she touches on an aspect of the story of ISIS’s campaign of liquidation against Christians that is obviously considered too sensitive for Westerners to note:
Our leaders of opinion are committed to a degraded sort of reverse bigotry which allows them to excuse anti-Christian and anti-Jewish attitudes and actions in the Muslim world as reasonable outcomes of their long struggle against the vices of European imperialism.
“In other words,” observes Caroline Glick, “Middle Eastern Christians, whose communities predate Islam, are targeted because they are perceived as Western implants. And the West ignores their suffering, because the Left in the West perceives them as Western implants. In both cases, prejudices, rooted on the one hand in jihadist Islam, and on the other hand in Western self-hatred and post-colonialism, reach the same bigoted conclusion: the only “authentic” people in the Middle East are Muslims. Everybody else is a colonial implant.”
There is the same convoluted linkage between our intellectuals’ indifference to the annihilation of the Christians and their love affair with anti-Zionism – the latest chapter in the disgusting history of anti-semititism.
No member of our opinion elite one seems to notice the hypocrisy involved in the paradox that the secular-leftist in our midst exudes contempt for the civilization from which he derives while offering support, in the name of Anti-Zionism, for the Palestine Authority whose “moderate” leader proclaims that when his Fatah party’s claims to all of the old Mandate are at last recognized there will be no place anywhere in the Holy Land “for the filthy feet of Jews.” (PMW Bulletin, September 17,. 2015.)