Wednesday, October 12, 2016

She's Bad for the Jews

In a defense of the thinking of Hannah Arendt against an attack by Eva Illouz, Ada Ushpiz writes, in passing, that we cannot exempt ourselves:

from examining common principles that define evil. Benjamin Netanyahu’s election-campaign flaunting of the slogan, “Good is what is good for the Jews, bad is what is bad for the Jews,” a slogan that appeared in the 1940s in the Nazis’ notorious newspaper Der Stürmer – the one difference being that instead of “Jews” Der Stürmer wrote “Germans” – does not mean that Netanyahu is a Nazi, but it does mean that all the warning lights should be lit up.

Before I get on to this, let's just recall Hanna Arendt on Menachem Begin in the infamous letter that appeared in the New York Times in December 1948:

...Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the "Freedom Party" (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties...

... It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents...[and]...the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement...they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state...Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.

Of course, they were expressing the Labour/Socialist Zionism line of anti-Revisionism of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.  This element is also core to Peter Beinart's "Crisis of Zionism" in which he battles Jabotinsky through ignorance, misrepresentation and falsifying elements in his life, his outlook and his accomplishments. 

But to return to Ushpiz.

The 1996 slogan of Netanyahu was 

Netanyahu: It's Good for the Jews

Anyone who actually lives among Jews knows that when a Jew is presented with a situation in which he has to decide, his instinctive humorous reaction is: 'nu, is it good for the Jews?'

After all, why should anything be done if it is bad for the Jews?

Netanyahu gave it a modern political spin that had nothing to do with Nazism, Der Sturmer or fascism.  Or racism.  It simply meant, a good choice for Israel, the Jewish state, is Netanyahu.

But allow an extreme leftist an opening and anyone to the right of them will become a Nazi.

So bad for the Jews.


No comments: