A Diem That Needs Some Carping

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The current conflict between Israel and the United States is a really odd one. For the Israelis, the whole thing is a matter of life and death, a serious conflict. On the Obama/Kerry side of things, their behavior more closely resembles a one-sided junior high girls’ slap fight. But before getting into all that, a few disclaimers.pro-israel-cartoon

The disclaimers are necessary because the topic of Israel is one which when broached frequently causes a festival of sweet reason to break out. Or one assumed it was supposed to be a festival of sweet reason, said something sensible therefore, and found oneself vituperated soundly with accusations that one was of the Joooooss.

Since the bottom line is that I am pro-Israel, in a way that our president most assuredly is not, I must therefore begin with the disclaimers. Pro-Israel does not mean being in favor of everything Israel might be, say, or do. Since the very first thing that will happen in the comments section here is that someone will require me to defend something I do not wish to defend, I thought it best to get all that out of the way. I think I can do it in one paragraph.

I am a Christian first, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ extends over all nations, including Israel. They have no less of an obligation to confess that Jesus rose from the dead than any other nation does, and arguably much more of an obligation to do so. Secularism is a bad idea everywhere, and so it is a bad idea in Israel as well. Second, support for Israel does not mean that you have to think that Zionism was a topping idea. I think it was a really bad idea, but that doesn’t keep Israel from being there now, a reality to be reckoned with. In a similar way, Manifest Destiny was an idea that I reject with all my heart and soul—but that doesn’t keep me from living in Idaho. Where would I move? Everywhere is the result of a bad idea. Third, the dunderheads who carved up the Middle East over the course of the twentieth century created this mess for us, and all indications are that their heirs and assigns are still pretty much of the same mind, and still thinking in the same kind of blinkered way. But enough about the United Nations. And last, my affection for Israel is personal, in addition to being theological and political. My wife’s great-great-grandfather was Rabbi Cohn, one of my co-grandfathers is a Christian Jew, my kids and grandkids have cousins who are Israeli, and according to AncestryDNA, I myself am 2% European Jewish. Nancy is 11% European Jew, her mother 26%. What all this amounts to is that our family would be much more involved on an active personal level if terrorists overran Israel than we would be if terrorists overran Vermont.

So having established myself as a man of subtlety and nuance, let me make some observations about the slap fight.

The thing that kicked this round of controversy off was America’s act of high, feckless cowardice at the Security Council. Abstain? If you are for it, then vote for it. If you are against it, then use your veto power. But to abstain is to take us back to those halcyon days when Obama would cover himself with glory by voting present on stuff. Obama was angling for some kind of deniability on the treachery involved in this when the whole world could see the treachery, despite the denials. If you are going to do a high-handed thing, then make sure you do it with a high-hand.

Second, until the Left figures out what just happened in the recent election, they really ought to stop doing things, particularly petulant things. This whole fiasco has provided the incoming president with a golden opportunity to defund the UN, or otherwise cripple it, in which case we all ought to celebrate and dance for joy. And under the current circumstances, it wouldn’t be that hard to accomplish. By misjudging the moment, Obama has created a circumstance in which he risked a queen to take a rook—and he will likely not get the rook, and he might lose the queen. This whole scenario could easily become a right-winger lotto binge. When leftie Democrats, conservatives, neo-cons, and other assorted types are all yelling in concert to have the UN building pushed into the East River, this is what a prudent man might call a golden opportunity. We might not pass this way again, friends. And when the stately Charles Krauthammer suggested—not finding fault with the building—that said building would be a great location for some Trump condos, I would only want to maintain that this is a diem that needs some carping.

Third, John Kerry said that Israel had to choose between being Jewish and being democratic. Over one and a half million Israeli citizens are Arab. Most are Muslim, and some are Christian. If Kerry were to get his second state, the Palestinian one, what percentage of the citizenry in that state would be Jewish? Ah, I see. It is all coming clear to me now. The apartheid mentality does not reside where we thought. And while I am on the subject, let us address the obvious fact that the smart set that we call international diplomats already created a Palestinian state called Jordan, and then promptly forgot that they had done so. Now they think they need another one.

If we just gave them another one, say the tiny Gaza, I would then flip Kerry’s words around. We would then have to choose between that state being democratic and that state being just and civilized. If you cling to your democratic superstitions that demand self-determination above every other consideration, then you will get a terrorist-friendly government there, and no prospect for peace. You will have yet another bit of evidence from the Middle East that elections cause wars.

So here’s a great idea, for those who think we have the right to carve up other regions of the world like it was a pie. If you are going to do it, then do it in a way that actually furthers peace, not war. Create Gaza as an international duchy, with the duke selected by the board of Shell Oil. The first election will be held a century from now, and the only people who would be qualified to vote in that election would be people who have owned property in Gaza for over twenty years. And in order to own property there, an individual would have to sign a statement that affirmed Israel’s right to exist. In this duchy of Gaza, there would be no taxes whatsoever on the residents, and there would be no taxes on monies that companies earned by establishing operations there. Foreign aid from governments would be absolutely prohibited, and aid from private philanthropic agencies would only be allowed for the first ten years. In order to have peace, the people need to have a stake in the peace. And in order to have a stake in the peace, they need to have real property, clear title, and the rule of law. And if you want that, you need to have free markets, not free money and free rocket launchers.

So we could do something crazy like this, and have peace, or continue to do the crazy stuff we currently do, and have war. Everybody should think about it. You don’t have to call it a duchy.

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Ian Miller
4 years ago

Every time someone proposes something that might actually help the Israeli conflict, I am really sad that instead, we’ll just get people doing terrible things (Obama) to hurt Israel, or saying good things but doing nothing (conservatives/Republicans).

Malachi
Malachi
4 years ago

Ah…the sweet fragrant aroma that is common sense.

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago

You know what the funny thing is? Those geniuses, ashv and Barnabas and Reverend 40 Acres Cuck have succeeded in electing a man who may be the most pro-Israel president in American history. Take a look at the guy Trump nominated to be ambassador to Israel.

You hear that sound? It’s the sound of me laughing at the Paleo Right/Alt Right getting cucked by Trump for the next four years…

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago
Reply to  Ben Carmack

Yep, they sorted through the 17 republicans and found the one that was the most pro-Israel, pro-gay marriage, and pro-abortion in the bunch. Then they fell in love.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Ben Carmack

Why would I be anti-Israel? A homeland for Jews on the other side of the world sounds fantastic to me. What’s not to like?

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I take it you would agree with the gist of this piece?

http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=13725

Eagle_Eyed
Eagle_Eyed
4 years ago
Reply to  Ben Carmack

It should be mentioned that Auster was a race-realist who spoke frankly about black/hispanic crime and was also quite the nationalist. He’d be a Trump supporter if alive today.

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago
Reply to  Eagle_Eyed

Auster was a committed racialist. While his racialism was nuanced in a way that you usually do not see, and well argued, the genetic determinism it represented was dead wrong. But that isn’t the issue here. Auster’s fellow paleocons and race realists hated his guts because Auster had no time for anti-Semitism, Israel-bashing and crackpot alternative histories of World War II. Auster was a consistent critic of the antiwar right, and Pat Buchanan in particular. If the things Buchanan and friends wrote about Israel years ago are things Buchanan and friends still believe, there is no way to reconcile that… Read more »

Eagle_Eyed
Eagle_Eyed
4 years ago
Reply to  Ben Carmack

Well as you say, Buchanan’s anti-Israel polemics weren’t based on principle so Trump’s pro-Israel statements aren’t a problem for him. Buchanan opposed the neoconservative/neoliberal synthesis which dominated federal domestic and foreign policy following the Cold War, reached its zenith with George W. Bush, and has been summarized by Steve Sailer as “invade the world/invite the world.” Buchanan doesn’t care if the American ambassador to the UN vetoes anti-Israel language or not; he cares about a smaller American military footprint and sovereignty issues like more border security. The glitch in the matrix of the Alt-Right movement is its position on Israel,… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Eagle_Eyed

The “ethno-nationalism for me but not thee” situation of Israel has been a common right-wing talking point for the last few years.

Eagle_Eyed
Eagle_Eyed
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Take it up with National Review.

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago
Reply to  Eagle_Eyed

“Buchanan doesn’t care if the American ambassador to the UN vetoes anti-Israel language or not; he cares about a smaller American military footprint and sovereignty issues like more border security.” False. Buchanan’s position requires that he care about the American ambassador vetoing UN votes, because that is “American support for Israel” which necessitates the Islamic world “hating the United States” and thereby causing terrorism against the United States. It also follows from this that America is in Israel’s back pocket and will be sucked into Middle Eastern wars to defend Israel’s interests. The logic of Buchanan’s position requires that the… Read more »

Eagle_Eyed
Eagle_Eyed
4 years ago
Reply to  Ben Carmack

Of course one also cannot support Israel as an ethnostate without granting that such a category (ethnonationalism) is morally permissible, at which point that person cannot condemn the likes of Richard Spencer. The knife cuts both ways.

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago
Reply to  Eagle_Eyed

Israel, like the United States, has the right to restrict immigration as she sees fit. She is sovereign over her borders and her people. Israel’s enemies are Muslim terrorists. The root of the terrorist problem is the religion of Islam itself. America’s enemies are also Muslim terrorists. It makes sense strategically for America to ally itself with Israel. Doug Wilson believes that the United States should be an expressly Christian country, and so should all nations on Earth. I agree. That view necessitates restricting Islamic immigration, because Islam is civilizationally incompatible with Christian civilization, a truth that our ancestors understood… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Ben Carmack

I don’t see any arguments being proposed or attacked there that interest me. The Middle East’s problems are not my people’s problems.

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

So you’ve taken the new, synthesis position of the Alt Right on Israel, as represented by Richard Spencer, forgetting conveniently that just a few years ago Spencer was as wildly anti-Israel as anybody else at AmConMag or TakiMag. Pay no attention. Move along. Can’t expect any consistency in the battle for a White Republic…

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Ben Carmack

Richard who?

(I am not in favour of a “white republic”.)

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

ashv, would you mind my asking if your aversion to Jews is based on what you have read and studied, or if it is derived from horrendous personal experiences with actual Jews?

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I don’t have an aversion to Jews.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I’m sorry, perhaps the word aversion was wrong. Would it be fair to say that you believe there are cultural differences between Jews and gentiles that make you believe they should live separately? And, if so, can I ask whether this is based on your personal experiences with Jews or more on historic observations?

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

It doesn’t take much effort to notice that Jews in America and actual Americans have different desires and interests. I think they can live together, the problem with the current situation is political liberalism ridiculously magnifies intergroup conflict. I’d much rather get rid of the liberal theory/structure of governance than get rid of Jews.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Thank you, that makes more sense to me (except for the distinction between real Americans and Jews in America). My Jewish family members who have served in the U.S. military, or as judges, and police officers, would be surprised not to be considered as actual Americans! There is an amazing diversity in Jewish occupations nowadays. Of my large extended family, there are lots of doctors, lawyers, dentists, physicists, and teachers. There are also farmers, cops, soldiers, an NRA organizer, and one outlier who tends goats. Only two of them work in finance–if you call melting down gold and reselling it… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Serving in the Israeli military wouldn’t make me Middle Eastern. Serving in the French military wouldn’t make me European. Why would serving in the US military make someone American?

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

If they were born here, if their great grandparents had come here, if their U.S. citizenship was every bit as valid as yours–why wouldn’t they be American? If my dear father had fought for Franco, as he so much wanted to do, that would not have made him a Spaniard. But if his English great grandparents had become Spanish citizens and he were born in Madrid, his military service could be seen as proof of his identification with the country of his birth. That is my point about American-born Jews who would be surprised that, despite serving their country, there… Read more »

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

If they were born here, if their great grandparents had come here, if
their U.S. citizenship was every bit as valid as yours–why wouldn’t
they be American?

Well, that’s obviously a different question. (Ignoring the red herring about “citizenship”.) Acculturation isn’t an automatic process but it does indeed happen for some. I don’t think “American Jew” is a contradiction in terms, if that’s what you’re asking. But neither do I think “American” is a coherent identity (any more than “European” or “Middle Easterner” is).

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I think it is only coherent as a commitment to a particular system of governance. In that sense, the immigrant may indeed be a truer American if he has escaped oppression in the hope of finding liberty. I don’t know if that was ever enough to hold a nation together, but I don’t think it is now.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The USA is a particular system of governance (or, arguably, has been a few different ones over the years) — but America is just a place, and a pretty big one.

Arwenb
Arwenb
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Why would serving in the Us military make someone American?

Because, if I am not mistaken, the laws of the US say it can.

And you have to admit, in most times (not the current afflicted-with-moonbattery times, but most others) being in the US military would be a good introduction-and-forced-assimilation into US values, mores, and culture.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Arwenb

Believe me, I’m quite familiar with the history of the military forcing assimilation into the norms and practices of the USA. We’ve had quite enough of it here.

steghorn21
steghorn21
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

You clearly do. You stated that you were happy with a Jewish homeland on the other side of the world – to me, that reads, “No Jews near me!” Please have the guts to say you don’t like Jews.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  steghorn21

I prefer being around people who look and think like me. But since I don’t spend much time in the company of Jews I don’t have much motivation to dislike them particularly.

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago

On the other hand, if we define “carping” by the fishy, bottom feeding definition, there is no lack of carp, in the outgoing administration.
Nor any diems siezed, in the best sense of the term!????
The Obama administration, absent, even when insisting it was,
“Present”.

john
john
4 years ago

israel is not worth an American dollar or American life. It is not America’s problem that the jews and palestinians are fighting over a wasteland. Don’t care who is right or wrong anyway. It is not our people or our land. It is not our problem either that Mr Wilson is 2 percent jewish and his kids have first cousins who are half jews living in israel. After all the youtube debates I seen of Mr Wilson and reading his articles here. I never thought he was a israel first,”left behind series” Christian. Mr Wilson says he is pro-israel. I… Read more »

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago
Reply to  john

What do you think of your boy Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel?

http://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-taps-adviser-david-friedman-to-be-us-ambassador-to-israel/

What do you think of Trump’s willingness to act at the U.N. to defend Israel?

Should I cackle with laughter at your misfortune now, or wait until later?

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago
Reply to  john

Please, please, do me a solid and say Trump is a warmongering Zionist neocon imperialist. It would make my day.

john
john
4 years ago
Reply to  Ben Carmack

I voted for Trump because I thought and still think that he wants America out of the affairs of foreign countries in the middle east. If I am wrong about that than so be it.

JohnM
JohnM
4 years ago
Reply to  john

The notion that Trump wants America out of the foreign affairs of countries generally was a good reason to have voted for him, though not good enough and I did not, but when you say “so be it”, what does the “it” end up being in this case?

john
john
4 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

As in there is nothing i can do about it, it is out of my hands. fair enough?

JohnM
JohnM
4 years ago
Reply to  john

Fair enough as to what you meant. But if it turns out you were/are wrong about Trump and foreign countries in the middle east then will it change how you view Trump and will you regret (for what it matters) having voted for him? Just curious I guess.

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

Because antagonism toward Israel and the United States is what motivates so much the Paleo Right, I give it a few months, maybe a year, before guys like John start bailing on Donald Trump. They believed, despite the plentiful contrary evidence, that Trump was as obsessed with Israel and Jews as the Alt Right is.

Watching this crackup will be great fun. I’ll bring the popcorn!

john
john
4 years ago
Reply to  Ben Carmack

Ben, do you think the modern day of israel has anything to do with the second coming of Christ?

Ben Carmack
Ben Carmack
4 years ago
Reply to  john

No.

Several Puritans have argued in the past that the second coming of Christ would come right after a mass conversion of the Jews to Christianity. That’s a plausible reading of certain Scriptures, or at least plausible enough for me.

Clearly that has not happened yet. It may happen in the future. For that reason, you can’t treat the modern state of Israel as a fulfillment of any of the “good prophecies.” The Jewish people, as a people, so long as they deny Christ, can’t be considered as God’s Chosen People.

rscotts
rscotts
4 years ago

There is much more going on than what our RepubliCrat nationalist propaganda is cranking-out. This is all surface stuff from two-sides to the same coin! I won’t go into that, now. More time must pass before the truth of the matter becomes apparent.

I believe the Lord would be most-blessed if Christians would become fully-immersed in, and singly-devoted to the Kingdom of Christ instead of the kingdoms of this world.

Is it possible that we (the Church) might become purely, Pro-Christ’s Kingdom and simply allow the idolatrous pro-Israel/pro-America/pro-world orientation to fall quickly, away???

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  rscotts

Is it possible that we (the Church) might become purely, Pro-Christ’s
Kingdom and simply allow the idolatrous pro-Israel/pro-America/pro-world
orientation to fall quickly, away???

In a word, no.

(To elucidate further: The last time this was tried, the result was communism.)

rscotts
rscotts
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Thank you but, I was referring to a heart “orientation”. The Church is idolatrous toward earthly kingdoms, IMO.

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Col. 3:1-3

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  rscotts

I know. So was I.

rscotts
rscotts
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Great! I’m glad we’re being biblical, then.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  rscotts

Enjoy this excerpt from TIME Magazine in 1942 about efforts in this direction: https://nickbsteves.wordpress.com/foundational-readings/american-malvern/

rscotts
rscotts
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Well, there you have me. I guess Time “Trumps” the Bible, after all.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
4 years ago

Thank you for your thoughts, Pastor Wilson. I can appreciate that you have an affinity for the modern nation of Israel, even if I do not share it. As a convinced nationalist, I am all for ethnic Jews having a place for themselves. I wouldn’t even stress them making it both Jewish and democratic. If they read their Scriptures more closely, then they would not even bother trying the democratic part. But I would note for you that they do not share that affinity with you. I would also ask that as a voting American, that you not try to… Read more »

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
4 years ago

Carp that deim but I’m afraid Vermont is gone already. It is pretty peaceful though so maybe we could use it as a model for the Middle East. Get them started making ice cream and wearing Birkenstocks and maybe they’ll turn hipster.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago

Pastor Wilson, your admission that you find the social and political health of Israel more important than that of Vermont doesn’t reduce my opinion of you in the least, for you clearly have good reasons to feel that way — but you see now, I hope, why I’m deeply sceptical of any references to we and us and nation when it comes to the various subjects of the USA? Living on the same landmass doesn’t make us neighbours or brothers.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

But it should. If we can’t bring ourselves to love the diverse people who share the continent with us, it doesn’t say much about our ability to love.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

There’s a whole lotta should that ain’t and it does no good to pretend.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

It should not be pretense, but there should still be a real intention and effort to love one another. It may run counter to human nature, but as Katherine Hepburn said in The African Queen, “Human nature is what we were put on earth to rise above.”

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I’ll grant the principle. But we live in an age where proclaiming love for strangers is used as an excuse to devour those we have a responsibility to care for. So I will listen to someone who tells me to indulge the socially-acceptable forms of love for strangers who has shown zeal for caring for those God has placed near him first.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Yes, it is hard to argue with that. I find it infinitely easier to love in the abstract. I am sure many of us do, that being part of the human nature we were placed on earth to rise above!

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Sorry ashv, but the dirt really is magic.

Nord357
Nord357
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

He stated most emphatically that he is first and foremost a Christian. If you are also, then you are brothers, and, there is nothing you can do about that.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  Nord357

Yes? I don’t disagree with this.

Frank_in_Spokane
Frank_in_Spokane
4 years ago

I found this to be rather interesting: “The Truth About Israel and Palestine,” by Stefan Molyneux (7/31/14): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKzlh9kN4HI (57 mins). (Not saying I agree w/everything SM is saying.)

I’d love to hear your (Doug’s, or anyone else’s) thoughts on his analysis.

Frank_in_Spokane
Frank_in_Spokane
4 years ago

And then there’s this:

Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 159: “‘Ancient History’: U.S. Conduct in the Middle EastSince World War II and the Folly of Intervention,” by Sheldon L. Richman, August 16, 1991 (PDF, 49 pp)
https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/ancient-history-us-conduct-middle-east-world-war-ii-folly-intervention

Incidentally, there seems to be some disagreement (online, not in the Cato paper) on whether or not Jordan is a “Palestinian state.”