There is a single question that every individual, group, and nation must answer. To borrow from the most pro-Israel president since Harry Truman: if you are not with Israel, you are against her. And if you do not oppose with every fiber of your being and every instrument at your disposal that which intends the Jewish state harm, you are enabling her destroyers.
As blarg-blarg as she can be, perhaps not even Pam Geller is this extreme – and she is more or less openly an admirer of Meir Kahane! This is the most baroquely fascist thing I’ve heard in the service of Zionism since Daniel Craig’s character in Munich snarled that the only blood he cared about was Jewish blood.
Above: Commentary group photo.
The with or against formulation that Rubin borrows from Bush was of course intellectually dishonest and morally retarded in its original context, but Rubin has inflamed and expanded far beyond that: this is Barry Goldwater’s “extremism in pursuit of [___] is no vice” but, as applied to the (mostly American) Jews in Rubin’s target audience, ethnic loyalty or blood loyalty or tribalism fills in the blank, and as applied to everyone else outside of Israel, loyalty or subservience to a foreign country. By any means necessary — which is what “every instrument at your disposal” actually, you know, means. This is the talk of terrorism; of terrorists.
But then it’s been obvious since Norman Podhoretz went totally and irredeemably batshit in the mid-70′s that Commentary, the AJC, and all whom such entities and people speak for (AIPAC, Likud Governments, Israeli settlers and indeed a large swathe of the Orthodox Jewish population in Israel, American neoconartists, et al.) are hellbent on following the model of Lehi (aka, the Stern Gang), terrorists whose Zionism was so extreme they assassinated a U.N. mediator who had saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust and, for good measure, offered to work with the Nazis against the British.
This kind of loyalty, or demand of loyalty, to a country is such an extreme form of nationalism that it is a textbook component of fascism. But it’s not just nationalism, either; it’s ethnic nationalism, and, to boot, in this context is being discussed by citizens of a different country!
Wingnuts often whine about identity politics-obsessed leftists, and sometimes they even have a point (though they aren’t the ones to be making it). But the intense identification with Israel, “Jewishness”, and Judaism (and exactly in that order) among right-wing Jews is the single most flagrant and dangerously obsessive form of identity politics in America today, precisely because it so strongly influences foreign policy. Moreover, it is typical of such right-wing American Jews that they pretty much categorically have a “multiculturalism for me but not for thee” attitude, yet it is a fact that random black people (omg scary! unAmerican!) who celebrate Kwanzaa, identify with Africa, and maybe wear dashikis — exactly the antique type still haunting Podhoretz’s nightmares; younger Pod People no doubt have moved on to mosque-attending, keffiyeh-wearing Arab-Americans or baggy-pants-wearing, hip-hop-listening African-Americans — have no influence on American foreign policy; the same cannot be said for Ms. Rubin’s cronies.
A large item in the sociopathic mentality of a totalitarian is a desire for Purity Control. In both left and right forms of the disease, ideological purity is of great concern; Rubin’s paragraph, of course, has that in spades in her demand for pure loyalty to Zionism at all costs. But the religious and especially ethnic component makes her ravings — and those of so many others — explicitly fascist: the idea is the nation, the nation is the tribe, the tribe is “chosen” or exceptional or entitled just because it is and also because Yahweh or Moses or History or Mommy and Daddy says it is, anything that dilutes the tribe’s purity – of purpose or otherwise — must be destroyed. It’s no accident that Rubin’s rant was inspired by Elliott Abrams, a convicted criminal who lied to Congress, purity fetishist who wrote a book railing against the tendency of liberal American Jews to marry gentiles, and son-in-law of Commentary‘s longtime ruler, Norman Podhoretz. And it’s no accident that Abrams married into a family whose patriarch, even when a young Trotskyist in Brooklyn, was motivated like nothing else (his Rosebud, as it were) by hatred of two neighboring groups: black people and the assimilated American Jews whose tribalism he found disgustingly impure.*
*And what can be said about NPod also goes for his friend and coeval (moar like co-evil, amirite?), the late Irving Kristol.