“I have great admiration for Israel’s nation-state Law. Jews are, once again, at the vanguard, rethinking politics and sovereignty for the future, showing a path forward for Europeans.” - Richard Spencer, poster boy for the ‘Alt-Right’ and White Nationalist Movement.
The aforementioned statement, sent out by Spencer as a tweet on July 21st, was made in response to the passage through the Israeli Knesset of the Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the JewishPeople. It was his acknowledgement of Israel’s formal declaration of itself to be a racialist, ethno-state.
It is important to clarify what the primary objective of Political Zionism was from the outset: This was to found a Jewish state centered in Palestine to the exclusion of all other races and religions.
The founding of the State of Israel would entail ethnically cleansing the territory earmarked for colonisation, with the inhabitants being supplanted mainly by Jews from Eastern European lands. It was never intended to be a multi-racial state, but a ‘Jews only’ state, something which the founders of Zionism envisaged would be achieved by ‘transferring’ the indigenous Muslim and Christian Arab population to outlying Arab territories.
The term ‘transfer’ as used by Theodor Herzl and David Ben Gurion was Zionism’s euphemism for ethnic cleansing. Where Herzl envisaged this as been achievable through the offer of inducements: by alternately getting property owners to vacate their land by paying them off at higher than market prices, and by securing employment in “transit countries” for the “penniless population” (failing which they would be “discreetly and circumspectly” spirited “across the border”), Ben Gurion and the leaders of the Jewish Agency in Palestine, although supposedly representing the ‘Accomodationist’ wing of Political Zionism, knew like the Revisionist Zionist apostles of Vladimir Jabotinsky that this would only be achieved by force of arms.
This was largely accomplished through the implementation of ‘Plan Dalet’ during the war of 1948.
Israel’s Basic Law, which stipulates that only Jews have the right to self-determination in the country, merely formalises what was already at the heart of the philosophical and ideological foundations of Israel.
Its drift to a more obvious form of a racial-based state was predicted by a group of Jewish intellectuals including Hannah Arendt and Albert Einstein, who felt compelled to write an open letter to the New York Times in 1948. It was an action prompted by the formation of the Right-wing Herut Party by Menachem Begin, leader of the Irgun terror group, in the same year. The establishment of Herut was, they believed, a development full of ominous portent that would lead Israel down the path which would legitimise “ultra-nationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority.”
Herut was the precursor of the Likud Party, which first came to power in 1977, and which has ruled Israel for the majority of years since, usually at the head of a coalition of parties with extreme social, political and military agendas.
It is clear why Richard Spencer approves of the Basic Law. He and like-minded white nationalist ideologues envisage a ‘whites first’ form of governance in European countries as well as in the European-majority nations of North America, Australia and New Zealand.
It is not the first time that Spencer has spoken favourably about Israel serving as a beacon for the new order racial societies desired by the alt-right movement.
Speaking before an audience at the University of Florida in October last year, Spencer ruminated over those states from past to present which have influenced his thinking and concluded: “the most important and perhaps most revolutionary ethno-state, the one that I turn to for guidance, even though I might not always agree with its foreign policy decisions - the Jewish state of Israel.”
He is not the only one on the political Right to think this way. Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who has never failed to express his affinity and admiration for Israel, praised the Israeli move by referring to it as “fantastic” and an “example to us all”. Wilders elaborated:
Let’s define our own nation-state, our indigenous culture, our language and flag, define who and what we are and make it dominant by law.
And while Israel and its supporters rail against those who claim that Israel’s laws and values should not be construed as being similar to those of the now dismantled apartheid regime of South Africa, Hendrik Verwoerd, the prime architect of the system, said the following in response to an Israeli vote against apartheid at the United Nations in 1961:
Israel is not consistent in its new anti-apartheid attitude … they took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.
And with laws which include prohibitions against the renting and selling of properties to Arabs and to African migrants, secret policies which sterilised Jewish Ethiopian women, and proposed legislation aimed at making DNA testing a mandatory requirement for an immigration system predicated on a Jews-only Law of Return, who can argue against the proposition of it being a racialist apartheid state?
© Adeyinka Makinde (2018)
Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England. His tweets can be read at @AdeyinkaMakinde