So let's just use the rightness of that post as a counter-balance to the embarassing wrongness of this one. It starts off well enough, with the writer admitting (after a commenter's challenge) that "There is no reason to assume that all Zionists support Likud's policies." Indeed! In fact, we can safely assume that the 77% of Israelis who voted for parties other than Likud oppose its policies at least some of the time, and the roughly 50% of Israelis who cast ballots for parties outside Likud's coalition oppose these policies most of the time.* So while this shouldn't have exactly been some sort of mind-bender, good work nonetheless!
But then we get this howler:
That said: if you support creating a religiously ethno-nationalist and democratic state, you can’t simply disavow any responsibility for the conduct of a right wing nationalist party. In democracies, one faction never retains control forever. The ideology, conduct, and treatment of perceived enemies of the nation we find in Likud seem pretty typical of right wing nationalism generally (they seem worse because the occupied territories and Hamas belligerence provide some unique opportunities for bad behavior). You simply can’t count on a state with a religious ethnonationalist identity that isn’t going to have a belligerent conservative faction in charge occasionally.Hmmm. Interesting point. But perhaps it could use some editing:
That said: if you support creating aConsilience is your friend!
religiously ethno-nationalist anddemocratic state, you can’t simply disavow any responsibility for the conduct of a right wing nationalistparty. In democracies, one faction never retains control forever. The ideology, conduct, and treatment of perceived enemies of the nation we find in Likud seem pretty typical of [the] right wing nationalismgenerally (they seem worse because the occupied territories and Hamas belligerence provide some unique opportunities for bad behavior). You simply can’t count on a state with a religious ethnonationalist identitythat isn't going to have a belligerent conservative faction in charge occasionally.
Seriously, can anyone tell me what work "religiously ethno-nationalist" is doing here? For starters, modern Zionism isn't -- or at least isn't necessarily, and was not originally -- a religious ideology. I know that Jews' unique status as both a religion and an ethno-national group can be confusing, but let's put in a modicum of effort shall we? The author later on admits to some basic misunderstandings of the structure of religious Jewish politics in Israel anyway, but he really should know that founding-era Zionism in particular was sharply secular. Indeed, most of the explicitly religious elements of Israel's current political structure (such as devolving control over family law to religious authorities) is an Ottoman era holdover. Is it one I'd love to see repealed? Yep. Is the most fervent advocate favoring such a repeal in the current Likud-led coalition? You bet.
Okay, how about "ethno-nationalist"? I take the author's point to be that states which specifically are founded on nationalist principles are more vulnerable to reactionary right-wing elements which oppress minorities. Is that true? One problem with figuring it out is that most states today remain founded on ethno-nationalist principles. But even those states which plausibly are not founded on that concept or do not currently identify that way (e.g., the United States, the former USSR, China -- it's notable that all of these cases are at best arguable ones) also periodically see right-wing coalitions come to power and act in ways hostile to minorities. That seems to be a unifying feature of states and polities. Indeed, the real moral of the story here is that a state does not need to explicitly identify itself in ethno-nationalist terms in order for an ethno-nationalist element to have appeal amongst members of a majority ethnic class. Israel, after all, famously does not characterize itself as a Jewish state in its Basic Laws -- it is neither unique nor surprising that this does not eradicate the potency of right-wing ethno-nationalist claims within the Israeli polity.
A great pet peeve of Israel supporters is when people take attributes common across many or all states and single out Israel for special opprobrium. Israel does have a reactionary right-wing nationalist element in it, one that I think is repulsive on its own terms and destructive to the long-term wellbeing of both Israelis and Palestinians (not to mention the Jewish self-determination project more generally). But there's nothing unique or strange about that. Pretty much any democratic polity has elements like that; using their existence to say that the whole group's desire for self-determination is doomed to failure is ludicrous on its face and obviously not going to be applied consistently in practice.
* This is a simplification of course, but its worth noting that in the current coalition only two of the four members of the current coalition (Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu and Jewish Home) are really committed to the settlement and greater Israel project that the author is most angry about. Together, these two entities combined for about 32% of the vote. Yesh Atid (14%) is somewhat ambivalent, while Hatnuah (5%) ran specifically as a pro-negotiations, pro-peace party.