Friday, 16 November 2012

Mending The Middle

That Cartoon illustrates, not the Jews, nor even the State of Israel, but the political party that is Likud, pulling the strings of William Hague (on whom it is slightly unfair) and of Tony Blair (on whom it is nowhere near harsh enough).

It is a matter of record that Likud counts four fifths of Conservative MPs among its members, and that it very largely created the mercifully declining Blairite faction within and around the Labour Party. Once you recall that Blair, of all people, is the Middle East Peace Envoy, then present events make a horrible sort of sense.

By "Medieval", Netanyahu means the recapitulation in Jesus Christ and His Church of all three of the Old Israel, Hellenism and the Roman Empire, as manifested by the ancient indigenous Christians who still call themselves "Rûm" (as in fact the Qur'an addresses them), or who continue to worship in Aramaic, or who alone retain any aspects of the Hellenistic synagogue ritual.

Only that recapitulation made possible the emergence of modern science, while those Rûm founded both Arab nationalism and the whole concept of modern Filastin at American Protestant missionary universities. They led the latter, in particular, almost exclusively until 1973.

Whereas by "Modern", Netanyahu means an unresolved Messianic hope and expectation as issuing in all sorts of earthly utopianisms: Freudian, Marxist (and then Trotskyist, and then Shachtmanite), monetarist, Zionist, Straussian, neoconservative by reference to all of these, and so forth.

Those are all also expressions of the repudiation of Original Sin, Christianity's great bulwark against the rationally and empirically falsifiable notions of inevitable historical progress and of the perfectibility of human nature in this life alone and by human efforts alone.

Netanyahu heads a coalition in which one party believes that Gentiles were created as beasts of burden while the Biblical Hebrew word for a human being only ever means a Jew, with human rights as a Christian invention (which it is - in Netanyahu's terms, not to say objectively, it is Medieval) and irrelevant to Jews. Is that his definition of Modernity?

I know which side I am on.

How about you?

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