Series: Israeli Realism

Israeli realism/realism about Israel

“If you expected me to burst into tears, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I will not do that.”

Posted in International Relations, Twitterei Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Hell and Greater Israel (Blog Version)

Also to be found on Storify.

Posted in International Relations, War Tagged with: , , ,

The 1.x-State Solution

Fred Kaplan’s critique of Israeli strategy or supposed strategic failures seems to be what Middle East scholar Michael Hanna has in mind when he urges us (on Twitter today) to consider an alternative view: Let’s be frank: we often talk

Posted in International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, War Tagged with: , ,

The De-Civilization of Gaza

“Terrorism” is a term not just for a set of tactics that instil fear, but for defiance of “civil”-ized norms. The latter do not deny the moral calculus of an Osama Bin Laden: They seek to limit and move beyond its inexorable and inexorcisable normalcy or naturalness – in wartime at least second nature, if not human nature itself. That the logic of war is a collectivizing, anonymous logic explains why liberalism-individualism seeks to criminalize it, why liberalist-individualist polities have such difficulty orienting themselves morally within it, and why they are, finally, prone to overcompensating in response to it.

Posted in Internet, notes, War Tagged with: , , ,

Israel at the Extremes

Blog version of Storified dialogue.

Posted in Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , , , , ,

The 1.x-State Solution 2: “What the Conflict Is Really About”

A post by guest author KatherineMW at Ordinary Times, written on the occasion of the controversial Israeli decision to expropriate land connecting the West Bank settlement bloc of Gush Etzion to Jerusalem, explicitly as retaliation for the murder of Israeli

Posted in International Relations, notes, Political Philosophy Tagged with: , ,

Noted & Quoted

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The most painful aspect of this has been to watch people I previously considered thoughtful and principled conservatives give themselves over to a species of illiberal politics from which I once thought they were immune.

In his 1953 masterpiece, “The Captive Mind,” the Polish poet and dissident Czeslaw Milosz analyzed the psychological and intellectual pathways through which some of his former colleagues in Poland’s post-war Communist regime allowed themselves to be converted into ardent Stalinists. In none of the cases that Milosz analyzed was coercion the main reason for the conversion.
They wanted to believe. They were willing to adapt. They thought they could do more good from the inside. They convinced themselves that their former principles didn’t fit with the march of history, or that to hold fast to one’s beliefs was a sign of priggishness and pig-headedness. They felt that to reject the new order of things was to relegate themselves to irrelevance and oblivion. They mocked their former friends who refused to join the new order as morally vain reactionaries. They convinced themselves that, brutal and capricious as Stalinism might be, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the exploitative capitalism of the West.

I fear we are witnessing a similar process unfold among many conservative intellectuals on the right.

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The precarious feeling of uncertainty will nonetheless persist, at least until U.S. authority, in Europe or anywhere else, is seriously challenged. And there are signs that a challenge is coming. In the past few days, the Russian government has recognized passports from the phony “republics” that Russian-armed, Russian-controlled “separatists” have created in eastern Ukraine — perhaps, as one Russian official suggested, as a prelude to granting them Russian passports or even annexing the territories outright. Russian planes repeatedly buzzed a U.S. destroyer on patrol in the Black Sea. Most ominously, Russia has reportedly deployed a new generation of cruise missiles, a move that violates existing arms treaties and could make it easier for Russian bombs to reach European capitals.

There is no reason to think that these small “tests” will not be repeated. And if any one of them explodes into something worse, then talk of “shared values” will not help. Nor will repeated reassurances from Cabinet members. At some point, the enforced ambiguity will fall away, it will not be possible to disguise reality with “Swedish incidents” and we will learn what the president actually believes. I just hope that we are all prepared.

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Our partners in the international order we created - some of whom we conquered to make it possible - are now seeking to defend it from us. Let's say that again, Defend it from us. How do we now as loyal Americans look at the warnings of the French and the Germans, as well as the British and our other erstwhile allies' warnings? This is a complicated question which different people, depending on their professions and governmental responsibilities and personal dispositions, must answer in different ways. But we cannot ignore the fact that the American experiment is now in a kind of exile - taken refuge elsewhere - and the executive power of the American state now under a kind of, hopefully temporary, occupation.

We face a comparable dynamic at home. I have been thinking for weeks that the central challenge and reality of the Trump Era is what do you do as an institutionalist when the central institutions of the state have been taken over, albeit democratically, by what amount to pirates, people who want to destroy them? To put it another way, do the institutions and norms which Trump and his gang are trying to destroy become shackles and obstacles in the way of those trying to defend them? There['re] no easy answers to these questions.

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@CK_MacLeod

State of the Discussion

bob
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+ I dunno, I think a lot of people looked at the TPers not as patriotic Americans but as bat shit crazy. Their difficulty in [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
CK MacLeod
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+ They will still have to cope with a version of the same conflict at every stage and level. Sooner or later, or constantly, any political [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
bob
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+ Sure, that's a fair characterization of the discussion outlined in the tweets. My point is that the information we have about "the left" is [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP

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