A Dormant Period
Like all of Third Positionism, Jewish Third Positionism became a dormant philosophy as the the two evils it so greatly detested, Capitalism and Communism, waged a 45 year battle that dominated all of world politics during that time. And the establishment of Israel within this context was most precarious. The Israelis, who still had some human decency in them at this point, wanted supremacy but soundly rejected the odd blend of National Socialism and Messianism that was the Likud movement which dominates Israel today. So there arose the natural result of appeasement: the need to satisfy the Likud, what remained of principled idealism, and the needs of European Imperialism, the driving force behind the necessity of supremacy, all of these combined created the fatal compromise - a deformed social democratic regime.
This unstable yet more or less ethical regime was surprisingly able to balance the desire for empire, both at home and a broad, with generally good government and restraint for a quarter century. But this could not last. When the chickens came home to roost in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, anger led to insanity and the Likud rose to power. This was just the beginning of their ascension to total dominance of Israeli politics that culminated in the election of Ariel Sharon. Though there was some vague sense of hope in what was accomplished by Yitzhak Rabin, anti-fascist Zionism has died, as the Labor Party is now run by Avraham Burg, one of the most notorious hecklers for the holocaust industry. While there are many who still hold out hope toward the re-emergence of some vague sense of principle among the Israelis, the fact is that the very nature of Zionism beckons the likes of Sharon, much as there was no practical way that Strasser could have ever become a dominant force in the face of the likes of Hitler.
Perhaps most resonating are the words of the late Gershom Scholem, the world renowned scholar of Jewish mysticism, who said that "if the state of Israel should ever become a vehicle of Messianism, and should it ever be regarded as the fulfillment of divine prophecy, it would be totally stripped of what was envisioned by our fathers, and that would ultimately lead to Israel's downfall". What Scholem didn't realize was that even among principled Jews this was always a given. Many if not most Jews foolishly attached to Israel their wildest hopes and dreams, and this is what has made them the only nation to have ever become fascist democratically. Yet in the midst of this turmoil, which is only amplified when met with the foolishness of the Palestinians, a new hope is arising from the chaos.
In the chaos of the Middle Eastern crisis, there is rising out of the dust a third position in the mad and endless conflict. While most Third Positionists strongly maintain that the Middle East conflict is not as complex as is said, this only true insofar as it deals with the aspirations of the Palestinian people, though the general argument against the media line that there are "no easy answers" is certainly warranted, as I am beginning to explain. The hard truth is that a two state solution to the conflict will only make matters worse, it will only further the anger and the attitude of supremacy on both sides.
To bring in the perspective of the non-Semitic ancient world, particularly of classical American Indian philosophy, did it ever occur to anyone that Israel belongs to neither side? Enter the man with the plan, Israel Shamir. A Russian born journalist and former Israeli Army Officer, Shamir spent several years as the spokesman for Mapam, one of the more radical and anti-Zionist parties in the government's left of center coalition, and then went on to pursue a literary career. Now, along with the long time Palestinian agitator in the west, Edward Sayyid, he has brought forth what he calls the "one man, one vote, one state" solution to the conflict: a single, unified, secular, democratic state in Israel.
While this new movement is just in its infancy and does not yet even have a name, it is the hope for a real lasting solution to this conflict that is nothing but madness, and it carries with it the hope for a great spiritual and intellectual renewal of the Jewish people in the face of the Zionist menace. What Shamir needs to do is clearly drawn out. Gaining significant Palestinian support should not be difficult - Edward Sayyid has had great success in reaching out to more radical Palestinians, and he has always been critical of both Muslim Fundamentalism and of Arafat's incompetence. But the challenge is in gaining broad Jewish support, and it can be done.
The first place to go, of course, is to the anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews of Israel. While they would immediately jump on Shamir's bandwagon, the challenge is in convincing them to retract their ban on participation in Israeli politics, but that should be relatively easy. Should circumstances unfold as it appears they will, Shamir should be able to have joining him the bulk of the collapsing Labor Party, but first he must go after groups more of his affinity, such as the Gush Shalom, which needs bold new leadership as they have now seen that subscribing to petty leftism has failed them miserably. They will also be more responsive to Shamir since they have recently made a total merger with the Mapam, which has in its ranks many disaffected old American leftists. And there is one large group of Jews in Israel who have been overlooked by anti-Zionists for too long - the Karaites.
Never relatively large in numbers, the Karaite Jews have been known for their rejection of the Talmud - think of them as Jewish Shi'ites. Having once been in every part of the Jewish world, they are almost all now in Israel. They have no official status in Israel, which has made them into an unusual form of second class citizens. And their doctrine is quite supportive of Third Positionist beliefs, particularly as personified by Israel Shamir: their rejection of the Talmud makes them hostile to Rabbinic elitism, and the kind of Rabbinic elitism personified in the Talmud is identical to the Jewish neo-conservative elitism of today. There were even many Karaites in the service of Nazi Germany. By far the biggest weakness of the Karaites in this respect is the hostility they would receive from the anti-Zionist Orthodox, but the Orthodox rightly assert that their opposition to Zionism is in their total bound to the Torah, and that Zionism can find roots in overemphasis on the Talmud, and only the most narrow minded Karaites would deny that the Talmud is without good anecdotal wisdom.
As it has been demonstrated here, the rebirth of Third Positionism and the aching, desperate need for a spiritual and intellectual revival among Jews goes hand in hand.As Jewish youth are seeing how Zionism has failed their people, they are leaving it in droves, and while the majority are finding their way to the leftist swamp, it will only be a few short years when there will be no shortage of Jews coming out of the anti-globalization movement seeking new answers, more concrete political answers as well as spiritual answers. That is why it is of the utmost importance that Israel Shamir's movement for a new Israel must be accompanied by a great spiritual revival.No national revival of the Jewish people can be successful without a spiritual revival, because, of course, that's what got us in this mess in the first place.
For PART 1, visit http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/28/22291.html