Not exactly what Yglesias is talking about. I don’t think Yglesias knows WTF Yglesias is talking about.
The existence of Christian Zionists is, of course, not new. But what is new is that Israeli politics has drifted toward the hawkish right over the past ten years even as Jewish Americans remain on the progressive left. That change in Israeli politics, meanwhile, has been in part driven by a demographic shift away from the kind of secular ashkenazi Jews who predominate in the American population. At the same time, Christian Zionist sentiment has boomed in America and the Palestinian cause has never been less popular among America’s overwhelmingly non-Jewish population.
This is all part of what I’ve called the trend toward post-Jewish Zionism. That’s not to say that there are no Jewish Zionists in the United States (or Canada, etc.) but merely to observe that Jews as such are decreasingly relevant to the politics of Israel. In Europe, too, we’re seeing a boom of far-right parties (True Finns, Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, the Danish People’s Party) with strong pro-Israel stands.
But look at whom he is defining as ‘post-Jewish.’
Daniel Levy’s article on Israeli demographics is also relevant to this. If you’re a typical Jewish American, this is quite literally not your father’s Israel. The Palestinian, Haredi, “national Orthodox,” and Russian immigrant shares of the population have all grown substantially.
While it’s true that the Haredi, national Orthodox (by which I assume he means National Religious) and Russian immigrant (by the way, most of whom are not religious and many of whom are not Jewish at all) populations have grown, that does not explain why Israelis have become what Yglesias calls ‘hawkish right,’ nor does it explain why fewer and fewer Israelis are sympathetic to the ‘Palestinian’ cause.
The Likud gets very few Haredi votes and probably not a whole lot of National Religious votes or Russian immigrant votes either. What’s driven Israel to the right is not changing demographics but changing perceptions of the possibility of peace (without scare quotes) with the ‘Palestinians.’ Most Israelis have realized the truth over the last 6-11 years (look up those dates): That it’s not peace or a state that the ‘Palestinians’ want. It’s that they want to destroy the Jewish state. We won’t roll over and play dead for them.
Some people would call that kind of shift democracy.
And by the way, those Haredim and National Religious Jews are more Jewish (in practice) than Yglesias will ever be. I would definitely not call them ‘post Jewish.’ That’s absurd.
Matt Yglesias, at Think Progress, writes about the Daily Caller op-ed in which Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Gevalt) castigates American Jews for not being his kind of American Jew. (Next up: Joe Walsh wishes wimmin were still ladies!)
I won’t pile more on Walsh — it seems gratuitous at this stage — but Yglesias seems to have contracted Walsh’s unseemly “they’re all alike” affect in this passage:
Israeli politics has drifted toward the hawkish right over the past ten years even as Jewish Americans remain on the progressive left. That change in Israeli politics, meanwhile, has been in part driven by a demographic shift away from the kind of secular ashkenazi Jews who predominate in the American population.
Say what? Ashkenazim have a genetic predisposition toward liberal democracy?
Let me put it this way: Vus?