Breivik hated Muslims but loved Israel; discuss

Typically brilliant Slavoj Žižek from last week in the London Guardian:

Breivik is antisemitic but pro-Israel, as the state of Israel is the first line of defence against the Muslim expansion – he even wants to see the Jerusalem temple rebuilt. His view is that Jews are OK as long as there aren’t too many of them – or, as he wrote in his manifesto: “There is no Jewish problem in western Europe (with the exception of the UK and France) as we only have 1 million in western Europe, whereas 800,000 out of these 1 million live in France and the UK. The US, on the other hand, with more than 6 million Jews (600% more than Europe) actually has a considerable Jewish problem.” He realises the ultimate paradox of a Zionist Nazi – how is this possible?

A key is provided by the reactions of the European right to Breivik’s attack: its mantra was that in condemning his murderous act, we should not forget that he addressed “legitimate concerns about genuine problems” – mainstream politics is failing to address the corrosion of Europe by Islamicisation and multiculturalism, or, to quote the Jerusalem Post, we should use the Oslo tragedy “as an opportunity to seriously re-evaluate policies for immigrant integration in Norway and elsewhere”. The newspaper has since apologised for this editorial. (Incidentally, we are yet to hear a similar interpretation of the Palestinian acts of terror, something like “these acts of terror should serve as an opportunity to re-evaluate Israeli politics”.)

A reference to Israel is, of course, implicit in this evaluation: a “multicultural” Israel has no chance to survive; apartheid is the only realistic option. The price for this properly perverse Zionist-rightist pact is that, in order to justify the claim to Palestine, one has to acknowledge retroactively the line of argumentation which was previously, in earlier European history, used against the Jews: the implicit deal is “we are ready to acknowledge your intolerance towards other cultures in your midst if you acknowledge our right not to tolerate Palestinians in our midst”.

The standard Zionist argument against the critics of the policies of the state of Israel is that, of course, like every other state, Israel can and should be judged and eventually criticised, but that the critics of Israel misuse the justified critique of Israeli policy for antisemitic purposes. When the Christian fundamentalist supporters of the Israeli politics reject leftist critiques of Israeli policies, their implicit line of argument is illustrated by a wonderful cartoon published in July 2008 in the Viennese daily Die Presse: it shows two stocky, Nazi-looking Austrians, one of them holding in his hands a newspaper and commenting to his friend: “Here you can see again how a totally justified antisemitism is being misused for a cheap critique of Israel!” These are today’s allies of the state of Israel.