(Mystical Politics) No Lines (Israel, Jerusalem, Settlements)


Unerringly consistent, Prime Minister Netanyahu, in his response to the UN Security Council resolution, changed the subject from settlements, about which there is no consensus in Israel or in the Jewish world, to Jerusalem, about which there is. That is the way of a demagogue.

Assuming for the moment that the UNSC resolution is not agnostic about future borders, what remains true is the failure of Israel under Netanyahu to draw clear lines –between isolated settlements and the so-called settlement blocs, between settlements and Jerusalem, between Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and the Old City, Western Wall, and Temple Mount, between settlements and Israel itself, between a quasi state of apartheid and a functional democracy.

Against international order, this is a kind of nihilism. Undermining the boundaries upon which democracy in Israel depends, it’s only on this basis that a balanced resolution against settlements can be construed as a war or writ of destruction against the sovereign State of Israel and commitment to holy sites. In this mystical  form of paranoid politics, the lines between the sacred and the profane have collapsed; all things are equal and all things are one.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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