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Fourteen steps on the stairwell to hell

An essay on Jewish and Israeli fascism

By Alexander Eterman

Posted September 26, 2007

Fascism, if we are not overly pedantic, is not at all an invention of the modern era. Quite the contrary: in the past, it was a common social place, everywhere you looked. Any early society, when viewed objectively by modern standards, can be immediately branded as fascist, or at the very least as possessing fascist qualities. Thus fascism by its nature is not a rarity, and not a product of ultra-right extremism. Rather, it is the natural expression of oppression, conservatism, and the tendency for coercion that has accompanied mankind through the untold centuries of its evolution. In fact, everyone took it as a given. It is only in our modern age that fascism has been labeled a plague and an evil.

There is no doubt that fascism is not the monopoly of any specific society or nation. Fascism may be German, Japanese, American, Hindu or Jewish; it may be religious or secular, socialist or market-economy. It may be marginal or dominant, vital or slowly decaying. Today's fascism is a banal yet no less dangerous relic of the conservative past, surviving in societies that have not absorbed the humanistic lessons of the Enlightenment.

A relic! That means we have every reason to turn our attention to religion, the bulwark of conservatism -- the same religion that is frequently credited with being the originator of liberalism and humanistic ethics. We shall start with Judaism and at the same time with the religious worlds that are probably genetically related to it.

Religion is undeniably a product of the old society, with its inherently fascistic tendencies -- what is more, it is an integral part of that society. Thus it would be reasonable to assume that religion's role is not that of a moral standard and an "engine of progress," but rather the opposite: it is natural reactionary ballast, and the only thing that distinguishes it from extinct social inventions of antiquity is its extreme longevity. I spent a long time trying to find a compelling, objective, and at the same time vivid means of verifying this assumption. A few years ago I found it after reading Umberto Eco's amazingly simple and profound essay "Eternal Fascism" [1]. This famed cultural expert and true humanist has created a tremendously effective tool for early diagnosis of fascism. It would be a crime not to use it.

I began with the most painful area -- Orthodox Judaism. It triggers my imagination not only as the presumed progenitor of today's monotheistic religions, but also as the foundation of the main ideologies of a real state -- the State of Israel. I, as an Israeli, feel a sense of unease as I contemplate the conservative revolution happening in my country, or actually to my country. I am witnessing the decline of liberal society, the proliferation and accumulation of racist, fundamentalist, and militant groups and associations. It is plain to see that religion, or essentially Judaism, which enjoys a state-endorsed monopoly and authority in Israel, has had a hand in this. Yet how inherent is the extremist influence of state religion in Israel, a country where it has been impossible to even adopt a constitution because the overwhelming majority of the population categorically rejects the concept of freedom of conscience? Can at least part of the viscous reactionary mass be shifted from religious to political shoulders? How reactionary is Judaism itself -- if it is detached from the century-old Middle Eastern war? In a word, I have engineered a collision between Judaism and Eco -- and recorded the results.

Unfortunately, this is not all. The resulting record had to be interpreted. This interpretation, alas, was tainted by a purely political factor -- the open challenge hurled by Israel's extremist forces at their opponents. Quite a few people fully realize what is happening, though many are trying to ignore it altogether. Some are embarrassed, others afraid. The actively advancing Blackshirts, some of them in positions of power, trying to stifle democracy and universal values, are no longer a merely hypothetical and marginal enemy. They are a real menace, almost a catastrophe.

In my view, the main threat to the existence of modern Israel is the steadily rising tide of Jewish extremism. It has many faces and quite a few advocates. It has long stopped regarding fascism as a dirty word. In the eyes of Israel's present right wing, Mussolini was nothing but a godsend for Italy: after all, trains began to run on schedule under his regime. Who knows what our ultra-rightists would have said about Hitler had he exterminated Arabs instead of Jews? Nevertheless, the dominant common factor that unites Israel's extremists is not their tolerant attitude to European fascism, but rather their affection for religion. That is why, for the purposes of this essay -- essentially an advanced experiment using anti-fascist litmus paper -- I have a chosen a specific person to serve as guinea pig. This person is a former general, a former government minister, recent chairman of the National Religious Party (Mafdal), and most importantly, someone far removed from religion in his youth, who then embraced it with unbridled fervor while casting his lot with radical extremism. I am talking about Effi Eitam.

Eitam is by no means the most terrifying specimen of Israel's ultra-right zoo. He is above all a careerist, a demagogue, and a hysterical chatterbox. Our right flank has far more dangerous people to offer. However, Eitam seems to be Israel's only professional politician to combine two savour qualities. First, he is a renowned politician of nation-wide rank -- for the while the head of a respected old party, twice a minister. Second, he takes the liberty of expressing, in the first person, a detailed, unembarrassed philosophical and political credo -- a monstrous credo that is a retelling of the orthodox political catechism, thoroughly spelled out in classical and modern Jewish religious literature and simply in religious polemics, yet still viewed as indecent in national politics. Unlike others, Eitam has swallowed neat the tart wine aged two thousand years. Naturally, he immediately lost any sense of reality. Now he has only himself to blame.

To sum up: I have conducted a chemical analysis to discover the fascist contents of Orthodox Judaism as such on the one hand, and of its political messianic version a la Eitam on the other. The results speak for themselves. They are spine-chilling. First of all, because they are derivative, like the reflection of a dragon's maw in the mirror. And also because they are no nightmarish vision: in fact, they are quite corporeal.

The author

I suppose I shall start -- not without some misgivings -- with the following. In an interview given to the Ha'aretz daily (March 22, 2002), the promising charismatic leader of the eschatological right wing, Effi Eitam, did not make the slightest mention of the real issues: not about the past, both ancient or recent, nor about the future -- his own, the country's, or the world's. He did not even discuss the political framework within which he planned to stage his inevitable public activity -- even though a mere fortnight later he was co-opted as Mafdal (National Religious) party chairman and a minister in Sharon's government.

The entire sizable text of the interview was devoted to a far more fascinating subject: a description of the political and mystical views of the former army officer turned prophetic visionary. As will soon become clear, these views are far from new and original; in fact they are -- how can I put it delicately -- commonplace, something like a bicycle wheel, and not even of Jewish-Israeli origins. What is more, Eitam's interpretation of these views does not even come across as extremist. In our actual Israeli political cartridge, we have men of theory and action who leave Eitam far behind. Frankly, we wavered for a while as to whether we should not turn for additional examples to one of the bona fide repositories of right-wing political wisdom, which provide us with a considerable quantity of absolutely unbelievable, not to say criminal, texts. Upon sound reflection, we decided to leave them and to confine ourselves to the less original but highly colorful person of Eitam, who already holds important posts.

To wind up this brief introduction, we must point out that Eitam has allies not only in Israel but all over the world: the club of the cultic right is currently on the rise. Its European branches are flourishing once again, even though the most famous member of the club, the recent French hero Le Pen, is known among his younger colleagues as a liberal imbecile. There is no point is engaging the cultic right in a theoretical discussion -- it has not invented anything new; on the contrary, like-minded colleagues have once again invented the proverbial "right wheel". As we know, mankind has already made numerous attempts to apply the cultic right-wing mechanism -- witness the Nuremberg files. Just let's hope that our collective memory does not fail us.

In order to understand and classify Eitam, along with all those who have volunteered to join his flock, let us make a brief culturological digression.

Umberto Eco (in the course of his famous speech delivered on April 25, 1995, the festively celebrated anniversary of the liberation of Europe, at Columbia University, New York) said: "… It is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of Eternal Fascism… It is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it."

Eco went on to name the fourteen features of Eternal Fascism (the primal, original form of fascism, known as Ur-Fascism [2] in the culturological cant), which, in his opinion, provide a more or less exhaustive outline of this phenomenon. In it practical application, fascism acquires other features as well, very frightening ones -- but not as primal.

Since fascist ideas and structures invariably accompanied -- and preserved -- all traditional ancient societies, it comes as no surprise that attributes of fascism are easily discovered in traditional social phenomena and systems. Conversely, social progress and liberal values steer us away from Ur-Fascism. In the light of certain historic facts, it is impossible to resist the temptation of using the fully objective "Eco's test" (on a scale of 1 to 14) to measure the extent to which Effi Eitam and Orthodox Judaism (especially of the messianic kind), the movement he has attached himself to ideologically and politically, meet the definition of Ur-Fascism proposed by Eco without any intention to compromise Eitam or Judaism. To avoid offending the budding politician, we will start with the innocuous part of the experiment, analyzing Judaism first (or perhaps only Ur-Judaism), and then coming back to Eitam. In this fashion, we will ascertain once and for all the nature of his political views, and possibly a few things concerning his personal contribution to the "fascist coagulation".

Let us now examine Eco's outline item by item. The following are direct quotations.

1) "The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition… In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history… Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message. Suffice it to examine the 'cartridges' of any fascist culture: they contain only traditional thinkers."

There is no doubt whatsoever that Judaism fulfills this condition to perfection and in every respect. The Torah, containing all the truths in the world, was given once and for all over three thousand years ago; its study and mastery, according Orthodox dogma, constitute the sole purpose of existence. One point awarded to Judaism. Thus we have 1 out of 1.

2) "Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism. It is, in effect, a negation of the spirit of 1789 -- the spirit of Enlightenment. The Age of Reason is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism."

Here, too, there is no room for doubt: Judaism easily comes out on top. Modernism, enlightenment, rationalism, the egalitarian spirit of 1789 -- these are all equally repugnant to it. The Haskalah is a betrayal of tradition, a heresy, the root of all evil. The truth, like the Golden Age, lies squarely in the undisputed past; they will, however, return in some indefinite future. In the meantime, flagrant deterioration of ideas and generations is the order of the day. Another point. The score is 2 out of 2.

3) "Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from play by Hanns Johst ('When I hear the word "culture" I reach for my gun') to the frequent use of such expressions as 'degenerate intellectuals,' 'eggheads,' 'effete snobs,' and 'universities are nests of reds.' The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values."

Bull's eye once again -- two, in fact. Judaism undoubtedly has its own cult of action, "na'aseh ve'nishmah", a cult of obeying the leaders and performing the commandments. It harbors undisguised hostility toward the outside, to the critical, to the culture of the modern era, which is irreconcilable with its world. "Innovations are prohibited by the Torah itself." I do not even mention the hatred of universities, effete snobs (yafei nefesh, do-gooders) and liberal intellectuals. Tradition, naturally, is the sole repository of all the existing useful knowledge; the knowledge of external science is false and harmful. The total score: 3 out of 3.

4) No form of syncretism can withstand criticism. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

Here is picture is crystal clear. Judaism, as we know, is the ultimate, indisputable truth that permits no criticism. Anyone who expresses the slightest disagreement, even if only an unwillingness to pledge his unconditional acceptance and obedience, is deprived of his place in paradise and branded an appikorus (epicurean heretic is the most terrible soubriquet in the lexicon of Jewish inquisition; the author of this work has already had the dubious honor of being branded one), or, even more interestingly, an enemy of the Jewish people. Yet this is not all. Anyone who openly defies the spiritual leaders (even if he merely disapproves of the style of coats they prescribe) is sentenced by Jewish law to something between excommunication and death. Since it is technically impossible today to take away the dissenter's physical life, an attempt is made to deprive him of his spiritual life, in the hope of matching the success of African shamans, whose condemned victims simply lay down and die. Over the last five centuries, the Jewish "powers-that-be" have not been all that effective in this practice (even though as late as the 19th century dissenters were still occasionally put to death); otherwise neither the Jewish Enlightenment nor Israel would have come into being. The total score: 4 out of 4.

5) "Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition."

No room for argument here. Under Jewish law, a foreigner or a person of another faith is inferior, if not outright subhuman; a non-monotheist does not deserve to live at all. An impressive body of literature has dealt with this subject; we would recommend, to begin with, the works of Maimonides, Maharal, and the Shulchan Aruch. Chosen peoples harbor a chronic hatred and contempt for all the rest. 5 out of 5.

6) "Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old 'proletarians' are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority."

This is interesting but hardly has any direct relevance to Ur-Judaism -- hence 0 points. The total score: 5 out of 6. (Then again, if we stop to reflect for a moment, there is a great deal of indirect relevance viewed from the angle of ancient history. Judaism in its rabbinical form was the outcome of dire political and economic frustrations caused, among other things, by the domination of Jewish Diaspora, the Roman conquest, the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, and the inability to perpetuate the former modes of national and cultural existence. However, we will concede this point for the time being -- if for no other reason than that it may be contested.)

7) "To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia…"

Here the similarities are striking: Eco could have been talking about us. Judaism was nurtured on the concept of an eternal anti-Jewish plot -- which, incidentally, gave birth to the opposite theory of an eternal Jewish plot. "In every generation mighty enemies rise up to destroy us -- but the Almighty delivers us from them." In other words, there is an eternal, universal, unmotivated, metaphysical anti-Semitism, which makes the extermination of the Jews one of the main objectives of every nation without exception. In Israel, nationalist xenophobia has already become entrenched, producing fairly potent political tools. What is more, Israeli society is segregated, if not as deeply as South Africa of the infamous past, then certainly far more deeply than the American South before Martin Luther King came to the scene. Suffice it to say that the idea of depriving national and religious minorities of any say in major political decisions no longer triggers any serious resistance in the country. The score: 6 out of 7.

8. "The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies. When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy."

In other words, the enemies or outsiders are set apart based on certain social qualities, often in an artificial, grossly exaggerated, and self-defeating manner. This is actually quite pertinent to the case in hand. Judaism ascribes the attributes of spirituality, nobility, and mercy to itself alone, viewing all other talking bipeds as vulgar half-human creatures, strong and weak at once. The main trait of an outsider, a gentile, is his dissimilarity, which embraces every possible aspect; Jewish law even goes as far as to maintain that the bodies of gentiles are built differently from Jewish bodies and that established medical facts concerning gentiles do not necessarily hold true in regard to Jews. However, let us put this item aside for now; the similarity to Ur-Judaism is insufficiently banal and overly anthropological. No points awarded, making the total score 6 out of 8.

9. "For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such "final solutions" implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament."

Well, the Orthodox Jew always stands alone against the world in a fight to the death -- or that is how he sees it, anyway. His mission is eternal and perpetual (see the "struggle for the sake of struggle" passage). He holds forth about his dream of the eschatological era, the battle of Gog and Magog, the ultimate victory, the Day of Judgment -- yet in fact he never gives any serious thought to any of these. As Eco has so keenly noted, there is a contradiction between the "Golden Age" and the "eternal struggle", the permanent warfare -- and this contradiction is unsolvable. Anyone who tries to take eschatology into his own hands will be immediately branded a heretic by Judaism. This is exactly what happened to the activist wing of the Chabad movement, which appropriated the coming of the messiah and the end of the world. Then again, even though the Golden Age certainly lies in the past, a second edition is expected to come in some indefinite future. One point. The total score is 7 out of 9.

10) "Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology… Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people in the world, the members of the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians… That is why in these societies, which are based on a hierarchical structure (the militarist model), every leader despises his superiors on the one hand, and his inferiors on the other. This leads to the strengthening of mass elitism."

We could not have found a more apt description of the Jewish ultra-Orthodox society with its extensive, physically degenerating "aristocracy," its idea of the "greatest nation in the world," its "sacred societies." "sacred yeshivas," "sacred communities," "the greatest land in the world destined for the greatest nation" (this calls to mind the classical tenets such as "every Jew is guaranteed a place in heaven," "all Jews are merciful," "all Jewish women are beautiful"), and the even more remarkable castes and sectors, the Hassidic feudal courts, the noble families that are extremely difficult to marry into, all the other various elites, the militaristic cult of teacher and master, the godlike "leaders" -- the "great minds of the generation" -- who are on intimate terms with the higher powers. One point. The score is 8 out of 10.

11) "In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte ("Long Live Death!"). In non-fascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death."

Heroic education is a basic axiom of Judaism (the Shulchan Aruch opens with the following words: "Every morning, a Jew must leap out of his bed like a lion, so as to set about serving the Almighty"). Every proper Jew is a hero -- albeit of a more moderate kind, for Judaism defines a hero merely as someone who from time to time manages to triumph over his own nature. The cult of death, however, has no part in this axiom for a number of reasons. The main reason is a lingering archaism: Ur-Judaism does not even recognize life after death, and hence the cult of death. A pious Jew, whatever he may say, expects earthly rewards, so that for him death is something like a bankruptcy. No heroics! Having rid itself of the state and the army, having chosen demeaning dispersion as its mode of existence, Ur-Judaism has attached itself to life. Zero points, I suppose. The total is thus 8 out of 11.

12) "Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, >the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons -- doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise. The underlying cause of constant war games is a permanent case of invidia penis (invidia -- Lat. envy)."

A banal, self-evident point this, even though the Jews have replaced war games with cultic ones -- both collective and individual. Sexual prohibitions and accompanying horrendous scare tactics led to the Jewish world's hideous obsession with matters of sex, to an incredible amount of rapes and other perversions, to the establishment of "vice squads," and naturally to discrimination against women. A great deal of fascinating discussion may be had concerning this issue -- but not in this paper. The score is 9 out of 12.

13) "Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view -- one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. Because of its qualitative populism, Ur-Fascism must be against 'rotten' parliamentary governments. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism."

Judaism is totally averse to quantitative democracy. An oligarchy, perhaps. The most consistent adherents of Judaism categorically refuse to participate in the democratic process; others openly admit that they participate in this process due to extraordinary circumstances -- to wit, the need to exploit it for their benefit. Judaism views the people as such neither as a legislative body nor as an entity qualified to make crucial decisions, certainly not as an entirety of independent competent individuals. On the other hand, the obedient Jewish collective body is brilliant in playing the role of a people, and displays a monolithic front in its support of its leaders. The legislative and judicial functions are performed by authoritative leaders, the "leading lights of the generation," who are to be obeyed silently and joyfully. The most the people can do is ratify their decisions, but even that is but lip service to the times: there is no real need for the expression of popular will. Moreover, only recently Israel's former president Moshe Katzav called upon the rabbis to restore the Sanhedrin, meaning a divinely sanctioned supreme religious authority that combines both judicial and legislative powers (as opposed to the present Jewish courts and councils, which wield "only" almost unlimited earthly authority). This body would formally replace all others, with the possible exception of the as yet non-existent royal mandate; at the same time, it will have the license to coerce the people into obeying its laws -- therein, according to the Orthodox theory, its actual distinction from any other religious body. Judaism rejects modern democratic institutions (either outright or with barely disguised loathing; thus, to repeat ourselves, the Naturei Carta does not participate in the Knesset elections while Agudat Israel does with a grimace of disgust -- like an inevitable evil). In Judaism, an individual is not entitled to independent opinions, while the idea of religious and ethnic equality is considered downright blasphemous. It should come as no surprise that, as we have noted earlier, Israel is seriously debating the issue of how to introduce polygamy (but not polyandry) and to deprive the Arab minority of its quantitative political clout. A definite point. The total: 10 out of 13.

14) "Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in ''1984", as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary and an elementary syntax in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning."

I believe that in this case, Eco has made a serious error: the idea of Newspeak was borrowed by Orwell directly from rabbinical Jewry, who developed Newspeak many centuries ago. To this day, the real live Newspeak is the property of Judaism. Neither the Bolsheviks, nor the Italian Fascists, nor even the Nazis actually invented the real Newspeak. The Jews, however, concocted it ages ago, and continue to use it (with all its abominable grammar) to this day. This language was used to write virtually the entire body of Jewish religious literature, beginning with the Talmud. At the same time, we must keep in mind that no other books in Israel are subjected to such merciless censorship as Hebrew textbooks and dictionaries used in ultra-religious schools. Only positive terminology is permitted in those books; I will refrain from enumerating the things that are banned from them. Were the Orthodox Jews better educated linguistically, they would try -- exactly like in Orwell's book -- to eradicate any means of expressing doubt from the language. Their problem is that they have no idea of how to go about it. In any case, rabbinical Judaism long ago produced a unique brand of Newspeak, on which it based its culture. Israel's extreme congestion prevents the preservation of the purity of Newspeak, which is probably among Judaism's most interesting cultural inventions. Still, Newspeak lives on. One point. The score is 11 out of 14.

Before proceeding further, it should be noted that Eco concluded his speech with the following words:

"Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in plainclothes. It would be so much easier for us if there appeared on the world scene somebody saying, 'I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the Blackshirts to parade again in the Italian squares.' Life is not that simple. Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and to point our finger at any of its new instances -- every day, in every part of the world."

The simple test we have conducted clearly shows that classical Orthodox Ur-Judaism, having easily earned 11 points out of the possible 14, is for all intents and purposes a carbon copy of the Ur-Fascism model. This is not surprising -- many other ancient cultures would have yielded a similar result; the only difference is that, unlike Judaism, they have long become a thing of the past. The result certainly rings an alarm bell: it seems that we have managed to get ourselves thoroughly bogged down in the past, which we should be ashamed of in today's world. Unfortunately, Ur-Fascism has not yet said its final word.

Ha'aretz newspaper (22 March 2002). Let his words speak for themselves. The following are, once again, direct quotations. To avoid accusations of juggling with facts, the quotations are of ample length.

1) "I do not believe that we should resort to weapons of mass destruction. However… in order to avoid the need for doing so, we must defeat Arafat, Iran and Iraq in one blow. We have nothing to discuss with them, it is impossible to make peace with them, they must be broken. There is no other way… Israel cannot sit idly by while regimes like Iraq and Iran acquire nuclear arms. If they succeed in this, they will have an insurance policy… We will be forced to launch a preemptive strike -- unless someone beats us to it… Sharon says that we will ultimately prevail; it will not be easy, it may take a long time -- but we will prevail. What I am saying is that it will not be too difficult, and certainly must not allow it to take too long. This must be done in a single lightning strike."

This ragbag of belligerent statements (including a call for a preemptive war, not to say a blitzkrieg), sounding as if they were taken from a cheap novel, goes beyond being merely irresponsible -- it is unequivocally fascistic. Eco would be astonished at such a display of frankness. To be sure, this jingoistic saber rattling is primarily intended for domestic consumption; the trouble is that fascism has the unfortunate tendency to export its militaristic demagoguery -- with lamentable consequences both for itself and its neighbors. Does Eitam honestly believe that Israel is capable of browbeating the entire region into submission? With what? A nuclear war? And at the same time, of pacifying the region in a single blow? Eco correctly stressed that Fascism's inability to accurately calculate the forces -- both its own and those of its foe -- inevitably result in its destruction. Adolph Hitler, in the penultimate chapter ("Eastern Orientation or Eastern Policy") of the second volume of his terrifying book Mein Kampf, espouses the same glorious idea of a preemptive war in an even more clear-cut and explicit manner:

Never suffer the rise of two continental powers in Europe. Regard any attempt to organize a second military power on the German frontiers, even if only in the form of creating a state capable of military strength, as an attack on Germany, and in it see not only the right, but also the duty, to employ all means up to armed force to prevent the rise of such a state, or, if one has already arisen, to smash it again.

Elsewhere, he writes:

Our foreign policy can and must be based on one consideration and one consideration only: does the undertaking in question help your nation, will it benefit it now or in the future, or will it cause it only harm?

It would seem that given our peculiar Israeli reality, people still have to be reminded of the insane outcome of Hitler's attempts to ensure Germany's security, and most importantly, of the disastrous consequences of his "easy" blitzkrieg. Those who wish to do so may also recall the fate of Napoleon, who clearly lost all sense of reality at a certain point in his career. Well then, this being the case, let us place this on record as a useful reminder to all those who earnestly believe that the rules of the game in the region between Morocco and Iran should be set in Jerusalem, and their observance ensured by the Israeli military. Let this refresh their memory as to the dubious company in which they find themselves.

2) "I am not sure that now is the right time to seriously decide the future of the territories lying to the east of the Jordan. As for the area west of the Jordan, we must make it clearly that here, we will not tolerate any sovereign entities besides Israel… The Egyptians and the Jordanians must be told that they are to sacrifice part of their territory for the sake of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Egypt must allocate the empty areas of the Sinai Peninsula to the Palestinians living in Gaza… I do not think that this will enable us to immediately annex Gaza. Not all the problems allow for immediate solutions… Jordan must become the territorial and political address for the Palestinian national aspirations… I believe that the evolutionary democratic process in Jordan will give the Palestinian people a greater political sway in that country."

The remarkable Ur-Fascist nature of Eitam's reasoning comes across, above all, in the fact that for him saying is essentially tantamount to doing -- or, conversely, doing is the same as saying. In keeping with his political theory, he intends to solve all the regional problems by issuing the necessary statements, declarations, and announcements to the parties concerned -- the Palestinians, the Egyptians, and the Jordanians. He makes all the regional decisions in a unilateral manner, deciding as he sees fit. In his decision-making, he is not even burdened by any material -- military, political or economic -- arguments. The declarative statement is quite sufficient: Jerusalem has discussed the matter, and issued the ruling. The proverbial Chelm all over again. The opinions and concerns of the other party, in fact of the numerous other parties, are irrelevant to this theory. Egypt must, Jordan must, and the Palestinians must act in such and such a manner. What exactly is it they must do, and most importantly, why must they do it? Will Eitam be able to force them if they forget? Or will he perhaps use his powers of hypnotism to bring them into line, as he did with the hapless members of the NRP's central committee?

Eitam, like all the other proponents of Ur-Fascism, is not concerned with any of this. His proposed decisions are invariably made at the expense of the other party, or rather parties; there is no attempt to persuade these "others" or even to consult them. Naturally, anyone who disagrees with Eitam's decision for any reason, even if out of mere ignorance, is branded a malicious enemy, and frequently becomes just that. [3] However, there is more. Openly, all but out loud, literally in every other sentence, Eitam fantasizes about territorial conquest, with the intended goal of reclaiming the borders -- be they sacral or literary, but definitely sanctified by religious history -- of Greater Israel. He not only views the area between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan as the notorious "Lebensraum" of the Jewish people, but also makes transparent allusions to further expansion -- when the time is ripe, naturally. Eitam's territorial philosophy becomes crystal clear upon perusal of chapter 14 in volume 2 of Mein Kampf -- "Eastern Orientation or Eastern Policy." Which leaves us only to wonder why it is that Fascism always loses its strategic battles?

Indeed, Hitler, who is fully as great and clever a historicist as Eitam, writes:

And so we National Socialists consciously draw a line beneath the foreign policy tendency of our pre-War period. We take up where we broke off six hundred years ago. We stop the endless German movement to the south and west, and turn our gaze toward the land in the east. At long last we break of the colonial and commercial policy of the pre-War period and shift to the soil policy of the future… Neither western nor eastern orientation must be the future goal of our foreign policy, but an eastern policy in the sense of acquiring the necessary soil for our German people…

Germany today is no world power… Even if our momentary military impotence were overcome, we should no longer have any claim to this title. What can a formation, as miserable in its relation of population to area as Germany today, mean on this planet? In an era when the earth is gradually being divided up among states, some of which embrace almost entire continents, we cannot speak of a world power in connection with a formation whose political mother country is limited to the absurd area of five hundred thousand square kilometers… Today we find ourselves in a world of great power states in process of formation, with our own Reich sinking more and more into insignificance… The National Socialist movement must strive to eliminate the disproportion between our population and our area -- viewing this latter as a source of food as well as a basis for power politics… We National Socialists must never under any circumstances join in the foul hurrah patriotism of our present bourgeois world. In particular it is mortally dangerous to regard the last pre-War developments as binding even in the slightest degree for our own course… Yes, from the past we can only learn that, in setting an objective for our political activity, we must proceed in two directions: Land and soil as the goal of our foreign policy, and a new philosophically established, uniform foundation as the aim of political activity at home. I still wish briefly to take a position on the question as to what extent the demand for soil and territory seems ethically and morally justified. This is necessary, since unfortunately, even in so-called folkish circles, all sorts of unctuous bigmouths step forward, endeavoring to set the rectification of the injustice of 1918 as the aim of the German nation's endeavors in the field of foreign affairs, but at the same time find it necessary to assure the whole world of folkish brotherhood and sympathy. I should like to make the following preliminary remarks: The demand for restoration of the frontiers of 1914 is a political absurdity of such proportions and consequences as to make it seem a crime. Quite aside from the fact that the Reich's frontiers in 1914 were anything but logical. For in reality they were neither complete in the sense of embracing the people of German nationality, nor sensible with regard to geomilitary expediency. They were not the result of a considered political action, but momentary frontiers… The above demand is entirely suited to our bourgeois society, which here as elsewhere does not possess a single creative political idea for the future… As opposed to this, we National Socialists must hold unflinchingly to our aim in foreign policy, namely, to secure for the German people the land and soil to which they are entitled on this earth. And this action is the only one which, before God and our German posterity, would make any sacrifice of blood seem justified…

It is a regrettable fact that in the Ur-Nazi period during which he wrote his monstrous Mein Kampf, Hitler was still a fairly realistic politician, who clearly acknowledged Germany's weakness at the time, and even used it for his purposes. Megalomania and reckless impunity did not take hold of him until much later, following the early victories of WWII. Eitam, on the other hand, already thinks and pontificates with the same demented zeal as did Napoleon in 1806. For him, the 1967 borders are temporary and illogical -- the same, in fact, as the present borders which do not include the Sinai and Trans-Jordan. Territorial appetite, as we know, comes with eating. The first course (the West Bank and Gaza) has plainly been served to Eitam. What does this bode for him -- and for all of us?

3) "Palestinians living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza will receive -- after these areas have been annexed to Israel -- the right of residence without voting rights. We… will offer them a choice between enlightened residence without political rights in our country, or benighted full citizenship in the Arab countries… Those who reject our enlightened residence should be told in unequivocal terms: we have no place for you… One who is willing to live according to the conditions set by Israel, to accept the rules that define Israel as a Jewish state, is welcome to stay."

If it were up to Eitam, only those people who agree with his own views would be allowed to live in Israel. [4] According to his theory, the civil rights granted to Israelis -- initially gentiles only, but Fascism never stops halfway -- are conditional. The idea of equality before the law is absent from his vocabulary, or rather he vehemently rejects it. He is equally opposed to the political and social experience of the West and to the principles of civic society. Segregation, on the other hand, is something very close to his heart. We have no choice but to heave a sigh as we quote another passage from Hitler (Mein Kampf, volume 2, chapter 3 -- "Subjects and Citizens"). It contains everything that Eitam needs -- word for word:

The People's State will classify its population in three groups: citizens, subjects of the State, and aliens.

The principle is that birth within the confines of the State gives only the status of a subject. It does not carry with it the right to fill any position under the State or to participate in political life, such as taking an active or passive part in elections. Another principle is that the race and nationality of every subject of the State will have to be proved. A subject is at any time free to cease being a subject and to become a citizen of that country to which he belongs in virtue of his nationality. The only difference between an alien and a subject of the State is that the former is a citizen of another country.

The young boy or girl who is of German nationality and is a subject of the German State is bound to complete the period of school education which is obligatory for every German. Thereby he submits to the system of training which will make him conscious of his race and a member of the folk-community… The rights of citizenship shall be conferred on every young man whose health and character have been certified as good, after having completed his period of military service. This act of inauguration in citizenship shall be a solemn ceremony. And the diploma conferring the rights of citizenship will be preserved by the young man as the most precious testimonial of his whole life. It entitles him to exercise all the rights of a citizen and to enjoy all the privileges attached thereto. For the State must draw a sharp line of distinction between those who, as members of the nation, are the foundation and the support of its existence and greatness, and those who are domiciled in the State simply as earners of their livelihood there.

As if this were not enough, Hitler, like Eitam, had the audacity to assert that the enlightened Aryan rule was advantageous even to those who are not entitled to any civil rights and other benefits of equality. Furthermore, he viewed the very idea of inalienable human rights as a diabolical Jewish invention designed to destroy the Germans:

Thus, the road which the Aryan had to take was clearly marked out. As a conqueror, he subjected the lower beings and regulated their practical activity under his command, according to his will and for his aims. But in directing them to a useful, though arduous activity, he not only spared the life of those he subjected; he gave them a fate that was better than their previous so-called 'freedom.' As long as he ruthlessly upheld the master attitude, not only did he really remain master, but also the preserver and increaser of culture…

And finally, to sweep aside all hypothetical doubts at once:

In order to… lull the attention of their victims, the Jews have become increasingly clamorous in their incessant calls for equality for all people, regardless of their race and the color of their skin, while credulous fools are beginning to believe them…

A portentous warning, is it not? And what striking similarity! We are not saying that Eitam quotes Hitler consciously, far from it. The theory of enlightened residence without political rights in our country, or benighted full citizenship in the Arab countries; the idea of dividing the country's citizens by category is certainly the product of his own inventive mind, though far from an original one -- Eitam's bicycle, as it were. Nevertheless, this is no accident: it is merely Fascism quoting itself time and again.

4) "A transfer is not on the agenda. Israel has no intention of displacing individuals. However, if we are dragged into an all-out war, a zero-sum confrontation, Sheich Munis may not be the only place cleansed of Arabs [5]… Unless a regional understanding is reached and the Palestinian offensive is brought to an end, the situation will escalate into an all-out war, which is liable have tragic consequences for the Palestinian people."

To the cultic right, an all-out war is not a threat -- it is a rosy scenario. Eitam honestly believes that Israel will rid itself of all its problems (the ones he does not manage to solve by himself) in the course of an all-out war, the final battle between Gog and Magog that is "liable to have tragic consequences for the Palestinian people." For the Palestinian people -- not for the Jews, who are guaranteed a victory: a wonderful idea from the same Ur-Fascist assortment. As Napoleon used to say in 1813-1814, the sword decides everything; empires are not won by spilling rose water alone! In other words, an all-out war holds the promise for new opportunities rather than new dangers -- defeat is out of the question! Neither Eco in his analysis, nor Ur-Fascism, nor indeed Mussolini himself ever went this far. Since Eitam has already hinted (see above) at Israel's inevitable conquest of the land east of the Jordan, what we have is a purely eschatological program of "Drang nach Osten," advocating eastward expansion, toward the Euphrates, in the ideological, geographical, and political senses at once.

And here is its aphoristic theoretical endorsement in Hitler's words:

In the course of history, a useful Germanization was the Germanization of land carried out by our ancestors by force of arms, conquering certain areas and populating them with German peasants… If the German nation is at present impossibly crowded inside a tiny area, and compelled to face such an uncertain future, this does not at all mean that we have to accept our fate. Rebelling against this fate is our legitimate right…

'State authority', 'democracy', 'pacifism', 'international solidarity' and so on -- these are the concepts that dominate our lives, interpreted in such a literal and doctrinal fashion that eclipses our rational understanding of the truly vital interests of the nation. This wretched approach to all of our nation's aspirations, distorted by biased opinions, thwarts any capacity for going into the matter in a deeply subjective fashion, since this issue is objectively contrary to the doctrine. The ultimate outcome of this is totally perversion of ends and means alike…

And finally, he writes:

"You do not alter the destinies of nations in kid gloves."

Sounds quite ominous. "In the course of history, a useful Israelization was the Israelization of land carried out by our ancestors by force of arms, conquering certain areas and populating them with Jewish peasants…" Eitam would have approved each word. But why not subject this aphorism to natural induction, projecting it into the future? A new useful war is inevitable. All we need is a pretext to spark it. And a pretext will be found, just wait and see. Just put your trust in our right wing.

5) "Israel is committing a grave mistake in its relations with the country's Arab citizens. Israel is legitimizing a process that must appear as a betrayal to Israel's Arab minority… Israeli Arabs are to a large degree a ticking time bomb placed under the country democratic system right inside the 'green line'. An actual autonomy is already being formed in the Galilee and the Negev, threatening to turn Israel into a soap bubble of Gush Dan -- a kind of a pipeline state stretching along the Jerusalem-Tel-Aviv-Haifa highway. I maintain that the state of Israel has encountered a slippery, evasive danger on the part of the country's Arab citizens. Evasive dangers are akin to cancer in their nature. Cancer is a disease that mostly kills because it is not discovered on time. When the full scope of the danger has been realized, it can no longer be eliminated… For what is cancer, what all is said and done? Merely accelerated division of cells, a danger disguised as a natural vital process… We can no longer turn a blind eye to this. Today's Israeli Arab leaders are moving toward a direct confrontation, where we will have to decide whether Israel's democracy can allow them to exploits it benefits… Israeli Arabs will remain the country's citizens as long as they do not cross the red line."

How can we react to this deranged text? What does it actually mean? How can the Israeli Arabs betray Eitam (or even Eitam's Israel), who views them as a time bomb disguised as a natural vital process, who denies them their civil rights? What do they owe him? This would be like accusing the Jews who rose up in the Warsaw ghetto of betraying the interests of the German Reich. Alas, we will have to resort to the original Ur-Nazi source once again. Eitam's medical revelations, as well as his psychological spin on the nation's ailments, are all but literally derived from that same unambiguous cornucopia of wisdom -- the only difference being that Hitler uses another assortment of diseases. This time, we cannot even state with certainty that Eitam is improvising -- unless he shares dreams with Hitler. In volume 1, chapter 11 ("Nation and Race"), the future Fuhrer writes:

The foremost connoisseurs of this truth regarding the possibilities in the use of falsehood and slander have always been the Jews; for after all, their whole existence is based on one single great lie, to wit, that they are a religious community while actually they are a race -- and what a race! One of the greatest minds of humanity [6] has nailed them forever as such in an eternally correct phrase of fundamental truth: he called them 'the great masters of the lie.' And anyone who does not recognize this or does not want to believe it will never in this world be able to help the truth to victory.

For the German people it must almost be considered a great good fortune that its period of creeping sickness was suddenly cut short by so terrible a catastrophe, for otherwise the nation would have gone to the dogs more slowly perhaps, but all the more certainly. The disease would have become chronic, while in the acute form of the collapse it at least became clearly and distinctly recognizable to a considerable number of people. It was no accident that man mastered the plague more easily than tuberculosis. The one comes in terrible waves of death that shake humanity to the foundations, the other slowly and stealthily; the one leads to terrible fear, the other to gradual indifference. The consequence is that man opposed the one with all the ruthlessness of his energy, while he tries to control consumption with feeble means. Thus he mastered the plague, while tuberculosis masters him.

Exactly the same is true of diseases of national bodies. If they do not take the form of catastrophe, man slowly begins to get accustomed to them and at length, though it may take some time, perishes all the more certainly of them. And so it is a good fortune --though a bitter one, to be sure -- when Fate resolves to take a hand in this slow process of putrefaction and with a sudden blow makes the victim visualize the end of his disease. Therein lies as it were the beneficial significance of the catastrophic path of development. All things being equal, a catastrophe may become the starting point of recovery…

Here, too, the most important thing remains the distinction between the causes and the conditions they call forth. This will be all the more difficult, the longer the toxins remain in the national body and the more they become an ingredient of it which is taken for granted. For it is easily possible that after a certain time unquestionably harmful poisons will be regarded as an ingredient of one's own nation or at best will be tolerated as a necessary evil, so that a search for the alien virus is no longer regarded as necessary.

Once again, the coincidences are literal, both in meaning and in language. The sole difference is that what Hitler calls a poison or tuberculosis, Eitam refers to as a cancer. Most importantly, they both discuss the slow, and hence lulling, danger of the national vermin. Clearly, it is but a short step to the radical means of eradicating the said vermin -- after all, cancer cells and tubercular bacilli are not covered by humanitarian conventions. Yet this is not all. Equally instructive are Eitam's views on the relations between ethnic groups within his ideal state, on the problem of an Arab political and cultural autonomy, and generally on the rights of those humans and minorities that disagree with him. The striving of part of the Israeli Arabs to achieve an autonomy within the framework of the Israeli state is seen by him as unnatural treason, while the Arabs themselves are viewed simultaneously as a fifth column and a ticking time bomb. At the same time, he would never call treasonous the desire of Russian, German, and at one time Palestinian Jews for autonomy. He is averse to both the democratic and the functional methods of decision-making; the only territory he is willing to accept as sensible is one densely populated by Jews (whether any Jews or only those who think like him is unclear). Even such a dubious democrat as Lenin held the right of ethnic minorities to self-determination (provided that is what they desired) as self-evident. Eitam considers such an approach a manifestation of decayed liberalism. Hitler, as we know, also espoused a rather ruthless point of view, which he laid out in great detail. The following is a representative sample of his statements [7] concerning ethnic traitors and, even more interestingly, dim-witted democrats who mistakenly advocate the principle of one man -- one vote.

If at the beginning of the War and during the War twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the people had been held under poison gas, as happened to hundreds of thousands of our very best German workers in the field, the sacrifice of millions at the front would not have been in vain. On the contrary: twelve thousand scoundrels eliminated in time might have saved the lives of a million real Germans, valuable for the future...

And just as the Anglo-Saxon pursues this course in his own way and carries on the fight with his own weapons, likewise the Jew. He goes his way, the way of sneaking in among the nations and boring from within, and he fights with his weapons, with lies and slander, poison and corruption, intensifying the struggle to the point of bloodily exterminating his hated foes. In Russian Bolshevism we must see the attempt undertaken by the Jews in the twentieth century to achieve world domination... No more than a hyena abandons carrion does a Marxist abandon treason...[8] In view of this attitude on the part of the bourgeoisie and the policy of leaving the Marxists untouched, the fate of any active resistance in 1923 was decided in advance. To fight France with the deadly enemy in our own ranks would have been sheer idiocy... If they had seriously believed in what they were doing, they would have had to recognize that the strength of a nation lies primarily, not in its weapons, but in its will, and that, before foreign enemies are conquered, the enemy within must be annihilated; otherwise God help us if victory does not reward our arms on the very first day. Once so much as the shadow of a defeat grazes a people that is not free of internal enemies, its force of resistance will break and the foe will be the final victor... On the day when Marxism is smashed in Germany, her fetters will in truth be broken forever. For never in our history have we been defeated by the strength of our foes, but always by our own vices and by the enemies in our own camp [9]...

Eitam also willingly admits that the Jews owe all the woes and setbacks in their long history to their own transgressions, or if you wish, to the internal enemies. In the distant past, he would point at the idol-worshippers among the Jews, while today's threat comes from the Arab cancerous growth. Yet this time -- of this he has no doubt -- we will win quickly and easily.

He is not deterred by the fact that Hitler and Napoleon thought the same way.

Let us proceed.

From time to time our illustrated papers publish, for the edification of the German philistine, the news that in some quarter or other of the globe, and for the first time in that locality, a Negro has become a lawyer, a teacher, a pastor, even a grand opera tenor or something else of that kind. While the bourgeois blockhead stares with amazed admiration at the notice that tells him how marvelous are the achievements of our modern educational technique, the more cunning Jew sees in this fact a new proof to be utilized for the theory with which he wants to infect the public, namely that all men are equal [10]… It would be absurd to appraise a man's worth by the race to which he belongs and at the same time to make war against the Marxist principle, that all men are equal, without being determined to pursue our own principle to its ultimate consequences…

A philosophy of life which repudiates the democratic principle of the rule of the masses and aims at giving this world to the best people -- that is, to the highest quality of mankind -- must also apply that same aristocratic postulate to the individuals within the folk-community… The destructive workings of Judaism in different parts of the national body can be ascribed fundamentally to the persistent Jewish efforts at undermining the importance of personality among the nations that are their hosts and, in place of personality, substituting the domination of the masses. The constructive principle of Aryan humanity is thus displaced by the destructive principle of the Jews. They become the 'ferment of decomposition' among nations and races and, in a broad sense, the wreckers of human civilization.

Marxism represents the most striking phase of the Jewish endeavour to eliminate the dominant significance of personality in every sphere of human life and replace it by the numerical power of the masses. In politics the parliamentary form of government is the expression of this effort. We can observe the fatal effects of it everywhere, from the smallest parish council upwards to the highest governing circles of the nation…

Modern Western democracy is the counterpart of Marxism, which would be totally inconceivable without it. It is this democracy that provides the breeding ground for this plague. Its most sordid external manifestation is parliamentarism…

I was outraged by the fact that in a country where any imbecile not only enjoys the freedom of speech, but can become a member of the Reichstag and a 'lawmaker', the bearer of the imperial crown is subject to prohibitions and can be reprimanded by some parliamentary chatterbox…

The most characteristic feature of democratic parliamentarism is that a certain group of people -- say, 500 deputies, which have recently been joined by female deputies -- are responsible for the final solution of any possible problem that may arise. They, in fact, constitute the government… In every specific instance, this government merely executes the will of the given majority… The consequences of this situation are perfectly clear from the following. The makeup of 500 popularly elected representatives, in terms of their professions, not to mention their competence, is extremely variegated. After all, no one seriously believes that these popularly elected officials also represent the spiritual and intellectual elite… In fact, it is difficult to find sufficiently harsh words to brand the ludicrous idea that geniuses are produced by general elections… All truly important economic issues are decided in forums where barely one-tenth of those present have any sort of education in economics. This effectively means leaving the fate of the country in the hands of people who lack the basic prerequisites for handling such issues. The same holds true for any other issue…

The modern parliamentary principle of majority decision was not always a feature of human history. On the contrary, the democratic principle only existed for very brief periods of time, and these periods inevitably marked the lowest points in the history of nations and states…

And finally, the positive conclusion:

From the municipal administration up to the government of the Reich, the People's State will not have any body of representatives which makes its decisions through the majority vote… No vote will be taken in the chambers or senate…

Apparently, if the cultic right, of which Eitam is a fitting representative, comes to power, there will be no voting. Why should there be? Our right wing is fully in agreement with Hitler's elitist argument, which insists that popular rule often puts in power undeserving people lacking in talent, qualifications, or honesty. Furthermore, the right wing, which since time immemorial has found the idea of general free elections difficult to accept, has plenty of gifted speakers who systematically ride roughshod over democracy. What it lacks is the intelligence and decency of that diehard elitist and at the same time champion of democracy, Winston Churchill, who not only realized that elitist, anti-democratic governing alternatives are akin to death (and fascism), but also expressed this opinion in unequivocal terms.

6) "I believe that the Jewish people has a mission. We have been entrusted with the task… of revealing the image of God to the world… The nation of Israel is profoundly different from all other nations… We share a unique, intimate family trait: we come face to face with the Almighty… Every person experiences moments when he rises above the animal self… Yet we are the only ones capable of attaining this state not as individuals but as a collective -- a single entity. We are not merely disjointed units carrying the image of God -- we carry the image of God as a nation. Therein lies our revelation. We are the only people with a soul… The world cannot exist without the Jews. Without the Jews, it is dead. A world without the Jews is a world of zombies… The world has changed since the creation of the State of Israel. The State of Israel is a Noah's Ark carrying the future of the world… We are undoubtedly the heart among all other organs… It is this that accounts for the animosity toward us…

Obviously, we are substantially different from other nations. On the innermost level, we are unlike any other nation, unlike any other state… From the very start, Zionism pursued the objective of being a nation like all other nations, a state like all other states. Zionism advocated the idea of normality, of being a Western, secular, liberal state. Another America. Today, however, the desire to be a normal state like all other states is not enough… Throughout history, the Jews have been the womb that contained the divine idea… In this lies our destiny: to restore the connection between man and the Lord of the Universe…

The State of Israel is to a large extent similar to the Sinai revelation… There is no shortage of single individuals who cannot live without the image of God. Israel, however, cannot live without revealing the image of God concealed in the world… This nation carries God's image through history… I maintain that the nation of Israel -- the entire nation -- offers a double revelation to the world. The first is that there is absolute, infinite good. The second is that we are responsible for realizing its potential. We are responsible for all the goodness that exists in the world -- both to ourselves and to the world. We carry the message of a world revolution…

I am witnessing the most important process to take place in the last two millennia -- the process of a global reform. That is why I hunt for interpretations of global political processes occurring today. Each figure, each event, each newspaper heading is a key to the original mystery hidden in the remote past, in the secrets of Kabbala. The mysteries hidden in the past are being revealed and incarnated today…

The further the Palestinians shift toward religious Islamic thought, the more extreme they grow, yet at the same time the better they grasp the role of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in revealing God's image. They realize much better than we do that the State of Israel is the hope of the entire world. That is precisely why they use their barbaric methods in order to prevent this revelation from taking place. They know the Jerusalem is the heart of the world, with Temple Mount in its center. All the forces in the world are pitted against the inevitable -- the revolution of all revolutions, the reform of the world in the Kingdom of the Almighty…

Temple Mount is the point where our vertical and horizontal missions intersect. Our horizontal mission covers the entire Land of Israel. However, Temple Mount is the focal point, our point of reference, our source of strength… Each person has a core, a heart. Once you remove it, nothing is left. This is what Temple Mount is for us… Our core is in captivity… We are moving toward a time when Temple Mount will be not only in our hands but in our hearts, an integral part of our existence… People like Yehuda Etzion feel physical pain at the sight of mosques occupying Temple Mount. Even though I have not reached their level, I feel this pain on the national and historical levels. This is a travesty on a global scale. This is the source of chaos in the world. It must be amended… The time will come. No one will succeed in erecting a wall between ourselves and our heart. Those who urge us to go down to Tel Aviv, to the coastal plain, to the base level of our existence, while leaving our holy site in others' hands, are talking nonsense. To leave our soul, our heart to strangers, while we retreat to the lowly plain, to the soulless sands of Holon and Tel Aviv? In effect, what they are urging us to do is surgically remove our heart… How can anyone survive without a heart?..

The Talmud provides a definition of the term "tohu. [11]" There, it is described as a green line encircling the world and emitting darkness. Nowadays, this definition requires no comments. The "green line" (which encircles Israel within the 1967 borders) marks the boundaries of tohu. Therefore the fact that we are not in possession of Temple Mount and the Land of Israel is more than merely a local, national travesty. It is the worldwide tohu, the source of darkness that embodies universal evil."

I am afraid that this time Eitam has outdone even himself. The threat to expel the non-loyal Arabs and abolish their autonomous rights is not so terrible in itself; it preserves at least a semblance of pragmatic concern with matters of state. Yet even if we believe for the moment that up until now he has been motivated by a certain misguided concern for the country's future, what in the world has made him veer off into a trivial primordial form of racism? The Jews are the only nation possessing a soul? A world without Jews is a world of zombies? A world without Jews is dead? The Jewish people has a unique metaphysical mission? And not just one but two -- horizontal and vertical, like the Templars in Foucault's Pendulum? The Jews reveal God's image to the world! They are the harbingers of the impending revelation! This is more than Ur-Fascism -- this is nothing short of a fascist worldview, coupled with morbid idiotism. Before we pinch our nose shut and dive into Mein Kampf (Vol. 1, ch. 11 -- "Nation and Race"), let us take a second look at a brief passage from Eitam's work:

"Every person experiences moments when he rises above the animal self… Yet we are the only ones capable of attaining this state not as individuals but as a collective -- a single entity."

And so according to Eitam, man is no better than an animal for most of his life. He spends 99.9% of his allotted time in this lamentable state. True, he manages to elevate himself above the animal status -- but only for a moment. Gentiles attain this elevation only on an individual basis, one person at a time. The Jews, on the other hand, are capable of becoming human for a while as a group, or even as the entire collective. This is incredible! We had innocently thought that man (created in God's image), in his normal condition, is markedly different from, and even superior to, animals; and moreover, that man can only degenerate into the animal state -- hopefully, not often and not for long. Eitam thinks otherwise.

And now for Hitler's views.

All the human culture, all the results of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan. This very fact admits of the not unfounded inference that he alone was the founder of all higher humanity, therefore representing the prototype of all that we understand by the word 'man.' He is the Prometheus of mankind from whose bright forehead the divine spark of genius has sprung at all times, forever kindling anew that fire of knowledge which illumined the night of silent mysteries and thus caused man to climb the path to mastery over the other beings of this earth. Exclude him -- and perhaps after a few thousand years darkness will again descend on the earth [12], human culture will pass, and the world turn to a desert…

It was the Aryans who created, as it were, the foundation and the walls of all human endeavors. All that the other peoples have done was to leave their mark on the external form and color. All the major plans for human progress, all the largest building stones were provided by the Aryan. The other races merely carried out the plans…

In order for the superior cultures to form, the existence of inferior races was an indispensable prerequisite…

As for myself and all genuine national-socialists… we are waging a struggle for the survival and spread of our race and our people. We are waging our struggle to ensure food for our children, for the purity of our blood, for the freedom and independence of our fatherland. We are waging this struggle so as to enable our people to fulfill the historical mission that the Creator has entrusted it with…

He who talks of the German people as having a mission to fulfill on this earth must know that this cannot be fulfilled except by the building up of a State whose highest purpose is to preserve and promote those nobler elements of our race and of the whole of mankind which have remained unimpaired… Hence the Jewish people, despite all apparent intellectual qualities, is without any true culture, and especially without any culture of its own. For what sham culture the Jew today possesses is the property of other peoples, and for the most part it is ruined in his hands…

The world's fate will not be decided by whether the Catholics defeat the Protestants or vice versa, but whether the Aryan race survives in our land or not. And yet, despite this situation, the Catholic and Protestant camps cannot find a way to take a unified stand against the enemies of humanity, trying instead to devise ways to destroy one another! We believe it is the sacred duty of all true patriots to ensure that the believers on both sides stop taking the Lord's name in vain, and instead begin to fulfill God's will and prevent the Jews from besmirching our divinely ordained cause. Was it not God's will that created man in the likeness and image of the Creator? Those who undermine the divine cause thereby declare war on the will of God. That is why we say: let everyone adhere to his own faith, but let everyone consider it his paramount duty to fight against those whose one goal in life is to undermine the faith of another… Only by mutual accommodation, only by identical tolerance on both sides will it be possible to change the current situation and to ensure our nation's unity and greatness in the future… For presently the Jews are the only ones interested in driving our movement into a bloody religious feud at the very moment that we begin to pose a danger to Jewry…

If the Jew, aided by his Marxist symbol of faith, were to defeat the nations of the world, his crown would be the wreath on the grave of all mankind. Then our planet, as it did millions of years ago, would float through space, once again deserted and empty of life. [13] Eternal nature mercilessly avenges the violation of its laws. Today I am positive that my actions are in keeping with the spirit of the Almighty: by struggling to annihilate the Jews, I am struggling for the divine cause…

Anyone, for example, who really desired the victory of the pacifistic idea in this world with all his heart would have to fight with all the means at his disposal for the conquest of the world by the Germans; for, if the opposite should occur, the last pacifist would die out with the last German… In actual fact the pacifistic-humane idea is perfectly all right perhaps when the highest type of man has previously conquered and subjected the world to an extent that makes him the sole ruler of this earth. Then this idea lacks the power of producing evil effects in exact proportion as its practical application becomes rare and finally impossible. Therefore, first struggle and then we shall see what can be done…

On this planet of ours human culture and civilization are indissolubly bound up with the presence of the Aryan. If he should be exterminated or subjugated, then the dark shroud of a new barbarian era would enfold the earth.

To undermine the existence of human culture by exterminating its founders and custodians would be an execrable crime in the eyes of those who believe that the folk-idea lies at the basis of human existence. Whoever would dare to raise a profane hand against that highest image of God among His creatures would sin against the bountiful Creator of this marvel and would collaborate in the expulsion from Paradise.

Hence the folk concept of the world is in profound accord with Nature's will; because it restores the free play of the forces which will lead the race through stages of sustained reciprocal education towards a higher type, until finally the best portion of mankind will possess the earth and will be free to work in every domain all over the world and even reach spheres that lie outside the earth.

We all feel that in the distant future many may be faced with problems which can be solved only by a superior race of human beings, a race destined to become master of all the other peoples and which will have at its disposal the means and resources of the whole world…

A folk-State should in the first place raise matrimony from the level of being a constant scandal to the race. The State should consecrate it as an institution which is called upon to produce creatures made in the likeness of the Lord and not create monsters that are a mixture of man and ape…

If in its historical development the German people had possessed the unity of herd instinct by which other peoples have so much benefited, then the German Reich would probably be mistress of the globe today. World history would have taken another course and in this case no man can tell if what many blinded pacifists hope to attain by petitioning, whining and crying, may not have been reached in this way: namely, a peace which would not be based upon the waving of olive branches and tearful misery --mongering of pacifist old women, but a peace that would be guaranteed by the triumphant sword of a people endowed with the power to master the world and administer it in the service of a higher civilization."

Let us replace the words "German" and "Aryan" with "Jewish" -- and then compare. After this replacement, Eitam's reasoning is not very different than that of Hitler. Both view their own collective as the only people which possesses a soul, is favored by God, and produces trues values. Naïve? Far from it. History teaches us otherwise.

These pronouncements are difficult and unpleasant to comment on, today at any rate, knowing the exact consequences of their consistent political implementation. We can only hope that this time Eitam does not know what he is talking about -- for tomorrow he will no longer be able to vindicate himself by claiming he knows not what he does.

7) "On the one hand, war is terrible. A man is lying next to you, when suddenly a tiny rosette blooms on his forehead -- and he is gone. That is a terrible loss. Yet on the other hand, the man was not killed by a murderer's knife or an earthquake -- this is not an ordinary individual death. In troubled times, this has a certain greatness… In English, this is known as glory. In Hebrew the word is (segev -- greatness, sublimity, exaltation). War brings out the most exalted traits hidden in man… Today I have tears in my eyes when I watch young men, bent under the weight of their weapons, heading out for a mission, fading away over the horizon. This is such a dramatic, such an exhilarating sight! This is an exalted act, an act of sacrifice, of akeda (the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham). In Hebrew, the word (krav -- battle) has the same root as the words 'closeness' and 'sacrifice' ( and ). It brings you closer to your innermost core. I am not proposing to start a war on this account. Yet in the course of battle I experience absolute joy and satisfaction.

I was not born for war. However, I was made for a strange combination of circumstance whereby one fine day I will be able to rise up and deliver the people of Israel. For me, this is a simple fact, not a pompous claim. The war [of Yom Kippur] was brutal and tough; I have lost friends in that war. In itself, it did not bring me any joy. However, at the critical time I was placed by circumstances in the critical spot where the outcome of the war was being decided. At that point in time, I had to save Israel -- and I succeeded in that task. In my later life, I had my full share of joyous occasions -- my marriage, the birth of my children -- but these are all private joys that cannot be compared to that joy of battle. Back then, I felt that I was in the spot that had been predestined for me since birth, in order to fulfill the unique mission of saving the Jewish people. Precisely that: saving the Jewish people and the State of Israel."

As was to be expected, Eitam is the savior of an entire nation, as well as of the state, who all but single-handedly brought about victory in the Yom Kippur War. He is not deterred by the fact that he has to place the crown of national savior on his own head, since no one else considers him as such. Not yet anyway -- for as we know, authoritarian leaders almost always rewrite history. All that remains is to qualify for the job.

Literally fulfilling Eco's prophecy, Eitam regards war as beautiful and exalted, a source of absolute (!?) joy and satisfaction; what is more, dying in battle is an undeniably sublime act. Eitam has fallen into the classical fascist trap, and now he is trying to lure us in as well. I do not know whether he can be cured, but it is worth a try: I would not mind presenting him with a copy of Mother Courage and other plays by Bertold Brecht. Hitler, who is definitely beyond cure, expressed himself in plainer terms and did not promise his followers anything but eternal struggle -- including a swift, purely Eitam-like victory over the entire world.

As a young scamp in my wild years, nothing had so grieved me as having been born at a time which obviously erected its Halls of Fame only to shopkeepers and government officials. The waves of historic events seemed to have grown so smooth that the future really seemed to belong only to the 'peaceful contest of nations'; in other words, a cozy mutual swindling match with the exclusion of violent methods of defense… Even as a boy I was no 'pacifist,' and all attempts to educate me in this direction came to nothing.

The Boer War was like summer lightning to me…

As early as my Vienna period, the Balkans were immersed in that livid sultriness which customarily announces the hurricane, and from time to time a beam of brighter light flared up, only to vanish again in the spectral darkness. But then came the Balkan War and with it the first gust of wind swept across a Europe grown nervous. The time which now followed lay on the chests of men like a heavy nightmare, sultry as feverish tropic heat, so that due to constant anxiety the sense of approaching catastrophe turned at last to longing: let Heaven at last give free rein to the fate which could no longer be thwarted. And then the first mighty lightning flash struck the earth; the storm was unleashed and with the thunder of Heaven there mingled the roar of the World War batteries… The struggle of the year 1914 was not forced on the masses -- no, by the living God -- it was desired by the whole people…

To me those hours seemed like a release from the painful feelings of my youth. Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time…

As a boy and young man I had so often felt the desire to prove at least once by deeds that for me national enthusiasm was no empty whim. It often seemed to me almost a sin to shout hurrah perhaps without having the inner right to do so; for who had the right to use this word without having proved it in the place where all playing is at an end and the inexorable hand of the Goddess of Destiny begins to weigh peoples and men according to the truth and steadfastness of their convictions? Thus my heart, like that of a million others, overflowed with proud joy that at last I would be able to redeem myself from this paralyzing feeling… For from the first hour I was convinced that in case of a war -- which seemed to me inevitable -- in one way or another I would at once leave my books. Likewise I knew that my place would then be where my inner voice directed me… A few days later I was wearing the tunic which I was not to doff until nearly six years later. For me, as for every German, there now began the greatest and most unforgettable time of my earthly existence. Compared to the events of this gigantic struggle, everything past receded to shallow nothingness… I think back with proud sadness on those first weeks of our people's heroic struggle, in which Fate graciously allowed me to take part…

How is that for "absolute joy and satisfaction"?

Then comes the summing up:

Unless the struggle for one worldview or another is headed by people ready for self-sacrifice, the movement will not be able to find any fearless rank-and-file fighters in the near future. Those who struggle for their own self-interests have little left for common welfare…

Who could have written that?

8) "Since the age of 18, I have thought of myself as the country's future leader. When, during our first meeting, my future wife asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told her, 'A leader of the Jewish people.' It's not that I was obsessed with the idea of becoming a prime minister… My answer was different: a leader of the Jewish people…

I am an incorrigible romantic. But I am a pragmatist as well. A boxer and a poet…

What I am afraid most of all is the prospect of becoming conceited, replacing the principle of 'The Lord's glory fills the world' with 'My glory -- and no one else's.' The most terrible apostasy, in my opinion, is to pander to your own ego, to reach a level of self-aggrandizement that leaves no place for God. The head of the State of Israel is the leader of the entire Jewish people. He occupies the place previously taken by the likes of Ben Gurion, Moses and David. Stepping into their shoes without succumbing to arrogance is not a simple matter. How can one keep one's sanity when faced with the task of balancing petty political intrigues on the one hand, and a process comparable to the Creation of the world, commensurate with heaven and earth on the other…

I am often asked, why have I not yet decided upon my political future, [14] why am I still vacillating? I am not vacillating between different political options. What bothers me is a fundamental issue. When people tell me, you and only you are our savior, I panic. My sole concern is to avoid being placed in the cornerstone position, to avoid saying: 'Here I am in all my glory, and nothing else matters in the world.' One must remain modest like Moses, who was the 'most humble of people'… To this day, I am not quite sure of myself. Yet I am waiting for a sign. A sign is the manifestation of the divine Will -- the hour of the good Will. I have no intention of climbing the political manure hill like a rooster, in order to crow that my comb is the brightest of all! That is why I am waiting for God's will to manifest itself. Waiting for a sign…"

Eitam, as we can see, likens himself to Ben Gurion, Moses and David all at once -- in this exact order. He may not be the most humble of men, but he is definitely the most humble of potential dictators (saviors of mankind and messiahs).

Predictably Eitam, who is totally devoid of taste, is not saying anything new. Hitler, who also believed that the world should be ruled in solely by charismatic, divinely appointed leaders involved in the arts and not afraid of a good fight, wrote much earlier:

The blessings of mankind never came from the masses but from the creative brains of individuals, who are therefore the real benefactors of humanity. Though all human civilization has resulted exclusively from the creative activity of the individual, the principle that it is the mass which counts -- through the decision of the majority -- makes its appearance only in the administration of the national community especially in the higher grades; and from there downwards the poison gradually filters into all branches of national life, thus causing a veritable decomposition. The destructive workings of Judaism in different parts of the national body can be ascribed fundamentally to the persistent Jewish efforts at undermining the importance of personality among the nations that are their hosts and, in place of personality, substituting the domination of the masses. The constructive principle of Aryan humanity is thus displaced by the destructive principle of the Jews. They become the 'ferment of decomposition' among nations and races and, in a broad sense, the wreckers of human civilization…

This institution [15] can only appeal to those deceitful characters that fear God's light like the devil fears holy water. Any honest, straightforward politician, who is always ready to bear personal responsibility for his actions, can feel nothing but repulsion toward this institution. That is precisely why this type of democracy has become the weapon of choice for the race which, by virtue of its internal goals, cannot but fear the light of God now and forevermore. Compare this to true German democracy, based on free election of a leader committed to assuming full responsibility for his actions. Here there is no place for majority decisions on specific issues; there is only a single designated individual, who is answerable for his decisions with his entire property and life…

This young movement is in its nature and inner organization anti-parliamentarian; that is, it rejects, in general and in its own inner structure, a principle of majority rule in which the leader is degraded to the level of a mere executant of other people's will and opinion. In little as well as big things, the movement advocates the principle of a Germanic democracy: the leader is elected, but then enjoys unconditional authority.

The practical consequences of this principle in the movement are the following: The first chairman of our local organization is appointed as leader, who occupies the next highest rung in our organization's hierarchy. This chairman is the responsible leader of the local group. All committees are subordinate to him and not, conversely, he to a committee. There are no electoral committees, but only committees for work. The responsible leader, the first chairman, organizes the work. The first principle applies to the next higher organization, the precinct, the district or county. The leader is always elected, but thereby he is vested with unlimited powers and authority. And, finally, the same applies to the leadership of the whole party. The chairman is elected, but he is the exclusive leader of the movements All committees are subordinate to him and not he to the committees. He makes the decisions and hence bears the responsibility on his shoulders. Members of the movement are free to call him to account before the forum of a new election, to divest him of his office in so far as he has infringed on the principles of the movement or served its interests badly. His place is then taken by an abler, new man, enjoying, however, the same authority and the same responsibility…

For we must remember and keep firmly in mind one thing: here too, the majority will never be able to replace the individual. The majority invariably represents not only ineptitude but cowardice as well. By putting together a hundred fools, you will never get one intelligent person. By putting together a hundred cowards, you will never have a heroic decision…

Never have great achievements been the product of saccharine outpourings of literary esthetes and salon heroes. The fates of nations can only be transformed by the power of fiery passion. And the passion of others can only be kindled by someone who is not devoid of passion himself. Only passion bestows on its chosen the kind of words that open the gate to the people's hearts. Those who lack passion, whose mouth is sealed shut, cannot be the harbingers of the heavenly will…

All the great revolutions and conquests in the world, all the momentous cultural events and immortal deeds in the field of statesmanship and so on -- all this is forever and inseparably linked to a particular name, which is the embodiment of these great deeds. The refusal to admire a great man spells the refusal to utilize the full force of majestic charisma that marks all the great figures in this world. The Jews are the first to grasp this truth. The prominent figures of the Jewish camp are 'great' only in their destructive efforts, in their struggle against mankind and its culture. And yet the Jews grant them the status of demigods. If, however, a nation tries to pay tribute to its genuinely great individuals, the Jews will immediately protest that this is shameful "cult of personality"… Woe be to a people ashamed of turning for help to its great individuals!

The skill of a truly great popular leader through all time has been above all in concentrating rather than diffusing the nation's attention against a single enemy. The more concentrated the people's will to struggle for a single purpose, the more attractive the power of this movement and the greater the scope of the struggle. A brilliant leader will be able to show even different adversaries on the same plane. He will present the matter to his allies in such a manner that these different adversaries will be seen as essentially the same category of enemy…

Naturally, a personal note is essential for the total effect. Fighting and art, church and rhetoric…

All my playing about in the open, the long walk to school, and particularly my association with extremely 'husky' boys, which sometimes caused my mother bitter anguish, made me the very opposite of a stay-at-home… But since my father, for understandable reasons, proved unable to appreciate the oratorical talents of his pugnacious boy, or my dreams of becoming an abbot, he could, it goes without saying, achieve no understanding for such youthful ideas…

How it happened, I myself do not know, but one day it became clear to me that I would become a painter, an artist. There was no doubt as to my talent for drawing… By this time I was working independently as a small draftsman and painter of watercolors… I painted to make a living and studied for pleasure.

It would be amusing if it were not so sad: a boxer and a poet indeed. In other words, the spiritual similarity between our two heroes is so great that it would only be natural to assume a physical similarity as well. Yet this is not the case: the portly, self-confident -- or to be more exact, self-satisfied -- Eitam bears no resemblance to the scrawny, pitiable figure of the Fuhrer, who would have been unlikely to come out on top in a brawl. Thus not all obvious analogies remain valid when taken to their logical conclusion. This gives some food for thought.

Let us sum up

Effi Eitam-Fain, exhibiting all the fiery passion that marks many newly converted devotees, adopted interesting revisions in the Ur-Judaic concept, including those parameters that bring it into natural convergence with Ur-Fascism.

The immediately obvious fact is that he takes an active stance regarding the three items on Eco's list that we have resolved not to attribute to Ur-Judaism. Let us examine them closer.

Item 6 (in Eco's outline): frustration

In contrast to the average Orthodox Jew, who is a natural and usually content offspring of his own inherited world, [16] Eitam, with his political eschatology, represents a rejection of any reality. He is a product of at least two centuries of the crisis of classical Jewish orthodoxy, as well as of the very young crisis of Zionist ideology, only recently considered an excellent answer to moribund Judaism. Eitam is not only aware of his genetic link to these crises, but he also blatantly exploits it. In his opinion, Israel, having reasonably renounced the Orthodox mold that marks the Diaspora, has thrown out its Jewish essence along with the Orthodox bath-water and built a non-viable society, a non-Jewish entity on the sacred Jewish soil. If we are to believe Eitam, Israel cannot continue to function the way it has in the last decades: the country and the nation are rapidly losing their authenticity, the existing social framework has reached a dead-end, and what is more, it is a travesty of the natural order of things.

Unlike the authentic Orthodox Jews still living in the pre-Israeli world, Eitam is post-Israeli -- the undeniable product of the Israeli system; the fact that he repudiated this system in the course of his spiritual evolution changes nothing. His religious and cultural alienation are so palpable that they inspire pity; at the same time, they largely explain his political choice. It is not even so much that his religious belief is the result of conscious choice rather than an inherited legacy, so that this kibbutz aborigine, transformed into a religious Robinson Crusoe, did have to sacrifice something of value along the way. That is neither here nor there. What is more important is that he did not affiliate himself with either Ur-Judaism or the run-of-the-mill modern Orthodoxy, which have a long and fairly successful record of coping with social frustration. He preferred to take a dubious messianic detour, which is hardly compatible with stable modern societies. As a result, Eitam has chosen a declasse, almost Breslav-like messianic eschatology, the only genuinely frustrated Jewish religious current, which recoils from any recognizable reality as it tries to supplant not only Ur-Zionism and Ur-Judaism but also Ur-Fascism with an even more radical ideology. On the frustration question, we award Eitam a well-deserved point.

Item 8: mundane polarity

Here the picture is even more straightforward. The banal, passive classical polarity (mentioned earlier, in the first part of the article) between what is Jewish and what is not, which is secondary despite all its bluntness and vehemence, has been replaced by Eitam with an acute functional polarity, which becomes the sum and substance of Jewish existence. The Jews are the heart while the others are the stomach; the Jews are at the core of the "pivotal process of the last two millennia -- the process of global repair." This most important event in human history, which Eitam is naturally destined to bring about in the near future, the messianic Kabbalistic coup to the detriment of Torah and the Halachah, is what forms the core of his eschatological Judaism (in active mystical theories, the critical event is always scheduled for the present), as opposed to the vulgar pastime of studying Talmud and the latter classical works. Judaism had had no shortage of mystics even before Eitam and his ilk made their debut; what Eitam et al, have done is arrange Jewish mysticism for the contemporary political orchestra by erecting the persuasive and relevant polarity between the "initiated" and the "uninitiated." The Jews are David wielding the Kabbalistic slingshot while the others are the armor-clad Goliath, although their days are numbered. Eitam-David has already placed a stone in his slingshot; once it is out, it cannot be taken back. There is no more drastic way of polarizing an outsider than by branding him an inanimate object. Another big fat point.

Item 11: the cult of war and death

Here Eitam's contribution to high theory is particularly momentous. Ur-Judaism, in its rabbinical incarnation, was never militaristic in nature; it did not cater to the cult of war and other elitist games, which it successfully sublimated. Eitam introduces (or reintroduces) militarism, borrowed from secular Zionism, into Jewish religious culture. He views death on the battlefield as glamorous, war as a rapturous and joyful experience, and victory as the catharsis. [17] His Judaism has not only embraced the cult of war, but, as we have seen, it is also not averse to the cult of death. Eco prophesized this development: Fascism inevitably ends in war. Religious militarism is a highly dangerous intellectual invention that, for some unfathomable reasons, has not yet been condemned by anyone in the case of Israel. It's not the Hamas, after all. 14-plus out of 14.

Conclusion

We have seen that Eitam's Judaism easily scores 14 out of the possible 14 points on Eco's scale. Moreover, had there been more points to score, Eitam would not have let us down. He is champing at the bit. In our opinion, this has the makings of a grave danger, no longer spelling Ur-Fascism but its vital and far from harmless offshoot -- Ur-Nazism, i.e. the National Socialism of the '20s, when it was still perceived by most observers as merely an innocuous theory. Vigorous, potent Ur-Nazism is bursting out of Eitam's theories (and, as we have already mentioned, of those of certain other practical -- albeit still marginal -- Israeli politicians). Our society, possibly due to its ignorance of the original sources, has not yet become fully cognizant of this danger, easily swallowing outrageous perversions of the political and moral kinds. However, while people like Eitam can still be stopped today, what is going to happen tomorrow when, having availed themselves of favorable political and military circumstances, they bite off a sizable chunk of power? The shift from fascist theory to fascist practice may prove brief and relatively painless; it may even be enthusiastically received, as the Austrian Anschluss once was. The tragedy will strike only later, when fascism, without a moment's hesitation, will outgrow the grotesque farce of self-realization and begin looking around, when it has finally tired of watching its monstrous contortions in the mirror, when it begins to wreak history along with the surrounding world. By then, I am afraid, it will be too late.


[1] "Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt".

[2] Quoted from Webster's:
"Ur- \ur\  prefix, often cap [German, from OHG ir-, ur-]  1: original: primitive <ur-form>  2: original version of <urtext>  3: prototypical : ARCH- <ur-anticommunist>

[3] On one occasion we asked: why should Egypt concede the Sinai to the Palestinians at all? The answer was: in order to facilitate the peace process. Fine and dandy, but our actual question was why, not what for… Come to think of it, we can also ask what for -- what does Egypt need it for?

[4] Here, Eitam has committed an interesting Freudian slip. Those whom he intends to banish from the country are referred to in the plural ("Those who reject…"), while those allowed to stay are in the singular (One who is willing to live…). It would be extremely fascinating to know the intended ratio between those who are banished and those who remain. One to five? One to ten?

[5] An Arab town whose residents fled in 1948; its area presently forms part of the Tel Aviv University campus.

[6] Schopenhauer.

[7] The only difference is that he understandably does not use the term "fifth column" -- he has other labels that are just as good.

[8] This phrase brings to mind something unsavory.

[9] It is curious to see the extent to which the tendency to lay the blame for their own failures on traitors is common to all Ur-Fascist regimes. Even Napoleon -- who spent a great deal of his time beating the living daylights out of the Germans -- could not resist the temptation. After the terrible defeats of 1814, driven back beyond the Rhine and essentially doomed, he kept repeating: "Between the Vistula and the Rhine, we were foiled by treason. But between the Rhine and Paris, there will be no traitors!" The involuntary Saxon recruits who abandoned him at Leipzig could hardly be called traitors. It was in Paris that the real traitors, among them some French marshals, turned up -- but even they can in no way be blamed for the fall of the French capital. It was Napoleon himself who -- like any true Ur-Fascist player -- lost the war.

[10] Once again, an interesting phenomenon. Today's right wing reviles the liberal universalists for the same reason that Hitler reviles the Jews: their adherence to the idea of human equality and quantitative democracy.

[11] Primordial chaos.

[12] "Tohu"?

[13] Now this is a definite tohu.

[14] As we know, the decision has already been made.

[15] The Parliament.

[16] The rejection of the Zionist revolution by the overwhelming majority of the Orthodox world was probably caused by the fact that the former, by openly appealing to millennium-old frustration, attempted to attribute discontent to the Orthodox community itself. In its own eyes, however, it is totally content! It looks like their hour of revenge has come.

[17] This is nothing new. From the very start, secular Israel declared the army (the army!), rather than the school, to be the melting pot that would create the new Israeli nation. Eitam, the product of the most militarized, and at the same time the most melting, of secular Israeli societies -- the kibbutz -- borrowed this military-social idea for his own purposes. The Israeli society, inured to militarism, did not even notice the danger this poses.