In part I, I reviewed the demographic sources of the internal friction in Israel. In part II, I reviewed the sad and hysterical cultural legacy of Bolshevism that so animates most of Israel’s ideological clashes.
In this part, I wish to review the anatomy of the Israeli Left’s campaign against judiciary reform, and the results it now leaves in its successful aftermath.
Where We Are
Very briefly (because you can find more coverage elsewhere) – for the last three months, the Jewish state has been rent by an array of massive protests, strikes, media acrimony, vituperation, and general nastiness. All of that, in response to the Netanyahu government’s attempt to pass a rather milquetoast judiciary reform.
The reform, now all but fizzed out and delayed in search for “compromise,” had aspired to re-balance the Israeli system of government. It had intended to do so by passing legislation to transfer some power, not too long ago usurped, from the unelected and mostly self-appointing judiciary, back to Israel’s elected institutions.
However, as stated above, that humble intent was met by fierce protests, the result of a brilliant (and vicious) counter-campaign, that brought the country to the brink, and perhaps even beyond the brink, of anarchy.
How could a counter-campaign generated by Israel’s old and resentful elites, who on the whole are in the minority, be so effective against a government elected by the majority of the population? Let us analyze.
A Campaign of Power Multipliers
In tactics, a power multiplier is an element that allows a player to overcome numerical inferiority. For instance, excellent intelligent services, allowing effective use of one’s limited weaponry, are a power multiplier. They allow one to punch above one’s weight and concentrate one’s fire more lethally. In video games, hitting a boss at a weak point is a power multiplier – a fire weapon against a boss vulnerable to flames, a shadow weapon against a boss vulnerable to darkness, etc. I would know!
The coalition of opposition-affiliated organizations that coordinated the counter-reform campaign was well aware of the concept of power multipliers. They were also aware, conceptually or instinctively, of the astonishing role that prestige plays in 21-st century power-politics. Presumably, power is vested in elected institutions such as governments and parliaments. In practice, there’s a hierarchy of prestige and influence with the ability to sway the minds of key players and the general public.
So how to achieve a power multiplier? How to hit the Israeli psyche where it hurts? Detonate a series of explosions across all channels of Israeli prestige. Each detonation will reverberate a thousand times, achieving an unstoppable effect.
The average Israeli is endlessly proud of his “Start-Up Nation,” the economic miracle that has lifted the country from middle-income to first-world status. A job in tech is pretty much the only way to escape the stifling cost of living in Israel, and thus live a life similar to what one sees on TV. So a clever move would be to conscript tech against the government’s suggested reform.
Indeed, the counter-reformists did exactly that – influential venture capital magnates exclaimed sanctimoniously they would be pulling their money away to protect “democracy.” Petitions of engineers and coders were published to seethe against reform. Protests and short strikes (not beyond lunch hour, conveniently) were televised, and there you go – “Reform will ruin the Israeli economy!”
Israelis are also extremely proud of their combat pilots. Despite not having engaged in aerial dogfights since 1982, and despite mostly flying over and dropping missiles on bankrupt and primitive places such as Gaza and Syria, Israel’s pilots still carry the prestige that was hard-won by their glorious sires in 1956 and 1967. In addition, most Israelis are terrified for their lives – who but the airforce will save them from Iran?
So you can probably guess – the anti-government campaign managed to recruit combat pilots to declare they will not commit to service unless judiciary reform is withdrawn. Naturally, this created an enormous media effect, sending the public into a frenzy of horror.
Israelis appreciate their academia (mostly garbage outside of the sciences, but oh well), and lo and behold – deans, professors, and administrators all declared they would shut down their institutions unless reform is withdrawn.
Now, in none of these cases was a majority involved (not all techies object to reform, not all pilots, etc.), but the effect was so well-timed, so quick, so aligned with all channels of prestige – that it had a tremendous effect. Needless to say, the media were all unified in one hyper-ideological campaign, happy to fan the flames.
So the state has basically collapsed, becoming a thing that only functions upon condition – the military, instead of rejecting insubordination, made wailing sounds that national security was at risk; the police stopped enforcing the law upon the ever more defiant and wild protesters; the universities did indeed shut down as they had threatened; the country’s main labor union declared a general strike. Eventually, the government had to back down.
Last week Netanyahu announced the postponement of three-quarters of his reform. This week, due to a general strike and an explosion of further public hysteria, he backed down even on that miserable remainder, promising to seek “compromise.”
In a sense the state was raped – think about a child being told by his dad he would receive no allowance, no shelter, no love, that he is ugly, good for nothing, a useless oaf, unless! Unless he complied with his father’s demands.
Now think about an Israeli boomer woman, lacking media discernment and sitting in front of her television, being slapped in the face by a never-ceasing campaign – the economy is crashing! The country is defenseless! The government is committing a “coup!” The pilots are saying so! Top economists are agreeing! Professors all support! Waaaa! We must do something! Ahhh!
The Conditional State
I am not exactly sure how to name the current form of the Israeli regime. When the dumpster fire subsides and the citizens awake from their terror and hysteria to survey the damage, what is it exactly that they will see? What is a conditional state constrained by the will of an elite, cowering at the constant threat of mimetic anarchy? Dare to step beyond the line and all institutions shut down, all the media are conscripted, and a terrified population is thus whipped into a frenzy.
It is a rather primitive combination of anarchy and oligarchy. The anarcho-tyranny of Sam Francis, perhaps. Something akin to pre-modern states like the year of the four emperors in Rome, or the sad latter 16th century in France. Functioning modern states are supposed to feature institutions that remain more or less neutral. No matter the policies of the current government, the universities stay open and the military remains under control. Frustrated? You wait for your turn at the next elections without blocking highways in between.
Demonstrably, that is not true in Israel.
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