Sunday, August 15, 2010

Is Israel Fascistic, Tyrannical or Liberal Democratic?

BLOGBLATHER: When a government will not allow the free expression of ideas -- that's Fascism.  Israel in this instance was fascistic.  Israel was criminal in its flotila raid.  Chomsky was planning to speak to that issue just as Boaz Okun, the legal commentator of the newspaper Yediot Aharonot, the most widely read newspaper in Israel, wrote: “Put together, [the exclusion of Chomsky and the Flotilla Raid] they may mark the end of Israel as a law-abiding and freedom-loving state, or at least place a large question mark over this notion.”  And for your information, Lawrence, Chomsky was not trying to enter Israel, he was trying to enter the West Bank from Jordan.  The West Bank is not a part of Israel, they have no right to refuse passage into or out of the West Bank.  Israel is an illegal occupier, the fact that the world powers close their eyes to this international crime does not legitimize it.
LAWRENCE: No, the restriction of the "free expression of ideas" is not a definition of Fascism. Nor is the defense of one's borders. France considered Communism the antithesis of Fascism after World War II, but Soviet Russia restricted "the free expression of ideas" even more than Fascistic Italy or Germany. Arab Muslim nations are notorious for restricting "the free expression of ideas." Are they Fascistic? And all nations protect their borders.

PREVIOUS LAWRENCE: Most nations deny the entrance into their countries of "undesirables."
BLOGBLATHER:  I'm well aware of that.  The U,S. often denies entry of foreign artists or performers because they don't approve of something their country has  said or done.  It's not only fascistic, it's stupid.
LAWRENCE: If all nations (and I can't think of a nation that doesn't) deny entrance to undesirable, then all nations, by your definition are fascistic. How about "tyrant" as your term of approbation? An older brother might deny a younger entrance into his bedroom. It just won't do to call him a "fascist" when he so behaves, but it might work to call him a "tyrant" -- assuming this was his ongoing behavior.
But even "tyrant" doesn't work as definition of what's involved in the excluding of undesirable foreign individuals from entering your country. Consider Arizona's desire to restrict illegals from entering their state. Do you think they are being "fascistic"? It would be a bizarre definition if you did. Would you think they were tyrannical? Tyranny works as a definition when you think of a leader or leaders treating subjects tyrannically. But the word might better be applied to leaders who deny a majority in Arizona the right to exclude illegal aliens from entering their state.

As to the protection of one's borders, that is something all nations do. Russia today has a huge army prowling about its borders ready to deal with all threats. On many occasions Israel has given up conquered land for peace only to have that land used to launch the next Arab attack. That they would do everything in their power to prevent that happening again strikes me as prudent. Letting the volatile Chomsky do his worst amongst Israel's enemies would be something Israel would want to avoid if it could. Self-defense is not fascistic.

Here is a partial definition from the EB 2010: ". . . political ideology and mass movement that dominated many parts of central, southern, and eastern Europe between 1919 and 1945 and that also had adherents in western Europe, the United States, South Africa, Japan, Latin America, and the Middle East. Europe’s first fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, took the name of his party from the Latin word fasces, which referred to a bundle of elm or birch rods (usually containing an ax) used as a symbol of penal authority in ancient Rome. Although fascist parties and movements differed significantly from each other, they had many characteristics in common, including extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a Volksgemeinschaft (German: “people’s community”), in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation. At the end of World War II, the major European fascist parties were broken up, and in some countries (such as Italy and West Germany) they were officially banned. Beginning in the late 1940s, however, many fascist-oriented parties and movements were founded in Europe as well as in Latin America and South Africa. Although some European “neofascist” groups attracted large followings, especially in Italy and France, none were as influential as the major fascist parties of the interwar period."

While no definition of Fascism is universally accepted, we do know some things that it is not. It is not Communism, and it is not Liberal Democracy. Israel is a Liberal-Democratic as is the United States; so it are not Fascist, even when it does things, like declare Chomsky an undesirable, that you don't like.
You might call the excluding of Chomsky "tyrannical" and come closer to a definition that was plausible. And while I wouldn't press you for a definition if you did, I would disagree and say Israel was in regard to Chomsky expressing good sense.

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