Has Israel Been Emasculated By Pacifist Feminist Bullies?
2010 October 13
by Gil Ronen
Two opposing revolutionary streams are locked in a death struggle, and nowhere is this struggle more palpable than in the Jewish State. One stream is intrinsically Jewish: it was created by Jews, for Jews, and is about Jews. Its relationship with Jewish religion can be described as both close and troubled. The other stream opposes Jewish religion and nationalism – and arguably, all religion and nationalism – but boasts an inordinately large proportion of Jews among its founders, leaders and activists.
The first stream is Zionism, a movement that despised what it saw as the bookish, emasculated Diaspora Jew, and believed in the rebirth of the Jew as a manly type who holds both plow and sword in his hands – “a Jewishness of muscle,” in the words of Zionist founder Max Nordau at the Second Zionist Congress. The second is Marxism in its ultimate form: pacifist gender feminism. [Note: I use the term “gender feminism” as defined by Christina Hoff Sommers in Who Stole Feminism?, and as opposed to what she calls “equity feminism.”
The first movement, while dominated by secular Jews, walked in the path of ancient Jewish religion in virtually sanctifying the concepts of nation, land and military might. Zionism always believed in the essential power of the sword – and as long as Zionism dominated the Israeli psyche, the tiny Jewish state’s army defeated and deterred surrounding Arab armies in a series of valiantly fought wars and anti-terrorist operations, earning the fear and respect of its neighbors. Old-style Zionism has weakened considerably in the past 25 years, but is now making a grassroots comeback, shoulder-to-shoulder with a new brand of religious Zionism that is more intellectual, communicative and confident than it was in the past.
The other movement is an internationalist stream that can be described as a confluence of several rivulets that have been flowing next to each other, blending into each other and growing out of each other for almost a century. A partial and imperfect breakdown of these streams would include:
(1) the defeatism of pro-Soviet women’s pacifist groups that operated in the West in the first half of the 20th century,
(2) the nascent gender feminism that developed within the American Communist party and its environs in the first half of the the 20th century (or “Popular Front feminism,” as the term is used by Daniel Horowitz in Betty Friedan and the Making of the Feminine Mystique),
(3) feminism and gender experimentation within the socialist world, as manifested in the celebration of International Women’s Day and the communal sexual and family practices of the early kibbutzim, and
The confluence of these streams appears to be best exemplified in the 95-year old pacifist Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), which specializes in sophisticated techniques of manipulation of language and images, and engages in politicking in the United Nations and individual member countries. The cooperation between organizations like WILPF and the New Israel Fund (NIF) – a highly controversial fund with a dominantly gender-feminist pacifist character – has made it possible for the international gender feminist pacifist establishment to confuse and bully the Israeli public into its current sad and emasculated state.
Shortly after the gender feminist pacifist movement came to prominence in Israel, in the 1980s, the country seemed to lose its essential self-confidence and stray from its trademark military ethos of toughness. It ceased thinking of its soldiers as men and adopted a public discourse that referred to them as “children.” The successful use of this discourse by the chattering classes made it easier to tempt Israel’s leadership into embarking on a series of disastrous, morally bankrupt and humiliating security-related decisions, compromising Israel’s ability to maintain its deterrent posture in the Middle East.
The dynamic I am talking about is a very Israeli one, and it packs extra punch in the case of the Jewish state, because it also seems to tap into a more ancient eastern-European Jewish character problem. I am talking about the excessive and unhealthy power of the Jewish mother figure and the complementary figure of the emasculated Jewish man-boy. This matter is too embarrassing to be studied by academics, but it is an open Jewish secret, having been floated and ridiculed in books like Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, in Woody Allen films, in quite a few sitcoms over the years, and lately on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. It is, perhaps, the more intimate aspect of the problem that Nordau was addressing politically, in that speech in Basel.
To get a preliminary glimpse of what I am talking about, take a look at this recently made cartoon (with English subtitles) mocking the Israeli Left’s behavior in the matter of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit. Pay extra attention to the overbearing pacifist woman who appears at 1:33.
The current threats to Israel appear to be the result, in no small part, of the power attained within Israel by the gender feminist pacifist establishment, which has smashed the vital Israeli ethos of pride and deliberately sapped the Israeli fighting spirit.
The Israeli psyche, and large swaths of Israel’s government, academia and press, are currently under gender feminist pacifist occupation. Everything that the original Zionists grew up on and believed in, the gender feminist pacifists despise and undercut. The image of the fighting man is vilified. Men are demonized for being men, and maleness is criminalized. Through a series of legislative changes that were rammed through the Knesset unopposed in the 1990s and 2000s, rape and lesser sexual crimes have been redefined in ways that probably make Israel’s brand of gender feminist rule the most draconian in the world. At the same time, gender feminists have mounted a decades-long insidious effort to change the definition and perception of the term ‘violence,’ gradually blurring and widening it to include hybrids such as “verbal violence,” “emotional violence,” “economic violence,” and even “litigious violence” – but simultaneously narrowing its use only to cases in which the alleged perpetrator is a man and the victim a woman.
While being shackled by gender feminist legislators and judges, Israel’s men – the soldiers and officers of the IDF, the heroes of yesteryear – have grown used to being routinely and rudely henpecked and mocked by gender feminist journalists, academicians and politicians. In the worldview peddled by these women, male pride – the root force behind national-military fighting spirit – is condemned as primitive; normal male sexuality is perceived as borderline criminal at best, and virtually all male assertiveness vis-a-vis women is framed as a form of violence. While being expected to fight for his country at serious risk to his life at moments’ notice, from young adulthood until middle age, the Israeli man is also trained from birth to become a non-aggressive “new man” or risk facing the full force of the gender feminist enforcement machine.
Feminism is widely perceived the way it wants to be perceived: i.e., as a struggle by women for women’s rights, women’s liberties, women’s welfare and dignity, and the realization of women’s potential in all fields. It is all that, and its achievements have been spectacular. It is often difficult to say where liberal, equity feminism ends and Marxist gender feminism begins, and to differentiate between purer forms of female pacifism and conniving anti-Western ones. But if one can extrapolate from experience in Israel, it appears that as far as politics are concerned, equity feminism has been subverted by pacifist gender feminism, and has, to some extent, been its useful dupe from the get-go.
The effect this radical stream has had is so deep and wide that it qualifies as the second revolutionary Marxist stream, which succeeded where the first Marxist stream, communism, failed: conquering the West. To the extent that Israeli feminist history reflects the larger picture in the West, and as long as pacifist gender feminism is dominant within the feminist stream, then feminism is best defined not as a rights movement but an internationalist anti-Western establishment and a method of subverting and taking over free societies, then controlling and directing them toward their doom. It bribes, flatters, frightens, mentally enslaves and uses women to achieve this aim, while convincing them that it has freed them.
The mind-awing brilliance of technique behind the gender feminist takeover is evidenced by the fact that the West does not even realize it has been subjugated. Unlike its more primitive brother, bolshevism, pacifist gender feminism almost never resorts to overt violence like street fighting, violent strikes, assassinations and the like – unless the killing of courageous and charismatic dissident Erin Pizzey’s dog counts. Yet the terror it wields is very real.
In the minds of Israelis, from the market vendor and street sweeper to the judge, journalist and politician, there is no doubt regarding the identity of the 800 pound gorilla in the national living room. For young people, the gorilla was there when they were born. All assume it will be there on the day they die. Many believe it will hasten that day’s coming. The gorilla is generally known as “irgunei hanashim” – “the women’s organizations.”
“Irgunei hanashim” may color themselves a soft pink, but the fear people have of them is dark, hard and tangible. People who are thought of as powerful write the words “irgunei hanashim” and they tremble, they speak them and look over their shoulder, much like the citizens of an African dictatorship do when mentioning their president’s name. Judges send innocents to jail and set free perpetrators of heinous crimes because of their fear of “irgunei hanashim” – and some of them have even admitted as much in public or semi-public forums.
In coming posts, we hope to give the non-Israeli reader a picture of the Israeli gender feminist pacifist operation; the way it has falsified the scientific results of a decades of research by leading American experts on intimate partner violence to institute anti-male policies in the law enforcement and welfare systems; the interplay between its tentacles in the press, academia, the Knesset, the judiciary and police; the interdependence and synergy between its anti-male campaign and the more recognizably “leftist” aspect of its activities, and the cooperation between bodies like the NIF and WILPF that appears to be at the center of its power axis.
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