The technocrats haven’t been doing too well in Europe and there’s no particular reason to think that they can succeed in the pressure cooker of Israel where they’ve failed in low-stress environments.
European technocrats are post-modern and post-national, and the governing coalition being cobbled together out of political spare parts in Israel is all of the above, and post-Zionist.
It’s easy enough for the Arab coalition of Islamists and Communists to be post-Zionist. Like Peter Beinart, post-Zionism is easiest for those who were never Zionist and have a passionate hostility for the whole notion of the Jews rebuilding their homeland. But it’s also fairly easy for Israel’s evolving technocrats, two of whom are set to alternate in the top job.
The essence of technocracy is to believe in nothing more than the smoothness and sleekness of the process. Zionism, Jewish peoplehood and Israeli exceptionalism can’t compete with the seductive notion that complex global and national problems can be reduced to an app with a click and a swipe.
Shimon Peres used to love arguing that there would be a new Middle East because of nanotechnology. But peace treaties and technology didn’t bring Israelis and Arabs together.
A common enemy did.
And that’s where technocracy fails. Unlike socialism, technocracy isn’t ideological. But it’s so non-ideological that it fails to comprehend those who are. That’s how Israel may end up with a bizarre coalition of Islamists, leftists and people who once claimed to be Zionists, but for whom the holy land is Silicon Valley.
Technocrats, whether in California or Tel Aviv, have always been a gateway drug for the worst leftists because they’re suckers for grandiose proposals and because the easiest convert is a man who doesn’t believe in anything.
Israeli post-Zionism, unlike anti-Zionism, was born out of technocracy. It thrives among those who want to be more like Europe than Israel.
Only people who fundamentally don’t understand how much the Muslim Brotherhood, a component of the new coalition, the Communist Party, yet another component, hates them, could bring them into the government. But to technocrats, personal resentments, like those they hold against Netanyahu, are real, while ideological, religious and tribal hatreds, like those of their new allies, are an unreal chimera.
Technocrats don’t understand tribalism, which is why it so often clobbers them over the head.
The Zionist post-Zionists don’t see a need for Zionism, even as they pay lip service to it, which also means they don’t see a need for Israel. They’re seduced by visions of efficiency and of their own plans which trump minor matters like thousands of years of history, or the Torah. Technocracy is ultimately ego, and ego is the driving force that destroys nations, cultures and religions in pursuit of selfish narcissism.
Technocracy has yet to solve anything. But it builds up Potemkin villages of the soul. And when they fall apart, as they always do, the technocrats, like the socialists, are baffled at the collapse of their brilliant plans. The Islamists and Communists in the coalition won’t be.
Israel’s worst enemies believe. They believe in all the things that the post-Zionists do not. And they will strike from within.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
This article was first published by FrontPage Magazine.