“The Case for Nationalism” is a four-day course in Jerusalem this December, “led by Dr. William Kristol,” says the neoconservative Hertog Foundation. Kristol is a gritty practitioner of the Washington arts; but his course has a soulful theme:
“Are deeply felt national histories so easy to forget, and is it really desirable that they be forgotten?”
$2,000 for Israelis, $3,000 for everyone else. Apply here.
In Hertog’s course description, Dr. Kristol lays out his aggressive neoconservative view of the world order. First, he mocks liberals as Jetsons for not believing in the nation-state, but believing in amorphous human rights:
In Europe, we see the dominant moral and political idea of our age—“human rights”—in its most advanced form. All persons everywhere are entitled to equal dignity and equal protections… Human rights cannot be secured by nations, and excessive national pride is a threat to the new ideal of the free, sovereign, cosmopolitan individual. The nation must be overcome and replaced by a centralized governing body that is large enough to protect global citizens from global threats…
Dr. Kristol is sure to tell his pupils that the U.S. should invade countries and attack them to preserve order. Isn’t that what he means by “special responsibilities”?
In America, we see the ideals of universal liberty and natural rights combined with a belief in the exceptional character and special responsibilities of the American nation. Does American power serve the interests of world order? Do Americans believe in their own exceptionalism, or do they seek to become a nation among the nations?
Dr. Kristol rounds on his central subject: Israel versus the EU.
The question of nationalism takes on special significance for citizens of Israel, the world’s only Jewish State. Zionism is a form of nationalism, and the founding of Israel represents the culmination of ancient longings for the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish homeland. But it was also founded in partial response to World War II and the Shoah it perpetrated on European Jewry. If the intellectual architects of the European Union believe that the national form causes violence and stands in the way of a more harmonious world, the intellectual architects of the State of Israel believed the opposite—that only a state dedicated to the protection of the Jewish people will ensure their welfare and prosperity.
That’s unreconstructed Zionism, without a Palestinian in sight.
And do you have any question why the neoconservatives pushed the Iraq war to remake the Middle East? It was one of the U.S.’s “special responsibilities.”