A visitor to this blog
recently wondered about the possibility of Traditionalism in Israel
What we find in Israel is not exactly Traditionalism, but more a local version of Dugin's Eurasianism: ЗА РОДИНУ [Za Rodinu]/Be’ad Artzeinu
[To our homeland], headed by Rabbi Avraam Shmulevich
and--to some extent--by Avigdor Eskin
. Both are Israeli citizens of Russian origin, and both were in Moscow for the founding congress of the Eurasia Movement.
Be’ad Artzeinu has a website, www.zarodinu.org
, which is mostly in Russian, but also has a Hebrew section and a small English section
. Rabbi Shmulevich also has a blog, avrom.livejournal.com
Avigdor Eskin has a blog, avigdor-eskin.com
The more famous of the two is Eskin, who responded to the Oslo Accords by laying a death curse (pulsa d’nura
or "lashes of fire") on Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin
in 1995. This curse is believed generally to work within a period of 30 days. Thirty-two days after Eskin’s curse, Rabin was shot dead by Yigal Amir (neither a Traditionalist nor of Russian origin, but rather a student from Herzliya), and as a result, in 1997 Eskin was sentenced to four months in prison for incitement.
I wrote in the second edition of Against the Modern World
Be’ad Artzeinu claims several hundred members, mostly of Russian origin. Its leader, Shmulevich, describes himself as "Hyperzionist," regarding the earlier Zionism that led to the creation of the State of Israel as obsolete, a view that is held by many Israelis—Israel, after all, now clearly exists, and Zionism has thus fulfilled its goal. Few Israelis, however, would agree with the ideology that Shmulevich proposes to replace the original Zionism of the founders of the State. Israel, according to Shmulevich, has a global mission: to lead the way into the twenty-first century, molding it as—he contends—Jews such as Marx, Einstein and Freud molded the twentieth century. As a first step, Israel must not only defeat proposals for a Palestinian state and the threat of Islamism, but go on to expand her control to cover the entire Middle East from the Nile to the Euphrates. This control need not be military: the techniques of economic and social control suggested in the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion would do equally well. As a second step, Israel must "reinstate the most primal layer of Tradition [that of Adam, the first Hyperzionist], but any such reinstatement would be also based on fusion with the most modern tendencies found in a post-industrial society."
Although Be’ad Artzeinu is suspected of violent actions against Arabs in the "occupied" territories, it admits only (with one exception) to non-violent protests, though it also admits that its ultimate aim is revolution within Israel to replace the current political class with Hyperzionists. Its protests are colorful: the Hyperzionists wear red shirts and march in ordered ranks, led by a sheepdog called Fritz, who on one occasion ate a salami-laced cabbage painted as the head of Yasser Arafat.
Israeli journalists have suggested to Shmulevich that such paramilitary attire might appear reminiscent of groups such as Hitler’s SA, to which Shumelvich replies (correctly) that it was not only the SA that used such techniques, but also Betar, the youth movement of Revisionist Zionism, the ultimate origin of the present Likud party. Also, he explains, "Revolution has to inspire, not to bore. You have to know how to spread an idea. The uniform and the provocations are parts of the marketing; the wrappings around the goods have to attract attention." Much the same might be said of the NBP and of many of Dugin’s own activities.
Eskin and Shmulevich’s participation in a Eurasia Movement that aims to embrace much of the Islamic world is paradoxical. The alliance with Islam was clearly not the element of neo-Eurasianism that appealed to them. What did appeal was the anti-American elements in neo-Eurasianism, which fit well with many settlers’ view of their own government as betraying them, the Jewish people, and Zionism, under American pressure. Shmulevich’s explanation of this betrayal was the "process of subordination of the political elite to Western influence," against which neo-Eurasianism struggles.
Shmulevich and Eskin are more neo-Eurasianists than Traditionalists, and there is no evidence that Eskin has ever read Guénon. Even their neo-Eurasianism is a consequence rather than a cause of their other activities—Eskin’s stance preceded the development of neo-Eurasianism, and his first known political activity was in 1979, when, at age 19, he and three other young settlers were arrested for breaking into Palestinian houses in Hebron, where they "overturned furniture and assaulted inhabitants." Three years later, in 1981, Eskin was again arrested, this time during a protest in front of the Soviet Airline Aeroflot’s offices in New York, and charged with "rioting, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and attempted criminal mischief."