The tremors from the Brexit earthquake, in which Britain voted to exit the European Union, are still rippling around the globe.
The vote has torn families and friendships apart. The prime minister, David Cameron, announced his resignation following the collapse of his gamble that the public would vote to remain. Now political paralysis has set in.
Government business has all but come to a halt. There is no plan. There is currently no leader who can provide one.
The Conservative Party has started its leadership election process which will install a new prime minister. This is already making House of Cards look like Sesame Street.
The party’s leading Brexiteers, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, destroyed Cameron.
Gove then destroyed Boris who he said (correctly) wasn’t up to the job of leading the country; Gove would run for PM instead. As a result, Gove was accused of ruthless disloyalty and destroyed himself .
On Thursday his fellow MPs knocked him out of the leadership race.
Inside the EU there is rage against Britain.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, is urging a more emollient response. She wants to offer the UK a deal so attractive it will reverse its vote to leave.
Brexiteers are suspicious that the current leadership favorite amongst Conservative MPs, Theresa May, who is viewed as a unity candidate because her support for Remain was so feeble, will seek to forge just such a deal that will undermine Brexit by stealth.
Other countries are looking on anxiously at this pandemonium. Both the US and Israel wanted the UK to remain in the EU.
Both countries view Britain as a useful bridge to Europe. Israel thinks in particular that Britain helps mitigate the EU’s hostility toward it.
David Cameron certainly warmed toward Israel during his premiership. However, the UK still falsely claims Israel’s occupation of the disputed territories is illegal, still pressures it to surrender to Arab aggression, still voted with France and Germany for the preposterous UN resolution singling out Israel as the world’s sole violator of health rights. The notion that Britain is invaluable to Israel inside the EU therefore seems implausible.
America and Israel are also missing a much more fundamental point. Brexit means the concept of the self-governing nation is back in business. That’s good not just for Britain but also for Israel and the defense of Western civilization.
This is why. After two world wars, a traumatized Europe concluded that the nation gave rise to nationalism and nationalism led to war. Progressive politics became internationalist. Legitimacy would be invested in supra-national institutions such as the EU, UN or European Court of Human Rights.
The EU was formed to safeguard European democracy. However, since its laws and regulations override those of national governments it is profoundly and innately anti-democratic.
That’s why, although it was founded to prevent the return of fascism, it is directly responsible for the current rise of racist and fascist parties across Europe.
These have been swelled by popular fury at a European political establishment which, through emasculating democracy and imposing mass migration, has ridden roughshod over people’s desire to live in their own self-governing and recognizable homeland.
Fascism is thus being fueled by progressive internationalists. Which is also why the brunt of bigoted attacks over the past few decades has been borne by Israel and the Jews.
The astounding increase in open anti-Jewish feeling in Britain has occurred while it has belonged to the EU. Internationalists despise the nation; no surprise, then, that they despise the Jewish nation.
For decades, these progressives have systematically trashed British national identity as racist, colonialist and hateful. Those who object to the growth of separatist Muslim enclaves, where non-Muslims feel at worst physically threatened and at best strangers in their own land, are vilified as Islamophobes, bigots and racists.
Jews are squeamish about any criticism of immigration. People are surely entitled, though, to object to the transformation of their neighborhood, society and country.
The Jewish people are formed and sustained by their own particular culture and identity as a nation. Why then should any Jew want to deny the same to the British people? The trashing of their culture has increased support for British neo-Nazi and racist groups. Since the referendum there has been a troubling rise in attacks on migrants and Jews.
Remainers repeatedly claimed that Leave was fueled by racial hatred and had even spawned murderous neo-Nazi violence.
Racists and fascists could therefore tell themselves that, since half the country was said to be legitimizing such attacks, they could now perpetrate these with impunity.
In turn, the lamentable failure by both Remain and Leave to state unequivocally that migrants already in Britain were welcome and there to stay allowed such festering feelings of frustration and rage to burst into the open.
Strong national identity doesn’t produce bigotry. The absence of it does. If Britain does now rediscover itself as a self-governing nation, it may start to reverse decades of cultural demoralization. This would mean more security for Jews and less hostility to Israel.
People die to defend their homeland.
No one would willingly die to defend the EU. If it were itself to collapse, the revival of democratic nations would give Europe a far better chance of defending the West against the Islamist threat.
Democrats everywhere should be supporting Brexit as the point at which the free world started to fight back.Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (UK).