web analytics
May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


‘Are You Meshuga?': Jewish Survival In A Crazy World (A Column in Two Parts)


Beres-Louis-Rene

Credo quia absurdum. “I believe because it is absurd.”

Here is a brief story to suitably “set our stage.” During World War I, a Jew loses his way along the Austro-Hungarian frontier. Wandering through the woods late at night, he is abruptly stopped in his tracks by the screaming challenge of a nervous border-guard: “Halt, or I’ll shoot.” The Jew blinks uncomfortably into the beam of the searchlight and retorts with obvious annoyance: “What’s the matter with you? Are you meshuga? Can’t you see that this is a flesh-and-blood human being?”

In principle, of course, the Jew’s behavior here is entirely sensible. Yet, in the disturbingly “real” world, it is also plainly crazy. In the best of all possible worlds, perhaps, no human being could ever imagine shooting another, or even making the weapons that are needed to inflict such terrible harms. But this is not yet the best of all possible worlds. And in this distressingly “real” world, we must all still calculate according to what is, and not to what might have been, or what might even someday come to pass.

Complex questions arise. How, then, shall we Jews survive in such a world, both as individuals and as citizens or supporters of the always existentially-imperiled Jewish State? Still wishing, somehow, that the non-Jewish world will finally and fully acknowledge his or her common humanity, the individual Jew has hoped for millennia that a more empathetic pattern of interpersonal interaction would ultimately emerge. Similarly, since 1948, the State of Israel has tried, again and again and again, to impress its relentlessly hostile Arab and Iranian neighbors with the promisingly cosmopolitan vision of a shared humanity. To no avail.

Sadly, anti-Semitism is now feverishly resurgent throughout the real world, and hatred of Israel – of the individual Jew in macrocosm – is altogether virulent, widespread and (considering the spread of various weapons of mass destruction) both ominous and eerily reminiscent.

Now, of course, the principal dangers are spawned by assorted elements of Islam. In Islamic parlance, as dictated by the Shari’a, the world remains divided in two: The World of Islam (dar-al-Islam) and the World of War (dar al-Harb). Within the World of Islam, Muslims rule and the law of Islam prevails. In the World of War, which comprises the rest of the world, constant struggle against the unbeliever is morally, legally and religiously obligatory.

From the standpoint of Israel’s Islamic enemies, no political compromise is ever possible. Absolutely no conclusion to the struggle between “worlds” can be acceptable short of a final and total military victory. Islamic law permits a state of war to be interrupted when an armistice or treaty of limited duration would be expedient. But the state of belligerency can never be terminated permanently by any peace that is not founded upon a final defeat of the always-despised enemy.

Jihad calls upon all those who have accepted Allah’s message and Allah’s word to strive (jahada) to convert or to subjugate those who have resisted conversion. In reference to Israel, this presumably sacred obligation is not bound by limits of either space or time. Indeed, this obligation is mandated to continue until the entire world has embraced Islam, or has at least until it has submitted to the power of Islamic states.

For Islam, the unsubjugated unbeliever – especially the Jew – is by definition, the enemy. A part of the dar al-Harb, the World of War, he is differentiated sharply from the dhimmi, the compliant unbeliever who agrees to submit to Islamic rule. As for a Jewish State, and one that even has the audacity to rule over Muslims while it “occupies” [what Muslims claim as] “Muslim” lands, this is absolutely nothing less than the very incarnation of evil – hence an intolerable source of contamination, and a codified inversion of divine will. Such a state is seen fit only for “liquidation” (significantly, a term that literally remains in widespread use with particular and special regard to Israel).

When Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, spoke together with Hitler on Berlin Radio in 1942, he cried out voluptuously: “Kill the Jews – kill them with your hands, kill them with your teeth – this is well-pleasing to Allah.” Today the grotesque Palestinian call for annihilation of Israel still remains at many websites and publications, and the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) still calls for the “realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, killing them.'”

Copyright © the Jewish Press, April 3, 2009. All rights reserved

LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is author of many books and articles dealing with Israeli security matters and international law. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for THE JEWISH PRESS, and was Chair of Project Daniel.

About the Author: Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘Are You Meshuga?': Jewish Survival In A Crazy World (A Column in Two Parts)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.
Bibi Seals Nationalist Policy with Dore Gold Heading Foreign Ministry
Latest Indepth Stories
Pope Francis at the Western. Is he praying there should not be too many Catholics in the world?

Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims

Former US Senator, Joe Lieberman

The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR

israeli-american flags

Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

Israeli-flag

U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/are-you-meshuga-jewish-survival-in-a-crazy-world-a-column-in-two-parts/2009/04/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: