The following is the original text of an important lecture delivered by Professor Louis Rene Beres to the Dayan Forum, Israel, on March 11, 1994 (Ambassador Zalman Shoval, presiding). It remains entirely relevant today, especially with Israeli Prime Minister Olmert's: (1) recent release of Palestinian terrorists as a "goodwill gesture;" (2) the Prime Minister's equally incomprehensible support of one murderous terrorist faction (Fatah) against another (Hamas); and his corollary commitment to the altogether twisted cartography of a markedly one-sided "Road Map."
We Jews know a terrorist when we see one. Surely we don't need the elegant refinements of international law to help us distinguish a suicide bomber from a freedom fighter. If it looks like a duck Nothing could possibly be easier to understand.
Jorge Luis Borges sometimes happily identified himself as a sort of Jew. Although without any apparent basis in Halachah, he obviously felt himself a deeply kindred spirit: "Many a time I think of myself as a Jew," he is quoted in Willis Barnstone's Borges At Eighty: Conversations (1982), "but I wonder whether I have the right to think so. It may be wishful thinking."
Israel and the United States still think of counter-terrorism as a narrowly military and geopolitical task. What both fail to realize is that Arab/Islamic terrorism in general, and Palestinian terrorism in particular, are driven by religious notions of sacrifice. As these notions are common to both Fatah and Hamas, the developing Bush/Rice/Olmert plan to aid the former against the latter is misconceived. This plan will fail promptly and calamitously. Othman Abu Gharbiya, Deputy Chief of the National and Political Guidance Bureau of Fatah (Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May9, 1998)
Seeking to strengthen Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after the Hamas triumph in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert now intends to free many Fatah terrorists. "As a gesture of good will towards the Palestinians," Mr. Olmert announced at the Sharm El-Sheik summit with Abbas and the leaders of Egypt and Jordan, "I will bring before the Israeli Cabinet a proposal to free 250 Fatah prisoners who do not have blood on their hands." There should be no problem, he continued, because the Fatah men "must sign a commitment not to return to violence."
It is essential today, that the Begin Doctrine be reinvigorated and declared. Now, just as during the Second World War, Jews face the threat of mass murder because of nuclear weapons. Now, however, the danger is not that these weapons will be used by a genocidal state against other states to acquire physical custody over Jewish bodies. Instead, it is directed against that single state which was expressly created for the eternal protection of these Jewish bodies.
After uncovering Nazi Germany's vast kingdom of death at the end of World War II, the victorious allies drafted a special charter for an international military tribunal at Nuremberg. Concluded on August 8, 1945, this document defined "crimes against humanity" as uniquely egregious acts that are designed to eradicate entire groups of people.
Repeatedly, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Chief Mohammed al-Baradei has urged Israel to accept nuclear disarmament and join a Middle East "nuclear-weapon-free zone." Although this official proposal sounds perfectly reasonable and even-handed in principle, it would, in fact, lead quickly to Israel's final demise. Still surrounded by states and terror groups openly committed to its annihilation, Israel must soon remind the world, that it has an absolutely fundamental right of self-preservation.
Despite altogether unimagined transformations of weapons technologies, some ancient principles of warfare remain entirely valid. Founded upon the essentially persistent nature of human behavior in organized conflict, these principles can be ignored only at great strategic risk. For the always-imperiled state of Israel, there is especially much to be learned from certain elements of past thought. This includes the unchanging requirements of national survival.
First published here almost one year ago, Professor Beres' column about Prime Minister Olmert's devastating policy errors was a warning unheeded. Written even before the 2006 Lebanon War fiasco, it takes on new and especially urgent meanings following the scathing report by Israel's Winograd Commission.
Religious Extremism And International Legal Norms Perfidy, Irrationality And Preemption (Conclusion)
Another term that appears in the title of my remarks is "irrationality." I have noted before − per Rene Girard − that violence need not necessarily be irrational.
Religious Extremism And International Legal Norms Perfidy, Irrationality And Preemption (Second Of Three...
By itself, violence is not necessarily irrational. In the words of Rene Girard, whose book Violence And The Sacred should be the underlying text of all that we do here today, it sometimes "does have its reasons."
Religious Extremism And International Legal Norms Perfidy, Irrationality And Preemption (First of Three Parts)
The French dramatist and diplomat, Jean Giraudoux, inquires in one of his plays (Sodome et Gomorrhe): "C'est beau, n'est-ce pas, la fin dumonde?" ("It is beautiful, isn't it, the end of the world?")
'Faced with imminent and existential attacks, Israel − properly taking its cue from The National Security Strategy of the United States of America − could decide to preempt enemy aggression with conventional forces.
"The horror, the horror," mumbles the Marlon Brando character in the film, Apocalypse Now. How thin, he reflects, is the veneer of our planetary civilization. How entirely inadequate, he understands, are the unsteady fences that protect us from humankind's most ruinous inclinations.
One would think, certainly by now, that foolish optimism about Iran should have been swept completely away. One would now assume, with altogether good reason, that Iran has absolutely no intention of abandoning its nuclear program, and that it does not display markedly genocidal stripes only for Islamic public consumption.
Good morning. Thank you, John (Loftus) and Bob [Dr. Robert Katz). The conference main theme is in essence: Our individual and collective survival amidst growing global chaos. With this in mind, the Irish poet Yeats reminds us: "The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned."
"The more things change," goes the well-worn maxim, "the more they remain the same." Readers of The Jewish Press are already well acquainted with now incessant Iranian calls for the annihilation of Israel. What might not be so apparent, however, is that such calls to "wipe Israel off the map" constitute a serious crime under international law.
On its face, it would surely be foolish to blame Daimler-Chrysler's extraordinary woes on the very dark history of Daimler-Benz. On its face, the combined company's deep decline is manifestly a function of bad economic judgments. After all, from the very start, the 1998 decision by Germany's Daimler-Benz to merge with Chrysler simply made no financial sense.
Now that Israel is again being pressured to follow a self-destructive "Road Map," a 23rd Arab state called Palestine is again in the process of being born. One serious but largely unforeseen effect of this grotesque birth (one in which only a gravedigger could wield the forceps) is greatly diminished "strategic depth" for Israel. Consequently there is a heightened probability of both conventional and unconventional war.