Today we think of Fallujah as the site of ongoing battles between courageous American forces and assorted enemy fighters. But back on the last day of March of this year, Fallujah was briefly known for the manifestly unheroic behavior of its Arab/Islamic combatants. Then it was the place where Islamic insurgents openly dramatized their long-cherished practice of desecrating the dead.
Ayatollah Khomeini, in the foreword to his book on Islamic government, offered remarks which are today still taken as the dominant and incontestable orthodoxy in Iran: "The Islamic Movement was afflicted by the Jews from its very beginnings, when they began their hostile activity...."
Israel may learn from history. Volume III of Plutarch's "Sayings of Spartain Mothers" reveals the Spartan mother as one who rears her sons for sacrifice on the altar of civic necessity.
Arafat is gone, but the "Road Map" remains. Indeed, regarding Israel's continuance in the Middle East, absolutely nothing has changed in the Palestinian Authority or in the Arab world generally. Notwithstanding President Bush's explicit plea for a "Two State Solution," the PA and its allies still see only one state. This State of Palestine would include all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and ALL of the rest of Israel.
Even now - after Arafat, after thousands of Israeli men, women and children have been systematically dismembered, burned and mutilated by the most barbaric terrorist movement in recent memory - much of the world remains willfully impervious to geopolitical truth.
Every four years, it seems, we Americans must display infinite forbearance in the face of irrepressible foolishness. Transforming all serious meaning into manipulation and marketing, our presidential election process has now been reduced to an endless barrage of numbing cliches and empty witticisms.
International law is not a suicide pact. As Iranian nuclearization heats up to a point of no return, Israel's leaders will soon have to make vitally important decisions on launching defensive first strikes. Faced with an existentially hostile regime in Tehran, these leaders cannot now be expected to simply sit back and wait for this regime to deploy atomic weapons. Less than half the size of Lake Michigan, Israel's "wiggle room" in strategic survival matters is profoundly limited.
A Speech Presented to Purdue University's Homeland Security Institute Published Exclusively In The Jewish Press (Part One)
Since the presentation of our original Project Daniel document to Prime Minister Sharon on January 16, 2003 (it remained secret until this past May), there have been a few relatively minor "victories" in the effort to control WMD proliferation among Israel's enemies.
Iranian Nuclearization And Israel’s ‘Arrow’ Implications For A Preemption Option (Second of TwoParts)
With Pertinent Policy Recommendations For The President of the United States
Neither President Bush nor Senator Kerry addressed an absolutely key issue of current American foreign policy in the opening debate.
Apocalypse, of course, was pretty much a Jewish invention (at least if you ignore ancient Persia and the Zoroastrians), and there is certainly an apocalyptic element in Chicago's own Saul Bellow.
With Pertinent Policy Recommendations For The President of the United States
One of the most elementary principles of law is known as Nullum Crimen Sine Poena: "No crime without a punishment." Stemming from at least three separate passages of the Torah (Exod. 21:22-25; Lev. 24:17-21; Deut. 19:19-21), the Lex Talionis or "law of exact retaliation" was absolutely integral to the Nuremberg Trial and judgment.
Zalman Shoval served two terms as Israel's Ambassador to the United States. Although I had made his personal acquaintance only briefly during his first term in Washington (1990-1993), it was immediately apparent that Ambassador Shoval was bringing a markedly favorable presence to Israel's embassy.
Modern civilization has a terrible momentum, a frighteningly breathless rhythm that prods us all to forget what is genuinely important. "The end of all this delirium," wrote the philosopher Jacques Maritain, "is to prevent man from remembering G-d." An important new book by Israeli thinker Asher Keren, "A Time For Change," reflects similar concerns.
"The mass," said the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset in 1930, "crushes beneath it everything that is different, everything that is excellent, individual, qualified and select." Today, in deference to the Many, the intellectually and culturally unambitious mass not only celebrates the commonplace (which it has been taught to do), it openly proclaims and spreads our American epoch of engineered mediocrity as an enviable form of democracy.
Ravaged by excess - of consumption and commodities rather than of understanding - America now lives anxiously in crowds. This is naturally pleasing to politicians of all persuasions, for whom herding the people together where they cannot think is always "good."
Speaking recently to Yediot Aharonot, an Israeli newspaper, Israel's Chief of General Staff commented that withdrawal from the Golan Heights would not endanger Israel's security. According to Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) could defend the country's borders even if a political decision were taken to leave the 620-square mile strategic plateau.
Medieval maps typically portrayed Jerusalem at the center of the world. From the standpoint of nuclear strategy and world peace, such a portrayal has exceptional validity today. Confronted with relentlessly genocidal state and non-state enemies, some of which energetically seek weapons of mass destruction, Israel must now quickly fashion a coherent and pragmatic strategic doctrine. Recognizing this urgent requirement, the Project Daniel Group undertook to prepare its unprecedented Final Report to the Prime Minister.
Last week, we considered Project Daniel's recommendations concerning Israel's preemption and nuclear warfighting doctrines. The Group strongly endorsed the Prime Minister's acceptance of a broad concept of defensive first-strikes, but just as strongly advised against using his undisclosed nuclear arsenal for anything but essential deterrence.
My prior column in this special series dealt with the existential threat to Israel. To best deal with this multifaceted threat, Project Daniel recommended to Prime Minister Sharon that Israel do everything possible to prevent a coalition of enemy states from coming into possession of mass destruction weapons, and that this effort be undertaken while Israel continues with its longstanding policy of nuclear ambiguity.
My previous column in the Project Daniel series dealt with Israel's survival problem in a world of increasing chaos and anarchy. Recalling apt images of the Irish poet Yeats, of a world wherein "the blood-dimmed tide is loosed," and where "the ceremony of innocence is drowned," we must now quickly acknowledge that certain current threats to Israel are profoundly existential.
In the concluding paragraphs of our Project Daniel Final Report, Israel's Strategic Future, we identify a number of critical policy issues that need substantial further study. The first of these issues is described as "the growing anarchy in world affairs." What does it mean to live amidst such anarchy? What are the expected implications for secure and predictable international relations?
My prior column dealt with some of the precise ways in which a nuclear war might actually begin between Israel and its enemies. From the standpoint of preventing such a war, it is essential that Israel now protect itself with suitable policies of preemption, defense and deterrence.