It is not just our enemies who show us no mercy and who "love death" who bring us death. The triumph of the absurd (the world of Chelm or the world of Kafka?) can be found also in sober actions of the United Nations.
The story goes something like this. 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 meshugga (crazy)? Can't you see that this is a flesh-and-blood human being?"
War is never far from the minds of prudent Israelis, and prudent operational planning must always look closely at the regional "correlation of forces." Drawn from the military lexicon of the former Soviet Union, this concept is usefully applied as a particular measure of armed forces, from the subunit level to major formations.
Israel now faces grave dangers from Iran, a hostile Islamic state deeply involved in production of nuclear and certain other weapons of mass destruction. In essence, the Jewish State will soon have only two options vis-a-vis Iran: 1) sit tight, do nothing militarily, and hope that deterrence, political agreemeents and/or economic sanctions will prevent Iranian mega-aggression; or 2) strike preemptively against pertinent military targets, thereby expressing what international law calls "anticipatory self-defense."
Taken in isolation, the emerging Palestinian state - a state that is now being forged with the open support of U.S. President George W. Bush - will have no direct bearing on Israel's nuclear posture. Yet, although obviously non-nuclear itself, Palestine could substantially diminish Israel's capacity to wage certain forms of conventional war and could thereby enlarge the Jewish State's incentive to rely on unconventional weapons in particular circumstances.
Truly, there can never be any virtue without memory, and France - it would seem - displays a persistent penchant for forgetting. Now unambiguously aligned with the Arab/Islamic states in global geopolitics, France's staunchly oppositional posture toward Israel is a predictable continuation of official French policy toward the Jews during and immediately after World War II.
How shall we truly understand what happened on the last day of March one year ago, when an Iraqi mob burned, desecrated and hanged four American contractors from a bridge in Fallujah?
Bettelheim, like the Greek poet Homer, understands that the force that does not kill - that does not kill just yet - can turn a human being into stone, into a thing, while it is still alive.
Can the Sharon government protect Israel's citizens? Clearly, "disengagement" will open the door widely to "Palestine." In consequence, once deprived of its remaining strategic depth, Israel will become an irresistibly tempting object for aggression by certain enemy states.
Israel Freeing Arab Terrorists And Surrendering Jewish Land Living Precariously In The Delirium Of...
Writing of the Jews as a "people of solitaries," E.M. Cioran, the most dazzling French philosophical voice since Paul Valery, observes of the Jewish "nation" that this people, "...unsuited to the complacencies of despair, bypassing its age-old fatigue and the conclusions imposed by fate, lives in the delirium of expectation, determined not to learn a lesson from its humiliations...."
It is a familiar story. Israel, with nary a hint of meaningful reciprocity (reinforcing standing government policy of "Land For Nothing"), releases Palestinian terrorist prisoners. This time, in fact, Prime Minister Sharon even threw in amnesty for terrorists not yet apprehended.
A dear friend of mine in Israel, a hard-fighting veteran of all too many wars, was asked to summarize his view of the "disengagement." "What," I inquired, "do you think of the forcible deportation of Jews from Jewish lands in Gaza and parts of Samaria by the government in Jerusalem?"
Israel's nuclear capacity remains undeclared. For now, this is in Israel's overall best interest. In a world where the United States currently expresses serious concerns about nuclearization in Iran and North Korea, it would be inappropriate for Israel to embarrass its major ally by any form of nuclear disclosure.
The new Palestinian Authority "President" hadn't even been sworn in before he criticized the "cycle of violence" in the Middle East. An inaccuracy, to be sure. Mahmoud Abbas knew exactly what he was saying.
A new state of "Palestine" will very likely be carved out of the still-living body of Israel. Supported by the President of the United States, this 23rd Arab state will quickly try to extend, incrementally, even within the "Green Line" boundaries of Israel itself.
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.