Jorge Luis Borges, the very special Argentine writer and philosopher, sometimes identified himself as a Jew. Although lacking any apparent basis in halacha, he clearly felt himself to be a 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.”
“Everything in this world exudes crime,” says Baudelaire, “the newspapers, the walls, and the face of man.” But this “face” does not belong solely to what classic seventeenth-century international law scholar Hugo Grotius called “men of deplorable wickedness.”
Everyone who has taught international law, or written about it, knows that the idea of crisis in actually inherent in the subject. More than anything else, this crisis, this continuing or protracted dilemma, is one of efficacy, of effectiveness.
The following article by Professor Beres and Colonel (Israel Defense Forces) Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto was originally published in the April 18, 2007 issue of The Jewish Press. Its warnings and predictions concerning a nuclear Iran have been proven unassailable.
According to ancient Jewish tradition, one that certain Talmudists trace back to the time of Isaiah, the world rests upon thirty-six just men, the Lamed-Vav tzaddikim.
We have seen this movie before. Already, Herman Cain is off the front pages, but there will remain readily accessible political scandals to enjoy in the wings. Ironically, whatever the particulars of these chronic humiliations, all of them will commonly disclose far more serious shortcomings about their "audience" than about their subjects.
Even if the Palestinian Authority were to succeed with its strategy for incremental statehood at the United Nations, persisting expressions of violence against the innocent would still be terrorism.
“La commedia ė finita!” (“The comedy is finished!") – Pagliacci After so many unpardonable years of deception and self-delusion concerning Iranian nuclear intentions, the IAEA has confirmed the worst.
Soon, at least meteorologically, the Arab Spring will become an “Arab Winter. It will also be an apt change of metaphor. After all, from the standpoint of civilizational vulnerabilities to jihadist terror, nothing will have been improved.
Before the end of the year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, though weakened by Hamas’s control of the recent Gilad Shalit deal with Israel, may still seek UN recognition of Palestinian statehood.
Even if Iran and the Arab enemies of Israel were not in a declared condition of belligerence with the Jewish state, Israel's preemptive action could still be entirely law-enforcing.
At the conclusion of the recent [Editor’s Note: the first] Gulf War [Operation Desert Storm], the Bush administration announced plans to sell Saudi Arabia, a country of six million inhabitants, an arms package including over 500 tanks, 48 F-15 fighter planes, Apache helicopter gunships, more than 30 Patriot batteries, tens of thousands of armored vehicles, multiple rocket-launchers and command/control systems.
As the continuing flow of new missiles to Iran reveals, the Bush administration [Editors Note: This refers to first President Bush] remains committed to misconceived policies in the Middle East. Even if Israel were to yield West Bank and Gaza to create a new state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, the government in Tehran would persist in its planned aggressions against the Jewish state. Altogether unconcerned with the fate of the Palestinians, this government can be satisfied only by Israel's disappearance.
At a moment when Israel is under new daily assaults from the international community, especially from the Palestinian Authority and its oddly eager mentors at the United Nations, it is worth noting that there is a discernible and continuous pattern here of legal double-standards.
Israel, in the fashion of every nation, positively shrinks from annihilation. How could it be otherwise?
Generally, the Israeli is despised in the Islamic world because he or she is a Jew, a condition of presumed infirmity that can never be "remedied." Consider the following facts:
Oddly enough, even Shimon Peres, the unrelenting Israeli champion of a "two state solution" in the Middle East, initially identified Palestinian statehood as an existential threat to Israel. In his book, Tomorrow is Now (1978), Peres had warned: "The establishment of such a state means the inflow of combat-ready Palestinian forces into Judea and Samaria (West Bank); this force, together with the local youth, will double itself in a short time. It will not be short of weapons or other military equipment, and in a short space of time, an infrastructure for waging war will be set up in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip . In time of war, the frontiers of the Palestinian state will constitute an excellent staging point for mobile forces to mount attacks on infrastructure installations vital for Israel's existence ."
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, even while it is still alive. Merely hanging ominously over the head of the vulnerable creature it can choose to kill at any moment, poised lasciviously to destroy breath in what it has somehow "graciously" allowed, if only for a few more moments, to breathe; this force indelicately mocks the fragile life it intends to consume.
Jorge Luis Borges, the very special Argentine writer and philosopher, sometimes quite happily identified himself as a sort of Jew. Although lacking any apparent basis in halacha, he nonetheless felt himself to be 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."
Sometimes, as I have asserted from time to time in this column, seeing requires distance. Now, suffocating daily in political and economic rants from both the Right and the Left, we Americans must promptly confront a critical need to look beyond the historical moment, to seek both meaning and truth behind the news. There, suitably distant from the endlessly adrenalized jumble of current fears and concerns, we could finally understand the timeless struggle of individual against mass, of the singular person against the "crowd."