web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Power And Survival (Second of Two Parts)

Louis Rene Beres

Louis Rene Beres

As I noted here last week, “the situation of survival is the central situation of power. Yet, as the ‘Middle East peace process’ makes Israel’s survival more and more problematic, this enterprise now effectively deprives Israel of its power. Left to proceed, the process will eventually permit Israel’s enemies to enjoy a triumph that still remains cleverly concealed, the conspicuous triumph experienced by certain still-living persons, when confronted by the powerless one who is dying.”

I was referring to the ultimate triumph of power, a presumed victory over death. Israel’s enemies understand this power. Israel does not.

An enemy of Israel, state or non-state, cannot possibly kill as many Israelis as his primal passion for survival may demand. This means, inter alia, that he may seek to induce or direct others to satisfy this passion. As a practical matter, this deflectionary behavior points toward an undeniable impulse for genocide, an inclination that could be actualized, in the future, by resort to higher-order forms of terrorism (chemical/biological/nuclear), and/or unconventional forms of war.

Israel, not quite 70 years old, still has much to learn. But before its leaders can fully understand the true nature of enemy intentions and capabilities, they must first acknowledge the vital connections between power and survival. Once it can be understood that enemy definitions of the former are contingent upon Israel’s loss of the latter, these leaders will be positioned intellectually to take appropriate remedial action.

At the outset, such action must entail a complete reversal of the so-called peace process, a largely self-inflicted wound, which, if left to proceed, would ultimately fulfill the fondest enemy hopes for power over death.

The true goal of Israel’s enemies – a goal furthered measurably by the peace process – is as grotesque as it is unrecognized. It is to be left standing, while Israel has been made to disappear. In essence, these relentless enemies must survive Israel so that Israel does not survive them. They cannot, by this reasoning, survive together.

So long as Israel exists, they cannot meaningfully endure themselves.

So long as Israel is “allowed” to exist, no matter how cooperative it may be, these enemies will not feel safe; they will not feel powerful.

It is time this true goal was recognized. Without such recognition, the dreadful foolishness of prevailing political thought in Israel’s government and universities may well continue to be taken seriously, a circumstance that could have genuinely fatal survival outcomes for the Jewish state.

With such recognition, this lethal foolishness could be revealed widely for what it is, the ill-conceived product of “experts,” of miseducated specialists, and also of politicians who have never had a serious thought or idea in their regrettable professional lives.

What a mistake it is for Israel to believe that Reason governs the world. The true source of governance on this earth is Power, and power is ultimately the conquest of death. This conquest, which displays a zero-sum quality among Israel’s enemies, is not limited to conflicts in the Middle East. Rather, it is a generic matter, a more or less universal effort that is merely made especially manifest between Israel and its enemies.

On this generic matter, one should consider the remark of the Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco (in his Journal in 1966). Describing killing as an affirmation of one’s own survival, Ionesco observed:

I must kill my visible enemy, the one who is determined to take my life, to prevent him from killing me. Killing gives me a feeling of relief, because I am dimly aware that in killing him, I have killed death. My enemy’s death cannot be held against me, it is no longer a source of anguish, if I killed him with the approval of society; that is the purpose of war. Killing is a way of relieving one’s feelings, of warding off one’s own death.”

While Israel’s enemies accept the zero-sum linkages between power and survival, Israel does not. Although this may suggest that Israel stands on a higher moral plane than its enemies, it also places the Jewish state at a marked security disadvantage.

This consequential asymmetry between Israel and its enemies may be addressed by reducing enemy emphases on power-survival connections and/or by Israel placing an increased emphasis on power-survival connections.

The first option is effectively impossible; the second would require extraordinary national excursions from idealism toward realpolitik. Must Israel ultimately become a barbarous state in order to endure? Must it learn to identify true power with its survival over others, a survival that cannot abide the endurance of its enemies?

What is required is not a replication of enemy barbarism, but a policy that recognizes such barbarism as the essential starting point for Israel’s own national security and national defense. With such recognition, the present “peace Process” could be rejected immediately, and an altogether new one, based on Israel’s commitment to “remain standing” at all costs, could be implemented.

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 “Power And Survival (Second of Two Parts)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The White House will free Pollard but bar him from traveling to Israel for five years.
US Won’t Let Pollard Out of Country for Five Years
Latest Indepth Stories

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

J Street is the vanguard (Jewish face)in support of Obama’s Vienna Accords Nuclear Deal with Iran

“I hold the woman’s place over that of men in every fundamental aspect of public and private life.”

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/power-and-survival-second-of-two-parts/2013/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: