web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Resisting War, Terrorism, And Genocide (Third of Three Parts)


Beres-Louis-Rene

Let us be candid. We live in a world where the impassioned writings of Jewish writers and philosophers ring truer than the ethereal dialogues of Plato. This is a world in which unreason trumps rationality and where survival is routinely dependent upon accepting what is evidently absurd. No change of power in Washington or Jerusalem can ever change any of this.

Sisyphus fully understood that his rock would never stay put at the summit of the mountain. He labored nonetheless. He did not surrender.

Like Sisyphus, Israel must finally learn to understand that its own “rock,” the agonizingly heavy stone of national security and international normalcy, may never stay put at the summit. Yet still it must struggle to push upward. It must continue to labor against the ponderous weight, if for no other reason than simply to continue.

For Israel, true heroism, and perhaps even true fulfillment of its unique mission among the nations, lies in recognizing something beyond all normal understanding: Endless pain and insecurity are not necessarily unbearable, and must sometimes be borne with faith and equanimity. Failing such a tragic awareness, the government of Israel will continue to grasp at illusory peace prospects, and thus to usher in repeatedly false dawns.

Israel is not Sisyphus, nor is there any reason to believe Israel must necessarily endure without experiencing personal and collective satisfactions. Ever aware that its titanic struggle toward recurring summits may lack even a definable moment of “success” – that these summits may never be truly scaled – the Jewish state can still learn that the struggle itself may carry incomparable benefits. Even a seemingly absurd struggle can have its notable accomplishments, its unheralded blessings, and its more or less palpable rewards.

Newly tolerant of an almost intolerable ambiguity, and consciously surviving without any “normal” hopes of completion and clarity, the people of Israel could potentially achieve both spiritual and survival benefits in their personal and collective lives. Importantly, their now enlarged lucidity could immunize them from the demeaning, and possibly lethal, lures of more “ordinary” nations.

Israel’s understandable but fevered search for a solution has led it down a path of despair, and perhaps even toward a genuine “sickness unto death.” For Israel, all basic truth must ultimately emerge from paradox.

In the end, to survive into the future, Israel’s only real choice will be to keep rolling the rock upward.

Unlike Sisyphus, Israel and its people can still enjoy great achievements and satisfactions along the way. But, like Sisyphus, all of Israel must ultimately recognize that its individual and collective life may require an authentically tragic and unending struggle.

For Israel, there is a hidden but sincere consolation in all of this. True tragedy does not denigrate. It exalts.

About the Author: Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.


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.

2 Responses to “Resisting War, Terrorism, And Genocide (Third of Three Parts)”

  1. Hoshea 14:1-9 is appropriate for a reflection by Israel now. All Israel.✡ ♥ ✡ ♥ ✡ I love Israel. GOD loves Israel. But Israel needs come back to her Savior, The Rock of Ages, The Eternal.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This commentary is brilliant and accurate. ISRAEL needs to seriously disengage herself from the political determinations of the USA, and apply herself to doing what is in her OWN interests, particularly regarding terror attacks. The USA'S meddling in foreign affairs throughout the world is ONLY for her OWN interests in OIL, OPIUM, and other resources, or control of other nation-states and NEVER for the people, as IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN clearly showed.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Rafael's Spike anti-tank missile launcher.
India to buy $525 Million in Israeli Anti-Tank Missiles
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres
Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Louis Rene Beres

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.

An undifferentiated or across-the-board commitment to nuclear ambiguity could prove harmful to Israel’s’s overall security.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/resisting-war-terrorism-and-genocide-third-of-three-parts/2012/11/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: