When The Ship Of State Comes Apart: On Israel, Horatian Metaphor And The Post- ‘Palestine’ Middle East
Latest update: January 10th, 2013
O ship of state, new waves push you
Out to sea. Why stand there? Hurry,
Hurry to port! Can’t you see?
Your oars are gone….
Horace was born in 65 BCE, and died in 8 BCE. His ode (I, 14) on the “Ship of State” pertains to ancient Rome, but it might just as well refer to Israel after “Palestine”. Sailing without oars, the Jewish State still flounders without direction, adrift, obeisant to Washington.
Although security issues are serious enough for Israel without a 23rd enemy Arab state, the creation of Palestine wouldrepresent an irreversible error. Moreover, heaving around and around the shining Cyclades, Israel’s fatal embrace of a Palestinian state would also bode ill for the United States.
The ship of Israel, though built of noble timber, and from sturdy forests, can hardly hold together. Its sails are badly shredded. What has happened?
More than anything else, Israel, revealing an inexcusable irony, has incessantly sought direction from misguided friends and from sworn enemies. With “disengagement” from Gaza, Israel had already begun to hand over the ship’s tiller to new captains, some of whom were literally dying to sink the ship.
Soon, as Israeli police and soldiers prepare to evict thousands of Jews from Judea/Samaria in compliance with the “Peace Process,” Palestine will become the locus of authentic mega-terrorism against both Israeli and American cities.
The ship of Israel now sails without a compass. Where once every Israeli understood an absolutely sacred post-Holocaust obligation to survive as a State and as a People, this primary understanding has now given way in several quarters to the agendas of “post-Zionism.”
Embarrassed by the inconvenient and all-too-conspicuous faith of their fathers, Israeli architects of Palestine would have no real use for a seaworthy Jewish ship of state. Instead, seeking the approval of an “international community” − that is, a world that still has no real use for Jews − they would discover only the “peace” of Hamas.
Taking a page from the advanced theoretical economics of Shimon Peres, a president who proudly claims “no use for history,” Jewish supporters of a “Two-State Solution” still argue that Palestinian social and economic development will compel a true harmony. What they fail to understand is that the deepest explanations of Israel’s existential predicament lie not in Marx, but in Freud.
Outside its own borders, Israel’s enemies − nurtured and encouraged by post-Zionist anti-thinkers in Israeli, American and European universities − are now creating a new terror state. Palestine would be a country not only committed to Israel’s complete destruction, but also one (the only one) for which another Jewish genocide would define its very raison d’etre.
With his persistent capitulations on Palestine, Prime Minister Olmert pushes Israel toward a ludicrously squalid disappearance. The Road Map portends a catastrophic and preventable shipwreck. This twisted cartography draws succor from the most indecent forms of complicity. It lacks even a residual shred of Jewish dignity.
Outside its borders, Israel’s enemies, especially in Iran, Syria and Egypt, prepare relentlessly for war. While Mr. Olmert continues to fall cheerfully on his knees, bowing steeply before the entirely clueless American “decider,” many Arab/Islamic leaders now merely redouble their efforts to crash a sinking Jewish ship. Revolted by Israel’s effectively shameless pleadings, these leaders are all the more committed to ridding the region of a rusting vessel.
Once upon a time, Israel’s armed forces took essential preemptive initiatives, preventing certain enemy states from reaching any point of clear military primacy. But the future of Israeli preemption and survival is far less certain. Following the blatant American failure to articulate a viable strategic doctrine, Israel may yet allow Iran to go fully nuclear.
Should this happen, and should Mr. Olmert ignore the lifesaving imperatives of “anticipatory self-defense,” Israel would be threatened not only from the new terror state of Palestine, but also from an enemy state with the openly declared intention and capacity to inflict another Final Solution.
Ehud Olmert, yet another prime ministerial devotee of imagined seamanship, is preparing to hand the tiller to Israel’s foes. The People of Israel, still largely accepting the contrived enthusiasms of Government mendacity, venture farther and farther from safe harbors. Content with national servility − before their internal enemies, their external enemies, and even their “friends”− many Israelis contemplate their botched geopolitical seamanship with a strange and ominous equanimity. Yet, only if they should emerge from this weakened condition before Palestine actually comes into being, can the ship of state stay afloat.
Copyright© The Jewish Press, April 25, 2008. All rights Reserved.
LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971). He understands that Oslo and the Road Map are obvious mothers of Palestine, and that Palestine is the final Arab/Islamic “solution” to the Israel Question. Professor Beres has published ten major books dealing with international relations and international law. His work is well known to military and intelligence communities in Washington and Jerusalem. Professor Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.
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.
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