Since the presentation of our original Project Daniel document to Prime Minister Sharon on January 16, 2003 (it remained secret until this past May), there have been a few relatively minor "victories" in the effort to control WMD proliferation among Israel's enemies.
Apocalypse, of course, was pretty much a Jewish invention (at least if you ignore ancient Persia and the Zoroastrians), and there is certainly an apocalyptic element in Chicago's own Saul Bellow.
With Pertinent Policy Recommendations For The President of the United States
One of the most elementary principles of law is known as Nullum Crimen Sine Poena: "No crime without a punishment." Stemming from at least three separate passages of the Torah (Exod. 21:22-25; Lev. 24:17-21; Deut. 19:19-21), the Lex Talionis or "law of exact retaliation" was absolutely integral to the Nuremberg Trial and judgment.
Zalman Shoval served two terms as Israel's Ambassador to the United States. Although I had made his personal acquaintance only briefly during his first term in Washington (1990-1993), it was immediately apparent that Ambassador Shoval was bringing a markedly favorable presence to Israel's embassy.
Modern civilization has a terrible momentum, a frighteningly breathless rhythm that prods us all to forget what is genuinely important. "The end of all this delirium," wrote the philosopher Jacques Maritain, "is to prevent man from remembering G-d." An important new book by Israeli thinker Asher Keren, "A Time For Change," reflects similar concerns.
"The mass," said the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset in 1930, "crushes beneath it everything that is different, everything that is excellent, individual, qualified and select." Today, in deference to the Many, the intellectually and culturally unambitious mass not only celebrates the commonplace (which it has been taught to do), it openly proclaims and spreads our American epoch of engineered mediocrity as an enviable form of democracy.
Ravaged by excess - of consumption and commodities rather than of understanding - America now lives anxiously in crowds. This is naturally pleasing to politicians of all persuasions, for whom herding the people together where they cannot think is always "good."
Speaking recently to Yediot Aharonot, an Israeli newspaper, Israel's Chief of General Staff commented that withdrawal from the Golan Heights would not endanger Israel's security. According to Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) could defend the country's borders even if a political decision were taken to leave the 620-square mile strategic plateau.
Medieval maps typically portrayed Jerusalem at the center of the world. From the standpoint of nuclear strategy and world peace, such a portrayal has exceptional validity today. Confronted with relentlessly genocidal state and non-state enemies, some of which energetically seek weapons of mass destruction, Israel must now quickly fashion a coherent and pragmatic strategic doctrine. Recognizing this urgent requirement, the Project Daniel Group undertook to prepare its unprecedented Final Report to the Prime Minister.
We in Israel need Nefesh B'Nefesh. Every time this organization brings in another planeload of olim, the welcome is so uplifting, the arrival is so exciting, the emotional high is so stimulating, that several old-timers go to the airport ceremonies just to be reminded how important American and Canadian aliyah is.
Last week, we considered Project Daniel's recommendations concerning Israel's preemption and nuclear warfighting doctrines. The Group strongly endorsed the Prime Minister's acceptance of a broad concept of defensive first-strikes, but just as strongly advised against using his undisclosed nuclear arsenal for anything but essential deterrence.
My prior column in this special series dealt with the existential threat to Israel. To best deal with this multifaceted threat, Project Daniel recommended to Prime Minister Sharon that Israel do everything possible to prevent a coalition of enemy states from coming into possession of mass destruction weapons, and that this effort be undertaken while Israel continues with its longstanding policy of nuclear ambiguity.
Two events that seemed to fit the days before Tisha B'Av happened recently.
My previous column in the Project Daniel series dealt with Israel's survival problem in a world of increasing chaos and anarchy. Recalling apt images of the Irish poet Yeats, of a world wherein "the blood-dimmed tide is loosed," and where "the ceremony of innocence is drowned," we must now quickly acknowledge that certain current threats to Israel are profoundly existential.
In the concluding paragraphs of our Project Daniel Final Report, Israel's Strategic Future, we identify a number of critical policy issues that need substantial further study. The first of these issues is described as "the growing anarchy in world affairs." What does it mean to live amidst such anarchy? What are the expected implications for secure and predictable international relations?
My prior column dealt with some of the precise ways in which a nuclear war might actually begin between Israel and its enemies. From the standpoint of preventing such a war, it is essential that Israel now protect itself with suitable policies of preemption, defense and deterrence.
Israel's survival problem is basically as follows: A small state, indeed a microstate that is less than half the size of Lake Michigan, is surrounded by several openly-genocidal enemy states - some of which still seek biological and/or nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
My previous column on Project Daniel considered the dire consequences of a nuclear war in the Middle East, an almost unimaginable scenario of devastation and suffering that Israel must carefully avoid. It was the spectre of precisely such a scenario that first gave rise to Project Daniel.
I live in a settlement. I wonder when my turn to be expelled will come. The Israeli government encouraged me to move here.