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."
An international non-Jewish pro-Israel organization has declared: The UN must "reject any resolutions and actions that would violate Israel's legitimate sovereignty over all of Jerusalem."
The onslaught against the Jewish state has begun.In just the past few weeks, Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador, an Egyptian mob stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo and ransacked the premises, and the Palestinians reaffirmed their insistence on seeking UN approval for a unilateral declaration of statehood.
Declaring Palestine. It is a core issue for Israel that has come up in my columns before. But now, the enemy's operational tactics have been changed and fine-tuned. This month, Palestinian Authority leaders will seek formal creation of their independent state via the "good offices" of the United Nations.
For Israel, the prime inheritor of Genesis, an expanding global chaos portends a very unusual, and also ironic, kind of fragility. A relentlessly beleaguered microstate, and always the individual Jew writ large, Israel could become the principal victim of international disorder. In view of the exceptionally far-reaching interrelatedness of all world politics, this could be true even if the actual precipitating events of war and terror would occur elsewhere.
Full gas in neutral. With nearly built-in enmity on the part of the U.S. to the most basic Israeli positions regarding Jerusalem, it is no wonder our efforts to keep Jerusalem continue to run up against so many obstacles.
Continuing turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa signals important and potentially catastrophic transformations. For Israel, the greatest danger stems from the interpenetrating and largely unpredictable effects of war, terrorism and revolution in the region. In essence, these plainly destabilizing effects could spawn an unprecedented and historically unique kind of chaos.
I am a professor of international law. In my columns, therefore, I focus from time to time on distinctly legal aspects of Israel's foreign relations. Nonetheless, I am always deeply attentive to examining these particular aspects within a genuinely realistic geopolitical or geostrategic context.
Next month the Palestinian Authority is planning to seek United Nations recognition of its unilateral declaration of statehood.
The Islamic Waqf rests not in its efforts to rub out all Jewish connections to Jerusalem - so how can we even consider relaxing our efforts to keep the Holy City Jewish?
When on October 6, 1973, Egyptian and Syrian surprise attacks came dangerously close to jeopardizing Israel's survival, it was because of a monumental intelligence failure. Similarly, on January 18, 1991, the scream of air-raid sirens could be heard in every corner of Israel. The Iraqi Scuds that slammed through Tel Aviv and Haifa neighborhoods had caught the country, in the words of a former Israeli intelligence chief, "with its pants down." In the latter case, the only element that saved Israel was Iraq's notably ineffectual warheads. If they had not been so ineffectual, Israel could have suffered profoundly, if not existentially.
After Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation The Endless Futility Of Israel’s ‘Peace Process’ (Fourth Of Five Parts)
Israel's persisting legal obligation to abrogate the Oslo Accords, as we have seen, stemmed from certain peremptory expectations of international law. Israel, however, also has substantial rights of abrogation here that bind its behavior apart from any such expectations. These particular rights derive from the basic doctrine of Rebus sic stantibus.
Who caused Israel's housing shortage? The Left. That sounds demagogic, but here's the reason why:
It's a well-known cliche that Jerusalem is "holy to the three main religions" - and in truth, it is not surprising. After all, the city was first holy to the Jews - and so it was inevitable that the rest of the world would ultimately jump on the bandwagon.
The explicit application of codified restrictions of the laws of war to noninternational-armed conflicts dates back only as far as the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. Recalling, however, that more than treaties and conventions comprise the laws of war, it is also clear that the obligations of jus in bello (justice in war) comprise part of "the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations," and bind all categories of belligerents. Indeed, the Hague Convention IV of 1907 declares, in broad terms, that in the absence of a precisely published set of guidelines in humanitarian international law concerning "unforeseen cases," the preconventional sources of international law govern all belligerency.
After Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation: The Endless Futility Of Israel’s ‘Peace Process’ (Second of Five...
The Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO have always been in violation of international law. Israel, therefore, has always been obligated to abrogate these non-treaty agreements. A comparable argument could be made regarding PLO/PA obligations, but this would make little jurisprudential sense in light of that non-state party's antecedent incapacity to enter into any equal legal arrangement with Israel.
When the recent spontaneous protests against the arrests of Rabbis Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef gave way to official spin, the provocative initiators from the Attorney General's office likely breathed a sigh of relief. Once again, the "enemy" had painted himself into a patently irrelevant corner, and the partisan justice system - growing public disgust with it notwithstanding - remained the only show in town.
Many unanswered questions remain surrounding the fire that broke out in the Jerusalem Forest on Sunday, burning 40 acres and sending four people to the hospital.
After Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation The Endless Futility Of Israel’s ‘Peace Process’ (A Column in Five...
At the end of April 2011, the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Hamas reached a formal reconciliation and unification agreement. At that time, Hamas leader Mahmoud Azhar carefully noted the still-unchanged Hamas platform - "no recognition of Israel, and no negotiation." To be sure, this refractory position will become the de jure and/or de facto position of Fatah as well.
Approximately a year ago, Rabbi Dov Lior, venerated chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba, gave his approbation on a book about the Jewish laws of war, The King's Torah, written by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira. Among other issues, the book deals with the legal ramifications of the Israeli army taking action to kill terrorists even when enemy civilians may also be killed in the process.
In the farthest reaches of northeastern India, a long-lost community is about to fulfill its age-old dream of returning to its ancient homeland, the land of Israel.
After suffering anyenemy nuclear aggression, Israel wouldcertainly respond with a nuclear retaliatory strike. Although nothing is publicly known about Israel's precise targeting doctrine, such a reprisal would most likely be launched against the aggressor's capital city, and/or against similarly high-value urban targets. Understandably, there would be no assurances, in response to this sort of plainly genocidal aggression, that Israel would in any way limit itself to striking back against exclusively military targets.
Israel has taken a significant step this week toward enhancing the Jewish national character of the country. The Cabinet voted to appoint a ministerial committee to approve a uniform Hebrew naming system - not Arabic, not English - for all Jewish locations in the country.
In Israel, a core disagreement has emerged between Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon and former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan.