In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
In other words, one cannot conscript biblical ethics and morality on behalf of a political cause – even if doing so makes one feel righteous and moral ? until one can at least show credibly that the cause would indeed resolve or alleviate real-world problems.
The PC biblical poseurs are too lazy to go out and actually acquire the analytic tools needed for assessing policy proposals. Learning economics, statistics, cost/benefits accounting, etc., requires effort and investment. The PC posturers prefer to practice effortless recreational compassion and armchair peacemaking.
Besides, the very first thing one learns in social science and in policy analysis is that all things have tradeoffs. That is the one truth with which leftist biblical poseurs and other PC preachers simply cannot cope. If a policy proposal has both costs and benefits (and which does not?) there is no way that selective scriptural quotation and appeals to ‘Prophetic Ethics’ can resolve the dilemma.
If a proposal to improve the quality of the environment also produces higher food prices or higher energy or transportation prices and so impacts living standards (especially for the poor), what is one to do?
Should the proposal be adopted or rejected in the name of justice and ethics? Social science has a tool for answering such dilemmas (namely, cost/benefits evaluation). Those who issue vague and highly generalized appeals to biblical ethics do not.
Similarly, one cannot rationalize any policy in the name of the Prophetic love of peace unless it can first be shown to produce peace. The Oslo ‘peace formula’ cannot be rationalized by an appeal to the biblical yearning for peace – unless it can be shown analytically to lead truly to peace. Those who think the Oslo process does not lead to peace are not only justified – they are obligated – to oppose it, precisely because of their yearning for peace and their ethical concerns.
Opponents of the Oslo process are no less fond of peace than its politically correct supporters, just more skeptical or analytically dissident. (For the sake of argument, I am intentionally ignoring those sections of scripture that seem to rule out territorial compromise in the Land of Israel altogether, even for peace.)
In some cases the PC Bible thumpers take positions in such clear contradiction to the scriptural ethics they claim to uphold that one does not know whether to laugh or cry. For example, not only is there no biblical case for ‘animal rights’ (although the humane treatment of animals is indeed mandated), but one of the most clear-cut messages of the Bible is that human interests always take priority over those of animals.
It?s true that the Bible does not explicitly prohibit vegetarianism, but there is absolutely nothing therein that mandates it, and much rabbinic commentary is concerned with the rules of kosher slaughter and diet.
Another example: While there is a clear biblical basis for charity, it is equally clear that the emphasis is on individual charitable acts over which the giver exercises control, choice and personal responsibility.
There is nothing that can be interpreted as mandating a massive welfare state that deprives individuals of control over their property; indeed, a good deal of biblical and rabbinic law concerns the protection and preservation of private property rights. The main rules of mandatory income-distribution regard funding Levites and priests.
Finally, it should be abundantly clear to anyone reading the Bible, even superficially, that ‘Prophetic Ethics’ are premised upon and augment – and in many cases are thought to be a means for achieving, protecting and developing – Jewish national existence and national self-interest. (Contrast this with the recent fatwa by Tikkun’s ‘Rabbi’ Lerner that the jubilee laws mean Israel has to give ‘back’ its lands to the Palestinians.)
The very same Jewish politically correct Bible thumpers who argue that ‘Prophetic Ethics’ mandate the Left’s political agenda are generally the first to distance themselves from (if not outright denounce) all acts and ideas designed to promote and protect Jewish national existence and national interests.
The hypocritical enthusiasm for ‘Prophetic Ethics’ on the part of the PC Bible thumpers is best understood as part of the overall trend of Jewish assimilation in North America. Liberalism has been the main avenue of assimilation for North American Jews. In effect, assimilationist Jews long ago substituted the liberal/left political agenda for Judaism as their religion. They are as zealously attached to this pseudo-religion as most Jews in the past were to authentic Judaism.
Like all religious beliefs, this devotion to liberalism is by definition non-rational. Assimilated Jews adhere to this religion of liberalism even when it is clearly harmful to their own self- interests, as in the case of the racial preference policy euphemistically known as affirmative action. They ignore violent anti-Semitism when it contradicts their new religion, as in the case of black anti-Semitism and Afro-fascism.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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How far the PA will go to present the lie as the truth and the truth as a lie? Its claim that Jesus was a Palestinian is old hat. But now the “resurrection” also refers to “the Palestinian state.”
The progressive consolidation imagines that organization can contain the messier side of man.
The Russian Yakhont missiles already delivered to Syria threaten Israel Navy ships carrying out vital missions in the Mediterranean.
America could be said to be building a united front against Iran, but at what price?
The Japanese do not feel the need to apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam.
Palestinian youths from Hebron, though, who met with Israelis near Bethlehem to share their problems and insights have been forced to issue a statement distancing themselves from the meeting.
Benghazi isn’t likely to keep Hillary out of the Democratic field in 2016, but after 2008, she is justifiably paranoid.
The contractors received the land at a bargain basement price, moved the prices up to 1.8 million NIS and pocketed one million NIS per apartment.
Many of my fellow college students are quick to voice their acceptance of their LGBT friends, but they turn up their noses and frown slightly when they speak of a Hasid.
The growing revelations that the Obama State Department watered down public statements on the attack in order to cleanse them of any mention of al Qaeda and terrorism is a travesty.
We must confront Islamist groups with what Prime Minister David Cameron referred to as “muscular liberalism.”
Al-Qaradawi’s visit and statements also serve as a reminder that the Israeli-Arab conflict is centered, more than ever, around religion.
Everyone who reads newspapers should know at least one thing. Threats to annihilate Israel have always been unremarkable. Almost never, it seems, have Israel’s existential enemies sought any reason for concealment.
Mark Treyger, a candidate for city council in New York City’s 47th council district, met recently with the editorial board of The Jewish Press at the newspaper’s Boro Park office.
Israel’s government did not want to liberate Jerusalem. Or to be more specific, the Labor and National Religious Party ministers did not want to liberate Jerusalem. “Who needs that whole Vatican?” Defense Minister Moshe Dayan explained at the time.
April 16, 2013
Dear Mr. President,
My heartfelt sympathies to you and the American people for the acts of protest carried out in Boston this week during the Boston Marathon. This really is a wake-up call for us all.
Honest Abe used exactly the same blockade tactic against the Confederacy over which the Israeli Left is now sobbing its eyes out.
Quick. Name all the Israeli parties that did not run in the recent election on a platform focusing on lowering the price of housing and the cost of living. After that, name all the Israeli parties who understand what has produced the rapid increase in housing prices and have a plan for coping with them and lowering them.
There is a widespread misconception that the Middle East conflict is complicated. In fact, it is really rather simple.
Indeed, one can basically summarize and explain the entire conflict in the context of the words “occupation” or “occupied territories” and people’s beliefs about the effects of such “occupation.”
In 1999, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his first go-round as prime minister, lost his reelection bid to Ehud Barak, much to the delight of Israel’s conscripted media and of many in its judicial system.
There is a species of radical leftist that believes the main purpose of taxpayer-funded universities is to indoctrinate students in radical left-wing ideology. Such people believe the only legitimate form of scholarly research and teaching is to force upon students the ideas and agendas of the left because only these represent correct thinking.
It is now official. Rachel Corrie, patron saint of the pro-terror radical left and its Islamofascist allies, essentially committed suicide in order to assist Palestinian terrorists. She was not killed in cavalier fashion by Israel. Israel had no particular reason to want her dead (as opposed to deported).
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