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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."
The more things change, the more they remain the same. As I have indicated again and again on these pages, Israel remains the openly declared national and religious object of Arab/Islamic genocide. This term is used here, again, in the literal and jurisprudential sense. It is not merely hyperbole or an exaggerated figure of speech.
War, terrorism and genocide are not mutually exclusive. Now, as certain portions of the Arab/Islamic world openly declare genocidal intentions against Israel (a war of extermination is plainly a genocidal war under international law), some progressive Jews are proudly leading various rallies and/or publications for peace - a peace that could only be fashioned upon a new generation of Jewish corpses. Here, in the United States, and regrettably, also in Israel, Jewish university professors are all-too typically the leaders in organized campus protests (1) against an alleged Israeli "occupation," and (2) for expanded Palestinian "rights."
We must immediately recognize, and reveal widely, that there is no "cycle of violence" in the Middle East, only intermittent Arab/Islamic terror followed by indispensable Israeli counter-terror. If the Palestinian terrorists were to simply and unconditionally stop their murderous attacks on unprotected civilians, Israelis would never lift another hand against them. It's that simple.
The list of PA violations of Oslo goes on and on. There is the incontestable failure to prevent incitement (codified at Annex 1, Art. II, 35); harassment of suspected former collaborators (codified at Art. XVI); failure to provide information on Israeli MIAs (codified at Art. XXVIII of the Interim Agreement and at Art. XIX of the Gaza-Jericho Agreement); the failure to change the PLO Covenant (codified at Art. XXXII), a failure that means that the PA (let alone Hamas) has still not renounced its intent to annihilate the Jewish State; the abuse of human rights and the rule of law (codified at Art. XIX); the failure to control PApolice activity in eastern Jerusalem (codified at Annex I of both agreements - the Gaza-Jericho Accord and the Interim Agreement - which carefully delineate the areas in which the Palestinian security forces may operate).
Oddly, Israel and the United States remain intent upon committing gigantic and possibly lethal errors in world affairs. Unimpressed by history, and determinedly indifferent to glaring facts on the ground, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama now proceed more or less smugly on the twisting road to "Palestine." Along the way, the United States continues to equip and train Palestinian Authority (PA) "security forces," a disjointed band of armed criminals that represents little more than the grotesque vanguard of future anti-Israel and anti-American terrorism.
Without getting lost in the immensely dense intricacies of quantum theory and the theories of relativity, we already know that modern physics has witnessed revolutionary breakthroughs in the rational understanding of space and time. Normally, however, these imaginative breakthroughs - which have produced entirely new "paradigms" or scientific models of the physical universe, still remain distant from analytic considerations of international relations and international law.
Faced with staggering and largely unprecedented geopolitical threats, President Obama already understands the limits of military action against terrorism. At the same time, it is unlikely that he also fully appreciates the stark and absolutely determinative role of religion and ritual in shaping America's principal terrorist adversaries. It is imperative, therefore, that the president begin to understand that all Arab/Islamic terrorism, including Palestinian terrorism, is authentically driven by deeply theological notions of sacrifice.
Over these many years, as my faithful readers will recall, I have occasionally referenced the idea and concept of time in my Jewish Press columns. For the most part, these column references to chronology have pertained very precisely to very particular Israeli issues. This week, however, expanding my ambit of concern, I would like to center an entire argument concerning Israel's survival on time.
Israel remains the openly declared national and religious object of Arab/Islamic genocide.
Over the years, regular readers of my column in The Jewish Press may have noticed a continuing regard for the concept of time.
From a national survival standpoint, the candidate debates remain pretty much beside the point. Not a single presidential aspirant has answered (or even attempted to answer) a very important question: Are we Americans now involved in a merely tactical struggle against particular terror groups and individuals, or are we, instead, embroiled in something much larger? Should we now be focusing on assorted political, military and logistical issues (the effective position, more or less, of all candidates), or upon the much wider religious and cultural context from which our principal terror enemies are spawned?
Terrorism is not always what it seems. When it involves suicide bombing in Iraq or Israel, it often has little if anything to do with war or politics. Rather, its truest meanings are rooted in distinctly private expressions of fear, dissatisfaction, cowardice and loathing.
Jorge Luis Borges sometimes happily identified himself as a sort of Jew. Although without any apparent basis in Halachah, he obviously felt himself 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."
Religious Extremism And International Legal Norms Perfidy, Irrationality And Preemption (Conclusion)
Another term that appears in the title of my remarks is "irrationality." I have noted before − per Rene Girard − that violence need not necessarily be irrational.
Good morning. Thank you, John (Loftus) and Bob [Dr. Robert Katz). The conference main theme is in essence: Our individual and collective survival amidst growing global chaos. With this in mind, the Irish poet Yeats reminds us: "The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned."
Blessed by newly anticipated changes in American foreign policy, certain of Israel's adversaries could soon attempt to bring the Jewish State into the eternal darkness, into fire, into ice. It is therefore essential for Israel's leadership to take immediate steps to ensure that a Baker-Hamilton [Iraq Study Group heads] engendered failure of Israeli deterrence will not occasion a regional nuclear war. Israel must continue to plan around the sound understanding that nuclear deterrence and conventional deterrence remain critically interrelated.
Recognizing Terrorism As A Sacrificial Rite: The Darkly Primitive Roots of Arab/Islamic Suicide Bombing
One of the most basic facts about our current Clash of Civilizations remains unrecognized. The true rationale of Arab/Islamic suicide bombing terrorism does not lie in politics. It is, more than anything, an example of religiously based blood sacrifice, a primal ritual designed to enlist divine assistance in Jihad.
There are other PA/PLO/Hamas violations of Oslo, any one of which could comprise an entire magazine article.
We must learn to read widely beyond the mainstream press, which is often ignorant of facts on the ground, or worse - is maliciously inclined toward Israel. In this connection, American Jews must really learn history - Jewish history; Israel's history; Arab history; and Islamic history.
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