The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

01-Jan-2002

Men Without Chests Revisited

Filed under: EthicsPoliticians — eidelberg @ 11:53 pm Edit This

During aristocratic ages, man’s moral center of gravity is the chest—the seat of “honor.” A gentleman’s honor was more than mere probity, and far more than prestige. As late as the 18th century, the lexicon defined “honor” as a quality that “supposes in a gentleman a stronger abhorrence of perfidy, falsehood, or cowardice, and a more elevated and delicate sense of virtue, than are usually found in [ordinary decent men].”

A gentleman’s honor was therefore his most sacred possession. An insult to such a person, if unanswered, could result in his and his family’s ruin. The manly response to offended honor was the duel. (more…)

A Question of Deity

Filed under: Islam & ArabJudaism — eidelberg @ 11:51 pm Edit This

In his classic Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville writes: “There is hardly any human action, however particular it may be, that does not originate in some very general idea men have conceived of the Deity …”

Surely this is true of the Muslim-Jewish conflict. As one Muslim spokesman put it before the Six-Day War: “The propagandists of secularism, who leave out of account the religious factor in the Palestine problem, ignore the fact that this is the only bone of contention in the world which has persisted for thirty centuries and is still based on religious and spiritual foundations.” (more…)

Without a Goal

Filed under: A SOVEREIGN STATEHOODBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 11:51 pm Edit This

Without a goal the country lives from hand to mouth.

Without a goal the government merely reacts to the enemy.

Without a goal the country staggers from crisis to crisis.

Without a goal the government has no wisdom and no courage.

Without a goal the country has no direction.

Without a goal the government inspires no confidence.

Without a goal the country succumbs to internal divisions.

Without a goal the government arouses the contempt of the enemy.

Without a goal the country has no future.

Only God

Filed under: JudaismBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 11:51 pm Edit This

THE FACT that the warrior Arik Sharon, from the political Right, replaced Israel’s most decorated soldier, Ehud Barak, from the political Left, as this country’s prime minister, and yet Jews remain helpless victims of Arab terrorists, should teach us that politics cannot solve Israel’s dilemma. That Israel still stumbles along like a drunkard should teach us that politics has deprived this country of direction or of any sense of national purpose.

That Israel’s government continues to genuflect to Washington and still seeks the peace of a murderous villain like Yasser Arafat should teach us that politics has enfeebled this country and undermined its dignity or sense of national honor. The successive election of seven Israeli prime ministers—Begin, Shamir, Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak, and Sharon—and their obvious inability even to diminish the “Arab problem”—should teach us that democratic elections have been exercises in futility. (more…)

A Record of Judicial Despotism

Filed under: Supreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 11:51 pm Edit This

Before setting forth the record of judicial despotism of Israel’s Supreme Court under its president, judge Aharon Barak, it will be worthwhile to mention a judicial ruling of one of the greatest Talmudists, Ra’avad (Rabbi Avraham ben David of Posquires, 1125-1198). Ra’avad held that a Beth Din may never revoke the decision of a previous Beth Din once its latter has taken hold and spread throughout Israel.

In the last two months of 1998, Israeli courts, handed down three precedent-setting rulings that contain the seeds for fundamental change in Israel’s way of life. The first was a decision of the Supeme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, that forced the religious councils in Jerusalem and Kiryat Tivon to seat representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements. (more…)

Keeping Silent About Evil

Filed under: EthicsIslam & Arab — eidelberg @ 11:48 pm Edit This

Alexander Solzhenitsyn writes in The Gulag Archipelago: “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand-fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations. It is for this reason … that they are growing up ‘indifferent.’ Young people are acquiring the conviction that foul deeds are never punished on earth, that they always bring prosperity. It is going to be uncomfortable, horrible, to live in such a country.”

President George Bush does not hesitate to call Muslim terrorists “evil-doers,” and he labels the regimes that harbor them an “axis of evil.” He refrains, however, (more…)

A Purim Proposal

Filed under: A SOVEREIGN STATEHOOD — eidelberg @ 11:47 pm Edit This

Countless Jews complain about the ineptitude of Israeli governments, whether headed by the Labor Party or the Likud. Hence the present writer, having made an exhaustive 20-year study of Israel and its Jewish politicians, and having examined the agendas of America’s leading Zionist organizations, hereby confidently offers the only possible solution to Israel’s decrepit and perilous state of affairs. I PROPOSE THAT THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL HIRE GENTILES TO RUN THEIR GOVERNMENT!

Preposterous you say? (more…)

Seeing Black and White: Ariel Sharon, Oslo and the Haters of G-d

Filed under: Foreign PolicyOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 11:44 pm Edit This

I. Sharon’s Ha’Aretz Interview
After almost two years of humiliation under Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon may appear to the people of Israel as a man of great dignity, wisdom, and honesty. Indeed, his April 13 interview with Ha’aretz Magazine reveals a surprisingly thoughtful and forthright prime minister with Zionist convictions. As we shall soon see, however, Sharon harbors a tragic flaw, one that has emasculated Israel’s political and intellectual elites. But first, let us mention some of the refreshing statements of Sharon’s Ha’aretz interview. (more…)

The Zigzags of Ehud Barak

Filed under: Oslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 11:43 pm Edit This

In May 1999, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, speaking at a memorial ceremony at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, said:

“Only one who does not understand the depth of the total soul-connection between the Jewish nation and Jerusalem, and only one who is totally estranged from the legacy of Jewish history, and from the Jewish vision and life-song, and to the faith and the hope of generations, could even begin to consider an Israeli concession on any part of Jerusalem. Only one who does not understand that Jerusalem is intertwined in the souls of our ancestors for 3,000 years, the focus of our national yearning, the secret of its strength and existence, could demand that we turn our backs on it. It will never come about! For it is a matter of our national existence, and we only have one Jerusalem.”

Speaking as the head of the opposition Labor Party Ofrah in 1997, Mr. Barak declared: “We have red lines: A united Jerusalem, under our sovereignty, capital of Israel forever, period.” (more…)

A Colossal Fraud

Filed under: Democratic Methods — eidelberg @ 11:41 pm Edit This

Some of the highest officials in Israel’s government are committed to Israel’s demise as a Jewish state. I have especially in mind Justice Minister Tommy Lapid and Interior Minister Avraham Poraz, both of the anti-religious Shinui Party. Since both men were appointed by Ariel Sharon, one also has to wonder about the prime minister’s sense of Jewish identity. After all, in justifying his choice of Shinui to promote immigration to Israel, Mr. Sharon said: “I see that [a Jew is] whoever comes, sees himself as part of the Jewish people, serves in the army, and fights”.

Quite apart from his commitment to a Palestinian state on Jewish soil, Sharon opposes amendment of the “grandfather clause” of the Law of Return, which has allowed hundreds of thousands of Russian gentiles to enter the country. Many wish to establish an autonomous Russian national entity in Israel. Consider a letter of Anatoly Gerasimov, Chairman of the Russian Community in Israel, which seeks worldwide support for that community’s nationalist objectives. (more…)

Co-optation

Filed under: Domestic PolicyIslam & Arab — eidelberg @ 11:41 pm Edit This

Co-optation, i.e., admitting “outsiders” into the ruling group or Establishment to prevent their becoming revolutionaries, is a technique recommended by Aristotle and practiced to perfection by Great Britain. Even before the nineteenth century, England’s landed aristocracy facilitated the entry into parliament of members of the ascending commercial class, which subsequently co-opted leaders of the rising working class. Hence England’s “bloodless revolution.”

This sort of thing may be seen in America. Blacks and now Hispanics are routinely co-opted into all branches of the federal, state, and municipal governments. As a consequence, these minorities, or their most prominent representatives, have a vested interest in preserving the regime that accords them the honors and perquisites of power.

Can such co-optation of Arabs work in Israel? (more…)

The Dreamers

Filed under: A SOVEREIGN STATEHOOD — eidelberg @ 11:40 pm Edit This

Washington policy-makers have at last arrived at the conclusion that peace in the Middle East ultimately depends on the democratization of Arab-Islamic tyrannies. Moreover, they now recognize that these tyrannies are hotbeds of Islamic terrorism, so that America’s success in the war against terrorism also depends on spreading democracy throughout the Islamic world. But this entails nothing less than a complete revolution of Islamic civilization.

Involved here is a 1,300-year old civilization diametrically opposed to virtually every aspect of Western democracy. Consider the following contradictions: (more…)

Judicial Aspects of Torah Governance

Filed under: JudaismSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 11:40 pm Edit This

Israel is commonly regarded as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” and so it is compared to its despotic Arab neighbors. But how does Israeli governance today stand vis-a-vis Torah governance?

To answer this question, I shall limit myself to certain judicial aspects of Torah governance, and invite the reader to contrast what he knows of Israel’s Supreme Court under its president, Judge Aharon Barak.

The judicial and highest organ of Torah governance is the Great Sanhedrin. (See Deut. 17.11.) Consisting of seventy-one judges, this extraordinary institution combines judicial and legislative powers and may even bring the king to justice on a suit brought against him by any private citizen. (more…)

Degeneration

Filed under: Ethics — eidelberg @ 11:39 pm Edit This

The great Zionist, Max Nordau, was a psychologist of profound learning. His 1895 work Degeneration, which was republished in 1968, has been the subject of several doctoral dissertations. It provides insights which may be relevant to various Israeli politicians.

According to Nordau, “That which nearly all degenerates lack is the sense of morality and of right and wrong” (p. 18). Widespread throughout the democratic world is the university-bred doctrine of moral relativism, which cannot but erode a people’s sense of justice and of national honor. (more…)

Relativism - Israel’s Fatal Mentality

Filed under: EthicsJudaism — eidelberg @ 11:39 pm Edit This

Introduction

When I made aliya from the United States in 1976, I was surprised to learn that cultural or moral relativism was quite prevalent in the supposed-to-be Jewish state. I detected signs of relativism even at the religious Bar-Ian University, whose observant faculty members surely believe that the Torah is the source of Truth and the paradigm of how man should live. Yet there too I heard the cynical remark: “Who is to say what is good and bad, right and wrong?” This vulgarism was evident even among officers of the Israel Defense Forces studying at the university!

But how could a Jewish state, surrounded by hostile Arab-Islamic regimes, survive if the educators of its political and military elites did not believe in the absolute justice of their cause? (more…)

War Models

Filed under: Foreign Policy — eidelberg @ 11:33 pm Edit This

Nazi Germany never attacked, killed or wounded a single American on the American continent. Yet the U.S. declared war on Germany, bombed its industrial and civilian centers, invaded its territory, but not before invading and liberating France—at the necessary cost of killing civilians. America’s war policy? “Unconditional surrender.” The outcome? Germany surrendered, unconditionally.

North Korea, a Soviet proxy, never attacked, killed or maimed a single American on the American mainland. Yet the U.S., under United Nations auspices, waged war against North Korea (some 10,000 kilometers away), bombed and invaded its territory, killing many thousands of civilians in the process, until driven out by the Chinese. America’s war policy? (more…)

Then and Now - Dedicated to Jonathan Pollard

Filed under: A SOVEREIGN STATEHOOD — eidelberg @ 11:30 pm Edit This

Do you want to know why Jewish men, women, and children are being murdered almost every day in Israel? Do you want to know why Prime Minister Sharon’s Government merely reacts to Arab violence, which can only prolong Arafat’s war of attrition against the Jewish state?

Some say Mr. Sharon fears that suppressing Arab violence may lead to a regional war. A more basic reason is this: (more…)

Thou Shalt Not Murder

Filed under: A SOVEREIGN STATEHOOD — eidelberg @ 11:20 pm Edit This

“Thou shalt not murder” would not be one of the Ten Commandments if it were not a common or natural tendency of man. This being the case, we should expect war to be the norm of international relation. This was the
conclusion of Pitrim Sorokin, chairman of the Department of Sociology at
Harvard University in 1941, one of the profoundest students of Western
civilization.

In one of his monumental historical studies, Sorokin investigated all the known wars of Greece and Rome, as well as those of the Western Europe from
the year 500 before the common era to 1925. (more…)

A Jewish Foreign Policy

Filed under: Foreign Policy — eidelberg @ 11:18 pm Edit This

It should be obvious to everyone that Israel’s foreign policy has been a disaster. Oslo has been called the greatest diplomatic blunder in human history. Before I set forth a Jewish foreign policy, let us consider some basic principles of a foreign policy any rational government would pursue, but which Israeli governments have consistently violated to the detriment of the Jewish people. I begin by paraphrasing certain principles of statecraft enunciated by the 19th century Austrian statesman Prince Metternich. (more…)

Netanyahu’s Myth of Reciprocity

Filed under: Politicians — eidelberg @ 11:16 pm Edit This

Back in February 1997, when Benjamin Natanyahu was Israel’s prime minister, I wrote an article in The Jewish Press bearing the above title. Well, here it is, seven years later, and Bibi, to distinguish himself from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Sharon’s policy of “unilateral disengagement” from Gaza, is again flying the banner of “reciprocity.” Here is what I said, in part, seven years ago:

“Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been disarming people at home and abroad by intoning the term ‘reciprocity’ as the moral imperative of the Israel-Arab ‘peace process.’ What is the meaning of this mantra? (more…)

      — Next Page »