The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

31-Dec-2007

Hamas’ Covenant of Death

Filed under: Islam & ArabIntifada & Terrorism — eidelberg @ 8:51 am Edit This

Now that President Shimon Peres, the erstwhile champion of PLO chief Yasser Arafat, has conveyed a willingness to negotiate with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, let us review the Hamas Covenant of Death.

Officially known as “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement,” the Covenant begins: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it…” This document articulates the true nature of the war now being waged against Israel, and not only by the Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

The Covenant refers to these Arabs as but a single “squadron” of the “vast Islamic world.” “Our struggle against the Jews is very great,” and this struggle will go on “until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realized.”

The Covenant also refers to the Islamic Resistance Movement as “one of the wings of [the] Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.” (more…)

30-Dec-2007

Amalek

Filed under: EthicsIslam & ArabJudaismIntifada & Terrorism — eidelberg @ 6:41 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 24, 2007.

Does the Release of Arab Terrorists Contradict Jewish Law and the Commandment to Obliterate Amalek?

Introduction: Some 700 years ago, the great Rabbi Meir of Rotenberg was abducted and imprisoned in Germany, then under the reign of Rudolph I. Rabbi Meir’s community offered a vast sum of money for his release, but he refused to be ransomed by more than the amount prescribed by Halacha, Jewish law, lest it encourage the abduction of other Jews. The great sage died in prison, after having been incarcerated for seven years.

This raises the question whether a Jewish soldier abducted by Arab terrorists should be ransomed by Israel’s release of Arab terrorists, or whether, if the soldier could affect the issue, should accept his release under that quid pro quo? This is not a question that can be answered by tyros. Here I offer some historical facts and some thoughts about Jewish law. (more…)

29-Dec-2007

2007 Year-End Appeal

Filed under: The FoundationLetters — eidelberg @ 8:11 am Edit This

The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

19 Tevet 5768

Dear Friends and Supporters:

As other activists continue the old tired ways, the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy has been the voice for regime change, receiving standing ovations at gatherings such as last month’s New Jewish Congress in Jerusalem. We don’t stage protests or write letters or circulate petitions; we are taking regime change to the People, and you are an essential partner. Every Jew has a voice in what happens to and in the Land of Israel notwithstanding the rejection of your voice by our prime minister when he appeared hat in hand before the nations in Annapolis. “Mind your own business” he said to Diaspora Jewry. But Israel is your business! The Land of Israel belongs to you, your children, and grandchildren, just as it belongs to the Jews already living there. (more…)

28-Dec-2007

Hamas Radio

Filed under: Islam & ArabJudaismCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 5:55 am Edit This

A comment on the Olmert government’s granting Hamas radio broadcast rights from the Temple Mount.

What does this signify to the Muslim world? It signifies the victory of Islam over Judaism.

The Arab psychological war against Israel has been unrelenting. The obvious aim is to humiliate and demoralize the Jewish people and show the world that Israel is an artificial and transient state.

The Arabs are constantly on the offensive, while Israel’s government does nothing more than retreat. (more…)

The Hudna

Filed under: Islam & ArabPoliticiansHumor — eidelberg @ 5:43 am Edit This

A current joke reflects the typical Israeli approach to the hudna:

Question: How do you say, “Hold on a minute, stop shooting while I reload my automatic rifle” in Arabic?

Answer: Hudna.

Question to Defense Minister Ehud Barak: “Any comment?”

Answer: “Duh.”

Question to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “Do you support a hudna?(more…)

27-Dec-2007

Rabbinic Paradoxes

Filed under: EthicsJudaismOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 5:18 am Edit This

Certain rabbis, contrary to no less learned rabbis, have publicly stated that to save Jewish life—pikuach nefesh—it is Halakhically permissible for Israel to surrender Jewish land to Arabs for peace.

Critics have questioned the logic of this position. They have pointed out that a policy of “territory for peace” based on pikuach nefesh would require Israel to surrender land whenever Arabs threaten war. But surely any sensible rabbi is aware of this absurdity. Let us therefore approach the issue another way.

At stake in this issue is Jewish retention of Judea and Samaria as well as the Golan Heights and even Eastern Jerusalem. Now, having been assured by one or another general of the Israel Defense Forces that withdrawing from these areas could yield peace and save Jewish life, the rabbis in question have supported the territory-for-peace policy.

One of these rabbis—a leader of the Shas party whose name is not important for the purpose of this article—has publicly admitted that the Arabs have no intention of giving Israel peace. (more…)

26-Dec-2007

Coup d’etat

Filed under: Democratic MethodsDomestic PolicyEthics — eidelberg @ 5:32 am Edit This

To High Ranking Officers of the Israel Defense Forces:

Whereas Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided to release more than four hundred Arab terrorists (without even demanding the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was captured in a cross border raid by members of several Palestinian terrorist organizations on 25 June 2006);

Whereas Mr. Olmert, contrary to appeals of reserve IDF battalion commanders and soldiers, approved the shipment of two million bullets for AK-47 assault rifles and 50 advanced Russian armored carriers to the Palestinian (terrorist) Authority in Judea and Samaria;

Whereas, despite the daily missile attacks on Sderot resulting from Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Mr. Olmert is committed to Israel’s withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, including Eastern Jerusalem; (more…)

Religion in the 2008 US Presidential Election Campaign

Filed under: Constitution & RightsEthicsUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 5:24 am Edit This

To appreciate the injection of religion into the 2008 presidential campaign by Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, historical perspective is needed concerning the cultural context of the First Amendment of the American Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or precluding the free exercise thereof …”

The First Amendment was demanded not by secularists but by Christians. Historian William P. Grady notes that the Baptists in all the original states were appalled by the lack of specific religious guarantees in the proposed Constitution. In Virginia, the most powerful state, the Baptists expressed their concerns to James Madison, the father of the Constitution, who needed their support to win Virginia’s ratification.

The First Amendment was intended to prevent Congress from supporting sectarian institutions, not religious values. Its intention, therefore, was to prevent Congress from establishing a State religion. Revolted by the example of England, the Founding Fathers refused to sacralize the modern national state, which they deemed powerful enough without investing it with religious authority. (more…)

Stupidity and Avarice: Two Bases of American Foreign Policy

Filed under: PoliticiansUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 4:52 am Edit This

Edited version of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 17, 2007.

American foreign policy has two bases: stupidity and avarice. Admittedly, this may be said of the foreign policy of most countries. In Israel, however, whereas stupidity is the pilot and avarice the co-pilot, the reverse is the case of America.

Let’s first examine the evidence of stupidity in American foreign policy, since much of it is applicable to Israel’s government. And if you prefer the more polite term “naiveté” to stupidity, that may be nothing more than a distinction without a difference—only bear in mind there are different kinds of stupidity just as there are different kinds of intelligence.

According to historian W. P. Grady, “in the early years of WW II, American ambassador William Standley actually attempted to befriend the Russians by distributing Walt Disney Films.” Apparently, this was the State Department’s or President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s version of “confidence building” measures. (Perhaps Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, instead of releasing Arab terrorists, which arouses Arab contempt, should distribute Teddy Bears or Hershey Bars to the Palestinians to befriend them.) (more…)

25-Dec-2007

Orthodoxy Tongue-in-Cheek

Filed under: JudaismHumor — eidelberg @ 5:17 am Edit This

Two articles appeared in the December 12, 2007 issue of The Jerusalem Post—one by Orthodox Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, the other by Reform Rabbi Elyse Frishman. (How strange: notice the second syllable of their respective last names, although Elyse is female.) The two articles reminded me of something I wrote for my grandson fourteen years ago before his bar mitzvah, when he asked me “What is an ultra-orthodox Jew?”

The term “orthodox” is of Greek origin and is derived from two Greek words: orthos, meaning “true,” “correct,” “straight”—think of “orthopedics”—and doxa, meaning “opinion.”

  1. 1.  To describe any Jew as “orthodox” is to say, in effect, that he has true or correct opinions.

  2. 2.  Hence, to call any Jew “ultra-orthodox” is absurd. (more…)

19-Dec-2007

There are No Zionists in the Knesset!

Filed under: Knesset/LegislativeZionism/NationalismPARTIES & PERSONALITIES — eidelberg @ 7:51 am Edit This

Although the title of this article may appear outrageous, it is the only logical conclusion one can draw from irrefutable facts about Israel’s Knesset..

No one will deny that the Knesset’s three Arab parties (10 seats) are not Zionist—right?

No one will deny that the Knesset’s “ultra-religious” parties, Shas (12 seats) and Torah United Judaism (6 seats), are not Zionist—right?

No one will deny that Kadima (29 seats), Labor-Meimad (19 seats), Gil Pensioners (7 seats), and Meretz-Yachad (5 seats) are not Zionist—indeed, all support the policy of “Jewish land for peace”—right?

But what about Israel Beiteinu (11 seats), Likud (12 seats), and the National Religious-National Union coalition (9 seats)? Sorry, but they too are not Zionist! (more…)

George W. Bush: An American Travesty

Filed under: PoliticiansUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 12:56 am Edit This

The United States cannot win the war against international terrorism. It cannot win this war because President George W. Bush lacks the intellectual integrity and moral courage to name the enemy, which is not merely “IslamoFascism,” but Islam, whose followers, since the time of Mohammed, have murdered more than 200 million people in the name of Allah.

Mr. Bush is not serious about international terrorism. Otherwise, he would not hobnob with terrorists like Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas. He would not have invited Syria, a terrorist state, to the Annapolis Conference. Nor would he sponsor the Saudi “peace plan.”

The mere fact that the Bush administration has imposed obstacles to Israel’s war against Palestinian terrorism is enough to demonstrate that he is the lackey of oil-rich Saudi Arabia. (more…)

A Critique of Non-Torah-Oriented Zionist Organizations

Filed under: JudaismZionism/Nationalism — eidelberg @ 12:38 am Edit This

Edited version of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 12, 2007. The reader should bear in mind that I have also subjected Israel’s religious parties to critical analysis, including the Zionist National Religious Party. What is more, I now oppose religious parties, and that Israel’s religious communities should not be beholden, primarily, to government handouts. Finally, this critique is meant to be constructive, to prompt all pro-Israel organizations to engage in self-criticism with a view to making themselves more effective champions of Israel.

With due respect to all Zionist organizations, those that lack a Torah orientation inherently lack an adequate understanding of the basic causes of Israel’s present malaise. Although what I am about to say will not endear me to these organizations or to their supporters, perhaps it will prompt them to undertake serious self-criticism.

When a doctor examines a sick patient, he tries to relate the symptoms of their illness to some underlying cause. Certain organizations in Israel and the United States have devoted enormous time and energy to making Israel safe and strong. No wonder they have failed to achieved this objective! Surely, they should be aware that despite the decades during which they have been working to make Israel safe and strong, Israel today has never been more insecure. (more…)

18-Dec-2007

Time To Recognize Failure Of Israel-Egypt Treaty

Filed under: Islam & ArabOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 8:45 am Edit This

by Daniel Pipes
Courtesy of The New York Sun
November 21, 2006


Time To Recognize Failure Of Israel-Egypt Treaty

Ninety-two percent of respondents in a recent poll of one thousand Egyptians over 18 years of age called Israel an enemy state. In contrast, a meager 2% saw Israel as “a friend to Egypt.”

These hostile sentiments express themselves in many ways, including a popular song titled “I Hate Israel,” venomously antisemitic political cartoons, bizarre conspiracy theories, and terrorist attacks against visiting Israelis. Egypt’s leading democracy movement, Kifaya, recently launched an initiative to collect a million signatures on a petition demanding the annulment of the March 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

Also, the Egyptian government has permitted large quantities of weapons to be smuggled into Gaza to use against Israeli border towns. (more…)

Sadat’s Strategy Available in English!!!

Filed under: US & Global PolicyPublications — eidelberg @ 8:24 am Edit This

Sadat’s Strategy was published in Hebrew in December 1978, four months before the signing of the March 26, 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty. During the two weeks preceding the signing of that treaty in Washington, D.C., I was on a lecture tour in the United States warning various audiences—as I had personally warned Prime Minister Menachem Begin in September 1977—against signing any agreement with Sadat.

It took intellectual courage and integrity on the part of Dr. Daniel Pipes, a renowned expert on the Middle East, to admit he had erred in supporting that treaty. (more…)

17-Dec-2007

A Little Light, Please, on Some Ruling Elites

Filed under: GeneralEthicsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 7:24 am Edit This

Chanukah is a festival of light, and light is the source of truth. Let’s have a little light, please, beginning with Pope Benedict XVI.

Recall Hezbollah’s unprovoked attack on Israel on July 12, 2006. On July 16, the Pope said: “At the origin of these devastating confrontations, there are, unfortunately, objective situations of the violation of law and justice. But neither terrorist acts nor retaliation can be justified, especially when these come with tragic consequences for the civilian population.”

This is more than “do not resist evil.” The Pope placed Hezbollah’s terrorist acts and the Israel’s retaliation on the same moral level: for him, neither can be justified. It seems that Pope Benedict XVI had succumbed to moral equivalence, which makes nonsense of the New Testament. (more…)

13-Dec-2007

To Set the Record Straight

Filed under: Democratic MethodsDomestic PolicyElectorate/Demographics — eidelberg @ 7:14 am Edit This

The present writer is often accused of proposing institutional reform as a panacea. Never mind my books Demophrenia, Beyond the Secular Mind, and Judaic Man, which transcend institutions by discussing the unJewish mentality of Israel intellectual and political elites. To set the record straight, here is an article of mine published on June 6, 1990 under the title “In the Name of Democracy.”

President [Chaim] Herzog, like many others, calls for fundamental reform of Israel’s political institutions. But hardly anyone calls for fundamental reform of men’s character, that is, the character of those elected to public office. The reason is fairly obvious: It’s easier to change institutions than to change men. But anyone who believes that Israel’s present plight will be overcome by electoral reform is suffering from either mental fatigue or fatuity.

Institutions ultimately depend on the moral and intellectual qualities of those who run them. To be sure, well-designed institutions can sometimes compensate for defects in the character of men. (more…)

An International Jewish Parliament

Filed under: Constitution & RightsKnesset/LegislativeThe Foundation — eidelberg @ 5:35 am Edit This

First published April 1996, Jerusalem Foundation Papers.

Overcoming Israel’s Fatal Flaw: Plan III—An International Jewish Parliament

“The majority of the people living in a Jewish State must be Jewish. We must prevent a situation of an insufficient Jewish majority and we dare not have a Jewish minority….There is room for a non-Jewish minority on condition that it accept the destiny of the State vis-à-vis the Jewish people, culture, tradition, and belief. The minority is entitled to equal rights as individuals with respect to their distinct religion and culture, but not more than that.”

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Tel Aviv, May 6, 1976

 

Israel’s Fatal Flaw

The most neglected and most urgent issue confronting Israel—the issue implicit in the above headnote—is the Arab vote. It was the Arab vote that brought the Labor Party to power in the June 1992 Knesset elections. It was the Arab vote that led to the Oslo Accords and the shrinkage of Israel. Unless this issue is resolved, Israel will not see much of the 21st century.

Increasingly obvious in Israel is a fatal flaw. The flaw originated in the Proclamation of the Establishment of the State of 1948. (more…)

12-Dec-2007

Bibi’s Self-Incrimination

Filed under: EthicsOslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 7:00 am Edit This

First published May, 1995.

Referring to the Rabin government, Binyamin (”Bibi”) Netanyahu is reported to have told his Likud executive bureau that never in Israel’s history has there been a government that has so knowingly imperiled its citizens to satisfy its lust for power. Hardly a revelation.

Long before the June 1992 Knesset elections, the present writer described Labor’s land-for-peace policy as a ploy of Machiavellian doves lusting for power. But it required the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles of September 13, 1993, known also as the Oslo Accords, to convince people that the Rabin-Peres regime is endangering Israel’s existence.

Moreover, accumulating evidence indicated that the Oslo accords—hence the abandonment of 150,000 Jews in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza—was Labor’s payoff to Yasser Arafat. In clandestine meetings with the PLO prior to the June 1992 elections, various Labor leaders promised Arafat his heart’s desire—a Palestinian “entity”—if he would rally Arab voters and Arab Knesset members to support a Labor government. (more…)

11-Dec-2007

Israel and the Nations

Filed under: JudaismBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 8:31 am Edit This

First published February 2, 1992.

“In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.” These words of Rabbi Hillel apply to a nation no less than to an individual. They apply especially to Israel, to the Jewish people who, for two thousand years, have been vilified, persecuted, and decimated by the nations.

Israel is alone. Capitalist America is pressuring the Jewish state back to its indefensible 1949 borders. The same may be said of the socialist democracies of Western Europe.

That Israel should be alone is no accident of policy, or of this or that government. “Lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations.”

To stand alone is the burden and challenge of the Jewish people, a people despised in the Gospels, in the Koran, in the writings of Karl Marx. It is no accident that modern Israel, which ever seeks the approval of the nations, is repeatedly condemned by the United Nations. (more…)

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