The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

29-Jun-2008

Prisoner Exchange in Jewish Law

Filed under: EthicsForeign PolicyJudaism — eidelberg @ 11:59 pm Edit This

It has been reported that Hamas is demanding 1,000 terrorists now in Israeli jails in exchange for IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, who has been held hostage for two years in Gaza. Hence, let’s consider an article by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed’s on the subject of prisoner exchange in Jewish law, but only insofar as it refers to the imprisonment of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg in the thirteenth century.

“Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg (1215-1293 c.e.), known as the Maharam, was one of the greatest of the early Jewish codifiers. At the age of seventy he was taken captive and placed in a prison in France. Emperor Rudolf I proceeded to demand an exorbitant sum for his release.

“To understand the full significance of this act it is important to realize that almost all of the rabbis and leaders of the Jewish communities in that generation were the Maharam’s students…Even the great rabbis of the generation that followed were greatly influenced by the teachings of the Maharam. The most famous of his students was Rabbi Asher ben Yechiel, known as the Rosh, whose rulings are cited extensively in Rabbi Yosef Karo’s Shulchan Arukh. (more…)

25-Jun-2008

Israel’s Illegitimate and Criminal Government: Calling a Spade a Spade

Filed under: EthicsOslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 11:49 pm Edit This

Self-preservation is the first law of nature. Hence, the first purpose of government is to protect the lives of its citizens. A government that fails to protect its citizens forfeits its legitimacy. Such a government should obviously, and of necessity, be terminated by one means or another.

Consider the Israeli town of Sderot, once a town of 25,000 Jewish residents. This town has been terrorized and virtually depopulated. It has been struck by thousands of missiles launched from Gaza. The Arabs can bomb Sderot with impunity thanks to Israel’s cowardly and evil government. This cowardly and evil government has no right to exist. Its continued existence disgraces every Jew in Israel as well as in the Diaspora. This cowardly and evil government encourages terrorism throughout the world—more so when Israel’s ruling elites reward Arab terrorism with Jewish land.

That the people of Israel tolerate such a government places in question Israel’s own right to exist. Perhaps this is the arcane or unconscious reason why we hear voices in America and Europe questioning Israel’s justification? There may be another arcane reason. (more…)

Let’s Be Constructive and Cheerful

Filed under: Humor — eidelberg @ 7:24 am Edit This

Aren’t you tired of all the depressing news reported by the media? Aren’t you fed up with the failings of the United States—the bastion of freedom and democracy? Aren’t you dismayed by the hundreds of mosques in the United States preaching jihad? Aren’t you sick of paying more than four dollars per gallon of gasoline?

Are you worried about Iran becoming a nuclear power? Would you like to see President Bush wake up from his torpor and order the US Air Force to bomb Iran? Not a chance. U.S. military forces are tied down in Iraq. American public opinion would call for his impeachment. Besides, bombing Iran will insure Obama’s victory over McCain.

So, let’s ignore dismal reportage and lighten up. (more…)

Poli. Sci. 101 for MK Yitzhak Levy

Filed under: Democratic MethodsCabinet/ExecutiveKnesset/LegislativeRepresentation — eidelberg @ 6:16 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, June 23, 2008.

Knesset Member Yitzhak Levy wants to raise the number of Knesset members from 120 to 150. As reported in The Jerusalem Post last week (June 18, 2008), Levy complains that “the workload placed on MKs had grown to such an extent that it was simply impossible to adequately study the issues upon which MKs were expected to vote in a plenum, as well as in committees in which they sit.”

Mr. Levy also complains that, given the system of coalition cabinet government, some 30 MKs—one out of every four members—currently serves as either a minister or deputy minister, and that’s an additional assignment which distracts from their participation in the legislative function.

Levy’s proposal to increase the Knesset’s membership may be indicative of the incompetence of Israel’s legislative body. Let’s compare the Knesset with the American House of Representatives, beginning with the House. (more…)

23-Jun-2008

Needed: The Courage to Name and Confront the Enemy

Filed under: Islam & ArabUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 6:01 am Edit This

The following, apart from the three concluding paragraphs, is extracted from my book A Jewish Philosophy of History (lightcatcherbooks.com [2006]).

Muslims have never had any doubts about the conflict between Islam and the West. They have always divided the world into the territory of Dar al-Islam, where Islam reigns, and the territory of Dar al-Harb, where infidels reign, but which the Sharia requires Muslims to conquer in the name of Allah.

Islam’s division of humanity suggests to Lee Harris [Civilization and Its Enemies] that Islam is the enemy of civilization [per se]. By civilization he means a standard that can be applied across cultures and across history. He sees civilization as having four prerequisites: a stable social order, the co-operation of individuals pursuing their own interests, the ability to tolerate or socialize with one’s neighbors, and a hatred of violence. Clearly, Islam lacks three of the four prerequisites of Harris’ view of a civilization. What is remarkable is that Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-born psychiatrist living in America, arrived at the same conclusion. She denied there was clash between the West and Islamic civilization because, in her words, Islam is not a civilization! (more…)

20-Jun-2008

Naming the Enemy

Filed under: Islam & Arab — eidelberg @ 6:20 am Edit This

Comment on the article “The Enemy Has a Name” by Daniel Pipes.

With all due respect to Daniel Pipes, and although I understand his reticence, it is not sufficient to classify the enemy as “Islamism.” Islamism is nothing less than Islam. The Quran, the Hadith, and Islam’s murderous history make this crystal clear. But consider the judgment of two astute scholar-statesmen of uncommon urbanity:

Alexis de Tocqueville:

I studied the Quran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. So far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself.

Winston Churchill said as much in 1899, but with chilling significance for Europe today: (more…)

19-Jun-2008

To Disenfranchise or to Empower the Jewish People

Filed under: Democratic MethodsJudaismRepresentation — eidelberg @ 1:11 am Edit This

The present writer congratulates those members of the Knesset that supported a bill whereby 60 MKs would be elected in regional districts, while 60 would be elected under the present system of Proportional Representation. This fulfills one provision of a draft constitution set forth in my book Jewish Statesmanship: Lest Israel Fall (2000)—which is not to say this book should be credited for the bill in question.

Although the bill was vetoed by the Shas Party, a member of Ehud Olmert’s coalition government, it should soon resurface as a private member’s bill. At stake is the empowerment of the Jewish people and even the preservation of Israel’s Jewish heritage.

It cannot be said too often that the law that makes Israel a single electoral district in which fixed party slates win Knesset seats via Proportional Representation has effectively disenfranchised the Jews of this country. This law has enabled members of the Knesset, especially those who become prime ministers or cabinet ministers, to violate the abiding beliefs and values of the Jewish people with impunity. A conspicuous culprit is Shas. (more…)

Theocracy Versus Judaism: How the Jews of Israel Have Been Deceived and Disempowered (III)

Filed under: Democratic MethodsDomestic PolicyJudaismRepresentation — eidelberg @ 1:03 am Edit This

Part three of a series. View Part one. View Part two.

B. Neither God Nor the People Rule Israel

In Judaism there is no ruling class. In a truly Jewish community, who rules is based primarily on intellectual and moral character. Indeed, the most authentic form of Jewish leadership is that of the teacher, whose power is not political but intellectual and moral.

The fact that education in Israel is required of all members of the community precludes rigid class divisions. Conversely, Torah education is the great unifying force of the Jewish people, a people that honors scholars more than kings. As Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch points out, in a mature Jewish community the center of gravity lies not in any ruling class but in the body of the people. It is hardly an exaggeration to say, therefore, that the leaders of a Jewish community act consistently with the Torah when they make themselves superfluous!

See to it that the peasant behind the plough, the herdsman with his cattle, the weaver at his loom can be your judges and masters, the critics of your conduct and teaching; then at the same time will they be your pupils and friends, they will willingly and joyfully follow your teachings and regulations; they will understand and appreciate the spirit in which you speak and by which you are guided.[1] (more…)

18-Jun-2008

The Origin of Anti-Judaism

Filed under: Judaism — eidelberg @ 6:38 am Edit This

Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, June 16, 2008.

The origin of anti-Judaism is not, or should not be, a controversial subject. It began quite simply at Sinai, when Israel became the bearer of ethical monotheism in a world steeped in pagan polytheism.

In those days, each nation had its own god or gods and saw no reason why other nations should not have their own gods. Then, suddenly, a nation arose and proclaimed there is only one God—the God of Israel. The Torah proclaims this God as the Creator of heaven and earth, that is, of the entire universe including mankind. Since this God of Israel precludes the existence of other gods, it was only natural that Gentile nations should hate Israel. Let us probe a little deeper.

In pagan times, nations identified their gods with various forces of nature. Hence, it was not simple for them to comprehend how the God of Israel not only transcends nature but is also immanent in nature. A thoughtful person might ask: How could such a Being be one, a unity? But that is precisely what philosophers will eventually call “Absolute Being.” Rabbi Elijah Benamozegh discusses the subject in Israel and Humanity: (more…)

A Matter of Courage

Filed under: EthicsOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 6:20 am Edit This

1) Some people ask, “How did Israel ever get into Oslo?”—which journalist Charles Krauthammer called “the biggest diplomatic blunder in history”? One may also ask, “What prevents Israel from getting out of this suicidal blunder?” Why doesn’t Israel’s government simply abrogate Oslo, i.e., the Israel-PLO Agreement of September 1993? After all, the PLO has violated this agreement countless times. Indeed, Oslo has resulted in some 10,000 Jewish casualties.

2) To get out of Oslo we first need to know how Israel got into this death trap in the first place. The simplest answer goes like this: During the 1992 Knesset election campaign, Labor Party leader Yitzhak Rabin said there would be no recognition of, or negotiation with, the PLO. Yet that is precisely what the Rabin government proceeded to do once it was entrenched in office. One may therefore conclude that Oslo is the result of the Labor Party’s betrayal of the nation. All this is true, but too simple.

3) Oslo as not a place so much as a state of mind. Israel’s ruling elites succumbed to the Oslo mentality as soon as Israel won her greatest military victory in the Six Day War of June 1967. A Government of National Unity offered to “return” the land Israel repossessed for a peace treaty. Imagine: returning this strategic and cherished land to the aggressors for a piece of paper! (more…)

Obama Cloaked by Media

Filed under: Democratic MethodsIslam & ArabPoliticians — eidelberg @ 1:00 am Edit This

This is a must read.
Terrorists’ Crossing (Paperback) by Rich Carroll



Courtesy of Two Sisters from the Right.

The Jihad Candidate

by Rich Carroll

Conspiracy theories make for interesting novels when the storyline is not so absurd that it can grasp our attention. ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ and ‘Seven Days in May’ are examples of plausible chains of events that captures the reader’s imagination at best-seller level. ‘What if’ has always been the solid grist of fiction.

Get yourself something cool to drink, find a relaxing position, but before you continue, visualize the television photos of two jet airliners smashing into the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan and remind yourself this cowardly act of Muslim terror was planned for eight years.

How long did it take Islam and their oil money to find a candidate for President of the United States? (more…)

17-Jun-2008

Thomas Sowell on Obama for President

Filed under: PoliticiansUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 7:02 am Edit This

Every American—nay, all thinking people—should read Thomas Sowell’s A Man of Letters. Sowell would have my vote if he were any party’s presidential candidate. Sowell is not an “African-American.” He is an American who represents all that is great about the American heritage, today endangered by Barack Obama.


Courtesy of National Review Online.

An Old Newness

Obama is a hit with the media, but electing him would be a grave error.

By Thomas Sowell

Many years ago, a great hitter named Paul Waner was nearing the end of his long career. He entered a ballgame with 2,999 hits—one hit away from the 3,000-hit landmark—which so many hitters want to reach, but which relatively few actually do reach.

Waner hit a ball that the fielder did not handle cleanly but the official scorer called it a hit, making it Waner’s 3,000th. Paul Waner then sent word to the official scorer that he did not want that questionable hit to be the one that put him over the top. (more…)

Theocracy Versus Judaism: How the Jews of Israel Have Been Deceived and Disempowered (II)

Filed under: Democratic MethodsJudaism — eidelberg @ 6:38 am Edit This

Part two of a series. View Part one.

A. Neither God Nor the People Rule Israel

If “theocracy” signifies a regime ruled by a church or by priests, Judaism is not theocratic. There is no church in Judaism, neither theologically, since there is no mediation between God and the individual Jew, nor institutionally, since there is no ecclesiastical hierarchy.

In Judaism no priesthood but only publicly tested scholarship can lay claim to any validity regarding the laws of the Torah. This means that the Torah belongs to every Jew, whether he is a Kohane, Levite, or Israelite. A word about this classification of Jews may be helpful.

Although the Kohanim, Levites, and Israelites comprise hereditary “classes,” they are not closed. The daughter of an Israelite or Levite may marry a Kohane and her children will be Kohanim, since “class” status is patrilineal. (more…)

16-Jun-2008

Not Yours To Give

Filed under: Democratic MethodsEthicsUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 10:42 pm Edit This

Please read Col. David Crockett’s speech as well as the speech of one of his constituents.

Light-years removed from Israel’s undemocratic system of government.

Thanks to Dr. Eugene Narrett.


Courtesy of Project Freedom and US Representative Ron Paul of Texas.

Colonel David Crockett, US Representative from Tennessee, Delivering His Celebrated Speech to Congress on the State of Finances, State Officers, and State Affairs in General.

How Long Does the USA Have?

Filed under: Democratic MethodsUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 10:36 pm Edit This

Submitted by Dr. Eugene Narrett.

This is the most interesting thing I’ve read in a long time. The sad thing about it, you can see it coming.

I have always heard about this democracy countdown. It is interesting to see it in print. God help us, not that we deserve it.

How Long Do We Have?

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

‘A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.’ (more…)

13-Jun-2008

The Left Doesn’t Stop at the Red Light: The Consequences Will Be Terrible

Filed under: Democratic MethodsOslo/Peace ProcessIsrael's Nationals — eidelberg @ 6:32 am Edit This

By Dov Even-Or.
June 10, 2008

1. It is the eve of Shavuot, the festival that celebrates the giving of the Torah to the children of Israel; it is a time for soul-searching for the Jewish public. I would like to seize this opportunity and open some doors, before they shut down completely.

2. According to the ‘leftist world’, I am a right wing extremist, a hallucinatory who should be neutralized; that’s how they treat all of the national camp. According to another parameter, I am a Jew who lives in the spirit of the Torah (with adaptations to modern times), I fight anybody who tries to become assimilated and to assimilate me and I do not give in to anyone who violates the laws of justice and truth. Apparently, we are approaching a civil war, a fight among ‘brothers’ (and the quotation marks are significant) which is becoming inevitable in spite of its disastrous prospects.

3. Why are the chances of change so slight? (more…)

12-Jun-2008

A Primer on the Peace Fixation

Filed under: Oslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 5:14 am Edit This

A. Question: Why are Israeli policy-makers so preoccupied with making peace with Israel’s Arab neighbors?

  1. 1. They love peace.
  2. 2. They are timid.
  3. 3. They lack conviction in the justice of Israel’s cause.
  4. 4. They are stupid.
  5. 5. They are political opportunists.

Answer: All of the above.

B. Brief enlargement of the five listed answers concerning Israeli policy-makers: (more…)

Fitzgerald on Obama

Filed under: Islam & ArabOslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 4:23 am Edit This

By Hugh Fitzgerald
Courtesy of Jihad Watch

What Obama Has to Do Now

The promise by Obama in his AIPAC speech to “personally” take part in a renewal of Israeli-”Palestinian” negotiations is worrisome. Very. It should fill everyone with anxiety. For everything about Obama until now—the people he has allowed to tell him all about “Palestine” (Rashid Khalidi), the people who were his early financial backers (Anton Rezko, who in turn is backed by an Iraqi billionaire), his early political backers (Rev. Wright, possibly Louis Farrakhan), his choice of foreign-policy advisers (Zbigniew Brezezinski, and Samantha Powers), his endorsement by Jimmy Carter, all point in one direction.

And his endorsement of one undivided capital is “just words,” until we see exactly what he means by this. And he should be asked. Does he mean Jerusalem as the Israelis now define it, and include the Old City? And what else does he mean? (more…)

11-Jun-2008

What More is There to Say?

Filed under: Islam & ArabCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 6:30 am Edit This

What is the one grim fact that Israel has to overcome if it is to survive?

That the murder of Jews by Arab terrorists has become a banality.

Theocracy Versus Judaism: How the Jews of Israel Have Been Deceived and Disempowered (I)

Filed under: Democratic MethodsJudaismSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 5:24 am Edit This

Part one of a series.

The Bogeyman of Theocracy

Israel’s Guardians of Secularism are fond of using the bogeyman of “theocracy” to frighten the public on issues involving the relationship between religion and state. They have conditioned Israelis to believe that “theocracy” means the “rule of priests,” and hardly anything can be more undemocratic—right? Israel’s Secular Priesthood associate theocracy with the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church, Ayatollah Khomeini, Inquisitions, auto-de-fés, tyranny—something utterly contrary to the Enlightenment embodied in “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

The Illuminati are ever vigilant about “religious coercion.” They fulminate against Sabbath restrictions on commercial activities in a reputedly Jewish state, yet they applaud the secular coercion of a government that expelled 8,000 Jews from their homes in Gush Katif, leveled theirs schools and synagogues, destroyed their farms and factories, and traumatized women and children as well as the elderly while pulverizing their flourishing communities. The hypocrisy of Israel’s Secular Guardians betrays their hatred of Judaism.

All the talk about theocracy is obscurantism: there never has been a theocracy—thank God! What the Guardians of Secularism regard as a theocracy or theocratic state is in fact a “clerical” state, where a small minority uses the aura of religion to rule ignorant masses. Today, a small minority in Israel uses the aura of democracy to rule the masses. This ruling minority employs the myth of theocracy to obscure the fact that Israeli democracy is also a myth, except on election day. On that marvelous day the masses vote. How? (more…)

      — Next Page »