The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

30-Jul-2008

Cogito Ergo Sum

Filed under: Islam & ArabPoliticians — eidelberg @ 10:57 pm Edit This

Senator Barak Obama has come a long way since René Descartes, the 17th-century philosopher who famously said, “cogito ergo sum”—“I think, therefore I am.” With Obama, cogito ergo sum has metamorphosed into videor ergo sum, “I am being seen, therefore I am.”

To be fair, however, Senator Obama is simply riding the waves of what I call “Photo-Op Democracy.”—let’s call it “POP Democracy.”

POP Democracy makes nonsense of the “rule of the people.” Of course, one might say the people no longer think, and that this is what makes Obama the media’s presidential candidate.

But it’s not enough for Obama to be seen; he must also be heard. He must utter such mindless slogans as “change” or “Yes, we can!” Such slogans appeal to youth. They arouse their hormones or overcome their boredom or discontent with humdrum reality. The immature can plug anything they want into “change” and “Yes, we can!” without a moment’s thought about history, about statecraft, about political reality or about Islamic imperialism Just wish, just hope, just dream—and presto! That’s it kids, that’s all that’s necessary in this spinning world of make-believe. (more…)

28-Jul-2008

Obama And The New American Revolution

Filed under: Islam & ArabPoliticiansUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 10:54 pm Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 28, 2008.

Much confusion reigns among many Jews, especially in Israel, concerning Senator Barack Obama, should he become America’s next president.

Obama-watchers are worried about his Middle East advisers. Prominent among them is Professor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser. Brzezinski helped orchestrate the fall of America’s ally, the Shah of Iran and the ascendancy of the Ayatollah Khomeini, whose Islamic revolution now threatens Israel and the West.

There is something insidious about Brzezinski—a clue to what underlies Senator Obama’s ascendancy in the Democratic Party. Brzezinski, like George Soros, a billionaire who backed both Obama and Hillary Clinton in the presidential primaries, is a globalist opposed to the sovereignty of the nation state. This attitude conflicts with Judaism, but not with Islam, and sheds light on Brzezinski’s notorious anti-Israel record, a record bordering on Jew-hatred.

That Senator Obama includes among his advisers former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, reputedly an Orthodox Jew, is hardly reassuring. Kurtzer not only advocates a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. He is serving a politician who recently told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that he advocates a contiguous Palestinian state, hence one connected with Gaza. This would destroy the geographic continuity of the Jewish state and fatally undermine its security. (more…)

26-Jul-2008

Ehud Olmert—The Perfect Role Model for the Israeli Left

Filed under: Democratic MethodsPoliticians — eidelberg @ 1:07 am Edit This

A contrarian view by Moshe Brody.

“Ehud Olmert—The Perfect Role Model for the Israeli Left”

  • * A thoroughly-incompetent failure
  • * Willingly led our country into disaster
  • * Caused national suffering, loss, destruction, and death
  • * Completely useless and derelict in all duties
  • * Corrupt, unprincipled and self-serving
  • * Totally irresponsible and answerable to nobody
  • * Manipulative and deceitful
  • * Sadistically persecuted our nation’s patriots
  • * Shamelessly betrays our nation and people
  • * Sells our country out to foreign interests (more…)

22-Jul-2008

Of Men and Apes

Filed under: Ethics — eidelberg @ 7:34 pm Edit This

The Descent of Man is the ambiguous title of Darwin’s sequel to The Origin of the Species. Of course, it was not ambiguous to Darwin, who simply meant that man is descended from apes. But the title may nonetheless be construed to mean that man has descended to the level of apes!.

Consider the Great Ape Project reported in The New York Times by Donald G. McNeil, Jr. (July 21, 2008). The project is based on the findings of microbiologists that certain apes possess 95 percent to 98.7 percent of the DNA of humans. The directors of the Great Ape Project, Peter Singer, a Princeton ethicist, and Paolo Cavalierro, an Italian philosopher, regard apes as part of a “community of equals” with humans.

Consistent with this conclusion, a committee of the Spanish parliament voted last month to grant limited rights to our closest biological relatives—chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans. Why not, seeing that the genomes of these apes are only a snippet less than that of humans? (more…)

21-Jul-2008

The Koran

Filed under: Islam & ArabJudaism — eidelberg @ 10:47 pm Edit This

In my July 21, 2008 report on Arutz-7, I said that the Torah makes nonsense of the Koran. Omitted was the following statement of Abraham Geiger (1810-1874), an expert on Islam who points out that the Koran’s references to the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are “ridiculous”:

The order in which he [Muhammad] gives the prophets is interesting, for immediately after the patriarchs he places first Jesus, then Job, Jonah, Aaron, Solomon, and last of all David [Sura 4:161]. In another passage [Sura 6:84-86] the order is still more ridiculous, for here we have David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Zachariah, John, Jesus, Elijah, Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot! The incorrect spellings of the names of these prophets, as well as the parts which [Muhammad] assigns to them in history, proves that he had never even looked into the Hebrew Scriptures. (Judaism and Islam, p. 19.)

Must the State Perish for Israel to Survive?

Filed under: JudaismOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 10:40 pm Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 21, 2008.

In his “Epistle to Yemen,” Maimonides tells us how the nations have tried to destroy Israel. He explains: “[Because of Israel’s unique and divinely inspired way of life], all the nations, instigated by envy and impiety, rose up against us …” In each era they employed a new method to destroy Israel and its Torah. Maimonides first mentions conquest or brute force, e.g., Amalek, Nebuchadnezzar, and Hadrian. A second and more refined method was argumentation. Thus, the Greeks sought to demolish the Torah by means of philosophical controversy.

After this, says Maimonides, “there arose a sect which combined the two methods, conquest and controversy, into one, because it believed that this procedure would be more effective in wiping out every trace of the Jewish nation and [its faith]. It therefore resolved to lay claim to prophecy and to found a new faith, contrary to our Law, and to contend that it was equally God-given [but that it superseded the Torah].” None of these methods, Maimonides points out, has succeeded in destroying Judaism or in thwarting the will of God. The Jews survived and remained loyal to their Torah.

Turning to modern times, a fourth method has been used to undermine the Torah: “biblical criticism,” which denies the Torah’s divine origin and therefore Israel as the Chosen People. Yet, lo and behold, today we are witnessing not only an unprecedented growth of yeshivas. Jews from all walks of life returning to the Torah, a convergence of Torah and science, and a burgeoning Torah-oriented population. Yes, and all this threatens Israel’s secular establishment.

So a new method had to be used to destroy the Torah. This new method—the most insidious—is called “territory for peace.” (more…)

Israel Needs A Churchill

Filed under: Oslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 9:48 pm Edit This

Israel is at war with a cunning, determined, and ruthless foe—Islam. It would be bad enough if Israel’s ruling elites were merely cretins and cravens, but they are also traitors to Judaism. Hence I call them evil.

To betray Judaism is to betray the ethics Israel bestowed on mankind, and not only ethics, but also monotheism, the ultimate source of Western civilization., of philosophy and science. Nietzsche knew whereof he spoke when he said: “Wherever the Jews have attained to influence, they have taught to analyze more subtly, to argue more acutely, to write more clearly and purely: it has always been their problem to bring people to ‘raison.’

But now the Jews, led by a shameless prime minister, are surrendering to the enemies of civilization, a barbaric religion animated by murderous hatred. Here is what Churchill said of this religion in 1899:

No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome. (Emphasis added.)

Of course, Churchill did not foresee the decline of Christianity in Europe, today inundated by Muslims. (more…)

Israel Without a Pinchas

Filed under: JudaismOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 6:05 am Edit This

There is no Pinchas in Israel today, no one whose paramount concern is G-d’s honor.

Pinchas was rewarded by G-d for his decisive action in killing Zimri and Kosbi. Zimri, a prince of Israel, was consorting publicly with Kosbi, a Midian princess steeped in idolatry. For his otherwise warlike act, Pinchas was rewarded with the Eternal Covenant of Peace—the Brit Shalom. How are we to explain this seeming paradox?

In his commentary on Pinchas (Numbers 25:12), Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch defines G-d’s Eternal Covenant of Peace as “a state of the most complete harmony,” and not only between man and man, but between man and G-d. He points out that, like the covenant or brit with Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov, so the brit  with Pinchas represents G-d’s decision and promise that Peace will ultimately reign over the whole world. But meanwhile, mankind, rather than act in manner conducive to the “highest harmony of Peace,” thoughtlessly hides its duty under the cloak of “love of peace.” At the same time, it condemns those mindful of their duty to G-d as “enemies of peace.” (more…)

17-Jul-2008

Toward Respectable Political Parties

Filed under: Constitution & RightsDemocratic MethodsParty Structures — eidelberg @ 9:41 pm Edit This

Edted transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 14, 2008.

The classic definition of party was set forth by that great 18th century philosopher-statesman Edmund Burke: “Party is a body of men united, for promoting by their joint endeavours, the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed.”

By definition, a party represents only a part of the whole. While its members present their party principle as conducive to the national interest or the common good, they inevitably criticize the principles of other parties as not conducive to the common good, but they don’t necessarily impugn the integrity of their adversaries. For Burke, respectable parties must consist of “honest men of principle.”

Parties exist because men have different interests and conflicting opinions concerning such ends of government as justice and security, liberty and equality, prosperity and public morality. And of course such differences thrive in democracies.

Democracy, however, stands on the principle of “one adult, one vote.” One adult, one vote is virtually equivalent to “one opinion, one vote,” which suggests that democracy conduces to moral relativism. This is what decent people in democracies have yet to see: that democracy, as understand in this era of secularism, provides no objective justification for decency! Enough to mention the pornography and perversions now legalized in virtually all democratic countries. (more…)

Needed: A Jewish State in Israel

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 7:04 am Edit This

The socialists who founded modern Israel were committed not to a Jewish state so much as to a secular democratic state. The economic goals of socialism, however, require a concentration of political-economic power in government. Socialism therefore eventuates in state capitalism—the control of a nation’s wealth by political commissars.

However democratic Israel may be from a sociological perspective, it is ruled by rotating oligarchy that has truncated and emasculated the Jewish state.

The oligarchy is ensconced in the cabinet. There, cabinet ministers control various sectors of the economy, and do so less with a view to economic efficiency than with a view to enlarging their own personal or partisan power.

One researcher notes that the rate at which the salary of Knesset Members (MKs) increases is three times that of the average Israeli. (more…)

11-Jul-2008

The Dearth of Leadership and Water

Filed under: Domestic PolicyJudaism — eidelberg @ 6:23 am Edit This

Virtually everyone in Israel is aware of the dearth of leadership in this country as well as its dearth of water; but very few see how the dearth of one is related to the dearth of the other.

For reasons I will not go into here, our Sages held that water symbolizes the Torah. Where there is a lack of Torah there is a lack of leadership.

Indeed, when the Israel neglects the Torah, God hands the nation over not only to the lowest of leaders but to the lowest of peoples—even to a non-people like the fictitious Palestinians.

Arab and Israeli Statecraft

Filed under: Foreign PolicyIslam & Arab — eidelberg @ 5:52 am Edit This

Arab rulers, for example, Syrian dictator Bashir Assad, have learned from Anwar Sadat how to get territorial and other strategic resources from Israel for nothing. Thus, in an interview with The New York Times dated October 19, 1980, Sadat boasted: “Poor Menachem [Begin], he has his problems … After all, I got back … the Sinai and the Alma oil fields, and what has Menachem got? A piece of paper.”

Two years earlier, in November 1978 (hence four months before the signing of the March 1979 Israel-Egyptian peace treaty), I warned Israel’s government in these words:

The Arab rulers aren’t fools. They surely see the utility of Sadat’s strategy, which provides them with a model for regaining their own lost territory. One can go so far as to say that even if Sadat were assassinated, he would continue to be useful. Having served the Arab cause, he isn’t physically necessary any more. But his example is. (Sadat’s Strategy, p. 41, English edition.)

Arab leaders probably look at Israel’s ruling elites as “useful idiots,” to use Lenin’s cynicism. (more…)

10-Jul-2008

Why People Think Israel is a Democracy

Filed under: Democratic MethodsElectorate/Demographics — eidelberg @ 4:56 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 7, 2008.

For most people, the mere fact that Israel has periodic, multiparty elections convinces them that Israel is a democracy. This is naive. Democratic elections do not necessarily render the government of a country accountable to the governed, and without accountability, there is no genuine democracy. Nevertheless, although accountability is lacking in Israeli government, Israeli society is pretty democratic.

A better guide to understanding “democracy in Israel” is Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic, Democracy in America. For Tocqueville, the decisive principle of America is not democratic elections or even the structure of government, but equality of conditions. Equality of conditions means that no citizen is bound by law to the station of his birth. Equality of conditions enables any citizen to rise on the socio-economic ladder. A person of humble origin may become a country’s leader. Hence, nepotism aside, there are no hereditary privileges or privileged class.

However, while a country may be democratic from a sociological perspective, it may be very undemocratic from a political perspective, as I have already indicated. (more…)

09-Jul-2008

The Art of War

Filed under: Foreign PolicyThe Israel Defense Force — eidelberg @ 6:38 am Edit This

An early version of this article appeared in 2004.

The Art of War: Part I

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, written about 500 B.C.E., is the oldest military treatise in the world. Even now, after twenty-five centuries, the basic principles of that treatise remain a valuable guide for the conduct of war.

Perhaps Sun Tzu may be of interest to the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, in view of the Arab Terrorist War which erupted in September 2000. Since then more than 1,600 Jews have been murdered and many thousands more have been wounded and maimed by Arab terrorists.

Referring to the IDF’s limited response to this Arab terrorism, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, “self-restraint is strength”! At first glance one might suspect that Mr. Sharon had been inspired by the Sermon on the Mount. It may well be, however, that he derived that dictum from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War—or rather, from a misreading of that treatise. Sun Tzu would have a general exhibit, at first, “the coyness of a maiden”—to draw out the enemy—but thereafter he would have him emulate the fierceness of a lion.

Instead, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is emulating a pussy cat. (more…)

08-Jul-2008

War in Iraq

Filed under: Islam & ArabIntifada & TerrorismUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 7:15 am Edit This

This is a brilliant and urgently needed analysis—P.E.

Courtesy of The Claremont Institute For the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy.

War in the Absence of Strategic Clarity

More than merely winning the war in Iraq, we needed to stun the Arab World.
By Mark Helprin
September 17, 2003

America has approached the war on terrorism as if from two dreamworlds. The liberal, in which an absurd understanding of cause and effect, the habit of capitulation to foreign influence, a mild and perpetual anti-Americanism, reflex allergies to military spending, and a theological aversion to self-defense all lead to policies that are hard to differentiate from surrender. And the conservative, in which everything must be all right as long as a self-declared conservative is in the White House—no matter how badly the war is run; no matter that a Republican administration in electoral fear leans left and breaks its promise to restore the military; and no matter that because the Secretary of Defense decided that he need not be able to fight two wars at once, an adequate reserve does not exist to deal with, for example, North Korea. And in between these dreamworlds of paralysis and incompetence lies the seam, in French military terminology la soudure, through which al-Qaeda, uninterested in our parochialisms, will make its next attack.

The war is waged as if accidentally, and no wonder. For domestic political reasons and to preserve its marginal relations with the Arab World, the United States has declined to identify the enemy precisely. (more…)

War Models

Filed under: EthicsForeign PolicyUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 6:45 am 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? Restoration of the status quo ante. The outcome was precisely that: Korea remained divided. The U.S. did not win the war and did not lose—except tens of thousands of American soldiers. (more…)

Are There No Men In The Knesset?

Filed under: Democratic MethodsParty StructuresPoliticians — eidelberg @ 5:45 am Edit This

The present writer received the following report from Israel National News:

“Winograd Panel Member: Why is Olmert Still PM?”

Winograd Committee member Professor Yehezkel Dror wrote in the New York Jewish Forward that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would not still be in power “in any other parliamentary democracy.” The five-member Winograd panel was appointed by the Olmert government to conduct an inquiry into conduct of the Second Lebanon War.

“As found by the commission, the Prime Minister misdirected the war, showing a serious lack of strategic thinking,” Prof. Dror wrote in the left-leaning Forward. “The Defense Minister [Amir Peretz] was ignorant about defense issues. The Cabinet and its committees did not really know what they were deciding most of the time…. The chief of staff imposed a wrong doctrine. The army was not well prepared.

“As a member of the commission, I expected that the Cabinet would resign or be dismissed after the interim report appeared. Indeed, the chief of staff honorably resigned, and the minister of defense was made to leave. The prime minister, however, did not resign, nor was he forced to leave…. Having a highly qualified defense minister helps but cannot make up for the lack of a prime minister with a strategic mind, however good his political mind may be.” (more…)

07-Jul-2008

How Great Warriors Become Great Humanists

Filed under: EthicsIslam & ArabIntifada & Terrorism — eidelberg @ 9:09 pm Edit This

Since Israel is at war, Israel’s General Staff would do well to emulate General George S. Patton, the warrior most feared by Nazi Germany.

On the eve of battle, Patton would admonish his soldiers: “The object of war is not to die for your country. It is to make the other poor dumb bastard die for his.” This requires confronting and killing the enemy on the battlefield.

“Never let the enemy rest.” No cease fires or hudnas. Unconditional surrender should be Israel’s proclaimed war aim!

“We want the enemy to know that they are fighting the toughest fighting men in the world!” This precludes benevolence (which Arabs despise). Just as Hamas (or Hezbollah) warriors would show no mercy to you, so you should show no mercy to them. These warriors must be killed even if this results in civilian casualties. (more…)

Do The People Of Israel Deserve a State?

Filed under: Israel's NationalsIntifada & Terrorism — eidelberg @ 8:55 pm Edit This

Various “rightwing” Knesset members blame yesterday’s Arab terrorist attack in Jerusalem on the government’s appeasement of Arab terrorism, especially its immoral dealings with Arab terrorist organizations. True, but superficial and misleading if not self-serving.

Appeasement of Arab terrorism did not begin with the Olmert government. To give it only the most obvious beginning, it started with the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of September 13, 1993. This means that the following prime ministers have fostered Arab terrorism: Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert. (I omit the culpability of Israel’s left-wing Supreme Court.)

Since the Oslo Agreement has resulted in some 10,000 Jewish casualties, the question arises: what keeps inept as well as timid Israeli governments in power? Why is it that, regardless of which party or party coalition is at the helm of state, it pursues the same policy of self-restraint vis-à-vis Arab terrorism—a policy that hazards the life of every Jew in Israel? (more…)

A Primer on Political Science: Part I

Filed under: Democratic MethodsEthicsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 6:18 am Edit This

The founder of political science and its greatest exemplar is Aristotle, who wrote treatises on some 150 regimes. Alas, only fragments remain of what he wrote about Athens.

What Machiavelli, the father of modern political science, knows compared to Aristotle can be put on a postage stamp. The same may be said of postmodern political scientists vis-à-vis Machiavelli. Yes, unknown to Darwin, we have descended from Swift’s Brobdingnagians to Lilliputians to Yahoos.

Here, then, is a general outline of Aristotle’s political science, which I have distilled primarily from Book IV of his Politics.

 

A. The Scope, Subject Matter and Methods of Political Science

  1. Political science is predominantly a practical discipline intended primarily for statesmen. (more…)

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