The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

30-Dec-2008

Yaalon’s “Longer-But-Shorter” Road to Peace

Filed under: Islam & ArabOslo/Peace ProcessIsrael's Nationals — eidelberg @ 7:06 am Edit This

The Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 29, 2008.
Dedicated to Tsafir Ronen
(z”l).

Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan to elevate the economic well-being of the Palestinians to facilitate the “peace process” coincides with a policy paper written by former Chief of General Staff Moshe Yaalon, now with the Likud Party. The paper is entitled “Israel and the Palestinians: A New Strategy.”

Yaalon’s paper begins by analyzing the reasons why the Oslo accords failed to bring peace. “Fifteen years ago,” he says, “the signing of the Oslo accords with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) raised hopes that Israel had boarded the ‘peace train.’ Over the years, however, it became clear that the train was not headed for the promised destination.” Nevertheless, Israel’s leadership has foolishly remained on the same train.

However, Yaalon obscures the covert objective of Oslo’s architects, which was the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (Yesha) as the only means of achieving peace. He fails to see or say that only the “two-state” solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could induce Yasser Arafat to sign a deal with Israel—as Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin surely knew and concealed. Only a sovereign Palestinian state could be legally bound by any peace agreement.

Yaalon does not really oppose a Palestinian state. He simply criticizes the decision of Israel’s leaders to withdraw from Yesha before the Palestinians had achieved the economic, political, and judicial infrastructure required to become a responsible state.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is a kleptocracy. (more…)

A Muslim’s View of Ecumenism

Filed under: Islam & ArabJudaismMulticulturalism/Moral Relativism — eidelberg @ 6:51 am Edit This

If anyone wants to know how enlightened Muslims look upon ecumenism he can hardly do better than read the works of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, perhaps the most erudite Muslim philosopher of our time.

Nasr, who received his Ph.D. in the History of Science and Philosophy at Harvard and subsequently served as Chancellor of Aryamehr University in Iran, has taught and lectured at America’s most prestigious universities.

“Ecumenism,” he writes, “is becoming an instrument for simple relativization and further secularization.” By “relativization” he means this. The tendency of ecumenism is to deny that any religion is the repository of exclusive truth. Ecumenism thus reinforces the doctrine of cultural relativism according to which there are no objective and universally valid standards by which to determine whether the beliefs and practices of one people are superior to those of another.

Moreover, because relativism denies what Nasr calls “transcendental truths,” it inevitably breeds secularism. That some religionists are also relativists or quasi-relativists is only evidence of their superficiality or desire for popularity. Many ecumenicals fit this description. (more…)

29-Dec-2008

Then and Now

Filed under: Zionism/Nationalism — eidelberg @ 8:08 am Edit This

Back in 1920, an event took place in Israel that redounds to the honor and courage of many Jews, secular and religious. Indeed, since these Jews were then subject to British rule, their noble conduct shines all the more brilliantly when contrasted to the behavior of many Jews in the supposedly sovereign state of Israel—and I have especially in mind Israel’s ruling elites.

The event is recorded in Dr. Joseph B. Shechtman’s excellent biography of Vladimir Jabotinsky, from which I shall quote and paraphrase.

At the end of 1919, Jabotinsky formed the Jewish Defense Corp (Haganah) in reaction to Arab violence. On April 4, an Arab mob, inflamed by anti-Jewish speeches, began attacking Jews in Jerusalem. “Soon Jewish blood was shed and the mob rushed into the Jewish quarter to kill and to pillage, shouting: “El Dowleh ma’ana (the government is with us).”

“Instead of assisting the victims, Arab police either adopted a passive attitude or joined the attackers. The pogrom lasted two days and resulted in five Jews and four Arabs killed, 211 Jews and 21 Arabs wounded; two Jewish girls were raped.” (more…)

25-Dec-2008

Two Kinds of Doves

Filed under: BELIEFS & PERSPECTIVESJewish Leadership — eidelberg @ 7:27 am Edit This

Depending on their attitude toward peace, people generally divide between “doves” and “hawks.” Contrary to conventional wisdom, there are no “hawks” in Israel, only “doves.” In fact, Scripture identifies Israel with the “dove.”

Rabbi Aaron Soloveitchik (Logic of the Heart, Logic of the Mind) distinguishes between two kinds of doves. One is called yonat eilem, mute doves, doves that do not defend themselves (Psalms 56:1). The other is called g’ei yonim, proud doves (Psalms 123:4).

Regarding proud doves, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch writes:

As opposed to the imperious eagles, which were the emblems of power and majesty of the nations of the world, the “dove,” the symbol of weakness and impotence, is entirely at the mercy of all its enemies.

Among all the “doves”—among all the weak and powerless peoples of the world—Israel alone had the courage and moral energy to stand up with a calm eye to the eagle-like stare of the high and the mighty, to remain erect with unbowed self-confidence, and, despite its lowly position, to sense itself as a great force among the national phenomenon of world history. (more…)

24-Dec-2008

The February Knesset Elections

Filed under: Party StructuresRepresentation — eidelberg @ 6:18 am Edit This

The press reports that 43 parties are registered to run in Israel’s February 10, 2009 Knesset elections. This absurd phenomenon is the direct consequence of Israel’s (divisive) parliamentary electoral system.

As I have frequently pointed out, Israel, contrary almost all other reputed democracies, makes the country a single electoral district in which a multiplicity of party slates compete for Knesset seats on the basis Proportional Representation. This multiplicity of parties is compounded by Israel’s low electoral threshold, now 2%.

Although the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy prefers personal and direct election of Knesset members, the very least the next Knesset can do is to raise the electoral threshold, say to 4%. This would effectively eliminate most parties and compel others to run on a joint list.

A 4% threshold—once proposed by the late MK Rehavim Ze’evi—would probably lead to four party coalitions: a left-center coalition, a right-center coalition, a religious coalition, and an Arab coalition. Running on a joint list would tend to enlarge the mentality of each of the parties composing a coalition, since they would have to campaign on a common party platform. (more…)

“You Can’t Make A Crooked Line Straight”

Filed under: JudaismParty StructuresZionism/Nationalism — eidelberg @ 5:47 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 22, 2008.

The Sages say, “You can’t make a crooked line straight.” This prompted the present writer to warn a reputedly right-minded organization against joining the Likud Party some ten years ago. This was before 23 Likud MKs betrayed the nation by voting for “unilateral disengagement” from Gaza in 2004—a policy rejected by a vast majority of the public in the 2003 election.

The Likud government’s expulsion of Gaza’s 8,000 Jewish residents was called a crime by Professor Benzion Netanyahu. He said this despite the fact that his son Binyamin was a minister in that government. The same crime would be re-enacted if Dan Meridor, who recently rejoined the Likud, prevails in a projected Likud-led government to yield the Golan Heights to Syria.

But what is there about the Likud that prompts the title of this article? To answer this question, I turn to Israel’s first and illustrious Chief Rabbi, Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook.

The Likud is rooted in secular Zionism, in Theodor Herzl’s tract The Jewish State. Herzl severed Judaism from public law and relegated the Torah to the home and the synagogue. (more…)

23-Dec-2008

Orot (Lights) From Rav Kook

Filed under: JudaismBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 6:00 am Edit This

Apropos of Hanukah, the Festival of Lights, let me share with you some of the light from Orot, the seminal work of the illustrious Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook.

Orot (Lights), has been translated and brilliantly annotated by Rabbi Bezalel Naor, who rightly says in his introduction, “Rav Kook’s thought is intended to be the sum, the synthesis, of all Jewish thought preceding it. Beyond that, it attempts to provide the last, premessianic word on that entire tradition.”

Before continuing, it is important to bear in mind that the original edition of Orot was published in 1920, shortly after First World War—till then the bloodiest war in human history. Another significant matter: Rabbi Naor refers to Rav Kook as “The man who wore tefillin all day—and Nietzsche.” I wrote my masters thesis on Nietzsche, and having read Orot many times, what links Rav Kook and Nietzsche is their denial of antinomies on the one hand, and their “yes to life” philosophy on the other. Whatever one may think of Nietzsche, probably no gentile philosopher better understood Judaism, and few admired Jews more than the author of Thus Spake Zarathustra.

When Nietzsche says in Zarathustra, “God is dead,” he meant the God of Christianity. Lo and behold, Europe is now witnessing the demise of Christianity. (more…)

Rabbi Kook

Filed under: JudaismBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 5:27 am Edit This

To those who feel the pain of Israel’s redemption, or who feel disheartened by the falling character of Israel’s government; and to those who feel powerless before the wave of decay sweeping across America, a few words from the Talmud.

To avoid execution by the wicked Roman government, Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai and his son hid in a cave for twelve years. There they diligently studied the Jewish sources. With the death of the Caesar, they were free to leave the cave. Seeing people plowing and sowing, they said: “They are abandoning eternal life for temporal life.” Every place they gazed upon was immediately consumed by fire. A heavenly voice rang out and said to them: “Did you go out to destroy my world? Return to your cave.” After twelve months, they again left the cave, and Shimon ben Yohai said: “My son, you and I are enough for the world.” Now ponder Rav Avraham Yitzhak Hakohen Kook’s commentary on these few words in bold print.

If the orbit of all existence and all the multitudinous, broad, distant deeds of man should be designed for the desired effect that out of mankind there should emerge even a few holy people full of the light of truth and the sanctity of God the Most High, blessed be He—then all the machinations which seem so foreign to us are worthwhile. (more…)

Defining the Enemy: Islam

Filed under: Islam & ArabMulticulturalism/Moral Relativism — eidelberg @ 5:07 am Edit This

A comment on the excellent article “Still Asleep After Mumbai” by Daniel Pipes.

Islam is at war with the West. The West cannot win this war unless it defines the enemy. Europe has all but surrendered to Islam, and America is in the process of doing so because their common enemy has not been defined. The same may be said of Israel, whose leaders are afraid to name the same enemy.

Using such terms as “Islamism,” Islamic fundamentalism,” “extremist Islam,” “radical Islam,” “militant Islam,” “political Islam,” “IslamoFascism” fails to expose the unique political and theological nature of the enemy, and this failure is a strategic error.

The fact that the Qur’an exalts the Muslim who “slays and is slain” for Allah (Sura 9:111) suggests that Islam is a religion of death.

However, defining Islam exposes you to the canard of racism. It can also lead to violent backlash. But inasmuch as Islam is waging war against the West, the West will lose this war if its political and intellectual leaders fail to educate public opinion about the true nature of the enemy.

One way to avoid the issue is to speak of “Muslim moderates.” (more…)

22-Dec-2008

Thoughts Out of Season III

Filed under: JudaismIsrael's Nationals — eidelberg @ 6:35 am Edit This

Consider what some eminent individuals have said of the Jewish people:

● Rabbi Avraham Isaac Hakohen Kook:

The denial of our ‘Thou hast chosen us’ vocation and singularity is a fateful blunder. Set apart from the Gentiles, as evident in our incompatible history, the Jewish excellence and nobility surpasses that of any other nation. Our self-recognition implies an awareness of the Jewish grandeur; its renunciation spells a denial of the self. A people that disregards its essence, diminishes its stature. The obliteration of our exalted nature is the sole cause of our decline.

● John Adams:

The Jews have done more to civilize men than any other nation…. They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited the earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the Globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily than any other Nation, ancient or modern. (more…)

21-Dec-2008

Tea vs. Jewish Blood

Filed under: Israel's NationalsUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 8:01 am Edit This

Americans were prompted to start a revolution against England because of an increase in the price of tea. Israelis do nothing while their government makes Jewish blood cheap.

How Dictatorships Stay in Power

Filed under: Democratic MethodsUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 7:48 am Edit This

Only From Yamin Israel.

To stay in power, dictatorships make their subjects feel dependent on their rulers. To this end they must (1) concentrate decision-making in their own hands;   (2) dominate the economy;   (3) control the mass media;   (4) breed mutual distrust among their subjects to make them incapable of joint action;   (5) break their spirit by arousing fear of war.

Contrast the preceding with the situation in Israel, reputedly a democracy.

(1)  Decision-making in Israel is concentrated ostensibly in the Cabinet but actually in the Prime Minister. The PM can take unilateral actions the Cabinet dares not veto lest new elections result and terminate the posts and powers of cabinet ministers. This is why no Labor-led, no Likud-led, and no Kadima-led government has ever been toppled by a vote of no confidence. This means that the Cabinet pretty much controls how their colleagues vote in the Knesset. Furthermore, since members of the Knesset, hence MKs appointed to the Cabinet, are not accountable to the voters in constituency elections, they can ignore public opinion with impunity.

(2)  The government owns or controls most of the nation’s assets. (more…)

18-Dec-2008

Reason and the Sword

Filed under: Islam & ArabMulticulturalism/Moral Relativism — eidelberg @ 12:44 am Edit This

Faith in reason is the cornerstone of Jeffersonian democracy: “Fix reason firmly in her seat and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion.”

Jefferson’s faith in reason coincided with his faith in the common man, provided he was literate and self-supporting, in which case he would not be readily deceived by demagogues or succumb to moral relativism. Of course, television did not exist in Jefferson’s time, when Americans read the Bible and many could quote Shakespeare.

A product of the “Enlightenment”—which was nothing if not egalitarian and secular—Jefferson believed that reason, through science, would eventually triumph over force and usher in a New World Order of peace, prosperity, and democracy.

Contrast the nineteenth-century social democrat Ferdinand Lassalle, whose faith in reason is armed with a sword. In his drama Franz von Sickengen, there occurs a dialogue between a Lutheran chaplain, a pacifist, and Ulrick von Hutten, the great sixteenth-century humanist. (more…)

17-Dec-2008

Demophrenia Updated

Filed under: Democratic MethodsMulticulturalism/Moral Relativism — eidelberg @ 12:11 am Edit This

I am in the process of publishing a second and updated version of my book Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy. The updated version explains the pathological policies and statements of Israel’s current elites, including Ehud Olmert. I need to assess how many of you would be interested in purchasing this book. If you are interested, please contact us.

If you want an in-depth analysis of what ails Israel’s political and intellectual and some of its military elites, consult Chapter 5 of my book Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy. Here is a précis of the book’s central chapter:

Demophrenia

From its inception in 1948, the government of Israel, regardless of which party or coalition was at the helm, has been afflicted by “demophrenia.” Demophrenia is a deeply rooted malady of national and even of world-historical significance. Demophrenia involves an illogical and compulsive application of the democratic principles of freedom and equality to moral problems and ideological conflicts which are impervious to, and even exacerbated by, those principles. This disorder is most advanced in Israel, for its government is animated by a democratic mentality in conflict with Zionism, and ineffectual against the anti-democratic mentality of Israel’s Arab enemies.

To show that demophrenia is indeed a widespread but hitherto unrecognized mental disorder, I shall first review some of the literature on schizophrenia. (more…)

16-Dec-2008

Middle East Rules of Thumb

Filed under: Islam & ArabPublications — eidelberg @ 8:17 am Edit This

A review of Middle East Rules of Thumb: Understanding the Complexities of the Middle East—A Handbook by Steven Carol. iUniverse, Inc., New York (2008), publisher.

Middle East Rules of Thumb  is an appropriate title of an extraordinary book authored by historian Professor Steven Carol. This handbook clarifies the complexities of Arab-Islamic history during the past 1,400 years with an array of current facts comprehensible to students even at the high school level. Carol’s book should also be read, however, by college and university students so many of whom are misled by “politically correct” academics and journalists as well as by Arab propagandists.

This reader-friendly volume provides much needed factual data about the Israel-Israeli conflict. It should be on the bookshelves of Hillel Houses and Jewish Community Centers, and it should be brought to the attention of all friends of Israel, so often in need of solid facts to defend the one and only Jewish homeland.

15-Dec-2008

Defining the Enemy: Islam

Filed under: Islam & ArabMulticulturalism/Moral Relativism — eidelberg @ 9:55 pm Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 15, 2008.

Islam is at war with the West. The West cannot win this war unless it defines the enemy. Europe has all but surrendered to Islam, and America is in the process of doing so because their common enemy has not been defined. The same may be said of Israel, whose leaders are afraid to name the same enemy.

Using such terms as “Islamism,” Islamic fundamentalism,” “extremist Islam,” “radical Islam,” “militant Islam,” “political Islam,” “IslamoFascism” fails to expose the unique political and theological nature of the enemy, and this failure is a strategic error.

Henri Boulad, an Egyptian Jesuit and specialist in Islam, boldly states, “Islamism is Islam.” This statement, he says,

is perfectly consistent with history and geography, with the Qur’an and the sunna, with the life of Muhammad and the evolution of Islam, with what Islam says about itself. I reject the position of people—Muslims or Christians—who bury their heads in the sand like ostriches … refuse to see the situation objectively, or take their wishes for realities, on behalf of dialogue and tolerance.

The Qur’an exalts the Muslim who “slays and is slain” for Allah (Sura 9:111). Islam, therefore, is a religion of death. (more…)

14-Dec-2008

The Difference Between Livni and Netanyahu

Filed under: Politicians — eidelberg @ 6:06 am Edit This

What’s the difference between Livni and Netanyahu?

Livni pursues a policy of “pre-emptive appeasement.”

Bibi’s policy is more subtle; it’s called “reciprocity.”

Naming the Enemy

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

Prof. Eidelberg’s comment on article: “Still Asleep After Mumbai” (see below).

As I have elsewhere documented via a variety of sources, it is misleading as well as a strategic error to use euphemisms when speaking of Islamic terrorism. I mean the following: “Islamism,” Islamic fundamentalism,” “extremist Islam,” “radical Islam,” “militant Islam,” “political Islam,” and even “IslamoFascism.”

Henri Boulad, an Egyptian Jesuit, and a specialist in Islam, states in an article, “L’Islamisme, c’est l’Islam” (”Islamism is Islam”):

This statement [that Islamism is Islam] is perfectly consistent with history and geography, with the Quran and the sunna, with the life of Muhammad and the evolution of Islam, with what Islam says about itself. I reject the position of people—Muslims or Christians—who bury their heads in the sand like ostriches … refuse to see the situation objectively, or take their wishes for realities, on behalf of dialogue and tolerance.

Of course, naming Islam as the enemy exposes one to the canard of racism. It can also lead to violent backlash. But we are at war, and we cannot possibly win this war if we fail to identify the enemy.

Therefore, it is misleading to speak of “Muslim moderates.” Granting there are such Muslims, but this is not strategically relevant in a time of war. (No doubt there were “moderate Nazis.”) (more…)

An Ideological Offensive

Filed under: Islam & ArabOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 5:15 am Edit This

It is becoming increasingly apparent that Israel is in the grips of a democratically elected dictatorship at war with Jewish nationhood. Driven by the remorseless logic of the Oslo Agreement or “land for peace,” this dictatorship is collaborating with Israel’s enemies.

Oslo has produced a Palestinian Authority consisting of well-armed terrorist organizations. PA leaders wax fat with money from the U.S. and the European Union. Their strategy of stages is designed to facilitate the ethnic cleansing of 250,000 Jews from Judea and Samaria. Israel’s ruling elites are prepared, if not eager, to sacrifice these Jews on the altar of “peace.” These elites use the illusion of peace to retain power.

Meanwhile, Arab leaders baldly declare that “peace” means the destruction of Israel. The policy of land-for-peace arouses Arab contempt for Jews and incites Arab violence. The “peace process” will explode in a catastrophic war in the very near future.

Can such a war be averted? Not by a Likud-led government, most emphatically not by a Kadima-led government, and not by a government of national unity headed by Binyamin Netanyahu who has yet to overcome the Oslo syndrome.

If catastrophic war is to be averted—or if Israel is to emerge victorious—three basic conditions are in order. (more…)

12-Dec-2008

Loyalty Oath

Filed under: Islam & ArabIsrael's Nationals — eidelberg @ 7:13 am Edit This

This article was first published in December 2000.

YAMIN ISRAEL
The Truly Jewish Constitutional Party
P.O. Box 23678, Jerusalem 91236 Israel
Tel. 972-2-624-5676 • 972-54-407-581 • E-mail: Yamin@barak-online.net

Israel’s survival obviously depends on the loyalty of its citizens. Therefore:

●  Whereas a large majority of Israel’s Arab citizens do not identify themselves as Israelis but as “Palestinians”;

●  Whereas an undisclosed number of Israel’s Arab citizens are members of terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad;

●  Whereas thousands of Israel’s Arab citizens have openly committed acts of violence against the security forces of the State of Israel in violation of Part II, section 11(a)3 of the Citizenship Law, which empowers the Minister of Interior to revoke the citizenship of any Israel national who “has committed an act of disloyalty to the State”; (more…)

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