June 19, 2007

Two Jewish Views of Israel

Caroline Glick, an American Jewess turned Israeli, is an indefatigably ferocious warmonger who writes for the Jerusalem Post. She typifies a certain kind of merciless, humorless Zionist woman. Glick has an eye for the vacuity of the sort of Israeli leaders who are always engaged in the "peace process," and sees enemies and doom everywhere. In this piece, she trashes those who draw from the recent Gaza débacle a strategy of propping up the hapless Abu Mazen.

FATAH FORCES barely raised a finger to prevent their defeat in Gaza in spite of the massive quantities of US arms they received and the military training they underwent at the hands of US General Keith Dayton. Bush, Olmert and all proponents of the notion of strengthening Fatah in Judea and Samaria refuse to answer one simple question: Why would a handover of Judea and Samaria to Abbas's Fatah produce a better outcome than Israel's 2005 handover of Gaza to Abbas's Fatah?

They refuse to answer this question because they know full well that the answer is that there is absolutely no reason to believe that the outcome can be better. They know full well that since replacing Yasser Arafat as head of the PA in 2004, Abbas refused to take any effective action against Hamas. They know that he refused to take action to prevent Hamas's rise to power in Gaza and Judea and Samaria. They know that the guns the US transferred to Fatah in Gaza were surrendered to Hamas without a fight last week. They know that the billions of dollars of international and Israeli assistance to Fatah over the past 14 years never were used to advance the cause of peace.

They know that that money was diverted into the pockets of Fatah strongmen and utilized to build terror militias in which Hamas members were invited to serve. They know that Fatah built a terror superstructure in Judea, Samaria and Gaza which enabled operational cooperation between Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells.

SO WHY embrace the fantasy that things can be different now, in Judea and Samaria? Rather than provide rational arguments to defend their view that Hamas's takeover of Gaza is an opportunity for peace, proponents of peace fantasies as strategic wisdom explain vacuously that peace is the best alternative to jihad. They whine that those who point out that Israel now borders Iran in Lebanon and Gaza have nothing positive to say.

Although Glick triggers in me an almost instinctive aversion, and is almost insanely chauvinist and bellicose, she has an eye for the follies of the Olmerts of the world.

HT: Power Line.

About as far from Glick's worldview (for one thing, if she's anything but secular, there's no way to tell) as one can get, here's Möbius, in an unusual and thought-provoking Torah-based critique of contemporary Israeli politics:

And then I started getting more specific: What does the messianic ideal look like? That we should be free to live in the land of Israel without anyone to oppress or disturb us. That non-Jews will look to us an exemplar of righteous conduct in the world. That they will cling to us for guidance out of the love of their own hearts. I then said that we need to ask ourselves how we can conduct ourselves in a way that endears the nations, rather than one that brings them to revile us.

Furthermore, I noted that the land of Israel is the altar of the world, and examined what that means, in terms of entering the land with a purified consciousness and a sacred vision. Are we conducting ourselves in the land in such a way that it sanctifies the altar or desecrates it?

These are the themes I believe we ought to be exploring, whereas, I find, that they’re universal among Jews, both secular and religious, more so than any sort of universal political ethic. Whether devout or non-believing, both care about Jewish values and our legacy as a people, whether we’re fulfilling our potential as a nation, and at that, whether we’re committing a chilul Hashem (a desecration of G-d’s name, via the desecration of our legacy as a righteous nation) or a kiddush Hashem (sanctification of the name, via embodying the highest principles and aspirations of our tradition). Thus, it’s a more effective strategy for addressing the issues surrounding Israel and the occupation.

I also spoke about Holocaustism and Rube Goldberg Syndrome: How we’re collectively suffering from PTSD — best indicated by our inability to hear anything remotely critical of Israel without interpreting it as a call for the genocidal destruction of the Jewish people. I mentioned how we’re genuinely afraid of non-Jews despite the leaps in tolerance that have transformed the world in the last 60 years, and how we need more therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists working in the Jewish community to address these issues. I spoke about the Jewish community’s need for healing.

Another subject I explored was our need to overcome our hypersensitivity to language. One of the big issues that came up for attendees, as they described it, was that hearing others using words like “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” made them nervous and uncomfortable — not because they necessarily believe that that’s not what’s happening in Israel, but because they’re worried about the motivations of those who use such language.

There's much more here--the entire post is worth reading.

"Holocaustism." Wish I'd invented that.

Zionism contained two contradictory claims. One, that an independent Israel would be a light unto the nations, some kind of moral exemplar. The other, that an independent Israel would finally be just another nation, freeing Jews of their inhibiting and lethal chosenness.

It seems that neither has come to pass.

HT: Rachel.

1 comment:

rbarenblat said...

I'm glad that post of Mobius' was interesting to you.