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The God issue



The Ramchal exemplifies the ideals of Jewish statesmanship.

Without minimizing the existential threat confronting Israel by a nuclear-armed Iran,  a threat magnified by Iran’s insidious alliance with U.S. President Barack Obama, it may be instructive to update my article on the God issue, since this is the most significant issue confronting Israel.

Israel is not a secular name

The present State of Israel is ill-equipped to handle this issue. The reason is quite simple: Israel is led by secularists, and secularism and the name “Israel” constitute a contradiction in terms.

Notice, also, that Islam and “Israel” are also contradictory, and this, too, involves the God issue.  Moreover, the threat to Israel from Islam has two faces, Shiite and Sunni: Shiite Iran and the Sunni Palestinian Authority.

If Israel were to overcome the threat from Iran, this would shock the foundations of Islam. It would demoralize Iran’s clients, Hezbollah and Hamas, and eliminate their military supplier. It would also discourage the Palestinian Authority.

If Israel formed, as I have previously urged, an alliance with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who had the courage to call for a “religious revolution” in Islam against extremism, a new chapter in the Middle East might be in the making.

The demise of Iran entails the diminution of Shiite Islam. President el-Sisi’s call for a virtual reformation of Islam could lead to a diminution of Sunni Islam.

The key to this optimistic development of the Middle East is Israel. First and foremost, Israel needs to neutralize Iran.

Second, Israel needs to form economic and technological, hence pedagogical, ties with Egypt, to eliminate that nation’s endemic poverty and illiteracy. This would minimize the secular cultural influence of the United States in the Middle East.

Metamorphosis in Israel: return to God

This solid gold Menorah best illustrates the God issue for Israel. Or it should.

The Menorah. Solid gold, with seven lamps and three knobs shaped like almonds. Photo: CNAV

Third, Israel needs to undergo its own metamorphosis, as I shall all-too-briefly discuss.

No religious party in Israel has enough wit and courage to clarify the God issue. Torah-oriented Jews should not deceive themselves about the intellectual shortcomings of their religious community. Not a single religious personality in Israel has displayed the charisma and wisdom required for authentic Jewish leadership or statecraft. Nevertheless, to facilitate the ascendancy of such a personality, certain obstacles need to be removed.

First is the removal of the blinder that hinders Israel’s perception of an ugly truth: the university-bred doctrine of moral relativism, which undermines Israel’s sense of national pride and purpose.

Second, Jews in Israel must transcend their addiction to western democracy, a difficulty roughly equivalent to Muslims’ transcending their addiction to Islamic theocracy.

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Third, Israel is driven by a policy of peace that actually requires Muslims to renounce their religion. This policy is based on willful self-deception and arrogance. Only secularized prime ministers suffering from megalomania or some cerebral impairment believe they can overcome Islamic absolutism and its 1,400-year ambition to rule the world – the one thing that gives meaning to the life of Palestinian despots and suicide bombers.

Islamic absolutism may be coupled to democratic relativism. One is the historical antidote to the other, but both are manifestations of egoism.  This may explain Shimon Peres’ confessed and astonishing admiration for Yasser Arafat! Both exemplify politicians animated by the lust for power, but that’s what politics is primarily about. The negotiations that have taken place between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was nothing but a fraud of which both sides were fully aware.

This has been a cover-up of evil, a recurring consequence of the diplomacy called the “peace process.” Obscured is the God issue. This cover-up is one definition of Israeli politics.

But the God issue can’t remain hidden under the rug of “diplomacy.”  The “peace process” was nothing but theater for legions of Israeli and American officials animated by egoism. What else prompted their silence about evil, unless you want to accuse them of stupidity?

As Machiavelli, the creator of modern political science wanted us to believe, the essence of politics is egoism, which obscures what is most significant, the God issue.☼

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