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Executive

Man without a theory

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Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel--and a man without a theory. (Has he forgotten his earlier protest against empty reciprocity with the PA?) A secular man cannot understand the real Jewish theory--the Torah. Is he being a little too (Vichy) French for his country's safety? Maybe not. He took a stand against illegal immigration recently.

Many people think of Benjamin Netanyahu as a “realist” or “pragmatist”. Realists in America like to trace their realism to the Alexander Hamilton. They flatter themselves. Hamilton had nothing but contempt for politicians who today pass for realists or pragmatists. Consider his opinion of Aaron Burr, an earlier man without a theory:

But it is said

  1. that he is artful and dexterous to accomplish his ends;

  2. that he holds no pernicious theories, but is a mere matter-of-fact man.

I admit that he has no fixed theory…. But is it a recommendation to have no theory? Can that be a systematic or able statesman who has none?

Let it be remembered that … great ambition, unchecked by principle … is an unruly tyrant, which never can keep long in a course which good men will approve. Ambition without principle never was long under the guidance of good sense…

A modern man without a theory

Alexander Hamilton, who brilliantly explained the Commerce Clause. He also saw the danger in a man without a theory.

Alexander Hamilton. Portrait: Ezra Ames

This pretty much describes Benjamin Netanyahu, a matter-of-fact man devoid of any constructive political theory. Indeed, the mellifluous Netanyahu lacks any clear cut Jewish national goal, which means he has no solid intellectual foundation for statesmanship.

Look at his fixation on the disastrous Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of 1993, on the one hand, and his official endorsement of a Palestinian state on the other. Thus Netanyahu competes with Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert for the prize as Israel’s most pompous and disingenuous prime minister.

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His political longevity only attests to the inept nature of Israel’s political system. This fragmented system of multiparty cabinet government perpetuates the rule of narrow and short-term politicians.

These politicians, who hunger for prestige as opposed to an immortality of fame, consort with Muslims responsible for the murder of hundreds of Jewish men, women, and children.

Hardly anyone wants to accuse Netanyahu of lacking a sense of national honor. Hardly anyone will say he is a politician of mediocre intellect, a man incapable of formulating a national strategy inspired by a distinctive and uplifting Jewish goal.

Netanyahu reminds me of Alexander Hamilton’s assessment and warning about Aaron Burr: that a man without principle, hence without honor, will sooner or later succumb to bad judgment, if not foolishness. What else shall one say of Netanyahu and his endorsement of a Palestinian state?☼

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