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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gilad Shalit to be released from captivity

The whole nation welcomes home Gilad Shalit. Or it should. But there are prominent Israelis who have argued against the price to be paid for his return to Israel.  The price for swapping him is 1 Israeli for 1,027 Palestinians. People are right; it is an exorbitant price beyond all acceptable standards. And yes, there is a probable price yet to be paid in Israeli lives lost.  And it even sends a message to the Islamic world. After all, the morally corrupt President of Iran, Mahmoud Achmadinejad has unambiguously stated that Islam must defeat the corrupt West because “We (the Islamic world) love death and the West loves Life.”

In the Yom Kippur service there is a passage that refers to Pidyon Shevuyim (redeeming the captives). Islam theologically views the non Muslim as no better than cattle, to be bartered, stolen, abused and despatched to his or her death when no longer of service. As such, Islam is the true spiritual heir to the Roman Empire whose civilisation likewise produced great works of art and literature and, defined statecraft and ethics as the celebration of power and death, imaginatively delivered to lesser beings.

The one thing that has differentiated both the USA and Israel in their statecraft from the rest is the tension between foreign policy pragmatists (realists) and foreign policy idealists.  It is why the home of Capitalism boycotts its enemies and why the most significant opposition to war has always come from within our two societies not outside of them.   It is why Israel’s enemies fired almost 10,000 rockets and missiles at Israel’s citizens; nevertheless Israel permitted its enemies to escape with their families in the assault on Gaza that began on December 27, 2008.   And Israel has the most diligent military prosecution service in the Western world, to ensure that those forgetting the ‘rules of war’ do not escape scrutiny from an Israeli court.

It may not be much but it is what differentiates ‘us’ from ‘them’.

On November 30, 1947 the Arab Higher Committee issued its manifesto to rouse the population to a higher plane of consciousness – it wanted the Palestinian Arab populace to be prepared for the conflict with the Jews. It was titled “Kingdoms are established over dead bodies and skulls.” Rousing stuff.

In a not dissimilar vein, Neturei Karta, the fundamentalist Jewish worlds very own Jew haters may be correct about one thing only and that is that a people with a state will compromise on following God’s commandments.  They bleat that only a God created state is permissible therefore they ignore the state and often actively work to undermine it.  Their ethics are without Jewish foundation. In order to survive,a state will inevitably make compromises and God is in the struggle, not in full time study and disengagement from the life of the nation.

Those who would abandon a captive to his or her fate betray Jewish values.  That a senior Israeli Rabbi could publicly suggest this, is an indication of moral degeneration, not of piety.

Israel must not forget that the ethical foundation of the state of Israel is not Turkish, nor Arab, nor British; it is Jewish, and it is Israeli.  Ethnic cleansing is symbolic of Islam’s foundation mythology.  Pidyon Shevuyim is symbolic of Israel's founding ethic. Some of us appear to have forgotten that.

Pirkei Avot 2.6 (Hillel) "In a place where no one behaves like a human being, you must strive to be human.”

1 comment:

  1. I, as most Israeli citizens, am waiting with baited breathe for the return of Gilad to his families outstretched arms. The deal had to go through.....but let's not forget those forsaken soldiers, whom the earth simply "swallowed up" such as Guy Hever and of course, Ron Arad. Yes, the deal had to go through.... Hamas wanted it as badly as we did. But now, if we don't change our political agendas, it is only a matter of time until Gilad will have a replacement. The Hamas has said that until ALL Palestinian prisoners are freed (some 7,000), the kidnappings will not stop. Capital punishment needs to be instated for terrorist actions. And as far as I am concerned, we should empty our prisons of every last one of them, making sure that not one more, is taken care by our hard earned taxes.