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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Arab Xenophobia and Global Religious Conflict

After the murder of four rabbis in a Jerusalem synagogue the news soon spread.  In Judea and Samaria and in Gaza, thousands of Arabs celebrated the bloody slaughter.  They handed out sweetmeats.    When Baruch Goldstein killed Arab worshipers, in an address to the Knesset, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin denounced Goldstein. Rabin, addressing not just Goldstein and his legacy but also other settlers he regarded as militant, declared:

    You are not part of the community of Israel... You are not part of the national democratic camp which we all belong to in this house, and many of the people despise you. You are not partners in the Zionist enterprise. You are a foreign implant. You are an errant weed. Sensible Judaism spits you out. You placed yourself outside the wall of Jewish law... We say to this horrible man and those like him: you are a shame on Zionism and an embarrassment to Judaism.

That ethical difference between the two separate nations is what drives antisemitism in the West today.

Xenophobia is defined as an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers – but I would object to the word ‘unreasonable’.  To fear that which is unfamiliar or different to one-self is understandable but not reasonable. It is something easily over-come if both sides are willing to work at it and again, if both sides have the desire to accept the other.  It is the latter part of this particular social paradigm that is most acutely felt to be missing from the immigrant experience in the contemporary western world.

Many Muslims do not want to integrate into Western Society and they take this ambivalent immigration experience in a wholly surprising direction when they turn that expectation on its head and demand we integrate their cultural values into our homes, our workplaces and our public places.  Before I am attacked for being selectively biased, there are ultra-orthodox Jews who are the same but they are overwhelmingly, a minority, even amongst Jews.  And there is, even then, usually one difference. Judaism created a template for people to live together, without fear of one another.  As a behavioral principle, ‘derekh eretz’ stands out in rabbinic literature as a guide for human relations.   It is typically defined as doing what is right but the important condition here is that each society has its own definition of decency; it is incumbent upon the Jewish community to reconcile its ethics to those of the dominant cultural community.  Not then the same concept as practiced by our Muslim friends.

We seem to have forgotten that society is evolutionary and that justice, for nearly all of human history, has taken second place to the whims of those who wielded power. A surprising failure of modern scholarship is the inability of thinkers to even attempt to understand the circumstances of peoples’ lives in other times in comparison with how we all live today.  One of the working principles of archaeology is to try to understand the past by reference to what we know in the present.  We seem to have missed the point that the present is similarly informed by the past.

These meandering thoughts came to mind as I read the Israeli and foreign press during the past couple of weeks. Terrible things had been happening. The bloody slaughter of four rabbis as they prayed in a Jerusalem synagogue (and the Druze policeman who came to their aid); a three month old baby murdered by a pious Palestinian, there were two things that all acts of terror and not just these two examples shared.  The first was the hedging of condemnation by the worlds’ journalists and politicians.  The second was the reflexive apologia for Islam that absolved its adherents of any individual guilt.  This collectively racist approach is damaging our society as it excuses theirs for the evil that they now commit at every possible opportunity.

We are living through a period of contradictions and uncertainty. Prosperity has made us less dependent on faith for our emotional well-being.  Our physical insecurity may be minor but we are constantly exposed to news about terrifying plagues, gratuitous acts of violence and wars, brought into our living rooms and interpreted for our entertainment, by the global media.  It is unsettling so we retreat behind simple explanations and a consumer lifestyle that pushes all that bad news away.

The West has lost its purpose. Its obsessive focus on the State of Israel is partly demographic (Muslim immigration), but in part it is an indictment of the complexity with which we are unable to cope.  How else to explain the racism that forgives every atrocity carried out in the name of Allah, the passionate debate on the Left that pardons every hate crime as a product of Zionism?

The Left and its Muslim allies have discarded truth as an inconvenience that prevents them from living a life that to any normal person living in a normal environment is wholly illegitimate for its love of violence and worship of hate. We forgive our academics and their students, the street activists and their Muslim allies for the lies that they use to validate their behavior.  They have redefined normative behavior as deception and dishonor.  In our society today dishonesty is no longer viewed as a sin. The truth becomes a lie and the lie an unalterable truth.  “Hitler called his propaganda theory ‘The Big Lie’. It was easy enough, he explained, just make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually the world will believe it.” (Mark Langfan)

An example follows:  For most pro-Palestinian activists Jerusalem was always Muslim, Islam came before Judaism (we were always usurpers), and Islam has always treated us well, it has never deprived us of our religious rights to pray at our holy sites and by the way, the Temple Mount was never a Jewish site of prayer or holiness. Similarly, Jews may or may not have lived in Israel; their historical narrative may have been located elsewhere but in any case the Holy Land is an Islamic endowment just as Spain is.  Jews have left the stage of history and have no right to return to it. 

So here is one problem.  We are again being fed propaganda that we appear to be unable to combat.  If we leave the information war to our enemies it is interpreted as validating their narrative.  We arrived here because our secular societies dismissed with arrogant delusion the multiple threats that abandoning philosophy to the extremists posed to our way of life. Much of what afflicts our society today results from the triumph of science over faith.  I will explain:

The degree to which humanity is capable of exercising free will has been a matter of speculation by philosophers as well as scientists. If we are all the product of divine providence then we have no free will; if all that matters is the physical world then free will does not exist and we are all of us subject to the whims of scientific forces that can be explained diagrammatically.  If science can determine that the physical universe is governed by mechanistic causation then our own actions become deterministic.  This theory absolves us of personal responsibility for the choices we make.

Human beings have created an ethical framework for living that regulates our universe to the degree that we can control our spiritual environment even if we are unable to control our physical environment.  We do not entirely have free will if our minds are hard wired to fire and occasionally misfire.  The brain is not a perfect organ. No matter where we are born we all conquer complex concepts of language and we all reach certain milestones in our intellectual development at similar stages of our early life.

So we do not have free will to the extent that we are all products of our physical, biological limitations but we do have choice.  Even those choices are not limitless.  Our bodies limit us, our Laws constrain us.  Our ethical system reminds us that though we are able to lead a materialistic life of drunken debauchery and endless narcissism there are alternative choices to be considered. A religious life is not for everyone. A secular humanist can equally lead a moral life if the parameters are set and the questions are asked.

The importance of choice is paramount to our survival.  If all we live for is what we can easily attain then our purpose is shallow and with little difficulty, we are led. That is not freedom but voluntary submission. Perhaps that is why Islam (which means submission) is so attractive to so many people. It is a form of slavery that encourages its adherents to enslave others, for their sake.   Freedom then, is an act of will, a constant companion to the right to choose.  The problem is that we are constantly fighting against people and forces that do not believe that we have choices.  This excuses their benighted ethics because it is something that is outside of their control.

The religious psychopath who cuts off heads or tortures his victims till they beg for death, the axe murderer and the baby killer are all forgiven because they have no choice.  But there are always choices and it is how we choose to fight for our rights or wrongs that determine our outlook towards others, towards society and towards the human project.

I chose the title “Arab Xenophobia” because, to return to the fourth paragraph, it is a choice that has defined and continues to define the Arab Nation.  A few statements from our enemies will illustrate the point.

“We must massacre the Jews in order to break them.” Yunis al- Astal (member of PLC) March 6, 2014

“Anyone who has a knife, a weapon or a car, and is not attacking a settler or a Jew, and is not killing tens of Zionists, does not belong to Palestine.” Fawzi Barhoum (Hamas Spokesperson) July 30, 2014

“Blessed be your quality weapons, the wheels of your cars, your axes and kitchen knives because [they are being used] according to Allah’s will. We are the soldiers of Allah.” Sultan Abu Al-Einein (senior adviser to Mahmoud Abbas and member of the Fatah Central Committee) Tuesday 18th November 2014 in praise of the two murderers who carried out the synagogue massacre

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Violence and Redemption in the Holy Land

We are hearing much about the third intifada as lone Arabs attack Jews with knives and axes, and try to kill lots of people with their cars. One Arab, frustrated by his inability to successfully play human skittles leapt from his vehicle and proceeded to attempt to beat his chosen victim with an iron bar before being subdued. Acts of violence and terror are now a weekly occurrence and would be a daily occurrence if not for the vigilance of the security services.

The debate on how to prevent violence (and ultimately how to stop it completely) is heavily influenced by the extremists so unless we have loud, clear and unequivocal guidance from our political, religious and moral leaders the street will continue to rule; passions rather than respect will govern our actions and the violence will escalate because no-one is seen to effectively and consistently provide justice.

“If we really want to take an effective stand against extremism, we should not obsess over the extremists; rather, we should tackle those who facilitate, empower and legitimize extremism.” Providing a Platform for Terror, Nov 29, 2012 by Sam Westrop

An example: The debate on “ownership” of the city of Jerusalem has been magnified by the Palestinian leadership, so that now, all residents of Jerusalem have been deemed settlers and occupiers, and therefore, are justified as fair game… just like any modern orthodox Jew (those wearing knitted kippot and tsitsiot over their jeans). But Jerusalem is the main battleground, lose that one and Haifa and Tel Aviv will follow.

Who are the people facilitating, empowering and legitimizing extremism?
After the murder of the three Jewish seminarians in Judea and Samaria, Fatah (of which President for Life Mahmoud Abbas is its leader) posted the following threat (with thanks to Isi Leibler):

“Sons of Zion, this is an oath to the Lord of the Heavens: Prepare all the bags you can for your body parts. … We wish for the blood to become rivers.”

That’s inciting the populace to violence. The savage imagery portrayed cannot hint at even a glimmer of hope for a peaceful future between neighbors.  And yet this is a man in control of an entity that desires national freedom, someone we have often been told is a ‘genuine’ partner for peace.

Intolerance does not need a reason, it simply requires a target. The entire history of Palestinian nationalism is predicated on the denial of legitimate Jewish history, the renunciation of Jewish rights and the delegitimization of Jewish sovereignty.   Not drawing attention to this nationally mandated bigotry legitimises it, on a global scale.

In 1955 Israel blithely dismissed the UN with the words, famously uttered by Ben-Gurion “oom shmoom” (the UN, so what?) That pithy phrase soon entered the Israeli political lexicon. The contempt it expressed was deserved, nevertheless it was a mistake to ignore the damage to Israel that propaganda could cause, spread globally through the UN.  Allowing others to write and re-write the history books has done Israel incalculable damage by helping Israel’s enemies to spread their narrative into the global mainstream.

One example from the many corrupt UN agencies will suffuse as the exemplar for United Nations duplicity.   The creation of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) was an act of conspiracy whose intent was to guarantee a continuous war would be waged against Jewish existence in Israel.  The United Nations fashioned an organization that was answerable only to itself, was self-perpetuating and whose foundation document, applied to any nation other than Israel would have been deemed to be blatantly illegal. UNRWAs raison d’ĂȘtre can only be interpreted as easing into position the replacement of one population with another. Thus UNRWA legitimized Arab colonialism and is, for as long as it remains in existence, an act of United Nations sanctioned ethnic cleansing.

The struggle against the UN may be arduous as well as costly to Israel but it is a necessity for its survival and yet Israel has largely suffered in silence rather than fighting it.

Israel’s founding political leaders were left-wing and militantly secular, at least until the ascent of the right wing Likud party to national leadership in 1977.  Yet the same political attitude has continued to govern Israel’s elites since 1977 – it has meant that neither Left nor Right has addressed the religious dimensions of the war between Israel and its enemies, either internationally or internally within Israel.

Writing in Yedioth Aharonoth (an Israeli newspaper) on 9th November 2014 Yoaz Hendel described the killing of an Arab wielding a knife at police as resulting “from the national-religious conflict being waged.”

In any society in which a vacuum forms, people with definite ideas will fill the emptiness that has been created. That vacuum is an opportunity for views of what is right and what is wrong and of personal continuity expressed through time and space. Our identity is layered. Europe is allegedly a post-nationalism entity and this is where many of its problems lie.  People who feel that something is missing from their lives are susceptible to a crippled interpretation of any process that can be explained to them with simplicity.

While issues of identity are never simple - if a person is born in a country they take on the identity of the country in which they live, or they should. It is part of the basis for the social contract that defines and enriches everyone living in a democracy. An Israeli may be a Christian, Druze, Jew or Muslim. Their primary identity may be national (based on their place of birth or election) or religious but Israel has refused to engage in this debate. This has created a vacuum which allows the extremists to dominate the ongoing debate amongst all Israelis.

A “big” problem in Israel is that the national anthem clearly states Nefesh Yehudi (Jewish soul).   This makes the Arabs feel like “outsiders” which they don’t like! I suspect that a Nefesh Yisraeli (soul of Israel) would be equally unacceptable however it may be the only answer that has broad national backing, except to those who do not want a state called Israel.  And those people who don’t want to live under a Star of David (for a national flag)? There are 29 Christian nations that include crosses in their national flag (including Britain and Sweden).  There are 17 Muslim nations with Islamic symbols.  The Palestinian Authority flag is green, white, red and black. These are the classic colors of Islam, pan-Arab imperialism and Ba’athist genocide.  The flag of Hamas is theocratic.

Arab identity is not based solely on ethnicity.  It is religiously colonialist and brutally intolerant of any minorities unfortunate enough to endure living beneath its exercise of power.  Palestinian nationalism is inconsistent with Jewish self-determination. A person of Jewish faith cannot be a Palestinian unless they are hostile to Zionism (which is arguably the main aspect of Israeli identity).  Palestinian nationalism has usually been antisemitic and it denies Jewish Near-Eastern history while interpreting European Jewish history unfavorably.  This is nothing less than a war to deny Jewish civilization.

And yet, over three generations Israel has failed to attack this apartheid view of Arab-Palestinian exceptionalism which refutes Muslim or Christian Israeli identity as bogus and worse, a betrayal of the “Arab nation.” The nephew of an Arab member of parliament called himself an Israeli Muslim in an internet video and as a consequence he was forced to flee for his life - overseas. His aunt, the Member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi, publicly attacked him.  This is also a marker for the extremists.  It tells them that violence against the individual is permissible.  Most of the Arab leadership and its captive intelligentsia terrorizes the populace into conforming to an anti-Zionist / antisemitic narrative that denies them full integration into Israeli society.

Benjamin Netanyahu has refined the art of doing nothing during three terms as Prime Minister.  When he is forced to confront anything he is a populist leader so his do-nothing approach encourages chaos. It is only at the breaking point that he will choose the easiest route to placating the situation.  This is his failure.  It is his weakness as a leader.

It will damn him in any future written history about Israel because the issue of identity is even more important than whether or not the current leader of the Palestinians is inclined towards making peace with Israel.  Peace will not be achieved while a large fifth column lives in Israel, one that refuses to acknowledge the equal rights of the Jewish majority. Paradoxically, the equal rights of the Arab minority are undermined by the fear of that fifth column.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s British television tackled the issue of discrimination and prejudice with the sitcom “Till Death us do Part.”  Its American equivalent “All in the Family” ran for most of the 1970’s.  Israel desperately needs something similar to re-educate its people.

Kurt Tucholsky (a journalist and social commentator) labelled World War I a “worldwide latrine filled with blood, barbed wire, and hate songs.”  For Israel (and Jews elsewhere), if the world is to not become another latrine filled with blood and hate songs it needs to de-escalate the passions that are being expressed everywhere in strident and apocalyptic terms.  For that to happen Israel, for one, needs a firm and guiding hand at the helm of government. Novelist Amos Oz believes the Israel-Palestine conundrum is a battle between extremists and pragmatists - on both sides. Only when the extremists are all but silenced will there be a chance for peace between Israel and Palestine. In a normal society guidance would come from the clergy and then from government but in Israel because of its secular history that clerical guidance is absent or mostly confrontational. So leadership must begin with the government providing a vision for how it can unify the nation and marginalize those people or groups who are working to keep the nation divided.

Barry Rubin (Israeli columnist and professor) said “The Palestinians’ leaders have long believed that an intransigent strategy coupled with some outside force—Nazi Germany, the USSR, weaning the West away from Israel—will miraculously grant them total victory. They aren’t going to change course now that that route leads not forward but in circles.”

That same Arab-Palestinian strategy is fought in the Western World usually far more subtly than the naked racism and religious bigotry that is expressed within the Muslim world nevertheless things will get worse, everywhere, because the fascist nature of identity politics is again reasserting itself in western social discourse.

Fascism is the tyranny of the few against an even smaller group in order to proscribe that groups equal exercise of human rights and ultimately, by eliminating their equal rights, to exclude that target group.

Israel is the victim of fascism in the UN and that fascism is spilling over into Western society. Jews are once more becoming victims.  How often have we engaged in peaceful protest, only to be confronted with intimidation and violence? These twin tactics are the fascists preferred tools of persuasion. In the boycott movement and in academia such methods as these are viewed as the acceptable demonstration of their right to freedom of expression. Our right to not live in fear is inevitably dismissed as the suppression of our enemies own right to protest.  In Weimar Germany the Nazis used the same tactics that the Left and their Muslim allies now use to undermine our democratic rights.

Here’s the thing.  The Palestinians have their identity. It is 1,400 years old, tribal and hierarchical. It is racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and antisemitic.  It is Arab history being fiendishly re-enacted today in Iraq and Syria.

Israeli identity is still in the mix. It is still under development. It is 66 years old (1948), it is 97 years old (1917) and it is 4,000 years old.  It is defined by the period of the Bible, by the Second World War, by 1948, 1967, 1973 and 1979 (the War of Independence, the 6 Day War, the Yom Kippur War and the Peace Treaty with Egypt).  Judaism and Israel began in history some time between 2,600 and 2,100 years before the Prophet Muhammad got his big idea.

Arab identity as expressed in jingoistic circles is based on disrespecting ones enemy. Pan-Arabism has an intellectual history in the 20th Century that is wholly triumphalist. All opponents are ‘the enemy’ – remember the recent picture of the Arab women showing her shoe to ‘the Jew’?  In Arab culture the shoe directed towards a persons face says “you are beneath me, I trample on you”.  It is a telling symbol of Arab cultural attitudes that it finds no opposition in Arab society.

With age comes wisdom (in theory). Respect is earned by intentional humanity that is endowed unconditionally.  It is a concept that Arab identity denies to us and to everyone who is not them. It is their greatest strength but also the root of their greatest threat to us.

Israel, for its own sake as well as for the sake of the Diaspora, must understand the consequences of failed leadership, of its inability to create a credible consensus.  Finding a way to express our rights in our sovereign homeland that is inclusive for all of Israel’s citizens must be a priority.  Only then will peace be possible.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sticks and Stones

Israel is attacked in universities and Israel is attacked in the Press. We, Israel’s supporters, are attacked for supporting the ‘provincial’ nation state of the Jewish People. We are waging a war for hearts and minds and yet we behave as if the tactics of our opponents are unimportant even though the results may not be so. Many of us blithely ignore this conflict because “the scaremongers” disturb our docility.  Those rabble rousers annoy us, if we are honest with ourselves, because complexity confuses us.

When we are forced to take sides most of us are uncomfortable with the facts and too many variables make the likelihood of resolution, slim.  This encourages the weak to cut corners and listen to the people who treat them like simpletons.  It works.  The quickest way to win over converts to a cause is to create a Manichean reality inhabited by goodies and baddies, victims and aggressors (but more about that later).  Life is rarely so simple.

This is not a friendly rivalry between intellectual competitors.  If we use the word “opponent” our enemy has already won the moral high ground because this is not a game we are playing and they will not ‘play’ by our ‘civilized’ rules of engagement. The antagonism of our enemy can be seen in their signs of protest and the slogans they scream at us.  It can be understood in the actions of their activists and in the allegiances of their fellow travelers.

For instance, “Palestine will be free; from the river to the sea” means the obliteration of the State of Israel which would in turn mean genocide (even Palestinian “moderates” accept that anyone employed by the State would be tried for crimes against humanity and that means any one who has served in the IDF, or anyone who worked for or benefited from their relationship with the state.)  Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) campaigners often do not differentiate between Israeli and Jewish products when they attack shops but would be horrified if anyone were to attack supermarkets that stock halal products even though they may be imported from Muslim countries that are misogynistic, homophobic, slave-trading and founded on an institutionally racist premise.

To quote David Semple Manchesters third intifadists  “The BDS mob pretended not to be anti-Jewish but then poured out ……conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel, reminiscent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Jews were called Nazis; they were called dirty pigs; they were called murderers; they were even called Christ killers.”

But then I was called a child murderer for serving in the IDF.  One British activist for Palestine accused a Christian supporter of Israel of being “lower than those Jews.”

As I have previously stated, fascists on the Left and their Islamic allies view us as the enemy. We have no redemptive qualities that would save us. This is nascent Nazism. It is also the reason that they call us Zio(n)-Nazis.  They label us so that any excuses we may make for our actions appear at best lame, at worst, the self-justification of apologists for an evil regime.  If you call someone a name often enough, and create the pictures to go with it, the result is that you eventually create a vision in the mind of the public that is almost impossible to eradicate. It is propaganda at its most base, its most fundamental emotional level and therefore the most effective means of impregnation.

Our enemy has 3 assets we lack:

1.                  The Cause: This is an idea that is framed, encircled within absolute boundaries. Validity or accuracy is unimportant.  To quote Winston Churchill “the fanatic cannot change his mind and will not change his subject.”

2.                  The Semantic High-Ground: This is won by fighting a war of words. In a world that is easily afflicted by boredom, dualism creates a short-hand that instantly imprints a story on our sub-conscious. Settler and indigenous, colonizer and refugee, aggressor and victim are word-plays meant to initiate a dynamic interplay between the words and pictures we are fed, and our imagination.

Pictures are used to subliminally reinforce our prejudices. Children confronting soldiers are all of them innocents meeting the neighborhood bully, head-on.  It is what Cass Sunstein of Harvard University refers to as “bias assimilation.”

Words are at their most bestial when used to justify atrocity. But without them no reasonable person would support a Palestinian demand for a return and therefore the overturning of Jewish independence.  Without a justification for atrocity David could not become Palestinian and Goliath could not be Israeli.  The genocidal sub-text of Palestinian independence at Israel’s expense is facilitated by hijacking the biblical narrative.   That murderous sub-text is concealed behind a narrative defining Jesus as a Palestinian even when that surrogate Jesus stabs a Jewish toddler through the heart, cuts off the head of a sleeping baby, or with a rock, dashes out the brains of a toddler. Frustration sanitizes infanticide. Warfare has its rules, terror does not. It sounds obscene when the result is the same death to a child but without the rules of war anything is possible. By rewriting the rule-book to upturn definitions of terror and self-defense the fascist Left aids and abets the murderer but they can only justify this by shifting reality to suit their storyline.

3.         Passion: The committed individual will try to sway the uninvolved bystander by enunciating the intensity of their feelings in any way that effectively demonstrates their beliefs.  Ethics are therefore, not of necessity, a requirement.  Their passion will lead them into activism in university, in the union movement, in any organization they join and in politics.  If they are not confronted by an equally passionate opposing viewpoint they will prevail because they will assert their ideology over all others.

The difference between Zionists and anti-Zionists is that as Zionists we will try to reason with our questioner in order to rationally explain who we are and what we believe.  But in a radicalized group, correcting false beliefs will often intensify those beliefs.  To anti-Zionists, we are the enemy, not misguided but less human; hateful and an abomination.

So I will repeat: we are fighting a war and yet we use the words, demeanor and the tactics of the debating society while our enemy are fighting a war and as befits their contempt for us, their tactics are that of the warrior.  We naively believe that we can still win this war fighting under Queensbury’s Rules.

Plucky little Israel may be able to defeat its larger enemy on the battlefields of the Muslim Near-East but our Western European-American War is being fought in civil society, often by uncivil means and we are ill-equipped to combat the tactics our enemy employ against us. They outnumber us, their numbers are growing and they will never play by our rules unless they know the result in advance – in their favor.

I recently attended a meeting where Dr. Einat Wilf spoke. Dr Wilf is a former member of the Israeli Knesset and of the Israeli Labor Party.   As a woman who served in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the 18th Knesset, her opinion on why Israel appears to be blind to this particular arena of warfare was a revelation, at least to me.  She said that in the testosterone filled committees, members of the Knesset understood guns and tanks but not ideas.

It is insufficiently precise to say that Israel lacks the sophisticated European political idioms for dealing with Palestinians Arabs because that accusation is predicated on assumptions of compatibility, mutuality and equal receptivity to shared co-existence. Under those circumstances we could similarly question Europe’s appreciation of the challenges to sovereignty that it also faces in the ongoing battle to integrate its immigrants into European society.

In the macho Muslim ocean Israel inhabits, it is not even close to grasping the nature of the response it needs to provide to the two pronged war it faces on a continuous basis. The Hot War uses missiles and mortars.  The Cold War utilizes surrogate armies and sympathetic fellow travelers to wage a War of Attrition which it intends to win by weakening the resistance of its enemy – us.  Its combatants use rocks as well as cars as deadly projectiles against our bodies. The diplomatic war is used to discredit and ultimately disenfranchise Israel’s supporters so that a diplomatically and economically isolated Israel is sufficiently weakened for an unfavorable ‘peace’ to be imposed from the outside. Our enemies use physical as well as intellectual attributes to harass us and exert continuous and negative pressure upon us and if not us, then those around us.

Israel, envisioned and constructed by intellectuals, the state that still worships its scholars, remains deaf and blind to the words that wound even though those words may eventually kill.