Archive for October, 2012

What’s wrong with this picture?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
Both dishonest and offensive

Both dishonest and offensive

The picture above was posted on Facebook by a person who thinks war is bad. Apparently, she believes that some of us disagree, and that seeing it might change our minds.

I find it dishonest and offensive, for several reasons.

1. It is dishonest because it suggests that the problem lies in the existence of armies, and not in human aggressiveness and acquisitiveness. Even if we could press a button and all military forces would disappear in a flash, the money spent on them magically appearing in national treasuries, is it likely that hunger would be eradicated? In the so-called “developing” world, where the great majority of the population lives on a subsistence level, aid money is routinely stolen to finance the lifestyle of a few kleptocrats. Why would this be expected to change?

Eliminating armies would not end aggressive behavior. If Israel, for example, didn’t have the IDF to protect it, it would be gone in a matter of days, its borders overwhelmed. The Arabs wouldn’t need armies to accomplish this.

Of course, there is no magic button, so the only way to implement an end to armies would be unilaterally. No sane person could suggest that this would work. How would Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or numerous others react to the announcement that the US had decided to end military spending?

2. It is offensive because it suggests that those of us who support the military or serve in it don’t care about human suffering, particularly the suffering of children. It suggests that we believe that war is a good thing. It implies that soldiers are either immoral or dupes.

But I and many others distinguish between just and unjust wars, and believe that it is not a crime to engage in a just war. The fact that it may even be an obligation, in some cases, to fight does not imply that it is a welcome thing.

3. It is offensive because it implies that those opposed to the military are morally superior to those who support it, when it may be that they are simply confused about the difference between the real world and an imagined and unrealizable utopia.

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Some things I believe

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

I am a Zionist.

That means that I support a Jewish state in its historical homeland. I oppose efforts to change it into another Arab state, or to kill and disperse its Jewish inhabitants. It does not mean that I think that Jews are superior to Arabs or anyone else.

It makes sense to me to talk about a Jewish people, and feel myself a part of it.

I believe that if the state of Israel were to disappear, it would unleash a wave of anti-Jewish violence in the diaspora, and the Jewish people as such would shortly cease to exist.

I am not ashamed of the circumstances of Israel’s birth, because I don’t accept the tissue of lies called the “Palestinian narrative.” If the Palestinian Arabs have been victimized, it’s been by their leadership and the Arab nations, not Israel.

I am not ashamed of the actions of the Israeli government, which is forced to fight a continuous battle, diplomatic, cognitive and military, against the large portion of the world that wants Israel to disappear.

I don’t claim that Israel is perfect or that its leaders always make the correct decisions. But I absolutely reject the vicious slanders that appear in Arab, European and — increasingly — American media, that invert reality and attribute to Israel the racist and genocidal motives of its enemies.

I am absolutely convinced that the Palestinian Authority (never mind Hamas!) is not interested in any solution to the conflict that leaves a Jewish state standing.

I don’t hate Arabs or Muslims. But I recognize that there is a growing segment of the Muslim world that believes in expanding the area ruled by Islamic law by means of a combination of threats, subversion, terrorism and war. I see these Muslims as the enemies of Jews, Christians and the secular West. I believe that it is our job to struggle to protect Western civilization against this very real opponent.

I think the “Arab Spring” has for the most part turned into an Islamist revolution.

I think the United Nations is so strongly influenced by enemies of Western civilization that it has long since ceased to be a force for good. At best it is a huge waste of resources, and at worst a tool of the barbarians.

I am very frustrated by American Jews who confuse Jewish ethics with a moral philosophy of naive humanism, who are incapable of understanding that there is such a thing as an enemy, and therefore embrace their enemies. They should all read Kenneth Levin’s book, The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege, in order to understand themselves (the Israeli Left should read this too, but they are probably to arrogant to be cured).

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