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Wednesday, December 31, 2008


How is it that Arik Sharon -- "Father" of the "Settler Movement" -- who still lays in a coma dating back to the forced Gaza Withdrawal that he ordered in 2005, became the agent of that forced withdrawal? Many have asked this question and I would like to propose plausible reasons and circumstances. Above all I would like to propose an underlying primary cause. That primary underlying cause is a disproportionate sense of guilt (perhaps felt by Sharon himself) for the Sabra/Shatilla Massacres.

Politics and Witch Hunts often go together, as does political back-biting and infighting. By 2005 we find Sharon to be a widower of two years, he and his son are facing possible charges for corruption; Sharon still bears a blackened legacy going back decades to the Sabra/Shatilla massacres. World opinion and Israeli delusions of land concessions bringing peace (and "necessary" to cope with unfavorable demographic projections) pressure Sharon to cave in to snakes close to him, who prove out to be major appeasement artists.

Of all of these there is only one underlying deep fault dividing the soul of Israel, a bloody fault that proper salting could have healed; that fault is guilt over the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres. In 1982 Menachem Begin and Arik Sharon had finally succeeded in Lebanon in supporting the Phalangists, only to see Bashir Gemayel, the charismatic leader of the Lebanese Phalangists (qua newly elected Lebanese President), assassinated in mid-September only two weeks after meeting with Menachem Begin to discuss his intention to commence normalization of relations with Israel. [With Israeli help Bashir Gemayel had taken on Syria and Syrian supporters in Lebanon and had won militarily and politically. The state of war between Israel and Lebanon (dating back to Israel's War of Indepence in 1947) was about to end. Then Bashir Gemayel was assassinated.] Arik Sharon permitted Phalangists to enter the Sabra and Shatilla Camps (which were under Israeli protection), where in the process of seeking to root out Gemayel's assassin(s), they murdered more than three hundred Palestinian Arab men, women, and children.

Overnight the possibility of normalized relations with Lebanon was buried with those Palestinian Arab souls -- and in the grave of Bashir Gemayel. Ultimately a Syrian operative, responsible for the assassination of Bashir Gemayel, was imprisoned, only to be freed in 1990 by Syria. Meanwhile Amin Gemayel, elected to take over as President in place of his brother, was not the spark of leadership that his deceased brother Bashir was. Peace with Israel fell by the wayside. One is reminded of the natural and unnatural deaths of Faisal 1, his son Ghazi, and Faisal 2, and the imminent possibilities in their times of peace with Arabia and later Iraq, respectively, but for the terrible pressures from the pro-Axis, pro-Hitler elements that ultimately ruled Iraq.

Psychologically and emotionally, Israel as a People felt that something had happened on it's watch, which in light of the Holocaust, was unconscionable, namely, the massacres at Sabra and Shatilla. Even if Israeli's were not pulling the triggers, even if the Palestinian Arabs may possibly have harbored Gemayel's assassin(s), it was still the responsibility of Israel to guard the camps and Israel failed. Sharon failed. It was his responsibility, directly or indirectly.

What happened at Sabra and Shatilla stood in stark contrast to the Israel of the Six Day War or Entebbe, the miraculous standards by which Israel judged (and still judges) itself, except that having failed this once at Sabra and Shatilla, Israel now took on an inverse judgement of itself, seeking out failure after failure, internalizing guilt for the Sabra and Shatilla massacres to a degree of undeserved self-punishment, to a degree that made it impossible to defend itself to the World.

Suppose the following speculation: that Israel had built up such a tremendously high view and expectation of itself that it had no "plan B" -- that is, Israel had neither concept nor plan as to how to cope with an inevitable random failure of such a nature. One could say that Israel's expectations of itself and the World's expectations of Israel had achieved a level of idolatry. A mythology existed that Israel must be perfect and miraculous at all times and in all ways in order to be worthy of it's name. Once Israel, even for a moment, lost the moral high ground, then Israel had become not merely disgraced, it had become to some degree delegitimized. If Israel failed in guarding Sabra and Shatilla, then what other failures existed, which had perhaps been overlooked? The propaganda movement that has with some success portrayed Israel as fascist and nazi-like owes itself to the Sabra/Shatilla massacres, as does a great deal of world sympathy for the situation of Palestinian Arab refugees, however disproportionate to any real Israeli fault. The random failure of the Sabra and Shatilla massacres were never an exercise of Israeli policy. Yet anti-Israeli propagandists exaggerated these isolated instances in order to fabricate charges of genocide.

If Israel did not have such idolatrous expectations of itself, then perhaps Israel would have been more forgiving of itself with respect to what happened at Sabra and Shatilla. Perhaps then Arik Sharon would have been more forgiving of himself. Perhaps then Sharon could have worked successfully with Amin Gemayel to bring about peace with Lebanon. Perhaps then Syria would not have been able to move into Lebanon in 1990. Perhaps Hezbollah would never have grown so wildly. Perhaps a much compromised Sharon would not have been victim to such distorted thinking as led to his megalomaniacal forced withdrawal from Gaza. Perhaps then Gilad Shalit would never have been kidnapped, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev would still be alive and the 2006 War in Lebanon would not have occurred, nor would Hamas be in charge of Gaza, nor would Sderot have suffered daily rocket attacks for seven years, nor would Israel be dropping bombs in Gaza today....

Wake up, Arik! Wake up from your coma! Forgive yourself for Sabra and Shatilla! It must be that you blame yourself, as otherwise, why would it be the Pioneers -- your Children -- that you made to suffer? Wake up, Arik! Wake up, Great General!
You are forgiven!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


For communication to take place words must have meanings that are shared and understood universally. One word that has suffered great degradation in the past several decades has been the word "holocaust". In the pantheon of language there are many words that are applied to describe violence. There are many different types of violence, many different scales of violence, many different reasons for violence, and overlapping phenomena of violence. There is murder, group murder, massacre, mass murder, carnage, mass annihilation... and there is holocaust. So what is the difference? What is the difference whether one or several or many or an entire nationality or race of people suffer deliberate extinction by planned, rationalized human violence?

The Arab media would have the world believe that Arabia is experiencing an holocaust at the hands of the "Little Satan" and the "Big Satan". The "Little Satan" is of course Israel and the "Big Satan" is of course the USA. In Gaza Hamas has been receiving a deserved and vehement retribution from Israel. Military targets are being destroyed by Israeli aerial and artillery bombardment. And yet the streets in many areas are safe enough for Gaza residents to gather in protest, bearing placards that read "Stop the Holocaust Against Gaza". Similar protests occur throughout the world.

Approximately 1.5 million Gazans are alive and well. The Israeli targeted bombings have killed maybe 400 Gazans so far, most of them Hamas military and political leaders and policemen. The physical infrastructure of Hamas is being leveled to the ground. Tunnels used for smuggling terrorists and weapons are being destroyed.

Is this an holocaust? No it is not! It is a military action against a military dictatorship sworn to the annihilation of Jews and Israel. It is a military action in which profound caution is paid to the humanitarian crisis of even such a dedicated and hateful enemy, whose sworn public policy is in fact to perpetrate an holocaust against Israel.

Hamas is experiencing a limited and well deserved massacre, brought on to itself by it's deliberate seven-year campaign of Qassam rocket terrorism and by it's intransigent devotion to the annihilation of Israel. If Hitler and his Brownshirts had been massacred early on in the development of The Nazi Movement, perhaps The Holocaust might never have occurred. The World should remember History and expect Israel do everything in it's power to see that It doesn't happen again.

And what of Gilad Shalit? How can the kidnapping, captivity, depravation, torture, loneliness, isolation, mental suffering, and possible death of one man be referred to as an "holocaust", as in the title of this article? Is it not a stretch to do so, when 400 massacred Hamas operatives cannot be defined as having suffered an holocaust?

Gilad Shalit is a Disappearo and a victim of Holocaust, a human being targeted for annihilation because he is of a People, whose enemies would annihilate that People from all existence. The Hamas credo makes the captivity of Gilad Shalit a flesh and blood personification of Israel in Hamas hands.

Think of it for a moment.... Is Gilad Shalit alive or dead, and how can we know? In violation of international law the Arabs refuse to permit even the Red Cross to visit him. (Arab prisoners in Israel can count on visits by the Red Cross and other humanitarian groups as well as their families.)

Think of it for a moment.... For all intents and purposes Gilad Shalit is a "disappeared one" -- and not the only one to suffer so in the hands of Arab terrorists and governments. (Humanitarian circles throughout the world should be ringing major bells of alarm, remembering that the creation of Disappearos is normal only for totalitarian dictators, rogue militias, criminal cartels, and terrorists.)

Disappearance and Holocaust....

Until and unless Israel and the larger World comprehend this, there will continue to be semantic failures in reasoning and in discussion of the Arab-Israeli Conflict and of the Muslim-World Conflict. Israel and the World will continue to appease an unappeasable enemy by virtue of a failure to perceive and root out their respective fifth columns.

Not all Arabs are evil terrorists -- not by a long shot. There is no joy in seeing the suffering of so many human beings, whether or not they are terrorists. That said, it is long overdue for enemies of peace and for those who acquiesce in the dominion of sadists to be reminded that a desire for Peace is not at all the same thing as conciliation and appeasement. Freedom in it's true sense is being fought for by Israel in Gaza today, and the World should herald this fight and decry the terrorism that made it necessary.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Despite an official Israeli limitation on the freedom of news media in Gaza during the current action, there is no shortage of images and reporting. Amazingly, while the Israel Defense Forces are skillfully focused on destroying military targets and limiting civilian casualties, the Arabs are out on the streets freely protesting what they call "Israeli Occupation of Palestine", demanding that the World "Stop the Holocaust in Gaza". These Palestinian Arabs, who were wedded to Adolf Hitler during WW2, deny The Holocaust and yet pretend to an holocaust against Palestinian Arabs, all the while referring to Palestine as if it were an historical State occupied by a foreign power [Israel], when in fact "Palestine" is the name given to Israel by Ancient Rome during the Roman Occupation, and then again by Britain during the British Occupation (1917 - 1947). Photo upon photo taken in the past 24 hours portrays Palestinian Arabs engaged in burning the Israeli Flag - metaphor for their own twin goals to destroy and occupy Israel. "Free Palestine"? "Palestine" is already free, finally free, after thousands of years of exile and holocaust, free enough to go by it's own name "Israel". "Occupation?" Subsequent to 15 centuries of "Jihad" (Holy War) marked by a credo of "convert or die" fully one fifth of the entire world (population and land) is now Muslim. If there has been a holocaust, it has certainly not been perpetrated by Israel, nor against Arabia. It has been perpetrated by Arabia against the rest of the world....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This should be clear and obvious to all. By definition a democracy is one in which the participants agree to equality. Equality is not defined merely by "one man, one vote", where the intent of a special class of voters lacks genuine democratic values and uses the system to then tear it apart. This is what is known as "sedition".

The USA enacted the "Alien and Sedition Acts" in 1798 to protect the USA from alien citizens of enemy powers (in 1798 America was engaged in undeclared naval warfare with France), and those Acts are still in force and are utilized today. A Movement such as Hamas and it's political party are by definition anti-democratic (they do not respect, accept, or permit equality of all persons, freedom of religion, freedom of speech or thought, existential rights, etc.).

Instead of looking at the Arabs as an absolute demographic nightmare, manifesting that nightmare itself by identifying all Arabs as being of one terrorist anti-Jewish mind, Israel should look to those Arabs, who genuinely love Israel, or who at least prefer Israel to the existing Arab alternatives. Israeli life has not been entirely an history of negative relations with all Arabs. In fact there are thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of Arabs, who would stand strongly in one united Israel against Hamas.

It makes sense beyond doubt for Israel to annex the Golan, Sheva Farms, and Judea-Samaria. It makes sense as well to deport the largest possible numbers of Fifth Column elements. Israel knows the Arabs, be they Israeli Arab Citizens or not, who are strongly tied to Fifth Column movements such as Hamas. If Israel does not have it's own Alien and Sedition Acts, then Israel should enact them and use them to deport even hundreds of thousands of such persons to Gaza, where they can live out their own vision of their lives, as seen through the black rose colored spectacles of Hamas.

Let this then satisfy this week's UNSC Resolution calling for a "two-state solution" based on the principles of "Annapolis 2008", where the "Palestinian State" would be "Gaza", where Israel would be one nation, where in that context the "Security Fence" could come down, division of Jerusalem would no longer be an issue, "settlement" would no longer be a political soccer ball, and the "right of return" could be established on a case by case and in a pragmatic way free of the rhetoric of politics.

And on the heel's of this week's UNSC Resolution, let me raise one question, "Must Gilad Shalit waste away in his cell until a peace agreement exists between Israel and Arabia?"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008



As a nation, Israel today can be understood as a tumultuous sea of secular tides riding forcefully over strong undercurrents of orthodoxy. In the context of the larger world Israel's "sea" is a subset of the larger "oceans". Israel is unique, and yet Israel's worldly intercourse is historical and undeniable. Therefore the distinct conflicts of Jewish orthodoxy versus Jewish secularism do not occur in a unique "fishbowl" and are part and parcel of the various secularisms and orthodoxies of the larger world, including those orthodoxies and secularisms that would destroy and bury Israel altogether.

World commerce tends to be a secular phenomenon far more than a religious one, except perhaps that even in the world of business there are cultures of "orthodox" or "conservative" in contradistinction to "liberal" or "idolatrous" or even "criminal" business cultures. [Even the world of "criminal" business practices can be broken down into it's camps of "honor among thieves", etc.].

Human material needs often appear to precede genuine religious or spiritual needs, even though one must wonder, "What is the point of material success in the absence of a spiritual life?" And the inverse of this is of course, "What is the point of a spiritual life without a material life?" All societies struggle in this way and the story of Israel is a world captivating story precisely because the survival of Israel is all about this struggle between the Sacred and the Profane, the Holy versus the Idolatrous, the Spiritual against the bas relief of the Material.

No better example of this conflict in Israel itself is the recent set of incidences in Hebron at the Machpelah Cave (Cave of the Patriarchs) and including the forced evacuation of a home of Jewish Pioneers (Beit HaShalom). These events are preceded by the events of the forced Gaza evacuation and the Pogrom at Amona. But they are of the same ilk, a waging of internecine warfare between Jew and Jew, one driven by the motivations of Faith, History, and Creed, whereas the other is motivated by the so-called Pragmatisms of modern political realities. One regards Faith as the Raison d'Etre (Reason for Being); the other regards Faith as questionable and expendable sentimentalism.

Soldiers of the IDF take their vows of service to defend Israel at a ceremony atop Masada. It is a quasi-religious service in that it calls upon the selflessness of each and every Israeli to serve his country, even at the cost of his or her own life, and against the backdrop of the "no surrender" suicide pact of the Jewish Martyrs, who took on Ancient Rome and perished at Masada. In the desert high on a mountain top cut off from the world in a place where Heaven is perceived but beyond actual grasp, the Israeli soldier has achieved an "aliyah" for a time above his people.

It would do well for Israel to incorporate an additional initiation service of vows for it's soldiers of a more religious nature in the Machpelah Cave. For Israel exists not to be above the World; Israel exists to follow the model of it's Patriarchs. Their bones lie in the Machpelah Cave, which is the heritage and inheritance of Israel since Abraham purchased the Cave from Ephron the HIttite in biblical times.

Perhaps as well in such a context the sacred and the profane of Israel can be elevated for God and for Good rather for the Corrupt and the Insidious. Gilad Shalit is in a cave of his own at this very moment and is far closer to the bones of the Patriarchs than the indifferent of Israel.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


There is a famous rhythm and blues song that speaks to the adolescent tendency to confuse wishful thinking with reality. If you are an American of my generation, then you will likely have no difficulty putting the tune to the words of the unrequited lover, singing, "It was just my imagination... running away with me; yes, it was just my imagination... running away with me...." [by The Temptations, and yes, to listen to this sweet song, just go to You Tube!]

We all have to "grow up", like it or not, and failure to do so leads to the pathological psychological impairment of protracted adolescence. This particular pathology is characterized by the syndrome of "blind love", an imaginary reality in which in the best of circumstances the love object is relatively benign by being either indifferent or even sympathetic, but, a malicious love object can take horrible and even destructive advantage. As long as the blind lover continues manufacturing mental "scripts" and projecting these scripts onto reality in order to cause reality to appear to conform to his (or her) imagination, then the blind lover maintains the pleasing, but, destructive delusions and deceptions which intoxicate their soul.

The difference between adulthood and adolescence is the ability to perceive correctly in the moment, when it is that one's imagination is in fact surplanting reality, and to then act according to reality and not delusion.

Israel must overcome it's adolescent predilection to perceive the world as a geography of nations all of which love Israel.

Most especially Israel must overcome it's unrequited love for the Arabs and to cease to think of the Arabs as benign partners.

For too long Israel has been singing another Temptations song, "Ain't Too Proud To Beg!"

Perhaps if Israel -- secular Jews as well as religious Jews -- were to unfailingly mark Shabbath by the Erev Shabbath lighting of Shabbath Neroth and then by lighting and dousing the lights of Havdallah on the conclusion of Shabbath (perhaps even keeping Shabbath altogether), then the clarity of "l'havdil" [separating] holy from unholy would make sense.

As long as the middle east conversation continues according to the mis-definition of "Israel v. Palestine" and not "Israel v. Arab", then a proper separation cannot be made leading to peace.