An existential menace
Ami Isseroff explains how Settler lawlessness and violence against innocent Palestinians poses an existential threat to Israel and the very viability and importance of Zionism:
* The biggest danger to Israel is the danger from within. ... settlers who defy the authority of the state, who attack national institutions like the IDF, can destroy us.
* In a state, the only authority in matters of state, law and order is the elected government. This is halachic law as well. "Deena de Malchuta - Deena." (Talmud, N’darim 28a) - The law of the sovereign is the law. If this was accepted by Jews for the murderous Roman empire, it must certainly be true of the government of the Jewish state. Just as we cannot permit draft dodgers to make their own law, we cannot permit a group of settlers, or this rabbi or that rabbi to make their own law.
* When the outpost, which could not be defended properly, was attacked, the settlers rioted senselessly, murdering innocent people, and then gloated about their deed... Everyone did that which was right in their eyes. This is the approach and psychology of hooligans, like the gangs of the Palestinian Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al Husseini. It substitutes futile, childish and brutal impulses of revenge and cruelty for a responsible strategy of defense.
Attacks by Palestinians should be publicized. They should be met by appropriate responses that find and punish the attackers and those who send them. But they are not an excuse or justification for this behavior. Hurting defenseless people at random is not a rational response to terrorism, no matter what the provocation. It will not stop terrorism. It is precisely the response that the terrorists want to provoke. It cannot be the basis of a national defense strategy or a national political life.
* people in Israel understand very well who this enemy is and what the enemy wants to do. ... This is serious business... This is a serious enemy and a serious conflict. If it is not handled with the utmost discretion, it could involve over a billion Muslims arrayed against Israel and really determined to wipe us out. This is not a turf war to be solved by gang brawls between rival groups of hoodlums. The war for Israel's existence requires unity, organization, planning, self control, bravery and sacrifice, not random acts of hooliganism.
* The Palestinians damaged their cause, perhaps irreparably, with violence, suicide bombings and racism. In this way, they lost the possibility of statehood in 1948, and again in 2000 and lost the respect of the world. The young man in the article and his friends are trying to lead Israel down the same disastrous path.
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Monday, September 15, 2008
An existential menace