I ran into Ben Chorin on Friday, fresh from my return from Central Europe. I mentioned to him that I really don't know what to write about this war. As Lisa pointed out, this is the most blogged war ever (though I don't share her admiration for Etgar Keret, who preaches Jewish national suicide. Indeed, he's the epitome of those who would 'sophisticate us all to death.') What can I add? Ben urged me to take up the pen, because (in his opinion) my mantra needs to become just that, a mantra.
So here goes...
Mirabile Dictu, the idea is finally getting around that this war, the entire (so-called Arab-Israel conflict) IS ALL ABOUT ISLAM. PERIOD. Look at the alliance and coordination between Sunnite Hamas and Shiite Hizbullah. What they both have in common is a burning desire to eradicate the kafir state in the Middle East and expand the House of Islam. (After that they'll presumeably deal with their particular differences.) Bernard Lewis has been saying this four over thirty years. Yehoshua Porat, Barry Rubin, Yosi Olmert, and Danny Pipes have been saying this for decades. Your humble servant has been screaming (and teaching and writing) this since before September 13, 1993.
Until now, this point has been castigated, belittled, scorned and ridiculed by the effete avatars of Ultra-Orthodoxy Liberalism, whose dogmatic, self-imposed blindness makes Haredi belief pale by comparison. No dose of reality could shake the pristine belief of the delusional that everyone must think like them, because they represent le meillur des mondes possible. (Of course, Candide was a satire, but most of the Israeli members of the so-called elite, don't read. They merely parrot. Europeans, je doit admitter, do read. Mais ils ne comprenenet pas.) Hence, if we were only to give in to Hamas/Hizbullah/Iran/Syria/the PA and negotiate, everything would be fine. This, of course, is despite the fact that this ignores the deepest held beliefs of the Muslim world (and those of most of the much touted peace loving bloggers).
How else does one explain the obscene anti-war demonstrations in Tel Aviv last week and yesterday? How else can one understand the malignant words of Gidon Levy, Ilan Pappe, Amira Hass, Shulamit Aloni, Uri Avneri and the rest of those who would spill our blood because 'we bear their sins' (cf. IPeter 2, 24).
The message, however, is getting out. In the latest Azure, Pierre Manent finally admits that we may, indeed, be involved in a clash of civilizations. The same thread is being picked up in the press and in private conversations in Israel. So the neo-cons are not the only ones to get the message (pace the State of Tel Aviv, but that would take a miracle. The sharp decline in the readership of Haaretz, though, seems to indicate that the rest of the country is on the mend.)
Cassandra, it would appear, is occasionally believed. Late. Very Late, but better late than never.