Thursday, June 25, 2009

Aharon Barak Revelatus

I'm sure that Ben Chorin will not be surprised, but former Chief Justice Aharon Barak not only advocates dictatorship by judicial fiat, he is also against the idea of the State of Israel as a Jewish State.

Yes, yes, I know he said that he wants a 'state of all its citizens' '
while maintaining its Jewish character.' The two, however, are mutually exclusive since the former is code for a secular state with no Jewish content.

Thank God he's no longer in charge, and his successor is far less capable than he.

Your take, Ben?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Swine Flu

One of the more poignant aspects of the 'ethnicization' of Jewish Identity, is the substitution of sentiment for substance. I first encountered this, as a child, when my parents explained the difference between 'Kosher' and "kosher style.' The latter simply referred to treyfe food that was prepared according to Eastern European palates. Later I came to understand that satisfying those palates was a mode of Jewish self-identification, and therefore possessed some (limited) value. After all, no one would think of ordering a glass of milk with their treyfe pastrami.

The thing about such, non-substantial modes of affiliation is that they become ever more tenuous as time, and generations, go on. The latest example of this process of attenuation is the rise in pork consumption among Jews. Once this was the ultimate shibboleth. Now, however, savoring pork appears to be quite au courant. Personally, while the mangiatori del carne suina are pleased with the shock value that attends their new-found pleasure, I am far from shocked. In fact, I'm surprised it's taken this long.

The Jewish revulsion from pork is historically remarkable. In ancient times, Jews preferred to be martyred, rather than partake thereof. In post-Expulsion Spain, refraining from pork could be a one-way ticket to the torture chambers of the Inquisition. On the other hand, as Professor Haym Soloveitchik has noted, it is unclear why pork products elicited such a strong reaction when other (equally, or even more serious) forbidden foods did not. In any event, the identification of pork with the ultimately taboo is a long standing Jewish trait. [After all, how does one say absolutely forbidden in Yiddish? Chazer Treyf.]

At the end of the day, however, the emotional response to pork is simply an expression of a deeper commitment to Judaism and Jewry. As with many forms of ethnicity, after the regulae are dispensed with, it may maintain itself for a generation or so. However, in the absence of an axiological commitment (and the willingness to pay the price for that commitment) it will inevitably pass away. This is what happened to the taboo against intermarriage, and this is exactly the case with the taboo against pork.

So the pork-eating Jews may enjoy themselves. [חזיר געגעסען הנאה געהאט.] However, their newly found pleasure only confirms the fact that despite their sophisticated, post-modern, Jewish self-fashioning they (or their children) are on the precipice of Jewish oblivion.

That is the tragedy.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

More Obama...

One of my commenters has observed that my Obama postings have been a bit shrill. Being shrill is not my style, and I intend to monitor my tone. Nevertheless, the administration's actions have me very concerned. Their rhetoric cum actions connote a serious withdrawal from the commitment to Israel's existence that has been the hallmark of American Policy since Truman, pace Eisenhower/Kennedy/Johnson.

Consider the following:

1) Obama, implicitly, denied the right of Jews to a state in their ancestral homeland. Instead, he openly adopted the Palestinian/Muslim understanding that the Christian World foisted the Jews on the Arabs out of guilt for the Holocaust. In addition, his recent remarks on settlements being illegal is Arab spin. They have never been deemed as such in any Israel-Palestinian agreements.

2) The American Ambassador has commenced an on-going dialogue with irridentist elements within Israel. These elements, e.g. the Supreme Arab Commission, are leading the fight to denude Israel of its identity as a Jewish State, precisely because Jews are an alien element here and they are natives.

3) Hillary Clinton, speaking for her boss, still insists that building within established settlements (including those that everyone expects will remain Israeli) is the biggest obstacle to peace. The statement is unrealistic, mean and simply wrong. At the end of the day, the problem is that Arabs (and Muslims) cannot and will not make peace with a kafir state on waqf land.

It pains me that we can't seem to get this message across and must always wait for the Arabs to save us. The trouble is that Leftist true-believers rarely let facts interfere with their take on the world.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama Agonistes: Or, why my back porch is an Obstacle to Peace

Over all, I was pleased with Bibi Netanyahu's speech. I was especially pleased with his academic correction of Obama's distorted view of Israel's genesis. (His father must be very proud.)

It was very hard for Netanyahu to pronounce the words 'Palestinian State' (as it was for a lot of us to hear them). Furthermore, fulfilling the conditions that he set down would create a tolerable situation. True, the Arabs will not (in the near future) accept them. However, I don't think the PM was being disingenuous. These really are minimum requirements for our survival. If the Arabs aren't willing to engage them, they will simply have missed another opportunity (and shown that nothing short of our disappearance will satisfy them).

Obama's reaction, though, was really very disappointing. He was only slightly supportive, and remains obsessed with settlement construction (as if that's what is holding everything up). I can only conclude the following:

1) He is a radical, Leftist ideologue, who forgets that politics is the art of the possible.
2) He has swallowed the entire Arab/Muslim line and cannot (or will not) see beyond it.
4) He has no respect for Israeli democracy, insofar as the positions enunciated by the PM reflect a broad consensus (aided and abetted in this by the hofjuden Rahm Emanuel, IPF and 'J Street')
5) He thinks he's the unfettered ruler of the United States and the rest of the world.
6) He is dangerous for World Peace, in his naive approach to would be World Powers.

The United States Constitution is based upon an intricate set of checks and balances. World Diplomacy is similarly structured. Hopefully, we will soon see the checks to his messianic zeal.
[As to what Israel should do, aside from support its Prime Minister, I think this warrants thought.]

Friday, June 05, 2009

Dr. Mordekhai Kedar on Obama

Obama's Speech: An Ode to Illiterate Manipulation

I was thinking about Fisking parts of Obama's speech. Others, more qualified, have done so (here, here and, here).

We are in for very rough times. After all, when Gideon Levy calls Obama Israel's Best Friend, he know of that which he speaks.

The problem is that most Westerners, and a foriori, most Israelis don't know enough History or Islam to know that President Obama is either ignorant or manipulative.

Who says that universities show progress when they cut the Humanities for Nanotechnology?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The United States: A Muslim Country

According to President Obama.

This came over my desk a few minutes ago:

You won't believe this one. In a press release dated today from the White House prior to his trip this week to Saudi Arabia and Egypt (not Israel) the President of the United States of America stated: "Now, the flip side is I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam. And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. And so there's got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples."

The shock here is not just that his statistics are false (see, but that U.S. President Obama perceives and presents himself as president of "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world!"
See the press release on the White House Web site:

And keep lots of water stored in your shelter.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Day Before June 4th

In all of the windup to President Obama's Middle East Policy speech in Cairo tomorrow, no one has noticed that he is delivering it on June 4th. June 4th is the lodestar of the Arab World and the Left. It is the anniversary of the day before the Six Day War in 1967. It symbolizes the passionate desire of the Arabs and the Left to erase the results of their defeat in that war; the war that they hoped would drive the Jews into the sea. It symbolizes their desire to drive the 350,000 Jews living in formerly East Jerusalem, the Old City and all of Judea and Samaria from their homes; to drive them from the Old City of Jerusalem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron; to confine the Jews of Israel within the indefensible borders that resulted from the 1949 armistice and to place them within easy range of their guns and rockets.

Given the traditional Arab penchant for symbolism, and Obama's awareness of their culture, I have no doubt that the date was chosen with that in mind. Obama, it appears, wishes to erase the disgrace of the !967 war, much as Abdullah a Tell wished to erase the injustice of partition in 1948.
He says as much in his speeches and in his desire to rip Jerusalem from us and give it to our enemies.

Israel is facing an unprecedented danger. It has its back to the wall, and now we have neither the Jews of the United States nor the President of the United States to turn to. The former are too enchanted with their new messiah, Barack Obama. He, in turn, is totally honest and open in his policy of appeasement vis-a-vis the Islamic, especially the Wahabee Jihadist world. In a world where political correctness squelches news and information, the American People are unaware that this policy is deadly dangerous for both Christians and Jews.

Personally, I realize that my highly emotional responses to Obama and his Jewish advisors is a mixture of frustration at my inability to really affect these developments, and an expression of just how much I love my country, this rock strewn piece of land that the Creator gave us and imbued with a sublime sanctity.

It was God who gave us the Land. It was God who sustained us during our long exile. If God wills it, we will outlive Obama and his Jewish syncophants.

It is not enough, though, to be passive. We need to hang together. Obama cannot frighten, or cow a united people. The Right needs to keep its peace and support our elected government. The Center and the Zionist Left need to keep our independence by not submitting to American and Muslim diktats. The anti-Zionist Right and Left (Radical Kookians and Leftists like Gush Shalom, respectively) need to be excoriated and marginalized.

If God could cause Balaam to bless us at the sight of our unity, there is no reason to suspect He will not do so again.

[And the blessing may be implied in Barry Rubin's analysis.]