Archive for Ethics

Historical Proportionality

How might normal Jews—repeat normal Jews—react to those who denounce Israel for using allegedly “disproportionate” force against Hamas?

It seems to me that normal Jews would not waste their saliva on such commentators, who have the stupidity-modulated audacity to preach to Jews about “proportionality,” hence, about justice.

I think the most superficial knowledge of the extent to which Jews have been persecuted, tortured, and decimated by one nation after another during the past 2,000 years should be sufficient to deter any sensible and honest person from preaching to Israel. Of course, I do not expect sensibility and honesty from cloddish hypocrites.

For the record, however, allow me to say that historical proportionality or justice is staring us in the face. Consider the condition of Europe today—Europe, the home of humanism, but also of Christianity, the religion of love. Europe, which tormented and slaughtered Jews down through the ages, is succumbing to Islam, which utterly rejects humanism and propagates a religion of unmitigated hatred. Might this not be rightly regarded as a divine manifestation of proportionality or justice?

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Einstein, Germany, and Israel’s Next-Door Enemies

In a message honoring the heroes of the Warsaw ghetto, Albert Einstein declared:

The Germans as an entire people are responsible for the mass murders and must be punished as a people if there is justice in the world and if the consciousness of collective responsibility in the nations is not to perish from the earth entirely. Behind the Nazi party stands the German people, who elected Hitler after he had in his book [Mein Kampf] and in his speeches made his shameful [genocidal] intentions clear beyond the possibility of misunderstanding.

Does not the Hamas Covenant, which begins with the words, “Israel will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it,” make the genocidal intentions of Hamas also “clear beyond the possibility of misunderstanding”?

Is this not also true of the Fatah Constitution of the Palestinian Authority, which calls for “The complete liberation of Palestine and the economic, political, military and cultural elimination of Zionism”?

Did not the Palestinian Arabs repeatedly hear Yasser Arafat’s declarations of war against Israel but nonetheless elected him as their Fuhrer? » Continue reading “Einstein, Germany, and Israel’s Next-Door Enemies”

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Praise the Lord, the God of Israel

Praise the Lord, all people of honest faith, praise the God of Israel.

See how His Chosen People, “despite” mediocre leaders, attacks Evil—the evil incarnate in Hamas, the proxy of Shi’te Iran, the epicenter of Islamic paganism veneered in monotheism.

But take note of how the world denounces Israel. Is there better proof of the Chosen People?

Hear ye, oh people of honest faith, rise and cheer the People of Israel, while one gentile nation after another wallows in envious hatred of Jews while crawling to Arab and Muslim despots—merchants of hatred, of black gold and murder.

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who uses even fools and scoundrels to reveal the inexhaustible righteousness of His Chosen People.

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Israel’s Sick Prime Minister

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 8, 2008.

Virtually everyone knows by now that something is terribly wrong with Israel’s prime minister. Even President George W. Bush suspects that Ehud Olmert’s eagerness to yield the strategically vital Golan Heights to Syria is not rational. Many people say that Olmert’s failure to resign after the Winograd Commission Report of his incompetence during the Second Lebanon War marks him as shameless—more so after repeated police investigations of his unethical and perhaps illegal financial transactions.

The truth is, and as I shall soon illustrate, Ehud Olmert is suffering from a mental disorder. If the Knesset, as a whole, was not itself infected by the same mental disorder, Olmert would have been forced out office two years ago. I call this mental disorder “demophrenia,” and I see its symptoms across Israel’s political spectrum.

Demophrenia is a form of schizophrenia manifested especially in democratic societies where moral relativism permeates academia and therefore the behavior of politicians who, after all, are college and university graduates. However, as the World Health Organization points out, schizophrenics, despite their vulnerabilities, are in the full sense responsive social beings like the rest of us. Put simply, schizophrenics or demophrenics are subject to one or another delusion, by which I mean a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence.

Various researchers distinguish between positive- and negative-symptom schizophrenia. » Continue reading “Israel’s Sick Prime Minister”

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More Police Brutality in Israel

by Paul Eidelberg and Eleonora Shifrin

I. A Pogrom in Hebron

According to a report by Dr. Aryeh Itzhaki, Woman-in-Green chairlady Nadia Matar has been seriously wounded in the clashes between border police special forces and defenders of “Shalom House” in Hebron.

Since the moment the soldiers broke into the building, it became apparent that they had received orders to “neutralize” Nadia Matar and Daniela Weiss, the two heroic female leaders of the resistance movement, who were sitting together at the moment. Nadia, who is younger, tried to shield Daniela with her own body and thus received the first and most severe blow.

Witnesses testify that Nadia, mother of six, was severely beaten with clubs all over her body by a group of border police.

She has been evacuated to Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem where she is undergoing examinations for a suspected spinal trauma.

It has also been reported that the operation against the “Shalom House” in Hebron—a house of which Jews have verified legal title—was executed by mercenaries, i.e., policemen who were specially recruited into police force and trained to act against the Jewish population. » Continue reading “More Police Brutality in Israel”

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Self Restraint

U.S. Admiral Bull Halsey, a rational and responsible man, said, “Hit hard, hit fast, hit often.” Rationality and responsibility are qualities quite foreign to those who shape Israel’s policy toward its enemy, the Palestinian Authority. Their policy is “Hit softly, hit slowly, and hit seldom.”

In Hebrew this policy is called “havlaga”—self-restraint. This policy is motivated by fear of world opinion, perhaps also by the desire to display Israel’s moral superiority vis- -vis the cruelty of her Arab enemies. It is an utterly inane and immoral policy.

Havlaga prolongs the war. It therefore increases the number of Jewish as well as Arab casualties. But let me focus on the character of the government that pursues this policy of havlaga—so sickeningly obvious in its failure to retaliate against the constant bombing of Sderot by the Arabs in Gaza,

This craven policy reveals the government’s lack of heartfelt concern for the lives of Jews. Paradoxical as it may seem, this government policy of havlaga undermines the sanctity of human life. It encourages the enemy and increases Arab—indeed, the world’s—contempt for Israel. Havlaga is a vile policy, and its proponents must be deemed bungled or base human beings. » Continue reading “Self Restraint”

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Capital Punishment and Abortion

Barack Obama opposes capital punishment. Yet he voted against legislation that would put an end to full-birth abortion. Full-birth abortion means nothing less than “kill the baby”—inflicting capital punishment not on the guilty but on the innocent! Hence, I am prompted to republish an article I wrote three decades ago. The reader should bear in mind however, that wherever the article refers to the “unborn child,” today we must add the “born but unwanted child.”

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In the Mishna we read: “Therefore but a single man was created in the world, to teach that if any man has caused a single soul to perish, Scripture imputes it to him as though he had caused a whole world to perish; and if any man saves alive a single soul, Scripture imputes it to him as though he had saved alive a whole world.”

To avoid misunderstanding, let me state at the outset that, except in extreme cases, I do not advocate capital punishment in Israel at this time. Nor do I regard as correct the Catholic view of abortion. But there is something very curious about the liberal position on these two issues, especially by liberals who advocate the American practice of “abortion on demand.”

Among the arguments against capital punishment is the contention that society has no right to take the life even of the most savage murderer. » Continue reading “Capital Punishment and Abortion”

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The Pathological State of Mankind

In II Samuel 12:1-4, the prophet Nathan teaches the following parable:

There were two men in one city: the one rich, and the other poor. The Rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and reared; and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own morsel, and drink of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and it was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him, but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come unto him.

The emotions normally evoked by this parable are anger and compassion: anger toward the rich man, compassion for the poor man.

Suppose, however, that upon hearing Nathan's parable, a person were to evince anger toward the poor man and compassion for the rich man. » Continue reading “The Pathological State of Mankind”

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Myths About Science

Let's reflect on some not very well-known facts in the history of science as well as about scientists.

First, the astronomer Hiparchus, who lived in the second century before the common era, calculated the distance of the moon as 30 and 1/4 earth dimensions. That involves an error of a mere 0.3 percent. Not bad.

Second, in the sixth century before the common era, educated men knew that the earth was a sphere. Twelve hundred years later the earth was thought to be a disc.

Third, and more familiar to moderns is the name of Copernicus. Few people know, however, that Copernicus got his idea of a heliocentric (as opposed to a geocentric) universe from Aristarchus who studied the heavens some eighteen centuries earlier. Still less known is the fact that Pope Leo X gave a lecture on the Copernican system contained in The Book of Revolutions. The book was published in 1543. Seventy-three years later the Church, under another pope, placed the book on the Index.

Consider, now, the reputed founder of modern science, Galileo, who brought astronomy down to earth by his mathematization of nature. » Continue reading “Myths About Science”

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Biblical Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is a fundamental human value. This value seems to have its home in liberal democracy. In fact, liberal democracy exalts freedom of speech over all other values. Unfortunately, the exaltation of this freedom has led to its degradation. Today freedom of speech lacks rational and ethical constraints. Divorced from truth, freedom of speech has become a license to lie. To redeem and elevate freedom of speech, let us explore its pristine origin, the Bible of Israel.

Recall Abraham's questioning the justice of G-d's decision to destroy Sodom: “Peradventure there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep away and not forgive the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from Thee; shall not the Judge of all earth do justly?”

G-d permits Abraham to question Him. By so doing, the King of Kings affirms freedom of speech as a fundamental human right. But clearly this right, from a Judaic perspective, can only be derived from man's creation in the image of G-d. Only because man is endowed with reason and free will does he have a right to freedom of speech. This right, however, must be understood in terms of the purpose or function of speech. » Continue reading “Biblical Freedom of Speech”

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