Archive for January, 2007

Permissive Treason in Israel

Article III, Section 3 of the American Constitution includes, in its definition of treason against the United States, “adhering to their Enemies” and “giving them Aid and Comfort.”

Israel’s Penal Law on treason is more complex: it defines treason in terms of four kinds of acts:

  1. the category of acts which “impair the sovereignty” of the State of Israel—section 97(a);

  2. » Continue reading “Permissive Treason in Israel”

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The ID People

Who and what are the ID People? No, they’re not libidinous disciples of Sigmund Freud. Truth to tell, some are prime ministers. Some are foreign ministers. Others are party leaders. More than a few are academics and journalists. They are legion. And whatever their differences or diverse nationalities, they all have one thing in common: they are Intellectually Dishonest.

What does their dishonesty consist in? Simply this: They know you can’t make peace with people committed to your destruction. They know you can’t make peace with people who do not recognize the sanctity of human life. They know you can’t make peace with people conditioned by a culture of hatred—a hatred so deep as to induce these people to use their own children as human bombs. » Continue reading “The ID People”

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Racism and Good Character

If any one person can be named the father of modern racism it’s Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882). Gobineau was a respected French writer, a Catholic who served as a diplomat in the Near East. Although he admired German culture, he despised chauvinism and regarded the notion of the “fatherland” as a “beastly idea.”

Writing in 1870, he referred worryingly to the newly achieved unity of Germany. With chilling prescience he warned: “It is from above that inspiration and direction are fated to descend to people; and when … in spheres of authority there no longer is any belief … no striving for the good and for the better, one may state with all the certainty of a mathematical proposition that power will fall to the first corporal who, in passing will seize it.” The corporal, of course, was Adolph Hitler. » Continue reading “Racism and Good Character”

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Our Benighted Politicians

Some 80 years ago, George Orwell wrote: “The illiteracy of politicians is a special feature of our age—as G.M. Trevelyan put it, ‘In the seventeenth century Members of Parliament quoted the Bible, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the classics, in the twentieth century nothing’—and its corollary [Orwell added] is the political impotence of writers.”

This is a rather sad commentary on higher education in the democratic world. Neither the Bible nor the classics play a significant role in what passes for “liberal education.” More “relevant” are “ethnic” studies, “feminist” studies, “gay” studies, and the like. » Continue reading “Our Benighted Politicians”

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Ruthlessness and Cowardice

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, January 15, 2006.

Part I

One of the most paradoxical and most important statements in Lee Harris’ book Civilization and Its Enemies, is this: “Only those who have mastered ruthlessness can defend their society from the ruthlessness of others.” But how can Western civilization be ruthless without discarding the humane values on which this civilization is based? Does this mean that the values we associate with liberal democracy are obsolete, and if so, what will take their place?

One of these values is tolerance. Tolerance, however, can degenerate into moral indifference or neutrality. » Continue reading “Ruthlessness and Cowardice”

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Reflections: 2007

It has been reported that more people are converting to Islam than to any other religious creed. Of the various reasons which may explain this reported phenomenon, one is this: there are periods in human history when an “untrue” belief is more fervently held than a “true” one.

Recall how fervently Communism was held by intellectuals who had rejected, along with capitalism, lukewarm Christianity and milquetoast Judaism. » Continue reading “Reflections: 2007″

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Disproportionality II

Israel was accused of using disproportional force last year in response to Iran’s proxy Hezbollah in the Second Lebanese War. It may therefore be of interest to consider the Allied firebombing of Dresden in February 1945. The following is extracted from Wikipedia:

… During the evening of February 13, 796 Avro Lancasters and 9 De Havilland Mosquitoes … dropped 1,478 tons of high explosive and 1,182 tons of incendiary bombs by the early hours of February 14….

[A few hours later,] … 529 Lancasters dropped more than 1,800 tons of bombs…. » Continue reading “Disproportionality II”

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Eidelberg U.S. Lecture

Dear Friends:

I plan to be in the USA for about a month after Passover, during which time I will be available for lectures.

Please contact me if interested.

Thank you.
Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Profile

» Continue reading “Eidelberg U.S. Lecture”

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Civilization and Its Enemies

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, January 8, 2007.

This essay takes its title and basic ideas from Lee Harris’ book, Civilization and Its Enemies (Free Press 2004). Harris has been dubbed the philosopher of 9/11. As I read it, Civilization and Its Enemies is one the most important books published since the end of World War II, and unless we heed its warnings, we may lose World War III.

Harris reminds us that civilized people forget how much work it took not to kill one’s neighbors, “simply because this work was all done by our ancestors so that it could be willed to us as an heirloom.” Civilized people forget “that there has ever been a category of human experience called the enemy…. The enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the enemy always hates us for a reason, it is his reason and not ours. He does not hate us for our faults any more than for our virtues. He sees a different world from ours, and in the world he sees, we are the enemy.”

The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center was only superficially motivated by Islamic hatred of American wealth and power. » Continue reading “Civilization and Its Enemies”

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The State Versus the Torah

There is a fundamental conflict between the sovereign state and the Torah. This should be obvious to any rabbi—certainly any Orthodox rabbi.

Probing deeper, rabbis should be the first to realize that any Knesset Member or any judge who holds that the law of the State is the highest law is uttering, in principle, a fascist doctrine. The principle has actually been enunciated by the Knesset: “No act of legislation shall diminish the rights of the State, or impose upon it any obligation, unless explicitly stated.” (Law and Administration Ordinance, 1948, Section 42, Explanatory Note.) The sovereignty of the State is clear, and this is the basic reason why the State, in utter disregard of the Torah, expelled 10,000 Jews from Gush Katif and northern Samaria. » Continue reading “The State Versus the Torah”

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