Archive for May, 2008

It’s the Mentality, Stupid!

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, May 26, 2008.

Part I

Modern naturalism or Darwinism, the prevailing mentality in the United States, is undermining this great nation. From his notebooks we learn that Darwin was a rigorous materialist. This is what prompted Karl Marx to congratulate the author of The Origin of the Species. But what is Darwinism?

Darwinism maintains that organisms undergo chance mutations, some of which are inherited by their offspring. Offspring whose variations are favored by the environment will survive and accumulate in populations by natural selection. Chance mutation and natural selection constitute the creative force of evolution. Darwinism makes God obsolete.

Phillip Johnson, the father of Intelligent Design, is the most formidable critic of Darwinism. He is the author of Darwin on Trial (1993) and Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education (1995). Here I will not speak about Intelligent Design or the case against Darwinism. My topic is how Darwinism affects America’s mentality. » Continue reading “It’s the Mentality, Stupid!”

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Victory Plan for Israel

Notes and Bio From A Frustrated Jewish, Zionist, Israeli, Texas American

by Bernard J. Shapiro
Courtesy of Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.

PART ONE: EARLY BIO

I was always a Jew, but something happened to me in 1959 that turned me into a Zionist. Don’t laugh, but I took a course in modern Jewish history and two of the reading assignments were: Exodus by Leon Uris and The Course of Modern Jewish History by Howard M. Sacher. Coming from a Reform Jewish background in a state known more for its Texas pride than Jewish pride, I have come a long way. It has been an exciting journey, but now I am sad and frustrated.

I went to Israel for the first time with the Israel Summer Institute in 1960, and of course, fell in love with Eretz Yisrael. I returned to complete my studies at the University of California at Berkeley. My love for Israel seemed to be growing daily and expressed itself in multiple pro-Israel activities on the campus. I turned Hillel into and instrument of Zionist influence on the campus. The Hillel rabbi (like most of them was not a true Zionist) and sought to rain me in. He failed as I formed the Student Zionist Organization and increased my activities. » Continue reading “Victory Plan for Israel”

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America’s Road Map to Destruction: Can Israel Save It?

The prevailing mentality of the United States—and this applies to Europe—undermines its ability to survive its relentless foes—the same foes of Israel.

This mentality has been diagnosed by Phillip E. Johnson, graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School. Johnson is regarded as the most formidable critic of Darwinism by such notable atheists as Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberg. I refer to Johnson’s Darwin on Trial (2nd edition, 1993) and Reason in the Balance (1995).

America’s mentality is dominated by Darwinian naturalism—an atheistic conception of man and the universe. Johnson quotes the famous paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson, who, in speaking of Darwinian evolution, said: “man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.” » Continue reading “America’s Road Map to Destruction: Can Israel Save It?”

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The New Cold War: A Challenge to America

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, May 19, 2008.

Edward Lucas’s book, The New Cold War (2008), is must reading, especially for Americans wondering about whom to vote for in the November presidential election.

The subtitle of Lucas’s book is How the Kremlin Menaces both Russia and the West. The book has been endorsed by former prime minister of Estonia Mart Laar. Vladimir Bukovsky, a former Soviet dissident, also endorsed the book. Bukovsky warns that former KGB operator, Vladimir Putin, who came to power in 1999, is attempting to “restore the Soviet Empire.” Twice elected president, Putin is now Russia’s prime minister.

Lucas points out, however, that under Putin Russia “has dropped three Soviet attributes from its foreign policy: a messianic ideology [i.e., communism], raw military power and the imperative of territorial expansion.” This makes the Russian threat less visible but more dangerous. » Continue reading “The New Cold War: A Challenge to America”

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Stupidity

Stupidity is distinct from irrationality because stupidity denotes an incapability or unwillingness to properly consider the relevant information.

Those who support the policy of “land for peace” or a “two state” solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict suffer from ethnocentrism—a polite term for stupidity. They do not see that offering Muslims land-for-peace is tantamount to expecting them to renounce their religion.

It probably does not occur to American commentators—including such intelligent commentators like Charles Krauthammer and Norman Podhoretz, who supported “unilateral disengagement” from Gaza—that Israel’s ruling elites are stupid. » Continue reading “Stupidity”

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How to Think About Israeli Democracy

Extracted from the projected second edition of my book Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy.

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them?

—Shakespeare, Hamlet (3:1)

Aristotle, the father of political science, who wrote discourses on some 150 different regimes, distinguishes between five different types of democracy. To simplify matters, the present writer has only two types of democracy in view, one of which was unknown to Aristotle and perhaps to anyone else, for that matter.

Both types have as their basic principles freedom and equality. In one type, both freedom and equality are indiscriminate, which is to say that freedom and equality lack ethical and rational constraints. I call this “normless” democracy—the kind that characterizes post-Christian Europe and threatens to overwhelm the United States with every advance of moral relativism. Aristotle would have called this a democracy verging on anarchy, which is hardly a regime—for Aristotle, a term that signifies a distinctive way of life. » Continue reading “How to Think About Israeli Democracy”

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Two Delusions

Delusion: “A persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence, especially as a symptom of psychiatric disorder.”

Israel’s government, as well as its rightwing critics, suffers from a delusion. During the past three decades, regardless of which party or party coalition has controlled the government, its ruling elites persist in the futile and fatal policy of “land for peace.”

Rightwing critics of this policy also suffer from a delusion. For more than thirty years they have been playing on the turf of the enemy—on the territorial issue. Despite all their fine essays, their petitions, their newspaper ads—yes, despite all their patriotic protest demonstrations—Israel’s government has never deviated from its suicidal policy of territorial retreat. The critics know this, but they remain fixed on the playing ground of this government. » Continue reading “Two Delusions”

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Does Olmert Have a Mental Disorder?

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, May 12, 2008.

Part I. Schizophrenia

Like his Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and his Education Minister Yuli Tamir, Ehud Olmert is tainted by multiculturalism, hence by cultural relativism. Hence, he cannot wholeheartedly believe in the justice of Israel’s cause vis- -vis the Palestinians—and this is why he is ready to surrender even part of Jerusalem. Moreover, although all human beings are susceptible to egoism, relativism conduces to self-aggrandizement, moral indifference, and even schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is deemed the core concept of modern psychiatry. Fortunately, schizophrenia is not necessarily an all-encompassing illness that sets those affected apart from their fellow men. A World Health Organization study concludes: “schizophrenics, for all their vulnerabilities, are in the full sense responsive social beings like the rest of us.”

Various researchers distinguish between positive- and negative-symptom schizophrenia. The positive includes hallucinations and delusions. The negative includes escapism, apathy, self-effacement, anxiety, stereotypic behaviors, and impairment of volition. These negative symptoms obviously exist on a continuum with normal behavior. Consider Ehud Olmert. » Continue reading “Does Olmert Have a Mental Disorder?”

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Absolute Idolatry

Submitted by Prof. Paul Eidelberg, May 5, 2008 to the Daniel Pipes Blog.

The basic issue is not whether there are “Muslim Moderates” but whether Islamic texts—the Quran and the Hadith—foster the murder of non-Muslims. I therefore offer my article “Monotheistic Idolatry.”

View original article, “Responding to Joshua Muravchik about 'Moderate Islamists'”, by Daniel Pipes.

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Monotheistic Idolatry

On September 11, 2001, nineteen Muslim terrorists hijacked four American passenger planes and flew them into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania killing 3,000 innocent men, women, and children. This horrendous act of murder was cheered by Muslims throughout the world. What shall we say of the religion of these people? Is there no essential or inevitable connection between the teachings of Islam and the deeds of believers?

Perhaps the most profound and disturbing insights into the nature of Islam, or at least of what is called “Islamism,” appeared in an essay of Professor Kenneth Hart Green published earlier this year. The essay is entitled “Leo Strauss’ Challenge to Emil Fackenheim: Heidegger, Radical Historicism, and Diabolical Evil.” The essay is one of a collection edited by S. Portnoff, J.A. Diamond, and M.D. Yaffe, Emil L. Fackenheim: Philosopher, Theologian, Jew, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2008).

One of the problems of Green’s essay concerns Martin Heidegger, deemed by many as the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century. Heidegger not only joined the Nazi Party but never regretted it. How is one to explain such a monstrous thing: that a philosopher, especially of Heidegger’s rank, could associate himself with diabolical evil? Is there something in his philosophy that links him to such evil? » Continue reading “Monotheistic Idolatry”

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