[Freemanlist2] Prof. Paul Eidelberg - Restoring Jewish National Pride
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Restoring Jewish National Pride
Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Want to know why Israel is being demonized despite her prestige as a “start-up” nation leading others in high tech?
Just as a man who loses his self-esteem is at the mercy of the will of others, so it is with a nation. This I saw soon after I made aliyah in 1976. I saw in Israel a polity whose leaders were devoid of Jewish national pride. Jews have all the more reason to be fearful given the murderous pride of their enemies. Indeed, the overweening pride of Muslim Arabs has been emphasized by the dean of Middle East scholars, Professor Bernard Lewis. The Middle East is no place for timid and self-effacing Jews. .
Not only will a man without self-esteem be at the mercy of others; he will inevitably commit foolish acts harmful to his own interests. So it is with a nation led by such men. Can anyone imagine a prime minister more foolish than Ariel Sharon who, after fatuously releasing 400 Arab terrorists for the corpses of three Israeli solders and an Israeli collaborator with Hezbollah, displayed his lack of Jewish national pride as well as of Jewish wisdom by expelling 8,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza? Gaza thus became Hamastan, a client of Iran. Could anything be more indicative of Israel’s loss of Jewish national pride s well as of Jewish wisdom?!
Yes! Only needed was Benjamin Netanyahu, who, nine years and 2,000 rockets later, endorsed the creation of a Muslim Arab state in Judea and Samaria, the spiritual and strategic heartland of the Jewish people.
Here, allow me to digress by recommending the marvelous mental facilities in Bellevue Hospital, located at 462 1st Avenue, New York. Bellevue is well equipped to calm Israeli prime ministers on their way to possibly stressful meetings at the White House!
But we were speaking of Israel’s national pride: impossible when the sovereign state of Israel demeans itself by negotiating with an organization of villains like the Palestinian Authority, thereby promotes Moral Equivalence, which besmirches Israel’s name and standing in human history.
When all is said and done, Israel will not regain Jewish national pride unless the intellectual foundations and structure of her Government are radically changed. Israel must first distance herself from “normless,” democracy, whose basic principles, freedom and equality will have no rational or ethical constraints unless derived from the biblical concept of man’s creation in the image of God.
Second, the structure of an authentic Jewish state requires a separation of its Legislative, Executive, and Judicial functions. This was exemplified in the Jewish republic of antiquity. It’s also manifested by the America Constitution, shorn of the ceremonial laws of that Jewish republic.
Third, an authentic Jewish state requires Torah-oriented statesmen, hence an educational system conducive to such statesmen. Obviously required is education in the primary Jewish sources and in Jewish history. However, a Jewish statesman today must also be well-versed in the classics of statesmanship, such as Aristotle’s Politics and Hamilton and Madison’s Federalist Papers. And to fully understand the virtues and vices of democracy, he must also be well-versed in Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic, Democracy in America.
In the final analysis, only fidelity to the Torah can lead to a restoration of Jewish national pride. And lo and behold, despite the degraded character of Israeli politics, a unique renaissance is taking place in Jewish philosophy. Unlike Jewish thinkers of the past, who assimilated the concepts of gentile philosophers to the Torah, Jewish thinkers today avoid such apologetic efforts by using concepts intrinsic to the Torah itself to illuminate reality, revealing, in the process, the mind- and soul-destroying character of the present-day social sciences and humanities.
Today, Jews educated in the rigorous sciences are returning to and illuminating the Torah in scientific ways. They are beginning to transform the map of knowledge. This renaissance in Jewish philosophy is a hidden precondition of Jewish statesmanship.
Meanwhile, Jews with strong Jewish roots are now well represented in the Israel Defense Forces and in the professional sectors of Israel’s economy. Conditions are emerging for the assumption of national leadership by a Jew with this background of talent and a powerful sense of Jewish identity. Needed is a structure of government appropriate to Jews of this caliber. Such Jews will restore Israel’s national pride.☼
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