Sefi Rachlevsky writes:
The wretchedness of the law in the face of Rabbi Dov Lior has many meanings, and Lior’s refusal to be interrogated over his support for “The King’s Torah – The Laws for Killing Gentiles” – only marginally gets at the heart of the matter.
Thirty years ago, the terrorist organization known as the “Jewish Underground” was set up with the purpose of killing Arabs. The group’s head of operations, Menachem Livni – who was convicted on multiple counts of murder before being pardoned by the regime – testified at the time that the living spirit, the initiator, the religious instructor and the coordinator of the murders was Lior.
This was true for the murders the underground carried out, and was also true for the pressure he put on the murderers to blow up buses and their passengers. The law states that someone who dispatches murders should receive multiple life sentences, along with additional time for organizing the crime. But thanks to instruction from higher up, Lior was never imprisoned, put to trial and or even properly interrogated.
And so he continued: Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29 Muslims at prayer in Hebron in 1994, saw Lior as his rabbi and counselor. After the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre, Lior declared that “Baruch Goldstein was holier than the saints of the Holocaust.” The living spirit behind the religious edicts against Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, which lead to his 1995 assassination, was also, according to testimonies, Lior. Rabin’s assassin frequented Hebron, where he used to see Lior.
Rabbi Lior is not in prison. He currently serves as a municipal rabbi, the head of a Jewish court and the dean of a large IDF yeshiva. He also heads the Judea and Samaria rabbis committee. Thousands adhere to his commands, hundreds of thousands are taught his ideology, tens of thousands of shekels are paid to him by the Israeli taxpayer every month.
This utter aberration is no accident. The regime chose Lior. Tel Aviv is a dream world. The actual reality that has been instilled in Israel is Lior. Under King Lior, Israel has built a world where the Jews are citizens and the Arabs are not, both in the occupied territories and in Jerusalem; where a Jewish man is a citizen and his Arab neighbor is not. Most Jewish first-graders attend ultra-Orthodox and religious schools. The majority of them are educated along the lines of “The King’s Torah.” A Jew is human. A non-Jew is non-human. “Thou shalt not kill” does not apply to non-Jews. And this is not delivered in the form of incitement, but as a simple statement of a fact. As simple as calling a chair a chair.
There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Either you’re with Lior or you’re against him. The rabbis who chose him are Lior. The education minister – who visited the Tomb of the Patriarchs hand in hand with the convicted terrorist Livni, whom he seeks to put in charge of educating the children who will be brought to Hebron – is Lior. The prime minister, who enslaves Israel to the racist world of the settlements, is Lior.
And the Rachlevsky article ends: “every Israeli citizen and every friend of Israel outside of its border – whether Jewish or not – should support a democratic Israel in line with the promises of the Declaration of Independence, within its independence borders, known today as the 1967 borders.” Is he crazy? Or has he just not been paying attention?
Has he not noted that Israel has no friends “outside of its border”? What Israel has are leading politicians in other countries – the US, Canada, the EU, Australia — who are terrified of being brought down by their local Zionist lobbies. “Terrified” is the operative word here, for as Rachlevsky’s article indicates, terrorism has long been an Israeli specialty. Islamists are rank amateurs by contrast. That is the basis of America’s “special relationship.” (And please note that Harper of Canada now uses the phrase “special relationship” to describe his fawning relations with Tel Aviv.)
Moreover, as Scott McConnell wrote last fall under the subheading of “No Exit,”
So why does the United States stay in the relationship? Surely domestic politics accounts for a good deal of the explanation. But there is another, strategic, reason that is seldom mentioned publicly. It was expounded clearly by Ariel Roth, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and an Israeli army veteran. In an essay in International Studies Perspectives, Roth argued that the key U.S. interest in the Middle East is stability and unfettered access to the region’s oil. This is indisputable; it is the point James Forrestal made to President Truman more than 60 years ago. And what is the greatest threat to stability? Well, says Roth, it is Israel itself. Because of its unique history and the heavy weight of the Holocaust in the consciousness of Israeli leaders, Israel is uniquely terrified of being “alone” in the international arena. As a result, any suspicion on the part of its leaders that the United States is backing away from it might incite Israel to behave more aggressively than it already does. Those who decry the special relationship “are blinded to how Israel’s sense of vulnerability causes. . . behaviors that have the potential to undermine American interests.” Israel needs constant “reassurance” that it “does not stand alone.” Supporting Israel through “constant affirmation” and generous arms shipments is the best way to pursue American interests “without the fear of a panicked and unrestrained Israel bringing a cataclysm to the Middle East.”
This claim is at once alarming and compelling. Roth is asserting that the principal ally of the United States in the twenty-first century — its main source of strategic advice, the nation whose leaders have an unequaled access to American political leadership — is not a rational actor. The United States is in the position of a wife whose spouse is acting erratically. A “panicked and unrestrained Israel,” armed with an estimated 200 nuclear weapons, could do an extraordinary amount of damage. The only conclusion one can draw is that the special relationship would now be very difficult to exit, even if Israel had no clout whatsoever within the American political system, even if the United States desired emphatically to pursue a more independent course.
Israel illustrates the limits of Realism among IR thinkers on the question of Israel because the US is not dealing with a “rational actor.” Israel is supposedly Washington’s junk-yard dog charged with defending America’s “unfettered access to Middle East oil.” But it’s this dog’s advanced case of rabies which really accounts for the “special relationship”: “fear of a panicked and unrestrained Israel bringing a cataclysm to the Middle East.”
In sum, don’t hold your breath waiting for Israel’s “friends” to “support a democratic Israel in line with the promises of the Declaration of Independence, within its independence borders, known today as the 1967 borders.” “The racist entity that is taking over Israel” has nothing to fear.
Having read the link to the mepc/special-relationship-israel, brings to mind some of the peculiar things of the 9-11 tragedy, the findings of nanothermite in the dust after the collapse. The Idea that Israel could go rogue in the M.E. with their Nuclear Arsenal, is scary enough, but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to consider that there could already be some of those same Nuclear devices already planted here in the U.S. as a sort of insurance or blackmail if you choose.
The upheaval in the M.E. taking place, which looks by no means finished, inches the World closer to a catastrophic situation, as the events are moving at a pace unknown in modern times, save for the German Blitzkrieg. Though Egypt says it will honor the peace treaty with Israel today, that doesn’t mean it’s going to stay with the terms from the past. If anything, it seems that Israel has produced a situation of their own making, one of which may put Mankind at the brink of total chaos.
In the introduction to his book, “1949,” Israeli historian of Israel, Tom Segev, starts:
“On one of the first days of 1949, and one of her first days in Israel, Mrs. Rivka Waxmann, a new immigrant from Poland, went out shopping on Herzl Street in Haifa and happened to notice a soldier emerge from a jeep and walk up to the ticket window of the Ora Movie Theater. Mrs. Waxmann froze on the spot muttering, then shouting, “Haim!?” The soldier turned toward her and for the next few seconds the two figures stared at one another in stunned disbelief. Then the woman stretched out her arms and flung herself at the young man. She was his mother.
“The last time Mrs. Waxmann had seen her son was eight years earlier, when he was fourteen. They were separated by the war, and until meeting him in the street in Haifa she believed that Haim had perished in the Holocaust.”
This was the beautiful Israel I, also a refugee, so admired– the safe heaven where Jewish survivors of the Holocaust could find each other. But imagine how Mrs. Waxmann would feel if 60 year laer she lost her grandson to a racist lebensraum ideology which assumes that if Israel expand– exterminating those living there for generations– the vacuum thus created will suck in the majority of Diaspora Jews for whom Israel is a nice place to visit but not to live. Of all the Israelis it is the sabras who flee to the West in search of a future. Where will Israel find the Haims to hold its conquered lands?
Israel is no longer where victims gather to start anew. It hopes to be a vacuum cleaner that hopes to suck up Diaspora Jews like dirt. Unless Israel abandons its lebensraum ideology, more olims will cry in despair over the needless death of their sabra sons and no new olims will come to replace them. Such suicidal demographic racism can only repeat the tragic fate of Apartheid South Africa. What a sad end to the Mrs. Waxmann-Heim miracle– all in service of the greed of men with multiple passports in their pocket, just in case. Will the Mrs. Waxmann-Heim miracle go for naught, overcome by the greed of racists with foreign bank accounts?
“This was the beautiful Israel I, also a refugee, so admired– the safe heaven where Jewish survivors of the Holocaust could find each other.”
And now Israelis denounce actual Holocaust survivors who can see what Israel has become.
That is a very moving story from Segev, DE Tedooru. It is the kind of story I grew up on as a pro-Zionist who can barely remember (if at all) the day that Israel declared itself a state. Then there were the kibbutzim years that kept the dream going. Then, if the Six-Day war didn’t burst the bubble for most of us, Sabra and Shatilla in 1982 did the trick. My first trip to Israel was 1999, and I was surprised not to find many Jews there. But, of course, having always identified “Jew” with “justice,” I was bound not to find too many in Israel.