“Israel and the World”

                                                    Introduction

It occasionally happens that I read an article or essay that affects me so deeply that I feel a strong desire to broadcast it to the world.  This does not happen very often but it happened recently.  I hope that no further explanation will be necessary.

ISRAEL’S  PECULIAR POSITION 
  by Eric Hoffer (LA Times 5/26/68)

  The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.
 
  Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem.

  Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese-and no one says a word about refugees.
 
  But in the case of Israel the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees.
 
  Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab.

  Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis.
 
  Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms.  
  But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace.

  Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
 
  Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June [1967] he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.  No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on.

  There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Blacks are executed in Rhodesia.  But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him.
 
  The Swedes, who are ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews.

  They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.

  The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally.  We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us.  And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer [1967] had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.

  I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us.

  Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us.

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12 Comments on ““Israel and the World””

  1. aarbenabe Says:

    Interesting, but it isn’t difficult to see why this is so, unfair as it is – Jews are successful, as a people. In todays moral climate this is very nearly a sin. Jews will never capture the worlds moral sympathy as long as they are percieved as a successfull group, no matter what wrongs are done to them and no matter how exemplary they behave. Even if Israel were destroyed, Jews would not be cast as underdogs becayse as a group they are so successfull in other societies. It is often amusing to see the desperate efforts of the Israeli PR office and the strange bewildrement they display when their impeccably logical moral arguments have no effect whatsoever – poor things, they don’t realize the case was decided against them long ago, and not because of what they did, but because of what they are; successfull and capable. Nothing else really matters, despite all the palaver. Israel is morally stained with original sin – Israel’s behaviour simply doenst enter into the picture. Few Israelis really grasp this, although it might free them from a lot of useless effort and anxiety if they did

  2. sepowell Says:

    If you refuse all of my other comments – as I know you are inclined to do – atleast let people hear this:

    We can not vote to encourage our government to do whatever the hell it wants all over the world and expect to be exempt from the tyranny. Our freedom is inextrictably linked to other people’s freedom. We must recognize that no man’s rights are subject to the whim of circumstance before we ever truly possess our own rights. Just as Jews did not deserve to be persecuted for their ethnical background, just as blacks did not deserve to be abused for the color of their skin, Palestinians do not need to be stripped of their natural rights because of the geographical location that they call home. The sad fact is that if the US and Israeli government, along with the PLO, would cease to bicker, ordinary Jews and Palestinians would peacefully co-exist. Everywhere else in the world Jews and Palestinians call each other brother. They eat meals together. The Jewish and Palestinian people do not inherently detest each other. Hate is fostered by the propoganda paid for by our own tax dollars. We do not have to be forced to choose sides. We have to stop choosing sides. For once let us become part of the solution and not a further antagonizer of the problem.

    Every single year since 1968, Americans rights have been usurped more and more. This has not happened in a vacuum. It is a direct result of our foreign policy for the last 70 years. You cannot support the creation of the state of Israel, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, and in the same breath declare you believe in man’s natural Liberty.


  3. Sepowell,

    “We have to stop chosing sides,” you say.

    Let’s see now. A man points a gun at you and announces his intention to murder you, and someone steps in to help you and you say “Lets not chose sides? You want to live and the man with the gun proclaims his intention to murder you. Do you want the world to say, “Let’s not take sides?

    Reality, sir. Reality.

    With regard to the article I posted, none of your response addressed it; not a single fact challenged.

  4. haroldzoid Says:

    Religion also plays a role I think. Jewry has been marked as the “Killers of Christ” and even though we should have long ago dropped this nonsense, it still remains. I wanted to thank aarbenabe for that salient point–never thought about it that way. Dr. Branden, are you familiar with Yaron Brook? He’s the current head of the Ayn Rand Institute.


  5. Herold,

    No, I do not know anything about Brook, other than that he is the head of the Ayn Rand Institute.

  6. euinulm Says:

    There are people who state a hatred for objectivism that live in accordance with the philosophy (to a healthy degree). There are people who state a love for objectivism that do not live in accordance with it (to an unhealthy degree). Are these forms of cognitive dissonance and/or part of that “bible effect” that you mention in “The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand”?


  7. Dear euinulm,

    If I understand you correctly–yes.

  8. afilsforyourthoughts Says:

    Dear Dr Branden,

    Just today I was wondering what your opinion of Israel is, and I saw this post :)

    I do not doubt that the Jewish people have been persecuted for their race, and I also agree with aarbenabe that they have been resented for their success and achievements.

    However, this isn’t the only reason why many people (myself included) oppose Israel. The fact that Israel is condemned for displacing Palestinians while other nations are not does not mean that Israel’s displacement should also be excused. It means that other nations should equally be condemned.

    I believe that support for Israel has largely been forged out of fabricated “facts”, such as the idea that Palestine is a “land without a people, for a people without a land.” The current conflict might be a good indication that there were people on that land.

    While I support many of the Western values Israel upholds, and, as a country, it is far more developed than any mess the Palestinian Authority can produce, we cannot overlook the fact that the land was occupied before the exodus began, and that Israel, far from being a democratic country, is striving to rid the land of its Arab population and create a state for the Jews. This is the very same racism that the Jewish people have suffered from, and I can’t see myself supporting Israel while it holds such a racist vision.

    I have written a post in my blog regarding anti-Semitism in Islam, which you might find interesting. It is found on the following link:

    http://www.afilsforyourthoughts.com/blog/2007/05/07/anti-semitism-in-the-holy-koran/

    There are many other issues related to Israel that I am interested in, primarily to understand the Objectivist ethics regarding some matters, but I will leave that for future comments.

    Haider


  9. Dear Haider,

    I am sorry that my work schedule does not allow me to address all the issues in your post (which would require a very long response).

    In addition, While I feel rather passionately on this subject, I have decided to put it on hold for a while. I want to stay within the boundaries of this blog as originally conceived by me–until and unless I decide to revise it. I have more thinking to do before I have the blog in the shape I want.

    However, in the meantime, if my judgment is imortant to you, I urge you to read “The Case For Israel” by Alan Gershowitz. Read it, don’t browse through it.

    Nathaniel Branden

  10. afilsforyourthoughts Says:

    Dear Dr Branden,

    Thank you for the resource. I value your judgment, and hope I can find the answers I’m seeking in the book. I may have difficulty getting it here in Kuwait, but I will try nevertheless.

    However, I am hoping to understand the “case for Israel” from an Objectivist perspective. I’ve read some of the press releases issued by the ARI, but didn’t find them satisfying. I still don’t see how the US is in need of Israel more than Israel is in need of the US.

    In any case, I will read the book, and hope that you will revisit this issue on the blog.


  11. Dear afils,

    I have never claimed, nor do I believe, that the U.S. needs Israel more than Israel needs the U.S.

    By the way, the book I recommended is not an Objectivist work and would not use Objectivist arguments. You will not agree with every word. I don’t. But I do think the book offers a great deal that is worth knowing regarding Israel and the world.


  12. Hello, euinulm,

    Your assumption is correct. The dominant focus of this blog will be self-esteem related.

    Nathaniel Branden


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