I have been recently reminded of a truly admirable man whose wisdom was truly astounding. Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz was a brilliant man who saw Judaism through a unique and often controversial lens.
Fear truly is the mind-killer. It has a way, when intentionally stoked and directed at some enemy, of killing a lot of people as well. In Israel, the
bombardment and invasion of Gaza over the summer demonstrates what can happen when a populace is fed a consistent diet of fear, no matter how safe the society is and how meager the threat to them is. A similar dynamic could be taking hold in the United States, as the specter of the Islamic State becoming strong enough to threaten the US is being pushed harder and harder all the time, despitehow unrealistic it is.
One of the more powerful lies that feeds public panic about IS is that the global Muslim community is silent about them, whether out of fear, or sympathy. With a billion Muslims worldwide, this combines with widespread Islamophobia to raise the specter of a fierce and huge Muslim army to install a global caliphate, complete with beheadings of enemies and infidels, and the subjugation of all to a reactionary form of Islam. Of course, it’s a phony image, and few subscribe to such an extreme illusion, for now. But the accusation of silence from the Muslim world about IS sticks, despite a tidal wave of Muslim condemnation of the group, and that feeds an ominous fire. Read more at Souciant.
The annual Jewish day of lamentation, Tisha B’Av is upon us again. What does that mean for present-day Israeli reality? I explore in Souciant today.
This week’s piece in Souciant reminds my readers that I don’t write the headlines there. The piece actually follows up my article last week on Greta Berlin, the Christian letter regarding aid to Israel and anti-Semitism. This time, though, I single out J Street, unfortunately, for its sad behavior regarding the US role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
My latest piece at Souciant examines the complete disconnect of Mahmoud Abbas from the reality of the situation the Palestinians are in. I ask why Israel should even be expected, by purely self-interest standards, to end its control over millions of Palestinians and examine how that calculus might be changed.