2012-06-08 / Columnists

It’s My Turn

A Response To Anti-Israel Writings
Commentary By Harold L. Bendelstein, MD

So many writers and politicians feel the need to spend time on writings devoted to criticism of Israel and defense for her enemies that they have become almost dull and silly. The only problem is that this particular vent of thought represents most of the feelings of the avowed intellectual population. Whether mundane or overplayed, a Jew cannot simply ignore them. The left, in particular, cannot seem to get enough of condemnations of Israel and the Jews, as over three-quarters of all international repudiations and condemnations by worldwide bodies, like the UN and European Union concern themselves with varying manners and activities that assail Israel and praise her antagonists. One would think that all the nations of the world are saints, but only poor little Israel and the Jew are its only demons. Logic like this does much to lend comfort and laughter amongst such paragons of virtue as Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria.

All liberal critics of Israel generally apply the same tactic in their assaults on the Jewish State. Daniel Solomon’s recent anti-Israel rant that appeared in The Wave (The New Frontier Boomerang, May 18, 2012) engages thoroughly in this methodology. The essential component is to quote some noted philosopher, whose commentary in an esoteric work can be used as a sledgehammer against the Jewish State and continue with one-sided examples that paint Israel and its Jewish population in the most negative light possible while never attributing any fault at all to even the most malicious and anti-Semitic detractors of the Jewish State. The author then acknowledges the fact that he is shockingly Jewish, albeit comically, not a self-hating one and is only barraging Israel out of intense deep love. How truly pathetic can one be.

Solomon begins his thesis by quoting Hannah Arendt and her academically regarded work (The Origins of Totalitarianism). He analyzes Arendt’s work as theorizing that totalitarianism has its roots in imperialism. It thus follows that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and though justified occupation of its land will propel the Jewish State into a totalitarianist profile through this Boomerang effect which Arendt supposedly predicts. To the multitude among us, who have not read Arendt’s writings this sounds very plausible and convincing. Liberal thinkers generally quote notable intellectuals wrongly in an effort to mesmerize the reader by essentially proclaiming, “I am smarter than you are.” Naturally few among us have any concept of Hannah Arendt’s publications, and so quotes like the ones plastered in Solomon’s article can serve to dazzle the reader. The unfortunate truth is that only one or two convenient quotes from the notable cited personality is know by the liberal writer, but that should be enough to dazzle the average reader. I seriously doubt if Mr. Solomon ever read any considerable amount of Hannah Arendt’s writings. Had he done so, he would quickly realize the foolheartiness and misrepresentation of his article and its reliance on Arendt’s wrongly perceived conclusions.

Hannah Arendt was born in Hanover, Germany in 1906. As a Jewess in Germany Arendt was witness to the atrocities that Jews suffered under Nazi rule. While she studied philosophy and political thought, Arendt’s writings were primarily involved in an attempt to understand how such an educated and developed society could devolve into such barbaric cruelty, kill millions in expansionist wars, and annihilate over six million Jews in the Holocaust. She wrote, “The Origins of Totalitarianism” in 1951 after she had already immigrated to the United States. Arendt indeed believed that imperialism and totalitarianism had to have a cause and effect relationship, but Arendt viewed totalitarianism as a total war, rather than merely a dictatorship as we envision it today. Arendt theorized that politics is its own discipline. In the quoted work, Arendt postulates that politics is uniquely multi-factorial. While imperialism can cause movement to total wars, as WWI and WWII, it by no means is the sole cause. For a nation to behave in a totalitarian manner, it must balance economics, social and class factors, the role and movement of government and propaganda, religious and ethical imperatives in the nation’s culture, as well as disparities in technology and weaponry between possible opposing factions. In all her writings that followed, particularly “The Human Condition” and her final work, “The Banality of Evil,” where she ponders how such an unremarkable personality as Adolf Eichmann could formulate the final solution of the Jews. Arendt occupies herself with how Nazi Germany could have outshined in evil in every regard any other power or civilization that occurred before the Third Reich and even in the decade of its aftermath before her death. Much of this reasoning is found in her text “The Human Condition,” which resounds on how the man of self-value, independent action and morality cannot be as easily cajoled as a laborer or worker who has a connection to a collective grouping. To Arendt, independence and ethics and thus fortresses against totalitarianism and why America, with its Bill of Rights is the most superior of all governments that had existed to this point. Arendt clearly believes that men of action and morality are far more immunized against committing evil than those masses that are subject to collective pressures. Arendt voices support over her writing history for Heidegger’s philosophy until he embraced the Nazis, Zionism until she had problems with its government construction, and finally communism until Stalin finally murdered too many people for even a true liberal believer to accept. Arendt could never come to grips with the true mindless nature of anti-Semitism and how to endear Jews to an un-accepting Gentile world.

With this in mind, an analysis of Israel and the world becomes clearer. Israel was born as a religious dream for Jews to return to Zion. Hertzel understood this and so did Ben-Gurion. Rabbi Kook, the first chief rabbi of Israel, explains to an understanding Ben-Gurion that the moral consciousness of the new nation will depend on time honored Jewish values of ethics, learning, and Torah. A core population must be allowed to keep these teachings alive and thriving. For this reason, young yeshiva boys were exempted from the military so they could continue that tradition. On August 1, the Meadowlands, now MetLife stadium, will be filled with more than 50,000 men who will have finished the seven-year cycle of learning the entire Talmud. It is an immeasurable accomplishment. The celebration of the participants will take place in Israel and worldwide. It is this and a proud and expert Jewish army that preserves Israel and Jews around the world. Interestingly the high birth rate of the religious Jewish population compared to its secular counterpart today has made it necessary for many religious yeshiva boys to serve in the Israeli military, as thousands do today. While your liberal professors and friends neglect this fact, hundreds of Israeli Merkava tanks, F- 16 fighters, and Hesder commando units are being professionally deployed by young religious Jewish men.

The only accurate comment in your article was that the Arabs in 1967 refused to trade land for peace. Actually they refused to accept return of even all lands for peace under any terms. When Israel left Gaza to Palestinian control to afford them self-governments, they responded with missile barrages. As a liberal, you simply cannot accept that at present there is no partner for peace. ThePLOwas formed with its charter to kill all Jews in 1963. No doubt the socalled occupation which began in 1967 could not have contributed to this. Palestinian and Arab conception of Jewish withdrawal was to create an area free of all Jews, like the Nazi Juden- Rhine. The clear and necessary defense against this potential catastrophe must therefore be in the form of a separation barrier and settlement blocks to guard against terrorism and add the necessary strategic depth to the narrow mid portion of the nation. Absent this strategy and pact, Israel’s survival demeanor is far too precarious. Take my word for it as a former field grade military officer in the United States Army.

While you may find this hard to believe there really is anti-Semitism in this world, which explains Israel’s pariah status. Arendt understood this as well and claimed that whatever imperialism or totalitarianism existed in any historical nation, none compared to the wretched evil of anti-Semitism and Nazism. No nation’s imperialism ever posed an existential threat to its existence except Israel. India never shot missiles at England as the Palestinians do to the Jewish State. There is one great truth to this entire discussion. As a matter of irrefutable fact the nation of Israel with its learning Torah and great ethics has existed since the dawn of history. It will no doubt live on until the end of time. The liberal philosophers and evil minded nations and anti-Semites who condemn it will, like in past days, be relegated to the garbage pail of historical extinction.

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A complete, salient and

A complete, salient and utterly irrefutable reply to the knee-jerk liberal boilerplate foisted on Wave readers by the yet to be college educated, young Mr. Solomon.

There has rarely been such a complete intellectual thrashing of Solomon, but if ever there was one--this was it. Eloquent prose, well researched and an example of genuine intellectual prowess in relation to the subject.

Solomon, are you paying attention, you could learn a lot from, Dr. Harold L. Bendelstein. He has, in a single essay provided a glaring example of the difference between being "intellectual" and a "pseudo-intellectual."

Perhaps you can scare up some misattibuted quote or essay or tome, take it out of context and amidst your narrow minded rant, claim how you've "deconstructed" your detractors into oblivion. There are all kinds of stupidity, but that has to be amongst the worst. You're in good company though, many liberals are unbelievably self delusional, maybe more so than you. Like you, they feel they're smarter, have the right (somehow) to tell others how to live their lives though they've barely lived, pontificate how workers should contend with employers, though they've barely worked or run companies and see control (totalitarianism) via the government as the ultimate answer for the peons they look down upon, though they're not qualified--nor understand--American constitutional guides that has made this nation unique & great. I can only wonder what leftist wonk lead you down this path, but they've done you little service.

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