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Israelis have never aimed at victory.

Reader comment on item: Interview: ‘I watch with frustration as the Israelis don't get the point'

Submitted by Allen Weingarten (United States), Jun 11, 2006 at 16:34

I appreciate Mr. Pipes's view that "Very few Israelis are aware of the need to win". Yet I would aver that they never have. Neither Begin nor Shamir, ever thought in terms of victory, nor did their predecessor Jabotinski. Uppermost in their collective minds has been how to obtain peace, and get along with their enemies. Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon in Jewish history. As far back as the 7th century (according to Baer) "The Jews left the ranks of the warring nations, and put their faith altogether in the hands of God..." We do not have to rely upon abstruse historical fact, to fathom the Jewish mentality. Who among us has questioned the reverence afforded Abraham, for arguing to save Sodom & Gomorrah? Who does not know that our patriarch was prepared to sacrifice Isaac? Is it any surprise that we too, are willing to save our Arab & Muslim murderers, while sacrificing the destiny of the Jewish people? The sacrificial notions of ‘turn the other cheek', and ‘love thine enemy' were well established in Judaism, prior to their actualization in Christianity.

Perhaps it took a goyisha kopf to think that rewarding aggression was virtuous, but only a Jewish heart could actually live that way. This is not to deny the existence of militant teachings, such as "When someone comes to slay you, slay him first", or "Kill the Amalekites". Rather, what Jews have chosen as their vision of justice, is that which rewards the enemy, while sacrificing themselves.

This explains why Israel is not committed to victory--Jews believe it is the right way to be. Their hearts bleed for the Arab who is the victim of his own aggression, while caring not a wit, for his Jewish victims. It is true as Pipes points out, that matters have gotten worse in recent decades, for this sickness spreads. Yet it is not the fault of an America that preys on it, nor of politicians who pretend not to notice. Rather it is the choice of self-sacrifice that is playing itself out. Surely, it is our beliefs, and not DNA, that explains the unwillingness to fight for victory, let alone plans to achieve it. Similarly, it is Arab & Muslim beliefs, and not their DNA, that explains their imperative to conquer and subjugate their adversaries, with clear strategies for succeeding.

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